Avengers: Endgame is a film directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. This film was my most anticipated one for this year for a number of reasons. The trailers got me pumped up and increased my anticipation even more. But after walking out of that cinema hall, I felt that the creators did justice to all that was served to us in these past 10 years.
Plot: The Avengers decide to reverse Thanos' action done during the events of Infitnity War.
Story and direction: As this will be a non-spoiler I shall try to be as generic as possible as tio what I liked and didn't like about this movie. This film is a conclusion to a long story arc that started in the beginning of this cinematic universe. Yes, the film is three hours long (by far the longest in the MCU, too) but the best thing about the film was that the film never felt that long. And, for that, I would like to give a big salute to the creative minds behind this mega-blockbuster. In each and every minute of the move, you do feel for the characters. There is a sense of human-ism which is quite rare in superhero movies, which I was a big fan of. None of the scenes felt misplaced or unnecessary. I even liked the risks that were taken with characters which too is very rare for a commercial movie. The MCU brand of humour is there in some moments and I just loved them. This film had a proper balance of tension, entertainment and laugher, which is what wants from any kind of movie. Talking about the action scenes. OMG!!! They were huge, awesome and fantastic. Also, the VFX. My God!!! I can imagine the VFX artists had to do to bring so many of these scenes to like. And I salute them in doing that in the most seamless and effortless way. Alan Silvestri has also done a wonderful job on the score. I don't remember tearing up in any movie, but I surely did in this one. This film had such a profound effect in me. But in saying that, there were some scenes that did feel like plot-holes. Also, with the announcement of so many movies and TV show spin-offs this film still didn't manage to address so many things. But these, things are any way secondary to me.
Performances: Now if I list each and every cast member and their performances, this review will go on and on. But still, I will do some highlighting. People have been wanting Robert Downey Jr to be nominated Best Actor for the Oscars next year. And I really hope they do because this was the best of Tony Stark in the MCU. Chris Evans as usual is fantastic and I saw a side of him in this film which wasn't even tapped on in this universe. Chris Hemsworth was the funny man in this film. His scenes just made me laugh. Same can also be said for Paul Rudd. Mark Ruffalo too was just great as the Hulk and Bruce Banner. Scarlet Johannson and Jeremy Renner made me remember what made them so special and unique in this team. Josh Brolin again was fantastic as Thanos. All the rest of the cast members too were just great and commendable.
Favorite Scene: This is where I am out of words. But I will say it anyway without giving away anything. I will say it will be the one during the final hour of the movie where you will feel that are heroes have nothing to do. But then there comes a ray of hope and you feel that victory will surely touch our heroes' feet.
Verdict: Is this film perfect? No, absolutely not. Does this film satisfy the MCU fan? Hell yes, it absolutely does. This film just made me realise why I love movies and why my love increases every day. Its exactly for films like these that I live for. Do watch the film in 3D (IMAX, if possible) for the best experience and I am sure you will have a smile on that face yours feeling a sense of completion and happiness. If the MCU has more films up in its kitty, bring them on because I seriously would like to see what more can they give. Yup, and for the first time ever: NO POST CREDITS. So don't need to wait till the end waiting for some random scene to show up.
Captain Marvel is a film co-written and directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden. To be very honest, the trailers and promotional material didn't excite me for the film and so as a result my expectations from this film were not very huge. In short, I would say that this film was quite a satisfactory watch for me.
Plot: Vers, a member of the Starforce is the only hope when Earth becomes the target of an intergalactic conflict.
Story and direction: MCU has grown over the years and when you have in mind to watch a film from this universe, it has a certain bar set for itself. Well since MCU is one of the most successful franchises to date, this film knew that without even promoting people will sure be attracted to watch this new venture. So, in short, I went into the halls a blank slate having no expectations what-so-ever. This film is neither bad (as many trolls suggested) nor great. For me, it was a decent film. The good is the technicality the film has. The VFX is as usual awesome and you have wide angle shots and CGI that doesn't feel mis-placed. A big hats-of from my side to the team for the de-aging effects. OMG. It felt as if I was seeing a younger Sam Jackson and Clark Gregg. The action scenes felt quite natural to me and were just quite good. The marvel brand of comedy is there and you are surely entertained by it. But what did feel lacking for me was the character development. I was not really invested into a character and cared for them. That's what you want from any film. Yes, the film was entertaining and good but what good is a film when you really don't have anyone you can pinpoint on after watching the movie. Where is that lasting effect? The film too doesn't have its own voice. Also, the score was pretty average. In an action scene, apparently a pop song just plays in the background which felt too out of place.
Performances: Brie Larson for me did a fair job. She has what it takes to carry a movie on her own shoulders (this being much different from her much acclaimed ROOM). Samuel L Jackson is just awesome and it's just a treat to watch him in this universe. Ben Mendelsohn actually surprised me. He was good. Jude Law, Djimon Honsou, Lee Pace and Gemma Chan were good additions to the film. Clark Gregg had a small yet effective role. Lashana Lynch was really bad-ass. And so was Annette Bening. A special mention to Goose. OMG, the cat is so adorable.
Favorite Scene: It would be the one where Vers and Nick Fury have a conversation in the bar interviewing each other on whether they are Skrulls or not. That scene was funny and entertaining at the same time and the MCU we know for quite a long time now.
Verdict: I would say that this film is quite weaker than the previous MCU films we have seen in recent times. But for me this was a decent watch. Don't really believe the trolls. Make a judgement on your own. I am really interested to see how this character is incorporated into future films as well as the upcoming finale of AVENGERS. Be sure to watch the dedication to Stan Lee. That man is a legend and the tribute to him was just great. Yup, don't forget to watch the mid-credits. Post-credits can surely be forgotten.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is a film co-written and directed by Phil Johnston and Rich Moore. I loved the first film and have been waiting for a sequel for quiet along time. So when the trailer debuted, I was on top of the world. And at the end of finishing the film, I was just ecstatic.
Plot: Ralph and Vanellope decide to seek help from the internet world when the game Sugar Rush faces danger of shutting down.
Story and direction: While the first film honoured the traditional video game parlours which now-a-days have almost gone extinct; this film shows the diversity that the internet has to offer us. Since this is a Walt Disney film, it's really hard to fault the animation. So much of hard work has gone into the animation with ample amounts of detailing. The internet world looked so beautiful and amazing. I liked the way the makers had depicted spams, pop-ups, ads and viruses. Each and every scene is a wonder to look at. Also, we have the voice cast that is amazing and never for a moment its felt that they have miscast the voices. But the most important thing that the film has is the correct and apt story. This film not only has some amazing character development which makes you feel for them and makes you understand as to why they take certain decisions, but also beneath that has wonderful messages which I found quite relevant in the modern times. One big takeaway for me was that you should learn how to move on and not stop someone when someone decides to. The comedy is just spot on. I laughed at every joke that was cracked. Like the previous film, this one too has a lot of pop-culture references (with Disney being quite a focus). But these references don't dilute the film in any way. The score by Henry Jackman is just awesome. This man doesn't fail to surprise me. Also good is the song which comes at a quite crucial moment in the film from Disney's favourite composer Alan Menken (I especially liked the way at how its hinted as to when a song comes to one's mind). With all that being said, this film does have certain pacing issues. Like the first half is quite racy and energetic and the second half being interesting but not as racy as the first half.
Favorite Scene: Not to spoil anything, but there is a particular scene between Vanellope and Ralph towards the end of the movie which strung something in my heart. Those who have watched the film will surely understand which scene I am talking about.
Verdict: Year 2018 has been a good year when it comes to animated films. I am still trying to figure out as to which one is my favourite. As for now, I can say that I loved this film and even more than the first instalment. If the makers are surely planning the spin-off and sequels (according to some news reports and media outlets), I am in for it. Do watch the film till the end as it has both a mid-credits and post-credits scene.
BlacKkKlansman is a film co-written and directed by Spike Lee. The acclaim surrounding this film along with it being in the Oscars compelled me to watch the film. After watching it, I can say that this film is pure entertainment.
Plot: Follows Ron Stallworth, a police detective in the Colorado Spring PD and his attempt to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan.
Story and direction: To be very honest, I haven't watched most of Spike Lee's ventures except for INSIDE MAN which to me was quite a different kind of thriller. So watching this film for me I had no expectations whatsoever. But having said that I was mesmerized by the sheer brilliance this film had. Each and every frame had a uniqueness and beauty in it. I am not saying that the film is perfect, but it was great to watch. The writing of the film is so intelligent that in scenes of tension they introduce certain things that make it a delight to watch. The subtle comedy is to watch out for and I can understand many people not getting that. The use of music and the songs played in the background are just awesome. You feel like you are in the 70's and living in the era. The film is basically about racism and a big salute from my side to the makers for portraying this aptly (although I still have heard from various sources that certain things were not correctly depicted). With that being said, I still felt the film would have been better if the runtime was trimmed a bit. Also, the romantic subplot made no sense and I didn't feel any need for it.
Performances: Let me say that I just love Denzel Washington. He has a charm and that hasn't faded up until now. Now watching his son in the film, I even fell in love with him. He lives up to his father's name and I want to see more of him. Adam Driver doesn't have much of a role but he shines with what was given to him. Laura Harrier was OK. Ryan Eggold and Jasper Paakkonen were great. And so were Topher Grace and Ashlie Atkinson. Robert John Burke and Fred Weller also do deserve some praise.
Favorite Scene: The scene comes quite early in the film where Ron is a rookie and he is kept in the archives section and Andy comes in to ask for a file on a 'toad'. He replies that there are no toads here but human beings. He gives him the file anyway and after Andy exits, Ron does some kind of hand movements. What got me in this scene was the comedy, I was laughing throughout the scene.
Verdict: Many people will actually not get this film and honestly if this film would have come out a few years ago, my review would have been entirely different to the one I have written now. I had a blast watching this film and Spike Lee is definitely a director that is on my watchlist.
A Star is Born is a film co-written and directed by Bradley Cooper. This film has been on my radar from the day it was announced. The trailers came and I kind of loved the vibe and knew that this film was going to be one of the best. After watching it last night, I knew that my movie senses were in the right direction.
Plot: Jackson Maine, an alcoholic and drug addict musician falls in love with a much younger singer, Ally.
Story and direction: This film has been shown before in India in the form of Aashiqui 2. All of the people loved the music but I was one of the few people who did like the film too. So for me while I was starting the film, I kind of knew the story and the territory I was stepping into. What I did like about the film was its approach. This particular story has been shown three times before and its natural for people to think as to what else can be done. But Bradley has done a fantastic job in making the film his own and marking himself as a fantastic director. In each and every scene you do feel what the characters are going through and what is their mind-set. For most of the run-time, I was invested in the film. The film also very beautifully highlights both the negatives and positives of being a celebrity and how it affects your lives. The cinematography of the film is just awesome. Each and every frame of the film is just fascinating to look at. The concert scenes are very well directed. But the film does have places where the pace kind of goes down and you feel not very invested in that particular scene.
Performances: Bradley Cooper does a great job both kin terms of physicality and acting. He delivers a phenomenal performance. But the main star of the film is obviously Lady Gaga. I have heard few of her songs which proves her mettle as a singer but she is a wonderful actress too. She gives her best performance and it's difficult to digest that this is her first film. Sam Elliot also gives a standout performance. He sometimes does make you emotional and you understand the plight of his character. Andrew Dice Clay and Dave Chapelle also give some good performances.
Music: The film has some great songs thanks to Lady Gaga, Luke Nelson and a whole lot of others. I decided not to hear any one of the songs before watching the movie. And that turned out to be great. "Shallow" obviously is awesome and is getting a lot of accolades. Another one that caught my ear was "Always remember Us This Way".
Favorite Scene: It would be the one where Jack proposes to Ally. The reason as to why this particular scene caught my eye was because I wasn't expecting that and also the proposal was done in the most creative way possible.
Verdict: A STAR IS BORN is definitely a film that I loved and would recommend all romance and music lovers to watch. This film has a quite unique approach which might not sit right with many, so I do understand if you will not like the film. But anyways, I did love the film.
Uri: The Surgical Strike is a film written and directed by Aditya Dhar. The trailers of the film had me quite excited. After watching it last night, I was floored by the sheer excellence of the film.
Plot: Major Vihaan Shergill leads a team of soldiers to avenge all the soldiers killed in the Uri Camp attack of 2016.
Story and direction: It was in a very long time, that I found the cinema hall to be housefull for a film. From the very first scene the mood is set and the makers make it very clear that the film is not for the light-hearted. For a first time director I would like to commend Aditya Dhar and his team for bringing us a tale that not only engaged me but also made me feel something at the end of it. In each and every scene, you feel the hard work the makers must have gone through to make this fruitful. Although it takes a bit of time for the main action to start, I can give the benefit of doubt since we need to understand the characters and their mindset when they make a certain decision. There are moments when you feel worried for the safety of certain characters. Much of the reason as to why I enjoyed the film was because of the audience as they were shouting 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' when something important was happening on the screen. The writing of the film is spot on and you feel for even the minor characters in the movie. There are some sequences of comedy in the second half that bought a smile to my face and didn't feel forced. The action and combat sequences are well directed. Also commendable is the camera work which surprisingly didn't have any shaky movements when the action was going on. I wasn't bored for a single minute during the run-time. But even quoting that, I did have some minor issues. There are a character or two which I felt didn't get the justifies screen time and one thing (atleast for me) was totally guessable. Also, there is a small VFX shot that just looked fake.
Performances: Vicky Kaushal is in the top of his game. Be it emotion or anger, he gave it all and I would like to see him more in solo ventures. Paresh Rawal is a powerhouse in himself. Yami Gautam too was just awesome. Kirti Kulhari I felt wasn't used well considering how good an actress she is. Mohit Raina gave an impressive performance in his debut. He has his moment to shine in the film and I hope to see more of him. Also, quite excellent was Swaroop Sampat. You just have to wait and watch for Rajit Kapur and Rakesh Bedi. The rest of the supporting cast were just great.
Music: Sashwat Sachdev bought some great songs and an awesome background score to the film that not only suits the scene but also takes the film forward. Most of the songs I heard were for the first time. The one that impressed me a lot was 'Beh Chala'.
Favorite Scene: The scene that surely caught my attention was the one before the interval. Vihaan instructs his unit to message the loved ones not to disturb the unit until a certain date. This scene sets the mood for what is about to come in the second half.
Verdict: Uri is a film that will certainly go down in history as the one that not only celebrates patriotism but also some great film-making. I was floored after the film finished and clapped my hands after the film finished.
Petta is a film written and directed by Karthik Subbaraj. Ever since the trailer launch of this film, I was looking forward to watch it. But I thought as to why the makers would go on and dub the film in Hindi. When the makers announced it Hindi version to be released I was ecstatic and decided to watch it whenever I get the first chance. Finally, I can say that the Rajni fan in me is satisfied.
Plot: Revolves around Kaali who enters a boarding school with an agenda of his own,
Story and direction: From the introduction itself, you are warned that this is a film from a person who is a die-hard Rajinikanth film. This film is filled with references from previous films of this SUPER STAR. Karthik Subbaraj does a wonderful job in setting up the film. He does great justice to the film in the best way possible. The setting of both UP and Ooty adds to the beauty. The pace of the film is constant throughout. Even in the portions that have nothing great about them, Karthik Subbaraj does ensure that he doesn't bore the hell out of that scene. The camera work on this film is just beyond awesome. The night scenes and the fog filled scenes of Ooty are more beautified. The action scenes are also kept well-grounded except for a few ones where physics is thrown out of the window. I will not say that this is a perfect film either. The film is almost 3 hours long and even though I have said that there was nothing boring in this film I would like to add that there are scenes which really do feel unnecessary. The villains too are very typical. They have nothing special to them. Also the editing could have been much crispier.
Performances: This film is filled with some great performances. Rajinikanth is in top form even in this age. Be it style, action or emotion - this man has it all. I wish more focus would have been given to Vijay Sethupathi (although there are scenes where he does really shine) and Nawazuddin Sidiqui. Trisha and Simran do justice to the material given to them. Bobby Simha is also quite good. Same can also be sad for Sananth Reddy and Megha Akash. Malavika Mohanan and M. Sasikumar do quite well too.
Music: I really do wonder how a person can do so great things at such a young age. Anirudh Ravichander's music is just like that. Each and every song is very refreshing and nice to the ears (and mind you I am talking about the dubbed Hindi Version). One song that is still stuck in my mind is 'Nazar Sansari' ("Ilamai Thirumbuthe" in Tamil). Even the BGM is awesome and pumps up more of the adrenaline especially the 'Petta' theme.
Favorite Scene: It would be the one where Kaali ambushes Jithu and they have a small talk with each other. The only thought of having VJS and Rajini together on one scene is a god enough reason that this scene was my favorite.
Verdict: By the end of the film, I was surely Rajnified. This is my third Rajinikanth film in the cinema hall and I am surely looking forward for more. People who are die-hard Rajni fans, give this a watch and I am sure your day is made. For the rest, I would suggest to take a backseat since you all will be disappointed.
Aquaman is a film co-written and directed by James Wan. I remember being the few people who actually liked the trailer and what it was actually going for. I was with the film from the beginning. After watching it today, it felt like an adventure filled ride.
Plot: Arthur Curry, the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, must step forward to lead his people against his half-brother, Orm, who seeks to unite the seven underwater kingdoms against the surface world.
Story and direction: I have adored James Wan as a director for quite a long time. I even liked his film Furious 7 (maybe I will go on to say the best the series had). So, with the film I was quite positive that I would fully understand as to what Wan wants to achieve. And he totally achieves it in this film. His vision is huge and he does complete justice to it. The film is a big celebration of CGI and style. The action scenes are wonderfully choreographed and filmed on wide angles, which hugely impressed me. The creature designs and production design are impressive. Also, the comedy is just spot on. I laughed at even the smallest joke that was cracked. The emotional aspect of the film, although very small, was just great. The characterization for most of the characters were spot on. They were not perfect which is what I liked. The musical score was fabulous. The VFX was great and in 3D it just was awesome. Some things that bogged me down was the runtime. At times, it does feel that the film was dragging. Also, the first act did feel a bit rushed and I did feel that they could have built on certain aspects of that act. Orm as a villain was a bit cliched. He didn't have any such motivation for his actions.
Performances: Jason Mamoa lived through the role of Arthur Curry. From the first scene onwards, he just makes you believe that he is strong. Amber Heard complements Jason's character nicely. Patrick Wilson was good with what he was given to do. William Dafoe was good as Nuis Vulko. Yahta Abdul Mateen II was bad-ass. It was god to see Dolph Ludgren. Finally, Nicole Kidman and Temeura Morrison were great as Aquaman's parents.
Favorite Scene: It would be the scene with Arthur and Mera on the Sahara. That scene was very funny. The jokes were spot on. Adding to that, the scenery was just awesome.
Verdict: If you enjoy big adventure and CGI filled action films, then this film is perfect for you. If not, then I would advise to stay away from the film. Yes, the film is not perfect and has some flaws, but I did have a fun time with the film. If the makers are planning a sequel they surely have excited me. The DC Extended Universe has definitely redeemed itself and I am looking forward to its future films.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse is a film directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman. The trailers of the film excited me a lot (Of Course, its Spidey!) and I anticipated this film for a long time. After seeing it today, I was satisfied.
Plot: Miles Morales teams up with Spider Men and Women of different universes to take down Kingpin.
Story and direction: Spider Man is very close to my heart and ever since I have watched the 90's cartoon I am just a fan of this character. And this film exactly does that. It shows respect for both the character and the audience who has been loving the character for almost now 50 years. The story is engrossing and connects you instantly. You see every Spider Men/Women is not perfect and that what makes them unique. The family dynamic is very nicely highlighted in the film. You see the characters that are something in the beginning but at the end you feel for every one of them. Each of the Spider Men/Women are likable and by the end of the film I couldn't even decide which one I liked better. They melt your heart in a good way. I did like the animation also. It was closer to the comics which is never seen in any animated films of the recent times. Also liked the way the thought boxes from the comics were introduced, which I never expected. The visual effects and fight sequences are surely a treat to watch. The comedy is spot on. Every joke just made me laugh. The makers even go on and make a joke out of everything we know about Spider-Man without offending us. And lot of it was due to the intelligent writing (Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman). The voice-acting was also great and the casting was just spot-on. The score by Daniel Pemberton too was awesome. The fusion of an action-packed score along with the Afro-American songs was just so cool. If I had to pinpoint one thing that wasn't good it was Kingpin. It seemed like the makers wanted to go for an arc, but they decided not to, which made his character less interesting.
Favorite Scene: It would be the scene where Jefferson has a heart to heart talk with his son from behind the door and Miles due to the situation he is in can't open the door. I liked the small pep-talk (if that's what it is) that a father has with his son and it inspires Miles and kind of brightens a ray of hope inside him.
Verdict: I may place this film on par with the Tobey Maguire series because its' seriously that good. I was mesmerized by each and every aspect of the film. Never for a second, I felt bored or tired from watching the film. The film obviously does have a post credit scene, so will advise you to stay till the end (that is standard for any Marvel Movie). If this film has sequels or spin-offs, I am ready for them, but they better be good. If you are a Spider Man fan I am sure you won't be disappointed.
Tumbbad is a film co-written and directed by Rahi Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad. I was impressed with the trailer for the film and reading the difficulties the film went through in the making compelled me to watch the film. Finally watching in last night, I was satisfied and happy.
Plot: Follows Vinayak Rao, who goes to the village of Tumbbad to retrieve gold coins from the womb of Hastar's mother.
Plot: For the first few minutes, I was kind of figuring it is to what is happening in the film. But when I started to get a hang of it, I was just shocked (in a very good way). The story spans a time of 30+ years and the makers have gone lengths to show that authenticity. The set design is dull and dark and sets the mood for the film. I liked the way the makers used natural lighting for the scenes. Given the budget of the move, the production design, VFX and creature design were on par with any Hollywood film. But in addition to these technical aspects, it's the story that was the victor. The main theme of the story is about greed and at what lengths a man can go, to satisfy his greed. He gets several warnings and messages from his near and dear ones, but he doesn't pay heed to them. The mixing of a very common theme along with fantasy/horror is what caught my attention. Never does any scene feel forced. Also, the horror was just awesome. I couldn't find any kind of jump scares which have become a tradition in any horror film. The makers just present the scene to you so you can feel scared. In addition to all these facts, the cinematography was just awesome and you are directly transported 80 years back.
Performances: The casting is just impeccable and everyone justifies their role. Sohum Shah is the star of the film. From when he enters to scene till his last scene, he was just splendid. You can see that the actor has a range of emotions and he displays them to perfection. Another mention is Jyoti Malshe, who played the role of Vinayak's mother perfectly. Mohammad Samad as Pandurang played his role with utmost sincerity. Deepak Damle who plays Raghav deserves a special mention.
Music: Well this is one department where I did have a small issue. The background score was great and added so much to the horror as well as the story. An applause to Jesper Kyd for the BGM. The only song in the film that was there was not necessarily needed. The duo Ajay-Atul have given some great music in the past. It felt as if this was more of a marketing gimmick and they were forced to compose a song for the movie.
Favorite Scene: One scene that really caught my attention was where Vinayak and his mother decide to leave Tumbbad once and for all and Vinayak on the other hand decides to torture the grandmother to reveal the location of the gold. That scene shows us the germ of greed has already been planted inside Vinayak's head.
Verdict: Tumbbad is an answer to all those people out there who think adding songs and intimate scenes to films make them great. Absolutely, not. If your story has a wonderful theme and striking visuals you are in for a treat. And Tumbbad surely is. It is one of those films that you will love or hate. I would mark myself on the former category of people. Definitely a must for horror film lovers.
2.0 is a film co-written and directed by Shankar. The teaser for the film didn't get me excited but the trailer actually got my hope back up. Also, being a Shankar fan, I wanted to see this film. Finally, last night I did watch the film in 3D and the movie fan in me was happy after leaving the cinema.
Plot: Dr Vassegaran reassembles Chitti when a person punishing everyone who uses cellphones arrives in town.
Story and direction: I actually saw the film in Hindi since I don't know Tamil. The underlying message of the film was very apt of we as human beings so invested in our technology that we don't even realise as to what harm we are doing to other species. Also, another great thing of the film is the visual effects. Yes, at two or three places is felt a bit fake but for the most part I had goosebumps at the attempt made by Shankar and his VFX team. The starting credits and the logo of 'SUPER STAR RAJNI' were visually appealing. The cinematography was just awesome. Also, the action scenes and choreography were great. The main problem where the film faltered was the story itself. I get it that Shankar wanted to put across a particular message and you can actually sympathize as to why the villain is doing those things. But the way the screenplay is structured limits the villain and shows the hero more. Also, the romantic track felt forced and more like a marketing gimmick. The sub-plot involving Bohra's son felt unnecessary and didn't add anything to the film. The story does throw logic out of the windows at times.
Performances: Rajinikath is just awesome. From Dr. Vassegaran to Chitti and another character (which I don't want to spoil), he is just fabulous and lights the screens on fire. Akshay Kumar was equally great and sometimes gave competition to Rajni is some scenes. Amy Jackson was decent. Adil Hussain and Sudhanshu Pandey were OK and didn't contribut much to the film. I wish they could have retained the voice of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the scenes involving Sana.
Music: This time A R Rahman decided to go on a more background score rout than the song route, which I appreciate a lot. While the background music was engaging and made the film more engrossing, the sons (which were only 3 in number) were just about OK. There was no X factor about those songs which is normally expected out of any film that involves the scoring by A. R. Rahman.
Favorite Scene: Not to spoil anything, but it was a scene involving Vaseegaran, Pakshirajan and Chitti. That scene involved a lot of conflict and dilemma faced by Chitti which I loved a lot.
Verdict: This film may not be great at its story, but on a VFX level it will go doen as one that many people will look up to. This film does show that even we Indians can give a CGI fest and give tough competition to Hollywood.
Ready Player One is a film directed by Steven Speilberg. I had this film on my watchlist since the film was announced as the plot-line of the film intrigued me. Also, the trailers of the film looked quite promising which increased my anticipation for this film more. After having watched the film last night, I can say that I was satisfied.
Plot: Follows Wade and his group of friends, who have to retrieve an Easter Egg in the Virtual Reality world of the OASIS before Nolan Sorrento from IOI does.
Story and direction: I have been a fan of Spielberg films and it was good to have him back in the zone he is best known for: adventure filled films. This film is a joyride. From the story to the visuals, everything is breathtakingly gorgeous. From the first visual, you can see the meticulous detail Speilberg and his team have gone through to portray the digital and real worlds. I was just in awe. But that's not only it. The story has a message underneath this sparkling and dazzling adventure. Its shown that how people engross themselves in technology so much that they forget to differentiate between what is real and what is virtual. Also shown nicely is the way how people disguise themselves in the virtual world. Some of the pop culture references are just spot on. I can imagine the hard work that must have been endured to ensure this. The make-up work is so good that I believed that the actors were really that age they are portraying on the screen. Janusz Kaminski as the cinematographer is just awesome in his camera work. Michael Kahn and Sarah Broshar have done some great editing. Although I do miss John Williams' score, but that doesn't go to say that Alan Silvestri has done a fantastic job (including bringing back his famous Back to the Future theme). Some places that needed improvement was surely the finale which felt stretched. Due to which I think the length of the film could have been shorter. Also, the villains needed a lot of worked. They were cliched and did not have any specific motive other than just wanting the Easter Egg.
Performances: Tye Sheridan just knocked it out of the park. Same can be said for Olivia Cooke. It was good to see Lena Waithe in mainstream cinema and hope to see her in some other ventures. Philip Zhao and Win Morisaki gave decent performances. It is always a delight to see Simon Pegg. Mark Rylance lived the role he was offered. T J Miller has provided some awesome voice-work in the film. Ben Mendelsohn and Hannah John-Kamen were good but the characterization for their characters was not there, which made them look dull and boring.
Favorite Scene: It would be the scene where Wade and Samantha meet for the first time in the real world. The scene was so beautiful that it is quite difficult to express that in words.
Verdict: READY PLAYER ONE for me is a visual treat and I enjoyed my time watching the film. If big action scenes along with a CGI fest, is your cup of tea, you are in for a feast. Otherwise, I don't recommend the film.
Satyameva Jayate is a film written and directed by Mila Milan Zaveri. The trailer didn't have me excited for the film. But I still watched it anyway, as I wanted to see something more commercial. And that is what exactly this film was for me.
Plot: DCP Shivansh Rathod is tasked to catch a serial killer who kills corrupt police officers.
Story and direction: Honestly saying, I am a hard-core action film lover. Even though I do love watching mind bending films, action films are my first love (obviously films that are done well). But the recent string of action films has disappointed the action lover in me (barring a few). This film would come in the former category. The film had a lot going on for itself. But the makers decided to go the most cliched route over. Each and every scene was so predictable that I could guess what will happen half an hour later in the film. Also, logic is thrown out in the window in almost every scene. The action scenes are also done to death. How many times we will see a man just punching another person and the person being punched is either being somersaulted with or is flying in the air. I mean, come on. When you have an action star, there is better things that can be done. Even the marketing of the film revealed a lot about the film. I was quite shocked when the trailer itself revealed a very specific plot point of the movie. There are scenes with so much unnecessary drama. Also one another thing that bit me was the rating. The film is rated 'A' (for mature audiences). I mean, really. Yes, I get it there were some scenes with blood but that was not so much of some of the 'A' rated films I know of. Even there are some VFX shots in the film that look fake from the get go.
Performances: John Abraham is the star of the film. When he punches, he punches hard and is believable in those scenes. But in the acting department, I still would say that there is room for improvement. It is always a treat to see Manoj Bajpayee in whatever role he plays. You can see the conviction he has for the role in his eyes. If I meet the makers I would like to ask them the reason of launching Aisha Sharma. I wanted to skip the scenes involving her. Amruta Khanvilkar did provide some good support. And so, did Chetan Pandit and Manish Chaudhary.
Music: This film has a total of 4 songs and none of them create an impact that it was wanting to create. When will T Series stop remaking tracks just to market the film!!!! 'Paniyon Sa' has another bad track from Atif Aslam (although nothing can still beat 'Selfish' from RACE 3). The other 2 songs were just there.
Favorite Scene: Yes, this film also does have a good scene. It would be the flashback moment in the film. The scene was filled with emotion and strung a chord in my heart.
Worst Scene: It would be the introduction of Shikha. You can see that no one is serious in that scene. I was literally laughing as to what the writer was thinking while writing that scene.
Verdict: Had the film not kept the over the top approach and worked on the duel between Shivansh and Veer, I my score would have been higher. But alas, this is the film that we got. It was a one-time watch for me.
Game Night is a film directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Frances Daley. When I heard about this film, I was really not very excited although some of my friends had a look at the trailer for this one and said it will be a fun movie. The film released and had got much appreciation. So I finally decide to watch the film and I would have to say that my friends were right.
Plot: Follows a group of friends whose game night turns into a real-life mystery after one of them is kidnapped by apparent burglars.
Story and direction: I really had no expectations before when I decided to see it. But really, the concept of the film is so great that I didn't realise when those 100 minutes got over. And also, the direction is top notch. Each second in the film is full of surprises. I was just shocked that a film meant for just entertainment had just so many wow moments. Each and every joke is laughable at. Also, the subplots introduced in the film don't deter the pace, infact it adds to the characters storylines which made me know them so much better. There is one pop culture reference in the film where I was going like "Oh man, they are directly coping the scene". And they happen to address that too. I mean the film is so self-aware. If I really had to nit-pick the film, it would be the fact that the film sometimes becomes too convenient and you do feel that how is that possible. I mean there are a lot of coincidences which is impossible in real life.
Performances: Jason Bateman was the captain of this ship. His comic timing is superb. He was a natural. Rachel McAdams also does justice to her role. Although in one or two scenes I did feel that the performance was forced rather than natural. Billy Magnussen and Sharon Horgan also were pleasing to watch. Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury were impossible to ignore. It's always a treat to watch Chelsea Peretti and and Michael C. Hall. I didn't expect Kyle Chandler to have a taste for comedy. Jesse Plemons impressed too.
Favorite Scene: It would be the scene where the gang go to rob an egg from some gangster. In addition to the scene being funny, I loved the way it was shot. I may be wrong, but I do feel that scene was shot in one take which highly impressed me considering the film was just meant to be an entertainer.
Verdict: For those who want to relax and enjoy a movie, I highly suggest this and surely you will not be disappointed. For those who are more serious cinema driven, I would suggest you stay away from this. I belong to the former category so I did enjoy the film and it was a fun ride for me. The film left room open for a sequel and I will be waiting for it. The makers should really brainstorm for the sequel otherwise it will be a mess and some films have been a witness to this mess.
First Man is a film directed by Damien Chazelle. I remember this film being announced 2 years ago and I have waited a long time for this. SO naturally this film was one of the most anticipated of this year's. In addition to that I wanted to see what the combo of Damien and Ryan had for me. After the film ended, the film lover in me was over-joyed.
Plot: Follows Neil Armstrong and the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969.
Story and direction: The main hero of the film is the script by Josh Singer and director Damien Chazelle. Singer who has some great films to his credit (SPOTLIGHT, THE POST) has written an emotional and thrilling story. This went on to show that how well the director understood what the writer wanted to say on the screen. The film has its moments of thrill and emotions. And never for a single moment those went overboard, there was a balance between the two. Also, I did love the way Damien has used practical effects instead of VFX (an age where VFX is used in almost 90% films). I remember in every scene involving spacecrafts I was terrified for the safety of those in it (although I still knew the results in some scenes). The emotions depicted are so apt and correct that I could very well connect to the pain these characters are experiencing. The score by Justin Hurwitz is another plus point. I especially liked the track titled 'The Landing' (Yes, I did look up the name after watching the movie). I did like the way hand-held cameras were used to film the scenes. But on the other hand, I hated the way there were too many close-up shots instead of wide angle (barring the spacecraft scenes).
Acting: There are two people that stood out for me: Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy. Ryan Gosling has come a far way and has shown he can do variety of roles. As Neil Armstrong, he nailed it. It's for the first time I am seeing Claire Foy in something and I was gobsmacked. Be it emotional or happiness, she just plays the role with ease. Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler and Corey Stroll provide good support.
Favorite Scene: It would be the scene where Janet confronts Neil just before he is about to leave for Apollo 11. I would not like to spoil much but the scene was full of emotions and I was just fully into the scene. I literally had goosebumps watching the scene.
Verdict: It is quite sad that a beautiful film like this is not doing well in the box office for some very stupid reasons. I felt the film was great and left the cinema happy and satisfied. I look forward to see what Damien has more to offer us.
Kaala is a film written and directed by Pa. Ranjith. I was quite reluctant to watch the film given the mixed word of mouth. But after seeing it last night, all my doubts were put to ease.
Plot: When Haridev Abhiyankar decides to seize the land of Dharavi from its residents, it's Kaala who decides to stand up against him.
Story and direction: Being a die-hard fan of Rajinikanth I decided to give the film a shot. To be fair, I found the film quite decent. Let's get on with the positives. The spirit of Dharavi is effectively captured. In each and every minute of the film I felt that I was living in the area and felt the pain and difficulties these people were facing. The cinematography by Murali is awesome. The characters were very interesting and I liked the way the hero and the villain are diametrically opposite to each other and have different ideologies of what their aim in life is. I felt that the second half was where the film actually got the grip and it started to get interesting. Now for the things I didn't like so much. The first half of the film didn't impress me that much especially the so-called romantic angle between Kaala and Zareena. That could have totally been avoided. Instead they could have focussed on developing characters like Inspector Patil or Charumathi. I don't know what attraction the makers have to the rains. I know that it adds quite an effect to the scenery, but the first half has quite a loty of raining going on. Also, there were some scenes that felt were stepping outside the purview of reality (especially the action scenes and the climax).
Performances: Rajinikanth delivers a great performance. His character is a bit grounded than his previous ventures (although at times we see come fully in his SUPER STAR status). Nana Patekar was brilliant as the villain. He is not the typical villain. He is cold and calculative. Eswari rao was good as Kaala's Wife. I liked the way Samuthirakani's was more than just a comic relief. Huma Qureshi was OK. Dileepan and Manikandan were effective as Kaala's sons. I did feel that more screen space for Anjali Patil and Pankaj Tripathi would have been beneficial to the film.
Music: The music of the film felt like the heavy baggage that one holds which just tires you after a time. None of the songs were good and it felt more like a marketing strategy. The BGM however was great and it got an adrenaline rush in me.
Favorite Scene: It would be the scene where Hari and Kaala meet at Hari's home. Here they talk about their different ideologies and how opposite they are in their inner and outer appearances. And who wouldn't love to see two iconic actors in one scene.
Verdict: With some slight tweaking and a reduced runtime, KAALA would have worked better. Anyway, the film for me was quite decent and satisfied the Rajini fan in me.
Badhaai Ho is a film directed by Amit Ravindernath Sharma. The trailers of the film had made me interested and I was looking forward for this venture. Finally, I can say the waiting of two weeks were successful.
Plot: Nakul and his family receive the shock of their lives when they find out that Nakul's mother is pregnant.
Story and direction: From the concept itself I was looking forward to this film as it sounded very interesting and unique. The makers of this film could have gone many ways of showing this film. But I can say from seeing this film that the way they went was absolutely correct. Amit Sharma (who also directed the not so famous 2015 film TEVAR) has shown the film in the most correct way. Even while watching the film I was thinking the very same things that these characters were. The mindset of people regarding an issue like this is very apt and shown with utmost sincerity. The comedy and the drama are so well balanced in this film. In addition to Amit, I would like to thank the writing team (Akshat Ghildial and Shantanu Srivastava) for bringing such a wonderful script. Each and every scene and dialogue were just wonderful. The transition of Nakul's character from rejecting his parents' behaviour to finally coming terms to it and supporting them to the fullest has been beautifully shown. Also, shown very nicely is that family is the most important thing in anybody's life. Also shown quite nicely is the family members standing against other people when taunts are being passed on their condition. Also, I quite loved the way the makers portrayed Delhi and Haryanvis. I really don't know how to fault this film since I felt that the film was perfect in every way.
Performances: The film is filled with mind-blowing performances. Ayushmann Khurrana (fresh from his successful ANDHADHUN) once again delivers a great performance. He is seen in varying shades as an actor. Sanya Malhotra was also good considering what the writers had mapped her character as. Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta were the most adorable parents anyone can ever have. Surekha Sikri is the grandmother that any kind of household has. And finally, Sheeba Chadha was great as Renee's mother.
Music: With a film like this the music has to be spot on as the music has to be in sync with what the scene is trying to convey. There are only four songs and all of them are good. They gel in with the situation shown in the film. If I had to pick a favorite it would be the Ayushmann Khurrana crooned 'Nain Na Jodeen'. The background music of the film is great and shows the director loves old music as we hear some old hits in the background.
Favorite Scene: With a film this good, it is kind of difficult to pick the best one. But the one I would pick is where Nakul decides to confront the students who hit his brother Gullar. I liked the way Nakul motivates his brother to teach those people a lesson. I really could connect with the scene as I felt the need of someone like Nakul in my school life.
Verdict: Packed with punchy dialogues, a great story, amazing performances and a beautiful message, Badhaai Ho is a complete entertainment package. Never for a moment I felt disinterested in a film. It is a film to watch with the entire family. I am sure you won't be disappointed.
Andhadhun is a film co-written and directed by Sriram Raghavan. Having watched the trailer, I was intrigued as the trailer didn't offer much (which is basically what we want from any trailer). After having seeing the film today, I finally can say that this film will go down as one of the best thrillers Bollywood has to offer.
Plot: Life turns upside down for Akash, a blind pianist when he meets Simi Sinha, the wife of the 70's superstar Pramod Sinha.
Story and direction: The film is inspired from a French short film. Having reading the plot of the short I can definitely say that this film is purely original and made to suit the Indian audiences. Sriram Raghavan and his team of writers have developed a very intriguing and funny plot enough to glue me to my seat. I was literally biting my nails in each minute as the film progressed as I could not guess what is about to happen in the coming minutes of the film. The characters are very well designed and are apt for the setting and the story. We have the two lead Akash and Simi who are polar opposites to each other in terms of characterization. Also, we have Pramod Sinha who was very well characterized as the self-obsessed superstar. Some of the supporting characters like Sophie, Swami, Maushi and Manohar were well justified. The cinematography and editing are top notch. Never for a moment the film went dull or rather I felt bored. The only little issue that I felt the film had was explanation. Some scenes were just left for the audience's imagination. Sometimes I do like that. But when too many things are left unexplained, I feel sad.
Performances: This film is filled with praiseworthy performances. Ayushmann Khurrana was excellent and splendid. He performed excellently as the blind pianist. Tabu, on the other hand, was ferocious and selfish and was a match for Ayushmann's character. Many people have complained of Radhika Apte not been given much screen time. I didn't feel that and her performance was good. Manav Vij and Ashwini Kalsekar were great. Zakir Hussain and Chhaya Kadam were some of the other diamonds in this necklace. Finally, Anil Dhawan portrayed Pramod Sinha in the best way possible.
Music: Each track in the film was suited to the situation and was awesome. Amit Trivedi did it yet again. If I had to pick out one track, it would be 'Woh Ladki' sung by Arijit Singh (After all, who doesn't like Arijit). Daniel B. George has done an excellent work in terms of the background score.
Favorite Scene: There were so many of them but if I had to pick one it would be the first meeting between Simi and Akash. I will not spoil anything, but the balance between the tension and laughter was very well balanced in that scene.
Verdict: Bollywood has given us many great films this year and Andhadhun is one of them. I felt like clapping my hands after the film finished. I was happy and satisfied after watching the film. Filled with great performances and an awesome story, I recommend this film to everyone who loves thriller. I am sure you won't be disappointed.
A Quiet Place is a film co-written and directed by John Krasinski. The film already had me ears when I saw the trailer. It was something I never saw before. The reviews came out and increased my anticipation for the movie. Finally, watching it last night, I had a smile on my face.
Plot: The Abbott family live their life in silence when a creature hunts people by the sounds they make.
Story and direction: Even when writing the plot of the film down in one sentence, I can't believe that such a piece of work exists. It is something that maybe hasn't been created in years. Kudos to the writers and Krasinski for bringing this piece of art onto the screens. I was just glued to my seat for each minute in the film. I liked the way in which the film opens with no exposition as to what has happened. In this way I was able to give my full attention to the film. Each moment is filled with intensity and suspense. Even though the antagonist is seen for just few moments, Krasinski knew how to keep the surrounding full of tension. That's what anyone wants from a horror film. It even didn't have jump scares that normally any horror film has (or even overuses these days). The characters of the film also draw your attention a lot. Each of the character has a certain pain of their own and you can relate to that pain, which made it easier to connect to them. The creature design is just good and so are the visual effects (considering the budget in which the film was made). Something that caught my attention were the sounds. They were also kept quite minimal, true to what the story intends to do. Hats of to the sound team for this amazing feat. If I had to note some flaws, it would be the score. Marco Beltrami's score is one that has been heard before in certain horror films and felt quite repetitive. Also, one scene felt a bit impossible from my point of view.
Performances: The film has some amazing performances packed along with the watertight script. Emily Blunt we all know is a great performer and she cements it with her performance in this film. John Krasinski (who also rewrote the script in addition to directing it) did an amazing job as a father who cares for the safety of his family. Millicent Simmonds was the star of this film. Although she is deaf in her real life, the emotions that her character went through spoke louder than words. Noah Jupe also gave a compelling performance.
Favorite Scene: It would be the scene where the father and son have a small conversation on the riverside. That conversation shed some light on how a father cares for both of his children and loves them no matter what.
Verdict: This film is certainly one of the best that 2018 has to offer. This goes on to show that with great talent and an extraordinary script, the results are more than expected. The makers have announced a sequel to this one. I don't know how they will top this film.
Race 3 is a film directed by Remo D'Souza. I am one of the few people who was impressed by the trailer and was hopeful that this film was going to be a sheer blockbuster. But then the promotions of the film started that reduced my interest in the film. After watching the film yesterday, I can say that I have watched the worst film anyone could make.
Plot: Things suddenly begin to change for the Singh family when Jessica Gomes enters their lives.
Story and direction: I remember in 2008 when the first instalment came out and me being quite excited when no one talked about the film. The film surprised everyone and subsequently a sequel came out in 2013 which was not as good as its predecessor. But still the film worked for its convincing plot and setting. Let me get one thing straight. This film had the makings of a blockbuster. The set pieces of the film looked quite awesome and set the screens to be blazing on film. But alas, that's where the excitement stops. The plot is so weak and paper thin that it couldn't invest me for a second. There were so many things that the makers packed into this film that it felt irritating after some time. Watching the film, I felt that given a director's job I could have done a better job. Remo D'Souza just spoils the whole film. He just tries every formula in the book without giving his own input that would make the film standout in comparison to others. Many scenes felt so impossible that I wondered how the writer thought of putting it in the script (if there was one). The dialogues were already trolled even before the film released but I can say there are plenty more. Not as a Salman Khan fan, I was disappointed more as an action film fan. The stunts looked so amateurish (considering a Hollywood action director was hired). There was a lot of green screen and stunts dumbed down for the Indian audiences. Even I could know the difference between the actors and their stunt doubles. Slow motion has been used a lot which negated the possible effect the scene should have.
Performances: Anil Kapoor was top notch and maybe the possible reason why this film was still bearable. Salman Khan was his usual. We know Jacqueline's acting skills and as to why she is taken in films. Bobby Deol basically does nothing in the film. Daisy Shah was horrible. Saqib Saleem and Rajesh Sharma were wasted. Sharat Saxena did good with what was given.
Music: Salman Khan, who is known for providing chartbusters, fails miserably in this department. None of the songs felt natural or good. It felt like they were compensating for the lack of story. If I had to pick out the worst song it would be the Salman Khan written and performed song 'I Found Love'. Salman Khan should stop writing songs after this experience and stop taking Iulia Vantur to sing songs. The BGM works in places but I have heard better.
Worst Scene: It would be any scene where Anil Kapoor and any other character converse in Bhojpuri. It felt very forced and funny. The dialogues were full of trash.
Verdict: Salman Khan should have thought even before investing a huge amount in a film like this. If that wasn't enough, he hired Remo as the director (we all know what happened with FLYING JATT). The makers have announced a sequel to this film. Hopefully they understand what they are doing. RACE 3 was more a comedy film than an action thriller. It is the worst film this franchise has to offer.
Parmanu - The Story of Pokhran is a film co-written and directed by Abhishek Sharma. I had an idea about the film when it was announced a year ago but didn't follow any of the promotions the film did. I watched it since I heard the praises for this film (which I knew somewhere down my heart).
Plot: Ashwat Raina is appointed as the lead for a team to conduct a nuclear test at the testing site of Pokhran in 1998.
Story and direction: With films based on real life stories/incidents, it is bound that the creative team will take certain liberties to make the film viewable for the audiences. Sometimes those liberties work, sometimes they just don't. But in this film, I would prefer saying the latter (for the most part). The build-up and suspense is maintained all throughout the film although we know what the end result we be. I was especially caring for the lead characters for the entire runtime. And that is where this film wins. Abhishek Sharma and his team were able to bring me into the environment of tension the film is in and grasp my attention for all the 122 minutes of the film. The production values for the film are good (considering the tight budget of the film). The makers successfully transported me back to 1995 and 1998. Even the subplots that are introduced are not just for the sake of it. It meant something. I felt the makers have extensively researched the film and presented it to us, which is commendable. My only small issues were the tid-bits of commercialism that were thrown into the film, but that is fine.
Music: The film has music composed by Sachin-Jigar and Jeet Ganguuli with BGM by Sandeep Chowta. While the later was good and tuned in with the film, I did have an issue with the former. The songs felt just like additions which were not so good. The film could have just done it without them. But still I did have a favorite song. And that was 'Thaare Vaaste' by Divya Kumar.
Performances: A good film is defined by its actors. And this film has a good number of them. John Abraham did good on his part. Diana Penty was fabulous in her role. Aditya Hitkari, Yogendra Tiku, Vikas Kumar and Ajay Shankar performed with ease as if they were really the characters they portrayed. Anuja Sathe and Boman Irani did add their talent to this film.
Favorite Scene: It would be the one where Prem and Ashwat during their first meeting say that all differences don't matter, and we should be concentrating on the work as hand. This scene was very important in establishing the relationship these 6 charcaters would embark on and how it would affect their work culture.
Verdict: I would go on to say that this is Abhishek Sharma's best film as a director. With this film he proved that not only he is a good director but can also dabble genres other than comedy. This film was great from start to finish.
Bhavesh Joshi Superhero is a film co-written and directed by Vikramaditya Motwane. The film had caught my attention immediately and I was waiting to watch the film. Finally, after the watching it I can say that team Phantom did it yet again.
Plot: Sikandar and Bhavesh form an internet video channel called 'Insaaf' that deals with the different rule breakers of Indian society. But when matters get out of hands, it is Sikandar who has to save the day.
Story and direction: From the trailers itself, it felt like this is going to be different (as the Phantom people normally do). The setting of the film offers a lot of promise. I did like the cinematography. It used natural light which is seen very rare in recent films. Also something quite good is the sound design. The sounds used resemble to actual sounds in real life which do make them believeable. The action sequences (for the most part) were nicely done and edited properly. It felt believable. Where the film actually falters for some reasons is the writing. The themes actually dealt with in the film are beautifully written. But with that being said, some scenes actually felt very unreal. I mean I racked my brain for a few minutes as to how that was possible. Then there is an unnecessary love story that is put into the picture. When will Bollywood understand that if you have to throw a love story give it some solid ground to stand on. While most of the characters on screen actually worked, it was the villains that caused problems. They were the usual bad guys that would just give orders and have some stupid ulterior motive. Also for some reason the pace of the film dragged at places.
Performances: I don't know what problem did critics have but Harshvardhan Kapoor did justice do the role. He fit the role perfectly and was just fabulous. Priyanshu Painyuli who was lauded provided a great support to the film. Ashish Verma and Pratap Phad also were good in their roles.
Music: The film is scored by Amit Trivedi and he does have some wonderful songs to provide to the film (which actually I didn't expect). The film does have some meaningful (unlike most) tracks in its belly. Although 'Chavanprash' was unique and a full massy song, it was 'Qasam Kha Li' that stole my heart.
Favorite Scene: It would be where Bhavesh and Siku have a fight over what's right and what's wrong and Bhavesh keeps his point while Siku records it on his phone. This scene brought out some arguments which were actually right and I could'nt side with any one of them.
Verdict: Even with its flaws and runtime, this film deserves some recognition for its brave attempt.
Blackmail is a film directed by Abhinay Deo. The film's trailer had me hooking and finally I watched it yesterday night. I can say that this experiment was partially successful.
Plot: When Dev finds out that his wife Reena has been cheating on him he decides to blackmail her boyfriend Ranjit for money.
Story and direction: None other than Abhinay Deo could have done justice to the film. His expertise in dark comic thrillers is well known. The film has some excellent dialogues thanks to Pradhuman Singh Mall (who we know as Paddi from BIN LADEN Series and playing Anand in this film). Abhinay has a good way of using certain symbols in his films that depict the state of the characters. Also good are the characterization and the setting that this film uses. The blackmail itself had a very unique approach to it since the lead character had some loans and bills to pay off and him being short on money. But where the film actually lacks is the writing (story and screenplay). Praveez Shaikh (writer) has an interesting premise and characters with him. He also starts off on a great note. But after an hour or so, the film starts to get weird and twisted in not such a good way. Some subplots are introduced that have no bearing to the main story of the film. Towards the climax the film regains itself. But then the film has a kind of anti-climatic ending which was at least not understood by me.
Performances: Irrfan is a gem that Bollywood has and he brings life to the character that he plays and the film he is in. He just is beyond any words. Kirti Kulhari was another great artist in the film. Arunoday Singh and Divya Dutta were good in their roles. Pradhuman Singh is just awesome. Anuja Sathe and Gajraj Rao did justice to what was given to them. And finally, a special mention to Omi Vaidya who was just funny and outstanding in his role.
Music: The film's music sits perfectly with the scenes and didn't obstruct my viewing of the movie (Although I still would say that Guru Randhawa's Patola seemed absolutely unnecessary). The track I liked was 'Satasat'. Amit Trivedi's mesmerizing voice and Amitabh Bhattacharya's lyrics are things that made this song worth listening.
Favorite Scene: It would be the one where Dev has his first face to face meeting with his boss in his office. That scene was just hilarious and having Irrfan and Omi act in that scene was just awesome.
Verdict: I would not term it as a bad film, but had the story been more concrete I would have appreciated it more. Watch the film for some amazing performances and jokes that actually make you laugh.
102 Not Out is a film directed by Umesh Shukla. The trailers of the film impressed me and I was looking forward to watch this film. Finally, I watched this film and was totally impressed.
Plot: Dattatraya Vakharia decides to send his son Babulal to an old age home if he doesn't fulfill some of his conditions.
Story and direction: The film's strong point is its writing. Saumya Joshi (who adapted it from his own Gujurati play) has proved to be a very nice writer as his voice is heard in almost every scene. The film knows how to balance its light-hearted and dramatic moments. I laughed hard durimg the funny moments and became emotional during the dramatic ones. And that comes when the writer and director are on the same page (that was the very case in this film). In each and every condition that Dattatraya keeps, an important life lesson is learnt that is applicable in real life too. There was never a dull moment in its 102 minute runtime. The characters are so awesome and real, that you feel the emotions they are going through in a particular scene. A department that deserves full credit is the make-up department. The actors did look convincing as 102 and 75 year olds. However, the film does have its flaws. There are many scenes which felt like product placement. It felt very annoying. Also, the climax of the film felt clichéd and guessed from a mile away.
Performances: This film is filled with award winning performances. Starting with the evergreen, Amitabh Bachchan. This man just goes on to defy every norm and rule of acting and delivers a great performance in each film. He also nailed the Gujurati accent. Rishi Kapoor in the couple of years has redefined himself in his career and this film will go down as one of his gems in his illustrious career. Complementing these 2 stars is a mammoth task which Jimit Trivedi did fantastically. He was awesome and one of the shining elements of this film.
Music: The film has 3 music directors composing for 6 songs. But each of the songs sits comfortably in the scenes. My favourite was 'Kulfi'by Sonu Nigam. That song was just awesome.
Favorite Scene: I won't say much but this is the one where all the 3 central characters are involved and the song 'Waqt ne Kiya' plays. After that, there is dialogue that made me emotional and struck my heart with a lighning bolt.
Verdict: Do watch this film not for some amazing performances, but a heartfelt story.
Jumanji - Welcome to the Jungle is a film directed by Jake Kasdan. I am not particularly a fan of the 1995 film but I would still say that I had a good time watching the film. The announcement of this film quite astonished me and the trailers for the film seemed OK. I was actually surprised as to how much I liked the film.
Plot: Spencer, Martha, Bethany and Anthony are all sucked into the video game Jumanji where their only way to survive is to finish the game.
Story and direction: Sony is mostly famous for taking something that is famous and turning it so commercial that the profit is earned but the quality is very bad. But this film understands that it has to deliver, quality wise. I wouldn't say the story has groundbreaking elements or things that we haven't seen before, but the film manages to entertain. I liked the way we have troubled characters that are sucked into one situation and their only way out is if they work with one another. Also very nicely incorporated is the video game aspect of Jumanji. WE have a life bar, character strengths and weaknesses, non player characters, exposition that helps us understand what the game is. This entire world of Jumanji seems very much believable (because of it being a video game world). The action sequences were good and nicely done. However, there were one or two places where horrible VFX (or green screen) has been used to execute the action sequences. The score by Henry Jackman also adapts to the situation and adds something refreshing to the film. My other problem with the film is that certain scenes are not explained very properly. They seemed to have just let that go for the sake of it.
Performances: Dwayne Johnson is good what he does. Kevin Hart did add his touch of comedy to the film. Karen Gillian's character was different and I liked it. I didn't understand the casting of Nick Jonas since he wasn't acting at all. Jack Black was the surprise package. I know he is good, but in here he is the highlight of the film. Rhys Darby, Rohan Chand and Bobby Cannavale did provide good supporting roles. Even the teenagers in the real world delivered compelling performances.
Favorite Scene: It would be the one where Bethany (in Sheldon Oberon's body) teaches Martha (in Ruby Roundhouse's body) how to flirt with someone. I can seriously say that I laughed so hard in the scene because of its awkwardness and absurdity.
Verdict: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE is a good follow-up to the 1995 film. I was highly entertained by the film and had a very good time. I don't know what the sequel in 2019 will consist of as no room was left for a third instalment.