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Reviews

Person of Interest
(2011)

The Best Series Ever seen.i dint want it to end.
Sad to b over but its a best series i ever saw great acting solid plot just want more n more hope they make comeback, m glad i watch it mind blowing full of twists n turns wonderful best parts starts from season 3 just takes to another level with a fitting ending in season 5 i just hoped it to continue till season 10 i miss this great series badly HOPE IT MAKES A COMEBACK

Tu Hai Mera Sunday
(2016)

Nice Movie With Great Acting
Some movie titles do no justice to the promise of the story at hand. Tu Hai Mera Sunday is the perfect example of an esoteric title spoiling the fun of a perfect feel-good film. This film is about urban people and their simple relationships. A film that's based on a bunch of young folks looking for a space to play football in every Sunday. The trials and travails around their simple leisure activity makes the base on which this film explores some genuinely fun and relevant Mumbai themes. With a better title and slightly more finesse in filmmaking this would've been a sure shot winner.



The story deals with five Mumbai friends who want to play football over the weekend to get over the rigmarole of their hectic lives in maximum city. Society, peers and of course politicians foil their plans. The group isn't able to play football on their favourite Juhu beach and that's when they start looking for a new place and that raises all sorts of questions. Arjun (Barun Sobti) is the lead character. He's the face of the group and also the one with most sorted disposition. Others in the group form the perfect representation of Mumbai's communities. One is a Gujarati, other's a Christian, a muslim and a parsi too. Shahana Goswami plays the love interest who adds a dimension to the hero's tale. Character driven, Tu Hai Mera Sunday makes its big play on the thought that ordinary people can get a massive reprieve with just a few moments of leisure. That the entire Indian ecosystem was too obsessed with being a metropolis rather than a happy city.



It has novel ideas, but Tu Hai Mera Sunday's intentions deserved a better execution. Director Milind Dhaimade isn't able to get the required finesse in telling this tale. Scenes on Juhu beach or in other places in Mumbai could've been shot a lot better. The movie's various conflicts for each character, the emotional black-mailing mother for example, don't always feel convincing. It all boils down to putting a little more effort in cinematography, background music and of course dialogue. The majority of the cast on the film are established TV faces. Barun, Vishal Malhotra, Avinash Tiwary and so many others are popular on the small screen. Naturally they're all fine actors and do a great job with their roles. Shahana Goswami is the biggest film star on the cast though and she does well to bring charm. The performances of Tu Hai Mera Sunday are solid.



This film briefly makes you think about life in the big city. It has noble intentions and its character quirks are designed to both entertain and understand the story. But the good writing doesn't always translate into the screenplay. Tu Hai Mera Sunday is a decent watch. It's definitely a better story than its trite title. A feel-good film especially for younger citizens of India's big booming cities.

The Hungry
(2017)

Titus Andronicus, William Shakespeare's first tragedy, gets a modern-day reworking as The Hungry
Titus Andronicus, William Shakespeare's first tragedy, gets a modern-day reworking as The Hungry, Bornila Chatterjee's second feature. Dark and shockingly violent, Chatterjee lets the overwhelming horror of the story more than make up for the slightly incoherent story line. Nick Cooke's lush cinematography and low-lit scenes go with the mood of the disconcerting plot.

This was never one of Shakespeare's more revered plays but definitely an indication of the darkness to come in his later works. A New Year's party at the start of the movie goes horribly wrong when the young and good-looking scion of the Joshi family is found in the bathtub, his wrists cut, and suicide implied. This is on the eve of his marriage to the daughter of Tathigat Ahuja played by Naseeerudin Shah, who seems to the relish the relatively rare opportunity to play a villain, giving the movie its homicidal edge.

Tulsi Joshi, the single mother of the man in the bathtub, is played by Tisca Chopra, who delivers a smoking hot performance. She is a woman with her back to the wall but bent on revenge for her son's murder, for she suspects foul play from the word go. Conspiring with Tathagat's right hand man (Neeraj Kabi), who she has managed to wrap around her little finger, she plots and schemes as Tathagat is released from jail on an unrelated offence two years after the sequence that begins the movie.

All this is set in the backdrop of Tulsi's marriage to the much younger son of Tathagat - the bumbling, dimwitted Sunny (Arjun Gupta) at the sprawling Ahuja estate. The plot grows markedly murkier as the sexy daughter of Tathagat, Loveleen (Sayani Gupta), who is his favourite, decides to go on a drinking spree with Tulsi's other son, Chirag (Antonio Aakeel). Intoxicated and with a burning desire to extract revenge, Chirag bashes up Loveleen, smashing her face in beyond recognition. Watching Loveleen escape provides some of the movie's most harrowing and indelible scenes.

Tulsi's desire for revenge is portrayed by Chatterjee with a generous dose of sympathy and her cause is shown as being relatively right compared to Tathagat's ruthless hunger for power and money. Chopra's performance matches the Bollywood veteran Shah's delectable turn step for step, with both actors enjoying their roles even as their on-screen versions set in motion a chain of events that can only end in murder and mayhem. It is clear from the start that she is quietly desperate in sharp contrast to Tathagat's cool, methodical ways.

The film may work well as a dark tragedy, but Shakespeare's larger point of the emptiness and sometimes self-destructiveness of the soul and human psyche is a bit lost. The opening sequence is returned to multiple times, as Chatterjee reveals the machinations behind the murder in slow, excruciating detail. This may have been done for the chills but it is clear who is behind the opening murder and so the point of the flashbacks was lost on this reviewer.

Some scenes are unevenly directed and the scene is which Tathagat is shaven by his barber is a downright cliché. But then the scene that follows is a redemption of proceedings, as Shah screams at a few workers for not buying enough marigolds for the wedding with malevolent evil, even as crucial corporate documents bringing about the merger of the two empires - the Ahujas and Joshis - are being signed .

There is a certain deliberateness to the way Chatterjee directs that makes us forget the movie's minor flaws; not a movie to fall in love with, but perhaps held and admired from a distance.

The Pirates of Somalia
(2017)

Watchable Because this story is Biography
Inspiration often finds its way through real-life events. The problem of Somali pirates plaguing the waters of Africa, the Indian Ocean and its surrounding arms extending to the Mid-east has been the source of inspiration for various Hollywood dramas. Each movie speaks its own tale, highlighting the troublesome nature of the maritime zone that has been a cause of worry for the entire global shipping domain.

Most of these Somali pirates movies are based on incidents that have taken place in people's lives. Some movies even have had real-life characters acting their part highjackingwithin it. These aspects have thus made these pirate movies far more impactful with the audiences not only understanding the relevance of the subject but also correlating its significance.

Chef
(2017)

Saif is a natural fit for the role
Bollywood has a long history of adapting Hollywood films into its own desi versions and we have seen the results that tend to range from bad to better. This Chef remake lies somewhere in between and if I may add, is inclined more towards the better part. Adapted from the Hollywood film of the same name, Chef starred Iron Man director Jon Favreau who also wrote and directed the film. This Indian version is an official remake that stars Saif Ali Khan, Padmapriya Janakiraman and Svar Kamble in lead roles.

Saif stars as Roshan Kalra, a 3 Star Michelin chef who doesn't take criticism constructively from a customer in New York and ends up losing his job and his sense of identity. Chef is as much as the story of a man rediscovering his passion as much as he wants to reconnect with his son. His wife Radha stays in Cochin with his son Armaan. After a lecture from his friends that he needs some time off he comes back to India to reconnect with his roots.

There we see the obstacles faced by Roshan when he was struggling to follow his passion, his differences with his father and apologizing to his son for not being there for him. The film majorly focuses on father-son bonding just like the original. We also see Roshan proud of his Punjabi roots and constantly reminding everyone that he's from Chandni Chowk. The film has breezy 1st and 2nd halves and never seems to drag.

Saif is a natural fit for the role, as the middle-aged man who never gave time to his loved ones slowly comes to realize that work is not everything. Padmapriya as his ex-wife Radha plays her part to perfection. Also, newcomer Svar Kamble has an effortless chemistry with his on screen Mom & Dad. We also see fan favourite Milind Soman in a Cameo appearance, a la Robert Downey Jr. from the original. The scenes between him and Saif are fun to watch as we see Roshan trying to hide his envy from the uber cool Biju.

Though the film is not a perfect recipe, some of the scenes could have been written and directed with a firm grip. For a film named Chef, we don't see Roshan dabbling in Kitchen or discovering new dishes much, it's more of a man trying to connect with his passion and family. Though we get to see a lot of cooking and eating and the close-ups of edibles are a treat to watch.

Chef offers nothing new or groundbreaking; it just tells one story in its own tone. Made at a time when most of the parents are not able to find more time to spend with their children, it'll appeal more to families and the multiplex audiences. Though it's definitely an effort in the right direction and the film should be watched for its story, cast and food.

Qarib Qarib Singlle
(2017)

The best part of Qarib Qarib Singlle is that it makes a big play on the central relationship with an outlandish situation
Cinema has always been guilty of hard selling love with the passion of life and death far too often. It's as if any form of love can't be moderate, it has to be all blood and glory all the time. While that's certainly an easy way of selling the notion, real life relationships are a completely different ball-game all together. Seldom do real people kill or be killed for love. Mostly they're just confused. Mostly love happens, goes away or stays without saying much, without the dramatic brouhaha. That's what Tanuja Chandra's Qarib Qarib Singlle is all about. An unlikely couple make a big transition from online dating to travelling together. They have a spectacular and very funny trip. Their travelogue and bittersweet repartee make this movie so authentic and entertaining. This romantic comedy's insights into relationships both modern and conventional is just fantastic.

The story kicks off as Jaya (Parvathy) and Yogi (Irrfan Khan) meet through a dating website. The initial friction and contrast in personalities is soon overshadowed by interest and intrigue. He's the loud mouth North Indian while she's the classy South Indian who has a handle on social etiquette. He can't stop bragging about his exes while she quietly mopes around from losing her husband to the army. Outrageously they decide to visit all of Yogi's exes and find out if there's any truth to his tall claims. Her ulterior motives are revealed a bit later and that's when things get a but dramatic as expected.

The best part of Qarib Qarib Singlle is that it makes a big play on the central relationship with an outlandish situation. Which girl in her right mind will agree to travel to 3 different cities with a relative stranger? But Jaya does it and that journey becomes the acid test for both Yogi and Jaya to find out what the other person is all about. This slightly far-fetched but well-executed journey is the heart and soul of the film. Two distinct and seemingly incompatible individuals learn to appreciate and love the quirks of the other. And of course discovering a part of their own feelings through some really hilarious dialogue and experiences.

Irrfan doesn't ever disappoint with his acting efforts in a film, but with Qarib Qarib Singlle he's not just living up to his usual standards, he's busting the myths too. You don't need dapper lads with washboard abs and pretty faces to sell a romcom, a spirited 40-year-old can do the same with élan too. The way he makes Yogi a fun-loving character is just fantastic. His comic timing and eccentricities make this movie a treat. Parvathy brings a freshness and zest to Jaya's character. Whether she's breaking the fourth wall or instilling the film with indelible charm, the young actress adds zing to the film. Together Irrfan and Parvathy may look like an odd-couple but their effortless chemistry and the off-kilter romance works magic in this film.

The best moments of Qarib Qarib Singlle are the most understated and sublime ones. There are no 'jeene marne ki qasamein' no drama, just a casual, simple and very refreshing romance that says a lot without much effort. With solid writing and great performances, a perfect ambiance of Tinder-driven modern courtship this is definitely one of the best films of director Tanuja Chandra's career. A light but spectacularly adroit romantic comedy.

Ittefaq
(2017)

Apart from solid cinematography and editing, Ittefaq also benefits from solid performance. Akshaye Khanna
Despite a lot of hype and secrecy maintained by the media and the producers,Ittefaq doesn't turn out to be an average murder mystery.

The plot reveals that there are two versions of the same circumstances,the investigating officer Dev Verma ( Akshay Khanna) focuses on one of the two.Accordingly the results follow.In the other version the results are different.

Can one say complete justice has been done? This because a person can't be tried for the same offence twice.

What are the circumstances of the case? A writer Vikram Seth( Siddharth Malhotra) has filed a telephonic FIR about the death of her wife Katherine.The cops have come to investigate.The writer instead being charged for the crime runaways from the scene of the crime.He's been hotly pursued by the cops.The writer's car overturns.The cops time lag enables the victim cum suspect to take refuge in the nearest house.Maya Sinha( Sonakshi Sinha) is the occupant of this flat.

It's an Ittefaq that one Shekhar( the husband of Maya) has also been killed .

The investigation officer has to ascertain- the killer's of both deaths? the motives behind the same? According to the evidence and circumstances he arrives at a decision.The law accordingly takes it's course.

Based on the same facts the same cop realises his mistake.By now it's too late.

To me not much care was taken by the cops to pick the evidence.Barring Dev ,all others are misfits.None wears gloves to collect evidence.The views of the forensic experts is amenable to be twisted.The performances of Sid and Sona is below par.Akshay Khanna is unnecessarily 'stylish'.Editing has confused the viewers.High decible soundtrack over powers the spoken word.Scripting is ordinary.One would have preferred a court room drama in the climax. A larger point- evidence gathering must be fool proof.The mens rea of the homicide should be established beyond reasonable doubt,not based on conjectures.

All in all this reviewer would commend for the mystery being retained.

On an over all basis the remake could be a one time view.( the earlier Rajesh Khanna and Nanda version was more gripping and well made).

Wind River
(2017)

Wind River is a powerful examination of the human soul, while also containing scenes that'll take your breath away, as it shocks and awes the audience in waves.
Wind River is a powerful examination of the human soul, while also containing scenes that'll take your breath away, as it shocks and awes the audience in waves.

Taylor Sheridan is a writer/director who has been making a bit of noise in Hollywood over the past couple of years. With scripts like Sicario and Hell or High Water, the man is another talented individual that's brought the hard edge of film noir and the world-weary melancholy of the Western, and meshed them into darkly brilliant contemporary works. His latest film, Wind River, marks his first time directing one of his own scripts, and it's a film that certainly doesn't disappoint, as it tells a tale of vengeance and investigation that fits right at home with his previous works.

Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) and Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) are trying to solve a mystery on the Wind River Indian Reservation. After an abused young woman is found frozen to death in a clearing, the circumstances leading to her death are unknown. Their list of suspects is limited, but time is not on their side, as every step closer to the truth puts them further in harm's way.

Much like Taylor Sheridan's Hell or High Water, Wind River straddles the line between the more desperate parts of human nature, and the more nurturing aspects as well. It works just as well in this film as it did in the previous, as Sheridan's command of dialogue and characters draws the audience into the world of the Wind River reservation. You believe the world that's being presented on screen, and the people that inhabit it, which leads to the film's bleak atmosphere permeating every frame of the film.

Though Wind River does manage to wear its forlorn heart on its sleeve to maximum effect, the writer/director's trademark humor does find its way into the film's narrative, while not disrupting the more dramatic moments. It's because of this effective world building that both Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen's central performances are all the more effective, as both characters are living breathing people rather than caricatures. Renner's Cory is a frontiersman bad ass, but he's still got a sadness about him that drives him to solve this mystery, while Olsen's Jane is an investigator trying to figure out both the case. With both of these characters acting as serious anchors to the film's story, a character like Graham Greene's Ben is surely appreciated, as he helps lighten the mood when the moment calls for it.

While Wind River's story is as compelling as it is believable, the only weak link is the mystery central to the film's plot. It's adequate enough to push the film along, but it's a fairly simple case to crack after a certain point of the film's running time. However, the advantage to that aspect is how Taylor Sheridan's story is left to delve more into the human components of revenge, loss, and justice that drive our characters. So while this may not be as much of a procedural as audiences will be expecting, the film left turns into some heavier material that is normally absent from a film that would pay more attention to the former. This in turn amplifies the film's limited instances of violence when they do occur, as sudden and explosive bursts of action punctuate the methodical story being spun throughout.

It's early in the year to lock anything down, but Wind River could be Taylor Sheridan's next Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. That said, don't be surprised if he rides his dark horse into the awards fray again, this time with a Best Director nod in tow. Sheridan's command of not only his actors, but the words and images of his own story, exudes such confidence in his craft, to the point where it feels like he's a talent that's just getting warmed up. The western noir genre suits him well, and Wind River is a powerful examination of the human soul, while also containing scenes that'll take your breath away, as it shocks and awes the audience in waves.

American Made
(2017)

Exhilarating story on drugs and dollars
Set in the years between the late 1970's and the mid 1980's American Made comes across to be more of a documentary . The pedestrian routine of picking and dropping off goods shown countless of times throughout the film is nothing to write home about! The film is mostly air borne and I wish it had stayed a bit more grounded because in their desire to scale greater heights both the protagonist and the film get into trouble . The film could have been much more interesting had the scenes not been thrown at us relentlessly like bowling balls and had given us some breathing space. Even with a short run time of 1 hour and 55 minutes this film seemed far too long and stretched . To the films credit it does not waste too much time in introducing the characters and gets to the point straight away. It is a treat to get to know the fascinating true story of a man who worked for four different agencies together. Some scenes are quite thrilling and rescue the film from its otherwise dry spell. Tom cruise does a good job though his Southern accent seems a bit forced. The others have a comparatively smaller role but they all manage to hold the film together. If you are a fan of the slick crime thrillers and don't mind more crime and less thrill mostly piloted by the charismatic Tom Cruise then this ones the perfect weekend watch for you!

Jungle
(2017)

Harry Potter Meets Werner Herzog in a Feverish Survival Story
"Jungle" lacks the flair and feeling of "Swiss Army Man," but it's somehow even more disgusting than Radcliffe's last wilderness adventure.

In the years since hanging up his quidditch broom, Daniel Radcliffe has blazed a surprisingly adventurous trail, devoting himself to risky projects that stray far from the beaten path, some of them quite literally. For the second time in the last 18 months, the former "Harry Potter" star has wandered off into the wilderness, following the miraculously inventive "Swiss Army Man" with a true-life survival story about a restless Israeli kid who wound up stranded by himself in an uncharted stretch of the Amazon. And while "Jungle" glaringly lacks the flair and depth of feeling that defined Radcliffe's previous stroll through the great outdoors, it's somehow even more disgusting than "Swiss Army Man," a movie in which the actor plays a corpse whose farts are so explosive that they propel his body across the surface of the ocean like a jet ski.

"I was desperate to escape the well-worn path," Yossi Ghinsberg intones during the film's opening voice-over, the narration giving us a chance to acclimate to Radcliffe's strong but convincing Tel Aviv accent. It's 1981, Ghinsberg is 21 years old, and he's happily willing to risk death just for the chance to be different (spoiler alert: this film is adapted from a memoir that Ghinsberg wrote in 2005).

We meet him as he arrives in central Bolivia, scruffy and invincible and eager to prove — to us, and to himself — that he's living his life to the fullest. He's not the only one. Ghinsberg hasn't been on the ground five minutes when he meets a fellow traveler named Marcus (Joel Jackson), a wandering schoolteacher with "the heart of a poet and the soul of a saint." By the end of his first day, our hero is doing psychedelic jungle drugs with the beautiful girl who's sleeping in the next tent over. By the end of his first week, Ghinsberg has grown inseparable from Marcus and his friend Kevin (Alex Russell), a dashing American photographer who could easily be mistaken for a young Eric Bana.

So when Ghinsberg is randomly approached by Karl (Thomas Kretschmann), a German-born geologist who offers to guide him off the map and into the heart of Inca territory, he naturally convinces his new friends to come along for the ride. Ghinsberg, determined but oblivious, fails to notice how shadily Karl is shot, or that Johnny Klimek's otherwise woody and flavorful score tenses into a knot of ominous strings whenever the guy is on camera.

And so begins their journey into the green and febrile world of Werner Herzog's fever dreams, only stopping so they can eat a monkey or listen to Karl mutter ominous aphorisms like "The jungle shows us who we really are." The film's emphasis on its environment is to be expected from Australian horror guru Greg McLean, who transformed the Outback into a slaughterhouse in "Wolf Creek," and took the idea of corporate headhunters a little too literally in his workplace battle royal, "The Belko Experiment." And "Jungle" is most effective when it plays to its director's strengths and keys into the violence of a place that has no interest in accommodating human life — Karl's shiftiness aside, the Amazon unburdens McLean of the need for shotguns or serial killers, as none of those things are necessary in a verdant hellscape full of fire ants, brutal rapids, and hidden jaguars. It's unclear what exactly is eating the flesh off Marcus' gooey feet, but it can't be good. And let's not talk about the worm that hatches from the bump on Ghinsberg's head, okay? People will never grow tired of movies about hapless white kids wandering off where they don't belong, and McLean seasons that particular to perfection, maintaining a fine balance between horror and excitement; fear and strength. Justin Monjo's script falls apart like dead skin as soon as Ghinsberg is separated from the group (and the group is separated from each other), but he deserves credit for complicating these characters beyond easy archetypes, just as the actors who play them should be commended for the relative nuance of their performances, each one of them harboring his own measure of self-doubt and suspicion.

It's a shame that "Jungle" doesn't further explore Ghinsberg's motivating obsession with weakness, but you get the sense that Ghinsberg himself is trying to ignore it (exposing a weakness of a different sort). His unexamined nature only becomes a problem once he starts to starve, prompting a string of hallucinations and flashbacks that expose just how little we care about the kid, and how little we care to learn. Madness is difficult to convey on screen, and less is often more. McLean opts for most, sacrificing Radcliffe performance — so alert and responsive that you can feel the life draining out of his body once the Amazon takes hold — at the altar of some empty affectations. It's true that Ghinsberg really did have visions of a half-naked Inca girl, and that he survived by trying to keep her safe, but her importance is lost in a tiresome haze of details as "Jungle" merely signifies madness instead of inviting us to see it for ourselves.

Yossi Ghinsberg journeyed a long way just to realize that strength comes from within, or to learn that the real adventure is the friends we meet along the way. This film about him is highly watchable before it wears thin, but the only thing it fully conveys about his adventure is that the experience could have been a lot better if he'd made just a few different choices.

Brawl in Cell Block 99
(2017)

BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, is a grimy, heartbroken pulp story about a southern galoot named Brad
His first film as a writer/director, Bone Tomahawk, is a sneaky bit of nasty business — a fairly traditional Western that unfolds in fairly traditional ways right up to the moment where it goes over-the-top insane and sudden twists and becomes a brutally effective horror movie. If you've seen Bone Tomahawk, you will never forget that moment, and if you haven't seen it, you cannot imagine just how insane Zahler is.

His new film, BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, is a grimy, heartbroken pulp story about a southern galoot named Brad ("That's Bradley") Thomas, a big thick weirdo with a bald, tattooed head, who is fired from his job and forced to turn to his old drug dealer pal Gil (Marc Blucas) for work. Bradley takes a job as a runner, and when he finds himself in a hard spot, he decides to take a prison term instead of rolling over on anyone else. So far, so good.

The first prison he goes to doesn't seem terrible, especially as movie prisons go. But then Bradley gets a visit from a very strange man (played by the always delightfully strange Udo Kier) who shows him a picture of Lauren, Bradley's pregnant wife. She's been abducted, and now there's something Bradley has to do to get her back. What that is and how he accomplishes it becomes the crazy, constantly shifting the landscape of the film's back half, and whatever I expected, the film is much sleazier and more deranged.

There is a single-mindedness to the film that is admirable, and while it's weird to use the word "restraint" for a movie that relishes in the breaking of bones the way this one does, there is a very deliberate sense of pace to the way things unfold. I'm impressed, because clearly Zahler is at his most alive and engaged as a filmmaker when things get crazy, yet he understands that the insanity won't have as much impact if he doesn't build to it the right way.

Vince Vaughn's career is a roadmap of frustrating decisions, both on his part, and on the part of the filmmakers who have struggled to figure out how to use him the right way. One of the hardest parts of making a splash the way he did with Swingers is that it puts you in a box, and a character like that isn't a character that we want to spend 20 years with. For some reason, filmmakers have consistently played against the inherent physical menace that comes with Vaughn's size, but in person, he is imposing. Here, finally, someone takes full advantage, and the work by stunt coordinator Drew Leary and his team is sensational. There is a methodical intelligence to the way Vaughn fights, and it's ugly to watch. There's no real grace or beauty the way we see in lots of fight films. When Bradley decides it's time to destroy someone, he works quickly and he works efficiently. There is blood spilled. There are bones shattered. Human beings are disassembled. You have been warned.

Jennifer Carpenter plays his wife, and the relationship the film charts is a weird, creepy one. If I'm supposed to be rooting for them, I wasn't. There's an extended sequence at the start of the film that feels like it is constantly teetering on the edge of overt abuse, but there's no doubt it's an emotionally toxic environment. To some degree, this feels like a movie about Vaughn fighting over a possession of his, not over someone he loves.

David Presto's make-up special effects are startling and vivid, and Benji Bakshi's photography drowns the world in appropriate shadows as things slide from bad to worse to bottomless despair. One of the things I like about Zahler's style so far is that he never seems to get in the way of what he's shooting. He's not a flashy filmmaker in terms of how he stages things, but there's a deceptively clean quality to everything. He shoots with confidence, and he has a knack for getting out of a scene at the exact moment he's done with it. The film's the same way. I laughed for a good 20 seconds after the last shot of the film simply because of its audacity.

When recommending certain movies, it feels like you can't warn people strongly enough. Brawl In Cell Block 99 is exploitation fare served strong, and while it is the humanity of the performance by Vince Vaughn that grounds the film and makes it something more than "just" exploitation, do not be deceived. This is a wallow, and even the most ardent fan of red meat may need a shower afterwards.

Mom
(2017)

Totally predictable and nothing much to write about.
The daughter getting sexually assaulted and the simple domesticated mom getting into a vendetta mode to eliminate the tormentors one by one forms the basic plot. Not exactly a script one finds exciting though the unfolding is fairly engaging and one finds it interesting. Totally predictable and nothing much to write about.

Haseena Parkar
(2017)

Haseena Parkar is a superficial drama with no grit. The film has only glorified dialogues that has no real meaning to it
It is a huge responsibility for a director who touches upon a story based on real-life incidents against the backdrop of underworld and especially when the crime thriller genre has been extensively explored in Bollywood. After films like Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, Black Friday and Company, to name a few, which showed underworld through a vivid filter, Apoorva Lakhia's latest offering Haseena Parkar fails to impress. It is surely not on the list of recommended gangster films.

Haseena Parkar (Shraddha Kapoor) lives with her family and is very close to her elder brother Dawood Ibrahim (Siddhanth Kapoor). Dawood always puts his father in a spot by doing petty illegal things around the vicinity. In the meantime, Haseena gets married to Ibrahim Parkar (Ankur Bhatia). She lives a happy life until Ibrahim gets murdered by the rivals of Dawood.

Soon after, Dawood shifts to Dubai and Haseena emerges as a lady don of Dongri. Bombay police fails to trace Dawood and hence summons Haseena in the session court for further investigations including Bombay bomb blasts held in 1993. Will Haseena come out clean or be accused of her brother's crime? Rest of the film unfolds this question.

Director Apoorva Lakhia has not tried his hand directing a gangster film for the first time. Earlier, his Shootout At Lokhandwala, which highlighted the real-life gunbattle of Maya Dolas in 1991, that released in 2007, was a good attempt by the director, but this time, he totally goes haywire with Haseena's life. Seems he aimed to make a gripping biopic, but it turned out to be boring and meaningless. One gets confused whether to sympathise with Haseena or hate her. The film is a complete a mouthpiece of Dawood's sister. Precisely, there is no reason to make a life on his sister's life when there is nothing extraordinary about it. It is highly peachy, at the same time, has a very diplomatic approach towards Dawood and his crimes. Still wondering how many filters it passed through on its scripting stage, censor or maybe Dawood's family. Was it important for the makers to make a film on Haseena or does India lack enough noted people on which biopics can be made? Apoorva also fails to create the era of 1970's and the misfit cast spoiled the rest of it. Few shots where the action sequences just freezes on screen are awful. The background score is a lot similar to Sarkar franchise, but it is surely horrifying than Conjuring series (laughs). The biggest flaw of the film is its shoddy execution. Dawood, who influenced her sister's life, should have been shown in a proper way and not superficially. With an open-ended climax, Apoorva has no conclusion to it especially when it is based on real-life incidents. A little more research would have saved this sinking ship or does he purposely leave his film on such a note to play safe? This is for you to guess! Shraddha Kapoor, who is touted as a non-actor has surely acted in this one outside her comfort zone, but she is not satisfying. On the contrary, the makers and the actress herself took this chance to play the role of Haseena to prove that a non actor can pull this off with ease, but it is disappointing to see Shraddha who doesn't look apt for this role. Maybe Tabu or Vidya Balan would have done justice to Haseena. From her physicality to dialogue deliveries, Shraddha does a poor job. She is too unprepared to play such a mature role. Siddhanth Kapoor is surely an end to the era of playing Dawood in our Bollywood films. He is a tiny-looking don wandering everywhere, which is laughable. Dawood surely must be cursing the makers for giving his role to him. His style and mannerisms are way too dramatic. The saving grace of the film is Ankur Bhatia who looks amazing in his short role. He is hot as Ibrahim Parkar and does his role with conviction. He might not have a commercial value today, but definitely has a promising future here.

Haseena Parkar is a superficial drama with no grit. The film has only glorified dialogues that has no real meaning to it. It's better to enjoy your weekend with other gangster flicks over pizza!

Bhoomi
(2017)

Bhoomi has its heart in the right place but the movie gets weighed down under the twin burdens of clichés and melodrama
Omung Kumar who made the impressive Mary Kom and the patchy Sarbjit comes back with the serious subject of rape with Bhoomi. It is also Sanjay Dutt's comeback movie.

On the eve of her wedding, Bhoomi is raped by a spurned suitor and his gangster friends. Her fiancé abandons her and her fight for justice leads to her humiliation in court. Disgusted by this, her father and she withdraw the court case and try to go back to a normal life but are unable to thanks to the constant taunts by society. Finally, the father daughter duo decides to take matters into their own hands and mete out justice in the way they deem fit.

Rape is a subject which needs to be dealt with carefully. The story must be hard hitting for the message to reach all audiences but it must do so with empathy and a sensitivity that should make our blood boil and heart ache without resorting to melodrama.

Bhoomi has its heart in the right place but the movie gets weighed down under the twin burdens of clichés and melodrama.

The court scenes use all the words that make you see red- the female lawyer who is defending the accused asks her if she was a virgin before the rape and calls her characterless. The goons look cocky and unfazed just like in Pink and the father daughter pair cower and look pathetic.

This would have worked better if the dialogues had been stronger instead of sounding so bombastic and seeming like a platform for Sanjay Dutt to perform. You need drama to make an impact but resorting to the same old bag of tricks doesn't quite cut it.

There are a couple of songs which are totally unnecessary, especially a pretty disgusting item number post interval. Surely, we need to get rid of these by now and use other means of showing debauchery?

The movie is very sluggishly paced. You must realise that when you have four men to dispose of you need time to do it well. You can't waste most of the movie on other stuff and move to the main action in the last part of the movie. By then the audience is bound to lose patience like I did and wait for it to end.

The retribution when it comes is also heavily ridden by clichés of Devi Shakti etc. Omang Kumar's expertise in production design comes through very clearly in a few visually beautiful scenes but there isn't enough to lift it out of the banal and mud of emotion in which it seems to be tethered.

Aditi Rao Hydari has a delicate look and feel about her which works well for her character. However, she doesn't seem to bring out the strong parts that well, and remains meek and submissive even in the latter half of the movie where she decides to turn the tables and avenge her rape . She also seems to be a mismatch for the Agra milieu. She is the daughter of a shoe shop person living in old Agra and is a beautician. Her clothes are too designer and she looks completely out of place with her very simple looking neighbours. She also inexplicably has a stutter which has been put there I guess only for the purpose of one dialogue in the whole movie.

Sanjay Dutt sinks his teeth into this role and seems to relish the melodrama sequences. His rheumy baggy eyes are swimming with tears for most of the movie. It is only towards the end when he gets into the action scenes does he show some spunk. But he is special and he gets plenty of screen time for his fans to appreciate his histrionics.

Overall, this movie is too melodramatic, too clichéd and too slow for it to work for me. The dialogues are trite and don't offer anything new and the treatment is very 70s and feels dated. For example, the whole piece about covering her up with a dupatta is so outdated and buys into the same cliché of covering up that it wants to bust.

Maybe we as a country need the message hammered into our heads about rape. Today in fact I read about a High court ruling that blamed the victim for her mind set and said since she was used to adventurism and experimentation in sexual encounters she basically brought this on herself. The Court further said the sentences should be suspended so that the accused could get a chance to lead a normal life!

I had expected a more nuanced movie from Omung Kumar. However, when we can have such judgements being delivered we perhaps deserve a movie which hits its message on our heads with a sledgehammer. See it if you are a Sanjay Dutt fan and a yearning for an old style drama.

Sulemani Keeda
(2014)

This is the story of two writers waiting for their big break. They're dug into the dream of making a film called Sulemani Keeda
Indie films are a rarity in India. Rarer still are good ones. Sulemani Keeda is a little film that satires life in the periphery of the film industry. It's a bittersweet tale of how struggling writers' lives unfold in the glitzy by lanes of Mumbai. Some of it is truly hilarious, some profound and a little bit just doesn't make sense. Like any piece of art, it has its imperfect strokes. The story for example, is a tad too simple. Yet, the movie reflects upon certain insider truths of the industry that make for an invigorating experience.

This is the story of two writers waiting for their big break. They're dug into the dream of making a film called Sulemani Keeda. But neither has any serious professional guile other than their honest aspiration. They also come with a set of prejudices and stereotypes. Mainak (Mayank Tiwari) for one is the trash talking guy who thinks he's better than the world. Dulal (Naveen Kasturia) on the other hand is a classic case of hesitation getting the upper hand on talent. The two make an unlikely writing pair and you're introduced to their lives as they beg for a chance to the likes of Mahesh Bhatt, Anil Sharma and Amrita Rao. Let's just say their career prospects are borderline pathetic and it doesn't help that the two know nothing about scoring with chicks. But when Dulal meets Ruma (Aditi Vasudev) things seem to change for the better. But they also run in with trouble when Mainak and Dulal decide to write a film for Gonzo Kapoor (Karan Mirchandani). The only big conflict in the film is predictable and yes you could argue that's how the cookie crumbles in real life. But then again, good writing can make fact stranger than fiction. That's what worked for films like Jaane Bhi Do Yaro and Chashme Buddoor. With Sulemani Keeda, it's the dialogues that steal the show. They're funny, quirky and then on moments they're a revelation. The 'perhaps it's time to grow up' line hits you like a rock. Masurkar does a fantastic job with the lines, not so much with the script though.

Then to say that visuals could've been better is really nitpicking. End of the day, this is an indie film. It doesn't even have the budget of a commercial b-grade movie. Even so, one has to contend with unimaginative camera work. This point only becomes a subject of criticism because we're talking mainstream exhibition. If Sulemani Keeda had been a niche product one could've overlooked the lack of quality in its imagery. Especially because certain parts show you the team was capable of shooting good frames. But the inconsistency robs the movie of its punch. It's not a major deterrent. But it is enough to put off the average movie viewer.

The great thing about the movie though is its cast. Naveen, Mayank, Aditi and Karan are the four pillars on which Masurkar builds his story. Naveen's performance with the subliminal nervous energy and the totally gullible personality is good. Better still is Mayank's performance which shows a character with brazen disregard for the system. He swears everywhere and he's just spearheading into everything he jokes about. These are real characters and the actors do a more than good job. Aditi and Karan are in shorter roles but their performances are superb. Karan especially looks creepily awesome in his Tarkovski inspired role.

A special mention to the CGI scene where Karan's character snorts cocaine. This particular scene belongs in such memorable movies like Pineapple Express and This Is The End. This is beyond hilarious. It will give you a stomach ache. A thousand likes to Masurkar for deviating from the norm and having the audacity to try something different. But, a story is the heart and soul of a film. And Sulemani Keeda falls short on that aspect by some margin. Clever writing and word play do save the scene. But then it could've been better.

Newton
(2017)

Newton is authentic, it is thought provoking & all of it with constant humor. Go cast your vote for this one!
Movies that often do well at international film festivals have a notion attached to them. Most films in the category are believed to cater to a niche section of audiences not seeking entertainment at large. Filmmaker Amit Masurkar's Newton appears to place itself in a similar category but defies this notion on most levels. The film is a smooth, comfortable and yet a thought provoking watch that works for a number of reasons led by performances of course.

The best thing about Newton is its subtlety in introducing us to a very sensitive subject of electoral challenges in tribal regions marred by Naxalism. The film conveys its intrinsic message without shoving it down our throat or recreating disturbing events on screen. It makes you empathize with every single character in its narration dwelling deep into the minds of each one of them. At one point when Raghubir Yadav, a veteran government servant asks Anjali Patil "Aap aashawadi hain ya nirashavadi?"(If she's an optimist or a pessimist), she quips by replying "Main aadivasi hoon" (I'm a tribal). It is nuances like these in Newton that keeps its mood so comfortably watchable.

Newton is about a young, honest and self-righteous man Newton Kumar who's been commissioned to conduct electoral polling in a tension filled Naxalite region in Chhattisgarh as the presiding officer. He is aided by an opinionated army man in the looks of Pankaj Tripathi who thinks it's his prerogative to influence, drag or even threaten the voters for he understands what the root troubles are. While Newton goes by the book, everybody else runs how the system makes them run. From staging a fake Naxalite attack by the army itself to the DIG promoting fake voting to impress foreign media, the film has a view on almost everything and yet the keep the humor flowing.

Filmmaker Amit Masurkar who has previously directed an independent film Suleimaani Keeda fairly succeeds in trying to evoke every possible emotion that he wanted to. From understanding the helplessness of the army and police to the plight of Tribals who want freedom from everyone, he lets us into a world that we've only seen through newspaper reading or TV channels debates. While he skillfully includes the conflicts all around, he makes sure to highlight where all the gaps are. As much as you want to take sides here, he makes sure you are thrown an equally solid counter to rethink.

The film is wrapped around authenticity. From performers who look exactly the part they are playing to locations that make you feel you are there, it is the tangible connect of Newton that really makes it an experience.

However, the film of course belongs to its leads. While Rajkummar Rao submits yet another stimulating performance, he is fabulously complimented by the support cast led by Pankaj Tripathi. The likes of Rabhubir Yadav and Anjali Patil only make the film more real and more intense. Newton would not be what it is if it were not for the authentic display of acting complimented by a well sketched screenplay.

Newton is authentic, it is thought provoking & it is so much more without once going over the top. We could really use movies like these that convey such subjects with constant humor.

Lucknow Central
(2017)

Surprisingly gripping and worth a watch!
Most of the times you walk in to watch Bollywood movies with low expectations and you find to your dismay that even those low expectation are high for such movies.They are that bad.

Lucknow Express however belongs to the category which the audiences enjoy as a big group.The pleasant surprise is worth all the duds that you keep watching.

Lucknow Express has a fourth gear screenplay right from the word go. A man gets caught in a unfair murder charge and is imprisoned.He plots a brilliant escape plan but does he escape? That is the basic plot line.

The beauty of Lucknow Central of course is the way the director has built a wholesome heart warming story around this basic plot premise.

The choice of actors is super accurate , Farhan Akhtar as Kishan,Deepak Dobriyal as Victor, Inamulhaq as Dikkat, Rajesh Sharma as Purushottam and Ronit Roy as the sadist ruthless jailer are some of the stand out performances of this movie. The brilliant lines of humour and each character's own small stories are so brilliantly woven into the story that each one of those stories hit you and stay with you during the course of the movie.

Ravi Kishan as the typical CM politician has rendered a brilliant cameo in this one.

Lucknow Central has such brilliantly written eastern UP dialogues – nyay na hua pauua ho gaya thoda aur..thoda aur..!!! The biggest hallmark of a movie's success is when its drama,comedy and emotional moments make the audiences react. After a long time I sat in a theatre where the audiences were totally connected with the movie throughout.

Lucknow Express is one of the better made films of 2017 and those of you who dig different plots and what next style of story telling should make a dash for this one.

Super job Team Lucknow Central !

Daddy
(2017)

What's absolutely refreshing is Arjun Rampal's performance and transformation as Arun Gawli
Director Ashim Ahluwalia's Daddy is a certified gangster movie with solid aspirations of being an Arun Gawli biopic. For the uninitiated, Gawli was once as notorious and infamous as Dawood Ibrahim in the world of Mumbai crime. So, this film for most parts, traces Gawli's rise to gangster stardom. It's definitely not a faithful adaptation of Gawli's life. There are a lot of cinematic liberties and a notice at the start of the movie informs you that many characters and situations have been dramatized. In all fairness, till the final 30 minutes, the movie does a fabulous job at recreating a gangster's life. It's intimate and has the aesthetic quality of Hollywood gangster movies. But like so many Hindi films, the climactic moments turn out to be haywire. They just squander the potential of the rest of the film and a superb performance by Arjun Rampal as Gawli.

The movie starts off with Gawli's ambitions of winning in political elections. But his competing politicians and the government don't want that to happen so they put a wily old inspector Vijaykar (Nishikant Kamat) onto his case. Vijaykar has long been a nemesis of Gawli and his investigation of a murder where Gawli is the prime suspect, starts piecing together the past. Random characters from Gawli's life in the '70s and '80s recall his past life and that plays out for the viewer. Gawli's humble beginnings as a mill worker to his initiation into the world of gambling, extortion and eventually as a full-time gangster who competes against Dawood Ibrahim, rechristened Maqsood (Farhan Akhtar) forms the bulk of the narrative. The movie pitches Gawli as a noble hearted gangster who's drawn to a life of crime purely because of his unfortunate circumstances. Even as he competes against Dawood aka Maqsood, he takes the righteous route. Sure, there's killing and criminal activities, but there's a subtext of lesser evil that tries to establish Gawli as a kind man especially when compared to the treacherous Dawood / Maqsood. Later on, when he wins his maiden election to become an MLA and even when he's convicted of murder in court, he pleads that society isn't forgiving enough to let him change and rise above his past life.

Daddy is Gawli's nickname, one that came into prominence once his stance shifted from organized crime to politics. The film tries to establish Gawli as a family man. Someone, who was always repulsed by the life of crime around him, yet situations catapulted him to a life of blood and gore. This particular slant of Gawli being a good man, is a bit hard to swallow. Yet, in the context of the film and its story it works out fine. The slick and intense first-half of the film establishes the characters, the dark Mumbai underworld milieu and the violence to great effect. It feels like you're watching a Ram Gopal Varma film from the late '90s. So much so, that at times, such is the aesthetic appeal of Daddy that is becomes a better film than any other Hindi gangster movie before. Even at times, mimicking the works of Martin Scorsese, at least in terms of pulp appeal. The movie has a good background score, detailed production design and competent cinematography too. It's a technically adept film. But it also looks a lot like Ahluwalia's previous feature Miss Lovely.

What's absolutely refreshing is Arjun Rampal's performance and transformation as Arun Gawli. Yes there's the prosthetic driven cosmetic change, but Rampal does well to adopt Gawli's mannerisms, speech quirks and intensity. This is the most impressive performance of his career. Farhan Akhtar plays Dawood / Maqsood behind the retro goggles, the getup and the moustache. Even though his role is brief, it has big impact. Nishikant Kamat as the persistent cop is brilliant too. The performances of Daddy are all top notch.

The big problem with the film is its middle-of-the-road ambitions. It's a commercial film that's trying to be as authentic as a documentary and as sublime as an art film. That's where it drops the proverbial ball. The climax is underwhelming to say the least. It's as if the narrative can't make up its mind what it wants to do with Gawli's story. Projecting a violent gangster as a changed man and public hero doesn't quite play out as emphatically as it should. Despite its minor flaws, Arjun Rampal's fantastic performance and Ahluwalia's detailed visage make this gangster movie worth a watch.

The Hitman's Bodyguard
(2017)

The film would have fallen flat if not for the efforts of Reynolds and Jackson
There was a time when the buddy movie formula ruled the Hollywood cinematic universe. We loved the brashness of such films as Lethal Weapon or 48 Hours. But then the formula fizzled out and filmmakers moved to other things. To cite an obvious example, The Nice Guys (2016) starring such acting heavyweights as Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling was smartly set in the '70s but despite its okay plot, and superb acting by both Crowe and Gosling, wasn't a big box-office hit.

The Hit-man's Bodyguard looked like a great idea on paper – bring together Ryan Reynolds, fresh off the boat from his profanity-ridden Deadpool and Samuel L Jackson, who is known for his on-screen cussing, and wait for the fireworks to start as the duo at first go all out to murder each other and then develop a mutual respect that borders on friendship. And, for most part, director Patrick Hughes, of The Expendables 3 fame, gets it right. The best scenes in the film are when Reynolds and Jackson are pissing each other off. Reynolds doesn't roll off expletives like he does in Deadpool but Jackson does go over the top. Reynolds smartly plays the straight guy to Jackson's more gregarious character and it works.

The plot of the film is explained in its title itself. Reynolds is a down-on-his luck private security agent, who is cajoled by his girlfriend Elodie Yung, an Interpol agent, into making sure an ace hit-man, Samuel L Jackson, reaches the international court at Hague alive to testify against an evil dictator of Belarus – which is an actual country, by-the-by . The creepy dictator is played by Gary Oldman who gets to ham to his heart's content. Now, the bodyguard and the assassin have a history – it's revealed that Jackson tried to kill Reynolds some 28 times in the past – so one can see that their relationship isn't going to be easy. In fact, they start of by trying to kill each other and only Jackson's injury prevents him from killing his would-be bodyguard. The rest of film is devoted to the banter between them and how they defuse the tension and reach their goal.

The film's chief flaw is that director Hughes just doesn't get the tone right. Instead of concentrating on making a buddy movie with a smattering of violence, he goes for the overkill, piling up bodies by the dozen at every action set piece. Then, there are a couple of gory scenes as well that jar. Gary Oldman executes the wife and child of a rebel in cold blood and Reynolds is tortured through electric shocks in a graphic manner. The action scenes too don't have a fluid intensity that we have come to expect from Hollywood blockbusters. Then, while we get that Reynolds' motives for helping his ex is to get her back, there are too few scenes between him and Yung to get the chemistry going. Compared to that, the scenes between Jackson and his wife, played by Salma Hayek, are epic. She out-cusses him in a scene set in a jail and we see a nice montage of her fighting off guys in a bar and Jackson mooning over her as she uses the jagged edge of a beer bottle to open up a man's neck… that's love at first sight served with a Gothic twist.

The film would have fallen flat if not for the efforts of Reynolds and Jackson. We can see they are enjoying working with each other and it's their camaraderie plus some crazy-ass dialogue that saves the day. Watch the film if you are a Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson fan. Watch Midnight Run instead if you want to watch a real buddy movie…

Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi
(2017)

The film promises a Punjabi wedding for a Patel family, but it doesn't deliver the said premise till the last 5 minutes of a 2-hour runtime.
The film promises a Punjabi wedding for a Patel family, but it doesn't deliver the said premise till the last 5 minutes of a 2-hour runtime. Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi is more a squabble between Punjabis and Gujaratis, rather than a wedding featuring two contrasting cultures. A run-of-the-mill boy meets girl romance where the Punjabi lad has to work towards convincing his Gujarati's girlfriend's dad for marriage. This film would make a rather average episode in a TV comedy show. Loud and brash like its Punjabi characters, definitely not sharp and astute like Gujarati businessmen, this film is a khichdi of Indian stereotypes and clichés.

A Punjabi family, the Tandons (Rishi Kapoor, Vir Das, Prem Chopra and Divya Seth) move from Punjab to Mumbai and land up at a gated community full of Gujarati families. Their drinking, dancing and spunky habits draw the ire of their neighbour Mr Patel (Paresh Rawal). As fate would have It, Patel's daughter Pooja (Payal Ghosh) and Tandons' son Monty (Vir Das) fall in love. So the next two hours are spent sorting the rivalry between Patels and Tandons, while their children try out a romance. For a film that has such remarkable acting talent on offer (Kapoor, Rawal and Chopra) the writing makes sure the veteran actors get some cringe worthy dialogue. Great actors are limited to being frustrating characters that promote communalism even if it is unintentionally.

The chemistry between Rishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal is effortless. The two actors feed off each other to make comic timing look like child's play. But their characters are frustratingly wooden and one dimensional. The ideas of neighbourhood rivalries, cultural differences between communities and old Punjabi WhatsApp humour lack the novelty needed to fuel a comedy. Focussing on the same elements in a Gujarati-Punjabi wedding setting would have been a far brighter idea. It would have given Vir Das and Payal Ghosh that much more to do.

Writer-director Sanjay Chhel though seems content at working age-old ideas in the most barebones fashion. 20 years ago, Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi would've fitted in. But in an age where swipe-left and swipe-right romances make the fresh cut and even family entertainment comes in the form of comedies like Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Savdhan, the tried, tested and jaded offerings of this comedy feel a little out of place. Yes there are moments like Vir Das' Gujarati rap and Rishi Kapoor's OTT clothes that stand out. But Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi is one weary film about Indian communities and their closed mind-sets. Definitely not up to the times.

Simran
(2017)

Simran is a sorry joke of a movie in the name of feminism
Poor Aamir Khan he put in so much of effort to loot banks in Dhoom 3 in the USA, had he spoken with Hansal Mehta he would have just used a lipstick. Frankly this is not the first time that Mehta has taken the basic intelligence of his audiences for granted. In the overrated drag called Citylights he did show us a Mumbai based security agency which had the authority to shoot people for security.

Simran proves that Kangana is a decent actress, it also proves that NanaPatekarisation of the lady is complete. Like Nana in 90s Kangana's movies, characters and dialogues are now all looking the same and boring. Simran suffers from the same weakness. Simran is a sorry joke of a movie in the name of feminism. The character of Simran evokes no sympathy and comes across as a selfish, shallow confused woman.

The screenplay's pace could make a moving snail look like a speeding Ferrari.

Stay away from this con job in the name of intellectual Cinema. If you want to see a good entertaining movie with a social message try posterboys if it is still running. That is better value for money.

Half a star because as usual Desi Martini does not allow me to give a zero.

Sameer
(2017)

Story is good but all actors except Ayyub are terrible
Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub is a decent actor who plays the lead 'Sameer'. He is caught by the officers of the ATS who are chasing a dreaded terrorist responsible for serial bombings in Hyderabad. Sameer pleads with the officers that the terrorist was merely a roomie. But the ATS transports him to Ahmedabad, and persuades him to help them catch the terrorist. Sameer now has to stay with the terrorist's mother (Seema Biswas, in a pretty convincing role as Khala who makes and delivers lunches to people, hence Tiffin Khala). The terrorist has a brother too, Shahid, who runs a bakery.

Of course, there is religious politics involved, and Muslims are happily portrayed as terrorists. Once you see that this is a horrendous assumption, you begin to see the stereotypes. There is a Hindu journalist who is fierce and feisty, searching for the children lost during the Gujarat riots. She gets threats from the bad guys and reports the bomb threats to the ATS. The ATS officer is Hindu and committed and honest. The young lad Sameer is Muslim, but is a good Muslim. The brother of the terrorist turns out to be the kingpin of terrorists. There is also a painful street theatre leader called Manto (named after the famous writer) who attempts to bring peace between communities. And yes, there is a mentally challenged young kid who is so sweet, you know he is going to die, and he does.

The first half of the film promises a little, but then all the red herrings go nowhere. That's when you begin to notice that the ATS officer is supposed to be Gujarati - his surname is Desai - and he has a strong Bengali accent. Sameer is meant to be staying with the Khala, but he wanders about the city and Khala does not ask him of his whereabouts. There is a romantic thread between the journalist and the ATS officer, but it sort of goes nowhere because he says: the first floor of my home is empty, stay there for safety, and then shows her a room.

Soon you realise that the movie is going nowhere and when the blasts happen, you have figured out who is responsible already. The trouble is the last twenty minutes where the big bad guy and the chap who is carrying out the blasts have a huge conversation telling the audience why and what and who they are and when the planning happened and the exposition kills you.

Baby Driver
(2017)

lol disaster,There is music and there is noise
lol disaster,There is music and there is noise

It's that kind of film, where the bad guys know their music and their madness, in that order. Sometimes they also talk about the music, but none of the high-brow Quentin Tarantino kind of stuff .Just enough to keep the wheels turning.

Natsamrat
(2016)

Nana Patekar brilliance reminds us what Bollywood is missing out on
The words uttered by Ganpatrao in Natsamrat feels like a religious discourse, falling on ears like a soothing balm. It is after many a long years that dialogues with such finesse have been put up on the screen. They seem nothing less than those featured in plays Ganpatrao cherishes and brings to life on stage. Screenplay writers nowadays dumb down their content in a disquietude that the audience will not comprehend the gems of emotions they hide beneath the curtains called words. Here, the writing is intelligent treating the audience with the reverence it is often penurious of.

A forlorn Ganpatrao asks in an address to the characters he religiously brought into life 'When will my grief be considered worthy as yours?' Nana Patekar rises to this very question and breathes fire into this character. There are rare times when an actor just draws you into a movie, when he rises above the movie itself and well, puts you in a state of limbo where you are divested from your physical abilities to move. You just stare and get amazed. I hate to say it because I believe staunchly that every actor has untapped potential beyond realization, but this is a career-defining performance by Nana. He can't rise above this unfortunately and it is an amalgamation of sadness and joy when I come to this realization.

As to the movie itself, it is left miles behind in the inter space between it and Patekar's performance. It is ridden with the very clichés I had expected it to be free from the shackles of. The premise, although bases on a play by V.V.Shirwadkar, brings back memories of a much-superior Tokyo Story(or a much inferior Baghban as well), which forever immortalized the theme of the neglectful children-old parents through the mastery of the profound Ozu himself .

While being a compelling character-study, Natsamrat is lagging behind on adapting itself to the familiarity of its concept to the audience. But, with Nana Patekar's visceral performance the movie is aeons ahead of what it could have been without him. It is Manjrekar's ode to the purity and greatness of theater and its dialogues which remain forever etched in the minds of the audience, and peering through that field of vision, it is a beautiful and heartfelt ode, a one which should be watched at least once. Patekar's performance embodies every emotion that actors strive to put up on screen through courses of their lifetimes, which in most cases unfortunately, bears not even a dint of success.

Court
(2014)

It's an important film! Do watch it.Cant Afford To Miss
A little known (in India) but widely revered movie has been winning several awards across the globe. Having read about the acclaim (more than 10 International film awards) that has been showered on this simple low budget film, I couldn't stop myself from watching it on the first day of its release. I was soon to find out the reasons that formed the origin of this widespread fanfare for a film that didn't have a single known face and was a debut vehicle for the director. The movie is COURT and here are five reasons which make this movie a must watch.

1. The cinematic style Director Chaitanya Tamhane, in full knowledge of this being a feature film, has chosen a rather offbeat style of cinematography. His vision seems to be making the viewer a part of the canvas. His scenes do not have hurried movements or snappy cuts or closeups or jarring background music. Instead, he chooses to plant you in the scene.

Each and every lingering shot starts before the character arrives, as you slowly grasp the events and the essence of the space which starts to encapsulate you, be it the courtroom, the slum visited by the defence lawyer, the pub that he and his friends go to or the house of the government lawyer.

Even after the character has left the screen, he still lets the proceedings seep into you – a method by which he gives the viewer time to think and, as a result, succeeds in allowing every member of the audience to develop his/her own perspective.

2. The deafening silences One of the most potent and powerful instruments used in this movie is that of silence. If there was to be a personification on canvas for this expression, it has to be this movie. And yet, Chaitanya chose to never dramatize or infuse emotion into the scenes when silence tightens its grip on the audience.

There are moments in the movie that almost make the audience feel uncomfortable because of the immensely natural, awkward silences displayed on screen. These are skillfully broken by the unforced dialogues that unfold on the screen.

His characters pause, lose their temper, get confused, are amused through the proceedings, just like we do in our everyday life, and the silences that connect these moments are the vehicles which drive the images that we develop for each of the characters in the story.

3. Fleshing out the characters The director chooses to stay away from any kind of narration other than that which the characters let you in on, through their interactions with one another. This means that each of the characters appears and shapes up in front of your eyes just like a pot takes form with each action of the potters hand.

Chaitanya chooses to give a warm shade to every character that comes on screen. It's the story that is cruel, funny, unforgiving. The characters, at first glance, are everyday normal human beings that we ourselves are and find around us on a daily basis. It is slowly but surely, as the story progresses, that the director turns the mirror towards us as he shows our own approach towards our life and responsibilities. Everyone is multi-layered, just like us.

So while the defence lawyer may be devoted towards his profession and client, his tone may be entirely different at home and though the government lawyer may be the quintessential wife, she may also be treating her case as just another Koshimbir she cooks up with great ease.

4. The locations The locations chosen in the movie are as real as they can get. Not a single frame has an air of made up surroundings in it. So when the courtroom or kitchen or the dining table or the chawl or the stage is presented before you, it results in you instantly becoming a part of it because of the real sounds that surround you.

I have to mention a scene where the defence lawyer visits the slum where a character resides. The claustrophobic feel that this scene gives you is completed by the interaction that he has with a lady residing there, and the beauty of it is you can even hear the sound of the bangles this woman wears, which every Indian relates to.

5. And finally the glorious, cruel and effortless satire Satire is a weapon that is used by the witty against the unsuspecting simpleton. But, in Court, everyone, every moment, every dialogue aspires to be it.

It's a movie that is made in complete realization of the fact that everyday life is nothing but a set of contradictions. And the courtroom is a melting pot of this mesh of feelings, laws, rights, wrongs, apprehensions, ideas and conveniences. And it is at the final moment, the closing scene, that the power of this expression is presented in its truest purest form, with a symbolism so subtle that it captures the gist of the entire proceeding in a matter of a few seconds.

It's an important film! Do watch it.

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