Posted in Action, Bollywood, Drama, Hollywood, Television Film, Thriller

Extraction – Something is better than nothing.

Before this film announced and released, all the word “extraction” meant to me was when my teeth were concerned. You’d understand if you had four baby teeth troubling the heck out of you and you can’t even get them extracted at this point of time.

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Coming to the point. There are many selling points of this motion picture. The main ones include the star cast, the writer and the director. I first discovered about this film when Randeep Hooda (as Saju) started posting on social media about how proud he was to be associated with it. In these USPs, the mild story does get minutely hidden in the dark, because of the incredible quality of action, which the film is well nourished with. A few other dramatic and thrilling scenes completes it to be a worthy watch during this pandemic. Especially for the action aficionados.

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We’re all proud actually. As Indians, especially. When one of the directors of the highest grossing film of all time, Avengers: End Game, Joe Russo, pens down the script for this. When a stunt coordinator (Sam Hargrave) of the same film is responsible for the direction of this film. When the mighty Thor (Marvel fans would understand this), Chris Hemsworth (as Tyler Rake) is the lead actor. The reason I mentioned above “as Indians” is because it is really an honour, that such award winning directors, film makers, writers are interested in collaborating with the Indian film industry, not only because they will earn more because of our gigantic population but because there is so much capability. One that needs to be in the limelight of the world.

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Alongside him is the magnificent Hooda and the immensely talented Rudhraksh Jaiswal (as Ovi Mahajan Jr.) who deservingly gets the big break at a very early stage of his life. Fortifying them were Pankaj Tripathi (as Ovi Mahajan Sr.) – who doesn’t need to prove how proficient he is; Golshifteh Farahani (as Nik Khan) – confident and skilled; David Harbour (as Gaspar) – experienced and it showed; Neha Mahajan (as Neysa) – intriguing. A special mention to Priyanshu Painyuli (as Asif Khan) and Suraj Rikame (as Farhad), both of whom gave splendid performances.

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It is really astonishing when just a stunt coordinator from Hollywood directs such a well choreographed action flick and all we come up with is WAR (2019). Nevertheless, you could watch Extraction. It won’t bore you. It is free, too, if you have a subscription of Netflix. I assume most of you would be possessing it, particularly now, or at least would be sharing it with someone.

3.5/5

Posted in Bollywood, Crime, Drama, Television, Web Series

She – Firecracker!

I got to be honest. It is different. Story-wise. It is about this one female police constable who has been asked to change her lifestyle, her personality to become someone completely contrary to what her actual self is, for a special covert mission.

SHE: AADITI POHANKAR as BHUMIKA PARDESHI in SHE 
Courtesy of Netflix © 2020

Bhumika Pardeshi is the woman who has been asked to do so in the story of a web series called as She. Aaditi Pohankar is the lady playing this genius character, profoundly. She plays Bhumika with absolute conviction! Plus, her role perfectly matches with how she looks. Full marks to Mukesh Chhabra, the casting director.

SHE: VIJAY VERMA as SASYA in SHE 
Courtesy of Netflix © 2020

Even if the story might have been somewhat new but it would have been nothing if it hadn’t been for the powerful characters. I wasn’t surprised to realize this fact because the man behind the screenplay is none other than Imtiaz Ali. I had also mentioned this in my recent review of Love Aaj Kal 2.0, that his USP is how he adds weight to the individualistic roles in his films.

She is beautifully directed by Arif Ali and Avinash Das too. The background score by Ishaan Chhabra and over all music composed by Gaurang Soni also keeps you inquisitive throughout the seven-episode-season. Another great thing about the show is that it isn’t lengthy, neither the duration of every episode nor the amount of episodes.

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Of course, all the actors [especially Kishore Kumar G (as Nayak), who I first thought was Kichcha Sudeep, Vishwas Kini (as Jason Fernandez), Suhita Thatte (as Bhumika‘s mother), Shivani Rangole (as Rupa), Paritosh Sand (as Shishir Mathur) and Ajay Jhadav (as Mhatre)] have done a tidy job, but there is one actor who stood out like a knight in a shining armor. He has displayed the utmost class and this, I think, would truly prove be his career defining work. This audacious and a sweet-talking character of Sasya is played by Vijay Varma.

3.5/5

Posted in Bollywood, Comedy, Drama, Fiction

Angrezi Medium – Partially lethargic.

The trailer unequivocally makes you feel that, yet again, this is going to be one of those underrated films which is also inclusive of the best of the supporting cast a film can have. But is it worthy enough to be spending your money on, this weekend?

Every time, one seeks more from a sequel/prequel/spin-off and has already discovered something new in the first part. The moviegoer expects to see something even more better than what he/she had previously seen. Here, nothing of that sort happens, unfortunately.

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After giving you an adrenaline rush with a mind-blowing trailer, Angrezi Medium sadly disappoints by being a clip of a super slow-mo video. The plot refuses to gain momentum during the late of first half and the whole of second half.

Appreciable happenings about the film are the funny parts brought in by the writers, Bhavesh Mandalia, Gaurav Shukla, Vinay Chhawall and Sara Bodinar and executed fantastically by all the actors. There were no doubts in the talent of Radhika Madan (as Tarika Bansal) [especially after her performance in Pataakha]. In fact, she excels in this flick. Irrfan Khan (as Champak Bansal) is no less than a legend in my eye. And their chemistry as a father-daughter duo is magnificent.

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Deepak Dobriyal (as Ghasiteram Bansal/Gopi) with his comic timing, Pankaj Tripathi (as Tony) in a distinctive and surprising role, Kareena Kapoor Khan (as Naina Kohli) & Dimple Kapadia (as Sampada Kohli) showing their panache and Ranvir Shorey (as Bablu) with his ability to convince you with his character, are all terrific.

Often, the film just reminds you the true genre of itself with the emotional dialogue. And, you joylessly become aware of what is coming next. Furthermore, it becomes a noteworthy point when you discover that how religiously all the actors have learnt and followed the Marwadi accent and dialect of the state of Rajasthan, which helps a lot in adding the tag of authenticity to the whole film.

Lastly, it is quite a normal direction by Homi Adajania and I would recommend this one to the elders.

3/5

Posted in Bollywood, Drama

Thappad – Contemplate the delicateness.

Any situation turns into a predicament when there is a determined and a stubborn person involved in it. It becomes even worse (in a good way, of course) when the person is right.

Anubhav Sinha (writer & director) handsomely crafts a story of a woman, Amrita (played by Taapsee Pannu), who is hellbent on fighting for her right to not to be a victim of domestic violence. Even if it is just for ONE slap.

As expected, the topic didn’t have that much content to make it into a film, BUT, the way how Sinha put his magical powder in the film to bloom it, is quite commendable. How he gracefully shows the build up of a plot with glimpses of a few distinctive stories and then finally connects the dots, patiently, is applause-worthy. It was barely felt that it might have been stretched or dragged.

It is needless to say that all the lead and supporting actors were carefully selected (Karan Mally and Nandini Shrikent) and showed their brilliance in front of the camera (Tanvi Azmi, Dia Mirza, Pavail Gulati, Ram Kapoor, Manav Kaul, Kumud Mishra, Ankur Rathee, Ratna Pathak Shah and Maya Sarao). A special mention to Geetika Vidya Ohlyan who stood out and surprised me with an act, par excellence. She also was responsible to add the little of comedy the film consisted.

The cinematography (by Soumik Mukerjee and Ewan Mulligan), the background score (by Mangesh Dhakde) and the music (by Anurag Saikia) play a crucial part in giving this film the finesse it required. I really surmised that it would be an average film, just promoting women empowerment and how domestic violence should be eradicated from it’s roots. However, I was proven wrong after witnessing a great direction, an apt background score, a marvelous dialogue, exceptional performances and the way Thappad held us captive for two and a half hours.

I can confirm that I haven’t seen all of Sinha‘s films and only a few, although, I can forecast that this might be his best creation till date.

4/5

Posted in Bollywood, Horror, Thriller

Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship — Beware! Kaushal ahead!

Until U.A.E censor board realizes that the world has moved past from offensive dialogue, lustful & sensuous scenes in movies and movies based on sexuality, which used to impact the moviegoers, years ago, let me talk about Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship, which has been “allowed” to release.

Despite Vicky’s outstanding efforts, impressive visual effects and a beautiful direction by Bhanu Pratap Singh, which were surprisingly ahead of the game rather than the usual hogwash, there is nothing this film could offer. Unfortunately, Bhanu Pratap Singh‘s script couldn’t create the thrill and it seemed like it has been written for an early 2000’s film.

Notwithstanding, there are some popcorn-tub-shaking scenes which will shock you. It’s a horror movie after all. Yet, the plot takes such a wrong turn after the second half starts, that the build up the first half created, deteriorates easily. Alongside the adroit Vicky Kaushal (as Prithvi), the supporting cast, Bhumi Pednekar (as Sapna), Ashutosh Rana (as Professor Joshi), Siddhant Kapoor (as Captain), Meher Vij (as Vandana) and the brilliant Sara Gesawat (as Meera) aid this film to uplift. Slightly.

It brought a smile to my face when only one song was present in the film because of the kind of requirement it had for music. Channa Ve is graciously written, sung and composed by Akhil Sachdeva, who has proven to be quite a hit since last year.

The true winners apart from Vicky were actually the team of visual effects (Mukund Agicha, Dipen Majmundar, Jason Bowers, Omkar Vilas Salvi, Apurv Swami, Santosh Tendulkar and Subhash Chandran Vijayan), the sound department (Debajit Changmai, Anish John, Rahul Karpe and Gyana Mishra) and animation department controlled by Abhishek Kalan, all of whom successfully managed to create the horrific environment for more than a few scenes.

2.5/5

Posted in Adventure, Animation, Cartoon, Comedy, Fiction, Hollywood, Technology

Sonic The Hedgehog – Ordinary.

The film is directed by a full time visual artist and part time director, Jeff Fowler. It is written by Pat Casey and Josh Miller who I would say are insufficiently experienced. A combination of such an unversed crew, can be hazardous.

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First of all, it is good to have Jim Carrey (as Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik) back in a wholesome role and in a large scaled film after 6 years. In between, he was a part of two small scaled films, in 2016, which didn’t receive as much appreciation critically or monetarily. Surprisingly, he wasn’t in his fullest form in Sonic The Hedgehog too. Yet, it seemed like he tried.

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I also realized that it might have been a burden on the actors when your story isn’t uncommon or out of the box. But, it was a team effort when they [James Marsden (as Tom Wachowski), Tika Sumpter (as Maddie Wachowski), Natasha Rothwell (as Rachel) and Adam Pally (as Wade Whipple)] equally distributed the responsibility among all and performed high-spiritedly.

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The winner of the film is undeniably Ben Schwartz who voiced the animated character of Sonic. His voice gave the perfect liveliness to the character, which is how it originally is. Energetic. Furthermore, there was a bit of comedic dialogue given to Marsden and most of it to Schwartz & Carrey, which I feel should’ve been more on the whole. The score by Tom Holkenborg is quite alright, too.

2.5/5

Posted in Bollywood, Drama, Romantic

Love Aaj Kal – Same old 20-twenty.

I would strictly tell you to not decide to watch this film based on my reviews. Are you curious now? Would you still like to read further? Go on.

There is a reason why I love Imtiaz Ali and all of his films. I really didn’t care when I was the only one who liked Jab Harry Met Sejal, when the whole world gave it a bad criticism. That’s the thing about him. He makes his characters/roles in the film so rock solid that even a repetitive plot seems shipshape. He has the power to impress you with the simplest of dialogue and you’d be applauding on it, in your mind.

Highlighted here are the first world problems of the orthodox parts of India in the 90’s and maybe now too. Plus, the additions of a few other common problems of the world in relationships and careers, to the plot, are both a severe case of monotony. Moreover, very slightly, I felt that the soundtrack which was mostly used as the background score was overstating the scenes. But, Ishaan Chhabra added small new versions of songs of Imtiaz‘s previous films, which sort of covered it up.

Not only does the music by Pritam sound great, but the ferocious, confident and detailed performance of Sara Ali Khan (as Zoe), the perfect yet imperfect role of Raj played masterfully by Randeep Hooda, the dual characters [a) odd-one-out and shy Veer and b) the indecisive and fearless Raghu] graciously played by Kartik Aaryan and debutante Aarushi Sharma’s innocence portrayed in her character (as Leena) will meekly impress you. Surprise you.

The rest of the world would perceive Love Aaj Kal 2 / 2.0 / 2020 as slow and outdated. It was an intense version for me. It is a beautiful direction for me. My heart could feel the agony. Ali still makes sure to keep love winning.

3.5/5