Based On True Events, Biographical, Bollywood, Comedy, Drama, Political

The Accidental Prime Minister – Simply spread the awareness.

With mixed to negative reviews, this film sure didn’t do well, critically. We shall wait to see it’s proceeds. I feel, it is the second film after Uri: The Surgical Strike to have just released with an intention to indoctrinate a simple point of view for political gains.

Here’s what I also think of it – It is to educate the public, who are unaware of the actual happenings inside the prime minister’s office during the tenure of Dr. Manmohan Singh. It is to make people learn, what made Sanjaya Baru write the novel, on which this film is based on, which stated nothing but the truths during his occupation as the media advisor and chief spokesperson to the prime minister.

Straightforwardly, I will give three points to this film for four valid reasons,

  • Anupam Kher (as Dr. Manmohan Singh) – We all know how acting is his true passion and how it runs through his veins. His past work has been more than commendable and he truly is one of the finest most experienced actors in the Indian film industry. In the film, the way Kher mimicked him, was seeming pretty cute and funny. But, before writing my views on this film, I glanced at some of Dr. Singh‘s actual videos of him giving speeches, his style of walking and his hand gestures. Kher actually managed to do it 99% right and that is a massive percentage.
  • Akshaye Khanna (as Sanjaya Baru) – His confidence, persona and wardrobe in the flick are extraordinary. He makes himself look vital and seem like he’s come with a titanium sword, licensed to kill. I have loved his performances, since the beginning. Positive or negative, he makes sure of displaying his integrity to the character or role he is playing. He is the star of the show.
  • Comedy – It had quite a few funny moments, especially where Rahul Gandhi‘s character, which was played almost adroitly by Arjun Mathur, is in front of the camera. The Accidental Prime Minister is inclusive of funny, witty and high-browed dialogue, which makes it applaud-worthy.
  • Direction & CinematographyVijay Ratnakar Gutte does a fine job here. Sachin Krishn aids him well with the camerawork.

On the contrary, a couple reasons to avoid this film completely,

  • Censorship – My mouth is dried after complaining repeatedly about this. Cutting scenes out of a film is outdated now. Herein, it literally had all limits crossed. They literally muted the words of a few dialogue which supposedly would create a “controversy”. But we could read them in the subtitles. Disappointing, really.
  • Strictly Political – You need to have a basic knowledge of Indian politics in order to relate to this film’s dialogue, plot and characters. Otherwise, it is a waste of time for you to even consider it.

There is no music, not that it’s anywhere necessary. Yet the background score is as appropriate as the supporting cast. Vipin Sharma, Aahana Kumra, Suzzane Bernert and Shiv Kumar Subramaniam and the others gave their best.

Bharatiya Janata Party fans would love this one. Indian National Congress and fans wouldn’t. People who don’t care about Indian politics at all, shouldn’t buy the tickets.

3/5

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Action, Based On True Events, Bollywood

Uri: The Surgical Strike – Josh is in the sky.

I could sense the sentiment in the theater. We applauded. It was emotional. It was patriotic. The surgical strike. Some had spoken against it, post it’s occurrence. It was gigantic, undoubtedly. Notwithstanding, the general public is loving the film, not only in India, everywhere around the world.

It was the most powerful, surreptitious and the boldest move India has ever taken. It wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the current government. The previous one was a spurious one, believe you me. It is actually the most intellectual strategy. Not only this film, but a couple more released or announced at this particular time. Plus, it’s not about how good the direction is, it is also not about how intriguing the story is, it is all about putting it forward. And cinema is one of the strongest medium of exposition.

It is about showing what is being done currently and what all wasn’t accomplished before the rule of the current government. Granting all this, here’s the thing about Uri: The Surgical Strike, it is written with a lot of restrictions. It isn’t the exact product of Indian Army’s most covert military operations of all time. Yet, it is well penned. Approved by the Indian Army, even. Direction is gripping to the core. I was literally squeezing the water bottle while the action was proceeding. Debutant Aditya Dhar is responsible for the screenplay and direction.

The background score builds the sweat on your forehead. The realism of cinematography and visual effects is becoming scarily authentic. It shows here. Vicky Kaushal‘s hard work is shown and has paid off. He is quite the crackerjack. The supporting cast has fortified him, efficiently. A consultant from the Indian military was used to train the actors proficiently. He did fantastically. It is evident. The only sad part about this film’s release is it’s censorship in the gulf region. Quite a few scenes were omitted. I have always been complaining about it. The censor board will never appreciate for the film as it is.

4/5

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Based On True Events, Biographical, Bollywood, Drama

Manto – Peculiar.

Both my parents get worried [for different reasons] while and prior to denying my request of visiting Pakistan. The ironic part is that my grandfather was born there. Many of our old hats are born there. It is disheartening, the amount of hatred that has been developed between India and Pakistan for over a little more than seven decades.

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I am thankful, that I was born much later than the period of independence of India and Pakistan. Why? Time and again, a film is made where the crucial struggle of humans is shown, who were born before the independence of India and Pakistan and faced a vulgar, chaotic and a horrifying separation.

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There is a reason why Nawazuddin Siddiqui said in one of his interviews that he would do this film again without any charge. The intensity and the story of this film is not for everyone. It is complicated, yet so simple. Giving us the gist of life in the 1940s, director and story writer Nandita Das gorgeously explains the life story of a Pakistani writer of that era who was misplaced in two worlds which emerged from one, when the fence was was dug deep to make borders and when he had to forcefully accept one nationality, which depended on his caste and not his origin.

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It also highlighted that how inferiority was a poison and how, since the beginning, there was filth in the rich ones and normality in the middle or lower class. Siddiqui plays Saadat Hasan Manto‘s stubborn, orthodox and innocent character smoothly, as usual. It also makes me realize how today’s openminded thinking was much required in the golden times.

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With the cameos of a few accomplished veteran actors, Manto undeniably has the surprise game strong. The characters of Bollywood cinema developed for this film’s plot are a delight to watch too, since people born in the nineties and thereafter wouldn’t know so much about it. Music didn’t matter here and wasn’t a part of the film much, as the movie had mastered the dialogue, which was embedded with the beautiful Urdu language, making it feel authentic.

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I am really glad that adaptations of Pakistani films or stories of their renowned artists are being brought into the world of Indian film industry. The thinking of today’s generation is maturing, the ideologies are changing, the traditionalistic or customary approach is casually breaking and practicality & logicality are trending.

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It really is great motivation, this motion picture, to writers. Along with his bigger problems, Saadat was also struggling to prove the legitimacy of his kind of writing. He never gave up. If you’re into serious drama and would love to learn how the reality of the black and white era was, this one is for you.

3.5/5

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Bollywood, Drama

Margarita With A Straw – Koechlin’s best.

You witness films like Zero and laugh at Anushka‘s kiddish portrayal of a person with cerebral palsy when you know that you have already seen something better. But that “better”, never got the limelight.

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It is sad that there are so many filmmakers, the unique ones, who don’t get enough resources to put their stories out in the public on a larger scale. Even though they are the most talented ones and depict some masterpieces, gorgeously. On top of that, they choose actors who are very much interested to do their films for a reasonable rate only because of their love for cinema.

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Shonali Bose directed this film called as Margarita With A Straw in 2014 and it starred Kalki Coechlin as the lead. Kalki‘s smile, alone, will win your heart, not to mention her acting dexterity. The way the plot flows is as if a paper boat is moving in a pond. Calm, simple and innocent. Revathi, Kuljit Singh, Sayani Gupta, Hussain Dalal, Malhar Khushu and William Moseley play the vital supporting cast, quite effortlessly.

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I really want to promote films like these, as much as I can. There are so many. In fact more than a few of Rajkummar Rao, which have won him awards. Newton, Shahid, Trapped, Omerta etc. Even a couple of Bose‘s films like Amu and Chittagong. They all are of such class, critically, but crave the spotlight and eventually start their journey in film festivals.

Thus, I am doing my best by putting it out there through my reviews. You can share this and help the film gain some attention, even if it’s after 5 years. Doesn’t matter.

4/5

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Bollywood, Drama, Reality Check, Romantic

Qarib Qarib Singlle – Just another undervalued stunner.

In the Bollywood year of 2017, a lot of films released. While some being box office flops, critically failed or even unknown, films like TubelightTiger Zinda Hai, Judwaa 2, Baadshaho, Raabta, A Gentleman, Poster Boys, Lukhnow Central, RangoonMeri Pyaari Bindu, Munna Michael, Noor, Bhoomi, Simran, Haseena Parker and Chef couldn’t be borne by the audience.

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On the contrary, some barely hit mediocrity but still earned their proceeds, some became the low-budget hits or a couple even went way beyond average, critically. In the massive, fast-paced crowd of films like Raees, Hindi Medium, Golmaal Again!!!, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Baahubali 2, Kaabil, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Newton, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Jab Harry Met Sejal, MubarakanNaam Shabaana, Ok Jaanu, Fukrey Returns, Phillauri, Jolly LLB 2 and Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, somewhere along the road, people forgot about this beautiful motion picture, originally penned by Kamna Chandra, called as Qarib Qarib Singlle.

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Magnificently presented by the daughter of the writer, Tanuja Chandra, who also wrote the screenplay alongside Gazal Dhaliwal, this film will astonish you. It will give you goosebumps, make you smile and giggle. It will give you hope. You’ll be enchanted by the whole experience of the cinematography. You’ll be surprised to hear, post watching it, that it’s all shot in India.

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Who could imagine, at this day and era, Irrfan Khan could play a romantic hero and that too so thoroughly with his excellent comic timing, given his usual genre of films. Making the debut in Bollywood industry with this one, Parvathy Kottuvata proves the reason she won those numerous awards and nominations. She is a detailed actor. Made for the camera. Promoting and marketing dating websites, this motion picture proves that you could find love at any age and at a very unusual time, only if you want to.

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Without watching the film I had come across a track from it, the lyrics of which gave me goosebumps, the melody soothed me and Atif Aslam garnished it exquisitely with the softer version of his voice. Now, there was a point in the film, around the middle, when this song played. And the moment was so right that I was sold with that one five-minute sequence.

I had been meaning to watch QQS since it’s release but missed it in the theaters and thanked the people at Netflix later, for still keeping it in their library. The plot is strong, the cast is adroit, this is my Netflix recommend.

4/5

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Action, Bollywood, Drama, Romantic

Simmba – Only a family entertainer.

Why should you watch this film?

  • Funny – It’s dialogue mainly, will genuinely make you laugh. I will accredit it to Ranveer and Siddhartha Jhadav.
  • Ranveer Singh – Yes, he surely entered and stayed with his swagger switch on. As usual. Yes, he most definitely is a big reason to go watch Simmba. I know his fans would. Surprisingly, he never fails to impress. His power-packed, energetic personality always aids any character played by him and he is undoubtedly, the highlight of the film.
  • Family Entertainment – If you long to take your family and it’s been a while since a good family film came out in theaters, this is the one you should go for.
  • Surprise Element – You know, I was sitting in a theater filled with an entertaining audience. Thank the goodness, they weren’t commenting [like in cheap theaters in India] and only were cheering/applauding. They were doing it on the most deal-breaking scenes [I got encouraged too] which was sort of fun to watch and do BUT also on a scene which you have to wait for, till the end. No, it’s not Ajay Devgn‘s entry.
  • Sonu Sood & Supporting Cast – I am really glad for him. He is all new and improved and in his fittest form. Apart from him, Sara Ali Khan has a cute role, playing the love interest of Singh and you will realize why she asked for this film after all, when she should be working on getting more of impactful films. Credits to the immaculate Ashutosh Rana, Ashwini Kalsekar, Vijay Patkar and all the other veteran and new Marathi and Hindi actors who performed their bits really well. The list is long, trust me.
  • Masala – From now on, I shall give these kind of films a new genre, Masala. They have a bit of everything. Action, romance and drama. If you are that kind of a person who loves to watch films of which you know the ending to, this one’s for you. No complications attached.

You could miss it because,

  • It Is OverdramaticShetty‘s films have all the cars spinning, crashing and flying in the air, the overload of outstretched slow-motion action sequences and the exaggerated drama which bore people like me because my expectancy from a film has risen to another level.
  • Of The Music – Well, apart from the remake Aankh Marey, this time, Tanishk Bagchi couldn’t strengthen this department.
  • It Is Prolongated – There were scenes in the film that I wished weren’t so elastic.
  • It Has A Colorless Plot – It’s a no-brainer. You have cried on them before, you have got goosebumps on them, you have clapped on the wall-breaking entrances of the lead cast, you have gotten internally charged and frustrated on the hero’s bad situation before and then been happy when he wins in the end.
  • Of The Dumb/Lame Moments – There are more than a few. It is mandatory in a Rohit Shetty Picturez production. You’ll know.

We all know how director Rohit Shetty has been making films of this genre for a long time now and how he targets the mass audience, making them commercial hits at the box office. It is this, it will make you laugh, arise your goosebumps, make you all teary eyed, even. And then it will emotionally mould you with a good message in the end.

But the question still remains, do these kind of films score well critically? My answer is NO.

3/5

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Bollywood, Drama, Romantic

Zero – A poor usage of the number.

I really wanted more out of SRK after a couple of above average films like Dear Zindagi and Raees and really had hoped that this might just do it for him because it covers a couple of sensitive topics.

Above all, it isn’t only Khan who should be held in custody for being a part of this film but also the tag team of Anand L. Rai (director) and Himanshu Sharma (screenplay), after giving us some good one-time watches and then touching the sky with Tanu Weds Manu Returns, really fall into the ocean, sinking, without any oxygen support. How much ever you try to concentrate on this flick, it just doesn’t want to give you something to look forward to.

After the film lost me for multiple times, I still didn’t understand where the story was trying to take me. I almost wasn’t going to go for it even after booking the tickets and how much I wished later that, that came true. AjayAtul‘s music keeps you from dozing off. If speaking individually, I felt Katrina Kaif is a better show to watch than Anushka Sharma, herein. That’s how frail her portrayal of the character is. She almost disgraced it, even. I could watch Margarita With A Straw three more times JUST to witness how fantastically Kalki  Koechlin performs [obviously, she played the character of person with cerebral palsy too].

I actually have no complaints with Shah Rukh Khan, individually, as he manages to give complete justice to his role. Withal, Zero touches a few emotional chords as well as tingles you slightly with it’s funny tidbits. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Sheeba Chaddha, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Brijendra Kala and Abhey Deol are at their usual best.

Lastly, there were way TOO many special appearances. Completely extraneous. Was it that the producers already knew that the story was a fiasco and only wanted to amuse the moviegoers by doing this? Well, it didn’t work. Even elongated duration added to the misery.

1/5

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