Spider-Man: Far From Home – My restrained views.

It is so difficult to write about Marvel films without letting out a spoiler. Especially in the second installment of this franchise.

It is a fun film. As usual. Since it gives you a very teenage kind of feeling, everything is really advanced, rapid and modern. I loved Chris McKenna and Eric Sommers‘s script, having just the right amount of everything. The story put through is obviously the next chapter, post Avengers: End Game and explains casually, how Peter Parker is affected, after the sad demise of Tony Stark (Iron Man).

The direction (by Jon Watts – who also directed the first part) is great. The technological/graphical parts of the film [which is most of the film] will impress you. A lot. It is really mind blowing what all you can create by just putting green screens everywhere around the actors and letting a computer do it’s part. Undoubtedly, the graphic and/or VFX (visual effects) designers do most of it.

One thing I couldn’t understand is that how Mary Jane’s (MJ) character has completely taken a turn from what we had witnessed in the Tobey Maguire‘s Spider-Man series. Herein, MJ (played by Zendaya) is completely obsessed with Peter Parker [and weirdly stalks him too] since the first part, Spider-Man: Homecoming. It was a complete different scenario in Sam Raimi‘s directed Spider-Man franchise.

It is rejuvenating to have a new character, Jake Gyllenhaal (as Mysterio) who actually enhanced the film. He is truly a brilliant actor. Sober, yet effective. The twists and turns in this sequel, along with great suspenseful moments will keep surprising you every now and then. The comedy portion is a little less, however present, compared to other Marvel films.

Everything has changed, ever since the brilliant Tom Holland (as Peter Parker/Spider-Man) has taken over. The costumes, the actors, the names, the villains. For the most basic examples, Aunt May/May Parker’s character is now played by the sizzling Marisa Tomei or Peter Parker has a best friend, Ned Leeds (played by Jacob Batalon). Beginning from 2002, what Spider-Man (played by Tobey Maguire) used to be and what it is now. How the characters revolving around him have altered. How Spider-Man got involved with Avengers. The inclusion of Tony Stark/Iron Man in his life. I have accepted it. It’s great. Yet, deep down somewhere in my heart, I will always miss Tobey Maguire. What he created on the screen was something else. Unspeakable. Magic.

4/5

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Aladdin – Ecstatic. A perfect remodel.

It is one of those jubilant films which you could watch more than once. It definitely makes you sentimental and glad at the same time, bringing those precious memories back, which you loved and adored in the early nineties.

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Guy Ritchie (direction and screenplay) and his co-writer, John August had two main responsibilities. First, not to make too many changes to the story and second, to bring the exact same feel of the cartoon film Aladdin to the moviegoers, in this realistic form/version. They did it. To all those critics who gave this film a mediocre or below average rating, I want to be on the contrary. It is a semi-musical [according to me]. Be prepared for that. Even the cartoon film was, where the characters would express their innermost feelings through the medium of a melody. It didn’t seem weird, even after twenty six years.

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Mena Massoud (as Aladdin) & Naomi Scott (as Princess Jasmine) are confident and are more than apt for their roles. You will understand that from their first respective shots. It is quite fascinating how they managed to sing their parts themselves, so tunefully, which really brought relevance to their characters. It is quite better than making a professional sing for you.

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There couldn’t be a better Genie in a half-animated Aladdin than Will Smith. He has agreed and followed the rules of a musical. He hasn’t hesitated and has shown a full spirit towards his role. He is singing, dancing, having fun and all so gracefully. Smith is one of the vital reasons I would recommend this motion-picture to everyone. The flavor he brought to the film is the tastiest you’ll ever get. Two characters, which I found to be a little less convincing were Jafar (played by Marwan Kenzari), in terms of his ability to portray the antagonist, and The Sultan (played by Navid Neghaban), who, when compared to the cartoon film, was cute, fun-loving, jolly and sometimes childish. Herein, he is rigid, not all over the place, a little strict and adamant.

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The parrot Lago (played by Alan Tudyk), which was played by Gilbert Gottfried in the 1992 animated film of the same name, sadly has a very limited role (alike The Sultan) in the flick. Numan Acar played the splendid Hakim. Furthermore, the soundtrack is remade by same composer of Aladdin (1992) Alan Menken, elegantly. He is accompanied by Golden Globe winner duo, Pasek & Paul, in making the background score and music flawlessly.

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What’s new about the film? Just a little. New generation music and dance (hip-hop, rap, beat-boxing etc.) obviously because Will Smith is in it. Also, the magic tricks genie performs, while exaggerating his powers, have been added with things which weren’t available back then, in the 90’s. An addition of a character, Dalia (Princess Jasmine’s handmaiden) didn’t seem unnecessary.

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Aladdin is the most perfect adaptation of it’s animation film. There is nothing to dislike in the film. With a world class direction, graphics, plot and soundtrack, it will keep you entertained and delighted till the end.

4.5/5

De De Pyaar De – Meanwhile, in Luv Ranjan’s world.

One thing is assured that it is a different concept. The helm of direction was sure given to Akiv Ali who has just been an editor in quite a few films, but, one could sense so much of Luv Ranjan in the film.

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Ranjan IS undoubtedly one of the writers of the scripts along with Tarun Jain and Surabhi Bhatnagar. The unstable and slow first half did make it seem like the film is not going to excel. The elastic dialogue and the extremely melodramatic & ostentatious Rakul Preet Singh made sure of almost disintegrating the film. She’s not a bad actor though. Notwithstanding, the second half thankfully picked up in terms of good comedy and lesser exaggeration.

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Obviously, Tabu, Kumud Mishra, Alok Nath and Jimmy Shergill added their own dazzle to the flick. Ajay Devgn barely had any dialogue in the film, given the level of maturity and age of his character. Javed Jaffrey, even though being a good actor, is a complete extra. Plus, hiring a couple of tiktok actors was brave move by the casting directors/producers. And mind you, a cost-efficient one too. Even giving a cameo to Sunny Singh is unfit. He still needs learn how to act better.

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The music of De De Pyaar De by multiple composers is unfortunately below average. I wouldn’t call it a light-weight film because of the addition of drama, making it a bit too emotional. Yet, it’s double meaning jokes, genuine comedy towards the latter half of the film, actors’ performances and a new plot made it worthy. Oh and the unaccustomed ending too.

3/5