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

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Mirzapur – Who’s the KING?

It is so difficult to find such raw television shows today, where the plot is so strong. Hearing the fact that it might actually be true, makes me wonder what is happening within this state in India. Is it all about political gains and the rule of the local mafia in Uttar Pradesh?

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The show received mixed reviews and out of which mostly were negative, pointing out the disapproval of the story and direction by many analysts. Just clearing out this that I, being a part of the vast TV watching audience, state that it is to our benefit. While most critics called it a rip off of the kind of genre of stories Anurag Kashyap likes to make, I would say that it is to our advantage that we are getting more variety to watch on the internet! It’s ideology might be similar to as of Kashyap‘s but the base of the plot, it’s cast and it’s turning point of the story and the creation is quite distinctive. Breathtaking, too.

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Mirzapur has it’s own swag and nature of impressing the audience. The fact that season two is already under production proves that not all viewers within India or out of India have disliked the theme and the style of this web series. It has a great, an almost perfect cast which blends in and shows it’s importance in it, quite magnificently. I would love to shower praises to the cast, Pankaj Tripathi, Vikrant Massey, Ali Fazal, Amit Sial, Divyendu Sharma, Rajesh Tailang, Sheeba Chaddha, Shweta Tripathi, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Rasika Dughal, Kulbushan Kharbanda, Abhishek Banerjee, Shubrajyoti Bharat, Shaji Chaudhary and Shahnawaz Pradhan. Also to it’s writers and makers, Karan Anshuman, Puneet Krishna, Gurmeet Singh, Vineet Krishnan, Mihir Desai and Nisha Chandra.

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Yes, it might not be the show of the year for many. I say it’s worth a watch. Not only for it’s story and cast, but for it’s weighty dialogue too.

4/5

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