Bollywood, Comedy, Drama, Romantic

Photograph – Quiet and torpid.

Sometimes it felt like this film is getting on to my nerve. Sometimes it felt like it’s so simple and pristine [after I kept a lot of patience].

Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a romantic role? I don’t buy it. Some of you might think or believe this. But trust me, if we talk about playing a role, this guy masters it. How he has played a simple, village-born and a shy Muslim is commendable. On the other hand, Sanya Malhotra, who I have been admiring since her debut film Dangal, has played a shy, reserved and a distinctive Gujarati girl, Miloni, who is studying to become chartered accountant. However, she, very randomly meets Riazullah (Siddiqui), who clicks photos for tourists at the Gateway Of India for a living. And my my my, what chemistry the pair had between them. Quite astonishing.

Their love story is unplanned and purely coincidental. But, the way Ritesh Batra (director & writer) unfolds the story, taking his own sweet time, defines how unintentional life is and how, a love story can still seem vintage, without the use of social media, instant messaging and smartphones. I really liked how he has executed it, but his screenplay could have been a little better, somehow bonding well with the quality of the direction. Photograph is inclusive of a little bit of satire. It also consists of some cute comedy. Some double-meaning jokes. Not too vulgar though. Plus, minute roles of Geetanjali Kulkarni, Sachin Khedekar, Vijay Raaz, Akash Sinha, Jim Sarbh and Saharsh Shukla added a zest of their own.

The flick has it’s good and innocent moments. Although, it is hard to find an audience who would prefer to watch a film like this in a theater. Patience is an obligation here.

3/5

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Bollywood, Comedy, Drama, Romantic

Luka Chuppi – Funny & stretched.

Honestly, it’s not the first flick based on the topic of live-in relationships. We have seen rom-coms of this type before.

What’s new about this? There are a few crazy characters. There is sort of a role reversal between the lead male and female characters on some occasions – where something what you’d expect from a man, you’ll see a female doing. This particular feature I was really happy about. Then there is Vinay Pathak in a lengthy role after eons. Plus, the film would genuinely make you laugh and giggle.

Two things which I was disappointed with were, a) the songs – which were just inclusive of revamped tracks and nothing original and b) the elasticity of a few scenes which was completely inessential.

I am glad that someone thought of putting this couple together on screen because Kriti Sanon and Kartik Aaryan genuinely look amazing together, with even better chemistry than expected. As it is they are established actors and hardly have any flaws.

Of course, the leading pair would have been handicapped without the talented fortifying cast, Aparshakti Khurrana, Pankaj Tripathi, Atul Shrivastava, Alka Amin and others. All in all, I am happy that Laxman Utekar, a cinematographer-turned-director who has worked his magic on some outstanding Hindi films before this and has directed a couple of Maharashtran films, marks his debut with directing a motion picture of this genre.

3.5/5

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Action, Animation, Cartoon, Comedy, Hollywood, Romantic

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – Cute.

It had already been a different concept in the world of animated films, with a little more mature aspect. Without it being a kiddish musical, the story had comedy, action and something to be inspired by.

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The enterprising How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World takes a different angle in the passable story. It is probably the only film franchise which makes a dragon look pretty, lovable and in different kinds. I love the fact that how Jay Baruchel (as Hiccup) possesses the magical voice of a teenager even after him being double in age in actuality. Just the one new addition to the third edition of HTTYD is the villain. Grimmel The Grisler (played by F. Murray Abraham) is this more of a bragger but gets things done and is quite slim and dangerous. Abraham makes sure of that.

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A few stunning sceneries. Full points to the graphics and director Dean Deblois. It is a flowy, action-comedy-adventure animated film with it’s own uniformity. Plus, this part has an increasing amount of romance infused. Nevertheless, not a bad watch at all. Make sure to watch the prequels to enjoy this one fully.

3.5/5

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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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Based On True Events, Bollywood, Drama, Romantic, Thriller

Kedarnath – The start of her pilgrimage.

It’s not that Abhishek Kapoor hasn’t made a film of a soaked-mud drama genre before which is affiliated with true events. But, I would agree that he has made some very distinctive films, when glancing through his shelf.

I will start with giving full points to the visual effects team and graphic designers who made it look extravagantly real, increasing the level of thrill in the film. A great start to Sara‘s career. She delivers a power packed performance. We all know how well Sushant acts and the reason he has moved up from television onto the big screen. Additionally, thank the current generation, the Indian moviegoers are moving up and ahead in terms of what kind of films they want to spend their precious money on. Favoring the great stories and not the lousy storied, big budget films. Criticizing the films according to their purpose rather than according to the cast. That being said, this film does good on the plot and moreover on the individual performances.

Kedarnath very beautifully revolves around four key situations to make it a whole. One, the floods which occurred in the Uttrakhand, India in 2013, due to heavy, non-stop rainfall, destroying almost the whole state. Two, the love story of this couple Mansoor (played by Sushant Singh Rajput) & Mandakini (played by Sara Ali Khan). Three is yet again the according-to-the-book and backward thinking of Indians, pointed out by the director (Abhishek Kapoor) and screenplay writers (Kapoor and Kanika Dhillon). Herein, it is the inter-religion marriage which is highlighted and how even after reaching in the 21st century, small towns, villages and some underdeveloped cities in India still are living in the previous one. Four is how the temple and pilgrimage of Kedarnath was majorly affected during the 2013 floods and that love story took a major turn because of this catastrophe.

Music being delivered by the talented Amit Trivedi just gives an extra boost to the film, aside everything else. We (the audience) are now used to the monotonous additions of love stories into these reality based films. Hence, it won’t really matter how the love story turns out to be unless the film is solely of a romantic genre.

    3.5/5

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