Posted in Action, Based On True Events, Biographical, Drama, Hollywood, Sports

Le Mans '66/Ford vs Ferrari – One for the automobile enthusiasts.

It becomes intriguing for even a normal moviegoer when a couple of huge motor company names are involved in the title of a film, let alone the excitement of the audience who actually are the motorcar aficionados.

What the trailer and poster clearly depicts is completely contrasting to what you actually see in regards to the story and the role of the actors. The plot showers light to one of the most epic actualities happened in the history. Brought to you by Jason Keller and the Butterworth brothers, this story will blow your mind when you witness the kind of events that took place in the 1960’s.

Named Ford vs Ferrari in many countries, Le Mans ’66 gives us an epic sports drama which explains how the two motorcar giants were actually at war, when they stood face-to-face on the racetrack of a legendary race called as 24 hours of Le Mans – which actually lasted for a period of twenty four hours. It also shows the twists and turns and politics within the corporate world of the leading automobile companies.

You are in for a full throttle of races, drama and some superlative performances. Praises fall short when we speak about both Christian Bale (as Ken Miles) and Matt Damon (as Carroll Shelby) because they have, in their own style and kind of films, given us noteworthy portrayals over the period of time. And this surely will be written in the books as one of their career’s best. May it be the direction of James Mangold or the support of the side cast – Jon Bernthal (as Lee Lacocca), Catriona Balfe (as Mollie Miles), Tracy Letts (as Henry Ford The Second), Josh Lucas (as Leo Beebe), Noah Jupe (as Peter Miles), Remo Jirone (as Enzo Ferrari) and Ray McKinnon (as Phil Remington), both are stupendous in their own way.

4/5

Posted in Bollywood, Comedy, Drama, Fiction, Inspirational, Psychological, Reality Check, Romantic, Sports

Chhichhore – Entertainingly inspirational.

The writer and director of Dangal enters the ring again and this time without the ‘A’ factor. Could he (Nitesh Tiwari) actually do something as wondrous as his last directorial? Let’s find out.

First of all, full points to the casting director and the cast itself. Not only the the extremely talented Sushant Singh Rajput (as Anirudh “Anni” Pathak), Shraddha Kapoor (as Maya), Prateik Babbar (as Raggie) and Varun Sharma (as Gurmeet “Sexa” Singh Dhillon) gave great performances but the newbies and the lesser experienced Tahir Raj Bhasin (as Derek), Naveen Polishetty (as Acid), Tushar Pandey (as Sunder “Mummy” Saxena), Saharsh Kumar (as Bevda) and Mohammed Samad (as Raghav) too were exceptional.

The predictable plot inspires us with a message which is mostly directed towards the young students of India. Chhichhore is surprisingly funny. It gets serious when necessary. It generates hope. It has concentrated on a topic which has just been a tad part of a few films before. Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Gupta and Nikhil Mehrotra, the screenplay writers, enhance this topic with grace and successfully keep it peppy at the same time.

The music by Pritam is not too bad. It doesn’t interfere in anyway in the film. Just graciously plays as a background score, adding the required emotion to it. Plus, the kind of reviews I have been hearing about last week’s Saaho, I surmise it is safe to say that this one’s a better watch.

3.5/5

Posted in Bollywood, Crime, Drama, Fiction, Political, Sports, Television

Inside Edge – Fact or fiction?

After a couple of recommends and repeated torture by my younger sibling, I finally started to watch this, since it is related to cricket and match fixing. And mainly because IPL was trending last month.

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With quite a few masterful performances by Vivek Oberoi, Sanjay Suri, Richa Chaddha, Tanuj Virwani, Sayani Gupta, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Angad Bedi, Sarah-Jane DiasKaran Oberoi, Amit Sial, Manu Rishi and Jitin Gulati, I was rest assured that the show will impress me completely. I really wanted to love the plot, but at the end of the day, it brings us to one important question that whether all of this is true or not.

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It is quite admirable how Karan Anshuman, the creator of Inside Edge, brings about an element of suspense and thrill to what is being depicted with every episode. The ups and downs of the game and a fictional portrayal of what it could be in actuality, behind the stage, or in this case, the stadium. He is not alone when the screenplay is concerned and is aided by Ameya Sarda, Puneet Krishna, Sumit Purohit and Saurav Dey.

3/5

Posted in Biopic, Bollywood, Drama, Sports

Dangal – Gigantically world-class.

I don’t know about you all but I was definitely waiting for my next film review. And I just had to watch this one in the theater because of the immense weight of the film.

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The impact of this movie is such that every defensive move of Geeta Phogat (played by Fatima Shaikh) made my calves stretch! It also greatly defines the relationship between a father and a daughter. It is so real and in depth that every aspect of the Haryanvi culture and tradition is quite evidently followed. Thanks to Khan‘s nature of being detailed and particular. There is literally no character who has under performed here.

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Dangal also shows you real wrestling nature and technique unlike the boxing in Priyanka Chopra starrer Mary Kom (2014). I really don’t feel like appreciating the finest actors of Bollywood. I will admit, I had goosebumps. Need I say more about Aamir Khan (as Mahavir Singh Phogat)? Infact, even the juniors, Zaira Wasim (as young Geeta) and Suhani Bhatnagar (as young Babita) are marvelous. Bits of comedy by them and Aparshakti Khurrana (as Geeta and Babita‘s cousin) brings a smile to your face. It also marks Khurrana‘s debut film in the industry. It was a delight to see Sakshi Tanwar (as Daya Kaur, wife of Mahavir) bagging a big role here. Both her and Sanya Malhotra (as Babita) supported Aamir and Fatima well.

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Whilst watching any film, I always have at the back of my mind that I have to write about my thoughts on it later, but this one, just didn’t let me go through that thought. It is that intriguing. Pritam aces the tunes, yet again. Lastly, the story is, well, diminutively predictable. It is a biopic, after all.

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Did you knowAamir, being the ultra perfectionist he is, replied to the director, when approached for Dangal, that he would love to do this film after a few years when he actually would look like the age he is supposed to. Thank the goodness he changed his mind after five months.

4.5/5

Posted in Based On True Events, Biographical, Biopic, Bollywood, Drama, Sports

Mary Kom – A failed attempt.

Vinayak Chakravorty of India Today stated, “It is the sort of make-belief that would seem amateurish even by a school-level play standard. The very Punjabi Priyanka tries her best to impress as Mary Kom, freckles on her face duly added by the make-up artist. She misses a boxer’s body language in the ring sequences and manages a purely Bollywood heroine’s routine in the scenes outside it.”

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I do read the critical receptions of the Indian newspapers, magazines and news channels, whichever available, before writing my views on a film, not to copy from them, but to see who all agree to my viewpoint. Many of the critics gave Mary Kom 4 or 5 stars out of 5. However, it did NOT reach the full marks category. The above mentioned short analysis of Vinayak Chakravorty almost sums up my recapitulation.

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She didn’t give her fullest and it looked like a typical Indian, emotional film. I would’ve recommended Priyanka Chopra to watch Bhaag Milkha Bhaag before shooting for this film and probably should’ve taken a few tips from the proficient, Farhan Akhtar, who trained intensely for 13 months for that film. He had to have two looks in the film, the bulky and the lean look. Here, Priyanka couldn’t even pull off one. She did train, but it sure wasn’t enough.

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I would also agree to Rohit Vats of Hindustan Times who stated “Mary Kom is made for whistles and some quick money.” Well, it is all about money nowadays. Sure, MC Mary Kom got a lot of recognition which she deserved at the time she actually won all those gold medals. It was as if that the director Omung Kumar is back to his old job doing everything in 1 minute as from a TV show he used to host, a decade ago. Everything is fast paced in this film. Look, it is a BIOPIC of a sports personality, everything must surely be shown in detail.

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Omung has given his input as an art director, production designer, set decorator to the Bollywood film and television industry and this is a good career boost but he should remove the rapidity from his direction a little bit. Or shall I blame the screenplay and story writer, Saiwyn Quadras? Darshan Kumar portrayed the character of her husband very well. Lastly, Priyanka Chopra is a good actor but I don’t think she can outdo her role in Barfi with a better role, at least not with this one.

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P.S: In some of the scenes, every prop needed is placed at a very convenient position for use. Ah, Bollywood! Grow up already?

2.5/5

Posted in Action, Bollywood, Crime, Fiction, Sports, Spy

Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty – A touch of Kollywood.

The trailer and the title made it very easy for us to predict what the story is all about. It is a remake of the Tamil film Thupakki. The Gajjini and Jai Ho director A.R. Murugadoss comes up with a very average story but does well with the direction and dialogue, keeping us all engaged.

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Govinda is back and looking as fresh as new. Even though he didn’t have much of the camera on him, his presence is felt and adds on the necessary weight to the film. When talking about presence, Sonakshi Sinha in the film is what french fries are to a fitness freak. She is apparently the ‘boxer’ in the film. Just because you get your hair braided, doesn’t mean you could convince people to believe you. The film probably would have got the same response if she wasn’t included. Plus, she didn’t even train for it. The fight sequences are pathetic. The dialogue, being the highlight of the film, are very real and something that today’s Indian families should really consider understanding.

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The music is really okay, made by Pritam. Not by his usual standards. Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty manages to sweep away Rps. 112 crores for the producers (over the weekend) even with a very mediocre screenplay. Thanks you Akki!

P.S.: In one of the fight sequences, Akshay Kumar breaks his arm and immediately gets up, twists and turns it a couple of times and makes it back to normal. That’s what the fight sequences of this film are all about.

3/5

Posted in Action, Drama, Hollywood, Sports, Thriller

Need For Speed – Vroooom-ish!

Back in the days where we all used to be little and there weren’t game consoles like Microsoft’s X-BOX, Sony’s Play-Station(s) and Play-Station Portable, Nintendo’s Wii and DS, we all used to love computer games. It all started with Pin-Ball, Solitaire and then Mario took over for a long time. Later on, as we got bigger in size and brains, we used to play a lot of high-graphic games with the changing world and the advancing technology to blow our minds. Everyone used to have two names on their mouths, Grand Theft Auto & Need For Speed.

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The Gatins brothers, George and John pair up to write a story based on the game to turn it into a film by contacting Scott Waugh and DreamWorks Studio, the producers. To be honest, I wasn’t a car-racing games fan when I was small. I usually liked simpler games or maybe games related to sports, i.e. cricket or football. Thus, I won’t be able to compare the game to the film in detail and shall judge it as a stand-alone film. As far as I know, there used to be a certain story that was supposed to be completed by gamers/users. This film is the interpretation of the game. Story looked rather shaky, topping up with cheesy dialogues.

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The story line is about revenge. It is about bad luck. It is about ego. It is about Dino Brewster (Dominic) who challenges Tobey Marshall (Aaron) and his crew member and old friend Little Pete Coleman (Harrison Gibertson) for a race (when in ego). Amidst the race, when Dino (Dominic) realizes that he is not going to win, he tags Pete’s (Harrison) car while he was helping Tobey (Aaron) to win the race, forcing the car to flip and fall down off the highway and burn into flames. He escapes immediately. Tobey (Aaron), devastated, comes back to try and save his old friend but on the contrary goes behind bars because of lack of evidence to prove his innocence. Tobey (Aaron), for no reason at all, spends 2 years in jail and comes back out on parole and takes his vengeance.

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I have been watching Aaron Paul since a long time in the hit and award winning television series Breaking Bad. He has always been a very detailed actor, reaching out to every emotion and expression. He has won many awards and has appeared in many films but, the drama series was his breakthrough and then this film. The stunts are amazing, as they used to be done in the game. Aaron has always had this look of a teenager even though he is in his late 20’s, which has given an advantage to the directors to put him in a role where a teenager is required. Dominic Cooper, the antagonist, played his role to perfection. He looks way too young for a 35-year-old. Imogen Poots, the lead heroine, was cute enough and knew her backwards and forwards.

2.5/5