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, Drama, Fiction, Hollywood, SciFi, Superhero, Technology

Captain Marvel – Keep low expectations.

When we come to analyze introductory films for Marvel characters or even DC characters, they coincidentally turn out to be at the level of mediocrity. If comparing Black Panther with this film, as it pretty much matches with it in terms of timing of release before the new Avengers film or even for an intro for a new character, it felt a lot more wholesome in front of this.

Something or the other always is inadequate. Speaking about Captain Marvel, which was hyped when it’s trailer came out, Brie Larson gives her utmost best to be pitch perfect for the role of Carol Danvers / Vers, by being confident, seeming powerful and acting fearlessly.

The supporting characters (Jude Law, Samuel. L. Jackson, Lashana Lynch, Ben Mendelsohn and Annette Bening) prove their worthiness of existing in the movie. Because, I personally feel, Larson couldn’t have been able to do it on her own.

The action bit comes a little later in the film as the theoritical history needed to be shown and how it all started for her. What I loved most about the film were the use of advanced technology and a pretty 90’s background score (by Pinar Toprak), apt for the era the film is being shown from.

Without being even remotely sexist, I wished that there would have been a male character portraying Capt. Marvel. There had been a lot of various comics where a female was created to portray as one but Stan Lee created the character with a male in mind. In fact, when the character of Captain Marvel was launched in the comics, it was a he.

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How much ever the duo Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck tried to make this film better with their beautiful direction, they couldn’t do much on the screenplay and story along with the other writers. It lacked that spark.

3.5/5

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Bollywood, Comedy

Total Dhamaal – Baselessly crappy.

I regret even buying tickets for this film. I was shocked to see people laugh and cheer during it.

My aunt almost slept. I sat there, waiting, for the film to actually begin. Total Dhamaal has the exact same plot as it’s previous parts. The only reason it gained attention is because of the new additions to the star cast.

When I discovered the amount of business it’s making, I was wondering how dumb are the Indian audience to give this stupidity so much attention rather than giving it to a masterpiece like Gully Boy.

In fact, I saw this film a few weeks ago and was so disappointed that I didn’t even feel like writing something about it. Now, when I complete this review, I remain shocked after checking the business this film has made and how it has exceeded the business of Gully Boy.

Even the music was pathetic! It is as bizarre as the film. There is an item song by Sonakshi Sinha [out of all the actresses/dancers, the makers chose her], where she is wearing clothes which don’t even suit her body structure. Alongside, dances the legend Ajay Devgn, moving just one hand in the whole song.

Ten minutes after the second half of the film, I had borne enough. I, with my aunt and elder cousin left the theater. Sanjay Mishra is the only reason Total Dhamaal gets this half point. Rest others were just very normal, trying to revive an expired plot.

0.5/5

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Bollywood, Suspense

Badla – Slightly over the top.

Here again, these two unite as co-actors trying to create something ‘mysteriously’ wonderful.

Sujoy Ghosh is a good director, no doubts to that. Withal, the exaggeration is felt in the film. The over intesification is flowing through some of the scenes, which clearly is uncalled-for. Somehow, Amitabh Bachchan and Amrita Singh held the film by being the robust foundation of the it.

Taapsee Pannu is a crucial character in Badla. She could have avoided the over-acting in a lot of scenes, given the quality actor she is.

The music department didn’t have much to do in this film, except contributing to the background score. The film didn’t demand it, too. However, Amaal Malik and Clinton Cerejo did compose and sing a few songs. Oh and Amitabh Bachchan rapped in a song called as Aukaat. Check that out. Later on YouTube. There are no tracks and no interval in the flick.

Badla is an exact adaptation of a spanish movie named Contratiempo (The Invisible Guest). Moreover, I am in favour of debutant Tony Luke‘s acting. He just needs a lot of improvement in speaking our national language. He has acted in a few Malayalam films before. Lastly, there a few scenes which might surprise you with the suspense but more scenes which will keep the ‘Sherlock’ in your brain alive, in order to foresee the mysteries.

3/5

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Action, Animation, Biographical, Drama, Hollywood, SciFi, Technology

Alita: Battle Angel – Basic stuff.

It is not a complicated story. A simple one, rather. It is about a cyborg, who was found in the trash, but, is meant to be legendary. 

Such films mainly depend on their graphic designing team. James Cameron’s name is enough to attract the audience to watch a spectacle. It is directed by Spy Kids series director Roberto Rodriguez and Cameron only writes the screenplay for it. I mainly got attracted to watch this film just because of it’s technological ingredient.

While Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Keean Johnson, Mahearshala Ali and Ed Skrein support the cute Rosa Salazar, the lead actress, with their full potential, Alita: Battle Angel fails to actually deliver a proper plot.

Based on the Japanese manga series known as Gunnm by Yukito Kishiro, this flick is able to climb the ladder with the help of it’s fortifying cast, a great display of tech and a little bit of good action. 

3/5

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Based On True Events, Biographical, Bollywood, Drama

Gully Boy: Apna Time Aayega – Audacious. Realistic. Powerful. Fantastic.

Before watching Gully Boy, I made sure of watching Eminem starrer 8 Mile because of the buzz going on in the social media where the prior was portrayed as a “copy”. Especially after the trailer of Gully Boy was dubbed and recreated, with 8 Mile‘s scenes playing in a video, which went viral.

Let’s make things clear. Every talented, successful artist has a past. Here, the serious struggles of the people originating from the slums and villages of India are displayed. How the greatest of talents are being supressed like abolished parts of a car, ONLY because their parents’ and society’s awareness of modernization is zero. A few similarities in the script are bound to happen because of the content the motion picture is trying to exibit.

It is a win. GB is a win for the director, actors, music composers, producers and the whole crew alongside the character of Murad / Gully Boy (played by Ranveer Singh). Zoya Akhtar with her direction will leave you speechless. Jay Oza‘s cinematography will leave you in an awe. One of the best features of the film is the unique background score by Karsh Kale & The Salvage Studio Collective. Flawless.

Alia Bhatt (as Safina) plays this determined, bold and a daring muslim girl who is also the love interest of Ranveer, with complete honesty. On the contrary, Kalki Koechlin (as Sky) has played this jazzy, cool, new-aged NRI student/artist, rather gorgeously.

As a matter of fact, every character has it’s equal importance in the flick. Preeminently, Siddhant Chaturvedi (as MC Sher) who plays the strong and confident friend cum mentor of Murad, excellently. You’ll love him. Plus, an actor who we witness after a long time for a lengthier role, Vijay Raaz (as Aftab Sheikh), plays the strict, conservative and an oblivious father of Murad. And we all know how his voice and acting over the years, has left an impact on us through his various roles. Others inclusive in this noteworthy list are Vijay Varma (as Moeen), Amruta Subhash (as Razia Sheikh / mother of Murad), Vijay Maurya (as Ateeq / Murad‘s uncle) and Sheeba Chaddha (as Safina‘s mother).

Gully Boy is a must watch for all the valueable reasons. Screenplay by Reema Kagti & Zoya Akhtar is enchanting. The music is the whole and soul of it, obviously. The lyrics and dialogue are the backbone. Moreover the amount of exposure Indian RAP (rythym and poetry) music is going to receive now, will be maniacal.

4.5/5

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