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Box Office Special: October fails to catch the audience but wins hearts of the critics
Apr 20, 2018
Nanu Ki Jaanu is a sloppy remake of the 2014 Tamil hit Pisaasu. Right at the outset, due acknowledgment is apportioned to Bala and Mysskin, the producer and director respectively of the original production, which had garnered reasonably good reviews. This version is no patch. Screenwriter Manu Rishi Chadha, who also plays the property shark-hero's principal accomplice, takes liberties with the plot details - in Pisaasu, the hero is a violinist left holding the dead girl's slipper; in Nanu Ki Jaanu, he is an extortionist who uses threats and subterfuge to con people out of their houses and is saddled with the accident victim's necklace. That does no good.Nanu Ki Jaanu is about a girl who becomes a ghost and disappears into a chimney, taking the film with her into the pits. We deserve better.
The narrative in Beyond the Clouds is overwrought. The beats are predictable and the treatment, heavy-handed. Through Majidi’s eyes, the city of Mumbai might seem new but the characters are familiar. The city’s energy and colors are palpable but the story-telling has less sparkle. A. R. Rahman’s soundtrack further underlines every note. Subtlety is not this film’s strong point. Ultimately Beyond the Clouds is a mixed bag. It is likely to be a footnote in Majidi’s rich filmography. But the film is worth seeing as an intriguing experiment. I’m going with three stars.
Apr 13, 2018
‘October’ is not bound by Indian sensibility aloneimdb; it is a story that will possibly enjoy a much wider appeal across international audiences. For a Bollywood fan seeking escapist cinema, the laid-back pace might be a deterrent. In love and relationships, a lot remains unsaid and undefined. What can’t find its way into words, will find a way to flow out. Let it. The fragrant memory of Shiuli (the Bengali name for Night Jasmine) and Dan’s unconditional love story will linger long after. Go, take it all in.
Apr 6, 2018
Expect the unexpected... Twist after twist... Blackmail after blackmail... #Blackमेल charters an unexplored path and draws you into the world of adultery, deceit, double crossing and betrayal... Smart writing... Superb execution by #DelhiBelly director Abhinay Deo...One of those brave attempts that defy the stereotypes... Also, one of the best wild-wacky-quirky comedies to come out of the Hindi film industry... Strongly recommended!
The road to hell is paved with good intentions they say. That’s exactly how Missing turns out. This mystery movie has an interesting premise that fails to create the right impact. A small girl goes missing in the dead of the night, but the parents of this little girl run around in the exotic locales of a Mauritius resort like headless chickens. In all fairness, you don’t expect shocked parents to be composed in their behaviour, but the way things play out in Missing, pushes the idea of suspension of disbelief, way beyond its limits.
Mar 30, 2018
Director Ahmed Khan is almost three to four films old now. And this is visible in Baaghi 2. The finesse, flow, and flawlessness in the movie are proof of good direction. Baaghi 2 is the best movie to date that Ahmed Khan has directed. Just minus the 30-odd minutes of action where Tiger lands in a jungle from nowhere to fight Manoj Bajpayee. It seems the director was under some pressure to fit in the 30 minutes of action thrills to match up to the Baaghi action, else this movie could have gone to become Ghayal 2 and joined the 100-crore club. Baaghi 2 makes for a good film to watch with the family. Also, people who are die-hard action fans or are in love with Tiger-Disha, definitely can't miss this film!
Mar 23, 2018
Tourette’s Syndrome, as with all smart films tackling disability, is just a motif here, running across the film’s gorgeous pillars and idle playgrounds, curling gently about the scenes like creepers and scuttling into the background conveniently and often.
I warn you, this movie is sugar. Here, melodrama has gently coaxed logic out of school. Scenes never become the sum of their parts. And yet, you hang on tight to the film.
Mainly, the most realistic aspect of the movie, the lead, works. Rani Mukerji’s ‘Naina Mathur’ doesn’t try to be special. After 18 rejections, she gets an offer to teach. It is the same school where she had studied and been inspired by a teacher who had transformed her life by accepting her condition. But there’s a catch. 9F is not a regular batch. Previously, the students have been in a municipality school which got absorbed into St. Notkar’s playground. Because of Right to Education, they get to study at St. Notkar’s. They are slum kids who have not just been dealt rough blows by life, they have also been made to feel they do not belong in the school by teachers and students alike. Naina Mathur’s biggest challenge is if she could gain their trust. As an actor, Mukerji’s greatest challenge is if she could enable me to overlook the persistent tics and pay attention beyond. And yes she does.
The movie tells an underdog story. The narrative unfolds quite predictably and the drama tropes are familiar. Ultimately, you reflect on education as a concept. You remember the teachers who shaped your thoughts. I grew up in a time where teachers could bully or smack you. And before corporal punishment was banned, they used to rap with canes. Frankly, I never had a teacher like Naina Mathur but I do wish I had one! This is also a film for anyone who may have struggled to belong or had identity issues ever in life.
The movie spends its runtime in the school and the slums. And, Yashraj has its signature on the production design. The school, with its old British architecture, has appeal and character, like a wrinkled wise man who quietly observes everything. But when it comes to slums, these are the ones you saw in Lafangay Parinday which had Yashraj version of Mumbai slums. I just hated the shallowness of art direction. More so because, I have seen the slums myself and have happened to pass by and stop by several times. My question is: Why do we need this dolled up version or does the art director not know any better?
The cast is tailored. Everyone, however superficial, has been given a backstory. This gives credence to the proceedings. Rani Mukerji is full of conviction. I think motherhood gives a woman an ineffable maturity and a knowing smile. Rani, who has always been a delight to watch, delivers an impeccable emotional punch with her performance. I can now stick my neck out and say Rani is not just India’s, but one of the world’s finest actors. If this is how your 2nd innings will be, we are fortunate as film lovers – Just keep them coming Rani!
Harsh Mayar, if you remember the ‘I am Kalam’ wonder, has got a significant part and enacts it wonderfully. The actors playing schoolchildren and Neeraj Kabi as the teacher who challenges Naina have hit the right notes throughout.
Cinematography by Avinash Arun who is also a brilliant director is very reminiscent of ‘Killa’ and ‘Drishyam’, both of which have a distinct soft palette which he prefers. He makes use of natural light impressively, almost like European cinematographers. The music is soft and fresh, wispy on the ears, a welcome breeze at various points of the film. But the background score could be a little subtler.
I do congratulate the crew of Hichki for making a film with so much heart and it does seem like a lot of good and great is on the horizon. But I can’t say the same for direction because all that falters in here is for the lack of that. Siddharth has a Malhotra surname and I am sorry to offend but I wonder how well he knows Indian reality.
I am going with 3 out of 5 for Hichki. Have no hiccups making it to theatres for this one!
Baba too is expected to follow in his father’s footsteps as that’s their ‘real’ family business. Meanwhile, a corrupt Home Minister, is busy hatching a dubious plan.
Mar 16, 2018
Raid works for two major reasons: Watertight screenwriting + sharp performances [Ajay Devgn and Saurabh Shukla are brilliant]… The face-off between the two is the USP... Ileana is decent... Amongst the supporting cast, actor portraying Saurabh Shukla’s mother is tremendous...Aamir and #NoOneKilledJessica director Raj Kumar Gupta delivers a solid film... #Raid is his best work to date... Also, the dialogue-baazi is sure to be greeted with whistles and claps... Word of mouth will help the biz grow.This nail-biting thriller is smart, engaging, gripping and entertaining... Go for it!
Raja (Robin Sohi) is the son of a rich landowner. He has no ambition in life and whiles away his time in the company of other time-wasters in his village. While his father is perpetually in a violent mood over Raja’s permanent state of good-for-nothingness, his mom loves him to bits. In a strange scene, with his pride injured when a village drunk accuses him of never being able to go abroad, Raja vows he will and become an Abroadiya’ (someone who gets a foreign citizenship) and approaches a visa consultant, the beautiful Preety (Vaishnavi Patwatrdhan).
Mar 9, 2018
The plot is an excuse for the filmmakers to trot out the poured-into-short-dresses-starlets, songs and dances, and buff men trying to keep a leash on their baser instincts and failing. There’s also a murder, and blackmail, and revenge, these elements showing up as fillers between all the dressing up and down. The plot is a steady stream of hot bods. And acting, what’s that? The film has no ambitions that-a-way, so there.
Barring the earnest performances of the lead actors and the supporting cast, there’s absolutely nothing wild or memorable about Dil Juunglee. You can still watch it for how unintentionally dumb the rich are made to sound in this one. That’s actually quite entertaining and the only successful ‘deal’ about this film that makes you crack up.
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