Updated on Sep 20, 2018 22:36:30

 

 

Entertainment > Reviews

 

20-Sep-2018

'III Smoking Barrels': Echoing the voice of Far East India

Writer-director Sanjib Dey has a gift for storytelling. His "III Smoking Barrels", an anthology of three stories with Far East India as the backdrop, is a film to treasure. It is an understated portrait of the intriguing and relatively untouched, unexplored and isolated...

20-Sep-2018

'The House with a Clock in Its Walls': A clunky and familiar tale

Adapted from a 1973 novel of the same name by John Bellairs, "The House with a Clock in Its Walls" is a fantasy film, vaguely on the lines of Harry Potter. It is an all-too-familiar story of an orphan who picks up some magic tricks when he goes to live with...

20-Sep-2018

Nawazuddin's 'Manto' echoes Guru Dutt's 'Pyaasa'

"Jaane woh kaise log the jinke pyar ko pyar mila..." Echoing the disenchantment of a post-Nehruvian generation trapped between Partition and modernisation, Guru Dutt in "Pyaasa" epitomised the poet's disenchanment with a world he never asked for. "Yeh duniya...

14-Sep-2018 Mumbai

'Mitron': A predictably formulaic love story

There is nothing exceptional about the predictable love story "Mitron", yet the film charms its way into your heart, giving you a pep talk about love marriage versus arranged marriage and the pitfalls of being afraid along with the benefits of being fearless.A...

14-Sep-2018

'Love Sonia', hate Sonia's journey

This well-intended melodrama about human trafficking and child prostitution has its heart in the right place. Sadly, the social perversity that ought to have galvanised the director into action, seem to finally drag the film down to the very level where the...

14-Sep-2018

Manmarziyan is Kashyap's Moun Ragam

Imagine if Mani Ratnam had sex in his mind for Moun Ragam. Yes, the same story that Sanjay Leela Bhansali made into Huma Dil Chuke Sanam about a marriage of inconvenience where the kind patient husband desists from consummating the marriage until the wife comes...

13-Sep-2018

'Manmarziyaan': Performances elevate this predictable love-triangle

"Manmarziyaan" seems like a derivative of the 1999 released Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam", or the numerous love triangles that one witnesses in Hindi cinema where the girl falls for a loving but irresponsible, commitment-phobic and then settles for...

13-Sep-2018

'Love Sonia': A familiar tale brutally told

With some shocking moments based on true incidents, "Love Sonia" is a slick and dramatic, fictionalised film about human (especially women) trafficking in India.For a tale about women being exploited for sex, what makes "Love Sonia" stands out is that it...

12-Sep-2018

'The Predator': Muddled sci-fi action extravaganza

Unlike its predecessors, the 1987 release "Predator" which was a laser-focused, sci-fi action extravaganza or the 2010 released entertaining and underrated "Predators" not exactly a classic, this Director and Co-writer Shane Black's film, "The Predator" is...

08-Sep-2018 Mumbai

'Paltan': A realistic but lame war film

Based on a true story, this J.P. Dutta's film opens with a scene of high tension that soon transports the viewer exactly where he or she would never want to be, in a war zone on the Indo-China Border.After an intense prologue, which shows the Chinese aggression...

08-Sep-2018 Mumbai

'Laila Majnu' is redeemed by a brilliant second-half

It takes this revisionist version of "Laila Majnu" time to come its own. For a very long spell of storytelling director Sajid Ali lets the story spin out of control, spiralling and wobbling this way and that as we watch a spiffy but vacuous Laila indulging...

08-Sep-2018 Mumbai

"Paltan", Unmade in China

For what seems like an intermittent period of acute stock-taking "Paltan" looks like J.P. Dutta's "LOC Kargil" minus the stars. In LOC, we had the likes of Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan, Abhishek Bachchan Aand Nagarjuna playing soldier. In "Paltan", it's the...

07-Sep-2018

'Laila Majnu': An unsuccessful attempt at modernising a classic

Director Sajid Ali's "Laila Majnu" is obviously his take on this legendary Persian tale of star-crossed lovers. The story of this classic tale, is already known to the audience and it is perhaps the treatment by the director and the performances that one is intrigued...

07-Sep-2018

The Nun': A lacklustre spin-off of horror films

"The Nun", is yet another spin-off of a horror film that's not exactly inventive or frightening.Set in 1952, the narrative beings with the para-psychologists, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who had famously invented the so called Amityville hauntings of "The Conjuring"...

27-Aug-2018 Mumbai

'Toba Tek Singh' fails to capture Manto's madness

The sheer anticipation of the extraordinarily talented Pankaj Kapoor coming together with the exceptionally virile director Ketan Mehta for the first time is nipped in the bud in this vapid though not inopportune adaptation of Sadat Haasan Manto's story...

24-Aug-2018

Bright cast, intelligent script in 'Happy...' sequel

A rom-com works and this one sure does! but only when the writer and the cast have fun doing it. By that reckoning, the writer-director Mudassar Aziz and his delectable cast must have enjoyed themselves as though there is no tomorrow.As far as sequels...

24-Aug-2018

Utkarsh makes an impressive debut in 'Genius'

"Genius", with the sub-title Dil Ki Ladai Dimaag Se, meaning the battle between the heart and brain, has plenty of brawn thrown into the mind-heart mix. It is a very ambitious film which quotes everyone and everything, from the Bhagavata Gita to Aristotle, pronounced...

24-Aug-2018

'Genius': Flawed by mishmash of genres

There is something amiable about Utkarsh Sharma, the hero of this film. He is earnest and charming but unfortunately a misfit for the character Vasudev Shastri aka Genius, he plays.This larger than life, superhero character dwarfs Utkarsh's personality and...

24-Aug-2018

'Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi': A genial comedy

There is a cause for excitement every time Harpreet Kaur aka "Happy" runs or escapes.This sequel steals your heart once again. "Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi" combines a little mistaken identity, romantic comedy and xenophobic musing into one of those genial films...

23-Aug-2018

'Mile 22' is gripping but scattered

More than the basic plot premise which propels this pyretic action adventure into the zone of political ambush, it is the strenuous cultural inclusiveness of the cast that fascinated me. The leading man is a full-blown American who has collaborated four times...

22-Aug-2018

'The Stolen Princess': Staid and predictable

"The Stolen Princess" is the first animation film in English from Ukraine to hit the Indian screens and it is at par with other animated films from Hollywood studios.The film is based on an epic Russian fairy tale -- "Ruslan and Ludmila" -- published in 1820,...

10-Aug-2018

Kamal Haasan pounds a pulsating anti-terror film

The best thing about this lengthy lumbering but never uninteresting ode to anti-terrorism is the lovely wizened Waheeda Rehman. But we have to wait till after interval point for her to show up.The veteran actress is cast as the protagonist's mother who suffers...

10-Aug-2018

'Vishwaroop II': Astutely mounted mediocre fare

This action spy drama, "Vishwaroop II", serves as a prequel cum sequel to the 2013 released film "Vishwaroop". It encapsulates events before and after its predecessor. So in that sense the film is not dependent on its predecessor for narrative links, as it...

10-Aug-2018

A Fantastic Woman' could have been fantastic transgender film

"A Fantastic Woman" could have been penetrating portrait of a transgender woman's struggle for dignity after her middle-aged lover suddenly dies on her.Marina (played with consummate sensitivity by Daniela Vega) never quite recovers from the traumatic shock....

09-Aug-2018

'The Spy Who Dumped Me': Entertaining in spite of mishmash genres

Although it seems to be a mishmash of genres, director Susanna Fogel's, "The Spy Who Dumped Me", is a buddy film at its core.Mila Kunis plays Audrey, a 30-year-old, who has recently been dumped via a text message by her boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux). She has...

09-Aug-2018

'Redrum: A Love Story': A rehash of skewed love stories

This film is adapted from American author Edgar Allan Poe's classic short story -- "The Tell-Tale Heart". It is a story where the narrator endeavours to convince the audience of his sanity while simultaneously describing a murder he committed."Redrum" which...

03-Aug-2018

'Fanney Khan' is a heartwarming ode to a father's dream

Tucked away somewhere in this father-daughter heartwarmer, is a story about Baby Singh, a lonely exploited pop singer played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan whose manager (played with splendid sliminess by Girish Kulkarni) suggests that she do some quick wardrobe...

03-Aug-2018

'Mulk': Muscularly lean and emotionally raw courtroom drama

Director Anubhav Sinha's thorny, probing drama, "Mulk" traverses hearts as a matter of course."Mulk" is a muscularly lean and emotionally raw, fictionalised film, based on real-life cases drawn from newspaper clippings. Drawing from the recent rise of communal...

03-Aug-2018

'Karwaan': Irrfan Khan elevates this light-hearted comedy

Focusing more on the journey rather than on the goal, "Karwaan" is a light-hearted comedy, designed as a road film. So obviously, you have little of the road and more of the comedy which is quirky, subtle and sardonic.So like a typical, mellow and sweet road...

03-Aug-2018

'Fanney Khan': Works as a satire yet incredulous

Adapted from the Belgian film "Everybody's Famous!", an Oscar nominated film in 2001, "Fanney Khan" is the story of a father who goes to various lengths to encourage his daughter to become a star singer.Bogged down by middle-class-family pressures, Prashant...

02-Aug-2018

'Mama Mia! Here We Go Again': A forced nostalgic musical

"Mama Mia! Here We Go Again", despite its aggressively lame narrative that resonates on its themes of family, friends, and the importance of honouring the dead, is a pure pop bliss. It is both a prequel and a sequel to the 2008 released original, which was...

02-Aug-2018

Mulk is a must for every Indian

Whose land is it anyway? At a time when the Indian Muslim finds himself isolated like never before, Anubhav Sinha's Mulk serves as a jolting reminder of how far into the darkest recesses of distrust and animosity, terrorism has taken the blame game.First of...

01-Aug-2018

'Karwaan': Takes us on a journey of life, death

Life's like that. It takes some weird twists and turns to finally put you on the right road. Of course, the "right" is often the wrong for some of us.In a sequence that would have been profoundly amusing if it were not so tragic, a beautiful lady (Amala Akinneni,...

28-Jul-2018

Saheb Bibi Aur Gangster is redeemed by its darkness

It is tragically absurd to hear Lata Mangeshkar's ethereal flawless voice floating into the murky morally compromised dark and sordid world that Tigmanshu Dhulia insists on creating a third time around.Why a third film based on a premise that mocked Guru...

27-Jul-2018

'Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3': Convoluted and trite

The third edition of Director Tigmanshu Dhulia's Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3, once again revolves around its central characters, Saheb's first wife, Madhavi Devi (Mahie Gill) and Saheb aka Aditya Pratap Singh (Jimmy Sheirgill) plotting and planning to oust...

27-Jul-2018

'Mission Impossible 6' is impossible to miss

Paris has never pulsated with more panache. Could it be because cinema's greatest living superstar is chasing down the villains on the cobbled streets of this beautiful city? Or is it just the fact that this instalment of Mission Impossible is impossibly entertaining,...

27-Jul-2018

'Nawabzaade': Poorly crafted and fails to engage

Designed as a romantic comedy, the title of this film is a misnomer, unless you take it as a paradoxical slang.Here, instead of princes or sons of aristocratic families as the title suggests we have three losers -- Salim, Karan and Abhishek. Salim (Dharmesh Yelande)...

26-Jul-2018

'Mission Impossible - Fallout': Outshines the previous editions

Magnificently shot and incredibly mounted with the perfect balance of every technical element that it takes to make a great action film,"Mission Impossible - Fallout" - the sixth edition of the series, is the best of the lot ever since it started twenty two years...

20-Jul-2018

'Dhadak': Performances make the heart beat

Director Shashank Khaitan's "Dhadak" suffers from a lack of intrigue, right at the outset, as owing to being based on the popular Marathi hit "Sairat", naturally, the story and outcome are all prefixed and something the audience is acquainted with. So it is only...

20-Jul-2018

'Hotel Transylvania 3...': A spirited middlebrow entertainer

Despite its flimsy premise about true love and "we are all the same", "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" is a shade better than its previous edition.The narrative of this film takes place a few months after the previous edition. It treats us to an exciting,...

20-Jul-2018

'Skyscraper': A lowbrow, watchable thriller

Despite being visually exciting, suspenseful and entertaining, "Skyscraper" is a lowbrow, one-dimensional, fun B-grade action thriller that is absolutely worth a watch.The premise is simple and the plot is predictably straight laced. Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson),...

20-Jul-2018

'Delhi 47 Km': A grimy drama of crime

Ironically for a film set 47 km away from Delhi, it interestingly bookends in Goa.This grimy drama, filled with noir characters, revolves around Jigar (Shadab Khan) who stays in Delhi with his ailing father. His father owns a plot of land which is a prime property...

20-Jul-2018

Dhadak leaves much to be desired

Like all great love stories Dhadak ends as a tragedy. Which is not to say that it is a great love story. Replicating, almost all the conventions of a love-at-first-sight-doom-at-a-later-stage yarn Dhadak makes all the right noises (includes a super-melodious...

29-Jun-2018

'Sanju': A heart-warming tale, brilliantly portrayed

Actor Sanjay Dutt’s life may have been an open book, yet Director Raj Kumar Hirani’s “Sanju” gives you a peek into Sanjay Dutt’s life with an honesty that instantly touches your heart. Sans any gimmicks, Hindi film tropes and unnecessary drama, Hirani lays...

21-Jun-2018

'Incredibles 2': A charming and enticing superheroes film

Picking up immediately after the events of the first film, "Incredibles 2" can easily be viewed as an extension of the original, rather than a sequel. The seamless transition between the films is flawless and thus it does not matter if you are not familiar with...

15-Jun-2018

'Race 3': A Glamorous Disgrace

By the time, Salman Khan ripped off his short and Bobby Deol followed suit, I was ready to rip off my hair in exasperation. This maddening mishmash of hot babes and cool guys (including Anil Kapoor who lets his beard grow grey and his accent falter from...

15-Jun-2018

'Race 3': Action-packed but lacks thrills

"Race 3", as the name suggests, is the third edition of the franchise, but has no narrative connection with its previous editions. And unlike its predecessors, this one seems like jaded fare as it lacks thrills and the adrenaline rush so palpable in its earlier...

08-Jun-2018

'Kaala': Realistic guide to dirty side of slum redevelopment

Pa. Ranjith's "Kaala", showcased in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, is a captivating socio-drama. It is a family-friendly tale with all the trappings of a South Indian fare. It is a superhero film of a different variety.The film begins on a weak, unimpressive note...

02-Jun-2018

'Abhimanyudu': A terse war over private information

Information theft is epidemic. Go anywhere. It follows you. It is happening in homes where husbands are spying on wives' phone data. It is happening with your Adhaar Card where data is stolen by anyone who cares to.A film, then, on the power of info-theft? Sounds...

26-May-2018

'Bucket List' is Madhuri's 'English Vinglish'

I was looking forward to seeing Madhuri Dixit's Marathi debut. She is after all, a Maharashtrian and it seems a shame that she had to wait until the roles dried up in Hindi to move to her mother tongue. "Bucket List" seemed like a good opportunity to make...

19-May-2018

'Deadpool 2' is the best super-hero film since 'Logan'

AIf we can overlook the excessive gore ,including a scene of violence where the subversive superheroic hero is ripped into two halves, "Deadpool 2" provides more fun zones in its speedened narrative ambit, for the uninitiated and the initiated, than any...

19-May-2018

'Khajoor Pe Atke' laughs at death

It was John Donne who warned Death not to be proud. In our popular arts we tend to get intimidated by Death, we sing and recite poems about how powerful Death can be. We are scared.But guess what? Lord Yama can be quite funny too, specially in the way he...

16-May-2018

'Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain': Simple, sincere, sweet story

That sage who opined that it's very difficult to be simple, must have seen "Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain" coming. This sweet, slender, supple, brittle and tender film about a mid-life marital crisis cuts deep. It leaves us with a smile and a tear and with a resolve...

12-May-2018

Raazi is powerful but deeply flawed

Sometimes a flawed diamond can sparkle and shine brighter than a polished one. Raazi is that triumphant film which leaves you with some serious misgivings. The story, as we all know by now, is based on the real events during the eve of the 1971 Indo-Pak war when...

06-May-2018

'Teen Paheliyan' disappoints three times over

There is so much hope hanging on to this seemingly promising omnibus of three stories, each of approximately 45-minute duration with an attractive cast and fairly decent production values. The presentation is outwardly inviting. There are moments when one...

27-Apr-2018

'Ishq Tera': Poor script mars this love story

"Ishq Tera" is a film that approaches its subject so blatantly that it almost screams deafeningly. The story wants to be about love, but is also about madness, and somehow it does not weave the two together with a charm that would otherwise be heart-warming...

27-Apr-2018

Sudhir Mishra's take on 'Devdas' is startling

The violence in the political dynamics of Sudhir Mishra's latest work is so organised, it feels like an integral part of the life that the director brings to us in this uneasy restless yet intriguing and mystifying take on Saratchandra's Devdas.In an early...

21-Apr-2018

'Bharat Ane Nenu': Mahesh Babu plays a politician India needs

Not once does this politician raise his voice. His soft and gentle eyes harden into steel when pushed against the wall. But otherwise, Mahesh Babu as Bharath, the heir-apparent Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, doesn't need to raise his voice to be heard.When...

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