Updated on Feb 22, 2018 22:04:24

 

 

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22-Feb-2018

‘Love Per Square Foot': An ode to Basu Chatterjee (Review)

Not too many people write love letters these days. So let's celebrate this love letter from actor-turned-director Anand Tiwari to director Basu Chatterjee. Tiwari's "Love Per Square Foot", released on Netflix and to be released in theatres in April, falls...

16-Feb-2018

'Aiyaary': A skilfully mounted cry of rage

Director Neeraj Pandey's "Aiyaary", which means shape shifting', is a cry of rage against the corrupt system that is prevailing in the government and armed forces. It is a simply told tale and is based on facts.An astutely mounted and engaging suspense thriller,...

16-Feb-2018

'The Shape of Water': An astutely mounted fairy tale

Director Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of Water" is a beautiful, yet strange tale of romance that would remind you of films like "Beauty and the Beast", "Shrek" or even "Splash", but unlike these films, this one is a patronisingly laboured fairy tale.The story...

16-Feb-2018

'Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz': Predictable and soulful

In today's world of instant romance and quick formulas, director Onir's "Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz", though presented with all the trappings of a modern day, heartfelt romantic drama, has an old-world charm. It is a tale of two melancholic misfits who fall in...

16-Feb-2018

'Hostiles': A sensitive yet bland redemption tale

Mounted like a ponderous western film, director Scott Cooper's "Hostiles" is a slow-paced, melancholic, redemption tale that offers us a brutal slice of American history.Based on a story by Donald E. Stewart, set in 1892, it is a hero's journey. A reluctant...

15-Feb-2018

'Aiyaary': That seamless political thriller Bollywood needed

At first, "Aiyaary" seems less seamless than it actually is. Where is all this leading to? You wonder at the outset, as writer-director Neeraj Pandey sets up what eventually turns out to be pieces of a jigsaw that fits perfectly into the mindboggling zigzag...

15-Feb-2018

'Hostiles' is profound stirring study of violence

Outwardly, like most films of the 'Western' genre, "Hostiles" is a celebration of savagery. It opens with a disturbingly graphic sequence of Rosalie's (Rosemund Pike) entire family, including three little children, being massacred by American-Indians.However, it...

09-Feb-2018

'The 15:17 to Paris': Dramatically passive and disappointing

Those who have seen the trailers of this film are sure to be enticed by its thriller aspect and are bound to be disappointed. The film, mostly comprising banal, drama-free, mundane scenes, tests your patience. But by the end, you realise that this is a self-performed...

09-Feb-2018

'Pad Man' is a noble masterpiece, period!

There was Sanjay Leela Bhansali's stunning "Padmaavat" two weeks ago. There is the stunning-in-its-own-right "Pad Man" this week.There is the period film. And then there is the film about the periods. Excellence comes in many packages. But rarely in a small...

08-Feb-2018

'Padman': Akshay shines in this public service film

The concept for this film, Padman, is credited to Twinkle Khanna for the story that is based on the short tale in her book, "The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad". This story has been inspired by the life of Arunchalam Muruganantham a social activist from Tamil...

08-Feb-2018

'Boy and the World': A vibrant and dazzling marvel

Pulsating with a vibrant soundtrack and lovely hand-drawn animation in pencil and crayon colours, cut-outs, oil paint and everything in between, writer-director Ale Abreu's film is not only a simple children's film but one that leaves you spellbound.Told through...

02-Feb-2018

'Bleeding Steel': Jackie Chan, please grow up

Nothing infuriates more than an aging star refusing to play his age. Jackie Chan is no longer agile nor funny. Goofy, yes. And as he does the protective father's act once again in this film -- we saw him do the same in his previous release -- the far superior...

02-Feb-2018

'Den of Thieves': A convoluted heist drama

"Den of Thieves" is a convolutedly narrated heist film that involves concepts from other superior crime thrillers of the past.With a handful of stylish shootouts, chase sequences and other confrontations bridged together by a lacklustre screenplay, this over-the-top...

01-Feb-2018

Phantom Thread': Subtly layered romantic melodrama

"Phantom Thread", by auteur Paul Thomas Anderson, is a contemplative character study where one's reaction to the material will largely depend upon whose perspective you see the film from.Set in the 1950s' post-war London, "Phantom Thread" is the invisible thread...

24-Jan-2018

'Padmaavat': A visual treat sans a soul

All the political brouhaha that surrounds this film is unwarranted.Inspired from the epic poem, Padmavat written by Malik Mahummad Jayasi, which is considered a fiction laced in history, the film is a work of art that is mounted on a lavish scale.Set in...

23-Jan-2018

Padmaavat : A breathtaking homage to valour of Rajputs

For my money there is no contemporary filmmaker with the vision and velocity of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The man makes every frame in his cinema seem like a wondrous timeless work of art.As in all his films there are visuals in Padmaavat that will be remembered...

20-Jan-2018

'Nirdosh': A whodunnit befitting the small screen

"Nirdosh" is a predictable yet engaging whodunnit drama. Shinaya Grover (Manjari Fadnis) is arrested for the murder of her neighbour Rana (Mukul Dev). Evidence at the crime scene implicates Shinaya. She is arrested and taken to prison. The media and everyone else...

19-Jan-2018

'My Birthday Song': A skilfully mounted psychological drama

"My Birthday Song" is a catharsis designed as a psychological drama. It is a simple tale that is intelligently narrated where the plot is made complex with an astutely layered, story-telling technique that makes the film fulfilling.It is advertiser Rajiv...

19-Jan-2018

'Vodka Diaries': A miserable downer

"Vodka Diaries" conjures a visual of some intoxicating secrets. But alas, the title is a forced misnomer. In fact, it is a corny psychological drama that's mounted on an equally convoluted plot.Crime and poetry are married in the form of ACP Ashwini Dixit (Kay...

19-Jan-2018

'12 Strong': Mildly entertaining yet engaging revenge drama

Based on a true story and with jingoistic appeal, "12 Strong" takes you directly into the heart of the battlefield -- where 12 American soldiers set out to wipe out the Al-Qaeda backed Taliban from the land known as "the graveyard of many empires" -- Afghanistan."12...

18-Jan-2018

'Darkest Hour': An Engaging back-room drama

Director Joe Wright's film "Darkest Hour" is a historical saga. A war film that showcases the back-room drama behind the battlefield -- the evacuation of British soldiers from Dunkirk during World War II. The film gives a totally different perspective to Christopher...

18-Jan-2018

'Vodka Diaries': A Thriller unlike any other

It isn't often that we get to see a suspense thriller that dares to go that extra mile in pursuit of some novelty in a genre that invariably relies on cliche for effect."Vodka Diaries" is high on pegs of pungent potshots taken at the suspense genre. It...

13-Jan-2018

'Angyaathavaasi': Too cheesy to be ripped off from 'Largo Winch'

If I was the producer-director of the French film "Largo Winch" I wouldn't even bother to acknowledge this alleged wannabe "Winch" in Telugu, let alone point out the similarities between the two films.The French film is about an heir-apparent of a business...

13-Jan-2018

'Kaalakaandi' is trippy, enjoyable and revealing

For those who lament the lack of skilful scrrenwriting, "Kaalakaandi" is an earful and an eyeful. A feast for the senses, this beast of a film is hard to tame and even harder to define. Simmering on a slowburn, roasted at a temperature where the edges are...

12-Jan-2018

'Mukkabaaz': A love story that stoops to conquer

Inspired by a true story, director Anurag Kashyap's "Mukkabaaz" is a touching tale of a gritty boxer. It is about his passion for boxing and the lady he loves. It is a love story in progressive India, where time and the political scenario play major factors,...

12-Jan-2018

'Paddington 2' an over-cute pain

"Paddington" in 2014 was so treacly it was like eating too much Christmas pudding. The most unwanted sequel comes to us with noblest of intentions and feeblest of contrivances.It has little else to recommend itself, except Hugh Grant in a whammy of a performance...

12-Jan-2018

'Kaalakaandi': Black humour hard sold

The title is Marathi slang -- Kaala-Kaandi. It means, something that is not being done in the right manner or is horribly wrong. And as the title suggests, right from the first frame, we are reminded that nothing can go right for its characters.What makes...

11-Jan-2018 Mumbai

'Mukkabaaz' Anurag's most sensitive film

Really, we couldn't hope for a better start to our movie-going spree in 2018. Mukkabaaz is many things at the same time. To begin with it isano, it not just an ode to pugilism. It is an ode to that thing called love.Mukkabaaz is Anurag Kashyap's most romantic...

11-Jan-2018

Downsizing' is worse than bad, it's bland

It is heartbreaking to see so much earnestness being squandered away in inertia. "Downsizing" is a well-meaning jibe at global devastation done in a tone so steeped in righteous indignation, I thought I was watching an evangelical propaganda film with angels...

11-Jan-2018

'Downsizing': A strangely complex masterpiece

"Downsizing" is a strikingly intelligent concept film.A romance and self-realisation tale wrapped in a sci-fi film that makes you aware of environmental issues is what definitely makes it unique fare. It is a social satire wrapped in a sci-fi movie that does not,...

11-Jan-2018

'Call Me By Your Name': Not about gay love, about love

In no time at all, this exceptional film has acquired a cult status worthy of a masterpiece, which it is. Provided you can sink into its languorous self-indulgent pace. Nothing pronouncedly dramatic happens on the surface as director Luca Guadagnino's epicurean...

10-Jan-2018

'The Post': A lucid ode to journalism

Director Stephen Speilberg's "The Post" is a political thriller that documents a moment in history where the scales are tipped toward corruption in the system.Despite the events in the film taking place nearly five decades ago, it would be irrelevant to go through...

08-Jan-2018

'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' is a stunner

The impressive slew of Golden Globe awards that this astounding film has won should surprise no one. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" is the kind of genre-defining cinema that creates a benchmark for many years to come.Right at the outset it would...

05-Jan-2018

Pitch Perfect is hardly perfect, but fun in parts

Thankfully, this franchise has run its course. Though I enjoyed parts of it I really can't take the showy sassiness of the Bellas any more. The all-girl band with more attitude than altitude seemed funny in their misplaced selfworth earlier. Now they look like a...

05-Jan-2018

'Insidious: The Last Key': A complex but staid horror drama

You have expectations when you visit a franchise. And "Insidious: The Last Key" -- the fourth entry of the "Insidious" series -- helmed by Adam Robitel, is spooky tale continuing the parapsychologist Elise's voyage into the "further".Unlike the previous...

05-Jan-2018

'The Florida Project': Feels like life

Close to Disneyland in Florida are subsidised residences once meant to serve as economical motels for tourists, now housing the impoverished section of American society, the fringe people whom President Donald Trump would not like to be put on camera for us...

05-Jan-2018

'Pitch Perfect 3': Strained, laboured efforts

"Age wrinkles the body and quitting wrinkles the soul," enthusiastically blurted by one of the Bellas simply puts into perspective the continuation of this series.Five years after its first appearance as a teen musical to impose its voice in the panorama...

05-Jan-2018

'All The Money In The World' : Saga of greed for power, money

A breathlessness that has nothing to do with the film's two chief architects being over 80, defines the narrative momentum of "All The Money In The World", an uplifting, sometimes sickening saga of greed and lust for power and money, not necessarily in...

30-Dec-2017

'The Greatest Showman' better than 'La La Land'

What is it about morality tales that makes them so perennially desirable? And what's with this imperishable renewability of Broadway-styled musicals? The answers to both the questions are embedded in the enchanting cadences and undulating paces of "The Greatest...

28-Dec-2017

'Jumanji : Welcome to the Jungle': Action packed and engaging

There is something appealing about "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle". At first glance, the film opens on a lazily designed dull note with coming-of-age humour and high school age actors. But then it penetrates into the video game Jumanji world and the film...

28-Dec-2017

'The Greatest Showman': Remarkably rousing and entertaining

A period drama, directed by debutant Michael Gracey, the film is an original musical, loosely based on the life of Phineas Taylor Barnum, a visionary who rose from nothing to become a worldwide sensation of his times.P.T. Barnum was an American showman,...

24-Dec-2017

'Hello' has beautiful heart

There is much yet to be said about the first flush of love. Luca Guadagnino's "Call Me By Your Name" does it in one way. Vikram Kumar, more conservative than those pants-dropping Italians does it another way in "Hello", the new engaging Telugu film re-launching...

22-Dec-2017

'Tiger Zinda Hai': Seriously frivolous masala film

"Tiger Zinda Hai" is the sequel to the 2012 released, Kabir Khan directed, "Ek Tha Tiger". Designed purely for Salman Khan fans, "Tiger Zinda Hai" is elegantly and stylishly made by writer director Ali Abbas Zafar. It is nothing short of an effervescent cocktail...

22-Dec-2017

'Bose: Dead/Alive' is worth visiting

If one had to single out one actor this year for the most outstanding work in Indian cinema, it would have to be Rajkummar Rao who flitted from the flirtatious in "Bareilly Ki Barfi" to the portentous in "Newton".At the end of the year we saw Rao playing...

22-Dec-2017

'Tiger Zinda Hai': Director makes this tiger roar

When did this Tiger ever stop roaring? Well...okay, "Tubelight" didn't quite work . Salmaniacs didn't want to watch him as a whimpy whiny crybaby hero. The message is hammered loud and clear in "Tiger Zinda Hai"(TZH), a homage to Salman Khan's indomitable...

20-Dec-2017

Tisca Chopra kills it in 'Chhuri'

After the tangy Chutney it is the teekhi Chhuri for the very talented Tisca Chopra. Seeing "Chhuri", I can't help wondering about this hugely accomplished actress' preoccupation with adultery. In both the short films that Tisca Chopra has produced she plays...

16-Dec-2017

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' leaves you underwhelmed

The good news about the latest instalment in the 40-year old franchise is that it is far superior to the the last dreadful droll and disembodied film in the series "The Force Awakens".The writing in "The Last Jedi" is far more coiled and compelling than...

15-Dec-2017

'Monsoon Shootout': An astutely mounted crime drama

Opportunities and words of wisdom have always been at loggerheads, especially during decision making. It leads to a moral dilemma, for decisions and its consequences keep haunting you for the rest of your life. But what happens when your life is at stake?Designed...

14-Dec-2017

'Hare Krishna...': A shrewdly crafted filmic paean

"Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami who started it all" is a fascinating and informative documentary that is shrewdly crafted, giving a one-sided, favourable account of the Guru who spread Krishna consciousness globally.The film tells us...

14-Dec-2017

'Monsoon Shootout': Shout-out for this shootout

Rain-splashed bloodied puddles of questioning, probing, searching emotional and physical violence... "Monsoon Shootout" is a curious case of a potentially routine cops-and-killer sanguinary saga given a certain fresh twist of ambivalence by writing skills that know...

10-Dec-2017

'Daddy's Home 2': A gooey Christmas pudding

It is important to understand that political correctness is not always the right route to take for escapist excursions while courting laughter. "Daddy's Home 2", which takes the rather engaging sparring game in the first film between two neighbouring dads...

09-Dec-2017

'Mark Felt...': Compelling performance lifts this saga

"Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House" is a remarkable true story of the greatest whistle-blower in American history. It is written and directed by Peter Landesman, and is based on the 2006 biography authored by John O'Connor.As the title suggests,...

08-Dec-2017

'Fukrey Returns': An entertaining deja vu

Sequels are expected to be bigger, better and ideally build on everything that made the original successful. On paper, "Fukrey Returns" boasts of everything one expects from a sequel, except that the novelty factor which actually made its predecessor popular,...

08-Dec-2017

'Borg vs McEnroe': The rivalry doesn't quite grip

The best of intentions and impeccable casting do not compensate for a lack of vitality in this well-mounted, but finally unfulfilling true-life saga about the legendary rivalry on the field between the two tennis legends.Director Janus Metz has cast well....

08-Dec-2017

'Anna Karenina': A watchable classic

"In love there are several truths." This declaration at the beginning of the narrative affirms that Leo Tolstoy's classic "Anna Karenina" has been revisited many a times -- in theatre, television and also the big screen. Each version or adaptation has been...

08-Dec-2017

'Daddy's Home 2': A drab Christmas fare

A loosely structured farce that satirises modern concepts of fatherhood and masculinity, "Daddy's Home 2" is a flighty comedy just like its predecessor -- the 2015 released "Daddy's Home". Except that this one is set during Christmas week, making it a...

07-Dec-2017

'Fukrey Returns', thankfully with entertainment

There is a kind of quirky credibility in the way the characters of "Fukrey" have grown on us ever since they were seen in the first "Fukrey" film. It's been nearly five years. But we haven't forgotten Hunny, Choocha, Lali, Pandit and, last but not the least,...

07-Dec-2017

'Borg McEnroe': Well-made sports drama

A sports drama, director Janus Metz's film "Borg McEnroe" is the story of two legendary tennis players with diametrically opposite personalities, one stoic and the other effervescent.Narrated like a documentary in a non-linear manner, the film follows...

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