Updated on Jun 24, 2017 05:37:22

 

 

Entertainment > Reviews

 

23-Jun-2017 Mumbai

'Tubelight': Ram Gopal Varma could never make it

Faith, they say, can move mountains. The hero of Kabir Khan's latest and his most, "ummm", noble (if one can use that word without cynicism) film to date actually thinks he can move a mountain by just focusing hard on getting it right."Tubelight" is not a film...

23-Jun-2017

'Tubelight': Shines but with low voltage

Salman Khan had once said, "Cinema should always be in touch with the soil of the country. My films celebrate the heartland of India." And probably with "Tubelight", he tries to be true to his words. So, he has dedicated the film to the families and friends...

19-Jun-2017

'Cars 3': A delightful coming-of-age film

This third edition of the franchise, from Pixar, which first appeared in 2006 is comparatively better than its predecessor released in 2011. While the scope and spectacle of "Cars 2" made it feel impersonal and hollow, "Cars 3" is a considerably more focused...

18-Jun-2017

'Super Singh' : Diljit Dosanjh's superhero is no king

The good news about Diljit Dosanjh's super hero act is that it was released on the same fateful Friday when Riteish Deshmukh -- another entertainer like Dosanjh justifiably known for his comic timing -- was caught 'wrecked'-handed robbing a bank.Compared...

17-Jun-2017

'Maragatha Naanayam': Unimaginably entertaining

"Maragatha Naanayam", a whacked-out horror-comedy, entertains more than expected and that, believe it or not, is its biggest strength. As audience, when we walk in with such high expectations for certain films and walk out disappointed, we easily form a perception...

17-Jun-2017

'Despicable Me 3': Emotionally packed and entertaining

Very rarely do follow-ups create the same impact as their prequels, but in the case of "Despicable Me 3", the intensity of the film surpasses its predecessors. It excels as a scaled-up action thriller packed with a 1980s style of story that includes affirmation...

16-Jun-2017

'Bank Chor': Entertains, albeit tediously

Imagine you are at a grand banquet and throughout you have been nibbling on tit-bits. At the end, though you are full, you realise that you are not satiated by the supposedly perfect festive spread that was laid out. That is exactly the feeling one gets after...

15-Jun-2017

'Phullu': Performances outshine its weak plot

Good intentions, bad execution is the way one can sum up "Phullu", a film with a message and a wafer-thin plot. The subject itself is perhaps not even worthy of a full-length film.Phullu (Sharib Hashmi) is a kind-hearted and helpful village boy, a good-for-nothing,...

14-Jun-2017

'G Kutta Se': A bludgeoning masterpiece

There are some films that seduce us with starkness. "G Kutta Se" in Haryanvi and Hindi is not one of them.This extraordinary film derives its unhampered persuasive powers not from posturing but from ripping apart all our perceptions of what cinema is and should...

12-Jun-2017

'The Wishing Tree': All heart, but little else

At times, cinema is more commendable for its intention rather than execution. At the execution level, "The Wishing Tree", which opened this week to a near-blank response, leaves much to be desired. The performances by the children are embarrassingly loud...

10-Jun-2017

'Rangoon': A familiar thriller with lots to like

There's so much to like about Gautham Karthik's "Rangoon", despite the familiar path it takes to narrate a story of friendship, betrayal and loss. This is the kind of film where you walk out with the feeling of having watched it before -- more than once -- but...

09-Jun-2017

'The Wishing Tree': Good intention bad execution

Targeted for children and designed as a fantasy film with textures of folk legend and striking visual allegory, "The Wishing Tree" is all about nature and grace. It also packs in motivational and inspirational messages and life's lessons.Set in a fictional place...

09-Jun-2017

'Raabta': Fails to entertain, connect

In one of the scenes of "Raabta", liquor tycoon Zakir Merchant (Jim Sarbh) tells his love interest - Saira (Kriti Sanon), "Jab tak samajh nahi aata… be my guest." I am sure the audience too will take him seriously and stoically gape at the screen.With badly...

09-Jun-2017

'Behen Hogi Teri': A small-town peeve

This rustic title, a slang, is a sure-shot magnet that would attract viewers to the theatres. The theme of the film is a common occurrence in small towns and is thus relatable.With no much mush, Director Ajay Pannalal in his maiden directorial venture delivers...

09-Jun-2017

'The Mummy': Action packed and middling

With this film, Universal Pictures, introduces us to its new franchise -- the Dark Universe. The franchise explores the realms of the netherworld, making "The Mummy" an action packed, horror film.While this film is astutely mounted with all the finesse of...

05-Jun-2017

'Wonder Woman': Wonder Woman can't act, but she can fly

To hold back on the season's biggest blockbuster required super-hero willpower. But I waited for the rage to wane before getting into it.First things first. Gal Gadot makes a super super-hero. She has the scrubbed guileless sexiness of a born seducer, the...

03-Jun-2017

'Hanuman Da Damdaar': A modern retelling of Hanuman the great!

"Hanuman Da Damdaar" is a modern retelling of Hanuman's glory, which is far from Valmiki's narration in the Ramayana, or for that matter, any narrative found in the scriptures. This is the story of Hanuman's beginnings, of how he was transformed from Maruti to...

03-Jun-2017

Konkona Sen Sharma's remarkable directorial debut in Gunj

It's hard to define the mood of unrehearsed foreboding and a vague sense of doom that is built into Konkona's fragile yet ferocious family-on-a-disastrous-hillstation-holiday film.If one didn't know better, one would classify "A Death In The Gunj" as a whodunit.An...

02-Jun-2017

'Dobaara - See Your Evil': A lacklustre fare

This film is a remake of the American psychological horror thriller "Oculus", which was directed by Mike Flanagan and released in India in October 2014. The original film was based on a short film of the same name made in 2006 and was co-written by Jeff Howard.Loaded...

02-Jun-2017

'Mirror Game: Ab Khel Shuru': Ludicrous from the word go

Nothing, absolutely nothing, in the psycho-babble that governs this tragic and cocky homage to Alfred Hitchcock warrants our serious attention. The characters, played by a bunch of jobless NRI actors in the US and our own Parvin Dabas (who deserves better) look...

02-Jun-2017

'Dear Maya': Manisha's Maya reminds of 'Khamoshi' days

First things first. "Dear Maya" is a dear little gem of a film that you would want to hold close to your heart. As debutante director Sunaina Bhatnagar charts a course through the heart of her beautiful protagonist Maya, the narrative tugs at your heartstrings...

02-Jun-2017

'A Death in the Gunj': Layered and skilfully crafted

Based on a short story which was inspired by true events written by Mukul Sharma, the film sounds more autobiographical than fiction.Set in the late 1970s, in the small hilly town of McCluskieganj in the erstwhile state of Bihar, as the title suggests, is...

01-Jun-2017

'Baywatch': Film has very little of Priyanka, but it's fun

The vicious reviews in the foreign press are hard to digest. Really, what do you expect "Baywatch" to be? "Gone With The Wind-Surf"?No seriously, isn't self-mockery the only way a 40-year old franchise can survive with its head above the ocean water? "Baywatch"...

01-Jun-2017

'Mirror Game: Ab Khel Shuru': Surprisingly engaging

With a weird name like "Mirror Game: Ab Khel Shuru", one's expectations from this film are rather very low.As the film initially plunges into a tackily projected "perfect murder" thriller with a professor of psychology, his disgruntled, "divorce-seeking"...

28-May-2017

'Thodi Thodi Si Manmaaniyan': Well written but lame

There is a point in the pulsating though ultimately fagged-out plot where the young protagonist, lost and rebellious, is handed a play in a musty paperback format by the film's leading lady.Puzzled, he asks what it is."It is your father's play and we perform...

27-May-2017

'The Lost City of Z': Low on emotional quotient

A biopic based on an eponymous book by David Grann, "The Lost City of Z" -- directed by James Gray -- is a slow-paced epic adventure, an obsession of an explorer from Ireland who sets out to find a city allegedly made of gold deep in the wilderness of...

27-May-2017

'Sargoshiyan': Well-intended look at Kashmir as paradise

It takes guts to continue to believe in the Kashmir that once was paradise. Or, as the voice of India Lata Mangeshkar sang, "Kitni khubsoorat yeh tasveer hai, mausam bemisal benazeer hai yeh... yeh Kashmir hai".It is with some such paradaisical idealism...

26-May-2017

'Sachin: A Billion Dreams': Informative, inspirational

"Sachin: A Billion Dreams" is a biopic that gives a holistic view of Sachin Tendulkar's life, who is revered as "the God" of cricket by his fans.Structurally, the film is designed as a documentary. While the film encapsulates the life of the master blaster right...

25-May-2017

'Thodi Thodi Si Manmaaniyan': Simple oft-seen drama

Simple but a bit convoluted, "Thodi Thodi Si Manmaaniyan" is a slice of life drama about dreams, ambition and fate. It is the story of Siddharth, a young man brought up by a single mother.The film begins with Siddharth (Arsh Sherawat) being a part of a rock...

25-May-2017

'Sargoshiyan': Another facet of Kashmir

If the media has been painting Jammu and Kashmir as an unstable state where terrorism thrives, the film "Sargoshiyan" shows another facet of the place."Sargoshiyan", which means whispers, reverberates with the sentiments of the people of the state. Designed...

19-May-2017

Half Girlfriend': A non-seasonal Valentine's Day tearjerker

You can accuse Chetan Bhagat's novels of being lots of things from silly to shallow. But you can never fault themA for their entertainment value.Director Mohit Suri known to make cinema on compulsive love ("Aashiqui 2", "Ek Adhuri Kahaani") takes the theme...

19-May-2017

'Half Girlfriend': Performances save this half-baked mush

Adapted from Chetan Bhagat's novel by the same name, director Mohit Suri's film "Half Girlfriend" is a half-baked and clichéd romance pot-boiler that does not raise the bar.Narrated in a non-linear and formulaic manner, the only endearing point in the film is...

18-May-2017

'Hindi Medium': Winning combo of performances, writing

Education is purportedly a ticket for success and in India, one of the criteria for a sought after school is English as the medium of instruction. For many parents, getting admission for their children to the right school with the best of facilities is of paramount...

12-May-2017

'Meri Pyaari Bindu': Tedium wrapped in retro sounds

Sometimes a debutant director shows a spark that never quite lights up the screen. God knows, Akshay Roy displays a keen eye for Kolkata's eccentricities: the trams and the fast-food lanes, the Durga idol silhouetting the hero's suicide attempt, the loud boisterous...

12-May-2017

'Meri Pyaari Bindu': Frothy and engaging

"Meri Pyaari Bindu" from the Yash Raj Films (YRF) stable is a sincere yet frothy tale, designed from a pulp novel. And like any other pulp fiction, this film is a light-hearted fluff, racy and engaging.Designed as a catharsis, it is the tale of a successful...

12-May-2017

'Sarkar 3': Performances keep you riveted

In "Sarkar 3", the legacy of Subhash Nagare aka Sarkar, the indisputable and ominously powerful politician of Maharashtra continues. The film uses political intrigue inside the corridors of power and despite every attempt to become respectable, the past...

06-May-2017

'Loev': Not a gay film, it's an unforgettable love story

Quite often in this luscious and luminous love story, as I journeyed with Jai and Sahil through rocky terrain on a pilgrimage of passion and heartbreak that reminded me of Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain", I forgot the gender of the two protagonists.This, I...

04-May-2017

'Mantostaan': Manto's stories can't go wrong on screen

The stories of Saadat Hassan Manto are not pretty evening-time entertainment to be ingested with a glass of wine. They are gut-wrenching, nauseating, stomach-churning renditions of a time when India was split into two.So were human skulls. And while many...

04-May-2017

'Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2': The sheen has withered

The "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2". is a notch better from Vol 1, but seems to have lost its charm this time round.This sequel does have scenes that feel a bit like playing it safe, repeating ideas that worked in part one and in other Marvel Universe films....

04-May-2017

'Mantostaan': Strong portrayal but lacks emotions

Director Rahat Kazmi's Mantostaan flogs the 1947 Indo-Pak partition tragedy to the hilt, with legendary writer Sadat Hasan Manto's four short stories; Khol Do, Thanda Gosht, Assignment and Aakhiri Salute.These tales set in Amritsar, Lahore and Kashmir, though...

28-Apr-2017

'Baahubali 2': Drama supersedes action

If there's one department in which the second instalment in the "Baahubali" franchise truly excels over the first, it has to be in writing, especially how Rajamouli uses drama as a core narrative while providing necessary adrenaline rush via action at regular...

28-Apr-2017

'Baahubali 2': Everything you expected and more

By the time the enrapturing narrative actually arrived at the key plot point -- why did Kattapa kill Baahubali -- I had forgotten that this question had haunted the nation for two years. There is much more to the second and tragically, conclusive and concluding...

21-Apr-2017

'Noor': Says so much without seeming to say anything

Though I couldn't relate to her endless boozing and snoozing, Noor Roy Choudhary as played by Sonakshi Sinha, is someone I've known in passing. And that's I would keep her if I met her. At a safe distance."Noor" is not one of the best films on journalistic...

20-Apr-2017

'Maatr': Raw and compelling

Designed as a pulpy thriller, "Maatr" is an astutely plotted, violent revenge saga which is presented to highlight the over 3 crore rape cases pending in the Indian courts. Set in Delhi, it is the story of Vidya Chauhan, a history teacher, who is the victim of...

20-Apr-2017

'Sonata': Shabana's Dolon will stay with you for long time

Except for one of the women landing up with a black eye and another making a shocking announcement at the end of this enchanting chamber piece -- a sort of Beethoven for the sexually impaired-nothing really ‘happens' in the 90-minute celluloid discourse on...

14-Apr-2017

'Begum Jaan': Overdramatic and convoluted

A simple story narrated in a convoluted manner is what sums up "Begum Jaan".The period drama, layered with historical tales, recounts the tribulations of "Begum Jaan", a brothel keeper whose brothel is situated bang on the Radcliffe line that divides India...

14-Apr-2017

'Begum Jaan': It's no 'Mandi', but an experience

This is no "Mandi". Damn, it is not even anywhere near the raw guttural emotionalism of Madhur Bhandarkar's "Chandni Bar".But "Begum Jaan" holds together very ably to the end, thanks to writer-director Srijit Mukherji's confident hold over his characters'...

14-Apr-2017

'Fate of the Furious': Frenetic-paced and formulaic

Also known as "Fast and Furious 8", and stylised as F8, this is the eighth instalment of the stupendously successful cars-and-guns franchise.The film, apart from being utterly ridiculous, loud and funny, is a bloated, entertaining action-packed thriller,...

14-Apr-2017

'Power Paandi': Heart-tugging story of self-exploration

"Power Paandi" marks the directorial debut of Dhanush, and the most fascinating aspect of the film is its older protagonist, a 64-year-old former stuntman (played by Raj Kiran), on a journey of self-exploration to live life on his own terms.It's refreshing...

13-Apr-2017

'Fast & Furious 8': A fuel-good adventure

I have a confession to make. Charlize Theron's villainy in the 8th segment of the very fast and fairly furious franchise, didn't scare me one bit. She is way too beautiful to be intimidating in any irrevocably evil way, even when she threatens to kill...

13-Apr-2017

'Aftermath': could have been a lot Of things which it isn't

"Aftermath" could have been a profoundly moving treatise on bereavement and reconciliation. In fact, at a few key points in the narrative, I felt the shadow of greatness fall lightly over the narrative, only to withdraw its elevating hands as it plods through the...

08-Apr-2017

'Kaatru Veliyidai': Beautiful, but messy love saga

Every frame in Mani Ratnam's "Kaatru Veliyidai", his latest outing starring Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari, is like a beautiful painting, dipped in colours that are irresistibly attractive and uplifting. Unlike most filmmakers, Ratnam uses these picturesque locations...

07-Apr-2017

'Blue Mountains': Uninspiring and insipid

The title in the film "Blue Mountains" is used as a metaphor to drive away the blues in one's life.Targeting the young audience, the film is about dreams, ambition and reality. It is crafted with good intentions to help children understand the importance...

07-Apr-2017

'Going in Style': Old wine in new bottle

Evidently, there is nothing stylish about the film "Going in Style", except for the retirement plans of its protagonist, the three elderly gentlemen who with nothing to lose, plan a perfect heist for not receiving their pension funds.Beneath this straight-jacket...

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