Updated on Aug 23, 2017 08:15:51

 

 

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20-Aug-2017

'Anando Brahma': Refreshing horror-comedy

Mahi Raghav made a noticeable debut with the slice-of-life campus drama "Paathshala" a few years ago, and it was not a film you could easily write off. It marked the arrival of a sensible filmmaker, who was desperate to break the monotony and give audiences...

19-Aug-2017

'VIP 2 (Lalkar)': What's Kajol doing in a film as silly as this?

Confession time. I haven't seen the first "VIP" film. And after seeing the follow-up, I swear on my favourite Dada Kondke feature, I will never touch anything with a VIP in it, not even the suitcase.More confession. "VIP 2" is not a film. It is an abomination....

18-Aug-2017

'Bareilly Ki Barfi': This Barfi is yummy to the last morsel

Early in the plot, we are told that the film's heroine Bitti is no Sati Savitri. Thank God for smalltown mercies! In fact she adheres to another kind of stereotyping that Hindi cinema has lately embraced. You know, the smalltown girl who is hip and happy,...

18-Aug-2017

'VIP 2: Lalkar': High on drama, low on emotions

This film suffers from sequel fatigue but unlike its prequel, this is not really an underdog story.Taking off from where it left in its prequel, the 2014 released "VIP", it is the tale of the jobless, yet conscientious engineer, Raghuvaran (Dhanush).He is...

18-Aug-2017

'Bareilly ki Barfi': An endearing rom-com worth tasting

"Bareilly ki Barfi" is a sweet and delectable romance which begins on a predictable and somewhat placid note, but takes on an interesting hue owing to the sudden twist the tale embarks upon and turning into a love triangle.Bitti Mishra (Kriti) is the only child...

17-Aug-2017

'Partition: 1947': Partially riveting

Internationally released as "Viceroy's House", this film gives us a glimpse of life during the tumultuous period before the emergence of India and Pakistan as independent nations in 1947.Based on two books and inspired from true events from her own family history, director...

17-Aug-2017

'Partition: 1947': Serves up delicate but powerful drama

At the end of Gurinder Chadha's breathtakingly beautiful parable on political propensity, we are told that the director's grandmother was one of thousands of victims of the savagery that followed the Partition of India into two sloppy badly-cut halves.Thankfully,...

13-Aug-2017

'Dhananjoy': Must-see masterpiece on miscarriage of justice

Don't the poor have the right to live? This question haunted me as I sat rivetted to the screen watching Arindam Sil's "Dhananjoy". The film, a masterly courtroom drama, probably the best depiction of court proceedings since B.R. Chopra's "Kanoon", that opens...

09-Jul-2017

'Spider-Man...': Dumbed-down superzero superhero film

"What the f…k!" is the last thing we hear our underage superhero's sexy aunt May say before the end-credits begin to roll. And I felt the same.The latest Spider-Man film, which is much hyped and mightily praised by critics who love the film's transparency...

07-Jul-2017 Mumbai

Movie Review : 'Guest Iin London': Trite and unimpressive

"Guest Iin London" is the rehash of director Ashwni Dhir's 2010 released Ajay Devgn starrer "Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge". It is a far cry from its predecessor in terms of entertainment as it kind of feels like leftovers while carving a stereotype of an irritating,...

07-Jul-2017 Mumbai

Movie Review : 'Mom': Riveting with strong performances

This fictionalised revenge drama has the same template as the recently released Raveena Tandon starrer "Maatr".Here, the story focuses on Devki Sabharwal, a biology teacher who reprimands her student Mohit when he sends his classmate Arya an objectionable...

07-Jul-2017 Mumbai

'Guest In London': Paresh Rawal brings a woozy sparkle

First things first. The most welcome thing about this tragic-comedy about unwelcome guests is Paresh Rawal, an actor of myriad means who has lately strayed into politics. Seeing him back, doing what he's most comfortable doing, it is crystal-clear that the...

06-Jul-2017

'Mom': Sridevi shoots the ball out of the park

Just when you think Sridevi has run out of surprises, she does "Mom". A film so steeped in the angst of maternal revenge that you fear it will tie itself up in angry knots.But no. There is a certain... what do you call it? 'Thehrao' -- a moral narrative equanimity...

02-Jul-2017

'The Big Sick' gets the diaspora bang-on

I confess I didn't know who Kumail Nanjiani was until I saw him in this wonderful life-giving film about love, sickness, healing and cultural assimilation. But that's okay. Even Anupam Kher, who plays Nanjiani's father, didn't know who the latter was until...

01-Jul-2017

Movie Review : Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha Movie Review

What Is It About: A charming and young girl, Natasha (Natasha Fernandez) who decides to have her destination wedding at her ancestral property goes there along with her fiancé Sunny (Upen Patel). Destiny had other plans as she falls in love with the stud...

30-Jun-2017

'Okja': Emotional and politically compelling

If "Okja" (currently streaming on Netflix) were an Indian film, in all possibility our government might use it as an excuse to implement the meat ban in the country. Known for his cautionary tales with very strong environmental messages, Bong Joon Ho's...

30-Jun-2017

Movie Review : 'The Big Sick': Light-hearted, heart melting rom-com

Despite a conventional and staid tale of "a brown Muslim boy dating a white non-Muslim girl" and navigating through modern living and traditional upbringing, "The Big Sick" is a heart melting romantic comedy that is refreshingly light-hearted. It is based on...

26-Jun-2017

'Duvvada Jagannadham': Dangerously mixes religion, crime

Allu Arjun is the Salman Khan of Telugu cinema, albeit a slightly less arrogant-looking and more middle-class Salman. His new film which has out-succeeded the Salman starrer "Tubelight" in Andhra Pradesh, is a curious hotchpotch of cuisine and crime.In what...

24-Jun-2017

'Duvvada Jagannadham': Silly, predictable but fun

When you decide to watch Telugu commercial films, especially ones starring Allu Arjun and other stars in his league, it is said that one should leave logic and intellect behind and not nitpick.This formula applies to Harish Shankar's "Duvvada Jagannadham"...

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...

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