Updated on Apr 26, 2017 17:15:57

 

 

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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...

07-Apr-2017

'Mirza Juuliet': Rustic and banal love saga

"Mirza Juuliet" is Romeo Juliet in a rustic avatar, as it is set in Uttar Pradesh. A feisty girl, Julie is the pampered youngest sister of three brothers -- Dhanraaj (Priyanshu Chatterjee), Bheem and Nakul and can get away with any kind of mischief. Betrothed...

07-Apr-2017

'Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Deewana': Big fat boring wedding

In keeping with its title, "Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laddoo Deewana" opens with an ostentatious wedding of Laali (Akshara Hassan) and Laddoo (Vivaan Shah). With the back story of Laddoo unfurling as he admits the truth about his life to his friend, Veer (Gurmeet...

06-Apr-2017

'Mirza Juuliet': Raunchy, rugged and rebellious

More than midway into the turbulent take on the destiny of star-crossed lovers on the run, the Uttar Pradesh ki Juliet aka Julie, who has been raped by her sexed-up fiance, is told by her father-like elder brother to calm down."I shouldn't be saying this....

06-Apr-2017

'Mukti Bhawan': A masterpiece that dares to smile at death

Twenty-four is too young to think about death, let alone make a melancholic meditative movie on mortality. Debutant Shubhashish Bhutiani's "Mukti Bhawan" sweeps us into a world where death is not the end but a release into a realm of imperishable freedom.Or Moksha,...

06-Apr-2017

'Ghost in the Shell': Lacquered but hollow

The core premise of "Ghost in the Shell" has been done to death throughout cinema, but the overall presentation of the film is incredible.It begins on an incredibly stylish note in a far-distant future Japan, where the line between cybernetics and humans...

06-Apr-2017

'Colossal': Stands tall conceptually

Wrapped in a spectacular monster genre, "Colossal" is a dark, high concept fantasy fare.The tale packs in two interrelated tracks, one of a drunk girl and her redemption and the second about monster battles which seem absurd, yet they both seamlessly mesh giving...

06-Apr-2017

'Mukti Bhawan': Powerful and mesmerising

Touching upon the subject of salvation and faith, "Mukti Bhawan" is a promising tale of life and relationships narrated through the eyes of a devoted son.Just like one celebrates birth where a woman goes to the hospital to deliver, this film celebrates death,...

02-Apr-2017

It's okay to be kinky at 60: Neena, Jackie aver in 'Khujli'

Stilted dialogues and an exaggerated perception of middle-class bravado do not take away from the sheer pleasure of watching short film "Khujli" -- in which actors Jackie Shroff and Neena Gupta come together for the first time as an ageing, though far from fading,...

01-Apr-2017

'Power Rangers': Action packed and entertaining

"Power Rangers" is a reboot of the similarly titled 1993 American sci-fi television series . There is nothing new or exciting here, but the execution is as updated as one can get.When five socially outcast teenagers discover an ancient power, deep within a...

31-Mar-2017

'Naam Shabana': All action sans conviction

"Naam Shabana", a spin-off from the 2015 popular film "Baby", is purported to be an action thriller where Shabana Khan (Taapsee Pannu) is a middle-class girl who lives with her mother and has a devoted boyfriend, college mate Jai (Taher Shabbir).An incident...

31-Mar-2017

'Poorna': Simply elevating

Inspired by a true story, "Poorna" is a moving tale of an ordinary tribal girl Poorna Malavath from Telangana, who braves all odds and her family's impoverished background to become the youngest girl to scale the Mount Everest. The plot is used as an apt metaphor...

31-Mar-2017

'Poorna': Thank you for giving us a purpose

At one crucial point in the telling of this simple and heart-warming tale of a tribal girl's climb from the pits of poverty to Himalayan heights, Rahul Bose, playing an upright bureaucrat, asks the little Andhra girl what is her purpose for climbing Everest."I...

31-Mar-2017

'The Boss Baby': Refreshing and entertaining

"The Boss Baby" is a cute, overtly dramatic animated film which at the core is about a child's imagination pertaining to sibling rivalry and a highly classified, industrial espionage.The film follows the seven-year-old Tim Leslie Templeton (Miles Bakshi)...

30-Mar-2017

'The Salesman': Did it really deserve Best Foreign Film Oscar?

One of the early reviews of this film that appeared in India wonders why we can't make films like these.Meaning, I suppose, that our films are intellectually inferior to what this Iranian Oscar winner has achieved. There is an aphorism in Hindi -- "Dur ka...

30-Mar-2017

'A Dog's Purpose': Heart warming film

This unabashed ode to canine affections is so pure at heart, you are inclined to overlook its syrupy over-sentimental tone of narration and look directly at a heart that beats purely for the sake of unconditional love."A Dog's Purpose" is a simple doggie's...

30-Mar-2017

'Naam Shabana': As good as 'Baby', the film grips you

For a superstar who gallantly steps back to let the female hero of this gripping-from-the-word- go thriller, take centrestage, it is rather unchivalrous of Akshay Kumar to be billed in the end-titles before the awesome Tapsee Pannu.She rules the bustling...

26-Mar-2017

'Katamarayudu' tells why Pawan Kalyan is known as Power Star

They don't call Pawan Kalyan a 'Power Star' for nothing. Right at the start of his rumbustious new film, he stamps his foot angrily to the ground, the way that minister must have when he got pissed off with the flight purser, and a fleet of rugged cars in...

24-Mar-2017

'Phillauri': An astutely woven saga

On the face of it, "Phillauri" is the story of a reluctant groom guided by a ghost who helps him overcome his fears about marriage.Set in Punjab, "Phillauri" starts off as a simple story about an NRI Punjabi boy Kanan (Suraj Sharma) who returns to India...

23-Mar-2017

'Life': Suspenseful and thrilling

A fantasy sci-fiction, "Life", is a simple, engaging outer-space horror thriller that occasionally shows sparks of brilliance in an otherwise ordinary fare.In many ways it is similar to the 1979 released "Alien". Director Daniel Espinosa's film is the...

19-Mar-2017

'Aa Gaya Hero': Goodbye Govinda, once it was fun

Dear Govinda,I went through the singular experience of watching your latest film touted as your comeback, but severely savaged by critics as being too "1990s" to be taken seriously now. In case you didn't notice, it is 2017. But when critics say "Aa Gaya...

18-Mar-2017

'Machine': 'Baazigar' rebooted

"Machine" is a film about a nasty murky non-brainer of a hero who doesn't think twice before snuffing out lives on his mentor's order.Not much thought has gone into the protagonist's behaviour. Ditto the action. It's a role that Shah Rukh Khan mythologised in...

18-Mar-2017

'Mantra': Nothing new or exciting

The title "Mantra" conjures a mysterious as well as an exotic tale in the eyes of a prospective viewer, but in reality, Nicholas Kharkongor's film is the story of a dysfunctional family in the backdrop of the nationwide 'India Shining' campaign.Set in Delhi...

17-Mar-2017

'Aa Gaya Hero' : Nothing but a zero

Giving this film a single star, is being gracious. This film, produced by Govinda, is supposed to be a vehicle to help him resurrect his non-existent career.But instead with "Aa Gaya Hero", director Dipankar Senapati has ensured that he lands up being a zero.It...

17-Mar-2017

'Before I fall': Astutely handled redemption fare

The film is based on Lauren Oliver's young adult novel of the same name. It is not only about self discovery, but also about the way we should look at others around us.The story takes us through a day in the life of Samantha Kingston (Zoey Deutch), a popular...

17-Mar-2017

'Machine': Mechanical sans heart

This is a convoluted love story. A car enthusiast and an all-rounder Sara Thapar (Kiara Advani) is the most popular girl at a school somewhere in North India.She is friends with Aditya, Lucky, Sid, Vicky and Aeisha, her besties and it is obvious that Aditya...

16-Mar-2017

'Beauty and the Beast': Enchanting in its new avatar

For those unaware of the story's origin, "Beauty and the Beast" was first written as 'Belle et la Bete' by French novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1756. There have been many variants of the original in literature, television, stage and films,...

16-Mar-2017

'Trapped': Rajkummar Rao takes acting to the next level

What would you do if you were trapped in a high rise for days without food, water or company? Eat a bird although you are vegetarian? Check. Drink your own urine to quench your thirst? Check. Talk to a rat for company's sake? Check.The incredibly gifted Rajkummar...

16-Mar-2017

'Mantra': Impressive look at flawed people

There is sequence in this intelligently and sensitively scripted, if somewhat choppily executed drama on the fall-out of foreign investment on the Indian economy during the 1990s, where a near-bankrupt entrepreneur Kapil Kapoor, KK to friends, played by the...

15-Mar-2017

'Trapped': Rajkummar Rao takes bollywood acting to next level

What would you do if you were trapped in a high-rise for days without food, water or company? Eat a bird although you are vegetarian? Check. Drink your own urine to quench your thirst? Check. Talk to a rat for company's sake? Check.The incredibly gifted Rajkummar...

10-Mar-2017

'Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya': Badrinath's yatra is worth experiencing

From Jhansi to Singaporea. Phew! This is one helluva joyride. "Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya"(BKD) starts off looking like one of those obnoxious rom-coms where the hero won't take a no for an answer and the reluctant heroine will finally say yes.You know those...

10-Mar-2017

'Badrinath Ki Dulhania': Frothy and cliched

A quick-fix, from the stables of Dharma Productions, director Shashank Khaitan's "Badrinath Ki Dulhania" is a typically cliched, frothy rom-com, which exploits the sheer charm of its stars.A lot happens and it happens charmingly with such quick spirit...

04-Mar-2017

'Logan': Most engaging superhero film of all times

A quality of bleak brilliance cuts through the narrative of this riveting road epic. Set in the barren aftermath of a nuclear and other damnation and ruination, the US stares in the year 2029, at a time of abject self-doubt and adversative compromises."Logan"...

03-Mar-2017

'Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai': Tedious, regressive all the way

"Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai" is essentially a generic and regressive story about women in India.It is the life journey of a renowned author, Alia Patrick (Manjari Fadnis).Directed by Keshhav Panneriy, the film, his directorial debut, with excellent production values,...

03-Mar-2017

'Commando 2...': A frothy laidback entertainer

This is the second edition of this action thriller franchise, the first being released in 2013.In this edition, after the arrest of India's most wanted black money launderer, Vicky Chaddha in Malaysia, Captain Karanvir Singh Dogra, the Commando of the Special...

24-Feb-2017

'Guardians The Superheroes': Russian replica of 'X-Men' series

This Russian film, directed by Sarik Andreasyan, crafted on the lines of the American "X-Men" superheroes series, is a sci-fi action thriller.Set during the Cold War period, a secret organisation named Patriot realises that there are forces trying to destroy...

24-Feb-2017

'Mona Darling': Convoluted and pretentious

The title, "Mona Darling", conjures a very sleazy image. But the film is far from sleaze. Designed as a scare film and trying to leave an indelible mark on the audience, director Shashi Sudigala, like an enthusiastic kid, has used all the tricks of the trade...

24-Feb-2017

'Rangoon': An impressively immersive film

Rangoon is director Vishal Bhardwaj's monumental and rewarding work. It is a classic, weighed and measured by the style and manner of its narrative. Adapted from the English film "Casablanca", it is a simple romance triangle set in India, circa 1943, against...

23-Feb-2017

'Split': Seriously Contrived

A survival thriller anchored by a mesmerising performance by James McAvoy, "Spilt" is the tale of a man with an identity disorder.Kevin is living with 23 different personalities in his head. One of them, Denis, kidnaps three young ladies; two popular and...

23-Feb-2017

'Wedding Anniversary': Pretentious and shoddy

"Wedding Anniversary" is about a couple -- Kahani (Mahie Gill) and Nirbhay (Priyanshu Chatterjee) -- who met a year ago in Goa, fell in love and got married and are celebrating their first wedding anniversary in Goa.Enthusiastic and deeply in love with her beau,...

23-Feb-2017

'Split': Far better than Shyamalan's recent films

So all right. We know this is a thriller about a kidnapper who assumes 23 personalities.But would the real Manoj Night Shyamalan please stand up? Is he the director who turned around the very definition on screen thrills and horror with "The Six Sense",...

23-Feb-2017

'Lion': An emotionally powerful film

Adapted from Saroo Brierley's autobiography "A Long Way Home", director Garth Davis' "Lion" is an intimately emotional film despite an extremely underwritten screenplay. It is an adopted boy, Saroo's journey in search of his biological mother.We first meet Saroo...

23-Feb-2017

'Jackie': A riveting drama well told

"Jackie", a biographical drama, follows Jacqueline Kennedy during the days when she was the First Lady of America and the few days following the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy. It also delivers an important commentary on human nature and...

18-Feb-2017

Ghazi': War like you've never seen before

Breaking away from everything Telugu cinema is accustomed to, debutant Sankalp Reddy's "Ghazi" shines as it truly offers a cinematic experience and it's easily the most engaging film from the industry in recent times. It takes the story of a few unsung heroes...

18-Feb-2017

'The Ghazi Attack': Well-intended war saga

A bigger mystery than the sinking of the submarine during the 1971 India and Pakistan war that this film so bravely recreates, is Rana Daggubati's one single immovable expression that he has been holding steadfast on his impressive face ever since he graced...

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