Updated on Nov 17, 2018 21:51:13

 

 

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16-Nov-2018 Mumbai

'Mohalla Assi': Provocative, pungent, relevant

There is a lot to be said about Varanasi, the holy city at the riverbank of the Ganga where culture and religion are the twin life savers. Everything including gangajal is for sale in Varanasi.Based on Hindi litterateur Kashi Nath Singh's "Kashi Ka Assi",...

15-Nov-2018 Mumbai

'Mohalla Assi': Astutely mounted but verbose and clunky

One of the opening frames of the narrative tells us that the film is, "Dedicated to Lord Shiva and the people and culture of Varanasi".Director Chandraprakash Dwivedi's "Mohalla Assi" is loosely based on Dr. Kashi Nath Singh's popular Hindi novel "Kashi...

15-Nov-2018

'Bohemian Rhapsody': A sugar-coated memento

The film "Bohemian Rhapsody" gets its name from one of the most iconic songs of the unconventional, British rock band Queen and is aptly used to portray the biopic of its lead vocalist Farrokh Bulsara aka Freddie Mercury.The film follows Freddie's life from...

14-Nov-2018 Mumbai

'Pihu' most heartbreaking horror take you'll ever see

If Macaulay Culkin was a little girl who was a far better actor than he, and if Home Alone was a tragic terrifying nervewracking exposition on a 2-year child left all alone in a house filled with electric gadgets and dangerous inclines and a dead parent,...

09-Nov-2018 Mumbai

'Thugs Of Hindostan' is redeemed by Bachchan's towering presence

Not done! You can't take two of Bollywood's superstars together for the first time and then make a film that confounds your senses, boggles your mind and tries your patience."Thugs Of Hindostan" does all of this, and more. It is guilty of many crimes, not...

08-Nov-2018 Mumbai

'Thugs of Hindostan': Aamir Khan steals the show

A straight-laced fiction mounted in a historical set-up, director Vijay Krishna Acharya's "Thugs of Hindostan" is a sprawling, ambitious 164-minute epic action adventure.The story begins Circa 1795 when the British East India Company tries to annex the...

08-Nov-2018 Chennai

'Sarkar': Strictly for Vijay's fans

"Sarkar" has no relevance to Ram Gopal Varma's Hindi film of the same title where Amitabh Bachchan played a wily politician modelled on Maharashtra's iconic Balasaheb Thackeray.The wannabe, nattily attired 'neta' that Vijay plays in the new "Sarkar" seems modelled...

08-Nov-2018

'The Grinch': A fun-filled fantasy adventure story

Set in the backdrop of a white Christmas, 'The Grinch' is a delightfully fun filled, fantasy cum adventure story based on Dr. Seuss' book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!The film is about the grumpy, mean Grinch who lives a solitary existence inside a cave...

06-Nov-2018

'What Will People Say' will stun you

It is widely believed that every individual has a story to tell. Then why is it that some stories seem so much more relatable than others? And why do some human beings suffer and endure more suffering than others?Being a rebellious soul always invites more...

03-Nov-2018 Mumbai

The '2: 0' trailer is nonsensical

Would you believe it if I told you Akshay Kumar is a cell-phone-hating monster (at least he is disguised to look disgusting) who vows to get rid of the cellphone from the face of the earth.Wait. There is more. Cellphones start flapping and flying in the air...

31-Oct-2018 Mumbai

'Jack and Dil': Goes down the hill

For serious lovers of cinema in India, "romantic comedy", have become muted words in the last few years, conjuring images of cloying meet-ups, obligatory second-act obstacles and tearful airport or railway station reunions. That's what makes Director Sachin...

27-Oct-2018

Halloween reboots a haggard tale

Michael Myers, the masked marauder is back. 40 years is a long time to reboot a horror cult classic which pitched a suburban American housewife , played with a fiery yet reined-in intensity by Jamie Lee Curtis, against a serial killer who was to Hollywood what...

26-Oct-2018

'Goosebumps 2': Funnily scary and mediocre

This is a sequel to the 2015 released film Goosebumps. The action in this film revolves around three kids. The precocious budding scientist and electricity obsessed Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) whose experiments with wireless electricity follow the trail blazed...

26-Oct-2018 Mumbai

'Gaon': Good attempt replete with messages

Director Gautam Sigdar's "Gaon" is an interestingly conceptualised satire that nudges us to understand civilisation and progress. It attempts to showcase, in a nutshell, the journey of our country and answers the question, when one rants, "Vikas apnane mein nuksan...

26-Oct-2018 Mumbai

'Kaashi in Search of Ganga': Intriguingly layered revenge drama

Director Dhiraj Kumar's 'Kaashi in Search of Ganga' is a layered tale of revenge with a good dose of romance and suspense.It is the story of Kaashi (Sharman Joshi) a corpse burner who lives on the banks of the river Ganges in Varanasi. Despite caste and class...

26-Oct-2018 Mumbai

'Bazaar': Drama not gripping enough

Director Gauravv K. Chawla's "Bazaar" is a film with the cut-throat stock market, as the backdrop.Rizwan Ahmed (Rohan Mehra) is an educated, bright boy from Allahabad who has lofty dreams and wants to make it big. Against his middle class father's will who attaches...

26-Oct-2018

'Hunter Killer': Awkwardly predictable, yet exciting in parts

Adapted from the 2012 novel "Firing Point" by former submarine captain George Wallace and Don Keith, the film stars Gerard Butler as the US submarine Captain Joe Glass who is in charge of a dangerous deep sea mission to rescue the Russian President Zakarin from...

26-Oct-2018 Mumbai

Saif's career's best 'Baazaar' raises hindi cinema's equity

I can't recall a single notable (or even non-notable) Indian film based on the plunging dips and giddying highs of the stock market.Do you remember Harshad Mehta? How could you forget the podgy stockbroker who made thousands of Indians rich overnight and...

25-Oct-2018

'Halloween': High on horror, low on emotional quotient

Scary films have always been a part of the Halloween celebrations and director David Gordon Green somehow delivers a fitting sequel to the seminal 1978 original directed by John Carpenter. But this does not match the original.Despite the lapse of 40 years,...

19-Oct-2018

'Sandakozhi 2': Violence in the film is fun

In the rugged, rough and coarse terrain of Madurai, it seems women are safer than men. In the new Vishal Krishna-starrer, the two main women characters lord over the proceedings with no care in the world. They scream at the men and treat them whimsically...

19-Oct-2018

'Badhaai Ho' is a rare precious dramedy

Stop right now and do yourself a favour. Go see "Badhaai Ho". You will come out smling but also deeply moved by the artless charm of that great big universe known as the Indian Muddle Class, and I do mean "muddle" where so many contradictory cultural, religious...

18-Oct-2018 Mumbai

'Namaste England': Outdated and cliched

Designed from a sloppily crafted script sans any logic delivering an equally tactless message, and steeped in mediocrity, Vipul Amrutlal Shah's "Namaste England", is a big disappointment.It is about "the freedom of making one's choices"."Namaste England" is a...

18-Oct-2018 Mumbai

'Badhaai Ho': Refreshingly honest and entertaining

"Badhaai Ho" is an astutely handled, slice of life drama that keeps you entertained as three generations of the same family are all touched one way or another by social embarrassment when the lady of the house and mother of two "grown up" sons, unexpectedly finds...

18-Oct-2018 Mumbai

'Namaste England' has a pure heart

Vipul Shah likes to come clean. His movies are straight forward, simple and aimed at the heart. "Namaste England" is no exception. It bears a strong thematic resemblance to Vipul's "Namaste London" that came 11 years ago. In both, the desi Punjabi son-of-the-soil...

17-Oct-2018 Chennai

'Vada Chennai' dives deep into dark underbelly of rowdyism, politics

In their third collaboration together, Dhanush and Vetrimaaran - a pair that only seems to be getting better with each outing - take us on a journey into the dark underbelly of rowdyism and politics in North Chennai.Tamil cinema has had its share of gangster...

12-Oct-2018 Mumbai

'Jalebi': An old-fashioned sweet tale of romance

"Unki mohabbat kamal ki hoti hai, jinka milna muqadar mein nahi hota". This line is twice reiterated in the film and that is what sums up director Pushpdeep Bhardwaj's "Jalebi".Adapted from the 2016 released Bengali film called "Praktan", and designed in a...

12-Oct-2018 Mumbai

Govinda shines again in 'Fry Day'

At last, Govinda has a blast. And so, I must confess, do we. "Fry Day" is a surprisingly palatable marital comedy with some really funny throwaway lines, and of course the actors' comic timing which goes a long way in supplanting a certain sparkle to even...

12-Oct-2018 Mumbai

You will never see anything like 'Tumbbad' again

What on earth is this? This... this?magnificent creature masquerading as a movie haunts your senses for long after the closing images of raging destruction in the stunning finale.Little wonder that the incredible Anand Gandhi who created -- no, I won't use...

12-Oct-2018 Mumbai

'Helicopter Eela': Choppy ride, unreasonably stylised

At its core, "Helicopter Eela" is a film dedicated to mothers and their dreams. A sweet premise. But...Rebelliously over determined and unreasonably stylised, is how one would describe director Pradeep Sarkar's "Helicopter Eela", which is based on a Gujarati...

12-Oct-2018 Mumbai

'FryDay': Slapstick but entertaining

"FryDay" is as slam-bang and preposterous as any slap stick comedy you can name except that it offers wholesome entertainment without getting too offensive.The plot revolves around a hard working but ineffective salesman Rajiv Chabra (Varun Sharma) who is unable...

11-Oct-2018

'First Man': A slow, immersive character-driven film

Based on the book "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong" by James R. Hansen, this film directed by Damien Chazelle looks into the life of the astronaut and the legendary, successful, space mission Apollo 11, that led him to become the first man to walk...

05-Oct-2018

'Love Yatri': A lacklustre romance

What is a romantic film if it is not earnest, intense or contains a deeply involving human drama? Director Abhiraj Minawala's "Love Yatri" lacks on all these above fronts.Set in a Gujarati milieu, "Love Yatri" is a run-of-the-mill love story where love is...

05-Oct-2018

'Nota': Vijay Devarakonda shines in engaging political thriller

We have seen stars play the reluctant politician before. Ranbir Kapoor in Prakash Jha's "Raajneeti" and Mahesh Babu in "Bharat Ane Nenu" were forced to take charge of their father's political empire when a crisis beckoned them from their luxurious life...

05-Oct-2018

You won't see a better thriller than 'Andhadhun'

Take a deep breath. Now, brace yourself for an experience that simultaneously defies and defines all the rules of the suspense genre.The last time director Sriram Raghavan took us on a similarly clenched suspenseful roller-coaster ride in "Ek Haseena Thi",...

05-Oct-2018

'Crazy Rich Asians': A run-of-the-mill romance drama

With an all-Asian cast and highlighting far-east culture, "Crazy Rich Asians" is a frothy mix of the familiar romantic comedy cliches and tropes of the early 90s. Rich it certainly is, but crazy debatable. It is a classic ballad of life among the 1 per cent...

05-Oct-2018

'Venom': With fangs that are not so lethal

At the very onset, let me warn you, if you have expectations from a film coming from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, simply because you are looking out for a sleek, action-packed narrative, then you'd be disappointed.Being an origin story of the Marvel Comics...

05-Oct-2018

'96': A highly satisfying story of unfulfilled romance

In debut director Prem Kumar's "96", Vijay Sethupathi plays a travel photographer called Ram and his character is beautifully established in the first five minutes through the song "Life of Ram", shot across various parts of India. Throughout the song,...

04-Oct-2018

'Andhadhun': Intelligently mounted with unexpected twists

Director Sriram Raghavan's "Andhadhun" is a taut, skillful and surgically effective murder mystery. It is the story of a man who finds himself trapped in a surrealistic nightmare.Paying tribute to yesteryear's musical programmes "Chitrahaar" and "Chayageet",...

28-Sep-2018

'Sui Dhaaga...' threads delicate pastiche of joy, sorrow

After I saw Sharat Katariya's debut film "Dum Laga Ke Haisha", I hoped the director won't sell out to the star system. But his second film starred a market-friendly lead star.I hoped Kataria's second film won't lose the charm and innocence of the first. Providentially,...

27-Sep-2018

'Chekka Chivantha Vaanam': Mani Ratnam returns to form

Crime and drama make for a deadly combination, and Mani Ratnam is one among the very few Indian filmmakers to have done full justice to the genres via films such as Nayagan and Thalapathi. Returning with a film set against a gangster backdrop after 15 years,...

27-Sep-2018

'Pataakha': Fire-cracker performances light up the screen

Based on Charan Singh Pathik's short story titled, "Do Behnein", Pataakha is a tale of two feral, warring sisters, who love each other with a fierceness that stands beside their lifelong rivalry.Set in Rajasthan and designed as a psychological comedy, the...

27-Sep-2018

'Peppermint': Has no flavour or essence of its own

A lurid and gristly revenge thriller designed from cliched tropes of action-packed vigilante films, director Pierre Morel's bittersweet "Peppermint" is a big let-down as it has neither a flavour nor essence of its own, except that it is a woman-centric...

22-Sep-2018

'Peppermint' is a self-justice abomination

The kindest thing I can say about this no-holds-barred vigilante drama is that it makes no bones about its elementary target. This actioner with much sound and no substance puts the talented Jennifer Garner into a no-brainer bloodbath after her husband and...

22-Sep-2018

The Equalizer 2: Vigilante justice drama does scant justice

When all fails there is Robert McCall. The impressively distinguished Denzel Washington stars as a former intelligence agent whom you can approach to get justice done when all legal channels fail. Decades after Charles Bronson espoused vigilantism, the cult...

21-Sep-2018

'Pakhi': Amateurishly crafted and tedious to watch

Coming from a National Award winning director and the "Natya Bushan" winner, "Pakhi" is a huge let down.Based on true events akin to the last week's released "Love Sonia", "Pakhi" is the story of Pihu, a 10-year-old girl who is forced to marry an older person....

21-Sep-2018

'Equalizer 2': An enjoyable vigilante film despite mediocrity

This vigilante film is a sequel to the 2014 released The Equalizer which was originally based on the 1980s Television serial with the same name.It is about a retired CIA agent Robert McCall, who plays a lone ranger delivering justice to the abused, the defenceless...

21-Sep-2018

'Ishqeria': An out-dated and poorly written love story

"Sabko confuse karna band kar do". This harmless dialogue told in a jocular tone in the film, inadvertently sums up the fate of the narrative of this 2 hour film. Purportedly, a college love-story, this film ends up confusing the audience with its constant...

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...

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