Updated on Apr 20, 2019 09:03:40

 

 

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17-Apr-2019 Mumbai

'Kalank': First-class performances save film

Set in the pre-Independence era, in Husnabad in undivided India, director Abhishek Verman's "Kalank" is a saga of love, where all the six pivotal characters crave for love and yet, have to let go of it.Roop (Alia Bhatt) agrees to marry Dev Chowdhary (Aditya...

11-Apr-2019 Mumbai

'Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai?': A satire that ruffle feathers

In 1980, Saeed Akhtar Mirza had directed a film, "Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai?", based on his own story. The film, designed as a slice-of-life film, created ripples as a neo-realism film, during the parallel cinema movement and acquired a cult following.Thirty-nine...

11-Apr-2019 Mumbai

'Tashkent Files': A potent film with a dubious motive

Based on true incidents, director Vivek Agnihotri's "Tashkent Files", is a fictionalised film with cinematic liberties.In form, it is a blend between a courtroom drama and an online game with different task levels. In purpose, while seeking answers to the...

11-Apr-2019

'Free Solo': Fascinating real life thriller

The first shot of this documentary is disorienting as well as jaw dropping. The top angle shot, with the camera floating out of the edge of a cliff capturing rock climber Alex Hannold astutely manoeuvring his way to the top of the cliff, gets you drawn to...

10-Apr-2019

'Five Feet Apart': A formulaic teary-eyed romance

A silver lining to a dark cloud makes a good visual. Similarly, a melodramatic and depressing romance makes attractive viewing, which "Five Feet Apart" with its message - 'Life is too short to waste a second' - is.This film's title refers to the 'six foot...

06-Apr-2019 OT WORLD

Shazam! Brings the fun back into superhero cinema

There is something to be said about bringing back the 'F' word into cinema. Fun, fun and more fun than I've had in a super-hero film years...Shazam! leaves us breathless with its sense of self-wonderment.It's like going back to the roots of the super-hero...

04-Apr-2019 Mumbai

'RAW' is a step-up for espionage genre

What makes them do it? No, I don't mean the bravehearts like Meghna Gulzar and now Robby Grewal who dare to make films about those daredevils who risk their lives to act as Indian spies in Pakistan. But those unsung daredevils who sneak into Pakistan to glean...

04-Apr-2019 Mumbai

'Romeo Akbar Walter': A contrived espionage drama

Director Robbie Grewal seems to have taken William Shakespeare's quote, "What's in a name?" literally.This film, "Romeo Akbar Walter" is the story of an Indian spy with many names and identities.It begins with a focused, deliberate and remarkable black-and-white,...

04-Apr-2019 Mumbai

'Shazam!': A fun-filled superhero film

There is something endearing and exciting about this superhero film. Designed on one of the most, lesser known DC characters, this origin film packs in so much heart and fun with a superhero that truly feels like no other.Apart from the story, it is the style...

03-Apr-2019 Mumbai

'No Fathers...': Sensitive but lacks soul

Coming from an Oscar-nominated director like Ashvin Kumar, "No Fathers In Kashmir", is disappointing. And the fault lies particularly in the filmmaker's scattershot approach to a politically sensitive subject like Kashmir.Narrated from the curious eyes of a...

21-Mar-2019 Mumbai

Kesari: Formulaic, forced patriotic tale

Mounted with utter-greatness, Director Anurag Singh's "Kesari" is a fictionalised piece, documenting the true story of one of the bravest battles in history, the Battle of Saragarhi.Led by Havaldar Ishar Singh (Akshay Kumar) of the 36th Sikh Regiment, it's the...

10-Mar-2019

'Juanita': Film about female empowerment gone awry

There is something supremely sad about a meditation on womanhood and female empowerment gone awry.Juanita means well. It wants us to enter a black American woman's home and psyche to get to know why she thinks her life as a single mother has snuffed out her...

01-Mar-2019 Mumbai

'Isn't It Romantic': Most awful film of Priyanka Chopra's career

First things first. What is Priyanka Chopra doing playing a frisky floozie in this bird-turd of a film? Second question: why are we expected to invest 90 minutes in what looks like a rejected episode of "Inside Amy Schumer"?"Isn't It Romantic" is just plainly...

22-Feb-2019 Mumbai

'Total Dhamaal': Funny and entertaining despite a staid story

This is the third film of the series and like its predecessors, this one too is an action-comedy with its heart in the right place, but its story isn't.The plot is a cheerfully crappy schlock: The tale is flat, generic cat-and-mouse chase between eight characters...

01-Feb-2019 Mumbai

'Ek Ladki Ko Dekha...': A new-age love story well told

Debutant director Shelly Chopra Dhar's "Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga" is an interesting romance tale with a social message, where love blossoms at a wedding and culminates on the stage of a theatrical performance.The story pivots around Sweety (Sonam K. Ahuja)...

25-Jan-2019 Mumbai

'Thackeray': Aesthetically presented and convincing

Director Abhijit Panse's rendition of this biopic, crafted from Sanjay Raut's story, spans from 1961 to 1994. It gives us an insight into the life of the late Bal Keshav "Balasahed" Thackeray, the founder of the Shiv Sena and his meteoric rise in Maharashtra's...

17-Jan-2019 Mumbai

'Bombairiya': Serious message lost in this screwball farce

"Bombairiya" is a complexly designed film with a plethora of characters and sub plots strewn all over, which makes, holding to the thread of the plot, a  bit of challenging. Nevertheless, juggling the tale in the chaos seems to be the hallmark of debutante Director,...

11-Jan-2019 Mumbai

'The Accidental Prime Minister': Nothing accidental about it

If you enjoy political satires, "The Accidental Prime Minister" may not be the film that its makers would recommend for you. Outwardly, the intent and purpose of this fiercely political parable is to give us the "real" picture of former Prime Minister Manmohan...

03-Jan-2019

'Bumblebee': Emotionally engaging yet familiar

Director Travis Knight's "Bumblebee" serves as an imaginative spinoff and a prequel to director Michael Bay's "Transformers" series that began in 2007.It is a scaled-down, character-driven family film, where the bigger moments realign, providing an extended account...

28-Dec-2018 Mumbai

'Simmba': When crude is cool

As far as getting a kick out of the movie-viewing experience is concerned, there is nothing like a larger-than-life over-the-top drama on social awakening."Simmba" is a kick in the groin for all rapists, and potential rapists. I doubt rape will decline...

28-Dec-2018 Mumbai

‘Simmba’: Ranveer Singh roars in this masala entertainer

Critical opinion on a Rohit Shetty film may vary wildly, simply because it is a masala entertainer where one expects the magic on screen, the magic of entertainment, albeit, sans rationality, and that is where the opinions differ.Some may find “Simmba” silly...

24-Dec-2018 Mumbai

'Rangbaaz': Saqib Saleem makes an impressive web debut

The crux of the newly-discovered creative freedom on the web-format is how effectively that freedom is used. "Rangbaaz" the new webseries about swaggering gangsterism in the badlands of Uttar Pradesh, scores pretty high in the sphere of restrained freedom.The...

22-Dec-2018 Mumbai

'Pink' director's new short film is never short of breath

Unrequited love is a terrible tragedy. In this week's big-screen experience "Zero", Katrina Kaif plays a woman who has been dumped by her lover. In the short film that I saw this week, a man never gets to tell a woman his true feelings.Before he can, she confesses...

21-Dec-2018 Mumbai

'KGF' in Hindi is a messy monstrosity

"If you bad, I am your dad." I swear I heard the messianic hero mouth this line in this messy violent exploitative film about class exploitation.It was in a club scene right after Mouni Roy finished shaking her stuff into the camera when another fight (there...

21-Dec-2018 Mumbai

'K.G.F. - Chapter 1': Introduces a new superhero

With a larger-than-life character, director Prashanth Neel's "K.G.F. - Chapter 1" is a period drama depicting the hero's journey from being a downtrodden to the most "powerful" and dreaded man in town.Set in 1981 and going back and forth in time, it is Rocky's...

21-Dec-2018 Mumbai

'Zero' is Shah Rukh's career best

When this achingly irreverent ode to misfits was over, I thought, how wonderful that "Zero" is dedicated to Sridevi. No more befitting homage could be paid to an entertainer who brought us smiles all through her career.Bauua Singh of Meerut is like that only....

21-Dec-2018 Mumbai

'Zero': Performances outshine the narrative

Here is the sad and frustrating irony of "Zero" : Told in the safest (read predictable), most conventional (read lazy, method imaginable), it is a story of a vertically challenged man enacted by a Superstar -- whose real life story is much more inspiring...

14-Dec-2018

'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse': Spider-Man gets a new life

Weirdly, I kept thinking of Rajinikanth while watching teenaged African American boy swing from ennui to exhilaration, a la Spiderman. Not because Rajini is, Oh my God, such a superhero, but because his daughter had made a mess of a film that employs the same...

13-Dec-2018

'Aquaman': Simply fluid and impressive

"Life like the sea, have a different way of bringing people together," narrates Aquaman as he gives us an insight into his origin story.At the Amnesty Bay in Maine, Tom Curry the lighthouse keeper, rescues Atlanna, the princess of the underwater nation of...

13-Dec-2018

'Ben Is Back': Enthralling yet poignant

Unravelling like an enthralling page-turner that never once feels manipulated or mechanical, director Peter Hedges' "Ben is Back", without a doubt, is an exceptionally moving film that raises the question, can a mother's unconditional love overcome her son's demons...

09-Dec-2018 Mumbai

'Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle': Why another weak-willed Jungle Book?

Netflix's big-screen experience of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book" is here shrunken in size. And it's not just the size of the screen that's diminished. This adaptation, coming just two years after Jon Favreau's fabulous take on the timeless tale of animals...

07-Dec-2018 Chennai

'Next Enti' takes Telugu cinema to the next level

Telugu cinema is changing fast. "Baahubali", "Arjun Reddy" and now "Next Enti". Not that I am suggesting the third has a place along with the first two neo-classics. Not by a wide margin. But there is a flush of flavourful forthrightness in the way "Next Enti"...

07-Dec-2018 Mumbai

'Kedarnath': Competently crafted but lacks soul

Director Abhishek Kapoor's "Kedarnath" kind of wears its premise on its title. It is sensitive, competently crafted and appears genuinely regional in flavour.It also brings together two opposing worlds of Indian cinema; the narrative of the traditional cinemas...

07-Dec-2018 Mumbai

'Kedarnath' is everything that love story should be

It's a pity that revealing the end of a film in a review is considered a spoiler. To me, a spoiler is that film which builds expectations and then dashes them to the ground.That sinking feeling I got while watching "Thugs Of Hindostan" and "2:0" is more than...

05-Dec-2018

'Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse': Brings the comic book to life

For a series and a character that has been rebooted so many times on screen that it is almost impossible to keep track, this film is a breath of fresh air. It brings to life the comic book as it manages to revitalise Spider-man and his universe in an even...

29-Nov-2018 Mumbai

'2.0': An insanely, illogically fun science-fiction extravaganza

It's been a long wait for superstar Rajinikanth's "2.0", which has finally hit the screens, and it can be said with assurance that it doesn't disappoint. It takes a socially relevant environment related problem and gives it a science-fiction twist, which...

28-Nov-2018 Mumbai

'Rogan Josh', a short film that is all heart but little substance

26/11 has spawned many works of art, some memorable, others chilling…some neither. This all-heart-no-substance short-film falls in the 'neither' category. It is big in intentions but falls flat in execution, as the IDEA of the tragedy underlining the plot...

23-Nov-2018 Mumbai

'Bhaiaji Superhit': An obsolete, tedious rom-com

Director Neerraj Pathak's "Bhaiaji Superhit" is a romantic comedy with situations and emotions which seem anachronistic, including its setting and characters.Bhaiaji aka 3D (Sunny Deol), a Mahadev bhakt, is a don in Benaras whom everyone fears, but he is actually...

23-Nov-2018

'The Girl in the Spider's Web': A run-of-the-mill edgy thriller

"The Girl in the Spider's Web" is the second American film adaptation of the "Millennium Series" saga, but the first to release in India, the previous one being, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (This film was not released in India because of censor issues).The...

22-Nov-2018 Mumbai

Bhaiaji Superhit Is goofy zany outrageous fun

What does a UP Bhaiyya-Gangster do when his beloved wife leaves him? He gets a failed braggart director from Bollywood to make a film on his marital love story to win back his wife. The complications that follow are the stuff Shakespeare would have dug out...

22-Nov-2018 Mumbai

'Tigers' a very poor take on idealism

Funny, how idealism can never be defeated by compromise. In fiction or in real life, the Man Who Holds His Head High always emerges triumphant no matter what the odds."Tigers", a long-delayed project featuring Emraan Hashmi as a Pakistani pharmaceutical agent...

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...

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