Updated on Mar 06, 2021 09:38:29

 

Entertainment > Reviews

 

27-Feb-2021 Mumbai

The Girl On The Train: Derailed drama

Don't sit on the edge of your seat as you watch this, you might just fall off dozing.They needn't worry about comparisons, there's scope for none. Ribhu Dasgupta's Bollywoodised rehash (oops, adaptation) of Paula Hawkins' bestseller of the same name is too...

19-Feb-2021 Mumbai

Drishyam 2: Slow burn suspense drama

The beauty of Drishyam lay in the finality of its end. As Mohanlal's Georgekutty buried the truth (literally) and got away with the perfect cover-up, there was hardly scope to dig out anything new, you would think -- for scriptwriter or cops.The challenge...

06-Feb-2021 Mumbai

Lahore Confidential : Absolutely, uniformly a mess

Few films manage a level of absolute uniformity in the quality they peddle -- in terms of writing, direction, acting and tech-specs. Lahore Confidential is that film. It is absolutely, uniformly a mess.Once upon a time Kunal Kohli made a romantic thriller...

23-Jan-2021 Mumbai

The White Tiger: Witty, wicked, well made

"Don't believe for a second there's a million-rupee game show you can win to get out of it". That's Balram Halwai thinking aloud, outlining the squalid poverty that he lives every day, as opposed to what Jamal Malik in Slumdog Millionaire might have said. The...

17-Jan-2021 Mumbai

The Power: The Godfather gets a dated rehash

Mahesh Manjrekar probably made The Power because he wanted to play out his Marlon Brando/Amitabh Bachchan fantasies. You don't find much of a reason otherwise, for this film to be made. In this umpteenth reimagining of The Godfather, Manjrekar, besides directing,...

16-Jan-2021 Mumbai

Tribhanga: Peculiar mix of brilliant and banal

The great thing about Kajol is she can light up a scene as few stars do, with her zeal to enthral. The flip side is she can burn down a scene, too, if the zeal goes overboard. It is a rarity, but we have seen it happen.In Tribhanga, Kajol reveals both the...

15-Jan-2021 Mumbai

Tandav: Let down by weak script

Tandav opens with a raging kisaan andolan in Greater Noida over a government decision to turn farm land into a SEZ for urbanisation. Soon, the drama throws in students chanting Azadi slogans in a campus called VNU. A news channel is shown catering to the vested...

09-Jan-2021 Mumbai

Maara: Visually striking but flawed

The first thing that strikes you about Maara is it is a visually striking film. That's also about the last thing that strikes you, because almost all else that goes on in between is lost in storytelling that is too lazy to hold interest.For a film that tries...

07-Jan-2021 Mumbai

Kaagaz: Pankaj Tripathi tries to keep a dead script going

The merits of Pankaj Tripathi's new outing are dwarfed by the cliches that the film fails to resist. It is something that prevents Kaagaz from living up to the potential its storyline had promised.Tripathi, one of Bollywood's most incredible success stories...

25-Dec-2020 Mumbai

AK Vs AK: Quirkiest film Bollywood made this year

Half the trick lies in the casting. Anil Kapoor plays Anil Kapoor. Anurag Kashyap plays Anurag Kashyap. They get to badmouth each other exposing the other's fallacies in the build-up to an engaging thriller overflowing with wry wit.AK Vs AK has to be the...

25-Dec-2020 Mumbai

Coolie No. 1: Not cool

The joke's on all of them really, you realise as the muddled mess plays out. Varun Dhawan tries to do a Govinda -- and a Mithun and a Bachchan and a Nana for good measure. Sara Ali Khan hits frantic mode with pelvic thrusts, she was out to prove she can...

13-Dec-2020

I'm Your Woman: Gangster saga with a spin

Rachel Brosnahan is in usual marvellous mode, this time in a crime thriller that tweaks quite a few rules of the formulae that largely define the Hollywood mafia movie. The husband-wife duo of director Julia Hart and co-writer Jordan Horowitz has crafted a...

12-Dec-2020 Mumbai

Torbaaz: Stumped by weak storytelling

Torbaaz talks of war and terror, and the toll such things may take on children. The film fuses the idea with the power of sports -- in this case, cricket -- to unite and heal. Over the past two decades or so, these themes have often scored big for Bollywood....

11-Dec-2020 Mumabi

Durgamati : Low on scares, high on cliches

You were just beginning to get excited about new-age Bollywood horror after cutting-edge stuff as Stree and Tumbbad. Then came Laxmii, and now Durgamati -- as rude reminder that Bollywood horror still has some way to go.Durgamati, crafted almost frame to...

30-Nov-2020 Mumbai

Mosul: Gritty, gripping war drama

Avengers director duo Joe and Anthony Russo have produced an action film which is quite an antithesis of the fantasy-loaded superhero razzmatazz that has come to be their calling card. Mosul is gritty war drama that remains tantalisingly close to the reality...

28-Nov-2020

Peninsula : Sequel to nowhere

The market logistics driving this sequel is blatant in the way it has been named. Officially (and quite unimaginatively), the film is called Train To Busan Presents: Peninsula.Sequel to the 2016 South Korean horror thriller Train To Busan, Peninsula comes...

21-Nov-2020 New Delhi

Target Number One: Slightly off target

It starts off on a quiet, lazy note but by the time the film has reached its halfway mark, you realise Target Number One is trying to be gritty, slowburn fare, based on a shocking true story.Daniel Roby's Canadian crime drama draws inspiration from the...

21-Nov-2020 Mumbai

A Simple Murder: Knotty naughty crime comedy

A Simple Murder does become contrived at times, given the willing suspension of disbelief it demands as the episodes roll, with unfailing frequency. But chances are you will not complain. This is a knotty naughty mix of crime and comedy, a little tangled...

14-Nov-2020 Mumbai

Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari: Wobbles between satire and slapstick

Abhishek Sharma is back with a satire, and he loves being deliberately scatterbrained about it -- we know from his two Tere Bin Laden films. Being goofy and caustic at the same time can be tricky business. While he sailed with Tere Bin Laden, he struggled with...

12-Nov-2020 Mumbai

Ludo: Peculiar play of emotions

Ludo is brilliant as a concept, engaging in execution, but mostly mediocre in output. It is a film that ensembles four intertwined stories of love and relationships, and the idea is to spread out a narrative with a twist of irreverence and wry humour.Anurag...

07-Nov-2020 Mumbai

Gatham: Deceptively told psycho saga

Gatham starts off looking like a basic psycho thriller. A young couple is stranded in the middle of snowed-out nowhere when their car breaks down on a highway. A stranger stops, says he lives nearby and offers them shelter for the night. Once at his place,...

26-Oct-2020 Mumbai

Mirzapur 2: Back to the boondocks

Lots of guns and lots of blood, high drama and hint of sleaze, cuss and explosive dialogues, and a cast in good form with a few exciting new additions. Mirzapur 2 ticks the familiar boxes. So, does the show live up to the hype? . Yes and no, depending on...

23-Oct-2020 Mumbai

A Suitable Boy: Overwhelmed by the odds

One of two things happen when Mira Nair tries making an Indian film in India. She crafts a story that is beautifully authentic and inspired by India that is (think Salaam Bombay! or Monsoon Wedding). Or, she tries recreating an India that was, in which case...

21-Oct-2020 Mumbai

Comedy Couple: Fun while it runs

A dash of gender politics and a tall glass of gau-mutra are on the gag menu here with a sizeable helping of stand-up gigs plus the usual chaos over generation gap. You get a rom-com that regales, although without trying to explore the genre beyond familiar...

17-Oct-2020 Chennai

Putham Pudhu Kaalai : Many moods of lockdown

If OTT has directly benefitted in terms of viewership owing to lockdown, theoutcome of the situation has also served digital content well. A bunch of films and web series drawing plot ideas from lockdown have flooded OTT platforms. You have a new instance...

15-Oct-2020 Mumbai

Halal Love Story: Feel-good film with twist of satire

Halal Love Story crafts humour out of the sensitive issue of Islamic belief without being trivial about it. If that balancing act seems accomplishment enough, director Zakariya Mohammed and his co-writer Muhsin Parari reveal plenty of other cinematic qualities...

12-Oct-2020 Mumbai

Scam 1992: Retells a complex saga

There is a basic challenge that Hansal Mehta throws, while narrating the story of Big Bull Harshad Mehta. Instead of letting his story unfold through the mind games of his protagonist, which would have made the series lucid and enjoyable for all, he often...

10-Oct-2020 Mumbai

Ginny Weds Sunny: Band Baaja Blunder

Ginny, Sunny and their not so funny misadventure of love sets you wondering within 10 minutes of the start: Why was this film made in the first case? The question plays in your mind on the loop all through the runtime that follows. By the end of it, you realise...

04-Oct-2020 Mumbai

Nishabdham: Messed-up mystery

What could they have possibly said to Michael Madsen, to lure him into signing this one? Yes, Michael Madsen -- Hollywood maverick of Kill Bill and Reservoir Dogs -- turns out in this bizarre piece of bunkum passed off as a thriller, sharing near-parallel...

03-Oct-2020 Mumbai

Khaali Peeli: Taxi misadventure taxes patience

Okay, we get the point. This is supposed to be brainless fun. What was that hackneyed line our filmwallahs love to parrot -- about leaving your brains out and all that blah. But Bollywood often forgets even the brainless needs some amount of brains to create,...

25-Sep-2020 Mumbai

Utopia: Gruesome pandemic drama

A cult graphic novel seems to hold clues about viruses and other catastrophes that threaten to annihilate humankind. Fancy that as an eerie dose of entertainment in the time of pandemic.Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn writes and executive-produces eight...

24-Sep-2020 Mumbai

'Crackdown' is an okay option for a binge

National security, terror threats and intelligence-ops make for ready thriller scripts across cinematic formats. The OTT space, with its multi-episodic structure, allows a longer time frame for stories to gestate, and that would definitely seem like an advantage...

19-Sep-2020 Mumbai

Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare is well-intentioned

Dolly and Kitty could be any smalltown cousins. In the world of Alankrita Shrivastava, they become fictional case studies of real desires that the Indian woman of today might harbour, even as she grapples with an innate conservative mindset and a society that...

06-Sep-2020 Mumbai

Atkan Chatkan: Struggles to find rhythm

There are films that set out with noble intention but actually have no clue how to go about it. Atkan Chatkan is one such effort. The aim is to celebrate the underdog, and a spirit to win against all odds. Amateurish execution comes in the way, and rags-to-riches...

05-Sep-2020 Mumbai

V: Nani's film is formulaic fun for fans

Standard rule: If the top-billed star of a commercial entertainer plays a killer, the script will furnish ready justification for his murderous spree. Telugu top gun Nani makes an antihero splash with his new film, and the script makes it obvious within 10 minutes...

05-Sep-2020 Mumbai

The Boys season 2: Gloriously gory and witty as ever

Lots of insanity, lots of blood, a little politics and loads of quirks. Season two of The Boys is a continuing toast to irreverence, taking the brutally bizarre superhero universe of the franchise to a new high.Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson's bestselling...

04-Sep-2020 Mumbai

JL 50: 'Desi' sci-fi takes flight

A passenger plane crashes somewhere in the mountains of West Bengal and it turns out the flight, JL 50, is actually one that had disappeared 35 years ago. As the CBI officer in charge of the probe sets out to solve the puzzle, he realises there is little...

01-Sep-2020 Mumbai

C U Soon: Experimental entertainer

Lockdown has had its upside, too. It has triggered off a whole new breed of cinema. Call it the Lockdown Movie if you will, but a series of well-executed efforts -- films as well as web series – have emerged in these past months that experiment and at the same...

29-Aug-2020 Mumbai

Sadak 2: Road to nowhere

Sadak 2 comes with a throwback whiff, though not a happy one. It reminds you of a lot of the kitsch that summed up Hindi commercial cinema once upon a time, which you thought had left the Bollywood screen for good.Mahesh Bhatt returns to direction after over...

29-Aug-2020 Mumbai

Ramsingh Charlie: Of dreams and despair

The clown as a tragi-comic icon has been a favourite device of filmmakers to define the quirks of life. From the Raj Kapoor classic Mera Naam Joker in Bollywood to Appu Raja starring Kamal Haasan among other films, numerous instances abound. Dig deeper for...

28-Aug-2020 Mumbai

Aashram : Skeletons in Godman's own country

Prakash Jha is back with a new smalltown story, and the familiar notes of crime, violence, caste and class kick in even before the half hour mark has passed. Jha has added a new relish to his brand of raw, realistic drama this time. He digs out skeletons (literally...

23-Aug-2020 Mumabai

Mee Raqsam : Simplistic but relevant

There is something very earnest about Mee Raqsam that endears, about the way debutant director Baba Azmi tries using his story to reiterate a message that is all-too familiar yet always relevant. Despite lacking in nuances that would have helped set up a layered...

22-Aug-2020 Mumbai

Class Of 83: Bobby Deol broods in dim, grim film

Twenty-five years into his career, Bobby Deol can at least claim to have given a debut performance worth attention. Class Of 83 technically qualifies as a debut -- it is his first bow on OTT -- and his act is far more impressive than the film itself. Of course,...

21-Aug-2020 Mumbai

The Gone Game: Lockdown thriller is a winner

Lockdown and Covid become tools to set up a smart thriller story in this limited series helmed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat, which literally keeps the suspense behind closed doors.The plot introduces the Gujral family. Rajeev Gujral (Sanjay Kapoor), his wife Suneeta...

16-Aug-2020 Mumbai

Dangerous: Too amateurish to thrill

Vikram Bhatt products bear a trademark. The genre is normally thriller. The crime factor is juxtaposed onto inevitable sexual tension between the hero and the heroine. Music plays a big role. Content and execution often reveal, uh, foreign inspiration.You could...

15-Aug-2020 Mumbai

Khuda Haafiz: Old-school action drama

This time, Vidyut Jammwal keeps his shirt on for most parts. He is not much in the mood to fight either -- well, not at least to unleash the familiar choreographed martial arts blitz.In "Khuda Haafiz", Vidyut is a coy Lucknow boy who remains in non-violent...

13-Aug-2020 Mumbai

Gunjan Saxena: Set-piece biopic manages to regale

We will gloss over veracity of facts, particularly the presentation of Indian Air Force, and keep the scope of this review to discussing cinematic elements. Factuality has never been a strong point with mainstream Bollywood, after all.Gunjan Saxena's life...

01-Aug-2020 Mumbai

Lootcase: Fine cast in funny form

Every once in a while in Bollywood, you get to see the Second Half Syndrome. Put simply, a film starts off on a promising note, scales a sort of high as the plot builds up, only to lose steam somewhere post interval.The malady becomes particularly obvious...

10-Jan-2020 Mumbai

''Chhapaak'': Hard truth told the hard way

Meghna Gulzar''s "Chhapaak" is a hard film to watch. It is brutal in impact, horrifying in its depiction of pain and trauma, and seems a tad too long despite a runtime of just around two hours given the heavy subject at hand.At the end of it you feel "Chhapaak"...

12-Dec-2019 Mumbai

Mudda 370 J&K - A Gallant Effort By Rakesh Sawant

Article 370 is one of the most sensitive and responsible topic to be discussed through a medium of cinema, but so was the topic of Surgical Strike. And we have all witnessed the stupendous success of Vicky Kaushal starrer film ‘Uri : The Surgical Strike’. Similarly...

08-Aug-2019 Mumbai

Rajiv Ruia's Mushkil: Beyond The Supernatural!

Indian filmmakers have come a long way from the pioneering era of horror films in the Indian film industry from the Ramsay Brothers to this modern day paranormal masterpiece. From the spiritual banks of Benares to the picturesque breathtaking rock pools of...

26-Jul-2019 Mumbai

Arjun Patiala': drab humour

The makers of "Arjun Patiala" have obviously thrown caution to the wind and indulged in a care-a-damn attitude. They have given absolute hoots to the critics -- a fact that is blatantly spelt out by the end of the film.This screwball comedy, designed as...

26-Jul-2019 Mumbai

'Judgementall Hai Kya' : Killer thriller

"Judgementall Hai Kya" celebrates the bizarre, at the cost of giving in to glaring flaws, much like the grammatical gaffe in its title.At the film's core is the tested good-triumphs-over-evil formula, although done in a way few Bollywood efforts have ever tried. Quirky...

19-Jul-2019

'Kadaram Kondan ': Decent if not effective review

The Kamal Haasan-produced film is based on a French thriller named "Point Blank", and is not one of those run-of-the-mill, star-studded action films that are all style and no substance. It comes across as a decent attempt at giving the Tamil audience a Hollywood-style...

19-Jul-2019 Mumbai

'Family Of Thakurganj': Familiar hang-ups

The first thing you notice about "Family Of Thakurganj" is the sheer number of influences that overshadow its effort at storytelling. It is almost as if director Manoj K. Jha was trying to cross the thematic essentials of "Gangs Of Wasseypur" with the smalltown...

17-Jul-2019

'The Lion King' is visually fascinating

For the uninitiated, ‘The Lion King', is the story of Simba, a lion cub, who is dispossessed and made to feel responsible for the death of his father Mufasa, by his treacherous uncle Scar.The cub's birth is announced in the opening sequence of the film called,...

11-Jul-2019 Mumbai

'Super 30' is an outstanding inspirational tale

"Super 30" is magnificent survivor of a film. It survives Hrithik Roshan's atrocious "Bihari" accent, probably picked from one of the many Lalu Yadav skits on the internet. It not only survives the verbal abomination, it also stakes it claim among the most...

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