Updated on Aug 04, 2021 23:58:18

 

Entertainment > Reviews

 

16-Jul-2021 Mumbai

Toofaan: Far from the storm the hype promised

You know something's wrong with a film when you've figured out the whole story from a few minutes of trailer. For a film that runs over 160-odd minutes, more so.Mainstream sports movies narrating underdog stories are always predictable in the way the narrative...

09-Jul-2021 Mumbai

'State Of Siege: Temple Attack' is a wasted opportunity

The problem with "State Of Siege: Temple Attack" is the film simply cannot rise above hackneyed mediocrity.This could have been a top-class thriller drawing from one of the most sordid chapters of contemporary Indian socio-political history. Instead, the...

02-Jul-2021 Mumbai

Haseen Dillruba: Wild, wicked but with warts

Hand it to these guys -- you'll get the pun in that statement once you've watched the outrageous end -- but this is one wild Bollywood thriller. The film is fun to watch for the way it leads you on before turning the plot on its head, and it's smart in the...

29-Jun-2021 Mumbai

June: Hard as nails yet sensitive

Suhrud Godbole and Vaibhav Khisti's coming-of-age film is hard as nails while conveying its message, yet sensitive while driving home the point. The script focuses on issues such as bullying, teenage confusion, self-harm and suicide, and also touches upon wider...

25-Jun-2021 Mumbai

Ray: Uneven, but worth a binge

It's compulsively dark for most parts, often strangely so, the way Satyajit Ray's oeuvre rarely was. Ray had a way of serving the sombre in layers, with simplistic emotions often acting as mask for deeper subtexts.The short stories adapted to create this...

11-Jun-2021 Mumbai

Shaadisthan: Shoddy storytelling

Sometimes, the best intentions are lost in inadequate execution. "Shaadisthan" is a film that talks of women's empowerment, but the effort is burdened by shoddy storytelling that simply fails to hold your attention. The plot and its culmination become apparent...

23-May-2021 Los Angeles

Army Of The Dead: Ocean's Eleven gets a zombie remix

"Ocean's Eleven" gets a zombie remix in Zack Snyder's latest, as Dave Bautista and company infiltrate undead-infested Las Vegas Strip to try and walk away with a fat load of cash against all odds. The idea manages to stay afloat because the film does not take...

18-May-2021 Mumbai

Sardar Ka Grandson: Boredom on the house

The problem with "Sardar Ka Grandson" is not that it loses the plot on an absolutely wonky idea. The problem is the film and its makers fail to capitalise on the one asset they truly had. Kaashvie Nair's debut directorial casts Neena Gupta as the titular...

13-May-2021 Mumbai

Radhe: Salman Khan's chaos of set pieces

Smart villain is on a rampant spree hawking drugs, smarter cop hammers the hell out of his existence. That's it, that's the story.You couldn't care less, of course if you are a Salman fan, you weren't logging in for the sake of story. You're in it to watch...

07-May-2021 Mumbai

Photo Prem: Snapshots of feel-good humour

Fifty-something Maee hates being clicked. Which in turn leads to a peculiar problem. She realises there's no decent photograph of her in the house. That's no petty issue if you consider your primary source of remembrance, when you're no more, will be the picture that...

22-Apr-2021 Los Angeles

Another Round: Mads Mikkelsen served with heady twist

Midlife crisis gets a heady twist in Thomas Vinterberg's tragicomedy, serving Mads Mikkelsen on the rocks. "Another Round" (titled "Druk" in original Danish version) kicks in its plot by reversing the premise of alcoholism as cinema normally peddles it. For...

17-Apr-2021 Mumbai

Ajeeb Daastaans: Take the sloppy with the smooth

It is provocative, for the way it twists the very concept of love -- from being an emotion that demands unconditional sacrifice to a mere tool for realising selfish gains. It is flawed, too, for the way it struggles to utilise that unusual premise, while...

10-Apr-2021 Mumbai

Hello Charlie: Mindless monkey mayhem

Take a good guy with no brain and a bad guy in a gorilla suit, pack them off in a truck and what do you get? A miserable excuse for mirthless slapstick, in a film that rambles down the road to nowhere. "Hello Charlie" is one of those 'fun films' where you...

09-Apr-2021 Mumbai

The Big Bull: Big bore

Forget comparisons. Even if you willingly dismiss the idea of sizing up "The Big Bull" against "Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story", Abhishek Bachchan's new film is a washout from the word go.The comparison crops up because this film, like Hansal Mehta's impeccable...

05-Apr-2021

The Serpent: Too many flashbacks and flash-forwards

"The Serpent" starts off with vim and venom, slithers through the middle episodes with frenetic energy, before making a scrappy surge through the mire of its final episodes. The story of Charles Sobhraj had enough bite to leave its mark with a far more engaging...

27-Mar-2021 Mumbai

Godzilla Vs. Kong: Extravagant monster mayhem

Sequels are made because there is big money to be made. When you run out of sequel ideas, there is always the brainwave of clubbing associated franchises of the same studio, because there is bigger money to be made. If Batman can take on Superman, if Alien can...

27-Mar-2021 Mumbai

Pagglait: Quirky little film

Pagglait the film is just like its protagonist Sandhya. It doesn't behave the way it is expected to.You would think the story of a just-married young woman who is widowed right at the onset would be sombre, all the more because the societal subjugation she tackles...

26-Mar-2021

Saina: Plays to gallery

There are two ways to go about it when you recreate an icon's life on screen. You could keep it plain and simple, with lots of melodrama and pep scenes for inspiration -- which is the easy way out because you are playing to the gallery. Or, you could try getting...

24-Mar-2021 Mumbai

The Illegal: Small film, big impact

You'd think you have seen this before. A young boy from middle-class India lands in the United States chasing a dream, and his struggle for sustenance becomes portrait of the grind that almost every immigrant must endure.If Danish Renzu's film is outstanding...

20-Mar-2021 Mumbai

Mumbai Saga: Toast to cliches

Sanjay Gupta's latest is an extension of his trademark "Shootout" films, reloading familiar uber-violence with old-school Bollywood drama about cops, gangsters and the self-seeking political set, packing in loud dialogues and the essential naach-gaana.Coming...

19-Mar-2021 Mumbai

Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar: Too slow for slow-burn impact

Dark and quirky, sombre and amusing. Dibakar Banerjee's cinema is often typified by ironies. With "Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar", the filmmaker tries using the trademark idiom to narrate a story of the societal divide that erupts when a boorish heartland cop...

12-Mar-2021 Mumbai

Roohi: Horribly boring

Stree was smart stuff, Roohi seems like random fare. The comparison had to crop up, the only reason the producers seem to have made Roohi is because they struck gold with Stree. Blending horror with humour looked so easy in Stree. Clearly it isn't, you realise...

09-Mar-2021 Mumbai

Bombay Begums: Defined by its performances

A bank CEO's son runs over a lower-class boy. The victim's poor parent spots a get-rich-quick scheme through blackmail. A public scandal could end the CEO's career and so it is best to pay up, and then pay some more.Sounds like standard soap opera drama?...

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...

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