Chhichhore – Review

A very apt movie for today’s genx who are short on patience and give up easily. It really disturbed me, when in Mumbai, a young boy and a girl committed suicide near the place where I stay. The reasons made known later were unbelievable and made us wonder why..

#NiteshTiwari touches the issue here to make a point that being termed as losers or feeling like one, is just one of the phase of life. #Chhichhore starts on a #3Idiots style hostel prank and the first half is focused on building the characters. Hostel H4 inmates are termed as losers. Their names will stay with you post the movie, and you will remember them as Acid, Sexa, Mummy, Bevda and Anni and Maya, the lead protagonists.

The complete movie is in a flashback, when Anni and Maya’s son attempts suicide and is critical. Anni decides to narrate the story of losers to his son, on hospital bed. The moral of the story being failure is not the end of the world.

The characters after sometime seem caricaturish, except for Sexa [Varun Sharma] and Derek [Tahir Raj Bhasin]. #ShraddhaKapoor continues to score.. #PratiekBabbar has a small role but has the required screen presence and the charisma, only if he got the right roles.

Definitely a good watch, with the social message etc., but cannot be compared to #3Idiots or #Dangal.

 

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IT Chapter 2 – Review

In the 90s I had seen a movie called “The Lawnmower Man” starring #PierceBrosnan. The movie was way ahead of its time. And so is #StephenKing. From The Shining to Cujo to #ITChapter2 – he has time and again proven his legendary writing skills.
 
He appears at the beginning of the movie and also in a cameo as an antique dealer, a mandatory cameo as in all King movies.
 
#IT is a three hour long movie, a bit of a stretch but the book was 1200 pages long too :), so we need to hand it to the director.
 
#GaryDauberman’s screenplay, CGI and photography is awesome. The fact that I opted for 4Dx made it all the more fun. It’s a 4Dx must watch.
 
Pennywise, the evil clown is back in Derry, Maine.
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The kids from 1989 have grown up and except for Mike, who stayed back at Derry everyone has left the town. Together they were known as the loser’s club, with each having an traumatic history of their childhood. They are each other’s support and bond well.
 
However Pennywise is back, and Mike makes calls to all his friends to put an end to Pennywise. Does Mike tell the complete truth ? Are the friends ready to face their worst fears ?
 
The cast is perfect but it is #BillSkarsgard, whom you miss on screen as Pennywise the evil clown, his acting combined with some prosthetics and CGI is flawless. Best in IMAX / 4Dx.
 
This is one clown, you wouldn’t want to clown around with !

Once upon a time in Hollywood – Review

The Master Filmmaker is back !

With Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino, had already established himself. However it was “Natural Born Killers”, an Oliver Stone film, with story and original screenplay by Quentin, which made me his fan. That movie still remains among my top must see list.

He takes his love story with Hollywood a step further with this movie, with two of the most handsome top list stars, Brad Pitt and that chameleon of an actor #LeonardoDiCaprio.

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Ricky Dalton [Leo] a TV star realizes that times are changing and new actors are replacing him. He has a double or a stuntman on his payroll, Brad Pitt. Both of them lookout for each other. Ricky is scared and is low on confidence and high on alcohol. But Cliff Booth [Brad P] is made of sterner stuff and keeps an eye on his master and pal.

The director weaves this story around real life incidents in hollywood during the late sixties, the so called end of golden age, and more with the cult of Charles Manson who murdered a heavily pregnant Sharon Tate. You need to read on Manson if you want to know more of this incident.

Leonardo – is amazing, whether it’s his breaking down in front of an child actor or acting as a villain. Check out his solo outburst, talking to himself and cursing self for forgetting dialogues. I probably may end up watching this movie twice for him.

But Brad Pitt is solid too – a very understated performance to Leo’s zany one. They both need to come together more often. Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate is awesome too – using her dove eyes to express wonder on watching herself on screen.

However the director is the ultimate hero here – check out the scene when Brad gives lift to one of Charles’s crazy ranchers and visit’s the Spahn Movie Ranch. Those aware of the Manson story will relate to the scene – it gives you the chill.. something is about to happen. You literally pray that Cliff [Brad] gets out of there alive, who gave the lift to the hippy girl to check on the owner of the ranch where he has shot movies before.

The Climax is awesome – typical Quentin style – the audience were cheering. Here the director has some fun with facts. Among the flaws though I was disappointed that the director took a dig at Bruce Lee and Steve McQueen..

An absolute must watch !

 

 

 

Batla House – A moviegoer’s review

One of the major letdown in the movie is, when you get engrossed and all disturbed at the way the things were handled, the director shows a disclaimer that the production team does not prescribe to anyone’s side and are presenting this semi-fictionalized and yet a gripping true event as is.

While the intention is probably to steer clear of being accused of being against a community, the movie still potrays ACP Sanjeev Yadav as a hero, which he is. He is an 9 times winner of President’s gallantry medals.

John Abraham perhaps essays the best performance till date, looks like Hulk and is intense. Rest all are ok. The movie rides on his able shoulders and he carries it with aplomb.

Batla House was a huge controversy and cannot be summarized in a 2 hour movie, may require a web series.

The movie raises many questions –

Why are the interfering politicians allowed to go scot free? Why are leaders like Amar Singh, Digvijay Singh and Kejriwal above the law and are not made to answer the questions they raised – as shown in the movie from real life news.

Why are the Maulvi’s allowed to use loudspeakers and pass messages on Delhi Police – are the speakers not only for religious purpose ?

How many such medal winners will have to go through PSTD, despite giving the ultimate sacrifice in the name of duty. ?

How do we ensure that the wheat is separated from the chaff while ensuring justice – so that no innocents become scapegoats.

For those who followed the BATLA HOUSE controversy, the questions remain unanswered, but worth a watch.. could have been more detailed, for the monologue by ACP Sanjeev at the end, the movie gets a three star.

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Super 30 – Review

A late review of an already rocking movie at the box office.

This is a true story of a man, who as an impoverished young man could not pursue his dreams though he was accepted by Cambridge based on an mathematical articles submitted by him but could not take it up due to financial condition.

What follows is story of perseverance, dogged determination to help the downtrodden students achieve their dreams despite attacks from the coaching classes mafia.

Education is indeed a big business in India. There is a city called KOTA, which thrives only on coaching classes for IIT-JEE. Families at times shift their to be with their child who intends to appear for IIT. Their lesser brilliant siblings too shift to be with families, it is so important for everyone in the family.

#HrithikRoshan is undoubtedly one of the most gifted actors in Indian cinema and this movie is a proof of the same. After Koi Mil Gaya, he gets to show his acting chops, the other movies in between were masala entertainers banking on his greek god looks.

Vikas Bahl, despite the #metoo controversy, redeems his graph post Shandaar.

#BasantiNoDance seems trivial on TV but on it grows on you on screen, bringing forward the wide chasm between castes, classes and the rich and the poor.

A must family watch!

 

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The Great Hack

A social media user’s profile, his status updates, opinions, likes, comments, inputs to different quizzes, games etc, is collected for data mining purposes.

Based on the above, a psychological profile is developed, his political leanings are determined and his social media is bombarded with fake news, manipulative video feeds that can bring about a change in the user’s preferences.

#TheGreatHack, reveals what #CambridgeAnalytica was about – using data sets or digital traces that “you” leave on whatsapp, FB, Google, Instagram and other apps – for data mining purpose.

#Brexit, #Trump Elections, Trinidad and Tobago elections are examples of CA’s interference. The scary part of the investigations is the fact that CA was interested in promoting far-right wing parties across the world – a desperate desire it seems bring in chaos and then mould the world with help from the lies they spread.

As one british legislator in the documentary terms the tactic as “weapons grade communication technique” to persuade, influence people for gains of their clients !

How you ask ? Well the digital traces or likes, comments etc etc that you leave on the social media are now also termed as your bloodstream that runs into the internet which can be injected with “parasites” or fake/manipulative information.

Cambridge Analytica has shut down but remember there are many more such firms who do the same. Beware !

A must watch !

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Article 15 – Review

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Maharashtra has always been touted as the number one industrial state in the country.

During 2005, due to the demise of a dear one, I decided on a road trip in Diwali to take my father away from Mumbai and spend some time at a hill station called Chikhaldhara (700 kms). Sonny was an infant than, so took a driver along. It would also help me to scribble some notes. We took an overnight halt at Shegaon, a pilgrimage center.

We started again early morning, but lost our way (no gps than). Going through tribal villages, what we observed was abject poverty, we could not believe that this was our own state – number one in India.

And yet when we took an halt for a cup of tea at a rundown shop, and some milk for our son, the shopkeeper flat refused to take money for the milk, saying it would be a sin as it was for a child. Humbled beyond our words, we bought some biscuits that he had.

That man is the essence of India, the state that he is in, is because of the blind, greedy and lethargic bureaucracy and politics. We reached our destination eventually.

However this movie is about the majority of India which is rural india, and feudal mindset is more prevalent in the states of uttar pradesh and bihar.

The movie is based on the true story of two sisters who were gangraped and hanged from a tree in Badayun district, Uttar Pradesh. If I am not wrong similar incidents were reported in Ghaghar, Sambhal in the same year.

Two girls insist on being paid 3 rupees more with a contractor and threaten to leave and work for another. They do so on not being paid and are followed by more. They along with their younger sister are chased by goons. The younger one runs away into a jungle through a swamp.

#AyushmannKhurrana is Ayan Ranjan, an newbie urban IPS officer. Having returned from abroad, he is not so sure of this “India” he is looking at, and lets us know of his thoughts through whatsapp chats with his girlfriend whose answers seem as its his conscience. Khurrana is on a roll with a performance that is easily his best till date. Manoj Pahwa as the corrupt police Brahmdutt is excellent and a surprise too as usually he is typecast as a comedian.

#SayaniGupta is a chameleon. One of the better actors around for sure. #ZeeshanAyub as a Dalit naxal is good too.

The movie may remind you of Mississipi Burning – a cult movie today. Do not miss the Bob Dylan song in the beginning – How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?.. Blowi’n in the wind.

It is the cinematography that immerses you in rural india and also into sewage. Literally scares you about this other face of India, where you may work along side one another but cannot eat from the same plate.

This is the “balance” or “santulan” which needs to be maintained among different castes and religion else there would be chaos – advises Brahmdutt to Ayan.

Unfortunately our elected reps continue to exactly do that, maintain this distorted balance and rule us.

Annabelle comes home – Review

Have always been a fan of horror genre, though not much of the slasher stuff.

James Wan is back with his anthology of the Conjuring series. Gary Dauberman directs this jump and scare visual treat with an excellent sound design.

The warren couple bring the malevolent doll named Annabelle home, to be locked away in a chapel glass made locker. The doll has the ability to invoke evil spirits. Their daughter has a babysitter. When the warrens are away, the babysitter’s pal let’s curiosity take over and it causes mayhem. How the daughter, semi trained by observing the parents along with the babysitter tackle the ghosts forms the plot.

Worth a watch for strictly horror fans.

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Kabir Singh – Review

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KABIR SINGH !

Really do not know how to review this movie. After the very underrated Batti Gul Meter Chalu, was really looking forward to this Shahid outing.

He doesn’t disappoint on the acting bit at all but the story ? I had started Arjun Reddy for few minutes on Amazon and switched off immediately. So the crude, harsh, pithiful dialogues and screenplay come from there, as the captain is the same.

#ShahidKapoor lives #KabirSingh but let’s down his family fan following for sure. If this is the definition of love, being a stud, commitment etc., god help us.

The direction shouts out loud throughout the movie about liberalism, through various dialogues, scenes against traditional values but in the end like a coward chooses the easy way out and ensures that the heroine remains an pregnant, married yet untouched by another male, a pativrata female for Kabir – who is the real father.

Had the director shown the reunion with someone else’s baby, that perhaps would have been a silver lining on this dark love story.

Game Over was a concept movie (slasher) which made no claims about any value system but this one does diss our value system and may be true on certain points but the manner in which it is depicted is pathetic.

What was more scary was the manner in which, in a multiplex, youngsters were cheering on certain scenes.

You may not want your daughter to see this movie in a late night show.

 

Game Over – Review

DO NOT MISS !

The movie will bowl you over. It reminded me of the first time I had seen the cult classic “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. No the movies are not similar at all, but will leave you gasping for breath like its lead character and your heart thumping at it’s loudest.

Superb Sound Design ! Whether its the creaking sound of the swing in the garden, the footsteps or even during the claustrophobic attacks of Sapna which is also an anniversary reaction to a traumatic event in her life.

A video game developer, she works from home, with a housekeeper for company. She has suffered a traumatic event in the past during new year and at every approaching new year she faces phobia attacks apart from being perennially afraid of the dark.

She has also done a tattoo on her wrist, which in a classic connect with games indicates the number of lives [chance] she has. This tattoo is also called as memorial tattoo, in which the ashes of a loved ones are mixed with the ink, but in case of Sapna, it was done by mistake ! Taapsee Pannu lives the role!

Cannot continue further on the story plot without spoilers so won’t do that. The movie excels in every department, camerawork is stupendous and the way it moves in the house, it will give you the chills and make you claustrophobic too.

The climax reminds you of Run Lola Run, the german cult classic, which had three possible ways of ending.

There is one poster in Sapna’s home which says “What if life is a video game and deja-vu are just checkpoints”. Think about it and go for this movie, you may need an auto-save for yourself.

5 stars, for this is one awesome movie which simply establishes the fact that content is king.Game-Over-Hindi-Official-Trailer-Taapsee-Pannu-Ashwin-Saravanan