Review: MULK


How Patriotic Is Your Beard?


2.5 stars


Mini Review:


How do you prove that you are patriotic? A Muslim patriarch
in Benaras battles to answer this question when his nephew
has been shot dead as a terrorist and his brother has died
following the legal and social troubles the family faces as a
result. Will his Hindu daughter in law help him get justice?
Or does religious fanaticism sweeping the nation currently
win? A delicate subject rather well tackled despite several
rather convenient events in the film.


Main Review:


The Rishi Kapoor that you remember as a singing, dancing hero
in Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahin is now a fabulous character actor. And
despite the typical Muslim beard (sans moustache) occupying his
face, he manages to emote brilliantly. He is Murad Ali Mohammed,
the head of a wonderful family – a wife (Neena Gupta as Badi
Tabassum), an NRI son, a Hindu daughter in law (Tapsee Pannu
as Arati Mohammed), a brother (Manoj Pahwa as Bilaal), brother’s
wife (Prachi Shah as Choti Tabassum), a niece (Ayaat), a nephew
(Prateik Babbar as Shahid) – and they are celebrating Murad’s
65th birthday. We have seen Murad living happily with his Hindu
neighbors. Everything seems happy until his nephew Shahid
blows up a bus after having been radicalised.


This is where we come across Danish Javed (Rajat Kapoor in a
wonderful, believable anti-terrorist cop role), who believes in
making a spectacle of Shahid’s capture so that other radicalised
young men will know that the police mean business. The police
investigation results in upsetting the delicate social balance in
the neighborhood. Suddenly, it is ‘all Muslims are terrorists’,
‘Murad and his family should go to Pakistan’. Stones are thrown
at their home, and his friends shun him. His brother is dragged
away and questioned and accused of aiding and abetting
terrorism by the prosecutor (Ashutosh Rana as Santosh Anand).


Since Murad is a lawyer, he promises his brother that his name
will be cleared. But the attacks from the prosecutor and the
comments from the judge (the inimitable Kumud Mishra) seem to
push Murad to breaking point. The trial is well written and very
engaging. There is a character who handles social media for the
prosecutor introduced but apart from a stray dialog about, ‘Do you
know what is happening on social media?’ nothing is really done.
The two Tabassums in the house have not much to do but to look
tragic. The daughter in law Tapsee Pannu looks too weepy in court,
which undermines the the legal argument she makes.


The religion, justice, civil rights arguments are decent and topical.
This is where Rishi Kapoor makes a fabulous case. But it is
Kumud Mishra who is the judge who makes a convincing decision
for the audience.


The film has been shot brilliantly by Ewan Mulligan (the long
continuous shot at the beginning will surprise you rather wonderfully).
The only thing that makes this film a tad weak is the overdoing of
facial expressions by Ashutosh Rana. His grimaces and his
meanness seem needless. His grin is meant to be evil, but had he
been reined in, the film would have been better. Danish Javed’s
prejudices are very well brought out. The subject of Hindu-Muslim
social relationships is volatile even after over seventy years of
independence, and this film strikes a balance, the judge’s words
making it plain. The trial seems to go on and on, and perhaps
they could have avoided repetitions and edited them. But the film
might appeal to ‘believers’ of both religions.


(this review appears on www.nowrunning.com )

Review: MULK


How Patriotic Is Your Beard?


2.5 stars


Mini Review:


How do you prove that you are patriotic? A Muslim patriarch
in Benaras battles to answer this question when his nephew
has been shot dead as a terrorist and his brother has died
following the legal and social troubles the family faces as a
result. Will his Hindu daughter in law help him get justice?
Or does religious fanaticism sweeping the nation currently
win? A delicate subject rather well tackled despite several
rather convenient events in the film.


Main Review:


The Rishi Kapoor that you remember as a singing, dancing hero
in Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahin is now a fabulous character actor. And
despite the typical Muslim beard (sans moustache) occupying his
face, he manages to emote brilliantly. He is Murad Ali Mohammed,
the head of a wonderful family – a wife (Neena Gupta as Badi
Tabassum), an NRI son, a Hindu daughter in law (Tapsee Pannu
as Arati Mohammed), a brother (Manoj Pahwa as Bilaal), brother’s
wife (Prachi Shah as Choti Tabassum), a niece (Ayaat), a nephew
(Prateik Babbar as Shahid) – and they are celebrating Murad’s
65th birthday. We have seen Murad living happily with his Hindu
neighbors. Everything seems happy until his nephew Shahid
blows up a bus after having been radicalised.


This is where we come across Danish Javed (Rajat Kapoor in a
wonderful, believable anti-terrorist cop role), who believes in
making a spectacle of Shahid’s capture so that other radicalised
young men will know that the police mean business. The police
investigation results in upsetting the delicate social balance in
the neighborhood. Suddenly, it is ‘all Muslims are terrorists’,
‘Murad and his family should go to Pakistan’. Stones are thrown
at their home, and his friends shun him. His brother is dragged
away and questioned and accused of aiding and abetting
terrorism by the prosecutor (Ashutosh Rana as Santosh Anand).


Since Murad is a lawyer, he promises his brother that his name
will be cleared. But the attacks from the prosecutor and the
comments from the judge (the inimitable Kumud Mishra) seem to
push Murad to breaking point. The trial is well written and very
engaging. There is a character who handles social media for the
prosecutor introduced but apart from a stray dialog about, ‘Do you
know what is happening on social media?’ nothing is really done.
The two Tabassums in the house have not much to do but to look
tragic. The daughter in law Tapsee Pannu looks too weepy in court,
which undermines the the legal argument she makes.


The religion, justice, civil rights arguments are decent and topical.
This is where Rishi Kapoor makes a fabulous case. But it is
Kumud Mishra who is the judge who makes a convincing decision
for the audience.


The film has been shot brilliantly by Ewan Mulligan (the long
continuous shot at the beginning will surprise you rather wonderfully).
The only thing that makes this film a tad weak is the overdoing of
facial expressions by Ashutosh Rana. His grimaces and his
meanness seem needless. His grin is meant to be evil, but had he
been reined in, the film would have been better. Danish Javed’s
prejudices are very well brought out. The subject of Hindu-Muslim
social relationships is volatile even after over seventy years of
independence, and this film strikes a balance, the judge’s words
making it plain. The trial seems to go on and on, and perhaps
they could have avoided repetitions and edited them. But the film
might appeal to ‘believers’ of both religions.


(this review appears on www.nowrunning.com )

Review: SAHEB, BIWI AUR GANGSTER 3


Let’s Use Sanju Baba 
Baki Sab Chal Jaayega… 

one star

Mini Review:

Third of the Saheb Biwi Gangster films, the fine conspiracy that made the first film such a good watch has descended into the gutter. At first you are shocked. Is Sanjay Dutt so gullible that he doesn’t understand that his role in this film ruins his carefully whitewashed image in Sanju? After 20 minutes, you don’t care. 

Main Review:

Except for Jimmy Shergill, the cast of the film – Kabir ‘Sandokan’ Bedi, Deepak Tijori, Sanjay Dutt, Zakir Hussain – look like they’ve bloated beyond recognition. Did they drown in alcohol between shots? In fact the music of Purana Mandir ‘the Saamri track’ should play in your head (as it did in mine) each time there were close ups of Kabir Bedi and Sanjay Dutt.

Sanjay Dutt is a disgraced Rajasthani prince who runs a nightclub called House Of Lords in London. He was asked to leave home because he was in love with a nautch girl (why did he leave her behind?). He makes money on the side by playing Russian roulette again and again. He’s an expert. And you don’t have to be a film expert to figure out that Biwi will seduce Sanju to get his help and kill Saheb. Sigh. 

Sanju is shown to be violent and unpredictable and still in love with the nautch girl (played by Chitrangada Singh) who skypes love songs to Baba. Oh yes, Baba has his own track that probably was sold to him during narration…   

When Will You Kill Saheb?

That Mahie Gill will drop her pallu is a given. But she was believable when her loneliness led her to having an affair with Randeep Hooda. Here, she is as seductive as a used tissue. 

So when she and Zakir Hussain (plays father to Saheb’s second wife whos is comatose) ask Sanjay Dutt, ‘Purana Kila tumhare naam kar rahe hain, saheb ko kab maroge?’ you know subtlety is dead. 

Sanjay Dutt does not have to say, ‘Russian roulette ka game khel ke…’

All is not this bad though. If you get through really trite dialog about ‘rajwade’, ‘hamari ijjat’, ‘parampara’, ‘privy purses’ you will discover that there was a great possibility of toppling the wife’s need to kill her husband: the possibility of friendship between two characters hated by their respective families: Sanjay Dutt and Jimmy Shergill. 

Of course that would be another film. 

Here, the ‘game’ is played at the party in front of everyone else, and of course in the middle of ‘let’s switch guns’ double cross game, where everyone is wincing each time the trigger is clicked, we see Deepak Tijori dressed up in a plastic apron a la Dexter walking purposefully to kill Chitrangada Singh. You just laugh. 

The followng bloodshed should have finished the movie, but there’s more to come the filmmakers say. I just hope the box office bomb will deter them from making any more Mahie Gill pallu drop movies. 



(I’ve tried to write this review all day, but had to step away from the computer to upchuck)








Review: DHADAK

Dhadak Has No Pulse!
2 stars


Mini Review:


A vanilla remake of the hard-hitting Marathi film Sairat,
Dhadak is just an overly long story about a runaway couple.
While Sairat was raw and gritty, the caste divide between
the lovers very obvious and cruel, here it gets a makeover.
The first half has a romance made tolerable because of the
lad Ishaan Khattar, but the second half is like the girl (Janhvi
Kapoor) annoying and unable to get out of a scene intact.


Main Review:


How delightful is the boy Ishaan Khattar! You saw him shine in
Majid Majidi’s disastrous Bombay story, Beyond The Clouds, and
now here. He is Madhukar here, and we are told by his dad, ‘Stay
away from the girl… They are of different caste… You will be in
trouble…’


The girl is Parthavi, the local politician’s daughter sassy and pretty.
She knows the lad has been following her around, and just like
Sairat (set in a small town in Maharashtra), this film too makes the
same mistake. Udaipur is a small town – usually hotbeds of gossip
and telltale folk – and yet no one reports the romance to the rich
dad, not even to curry favor.


Well, the songs by Ajay Atul are sweet but Rajasthani they are not.
The kids are caught kissing and are separated and beaten up and
the girl comes to the police station and at gunpoint drags the lad
away to freedom. Of course they have not thought about the
consequences.


Sairat really got gritty here, and took their penniless state to really
cringe-inducing levels where you could not pop a kernel of the
multiplex popcorn without feeling guilty. But these two runaways
find shelter immediately and then a way out. And yes, the awful
pointless reference to writer director Sachin Bhowmick is
unmissable. Did they not find a different Bengali name? Sachin
Bhowmick wrote way better characters than this film can count.
They needed a vertically challenged Shridhar Watsar who plays the
comic relief Purushottam to ham it out in every scene. Even
Parthavi’s brother (in Sairat, he’s called Prince, even though his
actions are anything but) is a cardboard bad guy. Ashutosh Rana
gets to glare at the camera and his ‘badness’ is unmissable. I wish
they had thought the story through to really adapt to the setting
in Rajasthan.


The end is too long coming. And the iconic slapping scene in
Sairat shows us how poverty and helplessness can dehumanise
anyone and kill the storybook idea of romance, does not shock you
here at all. Anyone else in the lad’s place would have slapped the
boring heroine much earlier. You are relieved to leave the theatre,
hoping the young actress will sign up for acting lessons if she wants
to step into her mother’s shoes (she’s late Sridevi’s daughter). But
Ishaan shines, and you hope he gets better scripts than Dhadak.
There’s no heartbeat here, no pulse. Dhadak just flatlines.  



(This review appears on www.nowrunning.com ) 

Review: LATHE JOSHI

Gharche Loka Mast Aahet,
Joshibua Kadhi Shikteel?


2.5 stars


CBFC RATING: U


Pravah Productions and Dawn Studios
Producers: Sonali Joshi, Mangesh Joshi
Writer/Director: Mangesh Joshi
Stars: Chittaranjan Giri, Ashwini Giri, Om Bhutkar,
Seva Chauhan


Story:


After working for 35 years, Joshi is laid off from the factory.
The reason, automation. His wife has a thriving catering
business and his son repairs computers and machines and
they tell him to relax. But Joshi, who excels at the Lathe
machine wants nothing but to continue working. Can he
compete with modernisation?


Review:


The Joshi family lives in a dilapidated wada (old style home),
and they seem to be delightful simply because somewhere the
audience knows someone like the characters occupying the
house, or have been in similar domestic situations, like the
Joshi family.


‘Will someone give me tea today?’ complains the granny, who
wears the dark glasses that eye surgery patients wear.


Before you can say, ‘Old people never have the patience,’ the
on screen granny (played brilliantly by Seva Chauhan, has
already ranted five times about how she’s being ignored and that
no one cares… When the daughter in law brings the tea, the
granny is upset because the grandson Dinu (nicely done by
Om Bhutkar) has teased her about acidity and her old age.
Dinu’s mother (Ashwini Giri, terrific in her role) gently rebukes
him, ‘Why do you tease her! She’s already cranky enough!’
The granny hears the word cranky and now refuses what we
now know is the third cup of tea! She drinks it, of course, but we
are waiting for Lathe Joshi who has said nothing since the
beginning of the film, to tell his family that he has lost his job.


He cannot because his wife is busy cooking and finishing the
order for the day…And you realise, that he is not about to tell
his family that he has no job, because his factory unit has been
sold and the company has opted for automation.


The film is as slow paced as can get. Very old world, like Lathe
Joshi himself. He has little to say but he observes everyone and
everything. He doesn’t belong to the world where his wife watches
cooking channels on TV, wants to keep up with the Joneses
because she’s catering to their parties and events; his mother
wants nirvana, will not chant the mantras, but just counts the beads
as the recorded machine chants continuously, she cannot see,
but will hear her favorite TV show on channel 788; the son who
repairs computer, but knows how to charge more than the cost
because he wants to make money. Joshi cannot adapt to this world.


He looks at his colleagues who have accepted their fate, and is
determined to change his. The film has been shot with love.
Written with love too. There are blatant brand endorsements too.
But this is a film that goes nowhere and the solution offered is
too easy a way out. Cinema needs to infuse hope, this doesn’t.
Watch it on a Sunday on TV.

(you should read the ghastly changes toi made and posted!)

Review: LATHE JOSHI

Gharche Loka Mast Aahet,
Joshibua Kadhi Shikteel?


2.5 stars


CBFC RATING: U


Pravah Productions and Dawn Studios
Producers: Sonali Joshi, Mangesh Joshi
Writer/Director: Mangesh Joshi
Stars: Chittaranjan Giri, Ashwini Giri, Om Bhutkar,
Seva Chauhan


Story:


After working for 35 years, Joshi is laid off from the factory.
The reason, automation. His wife has a thriving catering
business and his son repairs computers and machines and
they tell him to relax. But Joshi, who excels at the Lathe
machine wants nothing but to continue working. Can he
compete with modernisation?


Review:


The Joshi family lives in a dilapidated wada (old style home),
and they seem to be delightful simply because somewhere the
audience knows someone like the characters occupying the
house, or have been in similar domestic situations, like the
Joshi family.


‘Will someone give me tea today?’ complains the granny, who
wears the dark glasses that eye surgery patients wear.


Before you can say, ‘Old people never have the patience,’ the
on screen granny (played brilliantly by Seva Chauhan, has
already ranted five times about how she’s being ignored and that
no one cares… When the daughter in law brings the tea, the
granny is upset because the grandson Dinu (nicely done by
Om Bhutkar) has teased her about acidity and her old age.
Dinu’s mother (Ashwini Giri, terrific in her role) gently rebukes
him, ‘Why do you tease her! She’s already cranky enough!’
The granny hears the word cranky and now refuses what we
now know is the third cup of tea! She drinks it, of course, but we
are waiting for Lathe Joshi who has said nothing since the
beginning of the film, to tell his family that he has lost his job.


He cannot because his wife is busy cooking and finishing the
order for the day…And you realise, that he is not about to tell
his family that he has no job, because his factory unit has been
sold and the company has opted for automation.


The film is as slow paced as can get. Very old world, like Lathe
Joshi himself. He has little to say but he observes everyone and
everything. He doesn’t belong to the world where his wife watches
cooking channels on TV, wants to keep up with the Joneses
because she’s catering to their parties and events; his mother
wants nirvana, will not chant the mantras, but just counts the beads
as the recorded machine chants continuously, she cannot see,
but will hear her favorite TV show on channel 788; the son who
repairs computer, but knows how to charge more than the cost
because he wants to make money. Joshi cannot adapt to this world.


He looks at his colleagues who have accepted their fate, and is
determined to change his. The film has been shot with love.
Written with love too. There are blatant brand endorsements too.
But this is a film that goes nowhere and the solution offered is
too easy a way out. Cinema needs to infuse hope, this doesn’t.
Watch it on a Sunday on TV.

(you should read the ghastly changes toi made and posted!)

Review: SOORMA


Soorma Starts Out As A Cool Sports Film
But ‘Chak De!’ It Is Not…


2.5 stars


Mini Review:


Sandeep Singh struggles to get himself a place in the Indian
team, and just when he’s making a name for himself as an
International hockey player, a gunshot paralyses him. His
rehabilitation comprises hard work and comes back to the
field and becomes a huge star. The biopic is delicious in
the first half, but the predictability of the second half
brings it down.


Main Review:


A little town Shahbad in Punjab has young people working really,
really hard to make it to the team, any team. But young Sandeep
is in the eye of the storm for being a slacker. And coach sir
(played with brilliant cruelty by Danish Husain) is unforgiving. He
knows that there are many kids hungry to get on to a team and
only strict discipline will get you there. Sandeep is ready to take
on the punishment meted to him, but has a rebellious streak,
which earns him severe beatings. Especially because his
attention is distracted by a pretty, sassy hockey player Harpreet
(played well by Tapsee Pannu).

His brother Bikramjit Singh is also a hockey player (but does not
get selected to the India team) discovers that Sundeep (now
relegated to looking after the crops after severe beating from the
coach) has a rare talent. That talent is flicking the ball into the
goal which earns him the title of ‘Flicker Singh’ and a place in
the Indian team.


The film has been written with a great sense of humor which
makes you want to be part of Sandeep’s family. Diljit Dosanjh
plays Sandeep Singh convincingly. He has a natural charm that
wins the audience over easily. And yes, he can dance! His
romance with Tapsee Pannu is very sweet and fun, a quality not
seen in recent crop of Bollywood films. Angad Bedi who plays the
older brother is surprisingly good. The connection between the
brothers is enviable and will bring a lump to even the most
cynical throats. The film is shot beautifully and intimately, which
makes the first half a breezy watch.

The second half though is as painful as Sandeep Singh’s
rehabilitation from a paralysing injury. It drags on and on so by the
time we reach the final grudge match between India and Pakistan,
you are tried. You do not come away as joyous and overwhelmed
as you did after you watched Chak De. You are just awed by the
fact that Sandeep Singh holds the record for the world’s fastest
flick even today, but glad that the film is over. Hockey is not cricket
in India. But definitely the choice of sport in the North. The music
is inspiring and the love song (Ishq di baajiyaan) is eminently
hummable. The Soorma anthem is memorable, but the dance
number is so Punjabi, and not easy to understand at all. Despite
many wonderful things, this film feels like a drag. Perhaps some
day, a hockey film will inspire us as Chak De did.



(this review appears on www.nowrunning.com)

Review: SANJU

Ranbir Kapoor Ka Mimicry Show!
Drugs, Guns, Dosti, Ghapaghap,
Sab Kitta Sweet Hai!


2 stars


Mini Review:


Let’s get one thing straight: This is a work of fiction
masquerading as a biopic. And Rajkumar Hirani may have
violins standing by to manipulate emotions, and he has
Ranbir Kapoor mimicking Sanjay Dutt’s mannerisms, but the
movie remains a vanilla version of a life full of violence
induced by drugs, guns, bad company and women.


Main Review:


Have you ever bought a fake bag, sunglasses, even books from
a roadside vendor who ran when the cops came? Have you ever
had a friend who was told they resemble a movie star and then
they became so annoying in that imitation that you are no longer
friends? Watching Sanju was just such an experience. Granted,
that Rajkumar Hirani’s craft is visible, because he plays with all
kinds of emotion. Granted also that Ranbir Kapoor has a
humongous talent for imitation.  


What should have been the story of a meteoric rise of a
privileged brat who turned into a superstar, brought down by
drugs and women and then guns and bad company, and then
rises against all odds, ends up being a two and half hour
mimicry show, which glosses over everything.

Kabhi Bambaiyya Kabhie Hindi

The storytelling style is like a conversation, Sanjay Dutt talking
about his life. And that’s a fine narrative device too. But the
writing swings from Bambaiyya style slang in dialog (‘Faad
daala’ and ‘Waat laagli’) to his internal dialog, when he’s
arguing with the lawyers, and pleading with the underworld don,
he speaks quite normally.

Grown Up Lads Fantasize About Phools Aur Butterflies
Whatever Happend to Pamela Anderson?


And what’s with seeing flowers and rainbows when showing us
drug induced hallucinations? Will troubled souls see flowers?
There is much better madness in Disney’s Fantasia, where
Mickey Mouse is a Sorcerer’s Apprentice and even he sees
pink elephants on unicycles, ostriches and hippos doing ballet
and twilring mushrooms and multiplying brooms when things
go out of control. And Rajkumar Hirani shows us flowers and
more flowers blooming and in his most drug induced sadness,
we see Sanju write his girlfriend’s name and blows on it and
the letters vanish as if made of smoke. If flowers is what Sanju
saw when he did drugs, then why is he so troubled?

350 Women Give Or Take, So Cute Na?
How cute and casual this is, about going through 350 women!
But that’s not troubling at all! They casually dismiss his
womanising as a statistic. Something his wife jokes about and
the female reporter notes it down as, ‘How honest he is!’ No one
thought it was weird to reduce women to numbers? Who would
believe that a superstar who is rumored to have dated some of
the most beautiful women would just gloss over this part of his
life with one line? And no one tells us how he was married to the
woman who is shown to defend him with her all? Then call it
‘Ghapaghap’ to get laughs from the cheap seats.


Violence Bhi Sweet Hai!

Let’s gloss over the guns and the other violent parts of his nature
too! Show us how he ‘playfully’ makes a writer pray to him
because he dares to suggest that his biopic should have
comparisons to Mahatma Gandhi, and then forcibly removes
the writer’s shoes because he is made to look like a God in the
biopic he’s writing. Well, in that case, the same should be done
to the director who wants us to believe Sanjay Dutt was a super
good guy, just misunderstood.


He’s As Innocent As A Daisy, The Press Is The Bad Guy

Cheap shots are taken at journalists because they’re trying to
‘sell’ news, and again and again and again we are shown how
Sanju Baba got a bad rap. They forgot to show one big part of
his life as a movie star! And he’s been such a huge movie star,
the failure to show anything about his movies is a shame! In fact,
there’s nothing, nothing about his movies. No highs when his
screaming fans chase him, no lows when the movies fail. In fact,
apart from the first movie and one scene of his very first film,
and one of his last films we see nothing of Sanjay Dutt the
movie star.


All Is Not Lost…

But the one shining star in this movie is Vicky Kaushal. The friend
who stays with Sanju through all his ups and downs. He made me
cry and he made me smile. And you come away wishing you had
a friend like Kamli. This performance is not just the best, but
shows us what the film could have been, resemblance to Sanjay
Dutt be damned. Yes Paresh Rawal too gives off the Sunil Dutt
vibe and makes good dad to the Sanju.

But in the end, no matter how much lipstick and gloss and glitter
you put on a pig, it won’t turn into a unicorn. Despite the creepy
similarity to the real Sanju baba, this film remains what it is, a pig.

(this review sans subheads appears on nowrunning dot com)

 

Review: HEREDITARY

WHO’S AFRAID OF FAMILY?

2 stars

Mini Review:

Sorry boss, if you want to scare the heck out of Indians, then you  have to try harder. Much harder. And we don’t need Hollywood telling us weirdness runs in the family. We know. We faced that monster way before Hollywood did. The film manages to hold our hopes because we like scary movie, we like psychological drama, and we like Toni Colette. But as the story unravels, it just becomes blah.

Main Review:

‘Is that your sister?’ A love interest for the brother with a weird mole asks him.
‘Yes.’ He answers
‘She looks retarded.’

And I went, ‘Whaaaaa?’

So she clucks. It is a bit unsettling at first, but remember that chachaji who makes those funny sounds when he’s reading the newspaper or nani who talks to herself sometimes? Well, family can be scarier than a silly girl who clucks. Only once, yes, once does the film make you jump out of your skin when the mom hears her cluck in the car…

I loved, loved, loved the idea of the mother (played brilliantly by Toni Colette) who makes meticulous miniatures. You know there’s something creepy going on when she makes a miniature of a mother she has just buried…

But after that? Blah! It becomes predictable. And the miniature of the car is not really a miniature. So you feel cheated. But everyone in the theatre is watching so intently, you don’t want to mutter rude things at the screen.

Builds Tension. But Kitna Slow! You Begin To Anticipate Events

That’s when you realise that the pace is excuciatingly slow and the filmmaker is taking the usual route to scare the audience. The home is darker inside than the outside, there is a grave desecrated, the dead grandma belonged to a cult, there are no cops in that city or the accidental death would be investigated (and that would give the filmmaker a chance to kill the suspicious policeman… Yes, the film gets that predictable… Sigh). Then there are clues, so many clues about where the story the story is going: strange black magic symbols (du-uh!), strange women befriend heroine, Strange woman turns out to be a ‘medium’, the entire town seems to be deserted except that the school is filled with kids who sort of vanish conveniently from the frame when weird kids are about to experience something wierder.

And this film proves that ghosts always appear behind and over the person’s shoulder. They even crawl upside down on ceilings. And knowing that weird stuff is happenning, characters enter into rooms (or go downstairs) without ever switching on the lights. And of course weird kids will see weird apparitions or visions. And most of them will be pointless. in this film, you don’t know why the dead granny is shown sitting among flames…

The Unwittingly Funny Cult Scene

Seriously, dude! Your mum just killed your dad, and your sister is dead and an even deader granny has been appearing in odd places around the house. You’re barely alive. WHY, WHY, WHY are you walking towards the area which looks strangely lit by hellfire? Run from the place, already! Of course you are going to turn out to be half-blood prince or satan’s twin or something! 

This film tries really hard to be dark (literally) and mysterious and scary. But we Indians do rituals (like getting brides maried to trees and goats and what have you) that are scarier…

I left the theater laughing because the cult said, ‘Hail Paimon!’ in the same way as you heard minions say, ‘Hail, Mogambo!’ in Mr. India




    







Review: THE INCREDIBLES 2

They’re back! And how! And Jack-Jack? Yahahooooooo!

4 stars!

Mini Review:

The Supers are illegal, and since the Underminer showed up at the end of the original film, the action begins right away! And it goes on and on and on and you laugh and you guffaw at the cleverness (villain name: Screenslaver!) and whoop and smile and nod your head in approval! The gadgets are brill, and  All in all, this is a fabulous film and we can’t wait for baby Jack Jack to have more fun in the next movie. And you will vote for Edna Mode to have her own film! I did!

Main Review:

How does a grown up admit to enjoying a movie so much?

I have no excuse. I just cannot be objective here. I felt like a baby discovering fun. 

This is what it felt like: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbhwvOz-18s

baby