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

   

Review: RACE 3


Where is Shirtless Salman? Where? Where?

(For Fulltoo Paisa Vasool, he needs to take that shirt off every twenty minutes!)

2 stars

Mini Review:

If you’ve seen Race movies, then you will know that everyone double crosses everyone else in really tacky disco, hotel settings. Everyone drives really expensive cars that are shown in wild car chases and expensive cars are blown up without impunity. Of course here too, everyone doublecrosses each other, but only Salman Khan (Sikander) knows everything and beats them all. Sikander’s shirtless scene take so long in coming, people were leaving the theatre. We watched, fueled by coffee until the very end where they threaten another pointless sequel.

Main Review:

It’s not a Salman Khan movie if the shirt doesn’t come off!

It happens, but not before you see a topless Bobby Deol. EWWWWWW! Who wants to see that?!
Salman Khan then stands tall on the sand dunes, in his elevator shoes, shirt burning, then shirtless, two hours twenty minutes into the movie. For a fan, that’s too much waiting for seetis! So blah yaar!

And romance? So feeka feeka! Jacquilene Fernandes wears all those sexy clothes but behaves so coy! Who made this rubbishy Race? Where are the steamy hot Bipasha type scenes that made the first film so watchable!

Should not have Facepalmed at ‘Ik baar baby selfish hoke apne liye jiyo naa!’ It was like the film telling you, be selfish, walk out… This film is going to be awful!

Some movies were made for DVDs. You could then happily fast forward the really boring scenes and go directly to the action. Action scenes which mainly involve cars blowing up, and Salman Khan stunts. The best scene in fact involves Salman and a motorbike. That itself deserves a star and a half. 

And who wrote this gawdawful dialog, ‘Our business is our business, and none of your business.’? Mouthed by Daisy Shah who looks so wrong in that setting, you keep thinking she’s going to do dandiya and break into the photocopy song! Not that her twin Saquib Saleem is any better. He is made to say, ‘Bro’ so often you wonder if he just turned twelve instead of 25!

Old DoubleCross Story. But they talk in Billions instead of ‘Karod’

I’ve liked Race movies simply because the girls use guns and are ‘bad’ rather happily and remorselessly. They are thankfully not the ‘sati savitri types’. But then their betrayal by seduction was first class Bollywood ishtyle in the earlier movies. Here it is so blah, you think Jacquilene Fernandes was wearing her home clothes (yes, she wears red stripey yoga pants!). 

The rest is the same ole tried and tested (and hence terribly tired) double-cross thing. Everyone and their uncle is out to double cross one another. And their betrayal is not even concealed. It’s downright boring. They look like they are rich and talk in billions as if they were talking about spare change. Then they talk about bearer bonds (seriously?! They went out of style in 1988 with Bruce Willis’ Die Hard, the first one when Alan Rickman falls to his death from Nakatome Plaza!)

Bhojpuri in the Middle East. Because, roots!

Anil Kapoor is patriarch. He has one nephew and twins. Salman Khan plays nephew Sikander, and the twins are Daisy Shah and Saquib Salim. They are super rich and super angry and super able to dodge bullets. They bash up at least twenty baddies each and break so much glass you wonder if this is a ‘Race’ to deafen the audience. And the plot to blackmail Indian politicians via an Interpol officer by paying off a silly hotel employee (who has kept a ‘hard drive’ hidden in a locker in Cambodia and is protected by his fingerprint) seems weirdly far-fetched. You wonder, why can’t he pick it up himself? But then how else do we see Saquib Saleem use a light sabre to break open the safe and then steal from the bank that is alarmless!)

Speaking of alarmless banks, I was alarmed and yet relieved that no local bystanders or passing vehicles are either shown or hurt when the cast of Race 3 is blowing up cars and motorbike guys indiscriminately. I am happy to report that there is a disco in Cambodia full of Indians. Please avoid it if planning to visit that country.   

Cast hai ki Leftovers of a Race?

Then there’s Yash. Played by Bobby Deol. Whose bright ideas was to cast this creature, you wonder! Where are the the Saif Ali Khans, Akshaye Khanna, the sirens like Bipasha Basu and Katrina Kaif? This cast is like the leftovers of a race rather than the real thing.

This time Race takes us from Al Shifa in the desert (presumably an empty Middle East), Handiya (a district in Allahabad, India), to Beijing to Cambodia and of course many computer generated snow clad mountain scenes that could be Switzerland, lake side scenes for romantic songs. 

Also someone tell the filmmakers to dress the cast according to the weather and not just for ‘tashan’ (style!). Poor Anil Kapoor makes an appearance in a velvet coat in scene one, and after that is shown to wear a trench coat. He’s located in the Middle East! There’s sanddunes around, and a blazing Sun overhead. 

But you will be distracted by all the mindless disco songs inserted for some reason or the other. And when the lyrics are so terrible: Weekend ki paartiyaan hain, ek main aur ek tu saath mein hain, aur haath mein hai tattoo!’ you end up adding ‘bro’ to every line and hope they all die horribly.






Review: KAALA KALIKARAN

Political Rajini is Present,
But Where is Our Super Star?

2.5 Stars

Mini Review: 

Kaala Kalikaran is the uncrowned king of Dharavi. His intervention keeps the poor people of the shantytown together. He rules with a twirl of his moustache and a smile that lights up his snowy beard. But the builders try hard to empty the ‘dirty’ eyesore. Kaala fights for the rights of the people. Is the fight one-sided when the police and the politicians are on the side of the builders? You’ve seen this all before. Only Rajinikant holds your attention through this tedious movie. 

Main Review: 

For Nayakan, they recreated Dharavi in Chennai! 
This Dharavi is recreated from the 70s.

Mani Ratnam’s Nayakan spoke of a don of Dharavi many decades ago. And it was a brilliant film, critically as well as in popularity. It’s Hindi version Dayavan may have bombed, but its story of Velu Nayakan is memorable even today. 

Rajinikant plays Kaala, the man who wears black and rules Dharavi, Mumbai’s largest slum. Hindus and Muslims live together in harmony only because Kaala is able to keep the together. He is ‘black’ literally and figuratively (they speak of his murky past). And you just accept that he has earned the crown. 

The film opens with the police and a builder wanting to break down one part of Dharavi. Kaala’s son Lenin and his girl are heading the protest. When the builder’s goons resort to violence, someone informs Kaala, and he shows up to scare those goons away. The son does not like it. Ooh! Smells like Frederico Corleone, no? 

Alas, this is no Godfather of Dharavi, neither is this film Nayakan. Rajinikant has its own magic, and the first time he says, ‘I’m here, come at me!’ you are not expecting the cavalry to rescue the assassination, you are expecting the truw Rajini style fights. You want him to pound the bad guys as he did in Baasha (Remember the scene where he ties up the politician who tries to molest his sister? Each time he hit the bad guy, the entire theatre erupted in whoops). You want him finish the never ending steam of bad guys… This film takes us to the brink of those fabulous action set-pieces and stops. It’s super annoying to be left hungry. And you wait and you wait for justice, Rajinikant style. It never comes.

Whose Dharavi is it anyway?

We see the movie go round in circles around schemes to evict Dharavi. It’s as though the filmmakers have not bothered to see what Dharavi is today. It’s a huge commercial hub. It’s a thriving leather industry, there are workshops that make designer clothes, and there are food factories where deep fried stuff is made. Imagine the baddies being fried in oil when the Dharavi residents take it upon themselves to fight back! Imagine the tanning factories where baddies can enter and never come out… The possibility of better action is just waiting to be discovered. But Pa Ranjith’s Dharavi seems to be straight out of the 70s. People gathering to watch small tvs at a tea shop… woah! The leather shops have flat screen TVs today. And they accept VISA. This world that they’re trying to pass off as Dharavi is sham.   

Rajinikant’s wife (played by Eswari Rao) is delightful and real. But then the rest of the family is so generic, they could pass off as ‘family’ in any of the South films. Remember how Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) plays with his grandchild before his fatal heart attack? What a memorable scene that is with oranges and tomatoes. In this film, there are so many grandkids, you don’t care about them at all. The scene with Rajini and his grandkids is so forced, you step out and get another coffee.

Alas, when you come back, the narrative has not moved at all. Yes, there’s Nana Patekar who wears all white and wants Kaala (and everyone else) to touch his feet. But you’re bored of the ‘pure and clean’ dialogue. Harry Potter film that talks of Purebloods and Mudbloods is more adult and scary than this, ‘You are Ravan, so you must die,’ dialogue. Boring.

Once upon a time the name Rajinikant was enough to bring crowds to the theater. And the Tamil version of the film is doing well, is what one has heard. But the Hindi version simply lulls you to sleep. Even a rabid fan like me needed four black coffees. Yes, the last scene where the little girl throws black muck was full paisa vasool. Then they throw blue and red and aaaaaaargh! Rajini fans deserve better. 



(this review appears on nowrunning.com)   


Review: JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM


Paint By Numbers Story, But The Dinosaurs 
ARE STILL SCARY!

3 stars

Mini Review:

The basic story may be the same: Calamity on island so dinosaurs need to be saved, there are bad guys on another team, and despite all odds, the good guys need to get the job done. This time the toe tapping dinosaur scared me so much, the coffee in my hand went cold… 


Main Review:

Chris Pratt is back! Smiling lazily at the girl who left him… He’s not as sassy as he is in Guardians of the Galaxy, but you believe him when he says he will save the dinosaurs…

Bryce Dallas Howard is odd here because her character seems to be boring to the point of being pointless. She has no special talent (except that she is love interest to Chris Pratt) and seems to get in the way rather than help with anything (she cannot even jab a needle into a sedated dinosaur!).

The bad guys are good bad guys, not great bad guys. That’s because they do predictable things. Like capture the dinosaurs and sell them to the highest bidder… But this one bad guy has a kink: he wants dinosaur teeth. To make himself a necklace…

The movie sucks you into the story you have seen before. This time though, it made me cry because Nature does what it does best: destroy. 

The action set pieces are awesome. And the head butting dinosaur brings a smile to your face despite the fact that Blue is wandering about the building, angry and hungry to eat people up. The little girl is a terrific actor. She transfers her fears on to the audience quite easily and compellingly. And at one point her secret becomes a crazy spinoff that could shake the world.

What a sad movie it is that promises Jeff Goldblum and gives him just a sad ‘bear witness to the future’ scene? 

But when Blue looks at the cage and chooses freedom, you know you can breathe a sigh of relief and the world has to accept it too…

I loved the movie despite the predictability of it all. And am sure you will be scared too if a claw felt touched your hair like the toe tapping dinosaur does…

*shudder*



Review: BHAVESH JOSHI SUPERHERO

A Result Of Watching Too Much Netflix


2.5 Stars


Mini Review:


A young man dedicated to righting the wrongs of the world
around him stumbles into something sinister and way
beyond his masked paperbag avatar of ‘Insaaf TV’ on
social media. Bhavesh Joshi tries to handle the big bad
world of baddies and is outnumbered. His one time friend
then takes on the role of the vigilante Bhavesh Joshi and
tries to undo the wrongs. The movie has some really
refreshing parts, and others are so blatantly aped from
Netflix shows and movies, they sort of cancel each other
and you come away shaking your head sadly.


Main Review:


Is Bhavesh Joshi trying to be like Kick-Ass the movie? Is he
meant to be the superhero every young person wants to be or
is he a spin off of ‘the angry young man against the world’
Amitabh Bachchan movies we loved in the 70s?  


From saving trees from being chopped off to discovering how
politicians are siphoning off the city’s water supplies to resell
the water for a price, a young out of work Bhavesh Joshi and
his paper-bag mask reach everywhere. Priyanshu Painyuli
who plays Bhavesh Joshi is such a wonderful find. He’s a fine
actor and looks the part of a young lad, intense about doing
the right thing. Anyone who grew up reading Indrajal comics
will tell you about homegrown heroes like Bahadur. Of course
the film has clever lines like, ‘We’re DC not Marvel. We’re cooler.’
Harshvardhan Kapoor is the quintessential ‘Engineer who hates
the cubicle coding life who is happy to leave to go to America
because nothing can go right here’ lad. He sits at their favourite
pub making ‘how we protest marched’ into a pick-up line.
Ashish Verma plays Rajat, the third friend who is the voice of
reason, the nerd who writes ‘graphic novel’ about Insaaf-Man.
The backstory of how the friends met is good fun. And you think
the movie is going to be good.


You want to understand why the film suddenly borrows from all
kinds of shows and movies and becomes generic underdog
superhero: the need to learn martial arts from a ‘Chinese’ person,
the need to add Fast and Furious style nitrous oxide (chop shops
in Bombay would facepalm at that because they’d add Liqui Moly
Speed Tec Benzene is legal and cheaper), the need to use a video
camera (what is this, the 80s?) instead of smartphones that
upload videos directly because it was so cool in movies like
Son of Rambow.


What made me sigh into my coffee was the Korean style fights
where baddies just keep coming at the hero their weapons
raised, and then you realise you need to sigh many more times
because the filmmakers have chipped away at the magic trying
to make a superhero movie. Without giving away the plot, let
me ask you computer engineers out there. How do you suddenly
know how to repaint motorbikes? Drive one (when he drives a
car mostly)? How can you re-jig the motorbike? How is it that
the office in Atlanta doesn’t care if the team lead has not
reported and connect with the Bombay boss? And why does
he do a Peter Parker staring at Mary Jane?


Harshvardhan Kapoor is boring. And his petulant, ‘Teach me!’ is
hysterical. Thankfully you are distracted by the underrated talent
of Nishikant Kamat (His ears are spectacularly cinematic too.).
He makes a great villain. It’s just that when people are already
in power, they don’t need such a scheme that involves so
much Semtex to get contracts issued in their favor. You realise
you have blown off everything in the coffee cup with your sighs.


The film is too long (155 minutes) to get to this point. There are
some good parts (the idea that Bhavesh Joshi is out there) and
many pathetic ones. It cancels out what could have been a
great straight to Netflix or Amazon show.


(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)            

Review: BHAVESH JOSHI SUPERHERO

A Result Of Watching Too Much Netflix


2.5 Stars


Mini Review:


A young man dedicated to righting the wrongs of the world
around him stumbles into something sinister and way
beyond his masked paperbag avatar of ‘Insaaf TV’ on
social media. Bhavesh Joshi tries to handle the big bad
world of baddies and is outnumbered. His one time friend
then takes on the role of the vigilante Bhavesh Joshi and
tries to undo the wrongs. The movie has some really
refreshing parts, and others are so blatantly aped from
Netflix shows and movies, they sort of cancel each other
and you come away shaking your head sadly.


Main Review:


Is Bhavesh Joshi trying to be like Kick-Ass the movie? Is he
meant to be the superhero every young person wants to be or
is he a spin off of ‘the angry young man against the world’
Amitabh Bachchan movies we loved in the 70s?  


From saving trees from being chopped off to discovering how
politicians are siphoning off the city’s water supplies to resell
the water for a price, a young out of work Bhavesh Joshi and
his paper-bag mask reach everywhere. Priyanshu Painyuli
who plays Bhavesh Joshi is such a wonderful find. He’s a fine
actor and looks the part of a young lad, intense about doing
the right thing. Anyone who grew up reading Indrajal comics
will tell you about homegrown heroes like Bahadur. Of course
the film has clever lines like, ‘We’re DC not Marvel. We’re cooler.’
Harshvardhan Kapoor is the quintessential ‘Engineer who hates
the cubicle coding life who is happy to leave to go to America
because nothing can go right here’ lad. He sits at their favourite
pub making ‘how we protest marched’ into a pick-up line.
Ashish Verma plays Rajat, the third friend who is the voice of
reason, the nerd who writes ‘graphic novel’ about Insaaf-Man.
The backstory of how the friends met is good fun. And you think
the movie is going to be good.


You want to understand why the film suddenly borrows from all
kinds of shows and movies and becomes generic underdog
superhero: the need to learn martial arts from a ‘Chinese’ person,
the need to add Fast and Furious style nitrous oxide (chop shops
in Bombay would facepalm at that because they’d add Liqui Moly
Speed Tec Benzene is legal and cheaper), the need to use a video
camera (what is this, the 80s?) instead of smartphones that
upload videos directly because it was so cool in movies like
Son of Rambow.


What made me sigh into my coffee was the Korean style fights
where baddies just keep coming at the hero their weapons
raised, and then you realise you need to sigh many more times
because the filmmakers have chipped away at the magic trying
to make a superhero movie. Without giving away the plot, let
me ask you computer engineers out there. How do you suddenly
know how to repaint motorbikes? Drive one (when he drives a
car mostly)? How can you re-jig the motorbike? How is it that
the office in Atlanta doesn’t care if the team lead has not
reported and connect with the Bombay boss? And why does
he do a Peter Parker staring at Mary Jane?


Harshvardhan Kapoor is boring. And his petulant, ‘Teach me!’ is
hysterical. Thankfully you are distracted by the underrated talent
of Nishikant Kamat (His ears are spectacularly cinematic too.).
He makes a great villain. It’s just that when people are already
in power, they don’t need such a scheme that involves so
much Semtex to get contracts issued in their favor. You realise
you have blown off everything in the coffee cup with your sighs.


The film is too long (155 minutes) to get to this point. There are
some good parts (the idea that Bhavesh Joshi is out there) and
many pathetic ones. It cancels out what could have been a
great straight to Netflix or Amazon show.


(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)