Movie Review- A Death in the Gunj

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A Death in the Gunj has created a lot of buzz since its release. To everyone hearing about this film now, it was actually released back in September 2016 for film festivals. It was screened at a film festival in Indian Habitat Centre (IHC) in May this year even before its release. So this film has been around for a long time, and after four months of trying (since February) to get a copy somehow, I finally saw it in the hall. And it was well worth the wait, almost!
A Death in the Gunj is by no stretch of imagination the best film of this year, but it’s still a fantastic one. It is a drama/thriller film, which in my opinion is one of the most mismatched combination of genres, along with Horror/Comedy (I don’t who even does this. I and a few friends of mine stumbled onto this on a night stay.).
A Death in the Gunj is more Drama than thriller. A Death in the Gunj has a huge cast of characters: Shutu (Vikrant Massey) as the sad, troubled (for the lack of a better word) cousin of Bonni (Tillotama Shome), who is the wife of Nandan/Nandu (Gulshan Devaiah), and their child is Tani (Arya Sharma). Then, there are O.P. Bakshi (Om Puri) and Anupama Bakshi (Tanuja) as the parents of Nandu, whose house serves as the location for the film. Then there are friends of Nandu and Bonnie: Mitali (Mimi) (Kalki Koechlin), the weird and sultry friend, VIkram (Ranvir Shorey), the asshole (as in you’ll find him to be an asshole, but most of the characters think he isn’t), and Brian (Jim Sarbh), the friend whom we never get to know. Then there are the comic helpers of the Bakshi’s, Manjiya and I forgot the name of his wife. Apparently no site mentions these characters’ full names or the actors. So they are either not given enough importance, or are not actors. Which feels wrong, because their name should have been mentioned.
The film pays a lot of attention to the characters and the interaction between the characters. It takes its start sloooooooowwwww. I think what Konkana Sensharma did was flesh out the characters by their interactions. For eg- You get to know about one side of Shutu when he is with Tani, and another side when he is with Nandu, and another when he is with Mimi. So, you never truly explicitly get to know the characters well, or what the others feel about everyone, because the relation between Bonni and Shutu isn’t very well fleshed out, and the relation between Nandu and his father only stays at the surface. Or why nobody every questions or says anything about Vikram being an asshole (God he is such an asshole, all throughout. So is Nandu as well, so I guess that’s why they never realise). While I do admire what Konkana Sensharma has done, I couldn’t help but feel that there was a lot missing from the characters. The characters, except Shutu are largely 1D, especially Brian who is 0.5D.
The acting though, by all of them was superb! I came to the acting portion of the movie only two hours after the movie. It felt strange, because I never noticed the acting, even while watching the movie; which isn’t something I do. That’s when it hit me. They were all (the cast) so natural and so lifelike, with their weird mannerisms, stupid antics and their spot on odd 1970’s hairstyles (The movie is set in 1979 BTW), that you never realise any of them is acting.
One thing I did while watching the movie was guess who would die in the film. It says a DEATH, why not have some extra fun? I actually tried to make up reasons why some character or the other would die and how. Also, all of you will get a warning about Paranormal activities at the start of the film. Let me just inform you that there is very minimal paranormal stuff going on. The disclaimer makes it look more serious than it actually is and take it with a pinch of salt. That disclaimer really distracted me, because I kept on thinking that there would be some paranormal element, which there wasn’t. Thank you Pehlaj Nehani.
Konkana Sensharma has overall done an amazing job at direction. I think this is one of the best directorial debuts I’ve seen in my life. I wouldn’t be surprised that she receives tons of nominations for her work here. The pacing of the film is a bit slow however. It takes a lot of time to set the characters up properly, and there are some scenes here and there which could have been trimmed, and shorten the movie up by five minutes or so. It doesn’t seem like much, but those five minutes could make the movie crisper. The cinematography is outstanding as well, to say the least. There were two shots of McCluskieganj which were so beautiful, like right out of a game or a Japanese movie. The trees, the terrain around them, all seen through the mist from an overview. Phenomenal. That is the most beautiful scene I have ever seen in a film.
Even if A Death in the Gunj hadn’t been a debut, it would’ve still been a phenomenal film. There isn’t much to hate on in this film, though a lot to love. It’s a natural film, like the flow of the ocean with some low tides and a high tide.

Rating-3/4

Movie Review- Meri Pyaari Bindu

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It’s been a week since I saw the movie, and I can’t get through the title without a huge smile creeping on my face. I remember the scenes, the ending especially, and the cute faces of Ayushman Khurana and Parineeti Chopra’s characters and looking at them happy, I feel happy. The ending ingrained in my mind is such an amazing source of never ending smiles.
Meri Pyaari Bindu (Loosely translated to My Lovely Bindu) is a combination of (500) Days of Summer, Forrest Gump and Paper Towns. Sort of. For the initiated, the people who have seen these three films, will notice a lot of plot similarities with them. Those who haven’t, you’ll have it in reverse. The one central narrative element which all four movies share, is that the story is focused on the male lead; his character, journey and emotions. The female lead is explored only as much as she impacts the male lead. We don’t delve into her thought process or the nuances of her thinking.
In our story, the male lead is Abhimanyu “Bubla” Roy, who is deeply and madly in love with Bindu Shankarnarayanan, his neighbour since 1983, when he was four.
Meri Pyaari Bindu is a fantastic film. It nails every aspect of film-making, direction, characterization, acting, songs, plot lines and dialogues! Damn.
It is so immensely engrossing. I have particular habit. In the movie hall, if somebody is speaking, or a phone seven rows in front of me turns on with a white scree, I get distracted and spend 10-20 second on the distraction. Fifteen minutes in, I was so into the film, I could care less what anybody was doing or speaking or thinking. I was laughing almost half the time. It became tough not to laugh at almost every scene. At one point, my mom had to tell me to laugh quietly. I remember hitting my knees on two occasions. The comedy is subtle and has you out of your wits.
At the same time, it has a great mix of emotional, which reveals the characters beyond their comedy.
Honestly, if any one of you came up to me and asked me to tell you a scene by scene synopsis of the movie, I would fail. There is just no chance. I was so hooked onto the movie, so engrossed in the scenes, I forgot to watch them; I was experiencing them. Like I said, you get so lost in the movie, you go from scene to scene, remembering the essence but forgetting what it was about. You can barely sequence the. That was about 70% of the first half and 50% of the second half for me.
Meri Pyaari Bindu is insanely artistic. I don’t think I can put it in terms which everyone will agree to; so I’ll put them in terms I relate to. It has so many elements which go beyond the surface. The scenes use nostalgia, often
accompanied by music to familiarise us with the characters. It uses metaphors to speak to us in scenes. The scenes have a deep magic embedded in them, which makes them feel they are scenes which happen only in movies, when they just as easily do in real life. The dialogues often have meaning beyond the surface, which can only be caught by those who pay attention to the film.
This is another reason why I love the film, because all these little little things add so much layer and depth to the film and make it a rewarding experience.
The movie honestly stands on its writing. The movie tackles a concept so well-trodden (the best inarguably by (500) Days of Summer), it’s impossible to set a foundation there because it’s been so overused, the building might crumble under its own weight. Every scene of the movie risks the foundation. Even if one scene were to miss its mark, it would ruin the remaining movie and nullify whatever has been done.
Plus, Ayushman Khurana and Parineeti Chopra had their characters down to the dot. Ayushman Khurana looked damn cute (and innocent and charming) in his portrayal of the silent, straight, supportive, intense, filled with nostalgia Abhimanyu “Bubla” Roy. Parineeti Chopra’s Bindu Shankarnarayanan is random, volatile and smart. Her character is as crazy and unpredictable as is Ayushman Khurana’s stable and silent. And Parineeti Chopra’s character does it all: be crazy, happy, cry silently and loudly, be sad, be depressed, be edgy and happy (the one where you’re satisfied with life and all it has to offer).
There is one particular complaint I have with the film. Everyone who still hasn’t watched the movie might want to skip it and get to the next paragraph. Early on in the film, the concept of a tape is introduced; wherein Abhimanyu and Bindu save 10 songs each on side of a cassette. These are the ten songs which are the most important in their life. We are only ever introduced to one song, the remaining 19 are never seen. I would have loved had all the songs been used, or at least a few more or the concept been revised to fewer songs so they could have been used.
Like I said, Meri Pyaari Bindu is a fantastic movie, one which deserves multiple re watches. Though beware, its comedy, artistic scenes and unconventional style don’t make it everyone’s cup of tea. It is certainly not a bad film by any stretch, but requires some acceptance of unconventional styles for getting into.
Rating-3.5/4

Movie Review-Jolly LLB 2

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When Jolly LLB was released, it won over a lot of hearts and became a moderate success at the box office. It is a simple film with simple elements. A plain and simple story, simple and honest characters, most importantly, an everyday man everyone could relate to. A man who fought and defeated a big shot lawyer, though also because his passion pulled the judge in his favour.
Come the sequel, and the straight as a needle character is changed at the start. Jagdishwar Mishra, urf Jolly (Akshay Kumar) comes off as more of a player. He plays the system and people’s emotions to get his way. It is only when the plot thickens and he is way out of his depth do we get to see the straight common man being troubled by those with more power.
The story is full of twists and turns and bureaucracy and greed in the echelons of the police. Jolly LLB 2 is more majestic, cinematic and dramatic than the original. While the original was a simple steady river, LLB 2 is a raging river which isn’t afraid to pull big waves of dramatic scenes. While the sequel loses the simple charm of the original, it creates a position of its own.
Jolly LLB 2 could be termed as a bad sequel, because it doesn’t adhere to the style which made the first movie so great; but never a bad movie. As a movie, it is terrific. Funnily enough though, even though LLB 2 doesn’t follow the spirit of the original movie, it does have all the twists and turns of the first. You could put the stories of the two movie side by side and see no difference. The only difference comes across in direction and conflict and its magnitude.
In our talks and hypes of Kaabil and Raees, we never gave Jolly LLB 2 all that much attention. Ironically, it is Jolly LLB 2 which is the best of the lot and more deserving of our attention.
LLB 2 is formulaic and clichéd, but it never seems so. It checks all the points: Good guy is a good guy, but circumstances force him to do something bad, that bad thing has repercussions, which force good guy to do good things which involve him making a lot of sacrifices, essentially cementing that he is good. Also, doing the good thing gets the good guy into life threatening situations, but he doesn’t ever give up. He goes through a lot of hardships, but he never gives up and eventually good prevails!!! WOOOHHOOOO!!!!
Know what the funny thing is? Till I sat down to write this review, I hadn’t notices much of these points as well. Till I didn’t give it enough thought and stripped the story down, I never caught onto the formula. That’s how well executed Jolly LLB 2 is.
Akshay Kumar won my heart with this rile. This is undeniably Akshay Kumar’s finest role in the past couple of years. He pulls it off to perfection with his role as Jagdishwar Mishra urf Jolly. Akshay Kumar is the embodiment of the common man we all can relate to.
Like all stories, this story requires a villain too. This time around, the villains are pretty terrible people. Much more so than the now looking like a nice person Boman Irani and his client. Annu Kappor plays Pramod Mathur, the bad judge defending his guilty client for so many things, you actually lose track. And his client, dirty, terrible, heinous cop Suryaveer Singh, played by Kumud Mishra.
There are plenty of cameos/short roles in LLB2. They have little parts all throughout the film; some at the beginning, some at the end, some intermittent throughout the film. Except for the characters I’ve mentioned and one more I’m about to; all the roles have little screen time and massive impact.
A lot of Jolly LLB’s heart was Saurabh Shukla, as Justice Sunderlal Tripathi. Just like the many plot points the sequel kept, it also kept this element from the original. I’m sure glad they did. As will everyone who enjoyed the first movie will. Saurabh Shukla is once again the buffoon but serious judge who has an intuition when things are going wrong and ominous He is the reason both the Jolly films were Jolly(Wink Wink. Yes, that’s a pun). His character is a moving force for the story as well as the unbiased opinion of a person who has no idea what is going on, looking at it from the outside and judging based solely on the facts.
Jolly LLB 2 strays from the original in the first half a lot. The first half is busy in building up Jolly’s character which is not a bad things. But it does have a lot of melodrama and stupid dance sequences. For those with Bollywood Masala-intolerance, the first half will feel like a drag.
The second half picks up pace; with the third act kicking it up several notches all at once. It becomes intense, fast and hitting; all the things you want in a film. It returns to the intense courtroom action of the original (though more intense), the verbal banter between the lawyers, their palpable animosity, desperation for comebacks, the quick comebacks and the lies.
Jolly LLB 2 is the first good Bollywood movie this year. It easily has a shot at Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actors (Annu Kapoor and Saurabh Shukla), and Best Dialogue. Jolly LLB 2 is amazing and I recommend it to everyone.

Rating-3.5/4

Kahaani 2 Review

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Kahaani 2, also Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh. The follow up to the delightful Kahaani, released in 2013.
Kahaani 2 is a good movie. It doesn’t top Kahaani, nor does it reach Kahaani’s standards, but that’s okay. Kahaani 2 is a very different movie from the original Kahaani. The original Kahaani was a thriller, in every sense of the word. It didn’t delve into the stories of the characters and there wasn’t a lot of time especially dedicated to back stories. All we got to know about the characters was when the movie was moving forward. Kahaani was fast paced, exciting, and had one of the most amazing resolutions to a story. Just in case you haven’t seen Kahaani, do. It’s one hell of a movie, one of the best movies Bollywood has offered in the previous years in the thriller genre.
Kahaani 2 on the other hand, has elements of thriller mixed in with drama. It takes its time to explain the characters and the premise, what’s going on and tackles a major issue (I’ll be delving into that at the end of the post). It gives fewer thrills and fast paced moments than the original. It sets up the tale of a mother and daughter and a whole web of lies and mysteries which surrounds them. Kahaani 2 doesn’t want to rehash the original formula. It takes the risk of adding more story elements, more backstories and more connections in the formula. They don’t mesh together as well as the elements of the original, they keep the movie fresh but also make it sluggish for a thriller.
Kahaani 2 has its ups and downs and thrills in the dialogues, not the action sequences in the original (This is because Kahaani 2 has clichés here and there). The story is tense, the stakes are high since the start. There is no break to rest for the characters, and they tread on and on and on tirelessly, till we reach the resolution of the film, which might be one of the most beautiful and twisty twist ends in a film. That moment alone makes you say “WOW”, at the sheer ingenuity of it, though, it can come off as a less thrilling or twisty to the seasoned movie goer.
Kahaani 2 too again puts Vidya Balan in the lead role as Vidya Sinha, the mother of Minnie (Tunisha Sharma), who is paralyzed from the waist down. Arjun Rampal plays sub-inspector Inderjeet Singh who has been recently transferred to Chandar Nagar, a small town, where Vidya and Minnie live.
Acting wise, I don’t think there is much to say for Vidya Balan or Arjun Rampal. They do very well given the limited space given to their characters; clichéd and familiar, very little variation to differentiate them from various characters we have already seen in previous movies. The resolute mother and the hardened police officer.
Jugal Hansraj has a role in this movie. His acting in his character is superb. He deserved more screen time, and his character deserved more depth. At the same time however, there was no reason for the story to keep his characters as more than one dimensional. His acting was superb enough to make you want more of his character.
Tunisha Sharma plays the present Minnie and Naisha Khanna plays the younger Minnie. Tunisha Sharma didn’t get a lot of screen time. Naisha Khanna as the younger Minnie was amazing. The way she portrayed a little child with a lot of troubles and her quirks and feeble smile from amidst what she couldn’t understand, amazing.
As for the major issue, anyone who doesn’t want any spoilers, please stop reading and skip ahead to the last paragraph. Anyone interested may continue.
The major issue, which is major because of its implications, not because of the time dedicated to it in the story is of Child Abuse. Minnie, as a child was abused by her uncle. The movie raises points about the ignorance we have towards this. People think a family member, who loves the child could never possibly do such a thing. The police and external people don’t believe such a thing could happen because the family is so complete and respectable. The family members can justify it out of blinding love for the perpetrator. The perpetrators don’t realise that at such a young age, the children will mistake abuse for love and live with this misconception for the rest of their lives. Also, in the event the story of abuse gets out, the child, being young and feeble and easily manipulated is forced to believe it is their mistake, that for their abuse, they were suitably compensated with gifts and dresses. As put rightly in the movie(I don’t remember the exact words), “Child abuser koi alag nahi hote. Humare jaise hi hote hai (Child abusers aren’t different. They are just like us)”
This is the last paragraph. This is where you must skip to, all those who skipped the issue. Kahaani 2, while being a less thrilling movie, delivers a powerful message. The message makes up in bits for the places where the story falters, because no matter how good or bad the movie, the message felt as an important theme which was uncompromisingly put forward for the world. In a country like India, where many things are ignored, such as women safety, psychosomatic diseases, such a message it powerful and much needed. Kahaani 2 is a vastly different film from the original, but should be seen at least once for its message and what it tries to tell us.

Rating – 3/4


The first review of the three days review! Kahaani 2!
Hope everyone enjoys it!
Happy Reading!

Movie Review-Pink

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When people question me about the best year for gaming, I proudly say 2009. Uncharted 2(This game alone is enough to make any year the best. Just saying), Infamous, Assassins Creed 2, Killzone 2, Modern Warfare 2, Borderlands, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Dragon Age: Origins, Red Faction: Guerrilla to name just a few. Now if people were to ask me the best year for Bollywood, I can without hesitance say 2016. Starting the year off with Neerja and Airlift, then giving some smooth ides in with Nil Battey Sanata, Rustam, Kapoor and Sons, Happy Bhaag Jaayegi and the incredibly energetic and moving(and my favourite movie of the year) Udta Punjab and now starting off the end of the year with Pink. In between, we’ve had noble attempts at different styles of films, such as Madaari and Waiting. Bollywooooood!!! You have outdone yourself this year.
Pink starts off with dialogues over the starting credits about a normal dinner/drinks party somewhere, between a group of boys and girls. The girls insist that they must go and one of the guy says, “How about one last drink for the road?” The first scene of the movie shows the three girls in the cab going home. Looking at them, you can figure out something traumatic has happened to them. The very next image is of a guy being taken to a hospital, with one man profusely bleeding from right above the left eye, obviously hit by something. Now we know something terrible happened here.
For anybody who has even had a whiff of this movie, knows what the story is. I’ll let it out just a little. The three girls, were out with three guys. The guys decided that since the girls were with them in a hotel in Surajkund (A location in Haryana), they decided they would inappropriately touch them and have sex with them. The girls resisted, with one of the girls, Meenal (Taapsee Pannu), ramming a glass bottle into the forehead (right above the left eye) of Ranveer (Angad Bedi), the son of a powerful Delhi politician. The girls, traumatised, two of the three having been molested, return home, have an awkward day and then try to forget about it.
Anybody who knows the swine that lives in Delhi in the houses of politicians knows this was not the end. The three girls, Meenal, Falak (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang) are then proceeded to be threatened over phone calls by the goons. Their landlord is threatened, over calls and in person to evict the girls. Eventually, they call the police on their house and have the whole neighbourhood turn against them. They have Meenal arrested for a myriad of offenses, and have the three girls blamed for being prostitutes, who went with the boys to extort money; with Meenal hitting Ranveer in the head because he refused to give them money.
Eventually comes in Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan), a manic depressed lawyer who fights Meenal case in court.
Pink is a powerfully acted out movie. All the performances, from the greatest( oh come on he is the best) Amitabh Bachchan to the three girls, Taapsee Pannu, Kriti Kulhari and Andrea Tariang, and even the boys, Angad Bedi et al are memorable. You smile at Amitabh Bachchan’s fucking over all the liars and assholes of the society. The girls whom you feel sympathy for and want them to get justice. And the boys whom you so desperately want to not only see behind bars, but also done something much worse for their offense.
Pink has so many beautiful themes it tackles about women. Such as how “NO” means there is no need for “BUT”. How people always think girls living alone in a house who bring home friends are prostitutes. One of the more central themes, how “NO” means “NO”. How “NO” in itself is a complete sentence and once a woman says “NO”, be it any woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a girlfriend, a sex worker, “NO” means “NO”. Not “GO ON, I FUCKING LOVE IT AND IN A GIRL’S NO IS A YES HIDDEN SOMEWHERE THAT WILL COME OUT WHEN YOU RAPE HER ENOUGH”. How “NO” means fucking “NO”, and if you don’t adhere to that, you are a rapist and a sexual predator. PERIOD.
Another theme this movie tackles, which was the one to hit me the most personally, is the society. The society very easily says the girls deserved it, how they are prostitutes and everybody knew three girls living together had to be. How just because they were modern or drank or wore small clothes or hung out with boys, they were prostitutes.
Even worse, after details of the case go out, about the three women molested, the society still says, “No no. The woman were prostitutes and they are lying.” Nobody wants to believe that girls are right. Then insensitively telling the girls that it’s okay, it will be over soon. As though rape is a disease that will go away with a wash out or two in some time. Like, “Rape is bad viral. Have a few medicines, take a few baths and Voila! It’ll be gone off your body.” Do people even realise how brutal rape is?
And people just as easily leave the sides of these girls. Their friends, family, lovers break all connection with them because they don’t want their children impacted negatively or because people will judge them for having such daughters. What hurts me most is the insensitiveness of women to the plight of other women. A woman SHO, a bastardising woman, whom you feel happy has been humiliated in open court, files an incorrect complaint against Meenal on the pressure of politicians. And then she blatantly goes along with it, never for once thinking the plight of the women. I could be entirely wrong with my point here, but I would like to say one thing, even though it may seem highly controversial.
When men do something wrong, all men stand with them in an effort to conceal it. But if it is women who are molested, and it was aided or triggered by other women, what chance do they fucking have?
And I’m not just talking about here, but the number of rapes and molestations and beat ups that take place on insistence of the mothers of the boys over dowry in cities or improper behaviour or the honor killings various women orchestrate.
Talking about this always makes me a bit crazy. Simple because, it is harmful and hurtful and disgusting, whatever goes on. The blatant disregard for humanity, the lopsided feudal moral system, the manipulation of the judicial system, and most of all the harassment of the molested girls by the lawyers against them.
If you haven’t seen Pink, do yourself a favour and watch it ASAP


My two cents on Pink. One of movies with a universal message about consent and the impact rape has on the women affected, such as being isolated, constantly harassed in court in front of everyone and the blatant acquisitions over their character. Pink is a movie which will leave you with a strong emotion in your gut, especially after the end credits narrative by Amitabh Bachchan himself!

Movie Review-Madaari

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Madaari is a Hindi word which means juggler, magician, puppet master or in the crudest of senses, a street performer. Somebody who controls the act and what will happen next. In this movie, Irrfan Khan as Nirmal Kumar is the Madaari. He kidnaps Rohan (Vishesh Bansal), the son of the Home Minister of India, Prashant Goswami (Tushar Dalvi) and makes the world, the minister, his wife and a CBI Team act on his whim. He is the string master who holds the nerves of all these people.

With the above mentioned brief synopsis, the actors in the film, especially Irrfan Khan and Jimmy Shergill as Nachiket Verma (the CBI investigator for the kidnapping), the movie seems to have it all. It feels incredulous to even believe that a movie with these two in the leads will be anything but a massive and roaring commercial and critical success and Madaari being one of the top movies of this year, alongside Nil Battey Sanata, Neerja, Civil War, Finding Dory and the rest. But that’s the thing about belief. It’s like an investment. It can be ill placed or miscalculated.

Madaari is a movie that promises a lot but fails to deliver. Madaari’s hamartia, its fatal flaw is its script. Madaari tries to tell a story from so many angles at one, it becomes too dragged, too slow and too convoluting. What with so many perspectives to take care of. With Nirmal Kumar’s, with the CBI Team, the Home Minister himself, his wife and so on and so forth. The characters then again feel stupid. Madaari is a socio-political thriller, as said in its description but rarely feels like one. It doesn’t feel tense, or fast or thrilling. It plays out more like a drama movie, but one that tries to be a thriller. Instead of focusing on the characters, their motivations, and their travails, I honestly don’t know what it focused on. Jimmy Shergill is wasted away with such a one dimensional character. Tushar Dalvi is the archetypical politician. The mother (I regret I didn’t catch the actress’ name and it’s not available anywhere on the net) has only small scenes where she fights with her husband for the return of her son. Nitesh Pandey as well is given awkward lines and forgetful jokes and awful parodies in his role as a TV Reporter.

It feels as though Irrfan Khan is the only one who was given any material that was performace worthy and three dimensional.

Madaari picks up pace in the second half. Because of the cutting of so many angles and many super side characters (who only blabbered on and on about opposition, the emdia and stupid bullshit that was tiring) being done away with. The movie then begins to build up to the gritty third act of the film which hits some of the right chords in people but fails to hit all the chords to make it feel powerful or grand or even worthy of a good climax. Irrfan Khan’s intensity and Tushar Dalvi’s awkward acting (which I don’t know was on purpose or that’s how he was supposed to do it) in the third act were the only two salvaging factors of the climax. Even though I saw Madaari last Sunday, i.e. 24th of July, we were joking about how it’s been almost two weeks since we entered the hall, because the movie itself took a week to finish.

There are so many missed opportunities that could’ve been taken with the words, the characters, the situations to strike a chord with the people and hit the beat. But Madaari’s writers miss every one for the build up to the finale. They could have done so much, if they cut out on the nonsensical political chit chat (which did serve a purpose, but in a movie deemed a thriller have no place. They just slow the movie down), the parts of the CBI Team talking to each other and some scenes involving the police. Honestly, the writers really needed to get their shit together regarding the main parties in the movie. Everyone, from Irrfan Khan to the CBI Team to the Home Minister to the crappy politicians felt like a main character. And like they say, if everyone is a main character, nobody is the main character. This isn’t FRIENDS guys, come on. We can only have one or two main characters, not six!

Though the movie does hit a few emotional chords with Irrfan Khan’s tragedy and pulling the strings and the angst he has against the system. The issues the movie tackles, one of the premier being that when the child of a normal man is lost, nobody is catalysed into action, because it is just another kid. But when the son of the Home Minister if kidnapped, everyone goes crazy, because it’s the Home Minister’s kid, and the Home Minister is a god, not a human. And then the Home Minster must feel the pain he and his party have caused to so many people. Had the writers taken this as the central theme with branching sub plots, the movie would have worked perfectly as a thriller. But with the vision the writers had, a thriller was too fast a style and a drama would have served the purpose.

Rating-1.5/4


Do you find the review and rating on point or is it way off? All the people who have seen the movie, how did you like the movie and what are your feelings about it? DO sound off in the comments below!

Movie to Watch-Neerja

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Bollywood honestly isn’t so bad. I mean, let’s face it, for every shitty vulgar, crass, sexually inappropriate or overly sexual movie or a Bhai starrer that aims at a certain section of the audience, there is one great movie to put against them as well. While we have movies like Mastizaade, Great Grand Masti, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Ragini MMS 2 and Jism, we have Piku, Dil Dhadakne Do, Airlift, Maanjhi, and Nil Battey Sanata as well. I guess that’s equilibrium maintained. We can’t have too many shitty movies and we can’t have too many good movies. Either movies can be made on two extremes, amazing and pathetic or mediocre. But if all movies were mediocre, then there would be no mediocre. Right? Or not? I don’t know this is too confusing. Arghhhh!!! Too much science.

And I think this year has had many baaaaaad movies made and some really amazing movies made as well. Neerja is one of those movies.

Neerja is an amazing amazing movie. It’s ending, and the scenes leading up to it are beautiful and full of intensity. And the intensity doesn’t fade. I’ve seen the ending four times now, and the intensity has reached me every time.

Neerja is such an unburdened, uninhibited and unpretentious affair. From start to finish, the movie stays incredibly simple. There are no complicated storylines with complicated characters, or grand directorial techniques used or any hidden sub plots and such. The movie aimed to tell a story, which it does perfectly.

Neerja centers on the tale of Neerja Bhanot, the hear purser for Pan Am Airlines, who shows intense compassion and bravery with a gun pointed at her , to save the lives of the passengers on board her airplane with no regard for her own.

By the time the movie ends, you know every aspect of Neerja Bhanot’s life. How she was raised, the complications at birth, how she was raised, her modelling work, her failed marriage, what she loved and what she did and how she spent every second of her life, inside and outside that aircraft and the impact and legacy she left behind. There would not be a single facet of her life that you can say, “Wait, you said nothing about that”. You know Neerja Bhanot. And you feel for Neerja Bhanot, giving up her life at 22. But when she goes, she goes behind leaving a strong legacy and inspiration for all those who will get to know about her. And I think the producers, directors did us all a favour by educating us about Neerja Bhanot.

This is a testament to the skills of Ram Madhvani, the director of the movie and Saiwyn Quadras and Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh, the writers for the movie (Quadras penned the screenplay as well). There is nothing about this movie you can put a finger on. This movie seemingly has no flaws. It’s pretty much perfect. Sonam Kapoor as Neerja. This is her role. This is her best role yet and one of the best pieces of acting in Bollywood, by any actor of any gender. The supporting cast as well, Shabana Azmi as Rama Bhanot, Neerja’s mother, and Yogendra Tiku as Harish Bhanot, Neerja’s father, Jim Sarbh as Khalil and many others as well. Her brothers, the people in the hijacked plane, everyone. Superb acting. It is becoming a delight to see such a thing happening again and seeming as though it’s becoming a norm in Bollywood (like in Piku, Dil Dhadakne Do, and Masaan).

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Jim Sarbh as Khalil. You will hate him by the time the movie ends.

The movie starts with a message from Rama Bhanot, Neerja Bhanot’s mother and ends with Neerja Bhanot’s pictures on the credit roll. It feels invigorating and a great way to pay tribute to one of the bravest people ever existed.

I don’t know what much can be said. This is, this is without a doubt one of the best movies made this year. A heart wrenching moving piece that will leave you in tears. It is one of those movies that everyone must watch at least once, a lot like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, The Dark Knight and the likes.

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