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!

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A lot more reviews!

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On the suggestion of a friend of mine, I’m starting publishing a lot of my review for older movies on IMDb because it seems more suitable there than here. The new and more important reviews I’ll post here and provide links for all the older review via twitter and the blog itself.

Happy blogging everyone!(Just seems like a good thing to write)!

Movie Review – How To Train Your Dragon 2

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A little late for the review, but a fever caught me, so apologies!

 

It has been an awfully long time since I’ve seen a sequel as good as How To Train Your Dragon 2. Movie too, but mostly sequel. As such, it is up there with The Dark Knight, Star Wars Episode V and The Godfather 2 in the list of good sequels.

The movie is set five years after the end of the first. A lot has changed since then,. Dragon riding has become a sport and dragons have become a part of Berk. A lot like family. Hiccup has grown, Toothless has grown, and so has the world that the movie encompasses.

The new lands as well as characters are diverse, be it the little baby dragons never listening to anyone or a fort destroyed by an ice breathing huge dragon or the brutal camp of our villain Drago Bloodvist or the humongous size of the Bewilderbeast, roughly thousands of time any other dragon I’d reckon.

All these scenes instill a sense of how the world really should be like, a lot like our expectations but at the same time shattering them.

The plot is a very basic good against evil plot, that though is predictable, works. Courtesy of some strong characters, be it the pack of friends from the first movie, Drago himself, Hiccup or his supposedly dead mother (HELLOOO!)! This time around, Jay does justice to his role, unlike last time where he seemed casual about the character.

What helped as well was the timing of the comedic moments. Interspersed beautifully throughout the film, a lot like The Dark Knight. This is not to say that the film doesn’t do justice to the more serious of moments. But the comedy helps in doing justice to the audience so they don’t suffer.

The film trades in some of the more lighthearted, calm scenes from the first movie for some emotionally fuelled and intense scenes. Really depends on the viewer whether they appreciated the change or not.

Like I said before, the voice acting this time was better. It clicked. The voice actors were in tune with their characters. It just clicked. Last time it was scattered but this time around it adds real fuel to the movie.

Theme wise, the sequel is the same as the first. Both are coming of age films. The second however does a better job. Why so? Well a little spoiler follows, so read the next paragraph if you’re faint of heart! Right in the beginning, Stoic tells Hiccup that he is to be the new chief. The film then deals with Hiccup’s rise to the occasion set in motion by his own stubbornness and father.

 

All in all, this movie is one hell of a ride. Much better than the first and worth watching.

RATING-4/4

Movie Review – Filmistaan

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After an ill fated string of attempts to watch Million Dollar Arm with Shantanu, we finally decided to catch Filmistaan last Thursday after it’s rather entertaining trailer and the premise of the movie.

 

The story is rather simple, Sukhwinder A.K.A Sunny(Sharib Hashmi) living in Delhi is a struggling actor currently working as an Assistant Director in hopes to make it big as an actor because “Acting ki bareekiya camera ke peeche se hi pata chalti hai” roughly translated to “The specifics of acting can only be observed from behind the camera”. He is the A.D. of a documentary being filmed in Rajasthan with a group of foreigners. He is abducted by a group of Pakistani terrorists, mistaken as a foreigner so the terrorists can have their wishes fulfilled.

 

What follows is a tale of connection of human hearts through the medium of cinema. The aspirations of the people, their dreams, their lives. Never has a movie done a better job of making every character feel like a human, even the terrorists. A rarity, but the movie succeeds in making us believe that like us, they too have hearts which feel, goals which they would like to achieve, a past that they would like to erase and regrets that they wish didn’t exist.

 

The script has three topics that it touches upon. One, a man’s struggle for freedom. Second, the Indo-Pak relations and the way the people in Pakistan live. And third, cinema as a way to connect human hearts. A cure for our inherent need to classify everything. However, the script feels a bit scattered. Just a bit less than enough time is given to all three. But it works, courtesy of some sharp dialogues and simple one-liners which stab you right through the heart.

 

What holds all three together are some fluid performances? The cast isn’t your usual A-grade Bollywood cast. These are names most of haven’t even heard before, but they work. And it works on levels which makes you feel fir tem. Be it Sunny’s mimicry of Indian actors and his rebellions or Aftaab’s beliefs and heated arguments with Mahmood Bhai about life, religion and duty, the performances are real And there’s this one scene in there middle of the movie that his this inherent goodness about it, a  certain piousness that I felt. Hint-There’s a song playing in the background.

 

What this movie has isn’t dimply ambition, but purity as well as heart and piousness as well as some grains if innocence mixed in as well. A rare combination, kind of like a child.

 

So, is this movie amazing? Except for some lousy editing at times, Hell Yes. Would I watch it again and again? Bet on it. Was the ending of the most amazing and special endings in a long time? Don’t even get me started on its sheer awesomeness. Should you watch it? Yes. I don’t care who you are or where you live, move and watch this movie. This is a gem that cannot be missed.

 

Rating-3.5/4