Badla (2019) – Movie Review

Revenge

Badla (In English: Revenge) is a crime mystery thriller film written and directed by Sujoy Ghosh. The film is an official adaptation of the 2017 Spanish film The Invisible Guest.

The story of the film follows Naina Sethi (Tapsee Pannu), a young successful businesswoman, with a perfect family of a husband and a daughter. Naina’s world gets shattered when she finds herself locked in a hotel room with her dead secret lover Arjun (Tony Luke), and gets arrested for his murder. To get her out of this mess, her lawyer Jimmy (Manav Kaul) hires a prestigious defense attorney, Badal Gupta (Amitabh Bachchan) to defend her. What follows next is an interview between Badal and Naina to get each and every detail about and around the incident on the table, to prove her not-guilty.

Sujoy Ghosh is a brilliant storyteller who came in light with his surprising mystery thriller film Kahaani (2012), which has one of the biggest plot-twists among the Indian films. From that point, the audience expects a similar kind of films from him. Badla may not have that awesome plot-twist moment, but it surely has an engaging story to tell.

As the discussion between Badal and Naina goes on, we get to see the whole picture slowly. The story of the film is mostly straight-forward and slightly predictable. That’s where the director plays the game of deception, shows one side of the story and hides the other one. Which works to some extent, and even it gives some reveals towards the end, but unfortunately, those just don’t work as expected, and the film ends in silence.

The performances by the leads are really appreciating, those are the only ones who make the film believable, other supporting characters are there just for the sake of filling the gaps. Cinematography and the background score of the film are complementary to the story.

Verdict : It is a one-time watch film. Not so perfect film, but a decent mystery thriller with a gripping story.

Rating : 3.7/5

Check here for the trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSlgu8AQAd4

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Anandi Gopal (2019) – Movie Review

Extraordinary story of an ordinary couple.

Anandi Gopal is a biographical period drama Marathi film written by Karan Shrikant Sharma, and directed by Sameer Vidwans.

The film is a biopic of Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi, also referred to as the first lady doctor of India. Originally named Yamuna (before marriage), Anandi was born and raised in Kalyan, Mumbai. In 1874, As per the practice of that time, Anandi (Bhagyashree Milind ) was married at the age of nine to Gopalrao Joshi (Lalit Prabhakar), a stubborn widower, who was almost twenty years older than her. Even at that time, Gopalrao was a progressive thinker about supporting education for women. And before getting married to Anandi, the same condition he puts forward that his wife would get educated and would go to medical school. It is the rebellious and extraordinary tale of an ordinary couple of becoming victorious against all odds. Gopalrao’s consistent support and Anandi’s focus and determination for becoming the India’s first lady doctor form the rest of the film.

This film can be stated as the mother of all feminist stories ever told on-screen. The film has a really compelling and wonderful story to tell. The direction and screenplay of the film do its job of keeping the audience engaged with stunning imagery and vibrant colors. At first, I thought that what this film could have to show. But believe me, the film has dragged me completely into it from start till the end. The film’s story is very simple but has been told in a really fascinating way, with its even more beautiful and layered characters.

It feels good to watch when a film is able to deep dive into its characters and is able to convey the same to the audience. At some points, the film seems to have become slower, but which is completely fine, because at that moment it is important to show the impact of some specific situations on those characters. And it gives time for characters to breathe and gives the space for understanding their particular behavior.

Verdict : It is a must-watch film, for its content and beautiful storytelling.

Rating : 4.3/5

Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAS_hUTOJdY

Gully Boy (2019) – Movie Review

Our time will come!

Gully Boy is a musical drama film written by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, and directed by Zoya. The film is inspired by the lives of Indian street rappers Divine and Naezy.

The film sets in Dharavi, slums of Mumbai, where it tells a coming-of-age story about an aspiring street rapper Murad Ahmed (Ranveer Singh). Murad, a final year college student, lives in the Dharavi, who is fascinated with rap music and writes lyrics to express his life. Not so long into a film, he meets local stage rapper Shrikant aka MC Sher (Siddhant Chaturvedi). Murad’s acquaintance with MC Sher draws him into performing his lyrics at underground shows and eventually uploading his first video on YouTube.

The film is a musical story portraying a struggle of an aspiring rapper and his surroundings that influence his journey. There is a love angle to the story, but it hardly feels deviating from its main content. The film stars Alia Bhatt as Safeena, Murad’s longtime love companion, who fits perfectly in this role and gives total justice to it by complementing the story. Ranveer Singh completely owns his role by giving the raw and compelling performance. Besides leads, Vijay Raaz as Murad’s abusive father, Amruta Subhash as Murad’s mother, Vijay Varma as Moeen, Siddhant Chaturvedi as MC Sher, and Kalki Koechlin as Shweta/Sky bring depth to the story by delivering impacting performances.

Along with these powerhouse performances, the film also has really edgy and situational music numbers and background score, which never feels out of place. The direction and the screenplay by talented Zoya Akhtar are just outstanding like her previous films, where we can clearly see her grasp on keeping the audience engaged till the end without getting deviated from the actual content. The story of the film may be pretty straight-forward but the characters and their performances take the film to another level.

Verdict : It is a must-watch film for everyone. It’ll definitely entertain you and will connect to you.

Rating : 4.1/5

Click here for the trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfbxcD6biOk

Alita: Battle Angel (2019) – Movie Review

Her Time is Now.

Alita: Battle Angel is an action-adventure sci-fi film based on the 1990s Japanese manga series Gunnm by Yukito Kishiro. The film is directed by Robert Rodriguez, & written by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis.

The film sets in 2563, where a catastrophic war known as “The Fall” aka “The Great War” has left the Earth in ruin. As a result, a group of wealthy people forms a floating city of Zalem in the sky, where the upper-class wealthy people stay, and all the others stay on the devastated Earth known as Iron City. One day, while scouting the junkyard of Iron City, cyborg scientist Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) discovers a disembodied female cyborg with a fully intact human brain. Ido attaches a cyborg body to her and names her “Alita” (Rosa Salazar) after his deceased daughter, for whom he originally built the body. Alita, with no memory from her past, starts to know the world around her, and in the process, she also starts rediscovering her past life, and her true destiny.

The main reason to watch this film can be the top-notch visual effects which they’ve used in this film to grab the audiences’ attention. Specifically, the detailed on-screen appearance of Alita is mesmerizing to watch. Her every move, facial expressions are just felt too real that one can easily forget that its a computer-generated imagery. The action sequences are also pretty impressive. The film has the vibe of any futuristic film like Ready Player One (2018), Mortal Engines (2018), or Elysium (2013) which we get from the trailers. The film has the flavor of futuristic films elements like the devastated earth, the overtaken life of humans by machines.

The main issue I had while watching this film was that the storytelling was not focused on one thing. There’s definitely the compelling father-daughter story, and secondly, it should’ve had focused only on the part where she finds herself. But too many subplots makes it difficult for the audience to connect with her story. The things look good only during the action sequences otherwise it just feels boring and over-complicated.

Verdict : The film is enjoyable for sci-fi action movie lovers.

Rating : 3.6/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cislZ9S0ocA

Captain Marvel (2019) – Movie Review

Higher Further Faster

Captain Marvel is an action adventure superhero film is written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. The film is based on the Marvel Comics character. The film is the twenty-first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and it is Marvel Studios’ first female-led superhero film.

The film centers around the Marvel Comics character Carol Danvers (Brie Larson). The film sets in 1995, where Danvers aka Vers is working as a Starforce member on the Kree Empire’s capital planet of Hala. During one Starforce rescue mission against a group of Skrulls, an alien shapeshifting species, Vers gets captured by Skrulls. But somehow she manages to escape from captivity and crashes on Earth. The series of events on Earth, make her doubt her reality and her mission. Now Danvers must discover her origin by accepting her past and save the Earth from Kree–Skrull War by becoming one of the universe’s most powerful heroes.

The Marvel Studio has chosen a really good day (Women’s Day) to release its first female-led film. The film has been released just before Avengers: Endgame, so obviously the film has created too much hype amongst fans regarding little clues it can have which may lead to the Endgame. But it cannot be denied that the film is going to set in 1995, so it is going to have a very little impact or relation to the current timeline. But even though considering it as a standalone film, it has its own drawbacks.

The film is the last piece of the grand puzzle, so everybody expected to be a bit more surprising and intriguing than previous films, but unfortunately, it is not. The film has little connections to the other films, but those are not enough to keep the audience invested. Some moments in the film seem so obvious that just shows how lazy the writing of the film is.

As a lead character, Brie Larson does not fully justify the character, she has a very limited range of expressions. The story of the film is interesting to some extent, but as an origin story of a superhero, the film lacks the character arc and emotional drive. The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson reprising his role as young Nick Fury and Jude Law as Yon-Rogg. And both of these characters are a sheer waste as they have a very little to do storywise.

The only thing that made me feel good about this film is its visual effects. Being the 21st film of the Marvel Studio, the visuals are top notch. The young Nick Fury feels as real as the other living characters in the film. Two more surprising things fans are going to get, one is a great tribute to Excelsior Stan Lee before the film starts, and other is a clip from Avengers: Endgame as a mid-credit after the film ends.

Verdict : The film is there just for the sake of having an origin story for Captain Marvel. Don’t expect much from it.

Rating : 3.2/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1BCujX3pw8&t=1s

Why Cheat India (2019) – Movie Review

Cheating Soon!

Why Cheat India is a crime drama film written and directed by Soumik Sen. The film talks about the reality of flawed Indian Education System and shows the struggles of students which they go through to complete their parents’ expectations.

The film revolves around Rakesh Singh (Emraan Hashmi), a con man, who provides a backdoor entry to undeserved rich students to get into premier institutes by exploiting the vulnerabilities of the system in exchange of a lot of money. He does it specifically by trapping clever but needy students, and by making them appear as a dummy for entrance exams in place of other students. The film’s story also involves one such boy named Satyendra Dubey (Sattu), who falls prey to Rakesh’s scam, what happens next forms the crux of the film.

The film talks on a really fresh and daring topic. The newness of the story is one of its plus points apart from the performances. Emraan Hashmi’s portrayal of a con man is flawless; he brings different shades to this character which makes it even more convincing and compelling. But the film falls behind on the front of storytelling, which gets really boring and messy towards the second half. The songs in the film do not complement the story, and actually makes the film slow-burning. Even if the film talks on the solid topic but fails to give a logical ending to it.

Verdict : The film is decent to watch for its performances and a fresh topic, but don’t expect more from it.

Rating : 3.2/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B6vjua8aK4

Glass (2019) – Movie Review

First Name Mr, Last Name Glass.

Glass is a drama thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film is a third and final installment to M. Night Shyamalan’s superhero film trilogy after Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016).

The film picks after the terrifying events of Split (2016), where a deadly supervillain Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) with multiple personality disorder is on the loose. And following the narrative of Unbreakable (2000), David Dunn (Bruce Willis), a vigilante superhero, is trying to track down Kevin with the help of his supernatural abilities. Not so long into the film, both get captured by the Philadelphia Police Department and kept as a captive in the mental institution for the criminally insane where Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) is also being held as a captive, who is also known as “Mr. Glass”.

The film has got really great characters and equally interesting backstory. Undoubtedly, the performances of all three lead characters are top notch. The director M. Night Shyamalan had planted everything brilliantly to have an epic conclusion to this trilogy, and in the first half, the film maintains a similarly thrilling tone. But towards the end, the film gets so messed up that it loses the track, and ends-up on unexpectedly disappointing point. The film can be quoted as 2019’s first disappointment, where people had so many expectations, but it had failed miserably.

Verdict : If you liked the first two film, then you’re just gonna hate it. Watch it just for the sake of completing the trilogy.

Rating : 3.2/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7ztHi9ejp4

Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019) – Movie Review

How’s the Josh?

Uri: The Surgical Strike is an action drama film written and directed by Aditya Dhar in his debut. The film is based on a true story of India striking back as the retaliation to the 2016 Uri attack.

The film follows Major Vihaan Singh Shergill (Vicky Kaushal) of the Indian Army, who has successfully lead many field missions and now has taken a desk job at New Delhi to take care of his mother who is suffering from Stage VI Alzheimer’s disease. On 18 September 2016, four well-armed militants attack the army headquarters at Uri, Jammu & Kashmir, killing 19 Indian soldiers in their sleep. Vihaan’s brother in law Major Karan Kashyap (Mohit Raina) also dies in a grenade explosion in this unfortunate attack. The Indian government decides to take strict action against this attack, and National Security Advisor Govind Bhardwaj (Paresh Rawal) comes up with the idea of a surgical strike. Eventually, Vihaan leaves his desk job and once again lead a team of elite commandos to carry out a covert operation to avenge the Uri attack.

The film’s story is nicely divided into five chapters. At the end of every chapter, there is a sense of fulfillment. And with this chapter-wise narration, the story gets more and more gripping, and keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. The soul of the film is its compelling story; the enthralling characters and engaging background score makes it even more enjoyable. Besides Vicky Kaushal and Paresh Rawal’s powerful performances, Yami Gautam as RAW field agent Pallavi Sharma and Kirti Kulhari as Captain Seerat Kaur are worth mentioning. The film has its own moments, the patriotic ones, the thrilling ones, the grieving ones, and cheering ones, all full of JOSH.

Verdict : If we ignore the political propaganda, this film is an official first hit film of 2019 of Bollywood in all aspects.

Rating : 4.4/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVY3do673Zc

Petta (2019) – Movie Review

Get Rajnified!

Petta is an action drama film written and directed by Karthik Subbaraj. The film stars Rajinikanth in a lead role. Now, how one can miss watching a film, if Rajnikanth’s name is associated with it.

The film follows Kaali (Rajinikanth), an elderly and mysterious man, who takes up a job as a boys hostel warden at a college in Darjeeling. When he arrives, he begins to control the good and bad things happening in the hostel and discipline all children. Parallely, Kaali starts forming a close bond with an NRI student Anwar (Sananth Reddy). Suddenly one day, a group of deadly gangsters attacks a hostel with an intention to kill Anwar; But things take an interesting turn when Kaali stands between them and Anwar. Who is Kaali? What is his relationship with Anwar? And who sent those gangsters? Answers to these question form the rest of the film.

Apart from Rajnikanth, the film also stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Singaaram/Singaar Singh and Vijay Sethupathi as Jithu, Singaar’s son in negative roles. The talented actors sharing a screen together, conversing with each other, that too for the first time, is just sheer fun to watch. In this film, we can see the perfect mixture of theatrical and grounded performances. Let there be any actors in any film, but the center of attraction always remains the same, Superstar Rajnikanth. Every time when Rajnikanth appears on screen, the way he walks, the way he talks, the way he kicks goons, its all about his style, and director has taken special efforts on it; A truly stylistic film treat for Rajnikanth fans.

The background score of the film is a bit noisy, and sometimes it feels overdone. The story and characters of the film are compelling enough to keep the audience invested; But towards the end, the film seems stretched. The action scenes are well choreographed, which makes it a perfect film for masses; And fans compliments it with whistling, cheering, and shouting.

Verdict : A perfect masala film for Rajnikanth (Thalaiva) fans. Get Rajnified.

Rating : 3.8/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcv1L5_-Y4U


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Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019) – Movie Review

I won’t give up my Jhansi!

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is a biographical period drama film written by Vijayendra Prasad, and co-directed by Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi and Kangana Ranaut. The film stars Kangana Ranaut in the title role.

Mainly, the film revolves around the rebellion against British dominance in India in 1857. A rebellion in a true sense, which had sparked the fire of independence in the heart of every Indian against tyrannical British rule. And queen Lakshmi Bai (Kangana Ranaut) was one of the leading figures of that Rebellion. The film tells the story of her becoming the queen of Jhansi after king Gangadhar Rao’s (Jishu Sengupta) death and her fierce resistance to the British Rule.

In the first half, the film narrates the early years in the life of queen Laxmi Bai. The film shows the different shades and stages of the queen’s life – a brave daughter to Moropant (Manish Wadhwa), who likes to read, who has a decent knowledge of history. An exceptional queen of Jhansi, who after marriage denies the traditional ways, and instead takes a keen interest in the political atmosphere of Jhansi and the state of the country.

Comparatively, in the second half, the things start moving in a much faster way. There happens most of the action, when Queen defends the fort of Jhansi by being a brave and fearless warrior. We also see the compassionate mother and generous queen who wins the love and loyalty of the people of Jhansi. The moment literally gives goosebumps, when queen rides on a horse, with a sword raised in the other hand, and her son Damodarpant tied on her back.

At the start of the film, the disclaimer is shown that some moments are dramatized and fictionalized for the film’s purpose. So the film is the larger than life representation of the valor of queen of Jhansi. The picturization of the film is beautiful and vibrant. The camera angles are very well utilized, especially for the wide angle shots. The battle scenes look impressive with cannons and sword fights. The flaw which I felt is that the screenplay was lazy which made the shots seem disconnected from each other. While watching the film, the things were too glossy for me, I’ll rather opt for something which is more raw and real.

The biggest plus point of the film is Kangana’s extraordinary performance as a fierce warrior queen. She has delivered some powerful monologues with her commanding voice and screen presence. Besides Kangana, some of the impacting performances are Danny Denzongpa as Ghulam Ghaus Khan, Ankita Lokhande as Jhalkaribai, and Atul Kulkarni as Tatya Tope. Definitely, the film manages to inspire and gives the feeling of patriotism.

First Uri and now Manikarnika, and as we all know that 26th January is India’s Republic day; And that’s why this year January has truly become a month of patriotism.

Verdict : Just go for it, and celebrate the valor of Laxmibai, the fearless queen of Jhansi, who fought for our independence.

Rating : 4/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKmkMVaNu9g


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