Kesari (2019) – Movie Review

The story of Valor and Sacrifice.

Kesari (a saffron color representing bravery and sacrifice) is a period action-drama film written and directed by Anurag Singh.

The film depicts the events leading to the Battle of Saragarhi, a battle between 21 Sikh soldiers of the 36th Sikhs of the British Indian Army against 10000 to 12,000 Pashtun Orakzai tribesmen. The film stars Akshay Kumar in a lead role of Havildar Ishar Singh, who led the battle at Saragarhi.

The Battle of Saragarhi is considered one of history’s longest hold against the enemy and one of the greatest last stands. If we read history, we can actually see the valor and renunciation of those 21 Sikh soldiers. But this film hardly captures that. In the process of dramatizing and making it an entertaining one, the makers have totally ignored the crux of this historical event. The film lacks the authenticity and the rawness, which needed the most for a film like this. Everything in the film was just polished, for instance, the uniforms of the soldiers were looked like brought straight from the designer shop.

The film is a two and a half hours long, and out of which less than an hour was actually about the battle. In the remaining time, it focuses on some unnecessary subplots, the deceased wife of Ishar Singh played by Parineeti Chopra (the most irritating part of the film), and too many slow-motion shots. Some of the moments in the film will definitely make you remember the superhit war film Border (1997).

The film feels really slow and boring in the first half and comes to life only in the second half. The performance of Akshay Kumar is worth appreciating in a film. The film also has some interesting and compelling characters with apt comic timing, which makes the film watchable.

Verdict : Kesari is definitely not the best patriotic film of Bollywood but it surely worth a watch.

Rating : 3.2/5

Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFP24D15_XM

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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

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

Simmba (2018) – Movie Review

Here comes Simmba!

Simmba is a comedy action drama film directed by Rohit Shetty. The film is a spin-off of the Singham film franchise.

The film follows Sangram “Simmba” Bhalerao (Ranveer Singh), a corrupt police officer hailing from Shivgad, the same town as Singham (Ajay Devgan). When Sangram gets transferred to Miramar, Goa, following his unethical nature he quickly befriends with a local don Durva Ranade (Sonu Sood). But soon, Sangram is forced to lead a moral path after tragedy strikes his closed ones.

The film sets in the Rohit Shetty’s cop universe, and it is the third film in it. The plot of the film is pretty straight-forward with full of action scenes and some sprinkle of comedy and romance. The most part of the first half of the film is filled with comedy moments but only a very few of them actually lands. Before the interval and till the end, the film is filled with a lot of tragic drama and spicy slow-motion action sequences. The film would have been wrapped within two hours but has dragged unnecessarily because of too many slow-motion shots, remake songs, and a love story. The film also tries to bring audiences’ attention to an important social issue, which is a good thing, but it causes the drastic tonal shifts in the film.

The whole and soul of the film is Ranveer Singh, and he surprisingly manages to amaze the audience in most of the runtime. Sara Ali Khan as Shagun, Sangram’s love interest, also tries well to keep her role charming, but actually the role was not needed for the story. The reprising role of Ajay Devgan as Bajirao Singham actually steals the show with claps and whistles. Along with Ajay Devgan, there is one more cameo role by the big star from Bollywood, which teases the next possible film in the cop universe.

Verdict : The film is an average Masala entertainer for the masses.

Rating : 3.2/5


Mi Band 3 (Black)

Skyscraper (2018) – Movie Review

Don’t Look Down.

Skyscraper is an action drama film written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. The film stars Dwayne Johnson in a lead role. This film is the second collaboration of Thurber with Johnson, following Central Intelligence (2016).

The film follows a former FBI agent Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson), who lost one of his legs in one of the hostage rescue operations, and now lives with his family and assesses security for skyscrapers. The film centers around 3,500 feet and 240 stories tall skyscraper in Hong Kong called as “The Pearl”. The film centers around 3,500 feet and 240 stories tall skyscraper in Hong Kong called as “The Pearl”. As the construction of the Pearl nears to completion Zhao Jong Li (Chin Han), the high-level Asian financier and the owner of the Pearl dedicates the task of inspecting it to Sawyer before anyone can live there. Not so long in the film, a group of criminals takes over the Pearl and sets it on fire from its 96th floor. Now, while fighting with the criminals and uncovering the deadly conspiracy, Sawyer must rescue his family from this newly built burning skyscraper, who are trapped in it.

The film is receiving mixed reviews from the audience, who are praising Johnson’s performance but criticizing the script as clichéd and too similar to The Towering Inferno (1974) and Die Hard (1988). The trailers had clearly suggested that it’s going to be a rescue story set in a skyscraper, which basically has nothing new to serve as a plot, so the sole reason remains to watch this film is Dwayne Johnson. It is a typical action film with some cool action sequences, just keep your brains aside, eat your popcorn, and enjoy the film. By the way, the poster looks cool, isn’t it. 😛

Verdict : A typical action film, watch it only if you’ve nothing else important to do.

Rating : 3.2/5

Check out trailer here :

Insidious: The Last Key (2018)

Scream before it Silences you.

Insidious: The Last Key is a horror thriller film directed by Adam Robitel and written by Leigh Whannell. It is the fourth installment in the Insidious franchise following some of the characters from previous films with a separate plot.

The film continues after the events of the previous film Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015), the paranormal investigator Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye), visits her family’s home in New Mexico, a house in which she used to live in her childhood, to investigate the recent supernatural activities and disturbances which have been resurfaced, sinking her deeper into her past hauntings.

The film has a really good plot with a compelling opening prologue but as the story progresses it loses its path. Lin Shaye single-handedly with her performance has made the film gripping, and it is not every day happens that a 74-year-old woman is leading a whole film. In a first half, the film promises so much but fails miserably to deliver any. The horror element in the film completely depends on the jump-scares, sound effects, along with some really good techniques. The demon (key face) is just wasted. Overall it’s an average horror film, which is not as good as any of the previous Insidious films.

Verdict : Not that bad but not that scary. A one time watch for horror genre lovers.

Rating : 2.8/5