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

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Mary Poppins Returns (2018) – Movie Review

The magic always returns.

Mary Poppins Returns is a musical fantasy film directed by Rob Marshall. The film is based on the book series Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers, & the film is a sequel to the film Mary Poppins (1964). It is one of the longest gaps between film sequels in cinematic history at 54 years.

The film sets in 1935 London, 25 years after the events of the first film. Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) is living in his childhood home with his sister Jane (Emily Mortimer), and his children Annabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh), and Georgie (Joel Dawson); having his wife Kate, who has died a year ago. Not so long into the film, the financial calamity strikes Banks family, in which they may lose their home. Now Banks family must find a way out of this distress, but soon Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt), the former magical nanny of Jane and Michael Banks arrives at their home to take care of Annabel, John, and Georgie.

It is the beautifully made film in every angle, which truly compliments its prequel. The film is directed so well that every frame of the film is like a nice wallpaper. The film is colorful, vibrant, and soothing to the eyes. Like its prequel, there are some scenes where animated and real characters appear together on screen, which is just fun to watch. The characters are likable and compelling, like every good fairy tale should have. The performances are also convincing and entertaining, in particular, Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins and Lin-Manuel Miranda as lamplighter Jack, Mary Poppins’ old companion, both of them have done a great job.

At the start, the film feels more of a childish, but as it moves forward with Mary Poppin’s life lessons and musical numbers, it gives the film a needed depth and makes it much more interesting. The background score of the film is cheerful which elevates the movie watching experience. The dance numbers, costume design, and production design of the film is apt and overwhelming.

Verdict : It is a light-hearted and a nostalgic family fun film.

Rating : 3.7/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3jsfXDZLIY


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Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) – Movie Review

Fearless Lives Forever.

Bohemian Rhapsody is a biography and musical drama film written by Anthony McCarten and directed by Bryan Singer. The film depicts the extraordinary tale of the British rock band Queen.

The film features the life of Freddie Mercury/Farrokh Bulsara (Rami Malek), lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. The film starts with early years in 1970 when Freddie was just a college student working as a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport. And in the spare time, he used to watch local rock bands; in particular, a band named ‘Smile’. One night, after the show, Freddie meets Smile guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), and in his peculiar ways offers to replace their lead singer. And with the addition of bassist John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello), the band known as Queen. Rest of the film follows the rise of ‘Queen’ in the world of fame with many ups and downs leading up to its legendary appearance at the Live Aid (1985) concert.

Without keeping many expectations, I had gone to watch this film, thinking that what a rock band film possibly could serve. But, believe me, besides its biographical and musical aspect, the story of the film alone is compelling and powerful enough to move you and cheer you up from inside. The film is just a perfect combination of music and biography elements, and those work really together. The film progresses smoothly and hardly feels lazy at any point. The film moves very fast by keeping ‘Mercury’ at the center(depicting his personal and sexual life) but because of the limited timeframe, the film fails to touch all the parts of the whole story.

The background score and all the songs in the film compliments the story. The performances by the actors are good, notably, Malek’s portrayal of Mercury looks authentic and commanding. The music sequences, especially the Live Aid scenes are convincingly epic. The film has become the highest-grossing musical biographical film of all-time.

Verdict : The film is compelling, enjoyable, and nostalgic treat for Queen’s fans.

Rating : 4/5

Yuntum (2018) – Movie Review

Sanely Insane

Yuntum (Sanely insane) is the fantasy romance drama Marathi film co-written and directed by Sameer Asha Patil. Nowadays there are very few Marathi films get released which are mainly focused on content and conveying the message, and this one surely does that.

It is a coming of age story which starts with a teenage boy named Ranga (Viabhav Kadam), a college student, driven by love and trying to find his place, belonging to a poor family, where his father Raaosaheb (Sayaji Shinde) is an aging clarinet musician struggling to find a job for the sake of bread and butter of his family. One day at the college Ranga encounters a lonely pure-hearted soul Meera (Apurva Shelgaokar) and immediately falls for her. In this pursuit of happiness, Ranga gets help from his friends Jedya (Rushikesh Jhagade) and Ramya (Akshay Thorat). As the story progresses, Ranga must decide to choose between his duties towards his family and the love of his life.

The film has a really great message at its core but the film unfolds very slowly and feels paused and lost at some places. Every frame of the film is beautifully shot and gives the true essence of an art, and all the credit goes to the director of the film. Performances by leads are apt and to the point. The film also depicts the hard-hitting message about the struggles of the artists which they have to face to fit in this modern world. The film is slow burning and could have been made half an hour short. The use of humor in the first half of the film is appropriate and keeps the story moving and alive. The story and the direction of the film will definitely make the audience remember Sairat (2016), even if it looks similar from its cover, but it is not at its core.

At the end of the film, the tangled and overlapping dose of emotions made me remember a part of a monologue by Aunt May from Sam Raimi’s Spider-man 2 (2004), “I believe there’s a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams.”.

Verdict : The beautifully made artistic romance drama one should not miss. But at the end it is too heavy on content that it cannot be everybody’s cup of tea.

Rating : 3.8/5

 

Padmaavat (2018) – Movie Review

Obsession vs. Honour

Padmaavat (formerly titled Padmavati), is a classic period drama film co-written and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is one of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers in Indian cinema, and well known for his astonishing filmmaking styles filled with huge sets, powerful performances, soothing music, and epic storylines. The film is based on the epic poem Padmavat (1540) by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, and that’s where protests and bans on this film have started, stating that the film is deteriorating the history and hurting the sentiments of the Rajput community in India. After facing so many controversies, after making the required cuts (even the name of the film has changed), and then after getting a green signal from Supreme Court of India, the film has finally arrived at the movie theatres. The film has released in three different formats as 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D, and this is the first Indian film to be released in IMAX 3D format.

Set in 1303 AD, the film tells the story of bravery and sacrifice of exceptionally beautiful Rajput Queen Padmavati (Deepika Padukone), the wife of Rawal Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor), a righteous king and the noble ruler of Mewar. Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh), the power-drunk ruthless Afghan ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, who hears about Padmavati’s beauty, and lays siege to Chittor fort to obtain her out of his obsession. Before Alauddin Khalji could invade Chittor, Padmavati and her companions commit Jauhar (self-immolation) to protect their honor. The story of the film is not so convoluted, but the artistic directional approach, rich set designs, finest music, and theatrical performances are worth experiencing in cinema halls.

In the final moment, the film has literally given goosebumps to the audience, the chants, the visuals, the sound, just takes over the audience. The background score of the film is splendid. The film is a truly cinematic experience with breathtaking visuals that it does not let the audience to take their eyes off the screen. The storyline of the film is pretty straightforward but the characters are compelling enough to drag the audience totally into the film. The film has some really powerful performances. In particular, hats off to the portrayal of menacing and barbaric Allauddin Khilji by Ranveer Singh, which is truly outstanding and deserves all appreciation, he steals every scene he is in, audience hates his character and likes his performance at the same time. Shahid Kapoor as the noble ruler is shining in his own moments, he can talk so much with his eyes. Deepika Padukone as Queen Padmavati is to the point, not more, not less. The supporting roles by Aditi Rao Hydari as Mehrunissa, Raza Murad as Jalaluddin Khilji, and Jim Sarbh as Malik Kafur are surprisingly impacting, and seeing all these characters coming together is a delightful treat.

Verdict : The story of Obsession and Greed versus Bravery and Sacrifice is worth watching. Bollywood at it’s best.

Rating : 4.2/5

The Greatest Showman (2017)

The Great Musical..

The Greatest Showman is the musical drama film directed by Michael Gracey and written by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon. The film is inspired by the true story of P. T. Barnum’s imagination and his efforts to make it happen in the form of the Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The film follows the life of P. T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman), from being a son of a poor tailor father, a homeless orphan after his father’s death, struggling kid who gets a job as a clerk at a shipping company, keeping in touch through letters with the love of his life Charity (Michelle Williams) until they meet again in adulthood, gets married and parenting two children. Just this much part feels like the whole single movie, but it is actually a setup through which film goes in a really heartfelt and beautiful musical “A Million Dreams”. The actual film starts after this introductory segment, where after losing his job at a shipping company, Barnum who always dreams of more, wanting to offer Charity a life of wealth and comfort as he promised to her, takes a risky bet on an idea of forming a Circus of unique personalities. Rest of the film focuses on the extraordinary life of Burman Burman as the greatest showman world has ever seen, and the lives of its star attractions, them forming a bond of a family through love and friendship and leaving their mark in the history.

The film has a heart, the characters are compelling and believable, and overall the film is entertaining enough to drag audience into it. The performance of Hugh Jackman is one of his best and his presence on screen is delightful. The musicals are pleasing and actually tells the story and keep it moving. At some places, the film moves very fast but does its work honestly delivering a joyful story.

Verdict : A must watch, an inspiring musical drama film.

Rating : 4.2/5

Coco (2017)

Remember me…

Coco is the musical fantasy adventure animation film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is originally written and directed by Lee Unkrich, who has also co-directed Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003). It is his second film as the fully-owned director after Toy Story 3 (2010), so his past work is enough to elevate the expectations of viewers from this film, and yes, undoubtedly this is the best animation film of the year 2017, (hope it will get the Academy Award nominations). And Coco is definitely among the Pixar’s best movies in years.

The story starts with a 12-year-old boy named Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) who is a striving and passionate musician but unfortunately belongs to the Mexican Rivera family which has an ancestral ban on music. So while on the course of following his dreams, Miguel who is secretly inspired by Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), a singing legend and film star, confronts his family and accidentally travels to the land of the dead where he should return back to the real world before the sunrise by the blessing of one of his skeletal dead family members otherwise he’ll be dead forever. In this adventure, he encounters Héctor (Gael García Bernal), a down-on-his-luck skeleton and seeks his help to return to his family among the living.

Conceptually the movie is based on the Mexican holiday of Día de Muertos, where family members gather together and remember their ancestors so that dead ancestors can reunite with their family from the realm of dead people and celebrate the festive season. The film has a really strong and powerful story with light-hearted humor which is enough to touch viewers’ hearts. Overall the story is compelling and some of the moments move viewers from inside that one just cannot stop crying. The animation is so vibrant and colorful which makes every screen visually beautiful. The vocal performances of every individual are believable and excellent. The songs and the music are so melodious that it makes the film overwhelmingly wonderful and gives the exact proportion for the sense of fulfillment. It is the really good take on the polarity of the basic but strongest human emotion of being remembered and being forgotten.

Verdict : Amazing animation film with really powerful story and music. Just go and book the tickets. A really nice film to watch with family, friends, and loved ones.

Rating : 4/5

Secret Superstar (2017)

To Mothers & Motherhood…

Secret Superstar is the debut directorial musical family-drama film written and directed by Advait Chandan in collaboration with Amir Khan Productions. He has also worked on many projects in past with Amir Khan like Taare Zameen Par (2007) & Dhobi Ghat (2010), and this one proves his caliber and brilliance in filmmaking.

The film starts with the 14-year old girl Insia (Zaira Wasim) from Vadodara having passion and talent in music who dreams of being a successful singer one day. In pursuing her dreams, Insia is strengthened by the love of her pure-hearted mother Najma (Meher Vij), but always drawn back by her unreasonable and abusive father (Raj Arjun). Her vicious father is the very reason Insiya is living in the world with very limited opportunities same as that of her mother who is been living life like hell. To cherish this talent of singing and to get all the fame the series of events led her to upload her own singing videos wearing burkha on YouTube, the strongest multimedia platform today, as an anonymous singer. It is the coming of age story of Insiya from zero to becoming a secret singing sensation overnight. But as this simplistic story progresses it gives totally different and beautiful arc to it and makes the audience realize that the film is all about mother’s selfless love and her sacrifices for her daughter in fulfilling her dreams.

The film is the emotional roller coaster ride with some very intense moments which can make the audience uncomfortable. There are also many heartwarming moments which will definitely make your eyes watery. The appearance of Amir Khan in the film as quirky, crazy, and downfalling Music Director Shakti Kumar is just fun to watch and justifies in all angles. Amir Khan is very choosy in the films he acts in, and yes, this one also has a lot of things to give to its audience. This film has very strong and effective messages like “There’s no meaning to life without dreams.”, “No victory is greater than mother’s love.” and so on. Along with making some hard-hitting statements, this film also talks about feminism, women empowerment, women treated as the second class citizens in the male-dominated society.

The performances of each and every individual who acted are believable and top notch. Every screen appearance of Raj Arjun as Insia’s stubborn father is so scary. Kabir Shaikh as Guddu, Insia’s cute younger brother, is so adorable and really convincing. Tirth Sharma as Chintan, Insia’s classmate cum friend, is the real treat and serves the purpose right as per the story’s need. It is the moving and compelling story with a really lot to give, with finest performances, and the best film of 2017 so far.

Verdict : Family entertainer, the best film of 2017 so far. One should not miss this at any cost.

Rating : 4.5/5