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

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

Me Shivaji Park (2018) – Movie Review

Unexpectedly Disastrous.

Me Shivaji Park is a Marathi crime-drama film written and directed by Mahesh Manjrekar. Since the official and poster and the trailer of the film were released, it has created a significant buzz with its promising cast. Even the strong background score in the trailers gave intense and thrilling effects, which elevated the expectations, but after watching it in theatres I must say it all went down.

The film revolves around five friends, a suspended inspector Digambar Sawant (Ashok Saraf), retired judge Vikram Rajadhyaksh (Vikram Gokhale), Professor Dilip Pradhan (Dilip Prabhavalkar), Doctor Rustum Mistry (Shivaji Satam), and Chartered accountant Satish Joshi (Satish Alekar). They all are regular joggers at Shivaji Park and spends their time discussing the current socio-political affairs. The things go sore when Satish’s granddaughter dies under mysterious circumstances and the prime suspect gets out clean from the investigation. Then they decide to take the matter in their own hands and investigate themselves by going on the other side of the law.

The peculiar ways they use to bring justice to the victims form the crux of the story. Now, there is some newness to the story but it can be just looked as old wine in a new bottle. The cast of the film is top notch but the weaker script and bad screenplay waste all of it. The lead characters try hard to keep the film engaging but none of that works. Not a single character is compelling, just feels underdeveloped. There are few songs in the film and those are so bad that audience literally started yawning. The film with highly talented cast and the renowned director like Mahesh Manjarekar obviously sets the expectations high but it feels sad when it turns out to be a crap like this.

Verdict : Save your time and money by not watching it.

Rating : 2.4/5

Venom (2018) – Movie Review

Embrace your inner anti-hero.

Venom is a superhero sci-fi action film based on the Marvel Comics character Venom. The film is directed by Ruben Fleischer, produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel. The character ‘Venom’ was in talks of getting a solo film after it made his first cinematic debut in Spider-Man 3 (2007).

The film starts with the space mission of bioengineering organization Life Foundation, whose spacecraft carrying four samples of symbiotes (alien lifeforms) is heading towards the Earth, but one escapes and causes the ship to crash in Malaysia. The Life Foundation recovers remaining three samples and transports them to their research facility in San Francisco, where CEO Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) learns that these lifeforms cannot survive without oxygen-breathing hosts (human body). Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), a famous investigative journalist learns about illegal human trials happening at Life foundation. But when Eddie tries to confront Drake, Eddie loses his job, which ultimately ruins his life. After six months, Eddie is approached by Dora Skirth, one of Drake’s scientists at Research facility, and helps him break into the research facility to search for evidence. At the research facility, Eddie gets attacked by one of Drake’s test subjects, and the symbiote gets transferred to Eddie’s body. After that, Eddie starts showing strange symptoms, along with some superhuman abilities, caused by symbiote introducing itself as Venom.

The film depicts the character Venom in a very different way, In comics, the character is chaotic, villainous, and has a desperate attachment to Spider-Man. In this film, at first, the character feels uncontrolled and dangerous but suddenly turns out to be like a planet-saving superhero. The tagline of the film says “The world has enough Superheroes.”, but the actual film contradicts it as well to some extent. The tone of the film is also very inconsistent. The visual effects are stunning, which makes action and chase sequences more fun. The performance by Tom Hardy as a dual character Eddie Brock and Venom is remarkable. The villain character is very much underdeveloped and feels shallow.

Verdict : Overall the film is just a little more than a popcorn film. A good franchise kickoff film for comics based superhero movie lovers.

Rating : 3.4/5

Click here for trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLCn88bfW1o

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 :