Romeo Akbar Walter (2019)

Our Hero. Their Spy.

Romeo Akbar Walter is an espionage action thriller film written and directed by Robbie Grewal.

The film sets in 1971, when India was on the verge of a war with Pakistan. The film centers around Romeo Ali (John Abraham), an Indian banker, with patriotic family background, get recruited as an undercover agent by RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) for a top-secret operation inside Pakistan.

The story of the film is pretty straight-forward and predictable. This film sets at the same time in which the events of the film Raazi (2018) took place. Even this film has a similar story, characters, and situations as that of Raazi, but unfortunately not that intriguing. All the character performances in the film are worth appreciating. The film is all about John’s character and he justifies it by giving an intense performance. Besides John, the character played by Jackie Shroff as Shrikant Rai, the head of RAW, is also excellent.

The first half of the film feels a very slow burning and lazy, in the second half, the things start moving with some pace and maintains the same towards the end, but even climax doesn’t make an impact which it should have actually made. The film is an interesting attempt to make a drama-driven espionage film by breaking the stereotypes of action-packed film, but it lacks the grip it needed the most. The film has its own moments and patriotic feel to keep the audience engaged, but dull storytelling, an unnecessary romantic aspect & music tracks make it an average film.

Verdict : A patriotic film should make us feel proud and it surely does the same, but only when you endure its slow pace. A one time watch film.

Rating : 3.3/5

Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSHjC8VdzCM

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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

Us (2019) – Movie Review

They are Coming!

Us is a horror thriller film written and directed by Jordan Peele, the director who is known for his excellent work in Get Out (2017).

The film follows the family of four, Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o), her husband Gabe Wilson (Winston Duke) and their children, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex), where they head to her family’s beach house in Santa Cruz. Soon their peaceful vacation turns into a nightmare when they are confronted by their doppelgängers (double of a living person).

There are some things in a storyline which are never explained or are just illogical, which may get you out of the film or may feel boring. The film also has a really nice screenplay and direction, along with a spooky musical score. The performance-wise, all the actors have done a good job. The concept of encountering doppelgängers is really fresh and interesting topic. Like his previous film, Peele once again addresses the theme of the oppressed and the oppressors in the society. The film also has some American cultural references and nuances which may not be understandable for the outsiders while watching it.

This is not an ordinary horror film which nowadays heavily relies on the jump scares; it is an unconventional horror film like The Witch (2015), Hereditary (2018), and The Babadook (2014). I liked the way, the director chose not to spoonfeed everything to the audience, rather he had given the little details and hints throughout the film. Although there are some reveals towards the end of the film, still it makes the audience keep on guessing all the time.

Verdict : An unconventional horror film, maybe not everybody’s cup of tea.

Rating : 3.5/5

Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNCmb-4oXJA

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)

Baazaar (2018) – Movie Review

Make Money.. Money Money Money..

Baazaar is a crime drama film directed by a debutant director Gauravv K. Chawla, and written by Nikkhil Advani, Aseem Arora, and Parveez Sheikh.

The film heavily revolves around the corporate world of business and the stock market. The film sets in the Mumbai, a financial capital city of India, where people come to make their dreams come true. One such dreamer, Rizwan Ahmed (Rohan Vinod Mehra) comes to Mumbai to fulfill his big dreams. By keeping only one wish in mind is to meet his idol Shakun Kothari (Saif Ali Khan). Shakun Kothari, the billionaire businessman, whose only interest is his money and profit, who is known for his wicked ways of acquiring and expanding his business.

Not so long into the film, Rizwan gets a job in a stock trading firm, where he meets Priya Rai (Radhika Apte). In that firm to keep his job, Rizwan gets a challenging task of being a trader of bad performing stocks. In the catastrophic event with one of the businessmen from his list, Rizwan gets a chance to sell stocks to Shakun Kothari, which Shakun desperately wanted to buy. After witnessing the potential of Rizwan’s stock trading skills, Shakun takes him under his wings. From the struggles of securing his job to becoming Shakun’s one of the closest associates, Rizwan gets every pleasure of shiny life.

Reaching these heights of business, money, and power is fine, but maintaining that height is definitely difficult because when you fall on the ground from that height, one is definitely going to spread into pieces. This is the central theme of the film. The film’s topic is very fresh and interesting. The film is also informative in its own way, one does not have to possess all the knowledge of the stock market to understand this film. In the first half, the film really enjoyable and intriguing enough to keep the audience engaged. In the second half, the film loses its momentum as compared to its first half. The film has a very ordinary and satisfactory climax, which made me a little disappointed, but overall it is an enjoyable film. One more bad thing about this film is unnecessary long-running songs which just eats up the time.

Saif Ali Khan is in his full form, after his appearance as one of the leads in Sacred Games (2018), he is just unstoppable. Despite the little flaws in the film, Saif’s aura remains all the time. Saif’s commanding screen appearance as a ruthless businessman and the soft side of his character as a family man is worth applauding. Rohan Mehra as Rizwan Ahmed also does a good work despite being a debutant. Radhika Apte and Chitrangda Singh also have some crucial moments to serve which they do it seamlessly.

Verdict : For the movie lovers who want to watch something different than stereotypical romance, comedy, and actionBollywood films.

Rating : 3.7/5

Check trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb7iJnIWzNk

Hereditary (2018) – Movie Review

Evil runs in the family.

Hereditary is a supernatural horror mystery film written and directed by Ari Aster, which is also his directorial debut film. The film is receiving really positive reviews and getting acclaimed by critics, who called it “truly, upsettingly powerful on an emotional level”.

The film is centered around a family of Annie Graham (Toni Collette), a miniaturist artist, who is living with her husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), their teenage son Peter (Alex Wolff), and their 13-year-old daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro). The film starts at the funeral scene of Annie’s mother Ellen, who was extremely secretive and had not so good relationship with Annie. Following this event, the strange things start happening with each family members, and not so long into the film, the family faces Charlie’s death in a fateful accident, which builds the more tension between family. What follows next is the deadly drama where the family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences, and begin to unravel dark secrets, will the family be able to survive this?

The film has defined a completely different genre with horror and emotional gravity. The film has delivered the spine-chilling horror without using much jump scares. The film is unconventional in many aspects and will definitely make you remember The Witch (2015), Get Out (2017), and A Quiet Place (2018). The film is an unsettling, edgy, and really effective mixture of frightening visuals and background score. Most of the scenes are silent, but every time when background score joins the scene it’s just terrifying as hell. The film is slower at some places but picks up eventually. It is strictly not for faint hearted people, and not everybody can appreciate or handle the film filled with grief, others can go and just feel the horror being at the edge of your seat.

Verdict : It is not everybody’s cup of tea. Not everybody can handle uneasy and painful stuff. An artistic, unconventional, and emotional take on horror-mystery genre. The horror film lovers should not miss this at any cost.

Rating : 3.9/5

Bhavesh Joshi Superhero (2018) – Movie Review

Real. Edgy. Unexpected.

Bhavesh Joshi Superhero is an Indian action-drama film written and directed by Vikramaditya Motwane who is well known for his edgy storytelling style. In the film, Harshvardhan Kapoor is playing a lead role.

The film starts with two friends (I’m avoiding taking names to avoid spoilers), who are drawn towards sensitive issues like dirty politics and corrupt government. A question, as an individual, what are the possible ways to tackle these problems, which they keep on asking themselves, which ends up them making the online channel called ‘INSAAF’ (justice in English), which will become a stand against oppression. As they start working on the ground level, soon they realize that the system is very powerful and things can go lethal. While working on one of the issues reported by a user of their channel which could uncover the bigger conspiracy, things go wrong, and it results in the death of one of the friend. Now, the other friend must take a stand and must do the right thing, which will eventually bring the superhero out of him.

The film is a totally unexpected tale of a common man becoming a superhero. The film throughout is very raw and edgy. The story of the film is so simple yet impactful. The film is relevant in times that we live in. The only disappointment with the film is it’s slow-burning and unnecessarily lengthy. The film is not fully action-packed as per the trailers has hinted, but these action scenes were shot very beautifully. In terms of performances, Harshavardhan Kapoor does not shine as he should, better luck next time, rest all the other performances are best. The film is good in its own way but the audience may miss the excitement factor in it. As an origin story of a hero, it’s worth a watch.

This origin story of superhero almost reminded me of Ben Affleck’s Daredevil (2003). Even in the last scene of the film, the superhero and the main villain are standing face to face, with totally dark and stormy weather outside with some lightening (When the Daredevil and the Kingpin stands face to face).

Verdict : As an origin story of a hero, it’s worth a watch.

Rating : 3.7/5