John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) – Movie Review

Prepare for War.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is an action-packed crime thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski, stunt-director turned director. The film is the third installment in the John Wick film series, following John Wick (2014) and John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017). And it is the third directorial film by Chad Stahelski, after its two prequels, which means he totally owns this film franchise. The film is written by Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, and Marc Abrams, based on a story by Kolstad.

The film starts exactly where it left off in Chapter 2. After killing a member of The High Table on continental grounds, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) finds himself on the run from the guild of assassins after a $14 million contract is put on his head. Now John must find a way out of this deadly madness before he gets hunted.

The film is everything which John Wick fans are expecting it to be. This is the third time Keanu Reeves is reprising his role as an unstoppable killing machine, John Wick. And I must say, Keanu has got the perfect grab on this character, and he flawlessly does what this character is best at, hunt. His body posture, movements, and of course his performance truly makes this larger than life character alive on screen. And when the first time he made his entrance on screen, it just put a smile on my face, which just got bigger and bigger at that moment.

John Wick films are getting better and better at every installment. The film is trying to expand the franchise by exploring this fictional world of assassins. The film also goes ahead and gives some more character development, for some existing, and some new characters. It is a purely high-octane action-packed film with a really high entertainment value. The direction and the action choreography is just mind-blowing. We can clearly see where every punch, kick, bullet, and knife lands, and all the credit goes to Chad Stahelski. What made it even more enjoyable is its long-shot fight scenes, there is hardly any moment when it feels choppy. When the action is going down, one just cannot take his eyes off the screen. The film franchise has truly become the definition of best action films.

The film finishes on an open end, which clearly indicates the possibility of Chapter 4. Prior to the release of this film, Chad Stahelski confirmed that there has been a discussion for another film and that he would develop. Even Keanu Reeves stated that he will continue making sequels until the audience stops going.

Verdict: Parabellum makes it a perfect trilogy. A must watch for action film lovers out there. Just Go and feel the rage of Baba Yaga (The Boogeyman).

Rating: 4.2/5

Check the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pU8-7BX9uxs

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The Tashkent Files (2019) – Movie Review

Who Killed Shastri?

The Tashkent Files is a drama mystery-thriller film written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri. The film depicts the conspiracies surrounding the death of India’s 2nd prime minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri.

The film sets in the present time, when a low time journalist Raagini Phule (Shweta Prasad) publishes the article regarding the conspiracies surrounding the death of former Indian prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. This article raises the questions amongst masses and forces the government to form a committee to investigate the truth behind this alleged event; is it really a natural death, or a well planned assassination.

The trailer of the film has given the exact idea about what to expect from this one. And this film delivers the same in a really compelling and grounded way. I was desperately avoiding watching this film as it is widely deemed to be politically motivated in light of the concurrent 2019 general elections. But I finally went to watch this film without having much idea about its content, it made me feel how ignorant (I am/we are) about our own political history. The film goes deep into the darkest chapter of our political history. In 1966, when India’s 2nd prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri went to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to sign a peace pact between India and Pakistan. And just after 8 days, Prime Minister Shastri dies of a heart attack in Tashkent.

Even if the film is politically motivated and biased against a certain political party, it does educate the people about that event, which is the most appreciated thing about this film. The film is good at delivering the content but loses the balance between the documentary and the political thriller. Even the screenplay of the film seems dull in some places. If we ignore some of the technical issues and its political motivation the film shines like anything.

The film stars Naseeruddin Shah and Mithun Chakraborty in lead roles. Besides leads, the film also stars Mandira Bedi, Pallavi Joshi, Rajesh Sharma, Vinay Pathak, Prakash Belawadi, and Pankaj Tripathi. The film has got a totally talented caste, and hence we get to see some really powerful performances. Some of the monologues in the film just steals the show.

Verdict : It is a must watch for its hard-hitting content and some really powerful performances.

Rating : 4/5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andhadhun (2018) – Movie Review

Every Artist has a Secret.

Andhadhun is a black-comedy crime thriller film directed by Sriram Raghavan, who is well known for his work in the films of the similar style like Ek Hasina Thi (2004), Johnny Gaddaar (2007), and Badlapur (2015). The film is inspired by the 2010 French short film L’Accordeur (The Piano Tuner).

The film revolves around Akash (Ayushmann Khurrana), a blind and talented piano player, who spends his time focusing and sharpening his skills. Not so long into a film, while playing the piano at a diner, Akash is noticed by yesteryear actor Pramod Sinha (Anil Dhawan). Pramod is blissfully wedded to Simi (Tabu), and on the occasion of their wedding anniversary, invites Akash for a private concert to his apartment. When Akash arrives at Pramod’s apartment, unknowingly he gets involved in Pramod’s mysterious murder, what follows next is the witty and gritty tale of complete chaos.

andhadhun2

Undoubtedly, Andhadhun is one of the brilliant films of the year. Sriram Raghavan, with his peculiar way of storytelling, glues the audiences’ eyes to the screen. This is the film where you may forget to eat a popcorn in your hand, because you may think that you might miss a little detail, which will make you lose a track.

The film portrays day-to-day characters and puts them in dangerous yet funny situations. The film also explores the dark sides of its each and every character. Characters are very well studied and put into the story, even a small character has a purpose and leaves a mark on the audience. Along with the leads, the remaining cast of the film is also great, in particular, Radhika Apte as Sophie, Akash’s love interest, and Zakir Hussain as Dr. Swami are excellent.

The background music and all the songs in the film are apt, which elevates the film’s overall drama and thrill component. Some of the moments in the film are very well shot and surprises the audience with the brilliant use of camera angles. At some places, the film slows down but picks up the momentum eventually. After the interval, I was stunned by each and every aspect of the film’s first half, which of course elevated my expectations, and when the film ended with an even more exciting second half, I felt just fulfilled.

Verdict : Without a second thought, just go for it. A must watch.

Rating : 4.4/5

Click here for trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iVYI99VGaw