My Review : DUNKIRK

My Review : DUNKIRK

No matter how busy or tied up I am, A Christopher Nolan film is a must watch.
One of Hollywood’s most successful directors and creative minds, Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar) is back with an unique war epic, and a highly intense one.;
The reason I would like to call this film an unique film because there is no love story, No hero, no character development or cinematic layers…overall a very realistic execution and real performances.
The film Dunkirk is based on a real-life incident – During the World War 2, the Allied forces were surrounded and trapped on Dunkirk beach — and on a daily basis, brave people helped rescue them, despite the risk of danger and death.
The movie’s war violence is realistic and intense, with heavy bombing and shooting…towards the end, it has a strong message, talking about bravery, teamwork, and sacrifice, and persistent.

PS: You need to watch this film more than once atleast coz Nolan’s film is quite challenging to follow.

Plot :

The story has three sections, which are narrated at a different pace; the beach sequences take place over one week, the boat sequence takes one day, and the plane sequences take one hour.
This Nolan’s time -twisting technique lacks clarity and sometimes you do have difficulties in following.
But, Dunkirk is such an unique war experience, throwing the viewer so vividly into the picture, that it’s difficult to dismiss.

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Technical :

in Dunkirk, the best part is that the audiences never s a single German soldier. Instead the movie’s main antagonist is the passage of time and the real challenges faced by the english troops
It also highlights the emotions and the dynamics of the situation many allied troops found themselves in.

Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema shot the film on IMAX 65 mm and 65 mm large format film stock. The film made extensive use of practical effects, such as employing thousands of extras, gathering boats that had participated in the real Dunkirk evacuation, and using genuine era-appropriate planes for aerial sequences.

The film reminds you Nolan’s brilliant craft of mastering and blending sound, cinematography, and often times temporally complex editing to make a picture more than the sum of its parts.

Verdict :
Overall, Dunkirk is more than a movie….it’s an experience-) A must watch

MY REVIEW : JAGGA JASOOS

MY REVIEW : JAGGA JASOOS

Mr or The Anurag Basu sir, the man responsible for success of Gangster, Metro and Barfi has tackled his first big big budget film. Not only that: it’s a fantasy thriller, and a must-see for anyone who loves cinema.

From the flamboyant opening shot onwards, it shows Anurag Basu in his prime,making a movie he cares about passionately.

Jagga Jasoos is unlike any other film Anurag Basu has ever made and yet possibly the closest to his heart: a big-budget, family epic.

We feel a great artist has been given command of the tools and resources he needs to make such an experimental film in Bollywood.
The richness of detail and evident care that has been extended to all aspects of the production are of a sort possible only when a top director has a free hand to do everything he or she feels is necessary to entirely fulfill a project’s ambitions.

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Plot :
Jagga is a curious and shy young boy living in a little town with his accident-prone father, Bagchi.
After admitting Jagga into Boarding School, his father suddenly disappears from the scene. Feeling abandoned, Jagga’s only contact with his father is a VHS tape that he receives every year on his birthday.
Equipped with sharp detective skills, Jagga sets out to solve the mystery of his missing father.
Along the way he finds a partner in Shruti, who is also an accident-prone journalist with a hidden past.
Jagga and Shruti embark on a mission to uncover details of his father’s mysterious life and find themselves tangled in a worldwide smuggling racket.

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Jagga Jasoos is a moving, funny and exhilarating film, an imaginative take of a boy in the form of a detective story.

Technical :

The way “Jagga Jasoos” treats its subject, is enchanting in itself, but since the film’s first half is devoted to the escapades of its young detective, it ends up getting you bored and a little rest less.
The way the film has used CGI and other techniques to create the train, Kolkata and a fictitious city called Shundi ( Satyajit Ray’s creation), it’s nothing less than a master piece.
The entire picturization has been so lovingly and extensively expressed in an unique narrative feature that you can’t help but praise the creator.
As the film pushes into its second hour, Anurag da and his team imaginatively and exactingly recreate a new world of Jagga Jasoos and his adventures.
This leads to replicating the extraordinary sets, costumes and special effects.
The film’s craft and technical achievements are of the highest order, combining to create an immaculate present to film lovers everywhere.
It would be hard to say enough on behalf of Ravi Verman’s, cinematography, Pritam’s Music, Disneys production design, the costumes, the extensive visual effects, the editing and the army of technical experts who made all of Anurag Basu’s perfectionist wishes come true.

Another virtue is that the film shows a fascination with early cinema and will remind you of Feluda, Tin tin etc that’s joyful and infectious.

The only negative aspect of this film is its total running time 🙄The climax seems endless and badly dragged. I had to convince my parents to sit till the last scene just to watch the talented Nawazuddin Siddiqui ( guest appearance)

Performances :

The very talented Ranbir Kapoor once again steals the show and very convincingly portrays Jagga with a lot of style and honesty.

Katrina Kaif was really good for a change and our very own Saswata Chatterjee makes an impactful and impressive mark in this film.

Special thanks to Sayani Gupta ,Saurabh Shukla Harish Khanna for their commendable performances.

Verdict :

Jagga Jasoos has a magic that’s rare in Bollywood movies. This is a real Christmas charmer, and easily the most gorgeous hindimovie ever made.
A work of great imagination indeed.
Jagga Jasoos is not a perfect film but definitely a very well made film.

If you love cinema…watch it atleast for once.

My Review :A Death In The Gunj

My Review :A Death In The Gunj

Prelude :
I don’t know how many of you know this ? The 18th edition of Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival was open with Konkona Sensharma’s directorial debut ‘A Death in the Gunj’.
Unfortunately, I had missed it and was eagerly waiting all this while to watch it at the theatres.
I did watch this film last Friday, due to a busy schedule..I am now posting my review-)

Review :
This entire story takes place in a place called McCluskieganj, which is a small hilly town in Jharkhand State,about 40 miles northwest of the capital,Ranchi.
The town used to have a significant Anglo-Indian community at one time but this has declined considerably.
Although the story is set in the late 70s with its retro setting, it does give faint glimpses of modern receptivity with subtle bold scenes and crude language.

The film has taken great care of it’s atmospherics,which is one of the reasons why you can relate to it so well.
Right from the very first frame, you are drawn into their world and their deceptively cozy holiday.
First Scene : The film begins with two men Nandu (Gulshan Devaiah) and Brian (Jim Sarbh) pondering over how to get a body into the boot of a car.
Then you are taken back a week ago, through seven distinct settings – each embodying a different emotion.

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Synopsis:
Its’ a simple story, when the son Nandu, his wife Bonnie, their daughter Tani and their introvert cousin Shutu along with Bonnie’s friend Mimi come visiting for Christmas holidays. The rest of the events of the film unfold over seven days. Nandu’s childhood friend Vikram and Brian also live in the same town, and daily come over and induldge in drunken evenings, impromptu games of kabaddi and long afternoon naps.
These friendly get-together acts a setting for hidden skeletons of these characters to come tumbling out,

Vikram is a bully and has a secret sexual affair with Mimi despite Vikram being married. In all this Shutu,who is also the family’s weak link, is left to babysit and take care of Tani.
Shutu is a total misfit who wants to be a part of the group but always finds himself the butt of stupid insensitive pranks and jokes. Nobody takes his side or gives him the time of the day.

The seven day vacation plot leads up to one death ( Still not giving out spoilers)

Technical:
A Death in the Gunj reminds me of the story telling session, I used to experience many years ago, conducted by my beautiful mom every Friday night post dinner just before I went to bed. All her stories necessarily did not have a moral purpose or a deep meaning.
The same way, this film is just a story about a dysfunctional family gathering, which ends in a tragedy.
After watching the film, I really would like to read the original short story written by Mr Mukul Sharma.

These are the kind of films Indian cinema and Indian audience needs to watch. Real stories, natural acting, real set ups in real locations and top it all an interesting story line.

Shipra Ray’s cinematography very aptly showcases McCluskieganj in a haunting way and you do feel a sense of intimacy in the story and it’s characters. Thanks to the Director Konkona Sensharma

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Performances :

Vikrant Massey steals the show with his brilliant, powerful and top notch performance.

Gulshan Devaiah Kalki Koechlin Tillotama Shome were convincing and engrossing in their characters.

Ranvir Shorey was fabulous..he is just going from strength to strength.

It was a pleasure to watch Mr Om Puri and Tanuja ji in a diffrent
role.

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Verdict :
A Death in the Gunj is a well made film and deserves a watch 😊

My Review : Hindi Medium

My Review : Hindi Medium

Prelude :
SCHOOL ADMISSION‘ is a parent’s biggest nightmare and this film took me down the memory lane and I could recall those horiffic days, when my parents went through hell getting my brother and me admitted to a premium school in Kolkata. Believe you me,parents can go to any extent inorder to secure the future of their own kids.
I take this opportunity to thank my Mom and Dad for going through so much and providing us the best of everything.

Review :
When it comes to portrayal of ‘Real Characters’ there is hardly any match for Irfan Khan.a versatile actor for sure.He has successfully translated intricate travails of human nature so effortlessly that his performances will remain etched in your memories for a long time.
It tells us the story of a mother who,like any other parent, is concerned about getting her daughter admitted into a “good school”.
It narrates the tale of complex emotions parents go through while trying to get their child admitted into the best school possible. It is the inherent simplicity of the narration that makes the tale so endearing.
The mother’s fear of failure and the dilemma of the father torn between his own lack of self-confidence and the humongous task to passing an interview to ensure the best of education for his daughter reflect a life that we all have experienced at some point in our life.

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Plot :
Hindi Medium traces the journey of Mita and husband Raj Batra who fail to get their daughter admitted to a reputed school. Their lack of awareness and inability to speak proper English comes in the way of their daughter’s admission.
The parents are paranoid and are getting dragged down to worry about their daughter’s future as they desperately try to put him into a modern English medium school.
The good news of one of their employees’ child getting succesfully admitted to a premium school through the underpriviledge quota.
On hearing this, they mutually decide to apply through the ‘Underpriviledge Quota’ and get their daughter admitted.
Rest of the story is a must watch…

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Technical :

The Director and the writer give us an important message of loving our National language as much as foreign ones. Our love for English (or any other tongue) should not lead us to looking down upon our own Mother Tongue or National Language.
There are several moments in the film that will remind you of your own childhood.
During the climax, when Raj Batra gives a very profound speech about how school admissions have become a pure business and nothing else.
The second half seems cluttered compared to the hour before the interval. Maybe the writer wanted to make it more happening and ends up messing up few scenes.
Btw, This film is not a remake of the 2016 bengali film Ramdhanu, but it does share the same one line synopsis.

Performance :
Irfan Khan (actor) nails it as the simple and straight Raj Batra who runs a reputed Garment store at Chandni Chowk for a living and starts getting goosebumps at the very mention of English. , Irfan scores high when it comes to putting in that ‘extra’ effort to get his daughter,into a good school.
Though he goofs up more often than not, is immaterial. It’s the effort that will make you roll around with laughter. In fact, his speech at the end is a must watch.

Gorgeous and beautiful Saba Qamar is virtually flawless as a mother who is succumed to Society pressure and the fear of failure.Her subtle chemistry and understanding with her husband, too, is sparkling and well shown.

Super talented Tillotama Shome executes her character of a ‘parent-student groomer’ quite well,

Lastly, the powerhouse Deepak Dobriyal nails it as Shyam Prasad andf is a breath of fresh air.

Verdict :
Hindi Medium is a family drama with a touch of innocence and simplicity that will make you want to watch it again. A Must Watch

My Review : Half Girlfriend

My Review : Half Girlfriend

gPrelude :
Thank you Chetan Bhagat the term ‘Half-Girlfriend’ will become a revolution now, especially among the youth (both girls and boys). So my dear brothers, don’t be sad if your crush/love rejects your love proposal, you do have a back up plan” Will you be my Half -Girlfriend? Vice-versa.lolz
Frankly speaking, Half Girlfriend was one of my favourite Chetan Bhagat novels coz the film talks about a guy who is not ready to give up on love and I, a die hard romantic also believes in the same philosophy and I totally related to the story.
In all aspects, the book did work for the youth because nowadays boys and girls are not clear about their relationship status with each other. A boy may think he is more than friends with the girl, but the girl is still not his girlfriend.
Chetan Bhagat writes, India reads….Bhagat’s books have been turned into cinematic successes by the talented filmmakers like Rajkumar Hirani (3 Idiots) and Abhishek Kapoor (Kai Po Che!) for creating something unforgettable in the field of cinema.
So now Balaji Motion Pictures and Mr Mohit Suri turns one of his novels into a film.

Plot :
The movie talks about the sentiments and linguistic struggles of a backward rural Bihari Hindi-speaking boy from Bihar as he enrolls himself at the prestigious English-medium St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, and falls in love with a “high class English-speaking rich Delhi girl”
The girl does not admit the relationship but agrees to be his “half girlfriend”

Technical :

Overall, the story is quite cliched and offers nothing new ‘Old wine in a new glass’ Both the book and the movie are low on emotions, as the film very conviniently leaps through every available narrative hoop. How and when 1 year or 6 months get passed or covered in the film ? god only knows?

I was so confused as to how i was going to review this film because i had mixed feelings and I didnot want to write a Half-review lolz. But i can say one thing for sure that the screen play was a big let down and the narrative looked so cold, monotonous and crafted.

Highlights :The scene where Madhav is stopped by a bouncer from entering into a bar and Madhav emotionally rants out his ‘Ram-Kahani’ to him was really absurd and funny.
Microsoft founder’ Bill Gatess head superimposed on a body double looks comic and scary at once.

Wimpy characters and predictablen conclusion makes ‘Half-Girlfriend’ a Half -baked affair 🤔

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Performances :

Arjun Kapoor plays Madhav Jha decently and tries his best to stick to the bihari accent and the body language. He did work hard for the role and gave his best.

Shraddha Kapoor was okay as Riya. I am not a very big fan of Shraddha ( not because she resembles my bro’s ex, whom I hated) coz she lacks the spark and presence on screen.

A special mention to Vikrant Massey ,Seema Biswas & the sexy Rhea Chakraborty (pleasing cameo)

Music :
The songs featured in the film are composed by Mithoon, Tanishk Bagchi, Rishi Rich, Farhan Saeed, Ami Mishra and Rahul Mishra. The music is soulful and the saving grace of the film. My personal favourite is “Thodi Der”, by Shreya Ghoshal and Farhan Saeed.

Verdict :
Overall, Half Girlfriend is Half entertaining, Half the fun, Half of everything 😢 Undone….Watch it at your own risk or read the book Online-)

My Review : Meri Pyaari Bindu

My Review : Meri Pyaari Bindu

Prelude :

“Pyar karna bahut log sikhate hai … par afsoos us pyar ko bhulate kaise hai … yeh saala koi nahi sikhata”.

I absolutely agree with the above statement coz I was going through the same phase many years ago.
During my Graduation days, I fell head-over-heels for a girl of my batch..true love I must say..my first I am sure.
She was undoubtedly the most beautiful girl I have ever seen (I still maintain dat) she was a breath of fresh air, bubbly, funny, smart and immensely charming.
“Zindagi se behad pyar tha usse … aur khud se zindagi se bhi zyada”
All the boys (in all the batches) were in love with her and I was just one of them.
We did become friends (not bff) but things din’t go as I had expected and ofcoz she is a married woman now..My bad-(-( But she will always be my first love…Meri pyaari Bindu.

This film reminded me a lot about my first love..so wanted to share it with all of you.

I guess Bengali men are very romantic… Meri Pyaari Bindu talks about the premise of a young bengali guy named Abhimanyu who talks about his first love through a series of flashbacks and tapes.

Review:

We never remember in chronological order, especially when we’re going back over a failed romance. We start near the end, and then hop around between the times that were good and the times that left pain.
Have you ever been in love with someone like that? In romance, we believe what we want to believe.
That’s the reason I found “Meri Pyaari Bindu” is so appealing and could relate to it.
Abhimanyu Roy aka Bubla is in love with Bindu from the moment he sees her. His thoughts on love may not run as deeply or in sync with Bindu’s thoughts.
He writes pulp fiction/ Adult novels, and you suspect he is yet to write his own perfect love story.
Can he accept that she simply likes him for now, not for forever? The movie, which is a delightful comedy, alive with invention, is about Abhimanyu wrestling with that reality.

If a woman wants to enchant a man, she is wise enough to become his best buddy. Men fall for this. Abhimanyu set out in life to be a successful writer, not a writer of adult pulp fiction. He and Bindu share the same favorite old retro Bollywood songs (ones you might have heard it before), and both of them record their favorite songs on one tape and save it as a memory.
This is fun not because we get to hear wonderful evergreen retro hindi songs, coz so rarely in the movies do we find characters dancing to these wonderful foot-tapping songs.

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Technical :
The movie, directed by Akshay Roy from a screenplay by , Suprotim Sengupta, zeroes in on one of the chief predicaments of post-modern dating – the definition dilemma.
When one party wants to stamp a label on what they’ve got going, the other gets cold feet. Why should it need defining? Bindu gently squirms her way out of the issue, but we guess from her reaction that Abhimanyu’s days are numbered.

The cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray is beautiful as he captures the beauty of Kolkata in every frame.

Post intermission, the film doesn’t seem to move ahead and fails to offer us anything new. I say instantly, The film is at its best during its first half.
In its opening scene, they’ve already broken up, and we skip back and forth between significant moments of their lives, through various soulful evergreen retro tracks.

Performances :

The talented Ayushmann Khurrana has acted in a lot of movies, ranging from ‘Vicky Donor’ to the gem ‘Dum Laga ke Haisha” He comes into focus here playing a believable, likable guy, hopeful, easily disappointed, a romantic Bengali guy. He is strong enough to expect love, weak enough to be hurt.
Parineeti Chopra evokes that ability in some women to madden you with admiration while never seem to give in or be completely in love with you.

Three cheers to our very own actors from Bengal Rajatabha DuttaAparajita Auddy Kharaj Mukherjee for their amazing contribution and performances.
I felt like a proud Bengali watching this film Thank you Director Akshay Roy Great job-)-)

Verdict :
An ideal version of this film would be painful and playful, and you might just relate to it like me.
But the one we get certainly has delightful moments. After all it’s unlike our mainstream rom coms, it’s a breeze. Go For it…

My Review : Bahubali 2 : The Conclusion

My Review : Bahubali 2 : The Conclusion

So Why did Katapa Kill Bahubali ??? 

This question has been haunting us for quite sometime and this weekend everybody all over the world will get the answer.
Fortunately, after watching the film the previous night I have the answer too..Do you want me to reveal it ?? Ofcoz not…I can assure you that there will be no spoilers ahead in my review.

Two years ago, I watched the first installment on the big screen and the experience was so awesome, I struggled to find the words that’d do justice to the experience I felt. And it was among my favorite films that year.

I was awe-struck by Rajamouli’s ambition, guts and his epic imagination, I love the way, he understands the science of extremes and I was looking forward to Bahubali-The Conclusion, said to be the legend on celluloid.

The second Installment, turns out, it is everything I expected it to be — mega, ingenious and envelope pushing. But Alas ! the 3 hour epic fantasy was not up to my expectations…as I found it predictable and too long. I can tell you that the second part is not half as satisfying or fun as the original.
Its bigger but not better…

Here, we introduce you to the Indian Super hero Mahendra Bahubali, who jumps as high as a bird and can fly too. He is invincible and can take on 100 people single – handedly.
Bahubali as a whole, is more like a Sci Fi film than an Action Drama flick.

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Plot :
Katappa continues to narrate the story of how he ended up killing Bahubali…rest you need to watch ( No spoilers..I had promised)

Technical :
The second installment of Bahubali is basically the prequel and its been killed by its long,predictable story-line (Not Katappa ofcoz lolz). The actual reason why Katappa kills Bahubali is unconvincing and predictable.

Be it the mountains, palatial sets or stark battleground infested with CGI-enhanced cavalry and infantry, Bahubali is magnificent to look at (take a bow, cinematography-K K Senthil Kumar, production design-Sabu Cyril).

The visuals are so enrapturing, they take over the experience. After a point, I observed their lip movement and believe you me, the hindi dubbing was brilliantly executed and not even once you will feel that its a Telugu film.

The Editing done by Mr Kota Venkateshwara Srinivas Rao was fabulous but the script could have been more tighter.

Performances :

All the actors did a competent job be it Daggubati’s suave menace, Prabhas’s charismatic energy, Sathyaraj’s stony-faced enigma and Ramya’s classy act stand out like always.
I was very happy to see Anushka Shetty once again..I had a major crush on her 6 years ago after watching Singham (Tamil) and I did fall in love with her once again
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Overall :

Bahubali 2: The conclusion deserves a watch…Happy weekend everyone.