Baaghi movie review – 1.5/5

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Bollywood films are known for their plagiarism skills but seldom has a movie that has been plagiarized so badly that you would want to curse yourself for watching the original.
Baaghi starts out with the most clichéd romance in the books – it starts raining everytime the boy meets the girl. And here the scientists have been racking their brains to find a solution for the climate change!
The villan is smitten when he sees the heroine doing her matka jhatkas in the rain. He bribes her father to get him married to her and when that doesn’t work he kidnaps her and takes her away to Thailand.

The hero is paving his way through martial arts school and what better film to plagiarise it from other than Karate kid.

Somewhere along the way they were supposed to rehash The Raid Redemption but I think they lost the concept mid way writing the script. They introduce the whole – a new army on each floor concept but never make use of it.

Given that acting is not exactly Tiger Shroff’s Forte but the action sequences are pretty mundane and nothing out of the ordinary. Shraddha Kapoor looks just as flimsy as ever and one throw from the villan knocks her down for good.

The songs are just plain bad and the action sequences are accompanied by dialouges like “China ka maal jyada tikta nahi”. Both the protagonists have rote punchlines. Just a really poorly written script.

The climax of the film gets utterly comical as the hero crushes the vilians skull with two hands after breaking his spine and ribs at several ends.

Ratings-1.5/5

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Mr. Right – review

Max Landis happens to be one of those guys we all love to hate. But he happens to be a good writer or at least that’s what I thought so after his first movie. But he slipped his way somewhere with Mr. Right.
Simply put in one line it’s a movie about a contract killer who decides to kill the people that hire him instead because he suddenly develops a moral compass. Anna Kendrick plays the impulsive girl who supposedly falls in love with this stranger – Mr. Right without even knowing his name. What follows is the road to acceptance of Mr. Right and the clichéd let’s get to the killer’s girl in order to get him.
The first half was witty and funny in bits, I give you that but the second half was basically rote script and repetitive forced jokes with a predictable story line.
Watch it only in case you are super bored and want to watch something light to kill the time.

Rating – 2.5/5

The Jungle book – Movie review

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The Jungle book holds memories dear to a lot of people including myself. And I must say the director has done justice to them. Going in I was quite skeptical after the trailers.  A live action didn’t seem like quite a good idea but watching the majestic Sherkhan,  I couldn’t help but hold my breath.
Majority if the story revolves around Sherkhan seeking revenge from the man cub (Mowgli) for his father burned him with the red flower. There are these beautiful little concepts like the peace rock where all animals come to drink water with a peace agreement and the red flower (fire) which is considered to be the ultimate evil. It is these little new additions that give the movie it’s edge.
The movie brings back nostalgia with Baloo and his playfulness. It has some nicely choreographed action sequences. And it’s definitely a must watch for the child within you.
I wouldn’t recommend so much for the kids as  I heard the little girl beside me scream when she saw sherkhan leap at her.

Review – 4/5

The Danish Girl

The movie is about the first transgender – Lili Elbe. Painter Einar Wegener is living a happy life with his wife Greda who is a struggling artist at the time, she asks him to pose in stockings in order to help her complete a portrait. In doing so she sets out the inner suppressed woman within him. In the beginning, it is limited to fun, where they dress him up in woman’s attire to attend a party where she is wooed by a man and develops a liking to it. From then on she carried out these escapades on her own and meeting her lover in secrecy. Her wife, although insecure keeps supporting Lili as she feels inside somewhere is the same Einar that loved her then.

Greda starts making portraits of Lili as a woman and finally gets the appreciation for her art. They try to take Einar to the doctor who declares that its only right that he be institutionalized for “perversion”. They flee to Paris where Einer continues to dress as Lili and learn the grace of a woman by visiting brothels. Greda tries getting help from Einer’s childhood friend Hans  but Einer is convinced that he wants to keep staying as Lili. They finally meet a doctor is willing to perform the transformation surgeries. After the second surgery, Lili has transformed into a woman but her condition is weak and she cannot recover. In death, she feels that alas she is complete.

The movie tries to portray the close relationship between the Wife and her husband. You can see Greda falling apart as she feels her husband moving away from her reach but Eddie Redmayne was surprisingly not good this time around. It was almost as if he felt uncomfortable in his skin, although he did win an oscar nomination for the film which I think is only due to the controversial topic of the film but he just wasn’t convincing as a woman suppressed in a man’s skin. He is awkward and feebly smiling at the camera even in serious drama scenes in most of the film.

The writer should have tried to incorporate more scenes about the troubles that Lili would have had to go through in her feminine skin. The film wasn’t inspiring or touching and more of a drama genre.

Ratings- 2.5/5

Angry Indian Goddesses – Review

The movie with a message.

From the looks of it, I was hoping to watch a feel-good flick with a little bit of feminist agenda somewhere on the horizon. The plot-line of the film was simple, six friends gather at a Goan house for their friend’s wedding. Everything seems happy and fluid in the beginning and each character realizes the flaws in their lives and by the end of the movie, each character was supposed to attend the wedding and go back to their lives with a new hope. At least that’s what you would have thought!

But there is a grim twist in the second half of the movie. Before that the movie delves into all different aspects of problems that Indian women in the modern society come across from the Working woman facing the pull between her family and work life, the singer battling depression as she cannot find the platform to express her talent, the housewife who finds herself suffocating between suppressed ambitions and an unhappy marriage with her in-laws pressurising her for grandkids, an aspiring actresses who has had to deal with double standards in the media industry where women are nothing but damsels in distress and the pretty face to be saved.

The movie starts off with all our characters facing sexist issues, from eve teasing to double beauty standards where dark- skinned models are photoshopped for a fairness cream ad. All the characters meet up at Frieda’s (Sarah-Jane Dias) place in Goa where she has invited them for her wedding. There is quite a bit of fun and light-hearted humor in the first half. Frieda comes out of the closet and is marrying one of the girls. The writer has tackled the issue of lesbianism and coming out of the closet very smoothly.

Spoilers !

Everything is just going about right when Jo goes missing after she steps out for a walk alone in the night. They find her raped and killed on the beach. The police are uncooperative and the girls somehow find evidence that the attackers were the same bunch of guys who had earlier eve-teased the girls and broke out in a tiff with them, promising to come back for them. In a fit of anger, they drive out to find the boys and shoot them down with a pistol. The last scene of the movie is the funeral where the cops come out to Jo’s funeral to arrest those responsible for killing the culprits. They ask for cooperation and the killer to rise and as predictable as the ending was, every single person in the church stands to turn themselves in.

I am not sure if the writer was going for symbolism that the whole society in some way is responsible for all the deaths as we happen to stand by and watch the injustice in silence. The movie was a fairly good watch and moved me to an extent except for its disappointing end. Instead of just placing forth the problems of the society in front of the audience, the writer should have attempted at putting forth a solution or at least shown the audience a way out.

In the end, yes we as a gender are furious at the society and the anger just keeps piling up little by little until one day the lid will be blown off when every woman will be forced to pick up arms in her own hands.

Ratings- 3.5/5

Broad city (Season 1 & 2 review)

I was recently introduced to this series thanks to my brother who keeps watching stand up by Hannibal Burges. The Broadside is a sitcom about two mid-twenties girls trying to make a living buck in New-york. Abbi is the down-to-earth pasty white, boring, I am just going to sit all day and watch TV kind of a girl (psst. It’s loosely based on me) while her counterpart is Illana – the ‘I am so crazy that I am going to flash in central park to distract people’ kind of a gal.

Together they go around the city conducting their shenanigans which include lecherously staring at guys playing basketball and smoking pot and causing havoc at the dentist’s. The series has some remarkable characters like Bevers- Abbi’s roommate’s boyfriend who refuses to leave their apartment and is a complete slob dedicated to make her life, a living hell and Abbi’s dreamy neighbour who makes her go speechless every time the hair of his beard rustles (kind of a cliche). There is also Illana’s on again off again dentist boyfriend played by Hannibal Burges.

All the characters thrown in a mix put a refreshingly comedy scene. It’s not exactly the I will throw you off the chair kind of comedy but ‘haha I feel that’ kind of comedy. It eerily depicts what kind of crazy circumstances an urban girl in her twenties might face and placed so easily in a comic setting. A major part of sitcoms is playing out the awkward in it, but Broad city goes for unapologetically fighting through the shit-situations.

It’s a fair watch on a boring Saturday with atleast one or two laughs every other episode.

Ratings- 3.5/5

Season 2

And I started my binge of the second season for the series. Sadly as expected, like with most shows the quality of jokes falls down. Outright ludicrious and hyperbole can be said as the theme for the second season.

Season 2 saw a lot of guest appeareances including Seth Rogen and Kelly Ripa. It felt like the writers are just trying too hard to fit the product placement in the series. We get it ! Bed bath and beyond is sponsering you because your viewers fit their target segment but could you atleast try to make it sublte.

The series moves away from charachter based humor to reacting to escalated situations. I guess this is what happens when you run out of original ideas for the sitcom.

Ratings- 2.5/5

Ki and Ka – Review

Ki and Ka was one of the few Bollywood movies that had me excited ever since its trailers hit the web. It was supposed to be the next generation of film that promotes Feminism for a change. It was going to be the film that propagates alternative message under the guise of commercial cinema.

The film is based on a single plot-line- A career oriented Kia marries a Ka who dreams of becoming a homemaker like his dead mother. The movie starts out with the two meeting, their relationship grows from friendship to love and the two decide to tie the knot. The initial days of the marriage are going smooth until Ka starts getting attention. He suddenly grows to become a media personality for taking up the alternative lifestyle and gets busy in publicity driven events.

This is where the film begins to lose its track. Ki who was enjoying the success in her career suddenly starts feeling insecure by all the attention that Ka is getting and starts throwing tantrums and externalizing her frustration at him. The whole point of feminism is lost in the movie as the female protagonist is shown to be insecure and irrational. Although beautifully played by Kareena, R.Balki could have improved upon her character more. Arjun Kapoor plays the role of Ka who just seemingly takes all in, without ever raising his voice. This definitely brings out the fact that the movie has been written by a man. While Ka maintains his composure all through thick and thin, it is the Ki who acts like the emotional wreck and Ka ends up solving her problems for her.

The film ends with the message that it is not about the dominance of one gender above the other but the dynamics of the relationship where one getting attention starts feeling insecure when his/her partner starts getting equal attention. The film in all was quite disappointing after the second half and starts feeling stretched after some time. It has some good tracks like Ji Huzoori which have a deep and more meaningful lyrics.

It has some good tracks like Ji Huzoori which have a deep and more meaningful lyrics. Writer, director R.Balki could have made an effort to make the film standing in a Ki’s shoe, considering the film was about getting rid of gender stereotypes. You can watch the movie to cleanse your palate from the plethora of non-sensical Bollywood films out there.

Ratings- 2.5/5

Kung Fu Panda 3- Review

When the first of the Kung Fu Panda series came out, I was completely blown. A movie that was funny, witty, with just the right amount of droll and slapstick. The second movie in the series was quite the opposite, with too many expectations from the franchise; it seemed the writers tried a bit too hard to make the film funny. The film was drab and hardly entertaining. With the third installment of the film, I braced myself to yet another disappointing end to a witty premise. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.

In KFP3, Po is reunited with  his father who takes him to the secret Panda village under the pretense of teaching him the ancient lost practice of Chi. Oogway’s brother turned evil, damned to suffer eternal damnation in the spiritual world returns back to the mortal world and is out to destroy the Valley. Po must figure out the way to destroy Kai by releasing his Chi and save his new family in the Panda village from destruction.

KFP3 has it’s few laughs here and there. It plays on insecurities that both Po’s fathers feel against losing their son. The Pandas in the village live a lazy and relaxed life unaware of the imminent threat fast approaching them. Po out in the village to train in Chi; wastes his time learning to literally roll down the hill. The five, have a minimalistic role in the movie, with hardly a punch line or two. Shifu is defeated by Kai and his chi-trapped masters within a few moments. He sends tigress to warn Po about Kai.

Now here are a few things that I didn’t like about KFP3. Instead of evacuating the village Po decides that he is going to use the little quirks of the Pandas to fight against Kai. These include eating momos with hand, ribbon twirling and rolling down the hill. So the villagers use these exact skills to defeat the masters of different Kung Fu style! The writers have just tried a bit too hard to pass on the message of “self-acceptance” like in the first movie. Po takes Kai with him back to the spiritual realm. At this point, all the villagers just put out their hands and they magically realize how to release their chi to Po. Po uses all this new Chi and gives it to Kai who cannot take all the overload of all this power and is destroyed. Po returns back to the mortal world, all his friends restored back to their original form.

To sum it up, KFP3 didn’t really strike that exact chord as KFP1 but it definitely was an improvement over the second installment. A lot of the plot-lines were repeated and done-over but KFP3 keeps you entertained nonetheless.

Ratings- 3/5

The Night Manager (Season 1)- review

BBC’s Night Manager based on John Le Carre’s novel by the same name is an espionage drama that feature Britan’s finest- Hiddlestone and Hugh Laurie.  Jonathan Pine played by Hiddlestone finds himself in an unusual situation when he makes the choice to help out Sophia while working as a  night manager at Nefertiti hotel. His life takes a turn from then on and he commits to go undercover for British intelligence in an effort to bring down Richard Roper – arms trader masked as a philanthropist. From then on begins the tricky climb to gaining his trust and taking down his army one step at a time.

The plot has a parallel tangent where Angela Burr played by Olivia Coleman, struggles to take control of the mission, rapidly slipping away from her fingers as the bureaucrats keep dragging her down and her corrupt co-workers keep trying their best to shut her operation down. Towards the end, her department shut and her funds exhausted, she manages to run the last leg on her own with the help of one american associate who is smitten by her. A completely unrealistic tangent, introduced to increase the screen time with an unconvincing performance, mocking the audience.

Having seen Hugh Laurie for the longest time in more positives roles, it’s difficult to digest him playing the evil and heartless Richard Roper but he delivers it with so much ease and class that you are almost convinced in his cause. His screen time is relatively short, with more time given to building the plot. Considering he is the main antagonist of the film, a little more character driver approach would have been appreciated.

Coming back to Jonathan Pine, the protagonist revered to be the next James Bond, Hiddlestone plays the suave and charismatic character with women falling left and right at him. With the same charm, he wins Roper’s heart into assigning him his right hand’s post in a short period of time. The ease with which Roper let’s a complete stranger just in on his operations, even growing to making him the front for one of his biggest trade is ludicrous. But we show infallible trust in our hero and keep watching on, as he brings down each and every associate of Roper.

The women in The Night Manager are good enough for just one role- to rat on their men and sleep with Hiddlestone, giving him away all the secrets because of their sudden  surge of morality. It is preposterous how we have still not moved past the andro-centric espionage roles. A little male-chauvinism aside, the Night manager puts forth some interesting visuals for the war spectators. A lot of the series is shot at exotic resort made out to be Roper’s fortress. There are beautiful shots of Cairo and the Swiss Alps.

The series ends on an open note with no set future for Jonathan Pine, Hiddlestoners are holding their breath for announcement of a second season. Although with a lot many loopholes, The Night Manager keeps you interested through all its six episodes.

Ratings- 3.5/5