Laxmii (2020 Disney Hotstar Original): The Bomb That Fizzles Out

Laxmii is a remake of the Tamil Kanchana/Muni universe. The Hindi version comes after 10 Years of the original where much has been changed. In fact, the Tamizh mainstream movie also has changed the format of narration, we do not get now a separate comedy track in Tamil cinema which was a staple back then. I must admit I have watched all the original films and it is a guilty pleasure.Continue reading “Laxmii (2020 Disney Hotstar Original): The Bomb That Fizzles Out”

Soorarai Pottru (2020 Amazon Original): From Mani’s Ratnam’s Guru to Sudha’s Mara

There has been a slew of biopics in Hindi cinema in the last few years, but most of them have been hagiographies. Biopics as a trend has not picked up in the southern cinema. Even when Bollywood has chosen a South Indian for a biopic, they have transported the protagonist to North India like Padman. Soorarai Pottru takes inspiration from the life of Captain Gopinath and his quest to start the no-frills airplane in India.Continue reading “Soorarai Pottru (2020 Amazon Original): From Mani’s Ratnam’s Guru to Sudha’s Mara”

Mookuthi Amman (2020 -Disney Hotstar) The Goddess And Religion

Amman Padam (Mythology film) was a rage in the 90s in Tamil cinema which had a sample template of a believer suffering and her problems being solved by her favourite deity. The template died a slow death thanks to the rise of cable tv and the primary audience shifted from theatres to home.

Continue reading “Mookuthi Amman (2020 -Disney Hotstar) The Goddess And Religion”

20 Must Watch Films At IFFI 2019 (Phase 2)

So the Phase 2 of the IFFI schedule is out and we are back with our recommendations for the same. Again, our list is limited only to the films from contemporary world cinema. We have mentioned the code of each film so that it helps our readers in finding it in the schedule:Continue reading “20 Must Watch Films At IFFI 2019 (Phase 2)”

Kavaludaari Kannada Movie Review – Ondanondu Kaaladalli

Bangalore! A city that elicits both sighs of nostalgia, and exclamations of disgust at the mention of its name. But like every other city, Bangalore too ended up burying its share of skeletons on the journey to becoming Bengaluru.

Hemanth M Rao who made his debut in 2016 with the impressive Godhi Banna Saadharna Mykattu shifts tracks to make a neo-noir thriller set in Bengalooru, but will Kavaludaari be able to keep audiences glued to their seats the way Godhi Banna did?Continue reading “Kavaludaari Kannada Movie Review – Ondanondu Kaaladalli”

The Best of Bollywood In 2018

Listing the ten best films I have seen emerge from Bollywood last year could be a little deficient as I could not get around to watch a few generally acclaimed films like 3 Storeys and Love Sonia in time. Nevertheless, here’s my list of 10 best films that were made in Bollywood in the year gone by.

Honorable mention goes to Rajkumar Gupta’s Raid for an engaging account of a…raid and Hichki where Rani Mukherjee overcomes a clichéd script to deliver a watchable movie.

                                                                10. Kuch Bheege Alfaz
I am not a big fan of coincidences as a plot point, and the entire premise of KBA rests on coincidence. But if you are willing to look beyond that, this is a nice, gentle romance. Bollywood specializes in this genre, but rarely do you feel the romance yourself. A combination of good writing, direction and acting achieve this rare feat.
(Disclosure: The writer of this movie Abhishek Chatterjee also contributes to this website)

9. Stree
Horror and comedy often go together by in most cases, the end result is a spoof of the horror genre. Rarely do they complement each other. The horror in Stree follows the standard tropes expected in a film like this, but it’s the funny bits in between that make the movie. The film features good performances by everyone, including Shraddha Kapoor. A confident feature debut by director Amar Kaushik.

8. Raazi
The one flaw that I thought Raazi had was that the husband’s character wasn’t developed strongly enough. With a capable counterpart, Alia Bhatt’s spy would have seemed more credible. But this minor quibble apart, Raazi is a good watch with an apt balance of drama and thrills. Surely, Alia Bhatt can do not wrong from this point on in her career.

7. Sui Dhaaga
Having sort of honed his skills paying a small town bumpkin in the Dulhania duology, Varun Dhawan lends a humane touch and some maturity to his character here.  He is ably supported by Anushka Sharma. The story of the triumph of the underdog may have been done many times in the past, yet Sharat Katariya’s take on it makes for an interesting watch. If nothing else, I hope it puts Raghuvir Yadav back in the reckoning as a sought out actor.

6. Karwaan
While watching this movie, I was constantly reminded of Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying where three individuals carry a dead body across a road trip. The more showy role here is played with aplomb by Irfan Khan. Dulquer Salman, in his Hindi debut, is the under playing anchor of the ship and Mithila Palkar is the loose cannon who makes the age gap seem obvious. This is a nice feel-good black comedy. 

5. Veere Di Wedding
Four friends at different stages of matrimonial life is a premise for some witty writing. Add to that good performances by the four leading ladies (Swara Bhaskar steals most scenes) under Shashank Ghosh’s able direction and there isn’t a dull moment in this film.

4. Manmarziyan
The story of the woman settling for an arranged marriage despite a passionate affair is a template already covered by the Woh Saat Dins, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanams and Dhadkans of the world. Yet writer Kanika Dhillon and director Anurag Kashyap find ways of adding complications to the story. Not all of it made sense to me but then I don’t suppose it was meant to. Superb acting by Taapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal and Abhishek Bachchan; in fact this must be Bachchan’s best role in years. He is more suited to these ‘serious types’ than comedy.  

3. Badhaai Ho 
This is a perfect example of choosing the right actor for the right role. What an ensemble cast this is! A late and unexpected pregnancy puts everyone in the household in an embarrassing situation leading to much mirth. Is this the same Amit Sharma  who directed Tevar a few years ago? You don’t say!

2. Kaalakaandi
I laughed so much with this movie my sides hurt. Three stories run parallel over the span of one fateful night. It’s a no brainer that they will come together at some point. This union is completely forced but by the time it comes, you are beyond the point of caring. Akshat Verma, who wrote the no-holds barred Delhi Belly, makes his directorial debut with even an even more ribald comedy. Sad it barely got noticed at the time of its release.

1. Mukkabaaz
By now it may seem that I am an Anurag Kashyap fan boy. But really, what’s not to like about this story about a boxer who has to rise above caste politics to claim his right to fight. As always, the dialogues in Kashyap’s films are peerless. No one gets these North Indian landscapes right better than him. Vineet Kumar puts in a performance that should make all filmmakers sit up and take notice of his raw talent.

 

Vivek Shukla On Scripting ‘Chhota Bheem’ And ‘Surreal Play’ – A Screenwriting Initiative For The Visually Impaired

Since an early age, Vivek Shukla was quite the filmbuff and an ardent dreamer (by his own admission). But was quite unsure, as to what he wanted to do in his life. Whilst in college, a theatre workshop subsequently led Shukla to find his true calling i.e. scriptwriting.

In the later years, Shukla went on to write some of the most noteworthy animated shows for Indian television such as New Adventures Of Bal Hanuman and the extremely popular Chhota Bheem.His repertoire also includes other shows such as Akbar Birbal  for Discovery Kids and Bunty Aur Billi for Toonz Animations.

Interestingly, the writer has decidedly stuck to writing a wide variety of animated shows for Indian television. This decision coupled with his vast experience has helped him evolve as one of the most prominent names in the field of of Animation Screen Writing and Live action TV in India.

In a tete-a-tete with Madaboutmoviez.com, Vivek Shukla spoke to us about his journey, his creative influences and Surreal Play – an amazing initiative that helps visually impaired learn the art of scriptwriting.Continue reading “Vivek Shukla On Scripting ‘Chhota Bheem’ And ‘Surreal Play’ – A Screenwriting Initiative For The Visually Impaired”

Daddy Hindi Movie Review – Daddy Not So Cool

The early 80s were a turbulent time in the history of Bombay, as the old guard of gentler underworld dons like Haji Mastan, Karim Lala and Varadarajan Mudaliar slowly began to make way for the young turks like Dawood Ibrahim, Chhota Rajan, Chhota Shakeel etc in the backdrop of another seminal event in the city’s history, The Great Bombay Mill Strike. This has been a mother lode of stories for Bollywood and other film industries as well, and while all the names mentioned above have had stories told about them, Dawood more than the others, one name surprisingly hasn’t popped up much. The name was of Arun Gulabrao Ahir, AKA, Arun Gawli, the only other formidable challenger to Dawood’s reign after Chhota Rajan. So, does the story of Gawli’s life have enough meat to keep the audience hooked?
Continue reading “Daddy Hindi Movie Review – Daddy Not So Cool”

Ruchi Joshi On Directing ‘The Idiot’ And Quashing Religious Bigotry And Prejudices

 Directors Ruchi Joshi and Sriram Ganapathy‘s short film Murakh a.k.a The Idiot is the story of a man (Arfi Lamba) arrested for hijacking a plane and the chaos that ensues. Through this premise, the film which uses dark humour to drive its narrative, attempts to shed light on a society plagued by bigotry and paranoia.

 At a time when incidents of communal clashes and hate crimes seem to be on an upswing, Joshi and Ganapathy’s film seems to serve as a much needed call for introspection.

The 18 minute film which is produced by Katharina Suckale (Bombay Berlin Film Productions) and shot by Ganapathy is an official selection at the 40th Edition of the Asian-American International Film Festival in New York.Continue reading “Ruchi Joshi On Directing ‘The Idiot’ And Quashing Religious Bigotry And Prejudices”