Tag Archives: Arun

Margarita with a straw

Movie Review

My Rating: 6/10

Kalki Koechlin might be off the big screen but she has never stopped making an impression in today’s version of parallel cinema. And this, I would say, is the performance that many so-called stars of Hindi film industry will not be able to deliver in their lifetimes. Playing the role of a teen with cerebral palsy isn’t a mean task, but Kalki did not falter for a moment. Shonali Bose did a great job at directing the movie and trying to bring out emotions in the audience.

That being said, I think the movie itself was more like a collage of events and incidents in someone’s life, rather than a movie that wants to tell a story. Relationships seemed unexplored, characters were unexplained and contexts just didn’t exist. Speed of the movie, sometimes, felt painfully slow and pulled me out of the flow.

Good watch nevertheless.

Watch the trailer here:

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Hindi Medium

Movie Review

My Rating: 9/10

The one word that can describe the movie the best is FANTABULOUS. Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar starrer Hindi Medium is a brilliant piece of work in all respects. A nice topic, which is not too sensitive and yet raises many eyebrows – school admissions – has been handled with such an elegance and alacrity, and has been merged beautifully into other issues of poverty and corruption – both financial and moral. Saket Chaudhary, known for his unconventional ways of presenting contemporary issues in a suave manner, has done it once again.

The movie – Hindi Medium – is about a rich couple who have lots of money, but apparently not enough ‘class’ to fit into the Lutyens of Delhi, which leads to their silly stubbornness about fitting in. And getting the child into the A-class school in Delhi appears to be a milestone in this journey to fit in. But it’s apparently not that easy, even for those who have money or connections or both, and that’s what spins off a series of funny, yet thought-provoking incidents.

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The screenplay might have been fantastic, but what added real life to the movie was Irrfan Khan’s acting prowess and his chemistry with Bollywood-debutante Saba Qamar. The contract between the two characters is what brought out the laughter, still maintaining the originality of the underlying story.

This is the movie that you have to watch, without an excuse.

Watch the trailer here:

Hotel Salvation (Mukti Bhawan)

Movie Review

My Rating: 5/10

If I have to summarize the review of this movie in one line, I’d say ‘It’s a movie made with good intent but bad content.’ This is a movie about a father-son relationship that goes through different phases of anger, empathy, love, despair and many more. And all this is brought to the surface because of a stubborn wish of the father to die in Varanasi.

The plot is beautiful and could have brought tears to the eyes of the audience.  Dialogues have been written very nicely, making a great effort to keep them as close to the real life as possible; and so is the acting by everyone. The characters in the movie are not your typical fictional, larger-than-life characters, but really grounded, common man characters that you come across in daily life.

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Now the reality is that the movie could not bring tears to the eyes of the audience. The screenplay was very cold, with no moments that could allow the audience to peep into the relationship or to fall back into their own world of relationships and connect to the story. Plot of the story moved at a painstakingly slow pace, and did not follow-up with any interesting excerpts to hold on to.

To summarize, this movie had a great plot that it could have worked upon, but it did not. I find no reason to vote for it in the upcoming DIFF 2017.

Watch the trailer here:

Masala Chai, by Divya Prakash Dubey

Book Review:

My Rating: 6/10

masala-chai-400x400-imadtzyp8t8kgus2हिंदी कहानियों के चेतन भगत हैं दिव्य दुबे जी। इनकी कहानियाँ ज़िन्दगी के कुछ भूले हुए पहलुओं के इर्द गिर्द घूमती हैं और आपको कुछ हद तक उस समय में वापिस भी ले जाती हैं। लेकिन इनमें इतना फम नहीं है कि आपको वहीं पर छोड़ आएं। दिव्य ने कोशिश तो बहुत की है जीवन पर ज्ञान बांटने की, लेकिन नाकाम से हो गए। व्याकरण (Grammar) का प्रयोग थोड़ा बेहतर किया जा सकता है।
लेकिन मैं सराहना करता हूँ दिव्य की कि उसने हिंदी साहित्य को आज की युवा पीढ़ी तक पहुंचाया है और लोगों को उसकी रचनाएँ पसन्द आ रही हैं।

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 Click here to read my other book reviews.

 P.S.: The pictures have been borrowed from internet with thanks to the owner of this picture.

Lion

Movie Review

My Rating: 7/10

There has been a recent spurt in the number of movies getting inspired by the real life incidents, and they make you believe that the real great stories are the ones that happen for real. Lion is one of those movies that did a fairly good job at translating a real life story into a movie.

There are a few things that I did not like much including the stereotypical depiction of the Indian poverty. But then it’s difficult to shy away from the realities of modern India. Acting performances of Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman were among the few good things about the movie, and so were those of the young debutantes – Sunny Pawar and Abhishek Bharate.

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Watch the movie for its story, and not for its situations, because you might not like all that you see.

 

Watch the trailer here:

Hacksaw Ridge

Movie Review

My Rating: 8/10

Andrew Garfield starer Hacksaw Ridge is an fixating movie, riveting you to its storytelling, cinematography and direction. This is one of those war movies (if you may say so) that doesn’t only tell you the story of Private Desmond Doss, but also pulls you in to the whole philosophy of non-violence in a time when we are surrounded by violence from all sides.

The movie is inspired by the true story of Private Desmond Doss Who refused to pick up a gun during World War II. He faced the ire of his C.O. and fellow soldiers, but he never gave up on the principles and fought his case to be allowed to go to the battlefield without a single weapon. Though he was hated by all in the beginning, he went on to save many soldiers on the battlefield by serving as a Medic. While the story does revolve around Doss’s heroics in the midst of constant firing and shelling, the real hero there was the cinematography and direction. Hats off to Mel Gibson for that!

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The gory battle scenes of dying soldiers, might put you off in the beginning. But give it a couple of minutes and you’d be thinking beyond the madness that this world has served itself to. Do we really need to kill people to prove our point? Are some beliefs better than others, or are they just different? Can each one of us not chose to be a Desmond Doss and help the peace conquer violence?

I left the theatre with these thoughts and a great respect for Desmond Doss and other soldiers who fight for a cause that they might not even believe in. I hope you will like the movie.

Check out the trailer below:

Doctor Strange

Movie Review

My Rating: 7/10

The latest addition to Marvel’s battery of Superheroes, Doctor Strange, came across to me as a amalgamation of Christopher Nolan’s Inception and DC’s Man of Steel, but a good one at that. Benedict Cumberbatch has adapted really well into his superhero avatar and I must compliment him for that.

The story of this movie is just that of every superhero movie – superhero is originally a common man, identified by somebody on the ‘good’ side, realizes his powers right before the antagonist finds out about him, our superhero then fights against the antagonist and wins after a lot of destruction, deaths and disaster. So, no surprises, nothing new. But what’s fresh in this movie is the shift from the physically strong superheroes to those fighting using mental power. Though the movie didn’t stick to this concept for long, but atleast they made a start.

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Coming to the overall experience, I have two suggestions. First, keep talking to the one sitting next to you because you might feel a little bored midway through; or maybe some of the physics terminology might just be in a seventh dimension that you can’t decipher (I couldn’t). Second, there’s no particular need to watch it in 3D; special effects are good, but don’t justify a 3D experience. Infact everything looked like a miniature version of itself in 3D, including the New York City.

For people who don’t mind watching superhero movies, do go and watch it.