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Blog posts February 2014

Dallas Buyers Club – Movie Review

Verdict – “Good story, extraordinary performances”

Based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, a homophobic Electrician and Rodeo Bull Rider, Dallas Buyers Club narrates how the HIV infected people were treated in America during the 1980’s and how one man took the initiative and tried to bring a revolution in the treatment of AIDS virus with the help of his allies, Rayon and Eve.

The realism of the story and characters is the best thing about this movie. The conditions, the things which these characters are going through, the way the people with HIV were treated those days are shown accurately in Dallas Buyers Club. Director, Jean-MarcVallee and the writers Craig Borten and Melisa Wallac crafted a very strong and relevant story.

This movie is one of the rare examples where the performances outshine the story. Matthew McCoughney and Jared Leto were tremendous! Both of them had to loose almost 40 pounds for their respective roles and that was not even the best thing about those characters, it’s their acting and their dedication to portray their roles to perfection.

Matthew changed his career completely past year with Mud, The Wolf of Wall Street and on top of everything Dallas Buyers Club. This is easily his best by far. Jared Leto plays Rayon, a transvestite who is also facing the same complications as Ron. Leto and McCoughney are toe to toe with each other in terms of their performances. Their transformation into these characters is literally unrecognisable. They certainly deserved all the awards they have won so far and I will not be surprised if they win the Academy Awards too.

One more notable character in this movie is Eve, played by Jennifer Garner. She does great as a supporting actor and is not overshadowed by the presence of Matthew and Jared on screen.

The feel of this movie is kind off dirty and dark which just perfectly reflects the situation in which the people suffering from HIV were during the 1980’s. The dialogues are very cleverly written and its impact is enhanced by the perfect delivery of those brilliantly written dialogues by the actors.

Dallas Buyers Club is a brilliant movie and certainly among the top movies of 2013. Its real and its knowledgeable. I highly recommend this movie if you are looking for a good story and some genuine performances as its backbone.

My Rating – 4/5
Grade – A (The best one around!)
-By Chinmay Chawade (@ChinmayChawade)

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Shaadi Ke Side Effects - Movie Review

Verdict - “Promising and Entertaining! Farhan and Vidya's Performances Are Not to be Missed”.

Two of my favourites, Farhan and Vidya in a unique comedy, obviously my expectations were pretty high. I awaited for few good laughs and a heartfelt storyline, did it bestow me what I waited for? Or did it fall into the generic romantic-comedy category?

Siddharth and Trisha (Farhan & Vidya) are a delighted married couple who always take a crack at something unusual to uphold their happy married life. One day, Trisha reveals that she is pregnant and expresses that she is ready to have a child. With a cynical impression on having a child, Siddhrath requests Trisha, that they still need time to settle in their careers. Agreeing with the situation, Trisha prepares to undergo the medical process. Meanwhile Siddharth finds a reason to abort the operation after experiencing something important.

Eventually, Trisha gives birth to a baby girl (Mili) and the usual teeting troubles intiate between the couple, how did they prevail over these situations, narrates the further part of the movie.

Saketh Chaudhary (writer and director) jotted a well based storyline with a perfect mental picture about his objective. Attempting to convey a message, Saketh's writing was amusing and compelling for the most part, even though few excusable flaws originated in the transition.

The first half was perfectly paced with hilarious moments, the illustrative style of unfolding a practical joke was imposing and fresh. The post-marriage circumstances are really well shown in a pragmatic style. Entertained!

The second half whirls to the other side, it efforts to go across few dramatic segments where we actually start to care about these individuals and their opinions and that's the point where it got miscarried by including few unwanted scenes. The whole segment of Siddharth starting a whole new life style was underwhelming and less compassionate. Although it delivered the central message considerably, it could've been great if it's trimmed flawlessly.

Was awestricken with the cinematography, it was really well managed with all the glittering lights used and the technical department supported it properly with shimmering interiors and costume designs.

Farhan and Vidya are certainly the soul of the movie, their comical timing was seamless and are absolutely believable as a married couple. The unsullied character played by Farhan reflects a different shade from what he's done before, as he impersonates it with perfection. The irresistible allure that Vidya's brought to her character was remarkable.

On the whole, did it reach my towering expectations? Not really! Did I enjoy it for the most part? Absolutely! SKSE is a promising movie which produced something we really expect and will absolutely tickle the audience of every class. An enjoyable watch!

My Rating - 3.25/5
Grade - B (Entertaining with noticeable flaws!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Her – Movie Review

Verdict – “Marvellously realistic, genuine and soulful“

After facing a separation from his wife, Theodore falls in love with a newly developed artificially intelligent operating system which is designed to meet his every need and is an entity or a subconscious in its own right.

Set in the near future, ‘Her’ tells us the story about how Theodore finds love in an Operating System and how this love changes his life completely in good ways and sometimes in a negative way too.

Filled with spectacular performances this movie genuinely connects with the viewer at every level. The realistic and relatable portrayal of Theodore by Joaquin Phoenix is remarkable. He was insightful, witty and very easy to connect emotionally. This is easily one among his best performances.

Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Olivia Wilde gave brilliant performances despite of having less screen time. Scarlett Johansson is the voice of the Samantha, the Operating System. Her voice is simply mesmerising! She made me believe that the operating system is a real person with just her voice, which is incredible.

Spike Jonze, with his direction, created a world where people are not judgemental about each other, they are perceptive, mature, understanding and let people live their own life. He does all this in such a realistic and simplified way, that you will believe that this place, this future actually exists.

The top-notch music and cinematography enhances the feel of the movie. It was surprising to see this movie not getting nominated for Best Cinematography.

The only gripes I have about this movie that is its length. It seems a bit long for a two hour movie. All the rest of the things are simply perfect.

‘Her’ is the most realistic and original movie I have seen in a very long time. The amazing story by Spike Jonze and performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson made this one of the best movies of last year and received very well critical acclaim with five Academy Award Nominations which includes Best Motion Picture of the Year. It certainly earned its nominations and is highly recommended for everyone.

My Rating – 4/5 | Grade – A
-By Chinmay Chawade (@ChinmayChawade)

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12 Years a Slave - Movie Review

Verdict – “A remarkable take on a brutal and a unpleasant subject.”

12 Years a Slave is an adaptation of a memoir written by Solomon Northup, which enlightens an unpleasant period of his struggle between 1841 to 1853 as an abducted slave.

Professed as a freeman, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is an admired fiddle player who lives in New York with his family. Being offered a role as a musician in a event at Washington, Solomon agrees for a two week deal. After the event, Solomon gets drugged and was taken control by a trader who supplies black people to wealthy plantation owners. Solomon finds himself in a no-way-out situation and endures a horrific stage of his life for 12 years where he was crushed and hammered in various ghastly consequences after being seized illegally.

Inspired from a real life event, 12 Years a Slave doesn't vacillate to exhibit something ruthless and vicious. Director Steve MecQueen and screenwriter John Ridley were never been reluctant in unveiling the ferocious facts about slavery and how inhumane the retributions are. McQueen's notion to make use of a long take to depict the character's emotions is notable and his exertion in designing a scene with perfect lighting and tone must be appreciated.

What makes this movie more profound were the performances from the cast, Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor shines with an astounding performance, mainly during his close-up shots where he has to only function with his facial expressions and exhibit all his emotion in a time consuming scene. Definitely a frontrunner for this year's Oscars and truly deserves that honour. Michael Fassbender (also nominated for an Oscar) was totally unpleasant portraying the character of a ruthless and a sadistic plantation owner which will definitely apprehend you for quite a while.

On the whole, 12 Years a Slave deals with the most violent, pitiless subject which leaves you in a mourning and a uncomfortable situation which bothers you for a while. Explaining how atrocious a human being can turn into, 12 Years a Slave was absolutely remarkable in every aspect and is a top contender at the Oscars for sure. Definitely a topmost recommendation and my personal favourite of last year.

My Rating - 4.5/5 | Grade - A+
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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The LEGO Movie – Movie Review

Verdict – “The LEGO movie is a blast of creativity and awesomeness!”

After watching Toy Story 3 I was convinced that any animated movie which will be made in the future will not be as good or even get close to it. But now we have The LEGO movie, which is surprisingly brilliant in every aspect and has that amazing Toy Story-ish feel.

Emmet is mistakenly identified as the “Special One” when he possesses the only weapon which can stop the evil President Business from gluing the entire universe with “Kragle”. He and his friends, which includes some of the most iconic characters we know and love such as Vitruvius, Batman, Unikitty, Wally and Wyldstyle, now has to fight against the evil and save the universe from getting glued permanently.

I went in to see this movie with very low expectations and was startled to see how fantastic it was by the time it concluded. The negatives about this movie are very less, actually they are pretty much non-existent. Except for one small scene in the climax everything in the movie is relevant. If they have had a different approach for that particular situation, this could be an utterly flawless movie. You will know the scene which I am referring to after you watch the movie.

There cannot be only one best thing about this movie. The creativity and dedication of all the artists in different departments adds up perfectly and the result is what we got, a remarkable movie which hits you directly in the heart. Everything in this movie universe is made of LEGO blocks even the fire, water, smoke and well, literally all the things.

Cinematographers, Barry Peterson and Pablo Plaisted, worked very hard for this movie. All the scenes are perfectly framed and despite of so much happening at the same time on the screen it does not seem over crowded. Some of the locations and visuals are just jaw-dropping and you will be left wondering about how they even created it.

The voice performances are superb by everyone in the cast! My personal favourite is Good Cop/Bad Cop voiced by Liam Nesson who is like the right hand of President Business. His voice is unrecognisable and also surprising in a way.Chris Pratt was perfect as the voice of Emmet. The immature quirkiness which was required to play Emmet was handled very well by Chris.

A few names who also gave great performances are Will Arnett as Batman, Alison Brie as Unikitty, Charlie Day as Manny (a 1980 something space guy!) and of course, Will Ferrell as President Business. There are some amazing special appearances by some of the most beloved characters on film. So do not even blink your eyes for once because then you will miss the cameos of the characters who might be your favourites.

This movie is essentially made for adults with only some elements which kids will tend to like. Most of the jokes can only be understood by adults or someone who is familiar with all the characters in the movie.

The LEGO movie is a very rare movie, not many movies like this get made very often. If I find 6-7 movies this year which are better than the LEGO movie, then this is going to be an amazing year for the movies. No matter what your age is, you will enjoy this movie to its complete extent.

My rating – 4.5/5
Grade – A+ (Don't dare to miss it!)
–By Chinmay Chawade (@ChinmayChawade)

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Highway - Movie Review

Verdict - “Genuine in it's approach and a perfectly made alternate cinema”.

We go through an inimitable vibe when it's a Imtiaz Ali's movie, the earnest emotions being captured in an authentic and a profound way is his trademark. Elevating his style to a whole new level, Highway is extremely a distinctive movie in which every single frame has a peculiar meaning to comprehend.

Occupied with her marriage events, the traumatized Veera Tripathi (Alia Bhatt) requests her fiancé to take her for a ride to the outskirts, after being kidnapped unexpectedly by a local gang led by Mahabir Bhatti (Randeep Hooda) startling things happen and Mahabir tries to utilize the situation and resolves to demand money from Veera's well-heeled family. In a hazardous situation, the enforced Veera takes a ride on the Highway shielded by Mahabir and his uncanny gang.

The two main leads in the movie, Veera and Mahabir uphold similar emotions in their lives, Veera, an aspiring wannabe faces mistreatments with her own family members and Mahabir, a hostile individual, preoccupied with his mother's memories leads an adamant lifestyle. Neither of them are exultant or glad. Imtiaz tries to instigate a relationship between these individuals in an expressive way where they get to know each other and the circumstances that really changed their verve.

Conveying the character's emotion in an artistic way, Imtiaz's vision to craft the scene with few wide scenic shots was impressive. Incredibly pleasant panoramas explain the character's are trying to find liberty among themselves without a certain destination. Anil Mehta, the cinematographer had done an outstanding job in capturing some of the pleasing pictorials of North India.

Rahman's music and background score is significant and also plays a vital role in articulating about the character, which was discriminated from a mellow lullaby to a peppy rattle.

The main lead Alia Bhatt was absolutely remarkable with her performance. She's sensible, animated and unfurling in her character and she entirely stole every single scene with her pleasing charisma, definitely an early contender for next year's award season. Randeep Hooda impresses with his vigorous looks and style, although he doesn't surprise to a certain extent, I'm amazed with his performance in emotional sequences.

Nonetheless, Highway is unorthodox in it's approach and dismal with it's intent. There is something beyond the striking visuals and the superior music, Highway tries to be genuine in every way possible and exhibits a great prospect of a perfectly made alternate cinema. Definitely worth a watch if you're into these practical, gloomy genres.

My Rating - 3.5/5 | Grade - B+
-By Surya Komal aka KM

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RoboCop - Movie Review

Verdict - “Despite few minor flaws it's still an enjoyable action-remake”.

To begin with, I'm a bit worried with these Valentine's Day action movie releases, last year we confronted a giant piece of crap known as Die Hard 5 and after a year the remake of Robocop. I'm petrified with this small little coincidence and to be honest, I'm totally sceptical about this remake and actually thought that it would turn into a disaster.

Altered opinion! In the course of the movie, I was pleasantly surprised with everything happening around. It was completely a different take when compared to the original. Few improvised characters with a good extension. It's actually a pretty decent remake!

Omnicorp (OCP) is a leading private organization which supplies robotic machines to the US army which are utilized for few conflicts overseas. As it's main objective is to launch few persistent gadgets which are helpful for the safety of the American citizens, OCP CEO Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) cogitates about a new idea to set in a man inside a robotic machine, which can actually fight crime, overhaul the Dreyfus act and entice the public to keep their faith on something which was unusual around.

Converse to that, Detective Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) was on a secret mission to take down a local crime boss Antoine Vallon (Patrick Garrow), after few tumultuous consequences, Alex Murphy gets assaulted by a car bomb and gets completely impractical. Using the situation, Sellars proposes the idea of the Robocop to Alex's wife Clara Murphy (Abbie Cornish) and she cautiously consents.

As I draw comparisons, the death of Alex Murphy was completely diverse when compared to it's original. Here, he actually remembers everything about his past for a while until the doctors dwindle his memory and it's nothing about re-discovering himself and knowing the actual executioners.

About the flaws in the movie, it takes time to really get into the real act, the original gets into the point quickly and delivers few kickass scenes, whereas the remake takes time to develop few characters and gets more profound. It was dragged up to a extent which was not necessarily needed. It gets more serious and lacks the fun element in the movie.

Within the PG movie boundaries, the action sequences were really well presented and shot beautifully. Impressed with the director José Padilha for his novel attempt, he occasionally referenced few scenes and it was a good mark of respect. Needed!

Should appreciate the screenwriter Joshua Zetumer, he didn't pursue the same traditional way of all the new remakes, he did change the story for the most part and had done an imposing job with it.

I thought the performances were great from the cast, Joel Kinnaman was a perfect fit for the character, was impressed with the way he handled the robotic suit and his emotions were really heartfelt at times.

Good to see Michael Keaton in a major role, the gluttonous intent in his character was outplayed by Keaton and so does Gary Oldman, as the only virtuous upright scientist. Abbie Cornish was moving with her emotional expressions, as her character was really well developed and utilized in the movie.

Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised with the movie, it was well developed and explained which was a bit elongated. The action sequences were enjoyable and the performances were on a bright scale. Not the best remake around but it was acceptable for what it tried to be. Definitely worth your penny and I recommend you to go check it out, if you love the original or the action genre.

My Rating - 3/5
Grade - B (Worth a watch!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM

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Gunday - Movie Review

Verdict - “A painful watch! Nowhere near it's soaring expectations”.

They are Calcutta's most loved, most celebrated, most reckless, most fearless, most powerful Gunday? I'm totally misled!

After the severance of Bangladesh, The movie kicks off with the destitute kids Bikram (Ranveer Singh) and Bala (Arjun Kapoor) who were raised by smuggling guns. After few surplus and offensive sequences, Bikram and Bala disembark to Calcutta as they eventually become the most reverenced gunday and gain popularity throughout the city.

Being bounded by many criminal activities, Bikram and Bala reaps the attention of the new ACP Satyajeet (Irrfan Khan) as he conceives few thoughts to divide them and arrest red handedly with needed proofs. Eventually this leads into many predictable twists and turns which concludes our movie in a stereotypical way.

Contrary talk! Because of the astounding promos and music I was totally pumped up from the movie. Expected something epic and massive and what I actually got from the movie was totally diverse. It was dull, unsurprising, totally predictable and perfunctorily blame the director-screenwriter Ali Abbas Zafar for everything that had happened. He totally got it wrong with his writing which ultimately costed him a highly anticipated movie.

The writing was terrible at times, mainly with all the twists and turns, it was ridiculously predictable. Or maybe that's the point of Mr. Zafar? It was a certaonly throwback to the 70's actioners, but we've seen these kinda stories floating around every year. Not a good thought to repeat the same old formula! The dialogues were weak and after a brief amount of time it gets customary. 

And I can slightly appreciate him for the attempt, the set designs, costumes and the whole technical department was well directed. But the lack of a fresh newfangled storyline and pioneer writing ability bothered me the most and in addition to that, why is the slow-mo cam used excessively? Isn't that outdated?

On a positive note, performances from the cast were decent. Ranveer Singh was in fine fettle, his charisma added a lot to the movie, altough his performance can slightly be compared to his previous movie Ram-Leela, it was good seeing him play these explosive roles. Arjun Kapoor was not that impressive during his emotional scenes, but he offered a lot to his creepy arrogant role. Priyanka dazzled in her intro song and her character was deep and required.

To conclude, despite it's hype and few satisfying scenes, Gunday ends with a disappointment which I'm deeply saddened with. The uninteresting plot included with several foreseeable twists makes it a painful watch if you're not interested in accustomed movies. Totally for the masses and I unfavorably don't recommend checking it out!

My Rating - 2/5
Grade - C (Meh! Probably a rental!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM

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Hasee Toh Phasee - Movie Review

Verdict – “Heartfelt and profound at times, but it's nothing unusual to the regular Bollywood rom-com genre”.

2014 is just a number when it comes to Bollywood, cause we are surprisingly stuck at a point where everything was normal, routine and more intently just trying to play safe. Hasee Toh Phasee falls into that category where it was slightly genial, inexplicable and customary.

Ensuing the same the old formula, Hasee Toh Phasee kicks off with Nikhil (Siddharth Malhotra) who was impulsive and enduring in his character getting married to the deliberate and charming Karishma (Adah Sharma) after upholding their relationship for seven long years. Right before their marriage, Karishma's sister Meeta (Parineeti Chopra) appears.

Being dissimilar and disparate in her behaviour Meeta is considered as an odd one who is purposely hated by everyone in the family and was completely excluded. Karishma requests Nikhil to take care of Meeta during the whole occasion as he hesitantly accepts and he eventually discovers that he and Meeta had a brief meeting seven years ago. Will Meeta and Nikhil develop an unfeigned relation between them? That's predictable!

The traditional storyline doesn't really astonish for a brief amount of time, a series of unwanted cliched predictable scenes drags to a point where it has nothing to offer. Parineeti's wayward and striking screen presence keeps you engaged for a while but the underwhelming and the unthoughtful screenplay may let you down if you're able to pick up the sequence rapidly which I twig that as predictability.

But then again, don't get me wrong. Hasee toh Phasee had it's emotional stirring moments within the climax where it gets serious and somber about the situation. However, it's quite late!

Director, Vinil Mathew is impressive, as his main job is to manage and pull out some decent performances from the leads, he had done his part quite well. But the screenplay and story by Harshavardhan Kulkarni doesn't really engross me and with a monumental team including Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya and Vihas Bahl monitoring the whole thing happening, where did it go wrong? Even the music from Vishal-Shekhar didn't really engage with the movie, it was quite normal and outmoded.

Nevertheless, the performances from the cast were splendid. Parineeti Chopra stole the entire movie with her dexterous screen presence, a clever female character is quite rare to find in Bollywood and Parineeti impressed me with her genuine ingenious performance and certainly the best she had given till date. Siddharth intregrated well with his character and was a perfect fit for that unsure, skeptical role.

On the whole, Hasee Toh Phasee had it's heartfelt moments to care about but it's monotonous story and screenplay doesn't really had the potential to twirl the movie into a successful one. Anchored with few great performances from the leads, HTP is a decent one time watch if you feel like investing your money into something which was not that spectacular.

My Rating - 2.5/5
Grade - C+ (It deserves your attention for a while!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM

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Jai Ho – Movie Review

Verdict – “Jai Ho is contemplative, but tedious in it's approach and composition”.

I'm surprised when Jai Ho kicked off with a groovy EDM song, believed that it would be a surprising cliche-less entertainer. But that's just me assuming something that would never happen. Thank you Salman Khan.

Thinking far too beyond, there is nothing inside to enlighten the plot. It's just Salman portraying his normal Being Human character who emerges with a noble idea, which was only effective on paper. Everything beyond this minimal initiative was just a mixture of commercial elements which includes Salman's throbbing roars and massive punches.

Talk about an obtuse witless screenplay, Jai Ho is a perfect example. Enormously layered with repetitive cliched scenes dealt with a social message, the story completely rushed with absolutely no development in it's approach which didn't really intrigue me even when it's playing safe with melodramatic ingredients in the first half.

Taking an immense turn with the introduction of an under developed villain, things started to make no sense whatsoever which ultimately leaves everything to Salman being the only hope for the humanity.

Considered as a movie for the masses, Jai Ho was even a huge mess when it tries to be commercial, over-the-top dumb action sequences, unamusing humour and impervious emotion was not pretty easy to take in.

Well shot with an impressive gorgeous canvas at times, the cinematography was tremendously outdated with it's retro zoom-in and zoom-out approach which is obviously terrible to look at.

Debutant Daisy Shah was decent with her performance, her character was hardly there for 20 mins in the movie similar to the other supporting actors namely Tabu, Danny Denzongpa, Pulkit Samrat and Sana Khan. The centre lead Salman Khan was not surprising for the most part, his terrible expressions during the action sequences and not so emotive appearance during the sentimental scenes are completely flat and was definitely a let down.

Nevertheless, Jai Ho tries to be a game changer with a strong social message, but was hugely misleaded with it's dreary screenplay and in-your-face commercial elements. It's definitely far away from being another blockbuster remake, but may entertain Salman's fans who don't really care about watching a well made movie. If you're not a supporter of the big guy decline it completely and save it for a rainy day rental.

My Rating - 2/5
Grade - C (Meh! Probably a rental)
-By Surya Komal aka KM

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American Hustle – Movie Review

Verdict – “A hilarious, exiting and intriguing movie with a spellbinding climax”

‘American Hustle’ is the story of two con artists Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser who, after getting caught for doing an illegal activity are forced to work for a FBI agent Richie DiMaso. With the help of these two con artists DiMaso tries to put some corrupted politicians and mafia behind the bars.

Irvings wife Rosalyn is crazy and unpredictable, she creates a lot of complications in DiMaso’s plan. The story is not so simple though, there are a lot of sub-plots in it which will keep you intrigued.

The movie has a splendid cast which includes Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner. The casting director did a great job of bringing such amazingly talented people into one movie. There is also a superb cameo by a legendary actor, which I will not spoil here, but you will definitely be surprised after watching it.

Every actor gave remarkable performances. Christian Bale completely disappears into his role, he is nearly unrecognizable. He stole the movie! Amy Adams gave her best performance yet. She is sexy, convincing and truthful to the role. Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner did an amazing job as supporting actors. Each one of the characters had a moment to shine.

The direction by David O. Russell is stunning. The style and tone of this movie is quite different from the rest of the movie he has directed but the wittiness and humour stills remains the same.

The script diverges from its main story line during the second act, which gets a little boring. Nothing much happens during it. But the third act brings the story back on track. The dialogue coming out of each actor is relevant and precise for that particular moment. It is very well thought out and intelligent. A special mention to the soundtrack, which sets the 1970's tone perfectly.

All things considered, American Hustle is a great movie powered by amazing performances and writing. The movie has some low moments but the convincing and spellbinding climax makes up for it. David O. Russell’s American Hustle is worth watching at the theatre and it certainly deserves all its Academy Award nominations.

My Rating – 4/5
Grade – A (Best One Around)
-By Chinmay Chawade

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Carrie - Movie Review

Verdict - “Unwanted and Unexciting”.

Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) is an introverted withdrawn teen who doesn't really interact with any of her schoolmates as she often uses her bizarre supernatural powers for her own good. Her mother Margaret White (Julianne Moore) is another strange devotee of god who often comprehends everything as a sin in everything she or her daughter does.

Under these unusual circumstances, Carrie gets bullied by her classmates while having her first menstrual period. Occupied with her reticent behaviour, Carrie does nothing about the whole incident and eventually gets support from the school's management. Finding this as an serious assault, the management decides to punish every girl involved in this situation which leads to an intolerant revenge narrative.

For the most part, Carrie can be called as an uneven ride, though it started on a promising note with some spooky and surprising jump scares, the second act was completely a let down filled with dreary storyline which was dragged to a certain extent. The final act picked up the pace and was slightly enjoyable with all the bloodletting startling kills.

Furthermore, the storyline was feeble and fragile. I understand that bullying is a prevalent topic of our generation but constructing a movie on a singular precise subject can lead to distress. The original 1976 movie might be a spectacular one (though I didn't get a chance to watch it) but re-telling an unwanted anemic story is unnecessary.

Rant apart, on the whole I'm not completely disappointed with the movie. Director Kimberly Pierce had done a decent job in delivering few exhilarating sequences. The climax revenge scene was gratifying and the VFX is agreeable.

Julianne Moore's performance was terrifying as it was completely strange and uneasy to look at. Moretz was okay in her role, her expressions and appearance didn't really freak me out in the climax which is a deficient thing when you carry the whole movie.

Overall, Carrie is not a suspenseful gruesome thriller, it had done okay in few parts and was completely boring for the most part. I certainly don't recommend watching it in theatres, but if you're up for doing something which passes your time, give it a try. I'l go with two out of five stars for this unwanted modernised remake.

My Rating - 2/5
Grade - C (Meh! Probably a rental)
-By Surya Komal aka KM

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Enough Said – Movie Review

Verdict – “A fantastic farewell to James Gandolfini”

‘Enough Said’ is written and directed by Nicole Holofcener. The story revolves around Eva (Julia Louis) who is divorced with one daughter and professionally a Masseuse. When invited by her friends, she goes to a party and meets two people there who changes her life completely.

The first person she meets at the party is Marianne (Catherine Kenner). She is a middle-aged divorced women and a poet by profession. Soon Marianne becomes a massage client of Eva and they eventually become good friends. The second person she meets at the party is Albert (James Gandolfini) who is a middle-aged divorced man and facing very similar problems to Eva. They start dating each other and as their story moves forward some complications arises.

Enough Said is a very realistic and mature movie in all the aspects. The performances by Julia Louis and James Gandolfini are spectacular. They are relatable, simple and real. Both the actors played completely different roles than they usually do, which shows how mature and talented they are as actors. Sadly this was the last move of James Gandolfini since he passed away in a tragic accident last year.

The direction was perfect. The strongest element of this movie after its acting is its script. It’s perfectly paced, a little slow sometimes but that will not get you out of the story.

The movie is emotionally rich, it is as real as it gets when it comes to relationships. Every emotion is handled very well by the director. The dialogues between the two lead characters were perfect and there were no cheesy and unnecessary moments to drag the movie.

Enough Said aptly shows the difference that love makes in a person’s life. This movie is flawless, real and filled with genuine emotions. I give it a four out of five and recommend everyone to watch.

My Rating – 4/5
-By Chinmay Chawade

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August: Osage County - Movie Review

Verdict - “A movie led with tremendous performances from Streep and Roberts”

August: Osage County (film) is inspired from a stage play written by Tracy Letts where the plot onsets with the three daughters of the Weston family gather together for their father's funeral who was sick and tired with his miserable lifestyle and committed a suicide. Being the elder person of the family, Violet Weston (Meryl Streep) was addicted to chancy perilous pills which compels her to think in an eccentric way which often concerns to her daughter's feelings. Having been surrounded in a catastrophic vibe, things start to unfold in a ruinous manner which results in appalling arguments.

Inspired from a three hour stage play, August: Osage County is a great ensemble of cast who were exempted with a storyline and were asked to play as naturally as they can which resulted with an accurate presentation in an innate modus. And that's one of the foremost reasons I assert that Osage County is a movie which was primarily based on acting other than the story. Every actor in the movie were provided with an immense moment in which they display the character's intention and how they differ from each other's feelings and aspirations.

Out of all the performances, Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts excelled in the limelight and I strongly believe in them getting nominated for the Oscars this year. Their pragmatic approach and the inexplicable conversations shared were penetrating and extreme for the most part. Director John Wells had done the most vital thing my leaving the actors play themselves contentedly without any pressure in hurrying up the scene. But in a story point of view the movie was a let down, the writing was quite underwhelming and they were few muffled unnecessary sequences which took me out of the drama abruptly.

Nevertheless, August: Osage County is a dark depressing drama powered with terrific performances from Streep and Roberts. It's rather upsetting than entertaining and will totally depend on how you receive these melodramatic subjects. Not my topmost recommendation for everybody, but if you do have the intent watch it once.

My Rating - 3.5/5
-By Surya Komal aka KM

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Yaariyan – Movie Review

Verdict – “Senseless, Outrageous and Immature”

Yaariyan is the directorial debut of Divya Khosla starring Himansh Kohli, Rakul Preet Singh, Aditya Raj Singh and Gulshan Grover. Yaariyan is about a group of five friends who are chosen by the Principal to save their college from an Australian businessman. They have to take part in an inter-college competition against the Australian students, if they lose they will have to give up a portion of the land to the businessman on which he will built a resort or something. These five friends are the last hope to save the college from the evil businessman.

The plot mentioned above is passable. It can be made into an entertaining popcorn movie but because of the awful script, directing, acting, screenplay and all the other technical aspects the movie turned out to be a complete disaster. No dialogue and situations in this movie makes sense, it actually is pretty laughable. There is not a single well written, well acted character in the movie.

While we are at that, let’s talk about the characters in the movie. The main protagonist Lakshya is an obnoxious, lazy, desperate and childish guy who has no direction in his life. But when the movie requires him to be a hero, to motivate other people, to climb huge mountains without any preparation, to ride a mountain bike and defeat the highly trained Aussie player, to cheat on his team because of his desire to study in Australia after the Australians killed his best friend, he will simply just do it out of nowhere.

The actor who plays Lakshya is immature and annoying. All the rest of the characters are forgettable and has no back story whatsoever. You simply just do not care about anyone in the movie. The performances are terrible! And hence we shouldn’t waste our time talking about them.

The direction, as I said, is completely awful. There are a lot of continuation, pacing and editing issues in the movie. The only good thing about the movie is its music. Yaariyan might do well as an album with its catchy tunes and one of the songs really stands out, which is ‘Barish’.

To sum it all up, Yaariyan is terrible and a senseless movie. It literally makes no sense at all with its laughable script and bizarre ending. If you thought Student of the Year was a bit over the top, wait till you see this movie. I advise you to skip Yaariyan and instead sit at home and watch something else on DVD. Yaariyan is the worst movie I have seen in a very long time. I give it one out of five stars.

My Rating – 1/5
Grade – D (Disastrous piece of movie!)
-By Chinmay Chawade

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Veeram - Movie Review

Verdict - "A perfect entertainer for the festival"

Ajith Kumar's latest-flick "Veeram" directed by Siruthai Siva is one of the most anticipated movies of 2014. After the huge success of "Arrambam" expectations were very huge, also it releases alongside "Ilaiyathalabathy" Vijay's "Jilla", have it live up to all the hype it had?

Veeram has Ajith & Thamannah in the lead, Vidharth, Bala, Munish, Suhail play the role of 4 brothers of Ajith. While Santhanam, Ramesh Khanna, Nasser, Pradeep Rawat, Atul Kulkarni, Appukutty, Thambi Ramaiya play some pivotal roles.

Set in the rural backdrop, Vinayagam (Ajith) brings up his four brothers single-handedly. They are known for their violent nature and they are determined to stay unmarried. But two of his brothers are already in love and they believe that only way to make Vinayagam approve would be to make him fall in love too.

They choose Kopperundevi (Thamannah), who is a part of a group that restores old statues in temples. She is a very soft natured person and hates violence. Along with Bail Perumal (Santhanam), who is their lawyer and friend invent several plans to bring Vinayagam and Kopperundevi together.

After few glitches, they both fall in love. While she takes him to meet her father Nallasivam (Nasser) a group attacks them. There is a twist in the story here. Will it be Vinayagam's revivals or Kopperundevi family's violent past which will come to haunt their happiness?

It is just an ordinary story line, with average screenplay. The movie moves in a slow pace though not boring. Siva keeps us engaged with comedy and sentimental scenes. Stunt master Silva deserves a mention here. Action sequences were very well choreographed.

Devi Sri Prasad background score added perfect mass to the movie. Songs were nothing out of ordinary. I find nothing hummable. The introduction song and theme music were quite good.

Performances! "Thala" Ajith will be seen in a never before seen avatar. From aviator sunglasses, coat and suits he has changed completely to the other side wearing dhoti and shirts. His charisma, mannerism, power-packed punch dialogues is more enough to make his fans go crazy.

The actors who are portrayed as his brothers had very little to do in screen and their roles were overshadowed by Ajith. Thamannah gives a good comeback and has done her job well. All the others had done their given job well. Santhanam, as usual rocked with his one-liners, Thambi Ramaiya was equally good.

Finally, Veeram is a great Pongal treat for his hardcore fans and entertainment expecting audiences. It proves to be an action-Masala film with right mixtures of comical scenes, emotional scenes and hefty action scenes. "Thala" Ajith carries the ordinary story lined movie in his shoulders and makes it an entertaining one.

My Rating - 3.5/5
Grade - B+ (Perfect Weekend Pick)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK

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Jilla - Movie Review

Verdict: “A Commercial Entertainer!

“Jilla” directed by Neason, is another most anticipated movie of 2014 which brings together Superstar’s of Mollywood and Kollywood. Starring “The Complete Actor” Lt. Col. Mohanlal and “Ilaiyathalabathy” Vijay in lead, the movie released coinciding to the Pongal festival and competes with “Thala” Ajith’s “Veeram”. 

It also has Kajal Agarwal, Nivetha Thomas, Mahat, Soori, and Sampath playing some pivotal roles. Films songs and background score was composed by D. Imman while Ganesh Rajavelu and Don Max took care of cinematography and editing respectively. 

Sivan (Mohanlal) is a Don-like figure in Madurai who brings up Shakthi (Vijay), son of his driver who was killed by a cop while trying to save him. Sivan brings up him like his own son and has utmost affection and care towards him. Shakthi grows with hatred towards police and Khakhi dress. But later he is forced to join the police due to Sivan’s compulsion and to save his crime association. 

But Shakthi turns against his father like figure due to some events and tries to stop his illegal activities and strives to make him a good person. Did he succeed in it? It forms the crux of the plot with some twists and turns.

The plot is just an ordinary one which may trigger thoughts of various other Tamil movies. Director Neason should have done enough homework to make the script racier and keep the audience engaging in a three-hour lengthy saga. 

The main let down of the film is its mighty length. It drags a lot in both the first half and second half, testing our patience till the end. Trimming the movie by at least half an hour would have been better to make it more racy and engaging. 

Mohanlal and Vijay are the backbone of the movie. The screen presence, charisma, mannerism of Mohanlal will leave us mesmerised. Vijay also gave some equal performances. Whether it is a comedy scene or action scene he gave some admirable performances. The mass duo Sivan-Shakthi worked out well and was really a treat to watch both the Superstar’s together on screen.

Kajal and others had nothing much to do onscreen. Soori’s comedy scenes were enjoyably. Others did her given job satisfactorily. 

D. Imman’s song was another saving factor of the film. Nothing to say about the songs, you all know them as it topped the charts already. “Kandaangi Kandaangi” crooned by Vijay himself was a delight to watch in the big screen. Background score was exceptionally good. Especially the Chenda Melam music was extraordinary and the theme during Mohanlal’s appearance was just awesome.

Editing, as already said Don Max should have worked with Director to trim the movie excessively. Cinematography was pretty good. 

Finally, Jilla has right mixtures need for a mass commercial entertainer, though its mighty length works against it, it may surely impress Mohanlal and Vijay’s hardcore devotees. 

My Rating - 3/5 | Grade - B (Worth a Watch!)
-By Nirmal Raj aka AK (

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The Wolf of Wall Street – Movie Review

Verdict - “The Wolf of Wall Street, is a Hilarious Dark Comedy, Fast and Outrageous.”

‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ is directed by Martin Scorsese which based on the life story of Jordan Belford played by Leonardo Dicaprio, who is trying to climb his way up the Wall Street. With the help of his friends Jordan starts a small company, and with his immense talent, he turns the small company into a huge firm in no time. 

He is a drug addict, he is self- centered, cheats on his wife, despicable, and you’ll still root for him because he is such a great character and also one of the best characters Scorsese has ever put on screen. He has a great passion for what he does, and he can do anything to make him more productive (which he does in the movie!).

The movie has got a spot-on cast which includes Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Margot Robbie, Cristin Milioti and Matthew McConaughey. The best thing about the movie is its acting. Dicaprio kills it as Jordan! He is very energetic and also charming at the same time. Just a few minutes into the movie Dicaprio disappears entirely, and all you can see on the screen is Jordan. His commitment to the role is incredible.

Jonah Hill plays Donnie Azoff, who is the right hand of Jordan in all the disgusting things they do. Leonardo and Jonah Hill delivered their best performances yet.

Matthew McConaughey has a very brief role but also a significant one. He gives Jordan the motivation which is required to become a successful stockbroker. Matthew’s short character is one of the best things about the movie. Margot Robbie who plays Jordan’s second wife also did a good job. 

The Direction by Martin Scorsese is brilliant of course. There’s no need to even talk about it. The editing style he picked up for this movie is entirely different though in a right way obviously. The Screenplay is very fast-paced and energetic. There’s not a single dull moment in the film from start to finish. To be adding emotions and seriousness in a movie with such fast-paced comedy, Scorsese did an excellent job.

The Wolf of Wall Street is highly recommended for you to watch and if you are Scorsese and Leonardo Dicaprio fan, you cannot miss this movie. This was the fifth movie in which the actor-director worked together. I wish they work in many more films together and keep giving us such fantastic performances. 

This movie instantly became one of my favorite films of last year and now is also one of my favorite movies of all time. I give it a solid four point five out of five and recommend you to watch it.

My Rating – 4.5/5 | –By Chinmay Chawade

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - Movie Review

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - Theatrical Poster

Verdict - “A visual spectacle which was inspiring and conventional”

So in the course of the movie, I felt really correlated with Ben Stiller's character (Walter Mitty). Yes! ofcourse I'm a daydreamer and I don't really think that is too awkward to dream about an assortment of things that we really desire to do in our life. My concern is that Walter's character was sported in a little stupid-ish way, like it's really not that disparate to day dream.

Walter Mitty is a daydreamer, he's shy and introverted, like he's really not that chatty talkative guy and few take advantage of his dissimilar behaviour. Functioning on a work package, Walter finds the cover photo missing in a delivery sent by Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn) who is a very popular and a well known photographer. Being the last issue of the magazine he's working for, Walter was pressured to get the work done on given time. 

Accordingly he makes a decision to go find Sean who is a wanderer and an anonymous guy to many. Basing on the clues that Sean left in his photographs, Walter decides to go on a real life adventure and that's where our story commences. 

Honestly, I like movies when they show up with a central message about life and Walter Mitty exactly does that which was trouble-free and uncomplicated. Everything was narrated in a very distinct way which bequeaths you with all the audacity to go achieve something in your life which leaves in some kinda appalling result which eventually tuns into an everlasting memory. 

Cinematography is the most vital thing when things encircle around inventiveness and existence. Remarkably, the camera work was magnificent in the movie. There is nothing exhibited with terrific CGI, but the outlook of many scenic places were beautifully captured with perfect frame rate and good usage of light.

Ben Stiller's performance as a reticent quiet guy was decent and he presented his character in a unique way as it's pretty much close to heart. His direction was mislaid at times, as it was his dream project he delivered in his style by adding few commercial things which didn't really work.

The movie definitely suffered with few major plot holes, the screenplay was not consistent, even in a heartfelt moment it tried to be something cheesy and that really spoiled the whole intent at times.

I understand that it's trying to be an entertaining Christmas movie, but if you're trying to convey a message it has to be serious and spot-on when it needs to be. Few other things can be debatable, but those are the minor things which are excusable.

Nevertheless, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is an inspiring, thoughtful and a profound narrative which expresses a beautiful message to go achieve something with your life. 
It was visually amazing but suffered with major plot holes which may bug your attention. A solid family movie which is absolutely worth a watch if you're a fan of the genre.

My Rating - 3/5
Grade - B (Worth a watch!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM 

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