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Blog posts February 2016

Spotlight - Movie Review

Verdict - "A spellbinding drama!"

Directed by Tom McCarthy, Spotlight starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber is a story about a group of news reporters from The Boston Globe called Spotlight as they explore and uncover the appalling truth behind a scandal that involves church priests molesting young children.

Based on actual events, what impressed me more about the film was its unhurried and evenly constructed screenplay. Writer and director Tom McCarthy excluded the overdramatizing factor out of the equation and approached the technique of slow build that complemented the story magnificently and when the facts were laid open one after the other, I'm completely shocked and astounded with disgust.

And the characters were also so well written in the film, the amount of pain, agony, and tension that they have to go through in order disclose these revolting scandals were well portrayed and displayed.

And that conjugates us to the performances in the film, and I should say that they were all great especially from Keaton and Ruffalo. And the impressive aspect is that they're not striving to give an oscar worthy performance, everyone were immersed into their characters, as it didn't feel like I'm watching Rachel McAdams or Mark Ruffalo on-screen.

Nevertheless, Spotlight is a spellbinding drama that unveils all the dreadful facts of an outrageous scandal marvellously. The writing, acting and directing were the three most significant aspects which will elevate this film in this year's Oscar's race.

My Rating - 4/5 | Grade - A
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Neerja - Movie Review

Verdict - "One of the finest biographical dramas I've seen in a while."

Starring Sonam Kapoor in the lead role, Neerja, directed by Ram Madhvani recounts the real-life story of Neerja Bhanot, a head purser of the Pan Am 73 airline which was hijacked by five Palestinian terrorists in Karachi, Pakistan on September 5, 1986. 

The film's story gives us a glimpse of Neerja's relationship with her family, boyfriend, and her failed marriage with her psychotic husband. But the narrative primarily intensifies on the incidents happened on the airline during the hijack and unfolds how Neerja ingeniously saved the passengers lives while sacrificing hers in the process.

When depicting a biographical drama, a notable script that portrays the focal character appropriately is always required. And screenwriter, Saiwyn Quadras did a phenomenal job in establishing Neerja's character marvelously. The back-and-forth approach that he took to tell her past and present life story felt eloquent. His narration during the first half of the film was quick, intense and engrossing. But the second half felt a bit too sluggish and the film stalled for a brief amount of time. Then again, the heartrending climax preserved the seriousness of the film and delineated its significance properly.

And one of the most striking aspects of the entire film were the performances from the entire cast especially Sonam Kapoor, who bunged her bubbly girl next door persona and made us believe into the character she was playing. But Shabana Azmi's astounding performance as Neerja's mother had an unfeigned and a profound feel added to it that require a handkerchief. 

Overall, Neerja indeed is a heartwarming tribute to one of the most beautiful and inspirational woman that we should all cherish, respect and be grateful. This is one of the finest biographical dramas I've seen in a while and I appreciate everyone involved in the movie for introducing us to a strong and a stimulating persona.

My Rating - 3.5/5
Grade - B+ (A perfect weekend pick!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Deadpool - Movie Review

Verdict - "A rated-R film that is ridiculously entertaining!"

A rated-R comic book superhero movie done right? That seems quite impractical in the world that we live in. But by staying loyal to its source material, breaking the fourth wall and by giving boundless entertainment that fans deserve, Deadpool garnered a huge success and proved that movie audience will approbate a faceless-brutal-audacious anti-hero when his character was portrayed and written appropriately.

Living a treacherous lifestyle as a mercenary, and nearly after a year long relationship with his girlfriend, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) proposes Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) for marriage and she gladly accepts. Few days later, after diagnosed with terminal cancer, Wade is greeted by a secret agent who introduces him to an offer that can cure his disease and give him superhero abilities that only men dream about. Will this further the plot?

What makes this film special is how well it's written with a super swift screenplay that introduces memorable characters and delivers hilarious action sequences. The dialogue was exceptionally funny from beginning to end especially the parts where Deadpool breaks the fourth wall, mentions the other X-Men movie characters and makes fun of other superhero films. And the action sequences in the film were splendidly filmed and choreographed with no fast cuts and shaky cam and a copious amount of brutality and gore required for a rated-R film. 

Ryan Reynolds was amazing in his portrayal as Deadpool, he mastered in every single attribute required to fulfil this character starting from the wit to the body language and the hastiness. And his chemistry between his other supporting characters like Vanessa, Colossus, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead worked tremendously well.  

Overall, the swift screenplay, incredibly funny dialogue, splendid direction and the magnificent performance by Ryan Reynolds makes Deadpool a perfect movie for its genre. There's not even a single dull moment in the film where I was not entertained. DP is certainly a game changer for comic book films and surfaces new directions for the superhero genre that is starting to get a bit too repetitive. 

My Rating - 4/5
Grade - A (The best one around!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Instant Movie Review #34 (Visaranai)

Vetrimaran’s – “Visaranai”

Positives:
1) Story and Screenplay
2) Direction
3) Performance

Introduction:   Visaranai is a crime thriller based on the novel “Lock Up”, written by M. Chandra Kumar, an auto-rickshaw driver in Coimbatore where he narrates the brutality he faced in a police station lock-up in Andhra Pradesh. 

Plot: Pandi (Dinesh) and his three friends fled from their home town in Tamil Nadu to work in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. In a cruel twist of tale, they are illegally arrested and beaten black and blue by the police until they accept a crime they never committed. What happens to them in the end forms the plot.

Direction: Vetrimaran is back after five long years with a merciless, raw, inhumanely depiction of what happens inside a Police Station lock up and corruptions and dishonesties in the judiciary system. He deserves appreciation for taking such a bold movie and showing the world the dark side of the Police department and judiciary system. 

Performance: All the actors have gives their best in this movie. “Attakathi” Dinesh has proved his worth with Visaranai.  Director has perfectly extracted the emotions and pain from the actors and showcased it with the backing of G.V.Prakash Kumar’s music. There are certain scenes in the movie where you can sense the pain and terror of the actors when they stumble with their broken and bruised bodies. These scenes are sure to send chills down your spine.

Verdict: On the whole, Visaranai is undoubtedly is fine piece of filmmaking and one of the best movies to be ever made in Tamil Cinema Industry. Kudos to the whole team for making such a chilling movie showing the ugly side of the Police.

My Rating - 4/5
Grade - A (Best one around!)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK  (@Nirmalraj2911)

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Saala Khadoos / Irudhi Suttru - Movie Review

Verdict - "Bolstered with terrific performances, Saala Khadoos is an entertaining one-time watch."

Adi Tomar (R. Madhavan) is a former boxer and now works as a head coach for the women boxing division in Delhi. Infuriated with the wrong evaluation that he received from the head management, Adi gets transferred to Chennai where the situation of women's boxing is at the lowest level. 

Thwarted by his current state, Adi starts filtering out incompetent boxers in hopes to find a fresh new talent. He then comes across a fish monger, Ezhil Madhie (Ritika Singh) and immediately notices the ability she has insider her. Adi then offers help to Ritika in training and prepares her as the next big thing.

Even though with a tried and an outmoded storyline that we've seen before, writer-director Sudha Kongara kept the movie engaging with her sharply paced script that had no dull moments throughout the runtime, she established memorable characters on a dime and didn't make the film seem long. Unlike other directors, she's managed to integrate the likable comedic sequences along with the storyline which didn't feel forced and enthralled me with an entertaining flick.

Performances: As Adi quotes Madhie as a "born champion" in the film, Ritika is a born talent for the Indian Film Industry. Pursuing her life goal to become a boxer, the debutant stunned me with her tremendous acting skills. She portrayed her pompous arrogant character with ease and stole the show in every emotional scene. Her chemistry with Madhavan worked out really well, who was also remarkable in his role as a brash, brutal and a smug coach.

Overall, although Saala Khadoos fails to present something new as a story, but the impressive screenplay and direction by Sudha Kongara backed up by some brilliant performances from the leads kept the film in a safe place without being a bummer. Interestingly, it also exposes the dark side of politics that are taking place in sports and enlightened the idea of "a powerful woman" brilliantly.

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

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