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Honest Movie Reviews & Editorials | Just for Movie Freaks

Blog posts May 2016

Sarbjit - Movie Review

Verdict - "Incredible performances merged with an incoherent script."

From Neerja, Aligarh to the recently released Azhar, making biopics had become a regular trend in Bollywood as people today are more captivated to watch authentic storylines prosper over and above fantasy filled dramas. Sarbjit also tags along the ongoing trend and portrays a 23-year fight and struggle of a sister for her brother who went missing in Punjab and was later found in a Pakistani prison where he was accused as an Indian spy responsible for several bomb blasts and was held captive in severe conditions until his death.

One of the positive things of the entire film were the performances from the lead cast. Aishwarya Rai had given one of her best performances in recent years, as the film advanced through her perspective, she occupied almost 70% of the screen time and totally utilised the opportunity to excel in her character. The transformation that her character went through in the course of 23 years was brilliantly portrayed by her as she was equally impressive in both emotional and intense scenes. 

Richa Chadda (although impressive with her performance) only had a couple of moments to shine throughout the entire film and was clearly wasted in a minor role with minimal importance.

Spending most of his screen time inside a prison cell, this is undoubtedly Randeep Hooda's career-best performance. The whole transformation that he went through for this character starting from his 18 kg weight loss, body language to his accent was completely remarkable. His performance, especially during the scenes behind the closed bars, teared me up a little as he portrayed the struggle that his character is going through not only through his eyes but through his entire body and didn't disappoint me even in a single frame.

But the film certainly had few issues when it descends to the aspect of story and screenplay. Not that I'm nitpicking, but the story had many missing threads that were never explored properly and there were some serious editing issues where the film abruptly cuts from an emotional sequence to a romantic song, hence the approach taken to fully flourish the scene was fallacious and would've done in a better way. 

And after opening the second half of the film with a phenomenal scene when Sarbjit meets his family in his prison cell, director Omung Kumar didn't capitalise the occasion properly as the movie struggled with its pace and felt stale with its presentation. Also, the climax which would've played a significant part in the film's success was not quite effective as I expected it to be and felt short in concluding the movie well.

Nonetheless, it was the incredible performances from Randeep and Aishwarya that primarily carried the entire film and made it noteworthy. Although the story and screenplay were overall decent, the screenwriters would've been more focused on their execution. Overall, this is a film that I have no interest to watch again, not at least in the next few years. It is forgettable and is not a masterfully directed biopic that will be remembered for years. 

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

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Captain America: Civil War - Movie Review

Verdict - "A perfect balance between emotion and entertainment. "

Following the commercial success of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War is the thirteenth film in the MCU and is marketed as the ultimate superhero showdown starring Captain America, Iron Man, The Winter Soldier and all of your favourite exemplars. Directed by The Russo Brothers (who previously helmed The Winter Soldier), this movie contemplates more on the emotional side of our beloved avengers and will also position many other characters for their upcoming standalone films.

The film starts with Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, Natasha Romanoff, and Wanda Maximoff in Lagos, Nigeria where they attempt to stop Brock Rumlow from stealing a biological weapon and end up causing an enormous accident with many casualties. As a result, the U.S. Secretary of State introduces the Avengers to the Sokovia Accords, an appeal which will abandon the freedom of the Avengers as a private organisation and will make them operate under the supervision of The United Nations. After considering the disastrous and tragic events happened in New York, Washington DC, Sokovia, and Lagos, Tony Stark and James Rhodes believe that coinciding with the plea is the wise thing to do. But, Steve Rogers opposes their opinion and questions about the autonomy of the team. As the storyline advances, Tony and Steve end up appointing their sides as the two teams face off each other in an epic colossal showdown known as The Civil War.

Despite the fact that this film allowed us to meld with multiple characters who had their own opinions, it justified its title and effectively approached its core characters. The brotherly relationship between Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes was magnificently shown and their characters were focused appropriately. The compassion, trust and emotion that Steve had for Bucky transpired well in the film and the writers did a great job by highlighting their friendship perfectly.

On the other hand, we got Tony Stark who is dealing with his own exasperated mental state and we can see the agony in his eyes throughout the film. His new recruit, Peter Parker was one of the standouts in the entire film. The approach that the writers took to introduce him during the combat sequences while he's going against Ant-Man, Captain America was remarkable and is hilarious and astonishing to watch at the same time. Also, the addition of Ant-Man in the film was a great bonus, his comedic one-liners were entirely priceless. Besides that, I also loved that they mentioned Thor and Bruce Banner's names in the movie who are obviously busy filming Thor: Ragnarok.

Furthermore, the action sequences in the film were jaw-dropping, every single scene had its own significance and an emotional touch, as a result, when these larger than life superheroes were going against each other it really felt imperative especially during the climax fight and during the airport fight scene that had a lot of fun entertaining elements attached to it. The directors Russo Brothers understand the strengths and weaknesses of each and every character properly and presented them accordingly so that everyone had their own moment.

But, here's my only problem with this film and it's always been the same part that almost all MCU movies struggle to carry out. A good villain! Daniel Brühl who plays the protagonist in the film was clearly wasted, sure he had its moment in the end, but it felt quite underwhelming for me after he revealed his intentions and the reasons behind his actions.

Overall, Captain America: Civil War was an entertaining watch and is most certainly one of the best Marvel movies till date. The underlying emotion and the significance that this film had in its approach was skillfully presented. And also, the witty one-liners and the astounding action sequences raised up the compelling aspect of the film as its one of the well-written and executed superhero movies in recent years. 

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

Captain America: Civil War - Movie Posters & Stills: Click Here
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Movie Review: Click Here

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24 - Movie Review

Verdict - "A remarkable attempt!"

What would you do if you have a watch that not only displays time but also allows you to travel back and forth? Well, I would stop myself from joining Engineering. 

The most awaited film of the year 24; directed by Vikram Kumar stars Suriya in a triple role. The film demystifies one of the most complicated theory and impossible thing to do – Time Travel.

While certain directors intricate the movie by explaining the theory of time travelling, Vikram Kumar had made this film with minimal to zero elaboration of concepts making it easier to understand.

Athreya (Suriya) is the new badass villain in the tinsel town. Though the character is trapped in a wheelchair, Suriya hasn’t failed to show utmost evilness with his looks, body language and dialogue delivery and joins the elite club of baddies. 

Sethuraman (Suriya) is an innocent scientist and the twin brother of Athreya, living a peaceful life with his wife Priya (Nithya Menon) and child. He spends most of the time in his laboratory and works dedicatedly on his Project 24 (A watch which can be used to control the time). Things change when Athreya comes in search of him for the watch and what happens next forms the beginning of the movie. 

Mani (Suriya) is a happy-go-lucky guy and has a watch repair shop. He falls in love with Sathya (Samantha) who comes as a customer to his shop. He has the Project 24 with him and once he gets to know what the watch could do, he has some fun with it until Athreya comes in search of it. 

Samantha is an oozing beauty. Though she has limited screen time, she makes sure everyone falls in love with her eyes and expressions. Saranya Ponvannan, Ajay, Sathyan, Appukutty, Girish Karnad, Mohan Raman and others have done the role of supporting the narration with perfection. 
 
The biggest plus of the movie is its special effects. 24 have one of the best visuals in Tamil cinema industry. They were indeed spell bounding and the flawless CG and VFX along with Thirru’s cinematography made the movie look visually rich. 

A.R.Rahman, his songs and background score serve as another backbone to the film. While the songs are already ruling our playlist, the perfectly scored background music especially the Athreya Theme gives goosebumps.

A simple story made on a complex concept, yet it’s elegant and easy to understand. Vikram Kumar gives a wholesome entertainment for three hours. 

My Rating - 3.75/5
Grade - B+ (Highly Entertaining)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK  (@Nirmalraj2911)

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Instant Movie Review #34 - Baaghi

Sabbir Khan's - "Baaghi"

Positives:
1) Action Sequences
2) Cinematography

Negatives: 
1) Story and Screenplay
2) Emotional Sequences
3) Hair and Makeup

Introduction: Loosely based on the hit Tollywood film Varsham, Baaghi starring Tiger Shroff and Shraddha Kapoor is an action romantic thriller and initiates with Raghav (Sudheer Babu) kidnapping Sia (Shraddha Kapoor) and Ronnie (Tiger Shroff) being chosen to rescue her from a horde of professional fighters trained systematically by Raghav who is a martial arts specialist himself.

Analysis: Even after reproducing the story from a solid material which was remarkably executed back in 2004. Baaghi didn't have the magic or the uniqueness like its original. The emotional and the romantic scenes were not properly implemented as the movie felt flat and tedious during the first half and failed to advance further in the second half. On the other hand, the action sequences were mind-blogging as the complete crew took a risky task and did a tremendous job in executing it. 

Performances: Tiger Shroff is an exceptional talent and has a bright future ahead as an action star. His hard work, determination, and dedication were showcased brilliantly in the film as the action sequences were beyond amazing to watch. But here's the problem, the dude doesn't know how to connect emotionally with the audience and it's quite painful for me to watch him snivel, sob and carry the poignant scenes with discomfort. Hopefully, he makes few smart decisions in the future and takes responsibility of roles that doesn't primarily revolve around an emotional plot. Shraddha Kapoor was also impressive with her combat and acting skills, she's given a brief role in the movie and she never disappointed. Sudheer Babu's performance was a complete surprise, his portrayal as the antagonist was intense as he stood out as a great adversary for Tiger Shroff.

Verdict: Overall, Baaghi was impressive on an action movie standpoint, but the story and screenplay of the film were quite substandard and didn't captivate me as a viewer. Worth a single watch!

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

 

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