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Blog posts June 2016

Raman Raghav 2.0 - Movie Review

Verdict - "A contemporary dark thriller that didn't match up to it's expectations."

Directed by Anurag Kashyap, Raman Raghav 2.0 is a fictional story inspired by a serial killer named Raghav who killed over 40 people back in the 1960's. But as the opening credit clearly mentions, this movie is not about him. It's about a psychotic killer Ramanna (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who leisurely strolls in the slums of Mumbai killing people for apparently no proper reason. As the storyline starts to develop he explains how he's fascinated by the infamous 60's killer Raghav and calls himself as a modern-day version of Raghav.

On the other side, the film also explores the life of a brash audacious police officer named Raghavan (Vicky Kaushal) who snorts coke and smokes cigarettes to balance his mental state and finds himself locked up in a bad situation from time to time. As the deputy in charge to take responsibility for Raman's murders, the storyline progresses into a cat and mouse game and eventually concludes with the two confronting each other who are together referred as soul mates.
Following a contemporary filmmaking style, the structural narration by Kashyap that branched the storyline into eight chapters excluding a prologue was splendidly handled for the most part. The two lead characters were nicely narrated in the course of 127 minutes and their motivations were clearly established. But the inconsistent pacing made the film a little dreary and the faulty editing ultimately made the film look ineffective unlike Kashyap's other films namely Wasseypur and Ugly.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui who portrays the character of a maniac killer was at his best the entire time. His dark comedic one-liners, direful gestures and his eerie appearance with a big scar on his forehead made him look genuinely terrifying for the viewer as it repelled me personally every time he's on-screen killing someone.

Vicky Kaushal, although he didn't quite match the brilliance of his co-star, was decent in his reckless police avatar for the most part. But the eccentricity added to his character made the film look much more somber that fits the genre and vibe appropriately.

Nevertheless, even though it didn't quite stand out as a unique distinctive thriller, Raman Raghav 2.0 is still partly entertaining with its dark wit, peculiar vibe, and an astounding performance by Nawazuddin Siddiqui who is easily one of the best actors working in Bollywood now. 

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

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Udta Punjab - Movie Review

Verdict - "An astounding hard-hitting cinema."

Surrounded by pressure, anticipation and a giant controversy, Udta Punjab was let go from the censor board and was released to the Indian public last Friday and it's been an interesting weekend for me as I'm not only curious to see how well the film does critically but also financially, as an unedited version of the film was released online a day before its release and while few wise people supported the movie by watching it in a movie theatre and many non-moviegoers couldn't care less and gladly watched it on the interwebs.

The storyline of the film takes place in the rural regions of Punjab where we get introduced to our four lead characters, a fire-eating notorious pop star Tommy Singh (Shahid Kapoor), an unsung Bihari hockey player (Alia Bhatt), a compassionate doctor Preeti Sahni (Kareena Kapoor Khan) and a young unfledged cop Sartaj Singh (Diljit Dosanjh). As we explore deep into their lifestyle we get to learn how their lives were affected by drugs that play the central element of the movie.

One of the most captivating parts of the entire film was the screenplay and the unhurried approach that the filmmaker took to narrate the film. The lead characters were appropriately established from the get go and by the end of the film when terrible things start to happen to these people, we begin to care about their notion and belief which is primarily needed for a well-structured storyline.

The performances were completely impressive all across the board with the standouts being Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. Shahid astounded everyone in his never-seen-before pop star persona and portrayed his character with perfection. Alia Bhatt was also astonishing with her performance in a non-glamorous role. As her character was the most impecunious one out of the bunch, I started to connect more with her portrayal when compared to others. On the other hand, Kareena Kapoor and Diljit Dosanjh were also decent with their performances as they didn't seem to be a monotonous part of the film.

Overall, Udta Punjab was definitely a brave step forward for Indian cinema in the forms of quality storytelling, fascinating direction, staggering performances, and a hard-hitting concept. Credit goes to the entire film crew who did a tremendous job by showcasing some of the most dangerous abhorrent things happening in India through a form of a film. A must watch!

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

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