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Blog posts October 2017

Secret Superstar - Movie Review

Verdict - "A Heartwarming Cinema!"

Directed by Advait Chandan (debutant) and starring Zaira Wasim (Younger version of Geeta from Dangal), Meher Vij (Munni's mother from Bajrangi Bhaijaan) and Aamir Khan in the lead roles, Secret Superstar is a heartwarming story about a young teenage girl (Insia) who aspires to become a Singing Superstar one day despite the odds stacked against her mainly by her cruel and inhuman father played by the brilliant Raj Arjun.

Showcasing an emotional plot primarily filled with the family relationship between a mother and her talented daughter, director Advait Chandan made sure that the audience member is ardently invested in the entire film. The storyline is relatable to many middle-class families in the country, therefore the characters and the circumstances that they're challenging in their day-to-day life felt very authentic and genuine.

Besides the heartening storyline, the characters in the film were refined skillfully by the screenwriters. All the primary leads from the ruthless father to the lovable brother were given enough time to progress that helped the film be more empathetic in its approach. On the contrary, one of the major complaints I have about the movie was, it's predictable from scene-to-scene. When you watch the film, following the storyline, you can almost tell what's going to happen next in the forthcoming scenes which I thought is the only setback of the film.

On the bright side, the performances in the film were top-notch. Zaira Wasim once again gives a stand-out performance. Her character was filled with innocence, determination, and sensibleness which she portrayed with ease and I'm convinced that she is one of the bright young stars we have in the industry right now. Aamir Khan shines with his cocky and comical performance and nailed few laugh-out-loud moments in the film. Meher Vij plays her part decently and her scenes with Zaira will agonize you a little. Also, Amit Trivedi's music was praiseworthy and bolstered the quality of the film.

Nevertheless, although predictability was a major setback of the film, Secret Superstar benefits from its heartwarming storyline, developed characters, sweet-sounding music and astonishing performances from the complete cast which makes the film one of the best so far in 2017.

My Rating - 3.5/5 | Grade - B+ (A Perfect Weekend Pick!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal) | Featured In Our "Top 5 Best Bollywood Movies of 2017" List - Click Here 

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Mersal / Adirindi - Movie Review

Verdict - “Skilfully Made Commercial Entertainer”

Problems and Vijay movies would make the best love story. Yet again his movie faced numerous allegations from various people, only to be proved wrong and Mersal released amid much fanfare coinciding Diwali festival. Did it satisfy the mammoth expectations? 

Mersal follows the Lemuria continent old story of two brothers avenging the brutal murder of their parents. Atlee’s search for a fresh script without any adaptation continues with Mersal too. Yet what makes Atlee’s movie entertaining is his way of presenting it to the audience.

Atlee managed to throw some spotlight on the dark side of Medical Business and harsh reality about the private hospitals. The scenes and dialogues about the present condition of the state (TN) and the country are highly commendable. Though is the story is nothing new, he has extensively worked on the screenplay with Vijayendra Prasad and executed it well with the top-notch technical team. 

Vijay plays triple roles in this movie and to be honest, this was one of his best performances in his career. His screen presence, charisma, extra-ordinary dialogue delivery proves that he is an amazing entertainer. 

The three sidekicks for three Vijay characters - Nithya Menen, Kajal Aggarwal, Samantha Akkineni didn’t have almost anything to do with the movie. Except for Nithya Menen who had some scope in the second half of the movie and also had more screen time than the other two heroines. 

S.J. Surya yet again succeeds in his portrayal as the antagonist. It’s surprising to see him accomplish his task with so much ease and he looks like a born artist specially made for Villain roles.

Cinematography by debutant G.K. Vishnu deserves appreciation. The movie was visually rich; especially the song “Aalaporan Tamizhan” was absolutely a delight to watch on the big screen. 

The movie has a runtime of over 2 hours and 40 minutes, yet it looked crisp and racy with Ruben’s cut. Even though the first half was a bit lagging, it wasn’t a problem. 

‘The Mozart of Madras’ has brilliantly composed the movies background score with no boisterous music which usually adorns a commercial movie. It didn’t even have a specific theme song and the BGM mingles flawlessly with the movie scenes, giving it the right momentum needed. 

Though being an inspired and off-the-record adapted movie, Atlee managed to pull off a worthy commercial entertainer with a social message. Despite the fact that it has certain logic issues, Mersal is surely a praiseworthy movie for the festive weekend.

My Rating - 3/5
Grade - B (Entertaining With Noticeable Flaws!)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK  (@Nirmalraj2911)

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Laakhon Mein Ek - Web Series Review

Verdict - "Raw and Authentic!"

Gaining popularity on YouTube and a few other online platforms, Web Series are thoroughly established in the Indian Market for well past a year now. With popular shows like Inside Edge being picked up and developed with a tremendous star cast, Laakhon Mein Ek is the new entry on Amazon Prime Video with a relatively unknown cast, limited budget, and a relatable storyline for many youngsters out there.

Developed and co-written by Biswa Kalyan Rath (known for his hit YouTube show Pretentious Movie Reviews) and directed by Abhishek Sengupta, Laakhon Mein Ek is divided into six episodes with roughly twenty-five minutes each. The primary plot revolves around Akash Gupta (Ritwik Sahore), an aspiring mimicry artist from Raipur who is urged to join an IIT coaching center in Visakhapatnam by his parents. Struck between his weak concentration skills and his parent's demands, Akash soon realizes that he is not a proper fit for the training programme and is knocked within a weird situation where he can either quit or sustain.

Screenwriters, Biswa Kalyan Rath and Vaspar Dandiwala made sure that the raw and the authentic vibe was bordered throughout the series. The unhygienic dorm and washrooms, the varied treatment when it comes to food and teachers between the clever and the unclever students was remarkably displayed and is a sad and a haunting illustration of how these coaching institutes operate these days. Also, the central storyline about Akash, an outcast who didn't quite fit in with the circumstances and a worried teenager who is being forced into a situation to fulfill his parent's dreams was developed magnificently and is very much relatable to many other students who went through and surmounted over these difficulties.

Advancing to the further aspects of the show, the comedic elements were decent and did not over saturate the storyline as I expected. The chemistry between the three main leads (Ritwik Sahore, Jay Thakkar [Bakri], and Alam Khan [Chudail]) worked well and their exceptional performances kept the show moving even in its dull moments. Also, props to the music director Neel Adhikari for his impressive contribution to the background music and the tuneful songs which were fitting for the storyline.

Overall, Laakhon Mein Ek is a raw and an authentic take on the situation of many coaching institutes these days and was filled with well-acted performances, skilled writing, decent direction and is mostly an entertaining show that you can sit back and enjoy on a refreshing weekend.

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

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Spyder - Movie Review

Verdict: ‘Murugadoss Knits a Watchable Spy-Thriller’

Spyder, the latest Tamil-Telugu bilingual from A.R.Murugadoss has Mahesh Babu, Rakul Preet Singh, and SJ. Surya playing the lead characters. 

Shiva (Mahesh Babu) works at Intelligence Bureau and illegally traps people’s phone by creating his own software and overhears their conversations. He anonymously helps people who are in danger by listening to their phone conversation. Mahesh Babu has given his sincere efforts and does his part well. Except for the “Kristen Stewart” reason that it was a bit tiring to watch him give a single reaction from him for every darn scene. 

Rakul Preet Singh didn’t have a significant role to do apart from being a testosterone-charged girl, trailing behind the hero for a one night stand which later developed into love and he becomes her inamoratos.

SJ. Surya is the show stealer in this movie. Adorning the role of a sadistic psycho-killer, he gives a Heath Ledger like performance. It was an absolute delight watching him as he lived the character on screen. Though he appeared for a relatively lesser time, he took villainous tactics to a whole new level and joins the elite club of baddies. 

Harris Jayaraj's background score was another highlight of the movie. The sound was gripping and parallel with the movie scenes. Santhosh Sivan, as usual, gives a visually rich experience. 

A.R. Murugadoss never disappoints his audience. Even with Spyder, ignoring few flaws, he had delivered a complete weekend pick for the commercial movie lovers. He even follows his routine of adding a social message at the end of the film.

To end with, Spyder is a guaranteed entertainer movie with required amount of action, comedy, romance and sentiments, which you could watch and feel content for this festival weekend. 

My Rating – 3/5
Grade – B (Worth a watch)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK  (@Nirmalraj2911)

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