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Blog posts December 2017

Tiger Zinda Hai - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "Fan Service At It's Best!"

Barring Tubelight, Salman Khan has been on a roll lately scoring blockbuster hits with Sultan and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Love him or hate him, he knows how to churn out a commercial box-office hit and he's been consistently doing that for the past few years. Tiger Zinda Hai is also once such film which is specifically made for the fans after underlining everything they want to see in a Bhai film.

Loosely based on real-life events, the storyline of the film follows the abduction of forty nurses from India and Pakistan by a militant group called ISC headed by Abu Usman (Sajjad Delfrooz). With a very limit amount of time, options and privileges, Indian Government chooses to send their best player in the game, Tiger (Salman Khan), who had gone undercover since the events of the last film.

Starting off with the positives in the film, I must give credits where its due, the action sequences (choreographed by Tom Struthers from Hollywood) were one of the best I've seen in any Bollywood movie so far, in terms of scale and extravaganza. Every shot was well designed and composed and the amount of hard work that went into crafting these scenes should be appreciated. But, the double and triple dosage of action for every 10-15 minutes can be an overkill and I felt it redundantly when the film started to forcefully insert action sequences without a proper reason.

Now, I love simplistic storylines, the plot of this film is essentially what we expect and naturally witness in a video game. We start at point A, stop at point B and then reach point C. But sometimes with a wafer-thin plot and a runtime of two hours and forty minutes, things can and will get stale and dreary and that's exactly what happened. The comedy, for the most part, didn't work. The forced patriotic dialogues (mainly aimed to please the Pakistani audience) didn't work, few characters were left half-baked and didn't fit appropriately. Everything has been sacrificed for action, which was understandable when your primary aim is to explore the action-genre, but in turn, it doesn't help when you look at the overall film.

The performances from the complete cast were acceptable, Salman Khan excels with his particular skill-set i.e saving lives, escaping from hopeless situations, blowing up things, shooting multiple bandits and in-turn not getting shot at least once and being an all-in-all charismatic guy. Katrina Kaif shines in few remarkable action scenes and that is all. I didn't expect much from her anyway.

Overall, Tiger Zinda Hai mostly failed to impress me in few sections with a lengthy runtime and an insipid storyline, but the action scenes served as a life-saver for the film which were extremely fun to watch. This film is a perfect example of fan service and will surely be a massive commercial success for YRF studios.

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

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Aruvi – Movie Review

Verdict: "A Bold, Soul-Stirring Movie!"

Tamil Cinema never fails to amaze us with quality movies that have strong content, every now and then. Aruvi is one such film. It showcases the life of Aruvi, a woman in her mid 20's. Her happy-go-lucky life takes an unexpected turn and what she has to go through, how society treats her because of a totally unforeseen event forms the story of the movie. 

Casting for a movie with such content is very important as the lead actors should fit into the character to convey the emotions. Debutant Aditi Balan was very natural with her performance. She had the looks of a girl we would normally see in our daily life and was phenomenal with her acting. Through her real and unschooled acting, the movie looked even more organic so that the audience could easily connect with her character and emotion.

Cinematographer Shelley Calist had recorded the scenes in such a way that the movie doesn't look constructed with a structured plan through his unconventional camera angles. 

Background score by the duos Bindhu Malini and Vedanth Bharadwaj deserve an appreciation. Never once it over went other than what was required. It was in-flow with the film and naturally elevated each scene's triggering emotions. 

Arun Prabhu Purushothaman, the debutant director had wonderfully crafted the movie. With a unique script containing a gutsy main lead, her suffering story and her social anguish were delicately handled and presented as a film filled with emotions, social message, eye-openers, philosophical dialogues, and metaphors. 

The major plot of the movie finishes right before the interval. Post interval the director has carried the film through his comical and very stirring, tear-jerking melodrama which wasn't a lag.

Finally, Aruvi is sure to leave a strong impact on everyone and will linger in our mind for a long time. This is one such movie that made me use a tissue paper. With a stand-out script backed by remarkable acting job from the cast, a nonlinear cinematography, in sync bgm; Arun Prabhu Purushothaman delivers the best film of 2017. 

My Rating - 4.5/5 | Grade - A+ (Do Not Dare To Miss It!)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK  (@Nirmalraj2911) | Website's Twitter Handle - @JustMovieFreaks

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Movie Review

Verdict - "A Splendid Building-Block for Episode IX."

[Before I share my thoughts on The Last Jedi, I want you guys to be clear that I'm not a huge Star Wars fan, although I thoroughly enjoy watching these movies. So, if I get one or two references wrong, please don't bomb me with hate comments. I'll do my best!]

The Central Government of the Galaxy is now gone and General Leia Organa's (Carrie Fisher) Resistance is on their own to fight a long impending battle against the heinous First Order governed by the Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and administered by Kylo Ren / Ben Solo (Adam Driver) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). The film starts with Commander Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac) leading a group of X-Wing pilots to destroy the cannons of their rivals which kicks off the war between the good and the evil. On the other side, Rey (Daisy Ridley) is busy convincing Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) at the Jedi Temple to join his sister's army and fight the battle against the First Order.

Between all the overwhelming positives in the film, the one that stood out the most for me is the development of characters. Writer and Director Rian Johnson took the new undefiled characters from The Force Awakens and established them by giving strong character moments and most importantly equal importance in the film. The scenes between Rey, Luke, and Kylo Ren were the ones that I enjoyed the most. Rey trying to understand her status and learning the powers of The Force. Luke trying to break out from his past experiences that he had with Ben and his other trainees and have a peaceful death. And Kylo struggling with his conflicting opinion whether to comply with Snoke's commands or to turn against him and join The Resistance with his mother. 

Poe had a much more prominent role to play in this movie when compared to The Force Awakens. His scenes with Leia worked really well and with him nurtured as the next Leader of the Resistance and a possible romantic angle with Rey, I'm really excited to see the progression of his character in Episode IX. The storyline between Finn and the newly-introduced character Rose was a bit of letdown for me and I should say that this the only negative I have with the film for now, after watching it once. The romantic angle between them and the whole situation in Canto Bight with the rich and the poor people and the treatment of animals felt below par and briefly took the excitement away from the film.

The actions sequences (as most of the fans are already going insane about) were one of the best I've seen in any Star Wars movie. They kept me on-the-edge of my seat the whole time and were flat-out entertaining to watch. The background score by John Williams was again outstanding and the performances by the complete cast particularly by Daisy Ridley, Oscar Issac, and Adam Driver were astounding.

Overall, The Last Jedi is not only a great Star Wars film, but it also served as a perfect continuation of the franchise by building up great characters which are passionate and intriguing to carry on in the next movie. They're loads of questions still left unanswered, however, I had a great time watching the new episode in the greatest saga ever told.

My Rating - 4/5 | Grade - A (The Best One Around!) 
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal) | Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Movie Posters - Click Here

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Fukrey Returns - Movie Review

Verdict - "A Disappointing Sequel!"

Directed by Mrighdeep Singh Lamba and Produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani from Excel Entertainment, Fukrey Returns is the sequel to the 2013 sleeper-hit Fukrey and the storyline continues one year after the events of the prequel. 

After getting released from the prison after a year under a clause, Bholi (Richa Chadda) teams up again with the Fukrey gang for another burglary that later propels to further confusions for the whole crew.

Now, there's a reason why I didn't discuss the plot all that much in the above paragraph. As a matter of fact, I didn't understand or remember the film's storyline effectively because of it's clumsy approach. Writers Vipul Vig and Mrighdeep Singh Lamba took a mediocre story turned and twisted into something stale and assembled a movie that I'm bored after watching. 

Apart from the negatives, the performances from the complete cast were noteworthy. Varun Sharma and Pankaj Tripathi had the best laugh-out-loud moments in the entire movie and once again stole the show. And I appreciate the writer-director for at least knocking the ball out of the park when it comes to comedy which was overall enjoyable.

Nevertheless, I'm utterly disappointed with Fukrey Returns considering the fact that I enjoyed the first film thoroughly. The comedic sequences were hilarious filled with stellar performances, but, the dreadful storyline and the screenplay bothered me deeply which affected the overall expectations I had for the sequel.

My Rating - 2/5 | Grade - C (Meh! Probably a Rental!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Richie - Movie Review

Verdict: “Misses to Gel.”

While Nivin Pauly had tried and succeeded a bit to make a solid direct debut in Kollywood, I felt Richie falls short of a satisfactory story and pace to keep the audience engrossed. 

Who is Richie? A journalist (Shraddha Srinath) embarks in search of this man and meets various people associated with him only to know about his life. 

The movie is in a narrative manner, and we get to see different views and various characters who are some way or the other related to Richie with their backstory. The first half doesn't reveal what are the characters exactly trying to narrate and results in mental chaos. 

The second half of the movie moves at a snail's pace, and we get the answers to all the different narratives only in the climax. The problem is half of the film pass-by without a clear vision of the overall story. Though the director has tried a distinct storytelling method, the screenplay and the pace played the spoilsport. 

Nivin Pauly gave his best for the titular character. I was very much impressed with his acting, expression but his strong Malayalam accent didn't work out for his role as a coastal village based gangster.

As the movie is character driven, Prakash Raj, Natarajan "Natty," Elango Kumaravel, and Murugadoss played their roles exceptionally well. The “Yaanji” girl Shraddha Srinath didn’t have much scope and had very minimal screen presence.

Cinematography blended well with the movie. Cinematographer Pandi Kumar has worked well by using different shades of lights to match the narrative style. 

Ajaneesh's background score worked big-time giving the movie its deserved sound without overusing it and he has also gave a feel of a musical-gangster film which was refreshing.

Overall, the lack of pace, a brilliant screenplay and story thrive as a negative to the movie making it unexciting. The film could be an interesting, offbeat one for the in-depth audience while it's a downer for the general public. 

My Rating - 2.5/5 | Grade - C+ (It Deserves Your Attention for a While!)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK  (@Nirmalraj2911)

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Sathya - Movie Review

Verdict - “Captivating Thriller!”

In the last two years, Sibiraj managed to deliver few movies. Though nothing worked big-time, every film was unique in script showing Sibiraj's selectiveness in choosing. Sathya, directed by Pradeep Krishnamoorthi is a remake of Telugu movie ‘Kshanam' and to be honest, this is Sibiraj's best movie in his career. 

Sathya (Sibiraj), an NRI, returns to India to help his ex-girlfriend Swetha (Remya Nambeesan) in finding her kidnapped daughter. What happens next follows a tale with twists and unpredictable scenes. 

Sibiraj has gave his best performance in the movie. Be it showing emotions or anger; he did well in them. The script is not clumsy with many characters. It only revolves around a few, and the actors who essayed those roles like Remya Nambeesan, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Anandraj, and Sathish delivered what is required. 

The main scope of the film is its script. Being a remake movie, the director has extensively worked on the script not to make it look like a carbon copy. I liked his way of presenting a thriller with a perfect blend of love, sentiments, action and other required elements. Not once he over went in any scene making the movie an easy yet an interesting one. 

Simon K. King's background score adds another plus to the movie. He, with his BGM, naturally elevated the film making it even more rousing. 

On the whole, with a crisp run time of 129 minutes and a gripping script, Pradeep Krishnamoorthi delivers a solid thriller.

My Rating – 3.5/5 | Grade – B+ (Perfect Weekend Pick!)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK  (@Nirmalraj2911)

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