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Blog posts June 2018

Lust Stories (Netflix) - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "Breaking Ground!"

Distributed and released by the global streaming leader Netflix, Lust Stories is an anthology film consisting of four short stories based on love, lust, honesty, status, misery, and desire. Directed by the some of the most celebrated filmmakers in Bollywood (Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar), this film breaks new ground and highlights few significant problems and complications that men and (especially) women face in their relationships and everyday life.

Let's briefly discuss the storyline of the four short films without spoiling anything. Kashyap's film starring Radhika Apte and Akash Thosar tells the story about an unusual relationship between a college teacher and a student and trades with the subject of honesty. Zoya's short cruises on the lines of class and dignity and stars Bhumi Pednekar as a housemaid and Neil Bhoopalam as an unmarried day job worker. Dibakar's movie sees Manisha Koirala having an extramarital affair with Jaideep Ahlawat and also explores her reasons for not liking her husband's behavior and attitude. Finally, Karan's film delves into the life of a newly-married couple Kiara Advani and Vicky Kaushal and emphasizes the topics of sex being one-sided, women being confined to a traditional married life and more.

What makes this movie special is the significant directive it's trying to express. We live in a fast-growing world where we often forget about basic things in life which are important. Like in Kashyap's film Radhika Apte's character expects the same amount of honesty and transparency from her friend, but she gets upset and goes paranoid when he starts to lie to her. Dignity, despair, aggravation and even Karan's film tells a substantial story about how women have the same desire as men and so on. Also, this film breaks new boundaries when it comes to talking, expressing and opening (not in a vulgar way) about sex which is still considered as a taboo in India. 

Centered around four different female protagonists, the performances from every one of them were great. Radhika Apte is the most notable one as she embodied and portrayed the psychotic part of her character tremendously. Kiara Advani is also another pleasant surprise as her character was by far the likable and relatable one among others.

Overall, Lust Stories had an imperative and a distinctive message to share in each of its four films and was also remarkably narrated and directed. Go watch this film as this is one of the many steps that Indian Cinema is taking to divert itself from the commercial genre.

My Rating - 3.5/5 | -An Honest Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)
Instagram Profile - @JustMovieFreaks | Twitter Profile - @JustMovieFreaks

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Race 3 - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "One of the Worst Big Budget Movies in Recent History!"

Directed by Remo D'Souza who is the man behind-the-camera of one of the worst films of 2016 'A Flying Jatt', 'Race 3' stars Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Jacqueline Fernandez, Daisy Shah and Saqib Saleem in the lead and supporting roles and is the third film in the highly successful 'Race' franchise.

Separated from the previous two films, the plot of this movie introduces us to a filthy rich family who has disputes between them over domination and money. After undertaking a deal to rob a hard drive from a "highly secured" vault, the family discovers few miraculous facts which shatters the trust and love that they have developed over the years. Beyond believable!

If you got through the above paragraph understanding something about the movie then I should applaud myself for narrating the chaotic mess which is the storyline. It's a disaster! And even recollecting it to disintegrate what happened is giving me a headache. The franchise is notoriously known for its double-twists; a twist within a twist and more twists and that's where this plot became even more heedless. They're rather confusing, pointless and ineffective than surprising as the twists were only introduced to continue the ridiculous gimmick of the franchise.

Ten minutes into the movie, I can already tell that it is awful when the narrator says "Now that you learned about the characters, let the race begin!". That's borderline pathetic storytelling and the idiocy never stops and it continues with terrible dialogues, cringey character moments, humorless comedy and abysmal timing of songs between unimportant scenes. 

Remo D' Souza who is now into creating mindless grandiose spectacles is hand-picked by Salman Khan to direct the movie and it is literally the worst decision he made. D'Souza's approach to push style over substance can clearly be seen in the film and it didn't even remotely work for any scene. He can't piece together a scene properly or at least cannot extract a decent enough performance from any of the talented cast and it's disgraceful. All he made sure is that the actors looked elegant by dressing them up with expensive clothing and made them drive around in supercars so that we can all think that they're wicked cool.

But hey! You may say that I'm just being salty and demoralizing everybody with negativity, at least they're action sequences to shut my brain and enjoy. Don't get me started! From the mind-numbing skydiving sequences to the insane flying car crashes and the in-your-face detonations, the action scenes in the movie were absurdly bad. They're so atrocious to watch as the audience in the theatre I'm watching had a range of emotions with the kids running down the steps infused with madness and the elders either laughing or holding their heads in awe cause they can't believe what they're watching.

Even the characters or the performances didn't elevate the film. Salman Khan walked, talked and acted like a robot. Anil Kapoor and Bobby Deol did the best they could, Jacqueline Fernandez and Daisy Shah were present for the looks, songs, and few poorly choreographed fights which are seriously bad. And there's nothing much to discuss about Saqib Saleem or Freddy Daruwala either.

Overall, Race 3 is undoubtedly one of the worst big budget commercial movies I've seen in a while and is an all-around failure differing from the storyline, screenplay, direction, action, music, and performances. Here's my suggestion, forget that this movie existed, ignore it when it debuts on Amazon Prime or on TV and then thank me later for saving 160 minutes of your valuable time.

My Rating - 1/5 | Grade - D (Absolutely Awful!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "A Mundane and A Disappointing Film!"

Directed by J. A. Bayona, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the sequel to the highly successful 2015 film Jurassic World which grossed 1.6 billion worldwide and revitalized the franchise back to its glory. The sequel stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard reprising their respective roles along with Rafe Spall and Justice Smith as the supporting cast.

Soon after the events of the first film, Isla Nublar is now the resort of a raging volcano and the government is in a dilemma whether to save the dinosaurs or let them succumb with the catastrophe. After the adverse decision by the authority, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who is now running a campaign to save the ancient spices receives an excellent offer from Benjamin Lockwood who articulates that the beings can be carted to different and a more safer island. Shortly afterwards, Claire finds herself in trouble along with her friends and Owen (Chris Pratt) who joins her for help.

As expected, the film starts off with on a higher note with dinosaurs being stranded on Isla Nublar. The visuals looked fantastic, the action scenes felt exhilarating and certainly dark and emotional. Soon after the first act, the film took a nosedive into the atrocious land and never even tried to retreat from its mistakes. 

That's when the horrendous storyline and writing job by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly came into the picture. It felt that the script became lazy as the entire another half of the movie takes place in a mansion where nothing interesting happens, tries to make an uninteresting generic villain work and also aims to insert a subplot with a child which was unwarranted. The entire movie was predictable and everything excluding the first act was mundane to watch.

The film's sound design was fantastic, sitting in a DOLBY ATMOS theatre with surround sound I felt the cinematic experience more convenient to me and Giacchino's background score was off-the-roof. Performances from the complete cast were decent as I felt that the characters had nothing much to do in this film and were easily forgettable after the movie.

Overall, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a bummer in terms of writing and delivering an enjoyable film. As the fifth film in the Jurassic franchise, I expected something more than a blatant adventure film as it is by far the most disappointing films I've seen this year.

My Rating - 2/5 | Grade - C (Meh! Probably a Rental!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Kaala – Honest Movie Review

Verdict: “Kaala Shines As a Pa. Ranjith Film with Rajini Touch In It!

Set in Mumbai, Kaala stage the story of an immigrant man from Tirunelveli and eventually emerges as a righteous don in the Dharavi slums. Director Pa. Ranjith also highlights the sufferings of Tamil migrants and other slum dwellers in Mumbai who are often victims of discrimination.

Pa. Ranjith came up with a story with an excellent blend of commercial and realistic elements. He executed it well with utmost care not to overdo in any aspect. He sticks true to his ideologies and the film has many subtexts to follow and understand where the director has conveyed his thoughts.

Rajnikanth as Kaala Karikalan is electrifying to watch with his unmatched screen presence, charisma, and body language. But, as earlier said it is a Pa. Ranjith film with Rajini touch in it. We do get to see many goosebumps scenes, yet it is not an outright Rajini film. It has a heavy content and the actor has done justice to the director’s character and portrayed as Kaala.

Nana Patekar as Hari Dada is a perfect choice as the actor has carried out with ease. The scenes where Kaala and Hari Dada face each other are such a delight to watch as both the actors are high on their performance. Huma Qureshi, Easwari Rao, Samuthirakanni and other ensemble lists of support cast have done their part well.

Kaala is technically a brilliant movie. Kudos to art director T. Ramalingam for bringing the Dharavi slums to live. Cinematography by Murali. G is fascinating as the film had many colors to be captured in the frame. Santhosh Narayanan elevates the movie with his background score and songs. 

Finally, Kaala has what fans expected in Kabali (Pa.Ranjith and Rajini’s previous film), perfectly delivered and definitely, this is one of the best movies in their respective career. Keeping the lead actors political credo aside, Kaala is altogether an enjoyable movie.

My Rating – 3.75/5 | Grade – B+ (Highly Entertaining!)
An Honest Movie Review by Nirmalraj aka AK (@NirmalRaj2911)

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TOP 5 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT RACE 3

1. Supercars Blown Up!

The stunts of Race 3 were choreographed by Hollywood action director Tom Struthers and were shot in Abu Dhabi. At the trailer launch event, Salman Khan had said that they picked up 15-16 brand new cars while shooting in Abu Dhabi thinking they would get them back, but the action director ensured they don’t get even one car back. “The cars were blown up in 200 parts, which made it impossible to bring the cars back,” he added.

2. 5 Days! Just 5 Days!

Can you believe that the climax of Race 3 was shot in just 5 days? As per a report from the film's team, the climax was shot with three units simultaneously. A set of actors were continuously shooting on the three units and wrapped the schedule in just five days that could have taken ten days to shoot.

Director Remo D’Souza stated, “The climax scene is an elaborate action sequence that was to be shot with the entire cast. Salman ensured that the grueling schedule that would otherwise take 10 days to shoot, was completed in just 5 days. We had three separate units that were shooting simultaneously on set. The live explosions also had the military’s presence for security concern. The entire sequence was an event in itself.”

3. Sidharth Keeps Making Bad Choices?

Sidharth Malhotra was approached and opted out of the film, as he was to be cast opposite Daisy Shah, who is the supporting actress in the film. Malhotra has always been paired opposite the leading ladies, so he decided to opt out. Also, Aditya Roy Kapoor was first approached for the second lead after Siddarth Malhotra. But producer Ramesh Taurani didn't agree to his price.

4. The Real Anil

Anil Kapoor who plays the role of a business tycoon Shamsher in the film will be introduced through an action scene which will reportedly see no body double because Anil Kapoor has decided to do the stunts himself, reported mid-day. Anil Kapoor's entry scene will reportedly involve an adrenaline-pumping car chase sequence and rounds of a gunshot.

5. Jacky vs Daisy - The Cat Fight?

Talking about her experience of doing action scenes, Jacqueline says, “ I was part of very big action centric films (Dishoom) in the past but this is the first time I have gone all out and done action with Race 3. Daisy (Shah) and I have a massive cat fight in the film and it’s actually one of the hardest action sequences I have ever done in my life. In the movie, Daisy actually hits me and while shooting she has kicked me hard many times.”

Sources and Writing Credits - Indian Express, IMDB, NDTV and Hindustan Times. (Thanks)

-A Top 5 List by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal) | Website's Twitter Handle - @JustMovieFreaks

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