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Blog posts : "Hindi Reviews"

Pad Man - Honest Movie Review

Starring Akshay Kumar and Radhika Apte in the lead roles, Pad Man is loosely based on the real-life story of Coimbatore based Social Entrepreneur Padma Shri Arunachalam Muruganantham who excelled with his innovation of affordable sanitary pads in India.

As you guys already knew about the primary storyline (I'm assuming that you've seen the trailers) of the film, let's quickly move on to the overall positives. 

First off, I should indeed admire Akshay Kumar, R. Balki, and Twinkle Khanna for producing a significant film with an influential subject which is a taboo in India. As Akshay Kumar stated, he didn't want to turn this film into a documentary but considered to make it commercial with the intention of reaching a wider audience and I honestly appreciate his reasoning.

If you've seen his earlier films, you should be familiar with Balki's work and the way he gets you emotionally invested in his characters. During the course of the film, I sometimes found myself tearing up a little and that only transpired because I'm fully rooting for the lead characters which I consider as the major plus points for the film.

As I always mumble in most of my reviews, when the characters are properly developed and were given enough character moments, we naturally root and get behind them which in turn favors the film during the emotionally impactful or climactic scenes. Furthermore, the performances should also aid the well-written characters and Akshay Kumar along with Radhika Apte was fantastic in their roles.

Akshay Kumar continues to surprise me not only with his unique choice of films but also with his magnificent character work and performance. His normal-courteous-average look made his character more relatable as he carried his innocent yet intellectual persona flawlessly. Likewise, Radhika Apte carries on to mesmerize everyone with her remarkable performance and is one of the only few actors who prefer content over masala and I should applaud her for that.

On the other side, they're a few negatives, the screenplay by R. Balki and Swanand Kirkire was sub-par which affected the pace of the film primarily in the first half that felt a bit stretched out. Also, we're well aware that 70% of the film was fictionalized and I normally don't complain when the dramatized storyline blends well with the actual storyline. But, more or less, the screenwriters fizzled out in this area when a few things happen which are easily convenient to the storyline as they're ridiculous to watch. Likewise, the sub-plot involving Sonam Kapoor's character and her addition to the film felt undercooked and uninteresting.

Overall, discounting all the negatives, Pad Man is a significant film with a strong influential message which should be articulated to everyone especially to the people living in the rural areas who still, to this day feel that menstrual cycle is something taboo. Kudos to all the producers and the crew for putting in the effort to deliver a much-needed message that will only improve our country's acumen.

My Rating - 3/25/5 | Grade - B (Entertaining! With Few Noticeable Flaws!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Padmaavat - Honest Movie Review

Disclaimer: My opinion on this film might be different than yours, I'm not articulating to anyone to not go watch this movie. Go to the closest theatre and decide it for yourself.

Verdict - "A Giant Disappointment!

In the midst of few ludicrous allegations from religious groups, state governments, and nonsensical people Padmaavat finally got released to the public nearly two months after its initial release date. But, after making the news headlines for at least three months, did it live up to everyone's hype? I must say, NO!

As Y'all already knew it by now, the storyline of Padmaavat revolves around a barbarous ruler and the 'Sultan of Delhi' Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) and his mad quest to capture the 'Queen of Chittor' Rani Padmavati (Deepika Padukone), whom he believes will fill in the missing bit in his journey to be the most powerful leader in the entire world.

Clocking at a drawn-out two-hour forty-five-minute runtime, I should say that this film tested my patience for the most part. Indeed they're few positives that I'll get to in a moment, but, with a fairly familiar storyline and a lackluster screenplay crafted with scenes that we've already seen many times before, this film predominantly didn't peak my interest dramatically or emotionally.

And I consider that as a big letdown. Coming from the house of Bhansali, we expect much more than elegant costumes, grandeur production design, and fantastic BGM from an epic historical film. We expect a tightly packed storyline, beguiling screenplay (which would've been better as the film, for the most part, is fictionalized) and characters that we could get behind; therefore when something dramatic happens there will be an emotional impact in the audience member. Moreover, they're many scenes in the film including the climax which had the potential to look and feel poignant, but, Bhansali totally misses the opportunity and in turn, makes it a 163-minute snore-fest.

As I stated earlier, they're few positives to look into in this film, primarily the music and the background score by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Sanchit Balhara was astounding. The songs were choreographed and picturized masterfully and the production design was exquisite, which I must give Bhansali props for, he truly captured the 13th-century look magnificently that involves vast research and hard work.

Another major positive for the film is undoubtedly the performance by Ranveer Singh, his charisma and the way that he presented this barbarous cold-blooded evil character was something truly exceptional. Weirdly, when you start to root for the bad guy, that's when you know the actor had excelled with his performance. Shahid Kapoor was more or less decent, as his character was by far the weakest when compared to the other two. Coming to Deepika Padukone, I don't know who proposed the idea to digitally soften up her face in the post-production to make her resemble the moon, but, that distracted me during the entire film. Anyhow, being the focal point of the plot, I expected Deepika's character to be profound and with nearly (excluding the climax) zero character moments her performance didn't stand-out for me. And I'm not going to complain about how bad the CGI looked at times because it is something involved with the budget of the movie.

Overall, barring Ranveer Singh's extraordinary performance, Padmaavat suffers from its unexciting storyline, poorly written screenplay and an exhausting runtime which conclusively made it a tedious watch. After literally being bombarded by the news channels left and right with the controversies and allegations, this is not something that I expected from Sanjay Leela Bhansali, a boring film!

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

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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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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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Tumhari Sulu - Movie Review

Verdict - "Vidya Balan Performance Shines in a Lackluster Film!"

Tumhari Sulu stars Vidya Balan, Manav Kaul and Neha Dhupia in the lead roles and is directed by the debutant Suresh Triveni. It is produced collectively under the banners of T-Series and Ellipsis Entertainment, and the film garnered immense popularity with its funny trailers/promos and catchy music. 

The storyline follows the life of our protagonist Sulochna/Sulu (Vidya Balan), a housewife, an aggressive competitor in social activities and a wannabe entrepreneur. Her husband Ashok (Manav Kaul) is a hard-working employee in an office cordoned off with old people, and her son Pranav (Abhishek Sharma) is a school student who is occupied doing junky things. The other half of the film presents us with Sulu getting an opportunity as a Radio Jockey in a local radio station headed by Maria (Neha Dhupia) and her family problems encircling around her husband and son.

With a runtime of 120 minutes, this film feels long, lazy and dreary with its approach. The storyline doesn't kick in till the twenty to thirty minute-mark, and when it finally commences, it's entirely foreseeable to where it's heading. Now, should I criticize Suresh Triveni for making me sit through this two-hour bore-fest? Don't get me wrong, they're quite a few well-written comical moments in the film, but they're not for everybody. The film had few emotional elements that a middle-class family can relate to, but I didn't see anybody weeping. Also, the movie had few sub-plots, especially the one involving Sulu's kid which made no sense or at least not well written and narrated. 

Enough with the negatives, now, I don't usually feel like leaving the theatre unless it's an atrocious film like Mastizaade. While I'm re-thinking to play the card again, the only aspect that kept me interested is Vidya Balan's exceptional performance. As expected, she stole the entire film and held a sluggish narrative with some fantastic work both comically and emotionally. Manav Kaul also impressed me with his performance. His chemistry with Vidya Balan worked thoroughly alongside their comedic timing.

Nevertheless, discounting the exceptional performance by Vidya Balan and the delightful edition of Manav Kaul. Tumhari Sulu didn't impress me as an overall fil, and the storyline felt lacking which kept me disinterested for the entire two-hour runtime.

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

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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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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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Newton - Movie Review

Verdict - "An Eye Opener!"

Directed by Amit V Masurkar, Newton starring Rajkummar Rao and Pankaj Tripathi is India's official entry for the Best Foreign Film Category in the 90th Academy Awards scheduled to take place on March 4th, 2018. With a positive trend in the box-office collections including a positive response from the critics and the audience, Newton is slowly fetching out as one of the best if not the best film of 2017.

Newton Kumar (Rajkummar Rao) is a punctual and a disciplined government employee who rejects getting married to an under-age girl and aspires to bring a change in his everyday life and the way the system (government) works. Simultaneously, he receives an offer to conduct an election poll in a rural Naxal-heavy area of Chhattisgarh and he agrees to do so. The remaining part of the film enlightens the characters of Newton and his companions and touches on different sensitive subjects that our country struggles with.

Essentially in every other review of mine, I criticize the characters in the film not being fully developed and left out half-baked. But, Newton is the first film in a while that I've seen characters that are relatable, memorable and were given ample time to grow throughout the film. Every lead character was given a purpose and a demeanor that made them relatable and interesting at the same time. The critical aspects of discipline, stubbornness, and disregard were all portrayed masterfully by the actors and the screenwriters who played a significant part in the film's success.

Like I stated earlier, they're few sensitive subjects in the film that are excellently discussed in the film. The narrative of the villagers not being educated well of their neighborhood happenings or even about the elections, them living a manipulated life being scared between the local police and the Naxal group raises many concerns and questions the idea of democracy that our nation lives by.

Also, the performances in the film were top-notch, Rajkummar Rao and Pankaj Tripathi are on the top of their game, the comedic bits between them were hilarious which is also one of the bright spots of the overall film. Not only them, Raghubir Yadav and Anjali Patil were also great and the chemistry between their characters worked out so well that kept the movie going a decent pace.

Now, onto the real question. Did this film really deserve an Oscar nomination? Well, I can't really answer that question because I've not seen any other films which are in the contention, but by judging the plot and the subject that Newton explored with, it is certainly an eye-opener and leaves you with more questions about the current state in our villages. It is a remarkably directed, written and well-acted film that justifies all the attention that it's been receiving lately and also a film that you need to go see in a movie theatre.

My Rating - 4/5 | Grade - A (The Best One Around!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal) | Featured In Our "Top 5 Best Bollywood Movies of 2017" List - Click Here

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Bareilly Ki Barfi & Shubh Mangal Savdhan - Movie Reviews

Ayushmann Khurrana has been the success story of Bollywood for the past one month, his latest two films Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Savdhan were surprisingly commercially successful at the box-office and this proves and restores the faith that smaller films with low-budget can and will be successful at the box-office when delivered with an entertaining premise and enjoyable acting performances. 

Now, I know that it's been a while since the movies were released. So I'm gonna go ahead do a doubleheader, give my overall thoughts on both the films and see how this format pans out!

Bareilly Ki Barfi Overall Thoughts: 

Directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, I was quite frankly skeptical going into this movie, I heard mixed reactions about it, few people liked it and few didn't. So, my expectations were pretty low when I walked into the movie theatre. And to my surprise, I found myself enjoying the film from the get-go. Although, the film did not have the finest written screenplays that had few pacing issues here and there. The storyline was compelling/entertaining enough to keep me interested. The comedic sequences were on point, the relationship between the characters was well-developed and the overall performances were fun to watch. But, the highlight of the film has to be Rajkummar Rao and his performance as an innocent and dapper looking dude who kept stealing the show every time he's on-screen especially during the second half. Overall, Bareilly Ki Barfi often had few hiccups but it's delightful enough for you to give it a shot!

My Rating - 3.25/5 | Featured In Our "Top 5 Best Bollywood Movies of 2017" List - Click Here

Shubh Mangal Savdhan Overall Thoughts:

Directed by R.S. Prasanna, Shubh Mangal Savdhan is the most trending movie of 2017 and the box office results ultimately tell the story, cause they're enormous. Set in New Delhi, the film is an official remake of a Tamil film 'Kalyana Samayal Saadham' and the storyline is about a soon-to-be-married couple Mudit and Sugandha and their attempt to overcome many disputes especially Mudit's sex-related issue. Now, the comedic elements in this film were amazing, the jokes were on-point and the film was a laugh riot throughout its runtime. But, the storyline of the film quickly faded out and became lackluster, at that point although it's entertaining, it reached an alarming level and felt that it's stretched-out too far. The performances were great, the chemistry between Ayushmann and Bhumi Pednekar worked really well and they're both entertaining to watch. Overall, SMS is a feel-good film with a lot of laughs that will keep you entertained and is also worth a shot!

My Rating - 3/5 | -By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Simran - Movie Review

Verdict - "The weakly written screenplay is the culprit."

Directed by Hansal Mehta (Shahid and Aligarh fame), Simran stars Kangana Ranaut in the lead role and is loosely based on the real-life story of Sandeep Kaur, an NRI in California, U.S.A convicted of four bank robberies and was nicknamed the Bombshell Bandit. 

Praful Patel (Kangana Ranaut) is an independent hard-working NRI residing in Atlanta, Georgia and is quite decisive to buy herself a new house in an established neighborhood. While expecting for her loan to get approved, Praful gets trapped in the world of poker in Las Vegas, Nevada where she loses a huge amount of money and even gets in trouble for taking money from a private money-lender. The other part of the film delves into how Praful dodges all the obstacles thrown at her by her parents, soon-to-be in-laws and the menacing mob from whom she lent the money from.

Now, this film is about the rise and fall of Praful's character, we will cheer, feel and even despise the decisions she takes throughout the film and the screenwriters did a superior job in developing character and made sure that the comedic and the emotional sequences were always counted in. So, for the towering importance given to her character, Kangana Ranaut knocked it out-of-the-park with her performance. I've seen a lot of actors struggle when their characters were filled with a wide-range of emotions, but Kangana Ranaut does it with ease and proves why she is one of the best working actors in Bollywood right now.

But, although the film had a unique storyline and an interesting character, the screenplay of the movie was not up to the mark. The second half was tiresome and felt that it was prolonged to a mind-numbing extent. And in the process of not making the film take a dark direction of anguish and hopelessness, the screenwriters twisted the storyline a little by making the villain and the opposing characters look as ludicrous as possible which was quite insipid to watch.

Overall, although Simran had the comedic chops and a captivating character which is entertaining, the screenplay of the film was a letdown and it missed an opportunity to become a good film with a memorable aspect.

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

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Lucknow Central - Movie Review

Verdict - "A Disorganized Mess"

Helmed by the debutant director Ranjit Tiwari, 'Lucknow Central' starring Farhan Akhtar and Diana Penty in the lead roles is a prison escape-musical drama and is loosely based on the true story of a jail-based band known as "Healing Hearts" who resided in Uttar Pradesh. 

After wrongly being convicted of a murder of an IAS officer. Kishan (Farhan Akhtar) an aspiring singer, who now serves his death penalty in the Central Jail of Lucknow will be given an opportunity to form his own band accompanied by few other jail inmates of his choice to take part in a band competition administered by the Chief Minister of the State. Although his decisive dream is to form a band and to display his talent, Kishan also prepares a plot to break out from the prison with his other band members equipped with unique abilities which are helpful for their departure. Will his plan to escape from one of the most dreadful prisons in Lucknow prevail?

Advancing to the many problems I had with the film. I'll address a few here. First off, I don't recall the movie really well and that's a major problem, don't get me wrong they're moments in the film which are clearly motivating, the storyline of Farhan Akhtar and his ambition to start his own band and to perform in front of a live audience was delightful. But, the supplementary storylines that added to the primary plot were uninteresting, forgettable and lackluster to watch. The whole prison-escape storyline felt underwhelming for me. And the supporting characters, although developed decently, felt insipid because of the lack of dynamic between them. 

Moving on to the performances from the cast, Farhan Akhtar gives a decent enough performance to make his character look better, Diana Penty had nothing left to do as she works well with her minimal involvement. The other supporting actors like Deepak Dobriyal and Rajesh Sharma didn't shine as much as I wanted them to.

Overall, Lucknow Central is an underwhelming film with a disorganized storyline and weak directorial effort by Ranjit Tiwari. The film doesn't have good enough reasons for me to recommend you guys to go watch it in a movie theatre.

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

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Jab Harry Met Sejal - Movie Review

Verdict - "A Disappointment of Epic Proportions!"

Directed by Imtiaz Ali, Jab Harry Met Sejal brings together Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma for the third time in their film career after Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Jab Tak Hai Jaan, but this time under the banner of Red Chillies Entertainment. The chart-topping music was composed by Pritam and K.U. Mohanan is the man behind-the-camera reputed for some stunning cinematography all throughout the film.

The storyline revolves around a lost engagement ring that belongs to Sejal Zaveri (Anushka Sharma), as she and her tour guide Harinder Singh Nehra (Shah Rukh Khan) roam around the popular cities of Europe in search of the misplaced ring which is used as a metaphor in the entire film.

Similar to his earlier films, Jab Harry Met Sejal also has a few analogies that Imtiaz Ali explored before. The storyline being solely based on the two main characters, the concept of "finding yourself" and realizing the "missing link in your life" is something that we've seen many times before. But, before going into the theater, I had my faith in Imtiaz Ali that he can at least keep me invested for the entire duration of the film. Thirty minutes into the movie, I realized that this is going to be a bore-fest and it actually is.

The first half of the film starts off with few funny one-liners and the establishment of the lead characters that are never really justified genuinely. The dreary plot that these characters are being endorsed on is not strong enough to keep me interested for the entirety of the film. It takes needless directions at times and is not even memorable enough for me to say that I'm entertained or remembered a particular scene after the movie. And that's the major drawback of this film which is quite frankly the weakest out of Imtiaz's filmography and also the most tedious film that Shah Rukh Khan has done in years.

Now, I'm a big admirer of Shah Rukh Khan and his film career and I went into this film with an open-mind wanting to like it more than everyone else. But watching him giving his best in every single scene to an already lifeless film made me feel sad for him and for Anushka Sharma who also tried her best to keep the film entertaining with her Gujarati accent and her naïve yet tenacious character.

Overall, Jab Harry Met Sejal felt like a big missed opportunity. Ali had everything in his favor from the cast, music to the fine-looking locales but not an interesting nor entertaining nor significant script to keep the audience member captivated. This film is a disappointment on a huge level!

My Rating - 2/5 | Grade - C (Meh! Probably a rental!) 
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)  | Jab Harry Met Sejal: Movie Posters - Click Here

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Tubelight - Movie Review

Verdict - "Plotless!"

After the immense success of the runaway hit Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Salman Khan and Kabir Khan are back together for the third time with their new film Tubelight, which also transacts with a sensitive subject (similar to Bajrangi Bhaijaan) and stars Sohail Khan, Zhu Zhu, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Om Puri in supporting roles. 

Established in a small town near North India, the story introduces us to Laxman (Salman Khan), who is innocent and childish and he happens to love his brother Bharath (Sohail Khan) very much. When Bharath leaves his hometown to join the Indian Army, Laxman weeps and wishes his brother good luck hoping that he would return someday. In the norm of his brother's absence, the storyline advances into the journey of Laxman and explains about how he hoisted himself into a much more matured human being.

When you look at Kabir Khan's last film Phantom, you can tell that the intent to make a good story-oriented film was always there. But, the wafer-thin plot didn't support the film and hence it ended up as a disappointment. Now, walking into this film I thought that Kabir Khan would never make the same mistake again and I was proven wrong. Tubelight had everything going in its favor the emotion, morality, music, cinematography, hell! even Salman Khan was doing his level best for the audience to emotionally connect to his character. But then again, the plot was predictable and thin enough for me to not be interested in the movie or in the characters. 

Regarding the performances, Salman Khan has been pretty impressive lately with his recent performances in Sultan and Bajrangi Bhaijaan and he continues to impress in Tubelight with his performance as a juvenile-childish-man. Also, I give major props to him for keeping his Bhai persona aside and exploring a completely new genre that he never explored before in his previous films. The supporting actors including Sohail Khan, Zhu Zhu, and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub were all decent in their respective roles.

On the whole, it's the stale tedious plot of the film that bothered me the most, it had its moments and few inspiring bits to appreciate, but I would not recommend you to go rush see this film unless you're a Salman Khan fan who is expecting something different, unlike his traditional films.

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

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Raabta - Movie Review

Verdict - "Garbage!"

The tagline of the film says it all. From the past life to the present and from Bollywood to Tollywood, "Everything is Connected" in the film Raabta as it's a soft reboot of the hit 2009 Telugu film "Magadheera" directed by Baahubali fame SS Rajamouli. What's more frustrating about the film is that it didn't even take advantage of the adapted storyline and recreated a tedious narrative muddled up with mundane scenes, mediocre music, and bad comedy.

Set in the beautiful continent of Europe, Shiv (Sushant Singh Rajput) randomly meets Saira (Kriti Sanon) and they both discover that they have something special (in terms of feelings) between them. After spending a night together, Saira breaks up with her boyfriend and advances her (love) relationship with Shiv. Subsequently, when Shiv was out-of-town for a week, Saira joins on a dinner date with Zakir (Jim Sarbh) whom she previously met and after a round of drinks, Saira obviously goes unconscious and Zakir carts her to his private mansion as he firmly believes that they're both connected in their earlier life.

Although SSR and Kriti Sanon looked endearing together as a couple, their dreary characters were too hard to root for the entirety of the film. Certain aspects like a compelling storyline, notable scenes, relatable characters will play a significant part in a film's success and writers Siddharth-Garima failed to deliver in these preceding aspects as I failed to recollect the film instantly after its conclusion.

Overall, I'm not entirely sure about how the studio spent nearly 60 crores to produce such a garbage film and how exactly did Dinesh Vijan convince every actor (especially Rajkummar Rao) in the film to clear their schedule and work on his film. Honestly, Bollywood should stop creating this trend of remaking/recycling popular films and have to focus more on making good original films.

My Rating - 1/5
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Sachin: A Billion Dreams - Movie Review

Verdict - "A flawless illustration of the Little Master"

Known as The God of Cricket and The Master Blaster, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has a special place in all our hearts not only for his tremendous contribution to the Indian Cricket Team but also because of his generosity and the compassion that he always portrays. So, while watching his biographical drama on the big screen, not only me but the hundreds of people sitting with me inside the movie theatre went through a range of emotions from sorrow to joy and celebrated the icon known as Tendulkar.

 

Unlike every other Indian Cricketer film we saw last year, A Billion Dreams had a different vibe associated with it, the feeling of watching a superlative drama which is not Bollywoodized for entertainment purposes. Director, James Erskine did a tremendous job in displaying the significant stages in his cricketing career, personal life, childhood and the dark era of Indian Cricket history between the years of 1997 to 99 which gave us an edifying outlook on Sachin's life.

Overall, watching Sachin on the big-screen narrating his life, sharing his experiences, achievements, failures and the difficulties that he had to go through personally was extremely gratifying to watch. As a modest fan, while watching the film, I instantly reacted emotionally, recalled my childhood watching Sachin play and felt connected with the film from the get-go. A perfectly executed film and a must watch for all cricket fans.

-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Half Girlfriend - Movie Review

Verdict - "A Chaotic Mess!"

Half Girlfriend had everything going in its favor - two most admired actors, a distinguished director, and a widespread story from which the film is adapted from. What can at least go wrong? Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I can say, everything. From the narrative to the direction, Half Girlfriend is not even a half-baked film, it's just a chaotic mess.

With positive intentions in his mind to develop his inchoate village with his education, Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor) gets an admission in St. Steven's college in Delhi and meets a wealthy uptown girl Riya Somani (Shraddha Kapoor) on his first day. They instantly become hangout buddies and then the usual jazz continues, they kiss, try to make out, break up and then meet again. Well, it's safe to say that nothing really interesting happens.

First off, I always keep mentioning that you can't make a good film without a solid base. Now, I've never read the Chetan Bhagat's book "Half Girlfriend", but judging by few main plot points of the film, they made me wonder, how did this film get greenlit in the first place? How did the creative from ALT Entertainment looked at the source material and said "Yup! Let's make this into a movie." Well, I understand the fact that it's a popular novel and you can mint money based on the recognition. But you at least need to have a decent story line right?

Moreover, barring the story line of the film, are the lead characters any interesting or entertaining in some ways? No! Shraddha Kapoor's character struggles with a plethora of uncertainty and so is the character of Arjun Kapoor. Because of the fragility that the writers developed in their characters, we steadily lose interest in the film and eventually abstain from the tragedy. Director Mohit Suri who is an expert in making heartwarming certainly didn't live up to his expectations as his directorial job was altogether substandard.

Overall, Half Girlfriend is a disappointing film filled with distress, monotony, and ridiculousness. Stay away from this movie for the rest of your life!

My Rating - 1.5/5
Grade - D+ (A hangover!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Sarkar 3 - Movie Review

Verdict - "A Lifeless Sequel!"

Nearly eight years after the release of Sarkar Raj (the second film in the Sarkar franchise) and despite few hold-ups in the pre-production stage, Sarkar 3 helmed by the controversial director Ram Gopal Varma was released in the second week of May 2017 and stars the returning Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role, Amit Sadh, Yami Gautam, Jackie Shroff and Ronit Roy as supporting characters. 

After the passing of his son Shankar Nagare (Abhishek Bachchan), Subhash Nagare (Amitabh Bachchan) continues to advance his political career by doing what is rightfully correct. But in his path to success, he encounters few new adversaries who plot to assassinate Nagare and eradicate his empire entirely. With the stalwart support of his grandson, Shivaji (Amit Sadh) will Nagare overcome these complications victoriously? 

As a long time admirer of RGV and few of his good films, the one thing that impresses me the most about his work is how he picturizes every single scene. He lets the vibe, ambiance and the set designs narrate the film for him alongside with the characters which was quite remarkable. Also, when compared to his previous films, I should say that RGV at least had the intent to make an intriguing film but failed in doing so. That tells a lot about his previous debacles!

On the other side, when it comes to the storyline of the film, it didn't feel important or entertaining enough to watch. It just felt like the writers (Ram Gopal Varma and Nilesh Girkar) were trying to extract something out of an expended toothpaste tube. The characters and their individual storylines were altogether boring, the performances were decent but few supporting actors like Jackie Shroff were utterly wasted which was a major letdown of the film.

Overall, before I thank RGV for hopefully ending this franchise for good, I should say this was one of the most boring theatre going experience I've had this year. You'll not acquire anything from a worn-out franchise and Sarkar 3 is a proper example of why you shouldn't be making a sequel without a proper or a solid base.

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

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Naam Shabana - Movie Review

Verdict - "A Missed Opportunity"

Marketed as the prequel to the 2015 sleeper hit Baby, Naam Shabana directed by Shivam Nair and penned by the critically acclaimed director Neeraj Pandey stars Taapsee Pannu in the lead role, Manoj Bajpayee in a supporting role and Akshay Sharma in a surprise guest role. 

Set in a timeline that got transpired before the incidents of Baby, Ranvir Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) who is in charge of an agency related to National Security is in pursuit to find an astute female field agent and confronts Shabana Khan (Taapsee Pannu), a college student who trains in the sport of Kudo in her spare time. Upon ample time spent in research, Ranvir offers Shabana a contract to join the agency, to which she agrees after making a shady deal.

With tons of potential of developing an interesting ingenious tale, Neeraj Pandey presented us with a lackluster script which is tedious and ludicrous to watch. Forget about the logic, the trite and predictable narration, dim-witted dialogue and an inept directing job by Shivam Nair spoiled the complete experience and made me check my watch for every 10 minutes (which usually doesn't happen that often).

On the bright side, Taapsee Pannu as the female protagonist in the film was a treat to watch, her grit and ceaseless alure corresponded with her character effortlessly and helped the film to at least advance till 127 minutes. Akshay Kumar's role in the film was decent and was most certainly not needed, but a good surprise is always welcomed. 

Nevertheless, solely elevated by the performance of Taapsee Pannu, Naam Shabana is a complete missed opportunity in terms of storyline and screenplay and is forgettable for the most part. As a fan who enjoyed the previous film Baby to the fullest, I found it difficult to sit through this film for 127 minutes.

My Rating - 2/5 | Grade - C (Meh! Probably a rental)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal) | Baby - Movie Review: Click Here 

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Trapped - Movie Review

Verdict - "A Captivating Squeaker!"

Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, Trapped starring Rajkummar Rao in the lead role is a fascinating narrative about a part in Shaurya's life where he finds himself trapped all alone in an apartment on the 35th floor without food, water, electricity and most importantly a mobile phone. The storyline advances presenting us the agonizing distress that Shaurya had to go through in order to make it alive or will he not?

With a narrative largely focused around an individual character, Rajkummar Rao did a tremendous job in portraying the punishment and the trouble and that his character had to go through mentally and physically. He carried the entire film on his shoulders from the beginning till the end with his captivating performance that kept the viewer invested in the film especially when it's 103 minutes without a pause.

Established as a brilliant filmmaker with his terrific work in his previous two films (Udaan and Lootera), Vikramaditya Motwane did a fantastic job in directing the film by keeping it guileless, stimulating and logical at the same time. Simultaneously, the writers also did a fabulous job in developing the character of Shaurya that helped the storyline a lot in its development.

Overall,  Trapped is a film with many cliffhangers and spine-chilling moments and is a precise storyline that deals with a singular character. Rajkummar Rao carried the entire movie with his finest work and surely one of the best in his career. With an empirical narrative, Trapped certainly brought a new spin to the genre and opened the doors for many experimental films with less budget and more practicality. 

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

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Kaabil - Movie Review

[The part highlighted in red might contain spoilers. Please skip the paragraph who haven't yet watched the movie.]

Verdict - "A dreary revenge drama."

After Mohenjo Daro failed to impress the Bollywood market critically and commercially. Hrithik Roshan had a tough road to surmount, as his new film Kaabil had to share its release date with SRK's Raees which is one of the most anticipated Bollywood films of the year 2017. Grossing over 50 crores domestically in its opening weekend, will Kaabil succeed and give Hrithik the much-anticipated hit?

Soon after their first date, Rohan (Hrithik Roshan) and Supriya (Yami Gautam) get married to each other to explore their journey in life, love, and happiness. Subsequently, the neighborhood troublemakers Amit (Rohit Roy) and Wasim start to torment Supriya which later results in an assault and forced sex. Devastated by the negligence and lack of support from the police department and general deplore with the situation, Supriya hangs herself to death leaving Rohan stunned, upset and all alone. Will Rohan start a revenge tour and go on a killing spree? Or will his disability to see discontinues him to take retribution?

With the exception of an adorable and a delightful couple played Hrithik and Yami who you can easily get behind, this film had nothing new to offer in terms of contemporary storyline, clever dialogue, and superior direction. The narrative, for the most part, was predictable and didn't explore new directions, especially in the second half where the film suffered from plot holes and unpractical things that are quite ridiculous to appreciate and watch. 

As I mentioned earlier, Hrithik Roshan and Yami Gautam were the only bright spots in the entire film. Their chemistry, demeanor, and performances elevated the film to a certain level where it's decent enough to watch. As a visually impaired couple, they did a remarkable job throughout the entirety of the film and were endearing to watch. But, the creators of the film failed to create a hostile intimidating villain, both characters of Ronit and Rohit Roy were misused and tedious as they didn't feel like a threat to anyone at any point.

Although Sanjay Gupta added few tweaks and twists to the overall storyline, Kaabil was still forwarded as a dreary revenge drama which explored no new boundaries. Worth a single watch for Hrithik and Yami and their easily compassionate storyline.

My Rating - 2.75/5
Grade - C + (Decent Flick!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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