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Blog posts : "pankaj tripathi"

Sacred Games Review: Dense! Gritty! Authentic!

Starring - Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Radhika Apte
Director - Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane
Genre - Crime/Thriller
Streaming Platform - Netflix 

Introduction

Directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane (two directors who are known for their unorthodox and authentic storytelling), Sacred Games is Netflix's first Indian Web Television Series and is an adaptation of Vikram Chandra's 2006 novel of the same name. Starring few of the biggest names in Bollywood Film Industry, this crime based thriller was released globally on July 6th in 190 countries and is a multi-lingual series with characters talking in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, and Marathi.

Set in the tinsel town of India, Mumbai, the storyline kicks off with the return of Ganesh Gaitonde (infamous gangster of the 80's and 90's) [Nawazuddin Siddiqui] as he approaches Police Officer Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan) to warn him about a threat that will devastate the city and alerts him that he has only 25 days left to salvage. The eight-episode series tells us more about the threat and how it is intervened and associated with the narrative which is far more deep, complex and mortifying.

Rationalization

One of the main reasons why this series worked remarkably on web television is because of the liberty it can take to articulate the story in an authentic way. The sex, violence, swear words used in this series is unlike anything I've ever seen before and would've been easily been censored on the silver screen or on network television. That's the beauty of streaming services like Netflix and directors Kashyap and Motwane tremendously handled the opportunity by not backing down in any aspect. 

Furthermore, another significant highlight of this complete series is the masterful storytelling. Writers Smita Singh, Vasant Nath, and Varun Grover had done an exceptional job adapting the story and the directors accomplished their job by executing it with perfection. Apart from being gritty and authentic, the storyline had numerous characters, subplots, and moving pieces which are convoluted to exercise. The series jumps from one timeline to another, intercedes itself with real-life political and terrorist incidents all through and editor Aarti Bajaj put together what seems to be a complex narrative to a skillfully comprehensible eight-hour riveting drama.

But, even after binging the series for the second time, my mind is still very much riddled with questions about how, why or when certain things about a particular character or scene happened, cause this season ended with a cliffhanger and hopefully, season two (if it happens) will connect all the loose ends which are left hanging.

Also, the characters were even more interesting. Saif Ali Khan (who I should appreciate for making interesting choices with his career) had a compelling story arc from a cop who is often chocked by the system to a human being trying to understand his role and concurrently showing some courage to face certain obstacles. Nawazuddin Siddiqui almost made his unhuman anti-hero character likable as he unsurprisingly steals the show in everything that he's in these days. Radhika Apte plays yet another vital character and she's impressive as always. But, the stand out characters for me at least are Constable Katekar and Kukoo played by Jitendra Joshi and Kubra Sait respectively. Both their characters had an emotional narrative which is very interesting to watch.

Conclusion

Nevertheless, Sacred Games is dense, gritty, authentic and is unlike anything I've ever seen before. Assembled with a gripping narrative, intriguing characters, impressive performances and overall some masterful storytelling this series is worth binging and deserves all your time and attention right now.

-A Just Stream Editorial by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)
Twitter Profile - @JustMovieFreaks | Instagram's Profile - @JustMovieFreaks

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Pankaj Tripathi to Play the Lead Villain in Hrithik Roshan's Super 30!

Pankaj Tripathi had an amazing 2017, his performances in films like Bareilly Ki Barfi and Newton were applauded by both fans and critics. With his upcoming high-profile movies like Drive and Kaala already under production, Tripathi bagged another major role and this time he'll be seen playing the main antagonist in Hrithik Roshan's upcoming film "Super 30" which is a biopic based on a Bihari mathematician Anand Kumar.

An anonymous source close to the film stated the following, “Pankaj is very naturally a North Indian bloke. Although he is from Uttar Pradesh he doesn’t have to make an effort to sound like a Bihari. In fact, many in the Super 30 team thought Pankaj was the perfect actor to play Anand Kumar. They resemble one another in body and speech. But the director Vikas Behl wanted a superstar for Anand Kumar’s role to bring the audiences in to watch the motivational story of the maths genius from a humble background who coaches underprivileged but brilliant maths students free of cost.”

Delighted with the opportunity, Tripathi said the following, “Every character every role is equally important to me. It doesn’t matter whether I play the hero or villain. I will look for the core of the character and play it as honestly as I can.”

Directed by Vikas Bahl (Queen and Shaandaar fame), Super 30 will also see  Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Ritvik Sahore in supporting roles and is scheduled to release on January 25, 2019.

-A Movie News Report by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal) | Website's Twitter Handle - @JustMovieFreaks

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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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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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