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Blog posts : "saif ali khan"

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)
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Phantom - Movie Review

Verdict - "Rushed in its approach, Phantom is quite inferior when compared to the previous films from Kabir Khan."

I love when directors hustle, releasing two movies in just two months was an incredible depiction about how movie directors should work these days. But, on the other side, they are few drawbacks that are considered as a demerit that can spoil this trend.

Following an astounding success with Bajrangi Bhaijaan, director Kabir Khan received a lot of appreciation for choosing a sensible subject and directing it so perfectly as it made us value his work greater than ever. With great success comes great responsibility, the anticipation for Phantom is sky-high and it completely looked splendid on previews and trailers. But?

In an imaginary fictional world, seven years after the attacks of 26/11 in Mumbai, few government officials plan a highly confidential suicide mission to take down all the people behind this horrifying incident that costed the lives of 156 people.

Now, I'm not whining about the intentions of the movie, the concept of India taking down Pakistani terrorists is again a sensitive and a tender subject to carry out and director Kabir Khan, always does his best to deliver a clever outcome. But this movie utterly lacks legitimacy, even though it's purely fictional, many sequences in the movie just doesn't feel that they could happen so conveniently in real life without any misfortune or missteps and the screenplay was totally rushed and felt completely out-of-place for the most part. 

Also, the character development in the movie was atrocious, Saif Ali Khan plays an ex-military cop waiting to resurrect his career and get some sort of compassion from his father. Reason why? We get to see in a substandard flashback sequence. Stuck with a numb expression, Katrina Kaif plays a futile NGO doctor-ish role and to top that Mohammed Ayyub Zeeshan (although I liked his performance) as a terrible government official who looks questionable from the get go.

At least the action sequences in the movie kept me away from sleeping with its loud noise and there is some impressive stunt work done by the lead actors and I appreciate it. But when filming an action scene the director had to make sure that it was clearly choreographed and make it memorable. None of the action sequences in Phantom are notable nor impressive.

Nevertheless, Phantom is undoubtedly a substandard work from Kabir Khan as it felt absurdly illusory and the profound elements were not exhilarating on any scale. Strictly a one time watch!

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

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Happy Ending - Movie Review

Verdict - “Happy Ending is just another movie which we come across every year."

Even with the most generic title, I expected an assorted take on this genre, only because of the fact that it was directed Raj & DK who previously directed many distinct movies like Shor in the City and Go Goa Gone. My expectations were pretty moderate and presumed for that arbitary vibe from the movie.

Yudi Jaitley (Saif Ali Khan) is a popular and also a candid individual, who doesn't believe in love. After numerous break-ups with his exes, he encounters Aanchal Reddy (Ileana), an emerging writer who replaces Yudi's position at their company. Known for his incredible skill at flirting people, Yudi easily grabs Aanchal's attention as they hangout together starting as friends.

The screenplay of the movie kickss off with a indefinte direction, it's just all over the place and it's pretty hard to comprehend for a while. After setting up it's destination, it turns into a generic rom-com with all the customary moments we've seen before. We can simply predict the movie beforehand and with the accustomed things happening over and over again, you will feel bored and may probably lose interest in the movie.

But I can defend the movie with this argument, it does some justice to the word "happy" in it's title. The comedic aspect was great in the movie, it was fresh and sparkling and i genuinely enjoyed it for the most part. And also the climax, it just ends well without any surprise which may keep a smile on your face for few obvious reasons.

I still enjoy Saif Ali Khan's style and humour. But is he too old for these kinda roles? Yes! I did enjoy his character, but it was slightly displeasing to watch. Ileana D' Cruz does a decent job, there was no depth in her character and I didn't really care about her in the movie.

But Ranvir Shorey did a magnificent job as Saif's BFF in the movie, he had that alluring factor and the scene just sparkled whenever he's around. Kalki and Govinda were brilliant with their minimal roles and added that extra amusing ingredient to the movie which is always a positive component.

I personally love the work of the directors Raj & DK, they always try something diverse and also surprisingly succeed everytime. But with this movie, the streak came to an end. It was nothing new or nothing surprising and that is the major drawback of the movie. The movie didn't felt like a sattire on the usual Bollywood rom-com's as it had the same elements as everything else.

Finally, Happy Ending had some happy moments to cheer about, but there was nothing new in this attractive bag. If you do love rom-com's rent this movie and watch it on a rainy day, for everyone else, I do recommend to skip it.

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

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