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Blog posts : "vicky kaushal"

Manmarziyaan - Honest Movie Review

Owing to the centre of all the latest excitement and hype, Anurag Kashyap's new romantic comedy-drama finally throws light on the realistic hardships of love stories. It's hard not to expect phenomenal movies when it comes to this director and I can surely say that Manmarziyaan qualifies as one of them.

The story revolves around a fiery and ardent Rumi (Tapsee Pannu) who is stuck between loving two desirable men Vicky (Vicky Kaushal) and Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan) where both of them are amiable to different parts of her puzzling personality. 

Every artist in the movie including the supporting roles with hardly enough screen space are bewitching, mirroring their respective characters accurately and the music by Amit Trivedi makes each situation more intense and solid. The story written by Kanika Dhillon could've used more clarity considering the lengthy second half and the confusing climax.

However, that is completely clouded by Tapsee, Vicky and Abhishek's fascinating portrayals. Extra admiration for Abhishek Bachchan who oozes sensitivity and depth to an otherwise light character and Vicky Kaushal who brings out the passion, innocence and allurement to his role but Tapsee, already being an accomplished actress somehow isn't very surprising in the film. 

Trying his hand at a new genre even with a slightly bumpy script Anurag Kashyap clearly knows how to win the audience and he does with Manmarziyaan as well. Finally, I'd like to say that the film is surely something interesting and unique to ponder over for this September.

My Rating - 3.5/5 | Grade - B+ (A Perfect Weekend Pick!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Nikitha Kashyap aka WW
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Sanju - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "A Curated Look at the Controversial Life of Sanju!"

Directed by the acclaimed and celebrated director Rajkumar Hirani, Sanju starring Ranbir Kapoor in the lead role is a 'biopic' of the controversial yet admired film star Sanjay Dutt. The film explores the early days of his film career, his drug-addiction phase and his involvement in the 1993 Bombay bombings.

The film opens up with the Supreme Court of India announcing that Sanju (Ranbir Kapoor) should, in fact, serve his notice in jail and offers him 30 days to surrender so that he can complete his unfinished projects. Sanju then meets the admired biographer Winnie Diaz (Anushka Sharma) to pen his notorious life story and despite few issues, they decide to work together as Sanju starts his story remembering his time on the sets of his first film Rocky (1981).

Alright, let me start by saying this, this is not your traditional biopic where it encompasses the complete story of Sanjay Dutt, they're many uncharted territories that you expect answers from, but Rajkumar Hirani focuses more on the moments which made or destroyed Dutt's career. The timeline is almost non-existent in the film, we jump from incidents out of the 80's to the 90's and to the 2000's and I felt like large chunks of details were left unexplained.  I understand that the makers cannot cram everything into the two-hour-forty-minute runtime but I found myself out-of-the-loop trying to piece together the plot regularly. Moreover, few scenes in between these timelines were almost hard to believe. Maybe the man truly had such an outlandish lifestyle or maybe it's fictionalized, we never know.

The first half focuses on the early stages of Dutt's career from the 80's and more on his reckless and slapdash attitude and how he's not able to focus on his career, family, and life. But, I might be in the minority for saying that I didn't like the approach that the writers took to infuse comedy into serious moments. Like, he obviously did some awful stuff, but the way it was told or portrayed was a bit nonsensical.

But, one of the main aspects that shines the most throughout the movie was the relationship that Dutt had with his father Sunil Dutt and his dear friend Kamlesh. They're extremely emotional, genuine and made the film feel very special. The concern that these guys showed towards Dutt at the darkest times of his life was well showcased and made the lead character look endearing.

Advancing to the performances, Ranbir Kapoor is in top-form here and he transformed himself into Sanjay Dutt when it comes to the physical transformation, facial expressions, voice, mannerisms and I didn't feel even for a second that I was watching Ranbir Kapoor on-screen. But, Vicky Kaushal as Dutt's friend Kamlesh is the show-stealer here and made his character delightful to watch. The Gujarati accent, innocence, and the earnest gratitude that he had for his best friend was heartwarming and Kaushal made sure to knock it out-of-the-park in every single scene. Other notable performances include Paresh Rawal as the loving father and Anushka Sharma as the no-nonsense biographer, both their characters had equal importance in the movie with much significance.

Overall, Sanju felt less like a biographical drama and more of a story that Dutt wanted to tell the audience through his point of view. Disgraced by negligent journalism, Dutt answers most of the significant questions about his drug use, involvement with the terrorists and his asinine behavior but I felt like many phases of his life are still left unexplored. But then again, the performances were top-notch and the relationships between the focal characters were remarkably displayed which makes Sanju an engaging film from beginning to end.

My Rating - 3/5 | Grade - B (Worth a Watch!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)
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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)
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Raazi - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "Alia Bhatt Steals the Show in n Engaging Thriller!"

Directed by Meghna Gulzar and starring Alia Bhatt in the lead role, Raazi is a spy-thriller and is one of my most anticipated movies of this Summer. The storyline of the film follows a 20-year-old college-going girl, Sehmat (Alia Bhatt) who is tutored and altered into an Indian Spy and is consigned to investigate a Pakistani Army family at the time of the Indo-Pakistani War in 1971. Sehmat marries the youngest son in the family, Iqbal (Vicky Kaushal) and moves to Pakistan to carry forward her precarious mission.

Let's start with the performances, Alia Bhatt is a promising actress, her stellar performances in Highway and Dear Zindagi proved that she is one of the top-tier talents in Bollywood as she continues to impress me in every one of her films. Raazi is no exception, she carried the entire film on her shoulders especially in the emotional scenes and made me believe and feel for her character. Vicky Kaushal is also another standout, his innocent character is unlike I've seen him perform in his past movies and he delivers.

That brings me to the characters in the film, which I should say were well-written. I always champion for well-rounded characters in every film and Bhavani Iyer and Meghna Gulzar did a terrific job by building and giving the characters time to breathe as they're memorable and noteworthy throughout the film. Also, Meghna Gulzar, who directed one of my favorite films of 2015, Talvar, did a tremendous job in keeping the movie interesting and engaging until the end similar to her work in her previous film.

Continuing ahead with the negatives, as I stated earlier, the screenplay was written very well, but, the storyline was thin and felt less impactful. This film is more about the character of Sehmat and her journey with respect to how she reacted and responded in these treacherous situations and less about the actual plot. Therefore, at times, I felt that I needed more from the ongoing storyline which is partially neglected.

Overall, Raazi is an engaging thriller and an excellent display of one of the unsung heroes of the Indo-Pakistan War, Sehmat. It certainly had few issues, but, I had an enthralling experience watching the film and Alia Bhatt steals the show as usual.

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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Raman Raghav 2.0 - Movie Review

Verdict - "A contemporary dark thriller that didn't match up to it's expectations."

Directed by Anurag Kashyap, Raman Raghav 2.0 is a fictional story inspired by a serial killer named Raghav who killed over 40 people back in the 1960's. But as the opening credit clearly mentions, this movie is not about him. It's about a psychotic killer Ramanna (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who leisurely strolls in the slums of Mumbai killing people for apparently no proper reason. As the storyline starts to develop he explains how he's fascinated by the infamous 60's killer Raghav and calls himself as a modern-day version of Raghav.

On the other side, the film also explores the life of a brash audacious police officer named Raghavan (Vicky Kaushal) who snorts coke and smokes cigarettes to balance his mental state and finds himself locked up in a bad situation from time to time. As the deputy in charge to take responsibility for Raman's murders, the storyline progresses into a cat and mouse game and eventually concludes with the two confronting each other who are together referred as soul mates.
Following a contemporary filmmaking style, the structural narration by Kashyap that branched the storyline into eight chapters excluding a prologue was splendidly handled for the most part. The two lead characters were nicely narrated in the course of 127 minutes and their motivations were clearly established. But the inconsistent pacing made the film a little dreary and the faulty editing ultimately made the film look ineffective unlike Kashyap's other films namely Wasseypur and Ugly.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui who portrays the character of a maniac killer was at his best the entire time. His dark comedic one-liners, direful gestures and his eerie appearance with a big scar on his forehead made him look genuinely terrifying for the viewer as it repelled me personally every time he's on-screen killing someone.

Vicky Kaushal, although he didn't quite match the brilliance of his co-star, was decent in his reckless police avatar for the most part. But the eccentricity added to his character made the film look much more somber that fits the genre and vibe appropriately.

Nevertheless, even though it didn't quite stand out as a unique distinctive thriller, Raman Raghav 2.0 is still partly entertaining with its dark wit, peculiar vibe, and an astounding performance by Nawazuddin Siddiqui who is easily one of the best actors working in Bollywood now. 

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

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