Gripping pace, gritty visuals and graded background score. All this unveiling the stories of two men in parallel timelines, intertwined in the undercurrents of Mumbai’s dark corners.
The opening scene is a disclaimer of the brazen recital that is to follow. The first few minutes set the premise for the best use of a censor free medium. You now know this is for the brave-hearted content hungry audience all set to binge.
The last time we saw Ranbir Kapoor (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil) he was still in his never-ending phase of playing Man-child roles and lip-synching heartbreak songs that top lists. His talent remains unquestionable despite his choices. So when Rajkumar Hirani announced a biopic of his most favourite actor with RK, it was the best of both worlds. The first look of Sanju had the fans, critics, and media going berserk with praises.
The three men of Sanju are outstanding – Ranbir Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal and Paresh Rawal. If it was called a father-son drama or a friendship story, it would be fine. But here’s what has led to my disappointment.
For all Madhuri fans, we need no review, the trailer had us excited enough to head straight to the theatres. For others, here is some reassurance, Madhuri’s comeback and Marathi debut is apt. Warm, feel good, a family drama with enough doses of that charming smile.
The coming together of Alia Bhatt and Karan Johar is hardly ever short of melodrama. Place this in a patriotic Indo-Pak spy story and you can certainly expect Bollywood bravado. But despite all the temptations of jingoism, Raazi remains subtle and heartfelt, all thanks to the sensibilities of Director Meghna Gulzar.
Naked feet tiptoeing on a path covered in the sand through deserted supermarkets and forests. ‘A quiet place’ is literal in all sense and builds on the relationship between sound and survival.
The setup is eerie. A family of five left in a world absent of other human survivors. The pretext might seem like old story new package, but what follows is aberrant.
Set in the times where income tax evaders were popular for stashing cash and gold in the most frugal but innovative ways, RAID is based on the true event of one such longest running incident against a powerful businessman of Lucknow. Continue reading
The opening frame has Sanjay Chaturvedi (Vicky Kaushal) standing on top of his modest railway quarter terrace, as a portrait of a fairly ambitious millennial, visualising his superpowers through a middle-class lens. This frame to start with is a beautiful balance of dreams and absurd pursuits of reality that are to follow.
The story begins with a promise to embrace reality. Sanjay is a Software Engineer in a bank, Karina D’Souza (Angira Dhar) works in the loan department of the same bank. Both belong to middle-class backgrounds, fighting the day-to-day drudgery of space restrictions in Mumbai.
They both come from culturally opposite households. One from a ramshackle Christian house, in which plaster keeps falling precisely on top of someone’s head, while rest of the place is kept looking like a nice pastel backdrop. The other from a box like a conglomerate of kitchen, hall and bedroom where new guests take over an inmate’s bed every other day. The narrative is filled with plenty of believable characters, peppered with honest quirks keeping the first half’s charm top notch.
In the second half, the Director chooses to hold up the Bollywood wand turn every aspiration into reality in the blink of an eye. This removing of struggle from a Mumbaikar’s life is where the story starts to lose its spell. The realization of dreams moves very fast without the pace in the narrative as such. The shift of focus from ‘square foot’ to ‘love’ is also sudden and misses to maintain the momentum of the first half. There is no gradual love, but there are instances of rickshaw and local train romance that attempt to compensate for the lack of reality. Owing to the talented actors, the chemistry comes naturally despite lack of any build up. Vicky Kaushal and Angira Dhar make for a delightful pair, keeping us interested in their lives, despite the forced Mumbai-ness.
What works brilliantly though, is the stellar cast. Pathak sisters together are a riot to watch. Ratna Pathak as Mrs. Blossom is so effortlessly accurate with her Bandra-Christian lingo. ‘Kanpuriya’ Supriya Pathak and Raghubir Yadav light up the screen with their innocent middle-class act. They are all stubborn yet forward-looking and accommodating like most Mumbai parents. These three together and little moments of joy are half the reason for Love per Square foot’s magic!
Undoubtedly it is some refreshing writing and overall a likeable watch. Only if it’s heart would have stayed in the non-Bollywood Mumbai, the emotions could have soared higher.
In the era of Netflix and binge-watching, we have many a web series and short films on all possible ‘taboo’ subjects (including periods) that commercial cinema still shies away from. Hence the spirit and intent of Padman are worthy of applaud. Of course, you need a powerful star to bring this subject forth and a ton of marketing gimmicks to justify the empowerment and liberation part of the message. But sadly that alone cannot guarantee a good cinematic experience. Continue reading
Starting with some two screen full of disclaimers, the pretext commotion to the melodrama that is about to begin is exponentially higher than what the actual 3 hours of cinematic extravaganza will offer you. Despite that, here is an unpoliticized looking at Padmaavat in a way we hope it was meant.