Stories about Film review

The Assassin: Tedious and allows your mind to drift away

The Assassin is the acclaimed Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s latest film which takes places in eighth century China. Shu Qi plays the role of a deadly assassin whose next mission is to eliminate a local ruler who somehow has connections to her mysterious past. Hou Hsiao-Hsien won the Cannes Best Director Prize last year and has made quite interesting character studies in his previous films like The Puppetmaster (1993), but honestly, this film is actually a bit of a conundrum to review and leaves me stranded on the fence. Even though the shot composition and costume design is beautiful and is ...

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The Force is sound asleep (and snoring too!)

Every now and then I am asked to critique a movie and I am happy to oblige. Because good, bad or average, these films that I am asked to evaluate are nonetheless cinema. However when I was asked to review a Disney merchandise advertisement masquerading as a cinematic endeavour, I was a little perplexed. My first instinct was to politely refuse, considering I wasn’t being paid by Disney to write hack reviews. I mean, how else could you justify all the rave reviews that this seventh episode of the Star Wars franchise is garnering? Let’s get this clear right from the ...

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Badlapur: A perfectly twisted revenge saga

What happens when a ‘conventional chocolate boy’ opts for an unconventionally intense and complicated role, contradicting his previous comical high school performances? What makes a filmmaker choose such an actor for a main lead in his movie? How good can revenge sagas be? Well, Badlapur will answer all these questions for you. Varun Dhawan, for the very first time, is seen in a role different from his usual ‘cutesy’ avatar. His performance has been surprising, to say the least. Along with him, we come across Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who, after Kick, has managed to score another meaty role with more screen presence this time. [caption id="" align="alignnone" ...

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Fifty Shades of (messed up) Grey

Never before have character names from a book become even more accurate in a film adaptation until now. The sky in his world is grey, the ties are grey, his surname is the epitome of Grey and Jamie Dornan’s rendering of the multimillionaire Christian Grey is sadly greyer than dull dish water. Based on the ubiquitous global phenomenon that has caused many a curiosity impaired reader of the first book to say how badly written it is and yet bizarrely proceed to read the other two books in EL James’ erotic romance trilogy, this first film, Fifty Shades of Grey follows very normal Anastasia Steele (Dakota ...

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Shamitabh: You either love it or hate it – nothing in between

In Bollywood, it’s hard to find movies where the protagonist is speech-impaired; only a few movies come to mind of such sort, including Koshish, Khamoshi and Iqbal. R Balki’s Shamitabh revolves around the story of a speech-impaired boy, named Daanish, and his struggles to realise his dreams. His strong desire to become an actor takes him to Mumbai and once there, he starts his journey to become the “future king” of Bollywood. But his progress is slow and the journey is quite perilous; after all, who would sign a film with a mute actor in a lead role? After seeing his struggles, the audience is then introduced ...

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American Sniper: Another Hurt Locker?

American Sniper is a biopic action-drama picture directed by, the accomplished spaghetti western cowboy hero turned director, Clint Eastwood. It is inspired from the autobiography and real life memoirs of Chris Kyle  titled, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in US Military History. On the celluloid format of the cinema, Bradley Copper plays the protagonist and puts himself in the shoes of the larger-than-life persona of Kyle and does full justice to his role in the process. Photo: IMDb To the uninitiated and those lacking insight into who Kyle was, he was considered as one of the most lethal ...

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Govinda giving us a ‘Happy Ending’

Saif Ali Khan’s re-entry was a success back in the early 2000s. The hero who had fallen flat in the 90s was seen in a completely new light in movies like Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, Dil Chahta Hai, Hum Tum, Salam Namaste, Kal Ho Na Ho, Race and Love Aaj Kal etcetera. And in movies like Omkara and the likes, he overshadowed anyone else who may have been in the film with him.  Unfortunately, nowadays I feel Saif Ali Khan’s performance is a bleak reminder of the hero he was in the 90s – none of the movies he is doing have any nostalgic value or cinematic value nor ...

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Nightcrawler: How far would you go to make the headlines?

Nightcrawler follows one man’s quest to claw his way up the career ladder, from a life of petty crime to the world of ‘nightcrawling’, a blood sport where stringers capture footage of graphic crime scenes, their motto – “if it bleeds, it leads” – to sell on to news channels. It is in this insalubrious world, bolstered by the media’s thirst for ratings, Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) excels, scheming his way to success. Positioned from the start in an unorthodox situation with this anti-hero, it is precisely because we are seeing the story unfold from Bloom’s eyes that we can suspend ...

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Even Govinda couldn’t save ‘Kill Dil’

Kill Dil was amongst the most anticipated movies of 2014, due to numerous reasons like Ali Zafar’s first hardcore masala entertainment, Govinda’s villainous re-entry and Ranveer Singh’s flamboyant character. So, what does Yash Raj’s banner offer this time to its audience? Let’s explore! Kill Dil is about two orphans – Dev (Ranveer) and Tutu (Ali), who get noticed by a local hoodlum, Bhaiyya Jee (Govinda) while crossing a ‘kachre ka dabba’. Bhaiyya takes them in and provides the orphans with shelter. As they grow up, he nurtures them to be his special and most trustworthy assassins. Everything is mundane when until one ...

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Hell hath no ‘Fury’ like the Germans scorned!

Fury is a quintessential war movie that yet again reminds us of what horrors men are capable of when they wage war. It portrays and reveals the story of a lonely tank squad from the US army’s 66th armoured regiment, the second armoured division during the finishing days of the Second World War, and how they struggle to survive and endure in the face of un-seemingly terrible odds, behind enemy lines, in Nazi Germany. Starring in the lead role, as the central protagonist, is Brad Pitt who dons the character of a US sergeant Don ‘War Daddy’ Collier. He is a battle-hardened veteran who has experienced ...

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