Movies en Fri Jul 22 13:15:30 IST 2022 vikram-vedha-review-hrithik-roshan-saif-ali-khan-are-in-top-form-in-this-hindi-remake <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>A remake of a 2017 Tamil movie,&nbsp;<i>Vikram Vedha</i>&nbsp;is an intriguing tale of a cop hunting for an evasive gangster. Vikram (Saif Ali Khan) is hell-bent on bringing Vedha (Hrithik Roshan) to justice. However, Vedha has other plans—he surrenders. Vikram is in for a rude shock when he learns that his wife Priya (Radhika Apte) is defending Vedha and has applied for his bail.</p> <p>Directed by Pushkar–Gayathri,&nbsp;<i>Vikram Vedha&nbsp;</i>will draw you in if you are a fan of action thrillers. Much like the Tamil version,&nbsp;<i>Vikram Vedha</i>&nbsp;background music is superb and the movie has plenty of gripping moments.&nbsp;</p> <p>Hrithik Roshan does a neat job portraying Vedha. While comparisons between the performance of Vijay Sethupathi and Roshan are inevitable, the latter manages to bring his own charisma to this <i>Vikram Vedha </i>Hindi remake.&nbsp;</p> <p>While there is plenty of action in&nbsp;<i>Vikram Vedha storyline,</i>&nbsp;it is also about the puzzles that Vedha presents during his interrogation. Vikram must answer these if he wants to elicit the answers that he wants from Vedha. It is a hard task and&nbsp;<i>Vikram&nbsp;</i>finds it increasingly difficult to fathom if Vedha is the villain that he is made out to be.</p> <p>Saif Ali Khan shines as the honest cop, tasked with bringing Vedha down. The repartee between Vikram and Vedha is fun to watch. While they may hate each other, they also share a strange friendship because they seem to understand each other.</p> <p>This <i>Vikram Vedha remake</i> is certainly an engaging watch, especially for the charisma its lead actors bring to the screen.</p> <p><b>Movie name: Vikram Vedha&nbsp;</b></p> <p><b>Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Radhika Apte&nbsp;</b></p> <p><b>Directed by: Pushkar-Gayathri</b></p> <p><b>Rating: 4/5</b></p> Fri Sep 30 17:59:41 IST 2022 palace-intrigue-and-the-power-struggle <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan has finally hit the screens with much fanfare. Mani Ratnam’s dream film PS 1 has given a royal treatment encapsulating every emotion — friendship, love, romance, valour, conspiracy and treachery— that brought down the Chola dynasty.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sundara Chozhan’s health is failing thus necessitating the need for a new king to the throne. He decides to crown his elder son Aditha Karikalan, while his daughter Kundavai feels her younger brother and Sundara Chozhan’s second son Arunmozhi Varman will be the best to be the king. But Sundara Chozhan’s nephew, Mathuranthaka Chozhan (played by Rahman) comes in the race backed by the empire’s finance minister Pazhuvettarayar. What happens and who wins the throne is the story.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The movie opens with a comet appearing in the sky and Kamal Hassan’s stern voice says it’s a bringer of bad omen and demands the blood of a king. The film then moves to Aditha Karikalan, played by Vikram and Valavarayan Vanthiyathevan, played by Karthi, waging a war near the banks of the Veeranarayanapuram lake. As they emerge victorious Karikalan sends Vanthiyathevan as a messenger to find out what happens at Kadambur Sambuvarayar palace, based on a tip-off. He also asks Vanthiyathevan, his friend to meet his father Sundara Chozha (played by Prakash Raj) in Thanjavur and also his younger sister Kundavai Devi (played by Trisha Krishnan) at Pazhaiyarai near Thanjavur. On the way, he meets senior Pazhuvettarayar (played by Sarathkumar), his wife the most beautiful Nandhini (played by Aishwarya Rai), his brother, junior Pazhuvettarayar (played by Parthiban) and later Ponniyin Selvan (played by Jayam Ravi).&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mani Ratnam has taken up a huge responsibility on his shoulders— a story which MGR, Shivaji Ganesan, Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan and many others wanted to bring on screen. No wonder, he got in a wonderful casting who have given their best. The ace director has adapted the novel completely. Like Kalki, Mani Ratnam too had told the story through Vanthiyathevan, the places he visits, the people he meets and unravels the plot slowly capturing the first three parts of the book in PS 1.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While Kalki would have taken most of the chapters explaining the characters and their looks, it came easy for the director. VFX stands out and Mani Ratnam doesn’t make it an usual period film like SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali. Ravi Varman’s cinematography caught the palace intrigues and politics etched with high sea climax, perfectly. The director hasn't delivered as expected and the emotions in Kalki’s book are lost. In scenes like the face-off between Kundavai and Nandhini, there are neither fiery dialogues nor power emotions running through the eyes. In one sequence when Vikram sparks a noisy brawl about betrayal, treachery and his love for Nandhini, the scenes remind the audience of the director’s own film Ravanan. Of course in PS1, it reminisces of the past and his love for Nandhini. Vikram, more than the warrior prince-in-waiting could only be seen as a man filled with anger and mistrust.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The interest in watching gets lost in scenes without Karthi. In the book too, Vanthiyathevan would move the story forward and Kalki would have narrated the story with his travel. Karthi like in the book keeps the film lively with his performance, while Jayam Ravi and Vikram could have put in more effort to deliver. And Aishwarya Rai is a revelation, while Trisha is awesome with her Tamil pronunciations. But again several other characters like the boat rider Poongizhali, played by Aishwarya Lekshmi and Azhwarkkadiyan (played by Jayaram) might not get into the minds of the audience who haven’t read the book. It feels like too many characters are cramped into just 170 minutes and it struggles to introduce each character, for lack of time. For instance, the introduction of Junior Pazhuvettarayar and the killing of Veerapandiyan by Aditha Karikalan gets lost</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While the film travels to Sri Lanka, then Eelam, brings in the Buddhist monks, King Mahinda and a bit of Sinhala, the Tiger flag of the Cholas doesn’t fly high. Dialogues of the Meenkodi or the flags of the Pandya kings are heard, but not even a single word about the Tiger flag. Again, the dialogues don’t sound well as it gets lost between classical Tamil and colloquial Tamil.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>PS 1, for those who haven’t read Kalki’s book, will be classy and engrossing. But for the book lovers, of course, Mani Ratnam is no Kalki and the film runs just for 170 minutes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Stars:</b> 2.5/5</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Cast and crew: </b>Karthi, Vikram, Jayam Ravi, Vikram, Sarathkumar, Trisha Krishnan, Aishwarya Rai and others</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Director:</b> Mani Ratnam</p> <p><b>Cinematographer:</b> Ravi Varman</p> <p><b>Music:</b> AR Rahman<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri Sep 30 15:13:20 IST 2022 hush-hush-review-this-amazon-prime-series-lacks-depth-and-nuance <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>There is something very exciting about stories centred around the intertwined lives of strong and financially independent women friends—especially in urbane, corporate setups—who stand up for one another, have each other's back, bitch, binge, and navigate personal and professional loops together.</p> <p>In that context,&nbsp;<i>Hush Hush</i>&nbsp;on Amazon Prime is a winner. In its very first episode, as we are introduced to the “hot, happening and highly eventful” lives of four well heeled women based in Gurugram, the viewers may be reminded of the narratives around equally well-placed women in&nbsp;<i>Four More Shots&nbsp;</i>or that of the luxe lives of four women in&nbsp;<i>Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives</i>&nbsp;or the foursome in&nbsp;<i>Big Little Lies</i>&nbsp;on HBO. The first three episodes of&nbsp;<i>Hush Hush</i>&nbsp;draw you in; there is a thrill in following the complicated, grey lives of these women who stand united in keeping a secret even as they are weighed down by the expectations they have from each other. From the fourth episode, the narrative shifts, gets stretchy, predictable and turns into a laborious watch.&nbsp;</p> <p>Juhi Chawla's Ishi is a PR professional and a power broker, Soha Ali Khan as Saiba is a former journalist who gives up her job to start a family, Kritika Kamra's Dolly is married to an infertile man in a Punjabi household where she is under pressure to provide an heir, Shahana Goswami as Zaira, is a fashion designer who is straddling between her love life and work life. The performances are all above par but the script lacks the 'masala' essential to grip the viewer. We want to know what happens as the women go about negotiating relationships and professional commitments and in between all that, how they guard closely kept secret, but what we actually get is a vanity and melodrama filled storyline that fails to keep us hooked.&nbsp;</p> <p>Co-directed by Tanuja Chandra, Kopal Naithani and Ashish Pandey,&nbsp;Hush Hush&nbsp;runs at a slow pace and the dialogues by Juhi Chaturvedi, tickle neither the mind nor the bone. The investigation, headed by a feisty female cop, Geeta (Karishma Tanna) starts out well, but wavers and even digresses from the plot several times.&nbsp;</p> <p><i>Hush Hush</i>&nbsp;has everything one could expect in a women-centric potboiler: there is a reference to trafficking, shelter home, love and romance, infidelity and the familial relationship saga. However, the screenplay feels slow and boorish. When a heartbroken Ishi and Zaira handle the disposing off of a dead body in the stillness of the night, one sees sisterhood and professional camaraderie. But we would also have liked to see from where these women hail, what leads to their mental and emotional turmoil and what justifies the positions they hold. Sadly, the narrative skips all of this. No backgrounders are attached to the stories of the leading ladies, all of who have given powerful performances and done justice to their experience and expertise. If only the script was a winner.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Hush Hush cast: Juhi Chawla, Shahana Goswami, Kritika Kamra, Soha Ali Khan, Karishma Tanna, Vibha Chibber</b></p> <p><b>Hush Hush directors: Tanuja Chandra, Kopal Naithani and Ashish Pandey</b></p> <p><b>Rating: 2/5</b></p> Tue Sep 27 17:53:04 IST 2022 chup-review-an-unconvincing-serial-killer-thriller <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Barely a few days before the release of his film, <i>Chup: Revenge of the Artist</i>, director R. Balki said in an <a title="Film critics must stop playing gods, says director R Balki" href="">interview to THE WEEK</a> that way back in early 2000, a film critic wrote such a stinging review of his first film <i>Cheeni Kum</i>, that he stopped reading film reviews after that. He revealed that he was &quot;so affected&quot; that he &quot;wanted to get back at the writer in any way possible.&quot; During the promotions of <i>Chup</i>, <a title="I like 'Chup' because it is out of the box: Pooja Bhatt" href="">Pooja Bhatt</a>, who essays the role of a criminal psychologist in this crime thriller, referred to film critics as &quot;killers&quot; and &quot;criminals who lack sensitivity and at times, are ignorant and revengeful.&quot;</p> <p>After all these remarks, <i>Chup</i>, which a failed-film-director-turned-serial killer goes on a murder spree maiming film critics seems incredulous, revengeful, and vain. &quot;If the audience wants to be fooled, if they like to be fooled, who are you to come in between,&quot; asks a self-proclaimed vigilante of Hindi cinema, Danny (Dulquer Salmaan) before gruesomely killing a critic who accords a one star rating to a particular film.</p> <p>A mild-mannered and reticent florist from Mumbai's Christian neighbourhood of Bandra, Danny reads every single film review, gives it his own evaluation and imposes his taste on those who he targets. &quot;Just one star? Why? Can't you see anything of merit in this?,&quot; &quot;Oh! four stars, why? This is simply fake praise!&quot; and so goes the killer, executing his prey in a dramatic and bone-chilling manner.</p> <p>In comes a hardened police investigator Arvind Mathur (Sunny Deol) who must crack the 'star' case to save the stars on his own shoulders. He ends up taking the help of Danny's girlfriend Nila Menon (Shreya Dhanwantary), an entertainment journalist and aspiring film critic.</p> <p>Written by Balki with film reviewer Raja Sen and Rishi Virmani, <i>Chup</i> does an excellent job of holding the viewer's attention throughout without once digressing from the plot. It isn't languorous, stretchy or overly dramatic. The background scores are soothing, contemplative, and the production design is perfectly orchestrated to create a lilting feel. However, the storyline fails to move the viewer. It is just as if there's only gore and mayhem everywhere caused by a deranged man and a cat-and-mouse game that is going nowhere.</p> <p>The audience gets to indulge in Dulquer Salmaan's psychopathic Danny in the 135-minute <i>Chup</i> film duration. The actor is believable as the serial killer, but there is hardly any mystery as we are given enough clues to figure out who the murderer is. If that was the intention of the makers, they did succeed. However, neither the crime thriller aspect nor the romance between the lead couple (a lonesome flower seller and a young journalist) actually take roots. Both sub-plots juts keep dillydallying throughout the film, in parts even as the script fails to impress. The dialogues are impressive, humourous, and catchy but the there are too many silent frames. The folkloric visual compositions and timeless songs from Gurudutt's <i>Pyaasa</i> and <i>Kaagaz Ke Phool</i> are enchanting; some murders are staged with the haunting S.D. Burman-composed numbers playing on the background.</p> <p>No justification is offered for the why and the how of the killer's actions. His laborious past and the long-term impact it has had on him seem too unconvincing. In a way, <i>Chup</i> is a film which seems like an cinematic exercise undertaken by Bollywood which is intent on showing film critics their place. Shreya Dhanwanthary is as real as it gets. In the character of a film-loving journo who dares to put her life on the line to achieve her goal she is every bit likeable and nuanced. Dulquer Salmaan gives out an easy-going charm, but somehow fails to frighten us as a murderer, even as he carries the film on his shoulders.</p> <p>Movie: Chup: Revenge of the Artist</p> <p>Directed by: R. Balki</p> <p>Starring: Dulquer Salmaan, Shreya Dhanwantary, Pooja Bhatt, Sunny Deol</p> <p>Rating: 2/5</p> Fri Sep 23 21:01:55 IST 2022