Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Movie Review

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Movie: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them                           Release Year: 2016

Country: U.S.A                                                                                 Language: English

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review:

After the series of Harry Potter Movies that lasted for a decade (2001-2011), we are blessed with another fantasy movie series by David Yates (He directed last 5 movies of Harry Potter series). The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is by no means a sequel or prequel of the legendary Harry Potter movies. It is just an extension of the magic world that we saw in Harry Potter. If the Harry Potter was set in England, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set in U.S.A, at least its first part is. We are being told that there will be 4 more movies following this one in coming future. The series will last almost a decade.

There are new characters, new magic practices, unknown threats, and lots of twists and turns in this new series. Although, it is also worth noting that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has connections to the Harry Potter series. For a detailed account you can read this article on IMDB.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Story:

So, here we start with the story of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film is set in mid-1920s in New York, U.S.A. At the very start of it we come to know that the wizard world exists outside England too (pun intended). Movie starts on a note where a certain dangerous person named Gellert Grindelwald escapes that makes the whole wizard world fearful of his further actions. The city of New York is attacked by some beast and people are scared for lives.

On the other side, a wizard named Newt arrives in New York with a luggage full of “beasts that are beyond anyone’s understanding” and who are mainly perceived as dangerous by the people. Newt  Scamander meets a “No-Maj” (American version for Muggle) named (Mr. Kowalski) in the bank when one of his animals escapes from the luggage and he is seen by  Porpentina ‘Tina’ Goldstein (An Investigator and former AUROR from Magical Congress of the United States of America, MACUSA). She takes Newt Scamander, No-Maj to the President of the association. The president amidst her important meeting asks Tina to leave and never be seen in the office again as she is relieved of her duties.

The situation intensifies when Newt finds out that his luggage is been exchanged with Kowalski’s luggage. He finds out that Kowalski has opened the luggage and the beasts are on the run wreaking havoc in the city.  Tina agrees to give him and Kowalski shelter in her house and find the animals. At Tina’s house we are introduced to a new character called as Queenie Goldstein (Tina’s sister) who develops a romantic feeling for Jacob and posses the skill of  Legilimency (reading others minds).

From here, Newt takes Kowalski to the world of Fantastic Beasts where he tells him that contrary to the popular belief, actually none of these animals are dangerous. We came to see so many different varieties of species here and we also get to know about “obscurus” and “obscurial” (I am not revealing much about it as this will be spoilsport for you guys, go and see it yourself).

We are also introduced to a woman named Mary Lou, a No-Maj who is educating people against the threats of wizards and witches. She has many adopted children. She is cruel towards them specially, the one named Credence. It turns out that Credence is working for Percival Graves (An Auror and Investigator) interested in a child whom he thinks as “obscurial”.

Towards the climax we are shocked to learn that Credence is an Obscurial (None of the Obscurial recorded have survived beyond the age of 10, but Credence has and also have the ability to control it (the obscurus)). Credence takes out his anger by destroying the city, but is confronted by Graves. Later, Newt and Tina too tries to calm him down.

The secret world of wizardry is exposed to humans. Madam President decides to do the cover up as much as she can. The aurors alongside Madam President come to the point and kill Credence (at least it seems that he is killed). Graves opposes them and is exposed by Newt. It turns out that he is actually Grindelwald. He is immediately taken into custody. Grindelwald threatens Newt that gives us a clear idea of what coming parts of this series have in store for us.

Newt Scamander leaves New York not before saying to Tina to meet her again soon and leaving a bag full of silver eggs for Kowalski, who is obliviated along with the whole city of New York (by a bird of Newt).  

Why to watch Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?

  • Brilliant direction and great visual effects.
  • The perfect recipe for fantasy and adventure
  • Eddie Redmayne has once again steal the show with his performance. Having said that the performances of others too are brilliant in this film.
  • You will learn new magical terms, spells and curses.
  • Surprisingly it has no child lead actors and yet adults as well as children will love Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
  • Even if you are born in post-Harry Potter era or you were too young in that era there’s nothing to stop you from enjoying this magical journey.

My Verdict & Rating:

There’s only one thing that can be said for this movie and that is 10 out of 10. So, get the tickets at the earliest and enjoy this fanciful and vivid movie.

Shaun of the Dead Review – Just Not Engaging Enough!

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Movie: Shaun of the Dead

Director: Edgar Wright

Release Year: 2004

Country: Great Britain (UK)                                       

Language: English

Genre: Comedy, Horror

Shaun of the Dead Review:

After reading so much about the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, I decided to watch it with Shaun of the Dead (the first movie of the trilogy). Contrary to its world-wide success and my expectation this turned out to be an utterly boring movie. In my review of Zombieland, I have mentioned the fact that I am not a guy who is into vampire/zombie movies. But as Shaun of the Dead has Simon Pegg in it I was kind of enticed to see it.

Storyline

Simon Pegg Shaun of The Dead
Even Simon Pegg Couldn’t Save Shaun of The Dead

Now coming to the storyline and other aspects of the movie. All I can is, it is not at all an engaging movie. The direction is quite good, special effects are great as they need to be in a zombie movie. Music was a little dull to my liking, but certainly not bad at all. The acting is actually commendable by all the actors. In fact, for me Nick Frost looked way better than Simon Pegg in Shaun of the Dead.

The most unimpressive part was the plot itself. Shaun is a guy in late 20s. He has a girlfriend and live with his friends in an apartment. His problem is his ‘’dull and low life’’. He is not at all happy with his profession of a salesman in an electronic shop. He actually ends up breaking with his girlfriend. She accuses him of being unsporty and being a loser. However , things change for Shaun when the city is plagued by a virus that is turning people into ‘flesh eating’ zombies.

The plot revolves around the story of how Shaun tries to help his family and girlfriend escape from zombies. Eventually, getting his girlfriend back.

MY VERDICT AND RATING:

Well , with all the leniency in my heart. I could only give 5/10 to Shaun of the Dead. You guys must be cursing me after seeing that this movie has some great reviews and ratings on Google. But , as I always say some movies are difficult to judge from their ratings. Shaun of the Dead is one such film. In my view, please avoid this one from the “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy”.

Doctor Strange Movie Review – Discovering the unexplored dimensions of this Multiverse…!

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Movie: Doctor Strange                                            Release Year: 2016

Country: U.S.A                                                       Language: English

Genre: Adventure, Action, Fantasy

Movie Review “Doctor Strange”-2016:

Directed by Scott Derrickson, Doctor Strange is a 2016 Hollywood film based on the famous comic character of 1960s-70s. The film has an impressive cast that includes:

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange (The main protagonist)

Rachel McAdams as Dr. Christine Palmer

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo (Dr. Strange’s Partner and Teacher)

Benedict Wong as Wong

Tilda Swinton as (The Ancient One, Sorcerer Supreme Protecting the earth from other world’s harms)

Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius (Main Villain former disciple of The Ancient One)

Michael Giacchino has given the music and Ben Davis is the cinematographer of Doctor Strange. The film deserves all the accolades for the use of latest technology. You will get the best experience of it watching at IMAX. Although, I watched in normal 3D and really enjoyed it. The editing is awesome and all the fighting and chasing sequences are just a treat to you eyes. The opening scene sets the tone for what you will get to see in the next two hours. It is one of the best scenes of the film.

The background score is just perfect what we expect in a superhero movie. One goes to see a fantasy film to get entertained and Doctor Strange offers plenty of it. With Benedict Cumberbatch there is a subtle humor in it too that makes us laugh promptly.

Coming to acting as you can expect with seasoned actors in the movie Doctor Strange has quality acting. The roles are very defined for each character. I loved Benedict and Tilda, the most among all. These two British actors have proven once again why they are as good as anyone in the industry. Rachel at 37, is still as cute and charming as she was a decade ago. Mads Mikkelsen too has done a good job, so as Chiwetel Ejiofor with his great dialogues. And last, but not the least Dr. Strange’s “Cloak of Levitation” adds more charm to his personality.

Storyline:

Dr. Stephen Strange is a world-famous Neurosurgeon, he is a good man who loves living a king size life, but is full of arrogance and proud. He meets an accident that makes his hand “kind of paralyzed”. Despite, all the treatments he is unable to recover fully. Then, he came to know about a man who recovered from a serious (incurable) spinal cord history. His searches for him and asks his secret.

This leads him to Kamar-Ta in Kathmandu, Nepal. There he meets Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who leads him to Tilda Swinton (The Ancient One). Here, Doctor Strange discovers secrets and powers that he was unaware of or he never believed in. Being a bright student he learns quickly and more than he was supposed to. Al this makes him inevitably to become a part of an age-old war between Dormammu (The Dark Lord/Dark Dimension) and the saviors of earth.  With Kaecilius, in possession of something that can destroy earth Doctor Strange has little time to prevent it.

Will he save the Earth? Or His arrogance and rationality don’t allow him to do it? Watch it guys.. You will love it.

My Verdict & Rating:

There’s hardly anything bad or not so good about Doctor Strange, so it gets a 9/10 from me. It is a movie that all fantasy movie lovers of all age would love thoroughly. A must watch, if you haven’t watched it yet. A piece of advice, “don’t leave your seats till the end credits are finished”…!

Movie Review – “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”

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Movie: Ae Dil Hai Mushkil                                    Release Year: 2016

Country: India (Bollywood)                                   Language: Urdu & Hindi (Main), English (Few Dialogues)

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016) – Review

Karan Johar said in an interview that “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” is not a typical love story or a love triangle. Yes, he was absolutely true to his words, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is a movie that transcends the boundaries of a typical love story that we (Hindi Audience) is accustomed of seeing.

Set in some of the Europe’s exotic cities, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is the story of Ayan Sengar (Ranbir Kapoor) & Alizeh Khan (Anushka Sharma). Aishawarya Rai is there in supporting role while Fawad Khan, Lisa Haydon and Imran Abbas Naqvi plays cameo. Screenplay is good, but plot is a bit confused. Being a movie based on Romance there’s hardly any romance in the film except for some passionate kissing scenes (not something that we are accustomed of seeing in Hindi movies).

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s biggest success is its music, composed by Pritam this is without doubt this year’s best album in Bollywood so far. Songs like Bulleya, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Channa Mereya hits you hard and you can feel them inside your heart.

Storyline:

Ayan is seeing giving an interview, he is a rich guy who wants to become a singer and is doing MBA, because of his dad’s wish. One night he meets Alizeh in a club, they become friends and eventually plans to travel to Paris together for a vacation. After, Ayan’s breakup with his girlfriend Lisa.

Alizeh tells Ayan that she loved a boy named Ali in Lucknow. But, now wants to move on with her life after he left her. Everything changes when she sees Ali in a Paris disco. Ali convinces her and they get married leaving Ayan alone, who by this time is in love with Alizeh.

Ayan, then meets Saba (a poetess who is happily divorced). They start a live in relationship which breaks because Ayan couldn’t get over the thoughts of Alizeh. But, he becomes a famous singer because of Saba’s poetry that he uses in his song’s.

Finally, he gets to meet Ali who tells him that 2 years back he and Alizeh broke up and she left him. Ayan tries to find Alizeh and when she meets him he is distorted to know that she is suffering from last stage cancer. The film ends as Ayan completes his interview to a journalist. We can only guess that his love was “unrequited one”….

My Verdict & Rating:

I gave Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, 7/10. The film is good but not engaging enough. There are times when you feel Karan has unnecessarily stretched it. 150 minutes is way too long for this movie. One thing that I feel is that normal people will find it hard to connect with this film. As the film depicts the love that is still a part of elite class’s lifestyle in India. The real life love in our part of the world is way too different from this one. But, the movie is definitely worth giving a try. Ranbir Kapoor has overshadowed everyone with his great performance. Anushka is as effervescent as she is and does a nice job here too. Aishwarya Rai is looking good and makes an impact in the second half of the film.