Category Archives: Crime Movies

Aiyaary – Movie Review

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Movie:Aiyaary

Releasing Year: 2018

Director: Neeraj Pandey

Writer/Screenplay: Neeraj Pandey

Country of Origin: India

Running Time: 167 minutes

Language: Hindi

Genre: Crime, Drama, Action

 

Aiyaary Movie Review:

Aiyaary…means the art of deceiving which seems magical. The promos, however, did look promising and magical and being a fan of Neeraj Pandey’s direction, it pulled me to theater to watch it.

As the promos suggests, the movie is based on the Indian army where Siddharth Malhotra is playing the role of Jai Bakshi who is a part of special force (a secret force/division) that performs the coveted operations of the Indian army. He is led by Manoj Bajpayee aka Abhay Singh, the “Aiyaar” of the movie along with 5 other members. Jai Bakshi, while doing his job finds out some dirty secrets of the army and the insiders behind it. Analyzing what would happen to him, his team, army or the country for that matter if the conspiracy he found out about an arms and ammunition deal cracks down. So, he decides to handle it his own way which, in turn, makes him go rogue and projects him as a traitor. Manoj Bajpayee gets on a mission to stop Jai Bakshi, the brightest and his favorite member of the team and his girl friend Sonia (Rakul Preet Singh), the internet hacker, from getting successful in their mission.

Aiyaary Acting Performances:

Manoj Bajpayee has done total justice to his character with his flamboyant acting skills. He looks convincing in the role he plays and steals the show. Siddharth, however, nowhere looks like a soldier…just by wearing the uniform, one can not become or portray an army man. Aiyaary as a film has a brigade of fine actors like Kumud Mishra, Anupam Kher, Pooja Chopra, Naseeruddin Shah, and Adil Hussain, but none of them were given the roles that they could have nailed it. In fact, their appearances were so short and untactful that it made me disappointed. The plot was not easily understandable or intriguing. It was a confusing story. Dialogues and screenplay were very weak. The direction was very poor. The only reason I kept glued to the movie was because I was waiting that may be something interesting would happen. The scenes were too exaggerated and boring at times. The climax of the movie was totally abrupt. It left you with a feeling that the plot defeated the purpose it actually based on. Didn’t feel like it was a Neeraj Pandey movie…It felt so amateurish. All n all not worth spending time n money.

 

Reviewed By: Priyanka Bhateja Walia

Raid – Movie Review 2018

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Movie: Raid

Releasing Year: 2018

Director:  Raj Kumar Gupta

Writer/Screenplay:  Ritesh Shah

Country of Origin: India (Bollywood)

Language: Hindi (Standard Dialect)

Raid Movie Review 2018:

When two stalwarts come together, you get a power packed film. When the plot is original and based on real-life events, you get to watch realistic, off beat cinema. When it’s embellished with top quality performance from the entire supporting cast and crew, you get an award-winning film!!

Raid is a brilliant political thriller movie. The story is so gripping, the dialogues so crisp, the characters so real and the plot so interesting that you are on the edge until the end. It is a treat to watch Ajay Devgn and more so, Saurabh Shula. He is outstanding! Amma ji (played by Pushpa Joshi) is another character that’s really fun to watch.

Despite the intense story-line, Raid packs more than a few laughs, keeping the mood light and interesting-great work with the screenplay and dialogues here. There is hardly any loose end or stretch, so full points for the editing. The realistic sets have recreated early 1980s that add to the character of the film. The only thing that I would have changed are the 2 songs. I understand why they were included but feel that excluding them would have helped the film.

Overall a very entertaining and inspiring watch. I won’t be surprised if Raid movie wins a National Award. Also hats off to the real-life hero who conducted this raid in 1981. Love the movies based on actual events.

 

Reviewed By – Aparna Kunal Jain

She manages a Facebook Group called “The Movie Club“…!  Join it to connect with Cinema enthusiasts from around the world.

 

Image Source: GlamSham

Chungking Express – Movie Review

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Movie: Chungking Express

Original Title: Chung Hing sam lam

Releasing Year: 1994

Directors: Kar-Wai Wong

Writer/Screenplay: Kar-Wai-Wong

Country of Origin: Hong Kong (China)

Running Time: 102 minutes

Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, English, Japanese, Hindi

Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance

 

Chungking Express Movie Review

I had a mixed bunch of feelings after seeing this film. I had seen Wong Kar-wai’s In mood for love which is a visual stunner with a very impressive background score. Chungking Express is less about the story or content and more about the visual style of depiction blended with different music scores. The movie features a lot of 80s pop, romantic jazz (saxophone playing in a couple of scenes is awesome in creating a seductive feel), Bhangra, Indian classical. Also Fayes’s (Faye Wong) addiction to the song ‘California Dreams’ by Papas and mama’s and the Cantonese rendition of a popular song by ‘Cranberries’.

Chungking Express Story-line

In terms of content the movie talks about love, hope and loneliness. The movie is in two parts, both of which are love stories-the first one is more grim and the second one has a comic sense. Both stories involve a cop, in and out of love.

In the first story a young guy, Cop 663 (Tony Chiu-Wai Leung) has had a break up and is looking for another woman to come into his life. His meditation on the fact that ‘everything in life comes with an expiry date, even love and relationships’, is kind of okay. The portrayal of the city life with all the hustle bustle and busy criminal world is lovely. The streets are filled with people and neon lights, a typical feel of urbanization. Here the visual style blended with a tapestry of musical scores, bringing out the existence of multi-ethnic city life is almost dizzying…at times intoxicating! I liked the way the film talks about our sometimes ‘bizarre’ existence in a city where millions live. We are nothing more than a product with an expiry date.

I could also very well relate to the desperation that comes out of loneliness, sometimes finding it difficult to find a person you can talk to. I liked the scenes in the second story where the Cop 223 (Takeshi Kaneshiro), in bout of loneliness keeps talking to the soft toys. I have rarely seen men communicating with a soft toy. Many say it makes men look sissy. I disagree. The cop here looks more humane trying to overcome his adversity. The scenes where this cop talks to a torn mop, as if it were a human, brings out anxiety, desperation and sense of urgency to the whole situation.

Faye Wong’s portrayal of a free spirited, fun loving girl is particularly impressive. Her big eyes are so expressive, filled with hope and freshness. I love the scene where she finds a long strand of hair on the cop’s bed and cries bitterly like a child. Its too funny!

My Verdict of Chungking Express

The movie beautifully expresses the fetish of the east for the western culture. Here western culture seems to be an escapade, a promised land that can take away all your worries!

Personally for me the treatment of the movie is nice and with a fine balance between the more serious plot of the first story and a refreshing, comic look of the second story. But I still feel the movie is a lot of stylization and treatment without any concrete content.

Chungking Express Trivia:

  • Quentin Tarantino, after watching Chungking Express said, “I started crying. I’m just so happy to love a movie this much.”
  • The directed Wong Kar-Wai-Wong is hailed by many as the new Godard!

Reviewed By: Pallavi Patil

Heat – Movie Review

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Movie: Heat

Releasing Year: 1995

Directors:  Michael Mann

Writer/Screenplay: Michael Mann

Country of Origin: U.S.A

Running Time: 170 minutes

Language: English

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Heat Movie Review:

Neil McCauley: A guy told me one time, “Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.” Now, if you’re on me and you gotta move when I move, how do you expect to keep a… a marriage?

To be able to detach yourself from all the emotional strings attached when you see the heat coming around the corner is the discipline Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro) follows to perform his job as an expert thief. This movie is an LA crime saga starring Al Pacino (Michael Hanna, the LAPD Police detective), Robert DeNiro (Neil McCauley, a professional criminal), Chris (Val Kilmer, another associate in Neil’s criminal gang). This is a superb cat and mouse chase between the intelligent cops and highly efficient criminals. The difference is that there is no mouse. Both are highly intelligent cats and are masters of their professions.

Heat - 1995 Movie - Al Pacino
Heat – 1995 Movie – Al Pacino

Heat Movie Story-line:

McCauley leads a gang of very efficient thieves who rob banks etc. They know their craft very well. In this gang there is no place for thoughtless, immature murderers. This alienates Waingro (played by Kevin Gage) from the gang, early in the movie. The camaraderie between the gang members is awesome. They really care for each other. All the characters in the movie are very well fleshed out. All of them including Chris’ wife Charlene (played by Ashley Judd) and Hanna’s wife (Lauren) played by Natalie Portman) are well aware of  the realities of their life and know to express themselves well. In their own situations they can express their happiness and complaints. They talk…they communicate. Both the cops and the criminals (along with their wives) have no fancy illusions and are aware of the consequences of their actions. All this makes them the humans that they are…rather than portraying them as just means of to show a clichéd action packed drama.

Heat 1995 Movie Best Scene
Heat 1995 Movie Best Scene

Heat Movie Acting Review:

The characters of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro are very similar. Both are very good at what they do and know their craft well. Both do not know to do anything else other than what they are doing. Al doesn’t know anything else than being a good cop while DeNiro can’t do anything other than executing a good theft. Both can’t keep their women happy due to their nightmarish schedules and ‘living on the edge’ kinda existence. This similarity between them evokes a mutual respect for each other. More so from Al Pacino’s side. The scene where both confront each other over a cup of coffee is superb. Both know to answer each other and there you feel the ‘HEAT’ in the movie.

Chris (Val Kilmer) loves his wife Charlene too much to let her go. He will escape the cops but not without her. He does not care for the 30 secs principle.  And this love is what saves him eventually. Charlene who is fed up of his criminal ways saves him from the cop. Towards the end of the movie, McCauley (DeNiro) wants to settle one last score with Waingro. After that he would completely disappear from the crime scene with his girl. And that’s where he enters his doom. The plans go awry and when he sees heat around the corner, he does manage to say goodbye to his beloved within 30 seconds. What an irony…..Chris does not follow that principle of the crime world to say a goodbye to all his loved ones when he sees danger around the corner. But it’s exactly this his love that saves him. Where as McCauley sticks to his principles and meets the tragedy…

My verdict of Heat Movie:

This is what I feel about cinema in general-A movie might not always provide you with answers to your questions about life, existence, relationships, God, etc. The point is-does the film provoke you to ask ‘questions’? A good movie with its content, script, direction, acting, editing, music, etc., equips the viewer with a more thoughtful mind to be able to react in the right way to things happening around him.

 

Reviewed By: Pallavi Patil