Category Archives: Drama Movies

Aiyaary – Movie Review

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

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.

 

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The Reader – Movie Review

Movie: The Reader

Releasing Year: 2008

Director: Stephen Daldry

Writer/Screenplay:  David Hare

Country of Origin: U.S.A & Germany

Running Time: 124 minutes

Languages: English, German, Greek

Genre: Drama, Romance, History

The Reader Movie Review:

Well ‘The Reader’ is a movie about an affair between a woman in her mid-thirties, Hanna (played by Kate Winslet) and Michael who is 15 (played by David Kross and in the later part of the movie played by Ralph Fiennes in his 60s). A movie with Nazi Holocaust as the backdrop. I have seen so many movies on this topic-the list is endless. But that event in the history of mankind, still inspires people to make movies on it. As there are so many aspects to it which the world hasn’t stopped thinking about. But ‘The Reader’ is much more than an expression on the futility of human cruelty. It is about love, reconciliation, and a woman’s pursuit to find redemption. Hanna defends herself in the war-crime trial and like many of us, realizes the severity of her crime much later in life, when it’s too late.

The Reader is a good comment on classic human behavior of ‘doing without thinking’. Hanna in the movie, at least had the courage to admit that she was one of the guards in selecting the Jews every month (as to who will go to the gallows). But her other colleagues just follow the bandwagon of ‘fallacy,’ denying their involvement in the crime. A very typical of human behavior of not wanting to rise above mediocrity, as we don’t wish to lose our comfort zone.

Michael’s affair with Hanna was more based on sexual relationship. Michael as a teenager discovers his own sexuality with Hanna who also wisely guides him in the act of lovemaking. There are good number of scenes of nudity and the experience of orgasmic fulfillment. But the relation between the two runs much deeper….more so, for Michael. Hanna is illiterate and loves to be read to. And Michael a good, animated reader reads to her some of the best works of literature (Homer’s Odyssey, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, The lady with the little dog). This reading followed by sex forms a bond between them-an experience, a relation that will affect Michael for a lifetime.

Life often gives us a chance to look back at our behavior, analyse our past actions, and rise above our errors to become a more wholesome and a responsible human being. But very few can justify this chance-just a few like Hanna did in The Reader.

At the end of the movie Michael meets a Jewish woman (a survivor of the Holocaust) with an expectation of the Jewish victims to understand Hanna. The woman does not forgive Hanna’s crime but does make an effort to understand the culprit better, which for me is a step towards forgiveness. This effort of great character does somewhere make the Jewish woman a slightly more satisfied human being. And therein lies the power of forgiveness.

The Reader Performances:

The performances by Kate Winslet and David Kross as young Michael are commendable. Bob Marley once said, “Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” In this movie, Michael Berg finds that one worthy person.

 

Reviewed By: Pallavi Patil

Chungking Express – Movie Review

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