JAI BHIM : Not An Outright Winner

The stories about police brutality on the marginalized, about the atrocities of the people in power on the weak, on the ostracized need to come up and need to told with all the gutsy fierceness. And the makers of Jai Bhim should definitely be applauded for that. That they brought forward the real life incident so that it could reach out to a much larger audience through the power of cinema. But is that enough to call it great cinema?

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SARDAR UDHAM : Say it like Shoojit Sircar

Shoojit Sircar is a man of quiet depth and restrained emotions. Even when he makes his lighter films, there is a unique elegance and classy charm attached to them, them studded with precious gem like moments, deeply layered subtlety, and an inexplicable repeat watch quality where you keep discovering a new something with every repeat watch. When the news first started flowing around that my most favourite hindi filmmaker of today’s times was going to make a biopic on Sardar Udham Singh and had the incredible Irrfan on his mind to play the titular role, it was naturally very exciting. While there were apprehensions about Shoojit also jumping into the biopic bandwagon, and also indulging in a genre that was outside his comfort zone, I also had the confidence that Shoojit, with his research , detailing, aesthetics and restraint, will lend the right amount of depth and gravitas to the forgotten story of this valiant revolutionary who took all his time but never lost focus on seeking justice on possibly the single most heinous crime and the darkest event of blood bath that marred India’s struggle for independence.

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LITTLE THINGS Season 4 : Maine Socha Na Tha

For all those who have been following Little Things for 3 seasons now know that it is a series that traces the little things and sweet nothings that Dhruv and Kavya share, a committed couple who have been in love and in a live in relationship for about 6 years now. The progression of the series, just like their journey, has been a sweet and bumpy ride of mixed bag moments. At times we get to know them as a couple deeply in love who are far more committed and caring than possibly what they would have been if married. At other times they come across as unsettled, unsure, scared of commitments, and way too distracted with what their own personal problems are, sometimes pulling them away from each other. Add to it the challenges of a long distance relationship, the issues surfacing with unhappy jobs, bruised egos, and fear of losing each other over distance, and the journey becomes even more tentative but very relatable. In a way we moved along with the ups and downs of Dhruv and Kavya over multiple seasons, and where we were left at the end of Season 3 left enough curiosity in us and enough flame alive in them to see where Season 4 and their final journey takes them to.

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BHRAMAM : The Insipid Remake

Bhramam is a scene by scene remake of Andhadhun, minus the eye catching performances of Ayushmann Khurrana and Tabu, the scintillating music of Amit Trivedi, and the eclectic charm of Shriram Raghavan’s masterful direction!

Prithviraj, Mamta Mohandas and a Wild Boar are not a patch on the original show stealers, and even a ‘Drishyam’ joke falls flat while painting the make believe worlds of the blind-foldeds! In an attempt to notch up the commercial tonality of the film, KA Ravichandran lets go off the subtle, intelligent black comedy treatment of the original and makes way for a louder, banal comedy that’s rather uninspiring!

Shit happens!

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The Colliding Worlds of AARKKARIYAM and KAANEKKAANE

2021 is possibly going to be remembered as one of the strongest years for Malayalam cinema. At three quarters of the year milestone, it may very well happen that if we sit down to list the top 10 or top 15 Best Indian Films of the year now, three quarters or at least half the spots will be occupied by Malayalam films. Two films that will most definitively occupy some of the top billings in those lists (alongside Joji and Malik) will be Sanu John Varughese‘s underrated quiet gem Aarkkariyam and the most recent addition to the Malayalam cine bouquet of 2021, Manu Ashokan‘s touching human drama Kaanekkaane. It is important to dive a little deeper into both these films together because there are some striking similarities and colliding dissimilarities between the two when looked through the unified lens.

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BINISUTOY : Without Strings – The Uncanny Loneliness of the Privileged Lives

Mon… Mon er bhetor mon…. Tar o gobhire mon…..

In Binisutoy : Without Strings, filmmaker Atanu Ghosh is interested in exploring these buried complexities of the lonely heart of two complicated individuals, and takes us on a journey along with them where we start identifying with their privileges, eccentricities, their crisis and their escape routes to win the tricky games of life.

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MODERN LOVE – Season 2 : Has 3 Beautiful Stories to Tell

“Here’s to healing… In all its forms…”

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#HOME : And its Sugar Sweet Heart

Rojin Thomas‘s new Malayalam movie ‘Home‘ can be brushed off as saccharin sweet and too emotionally manipulative to be considered as one of those feel good movies that we will go back to again and again and discover new things. Personally if I have to watch movies on dysfunctional families, I would watch a ‘Kumbalangi Nights’ or a ‘Kapoor and Sons’ any day over a ‘Home’, because the former films have relationship dynamics playing at multiple levels of depth and intrigue, and have characters arcs that are fuzzy and complex which gradually get delayered over time. Home is not that film.

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Saif Ali Khan – What a Range!

Range, thy name is Saif Ali Khan ! Arguably the most secured hindi film actor of today, he is out there in the middle to just have fun! Delicious characters, Terrific performances, Who cares what happens to the box office of the films! And one can do that only when they are absolutely sure about themselves! You go Saif!

Happy Birthday Saif !
Keep challenging the status quo!

Manisha Koirala – Dil Se

“Roz roz resham si hawa…
Aate jaate kehti hai bataa…
Resham si hawa..
kehti hai bataa…
Woh jo doodh dhuli, masoom kali…
Woh hai kahaan kahaan hai….
Woh roshani kahaan hai…
Woh jaan si kahaan hai…
Main adhoora, tu adhoori ji rahi hai….”

From Annie to Kiran, from Rajjo to Shaila, you sparkled.. And what should we say about Meghna! Truly Magical!

Happy Birthday Manisha Koirala !