MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN : Misses Many Beats

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The biggest advantage of Mamma Mia! – Here we go again is that it comes in as the long awaited offering for a very large group of fans of the hugely successful ‘Mamma Mia!’ from a decade back, who have been craving for long to croon and swoon to the sheer nostalgia of #ABBA on screen again! But that is also the biggest disadvantage of the film in terms of the expectations it comes with, because in spite of being a frothy minimally scripted film, the 2008 film was a tremendous entertainer with a highly engaging cast, who made the most out of nothing through their rock solid screen presence and ever so charming rendition of the golden ABBA classics.

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MISSION IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT : Certain Blockbuster!

“There cannot be peace without first, a great suffering. The greater the suffering, the greater the peace.”

Luckily for the fans of Ethan Hunt and the Franchise, nothing has aged, slowed down, or has become peaceful, and hence the latest edition of Mission: Impossible – Fallout does anything but lets you suffer. In fact it possibly breaks all notions of limit in terms of edge of the seat thrill and non stop stylish action, where the ageless Tom Cruise continues to stun everyone beyond belief on what and all he can do at that age! 56 after all is just a number to him!

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INCREDIBLES 2 : Double the Fun!

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Incredibles 2 was twice as incredibly entertaining than the first outing and is a wonderful watch!

Giving center stage to Elastigirl to be relevant to the needs of the times, and brilliantly supported by her family in all ways possible, this one was one hell of an enjoyable ride – high on superhero action, slick on technology, making the right points on superhero diversity and inclusion, addressing good parenting, and even adolescent growing up problems!

And how incredibly cute and funny was Jack-Jack, the real star of the film! The super-kid just surpassed everyone – I want him to take the center stage in Incredibles 3! Is Brad Bird listening?

OCEAN’S 8 : Ho-Hum!

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When you look at the A list cast that the film could pull together, and you look at all the fun that the three part Ocean’s Trilogy as its predecessor was, you can’t help but feel sad about Ocean’s 8 being a real missed opportunity!

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LADY BIRD : Wanders away

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In one of the best scenes of the film, when Lady Bird’s mother (Laurie Metcalf) tells her daughter “I want you to be the very best version of yourself”, Christine ‘Lady Bird’ (Saoirse Ronan) immediately replies “What if this is the best version!”. Unfortunately, the version that the film Lady Bird ends up as, is not impactful enough and does not stay with you.

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THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI – Smart & Gripping

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a disturbing and yet gripping tale of a group of people who at the end of the day are trying to find closures in their own ways – whether it is a tale of a devastated mother trying to seek justice and answers for her daughter’s murder, or of a cop life laden with goodness but burdened by an inevitable end, or say of a short man seeking acceptance through his tall deeds. It takes you on an extreme journey of grief, rage, anger, helplessness, guilt and loss, wisely interspersed by dark comical layers of smart humor and (somewhat forced) heavy doses of comic profanity; that it makes it impossible for the viewer to sympathize with a grieving mother, or even feel obnoxious for a racist irrational cop.

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THE SHAPE OF WATER : Love Heals Like Magic

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The Shape of Water left me mesmerized and transported me to a world of spellbinding beauty, magic, spectacle and above all unadulterated love! Guillermo del Toro captivated me fully through his craft, and within minutes took away all the inhibitions with which I had walked into the theatre of watching something creepy and awkward. Rather what he does is sweep one out into his world of magical realism, where there is one common binding factor, that of love and compassion, that brings five unlikely and not so normal individuals closer together and helping each other to live and find happiness in their incompleteness – A mute lonely girl (Eliza), An amphibian humanoid (the Asset), A homosexual old man (Giles), An Afro-American janitor (Zelda) and a Soviet spy in US in the times of cold war (Dimitri).

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PHANTOM THREAD : An Intense Slow Burner

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Its not easy to describe what kind of film Phantom Thread is. Its possibly one of those heavily sub-texted, deeply intense and extravagantly beautiful tales of passion, obsession, egos and desires where the boundaries of the rights and wrongs blur easily based on how you are looking at it. Its the psychological slow burner which is little on action and heavy on drama, where the perversion of egos, quest for perfection and need for individual recognition are pitted against each other, doesn’t matter if you are the institution of luxury fashion, or a common girl waitress seeking dreams beyond your reach.

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THE POST : The Bravest!

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In one of the brilliant scenes of the film, Tony Bradlee, wife of Ben Bradlee (the chief editor of The Washington Post) tells her husband why she thinks Katherine Graham (Publisher and The boss at the very same paper) is the bravest of all, taking that bold decision from where she stands! It is this bravery and fearlessness that is the winner all the way in The Post!

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Dunkirk – It is the ultimate story of hope!

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There are movies about war, there are movies about survival, and then there is Dunkirk – the ultimate tale of survival and hope…

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