MIMI : Lacks Empathy

When you are talking about sensitive topics like surrogacy, adoption, disability and motherhood, it is criminal trying to lighten it up with jokes drawn from bigotry, wrapped up sleeze, beauty bias, white redemption and everything else that hurts the very sentiments that are the focal point of your film.

And no, not even a very powerful Kriti Sanon and the always reliable Pankaj Tripathi can do much if the intent was never there to explore the depth and the nuances of the complex emotions with the honesty and the gravitas that the topic deserves and demands.

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TOOFAAN : Doesn’t have the firepower

TOOFAAN could have been a completely forgettable film because the sports drama and rise of the underdog template has nothing new to offer. But it still leaves a definitive footprint because it has a beautiful love story at its core whose beating heart and heartfelt moments is the strength of the film. It also has a certain dignified grace as a family drama that works through its ups and downs. The sincerity and hard work of Farhan Akhtar clearly shows, but it is Mrunal Thakur and her spunk that makes Toofaan a significantly better film than the disaster that the trailer indicated.

Oh Ananya!

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MALIK : Dazzles Through and Through

Mahesh Narayanan’s MALIK is as grand in its ambition and as dazzling in its execution, as the marvelously crafted single take 13 minute long opening shot of the film. By the time the film’s title card shows up at the end of that shot, Narayanan has sealed in your attention and admiration for what will follow for the next two and a half hours of his film.

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HASEEN DILLRUBA : Poorly Pulpy

Kanika Dhillon has a knack for creating delicious characters. But doesn’t she also need to master what to do with them eventually?

Vinil Mathew picks up the right cast to play those delicious characters, and extracts very engaging performances from them to make them rather exciting. But does he believe that a film can thrive merely on excellent performances?

Pulpy trashy novels within your script can be interesting inspirations to orchestrate the filmy twists in your story. But don’t the writer and the filmmaker have the responsibility to ensure their film eventually doesn’t become that inspiration?

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RAY : No Traces of Ray Here

Forget Me Not | Srijit Mukherji – This may be one of the better films Srijit Mukherji has made in recent times overall, but digs its own grave by using some of the highly objectionable ‘Srijit-ish’ tropes to add some gimmicky glitz and forced darkness to the story. It somehow survives due to some decent performances by Ali Fazal and Shweta Basu Prasad and an okayish overall screenplay. The final memory lane trip depiction is rather unclever and literary though, and takes away some more sheen from the film.

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GULDASTA : Is a Fragrant Bouquet of Emotions

Guldasta….

…. is a lovely bouquet of variety of emotions closely relatable to the heart

…. is a handpicked bunch of lived in moments of life that breathes warmth in every frame

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SHERNI : The Tigress on the Run

The Tigress out there is fighting alone to survive in a jungle that’s turned into a mess by anarchy, whims and fancies of a bunch of bad boys! The rot is deep, the traps are furious, the adversary exists in various forms! The metaphor is strong and leaves its pug mark trails throughout the length of the film.

Amit Masurkar had enough meat here to stew a sumptuous experience with a lingering after taste. Unfortunately at times his process remains inconsistent, and the uneven switch between slow burn docu style storytelling and the parallel layered complex human drama doesn’t deliver the necessary gripping bite to stay uniformly invested throughout.

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AARKKARIYAM : Subtly Superlative

Aarkkariyam‘ is a brilliant example how a film does not need to have any heavy dramatic build up, or big reveal aha moments, and yet can be the most gripping human drama that intrigues you with the complexities of the human mind and the brooding spell of a developing pandemic. One can only be amazed at Sanu Varghese’s craft and the maturity that he displays in his debut feature film, because perfect is one word you could easily use to describe the terrific film. Add to it the tremendous rooted performances from all the three leads where each of them nails down every finer detail of every reaction without needing to have any big ‘performance’ moments, and you are fully satiated with the experience of watching complete cinema.

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SANDEEP AUR PINKY FARAAR : Layered with Smartness

When Dibakar Banerjee makes a film, you watch it.

You can be assured it will be smart, intriguing, layered, and unlike anything what you have seen in the genre before. You can also be assured that he will even make Arjun Kapoor act and Parineeti Chopra get back to form. And you can be assured that the film stays with you for all the right reasons.

So when Dibakar Banerjee makes a film, you watch it. Period.

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Ray @ 100

“Somehow I feel that an ordinary person – the man in the street if you like – is a more challenging subject for exploration than people in the heroic mold. It is the half shades, the hardly audible notes that I want to capture and explore.”

– Satyajit Ray

The Man. The Institution. The Magic.

The Stories of Me and You. The Timeless Footprints of Life.

100 Years of the Master. 100 Years of Satyajit Ray!

#RayAt100 #SatyajitRayBirthCentenary #TheMagicalRay