Badla (2019)

A murder suspense story, it does not disappoint! Taut direction and short at 120 minutes, it delves into the the expert questioning of Amitabh Bachchan and the evasiveness of Taapsee Pannu.

Twists and turns keep you guessing till the end as the case is turned on it’s head and all possibilities are considered.

Effortlessly keeping you hooked, it’s a recommended watch!

3.5/5

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Kedarnath (2018)

I was looking forward to this film as I have always been intrigued by Kedarnath temple. Having done most pilgrimages in India, this is one I am yet to do. The devastating events in 2013 were relived with dignity and terror in equal parts, as the film showcases devotion, love and divide effectively.

One word for debutant Sara Ali Khan, Phenomenal! She clearly has the genes for acting, a complete natural, but also looks so similar to her mother Amrita Singh in many scenes. She’s feisty just like her, and has tackled a character graph in her first film with ease. She displays a range of emotions flawlessly, so much so you wonder is this really her first film. If she makes the right film choices, she’s our next Alia Bhatt.

Sushant Singh Rajput is very good in a role that demands both balance and abandon. He’s endearing as the ‘pithu’ and loves with such surrender that he wins you over. There is one particular scene where they share their vulnerabilities. I haven’t seen such depth and purity of romance in a long time. Both leads are true to their characters till the end of the film, which makes it a delight to watch.

Abhishek Kapoor has managed to walk the tightrope with success, presenting a love story within the framework of devotion and a natural disaster. The scenes depicting the floods and cloud burst are executed very well. The film is short and to the point, with excellent music and lyrics.

I really enjoyed it.

3.5/5

2 states (2014)

A book written by and apparently based on Chetan Bhagat’s own dating and marriage story, has Arjun Kapoor (Krish) in a positive role, finally! Alia (Ananya) shines in a confident yet traditional role, different from her other two outings. They make a sparkling couple thanks to the way the director Abhishek Verman has presented them.

The story is simple, reminiscent of a side story in Vicky Donor where the Bengalis finally party with the Punjabis. Here of course, its the ‘Madrasis’ who are subject to Punjabi antics, dished out deliciously by Amrita Singh. She is up against Revathy, who gives it back with equal fervour. Wish there were subtitles for such a film, to let the audience truly be part of both states.

Its an ensemble cast effort, be it the strong and silent Shiv Kumar Subramanium who plays Alia’s dad, or Arjun’s alcoholic father Ronit Roy plays so convincingly. Both families put together, you have a southern buffet served with a north Indian tadka, made sensitively and sincerely.

The director has planned his highs and lows well in the film, sometimes stretching the plot too thin, but taking you to a beautiful conclusion nevertheless.

3/5