The Fame Game (2022)

The waters of fame run deep, to win the game you have to play long.

What starts as a case of a missing superstar, quickly becomes an unravelling of her whole family and many of those around her.

It has multiple layers and messages, all communicated with ease, but in their own time. The entrapments of fame are evident throughout, with little done to hide or mask them.

Madhuri has given a brilliant and understated performance and is ably supported by a stellar cast, all of whom do a splendid job in portraying their respective arcs. No character is two dimensional and they all have more going on than meets the eye.

The verdict? A riveting display of the realities of the business, the families of those involved and how their struggles and backstories are never known or thought of.

Loosely based around many theories of stars in Bollywood and perhaps on their real lives too, it is a must watch with all doors open for a second season! Bravo to the creator Sri Rao and directors Bejoy Nambiar and Karishma Kohli.

Wazir (2016)

Wazir: Bejoy Nambiar brings two powerful actors in a film which centres around a metaphorical and theatrical game of chess. The expectations are high, but the product he delivers is tepid and predictable.

Short at 102 minutes, he extracts good performances from Aditi Rao Hydari who looks vulnerable and beautiful, Neil Nitin Mukesh who is menacing and Manav Kaul who is moderately unlikeable. The two leads of the film are not written equally well, resulting in a half baked character for Farhan Akhtar, and a complete one for Amitabh Bachchan. That is a surprise, because Farhan is a director/actor whose choices are usually spot on. Senior Bachchan can’t do no wrong. He carries the film effortlessly and though his character is wheel-chair bound, he still towers above the rest with his superlative portrayal.

John Abraham makes a wooden cameo, and different versions of the song ‘Tere Bin’ pulls us through what could have been a taut thriller, but is soon relegated into the ordinary and below average.

2/5