Don’t Look Up (2021)

A sadly accurate depiction of the times. The brilliant writing makes it appear like satire, an SNL sketch of sorts, but it is REAL. It is what we have endured and continue to endure with the polarisation and ignorance of society.

There are references aplenty and they make for a shudder down your spine, nervous laugh, head shaking variety. A commentary on the current and future trends and what we as a society tend to focus on needs a lot of attention, which is what the cast is attempting to highlight. Either by their action or wilful delusion.

We have had multiple wake up calls and are in the midst of one currently. But the truth is often harder to digest and address than the ‘alternative facts’. The ensemble cast is superlative in presenting us these perspectives which beg for logic and alarm.

Thoroughly disturbing, eye opening and humbling.



Oceans 8 (2018)

Director Gary Ross achieved a great balancing act giving these 8 talents good characters and effective stories.

Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihana, Helena Bonham Carter, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson and Mindy Kaling make a stunning set of criminals!

You never come in between a girl and her diamonds. And when it’s 8 women and a heist of precious and regalia jewellery, you just watch the action and strategy unfold!


Carol (2015)

Set in 1950s Manhattan, you quickly understand why this tender tough tale of unexpected love is so stifling yet endearing. It’s during Christmas that Carol and Terese meet, and their meek advances take the film forward.

The mood is captured in simple yet detailed ways. There is an air of taboo but nothing melodramatic. Cate Blanchett’s very breath and eye contact screams her caged sexuality, whilst Rooney Mara is the docile yet determined girl who is prepared to be spontaneous and take risks.

The film moves slowly so you can take in all the nuances. It seems, so to speak, a gateway into the era, and is appropriately paced. Fortunately they haven’t shown stereotypes and prejudices which would be so strong at that time, rather making it a reasoned situation which can be seen purely for what it is.

Director Todd Haynes has made a sensitive film with the grace and dignity it deserves. It gives you a sense of freedom and responsibility while you get enraptured by the story telling.


Cinderella (2015)

An age old tale which was retold by director Kenneth Branagh with a few new twists and turns and some bold Disney moves. Please read bold as code for when the protagonist, Lily James, actually stands up for herself in the most polite and dignified way possible.

Richard Madden, possibly prettier than Cinderella herself plays the role of Prince Charming, with ease. Fairy Godmother Helena Bonham Carter had a blink and miss role, which she did with her usual histrionical flair.

It was Cate Blanchett who walked the tight rope as step mother, who had to show us a new way of being mean. She descends quietly from civility to monstrosity, slowly becoming caricature-like evil. She achieves a new high for couture and nastiness.

The highlights of the film are the magical transformations that Cinderella and her team go through, not to mention the crystal slippers by Swarovski. The film is high on art and aesthetic value with a few warm ‘U’ rated Disney theme messages.

It makes you believe, if only for the duration of the film, that there can be ‘a happily ever after’.


How to train your dragon 2 (2014)

Much awaited sequel to the 2010 film that grossed almost 500 million dollars, the adorable toothless and boar-headed hiccup are back with an adventure very grand in scale but sincere to the story. Loosely inspired by Cressida Cowell’s book, the characters are original, fleshed out and lovable.

Director Dean DeBlois does not waste any time, engaging the audience from the first frame. Life has changed in Berk, where the once feared dragons are now very much part of the landscape. An attempt to map neighbouring lands leads them to a mysterious cave and an alpha dragon called the ‘Bewilderbeast’. What ensues are reunions, battles, the good old power angle and A-class animation that would rival the CGI of any block buster you have seen in recent times.

Besides being technically brilliant, the music, background score, and characterisation make this film rich in every way. A veritable gold mine for the viewer and a tough challenge as a sequel, the cast and crew have succeeded on every front.

Non-stop mythical entertainment!


Blue Jasmine (2013)

Only Woody Allen can attempt such films and do justice to them. We have seen why actors have been lauded for their performances in the past. They get into the character, display a range of emotions. They are raw, unaffected, soulful, dramatic or understated.

Cate Blanchett manages to do all of the above mentioned, in one scene, weaving in and out of hysteria, breathlessness, denial, delusion, throughout the film. To beat Meryl Streep’s performance in August Osage County, she did something right. Strike that. Many things right. And just for that you should watch her as Jasmine.

Alec Baldwin lends able support, as do Sally Hawkins, Bobby Cannavale and Andrew Dice Clay. What we learn about are ‘patterns’. Either we repeat them, or we doubt them and try and break them. The key is to identify which ones are good for us, and which ones are detrimental.

The music makes the turmoil easier to digest and the skyline gives us something concrete to balance the erratic behaviour of the cast.


The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

The journey of the dwarves continues in the second part of The Hobbit trilogy. The first part was heavier on the eyes with more cgi action, this time round the drama and dialogue quotient was high, which made it easier to watch.

Long at 2 hours and 40 minutes for a 3D film, it is an effective bridge between the first and third part. Smaug probably got a bit too chatty, but the scenes were crafted well, treasures rolling all over, keeping the audience entertained. The escape scene of the dwarves, action scenes between orcs and elves, the spider encounter, were some of the highlights.

A lot of scenes conjured up ‘Harry Potter’ moments, showing us how much J.K. Rowling may have been inspired by Tolkien’s writing. There was grandeur, there were small moments, which entertained and occasionally tickled.