Solos (2021) Miniseries review

Packed with powerful performances by the whole cast, the episodes usually focus on the story of a single character, where you get to see diverse acting and a range of emotions.

Some stories hook you from the start, others take a while to warm up. My favourites were the ones featuring Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman.

Watch it for the dystopia that might await us. Watch it to cherish the present and make all the good memories you can. Watch it to reflect and face whatever feeling or emotion you may have been avoiding.

The Good Liar (2019)

Director Bill Condon has two great talents to tell us a story which is seemingly about a liar. Do not be fooled! There is much more than meets the eye!

Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Helen Mirren bring a class act alive on screen about a second shot at love. Very soon we see multiple layers reveal themselves and try and catch the lie and liar.

An interesting film with some fine nuanced moments.

3/5

The fate of the Furious (2017)

The Fate of the Furious: The Eight instalment of the franchise by director F. Gary Gary has enough adrenaline to bridge you to a part nine, but isn’t a patch on part seven, which made a whopping 1.5 billion dollars worldwide, and rightfully so.

Yes they think out of the box and have shots and sequences which make for great action and stunts, but the bar was set high with the last film and it’s antics. The conflict has an interesting resolution but somehow the complexity doesn’t match the treatment.

F8 is fun in parts but bogged down by unnecessary drama and a villain trying too hard.

2.5/5

Collateral Beauty (2016)

Love, Death and Time. One is how we live life, one is how we end it, and one is how we measure it. The movie takes a point of view on all three, through the eyes of the eight stellar cast.

David Frankel directs an interesting concept, the story uses philosophy merged with a capitalist agenda to heal and influence the mourning Will Smith. While parts of it are predictable, the awe quotient is kept high in intermediate revelations.

Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley are top notch, getting able support from Edward Norton, Michael Pena, Jacob Latimore and Naomi Harris. Will Smith expresses and emotes mostly without dialogue in an intensely helpless performance.

While we try and help someone, the universe cleverly helps us too. While we heal someone, part of us heals as well. Such concepts are beautifully portrayed amongst other difficult ones, making it a fulfilling watch.

3/5

Eye in the sky (2016)

The state of political bureaucracy is exposed in what seems to be an antithesis for how casually innocent lives were taken by world powers. Here a protocol is followed, providing taut drama and anxiety, where no rank wants to take responsibility of an act which is definitely required.

Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman play the principal roles in this politically charged thriller by director Gavin Hood. They are perfect in their roles, bringing appropriate amount of authority and frustration to the table.

The supporting cast play opposing sides well, mirroring our own dilemma. A talented display of tension and pressure in the face of unnerving circumstances.

3.5/5

The hundred foot journey (2014)

Writer Richard C. Morais probably didn’t imagine such a stellar cast and rich production would be given to his novel. Two beautiful worlds collided in this film, where Indian spices and flavours gave age old French recipes and classic culinary a delectable twist.

The story is neither predictable, nor are the characters. Helen Mirren plays the Michelin Star restaurant owner who has new ‘neighbours’. They have opened ‘Mumbai Maison’, an Indian restaurant 100 feet from hers. There starts a journey which no one could have foreseen. Director Lasse Hallström’s repertoire of the ABBA videos and his impressive filmography show a flair to balance such contrasting elements.

Besides salivating throughout the film, and laughing at ‘Papa’ Om Puri’s exquisite ‘Indian-ness’, we are treated by the stiff and snobby Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) and the vulnerable yet talented Hassan (Manish Dayal). They are ably supported by Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) and a small yet adorable cast playing both Hassan’s family and Madame’s staff and town folk. Sensitive bonds, breath-taking French locales, cinematography that captures our own emotions and feelings set this film apart in 2014.

We take with us the tastes of both cultures, but above all, the lesson that good food never goes unrewarded. Prejudice takes a back seat and talent takes centre stage. Produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and five others, with music by A.R.Rahman, this is one masterchef you cannot afford to miss.

Running to packed houses in limited cinemas with even fewer shows, savour it now!

3.5/5

Monsters University (2013)

Not having watched Monsters Inc. till now (a lot of eyes rolling with judgement) I was not prepared for how thoroughly I would enjoy it. The world they had created was entirely new (for me) and since this was a prequel to the first one, it worked out well as a hilarious but soul searching back story.

Classic themes were touched upon, though at times it is more grown up, practical, work hard and stick together to win kind of approach. This animated film felt more real in that sense. Billy Crystal and John Goodman lend voices to characters which are not only lovable but identifiable as well. Helen Mirren as the Dean is perfection!

Monsters Inc. was released way back in 2001, so this second instalment came a little too late, but it was enjoyable and original.

3/5