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.



mother! (2017)

What starts off as shakey camera work, quickly descends into bizzare, finally resting on deeply disturbing.

It may be helpful to read about the film before watching it, as the allegories and symbolism might make more sense. I drew a completely different meaning than what the makers thought of, which shows the film can have many valid interpretations.

Technically brilliant, it’s Jennifer Lawrence’s film all the way. Javier Bardem has his moments, as does Michelle Pfieffer. The opening shot establishes this is not going to be your usual viewing experience. Director Darren Aronofsky has made dark and controversial subjects before, so he’s in his comfort zone. The film though, is thoroughly discomfiting.


Passengers (2016)

The director of Imitation Game, Morten Tyldum, brings us a lonely sci-fi flick which has various ‘what would you do scenarios’.

Chris Pratt plays a difficult role, for he makes a choice which was questioned by many. What would I do? I kept asking myself the same question. Not being in the same place or circumstance, it wasn’t possible to answer it. On a performance related note, he was engaging.

Jennifer Lawrence was her usual dependable self. Having a larger graph in her character, she displays more emotion. I wanted to see the story her way and I was happy with its conclusion.

The film has its special effects moments, its individual and couple moments, but what you take away is the question I mentioned. If you watch it, your answers would be appreciated.


XMEN Apocalypse (2016)

Bryan Singer shows us what a good action movie can be, while developing characters and showing us great special effects.

Unlike The Avenger series, where cliched dialogue and mindless destruction in the form of a CGI overload usually mark the proceedings, here we have effects for the sake of narrative.

Oscar Isaac plays the villain with a patient, menacing quality, while Michael Fassbender plays Magneto with the dilemma most mutants face. James McAvoy is dependable as Charles Xavier, growing into his role and communicating volumes about his gifts and others’.

The ensemble cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn and Lucas Till, who add dimensions to the story with their character and are all important in the forces for and against. The premise, though anarchic, is also a direct attack on how we live our lives today and what we would be better off without.

An engaging tale, which is built slowly, giving actors the depth to perform and connect with the audience, the films’ strength was its story telling without relying on special effects. A remarkable feat!


Joy (2016)

The eccentric team of ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and ‘American Hustle’ is back with ‘Joy’. Director David O. Russell presents a semi fictional story of a woman who became an overnight success with an invention of hers.

The path to success is often paved with challenges and obstacles. While professional hurdles were aplenty, it was her family who created drama which was difficult to digest.

Spanning four generations, it’s the story of Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), her parents, grand mother, sibling, husband, friends and children. It is a very trying film to watch, with constant pressure on the protagonist and tension on her life and work. You physically feel the stress mounting as the film goes on.

Jennifer gives another startling performance at the age of 25. She handles difficult scenes with ease and communicates the void she experiences, where only she can save herself. Robert De Niro is her supportive father who himself needs support most of the time. Virginia Madsen plays her soap opera obsessed mother who doesn’t face her reality, choosing to hide behind the convoluted never ending story lines on television. Diane Ladd plays her strong, prophetic grandmother who also narrates the story. Edgar Ramirez plays her ex-husband and good friend, while Bradley Cooper (whose appearance on screen got a collective sigh from the audience) Elisabeth Rohm and Dascha Polanco ably support the proceedings. Isabella Rossellini is the surprise element, a sugar coated, selfish opportunist who represents many people of the modern world.

Metaphorical for ‘cleaning up your life’, Joy is not only her name but the feeling you get when you do the right thing and get rewards. When you speak the truth and stick to it, for ‘truth will always out’. When you face the difficult people and situations in your life with patience and silence and emerge triumphant.

A dose of reality served with love and support from unexpected corners. Much like life.


X-Men: Days of Future Past

When a super hero film doesn’t try too hard to impress, this is the result. It was easy to watch, the characterisation was strong, the effects were excellent (a standard these days) supported by a decent plot. You settle into the film pretty quick after its dramatic beginning, knowing exactly how it will end, but the action, drama and visual sequences are engaging till its timely conclusion.

An ensemble cast comprising of Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are surprisingly given important and appropriate footage, except Halle Berry who has very little presence.

Bryan Singer has directed X-Men, X2, Superman Returns, produced X-Men: First Class, amongst many others, so is no stranger to the genre, which shows in his film making. He builds the right tone and feel quickly, taking you on a mixed paced ride with enough thrills and mutant theories to await the next one. Watch out for a 10 second glimpse after the end credits have completely finished.


American Hustle (2013)

When so much awards buzz surrounds a film expectations tend to run high. The reason why this film, its actors and team are winning is evident when you watch it.

The strength of this film is that it was NOT trying so hard to convince you of anything, paint a picture about the era or force you to feel for the characters. The characters are so brilliantly written, and acted, that you don’t know which lines to take home. Usually, you take home a few, but here there are quite a few.

The pace of the film and its many agendas quickly blur into the journeys of the characters and the mission they are up against, where the audience knows full well that some cards have yet not been revealed.

Director David O. Russell has put together such an explosive cast and rightly so, as the eccentricities of their characters demand so much. Christian Bale has changed his entire physical being for Irving Rosenfeld, whereas Amy Adams charms and cons as Sydney Prosser. Jennifer Lawrence shows yet again why she won the Oscar last year and why she may win again this year too. Her instability and the way she copes with her mental space is displayed for all to see as Rosalyn Rosenfeld. Bradley Cooper plays the obsessed FBI agent Richie DiMaso, who is blinded by a self proclaimed mission.

This film, unlike its characters, wont hustle you! Get your guard down and watch it!