Made in Heaven (2019)

It was so refreshing to see such exemplary content and no surprise it’s so moving once you know the team behind it, Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti. Created by them, and written by them and Alankrita Shrivastava, the stories are carefully crafted to evoke many emotions.

The stories are so beautifully written and presented, with a mature and understanding outlook. There is no melodrama as we dive into the most intimate thoughts and feelings of the characters.

The recurring cast has great performances, Arjun Mathur, Dhulipala, Kalki Koechlin, Jim Sarbh, Shashank Arora and Shivani Raghuvanshi invite you into their worlds, and you feel invested right away. That being said, each and every cast member is super, every character complete.

The four directors at the helm, Nitya Mehra, Zoya Akhtar, Prashant Nair and Alankrita Shrivastava deliver rich episodes with lots of superior content to process, real stories set in the current world that challenge every stereotype and include most sections of society.

I can’t wait for season 2!

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Waiting (2016)

A very devastating subject is tackled head on in this sensitive but matter of fact film. Director Anu Menon serves us the harsh truth, curt and upfront, without giving much chance to recover or prepare.

Kalki and Naseer cleverly represent different stages of the grieving process, and also differing adaptation to the never ending tunnel of ‘waiting’ for their loved ones to recover. Their characters are full of insights of a reality which asks us to face our worst fears. Rajat Kapoor has a tricky role to play which shows us the plight of doctors. They are human, making them as imperfect as any of us. Let’s throw in the reality of who is actually there for you in your difficult time and voila! You have some very insane truths to digest!

The most difficult questions with no answers. A heart wrenching film!

3/5

Margarita with a Straw (2015)

Though the film may appear to be about a girl with cerebral palsy, it is more about a girl who lives with the condition like any other. Kalki has played her most difficult role not only physically but mentally, emotionally and biologically as well.

We embark on her journey of discovering love, feelings of exploration, sexuality and above all self worth, self confidence and self love. The film is made with delicate detail and you cannot afford to miss a single frame, for it may be adding to the existing layers or be an important but quick nuance.

Revathy is the strong, silent, supportive and traditional mother. Sayani Gupta as Khanum is the epitome of confidence, perhaps a marker for where Kalki’s Laila aspires to evolve to. The entire supporting cast has been constructed to give their own little message, yet weave into the story to make it stronger. The title of the film is poignant as it speaks of a memory, of abandon and eventually of finding value through yourself.

Director Shonali Bose has told a bold and spirited tale, with sensitivity and maturity. Few films make you appreciate your senses such as this one. And it is a treat for them all.

3.5/5

Happy Ending (2014)

Rom Com 101 with no new additions or twists and turns, it serves us the same dish we have been having with an edge on the humour and a jaded casanova Saif Ali Khan. His alter ego makes up for the Saif we have seen many times, whilst Kalki provides some laughs.

It’s great to see Preity back on screen and Govinda steals the show in his limited yet ‘expansive’ role. Kareena may not be Saif’s good luck mascot, it’s time he acknowledges that, though their chemistry is fiery and fun. Ileana and Ranvir are passable, the locations are great and the music is surprisingly good.

No points for guessing how it ends! Happy of course 😉

2/5

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

Director Ayan Mukherji brings a variety of emotions and nuances of relationships alive on screen, in this closeted musical film. I guess he had hoped but not imagined that all the songs would be so well received, but they are not the only reason this film is good. Here goes…

The writing of the film is meaningful. You have a lot of depth packed into a few dialogues, scenes are short and crisp and so much is said and inferred with body language and eye contact that this doesn’t seem to be a second film of a 29 year old director. People have found the first half packed and fun and the second half slow. Well, the pace was meant to be a slower, and yes I found both halves in appropriate speed limits.

It is difficult to make Deepika look different, or act different, but they have achieved that. She has communicated silently, mostly using her eyes, which is a feat for a young actress. Kalki is a feisty young girl, and fits her character to the T. Aditya is suffering from a different addiction this time, but the last one made more than 100 crores at the box office, so go ahead, indulge! Ranbir, is, well, Ranbir. The perfect combination of genes, talent, looks and sheer hardwork, this man is flawless.

The songs are catchy, fun, different and well shot. I think it was a masterstroke idea to get the crowd revved up by starting with Madhuri’s item number. The womans’ still got it and we get a tiny peek into what entertainment awaits us.

We get to see some beautiful locations around India and the world, which act as mere props because the story is stronger than the visual. A Karan Johar production through and through!

The spectrum of human emotions served delicately, this film is friendship, love, family, work and passion!

4/5