Viceroy’s House (2017)

Gurinder Chadha presents a period film this time round, from the perspective of the Mountbatten family. Always a touchy subject, the partition is seen from the stories of staff inside The Viceroys House.

Palatial and luxurious, it has its own political dynamic, which is threatened by the eminent handover of the country. While the destiny of India is battled out by the leaders, a romance blossoms.

It’s a delicate tale told with dignity, without getting caught up in the violence and gore of the time. The film has a strong cast which delivers on every count.

A well made film which is a departure from the directors usual style and technique.



Tubelight (2017)

Director Kabir Khan was trying for a follow up to the ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ act but doesn’t achieve it for many reasons.

While the emotional quotient was high in BB, the proceedings were kept to a luke warm intensity this time round, neither investing your attention nor wavering it.

Salman Khan does a decent job, crying the most in any of his roles to date, without making you question his sincerety. He has worked hard to step outside his comfort zone and deliver an act. The effort is present but the final result may leave a lot to desire. A cameo by Shah Rukh Khan makes for an interesting twist.

Child actor Matin Rey Tangu and his mom Zhu Zhu deliver lines with conviction, while Sohail Khan ably supports Salman. Om Puri is the wisdom in the film that uses parallels from history and non-violent events to show NOTHING is a co-incidence.

It was a decent attempt but not cohesive or with lasting impact.


The Ghazi Attack (2017)

Debutant director Sankalp Reddy brings us a tight film with enough pace and tension to make the two hour running time educative and entertaining.

An ensemble cast effort, everyone plays their part. The one that stands out the most is Kay Kay Menon. His character has a graph and a back story which make the others look a little underdeveloped.

Rana Daggubati has a strong ‘junior’ presence, while Atul Kulkarni supports effectively. Taapsee Pannu has the privilege of being the adult female on board the submarine. Rahul Singh manages to incite hate in the short time he’s there. The late Om Puri has a stoic role to suit his stature.

It was a refreshing change to see such content made well and play out decently. Our film makers and audiences should diversify what they make and watch. The film is still running which means it has people who appreciate it.


Jungle Book (2016) Hindi version

Jungle Book – Hindi version : I am happy I saw the English version first, because the Hindi one had more humour. Had I seen it first, the English one would have seemed flat. Irrfan as Baloo was hilarious! His punjabi accent and comic timing gave depth to the character. Thoroughly enjoyed it! Priyanka Chopra as Kaa was perfect. Her voice has the right ‘hypnotic’ effect. There is nothing this girl can’t do. Om Puri as Bagheera was pitch perfect and Nana Patekar as Shere Khan was menacing. Shefali Shah as Raksha was strong yet nurturing. Bugs Bhargava Krishna does the voice of King Louie in a dramatic Anglo/Hindi style. The artist who has done Mowgli’s voice is appropriate. The only thing missing was the song ‘Jungle Jungle baat chali hai’. It could have easily been incorporated as the music for the End credits. That would have been complete entertainment for the Indian cinema goer. The film and all its dubbed versions has already crossed 100 crores. An equal, if not better watch!


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!