Monica, O My Darling (2022)

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Sacred Games (2018)

Based on Vikram Chandra’s novel, Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane capture gritty Mumbai, the gang culture and political backdrop of the time with brilliant story telling.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui narrates and acts the character of Ganesh Gaitonde with unerring ease, hypnotising audiences with his life story, and leaving us wanting more at the end of the season.

Saif Ali Khan has a role that he can finally sink his teeth into, intense, on edge with a past that is yet to be revealed.

Such a show is an ensemble effort, every actor and location adding to its grim reality. Not one character was average, everyone acted their parts authentically.

Fast paced, full of eye opening moments and well edited back stories, there is a rationale for everything and everyone. Can’t wait for season 2!

4/5

Lust Stories (2018)

Lust stories are four short movies exploring different stories where people explore intimacy in marriage, extra-marital affairs and a ‘no strings attached’ scenario.

It was definitely a step forward for both the actors and the directors Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Karan Johar and Dibakar Banerjee who have been able to direct and present this content thanks to a web release on Netflix.

At 30 minutes each, they were slices in the lives of the many characters played by a great cast, all of whom which give the viewer insights about how and why we may do and feel the way we do.

3/5

Phobia (2016)

Finally a good Hindi horror/thriller film! It delivered on all fronts, with scares, twists, turns and no typical nonsense.

Radhika Apte has done a brilliant job, playing the artist who has a traumatic experience. How she and the others around her cope with it, and her own uphill healing journey, make the rest of the film.

The writing, editing, camera work and background score all tie in first place for the ‘hero’. Crisp, taut and intelligent, it answers every question you may have. Every scene, however short and fleeting, is important.

There are three cleverly written ‘borderline’ characters, who are always doubted or generally weird. Satyadeep Mishra as her friend Shaan links her world with one of reality. Her neighbours aren’t regular either. Manu is creepy and Nikki is surprisingly fearless.

A film about Agoraphobia, it’s frightful and craftily directed by Pawan Kripalani.

3.5/5

Manjhi : The Mountain Man (2015)

Set in post independence India, the tale of a lone man who wants to conquer a mountain for the betterment of his village is heart warming.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui, plays the title role with such conviction, that you never think you are watching a film, but are somehow privy to a slice of their life. Radhika Apte who plays his spouse, has supported him ably, matching up to him in every frame. Their scenes have great chemistry and their intimacy is shot beautifully.

Director Ketan Mehta has captured the essence of the period, with appropriate dialogue, songs, body language, locations and sets. It’s earthy, not melodramatic and real.

The audience is left with a message in the end which could have been far more elaborate, but they say a lot in few lines. A sincere film with a big heart.

3/5