Stree (2018)

A novel genre in Bollywood; ‘Horror Comedy’, the film did exceedingly well because of its messaging.

It stuck to the conventions of building the spooky quotient and having decent special effects in its scares. The purpose though, wasn’t to create fear, but to solve and resolve. They do so with great sensitivity and introspection.

Rajkummar Rao is his usual dependable self and Shraddha Kapoor is mysterious and appropriate.

An entertaining watch!

3/5

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Ok Jaanu (2017)

Shaad Ali directed Saathiya, Bunty aur Babli, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Kill Dil and now this. What was this?

Mumbai has never looked better, but look for anything else and you will be disappointed. Adapted from the Tamil film ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’, the prolific Karan Johar and Mani Ratnam forgot that live in relationships are no big deal in Mumbai.

Moving on, we have some cute moments, in an otherwise sleep inducing movie. Humma Humma stirs us awake as the proceedings become a lullaby again. Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor are at best mediocre in roles that don’t require much else.

Naseeruddin Shah and his wife Leela Samson are a great example of a loving relationship, endearing characters in an otherwise dull tale.

1/5

ABCD 2 (2015)

An ensemble effort by a cast to present a sequel of an energetic first film. We get to see a lot of dance which is strung by a hair thin plot.

The result is an extended dance show, where we feel like judges who are to view the moves non-stop and possibly pick a favourite. My favourite? The fact that even though it was cliché, it got away by being sincere.

There isn’t much in the way of acting, but some brilliant ideas and concepts for the dance segments, and movement, of course!

A formulaic feel good film, it uses 3D to its advantage.

3/5

Haider (2014)

Adapting his 3rd Shakespearean text, Vishal Bhardwaj has pushed the envelope as far as he could, shocking the audiences to the micro problems of Haider’s life and macro problems of Kashmir.

The story is simple, and has been shown with a reality that kicks you in your face. The writing is deep, with little nuances you should watch out for by all principle characters. The visuals have been captured with a haunting flavour, telling the tales of deceit, murder, love and insanity.

Shahid Kapur proves yet again why he is set far apart from his peers. His madness, restrain and ‘tragic ballet like’ dance on Bismil speaks volumes for his talent. He looks the part, switches between sanity and unpredictability, giving us an insight into the trauma he has suffered.

Tabu comes a close second to Shahid, playing his mother, showing all sides of a woman who seems to be morally wrong but has her own tale. Her performance is filled with anguish, love for her son and husband and a characteristic streak which cannot be described, only experienced.

Shraddha is present for a few scenes and plays the ‘female lead’. Irrfan Khan plays the metaphorical saviour while Kay Kay Menon embodies a typical Shakespearean character with various shades. Khulbhushan Kharbanda has a few wise words to share and two ‘Salman Khan’ addicts provide some much needed comic relief.

When you read Hamlet you marvel at how well the director has been able to adapt it, given the political landscape and trying to fit the plot in an Indian family set-up. But he comes away leaving you in shudders, at how depraved humanity can be and how much our conscience fights evil inside our mind.

It is a heavy film, slow paced to mirror the life they lead and layered with terror, despair and hurt. One of the finest films of 2014, where all involved braved to swim against the current and present such a piece of art.

3.5/5

Ek Villain (2014)

Once again Sidharth Malhotra has done a film where he plays a supporting actor in the guise of the lead. What’s worse is this story is clearly about the ‘villain’, which he is not. The true villain in this film is the script, who can’t decide which genre it wants to fall into. Jumping from romance, to serial killer, to cop drama, to gangster, it leaves the viewer with a half-baked taste of all.

Shraddha Kapoor is different from her docile ways in her earlier film, bordering on annoying but still screeches her way through an act that needed more convincing. Sidharth has been pitched as ‘the angry young man’ but wasn’t angry enough. Neither was he bitter or sad enough. The intensity the role required was perhaps a bit too mature for his talents. He did his best though.

The show stopper and stealer was Riteish Deshmukh, a psychotic middle class man who was true to his character. Sadly none of the three leads were supported by director Mohit Suri or the script to perform in a logical manner. They went with a story that asked for the entire patience threshold of the audience, a bit too much with very little respite. Gaping flaws and loopholes in motive and plot make it a very difficult watch.

The last 10 minutes of the film were the best, but to ask you to watch all of it for that would be unfair.

1.5/5