A Suitable Boy – TV series (2020)

Only Mira Nair could have done justice to the poetic saga written by Vikram Seth, and she does so wonderfully.

Striking a balance between story telling and setting the mood for culture, family dynamics, heartbreak and new love, she captivates the audience while weaving a tale, drawing us in to the lives and choices of the many characters.

Though the 6 episodes cannot capture the entire content, they have however bottled the essence of the story, touching on all the key elements and relationships which form the drama, romance and strife in the plot.

Excellent performances by the entire stellar cast, the most noteworthy are Ishaan Khatter, Tabu and Ram Kapoor. But each and every one puts their finest theatrical foot forward.

Watch it for the detail, the feelings, the authenticity and the fine character portrayals and even finer direction.

Andhadhun (2018)

A sharp and witty black comedy, the film is a gem which won a lot of accolades last year.

Ayushmann Khurana plays a blind man who is actually not blind. How this deception lands him in trouble with the cunning Tabu and how he manages to free himself from any wrong-doing forms the crux of the film.

The beauty of the film is of course the writing as well as the editing. Stellar performances aside, it is the vision of the director Sriram Raghavan who is adept at handling such themes, that makes it a captivating watch.

Superb!

4/5

De de pyaar de (2019)

Directed by Akiv Ali and written by Luv Ranjan, they present a mature and progressive film which looks at relationships for people both younger and older. It explores a new romance and an old bond, with ample doses of comedy and some innuendo.

Ajay Devgn is restrained and subtle in a role that demands him to be so. Rakul Preet Singh is confident and plays her age and all the emotions that come with it. Jimmy Shergil lends able colourful and comic support. Alok Nath does a repeat act of his previous film with Luv Ranjan, and Tabu walks away with the best in this film. She is graceful, vivacious, a sensible head on her shoulders who exposes her vulnerabilities just like any human being. A brilliant actor!

The film is fun and light for most parts, maintaining a healthy balance between emotions and comedy.

3/5

Drishyam (2015)

What could have been a taut thriller turned out to be a dragged, stretched drama which became predictable and at points, laughable.

What surprises me most is Ajay Devgn and Tabu agreeing to do such caricaturist roles where they are literally spoon feeding the audience, rather than emoting.

By the time the movie finished many people were repeating the clues as a joke, and the repetitive and simplistic nature of story telling diluted any impact it could have had.

All in all, a good story in an average film which needed to be atleast 40 minutes shorter with no songs. The character graphs were haphazard and the only relatable characters were Rajat Kapoor and the little girl.

2/5

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