Sanju (2018)

From the moment this project was announced I was wondering how the subject would be treated, and how it would be balanced entertainment.

The way it was handled by Raj Kumar Hirani, no surprise there, was superlative. Not only has he managed to say one side of the story (as we know there are always many sides) in a remarkable way, but he’s done justice to all the characters, big or small.

Manisha Koirala is beautiful as the late Nargis, so much grace and spontaneity, she was perfect for the role. Paresh Rawal as Sunil Dutt was one of the three main pillars of the story, dependable and stoic, he was every bit the actor and person so many admired. Jim Sarbh was effective in a short role, as were Anushka Sharma and Dia Mirza. The second pillar, a fast rising actor Vicky Kaushal is a talent to be reckoned with. He holds his own in the frame with Ranbir and Paresh and has an exemplary presentation of his character ‘Kamli’.

The third pillar, Ranbir Kapoor, is someone who can never be accused of bad acting. He’s flawless in a role which walks the right rope portraying a living actor, who has been admired by many, so much so that the audience erupted in applause at the end of the film. He has shown a struggle with drugs/alcohol, the relationship with his parents, the underworld and his love life with such sincerity that it almost seems we are voyeurs to the real life of Sanjay Dutt.

This film is heart touching, reveals some facets which may be fiction, or fact, but make for good story telling. At the end, what is truth but a perspective and who knows it, but the ones who have lived through it? The film raises a very important point about media and how news is created. Something for the world to be wary about.

Do stay for the end credits song. It’s the icing on the cake.

3.5/5

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Love per square foot (2018)

Is an interesting take on the property choices for young people in an expensive city like Mumbai.

Vicky Kaushal and Angira Dhar speak of dreams, independence, having their own space and home.

What follows is a cute story, where the Pathak sisters entertain in their own way, while we have tiny nuances of Mumbai which are part of its charm.

A new age tale of love and belonging.

2.5/5

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

Raazi (2018)

Rarely do you have a taut thriller which doesn’t make any grand statements, but builds drama slowly, without fanfare.

The beauty of this film is how director Meghna Gulzar hasn’t once shown a bias or chosen sides. You see the plot unfold in two households, both are nice and fair with one thing in common, their love for their country. It’s so balanced that you feel for the other without thinking or overprocessing.

Alia Bhatt has taken on a difficult role, bringing out nuances which we haven’t seen yet in her diverse acting range. Her youth is her biggest strength, as she has more time to develop and explore her acting prowess.

Vicky Kaushal plays an understanding sensitive man, ably supported by a stellar cast, all of whom do their part well, without resorting to histrionics.

You walk away from the film strangely diminished, happy for the outcome but sad for the many unsung heroes.

A worthy watch.

3.5/5