Movies You Watched This Month – January 2017

Official Synopsis
The Girl on the Train is based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling thriller that shocked the world. Rachel (Emily Blunt), devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day. Everything changes when she sees something shocking happen there, and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

Liked it. Good movie but it had the potential to be an excellent movie. Its a bit long and does bore a bit. The twist at the end is good. The movie does remind of Gone Girl and there is some similarity with respect to the twist. Some scenes are excellent like the scene where Rachel goes to a alcoholics group or her scene with the psychiatrist Kamal Abdic. The best scene of the movie is the scene where Megan talks to Kamal about her child.

Emily Blunt was very good as always and nailed the part of the alcoholic Rachel. She was excellent in a couple of scenes. Haley Bennett looked very sexy and was very good as Megan. Rebecca Ferguson was good as Anna. Justin Theroux was good as Rachel’s ex-husband Tom. Luke Evans was good as Megan’s husband Scott. Allison Janney was ok as the Detective. Édgar Ramírez was good as the psychiatrist Kamal Abdic.


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Movies You Watched This Month – October 2016

On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.

The movie is based on the real incident of Captain Sully landing the US Airways flight on the Hudson river and saving the lives of all 155 aboard. But the depiction of the subsequent investigation as some kind of witch hunt is totally made up. While it makes for an interesting movie it is not the truth unfortunately.

“Sully is, in theory, based on Sullenberger’s 2009 memoir Highest Duty (co-authored with Jeffrey Zaslow). “Until I read the script, I didn’t know the investigative board was trying to paint the picture that he had done the wrong thing. They were kind of railroading him,” says Eastwood in one promotional trailer. It’s not surprising Eastwood was ignorant of any railroading by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), since it’s a narrative absent from Highest Duty, or anything actually said or written by the NTSB.

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Movies You Watched This Month – August 2016

Cinema Paradiso is the beautiful, enchanting story of a young boy’s lifelong love affair with the movies. Set in an Italian village, Salvatore finds himself enchanted by the flickering images at the Cinema Paradiso, yearning for the secret of the cinema’s magic. When the projectionist, Alfredo, agrees to reveal the mysteries of movie making, a deep friendship is born. The day comes for Salvatore to leave the village and pursue his dream of making movies of his own. Thirty years later he receives a message that beckons him back home to a secret and beautiful discovery that awaits him.

The movie won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1989. The movie is very leisurely paced and some of the scenes felt a bit repetitive but its a excellent movie on a young boy’s lifelong love affair with the movies. Its very beautifully made and seeped in nostalgia. Not sure how autobiographical it is but one can feel the love of the director for movies and for that era.

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Dishoom Movie Review

DishoomSynopsis Viraj Sharma, India’s top cricketer suffers a shoulder injury and he then inexplicably slams his shoulder into a wall to get well and win the match for India. He gets kidnapped and a video message is delivered to the minister (clearly modeled on Sushma Swaraj) showing the kidnapper to be a Pakistani fan who wants his team to win. The minister sends a cop Kabir, who always has a frown because his girlfriend cheated on him. He teams up with Junaid, an Indian cop working in UAE. The two cops have 36 hours to find and rescue the kidnapped Indian cricketer.

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Sultan Movie Review by Sputnik

Sultan is a story of Sultan Ali Khan – a local wrestling champion with the world at his feet as he dreams of representing India at the Olympics. It’s a story of Aarfa – a feisty young girl from the same small town as Sultan with her own set of dreams. When the 2 local wrestling legends lock horns, romance blossoms and their dreams and aspirations become intertwined and aligned. However, the path to glory is a rocky one and one must fall several times before one stands victorious – More often than not, this journey can take a lifetime. Sultan is a classic underdog tale about a wrestlers journey, looking for a comeback by defeating all odds staked up against him. But when he has nothing to lose and everything to gain in this fight for his life match… Sultan must literally fight for his life. Sultan believes he’s got what it takes… but this time, it’s gona take everything he’s got. “Wrestling is not a sport it’s about fighting what lies within”….. SULTAN

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Udta Punjab Movie Review by Sputnik

What on earth can a rock star, a migrant labourer, a Doctor and a Police Officer possibly have in common? Simple, PUNJAB! 4 Lives, 1 connection – ‘Udta Punjab’ takes you on a trip like never before. Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Diljit Dosanjh play characters from different walks of life, fighting the menace of drugs in their own way. The film journeys into the artificial highs and the real lows that they face while treading the paths fraught with mortal dangers, but above all Udta Punjab is about the famed Punjabi spirit, that despite being fully down, has the audacity of looking you in the eye and saying – Drugs Di Maa Di!

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TE3N Movie Review by Sputnik

TE3NOfficial Synopsis
It’s been 8 years since John Biswas (Amitabh Bachchan) lost his granddaughter, Angela, in a tragic kidnapping incident that scarred him & his wife Nancy forever. But eight years later, while the world has moved, John hasn’t given up his relentless quest for justice. He continues to visit the police station where he’s shunned & ignored every day. The only person whose help he seeks is Martin Das (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), an ex-cop turned priest who has one thing in common with John – the death of Angela had a life altering impact on both men. But then, 1 day, 8 years after that tragic incident, there’s another kidnapping & everything about it echoes of similarity with the kidnapping of Angela. Father Martin is once again dragged into the investigation by cop Sarita Sarkar (Vidya Balan). While the priest & the cop tackle the new kidnapping, John doggedly pieces together the identity of Angela’s kidnapper from little bits of information that he collects through his own investigations. TE3N is a gripping thriller that brings together these two parallel investigations into the 2 kidnappings – & builds up into an explosive, emotionally-charged film.

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Movies You Watched This Month June 2016

Finding Neverland director Marc Forster adapts author Khaled Hosseini’s critically acclaimed novel about two childhood best friends forever torn apart as their country is ravaged by endless war and bitter strife. As children, Amir (Khalid Abdalla) and Hassan were inseparable; their long days under azure Kabul skies often spent getting into innocent mischief or preparing for the highly anticipated kite-fighting tournament. When the day of the tournament arrives, however, a glorious victory is quickly offset by a timorous act of betrayal that ultimately serves as the catalyst for catastrophe. Not long after that fateful day, Amir moves away to America, leaving his old friend behind just as the ominous specter of war turns tragically tangible. Two decades later, Amir returns to Afghanistan to find his beloved homeland has now fallen under the iron-fisted rule of the Taliban. Still, all hope for redemption hasn’t been lost just yet, because now that Amir stands face to face with the irrepressible secrets that he struggled so vigilantly to bury, he will receive one last chance to make peace with the past, and lay the groundwork for a brighter future.

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Sanket’s Review: Sarbjit

Sarbjit Sarbjit is a film that hovers around jail rooms, India-Pakistan border and lots of tears. The film hits lot of right beats in its 130 minutes but the nature of this story is such that it makes room for lot of repetitiveness making the film feel seldom long. The film doesn’t feel fast and brisk in first half. The proceedings aren’t captivating even if they aren’t boring.

But the momentum takes a flight post intermission when we are well versed with each character’s pain and ambition. In fact, some of the film’s best moments are in second half like the one where a Pakistani Lawyer a sarcastically enters an anti-India rally or like the one where Aishwarya’s character turns heroic when she orders the Pakistani policeman to stay out of her way. These are subtle and nuanced scenes that leave solid impact. However one can’t deny that by the end, there is a sense of exhaustion because of its inconsistent pace.

The songs don’t add or subtract much from the experience. The dialogues at places are very clever and well used within the boundary of melodrama.

Aishwarya Rai is extremely sincere as Dalbir Singh even if her character doesn’t have an arc of emotions. She is constantly sobbing and giving loud-mouthed speeches. Randeep Hooda is very good in a role that’s both challenging and one-note. Richa Chadha makes a lot out of her few scenes and especially the one where she outbursts on Aishwarya’s character.

Sarbjit is fairly average movie of a very sad story. Even if it chews out lot of patience in first half, it still ends after an engrossing second half. A little more effort perhaps could have made it a lot better film.

Rating: 2/5

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Sanket’s Review: Azhar

Azhar The writers of Azhar were so unconfident of sensationalism in real life material of Mohd. Azharrudin that they put a long disclaimer in beginning itself which disowns any elements of being a biopic. So instead it’s a story inspired by his life.

And once you are conditioned as per that disclaimer it becomes easy to enjoy Azhar for major chunk. The film starts with great moments one after the other and the film feels fast until the romance kicks in with Prachi Desai. Yet, once you go past the romantic track there’s no looking back till the interval because it has a gripping tale to tell. Not everything falls in place easily but the screenplay has enough air filled in it for it to not burst quickly.

But it bursts post intermission when Nargis Fakhri surfaces gloriously. Her story with Azhar draws space for a small item song, a love song, few liplocks – the regular Hashmi’s ingredients. It’s this part where Azhar sets back and the drama often feels superficial & longer than it should perhaps be. However the film doesn’t entirely falls flat in second half especially because the climax is nicely interspersed with Cricket and courtroom drama, both of which may grab your attention entirely. Also there’s a very clever scene, although melodramatically handled, where we see Azhar performing demands of a Gym owner.

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Sanket’s Review: Sairat (Marathi)

Sairat‪‎Sairat‬ (Marathi) is primarily a love story. A love story that has been done to death in every kind of cinema that exists. The poor-guy-rich-girl love story. And yet this film brings out some of the key emotions that these frivolous love stories fail to chalk out.

The first one hour is a complete hoot. The love story that blossoms is so wonderfully penned and enacted that you are overwhelmed with exuberance. The love feels real when its raw and young. It feels relatable. And that is what makes the first hour extremely gripping and heartening. But when things get serious, we discover that the writer-director has a lot to say.

In second half, the pace is chopped off. There are too many scenes that don’t have dialogues. Yes, the film considerably loses its mark in second half. It’s also because a lot is repeated and the pace is slow. But amidst these scenes, director makes a silent commentary on a lot of social issues mostly pertaining to women’s role in society. It’s a well intentioned and well thought of second half. It just demands a little more patience.

Ajay-Atul’s songs are wonderfully weaved in the story all in first half. The songs alone demand a separate viewing for this film.

Akash Thosar is excellent. Especially in former portions when he is wooing his girl. Rinku Rajguru is first rate. She infuses enough confidence in her performance to leave a great impact.

In all, Sairat is a very good film. It does get long and slow, especially in second half. But watch-out for that fantastic development of love story in first hour which feels so real, so relatable and so entertaining. And of course the music, the performances are another few reasons why it’s a must watch.

Rating : 3.5/5

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Aligarh Movie Review by Sputnik

Aligarh is based on the heartbreaking and powerful story of Professor Siras, a prolific teacher who faced abject humiliation and persecution at the hands of university authorities and other citizens for being gay. On February 8th 2010, a crew from a local TV station secretly filmed Professor Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) having sex with a rickshaw puller in his house inside the university campus. The video led to condemnation by conservative religious groups and the university administration suspended him and asked him to leave the campus. He was found dead in his apartment two months later.

The movie is filled with excellent scenes like the scene where the reporters break into the Professor’s house or the scene where the Doctor doesn’t see him or the scene where he is thrown out of his apartment by the landlord or the courtroom scenes. The best scene of the movie is the courtroom scene where Professor Siras has to face questions like “Who is the male in this relationship?” and “how does he still have stamina for sex at his age of 64?” from the female lawyer.

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Sanket’s Review : Baaghi

BaaghiThis week’s release Baaghi is an inconsistently put together action drama which is only seldom enjoyable. We are very well aware that in films like these we are usually supposed to not take its story and plot holes very seriously. In fact I enjoy this genre more often only because it doesn’t submit itself to the dry theory of logic. But Baaghi is too short of entertainment that it is supposed to provide.

In first half, the film runs on the strength of some quick comedy, mostly provided by Sunil Grover, and couple of terrifically choreographed action scenes. But the romance and the drama in the film is something that is major distraction. Also there are quite a few song in the narration and only “Sab Tera” gels well.

Even second half suffers from uninspiring drama that only hurts its action sequences. Come to think off it, if the technically rich action scenes are not motivated out of relatable emotions, all they look like WWE action that we see on TV. This is what holds back Baaghi from being a good entertainer.

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Fan Movie Review by Sputnik

FanOfficial Synopsis
FAN is the story of Gaurav (Shah Rukh Khan) a young man, 20 something, whose world revolves around the mega movie star Aryan Khanna (Shah Rukh Khan) or God as he refers to him. From the by lanes of Delhi, young Gaurav embarks on a journey to the city of dreams, Mumbai, in order to wish his God on his birthday. After all, he is Aryan’s biggest FAN and even has a striking resemblance to him – how difficult could it be for the world biggest FAN to get an audience with the world’s biggest Star. When things don’t go according to plan, Gaurav’s love and passion for his God turns in to a dangerous obsession that crosses the fine line. In an edge of the seat thriller, FAN will peel away at both Gaurav and Aryan’s personalities and characters as the two men discover people within themselves that even they didn’t know existed, and we’re left wondering who to sympathize with and whom to root for – can we really pick a side, after all, Superstars are also human beings but each one of us is also a FAN.

There are some scenes which are good like the scene where Gaurav is outside Aryan’s house the first time with his trophy or the scene where Gaurav burns all of Aryan’s pictures or the scene where Gaurav holds Aryan’s wife hostage and breaks all of Aryan’s awards.

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Sanket’s Review: Fan

Fan In Bollywood our writers and directors have to speak twice in their narration. They have to build momentum for first half, then break it with an interval, and then reestablish it for second half. Clearly Maneesh Sharma is grappling with this interval culture since his first film. From “Band Baaja Baaraat” to “Ladies vs Ricky Bahl” to “Shuddh Desi Romance” to now “Fan”. Even though Band Baaja Baarat had lot of content going in its favor that salvaged the film from dipping, the next three films clearly tapered off.

FAN is Sharma’s weakest piece of work and its evident from ever since the second half plays on. The screenplay is down in dumps – some of the cinematic liberties are laughable to loudest degree. The drama between the Fan & star never reaches to a point where we can emotionally indulge into proceedings. The biggest disappointing element is that the film relies so heavily on the plot idea itself that it rests its second half entirely on it. What a shame!

The first half is fairly likeable. The energy of a middle class fanboy is affectionate and you end up liking his earnestness. But as soon the film turns grim it starts falling apart like a pack of cards.

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Movies You Watched This Month April 2016

Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) is a woman in a tight spot. Following a car accident in which Erin is not at fault, Erin pleads with her attorney Ed Masry (Albert Finney) to hire her at his law firm. Erin stumbles upon some medical records placed in real estate files. She convinces Ed to allow her to investigate, where she discovers a cover-up involving contaminated water in a local community which is causing devastating illnesses among its residents.

Re watched it after a long time. Excellent movie based on a true story. The movie is pretty factual except that many of the victims weren’t happy with the money that received individually. Link

Julia Roberts was excellent as Erin Brockovich and this is her career best performance for which she deservedly won the Oscar for Best Actress. Albert Finney was good as the attorney Ed Masry. Aaron Eckhart was good as the biker boyfriend.

Highly Recommended

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