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Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (2018)
Chekka Chivantha Vaanam may not be the best from Mani Ratnam but its riveting crime drama with terrific performances from all the cast and pitch perfect technical values..
Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (2018):
Mani Ratnam, returning back to crime genre...What else does film buffs like me need? After a streak of romance and dramas, Mani Ratnam's new feature is a unique tale of throne fights among brothers with best cast in recent times. Aravind Swamy, Vijay Sethupathi, Simbhu, Arun Vijay, Jyothika, Prakash Raj, Jaya Sudha, Aditi Rao Hydari...Such an ensemble cast in recent times with already electrifying album from AR Rahman and impressive trailers. Did Mani Ratnam unleashed the film maker in him with full mode?
Plot: The film takes off with the murder attempt on Senapathi (Prakash Raj), a well-established don in Chennai. In order to find the person behind it, his three sons, Varadha(Arvind Swamy), Thyagu (Arun Vijay) and Rudra (Simbu) attack Chinnappa who is a member of the opposite gang. As time passes by, the brothers come to know a shocking truth about the murder attempt on their dad. Who is that culprit? Why did he attack Bhupathi Reddy?
My Review: In Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, Mani Ratnam took a unique take which left me confused at the end. The entire movie is based on total gray shaded characters without any protagonist and antagonist where everyone is a danger to others. With such darkly etched characters, first half of the film is well written with handling the bonding of family and whodunit mystery. The scene in Pre-Interval where Senapthi revelas the mystery to his wife followed by the best scene of the film where his wife looks at her sons through window (I loved this scene) with Bhoomi Bhoomi as background score...That Interval bang left me in Awe and raised expectations on second half..
But second half left me in confusion when the action started.It started so soon that I wasn't ready for it. Mani Ratnam had let the drama to take back seat so that pne of the most violent movie in recent times could start. With all the grey characters started attacking each other, I was confused to whom perspective I should watch this...Even with epic making, I wasn't mended with that action but then Praaptham song started in background which started giving me clarity..Such an unique mark from Mani Ratnam and Ar Rahman and the uniquely made Climax cleared the doubts ofcourse it left few unanswered.
So, Chekka Chivantha Vaanam may not be the best from Mani Ratnam but its riveting crime drama with terrific performances from all the cast and pitch perfect technical values..
My rating 7.5/10
Goodachaari is nothing but a cinemaholic attempt to remake all his favorite scenes from famous spy films.
Adivi Sesh's intention of changing Tollywood with rarely attempted genres is commendable attempt. His previous outing Kshanam was a mystery thriller and now his new film Goodachaari is a spy thriller. Even with not so eye grabbing promos, Goodachari has good buzz only because of Kshanam. Audience waited for another unique experience and Did Sesh achieved it?
Arjun (Adivi Sesh) gets recruited into a spy organization after repeated applying for the job. He is inducted into Trinetra, a secret service bureau that recruits him for a mission. He soon becomes an agent.On the very first day as an agent, a minister gets killed, his girlfriend (Sobhita) is killed and all fingers point out that he's behind this. He is on the run to find out who the mole in Trinetra is and who actually killed his father in his childhood. As he goes on the mission, many secrets come out.
Adivi Sesh's intention is good of bringing change in Tollywood is good but it would be lot better if he chose new subjects other than inspired works like these. While Kshanam is taken from Flight Plan, Goodachaari is taken from almost all the famous spy films like MI, Kingsman etc..
There is nothing wrong with taking points from other works until or unless you focus on content. Kshanam is amazing with good thrill and emotions in right places but Goodachaari is too fake and tried hardly to look as an effective Mission Impossible of India. Goodachaari is too dragging, bland and sometimes confused.
Sesh's character desires to join in Spy Group but once he gets place in it he starts behaving like regular college kid with silly antics and behavior. There is not a single scene in the film where we feel the suspense. It is too bland and boring. A couple of things we expect to find in spy-thrillers are suspense and characters with intelligent minds. When coveted plans are revealed that should make us go 'Oh boy! I didn't see that coming.' But in Goodachari characters that seem to lack common sense and logical thinking.
Shockingly production values didn't impress. ENtire pre climax and climax were shot in some bad locations outskirts of city but shown as Bangladesh. Cinematography, Music are poor compared to Kshanam.
SO,Goodachaari is nothing but a cinemaholic attempt to remake all his favorite scenes from famous spy films.
My Rating 5.75/10
The 15:17 to Paris (2018)
One of the most blandly made biographical film
The 15:17 to Paris (2018):
The Star-turned-Director Clint Eastwood has memorable films in his career with Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, American Sniper and Sully. He was after real-life hero tales continuously and this year he came with an even lesser known Thalys Train Attack. Surprisingly, Eastwood did a rare feat, he's cast the real men involved in the events the film depicts as themselves. So how did it go?
Plot: In the early evening of August 21, 2015, the world watched in stunned silence as the media reported a thwarted terrorist attack on Thalys train #9364 bound for Paris--an attempt prevented by three courageous young Americans traveling through Europe. The film follows the course of the friends' lives, from the struggles of childhood through finding their footing in life, to the series of unlikely events leading up to the attack. Throughout the harrowing ordeal, their friendship never wavers, making it their greatest weapon and allowing them to save the lives of the more than 500 passengers on board.
If you watch this film expecting thrilling hostage scenes in train and inspiring heroic acts, you will disappoint as hell. The 15:17 to Paris is one of the most aimlessly made biographical drama film. As far as films on terrorism go, there's not much action to be seen here. The entire train attack lasts hardly more than 15 minutes.This is no action film and not drama too.
I think the script was written by the actors/real life people as it mostly focuses on uninteresting aspects of their life. Their travels, discussions and acts all looks like a Holiday videos. How did they even think that we are interested in watching their lives when almost nothing happens? May be! That is the point. MAy be Eastwood tried to prove that the most boring lives could also turn heroic but No..That didn't got conveyed to me while watching it.
All three real life heroes did good even when this is their first time. Eastwood succeeded in bringing out performances from them. And that's the only place Eastwood succeeded. Even the train sequence is blandly shot.]
My rating 5.25/10
Sanju is a 2 and half hour confession of Sanjay Dutt about the blame he faced. Hirani disappointed...
Of all the celebrities, Sanjay Dutt has the most controversial career. With several twists and turns including drugs, sex, Mafia, Sanjay Dutt's life definitely will make a brilliant film.What if it is directed by Raj Kumar Hirani, who is Dutt's best friend? Then this is going to be a perfect example of how a biopic should be made right? Unfortunately No!
Sanju is the story of Sanjay Dutt, Bollywood superstar, acclaimed actor, convicted criminal, son of the screen legend Nargis and the much-respected actor-activist-politician Sunil Dutt. The film skips Dutt Jr's childhood and takes us through his work on his debut film, his mother's illness, his rocky relationship with his father, his alcoholism and drug addiction, the allegations of involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, his arrest under the draconian and now lapsed TADA, the acquittal on terror charges and conviction under the Arms Act, his jailing and ultimate release.
Sanju only covers 3 stages of his life or else we can say 3 confessions of his life. Why he became a drug addict? Why he has AK 56? Why was he labeled as Terrorist? Sanju shows reason to these questions like a confession given in court.To anyone who wants to know deep into Sanjay's past will only get what Sanjay wants to show you.
Even with Hirani's master technique of blending humor in serious situations too, Sanju still thrives to sympathize Sanjay Dutt.Throughout the film, Sanjay Dutt character is shown as an innocent guy who landed in troubles to save his family.Rajkumar Hirani does the only thing he can. By making Sanjay Dutt, Sanju. By choosing to show us a child-man, full of insecurities and flaws. By making the film much more about an errant son and a loving, forgiving father, than a king-size, get-outta-my-way superstar 'jo har fikr ko dhuein mein udaata chaala gaya'. And yes, by giving that errant son a chance of redemption, because it wouldn't be a Rajkumar Hirani film otherwise.There are a lot of issues untouched in the film.
Hirani did his best in bringing out drama with perfection but it doesn't seem fair when he didn't bring out the best with such amazing chance.
Performance wise Ranbir Kapoor is good in the role of Sanjay Dutt but Makeup artists efforts deserves more applause.Paresh Rawal is the show stealer in the role of Sunil Dutt. All his scenes are the best part of the film.
So,Sanju is a 2 and half hour confession of Sanjay Dutt about the blame he faced. Hirani disappointed...
My Rating 7/10
Hereditary almost promised an experience like The Witch but unfortunately it showed me The Witch again
I strongly believe that only one horror film will be a Masterpiece per year and rest will disappoint. 2018 already got a masterpiece with A Quiet Place but surprisingly another film caught huge attention with its amazingly cut trailers. The most interesting aspect is that it came from the same production house which bought one of my most favorite horror The Witch. SO did it reach my expectations?
A matriarch (Ann Dowd) in a household passes away and the family is stuck in what seems to be a permanent loop of grief. Annie (Toni Collette) tries her best to take control of the emotional index in the house but there is something not quite right with her daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro) - as is the norm in horror, the child is seeing things the adults are not.
Horror films have a habit of following a formula and recycling it until another film comes and charts a new course.The Witch started a course of a slow-burning horror which doesn't rely on cheap jump scares but still injects fear into each and every nerve of body. But unfortunately, no other film tried its style and Hereditary is the only one which came after a long time.
Unlike most horror films where it feels like you are inside a horror-themed fun house of people in costumes jumping at you, there is an atmospheric creepiness built in Hereditary that makes you consistently uncomfortable. Hereditary starts with a tragedy and enters the main plot soon and moves slowly by injecting scenes into our mind with lot of detailing.The entire trauma faced by the family is shown too disturbingly. Even with less jump-scares, this movie still gives you goosebumps in right moments and especially the second tragedy is too hard-hitting.
Aster's approach to scaring you has a refined and scholarly sheen - there is not a single moment of manipulative loud music just to induce shock value. But unfortunately he changed his track at the end which strongly resembled The Witch which totally disappointed me. The climax twist made me hate the entire film a bit.The final 10 minutes of the film is when Aster completely embraces the supernatural and it becomes a bit of a let down for two reasons - the revelation is not horrifying or unique enough for hardcore horror nerds, and if seen from the metaphorical lens, it comes across as an overtly explained and overlong spoon-fed information for audiences.
Collette's performance is amazing but she is No Essie Davis of Babadook or Nicole Kidman of The Others..But Milly Shapiro is a revelation.Even when with less screen presence then other roles, she is the major scare point of the film and it is a praise. Alex Wolff is scary too.
So,Hereditary almost promised an experience like The Witch but unfortunately it showed me The Witch again. It is vastly similar to that film.
Note:- Indian Censor ruined experience with its brutal cuts...
My Rating 6.5/10
Lust Stories (2018)
Lust Stories is not at all about sex but it shows that the pleasure of it is equal to both men and women. Respect it....
Lust Stories (2018):
It is always fun to watch as it shows different short films on same theme in one film. But Lust Stories is a never before seen kinda film as it deals with then most sensitive issue of the country- Women and Lust. Sex sparks it, but it's neither the focus nor a means for erotic imagery.The theme here is not so much lust, but the impact it has on the lives of four very different women from different walks of life.
"Lust doesn't mean people have to be naked on screen or are constantly having sex" - Anurag Kashyap..
Lust STories have four segments directed by 4 acclaimed filmmakers of Indian Cinema
Segment 1: Directed by Anurag Kashyap
It is about Kalindi (Radhika Apte),a professor who has a one night stand with her innocent/virgin student. She forces him to forget whatever happened but the hangover is unending as she tosses between guilt and rebound.Her nervous wrath, volatile outbursts, relentless stalking and rambling logic reveal a woman unhinge.
This is my most favorite segment of all as it has one of the most complex characters of the film. Kalindi's character and the way Radhika Aptre portrayed it is mind blowing. Kashyap's direction is terrific and especially the climax is handled hilariously amazing.
Segment 2: Directed by Zoya Akthar
Totally surprised by this as Zoya Akthar had made this segment which is about a house maid in a middle class flat unlike rich characters of her other films which are always about rich people. This is the most simplest segment of the film. If not for Bhumi's natural performance, this wouldn't have conveyed what it supposed to.
Segment 3: Directed by Divakar Benerjee
Most weirdest and longest segment. It started slow and later picks pace a bit but it never satisfies us totally. This segment is a bore if not for Manisa Koirala's beautiful comeback.
Segment 4: Directed by Karan Johar
This is not only of the most hilarious segment of the film, this is one of the hilarious parts I have seen in recent times. Megha (Kiara Advani), a newly married girl from Lucknow, whose husband (the charming Vicky Kaushal) has no idea that sex involves two people. With the help of her divorced but liberated friend (Neha Dhupia), Megha learns to, among other things, put herself first.
Kiara Advani is a revelation in how she lends levity and guts without compromising on her composure.Neha Dhupia is seducingly brilliant in her brief role.
Lust Stories is not at all about sex but it shows that the pleasure of it is equal to both men and women. Respect it....
My Rating 7/10
Sammohanam is a beautiful family entertainer with Aditi's enchanting performance, Naresh's amazing comedy and amazingly written script of Indraganti.
Indraganti Mohan Krishna directed Aditi Rao Hydari and the trailer showed that the plot is similar to Notting Hill, one of my most favorite romantic film and I just couldn't wait for Aditi's charm in the role. So how is the film? Is it copied from Notting Hill? A Big No!
A famous actress Sameera (Aditi Rao) comes to the residence of Vijay (Sudheer Babu) for a movie shoot as the house was hired as the location. Vijay doesn't like movie stars and their world as it is filled with fake people.Despite his loathsomeness towards movie stars, he gets attracted to her when she hires him as Telugu dialogue coach.Vijay is good at Telugu and is waiting for his book of cartoons in Telugu to be published. He naturally falls for her beauty and for her "aura". But being a big film star will she reciprocate the same?
The line may sound similar to Notting Hill but Indaganti's magical writing proves that irrespective of commercial result, Indraganti is one person who strives for unique family entertainers.
Indraganti picked life of a heroine who has been caught between the bad company in film industry and a good guy who is closer to her heart. The film deals with the pressures a modern day top actresses faces in her day to day life. It not only addresses the actress issues but also has abundant satires on film industries. Indraganti balanced both mature dialogues and humor part equally which definitely deserves applause. The way he wrote Naresh's character and the scenes written for him are packed with humor that you will ROFL in theaters for sure.
The best part of Sammohanam is, however, reserved for its lead actors Sudheer Babu and Aditi Rao Hydari who are terrific in their respective roles. If their onscreen chemistry, especially in the first half of the film, does not melt your heart then I do not know what will. The magic lies in the way they look at each other and you just know that they are in love. The super market scene which is followed the scene on Terrace is pure charm that you will have a smile on your face while watching those pleasant scenes.
Aditi Rao Hydari once again stole the show with her enchanting performance. She is like a beautiful snowflake and her performance is spell-binding.Quite rarely do we see an actress whose eyes bare her soul, but Aditi makes it seem so easy. She dubs for herself which amazingly worked and this hugely aids the character of a star whose Telugu isn't up to the mark. For the first time I saw an complete actor in Sudheer Babu. He is brilliant in his role and his performance in Interval and Climax is amazing. Naresh is another show-stealer of the film with his hilariously written character.Pavitra Lokesh's performance is very good.
Cinematpgraphy by P.G.Vinda is excellent.Music by Vivek Sagar is a plus for the film. While the conversations are just going on for lot of time, his background score made sure that it elevated the emotion of the conversation.
So,Sammohanam is a beautiful family entertainer with Aditi's enchanting performance, Naresh's amazing comedy and amazingly written script of Indraganti.
My Rating 7.25/10
Naachiyaar is not only the simplest but also the weekest in Bala's career..
As soon as we read the title card that says 'A Bala film', we expect a dark and disturbing film with a realistic approach to life.Be it his Pithamagan or Naan Kadavul and his last film Thaarai Thappattai,Bala's films are not for everyone.They are gut wrenching.But surprisingly Naachiyaar is his simplest drama till date..
Two teenagers Kaathu (GV Prakash), a fruit vendor and Arasi (Ivana), a house maid meet and start liking each other. The film opens with a pregnant Arasi being nabbed by ACP Naachiyaar (Jyothika) and another team led by Feroz (Rockline Venkatesh) arresting Kaathu who is accused of raping a minor.
The film caught everyone's attention when the teaser saw actor Jyothika swearing as part of her tough-as-nails cop avatar. For all the excitement this avatar generated though, Jyothika's Naachiyaar is something of a storm in a teacup, simply having a woman walk, talk and act like the male heroes we're so used to.
But the film is a love story of teenagers but landed in bigger trouble...Bala doesn't waste any time, as the theme of the film is established in the first couple of scenes itself. The characters are introduced, and their purposes are conveyed immediately. The film starts off on a comical note, with quite a few comedy scenes that don't drift away from the main plot. From there, the story flows into the romantic portions involving GV and Ivana. All these scenes are convincing enough but nothing special..Even second half which actually needed to be a nail biting investigation turns out dull...And, unlike in his previous films, there is no strong antagonist for her to square off against, which robs the character of strength and the film of drama..
So,Naachiyaar is not only the simplest but also the weekest in Bala's career..
My Rating 6.25/10
Ready Player One (2018)
Ready Player One is a crazy nostalgic ride with the best VFX you will see in recent times..Spielberg's epic craft..
Ready Player One (2018):
Halfway through Ready Player One,a lengthy sequence of The Shining was included which I was totally unprepared for..Who would have thought that we are going to see The Shining,one of the greatest horrors of all time,on an Imax screen and Perfect 3D...A pure Spielberg master-creativity in bringing us one of the most nostalgic adventure movie with mind blowing VFX...
In the year 2045, the real world is a harsh place. The only time Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) truly feels alive is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spends their days. In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone-the only limits are your own imagination. The OASIS was created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who left his immense fortune and total control of the Oasis to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a worthy heir. When Wade conquers the first challenge of the reality-bending treasure hunt, he and his friends-aka the High Five-are hurled into a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS.
Spielberg has been a great storyteller from the beginning, a master of the camera, it is as if he sees each edit in his head before the film is finished.Even when present young-age film makers are stumbling upon each other on who is gonna make the best visual wonder,Spielberg a man who is almost 75 has most visual telling abilities than most of the other makers.Steven Spielberg is the father of spectacle.The film-maker's singular vision in weaving ambitious drama around cinematic sorcery launched the age of blockbuster entertainment.In Ready Player One, he returns to an arena he predominantly parented with the optimism of a kid who hasn't forgotten what it's like to be an audience..
Ready Player One is a truly awe-inspiring, towering piece of work, the work of an artist absolutely confident in his abilities and artistry, his finger on the pulse of world movie goers. With a salute to eighties pop culture, and video games, the characters hurtle through the worlds in the film, encountering some of the more famous and infamous characters of the eighties. What I liked is that they are not the major characters, they simply exist in this work called The Oasis. Slipping into this virtual world you are as likely to encounter King Kong as you are the T Rex from Jurassic Park (1993), the cast of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and the totally unexpected Overlook Hotel of The Shining (1980) and hilariously creepy "Chucky" too..
Because Spielberg is quite the master of crafting giant spectacle with heart, you get some truly jaw dropping action sequences in the film, more so because we're inside VR and the filmmaker is no longer confined to the boundaries of what can be realistic. The scale is so huge and sprawling that it feels like Spielberg is just showing off what is possible with cutting edge CGI and an unlimited imagination nowadays..The Mega Race at the start itself is worth the ticket price...Make no mistake; there are legitimately jaw-dropping action set pieces in Ready Player One that rival anything seen in even the most impressive blockbuster franchises, and they leave a lasting impression. 3D is one of the best I have ever seen
Ready Player One is flawed too..Performances are just decent..Nothing special except the charming presence of Olivia Cooke..She is absolutely stunning....As per the plot,Ready Player One is a typical Spielberg-ish adventure set in virtual world..There are no surprises and turns..It just gives you an long-lasting expression...
So,Ready Player One is a crazy nostalgic ride with the best VFX you will see in recent times..Spielberg's epic craft..
My rating 7.5/10
Bharat Ane Nenu (2018)
Bharat Ane Nenu is powerful political drama with Koratala's terrific writing and Mahesh's stunning performance.
Bharat Ane Nenu (2018):
Most of the Telugu film makers always confuse about Whether they should write scenes which should be feast for fans or for whole audience..But most of them end up writing fan moments which can only be enjoyed by fans only..But both Rajamouli and Koratala Shiva are the only ones who can write scenes which can give goosebumps to all sections of audience..With three blockbusters in a row,Koratala Shiva teamed up with Mahesh Babu (unfortunately who has 2 disasters in a row) and came uo with Bharat Ane Nenu....Even the idea of Mahesh babu as C.M is enough to give goosebumps..SO how is the film?
Bharath(Mahesh Babu), who graduates in the UK hears about the sudden death of his father(Sarath Kumar) who is the chief minister of the state. Leaving things behind, he rushes back to India. Upon his arrival, he is forced by his uncle(Prakash Raj) to fill his father's shoes as the chief minister of the state. Bharath takes up this deadly challenge only to find out several loopholes in the system. Rest of the story is as to how Bharath operates in his own style as a CM and brings a good change in the society.
"Anthahh Karana Sidhdhitho" I will never forget this line and the scene..While the movie is going in a slow pace from the start,I am waiting for Koratala's mark..Then came the scene of Bharath taking Oath as CM..As he was raised in abroad and difficulty in reading Telugu he stumbles at that particular line...The next day a newspaper criticizes him for not even spelling a Telugu word correctly..Later at a moment he gives a master-stroke to that journalist in a whistle-worthy scene
Koratala Siva knows, rather too well, when to pull the strings, and there are particular moments in the story which turn into flash points for the lead character to unleash his emotional burden. Take the 'press meet' scene for instance - prior to the scene, Koratala Siva builds the drama slowly, and when Mahesh Babu begins addressing the media, the outburst is explosive enough to give you goosebumps. The underlying message and drama of the scene is even more relevant when you juxtapose it with the cacophony of controversies these days in media.
Koratala's heroes are stubborn which provides lot of scope for heroism...In Bharat Ane Nenu,there is not even a single fight scene in entire first half but still Koratala managed to bring terrific heroism in lot of moments...There is this scene in hospital where Prakash Raj repeatedly asks him to reconsider his decisions but Bharat insists and at a particular moment Bharat says "Maree Kooragayala Beram la vundhi andi" Claps...
But second half drops a bit with few dragging scenes but they are mostly overshadowed by Durga Mahal fight and Press conference scene...
Mahesh Babu who is regarded as one of the finest performers in Indian cinema has excelled once again. In the role of Chief Minister, he is dashing, dignified and lent his own charisma with intense act. Like always, he is spotless in emotional episodes of the movie. His best is seen in the episode of press meet in the second half. The film is completely his show. With firm body language he arrests us to the screens.
Kiara Advani makes a staggering debut and fits her role perfectly. Not only does she look gorgeous but performance wise too, she has done a superb job. She is surely a star in the making and will go a long way in Tollywood. Seasoned actors, Prakash Raj and Rao Ramesh bring a lot of depth to the film with their terrific supporting act.
Cinematography is very good and Music by DSP is the plus.Title track is amazing....
So,Bharat Ane Nenu is powerful political drama with Koratala's terrific writing and Mahesh's stunning performane.
My rating 7.25/10
Mercury is worth watching for Subbaraj's direction and its technical excellence.
With three acclaimed films in his filmography,Karthik Subbaraj became a favorite for movie-buffs all over India.He once again comes up with a film that is not everyday fare. Karthik Subbaraj once again proves he is gutsy and audacious enough to try his hands at a silent film especially to a modern tech-savvy audience who get restless when a scene goes silent.So how is it?
The film is set amidst a group of five deaf and dumb friends who accidentally kill a man(Prabhu Deva) during a road journey. Appalled with their ghostly crime, they cremate the body in a nearby forest. But to their bad luck, the dead man comes live and makes their life hell. Well, how does all this happen forms the entire crux of the film.
Surprisingly,Mercury is the weakest in the terms of Subbaraj's writing.While his previous films have terrific writing with intense drama,Mercury is just the regular Hollywood plot but this is where Subbaraj showcased all his direction skills.We can see his mark in every scene of the film.
Disability in films is generally an underdog trait. But here, Subbaraj spends a languid opening twenty minutes establishing their chemistry so that it's not sympathy but empathy that will come to define their circumstances. Even their sign language is shown throughout the film without any subtitles.
This film totally belongs to technical departments who gave their 100% output.Santhosh Narayanan's music elevates the intensity of the scenes put on display. The violins used as part of the BGM, in particular, are beautiful and sounds soothing to the ear.National-award winning cinematographer Tirru is one of the silent heroes of the film. The shot-divisions, camera movement, and the lighting not only set the mood but also set the scary mood.
Performances are good.Indhuja is the show stealer of the film.Rest of the cast is good.
So,Mercury is worth watching for Subbaraj's direction and its technical excellence.
My Rating 7/10
A Quiet Place (2018)
A Quite Place gives you of the rare experiences we get from horror,The Creepiness of Silence.
A Quiet Place (2018):
As everyone knows, I'm certainly what you'd call a horror/ thriller person and I never miss any film from the genre.But most of the films from the genre fails to impress but always attract the audience with their impressive trailers.Only 1 or 2 films work from the pile of horror films releasing every year.This year I have already seen garbage like Insidious 4 and The Open House but when I watched the trailer of A Quite Place.I immediately shared it to all my friends.Then itself I know that this film will be amazing and staying true to my thoughts A Quite Place is one of the best experiences in horror.
A Quiet Place is centered around a family of four who must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound, threaten their survival. Their supernatural auditory sensory glands initiate them to immediately attack their prey the moment a sound is uttered from miles away.
Throughout the film a dialogue from Telugu film Athadu "Nishabdham entha bhayankaranga vuntundhoo chusava" which translates to "See!How scary the silence is "..With a minimum of at most 10 dialogues (Most of the part they communicate in sign language) in 1hr35 min duration,A Quite Place is an almost silent film.Even the background score is used minimum so that audience becomes the part of the situation
Krasinski didn't bother explaining the start of apocalypse or the family's past.Movie straight away opens with terrific start which sets the perfect mood of watching a horror film.Basically horror films opens with scenes where a random victim is killed just to show how merciless the thing will be.but A Quiet Place gave an emotional bang which continues throughout the film.ohn Krasinski has crafted one of the most boldly innovative and stellar monster movies in years with A Quiet Place, a movie that terrifies and thrills just as much as it hits you right in the gut with an emotionally driven narrative that never sacrifices its story for scares (or vice versa). There's an intricacy to Krasinski's methodology in A Quiet Place that feels wholly organic to the overtly simple concept by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck , and beyond the fact that the film is an incredible piece of genre storytelling, on a technical level A Quiet Place is an absolute marvel as well, proving that innovation can be so very crucial when it comes to crafting movies in this day and age.
The film is inundated with jump-out-of-your-seat moments which is always expected in a horror film, but A Quiet Place uses creative and imaginative ways these perfect these suspenseful moments that keeps you on edge throughout the entire film. There's never a dull moment in this narrative, and the pacing has a momentum that continues to build and never loses traction as this story unfolds and survival is the only thing this family has left to hold onto.The "Nail" scene will definitely remain iconic in history.A scene which will twits our guts to maximum.
Every member of the A Quiet Place ensemble delivers a scene-stealing performance, but the film's premise-based need to keep its characters from speaking gives the artists a great scope of performance.Simmons,who is deaf in real life and played the same here is show stealer.
Sound design deserves Oscar nomination for sure.Cinematography is one of the best works in horror genre.Alien's VFX is quite similar to Stranger Things but its ear like thing is shown with perfection.
So,A Quite Place gives you of the rare experiences we get from horror,The Power of Silence.
My Rating 8.5/10
Rangasthalam is one of the most intense drama from Tollywood in recent times.Sukumar's terrific direction and Ram Charan's career best performance are delight to watch.
We have already seen Sukumar's brilliance in his previous films but what I witnessed in Rangasthalam is a full charged work from Sukumar.When this project started,I was skeptical about it as Megastar informed Sukumar to make a movie without his trademark brain-teasers.But even with such restraints,Sukumar made this film which was set in 1980's.
Chitti Babu (Ram Charan) is a partially deaf, happy-go-lucky man who doesn't let his disability deter him. His brother Kumar Babu (Aadhi Pinisetty) returns from Dubai only to see that nothing in the village has changed. What happens when he decides to go up against the dreaded President garu (Jagapathi Babu)?
Few minutes after watching the film, when you walk out of the theater, your mind goes on an overdrive to find the right words to express your feelings: it's been a while since we've seen such a raw and gritty film in Telugu cinema.The conflict between a good young guy and the ruthless village president is seen in many films in the 1980's. As the story is too familiar, Sukumar has focused on other elements like terrific characters,electrifying scenes and technical brilliance.Also, he has written the characterization of hero Ram Charan differently which is the main strength. Hero playing a guy with hearing problems is somewhat unusual. This handicap is effectively used in driving the story and screenplay. Every twist and turn in the film is based on this deficiency of the hero.
Over the years, there's been a fair share of criticism about Sukumar's work - that it has become inaccessible to certain sections of the audience. While he has always focused on how twisted the lives of people are, he comes across as a different, perhaps a more refined, storyteller in Rangasthalam. To narrate a political drama is one thing, but to create such an universe within the parameters of a revenge drama is sheer brilliance. The more you dig into Rangasthalam, the more rewarding it is.
Sukumar is known for his ability to redefine an actor's image, but what he does with Ram Charan has to be seen to be believed. For the first time in a long long time, Ram Charan has shed his stardom to truly embody the spirit of the role he's playing, and in doing so, he has not just outdone himself but also proved that there's a lot of untapped potential in him that's waiting to be discovered. Be it in the scenes where he oozes childishness or the ones when you see a broken man that no one can heal, you can see it all in the way his eyes emote.
Even with such a rough village girl characterization,Samantha gave her best.Aadhi has done pretty good in Kumar Babu role.Jagapathi Babu is menacing and he was given one of the most intense scenes in the film.Surprise package is Anasuya where both her character Rangamattha and her performance are amazing.
The other good side about Sukumar's films is that they have technical brilliance and this film too falls under the same category. The village atmosphere, the rustic look, the ambience etc. are stunning. He simply brings back the rural life to the current era in this film.Rathnavelu and Devi Sri Prasad need to take a bow, not just for delivering picture-perfect visuals and soundtrack, but for also setting the mood of the film with their work. DSP's background score is strong in this one!
So,Rangasthalam is one of the most intense drama from Tollywood in recent times.Sukumar's terrific direction and Ram Charan's career best performance are delight to watch.
My rating 8/10
Pari is a haunting drama which are quite rare in Indian Cinema with terrific performance from Anushka Sharma and Cinematography...
Every year I wait for new horror films even when I know that most of them will definitely disappoint.The same routine happened in 2018 too with two disappointing horrors (Insidious 4 and 1921). But Pari managed to grab my attention with chilling looks and trailers.SO I watched this Pari Not a Fairy Tale..How is it??
Arnab (Parambrata Chatterjee) rescues a traumatised Ruksana (Anushka Sharma) found under mysterious circumstances in a secluded jungle. With nowhere to go and her life being in danger, he offers her refuge at his home until he discovers a different side to her. Who is this woman and what is her story?
Just like 2017 Malayalam film Ezra which introduced Jewish "Dyubbuk",Pari introduced Islamic "Ifrit" and the occult following it.While most of the horrors rely mostly on its lame jump scares,Pari gave a creepy look like Korean films.Pari is an art-house, indie thriller which moves at its own pace, in its own unique way. It collates elements that are rare to find in commercial scary movies - eerie silence, haunting yet soothing melancholic music, an enchanting love story and an air of paranoia that grips you slowly and steadily.
There is much leaping about, hanging upside-down, quaking at the sight and sound of anything that is godly, and some sudden YIKES!! moments. But the movie - together with its excellent camerawork and the gentle but haunting background score.The scene is mortuary and few other scenes are chilling.
Anushka Sharma is the perfect combination of innocent and enigmatic, frail and fearsome as Rukhsana. She delivers an image-defying performance that is designed to elicit pity and dread in equal measure.Parambrata Chatterjee is very good.Rajat kapoor is terrific in his role.Cinematography and Background score are chilling and really helped the movie.
But still Pari loosely resembles Shyamalan's Lady in the Water which follows same typical relation between a humane and other-worldly creature.
So,Pari is a haunting drama which are quite rare in Indian Cinema with terrific performance from Anushka Sharma and Cinematography...
My rating 6.75/10
Sketch is the typical highly cliched movie which will remain as Vikram's worst choice in recent times.
Even with lot of commercial failures,Vikram still has his own following because of his choice of scripts and electrifying performances.But unfortunately he starred in 10 Endrathukulla,a commercial entertainer which turned out to be a disaster.So we expected him to come with his own style of different film but surprisingly Sketch is more worse than 10.
Jiiva aka Sketch (Vikram) is a right hand to local financier Sait (Harish Peradi), who offers loan for bikes and cars. If anyone fails to pay back the due amount, Sketch's job to seize the vehicle. Things go well, until Sait challenges Sketch to seize an old Fiat car of a gangster Kumar(Babu Raj), who consider it as his precious possession in memory of his dad.Things start to go awry and Sketch's life changes.
First of all,Sketch is directed by Vijay Chandar,who debuted with STR'S Vaalu (2015), which is one of the worst films I had ever seen.How the heck did he got a chance from Vikram with a wafer-thin concept remains a mystery.While watching Sketch,you have to remind yourself that you haven't time travelled back 10 years and watching Gemini.Even the entry song (Which is ridiculous),strongly resembles "Yeyy Podu" from Gemini including a similar hand gesture.
Director Vijay Chander has used the same old story and screenplay in the first half so nothing extraordinary here.It is so outdated that even get irritated on Vikram's choice of script.Sketch actually gets interesting only with the interval chasing sequence. Post intermission, the pace of the film falls and tries to get too serious but mostly resembles director Susheendhiran's work including its twist at the end.
The role or the plot is not challenging for a fine actor like Vikram, but he's earnest and energetic as usual.I am still wondering why Vikram agreed to the film. The actor's screen presence is the only reason why I was looking at the screen. His swagger and good looks are admirable but Sketch isn't a role for someone of his calibre. This is the man from Pithamagan and Deivathirumagal,Irumugan and lot more.Rest of the cast are so cliched.
Thaman's contribution stands out next to Vikram's, thanks to his songs and BGM. However, the placement of the songs spoils the mood.Cinematographer Sukumar provided visuals required for a mass film.
SO,Sketch is the typical highly cliched movie which will remain as Vikram's worst choice in recent times.
My Rating 5/10
Tholi Prema (2018)
Tholi Prema is highly cliched but still an entertaining film with nice performances,breezy moments and soulful music.
Tholi Prema (2018):
Tholi Prema has created huge buzz for many reasons, for starters, the title is based on Pawan Kalyan's iconic film, the songs of the movie turned out to be chart-busters and most importantly this is Varun Tej's immediate movie after blockbuster Fidaa.So how is it?
Aadi (Varun Tej) is an instinctive youngster who falls in love with Varsha (Raashi Khanna) when he spots her for the first time in a train journey. Later he meets her in an engineering college again. They fall in love and he realises that she is a calculative person unlike him. She has problem with temperament and anger issues of Aadi. Rest of the story is all about the clash of two different personalities and how they realise that they can be together despite having contrasting natures.
Writer-turned-director Venky Atluri has taken a simple feel-good, love-hate-love-hate romantic script that talks about the highs and lows of a couple's relationship over six years. No matter how age-old the story sounds, love stories, especially when served with a right proposition of drama and romance, never fail to delight the audience. Tholi Prema is one such movie with a very simple core plot packed with some fresh scenes and beautiful moments.To bring life to a beaten to death script like Tholi Prema, you need magic in the love-relationship that is on display. That sizzling chemistry is visible between the lead pairs Varun Tej and Rashi Khanna . Having said that, the latter part of the second half slightly drags when their relationship gets a little complicated.
First half started slow but once the college setup begins,Tholi Prema starts to entertain us with feel good moments and hilarious comedy too.The "Akka","Rakhi" and "Car" episodes are amazing.All these scenes reflect the romance of today's youth.Once the story comes to break-up scene during the interval, they meet again in London and anyone can guess how the movie will progress here after. This is where the film slips. The predictability in the second half is a major drawback.
Varun Tej gets to show two shades in his character as a college student and later as a matured working professional. He is quite good in both his roles and gives a neat performance.Raashi Khanna is amazing as Varsha. Perhaps it is one of her career best role after Oohalu Gusagusalade and she nails it in every which way and showcases the actress in her. Raashi gets some very good dialogues and delivers them spot on.In their brief appereances, Priyadarshi Pullikonda, Hyper Aadhi and Vidyullekha Raman light up a few scenes with their comic acts.
SS Thaman has come out of his comfort zone to give beautiful and fresh music for Tholi Prema.The background music by Thaman and cinematography by George C Williams are on-point too.
So,Tholi Prema is highly cliched but still an entertaining film with nice performances,breezy moments and soulful music.
My Rating 6.75/10
Awe is slightly flawed but commendable experimental film which is much needed for Telugu Cinema.
Awe is one of the rare films which promised us an unique experience from the first looks itself.Awe' has been in the news for the reason that the film is presented by hero Nani. With several prominent actresses featuring in it, the film also increased buzz around it.Directed by debutante Prashanth Varma,Awe has finally hit the screens yesterday.SO how is it?
Plot: The film begins with Kaali (Kajal Aggarwal) coming to a restaurant and starts scribbling something. The film then reveals episodes about several people present at the restaurant.The people present at the restaurant are - a watchman Shiva (Avasarala), a chef Nala (Priyadarshi), a stewardess Meera (Regina), two lesbian customers Radha (Eesha) and Krish (Nithya Menen) and a magician Yogi (Murali Sharma).How are they linked with Kaali? And what is the final twist in the tale?
Awe is an unusual film. The trailer didn't give away anything, except the fact that a few well-known actors have come together to do something new. A film like this can be a double-edged sword, with potential to be a game changer or end up as an experiment not many would care to watch. Awe turned out to be a slow-burn, shape-shifting film as it introduced its key characters and the strange worlds they inhabit.
Awe is hyperlink kinda film which involves 7 different stories which are happening in the same restaurant.Each and every individual story is interesting and blend of many genres.There is drama,comedy,fantasy,sci-fi and horror too.But no story gives not even a slightest hint of where it is leading.SO many may feel them boring after some extent.
Climax twist reveal all the answers to the audience with brilliantly made scene but it will definitely get mixed reactions from audience.Few people will get it and many may not and even to the people who understood the twist will start questioning more which leads to more questions.
Performances are amazing and such stellar cast in a single film really is amazing.Each and every character have done their roles with perfection.Nani and Ravi Teja are amazing with their comedy timing and dialogue delivery.
With cinematographer Karthik Ghattamaneni and composer Mark K Robin, the director treats each of the segments and characters differently, with distinct colour palettes and background scores. When it all comes together with the big, final reveal, it turns out to be a a laudable idea and the writer-director doesn't over-explain this to his audience and had given enough hints throughout the film,especially in title credits and theme song.
Director Prashanth Varma's idea had been shelved for lot of years as producers aren't fully confident about the film. We have seen festival films like Ship of Theseus and Lucie (Kannada) made in other languages and we hardly see any such attempts made in Telugu with capable makers. Awe is such a film. This film has a different format of story telling. The screenplay of the film is excellent. Direction is very good. The director has written the script meticulously and all scenes are interconnected.But he desperately added some complex segments like Time travel and magician elements which reveals flaws.
So,Awe is slightly flawed but commendable experimental film which is must needed for Telugu Cinema.
My Rating 7.25/10
Bhaagamathie is a typical political thriller dressed as a supernatural thriller and hugely inspired from Pizza.
Bhaagamathie is one of few such films which was under production since 2 years and faced lot of inconsistencies which resulted in delay in its release.After several hurdles,the movie got released with decent buzz because of its lead actress and genre.Even the promos generated curiosity among audience.SO how is it?
Eshwar Prasad(Jayaram) is an honest minister who appoints Chanchala IAS(Anushka) as his personal secretary. As time passes by, he opposes the high command for a cause. In order to pull him down, the government targets Chanchala. They take her to an undisclosed location called Bhaagamathie bungalow. Upon their investigation, they get the shock of their lives when they start to see Chanchala behaving like Bhaagamathie. Who is this Bhaagamathie? What does she have to do with Chanchala? and what is the twist behind the whole political set up? To know the answers, you need to watch the film on the big screen.
Even though Bhaagamathie is touted as a scary horror with periodic elements,it is a political thriller filled with supernatural elements.He has used horror elements and royal setup to cash in on the image of Anushka who is known for such movies like Arundhati.The story of Bhaagamathie, is nothing like what was suggested by the filmmakers through the theatrical trailer and the nightmarish posters. It was supposed to keep the audience on the edge-of-the-seat with a spine-chilling backstory of the central character Bhaagamathie, a ghost from the past century. It was supposed to send the shiver down our spines while we witness the horrors suffered by the characters that wander into Bhaagamathie's territory. Instead, we get a blown-out version of Tamil film Pizza. And shades of all horror movies that have been made in the South Indian film industry thus far.
There's always a thin line between being scary and being loud. Horror films are always difficult to make because you cannot really tell if you're scaring the audience or boring them. Director G Ashok's flirts with this thin line on more than one occasion in his ambitious venture 'Bhaagamathie' but with no success.
The scary moments that the director has relied upon are outrightly boring. Much of the movie is passive, only after Bhaagamathie's role gets introduced does it turn a bit interesting.Second half is decent but climax twist may sound interesting,it is heavily inspired from Pizza (which is in turn inspired from The Usual Suspects). Even the ending scene is inspired from Pizza.
Anushka has got a role that puts her at the center stage of the proceedings. She gets to play a character that has scope for multiple variations and thrill the audience. Unfortunately, despite the presence of all the elements she only manages to scratch the surface when there was much more to achieve.Unni Mukundan and Jayaram shined in their roles which brought us a fresh feel even when their roles are cliched.
Technically,Bhaagamathie is just average.Especially I was disappointed with Madhie as this is his weakest work.Thaman is as usually loud.
So,Bhaagamathie is a typical political thriller dressed as a supernatural thriller and hugely inspired from Pizza.
My Rating 5.75/10
Padmaavat is a decent periodic drama with terrific performance of Ranveer SIngh and sheer visual delight.
First of all,I would like to say that I have no idea about Rajuput or Padmavati's history except that it was used by certain section of people to ban this film.The film is probably the most spoken-about movie in recent times. From the menacing look of Ranveer Singh, to the restrained and ethereal portrayal of Shahid Kapoor and Deepika Padukone respectively, much has been written about the film.So how is it?
Afghani ruler, Allauddin Khilji(Ranveer Singh) invades India and becomes the ruler of the Delhi empire. After a point of time, he decides to invade the Rajput town of Chittor after he comes to know about the beautiful Rani Padmavati(Deepika Padukone). But to win her over, he needs to dethrone her husband Raja Ratan Singh(Shahid Kapoor) at any cost. How will he do this and what problems does he face in is the entire story of Padmaavat.
The film is an out and out Bhansali film. The director promises a visual treat to his viewers and that is what he delivers. Except for Black,I have never appreciated his work as he focuses more on grandeur than emotions and I always confuse his films with Sooraj Barjatya.
Padmaavat is more of a "Ek tha Raja, Ek thi Rani, Dono mar gaye, khatam kahani" story. how big a visual delight the film is, one has to pull the plug when necessary. And at 163 minutes, Bhansali's ambitious film starts to drag and is an imaginary piece with not enough meat to keep the viewer invested.Bhansali failed in delivering a good start as the film starts on a slow note and doesn't even speed up until Pre-Interval. Even the love between Rajupt and Padmaavat lacks required emotion.Lot of scenes gives us a feel of watching a TV series but whenever we start to drowse-off Ranveer Singh shines with his amazing performance.The movie picks up pace during pre-interval which lasts till interval.
Second half is better paced when compared to first half.But the most surprising part is the shocking climax.The emotion carried at that scene is very good.
Padmaavat works big time because of one man and that is undoubtedly Ranveer Singh. The star hero unleashes the beast in him and is mind-blowing as the arrogant Khilji. Every frame that he is in, creates a deadly feeling and Ranveer has showcased valor, cunningness, and cruelty in a stunning manner. The plot works mainly because of his screen presence and aggressiveness to win Padmavati.
Deepika Padukone is very good but unfortunately her costumes ad jewellery looked more royal than her performance.I think Aditi Rao Hydari,who played the role of Mallika Mehrunissa looked more beautiful and royal than Padukone.Shaahid Kapoor is good.Jim Sarbh's role resembles the gay role of Beauty and the Beast.
Art direction is award winning and Cinematography deserves a mention.Songs are average but background score is very good.VFX is average and Thank God! I didn't watch it in 3D.
So,Padmaavat is a decent periodic drama with terrific performance of Ranveer SIngh and sheer visual delight.
My Rating 6.75/10
Thaanaa Serndha Koottam (2018)
Thaana Serndha Koottam may amuse those who didn't watch Special 26 but to those who watched the original,this comic version feels bit odd.
Thaanaa Serndha Koottam (2018) :
Since I watched Naanum Rowdy Dhaan,I was impressed by Vignesh Shivan's skill of blending humor in serious plots.So even when it is revealed that TSK is remake of acclaimed Bollywood film Special 26,I have huge expectations on how Vignesh would blend humor in such serious non-fictional events.SO did Vignesh Shivan impress again?
Tilak(Surya) is a frustrated guy who fails to get a job in CBI because he could not pay the bribe. He forms a gang with Jhansi Rani(Ramya Krishnan) and few others to take a revenge by performing fake raids on several people in the society. In the process, the real CBI officers come to know about this and they start chasing down the same. Will the real CBI officers catch this Gang? What happens in the end ? Forms the story of the film.
TSK has a core plot that is pretty similar to the Hindi film Special 26. It must be noted that they have acquired the rights to the Hindi film and Vignesh ShivN has modified the screenplay completely to suit the local audience. TSK actually looks like a highly original product that is sure to get recognition from local audience who haven't watched Special 26.
Like in Bollywood version, the film's events happen in 1987. The setting is Karaikudi in Tamilnadu. TSK doesn't turn serious at any time unlike its original; it is packaged with fun elements. The director has done most changes in the first part and some characters. He has introduced Ramya Krishna's character here, which was originally played by actor Anupam Kher. By bringing Ramya Krishna on board, the director has also used lot of comedy. The underlying humour though is director Vignesh Shivn's signature style. Throughout the film, it is the understated sarcasm that wins audience over.
But despite all of the fun,the movie gets bit dragged even for such crisp duration of 2hr12min.Vignesh Shivn constantly tries to be 'fun' and 'serious' and ends up not achieving both. There are places where Thaanaa Serndha Koottam catches us off-guard.Climax lacks logic.
Suriya is a proven actor who can do justice to any kind of role. For this character, he has turned very lean and looks much younger than his age. He has many scenes to showcase his multiple variations effectively. It looked odd in the trailer, but the star has done a commendable job as far as dubbing in Telugu is considered. With an ingeniously layered role and a brilliant act, Ramya Krishnan truly "steals" the show.The seasoned actress that she is, brings on the finer nuances of her character with a lot of dignity and understatedness.When real CBI catches Ramya Krishna, she gives the best performance. She is also quite natural in this.Suresh Chandra Menon is apt in his role.
Anirudh delivers a mixed bag. Sodakku is a chartbuster but other songs are just decent. It is the same with the background score as well which has its moments but is mostly uninspiring.The director has created '80s look and feel with his choice of locations and perfect art work. Cinematography is decent.
SO,Thaana Serndha Koottam may amuse those who didn't watch Special 26 but to those who watched the original,this comic version feels bit odd.
My Rating 6.25/10
Jai Simha (2018)
The only way to enjoy this 165-minute long film is you have to chant "Jai Balayya Jai Jai Balayya" and then you are in for a treat.
Jai Simha (2018):
There is no doubt that whenever you want to watch Balayya's films,make sure that the whole Balayya mania thing stays in your head.That's the only way to enjoy Balayya's films and we can admire each and every part he does.Be his dances,fights,dialogues,whatever..Being a Balayya Fan is the only way to enjoy his films mostly.As a fan of Balayya,I went to watch Jai Simha although the trailers looked bad.So how is Jai Simha?
Narasimha(Balakrishna) along with his just-born son moves to Kumbakonam and starts working as a driver. There, he comes across a corrupt cop and keeps fighting with him time and again. During one of the key problems involving the cop, Narasimha suddenly finds out that the cop's wife is none other than his ex-girlfriend Gauri(Nayanthara). Who is this Narasimha? Why did he come to Kumbakonam? What is his backstory with Gauri? To know the answers, you need to watch the film on the big screen.
I was prepared for a ride into 90's films since I saw trailers but still hoped for Balayya mark and the movie followed the similar format of 90's with seriously outdated comedy and scenes.Jai Simha has a predictable story with a small twist,which is quote good and shocking for Balayya's film. KS Ravikumar manages to keep the drama tight around that one little twist. The approach and narration are old-fashioned which is a massive problem with the film. The entire comedy track feels so dated and is also cringeworthy.
Some heroic scenes in the first half, like the temple episode and confrontation scenes with the villains, have been dealt well. The interval bang is also decent and sets the tone nicely for the second part.All of those scenes are so cliched but Balayya mark can be felt with dialogues and fights.The dialogue "Nen Pedhaga Chaduvkole.....Nak Inthey Thelusu" is clap-worthy.But despite all of this,KS Ravikumar took a daring with the ending.That particular scene may divide audience,One section may feel it as nice emotion whereas other section will feel it as over the top emotion.But still it is daring climax for Balayya.
Balakrishna is the biggest asset of the film. He is seen in two different roles and has given a tremendous performance. Balakrishna not only impresses the masses with his punch dialogues but also moves them to tears with his emotional avatar during the climax. The star hero has also danced supremely well in the Ammkuty song which will be a treat for his fans.The song 'Ammakutti' draws wolf-whistles from the crowd, for Balayya's moves and the massy lyrics.Entire Theater went gaga over the song and 'Once More' dialogues were heard in theater.His dances are goosebumps worthy with such a grace in moves even at that age.Jai Balayya...
Nayanthara is the only other actor of the film who made her presence felt.Rest of them either underplayed or overacted.
The film is mass movie and the cinematography, artwork and action stunts are all massy. C Ram Prasad captures the sequences in Kumbakonam and Vizag well but his work is quite routine in most parts. Music by Chirantan Bhatt is decent as all the songs sound good on screen. But the background score could have been a bit better during the crunch elevation scenes.
So,the only way to enjoy this 165-minute long film is you have to chant "Jai Balayya Jai Jai Balayya" and then you are in for a treat.
My Rating 5.5/10
Agnyaathavaasi is one of the most unexpected disasters of Tollywood and especially from Talented Writer-Director "You Know Who".
Before starting my review, I am gonna mention you that I am not going to say the director's name anywhere in the review out of immense respect I have for him.I will use the word "You Know Who" (Don't get confused with Voldemort). As a huge fan of "You Know Who",I have huge expectations on Agnyaathavaasi.Even when the trailer disappointed,it is You Know Who's written dialogue which really left the mark and raised the expectations on the film.So how is it? and Why am I not mentioning director's name?
The film opens with a murder of Vindha (played by Boman Irani), a billionaire who's the head of AB group of companies. We are told that two others partners in the company, Sharma (Murali Sharma) and Varma (Rao Ramesh) are primary suspects for this crime. To deal with the impending crisis, Indrani (Kushbu) seeks the help of Balasubramanyam (Pawan Kalyan), who must get to the bottom of the conspiracy brewing within the company. The rest of the story is about how Balasubramanyam, aka AB, connects the dots and saves the day to keep Vindha's legacy alive.
A dialogue in the initial portions loosely translates to 'when we don't have a new idea, we can repeat an old one'; that's writer-director "You Know Who" making his intention clear. But its shocking that "One of the most talented writers of Tollywood" ironically made a satire of himself.Its being evident that he has lost his previous magic and delivering only half of his talent. But those films at least had coherent narratives, a few well-etched characters and sharp dialogues.Writing is You Know Who's strength, and his legions of fans don't call him 'guruvu garu' for nothing.But even his half-baked works itself are getting decent successes,so as usually everyone will have But in Agnyaathavaasi (Ironically even the title apted for him),he went to exile as there is not even a single trace to prove that it is "You Know Who's"' film.
It would be hard to believe that a master writer like "You Know Who" could come up with such weak writing. Without doubt, he has failed totally in writing. Whatever be the story, "You Know Who" always writes best entertaining scenes and touching sentimental dialogues.The whole entertainment angle in this film, which involves a romantic track and comedy in the workspace is a total failure. There is nothing going on in either of them. They add to the length and provide endless boredom. In the entire movie, we can hardly find any scene which is worth mentioning. The whole movie is trash compared to the previous films in the combination or those of the director. Entire concentration is put on visuals rather than working on the right content. The hero and heroine track is the worst.Two heroines indulging in catfights, slapping each other's face and pulling their hair over hero is irritating to the core. Overall, even the hardcore fans can easily avoid watching the film.
This is almost the weakest film in everyone's career who worked for the film.Even the only strength of the film which is music,is so badly used that we get irritated with the song picturisaton and placement.I think the cover version sings done by youngsters looks more appealing than the movie's.Anirudh's BGM is totally out of sync with the scenes.
So,Agnyaathavaasi is one of the most unexpected disasters of Tollywood and especially from Talented Writer-Director "You Know Who".
My rating 3.5/10
Insidious: The Last Key (2018)
Insidious The Last Key confirms the franchise's downfall with losing charm in both content and scares.
Insidious The Last Key (2018):
Horror franchises have a stubborn habit of overstaying their welcome. Almost all good horror films start their own franchises which rarely succeeds.Insidious is one such franchise which has huge fan following (Thanks to James Wan!). While first two parts of the series are amazing,the downfall started with Chapter 3 when James Wan dropped.Chapter 4 couldn't grab much buzz with its cliched trailer cut but sill all the Insidious and horror fans waited to watch the film.So how is it?
The new film is set in 2010, after the events of the prequel Insidious: Chapter 3 but before the original Insidious, as renowned parapsychologist Elise Rainier (Shaye) takes her trusty sidekicks Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (Whannell) to New Mexico to investigate a haunted house. But Elise has grave reservations about the assignment given that this is her childhood home that she fled as a teenager.
The opening part of Insidious is engaging enough with nice emotional events in Elise's childhood.The entire abusive childhood of Elise is both engaging and shocking with a good twist at latter half of the movie.That twist itself has great potential but Leigh Whannel and Adam Robitel just focused on silly so-called humor and scares (which are very rare).
Although Insidious Chapter 3 is cliched,it has decent amount of scares which made me wait for scares throughout the Chapter 4 but I was disappointed.Except the scene in which Elise opens a series of suitcases mysteriously placed in a sewer pipe,rest of the scenes are dull and long.Insidious The Last Key is the least scariest film in recent biggie horror.
As I have said earlier that latter half has a good twist,film makers tried to show few other charms like showing the connections to the first part but unfortunately they seemed totally unnecessary. They should have focused more on jumo scares.
SO,Insidious The Last Key confirms the franchise's downfall with losing charm in both content and scares.
My Rating 5.5/10
The Handmaid's Tale (2017)
The Handmaid's Tale is one of the most affecting socially relevant TV Series of all time where aspect of the series deserves applause.
The Handmaid's Tale (2017):
While I finished watching first two episodes of the Handmaid's Tale,I immediately searched the creator of this show but when I found out that this series is based on the book that was published back in 1985 novel and that too written by a female author Margaret Atwood,I remained awestruck.The dystopian tale of Offred and her female handmaid compatriots-forced by their own government to serve as incubators for the upper ranks of a new, religiously radicalized post-America unable to conceive-is rife with social commentary that is even more prescient in 2017 than it was in 1985, the year it was published.
The Handmaid's Tale is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism in its militarized "return to traditional values." As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander's household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate the world. In this terrifying society, Offred must navigate between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids--where anyone could be a spy for Gilead--all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.
"Ordinary is just what you're used to," an imperious taskmistress tells her charges in the first episode of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, which premieres April 26. "This may not seem ordinary to you right now, but after a time, it will. This will become ordinary."When it comes to content,The Handmaid's Tale is one of the most string contender I had ever seen in both film and TV.This series is is so realistically relevant to current social issues and even when the series is released after 10 years from now,it will still feel equally relevant.The Handmaid's Tale is even hard to watch few times as its violence is so gritty.
Handmaid's themes - the cruelty and illiberal thinking of organized religion, the ease by which open democracies slip into authoritarianism as a result of misogyny - may well find an eager new audience.There are lot of powerful scenes in the series which really brings out the most revolting ideas from everyone. On a narrative level, "Handmaid" is at times at its most innovative when it's tracking characters who otherwise might have been lost, exploring in more detail just all of the factors which led to the fall of America and the rise of Gilead.On that latter score, in fact, the show makes full use of this opportunity to heighten the nature of the fertility crisis which, we discover, was instrumental in the political crisis which created this world. The haunting shots of empty maternity wards communicates so much about how possible this world could be, thanks to that sort of terror.
Every detail of The Handmaid's Tale, from the distinctive costuming of the maids - massive hoods that shield their faces, making engagement with the world limited - to the supporting performances, hits exactly the right note.Elisabeth Moss's performance is one of the most powerful performances I have seen.Yvonne as Serena also stole the show with amazing performance.This is one of the rare shows where every actor deserves applause and even awards too.
Visually too,The Handmaid's Tale is surprisingly brilliant.Cinematography is haunting at its best and bacground score is menacing.
So,The Handmaid's Tale is one of the most affecting socially relevant TV Series of all time where aspect of the series deserves applause.
My Rating 8.75/10
Super Dark Times (2017)
Super Dark Times is an impressive haunting thriller which involves mostly debutante technicians but confused writing in its climax disappoints.
Super Dark Times (2017):
While I was watching Super Dark Times,the one thing which really surprised me is that this one is work of a debutante director.The way the movie started and the atmosphere set clearly promised me a hell of a ride and almost succeeded in keeping that promise.
Zach (Owen Phillips) and Josh (Charlie Tahan) are best friends growing up in a leafy Upstate New York suburb in the 1990s, where teenage life revolves around hanging out, looking for kicks, navigating first love and vying for popularity. When a traumatic incident drives a wedge between the previously inseparable pair, their youthful innocence abruptly vanishes.
Every person's adolescent age is the most dangerous part of his life as it triggers dangerous feelings and emotions which decides his fate of the life.It is the age which involves us in lot of adventures which may stir lot of turns and lessons in our life.Super Dark Times showcases the scary proceedings in our lead roles adolescent life.
Director Kevin Phillips's debut feature looks a lot like Stranger Things-set in the 1990s, there are gorgeous shots of Super Dark Times' misfits riding their bikes around suburbia, but these coexist with stark, ominous images of long shadows and tall trees. Darkness lingers in every frame like a vulture waiting to swoop. Fun times grotesquely morph into horror in a matter of seconds: Four boys are playing with a sword in the woods, and then three boys are covering a body with crunchy autumn leaves.
Phillps and writers, Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, steadily raise the tension as the film progresses, making for an unsettling watch as their situation continues to weigh on the young characters.Nailing to atmosphere and mood of 'Super Dark Times' is the key to the film's success because we've seen these tales of teenage mishaps and cover-ups plenty of times.. Here, we are swallowed whole by the film's aesthetics, which manage to always fit the picture and wrap us up in the film's world without ever being overbearing.
But what went wrong is the third-act of the film which is oddly paced and difficult to follow.Its like the maker desperately tried to confuse us and thrill us at the same time with lot of unexplained events and violence.It backfired.
Performances are amazing.Charlie Tahan (From Wayward Pines) is amazing and his character transition is surprising.Owen Campbell gave spine-chilling performance in the scene where he imagines having intercourse with Allison in woods.Elizabeth Cappucino is a show-stealer although her role is limited.
Technically Super Dark Times is amazing with stunning cinematography by ELi Born and haunting score by Ben Frost.We have to notice that all these persons are not widely known.
SO,Super Dark Times is an impressive haunting thriller which involves mostly debutante technicians but confused writing in its climax disappoints.
My rating 7/10