Monday, October 29, 2018


An original thriller that spans generations and will stay that stay for generations to come.

It's like the story that we hear from grandmother's and grandfather's as if there was a legend to a place. It's mythical yet fascinating and that is the selling point of this fantasy thriller Tumbbad. Never have I seen a film, where so less is explained and so much is left for interpretation. I have got to know the story of Hastar more through the internet and through discussions with friends than the film itself. That is what made the film extremely interesting and indeed terrific.

The film is publicized as a horror film, I did not feel so, I felt that this film is more a dark-thriller that treads the path of noir films but has its mystique held till the last moment. The acting is superb by each and everyone and apart from the protagonist Sohum Shah (Vinayak Rao), the kid who played his son (Mohd Samad) did an outstanding job.

The story is narrated in rich imagery in a pre-independence period backdrop. This is the most visually appealing film I’ve seen this year. Cinematographer Pankaj Kumar and production designers Nitin Zihani Choudhary and Rakesh Yadav have done a great job in paying attention to the details like the types of doors, the vessels and even the locks used they look antique and authentic. I felt it's more like a Marathi film than a Hindi film and that is indeed a compliment to the film.

Human greed is a very convoluted and underestimated emotion that is rarely captured in modern films and here comes a film that is visually stunning, verbally minimal and emotionally heavy. A definite watch and I am sure this will stand the test of time.

A 4/5 for this film. Go watch it and I am sure, you will be surprised.

Thursday, October 25, 2018


A wicked neo-noir film that thrills from the word go till the very end.

Sriram Raghavan has given one of his best films with AndhaDhun, a great dark comedy. He is one of the very few filmmakers who has handled the genre of dark comedy well and is in fine form in this film as well. The film's well written and tight screenplay and skilfull narrative by Raghavan where he weaves a web around the protagonist and lets it unfold through his scenes are masterful. He lets the characters do the talking. He builds those characters by bringing them to circumstances which are very cinematic and ones only he can perhaps think of. 

The realistic setup brings a real-feel to the film as makes it extremely believable and that indeed is the strength of the film. You can make weird things happen to normal people as much as normal things happen to weird people. This film is a mix of both and yet it sticks to realism to an extent.

The characters kept me riveted more than the story itself and that's another huge strength of the film. Rare to be having such eccentric yet realistic characters. When I see some cases that are going on trials in the courts these days, this film is more realistic than most of those cases. 

While it's Ayushman Khurana's destiny to be part of the film, it's actually a Tabu's film. Tabu is the one who made the film so hilarious and thrilling all at the same time. If not for Tabu, no one else could have done the part well. I would give all the possible accolades for her performance and I am happy to be seeing her in Simi's role. Tabu as Simi is eccentric, erratic, deceitful and extremely selfish making her character the most interesting one in the film. 

Yesteryear actor Anil Dhawan makes a memorable appearance, although I haven't seen any of his past films, his character, establishes a retro feel to the film and that is refreshing to see in the age of fast-paced thrillers. 

The film has it's own pace and once the crime is done, it moves on rapidly introducing us to dark characters one after another and that makes the whole film a dark comedy with a noir touch.

Thanks to Sriram Raghavan for giving one of the best films of the year. A 4/5 for this.

Sunday, October 14, 2018


A film that shows how fabricated an actor can become in a manipulative script that is based on false emotions.

From the word go, I did not get a good feeling. The first scene where Vijay Devarakonda(aka Vijay Govind) asks for a drink looks so so out of place, it made me feel why are they giving a reference to 'Arjun Reddy' here just to pull the audience. Is it necessary?? Does it add anything to the film? I was doubtful and when I started to feel that the script and the film are actually based on a scene where the hero deliberately (oh, sorry accidentally) kisses the heroine, I shut my mind and just whiled away my time just watching and accepting that it happens only in films.

A film that is manipulative and extensively fabricated with fake and created emotions rather than natural feelings. The characters too pretend as if they don't know what happened between the male and female protagonists and that upset me even more.

Of all, I liked the audio of the song (Yenti Yenti, yes not the video) and all else is just so not for me.

A 1/5 from me for a film that I did not have high expectations about and yet it could not fulfill my least expectations also.

Thursday, October 4, 2018


A terrific thriller with an innovative narrative technique

It’s a taut realistic thriller sans melodrama, action (fights) and a typical backstory of the killers. A film that is a must watch for its tight screenplay with a different narrative technique

Having seen the movie a few weeks back, I decided to revisit this before reviewing. Watching it the second time, I am convinced that this is one of the best realistic thrillers I have seen in many many years. I am proud that a Telugu speaking guy from the USA made this film and he took a lot of care and blended the intricacies of a search operation into the film very subtly and that is a commendable job. So first and foremost I would congratulate the director for the accolades he has been receiving and also thank him for making my viewing time worthy enough to go for a repeat watch.

It’s a simple story of a girl gone missing and father goes searching but the realism behind a typical search operation or investigation is something that we rarely put and there is some amount of fabrication. Even this plot, there is a hope and it is revealed only at the end, but the way the film held up and made me see again even after knowing the ending is something truly remarkable. The film is set in today’s world and uses gadgets and applications like FaceTime, Skype, iMessage, WhatsApp to a great extent.

On the first viewing, the film looked like it is more about the narrative technique than the plot while on the second viewing, I found how layered the characters are and this film like many great films is about characters. Indeed, the girl's dad David Kim (played by John Cho) seemed very layered and also vulnerable. He brought out what it means to be a single dad. His performance is top notch, to say the least, and I hope to see him more in such realistic performances.

Technically, the editing and cinematography are top notch. Despite the limitations set by the narrative method, the camera is used to capture all the emotions as they are and they do not seem to be manipulated rather they seem to have felt very deeply. So for the way the camera rather the front-facing camera was used, I salute the director and cinematographer. The editor for keeping the pace right in an already tight script. 

I wish the ending was more real and left as it is that the way it is depicted. Only 1% stories end the way this ended and I wish it was more real. Apart from this one glitch, I loved every other aspect of this emotion heavy film.

For all the tech savvy and geeks, here is a true technological film that is real and that can be relished. I loved it and I hope you do too. A 4/5 for this film. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


One of the finest films on love and passion that welled my eyes with tears long after the viewing.

It’s a love story in which neither of the characters ever utters the sacred three words. It’s a story that defines happiness is an outcome of doing something that we love. In one scene, Maudie says “I’m never happier than when I have a brush in front of me.” There is a pain, smile, and life in the movie and indeed, living the life as it comes is also fun in a way. In a scene, Maudie apologizes to a chicken she’s about to kill in order to make stew and that is effortless and natural. Sally Hawkins seems to have given her soul to Maudie and never did I doubt if she was really having an arthritic problem.

I got to know that Maudie really existed only after I viewed the film and I was in tears by then. Yes, it's a film for which I will thank my wife Siri for pushing me to watch the film and also Amazon Prime for making this available on its platform. Perhaps, watching the film without watching the trailer or reading anything about the film, really helped. I had an open mind and I embraced the film with open arms.

Ethan Hawke gave a terrific performance too and although this film is all about Sally Hawkins, it's Ethan whose subdued performance elevated Hawkins. Ethan Hawke never tried to shrug off the rough side of his character and can be easily disliked for his uncouth behavior.  He submitted himself to the role of Everett Lewis and gave one of the finest performances ever.  I loved Hawke since I saw 'Before Sunrise' and I love him even more now.

The best aspects apart from writing and direction are editing, yes although the film feels moves at a slow pace, it gave me time to breathe, embrace and feel the emotion and that's a rarity in the films nowadays. The next best aspect is the music by Michael Timmins, it just holds on the notes and gives a nice period feel and also resonates the emotions of the characters in a tender way. But the best of all is the cinematography by Guy Godfree. He made the whole film look like a series of paintings that are beautiful and full of life. The pulling of a handcart never looked more elegant and beautiful.

Thanks to Aisling Walsh for helming this film and keeping it to the point and subtle. There is not even a single loud moment, everything is calm and serene and happens at its pace. Nothing feels gimmicky or manipulated and that's the biggest selling point of the film.

It's one of the rare 5/5 films for me and indeed one of the touching films I saw this year. 

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I firstly declare here that all the content written in the blog is exclusively written by me and I hold the copyrights of each and everything. Be it a poem or a movie review. Also, the videos or photographs I upload or attach are exclusively owned by me. This declaration is important in a world that seems so worried of piracy. The prime purpose of these blogs is to put my writings and photographs on the net. and well to start with.... I live in my mind, and existence is the attempt to bring my thoughts into physical reality, I celebrate myself, sing myself and I am always happy in my own company.....I am not the best in the world but I strive for excellence and thats what keeps me alive... Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself--Friedrich Nietzsche