Hindi Medium

In the face mockery of the Delhi social scene. Shall I call it a circus or a zoo? The show-off-giri in Delhi (and for that matter in many other places in India) is getting out of hand. “My sari is more bling than yours.” “My car is bigger than yours.” “I have more servants than you do.” “I eat at fancier restaurants than you.” “My kids are more accomplished than yours.” “My dog poops silkier than yours.” “I dare not speak Hindi with my kids lest I be considered downmarket.” Phew!

A couple tries to buy, trick, steal their way into the “upper echelons” of Delhi society to be able to send their daughter into a top Delhi school. While the topic clearly deserves attention, the execution lacks finesse. Great talent like Irfaan’s has been overshadowed with juvenile direction and a tad bit too much drama. (4/10)

Hindi Medium

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The Girl On The Train

Hardly a well kept secret but a good reminder that I should read the novel before I watch the movie. What was a bestselling novel by Paula Hawkins turned into a mediocre thriller on celluloid. It’s rare that someone can turn an intricate thriller into an equally well-made movie – as was the case with Gone Girl.

Emily Bunt’s acting is spot on but her deranged look and coldness never lets the viewer sympathize with her condition. For the first half of the movie she establishes herself as an annoying psychopath and when the plot turns things end so quickly that you never have the chance to celebrate her existence in any way.

Certainly watchable but not worth preparing for shivers and screams. (4/10)

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Happy Bhag Jayegi

At least this was a movie one wasn’t expecting much from. So even if it’s mediocre it doesn’t disappoint as much. Diana Penty is simply not suitable for a Kangana Ranaut character. She tries way too hard to be the bubbly chirpy girl everyone loves and to make sure everyone gets it the director has to confirm it one more time by making the engaged Abhay Deol have a crush on her too. Brace yourself for a brigade of screaming brides because it’s apparently the cool thing.

Only Aziz knows what he was trying to do with the temporary rift in relationship between Abhay Deol and Momal Sheikh. It was too non-consequential to the story to even get fully noticed.

Poor Jimmy Shergill’s career never took off but his acting is actually on point with good comic timing. I wish he got more to do than be the funny sidekick in most movies. (4/10)

 

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Naam Hai Akira

Promising topic treated poorly. Who doesn’t want to see a girl with integrity, mental courage and physical strength set things straight? There’s so much A.R.Murugadoss could have done right with a plot this novel in a film industry where women have little to do except dance around trees. However, he forced scene after scene into the screenplay in an endless recursive loop of “she’s gonna win” – “setback” – “she made it” – “setback”. Over the 2.5 hours you are trained to keep expecting bad stuff to happen making you go limp at the edge of your seat. Even the climax is anything but feel good. Someone with a sense of fairness like me felt cheated.

Sonakshi Sinha took a bold step by taking on this script but her acting needs more work. Konkona Sen Sharma was “handcuffed” by her limited role too. (4/10)

 

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Dishoom

When a director and script writer doubt their abilities they fall back on what they think will draw the Indian masses – cricket!

This Dhawan flick is mediocre in every sense: action, thrill, songs, acting. It’s a me-too of Baby but not nearly as exciting. Varun Dhawan really needs to rethink what he is signing on. How can the Badlapur star fall off all his graces and sign on sidekick roles such as this one? John Abraham is chiseled as ever, intense as ever, but he really needs to try another genre for a change. (4/10)

Sultan

A bit overdue but it hardly matters since most of the Bolly-world is split into either religiously watching Salman Khan films or boycotting them.

Salman Khan’s standard formula is at play again: buffed body, little brain, a semblance of innocence, rural setting, underdog status. If I could code I would write an algorithm to churn out his next predictable script.

With almost 600 crore INR in the bag who am I to say this was a futile attempt at entertainment? Salman rules the masses and that’s where the money lies.

Catchy songs, dusty action (literally), some female empowerment – to be undermined eventually – and a few signature hip shakes later I still had a hard time rooting for this underdog the way I did for Iqbal or Bhuvan in Lagaan. (4/10)

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Welcome Back

The super classy opening credits had me sitting in the seat with my spine straight. As the movie unfolded the only thing I found entertaining was Anil Kapoor, his impeccable acting, his posture and the promise that this movie could have been what Welcome was once upon a time. A few dialogues will make you chuckle but there is something that’s keeping this movie from tickling out your full roar laughter. No catchy songs, childish graveyard scenes and a climax that could have only taken birth in someone’s mind while being high on some substance. (4/10)

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