The 15:17 to Paris

Maybe Clint Eastwood is just trying to burn through his money in his Golden years now. There is no other rhyme or reason why he would choose to make a movie like this. The 15:17 to Paris is based on the true story of three American soldiers that prevented a terrorist attack on a train from Amsterdam to Paris. By no means am I diminishing their heroic feat but what could have been told in a 10 minute YouTube clip turned into a 1 hour 36 min ordeal that was entirely unnecessary. The story starts with the childhood of these three boys in elaborate detail which has absolutely nothing to do with the incidence on the train, goes into how they all join the army, shows them awkwardly traveling through Europe with the last 15 minutes actually showing the incident on the train.

Bad acting, awkward dialogues and a script not worth the paper it’s written on. (1/10)

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Tiger Zinda Hai

Tiger kabh marega? … was the thought looming over my mind as I was exiting the movie theatre at 1am in the morning. I can understand why the audience erupts into whistles and cries (the happy kind) when Salman Khan takes over the screen – shirtless – and out of nowhere procures a kalashnikov to singe-handedly finish the whole Syrian army troupe on the scene. But somewhere deep inside, where I lock up my brain before I embark to watch a Salman Khan movie, my logic is rebelling and letting out suppressed cries of pain. I know movies are meant for entertainment yada yada but after being spoiled with quality action thrillers like Baby and Airlift this Tiger business doesn’t measure up more than a meek meow.

For the first time ever I felt Katrina did a half-decent job. Guess why? She didn’t need to speak much. She was fully consumed by fierce-fully slaying Syrian goons. Quite the power packed sight.

Now if you have to – like me – see every movie whether it’s worth it or not by all means drive yourself over to the next theatre but if this is not a vice for you stay at home and spend the time doing something wiser. (3/10)

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Ittefaq

One ticket – Two stories

This mystery thriller is a remake of the 1969 movie starring Rajesh Khanna and Nanda. I haven’t seen the original but this is an entertaining watch with a good storyline that has reveals lined up as the movie progresses. Most of it takes place inside the apartment of Maya, a bored housewife indulging in an affair that adds interesting twists to the plot.

Akshaye Khanna’s acting chops are to watch out for. He’s found his genre and I hope to see him doing more of what he does so well.

Abhay Chopra tried to please too many audiences at once and introduced humor that simply has no place in a thriller. Do one thing and do it well, sir!

Good one time watch but no sit-at-the-edge-of-your-seat experience. (7/10)

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Kahaani 2

I wish I had re-watched Kahaani before seeing its sequel to better understand what has shaped Durga Rani Singh into the person she is in this movie. All throughout this thriller I was left a bit irritated at the choices she is making without clearly understanding where she’s coming from. Inder, her ex-husband, also makes conflicting choices that need to be unraveled in the end in a rather anti-climatic manner.

Recently, there have been a multitude of movies on the topic of child molestation (Mom, Maatr, etc.) with this one being a less ‘obvious’ one, yet one that should not be shoved under the carpet.

Both Vidya Balan and Arjun Rampal acted like veterans do. It’s still hard to understand why Arjun Rampal didn’t get more opportunity in Bollywood. He acts and looks far better than many a superstar of the masses. (6/10)

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Mom

Sridevi had her second come back with a bang. An actress of her caliber deserves strong stories like English Vinglish and now Mom. She is looking as ravishing as a 53 old can possibly look and the way she gets under the skin of her character really carries the movie on her two dainty shoulders.

A well made thriller except I am not sure it was necessary to bring in a stepmother – stepdaughter twist into it. It served more as a distraction to me rather than an enhancement to the story. Also, there was no need to alter Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s appearance so much since it wasn’t required for his character to come across any more authentic.

When you a make a movie that’s otherwise pretty flawless small things, such as unnecessary humor between Sridevi and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, is not required. All it did was interfere with the severity of the matter at hand.

All-round stellar acting by everyone and a story that is not at all unimaginable in today’s India. (9/10)

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Trapped

Low budget. High thrill.

A story can barely get any simpler than this yet here is a one hour 45 minute movie keeping you glued to your seat. Love story turns into urgent housing situation turns into desperate apartment search turns into unfortunate lock in turns into a mind-boggling thriller.

There is barely any dialogue in the movie and yet you feel so attached to the protagonist’s fate. After all, you could have been Shaurya.

What would you do if you were trapped in an apartment on the 35th floor of a completely empty building without electricity and water? (8/10)

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Naam Shabana

Just like the second kid can rarely be as good as the first one (hoping my sister is not reading this!) the sequel to a movie often doesn’t measure up to the expectations set by the original.

The Director tried to use Baby’s recipe, including many of the key cast members but wasn’t able to replicate the taut storyline and magic of Baby. Danny’s scenes got cut down from four to two, Manoj Bajpai has been added as another layer of administrativia, and Akshay Kumar has only been hired to hold Taapsee’s arm and drag her through buildings as if she can’t walk on her own. Also, who in the world hires someone as handsome as Prithviraj Sukumaran as the bad man?

Awkward dialogues, lack of a good story and absolutely no explanation as to why they needed to cast a woman in the role of the secret agent when Akshay Kumar could have done all she does makes this a meh watch. Everyone these days is just trying to ride on the feminism gravy train which failed in this case. (5/10)

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