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Runway 34, Review: Plane truth

Runway 34, Review: Plane truth Yes, the film is about an aircraft, and a pilot’s attempt to land against all odds on Runway 34. But that is exactly half the story. The film has no action whatsoever, not even a single blow, and it is not even about hijacking. A married man, with a young daughter, is piloting a plane with 150 persons on board, when it hits rough weather. How he manages to avoid disaster constitutes the portion before the intermission. Next appears a much feared man who is...

Rudra, Review: Drastic crimes call for Rudrastic punishments

Rudra, Review: Drastic crimes call for Rudrastic punishments How important is the name of a TV programme or a web series? Should the name convey something about the programme, or anything that sounds good is good enough? Some names that come to mind are Sacred Games, The Family Man, Delhi Crime, CID, Crime Patrol, Crime Watch and Special Ops. Whereas the iconic Sacred Games gives no hint about its content, The Family Man is misleadingly titled, being about a family man who is into tackling te...

Gangubai Kathiawadi, Review: Guess what is the oldest profession in the world, and meet its President

Gangubai Kathiawadi, Review: Guess what is the oldest profession in the world, and meet its President Gangubai, a variation of Ganga, is the most common name of Maharashtrian maid-servants in Mumbai. Ganga becoming Gangu is quite normal, while the Bai here refers to her designation as maid. An engaging film was made in 2013, with the maid as the central character, only it was spelt phonetically more correct, Gangoobai. In other parts of the country, Bai could mean a courtesan, a classical sin...

Tanhaji-The Unsung Warrior, Review: Leap of faith

Tanhaji-The Unsung Warrior, Review: Leap of faith High on spectacle and CGI, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is a 3D extravaganza that taps nationalistic fervour, digging into history, and re-tracing a glorious chapter from the life and times of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.  Patriotism is not a recent ideal, and the 17th century is fairly recent for a country that was home to the Indus Valley Civilisation. Generous liberties are taken with the story, as is the norm in biopics, either to fill...

IFFI 50: Some people will work, some will bless—Rohit Shetty

IFFI 50: Some people will work, some will bless—Rohit Shetty The last session at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Goa ended with a bang with blockbuster director Rohit Shetty, moderated by senior journalist and film critic Mayank Shekhar. “I have been here before. This is my second time. I was given the State Honour before. I have shot 12 films here. 14 years ago, I shot Golmaal 1here. People are very positive here, the landscape is very beautiful,” Rohit sai...

De De Pyaar De, Review: Differential calculus

De De Pyaar De, Review: Differential calculus Some films begin on a positive note, start developing into potential winners, and then squander it all away, with inane, inept, insane, insipid, inchoate, infeasible, indifferent, inexcusable, incongruous and inconsequential writing. Most likely inspired by a play, American or Indianised, or a Hollywood romantic comedy, De De Pyaar De (Give Me, Give Me Your Love) begins with a newish take on the age-old plank of Daddy Long Legs (1955) and Lamhe (1...

Simmba, Review: Slo mo shun

Simmba, Review: Slo mo shun It would be unrealistic to expect anything but action comedies from director Rohit Shetty, showcasing bad guys turning good guys along the line, with tons of slow motion action, having the protagonist landing blow after blow, and the goons rotating before landing on the floor or table or chair or cupboard or door or window or car or cycle or motor-cycle or truck or hand cart or whatever. This time around, the theme, ostensibly, is the heinous crime of rape, with t...

Helicopter Eela, Review: No copter, too much of Eela

Helicopter Eela, Review: No copter, too much of Eela An intriguing title, the film has nothing to do with helicopters. It is the story of a domineering and stubborn mother who has a fixation about her only son’s welfare and whereabouts. Trouble is he is twentyish and the last thing he needs or likes is being mothered all the time. Designed to showcase the talent of actress Kajol, and co-produced by hubby, actor Ajay Devgn, Helicopter Eela begins on a bright note and then peters down to ...

Raid, Review: Concealing ceiling

Raid, Review: Concealing ceiling Let us warn you in advance that this film is not about an army raid or a guerrilla foray into another country. ‘Raid’ here refers to an operation launched by an Income Tax (the original ‘IT’) official, with the help of his co-workers and the police, to unearth wealth that has not been accounted for and stowed away as ‘black’ assets, evading income tax, by a legislator. Based on a true story, and set in 1981, the movie has ju...

Poster Boys, Review by Siraj Syed: The Half Monty

Poster Boys, Review by Siraj Syed: The Half Monty Actor Shreyas Talpade’s directorial debut vehicle Poster Boys is a remake of his Marathi hit, Poshter Boyz. It also carries an elaborate scene towards the climax which reminds you of the British cult movie, The Full Monty (1997), wherein three unemployed men decide to strip on stage to earn some much needed money. Well, an Indian movie has a chance and a half of pulling off such show of skin on screen, either sex, so they decided to meet...

Siraj Syed reviews Shivaay: She: Vaay? He: Vaay not?

Siraj Syed reviews Shivaay: She: Vaay? He: Vaay not? Shivaay is a balanced film, in a convoluted kind of way. There is a germ of a story and there is major plagiarism of tracks from both Hollywood and Indian films. There is breath-taking action and there are pointless stunts. There is high proficiency acting and there is insult to talent. There is a small component of genuine humour and a large dose of unintentionally silly moments. There is organic unity in the screenplay when you match the ...

Drishyam, Review: Missing Corpse, Hissing Cops and Habeas Corpus

Drishyam, Review: Missing Corpse, Hissing Cops and Habeas Corpus What would drive producers to make and remake a film in five different Indian languages in a span of two years? Box-office success of preceding language versions and a potential remake goldmine at hand, or the merits of a script that tries to turn the killer v/s cops genre on its head, and could have viewers gasping for breath? In the case of Drishyam, whose Sanskritised title can be approximated as Drishya (scene/sight in Hindi...
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