Sacred Games

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Still think that Indian shows aren’t good? Still think they lack creativity. Well, turn on Netflix and check out “Sacred Games”, Netflix India’s first original show. The hope we have had for Indian shows will come back.

The story is very intriguing. Its about Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan), a troubled police officer from Mumbai, who gets a tip-off from a ruthless gangster Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), saying that Mumbai will be in grave danger. Thus starts the story that goes deep into Indian underworld, corrupt politicians and police force. It is a puzzle that the lead characters try to solve, hence its called “Sacred Games.”

Direction by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, who are one of the finest directors we have in this country, is brilliant. I read somewhere that Anurag Kashyap handled the Gaitonde story while Vikramaditya Motwane handled the Sartaj story. While seeing all the Gaitonde scenes, one can only remember “Gangs of Wasseypur”, especially since Nawaz and Anurag worked together then. Very tight-gripping screenplay. In no way it dragged. I binge watched it over the weekend, as I felt like wanting to know what happened. The season ended with another part of a puzzle being solved. I have started to wait for the next season already. The dialogues were powerful. I loved the music. One of the best soundtrack I have listened to in recent times. Does anyone have the songs?

Now comes the acting. Saif proves that if he could pick up good projects, he can do a wonderful job. He made the best decision to do this show, because this was one of his best, after Langda Tyagi. Radhika Apte’s role was small, but she managed to make the show more intriguing. Nawazuddin again managed to be the power pack. Neeraj sir, Jitendra Joshi and Jatin Sarna were mindblowing. But the stand-out for me was Kubra Sait, who played the role of Kukoo the transgender. She is a revelation you must watch out for. Another surprise was Luke Kenny, who played the killer Malcolm. He managed to get out of his “Rob” zone. The best ensemble of cast I have seen. I believe teamwork makes a show successful, and its the same with this show.

So Indians, remove the idiot box, and get Netflix and Amazon Prime to see how shows are actually made. And please don’t say that Indian shows are bad, because after watching “Sacred Games”, its going to be all different. I would also suggest my foreign friends to watch this series. There is so much more in India than just dancing, singing, crying and “Slumdog Millionaire” (which is overrated in my opinion).

My Rating:- 4.5/5

 

 

 

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Dunkirk

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Christopher Nolan is a brilliant director, and he showcases his brilliancy again through “Dunkirk.” It is based on World War II. In 1940, during the Battle of France, Germany advances to France, allied troops get trapped in the beaches of Dunkirk. The only way out is via sea, but the Germans have air superiority, bombing British soldiers and ships without opposition. The film shows the tension of the soldiers to fight and to be free.

The movie shows 1940’s and World War II in a very true way. Cinematography is wonderful. Screenplay is tight. Nolan adds the suspense to make it interesting. The music was so apt for the situation. Acting by the cast was strong (I was surprised to see Harry Styles.)

Out of all the Oscar nominated movies I have watched so far this year, Dunkirk would be my top favourite for now.

One of the best films made. Its a must watch!

My Rating:- 4/5

I, Tonya

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I, Tonya makes your heart light and makes you smile. It is based on the life of the famous figure skater, Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), who is pushed into figure skating by her mother (Allison Janey). It also shows her abusive relationship with her husband Jeff (Sebastian Stan). Also, the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, her rival, and the aftermath of the incident.

The direction was superb. The actors did a good job, Margot Robbie was amazing as Tonya, she got into the skin of the character very easily, Sebastian Stan was also good as Jeff, but it was Allison Janey who stood out. No words for how brilliant she is. The screenplay could have been better though.

I, Tonya isn’t a masterpiece, but its definitely watchable, entertaining and a must watch!

My Rating:- 3.5/5

Coco

I love Pixar movies. In every movie of theirs, they have a unique topic to discuss. Their movies are not just for children, but even for adults who, in my opinion, have closed their free thinking.

All of these are involved in Coco, which I consider is Pixar’s current best.

Coco is about a young guy named Miguel, an aspiring musician from a family where music is banned. Due to a curse, he is transported to the Land of the Dead, and he goes to meet his great-great grandfather, who is a musician, to find out about his family history, as well as a blessing from his ancestors to go back to the alive world.

Coco has the best music I have heard on recent times. “Remember Me” is a song I will remember forever. The animation is amazing, the voice cast did a great job. But what I loved the most is the theme. The fact it has Music Therapy in it. How music is used to heal people. How it helps in retrieving memories for those who have dementia and alzheimer’s. The fact that they also incorporated live music, and one-on-one therapy. Another theme I liked was how they depicted life and death. The Land of the Dead is actually “alive” due to the memories the alive people have of them. Its all about how our memories of our loved ones, can be brought alive, by remembering them and honoring all that they would have wanted us to do.

Be open minded, follow your heart, and more than that, love Music! Also find out how Music Therapy works! If you haven’t watched Coco yet, I highly recommend! Its on Netflix!

My Rating:- 5/5

Kaabil

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Predictable story about revenge. Its about a blind couple Rohan and Supriya “Su” (Hrithik Roshan and Yami Gautam). One day Su gets raped by two people, one of the guys Amit (Rohit Roy), is the brother of Madhavrao Shellar (Ronit Roy), a well known politician. There was no justice. Su commits suicide, and Rohan takes revenge against the brothers.

Hrithik Roshan is the only Kaabil one in this movie. His performance is something that is memorable and must look out for. I also liked the camera work and direction, it managed to add all the thrills. Otherwise “Kaabil” just wasn’t “Kaabil” enough.

My Rating:- 3/5

13 Reasons Why Season 2 Review: Is it the content or is it how TV shows normally are?

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When I heard that “13 Reasons Why” was going to have a second season, I wondered why was it needed? Now when I watched season 2, I feel the same. That why was season 2 needed for this show?

Season 1 had everything that was needed. It was realistically portrayed. Being a bullying victim, I could feel all that was happening on the show. Most people felt uncomfortable watching the show, because it reminded them of their experiences. But I felt more inspired. I wanted to do something about high school bullying and suicides. It had a beautiful end, with a positive message it intended to spread.

Season 2 was the opposite. I feel its the storyline and writing. It was the same thing over again. More bullying/assaults and no justice. Oh and the end…

I guess its with most TV shows. They continue without a proper full stop, by repeating the same content and themes, without doing much. Some shows also get away from their main content.

I always said that “13 Reasons Why” was a TV show, and with these points, it proves to be a TV show which we just watch.

One plus point of this seasons is the character development of each character. It was brilliant. It was good to see most of the characters going through realization and come out stronger. It was also good to bring most of the characters together. The other plus point is the acting by each of the cast. And the trigger warning in the beginning, very much needed.

If they are renewing this show for another season, I suggest they come up with a proper end, to inspire us to make us do something about it, just like how season 1 intended. I would say the same for all the TV shows. Don’t make cash the main priority, if you are running out of ideas, end the show properly, that’s what makes the viewers satisfied.

I would say watch Season 1 if you want to get inspired and stop bullying, assaults and suicides, and if you are going through some of these issues currently, maybe you should not watch Season 2. But otherwise generally, this season isn’t really worth it.

 

Vikram Vedha

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It is the modern adaptation of the classic folk-tale Vikram and Betaal. I love when classic tales are being adapted to modern versions. It is not easy and they did a good job with that. This movie is about a cop and a criminal, the criminal tries to change the cop’s way of seeing things by asking questions. It also shows about corrupt police officers.

Superb direction by Pushkar-Gayathri, we need to see more of them. Very cleverly written, wonderful screenplay and dialogues. The camera work adds more thrill. Madhavan proves that he is not just a chocolate boy, but someone who is talented and can do justice to any role. Vijay Sethupathi, no words for him, he is brilliant! Probably the current top best actor in the Tamil industry. The tension between the two characters have been shown very well.

The movie has all the elements of a perfect film. Please watch this!

My Rating:- 4/5

Tumhari Sulu

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A slice of life film. Brilliantly made, written and directed. A true comedy, that made me genuinely smile and laugh. I also love the songs and how they fit in every scene.

Vidya Balan is from another world. She is just unimaginably good. She owns this movie. My top favourite actress of this time. Thank you for proving how talented you are, each time.  All the supporting actors did a good job, but it was Manav Kaul who stood out with his brilliant acting of a complex character.

“Tumhari Sulu” is a true entertainment. A must-watch! Please watch this, if you are having a low day, or even if you are not. A smile on your face is guaranteed!

My Rating:-  3.5/5

Love Per Square Foot

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Netflix India’s first original movie. A true rom-com. It is about a guy Sanjay (Vicky Kaushal) and a girl Karina (Angira Dhar) who have a similar dream, to buy an apartment and have a space on their own. This quest brings them together.

It is predictable yet simple. It is a kind of movie that is made from the heart, not forced, not for money, like other Bollywood movies these days. The movie’s purpose was for us to enjoy, and its fulfilled! The humor used in the movie was fantastic, what I call “true” humor! Writing and direction was wonderful! Loved the dialogues!

The movie has the best lot of actors! Been a fan of Vicky Kaushal since his Masaan days! Boy this guy can act! Angira Dhar is so pretty, and she can act too! Both of them deserve to go far! The rest of the cast were brilliant, be it sisters Supriya Pathak and Ratna Pathak, Raghubir Yadav, Alankrita Sahai (in her debut), Gajraj Rao, Kunaal Roy Kapoor, Arunoday Singh etc. Kudos to the casting!

The only thing that didn’t work was the screenplay and runtime! The movie dragged a lot! It has a simple storyline, too many unwanted details weren’t needed. With a simple topic, just cutting down on 30 minutes would work.

Do watch it when you need some time off, when you need to cheer up! This movie made me laugh, and I am sure it will bring a smile on your face too!

Netflix should make more movies, and I hope filmmakers make movies more from the heart!

My Rating:- 3/5

 

 

Mom

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Mom was Sridevi’s final film. It is one of the best films I have seen in recent times. In fact, what I call a movie!

It does have a predictable storyline of a revenge drama. A girl gets raped, doesn’t get justice, the girl’s mom (actually step-mom) goes through all lengths to get justice for her.

Though it had a predictable storyline, and an overdramatic ending, I really liked “Mom”. One of the reasons was the concept, the title itself, “Mom”! It shows that not all relationships have to be blood related. She was a step-mom, who did so much for her step-daughter. The fact that she accepted her, treated her as her own daughter, went through so much to get justice for her, even though she wasn’t biologically related to her, proves that there are no names such as a step-mom, she was a Mom! A mom can be anyone, who would take care of you and do so much for you, even though you may have not come from her womb! Even our friends can be like our siblings, our elders can be like our parents and grandparents.

Sridevi owned the movie. For a minute, I forgot about the other characters as there is something about her presence. She gets into her part very easily, she looked her part, delivered her dialogues naturally. Proves that there can be no one like her. Even in her final film, she made her role so memorable.

The rest of the cast were a good support, but it was Nawazuddin Siddiqui who stands out completely. His role was apparently a special appearance, but it seemed as if he got the maximum screen time than the others, the only one who almost matched up to Sridevi. The way he looked, and the way he delivered his dialogues, didn’t make me recognize him for sometime, which shows that he is an excellent artist, who can get into any role.

The movie has some excellent camera work I have seen in ages. The screenplay was good too. The fact that it could hold my entire attention for 148 minutes, proves the kind of movie it is. A.R Rahman’s background music, as well as the soundtrack add chills. Rahman always goes in depth of a movie’s content, and he did the same with this movie too.

“Mom” had all the elements of how a film should be. For those who haven’t seen it, please do right away. Especially if you want to see Sridevi for the last time in a major role which she owned, you will not see someone like her. Also, please watch it for the way the movie has been made!

I miss my mom (who is in heaven) even more now after watching this film. Moms are superwomen, who do so much for us. After this movie, I understand their value even more. For those who have a mom, please be grateful for that!

My Rating:- 4/5