Friday, July 14, 2017


Mad Fun! It's Different, Watch It!

3 Happy Singing Stars!

Mini Review:

A Hindi Musical film is not always Mughal-E-Azam or Hum Aapke Hain Koun... This adventure caper is like a Disney Musical, the chorus bursting into spontaneous song and rhyme and brilliantly choreographed. The chases are wonderfully planned as well, and even though you don't have thigh-slapping moments of fun, you cannot help but smile. Yes, the villains are too nasty for a caper film like this one, but that fact does not hurt this film too much.

Main Review:

A young orphan boy lives under the stairs like Harry Potter,
In a hospital setting, doesn't speak 'coz he can only stutter.

He saves a stranger from the train, who in turn adopts him,
Jagga's life is magical now, he learns to rhyme everything.

And just as mysteriously, the stranger turned dad disappears
Jagga's in boarding school now, his jasoosi is good with peers

He solves a murder at school, he helps journo Katrina Kaif
Find arms smugglers, she looks older alas, no longer waif.

An annual birthday tape from dad assures Jagga all's well,
He's singing songs about mistakes, the baddies are raising hell.

One birthday, tape does not arrive but a cop with an obit does,
Jagga goes to Calcutta gets embroiled with crooked fuzz.

Katrina reluctantly helps him they go to Marakkesh
But Anurag Basu thinks everything is Bongo Pradesh.

Stop mentioning Feluda, and TikTiki is lizard not train station
But Hindi rhyme in dialog is a pretty good innovation.

An accident prone heroine makes all the chases mad fun
Reviewers expect Barfi, but this film in hundred is one.

The non-rhyme parts are a tad tedious and drag along,
Katrina and bus scene is good, so are actors, mostly Bong.   

Ranbir Kapoor as Jagga with odd cowlick is very likeable
And the surprise villain is straight outta ancient scary fable.

The film would've been shot as if it's a cartoon
With treasure maps, even stealing shrinking the moon

The smuggling of arms, Netaji and other preachy stuff
The villainy is serious and the Bengali connect- yaar, enough!

People will hate it or love it, I belong to the latter bunch
I like caper films and this one's perfect like popcorn crunch.

(If you like words, my review in prose is on nowrunning dot com)


Friday, July 07, 2017

Review: MOM

Sridevi Shines In The 3rd Revenge For Rape Movie This Year.

2.5 stars

Mini Review:

Sridevi is a high school biology teacher and has a perfect life with a loving husband and two girls. Her illusion is shattered when her older daughter goes to a party and is raped. With the law unable to find the perpetrators guilty, Sridevi takes on the role of an avenging angel, and teaches each of the four rapists a lesson they will never forget. It’s a terribly long-drawn out film and even though horrendously cliched and predictable, Sridevi shines.

Main Review:

A strict biology teacher, Devaki (played beautifully by Sridevi) confiscates a cell phone from a male student. He has just sent a sex video to a female student in the same class. She throws the boy’s phone out of the window (what?! No teacher will ever do that!) and keeps the girl student’s phone.

We see her at home serving dinner. Oho! The girl student from class is her older daughter. There’s some strange thing going on because she does not call Sridevi, ‘Mom’ but ‘Ma’am’. Aah, the stepmom angle. Sridevi’s husband (Adnan Siddiqui, very competent) assures Sridevi that he will fix everything between the mother and daughter when he comes back from his New York trip and they take their annual holiday.

The older daughter Arya (Sajal Ali, shows flashes of brilliance) is to go to a Valentine’s Day party at a farmhouse with her friends. Sridevi asks her to come back in good time. The kids go to the party where the same boy who sent Arya the sex clip on the phone tries to dance with her. Arya rebuffs him and his older cousin and decides to get home in a cab because her friend who has the car cannot be found anywhere and the girlfriend is very drunk. She gets kidnapped by the boys she has rebuffed and is raped and thrown into a ditch and left to die.

Sridevi is frantic when Arya does not come back home and the police assure her that they will try and find the missing daughter. A creepy man at the police station says he can help. But Sridevi says no. He gives his card to the mom. When Arya is found by a morning walker Sridevi goes to the hospital…

Arya is alive, but barely. A case is registered on her complaint but as you saw in Kaabil and Maatr (both released earlier this year) the law is unable to bring the perpetrators to justice and they go scott free. And as it happens in the two earlier movies, the onus falls upon the protagonist (Sridevi in this film) to extract revenge. In Kaabil, Hrithik Roshan (he’s blind, hence his revenge is empowering too) knows the rapists and plots each death one after another. In Maatr, Raveena Tandon is also raped by the bunch along with her daughter and against all odds, she plots and carries out the death of all the rapists. In this movie, revenge is given divine blessing by dialog like ‘God made mothers because he could be everywhere at the same time’. But Sridevi is helped on her revenge journey by the creepy detective and the police officer assigned to Arya’s case. The creepy detective is played by none other than the ‘lemme-ham-it because balding head with long hair isn’t ‘cool’ enough’ Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

The baddies are tackled one by one, and the ever-suspicious cop played by Akshaye Khanna seems to arrives too late to every crime scene. It takes the awful hamming of ‘I’m a villain, watch me be villainous’ Abhimanyu Singh and his very cliched anger against Sridevi for Arya to realise that Sridevi is really the mother of all mothers.

The director probably does not need to tell Sridevi how to be in the scene. She is simply stupendous. Her backing off from a screaming Arya and going to the balcony to prevent herself from breaking down is a scene that is masterclass in acting. Sridevi’s helplessness at discovering that her relationship with her daughter is now irretrievable is goosebump inducing. But everything else in the film seems to be so long drawn and tiresome, that you wish she could kill them a la Uma Thurman in Kill Bill.

A R Rahman’s music is not phenomenal and you begin to question why in songs does the word ‘doooor’ (far, in English) is always sung out long drawn… The cinematography is good (especially in Kufri, shown in the last segment of the film). It seems tedious simply because Bollywood seems to think women (and blind man) wake up to revenge only of their wives or daughters (or themselves) are raped. That’s a sad way to make woman-centric films.

P.S. Is Nawazuddin Siddiqui overdoing the humor? Is his 'wanting to get laughs' overshadowing the role he's playing? The legendary Pran apparently wanted song sequences after Zanjeer... Is Nawazuddin going the same route? I wonder...

(This review sans the postscript appears on nowrunning dot com)


Trash Smells Better Than This Farty Production

Zero stars

Mini Review:

Kartik Aryan works for a software firm in London and is attempting to get married for citizenship when his uncle and aunt show up to stay. Looks like they’re never leaving. Oddly, he doesn’t remember having met them, ever. But culture demands, he be respectful. It’s supposed to be comedy, but with his uncle farting all the time, you don’t really care for anything that happens to any character. It’s plain awful.

Main Review:

So when people from India show up at your office, claiming to be an aunt and an uncle, what does a Punjabi lad do? Takes them home, of course. Doesn’t realise that he is living with a girl who is to marry him so he can get British citizenship. The uncle and aunt are played by Paresh Rawal and Tanvi Azmi and they call the Kartik Aryan (Pyar ka Punchnama fame) ‘kakka’ (‘son’ in Punjabi) with every sentence that you don’t really know (or care) what his screen name is. And Paresh Rawal farts. Every two minutes in the film.

And the ‘overstaying guests’ thing is so badly done, and the jokes about Pakistan and Kashmir and African American babies are so offensive you wonder who thought they were funny. And between that are the farts. There is a funeral song which is a sung to the tune of ‘Baby Doll Main Sone Di’, and a ghazal about farts.

And we don’t talk about how tacky the backdrops created by a special effects team are. Such a shame that Paresh Rawal hams it to the gills. And the connect to the events on 9/11 is in really poor taste. The supposed ‘emotional connect’ fails because the explanation given is: (we tried to get rid of you - the uninvited guests - because ‘We are like fake dog lovers. We say Tommy come, when we want and Tommy go when we don’t want the dog. We didn’t know how to treat you.’

Yes, that’s an actual dialog from the film. If you threw stones at this rabid dog of a film, no one would arrest you.

P.S. The director has made Atithi Tum Kab Jaaoge. Plan was to watch the film after watching Guest In London. But the films turned out to be so bad, I am skipping the Atithi film. The only time I laughed was when Paresh Rawal says Kartik Aaryan looks exactly like Ajay Devgn.

(this review sans the postscript appears on nowrunning dot com)


Rather Fun. Thankfully Nothing Like Earlier Films

2.5 Happy Stars

Mini Review:

Spiderman is so much cooler, and sharper and smarter in this version than five earlier films. He’s not whiny, not mean, and he does not want to make you want to slap him because he’s unsure about who he is. Of course adding the Avengers to the formula makes the film that much sassier. Watch it!

Main Review:

First, a confession. I have hated the Spiderman because he’s a schoolboy who is good at nothing, and is plain rude to his uncle and aunt and MJ. Then Tobey Maguire’s  bulbous eyed awe and Andrew Garfield perpetually sullen expressions did not help.

So went into the theatre with trepidation. I had liked Spiderman showing up in Captain America Civil War. Hopefully this Spiderman would have the same sass.

And he does! Tom Holland who appeared as Spiderman in Captain America Civil War continues to be Peter Parker in this film. He’s under Tony Stark’s wing, his intelligent suit created by Avengers technology, but he’s still not officially an Avenger.

Thankfully, he’s not whiny about it. He’s rebelling and stepping out every night. Mostly stumbling into situations which make you laugh. No, seriously. It is such a refreshing change to see a young lad who has powers that should give him his the superhero status he desperately wants, but is not accepted as one of the big guys for some reason.

The movie picks up where the last Avengers movie left off. With New York destroyed by Loki’s hoards. Ultron’s avatars, someone has to salvage. Enter Michael Keaton. YES! The one and only! He adds the much needed spice to the Spiderman franchise with his vicious vulture wings. Spidey’s school too is more interesting than MJ tripping in the canteen or school kids bullying someone in the halls. Peter Parker is part of the school mind decathlon team. But his mind is not on anything. He’s waiting for that all important phone call from Ironman.

Jon Favreau as Happy is the connect between Ironman and Spiderman, and Marisa Tomei is Aunt May, and you wish there was more of them both…

The pace of the film is quite fast and furious. The story seems stretched in the middle, but then as all superhero films do, the end is swift and wonderful. All in all, a fun watch

PS: It's a Marvel franchise. Please wait for extra scenes after the film ends. Yes. Plural. 'Scenes'.


Friday, June 30, 2017


Haseena Moans, Deewana Is Hot Lips

The Funniest Film Of The Year.

½ star

Mini Review:

Haseena Natasha is coming home to an ancestral property to get married to her best friend Sunny. She meets the mysterious Dev and promptly begins to lust after him (Deewana), friend-zoning Sunny. Daddy and Uncle and Rita (a lady whose job is exposition, narrating the backstory to the audience) are against this haseena-deewana lust thing. They are convinced Dev is a ghost of Natasha’s grandmother’s lover. The ghost tells Natasha it’s a plot to kill her. Confused? You'll stop caring about the story and laugh your guts out at the horrendous acting and hilarious dialog.

Main Review:

Haseena, Deewana Aur Lust!

You stare at the rather pink, Angelina Jolie-esque male lips spouting garbled Urdu words that basically are about time, endless love, skies and oceans and gardens of eden... and their love. But he says those words after a daring rescue of a girl who falls down a cliff into a pond. He's wearing Zorro’s leftover clothes shows up to rescue the drowning girl like Tarzan, swinging from a wire (yes! In the middle of nowhere!). And before you know it, he is kissing the girl in the name of CPR. The girl comes to, but only laugh giddily at her best friend who was fixing a broken down car. The stranger vanishes.

These are three main characters in the film. Natasha, the ‘haseena’, Zorro aka Dev aka the ‘deewana’ and Natasha’s best friend Sunny (played by Upen Patel). This film will make you feel sorry for Upen Patel and that is a brand new feeling because he has not made any amazing career choices.

The haseena cannot help lusting after the deewana. And you must be forewarned that you will see an elaborate and unintentionally hilarious love-making scene on a horse. This is exactly how it goes:
Deewana is riding a horse. He meets Haseena who's wearing a chiffon skirt and a practically not there blouse, wandering about the woods.
‘Come ride with me,’ He says.
‘But I don’t know how!’ She croons.
‘You were once the best rider on this estate.’
And that’s all it takes for her impossible high heels to come off and with them, the long chiffon skirt comes off too, and she’s perched in front of the deewana, riding through the wilderness while he’s kissing her bare back, and then in a gymnastic gesture, she turns around to face him and the poor horse continues trotting through the woods…

Hai Haseena! Hai Deewana!

It’s a debut film for both the haseena and the deewana, and they need to go back to a day job once the film crashes at the box office. Neither has any acting chops, not dialog delivery, and they do not heat up the screen but scald it with their presence. The haseena moans more than she delivers dialog. And when she delivers her dialog or looks at anyone in front of her, her neck is raised just a little bit more than natural, and her eyebrows have a special wiggle when she speaks. She remarks: Kahin par sun set ho gaya hai, aur yahan Sunny (daru le kar) set ho raha hai!

Before you facepalm, she calls Sunny 'Sunny Glue' because 'woh chipak jaata hai', and Sunny says, 'Sunny Glue nahi, Super Glue'.

The deewana is made to say, ‘Khushiyaan nahi dard ke kharaashein hain’ (not happiness but scars of sadness). Also brilliant lines like: you are present, I am past, how can we have a future?

Before you choke on that, you realise that the deewana is an ‘atma’ a ghost (everyone in the film pronounces the word as if the word had two letters each of ‘G’ and ‘H’ in its spelling as in 'घोस्ट' ). That’s why he didn’t die when he fell off the cliff rather dramatically (the audience is too busy laughing at the skinniest legs they have seen on a hero). But then, if he is an ‘atma’, a spirit who materialises every time the haseena calls out his name, why did they waste so much time showing him run after the bad guy through the woods? Couldn’t he just materialise in front of the baddie and beat him up?

You also wonder how the ‘atma’ kisses the haseena every time they meet? If he’s just the spirit from the past, and he is actually her grandma’s lover who was killed off for being farm-hand, and he’s come back to life to save her from someone who wants to kill her, why does he kiss her all the time? Lust between grandma’s lover and granddaughter seems to be very weird!

Upen Patel the poor friend who was supposed to marry haseena, is friendzoned and how! You feel bad for the lad, but he sticks around wearing cable knit jumpers while haseena wanders about wearing flimsy dresses. The deewana is eminently forgettable in his gigantic pink lips (envied only by the Blue Groper fish) and stubble and skinny legs.

Hasee Nahi Khatam Hoti!

There are so many songs, and the songs are each at least five minutes long, you wonder if it is the same director who gave us pulp movies of Akshay Kumar and Bobby Deol.  The music of Nadeem-Shravan seems ancient and out of place in the movie.
The prize for overacting in this largely hilarious romance goes to the clutching the left pec in comic alarm in the hope of conveying a heart attack by haseena’s dad who looks like a poor man’s Aditya Pancholi. Of course he turns out to be the bad guy who is given a priceless dialog like: For twenty one years I told you bedtime stories, now it time to hear bad time stories.

What?! Yes, daddy dearest wants the property to himself. He killed mom for it and now he wants to kill his daughter. What?! But don’t worry, the atma foils that plan and in the fracas, daddy shoots haseena, Sunny falls in front of the bullet, asking God to unite haseena and deewana and in a shower of stardust god complies. You ask yourself ‘why were you here, why were you here’ as the the united lovers sing, ‘Where were you, where were you, where were you?’  

Friday, June 23, 2017


Hamara Dabanng Bhaijaan Waapas Do!
This Rancid Barfi Is NOT Salman Khan.

1 star

Mini Review:

A remake of the 2015 Hollywood 'Little Boy' that bombed, Tubelight attempts to capture the magic of Bajrangi Bhaijaan with a little boy this time. But this time Bhai acts like he's Bollywood's version of a mentally challenged person. Set during the 1961 Indo-China war, this film shows how bhai's only support, his brother, goes away to fight at the border and bhai is left with Gandhian principles that help him survive. He befriends a little Chinese-Indian boy Guao and his mother who has fled the oppression they faced in Calcutta. This friendship is tough because he's ethnically Chinese. Salman Khan magic fails in this flat, linear telling of the story.     

Main Review:

It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It.

Salman Khan's USP that sets single screen theatres alight with crazy fans singing and dancing in the aisles is his ability to beat baddies to a pulp, seduce heroines with a fun song and dance routine and most recently, as the truth loving, Hanuman worshipping do-gooder Bajrangi.
With such a big opening opportunity reserved at Eid for Salman, why make a film that has no humor, no fighting baddies, no love interest to seduce, and a story told with so many mistakes?

In the opening shot from the film, the kids in the classroom are waiting for the flickering Tubelight to finally light up. They are staring at it, urging it to ‘Jal Ja! Jal Ja! Jal Ja!’ (Light Up! Light Up!). As fans of Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Dabanng the audience too stares at Salman Khan’s unrestrained facial contortions on the screen and pray, ‘Stop overacting! Just take off that shirt! Beat up bullies! Stop crying! Why are you so bloated?’

You don’t want to wonder why the classroom needs a tubelight to burn in the morning during school hours, you settle down with popcorn for Salman Khan magic to appear and work its way with you.

Rancid Barfi. Overacting Ki Dukaan.

Salman Khan’s brother Sohail Khan appears, but the magic doesn’t. Salman Khan is supposed to be the village idiot, a Kumaoni version of Barfi (2012 film directed by Anurag Basu, starring Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra), but you are just taken aback at the unrestrained facial contortions and strange string puppet like body movements and you hope something will happen to turn this Barfi gone rancid into the awesome fighting machine or lovable Bajrangi once again.

You begin to chant in your head, ‘Take it off! Take it off!’ hoping Salman will take off his shirt and fight the village bullies and redeem himself from the awful depiction of a mentally challenged person.

He doesn’t take his shirt off. He can't. First, the film is set in the hills, and they show him wearing not just full sleeved shirts but also these ghastly sweaters that are three sizes too small. Or is it that his body is so buff that his muscles are straining to get out of confinement. And then the thought pops up: is that why his body twitches so much? Second, the bullies (led by Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, who hates the Chinese, but nobody knows why!) only slap Laxman, no tearing off his shirt when beating Salman. Third, the story is trying really hard to tug at your heartstrings so no muscle shots.

Sohail Khan plays his brother. Yashpal Sharma the army recruiting and temporary cantonment in charge, and Brijendra Kala as grocery shop owner. Not even Om Puri in the cast can save Laxman from overacting.

Little Boy Steals The Show.

Speaking of heartstrings, Matin Ray Tangu, the little boy who plays Salman Khan’s Chinese friend Guao is adorable. Not unlike the Pakistani girl Salman rescues in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, he wins every heart waiting for the real Salman Khan to stand up and show himself. But in Bajrangi, the little girl makes him do the right thing without lying. Here the boy is not given a chance to change the dumb Laxman into a man with a spine. But no such luck. Laxman remains the tubelight of the village, dumb and stupid.

Director Kidhar Hai? Kidhar Hai Director?

The director is conspicuous with his absence. Because the movie gets more and more tedious. Not one character grows in any sort of arc. Bhai remains dumb, the little boy adorable, Bhai’s brother who goes away on war remains brave soldier, the village bully remains that. You just wait for the movie to play out. Om Puri’s appearance as a mentor who gives Laxman a list of Gandhian Tweets/Quotes and goes off screen is the luckiest character. He facepalms so many times and is exasperated at Laxman and he shows it. The audience alas, cannot.

His stupidity is based on what Gandhiji said to him in person: Conviction (‘Yakeen’) can move mountains, and it lives in your heart. And of course Laxman takes it literally, and the audience suffers this bizarre Superman on the ground waiting to take off posture in the name of ‘yakeen'. The background music is incessant and loud and the songs forgettable. So much for keeping everything under wraps We also suffer really bad jokes with the little boy’s name which mispronounced sounds like ‘shit’ literally. Bad childish jokes apart, it doesn’t help when the star that you love looks more bloated than buff, you wish someone would push him into a weight loss routine. Give me a good Dabanng over this pretence emotional film any day. The best moment of the film? When Laxman realises the soldiers giving Guao’s mum the evil eye and he holds her hand to protect her. That’s the Salman we love.

P.S. You step out wondering how Shah Rukh in a cameo manages to look more earnest and fresh than the bhai you've loved since Hum Aapke Hain Koun and Andaz Apna Apna. You love both the stars for different reasons and somewhere deep inside you wish both had aged equally well.

I said 'mistakes' in para 1 of the review. Apart from tubelight flickering in the morning classroom, noteworthy is Laxman's bicycle. It's chain comes off often. and then suddenly we see Bhai riding a bicycle with a chain guard (invented in 1964, by the way!)... And these are just two of the many...

Friday, June 16, 2017


You Facepalm And You Facepalm then Credits Roll.
Directed By Bumpy, It Says. Facepalm Once More.

1 star

Mini Review:

Three silly lads attempt to rob a bank and end up in the middle of a real bank robbery. There are cops, and the media and a brash CBI team trying to stop the robbery outside, and hostages, the silly lads and the real bad guys inside. Then there are politicians plotting something else outside. If the one line premise had not been stretched so long and stayed focused on comedy, this film could have been a hoot. Isn’t.

Main Review:

Someone who’s not old enough to curse in Hindi but sees the phonetic similarity between the word and the title of the film is to blame for the stupidity that lasts for two hours.

Champak Chiplunkar, Genda and Gulaab are three silly lads, attempting to loot a bank. Ritesh Deshmukh as Champak Chiplunkar starts out to being funny. A robber dressed up as a babaji, but really someone who believes in numerology and Vaastu could be fun. Genda and Gulaab are Delhi lads who make the perfect for Delhi Lads jokes found aplenty on Whatsapp. Trouble with this film is that Whatsapp jokes are widely circulated and they are completely unfunny when acted out. The casting is good, but the direction is rough and bumpy. You can see the joke set up a mile away. Perhaps that’s why the director is listed as ‘Bumpy’ and that does not sound like a real name at all.

However, the bumbling thieves - looking for a WiFi button press the alarm at the bank - invite the attention of CBI special branch agent called Amjad Khan (Vivek Oberoi with a moustache). Apart from the very obvious, ‘Kitne Aadmi Thay?’ not a single joke is cracked, using the Sholay reference, is cracked.

The hostages, the media and the cops (one of them has a serious Atul Kulkarni hangover) have no jokes and are serious in their dealings. Would have been fun to hear a microphone thrust into a cop’s face and reporter ask: There is a bank robbery in progress, how do you feel?

Yes, the cops in the jeep are all eating vada paos, and that is clever. But the rest of the movie just is exhausting. There is attempt at comedy between Bombay and Delhi, but you’ve heard those before. Especially the ‘yo mama’ jokes about yo mama is so frugal she puts water in the shampoo bottles to get that last bit of soap out… are now stale even if they are applied to Delhi boys.

The reason why politicians are involved and why the real robbers are present in the bank is too convoluted. And after intermission, the movie turns so serious, you wish they had stuck to whatsapp jokes.

Why do the filmmakers have to borrow loan rescinded idea from Hell Or High water or throw money away as in Now You See Me? The one thing original about this film is the slogan offered: GBMLR - Ganpati Bappa Morya Let’s Rock.


Review: PHULLU

I'd rather suffer Endometriosis...

½ star

Mini Review:

Phullu is the village idiot, or is he? He helps his mother make quilts by bringing rags from the local tailors, buys things for village women, but does not want to leave the village and find a job. When he figures out that women have periods and that they cannot afford sanitary napkins, he attempts to make them himself, earning derision and hatred at the cost of everything…

Main Review:

When you’re living in a country where basic necessities for women - in this instance, sanitary pads - are highly taxed and cannot be afforded by more than 70% of the population, a film that creates awareness is a good thing. But when it comes to delivering the message in a film, it had better be hard-hitting and on point, instead of this rambling story of a ‘Phullu’ or the idiot.

Phullu lives with his mum and his sister and when he goes to the city to get leftover fabric from tailors for the quilts his mother makes, he also brings back packages for women of the village. Packages first wrapped in newspapers and then in black plastic bags. He does not know what they are and the women don’t explain anything either.

Of course he’s bringing back sanitary pads for the women, and only few women seem to afford it. And there is a lot of taboo involved with periods. Men are told it’s a woman’s disease, women are asked to stay in a corner in their homes, women aren’t allowed to enter holy shrines and much more. When he starts asking questions, he’s laughed at and even beaten up for being nosy about ‘women’s business’.

He is married off by his mum (what ghastly, loud, overacting!) in the hope that the wife will make Phullu go away to the city to find a job. He just ends up staying in, making love to his wife. When his wife seems to get a vaginal infection, he begins his obsessive quest to make affordable sanitary napkins. He gets beaten up, has to sell his cell phone, live on biscuits and tea, gets beaten up again until he finds a job at the factory that makes sanitary napkins. He works there, trying to understand the process. He even brings back material he could make those at home, but who will try them? The women of the village beat him up…

The narrative is rambling and tedious, so the already tough social service message becomes tedious and boring even. Plus when the protagonist is the ‘fool’ then the film actually undermines the work being done by so many people in making sanitary napkins and teaching rural women to use them instead of the unhygienic rags.

(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)


Review: CARS 3

On Top Of The Track!

2.5 Happy stars!
(and 4 stars to the short film LOU attached to the beginning!)

Mini Review:

The racing cars are back, ready to make you eat dirt, whether they are on the Piston 51 lap race or smart talking each other. The jokes could be funnier, but you cannot but smile at ‘Your blinker is on’ as you see Lightning McQueen, Mater and the other cars you have seen before see yet another road bump… Will number 95 get his mojo back?

Main Review:

Is this the end to Lightning McQueen’s career as a racing ace? There are nasty looking next gen cars like Jackson Storm on the track slowly pushing out the racers you have seen in this really sweet Disney franchise. Jackson Storm has been racing on the simulator and the racing reporter Natalie Certain who says, ‘Numbers are everything’ and predict to the nearest per cent who will win the race, predicts that the way Jackson Storm’s numbers are, there is a 96 per cent chance that he will win, compared to the one percent chance of Lightning McQueen making it at the race if at all.

With Ace losing his confidence at losing not just to Jackson Storm but losing hope as he sees all his friends retire, what is to become of the franchise? As audience you begin to pray that he really pushes himself and learns to win again. His newly appointed trainer Cruz tries her best. But Lightning McQueen listen to anyone else but his own voice? Will he change his ways or is he too set in his thinking…

This movie seemed to have sort of petered off the track in the sequel and then most of us wrote it off as meant for little kids. With Cars 3, Disney is back, and how! Personally speaking the movie is simply heartwarming. Maybe because most adults can identify with the theme of exhaustion at work, losing inspiration, this movie comes very close to whatever it is that grown ups are battling. And the kids will continue to find humor in the cuteness of the cars. Even the demolition derby is fun watch, and so is the training on the beach.

I actually stood up to clap to the clever use of Bruce Springsteen’s Glory Days and the slide guitar at the pub. That quietly slipped in the the cleverest thing one has seen in the ‘Cars’ movies.

Go watch it. This one film is meant for kids, but who knows, the grown ups might find lots and lots of inspiration here as well. And one more thing. This film opens during Father’s Day weekend, and has a lovely little short attached to the beginning of the film. It is everything you would expect from a Pixar short. The tears in my eyes are preventing me from saying more, but watch LOU, the short. You’ll find heaps to love in the Lost And Found box too…

Friday, June 09, 2017


Tom Cruise is Still Yummy.

2.5 stars

Mini Review:

This time the Mummy is scarier and more determined to make Tom Cruise hers. The idea is ancient. It was planted in practically every female brain when we saw him as Top Gun, so this movie becomes rather fun to watch. It is darker and scarier than the other films in the franchise. Russell Crowe makes an interesting addition offering the possibility of another sequel…

Main Review:    

Franchise films are boring because their universe does not change very much. The destruction in Transformers is similar as is the sandstorm, the scarab beetles, the Mummy movies have. Even horror films have their standard projectile vomiting, the upturned crucifixes, hands that emerge from bedding to pull victims inside and so on. That’s why it was interesting to see what Tom Cruise could bring to the new Mummy film.

He still has the body we saw in Jack Reacher, bulked up and ready to bare. His sidekick Sgt. Vail is played by Jake Johnson and he has the most fun, first as someone who is reluctant to join the mad search for a Egyptian tomb by Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), then as the undead when he helps Nick through the Mummy troubles.

The gorgeous Sophia Boutella plays the Mummy, ready to stab Nick and turn him into Satan himself. You have never seen anything in bandages look so good. Annabelle Wallis plays the good girl and she needs to either scream in terror or look terribly concerned. It’s Russell Crowe who has a terribly interesting role as Dr. Henry Jekyll. You know he’s got the lab and the money and the power, but you want to know more about him. Perhaps in the next movie.

The Mummy comes alive in every movie, but in this one, the scenes are genuinely scary. Even someone as shockproof as I am, wasn’t expecting the mind games the mummy plays, the crows and the rats…

The relentless ‘I want you’ message from the Mummy does not get stale at all. This movie turns out to be a better watch than one thought. And yes, you get a peek into the bare nekked body of Tom Cruise. Paisa Vasool that!