Bollywood Showbiz,The Audiences share their reactions about four recent releases… each distinct from the other

RAAES

IT’S SRK ALL THE WAY

Among the many characters that Hindi cinema has given us, the ‘don’ is a recurring persona. There have been the ‘loved’ outlaws and then there have been complex ones that acquaint us with the dark pysche. Raees falls in neither category. Even though it features the most-loved Shah Rukh, Raees is unlikely to be among the most endearing characters he has played. Said to be based on the life of a gangster of the ’80s, the movie gives enough fodder to SRK to reinvent the anti-hero. It’s a delight to watch him go about his wily ways, with zero celebrity baggage. But Raees fails to satiate the thirst for the thriller it was touted to be. The meetings between SRK and Nawazuddin Siddiqui are full of subtle sparks. While SRK takes the menacing route, Siddiqui does a fine act as the earnest cop. Barring their chemistry, nothing much works in the film’s favour. Mahira Khan makes little impact. The liquor tale plateaus after the initial kick and fails to deliver a high.

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KAABIL

DECENT WATCH

Rohan Bhatnager (Hrithik Roshan) is visually impaired but is self-dependent and works as a dubbing artiste. A chance meeting with Supriya (Yami Gautam), another visually challenged girl, makes him fall in love. From there on, the plot unfolds like a fairy-tale romance until their harmony is disrupted by the brutality meted out on Supriya by the street hooligan, Amit (Rohit Roy) who happens to be the town corporator’s (Ronit Roy) brother. Rohan is denied justice and stamped as fraud by the corrupt cop (Girish Kulkarni). This tragedy transforms Rohan into an avenging angel! Director Sanjay Gupta has a fascination for the ’80s and early ’90s Bollywood and his approach reflects that. Hrithik’s terrific acting makes you care for his pain and anguish. Yami looks graceful while Ronit’s menace and Marathi accent is impressive. Kulkarni’s co-act is effective, and he evokes despise in surplus. The prime reason to give it a chance is Hrithik, who has put his blood and sweet into it.

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XXX:RETURN OF XANDER CAGE

HIGH ON ACTION, LOW ON CONTENT

If you’re expecting a novel plot or intelligible treatment, stay away. XXX:Retur of Xander Cage is a mindless action blender, which you need to sit back, put on ur 3D goggles and enjoy leaving your brain back home. Dissecting the script would be like opening a Pandora’s Box. By the way, that’s the name of the controller device capable of crashing satellites and causing a possible World war. Obviously, Xander Cage (Vind Diesel) is summoned back to save the planet. He enlists a crew of outlaws from across the globe. A few stunts are expertly handled like Xander’s state boarding intro scene and his bike playing through giant waves. Diesel kicks ass and mouths a fwew whistle-worthy one liners. I particularly likes the scene where Deepika Padukone and he show off their tattoos to each other. Deepika manages to hold her own in front of an ensemble cast. And she does not fake a foreign accent. The rest of the supporting cast including Tony Jaa, Donnie Yen and Ruby Rose are serviceable.

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HARAAMKHOR

ONE -TIME WATCH BUT DISTURBING

Debutant director Shlok Sharma has handled a difficult subject like a relationship between a teacher and a schoolgirl is not safe territory at all. But his risk has paid off. Nawazuddin Siddiqui has nailed his character as the teacher. Shweta Tripathi looks convincing as the schoolgirl.Sharma has managed to bring out the darkness in the script. The climax, must say, is disturbing.

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Bollywood Showbiz, Upcoming Bollywood movie,’Rabta’ official trailer And Review

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Cast:

  1. Sushant Singh Rajput As a (Shiv)
  2. Kriti Sanon As a (Saira)
  3. Deepika Padukone As a (Dancer)
  4. Varun Sharma
  5. Jim Sarbh As a (Zakir Merchant)

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Direction:

Dinesh Vijan

Genre:

Film ‘Rabta’ is a romantic thriller movie.

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Sound Track:

  1. Ik vaari Aa
  2. “Rabta” title Song
  3. Saada Move
  4. Lambiyaan Si Judaiyaan
  5. Ik Vaari Aa (Jubin Version)
  6. Main Tera Boyfriend
  7. Darasal

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Raabta Story:

Shiv and Saira are drawn to each other like long lost lovers, mostly because they are. Their love dates back centuries, and the reason why they drifted apart, has drifted back into their lives.

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Raabta Movie Review:

Sushant Singh Rajput is a fine actor but lacks the casual charm required to make the self-important Shiv lovable. Jim Sarbh’s dialogue delivery is painfully awkward; he doesn’t have the gravitas required for spouting those evil-genius kind of lines in Hindi. Kriti Sanon surprises. She looks good and seems to have honed her acting skills.

Mantostaan Movie Review

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Cast Raghuvir Yadav, Veerender Saxena, Sonal Sehgal, Shoib Shah, Raina Bassnet, Rahat Kazmi
DIRECTION Rahat Kazmi
GENRE Darama
DURATION 1 hour 28 minutes

STORY:

Four fiery short stories about riots, rapes and retribution, set around the Partition and amalgamated into a feature.

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REVIEW:

The conclusion of one of the short films in Mantostaan hits you like a ton of bricks. If you were actually reading Manto, this is the moment when you would look up from the book and take a deep breath to let it sink in. And it’s the wattage of that kind of writing that salvages this adaptation attempt.

mantostaan-movie-bollywood upcoming movie-bollywood romantic movie (4)The short with that most impact is Khol Do, the story of a father (Raghuvir Yadav) who accidentally leaves his daughter behind while making his way to Lahore after the Partition. In Assignment, another father-daughter duo (Veerender Saxena, Raina Bassnet) hold fort in Amritsar even as their muslim neighbours flee the country. In Aakhri Salute, a Pakistani soldier (Rahat Kazmi) engages in a friendly banter with his Indian counterpart stationed across the border. And in Thanda Ghosht, a Sikh man (Shoib Shah) with a broken moral compass tries to hide a secret from his girlfriend (Sonal Sehgal).

mantostaan-movie-bollywood upcoming movie-bollywood romantic movie (1)The stories run parallel to each other through the runtime of the movie, and while this might have been designed to enhance the effect, one cannot help but wonder whether the shorts would have been more powerful as separate entities, showcased one after the other. The switch from one story to the other is not always smooth and the attempt to connect them is at times too obvious.

Add to that a cast of mostly inexperienced actors, whose dialogue delivery and acting-school performances often take away from the subtlety of Manto’s work. The pain of the Partition, the urgency of the situation and the sheer fear are lost in translation.

mantostaan-movie-bollywood upcoming movie-bollywood romantic movie (1)But as the stories reach their climaxes, the power of the word takes over and every technical detail goes out of the window. These are stories of courage and resilience and heartbreak and the terrible things that terrible situations make people do. And in those final moments, you surrender to the plots.

Mantostaan seems like the first draft of a potentially unputdownable book. A slightly more experienced filmmaker would have done wonders with it. But in this state, it’s like a decent read with a great epilogue.

Smurfs: The Lost Village Movie Review

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CAST Demi Lovato, Johan Heldenbergh, Danny Pudi, Rainn Wilson, Julia Roberts, Michelle Rodriguez
DIRECTION Kelly Asbury
GENRE Animation
DURATION 1 hour 29 minutes

STORY:

When Smurfette stumbles upon the evil wizard Gargamel’s plan to find a secret Smurf village and destroy it, she embarks on a quest to warn the exotic inhabitants of the attack.

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REVIEW:

The sworn enemy of the Smurfs, Gargamel creates the first female Smurf named Smurfette to try and gain access to the super-secret Smurf village. But Papa Smurf thwarts his efforts and does magic on Smurfette to get her over to the good side. While she looks like the Smurfs, she remains different than the others. Smurfs are supposed to specialise at one thing, (humour, baking, farming etc.), but she is a Jill-of-all-trades. On one ‘Smurfing’ trip, the evil Gargamel captures her and wheedles out information about another secret Smurf village. She breaks out of his prison, and struck by guilt, decides to go and warn the inhabitants of the other village with help from her friends Clumsy Smurf (Anton Yelchin), Brainy Smurf (Danny Pudi) and Hefty Smurf (Joe Manganiello).

smurfs movie-hollywood animation movie-smurfs movie reviews (4)After two previous movies that tried to hook viewers to the Smurf’s universe and failed, ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ is a reboot that tries to salvage the dismal run of its predecessors. Given the short length of the film, kudos to the makers as they manage to explore new ground and introduce an entirely new Smurf tribe, yet the story fails them. Kids may find it endearing, but there is very little for adults to take away. The characters, with the exception of Smurfette, remain one dimensional and the villain is a weakling. There is no real fear about him ever winning in the entirety of the film.

smurfs movie-hollywood animation movie-smurfs movie reviews (5)The animation in the tale is sharp, and thankfully the makers decided to stick to computer animation considering the earlier films were a mix of live action and animation. 3D is well used in several sequences, and you wish there was more of it. Animated films with no legacy behind them have done much better in terms of story in the recent past (‘Sing’, ‘Zootopia’ etc). But this one, with its insipid and lazy storyetlling, fails to build up on Smurf nostalgia.

smurfs movie-hollywood animation movie-smurfs movie reviews (6)Demi Lovato, as Smurfette has done a credible job in voicing her character, but the rest, including Julia Roberts, don’t really add to the movie. An exception is Ellie Kemper as Smurf Blossom, who plays an excitable, energetic girl Smurf and welcomes Smurfette and her friends into their world.

smurfs movie-hollywood animation movie-smurfs movie reviews (7)Considering the summer holidays are on, you can take your little ones to the theater who may enjoy it. But you may just zone out in this very ordinary story that has very little to offer adults.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

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Cast Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell
DIRECTION James Gunn
GENRE Action
DURATION 2 hours 15 minutes

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STORY:

In ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ the newfound team’s adventures continue as they fight their way to unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage.

REVIEW:

Guardians-Galaxy-Vol-2-hollywood new movie-upcoming hollywood action movie-action movie (3)With the exception of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has notoriously struggled with their sequels. Be it Iron Man, Thor, or even The Avengers – none of the follow-ups managed to capture their predecessor’s magic. It’s not too surprising then that writer & director James Gunn tries to regurgitate the lightning–in-a-bottle success of the first film, by replicating some of the comedic elements that worked for it. Which isn’t entirely a bad thing – as this is arguably the most vibrant and whimsical comic book film we’ve seen in a while, and that’s precisely what it should be.

Guardians-Galaxy-Vol-2-hollywood new movie-upcoming hollywood action movie-action movie (4)The movie’s ability to exist on it’s own two legs as an engaging, science-fiction story is it’s strongest point. This might come across as a disappointment to fans expecting a setup to upcoming films – ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, but keeping the proceedings self-contained to this ragtag bunch of anti-heroes is hardly a detrimental factor. In fact, it allows for a more personal look at each of these previously obscure characters, and delves into their individual psyches.

Guardians-Galaxy-Vol-2-hollywood new movie-upcoming hollywood action movie-action movie (6) Since we’re relatively familiar with some of their idiosyncrasies, Gunn allows them to run wild to humorous effect, while revealing crucial aspects of their respective backstories. ‘No small parts’ is appropriate here, which is testament to Gunn’s ability as a writer and director to juggle a number of outlandish personalities – both old and new. He also extracts strong performances from a diverse bunch of actors, and all of them bring their A-game to the table as their prominent chemistry with each other is on full display.

Guardians-Galaxy-Vol-2-hollywood new movie-upcoming hollywood action movie-action movie (5)Vol. 2 also manages to surpass another nagging issue troubling the Marvel films by setting up a villain with ample depth; enough to keep us emotionally invested and breaking the chain of weaker antagonists seen before. The first film focused on bringing the group together, while this sequel makes audiences understand why the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ are such a big deal on a cosmic level.

Guardians-Galaxy-Vol-2-hollywood new movie-upcoming hollywood action movie-action movie (7)The repercussions of their actions here will be felt on a much grander scale, setting up Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the process. Needless to say, it’s an absolutely essential and thoroughly enjoyable spectacle to watch!

The Zookeeper’s Wife Movie Review

CAST:

Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Daniel Brühl, Timothy Radford, Shira Haas

DIRECTION:

Niki Caro

GENRE:

Biography

DURATION:

2 hours 8 minutes

 

STORY: The film is a poignant, true tale of survival that unfolded at the Warsaw Zoo during Germany’s invasion of Poland in the Second World War. Based on Diane Ackerman’s book, the wartime drama pays tribute to the heroic Polish couple – Jan and Antonina Zabinski, former Warsaw zookeeper and his wife. The daring duo saved hundreds of Jews by sheltering them in the basement of their dilapidated zoo right under the noses of the Nazis, who bombed the place, killed the animals and shifted a few valuable species to Germany. Against all odds, the Warsaw zoo was rebuilt and is open till date.

REVIEW: Niki Caro’s suspenseful, awe-inspiring and captivating cinematic adaptation salutes the indomitable spirit of the Zabinskis, who exuded compassion, kindness and unflinching courage in the face of fear. It will compel you to visit the iconic zoo, which serves partially as a museum today. Powerful and gut-wrenching without an ounce of melodrama, the film tugs at your heartstrings and reinstates your belief in goodness and love towards other living being – be it man or animal.
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It is the director’s astute storytelling and ability to showcase varied human tendencies that allow her film to shuttle between a heartrending human drama and compelling war thriller. Every attempt of the couple, who put their lives on the line by indulging in guerrilla tactics against the Germans, sends shivers down your spine.

Quite emotional and therapeutic, tears roll down your cheeks when Antonina (played by Jessica Chastain) reveals why she loves animals. “You look into their eyes and you know exactly what’s in their hearts”, she says. Chastain’s riveting portrayal and her comfort level with the animals is noteworthy. Especially the scenes where she plays the piano to warn the Jews hiding in her house are outstanding. Daniel Bruhl’s intense performance as the German zoologist with suspicious intentions, lends gravitas to the period drama. The supporting cast is equally credible.

The Zookeeper’s Wife is an incredible real life story that reminds us what makes us human – our ability to hope and rise beyond the darkness and hatred.





Fans thought first ‘Star Wars’ was a joke: Mark Hamill

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The 65-year-old actor, who starred as Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker in the three original sci-fi films, says fans made fun of the project when “A New Hope” hit screens back in 1977.

Fans-thought-first-'Star-Wars'-was-a-joke-Mark-Hamill“At the end of the trailer it said: ‘a billion light years in the making. And it’s coming to your galaxy this summer.’ Somebody in the balcony yelled out: ‘yeah and it’s coming to the Late Show two weeks after that’,” he says.

Fans-thought-first-'Star-Wars'-was-a-joke-Mark-HamillThe actor, who was at the screening with his now-late co-star Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia, says they both giggled with the crowd but adds that they were horrified.Hamill recently returned to the ‘Star Wars’ franchise for the 2015 “The Force Awakens” and will be starring in the upcoming “The Last Jedi”.