Posted in Uncategorized

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)



Posted in Uncategorized

Review: GUEST IN LONDON


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)

Posted in Uncategorized

Review: SPIDERMAN THE HOMECOMING

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’.