Monthly Archives: April 2018

Review: DAAS DEV


PAIN IN D' ASS WATCH

2 stars

Mini Review:

Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s classic but simple love triangle
of Paro, Devdas and Chandramukhi is turned on its head
and complicated needlessly by setting the story in a lawless,
political background in Uttar Pradesh. There are stories and
backstories heaped one on top of another and finished off in
a Tarantino-esque hail of bullets. When a dying character
asks,’Why? Why did all this happen?’ in despair, the
audience shaking their heads in a similar fashion asks the
same thing.

Main Review:

Devdas and Paro dancing, being touchy feely in a Delhi disco
is a great idea, but then he’s drunk and he hits some guy talking
to Paro. Didn’t the original Devdas take to drink because he was
separated from Paro? You sigh into your popcorn and watch the
film derail into predictable patriarchy.

Fawad Khan's Poor Cousin. Still Entitled.

Devdas is kidnapped and we suddenly want to hit him hard. He’s
not only a lush but a lush with an attitude and has lost ‘crores’ in
some business. It is 2018, and we’re still making movies when
families are doing ‘business’ but no one knows what business,
they have large offices and are called ‘business tycoons’ but
there is not a shred of evidence what business the hero is
really ‘in’.

Paro who was in the car with him is conveniently left behind to
call someone and have Devdas rescued. Like I said, the film
simply derails.

Devdas with daddy issues, mommy issues, need to hold a
girl in bed and fall asleep issues, and unfortunately, acting
issues too. Rahul Bhat who plays Devdas plainly looks sleazy
like he never left his earlier film Nayee Padosan.

Pissed Off Pathetic Paro, Churlish Chandramukhi

Richa Chaddha plays Paro and wanders through her role like
a zombie. Mostly expressionless. But then the events in the
movie are so predictable that you cannot blame her. She’s a
disco chick one minute and suddenly a salwaar kameez clad
saviour of poor farmers the next. Wait, what?

Cheerless Chandni or Chandramukhi shows up, narrating the
story and then suddenly realises she is supposed to be a
prostitute according to the classic, and is then shown walk
away with old politicians, emerge from rooms with old politicians.
And you try to understand why Aditi Rao Hydari took this role.
Gigantic Earrings! She wears them in every movie she appears.
Doesn’t help with the image of the pretty pouty girl at all. In fact,
you think she’s churlish because the earrings weigh so much.

'Har Haadse Ke Peeche Ya Toh Dar Hota Hai Ya Politics'

There are gunmen, politicians, their chamchas, their goons,
their jeeps and SUVs, poor villagers, people being killed in
green fields, more politicians, informants on their cell phones,
rifles and alcohol, parties, ministers who appear in ‘lal batti’ cars
with a retinue of policemen. Complimenting these predictable
things are even more predictable emotions of betrayal, plotting
and planning to retain political power, more betrayal, emotionless
killing, manipulating sons to do as told by pretending to suffer a
heart attack and yes, even ‘coma’, then betrayal again, more
killing as if Sushir Mishra was channelising his inner Tarantino.

The only saving grace of this predictable political ‘game’ are
Vipin Sharma (who plays Paro’s elderly husband, the chief of the
opposition party) and Saurabh Shukla (who plays Dev’s uncle and
politician who falls in coma and feints heart attacks, says, ‘Satta
hamari virasat hai’ - power is our inheritance, with so much
conviction that you forget to laugh at its ridiculousness).

The film is shot rather interestingly, and the content could have
been a political souffle but it takes itself so seriously, you just
watch the souffle sink into an unpalatable glutinous mess.

Imagine missing Madhuri Dixit singing 'Maar daala! Allah
Maar Daala' and not in a complimentary way when you
come out of the theater.



(this review sans subheads appears on www.nowrunning.com)    

Review: AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR


Big Bang In The Avengers Universe


4 stars


Mini Review: 

Five Stones that make Thanos - the villain you have heard about and seen in the shadows in other Avengers movies - so powerful he can and does destroy anything and everything he touches. The danger to the universe is so great, the film brings all the heroes together in one big film. The one liners are super funny, the action is super amazing, the situations are super jaw-dropping and you end up being super emotional at galactic speeds. You emerge wobbly from the experience.

Main Review:

Thanos is big, evil, and way too powerful for a couple of Avengers. And you've seen in the posters, the assembly is just mind-blowing. His evil minions are creepily scary and even then the funny one liners stop you from shivering from the inside.

The entry of each of these heroes is so well written, you cannot but whoop and cheer. You leave behind any dignity you claim to possess and do the Saurav Ganguly shirt waving at the screen so many times, you are grateful that it was a mental thing only. 

Please understand also that bottling your emotions doesn't work either. You have had years of investing in your favorite Avenger. You know their power stance, you know how they fight (Hulk Smash! Thor's Hammer! Wakanda Forever! Dr.Strange's space holes to disappear into) and all of a sudden you are crying because of the awful things unfolding on the screen. It's like Thanos just strangled you. 

Also the story about Infinity Stones is nothing new really. You have seen similar things before, so that sort of tarnishes the stars a bit. Also, Thanos has this really weird chin which is a great distraction. And because there's such a smorgasbord of Avengers in front of you, there is not enough time to focus on your favorites. But the worst offenders are the CGI monsters in the Wakanda fight. They're like adding numbers to fight the Wakandan army. And they really don't matter.  

The action on the film is divided into two worlds and so is your attention. And you think you are watching two different films. So don't blink, or you will miss out on the relentless action. If there had been no music with the action, it would have been a crazy football like commentary in Arabic you heard when Salah was making those amazing goals: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofHlzq9gH98

As you can see, I am trying my hardest to not tell you what happens. And I know the first weekend is booked out completely at your nearest IMAX theater for a 3D. Just have patience and you will be rewarded. 








  


Review: BEYOND THE CLOUDS


CLICHES KI BAARISH

2 stars

Mini Review:

Majid Majidi comes to India and falls for the 'poverty is
beautiful' trap. After that, he simply rolls from one cliche
to another and another until you just shake your head in
despair. Ishan Khattar who makes his debut shows flashes
of talent and is let down by a 70s style poverty porn. And the
other star of the film is the city itself. But that just isn’t
enough to make you want to spend multiplex money.

Main Review:

Majidi just doesn’t seem to get over his 1997 brother and sister
against the world drama called Children Of Heaven. So you have
a brother and sister in Bombay in Beyond The Clouds. And yes,
they’re poor too. That’s cliche number one: if it is India story
dreamt up by a ‘foreign’ director, then poverty needs to be the
hero.

The brother and sister are estranged, because she was married
to a drunk and he would beat the brother regularly. The brother
is forced to run away because the sister would not take his side
ever against the husband. Don’t groan yet. This is just the
beginning. The brother is a drug delivery chap, delivering drugs
in a box of mithai, winking at the customers. The drug lord doesn’t
pay him. Of course there’s a police chase through the most
picturesque poverty tourism sites: the dhobi ghat, the fishing
village, and running through pigeons at kabootarkhana so they
fly. If you live in Bombay you laugh at the geographical
impossibility (it’s as implausible like showing the chase beginning
in Trafalgar Square in London, through Central Court in
Wimbledon, on to the C train in New York and ending up on a
camel in the middle of the Sahara desert).

The brother meets sister, and immediately we realise that the
sister is overdoing ‘Where have you been?’ Oh goddess of logic,
tell me, if they were estranged for years how do they recognise
each other? But brother dumps drugs on sister and a creepy
man hides him under a pile of clothes. Sister then takes him
home.

That home is like Urban Outfitters version of poor person’s home.
There’s a kitchen, a sitting area and a bedroom and even a
balcony so the brother can look at the moon and say, ‘I miss
mom’. The sister and the brother then look at the moon sharing
a blanket. And the audience goes, ‘Why in the world would you
share a blanket in Bombay? The lowest temperatures that
Bombay experiences is 12 degrees centigrade (with relative
humidity levels that rarely go down under 60%!)! Ugh!

The creepy guy who helps brother hide under the pile of clothes
attempts to rape the sister, the sister hits the man and gets
arrested for attempted murder. Brother takes care of man
(injured but cannot speak) hoping he’ll come to and tell the truth.
Meanwhile sister goes to women’s jail where the mascot of
poverty, Tannishtha Chatterjee, coughs and dies. It’s a prolonged
death and gives the sister a chance to do the melodramatic,
screechy, ‘I don’t want to die here!’, ‘Get me out of here!’ and
‘Help me, my brother! This is hell!’

The jail inmates as well as the police-women are cliched
characters. But it is made worse because the super talented
Vishal Bhardwaj writes the trite dialog everyone speaks.
‘Mother has gone to heaven and is watching you from there’,
‘Mother is living on the moon in a big house’, and so on, until you
want to throw your shoes at these children of heaven.

The brother is dealing with the injured man’s relatives and weather
that is so manipulative (when the lad is eating at his sisters home,
he realises the family is outside hungry. When he ignores them,
of course it begins to rain and his conscience pushes him to bring
them in and offer them shelter. You facepalm and you facepalm at
the cute things the lad does to win the hearts of the little kids while
hating the father. You want to kill yourself when you see the
neighborhood play Holi (usually in March, and not during the rainy
season) as the lad makes peace with that family, and don’t care
if you don’t understand the old granny who speaks so much Tamil
there should have been subtitles. But Majid Majidi is making a
film in a language he doesn’t understand, so what does he care
if the granny speaks Tamil?

Looks like nobody cared when they made this movie. Except the
talented cinematographer who makes Bombay look beautiful.
And the young lad Ishaan Khattar who makes his debut tries
super hard to look poor, and has flashes of talent in scenes.
Especially his surprise when he discovers a yellow hand print
from the little girl who spills a red colored drink.




(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)

Review: NANU KI JAANU


Naansense Hi Naansense

0.5 stars

Mini Review:

Is it a comedy? Is it horror? Is it social drama? Is it funny?
Is it a weird love story? No one quite knows and when
everything is piled on so thick, you begin to wonder as
audience if you have lost your capacity to care. The
background music is ideal for saturday morning cartoons
and is so loud you want to order ear plugs.

At 132.47 minutes, you idly wonder if they would be easily
delivered before you would turn permanently deaf.

Main Review:

When Nanu and his gang (Manu Rishi and two others) kick open
doors and make people sign away their apartments or else. The
‘Or else’ is a girl who looks supremely disinterested, who tears
her sleeve and threatens to complain of assault. The old man
signs the papers. This is meant to be dark comedy. You’re like,
how is this comedic? Khosla Ka Ghosla was dark. This had
better go somewhere. It just goes to an item song happening
at a wedding. Do they get the wedding party to sign papers also?
No. Just an item song.

Suddenly it is dark and they get into a disco, where Nanu (Abhay
Deol) picks up a girl and makes out with her in the car (they
couldn’t go back to that apartment they appropriated?). And when
morning comes, he drives and witnesses and accident. He picks
up the girl (totally out of character for a thug, but he has a golden
heart I suppose) who smiles so much, you feel a horror film
come on.

The girl becomes a bhootni (blue paint on her body, tattered
dress, and an ability to live in the chimney) and haunts Nanu,
preventing him from drinking beer and even cleaning up his messy
house. Before you can say, ‘Why is she moralistic and
judgemental?’ or ‘She cleans home? Then let her haunt mine!’

Nanu lives in a building where there’s a lad who extorts money,
has a security guard who drinks and sleeps on the job, neighbor
who beats his wife, weird neighbors (Brijendra Kala and his wife)
who have a mentally disabled daughter called Phantom who plays
with a red ball in the open landing space on the 5th floor. Why is
she called Phantom? Does she not exist? But the story gets into
the funny haunting which involves Manu Rishi stripping to his
boxers and then being hung upside down mid air. The comic
background score tells us that we are supposed to laugh. But
we’re wondering why daddy of bhootni (Rajesh Sharma) is
simultaneously being haunted whenever he tries to smoke.
It’s hilarious to see the Censor Board warning ‘Smoking Kills’
appear on screen when the man is being haunted by his dead
daughter who did not smoke.

Moral science lessons don’t stop: Wear helmets, Don’t answer
phones when you’re driving, Muslim people are living in terror
in India because they may buy goat meat and the mob might
lynch him, you should not steal , do not give in to fake people
who pretend they can become ghostbusters, men who give
moral science lessons are having affairs with young nubile women,
wife beating is bad, especially with a moralistic ghost haunting
the apartment building.

The film has been made shoddily and no one cares if the dead
girl (Patralekha) turns Nanu into a dithering, emotional mess, or
turns his goon into a crazy person. How? Why? You don’t ask
because daddy says the dead girl is in love with Nanu. You shake
your head and watch the love song (obviously no one else can
see her) and see him wooing a ghost with a cappuccino. When
you’ve facepalmed enough you think, the dead girl comes alive
and tells daddy and now boyfriend how there is god, and
‘yam-doots’ who kill her instead of another chap because his wife
was praying really hard at a temple. If you thought the movie is
over, Nanu now turns into a professional ghostbuster or maybe
not… Let’s just dump this film into the vault of ignominy where it
belongs after asking this question, ‘Why Abhay Deol, why?’




(this review appears on nowrunning.com)

Review: OCTOBER


Varun Dhawan Shines This Month

3 Stars

Mini Review:

Shoojit Sircar has managed to turn a singing, dancing,
goofball called Varun Dhawan and shown us that the lad
can get the audience to cry and laugh and be on his side.
October is an unlikely film for Bollywood so used to boy
meets girl and falls in love narrative, that a story about
human empathy is rare. The film falters because it takes it
own time and feels like it is stuck in a loop, but if you are
patient, the reward is wonderful.

Main Review:

This film is all about Varun Dhawan. Yes, the same lad who
danced his way in Judwa 2, Student Of The Year and Badrinath
Ki Dulhania. Not to forget he showed us that he could play grown
up in Badlapur (though most people were not convinced of his
long planned revenge story and appreciated the bad guy
Nawazuddin Siddiqui instead).

So Varun Dhawan plays Dan, a socially awkward lad who is a
hotel management student interning at a five star hotel, hating the
menial tasks assigned to him when all he wants to do is be
learning in the kitchen. He’s shown constantly challenging
authority by breaking rules and ‘talking back’. The other interns
are also harassed, but remind him that he will be out of the
program and his parents will have to pay three lakhs if he
continues to show his bad attitude. He needs to put his nose to
the grindstone and put up with the tasks assigned them. The
girls and the boys have been studying together and are a close
knit group, not snitching on this socially awkward lad.

At the new year party when the interns have sneaked out on to
the terrace and are partying without the knowledge of the horrible
boss (wonderfully played!) there is a tragedy. Banita Sandhu
who plays an intern (named ‘Shiuli’ after the night flowering
jasmine) is injured. Everyone is caught out but the boss and the
interns all get to the hospital to visit the girl. Dan has of course,
escaped duties. When he comes to the little tea shop near the
hospital, he is almost reluctant to go see Shiuli in Intensive care.

But his empathetic, curious mind is stuck on ‘why did she ask for
me before she fell?’

He begins to visit her at the hospital and becomes a part of her
recovery process. He may be led by that question but we see
that he is not just a disruptive 21 year old. There is more to him
than just his wildness. You fall in love with this lad who cares
for a girl who is just someone he was studying with, and not even
good friends. As the nurse and all his intern mates ask him, ‘If
she’s not your girlfriend, why do you care?’

But he does. And we begin to care for him and smile at all his
odd, rough ways of being in the hospital. The girl’s mother
Geetanjali Rao is a marvelous foil to Dan, never asking him why
he shows up night and day at the hospital, at the cost of his
internship and career.

And dammit! Shoojit Sircar needs to know better than to allow
a big hole in the screenplay with a lame explanation of why
the heroine’s name is Shiuli - a Bengali name for a South Indian
girl. The gorgeous mother explains that little Shiuli would collect
the night jasmine flowers with her grandfather (the fragrant
flowers fall off the tree in the morning) and that’s why she was
named after that flower. Erm...Don’t you name babies even before
they are old enough to pick flowers from the garden?

The screenplay takes its own sweet time to establish Dan’s
dogged determination and yet keep him sympathetic. But it’s a
risk the director takes and will lose a whole bunch of people who
want ‘something to happen’ in the movie. The film simply crawls at
some points. But if you fall in love with the good, bad boy then you
will be willing to watch. It is not a boy falls in love with a girl story.
It could be, but it’s more about empathy and how the rough lad
becomes awesome because of his capacity to empathy.

The lump in your throat will not let you eat popcorn in the film,
and many scenes will dilute your coffee with tears.

     

(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)


Review: MERCURY


Mercury Didn't Rise

2 stars

Mini Review:

Four lads and a girl are at a school reunion and are happily
partying when they accidentally run over someone. They
find themselves trapped in an old abandoned factory at the
mercy of a madman. The terror is doubled because the
protagonists are speech and hearing impaired. It’s an
interesting experiment but the loud background music fails
many, many times. As does the overacting.

Main Review:

When you have an actor who is famous for his dance abilities and
plays the good guy in the movies suddenly choose to play a mad
killer, then the director must show him as a victim so as to please
his audience. Alas, we don’t know how to make horror film without
being apologetic about evils and horror. Someone did something
bad to him and he goes postal, an evil force takes over the
man’s body and makes him kill. Nothing is his fault. Bad
Hollywood horror films also do the same, some satanic entity or
demon takes over the good guy and… (you guess the rest!)

Here, the town suffers from deaths from Mercury poisoning. As
Google will explain, children exposed to Mercury poisoning will
suffer from visual, speech and hearing impairments. So we are
introduced to four young men and a young woman who are
speech and hearing impaired at their school reunion. At night they
party like crazy with loud music and alcohol at a bungalow they
have rented. Before you ask why play music loudly when you
cannot hear a thing, why gift a watch that also doubles as a music
box when you cannot hear it at all, they’re all being terrorised
by a madman.

Prabhu Deva plays this madman and there are some genuinely
scary moments in the film. As are all movie scenes where
characters hide from Velociraptors, where they are being hunted
down by aliens or sharks even. And we are scared for the
characters, whether it is the girl stuck in The Shallows, or the
madman in Cloverfield. But in this film, so reminiscent of I Know
What You Did Last Summer and Ramsey Brothers’ Khooni
Murda does not enamor us to the characters. You don’t care for
their deaths because they deserve it somewhat. So the odd color
processed film (mostly green, I thought) may create an eerie
atmosphere, but not empathy.

Plus the background music is so loud you want to turn down the
volume. It has been touted as a silent film (an homage to
Kamalahaasan’s Pushpak), but it is deafening. And releasing it
at the same time when the fabulous A Quiet Place is playing in
the theatres, is plain bad timing. Then they add a (I'm gagging)
moral science/save the environment lesson to the whole
thing which is an overkill.



(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)

Review: BLACKMAIL


Derails Rather Quickly

2 stars

Mini Review:

A toilet paper salesman attempts to infuse some life into his
marriage and comes home early to find his wife in bed with
another man. Instead of confronting them, he chooses to
blackmail them. This sets off a series of what ifs and
what then scenes that seem super chaotic and funny, but
nothing makes you really care. If Irrfan Khan weren’t as
talented as he is, this film would have fallen apart within
fifteen minutes.

Main Review:

The trailer of the film promised a funny, black comedy. And Irrfan
Khan’s presence in small films has proven to be magical time
and time again. He has this ability to bring that extra something
to every character he plays. So we swallow the doubt that crops
up instantaneously in our heads: Toilet rolls in an India which
chooses water over paper? You settle down to watch because you
are anticipating fun promised in the trailer and cuckolded husbands
make for a great joke.

However, the fun does not last. The silly soundtrack of ‘Bhaag
Bhaag DK Bose’ from Delhi Belly keeps popping up in your head
and you realise no matter how many naked butts are knifed, or
penguin dustbins are appropriated, this film is not as funny as
watching Imran Khan run helter skelter in a burqa followed by
his besties in Delhi.

So Kirti Kulhari is cheating on Irrfan Khan with Arunoday Singh.
You wish their illicit relationship were a tad more flamboyant
than just an ordinary affair. Remember that exaggerated Aamir
Khan character in Delhi Belly? Arunoday Singh is just not cut out
for it. But his wife is. Divya Dutta plays the rich drunk wife rather
well. She’s another bright spot in this chaos, but has very little
to do. And her father squeezing Arunoday Singh’s cojones is
funny maybe for a ten year old…

You wish the Delhi Belly cast had reassembled for Blackmail.
They had so much better comic timing. A bunch of friends
egging Imran Khan to blackmail and helping him through the
ensuing madness would have certainly been so much more fun.
And Irrfan Khan stealing photographs to masturbate to in the age
of cell phone wallpaper is not remotely funny on screen as it may
have been on paper. Suddenly that hateful diarrhea scene in
Delhi Belly seems so much classier than watching Irrfan Khan
with Bhabi and girlfriend photos. What’s worse, is watching
Omi Vaidya again on screen, doing the same ole. Who thought
of casting him?
  
So the laugh track in your head goes, ‘Haha - thud! Hahaha -
thud!’

Things begin to fall flat and crash just as rapidly as bodies. You
cannot believe the dark comedy went from black to making you
feel so blue so quickly. They should change the contrived
flickering neon from the film to say ‘this film sucks’.    






(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)

Review: MISSING


MISSING nahi MISTAKE

Zero stars

Mini Review:

Sushant Dubey and Aparna Dubey check into a Mauritian
resort late night with their very unwell daughter Titli. By the
morning, the child is missing. Everything literally begins to
unravel as you watch cringeworthy hamming from greats like
Tabu and Manoj Bajpayee. To add to the mess Annu Kapoor
shows up as a cop overacting as always.

It’s been touted as a ‘murder-mystery’, because they
murdered cinema and it will be a mystery why these good
actors chose to ‘act’ in this film.

Main Review:

What a great cast! Manoj Bajpayee and Tabu! You don't want to
remember their earlier films together which were nothing but d
isastrous: Gaath and Dil Pe Mat le Yaar (both released in the
year 2000). Unfortunately, this time too the duo simply fails to
deliver.

How they ham! Sushant Dubey (Manoj Bajpayee) tries really
hard to be sleazy to the receptionist at the hotel, staring at her
cleavage. He just does such a terrible job of it, and looks so
uncomfortable saying things like, ‘My wife and daughter will
leave in the morning, do you think I will need a single room?’

Aparna Dubey (Tabu) is made to carry a blanket stuffed with
pillows that does not remotely look like a child. Effort from the
production team is zilch. Movies of the seventies and eighties
made more effort when they showed bodies going over a cliff
than shown here. It’s obvious that there is no child.

You don’t even wish to groan about very obvious inaccuracies:
the child is three years old, and Tabu is carrying baby diapers for
her, and you are alarmed at the pills! Most pediatricians prescribe
syrups to babies and toddlers and not pills!

There is a brief moment where you are forced to watch a
love-making scene between the Dubeys and you know they are
unhappy doing what they are made to do. Thankfully their roll in
the bed is fuzzed out of focus.

The child is missing by the morning. We discover many things
about Sushant and Tabu and how they met. What you don’t
understand are Tabu’s motives for anything she does and
Sushant’s either. If your met someone, and they carried a meat
chopper in a baby’s diaper bag, you would put as much distance
between you as it was possible, no? Maybe that is the mystery.

Alas, it is for Inspector Buddhu (Annu Kapoor who was last seen
hamming it in Baaa Baa Black Sheep) and his Tweedledee and
Tweedledum cop duo assistants who have to solve the mystery
of the missing kid. Their supposed Shenanigans are so tedious,
you are too exhausted to ask the writer director how he managed
to sell such tiresomeness to the production house?

Perhaps Tabu’s face has undergone some reengineering (the
stars are in the business of looking good, so we’re not
complaining!) and that is why she looks odd initially, but then
everything she says is either shrill or vapid, you begin to look out
for scenes with Tweedledee and Tweedledum. You also ignore
the red light on Tabu's microphone showing from the back pocket
of her jeans, the production quality is that terrible.

Of course, not one police officer bothers to check or even
confiscate Manoj Bajpayee’s cell phone to corroborate the stories
he’s telling. The background music tries really hard to create
some sort of ambience but ends up being super annoying. Even
worse is Annu Kapoor speaking Hindi in a Bihari accent and even
speaking French (so grating to the ears!) to prove that he is
indeed Mauritian.

When the final reveal happens, you are just too bored to react.
You want to curse in French at the movie:
C’est vraiment des conneries!      




(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)

Review: PETER RABBIT


He's wicked now, but still lovable!

2.5 stars

Mini Review:

Peter Rabbit used to be naughty. But animation and live action techniques these days can add so much reality that really little kids might get upset in the theatre. The threat of Peter Rabbit turning into pie on the wicked Mr. McGregor's dining table has never looked scarier for kids. But I loved the new improved rascally Peter Rabbit. Loved Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail. And cousin Benjamin.

Main Review:

If you grew up reading the Peter Rabbit books and even forced parents to drive all the way out to the Beatrix Potter world in Windermere in England if they forced you to go to the V&A museum, then this movie is for you. 

The combination of live action and animation is near perfect! And the songbirds who consistently crash into other animals make you laugh out loud. Suddenly you see little kids sitting next to you, staring at you with horror. You shrug. Let their mums explain why no animals are really harmed in making fun movies about rascally rabbits.

How Peter steals veggies and outsmarts the dour Mr. McGregor has been the subject of many happy books we read as kids. To see it on the big screen is such a pleasure. Thankfully they edited out (for India) the scene where Peter Rabbit shoves a carrot up the mean Mr. McGregor's bum! That would have been funny, but maybe not for kids...

The romance between Sweet Bea and the new Mr. McGregor is watered down to please the kids. Sometimes you wish they made animation movies only for grown ups. They do, they do... But then you get involved with a happy child-like Save Ben From The River Mission and laugh each time the wind blows the sacks away!

The party scene shocked the mom in me, but I remembered my wild teen years and giggled at Fox drunk at the party bit! The mayhem is brilliantly conceived and created. I especially loved the Townmouse and his style,'Brown on brown is so matchy-matchy!' 

I usually avoid reading other reviews because they sort of color one's point of view. But there was an embargo on the film review and it got me intrigued. When I read early reviews of the film (it released in the West in February), I tried to understand why critics wanted the same sweet Beatrix Potter world recreated. After watching the film, it became clear, that the filmmakers were battling the fundamental question: Is their target audience the adults who have read the Beatrix Potter books? Or are the audiences kids of these adults? Look, we grew up reading Enid Blyton's Famous Five and their adventures with midnight feasts and all along with Beatrix Potter and tales of Winnie The Pooh. But today's kids are watching Stranger Things. They're harder to please. 

I enjoyed Peter Rabbit, and will watch it again when it shows up on the telly. If your kids are wicked, they'll love Peter Rabbit too. But if they're sickly sweet and have grown up with 'nice', with advice from sweet parenting blogs, then show the film to them at your own peril. They can watch me snort out coffee from my nose to hear Pigling Bland say, 'It's a Lip Balm!'





Review: A QUIET PLACE


(This headline has been silenced by fear.)

5 stars

Mini Review:

It's a brilliant idea to shock the audience into silence. I watched the whole film with my fingers over my mouth. John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe are brilliant. 

Main Review:

In real life, there are puppy videos, Cute and cuddly. In A Quiet Place, there are Predator/Stranger Things type aliens that will seek you out and kill you.

In real life, you can scream when you watch horror films. You better A Quiet Place with your hands over your mouth or your heart might pop out, make that dhak dhak sound and the aliens will hear your heart beating, find you and kill you. 

In real life, you wear Stilletoes that sound awesome on the floor. In A Quiet Place, you walk barefoot, hoping your bones don't creak...

In real life, you have friends who tell you jokes that make you laugh. In A Quiet Place, they would have been the first one to go, and then you. Because you laughed.

In real life (in ordinary movies), when women have babies, there is a mandatory scene where they are shown to scream and writhe in agony, the midwife runs out of the hut (or the nurse comes out of the hospital room), shouts, 'Ladka Hua Hai!' (it's a boy!) and the whole village bursts out into song. In A Quiet Place, the baby is not even allowed a gurgle...

In real life, Bollywood has songs so you can step out for a coffee. In A Quiet Place you are frozen in you seat too terrified to go to the loo.

A Quiet Place is scarier than the Velociraptors. More vicious than any space aliens like in Prometheus, and more terrifying than your mom when you break a house rule. You will see some obvious contrivances in the narrative, but then you are too terrified to say anything.

Watch this film. And make sure the power on your phone is turned off. The creatures in A Quiet Place can hear you.