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Category: 2016 (page 1 of 10)

Holds movie reviews from the year 2016

The Great Wall Movie Review (2016) | Typical Monster Flick

The Great Wall movie is one of those monster flicks that starts abruptly without offering you any perspective. Unlike mythical horror movies that are built on sheer horror and tons of suspense, The Great Wall movie doesn’t bank on the fear factor rather chooses to go with the action platitude to the finish line. It ends up becoming a resounding dud shot when you can see through a plot that sounds very cliched, can feel the shallowness of its scenes and literally read the flick’s apparent contrivance.

Theme and Plot of The Great Wall Movie

The Great Wall movie tried to cash in on the myth surrounding China’s biggest miraculous defense. It created a story out of a mere lore and tried to throw in some tangible veracity to it. Yes it shows the wall in a light that would leave children fantasizing for days.

In doing so, its writers made the wall something it couldn’t have possibly been even in a dream. The movie tried to aggrandize the then extant Song Dynasty scenes with epic armies that acted tough and in unison. They responded pretty well to each other using signs and noises a normal guy couldn’t possibly register.

Max Brooks, Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz created alien mythical monsters that visited every 60 years trying to overrun the planet with huge numbers. At the center of them is a queen, a gigantic monster who stays protected by her very own circle of trust er…monsters who do not let anyone get near her. She is calling the shots for her race and yes, she is literally yowling for a boss fight.

matt damon and pedro pascal in the great wall movie

Imperial Court has assigned the job of protecting its realm to a military order called The Nameless Order. Our hero William portrayed by Matt Damon who is way too heroic for a hero, and who barely makes mistakes, is a complete badass with his bow. He has Tovar played by Pedro Pascal for a sidekick who keeps questioning his choices. Both are mercenaries who accidentally run into the Imperial Court in their search for black powder, an ancient moniker for what we brand today as gunpowder.

Willem Defoe‘s character Ballard was terribly written. You could feel him disappear without any bang, oh wait! there was one for him alright. Pleasant escape!

The Good Things

If you try to focus on the good things the movie retains the first thing would be the music by Ramin Djawadi. He is capable of giving you goosebumps with his score. You could feel that emanating through the reverberation that drums produced in The Great Wall movie’s trailer.

Then there is that rare grim attitude Matt Damon wears most of the times, where you can see him delivering lines with a steady resolve. There is one particular scene where we find Lin Mae portrayed by Tian Jing trying to make William understand trust. She tries to coax him into jumping that she wouldn’t let go. But William, who is used to not trusting anybody chooses not to, and responds:

I’m alive today because I do not trust anybody.

Then you cannot overlook the colossal army of The Nameless Order either. It’s huge. The way they move, the way they walk, the grandeur and the resplendence is beyond comparison. It is enough to put you in awe.

Then there are the monsters that are intelligently thought of with the concept of the queen at the center of it. A well thought of fantasy.

Other Issues

Now that we have good things out of the equation, let’s move on to the ugly part. There were plenty of issues starting with the creation of fear. With movies that deal with monsters and aliens, there has to be that morsel of fear lurking that should terrify its viewers. With the Chinese finding it not a big deal since they have always imaged beasts and monsters all their lives, it ends up becoming kind of a big deal, a factor that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Everything happens too fast, there is no slow graze to help one experience that fear. That’s one of the most important points that the flick overlooks. Apart from that you have the cliched storyline. You have seen this happen so many times that it compels you to yawn your way into it. Heroics included are too childish to be true. Also, climax isn’t exactly the movie’s forte. You know what will happen. No element of surprise there.

Then one of the most daft things the movie does lost in its splendour is with the human harpoons, the acrobatic soldiers or the crane troop. When you are left on the mercy of a rope and an army of monsters below you don’t go spearheading straight into their jaws. No matter how cool it looks. That’s leaping into the mouths of death. That’s what they do, and many pay the price too as was expected.

The Final Verdict

The Great Wall ends up becoming really mediocre if you look at what it has in store for you. A predictable story, monsters that you are going to probably forget with time. Some heroic stunts with arrows that look good but too good to be true. It all becomes forgetful in the end which should have been exactly the opposite of what we all wanted.

You can check out the trailer of The Great Wall here:

Manchester by the Sea Review (2016) | Immensely Mournful

Extremely sad and touching. Kenneth Lonnergan‘s masterpiece is a movie that can’t be forgotten. Manchester by the Sea is a soul-stirring drama that will make sure you end up in a pool of tears. It has profound grief written all over it as it moves forward showing frames of a gradual build up that ends up in colossal dolour.

Grief is havocking. So the Manchester by the Sea proves when it swings around a reason so blood curdling that it is hard not to cry. It is a blend of guilt with pang thereafter that doesn’t let you slow down a bit. And you cry, and cry for a loss so horrendous it compels your guts to sing icky songs.

Direction of Manchester by the Sea

One of the best things about the movie is Kenneth Lonnergan’s direction. It is as calm as a good drama flick demands. Poignant and very powerful. It hides its cardinal cause well under the wraps for a good amount of time, building up enough suspense around the mystery man, the protagonist of the tale.

He chooses to go back in time occasionally showing the good days to prepare us for the saddest news our brains could register. His frames run long even if they are memories to give us a proper look into what had once happened.

Amongst Lonnergan’s other works are Margaret and You Can Count on Me.

Casey Affleck’s Acting Prowess

Casey Affleck’s performance is Oscar worthy. He is a great actor who is often overlooked by the gavels. He plays a guy who has accidentally done something horrible and is constantly living with a sad reminder of the tragedy.

Playing Lee wasn’t an easy job. The fact that he is tied up by an incessant struggle where he behaves like a tough guy, silently wishing to wane away inflicting pain by putting himself in harm’s way will make you feel extremely sorry for him.

It was an accident. An accident. It is so hard to make someone understand, the mishap you have to live with is all your own doing. He is in an incredible amount of pain and forever girded by depression. He says no to life, and is just carrying on without a will to live.

I don’t know if anyone could have played Lee Chandler as convincingly as he did.

Plot of Manchester by the Sea (Spoilers)

Lee Chandler portrayed by Casey Affleck is a guy doing menial jobs, who says no to the world, and you are left to wonder why. That’s when you see the movie making time jumps occasionally. It travels back and forth in its timeline to show you a glimpse of the before and the after.

It is only when his brother Joe Chandler portrayed by Kyle Chandler (yes he’s the real Chandler) dies that he decides to pay him a visit. Even there we are forced to believe Lee is an emotionally absent guy, who doesn’t shed a tear for the loss of a loved one.

With Joe’s death, he is supposed to look after his son Patrick played by Lucas Hedges. The latter is a teen still trying to figure out life. He seems to take the death of his old man lightly because it didn’t seem to affect him either. Both Joe and Patrick appear to be somehow on the same pedestals of human emotions wherein distance seems to have created what looks like reckless indifference.

still of casey affleck and lucas hedges in manchester by the sea

We delve a little deeper as they carry on their regular chores, inadvertently circling his grave with what comes as an aftermath of someone’s death. It is the mundane part that deals with funerals, the will, the entire setup that juxtaposes his thoughts against his past.

The Tragic Accident

In a place that Lee had forever dreaded to go back to, we find him unknowingly winding up. We are introduced to his enormous pang, the reason for a screwed up life, and why he wishes to stay miles away from Manchester. He had accidentally set his house on fire killing his three young children. It is hard not to empathize with it. The accident so despicable that could leave anyone shuddering for years. So it happens with Lee. It sucks out the will to live out of him.

The part that follows him when all charges are dropped against him is one of the most havocking parts of the movie. You find him asking:

“That’s it?”

to the cops who write him off saying it was just an accident and that it was nothing but a misfortune. His first impulse is to shoot himself when the police vindicates him. But he wishes immense punitive measures to be taken against him. To live with that pain is to be completely dead inside. And given the angst surrounding his tragedy anyone would want a quick escape.

With a downward tumble into the world of depression after a failed attempt at suicide, he has moved out of the city, out of his marriage and everything that remotely connected him to any memory. He is in constant pain, and wishes others to inflict more on him. A state of mind you can relate so much too. Deliberately asking for bludgeons to death.

Towards the end we find Randi Chandler his ex-wife played by Michelle Williams trying her level best to talk to Lee. It is another one of those devastating moments in the movie that puts drama back in action. Watch out for that!

“There’s nothing left. There’s nothing there, you don’t understand.”

You can order Manchester by the Sea here:

Lucas Hedges as an actor

At the same time Lucas Hedges doesn’t make you overlook him either. He plays that quintessential teen who couldn’t care less about what goes on in the family. But then again, he never let things percolate into him, and once it does, he breaks too. He has his own way of remembering, and putting sense into the loss. Like keeping the cadaver into a freezer bothered him the most. He is naive apparently yet brimming with emotions when he actually stops to think about it.

“Something’s wrong with me. I don’t know! I feel really weird! I am having like a panic attack or something.”

The Final Verdict

The aptly named Manchester by the Sea is a movie that should not be missed for the world. If you are not a fan of drama, then there’s a chance that you might not like it owing to its slow pace. Au contraire, if you are, you are going to absolutely love it. Do we hear Oscar bells for Casey and the movie?

You can check out the trailer of Manchester by the Sea here:

 

 

Hell or High Water Review (2016) | David Mackenzie Helms Another Masterpiece

Another great year for Taylor Sheridan as he writes another gorgeous piece Hell or High Water right after registering the extraordinary 2015 flick Sicario in the Hollywood books. The movie directed by David Mackenzie is a story of two brothers who set out on a bank robbery spree to save their family ranch in West Texas.

The beauty of Hell or High Water lies in its rugged originality, in its deadpan words that reflect reality. The way the movie trundles on its Western look and feel without losing sight of its true objective makes it an outright winner.

Direction of Hell or High Water Movie

I just love David Mackenzie’s direction. It pays utmost attention to character bearings, their talking mannerism, calm comportment at adverse times and the right on delivery of their dry humor. In his direction of the flick, he doesn’t miss out on acing the Western vista. The effortless flair is invariably there.

hell or high water brothers chris pine and ben foster

Then it is the way he lingers on a scene, until he squeezes out every bit of acting from his characters. His every scene stays definitive and complete giving the viewers plenty of perspective into the tale. Then the context of a relationship that he binds so beautifully with its characters goofing around with each other is amazing too. Even though there was a lot of Taylor Sheridan to it, Mackenzie just nails it, hands down.

Plot and the Pairing Up

While the movie banks on its robbing brothers Toby and Tanner portrayed by Chris Pine and Ben Foster perfectly to show one side of the tale, we have Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham as Marcus Hamilton and Alberto Parker silently working for the right side. The Howard brothers are the rampaging loners who steer the story forward.

Lord of the Plains.

Constantly pulling each other’s legs are Alberto and Marcus who are trying to hunt the brethren down. It is their chemistry that makes the movie a genial hoot.

Whilst the plot might sound like a bit cliched given the number of “bank job” movies that are out there, the reason here is a tad different. Toby and Tanner are trying to save their ranch, that is up for foreclosure. They have found oil in it, meaning a perfect life  for posterity. The only way out they see is by plundering banks. They are burying their four wheeler alibis in their property that can’t be touched. They wipe off their traces making it impossible for the cops to figure out the who. In short, they are really smart.

But with an even smarter cop they don’t stray far away. You can see Marcus getting closer to them with his instincts. Eventually a shootout breaks wherein Tanner loses it. Sniping Alberto he tags himself under the cross-hair of Marcus. And pays the price with his life. Toby goes on to purchase the ranch, thus earning loads of money, securing the future of his estranged children.

We are served an awesome standoff in the end where we find them pressed against each other. Yet the movie just ends with a threat in disguise leaving of what might ensue to viewer’s imagination.

Crime Movies

It must be very well understood what a crime movie tries to achieve. There’s always going to be the good side as long as their is bad in the world. There needs to be someone or something vilifying and cooling down the damage done . So no matter how badass the villainy might seem, or how likable a wicked character ends up becoming, eventually it has go down under the truck.

Toby: You talk like we ain’t gonna get away with this.

Tanner: I’ve never met nobody who got away with anything, ever.

But then there is that character akin to Robin Hood, who did whatever he did for the impoverished and the weak. He justifies the things that he has done. He is exonerated in the eyes of the public since he was doing the right thing. And not doing it just for the heck of it. He did not kill anybody and did not commit a crime so horrendous that could not be forgiven.

Toby and Tanner are paragons of such characters. Also, there is nothing above the law. No amount of good you do after you have done something bad can wipe that slate clean. Here, Marcus stays the epitome of law.

You can order Hell or High Water here:

Awesome Scenes to Watch Out For (Spoilers Ahead)

Hell or High Water doesn’t run short on its ultimate tinge of badassery. Like that scene wherein Tanner Howard stares blankly at a sporty car that stops at the gas station. And the owner is a bloke with a gun who feels offended of him gawking.

Boy, you’d think there were 10 of me.

The camera is placed such so you can see Toby making his way back from the shop. And then as things were beginning to get ugly Toby arrives just in the nick of time to literally destroy the poor guy. That’s one hell of an adrenaline rush.

Then there is that slapstick wit, that savoury tang that is always lurking in Tanner’s mouth. Like the time when he is intimidated by Bear who says:

I am a Comanche. Do you know what it means? It means ‘Enemy to everyone’.

Tanner who can’t be messed with either responds almost immediately with a comeback:

Do you know what that makes me? A Comanche.

The Final Verdict

Hell or High Water is a beautiful movie that is made even better by its entire Western setup and its splendid screenplay. Powerful performances by its characters make it thoroughly enjoyable. It never strays from its cardinal crux – come what may , thus justifying the title as well. A David Mackenzie beauty that should not be missed.

You can check out the trailer of Hell or High Water movie here:

 

The Red Turtle Movie Review (2016) | The Speechless Leaves You Speechless

Whoever thought the mute can’t speak? The Red Turtle movie might be a film where no one talks but not for a second do you feel like you are watching a dead screen. Because in the background goes a beautiful score that aggrandizes an already fantastic tale of a shipwrecked man who meets a Red Turtle whilst trying to escape an island. The story is reflective of our lives, and acts as a parable for us to figure out the analogy.

One look at the animation and you feel reality taking an alluring form. It’s stunningly done,  and brilliantly brushed. Every scene looks like a painting worth keeping. The turmoil in the head of its protagonists looks real, and so does all of his choices. There is humility in him, struggle, love and a fighting attitude that turns The Red Turtle movie into a learning experience.

Plot of the Red Turtle Movie (Spoilers)

If you look at the plot of The Red Turtle movie it looks like a lore, a fairy tale that we grew up reading about. To be honest it doesn’t call for an explanation only your interpretation of it, of how you choose to relate to it, take out the gist and enjoy its countless similarities to life.

It holds true for every fairy tale out there. There are no dragons, monsters and fairies in real life. Just the good and the bad things. Situations that topple your lives over with their icky monstrosity.

The Red Turtle movie is a profound journey of a man’s life where he gets stuck in a flood, then in an island, lost and alone. In his stay of entrapment, he looks for things he could use to feed himself and survive. Also he wishes to go back where he came from.

The Red Turtle Movie Still of Man Trying to go on a Raft

He builds a raft to set out for the sea, but fails to go the distance owing to a mysterious blow that breaks his raft. He tries again, and fails. Then again, and fails, only this time he finds the reason gawking at him with mute eyes. A Red Turtle, the likes of he has never witnessed before, is the one who is the destroyer of his dreams. The Turtle once again topples him over, before swimming away.

On returning to the island furious this time, spewing fits of anger, the man finds the same red turtle making its way to the beach. Taken over by fierce madness, he bludgeons the turtle hard and topples him over, and jumps over its chest. That image of beauty and elegance goes silent. He realizes that it’s dead. Soon he is overwhelmed by guilt.

The Beautiful Woman

One day however the shell of the turtle breaks, and comes out this beguiling woman that changes his will to go back. Smitten by her, he decides to stay on that island. They have a beautiful child and it almost seems like a happily ever after. The child grows up into a young man who learns to stand on his feet. He learns the way of the ocean, befriending turtles and knowing whatever his little world has to offer. But he is curious for more.

A tsunami hits them destroying their island in the process. Amidst chaos he finds his parents again. After a few more days of torpor, the child’s parents could read his willingness to see more of it. Thus, he bids farewell to his parents and sets out for sea. The old parents then lead the rest of their lives in that island loving each other even more until the day they pass. The woman turns back into the Red Turtle before disappearing into the sea.

Interpretation of The Red Turtle Movie

I believe there could be as many interpretations to the movie as many thoughts exist in the universe. Mine tries to look at it this way:

A man stuck in a storm is akin a cardinal adversity that life flings at you. You are alone, trying to face it with all you have got, but it drifts you away nevertheless.

When the man finds himself on an island, it is like a situation we are not comfortable with, that we didn’t ask for, but got anyway. Maybe a state of mind or a job that we are averse to, but it somehow gets us by. We always have that inbred wish to go back to a past that we came from. That could be made out with his obstinate wish to return to the sea with a raft with hopes to make it to his land. He fails incessantly at it, but he never stops trying only to realize someone or something toying with his life.

Our first reaction to anything that stops us from doing what we wish for is anger and frustration that hits the poor creature bluntly without realizing the consequence of the action. It is instantly reflective of how we choose to ignore people who are trying to help us out by stopping us from heading into the wrong direction. The island was supposed to be his destiny. But he was too recalcitrant to notice.

Reason to Live

As a result the poor thing dies. Then there is regret. We tend to burn in a hell of our own doing, our own thoughtless action only when it’s too late. To his surprise, enters a girl in his life emanating from a theatrics of a red turtle. The purity of his profound emotions rewards him with a reason to make life less painful.

image of the red turtle woman and man

All this time he wanted to run from a place he didn’t to want to be in, but then with her ingress he finds a reason to stay. The juxtaposition of leaving and staying is enchantingly managed in the movie. He experiences love and bliss. Stays and leads a happy life to give birth to a child. A child who is yet to learn the ways of the world. One of the most wonderful parts is the part where her mother stops the father from saving the child, as she believes in him that he is capable of taking care of himself. She lets him learn how to find a way when stuck.

The child finds a bottle on the shore one day. It’s analogous to us finding wonders and miracles in life, wondering all about it, wishing to see more of it. The parents then teach him everything they know. But there is more to the world. We can’t cage a bird that wishes to fly. So, the child leaves, as is the way of life, of every creature who exists on the planet who wishes their offspring to see what they have seen and more. The turtle-friends of the child were nothing but opportunities in the world that keep calling you for things you could do, and be.

The Huge Takeaways

The Tsunami is yet another nod at our unprecedented life. It keeps throwing at you obstacles that you have to fight, in the process finding each other, looking after and caring for the ones you love. Eventually all there is, is love. And that we can find only when we have nothing to worry about, so is suggested when they have the island for themselves.

When the protagonist passes away, I loved how she responds immediately to it, as if she sensed his soul leave. It is hands down the saddest bit in the movie, and brings tears to your eyes.

When we see the lady turn back into the red turtle again, we realize she was a good time. A paragon of elegance, support and grace that came into the life of the fallen, showed him that it was alright even if you are stuck somewhere, that you can make the most of it.

The red turtle was an analogy for that one person, or chance in your life that comes at a point when there are no doors open. It makes you comprehend life’s biggest lessons.

“We should be happy with what we have, and try to make the most of it.”

Life put us at a place; the nature placed us at its disposal. If we try to run away from it, we are to gain nothing but destruction. It has laid out its beautiful plan for us. It intends to make things better if we pave way for love, and not run away. There are good things for everybody. Sit tight and enjoy the ride. Your time shall come!

The Final Verdict

The Red Turtle Movie is an outstanding flick. One of a kind. The setup of course doesn’t require anybody or anything to speak up. So there’s no dialogue whatsoever. Despite of that, the movie shines through owing to its mind-boggling life like animation, its surrealism, the correlation it packs in and owing to its extraordinary pulsating thrilling music that uplifts every frame into a level your brain cannot possibly register. Awesome stuff!

You can check out the trailer of The Red Turtle Movie here:

Allied Movie Review (2016) | A Suspenseful Shade of Romance

Robert Zemeckis returns, this time with a war thriller, an intriguing weave of Steven Knight‘s brain. Allied Movie thrives on constant suspense to come up with a tale that swivels around a sheer veil. It is a slow build up for its core suspense. But the build up is beautiful, gradually sewed in with ingenuous love that appears very convincing owing to the extraordinary acting prowess of Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard.

The movie falters a bit with its drama quotient, owing to a decisive plot. Also, there isn’t much eventually left to chew on. However, owing to the mammoth parable that hides underneath its pages, minor issues with the flick are worth overlooking.

Theme and Plot of Allied Movie (Spoilers)

Marion hits the home run with her every look, every stare. Her love smitten eyes are hard not to fall for. And Brad sings like a canary to her tunes. That’s why it becomes instantly heartbreaking when the actor Simon McBurney who portrays a Special Operations Executive barges in the lovely story putting a tinge of doubt to it, thus bringing cloud of chaos.

still of Brad Pitt and Mario Cotillard in Allied Movie

Allied Movie begins with a mission in 1942 where a Canadian Air Force Intelligence Officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) is supposed to team up with a French Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour in Casablanca. Together they are supposed to assassinate a German ambassador. In their short stint of posing as husband and wife for cover, they end up falling in love for real.

“We are married, why would we laugh?”

Before the events of assassination take place Max proposes Marianne to marry her and come to live with him in London. They survive events of Casablanca after which Marianne is summoned to London. They settle down in Hampstead where Marianne gives birth to a beautiful baby girl (Anna).

The Major Twist

A good promising year passes them by. One day an unexpected call shakes the very foundation of Max. He learns from an S.O. E. head that his wife is suspected to be a spy. As a reassurance, as part of a ‘blue dye’ op, he is asked to follow a bluff, send a fake message. If their German interceptors pick it, it would confirm them that she is indeed a spy.

“There’s a thing called the soul. I’ve looked into her soul.”

He was ordered to kill her with his own hands if that were so. If not complied he would be hanged for treason. Mentally scathed by bold allegations, Max decides to run his own errands to confirm Marianne’s true identity. He risks his own life to eventually find out the bitter truth the hard way.

The Clouded Truth

She was indeed a spy however when brought under his emotional scanner admits to have been forced into doing the job.

You cannot empathize with Max’s state of mind enough when you realize the truth. His first urge to hit her the moment she admits it reeks of human chagrin and helplessness.

“Was the love real?”

You can’t help but wonder what of a relationship that starts when it starts with a brazen lie? Is it not destined to fail? Is it not supposed to swallow itself in the muck of its own unscrupulous ingress? Even though the backdrop we have here is that of a world at war, and being a spy to a nation, selling secrets is punishable by life. It was crashing, crashing all the way. Doom written on it!

still of Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard in Allied movie

To contrast the apparent downhill ride of a love story that was built on a blunt lie, Marianne is still shown in a good light. She ends up taking her life to save Max from coming under the cross-hair of a traitor.

The movie ends with a letter she had written for her daughter predicting her imminent downfall. For the first time we hear her real name, that’s when the curtain closes.

Moments to Reflect

Allied movie ends with a poignant veracity. Marianne stood by Max even though she was in the wrong. In all that murky quilts of suspense, she was still doing the right thing. And you missed all of that because the director had you convinced. Convinced with his lore that was supposed to put her in the wrong light. Then eventually he comes back to it where we see all that was right there. The way she looked at him, and the way he looked back. Love poised for hours between. The point where she goes to her room as if going to read Max’s feigned message, but that was in fact intended to write that final letter anticipating the end, coming out clean.

still of a smitten Marion Cotillard in Allied

That moment in the end where she waits, and waits for Max to come out of a pub where he goes to slay her handler, will bring vibes of uncertainty home once again. It is the beauty of the movie that it forever keeps you guessing. Even though you see the end coming, you still suspect her of her unsought actions, of what she might do, or what was she really thinking, on which side of the court she really stood?

It is only after that trigger goes that you begin to see the good in her. Alas! It’s too late then, and the damage is already done. The dead is proclaimed. The train has already left!

Other Amazing Bits

You can’t also overlook the fact to what lengths Max goes to establish the truth. It is after all his life and his everything that stands at stake.  A constant gurgle of pain that forces him to take matters in his own hand. His desperation oozes out his eyes, and he can’t settle down until he finds the truth for himself, not for the government, but for himself first. Very powerful!

You also can’t help but wonder the truth should have actually come from her, instead of him finding out about it from someone else. At least that’s the cardinal basis of any relationship. So it was slowly crawling towards an end nevertheless. A debatable topic indeed.

Anoher one of the beauties the movie aces is the depiction of a child delivery amidst chaos. That frame instantly puts you in the right poetic zone – a psychotic world unperturbed by things that are happening on earth, delivering justice with decimating bombs, whilst another one croons for mercy, silently playing sitting ducks following nature’s intended way. The juxtaposition of killing and bringing forth a life is highly commendable.

You can order Allied Movie here:

The Final Verdict

Mental games that Allied plays will have your heart in your mouth. It makes you wonder about betrayals in your life, or if not then lets you at least empathize with it. You live the turmoil alongside its protagonist, and question the decisions he took with blinding eyes.

You can’t help but feel sorry for the mental conundrum Brad goes through. His eyes wondering out loud if she is a spy or if she isn’t. At the same time you can’t overlook Marion’s enchanting performance either, the trickster who dreamed for a life.

You can check out the trailer of Allied movie here:

Passengers Movie Review (2016) | Love at Strange Crises

The coolest people we know, Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence finally pair up together for a sci fi flick. Passengers movie acts as a gorgeous engaging flick only up to a point, after which it suddenly begins to falter and fidget. By the time we reach its end, the damage is too gigantic to recover from. The solemnity with which the movie had actually begun and crawled forward with, ends up becoming quite vapid for even a romantic movie. However, the movie still manages to literally hyperdrive.

Plot of Passengers Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

Passengers takes off brilliantly when it begins. Its beauty lingered in its stunning unravelling, the slow revelation of its intriguing plot.

The flick commences with an engineer Jim Preston waking up from a hibernation pod in a starship called Avalon, only to realize he had awakened too soon. His entire crew is headed towards a planet similar to that of earth called Homestead II. Now he can’t go back to sleep because the Avalon’s pods don’t work that way. He realizes there was still a good 90 years left for the ship to reach its destination, that he was a surefire ill-fated quietus.

image of passengers movie starship Avalon

There is only one person, er, android on the entire ship, he could have a real conversation with. The humanoid named Arthur played by Michael Sheen is a pleasant company to keep when the chips are down. The pilot area is barred by a door that can’t be opened without an authorized security bracelet. So all his efforts to enter the room goes in vain.

“The universe is not evil but it has a nasty sense of humor.”

The Sleeping Beauty

The twist in the tale arrives when Jim struggles to live insanity for more than an year, eventually deciding to give up. However, too scared to take his life, he comes across a sleeping beauty named Aurora Lane played by Jennifer Lawrence who changes the way he looks at life. He checks her files, recorded videos to find out more about her eventually falling for her hard. He decides to live, and within his countless confabs with Arthur admits an unwarranted wish to wake her up, even though it was downright unscrupulous.

Blinded by love, he ends up manually overriding Aurora’s hibernation pod. Without telling her who or what caused her pod failure he allows her to fall in love with him. Smitten with each other their destiny begins to write itself in their slow impending doom.

Stranded Destiny

It is that sense of wretchedness that swallows Aurora just like it does to us, when there’s nothing to do. When you feel constantly stranded on a planet with nothing substantial to work upon.

“I envy you Arthur. You have a purpose.”

Things run smooth, until one day Arthur, the android to whom Jim had confided in, spills the beans. It is this turmoil that destroys whatever Jim had so diligently built. Mad at Jim for waking her up before time, and considering it murder, she refuses to see his face or even listen to him.

Meanwhile Avalon has encountered numerous damages and is definitely going to blow up if they didn’t do something about it. Wakes up Chief Deck officer, Gus Mancuso portrayed by Laurence Fishburne with the authority to enter the room they had failed to enter. On being told by Aurora of what Jim did to her, Gus reasons with:

“The drowning man will always try to take someone down with him.”

This makes you wonder, it always takes a third person’s perspective to see something that stays clouded by your judgment. Even though Gus put it in her head, it was enough to think why Jim did what he did in the first place. Though not justified, for the first time she took things from his perspective.

You can order the Passengers movie from here:

The Final Part

The climactic part deals with Gus passing away, handing over the reins of the ship into the hands of its two intact passengers. Identifying the cause as an asteroidal damage that had fried up Avalon’s reactors, both work to set things straight. However, since the system is fried, and the reactor is out of control, Jim decides to go manual on it trying to vent it out. It is this ultimate sacrifice that has Aurora convinced about his huge significance, begging him to come back alive.

Once the reactor door opens and the heat vents out, it sends Jim flying in the air disconnected. He begins to wane when Aurora with hopes to bring him back, goes after. Back in the safety of the starship she finds him dead, but eventually performs a major Prometheus kind of pod operation on him to resuscitate him back to life.

Mawkish Vibes

Image a world that’s sleeping, and you are the only person wide awake. Doesn’t that reflect, I don’t know, life? It’s metaphorical only if the movie meant it. But I am afraid, Passengers movie is too shallow to actually mean it. It doesn’t cash in on its poetic vibes, rather focuses on what’s going on to meet the story requirements.

The chemistry starts off great, but then loses its spark. Jim suddenly feels getting sidelined, and doesn’t bank on his sea of thoughts when things begin to go south. Morten Tyldum overlooks emotional profundity, ends up eliminating pathos entirely.

still of Jim Preston and Aurora Lane in Passengers Movie

Final bits are as ridiculous as a movie could get. It keeps spiraling and escalating desperate to meet a happy end. It’s hard to take things seriously, when everything keeps happening in split seconds. The movie loses its endearing riveting focus then and there, that had us spellbound so far.

A headstrong Aurora in the end becomes a mere observer when she doesn’t know what’s going on, or what’s happening. The part where she ends up getting hit by a shard seems like weirdly input. To justify the heat of the moment!

Also, the colossal import of traveling to a distant planet, living alone for an year, diminishes when you lance it with cheap saccharine drops. That’s what the movie ends up becoming owing to that sped up ending.

The Final Verdict

Passengers movie makes you think of how fate binds us despite our attempt to slingshot past it. Life can happen at the most unusual places, at weirdest junctures. So can love crisscross you on uncalled for crossroads. That fate has a funny way of dealing with things. It, in a way, teaches us to make the most of the now, forgive and live before we forget how to.

If you try hard to read between the lines, the theme of the movie stays poetic as well. It reflects everything kind of our extant lives. How two people wake up, they fall in and then out of love. Their existence in a “sleeping” world makes you believe that’s how it always works in reality too. That rare magic eludes us, then happens, only to vanish again like stardust. If we hold on to it, by forgiving each other, despite how bad the fallout is then we can truly enjoy our ride.

It is just that Passengers movie is more inclined towards romance than adventure or drama. Even though the onscreen pairing of mischief is what we had been dying to see for so long, the movie doesn’t live up to the mark in terms of spell-binding gravitas that we expected from it profusely.

Still it’s a movie that should not be missed owing to a story that makes you marvel at human mind.

Check out the trailer of the Passengers movie here:

A Monster Calls Movie Review (2016) | Battling Your Inner Monsters

A Monster Calls is a dramatic stunner. It squirms your insides when you try to empathize with its protagonist, one hell of a child actor, Lewis MacDougall. Its evident story happens between its lines, as it takes refuge of a child’s fancy to expound some of life’s biggest lessons – expressing yourself as you are, accepting a pitfall and coming to terms with it.

The movie is based on an enthralling book of the same name by Patrick Ness that actually originated from an idea by Siobhan Dowd.

Cardinal Theme of A Monster Calls

There are two facades to the human brain. The one, that is the sane one, says things that you really mean. Then there is the other one, your daft side that keeps interposing and writing off decisions laid down by the first.  It is a constant battle between them that affects your choices, that plays your mood to its tune. This might sound crazy to a grown up who has the reins of his brains well sought and unknotted, who is often not vexed by his choices. (That’s too rare again!) But to a child whose thoughts run rampant, it is simply huge.

The negative and the positive thoughts that keep curdling inside you wage wars trying to cloud what you really wanna do or say. And that’s where the movie’s true theme resides. In those hollows of vexation!

image of felicity jones as mum and Lewis MacDougall as Conor in a monster calls movie

What you really mean, the purest form of it all comes when you are feeling a true uninfluenced feel. The movie tries to bring its protagonist to terms with his actual pious veracity, and it only concludes when its job gets done.

J. A. Bayona’s Engaging Direction

It’s official! There’s no director better than J. A. Bayona who could successfully unsheathe qualm and disquiet from a child and then present it in the most beautiful way possible. We saw that happen in the havocking nature pillage The Impossible in 2012 when he made us cry tears of rekindling joy, and of course in the stunning 2007 horror The Orphanage, which was Bayona’s debut film.

To bring out the natural flair of Lewis’ acting prowess Bayona brims up his life with ample loner shots before bringing the Monster in. His direction is so pleasantly lucid that you find yourself reading a child’s thoughts on the go. It has proper focus to dribble emotions right into your hearts.

A Monster Calls walks in with three, nay four, extraordinary stories with hidden meanings and messages. All of them are beautifully done with outstanding CGI. The Monster appears very real too.

Plot of A Monster Calls Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

To begin with the prologue we find Conor (Lewis) staring at a tree. He is constantly miffed by a nerve-racking dream. In it he finds his mother portrayed by Felicity Jones caving in to an annihilating earthquake. It swallows her up, leaving him helpless and stranded in the process. We find him leaving for school, preparing his own breakfast, dressing himself up for school, in short, taking care of himself. His mother is sick, and it is up to him to look after himself. With that you can almost see how Conor’s nightmare is perfectly poetic and in line with his biggest fears.

He summons up a monster voiced brilliantly by Liam Neeson who presses on telling him three stories for extricating Conor’s nightmare. All of these stories are strewn across the movie and in context with things happening with his life. The tree monster claims that since it was itself the common element in every tale, it knew very well what went on in those tales.

Three Stories of Tree Monster

The first story is about a kingdom that was miffed by vile creatures. A king loses all his sons except one to them, who grows up to become a warrior. Before he comes of age however, the king marries a beautiful young woman. Soon the king dies and the world believes that it was her who had poisoned the king. To keep the reins of the kingdom in her hands, she plots to marry the prince. However, the prince runs away with a farm girl who he was supposedly in love with. They stop to rest under a tree (the monster).

On waking up, he finds the farm girl murdered. Declaring that it was the queen who had murdered her and convincing fellow farmers of it, he wages war against her along with them. The tree monster awakes and joins the attacking mob, however the monster saves the queen in the process carrying her to a far away land. The reason the tree monster saves the queen is because it saw the prince killing the farm girl to snatch the throne wrongfully.

The above story reflects the life of Conor as well, when we are introduced to his grandmother whom he abhors profusely.

Second Story of Apothecary and Parson

The second crucial story is the one that deals with an apothecary, a guy who is inclined to treat diseases and ailments using conventional methodologies. Fighting him off is a new world parson who discourages everybody from going to apothecary for treatment. He stops the parson from cutting down a healing tree (the monster tree) that could have allowed him to cure any disease in the world.

However, one day Parson’s two daughters become really sick and all his attempts to cure them goes in vain. When nothing works he finally falls down to his knees seeking apothecary for his help. The apothecary refuses him when he finds out that the parson is ready to sell his faith and whatever he stood for, just for the sake of saving his own daughters.

The tree monster surprisingly awakens to decimate the parson’s house even though clearly apothecary seemed at fault for not helping the parson. The monster believed that if the parson hadn’t been so selfish in the first place, he would have been able to save both his daughters by allowing the apothecary to cut him down. He wasn’t staying true to himself by deteriorating from his path, and so he needed to be punished for it.

In the real world, Conor destroys Grandma’s house believing it to be Parson’s. When his grandma finds it, she doesn’t punish him for it, since she considers it a mere ripple against what’s imminent.

The Third Story of Invisibility

The third story was supposed to be about a boy being invisible. It actually happens when Conor is tired of being invisible. When everyone (including his mother) keeps treating him as if there was nothing wrong with his mother, as if he did not deserve to know what was befalling her. The fact that he already knew that his mother had cancer made it even sadder. On being bullied once again, he breaks all hell loose on his predator, by calling up the monster and beating the hell out of him.

As an aftermath, he finds the whole world looking at him, of him becoming visible, of everybody knowing about him, of the principal acknowledging his presence.

You can order A Monster Calls Movie from here:


The Fourth Story: Conor’s Nightmare

As mentioned before there were actually four stories, the fourth one being Conor’s acknowledgment of his biggest nightmares. It is summoned by the monster actually that recreates the exact setup Conor used to imagine, and re-imagine as his nightmare. His biggest nightmare, however, wasn’t letting his mum fall into the maws of abyss, but was that he wished it all to get over. Like an innocent brain wishing a thing and phase to pass, he had secretly wished for his mother to die. It killed him, wondering if he had unknowingly brought that fate upon her. The second sane sacred brain of his that hadn’t had the chance to accept the unacceptable finally gets a shot at understanding the impending disaster, when he is pushed on by the monster to actually feel the pain. The unstoppable cancer then does its job.

You see in all the above stories, the common element was always the tree monster. Even though Conor accepted its existence as a mere fancy, he used it to justify all of his acts. In the end, we get to know through the artistic portrayals of his mother’s drawings that the monster, and all the characters of his story were actually figments of his mother’s imagination, that she had once used to narrate him stories of.

image of conor sleeping under the tree monster in a monster calls

Amazing Parts

One of the best lines from the movie is when Conor’s mum understands. She says that she knows and fathoms everything that went inside the head of Conor. In one of the frames, she is shown actually nodding to the monster who by the way doesn’t exist. But is in a way suggestive of how mum comprehended everything that the little lad went through.

It is hard not to marvel at the magnificent water color paintings in the movie. The fact its paintings were created as a result of blowing water paint on the paper made it appear even more gorgeous. The CGI is absolutely ravishing too. Stories are brilliantly played out giving the story its innate perspective.

The most destructive scenes from A Monster Calls is, I believe, is when Conor tries to reason with her mother why the tree monster couldn’t save her, when it was supposed to? It’s hard to stop your tears of dam from breaking then. Also, when he runs wild on finding out that her death was inexorable.

The Final Verdict

A Monster Calls is an absolute wonder. It is a movie that fits the shoes of the actual book just fine. To help it achieve that is of course Lewis MacDougall’s brilliant acting, and Liam Neeson’s grave voice, and also the movie’s exceptional CGI. Transitions that go on inside the frames of all the stories are simply awe-inspiring as well.

Drama of the movie is simply top-notch. I would recommend this movie to everyone.

You can check out the trailer of A Monster Calls Movie here:

Sing Movie Review (2016) | Another Toast for the Dreamers

Sing along your favorite songs with the most adorable bunch of animals! Sing movie is an anthropomorphic take of Christophe Lourdelet and Garth Jennings, a brilliantly scripted venture that tries to edify the lives of animals. It does so effortlessly by resonating us with them in the right proportion. They let humanity seep under the skin of animals to epitomize important life lessons, and the problems every fellow dreamer has to deal on an every day basis.

Plot of the Sing Movie

Although the movie packs in a plethora of cute animals to look forward to, the best and the most prominent one however stays the leader. A Koala bear named Buster Moon, voiced beautifully by Matthew McConaughey, is the guy with the cardinal vision of seeing success dribble in through his theater gates via show business.

still of buster moon the koala in sing movie

He is an optimist who has never learnt to give up. Buster retains hopeful eyes, the ones that are always excited to see new things sieve in. The gleam in them tells you that he is eager to shape dreams into reality, and always ready to deliver.

With his job to hunt down only the best, he possesses the natural flair to always dispense the right judgment. Things that he does are strong enough to often leave you brooding with a poignant sense of regard at your scattered dreams. It contrasts how we tend to give up our dreams with the slightest sign of trouble. With Buster Moon’s efforts to work around things to get things running either by hook or crook, you can feel in your bones the warmth of a never give up attitude that is so crucial to get by.

You know what’s great about hitting rock bottom. There is only one way left to go, and that’s up.

Other Fellow Dreamers (Spoilers Ahead)

Buster Moon’s big aspirations are inspiring. But it is owing to his clumsy accidents along with Miss Crawly, (surprisingly voiced by Garth Jennings himself) that sets the Sing movie on wheels. Paths get paved for aspiring singers when promotional fliers of $100,000 for a singing competition accidentally overrun the whole town. Though it was intended originally to show a mere $1000 and came up straight from Buster Moon, the huge success of it made him play along.

Talented singers from eclectic background show up. Oh! Watch out for their auditions, by the way. They are outright hilarious! When you watch them all auditioning for the competition, their species and their ungainly acts make things even funnier. It would be hard not to crack up.

Aslo, a bunch of girly Japanese dolls (Pandas probably) keep showing up every now and then to perform, assuming they have been selected. Watch out for them as well! So funny!

 

still of meena voiced by Tori Kelly in Sing movie

Among other crucial animals are Ash, Eddie, Johnny, Rosita, Gunter, Mike,  and the exceptionally talented elephant introvert Meena. The latter’s voice has been given by none other than Tori Kelly. Her voice is so beautiful that it would bring tears to your eyes. Also, her side-plot is one of the best the movie has.

So the movie is basically more of a competition where animals from different backgrounds come in the front-line to test their luck. Their lives are intertwined with their domestic issues and concerns that stop them from, in one way or the other, from following their dreams. But it is about beating all odds to come out with flying colors.

Songs in Sing Movie

Taking the movie moniker into account, the primal theme was basically supposed to be songs. So it doesn’t fail in that direction at all. There are around 60 songs shoehorned in the flick that play at various junctures setting you in the right vibes.

Among the most prominent ones are:

  1. Faith by Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande
  2. I’m Still Standing by Taron Egerton
  3. Hallelujah by Tori Kelly
  4. Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing by Tori Kelly
  5. My Way by Seth MacFarlane
  6. Set It All Free by Scarlett Johansson

You can order Sing movie from here:

Minor Downsides

When you look at the downsides of Sing movie, you could hear some bells knell in its comedy department. It is definitely not that funny, but there are ample jests to keep that flow going. Also, the movie doesn’t have anything huge coiled up waiting at the climactic end. It’s there where you feel all that amped up energy slowly wane. The subplots feel deliberately created to show feigned approvals, and they become really drab at one point.

Also, if you really look at the movie it appears to be more of a cliched tale confined to pursuing something, falling and then rising up again. That is all. So, there is nothing extraordinary apart from that for us to feast upon.

The Final Verdict

Even though the Sing movie’s theme is a tad predictable, it manages to hold up really well. Almost giving you an impression as if you are watching a good reality show. You begin to feel for the characters, sympathize and empathize with them as you might have done for characters in the real world. It makes you appreciate Garth Jennings even more, who also happened to have written the story of Sing.

This latest by Illumination Entertainment is way better than all of its past works so far. It cuts short the snappy humour that it was known for, but still manages to come up with a beautifully crafted animated flick. It has family entertainment written all over it.

You can check out the trailer of Sing movie here:

 

 

Assassins Creed Movie Review (2016) | Another Epic Game Bites the Dust

I am a huge Assassin’s Creed fan, and one of many expectant eyes who waited for the Assassins Creed Movie to finally sprawl out in a Cinema hall. With the likes of Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard embellishing my favourite game franchise, things were kind of looking promising from a distance. Hell, it was Justin Kurzel behind the lens after all, the guy who had given direction to the arresting MacBeth, and he had claimed his throne with the same onscreen pair. I thought, what could go wrong? Except everything!

Assassins Creed Movie is a debacle that became everything we did not want it to become. If you rule out the gaming franchise for a second, hell it doesn’t even make a good movie either. You compare it with other flawed game movies out there, okay it is better than a lot of them owing to its subtle direction, but it is still not up to the mark.

Direction of Assassin’s Creed

Justin Kurzel is no doubt great, but I believe, wasn’t ripe enough to take this project. He had still a lot to learn about the game before actually heading behind the camera for the plot. You take a look at any of the video trailers of the game, and you realize how intense their depiction really is. Hell! Ubisoft video game trailers are better than this movie! Sadly that intensity was missing from the flick throughout. He gave you those familiar ‘leap of faith’ moments no doubt, twice in the movie, but with nothing to bolster the movie on, everything ended up becoming a mere – Meh!

To do things differently he chose to show Animus as a robotic hand that man-handled the protagonist as he synced with his memories. It was different no doubt, but Kurzel, in an attempt to spoon feed the audience kept jumping from the real world to the past, which took its gravity away. How would you feel if whilst playing the game you kept getting desynchronized to see what your hero was actually doing?

still of michael fassbender and michael K williams in Assassins Creed Movie

He didn’t let us concentrate on one world, and chose to flicker in and out both enclaves instead. To be honest, it wasn’t easy on the eyes! I concur, Justin Kurzel was trying to make things appear more palpable and hence the frequent on-off depiction, but that killed the fun for most of us.

Plot of Assassins Creed Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

To comprise the plot of Assassins Creed we are served the original Apple tale. Yes, the Apple of Eden story! For those who don’t know anything about it yet, why don’t you give the game a shot for once? Anywho, moving forward, the story leaps ahead with a prologue set in 1492 where we find Aguilar de Nerha, portrayed by Michael Fassbender, being sworn in into the brotherhood. Then the frames take us to 1986 where we find Callum Lynch a modern day descendant of Aguilar, returning home only to find his mother dead. To his shock, he finds out she was murdered by none other than his father, Joseph Lynch. In the backdrop Abstergo sends men to capture Joseph. Before he was held captive Joseph asks his son to escape.

Main Course

Thirty years later, Callum Lynch is all grown up and set to be executed on charges of murder. Abstergo swoops him away after finding out that he too was a descendant of Aguilar. He gets a shot at life, but only if he complies to Abstergo’s demands. He meets Sofia (Marion Cotillard) who tries to cut a deal with him to find and locate the Apple, the ancient artifact with the cure to violence. So, what Cal is supposed to do is get in the Animus and relive his ancestor’s memory to find exactly where that wretched thing was.

The whole thing is seen over by Alan Rikkin, Sofia’s father portrayed beautifully by Jeremy Irons. He is pressurized by his superior, Ellen Kaye (Charlotte Rampling) to shut the whole project down since the Apple was nowhere to be found. Sofia discords with her father believing he was never actually looking for the cure.

You can pre-order the Assassins Creed movie here:

The Bleeding Effect

Meanwhile the problem that silently nibbles Cal away is “The Bleeding Effect”, wherein he keeps getting hallucinations of Aguilar and other Assassins of his era. Owing to that he starts accepting his ancestral traits too, only to end up embracing  the Creed for good. Eventually, the Apple traces back to Christopher Columbus who had sworn to take it to his grave. We get to see that gradually happen with relived memories of the past.

Soon riots break out. Held assassins were plotting all this time, against the Templars to escape their inevitable death. Numerous projections of the creed that comprises of Aguilar, Cal’s father and mother surrounds Cal. It tries to insinuate that Cal fully captures the traits and memories of his ancestors, and becomes fully “synchronized”. He uses his abilities to break out from the facility along with the Brotherhood that he had befriended there.  Meanwhile Alan escapes with Sofia with the knowledge about Apple’s whereabouts.

The final scene takes us to London where a ceremony is being performed. Alan is celebrating with his fellow Templars the retrieval of the elusive artifact. Enters Cal, who assassinates him and takes the Apple back only to protect it again like his ancestors once did. Sophia vows revenge on him and the curtain drops.

Other Issues

Screenplay of Assassins Creed movie at times is good but then most of the times submerges with explanations. It has a lot of parkour no doubt, and some stunts look pretty dope as well. But there is nothing so catchy that you could go home cherishing. Except of course that leap of faith. But you have already seen that happen so many times in the game that it doesn’t budge you anymore.

still of Michael Fassbender and Ariane Labed in Assassins Creed Movie

Also, Ariane Labed‘s Maria, badass as it seemed starts off without a spark, and then dies down so abrupt that it is hard to sympathize with her. No chemistry was created, for us to actually feel bad for them. Sofia looking at memories when Cal finds projections surrounding him is one of those other things that vexes you beyond limit.

The music is fine, but it doesn’t have the intensity of Jesper Kyd‘s compositions. Jed Kurzel doesn’t retain the gravitas of Jesper Kyd’s thoughtful music. It was a big turn off!

The Final Verdict

It’s amazing how Hollywood keeps finding ways to ruin games. Maybe games tend to have that composed feel to it that syncs with our lives. When you play the protagonist you actually feel like you are in the driving shoes. With that you enjoy every element existing around you. You breathe in it, and you listen to the music as you clank your swords. You sway with control, with power. Maybe that’s why it is hard to achieve that high! If a movie tries to do that it never reaches such levels.

Assassin’s Creed becomes just one of those films that passes you without instigating or compelling you to look.

Check out the trailer of Assassins Creed Movie:

Dangal Movie Review (2016) | Celebrating the Rigorous Phogats

The Phogat family finally gets the limelight they deserve. If it weren’t for Dangal movie, one of Nitesh Tiwari‘s best works hitherto, more than half of the country wouldn’t even realize a feat so colossal had happened once in their backyard.

It goes without saying, we barely care for things that aren’t there for big screen viewing. How much we weigh a feat depends on the who, the what, and the how of its portrayal. In a way things were already headed to awesome-ville the moment we saw Aamir Khan sizing this huge project with his thoughtful eyes. The bar was still in the hands of Nitesh though. Unfortunately he couldn’t really raise it to the extent we had expected it to reach in the climactic half of the movie.

Overlook that, and you still have a brilliantly directed flick in your hand. Right from the point where painstaking detailing has been put in its wrestling bouts to the point where personal ego is allowed to rip relationships apart, Dangal doesn’t disappoint.

Aamir Khan’s Dangal

It wouldn’t be wrong to say Dangal is entirely Amir Khan’s movie. We are already aware of how seriously he takes his projects. Heights he scaled for Dangal movie in order to crack perfection once again was quite evident from his “fat to fit” video. He got under the skin of Mahavir Singh Phogat and literally became him. That puckering of his eyes and that frown over his brow tell you he was living the constant turmoil the protagonist had once faced. He makes melodrama more interesting to watch. It is hard not to empathize with him whenever he delivers a crushing line. Then it wasn’t just him who was taking his role seriously, but the rest of the cast too.

still of Aamir Khan's transformation fat to fit in Dangal movie

Moving on to the flick’s deuteragonist, Geeta Phogat, is the one who is chosen to take the movie forward. As some might already know, Geeta was India’s first gold medallist in Wrestling at Commonwealth Games. Dangal movie is basically centered around her childhood, her ego clashes with her father, and then the onward journey to earn that elusive gold. It also serves as an inspiration for women all across India.

The Childhood Phase

Phogat kids had it rough. Geeta’s childhood portrayal was superbly aced by Zaira Wasim. It was complemented brilliantly by Suhani Bhatnagar, who plays young Babita Kumari. Zaira is a very talented artist who makes her presence felt every time she comes on-screen to deliver.

The ‘Hanikarak Bapu’ song beautifully captures the monstrosity levied upon by every Indian child by a strict parent in reticent words. Children’s innate knack to shudder the moment they hear their father roar was strangely relatable. Indian parenting is still as arrogant as the movie projects. It is in fact a way of living, which even though is gradually waning today, is still extant in less developed areas. People choose to believe in those obstinate chores to instill in their child a wont, hoping parents are actually doing the child a huge favour. Thus follows the Dangal theme trying to show the biopic as is.

A child is every reflection of their parent’s. It’s their hammering that gives a child’s life a perspective. In an attempt to prep them up to align them towards a purpose, Mahavir lays down questionable iniquities on the Phogat sisters. But in the end, they deliver. It is what the world remembers them by.

How many Phogats gave up trying to pursue a dream or a vision they couldn’t see all the way through? Or worse, ended up rebelling against cruelty and losing the image, the fate that was meant for them in the first place? There’s a reason the name of the Phogats will resound in eternity. It is all because of a constant painful struggle to reach an elusive goal, and a focused path manifested by a strict visionary topped with a rigorous lifestyle that helped in turning dreams into reality.

The Primal Aspirational Argument

There are two faces to a coin. It is aptly justified when a broken Mahavir visits his children at night to ease their pain. It crushes him too being that strict, but he believes to achieve bigger things in life sacrifices are inevitable. He puts:

I can’t be a father when I am being a mentor.

If you are thinking why one should be enforcing one’s thoughts and aspirations onto a child, you have to understand it is a child that can be manipulated. You can’t impose your thoughts on a grown up. Try to reason with a grown up and it will end up in a fuming debate. If there’s a direction you see, you can only tell someone with a clean slate to follow it, and not a person that questions you back.

still of Zaira Wasim as Geeta Phogat in Dangal movie

To a child who has yet to figure out a dream, it is a perfect phase to show him/her a path. If you prepare them upfront, they will come to understand one day why one’s doing what one’s doing and what needs to be done.

You put that in my head. It’s all I see.

That leaves us with two ways to look at it – What Mahavir did was absolutely unjust, trying to surmount your dreams on your children’s delicate shoulders, smothering their own dreams, making yours their own. Or you could look at it as what Mahavir achieved by pushing his children was exactly the kind of fame his kids expected from life. Isn’t that the job of every mentor? All great sportspersons who excelled at something had their coaches moulding them constantly at every juncture. If there was no Mahavir or his big dreams, we would have never heard about the Phogats at all. That’s where the former argument goes invalid.

Extraordinary Family Drama of Dangal Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

Whilst trying to justify Dangal’s heartwarming drama, we get to see some of the most havocking bits, all coiled up after Geeta and Babita grow up. There is this moment of egoistic clash between Mahavir and Geeta that will tear you apart. It is very engaging and makes you very emotional. It is the apt music placement that tingles the right chords causing you to have your blood-curdling moment.

You can order soundtrack of Dangal movie from here:


Also, when Geeta keeps losing, realizing her mistake, is contacted by Babita. She suggests her to talk with her father to ask for forgiveness. That’s another dramatic moment right there! It would again have you crying along with the protagonist. It’s quite nerve-racking in a way. You can’t help but empathize with them, and that’s why the tears end up becoming real.

Downsides and Flaws

Whilst Dangal is a great movie it isn’t entirely devoid of flaws either. After a dashing better part of the flick where all the melodrama lurks, when you realize you are about to reach the movie’s climax, things begin to kind of fall apart. Suddenly Geeta Phogat loses her awesome comportment; she becomes strangely submissive.

We find a coach who is shown in an ugly limelight. His character is made so wicked that it is hard to take him seriously. It is not good for the plight of Indian sports. People are so emotional that they are going to believe such elements exist in our country, and might blame a coach for someone’s poor performance. It is a fictitious character created from thin air, named Pramod Kadam played by Girish Kulkarni, since we can’t really do without a villain in our stories. Also, maybe we need all the hate to go somewhere I surmise.

Nitesh loses his touch when he makes sports a laughable affair. He shows international players in a negative spotlight, as if there’s no extant spirit of sports in people from foreign land. I doubt if the Australian actually made a smug statement of destroying Geeta Phogat. It was a villainous image she was framed into.

Climax of Dangal Movie

Nitesh Tiwari also changes some facts to make the final look like a nail-biting affair, which was okay actually. But when he decides to emote the whole climax by locking Mahavir away, you can’t help but shake your head. It’s as if he ran out of story, and was desperately looking for that modicum of a culminating point to satiate a patriotic crowd. That appears immensely contrived and artificial. Ending is written in a light so as to extract uncalled for nationalism from a parallel running anthem. Nothing subtle about it! It looked really daft!

Sakshi Tanwar ends up getting sidelined way too much for her one big on screen role. There is so much talent in her that never really came to fruition in the movie. Also, the screenplay of the movie is average and doesn’t carry that glint of subtlety to it. It becomes really disturbing at times when you are forced to listen to the weird juxtaposition of “Attack!” and “Defend!” shouts that break in during an intense match. You can’t help but wonder if that is the way international matches are really shredded.

The Final Verdict

If you really look at it, Mahavir Singh Phogat was the person who did things differently. He took the world by surprise by not following the normal ways of the living. He was bold enough to fight societal barriers, was prepared for any kind of backlash that emanated therefrom, and ready to take the world head-on. His resilience is profoundly riveting even though he seems to be layering his dream on his children.

The prime motive of biopics is to celebrate people. It’s sad, in India, it can’t be done without spicing things up. So much that we drift away from the original course. Dangal movie was no different when it ran out of stories to tell. It’s awe-inspiring energy goes missing in the later ending part. But when you take all the artificiality and the cheesiness out of the equation, you realize the movie is actually a byproduct of some really fine and intense diligence. All of it was possible because of a combined effort put in by its actors and the rest of the crew, not to forget its astounding outstanding melodrama.

You can check out the trailer of Dangal movie here:

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