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Category: 2016 (page 1 of 7)

Holds movie reviews from the year 2016

Queen of Katwe Review (2016) | Chess Prodigy Phiona Mutesi Finds a Great Movie

Mira Nair’s movie Queen of Katwe is a stunning sports biopic that rhymes with the life of Phiona Mutesi, the chess prodigy with an impoverished devastating childhood. Phiona belonged to one of the largest slums of Kampala, so you can imagine how destitute she really was, growing up.

A powerful brain like that of hers was dying in that dreamless muck without any self-realization, selling maize and trying to earn an elusive livelihood. It was only until one day Phiona found her interest piqued by a game of chess that left her at her life’s biggest turning points.

still of Madina Nalwanga as Phiona Mutesi in Queen of Katwe movie

Queen of Katwe is the story of Phiona Mutesi’s gradual rise, from the hollows of abysmal conditions to a place where dreams get helmed. Of course none of it would have been possible if it were not for Robert Katende, the coach who never gave up on her, and saw her through every hurdle.


Chess is hands down one of the most highly addictive games ever made. It makes you smarter and better. It presents you with a keener decisive brain. The brushing up it does is simply profound. Chess remains eloquent too. Its pieces speak of ideas that promise to mould you into a winner with time. In a way it reflects life itself. To choose to make a movie on something so vast was a winning move per se.

Queen of Katwe uses illustrations galore from the 64 blocks vague labyrinth where wars are fought invariably. William Wheeler uses plenty of lines that work in sync with the game to embellish the sport further. For example, this doesn’t go unnoticed when little Gloria tries to explain Promotion in chess.

“I call it Queening. In chess, the small one can become the big one. That’s why I like it!”

image of gloria played by Nikita Waligwa in queen of katwe movie


The movie appalls you when you look at the lifestyle of the Ugandan slum. To impart you a drastic angle, in comes the very brilliant and convincing portrayal of Nakku Harriet, performed by Lupita Nyong’o. She lets you witness evil manacles of poverty and shows you the blunt ugly side of her fate, trying to raise four children all by herself. You can’t help but feel extremely sorry for her. The destitution that grows on upon her family is really unfortunate to watch.

But Phiona fights it all, fights it with the army she retains on a sheer board.

“Chess is a game of fighting. These pieces are my army.”

Madina Nalwanga‘s portrayal of Phiona Mutesi is brilliant too. A dream of becoming the Grandmaster that breathed in her mind comes alive when she goes on a conquering spree. It is nerve-racking to see her break down when she finds her dreams being crushed by privation. Also, the time when she shatters on falling from a mountain of overconfidence tingles your eyes. All of it has been beautifully depicted.

At the same time, you cannot ignore Robert Katende played beautifully by David Oyelowo. He remains the soul of Queen of Katwe movie trying at all times, his level best to uplift lost spirits. There is a teacher in him that constantly bellows streams of potency letting his children “The Pioneers” stand against the world. For that he is ready to make even colossal sacrifices that compels to you shower all accolades on him. He is a true champ!

If you wish to pre-order the movie DVD from Amazon, you can do it from here:


Mira Nair is quite a director, you must say. Not for a moment does she dwindle as she progresses towards the finish line. Eventually she ices it all with a pragmatic depiction of real life characters standing next to their actors. A subtle way of paying homage!

still of lupita nyong'o as nakku harriet in queen of katwe movie


If you try hard to look at the downsides I would say the first one is its language. Since, actors were forced to speak broken English things start appearing a tad contrived. Also, as mentioned above, chess is an amazing game. The beauty of the sport never really comes out talking in the open. This was primarily done in order to avoid indifference coming from non-playing audience. But, really we could have done with a proper nail-biting depiction of one game at least. Also, it scores a tad less in dramatic horizons considering titanic tears the script demanded.

At the same time, movie isn’t all bleak either. If you scour for hilarity you will find Benjamin another prodigy, played by Ethan Nazario Lubega as one of the most fun characters in the movie. The little fella brightens you up whenever he comes on screen.


Queen of Katwe is too good a movie for a Disney movie. We have seen how medicore Disney results have been in the past. But this Mira Nair beauty beats them all. It is also one of those rare great sports movie that puts your faith back in games again. Do watch!

Check out the trailer of Queen of Katwe here:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Review (2016) | Fantastic Plot

Tim Burton‘s knack for the queer continues. This time he picks up Ransom Riggs‘s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children off the shelves. But the big question is he able to deliver a proper literary adaptation? The answer is not quite. I would say Miss Peregrine ends up becoming a tad unremarkable for its remarkable tale. However, its story can’t be overlooked either. If you pay heed to the plot of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, you will realize that it takes one hell of an imagination to think something so beautiful! For that I can’t thank Ransom Rigg enough.


If you take the beautiful plot of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children into account, you will be surprised to know how intriguing its story-line is. It skims on the surface of time loops that is an adventurous topic per se. Jake, played by the meek mien of Asa Butterfield, is visiting his grandfather Abe who used to babysit him when he was young.


Abe would tell him stories about peculiar children showing him photographs that would tingle his senses. In his story a Lady Peregrine, who could turn into a bird (Peregrine good guess there!), used to take care of the children with strange mutant like abilities in a huge house. However, growing up, Jake came to believe, all his stories were nothing but sham. Lost faith in his Grampa’s vision, he ends up going aloof from him.

still of the peculiar children in miss peregrine movie

Once when paying his Grampa a visit, he encounters a strange man standing in the middle of the road, some blocks ahead of Grampa’s abode. Clueless he moves on. On reaching there, he finds his grandfather dead and without his eyes. Before dying Abe asks Jake about a bird, a loop and the year 1940. Confused Jake fails to understand, when he finds a gargantuan tentacled beast in the woods. Aftermath, he ends up in therapy.


His constant struggle with what his grandfather was trying to tell him, compels him to visit an island called Cairnholm to look for clues. He coaxes his father into taking him there. Jake finds the house of the peculiars there, however it’s in tatters owing to a certain German bomb attack that had burnt the house to cinders in 1940. Trying to satiate his curiosity, the bold Jake ventures in to have a look. He finds photos of the children that confirms his Grandfather’s stories. But then out of the blue he finds them all alive. Scared he tries to run, but ends up knocking himself out.


That’s when the plot of the story starts shaping up too. On waking up, and realizing they were for real he follows the children to a cave. Unknowingly, he enters a time loop that takes him to 1940. He finds the Peculiar Home intact. That’s when he gets to meet the gorgeous Peregrine lady played by Eva Green. Miss Peregrine is an Ymbryne who can manipulate time. She has, along with her children, taken refuge in a time loop that she had created moments before the bomb attack.

still of eva green as miss peregrine in miss peregrine's home for peculiar children

The beauty of this very concept lies in its surreal poetry. Every single day living the same life over and over again, knowing everyday is going to end with that same wretched bomb dropping from the sky. Every single day goes by without them ageing, in constant fear of being discovered, and trying to hide under the blankets of time. Such a beautiful thought! But unfortunately, Tim Burton doesn’t milk this enough. The beauty of its poesy disappears along with its constantly running frames. You can’t help but blame the movie’s sped up editing for it.


Like any yarn, galloping towards a direction, we are introduced to elements of perversion here as well. They are called Hollowgasts or simply Hollows, people who became monsters as a result of an experiment gone wrong. Misshapen they can’t be seen with naked eyes (unless you are Jake or Abe of course). Hollows hunt for peculiars as that’s their only chance to become a tad normal. They are known as Wights. Barron is the head of the wights who has been trying to hunt down more Ymbrynes to continue his experiments of immortality.

still of a hollowgast or hollow in miss peregrine movie

The real tension begins when Mr. Barron follows Jake to their timeloop who is then followed up by a ghastly Hollowgaust. Tim Burton uses peculiar children’s abilities to help each other out from that situation. A bomb drops and their loop forever shuts down.

It is then when Jake and the other peculiars decide to save Miss Peregrine and other Ymbrynes from the clutches of the evil wights. That becomes the sole theme of the movie afterwards.

You can pre-order Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar children here:


The first obvious one was Shelly, the non-peculiar. Her reaction when she finds oddity going on in the real world is not what we expect. It is as if Tim Burton has taken it for granted that everybody is okay with a tinge of eccentricity. I mean, if I was there, I would have first freaked out. The abnormal absent reaction of Shelly will make you think,

“Is she for real?”

Then moving on to Miss Peregrine’s character. To be really candid, Eva Green wasn’t really fit for the role. Okay, she does bring a rare sense of grandeur to her character but was that really enough? Her portrayal was very unconvincing and forgetful. Could it be because of the limited screen-time she had?

There was nothing motherly about her portrayal, if she was supposed to be the caretaker of those children. Somehow I felt a stronger character was supposed to be the call of the hour that no one took. The script demanded someone powerful like Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep or Emma Thompson for that to matter.


With time loop being one of the major driving forces of the tale, Burton’s depiction ends up becoming really bland. Tim Burton’s loops are empty. They come and go at odd hours without packing in much theatrics which ebbs its colossal import. At a time where the ending fight should have mattered the most, the backcloth score of a carnival makes that huge showdown a laughable affair.

Samuel Jackson plays a non-serious villain trying to introduce some humour through his acts. He is alright actually. He makes himself less scary even though he looks terrifying. The Whites of the Wights ( their eyes) were enough to terrorize little kids who had come thinking it was a Disney movie.

still of Samuel Jackson as Baron in Miss Peregrine

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children isn’t really dark. But there are dark elements in the tale nevertheless that are trying real hard to throw in different angles. But the depiction of it all ends up becoming more fun than gloomy. What makes it so is not only just the odd placement of music by Matthew Margeson and Michael Higham but also its less terrorizing banal acts. You can also count both stop motion animation and the CGI of the movie in whilst judging it.


To drop the final gavel on this, I would say it is an enjoyable ride nevertheless. However I do wish to see a perceptive TV series made on Ransom Rigg’s book, to capture the beauty of its ravishing story in pensive time frames.

Check out the trailer of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children here:

M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story Review (2016) | MS Dhoni Movie Doesn’t Do Him Justice

The MS Dhoni movie tries to capture the unwavering sojourn of one of India’s greatest cricketing heroes, none other than the captain cool Mahi himself. Even though there were words galore in Dhoni’s original tale, they fail to come out right, owing to the movie’s ungainly direction. You end up with a vacuous contrivance of a flick that dawdles around for something to hold on to. It runs endlessly for a whopping 3 hours and unfortunately delves into the known and “told” bit more often.


The first apparent ones amongst the movie’s numerous flaws is its nipping CGI that bothers you so much that you secretly wish it to go away. Do you remember the time when Captain America: The First Avenger tried a CGI makeover for Chris Evans as a scrawny kid? Well, Neeraj Pandey resorted to that medicine here as well. Unfortunately the difference is brutally unsettling.

What is even more punishing is that it is strewn all across the movie. Neeraj Pandey tries to wipe out all those original good memories you had of Dhoni with his cheap take, a hideous overlapping of Sushant Singh Rajput’s face on the actual footage. The end result: His face looks weirdly out of place, badly contorted. Throw in that with an out of context body and his actions end up looking terribly misconstrued too.


Despite the obvious, that it is hard to take a man seriously, when his face appears to be literally slipping out of his head, Sushant shines through. He tries his level best to get under Dhoni’s skin. It is evident right from the moment he makes his way towards the stadium, when the movie capers over a fitting prologue, the one with the 2011 World Cup that ended with a rampaging Dhoni finisher. It was a superb way to begin and end the flick, which seemed to have been given a thought or two.

still of sushant singh rajput as ms dhoni in m.s. dhoni movie ticket collector

Sushant Singh Rajput masters the mannerism, the walking mien and the calm plain demeanour Dhoni is often seen with. He manages to ace his precise gait too, bringing that flamboyance both on and off pitch. It goes without saying, the one of a kind unconventional ripping style of Mahi’s batting is hard to imitate. Sushant creates a different batting character when he is on a constant smacking spree. I guess that is permissible, because MSD stands unique.


Editing of MS Dhoni movie is terrible. When you think about all those instances that made it, even though they were outright dispensable, you can’t help but think how the director was keen on showing the sweet nothings, and wasting ample time on them. When there were obviously crucial elements in his life that could have done with a proper rewrite.

There is a constant apparent sense of artificiality to the MS Dhoni movie that seems to swallow up the cast right from the moment the flick commences. Their act stays transparent, and that miffs you a bit to be honest. But that’s how shallow Neeraj prefers his sea to be.

There is no glint of humour; small traces of it that are actually not funny. Where is that amiable side of Dhoni wherein his room stays always crowded with Raina, Jadeja and other young players all the time? You are presented a guy who is taciturn and likes to keep to himself most of the time, which is so not true.


The pang of emotions that crawled its way toward him in the form of Priyanka Jha played by Disha Patani ends up becoming the unfeeling kind, going away in a snap, when clearly it was supposed to create a gut-wrenching havoc. What is even more frustrating is how cheesy her lines are. It is almost as if it is high-school all over again.

still of sushant singh rajput and disha patani in dhoni film

Kiara Advani doesn’t impress much either. Both actresses don’t even come close to matching the gravitas required to ace a pensive mode.

If you pay attention to the Dhoni film score, it is an unflagging humdrum that mostly carries the same tone throughout the movie. It kind of prepares you for a gargantuan feat, and when you are all prepped up, sadly delivers nothing.

The MS Dhoni movie doesn’t even have a proper screenplay. For most of the better part of the flick, words remain unspoken. If there are words, then none reek of profundity. If there is romance, it doesn’t bide by chemistry.


Even though there were plenty of flaws, at the same time there were some pleasant goodies that can’t be ignored too. We get to see, and relive those thrilling matches that helped him climb that slippery slope of an elusive dream. Not only that, but we get to watch controversies that put him in the spotlight often, ads that literally paid him insane money, that infamous yet renowned Helicopter shot origin, watching him score tons, and of course his humble beginnings.

For me the most colossal moment from the flick would be that culminating train game-changer. I couldn’t help but convert it into a metaphor. Life gives you choices in the form of that train, and most of the time we don’t take it, for there is a shitload of responsibilities that count on you. The fact that Dhoni took it, reassures and restores our belief in doing things you love. It is one of those rare important lessons we need to learn, and apply without actually caring for repercussions.

still of sushant singh rajput waiting at the station MS Dhoni movie

I just wished it to be depicted better. There was too much theatrics engulfed therein that couldn’t nail that scene.

Another memorable moment from the MS Dhoni movie would be that huge match between Punjab and Bihar in the year 1999. The inclusion of Yuvraj Singh brings that insane awe-inspiring flip to the tale with Herry Tangri doing us the honors as Yuvi. He shares an uncanny resemblance to Yuvi that helps placing things in perspective. Sheer amazeballs!

You can grab Dhoni’s World Cup Jersey here:


I fathom, it is hard to put one lifetime in one screen-time. But if you let the right minds roll the camera for you, you have a chance of excelling, even accentuating at least a segment of your life. Dhoni deserves better any day. There are only a few things in the Dhoni film that do him some accurate justice to be candid, but that’s not enough.

You don’t really see the struggle, when you are not actually living it. For Dhoni to witness it all first-hand, it might have been devastating. For the people involved in his titanic project, to not able to paint it properly on the big screen, it is a huge loss. For us to not able to empathize with him is a bigger one.

Whatever the case might be, you still take two biggest things out of M.S. Dhoni The Untold Story. One of them being the powerful uncanny performance of Sushant Singh Rajput, and the backdrop of the story of India’s very own cricketing superhero Dhoni that you all didn’t know about.

Even though M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story doesn’t reflect good film-making, it is easily one of those rare sports movies that has ever been able to reach any standards in India. For a cricket movie, it is hands down the best we have got so far.

And a big wink for Sachin!

Here you can check out the trailer of M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story:

Storks Movie Review (2016) | Adorable Is Written All Over It

Storks movie is high on slapstick humour, chucklesome one-liners and an intelligently thought of oscillating story line. Even though Storks is like a constant roadrunner of a movie, which raises question about its editing, it still manages to rake you in with its primal theme – Baby! Isn’t that a winning idea per se?


Well, this one is an old one actually. The notion “storks deliver babies” finds its roots deep in European folklore. The fanciful imagination of how Storks would listen to crooning new parents thereby tending to their wants, has found new angles every now and then. Not long ago, in the year 2009 we were served a beautiful short called “Partly Cloudy” by Pixar which had briefly yet amiably touched that very area. Now, with Warner Bros. Animation bringing back the idea to a fully-fledged version in the form of a movie, the concept literally brims alive.


Storks have put an end to their baby delivering business. Cornerstone, their company has now moved on to a much profitable business of providing postal services. Headed under the aegis of Hunter (voiced by Kelsey Grammer), the visionary is about to promote Junior (voiced by Andy Samberg), the top deliverer of Cornerstone, to the position of ‘Boss’. However, he requires him to fire a girl named Tulip (voiced by Katie Crown), who was Cornerstone’s last undelivered baby. Tulip is trying her best to fit in the lifestyle of Storks, but unfortunately she is an epitome of obliteration, and Hunter wants him gone.

still of nate and his parents in storks movie

Meanwhile at Earth, a kid is trying his best to catch his busy parents’s attention. The ignored head Nate (Anton Starkman) is keen on having a baby brother so that he could have someone to play with. He writes a letter (or did an adult write that? :P) that gets delivered to Cornerstone. In a series of accidental chaotic events, where Junior is trying to get rid of Tulip, the old baby delivering machine becomes functional with that letter and a baby is produced.  Boy, is she the cutest thing?

What follows is one hell of a roller-coaster ride, with Junior trying to deliver the baby to its rightful address alongside Tulip, before anyone in the Cornerstone knows about it.


Storks movie packs in humour aplenty. The non-stop fun comedy will not let you settle down a bit. It is constantly trying to tickle you, sometimes too hard, sometimes effortlessly. The fact that the movie is so much reflective of our day to day work makes things even more relatable. That’s primarily why you laugh hard too.

In their little adventure to deliver the baby, Tulip and Junior come across an insane wolf pack that can take the shape of anything from a bridge to a boat to a submarine. It is hands down one of the funniest bits in the movie. Alpha Wolf and Beta Wolf are voiced by none other than Key and Peele themselves.

still of alpha and beta wolf licking baby in storks movie

Also, the part where an army of silent Penguins tries to attack the lead characters making sure that the baby doesn’t wake up, will have you in fits of laughter. Pigeon Toady voiced by Stephen Kramer Glickman is one psychotic angle to the tale that blends in a little perversion with fun.

The movie also tries to do a little mockery of how the advent of baby in one’s life changes so many things for parents. It goes on to show that insane cuteness comes at a price!

You can pre-order Storks movie here:


One apparent downside that vexes you a bit is how Storks literally gallops. It is a constant run of frames that doesn’t stop even for a second to breathe. At times it tries its level best to pass on even average jests with its swift gait, so that you move on quickly to the next.

With no gravitas in its frames, the Storks movie fails to uplift the emotional quotient that the movie at one point tries to bank on. In that respect it stays miles away from the likes of Pixar. Everything stays scooched under 1 hour 27 minutes of screen-time, even though we could have really used a better editing.


Even though Storks movie fails to do a Pixar in matters of sentient stories, it entertains us nevertheless with its snappy slapstick humour. The collaboration resuscitates the old forgotten lore that tries to celebrate lost stories. Even with its fun standpoint, we do get a comical entertainer in the end, and that’s what really matters.

If you wish to watch a whole load of cute, cuddlesome and Awwwwws, Storks is just the movie for you.

Here’s one cute trailer of Storks for you:

The Magnificent Seven Review (2016) | Mediocre and Empty

The Magnificent Seven is a stale tale left on the mercy of gun-power to prop it. We have seen so many cowboy movies hitherto that if there isn’t something new to it, it becomes an instant bore. The Magnificent Seven is no different. However, the movie isn’t exactly bad either. It hangs around in its mediocrity. Alas! it goes nowhere.

The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 movie of the same name. However it has nothing new to offer, not even an angle or a culmination point. What it offers is even a washed down version of itself. This new version is like a child’s whim where he is trying to create a story to shoot thousands of hooligans. I am afraid, it is almost as if Antoine Fuqua decided to round up everybody just to shoot ‘em up.


There aren’t any dope shots that are going to pop your eyes out. It doesn’t have proper gore either, that could have at least piqued the interest of gore lovers. Not even a clichéd hand to hand combat with the boss. Everything is done by the book. The book here is a gun of course.

There are some crazy hits in the movie nevertheless that are going to leave your jaws wide open. The time when the Gatling gun is brought in, it will have you biting your fingernails. Billy Rocks played by Byung-hun Lee is a complete badass. His swift knife movements are the ones to watch out for.


The Magnificent Seven lacks a proper melodrama for you to actually stop and care for the fallen. You don’t feel sorry for the villagers at all. Drama isn’t dramatic that gnaws away the element of pain from it. Emma Cullen played by Haley Bennett goes nowhere when you give her dialogues like these:

I seek righteousness. But I will take revenge.

still of haley bennett as Emma Cullen in The Magnificent Seven movie

Screenplay reeks purely with witty and cheesy lines that mostly come from The World’s Greatest Lover Josh Faraday played convincingly well by Chris Pratt, whose love making we don’t get to see, so it ends up becoming a mere assertion. Even though the screenplay comes from the likes of Nic Pizzolatto, we don’t end up with anything profound to chew upon. It is one of those factors that take its levels of spectacle down a notch.


Peter Saarsgard as Bartholomew Bogue looks very promising as the villain of the Magnificent Seven, when he starts off with the role. Unfortunately with no substance to back him up, he goes down in an instant. Eventually, as the movie tries to reach that final face-off he lets us down again. All that perversion that he carried throughout goes in a whiff, against the fury of Chisolm, the bounty hunter played by badassery of Denzel Washington. Bogue becomes a villain you forget the moment you leave the theatre.

still of Vincent D'onofrio as Jack Horne in the Magnificent Seven movie

I love how Vincent D’Onofrio does experiments on himself. This time he creates something different altogether, with that wheezing and breaking voice of his. It becomes hard to tell if Vincent is behind all that flab.

Denzel’s character stays extraordinary too with his heroic demeanor. Chris Pratt brings in that element of fun to the movie. Ethan Hawke is good but he carries a jaded plot that washes him down. He goes away only to return again without expanding on his sub-plot. Well, Billy Rocks!

Vasquez played by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo though no doubt confident, ends up becoming the least impact maker. It is like he was chosen just for the odd pairing. Martin Sensmeier‘s Red Harvest is well, red.


The music of The Magnificent Seven will remain the last known work of the legendary James Horner. The legend died in an unfortunate plane crash last year. His music however still lives on and will forever.

With inputs and arrangements by Simon Franglen, the music of The Magnificent Seven stays top-notch throughout. It skips well over the strings of that cowboyish theme, trying its level best to bring the flick to its proper course.

You can preorder the movie here:


I really think it could have been better if there was an unseen card lurking somewhere in the pockets of the director. Or even awe-inspiring theatrics to balance the theme would have done justice. But alas! The Magnificent Seven had none.

You can check out the trailer of The Magnificent Seven 2016 here:

Bridget Jones’s Baby Review (2016) | Sharon Maguire Revives Jones

What a sweet movie! Bridget Jones’s Baby, a sequel that picks up crumbs that were left off in the year 2004, finds its original director Sharon Maguire back in the chair again. She literally revives what was lost in the Edge of Reason, and brings to the vanguard another “hard to beat” actor Patrick Dempsey who is hands down perfect for Jones.


A lot has happened over the years, so we are told in fleeting frames. We come to know things haven’t gone well for Bridget reprised by Renee Zellweger yet again (who else?), when there is no one to celebrate her birthday with.

image of renee zellweger as bridget jones in bridget jones's baby movie

She is in her fortys, 43 to be precise, and clueless and lonely. She has an awesome company by the way – Miranda played by Sarah Solemani who is an absolute delight. Her clumsiness will make you feel good for Jones, at least she is in right hands.

The plot unfurls with the funeral of Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) where she runs into Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) once again. Leaving the awkwardness behind, she tries moving on to celebrate her single life by attending a music fest with Miranda. That’s where she meets Jack played by Patrick Dempsey for the first time. She ends up having sex with him, and then on returning with Mark, when the fire in them blazes alive out of the blue.

The real conundrum begins when Bridget Jones finds out she is pregnant, and then is unsure of whose baby it is. The fact that both try to win her over with their impressive acts frame the basis of the story-line of Bridget Jones’s Baby.


Bridget Jones went back into safe hands when Sharon Maguire decided to helm it. Her direction is better than a lot of reckless directors out there. Editing just about right to make you bide by its actual rhythm. No sudden movements or chopping off frames at odd hours. It made Bridget Jones Baby a perfect hoot.

Movie capers on the smart wits of Helen Fielding, Dan Mazer and Emma Thompson, with the latter playing the role of Dr. Rawlings. The screenplay turns out to be fine, however mostly things stay pigeonholed under humour. There is probably once or twice when Bridget Jones Baby delivers thoughtful lines. Rest stays wrapped under blankets of comedy.


Right from the moment when the movie begins you can see Renee Zellweger put on a mask. The script demands her to act that way, I understand, but unfortunately you are able to see through every bit.

Right from the moment when she picks up the phone, to discern who the caller is, to the time she waddles down to attend that funeral, there is a constant channel of deception that clouds her face and you know that’s not really her or her character either. At such moments you perceive she overacts beyond limit, as if the world is all cuddly and swishy.

still of Jack and Mark carrying Bridget Jones Baby movie by Sharon Maguire

Also, given the theme of the movie, Bridget Jones Baby forever stays in shallow waters of melodrama. It doesn’t get or let you be serious at any time. You don’t feel sorry for the characters since you know they are going to be around. It isn’t at all reflective of real life.

Apart from that Bridget Jones’s Baby works just fine. It remains smart, witty and fun almost all the time. Even with the butt jokes and all the clumsiness it stays well above the carpet of entertainment.

You can preorder Bridget Jones’s Baby here:


Bridget Jones’s Baby has surprisingly good humour and has been written with the right wits, which help it dally towards the finish line. Patrick Dempsey is an outright charmer as Jack and a very tough competition for Darcy. You will realize that when you go watch Bridget Jones Baby yourself. Go go go!

Here you can check out its trailer here:

The Shallows Review (2016) | Shark vs Human | A Survival Tale

Shark vs Human. That’s how I would like to outline The Shallows movie. For a survival tale it isn’t exactly great, but it is still somewhere. There is gore entailed, which is perfectly normal given the theme it packs in, and carries forever a thrilling element to see if the human, Nancy played by Blake Lively, makes it, beating a rampaging monstrous shark that has her tagged for kill.


As you might have already guessed, there isn’t much to the plot of the movie. Basically the following gif is it:

animation of the shark surrounding blake lively the shallows movieEven though Jaume Collet-Serra tries to show little inconsequential backdrop on Nancy’s life via social apps, we learn nothing new. Except for the fact that her mother was pregnant with her when she had visited an unheard of, unfrequented paradise. A beach so gorgeous that it is hard to believe, few knew about it.

When Nancy looks at the mountains yonder, she points out how the beach is of colossal importance to her. She compares it to an image of her mother when she had once carried her in her womb.

“Doesn’t it look like a pregnant woman? To me it does.”


Surfing and searching for bigger waves she leaves the shallows venturing further in, only to find a decimated whale carcass afloat. Out of sheer curiosity she moves toward it, and ends up with a gargantuan great white shark on her tail. The shark rips her leg in one violent rush.

Shark 1 – Human 0

the shallows movie

She finds herself a good spot on a small rock but is left to the mercy of tides. She staples her spine-chilling wound up like a pro. One point to human.

Stranded she then calls for help when she finds a drunk man sleeping on the beach. The man wakes up to her call.

One more point to Human.


He looks at her and waves back. Okay don’t scratch that point just yet. She points him towards her stuff. He moves towards it. Things look promising. But then he steals everything she had in her bag, and begins to abscond. In the backdrop, the Shark with folded fins can’t suppress its laughter. The man finds her surfboard, tries to steal that too. She tries to warn him about the shark. But he was taught by only the best badass generation of thieves.

“Don’t leave anything!”

So he swims towards to take it, and pow the shark prances. The man disappears only to return to the beach again, to sleep again. But this time only half of his body makes it.

Shark 2 – Human 2

The new dawn arrives bringing two fellow surfers she had come across the previous day. She tries to warn them, but they are unable to understand or hear her for that to matter. One of the most thrilling scenes of the movie occur when the shark pounces on one of them mid-air making him disappear in a single munch.

Shark 3 – Human 2

The other guy looks as if he could make it, then he disappears too, only to be savagely mutilated by jaws. Blood paints the water.

Shark 4 – Human 2


Being a movie that is solely forsaken to the mercy of the Sea, there isn’t much to the screenplay. Except for crazy jabber that Nancy makes with herself. She finds a certain injured gull that keeps her constant company when she finds herself surrounded by deadly jaws. Making the most out of her stranded situation she calls it “Steven Seagal”.

Human 1 – Seagull 0

the shallows movie stranded scene blake lively with seagull

Being a medical student she saves Mr. Seagal from its misery eventually.

Human 2 – Seagull 0

Pathetic dumb seagull! Totally worthless it stood there. Just watching crime in 3D!


Nancy finds a camera. Yay! Now she can have all the selfies in the world with her new friend. But it’s more of a recorder. So, she records her sobs, more like a message to her parents, and in a vain attempt throws it into the water again. Shark doesn’t understand the gizmo world. So. Human 3.

In comes the partial referee, nature. Tide bothers Nancy, and she prepares to set up for a nearby buoy. She times the white death well enough, as it makes a run to and fro – from the whale carcass to her, just to check on how she’s doing. Then when she finds a window of opportunity she makes a run for it reaching the buoy safely after battling a hoard of jellyfish. What was the score again? Oh, right!

Shark 4 – Human 4


She finds a flare gun. Yay again! She has limited bullets though. Boo!

She shoots one for help but unfortunately it was a dud bullet. Shoots one at the whale carcass oil, and we see the great white on fire. Sheer badass scene! Die you monster, die!

Shark 4 – Human 5

But the smart shark was well aware of the fact that water was its abode. So it dives to put it out at once. Score levels again.

Shark 5 – Human 5

still of blake lively as nancy in pain in the water

Nothing happens. Furious and mad the shark destroys the buoy. All those iron rods chomped off to pieces as if they were nothing. It is like the Godzilla of water.

Shark 6 – Human 5

Nancy finds a rod and attacks the poor fish by it. One more point to Human.


Then she looks at a chain that bound the buoy, and that little bulb above her head glows. She catches hold of it, in a rebound that pulls her into the ocean with the shark still in pursuit. Just when she was about to hit, she moves away forcing the dumb blind shark to hit some pointy rods in the seabed. That scene by the way looked really animated.

So finally, she slays the beast, and gets away with murder. Human 7. She makes it out alive. One more point there!

Shark 6 – Human 8

The undefeated champ sets out for sea again. Now that’s messed up lady! The shark Union is complaining already.


When the director is more concerned about showing close up shots of Blake Lively’s perfect ass, you wonder if he really bothers to care about the actual mishap. He lingers his camera so much there that you actually begin to wonder, with all that screen time maybe her bum might get a solo gig of its own. Maybe become a star and leave Blake Lively forever.

Then again when you try to see Jaume Collet-Serra’s subtlety, there is plenty there. Like when the camera goes underwater the music stops, just how it stays in reality. Glimpses, hints and hazy contours of the shark are spread throughout the flick, that never properly shows us the full-blown version. It is a subtle way of depiction like from a human perception, that Jaume aces.

Its DVD is out. You can buy it from Amazon, here:


The Shallows literally breathes on terror. You can’t help but place yourself in Nancy’s shoes and wonder what if that happened to you. Terrifying!

In the end however, The Shallows ends up becoming nothing but an oddly visible contrivance. To depict dope theatrics, Jaume sips out naturalism too much. Despite Blake Lively’s outstanding performance, The Shallows movie fails to reach the levels of awesomeness.

Whatever the case might be, let’s not forget the latest shark movie is to put our forgotten fear back in place. It is at least better than all those cheesy stupid shark movies that we have been served so far.

Here you can check the movie trailer here:

Pink Movie Review (2016) | Shattering Indian Societal Stereotypes

Pink Movie is exactly what India needs today. A clean wipe off to re-enter rules on our societal slate. To bend the rules that traditions have been shoving down our throats. You need to comprehend there are no rules to define stereotypes; it’s all in your head! Force-fed into your brain so you follow paths that were laid out by a dumb society. It is time to take a stand, and say no to them once and for all.


Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s outstanding courthouse drama makes us dilate our eyebrows at Indian Cinema’s weird contrariety, when you let it stand against the likes of last month’s mediocrity Rustom.

Shoojit Sircar’s knack for making the awesome continues as he picks another pearl right off its mollusk. A topic so ballsy that people need to watch this movie with eyes wide open, with ears perceptive as hell and with muzzled heartbeats to feel its true touching rhythm.


Aniruddha’s direction is off the charts. When he chooses to begin the movie with the perception of what common man sees, you know the director is keen on gradual revelations. Plot unfurls within seconds though, but its pace is forever carrying that crucial element of doubt to leave you guessing invariably.

Aniruddha is careful enough to capture remarks of the conservative. He stays on the streets with the camera to depict what the average Indian mentality reeks of. It is disgusting, but is in its truest form. You can’t help but think how judgments are carried out outside the court too. Little heads with gavels they are, writing off people with their trivial acts.


still of tapsee pannu as Minal Arora in Pink movie

Minal Arora brilliantly played by Tapsee Pannu, is under the radar for assaulting Rajveer Singh with a bottle, convincingly played by Angad Bedi. Since the lad is the son of a minister, cards are completely against her. The prosecution tries to blemish her, demeans her in profusion in order to save Rajveer Singh from his own muck.

The chaotic jaws of allegations try to swallow Minal’s two friends too, who were at the crime scene. Stands in the vanguard of the prosecution, an extraordinary actor Piyush Mishra playing the role of a prudish typical Indian lawyer Prashant Mehra. He is willing to leave no stones unturned to see to it his client ends up a victor. Mehra comes with an ink of decadence and spills it on all three of them in his brazen sense of disregard.

still of amitabh bachchan interacting with a police inspector in pink movie

On the good side fortunately, there is a guardian Godfather, a retired brooding ace lawyer Deepak Sehgal who watches upon the fallen, silently. Played by none other than Amitabh Bachchan, hands down one of the best Indian actors to have ever existed. He mocks the extant narrow mindedness through sarcastic assertions, the Rule Book of Indian Women Safety as he calls it, and shows exactly what majority of the Indian multitude thinks today.

He openly mocks our parochial heads with his brilliant subtle one-liners that will compel you to contemplate. Magnificent screenplay paints the courthouse with his thunderous resounding voice, as he tries to show everyone the point of his prodding.


What follows is an engaging questionnaire from both ends that make for an epic display of riveting melodrama. It spares nobody. The seated and the standing, the risen and the fallen, the privileged and the indigent; everyone is forced to stand stark naked against the law. It decapitates them all.

The final judgment will have your faith restored in the Indian Judicial System again. But you get to see the ugly side of a dodgy Indian Police Service system. Watching abominable acts of Police will make you shake your head in disgust. It is still the way of the living here, and you wonder out loud, “Where is the education?” No wonder everyone is afraid to get entangled with Indian Police Force even when there’s a minor delinquency.


We can’t overlook Pink’s well carved actors at all. If it were not for a haughty ill-mannered Angad Bedi, we wouldn’t have looked into a proper impeccable reflection of grown up Indian brats. His presumptuous nature is a result of an incessant hammering that he has garnered over the years from a system of wrongs, and a wrongful upbringing.

still of Angad Bedi as Rajveer Singh in Pink movie

Then there is that natural flair of Tapsee Pannu that calls for an instant admiration. Kirti Kulhari’s gradual developing comportment that remains slave to any minor incitation is worth applause too. Words can’t weigh Amitabh Bachchan’s colossal experience. Well supplemented at all times stays Prashant Mehra’s effortless acting.


The movie features extraordinary songs that go in the backcloth of enchanting images of Delhi, and feeds on the plight of the trodden. Very brilliantly written and performed. Screenplay of the Pink movie written by Ritesh Shah, drops you careful one-liners those that are superbly penned too. But with that, at times Pink movie becomes susceptible to its apparent contrivance.


In a chaotic ruckus a subplot from Pink movie gets immensely lost. Not just the subplot, but an actor too. An astonishing fleeting performance by Vijay Verma who plays Ankit Malhotra, who we find performing incredibly well in the first few scenes of the movie. Unfortunately courthouse ends up becoming the culminating need of the hour, and he gets overshadowed beyond limit. I wished to see more of him, and the sub-plot that never actually made it out in the open, to prove another crucial felony.


Pink movie is as grim as it gets. It stays well placed within superlative delineations of Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s exceptional direction and ravishing performances by the cast. There is sarcasm engraved in Pink, which is nothing but a slap on the faces of those who are still too conservative to change.

Finally to put the cherry on the cake, Amitabh Bachchan in his grave voice recites his father Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s beautiful poem:

“Tu chal teri wajood ki samay ko bhi talaash hai”

And the atmosphere erupts with a rare impactful profundity. That’s how I prefer my conclusions too. A must-watch everybody!

You can get the poem inscribed in the movie here on Amazon:

Check out the trailer of Pink movie here:

The Light Between Oceans Review (2016) | Tears you Apart | Profound

The Light Between Oceans left me speechless. I hadn’t broken down to a good drama in days. The Light Between Oceans had me in tears and excruciating chokes. The movie saunters on the theme of love, culpability, repentance, sacrifice and forgiveness, and it aces all of it owing to its ravishing direction and extraordinary performances. And that is just the plot of it. The flick’s stunning cinematography and Alexandre Desplat’s heart-melting music are constantly yet peacefully uplifting its standards of beauty, playing second fiddle.


Derek Cianfrance has become one of my favourite directors. His 2010 movie Blue Valentine had me instantly arrested. Not for the fact that it capered around the concept of love, rather how he was bold enough to show both sides of the coin, that too in a rare engrossing rhythm. Also, he gave us ample time to reflect. When we consider the latter aspect, The Light Between Oceans stays no different.

still of Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender as Isabel and Tom

Cianfrance focuses on the most phenomenal aspects whilst directing. You can feel the warmth in his frames as he successfully depicts love, zooms in on minuscule ingredient of despair, repentance by focusing in on faces of the protagonists to read their thoughts and gravity via the arduous vibes in the air. He allows characters to speak their feelings out with their acting alone and doesn’t resort to theatrics. It retains the patience of time in it, which compels you to read them carefully.


To say that the cast was good would be an understatement. They were outrageously fantastic! There is nothing Michael Fassbender can’t do. A war veteran who has returned from death seeks solitude to reflect on what remains of him. His Tom Sherbourne has a musing countenance, a man of few words, and he brims it up with credence. With the arrival of Isabel Graysmark played convincingly well by Alicia Vikander, life finds a new meaning for him. Together they make love very touching. Also, their chemistry has a rare blend of the extraordinaire. I can’t even begin to marvel at their acting prowess. Their faces feel like they are literally living the story. I mean just look at the movie’s poster; it talks!

Rachel Weisz’s Hannah Roennfeldt is equally mesmerizing. She plays a very authentic grieving woman that will have you concentrate on her every syllable.

still of florence clery and michael fassbender in the light between oceans movie

Florence Clery was a perfect fit for Lucy-Grace. If she wouldn’t have been that adorable, then the audience would have failed to see what the fight was for. She is downright enchanting!


In those solitary runs to the Lighthouse, the terrific composer Alexandre Desplat underlines and hands us over a perfect backdrop imploring our reflective moods. That’s one rare corner I find myself going lucky inadvertently. I have had the good hap of watching plenty of movies with Desplat in the background, and he never fails to create a magical whirlwind of toneful melody. If you close your eyes, you will feel it literally begging for ovation.

Just when you thought, “Can it go any better than that?” Well, there arrives its magnificent plot.


Amidst the harmonious notes, and alluring images of the sea, that calls for enough love, comes a situational conundrum that hangs on its thin wire of decisions. Isabel makes the wrong one, forcing a whirlpool of guilt to swallow Tom up.

A baby arrives in a dinghy which the unfortunate arid Isabel is keen on keeping. She goes so blind in love, she overlooks the fact that a dead man arrived in it too. She coaxes Tom into keeping it and burying the man without informing anybody about it. Along with the cadaver of the man they bury their secret too and the world doesn’t know. Nobody knows that underneath the blinding light of the beacon slept a corrigible mistake patiently waiting for their guilt to nibble them up.

Then one day, it happens. He finds Hannah the original mother grieving for her child and husband. The constant gut-wrenching wrongdoing eats him alive.

still of michael fassbender in tears in The Light between Oceans movie

You could see in those rare frames of Cianfrance, tears of Michael Fassbender lingering in his unsure eyes. What follows, reeks of unrivalled gravitas that will definitely rip you apart. I was shattered beyond limit; Cianfrance made sure of that.

You can purchase the movie DVD from Amazon here:


There are so many good things that I take away from The Light Between Oceans. Its powerful screenplay makes me want to revisit it to concentrate enough to remember – Exact words that were spoken. Exact amount of tears that were spent when the poor little child, who had no clue why was she being taken away from her mother cries for her mom. Hannah’s endless scrimmage to get back Lucy even when she did.

still of rachel weisz as Hannah in the light between oceans movie

The fierce abomination that lurked in Isabel’s eyes for Tom, who became a murderer of dreams almost instantly. The zen in her orbs to see Lucy again. Tom’s selfless colossal sacrifice. When Isabel finally reads that letter that changes her heart.

Then when finally Lucy-Grace returns in the epilogue to meet a shriveled Tom. When she understands, comprehends every bit, and thanks him for taking care of her. When she reads Isabel’s letter. And then when she eventually hugs her. That look of contentment in his eyes, that little smile that had somehow gone lost in time returns.

I cannot thank M. L. Stedman enough to have thought something so unusual and exhilarating. Bravo!

Those who wish to read the book, which I am told is even better, can get it from here on Amazon:

Check out the trailer of The Light Between Oceans here:

How to Be Single Review (2016) | All Those Things You Shouldn’t Do

For the better part of How to Be single, you are left to ponder, if the movie is trying to feed you how not to be single. That was a titular bummer right there. Then the journey of this weird girl Alice played by Dakota Johnson starts. Oh, the choices she makes! You can’t help but shake your head. Boy is she riding on a downhill or what? If it doesn’t make you want to step into the movie and slap some sense into her, then you are not really paying attention.


How to be single is more like watching Alice make mistakes, thousands of them, and then feel sorry for herself in the end when things don’t work out. If you really try to figure things out from her perspective, you let it pass, because love’s a topic that messes with people. Alice is constantly looking for it, even when she unequivocally claims that she wishes to spend some time alone, and not sediment. But what is surprising is the fact that she is actually constantly scavenging for someone to baby her down.

still of dakota johnson as alice in how to be single

I need to know who I am alone.

Alice makes all the wrong moves and ends up in a muck of her own doing. It is hard to feel sorry for her, because she clings on to any flickering hope like a moth. This contrasting image in Liz Tuccillo’s story is something that is capable of miffing you up. On the bright side, to assuage things down, you have other characters in the movie that try to make the story less punishing.


There is the sister Meg, played by Leslie Mann who is trying hard to have a baby. The coolest and the kinkiest Robin who is, hands down, one of the most interesting characters in How to be Single. Played by a psychotic Rebel Wilson, she remains the only one who tries to bide by the theme of the movie. Sadly she ends up becoming a cameo that shows up only when Alice is trying to bounce back to normalcy like a tilting doll. Oh by the way, Robin has an insane sense of humour. It is hard not to want her as your BFF.

still of dakota johnson and anders holm drink number count

Then there is Tom, the bartender, played by Anders Holm who likes to eavesdrop more than serving people. It is almost like he is never working. Always trying to push his zest before he would place a drink on the table. His story is like, well, another perplexing abyss that you don’t want to head towards.

There are childish things that are made into ‘things’ that get stretched too much. Like that ‘drink number’ thing that was totally uncalled for. Then at times the humour becomes clichéd, and suddenly you realize that the whole thing actually reeks of stark banality.


I think the humour quotient helps How to Be Single to stand a chance. Because there is always something witty in the corner waiting to lighten you up. In the vanguard is none other than Rebel Wilson who drops hilarious lines with her more than perfect comic timing. Alice comes around too at odd hours, showing us that she is not all cuddly and wobbly, that there is a unique cool side to her too. Other characters like Lucy played by Alison Brie and Tom often crack you up with their conversations, but you don’t really see a chemistry developing there.

David story taken up by Damon Wayans Jr. seems like an exercise in futility as well. The way he changes color is so inhuman like that you see through his act.

The best jests are hidden in the starting moments of How to Be Single, when Alice is creating an uncanny relationship with Rebel, and of course whenever Rebel shows up. In its eventuality however when things kind of settle, you do get happy feels.


It goes without saying that Alice’s irrepressible urge to find love is simply disappointing. Be prepared to hear you say this out more often, “Is she for real?” Also, watch her more than often try to struggle with her dress, which might force you to think why is she always getting into those clothes she is having trouble with. Then when you really think of it, it is more akin those choices she makes. It’s kind of an obvious way to say that Alice is always looking for someone to take care of her. When she scours naught, she cries in her misery.

As we reach the culminating crises, we finally come to realize that Alice gets to justify the movie moniker. For the first time in her life, she is not looking for someone and trying to finish unfulfilled tasks and learning to live with herself.

The thing about being single is, you should cherish it. Because in a week, or a lifetime, of being alone, you may only get one moment. One moment, when you are not tied up in a relationship with anyone. A parent, a pet, a sibling, a friend. One moment, when you stand on your own. Really, truly single. And then, it’s gone.

still of dakota johnson as alice in how to be single final scene

When the above lines are dropped you see Alice fulfilling her dream to witness the sunrise at Grand Canyon. But just when she turns you almost know that she has found someone yet again. Can’t this girl stay single like ever?

Anyways, you can watch this one as something light on your watch-list.

Check out the trailer of How to Be Single here:

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