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Sarbjit Review (2016)

Sarbjit starts off with overacting galore, blemished further by director’s shoddy style of depicting frames. You can’t help yourself from falling into pits of instant indifference, the moment songs come into play one after the other. It starts off on a bad foot, there is no doubt about that. But then it takes a pleasant pace, where you actually get to fathom the story of an unfortunate guy muzzled by the grinding gears of countries at war.

FLAWS IN THE DIRECTION OF SARBJIT

There are hundreds of flaws in direction that walk boldly around in prominence. The worst half of it appeared like a comedy movie. You cannot take seriously a character as they deliver detached unfeeling lines. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is the poorest choice one could make for a movie. She fails to get under the skin of the protagonist, and seems aloof from the gravity of the situation. Screenplay doesn’t have much to offer except for few occasional dialogues that will make you ponder. Like when she drops:

“Where is all the hate coming from?”

BEST BITS OF SARBJIT

The best part, the most sentient part of the movie, however is when Sarabjit, played exceptionally well by Randeep Hooda, meets his entire family for the first time in jail. You cannot stop yourself from breaking down empathizing with the head of a guy parched for years without love. One of the most shattering moments of the flick! Also, when Sarabjit mournfully broods he must have done something terrible to have met such a fate. You can’t help but feel extremely sorry for him. A life lost – as he reflects. Richa Chadha, a brilliant actor, stays overshadowed throughout, under the wraps forever, until one time in the end she tries to image memories from the past by holding Sarbjit’s belongings only to keep them so that he stays around in the house. Powerful stuff!

As you chug down the movie lane further, there is boisterous uproar from Dalbir Kaur (Aishwarya) which becomes impoverished further by the movie’s writing. Terrible I would say as goosebumps fail to register!

CONSTANTLY FALLING

At times it becomes akin an Indian TV soap, sometimes even worst. The music department makes a purposeful endeavour to squeeze in a melancholic tone to make everything sound gloomier.

But as you take a good look at it, you have to hand it over to the sister who endures unfettered yet shackled by the plight of his brother. There is so much she does, that is quite relatable of all stuffs, something you would do for your family.

IN NEED OF A BETTER DIRECTOR

All in all you cannot help wonder of ways the movie on Sarbjit could have been better. The real grim feel behind the situation has been obscured profusely to muster out sentience. If only a better director and writer had eyed Sarabjit first!

Check out other insightful reviews of Bollywood…er…Indian Cinema here: Indian Cinema Reviews

Kapoor and Sons Review (2016)

Kapoor and Sons changes the jaded frontage of dramedy!

It is good to see we are gradually rolling in an era where dramedy is no longer constrained to standing stiff characters, simulated backdrops and shoddy repetitive emphasizing music that we see on Television every day. The change is here, and we have stepped into it in an endearing mannerism.

DIRECTION OF KAPOOR AND SONS

Shakun Batra’s latest Kapoor and Sons walks in with a certain unprocessed aura that is suggestive of a relatable context as you skim through its plot. When you show trivial things, like where the key to the house is placed, it propagates a natural comportment at things that exist the way they do in real life. It is realistically close to how we live. That factor is well milked by Shakun in her direction.

HUMOUR AND PLOT

Comedy is squeezed in galore as there isn’t a moment you stop smiling till things begin to go south for the family. A little instigation and the whole framework uproots into chaos flinging people into the depths of psychosis they aren’t aware of but are living amidst. We have on the platter a dysfunctional family that has a lot of things already screwed-up, as we take a peek into their lives with the arrival of two sons on account of a certain heart-attack mockery that goes awry.

EXTRAORDINARY CHARACTERS

Rajat Kapoor, is at his usual best, as he plays a crunched dad who is terribly close to a failing marriage with Ratna Pathak, the typical Indian mom who has her hands full with chores, and a brain full of complaints. She is a brilliant actress who aces everything she does to perfection. So she manages on with her worrying Mom acts with her ‘perfect’ son Rahul in the vantage played extraordinarily by Fawad Khan. Fawad was the perfect cast, an exceptional choice that we have, who fills in the shoes of Rahul Kapoor in Kapoor and Sons. He brings home the right warmth of brotherly love for his sibling Arjun, and projects a perfection that is rare to find, also in a way reflective of good people in our society. He accepts a challenging role and sees it to fruition without leaving his charismatic zone for a second. He is fluent, candid and understanding. A spectacular blend!

DOWNSIDES OF KAPOOR AND SONS

To have a glimpse into the tawdry side of the flick we have many elements that unfortunately take it downhill too. Sadly the awkward makeup lingering on Rishi Kapoor’s face can’t be ignored. What was terribly sorry to watch was the inexperience Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt manifest as they end up decimating drama with their unemotional acts. Sidharth’s incapability to react aptly to a sad story playing in front of his eyes, fill you up with indifference. Same goes true for Alia who was a charmer when it came to delivering brilliant comic lines, but time came to show her real acting prowess, where it all mattered, she went down the dodgy lane. Her cuteness obscures the veracity that was the need of the hour.

HOTPOTCH SUB-PLOTS

Also, we cannot completely ignore the script of Kapoor and Sons. We could have lived without including too many hotchpotch side stories to it. The one with the plagiarism of the novel and the revelation was the worst story to have been included as things seemed to be terribly out of place. The latter being the part where we see acting go on dwindling lanes. The Anu aunty plot was well put and executed magnificently. Two brothers single girl seemed straight from “Dan in Real Life” (That guitar scene couldn’t help but remind me of that flick). The reefer bit complacency came straight from the movie “This is Where I Leave You” and would make you question the originality of it. Also, humour hits a rock-bottom there!

Amidst all the confusion and vexation, grandpa with a dying wish to frame a perfect family picture gets lost as a side-plot conundrum. The poetry in it hasn’t been well milked.

The drama of Kapoor and Sons eventually goes from sentient to cheesy as we make a time leap, something which breaks the gloomy flow which I was averse against. Unfortunately the LGBT issue is still frowned upon in Indian mindsets as I heard laughter around me in the theater when serious notes concluded which was kind of sad.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Overall Kapoor and Sons was really great to come out from a soapy cocoon, and discover Fawad the true gem he is, see comedy for the way it should be, and explore natural instinctive acting style that Indian Cinema has been lacking hitherto in a dramedy. An enjoyable hoot made even better with characters like Boobly, Kishore and Wasim who made humour all the way better!

Totally worth your time!

Titli Review (2015)

A ballsy attempt at the dirty dark!

Kanu’s Titli is an insane scrutiny into the head of a protagonist born in shambles. Surrounded by a filthy immoral environment that has affected his upbringing, Titli is a complex character breathing in a rotting muck with a dream.

The direction of Titli is one of the finest kinds. Behl spends ample amount of time on mundane things, captures mire gorgeously. He has caught the broken and the shattered perfectly. He literally walks behind the protagonist with a shaky camera to execute a well prepared live action drama to perfection. His frames are slow, and fade to the next ones with a purpose. He also incorporates great backdrops to complement his work. Little unnoticed things have been brought into the vanguard. Things that we see and forget quickly have been slapped on his frames. Like a spider dangling to the movie’s score, or an old tattered ceiling fan making every effort to breathe in a trampled house. He captures an entire developing city marvelously to insinuate how a lot of people are slaves to dreams like that of Titli’s.

The flick begins with Titli’s dream, in a parking lot of a mall. It focuses on how the lad is trying really hard to escape from the swamp he has been breathing in. Then comes the unfortunate incident that topples his life over. He finds himself at Ground Zero once again. His brethren marry him to a girl for advantage. The girl on the other hand brings another story with her. The whole plot is about pursuing his dream, tackling hell whilst doing so and his life being smacked between his dream and someone else’s.

The movie also compels you to think about the choices Titli takes at odd crucial hours. It lets you dive deep into the head of an abnormal person whose life had been nothing but chaos. There are a lot of things going in the skull of Titli, character exceptionally portrayed by Shashank Arora, and you can almost read him like a book. Lalit Behl’s character is that of an onlooker and a freeloader, a leech who doesn’t involve himself in anything and yet piggybacks to feed himself. As Titli, eventually calls him a ‘pig’ an apt

Some of the bits in the movie are downright outrageous. There is a lot of retching going on, which might disgust you beyond limit. When you see someone take up a hammer or a stick, you expect some badass bludgeoning, but alas this wasn’t put a proper thought to, and it looks more animated than real. Such places you can almost see through their acts.

Titli touches the thrilling dark which might give you the chills at times. It is scintillating at many junctures, fills you with sympathy and a plenty of times with disgust.

Another great thing about the movie is its exceptional cast. Their acting prowess is extremely engaging. Little unaffected acts that cover ’em up with profundity are quite delightful. Everyone is engulfed in their bits and that just nails the coffin perfectly. We surely can’t overlook Amit Sial’s bit in the movie. Ranvir Shorey is simply outstanding too.

The editing department of the flick could have seen some more cuts, since the movie ended up being lengthy.

Bottomline: Titli isn’t for everybody. If you are into dark cinema or wish to watch quality movies, go for it.