Review: MOM

<div dir="ltr" trbidi="on"><div dir="ltr"><br></div><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Sridevi Shines In The 3rd Revenge For Rape Movie This Year.</b></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>2.5 stars</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Mini Review:</i></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Sridevi is a high school biology teacher and has a perfect life with a loving husband and two girls. Her illusion is shattered when her older daughter goes to a party and is raped. With the law unable to find the perpetrators guilty, Sridevi takes on the role of an avenging angel, and teaches each of the four rapists a lesson they will never forget. It’s a terribly long-drawn out film and even though horrendously cliched and predictable, Sridevi shines. </b></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Main Review:</i></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>A strict biology teacher, Devaki (played beautifully by Sridevi) confiscates a cell phone from a male student. He has just sent a sex video to a female student in the same class. She throws the boy’s phone out of the window</span><span><i> (what?! No teacher will ever do that!)</i></span><span> and keeps the girl student’s phone. </span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>We see her at home serving dinner. Oho! The girl student from class is her older daughter. There’s some strange thing going on because she does not call Sridevi, ‘Mom’ but ‘Ma’am’. Aah, the stepmom angle. Sridevi’s husband (Adnan Siddiqui, very competent) assures Sridevi that he will fix everything between the mother and daughter when he comes back from his New York trip and they take their annual holiday.</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>The older daughter Arya (Sajal Ali, shows flashes of brilliance) is to go to a Valentine’s Day party at a farmhouse with her friends. Sridevi asks her to come back in good time. The kids go to the party where the same boy who sent Arya the sex clip on the phone tries to dance with her. Arya rebuffs him and his older cousin and decides to get home in a cab because her friend who has the car cannot be found anywhere and the girlfriend is very drunk. She gets kidnapped by the boys she has rebuffed and is raped and thrown into a ditch and left to die. </span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>Sridevi is frantic when Arya does not come back home and the police assure her that they will try and find the missing daughter. A creepy man at the police station says he can help. But Sridevi says no. He gives his card to the mom. When Arya is found by a morning walker Sridevi goes to the hospital…</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>Arya is alive, but barely. A case is registered on her complaint but as you saw in Kaabil and Maatr (both released earlier this year) the law is unable to bring the perpetrators to justice and they go scott free. And as it happens in the two earlier movies, the onus falls upon the protagonist (Sridevi in this film) to extract revenge. In Kaabil, Hrithik Roshan (he’s blind, hence his revenge is empowering too) knows the rapists and plots each death one after another. In Maatr, Raveena Tandon is also raped by the bunch along with her daughter and against all odds, she plots and carries out the death of all the rapists. In this movie, revenge is given divine blessing by dialog like ‘God made mothers because he could be everywhere at the same time’. But Sridevi is helped on her revenge journey by the creepy detective and the police officer assigned to Arya’s case. The creepy detective is played by none other than the ‘lemme-ham-it because balding head with long hair isn’t ‘cool’ enough’ Nawazuddin Siddiqui.</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>The baddies are tackled one by one, and the ever-suspicious cop played by Akshaye Khanna seems to arrives too late to every crime scene. It takes the awful hamming of ‘I’m a villain, watch me be villainous’ Abhimanyu Singh and his very cliched anger against Sridevi for Arya to realise that Sridevi is really the mother of all mothers.</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>The director probably does not need to tell Sridevi how to be in the scene. She is simply stupendous. Her backing off from a screaming Arya and going to the balcony to prevent herself from breaking down is a scene that is masterclass in acting. Sridevi’s helplessness at discovering that her relationship with her daughter is now irretrievable is goosebump inducing. But everything else in the film seems to be so long drawn and tiresome, that you wish she could kill them a la Uma Thurman in Kill Bill.</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>A R Rahman’s music is not phenomenal and you begin to question why in songs does the word ‘doooor’ (far, in English) is always sung out long drawn… The cinematography is good (especially in Kufri, shown in the last segment of the film). It seems tedious simply because Bollywood seems to think women (and blind man) wake up to revenge only of their wives or daughters (or themselves) are raped. That’s a sad way to make woman-centric films.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>P.S. Is Nawazuddin Siddiqui overdoing the humor? Is his 'wanting to get laughs' overshadowing the role he's playing? The legendary Pran apparently wanted song sequences after Zanjeer... Is Nawazuddin going the same route? I wonder...</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i><br></i></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i>(This review sans the postscript appears on nowrunning dot com)</i></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i><br></i></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i><br></i></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i><br></i></span></div></div>


Review: GUEST IN LONDON

<div dir="ltr" trbidi="on"><div dir="ltr"><b><br></b></div><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Trash Smells Better Than This Farty Production</b></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>Zero stars</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Mini Review:</i></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Kartik Aryan works for a software firm in London and is attempting to get married for citizenship when his uncle and aunt show up to stay. Looks like they’re never leaving. Oddly, he doesn’t remember having met them, ever. But culture demands, he be respectful. It’s supposed to be comedy, but with his uncle farting all the time, you don’t really care for anything that happens to any character. It’s plain awful.</b></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Main Review:</i></span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>So when people from India show up at your office, claiming to be an aunt and an uncle, what does a Punjabi lad do? Takes them home, of course. Doesn’t realise that he is living with a girl who is to marry him so he can get British citizenship. The uncle and aunt are played by Paresh Rawal and Tanvi Azmi and they call the Kartik Aryan (Pyar ka Punchnama fame) ‘kakka’ (‘son’ in Punjabi) with every sentence that you don’t really know (or care) what his screen name is. And Paresh Rawal farts. Every two minutes in the film. </span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>And the ‘overstaying guests’ thing is so badly done, and the jokes about Pakistan and Kashmir and African American babies are so offensive you wonder who thought they were funny. And between that are the farts. There is a funeral song which is a sung to the tune of ‘Baby Doll Main Sone Di’, and a ghazal about farts.</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>And we don’t talk about how tacky the backdrops created by a special effects team are. Such a shame that Paresh Rawal hams it to the gills. And the connect to the events on 9/11 is in really poor taste. The supposed ‘emotional connect’ fails because the explanation given is: (we tried to get rid of you - the uninvited guests - because ‘We are like fake dog lovers. We say Tommy come, when we want and Tommy go when we don’t want the dog. We didn’t know how to treat you.’</span></div><b><br></b><div dir="ltr"><span>Yes, that’s an actual dialog from the film. If you threw stones at this rabid dog of a film, no one would arrest you.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>P.S. The director has made Atithi Tum Kab Jaaoge. Plan was to watch the film after watching Guest In London. But the films turned out to be so bad, I am skipping the Atithi film. The only time I laughed was when Paresh Rawal says Kartik Aaryan looks exactly like Ajay Devgn.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><i>(this review sans the postscript appears on nowrunning dot com) </i></span></div><br><br><br></div>


Review: SPIDERMAN THE HOMECOMING

<div dir="ltr" trbidi="on"><div dir="ltr"><br></div><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Rather Fun. Thankfully Nothing Like Earlier Films</b></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>2.5 Happy Stars</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Mini Review:</i></span><span> </span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Spiderman is so much cooler, and sharper and smarter in this version than five earlier films. He’s not whiny, not mean, and he does not want to make you want to slap him because he’s unsure about who he is. Of course adding the Avengers to the formula makes the film that much sassier. Watch it!</b></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span><i>Main Review: </i></span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>First, a confession. I have hated the Spiderman because he’s a schoolboy who is good at nothing, and is plain rude to his uncle and aunt and MJ. Then Tobey Maguire’s  bulbous eyed awe and Andrew Garfield perpetually sullen expressions did not help. </span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>So went into the theatre with trepidation. I had liked Spiderman showing up in Captain America Civil War. Hopefully this Spiderman would have the same sass.</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>And he does! Tom Holland who appeared as Spiderman in Captain America Civil War continues to be Peter Parker in this film. He’s under Tony Stark’s wing, his intelligent suit created by Avengers technology, but he’s still not officially an Avenger. </span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Thankfully, he’s not whiny about it. He’s rebelling and stepping out every night. Mostly stumbling into situations which make you laugh. No, seriously. It is such a refreshing change to see a young lad who has powers that should give him his the superhero status he desperately wants, but is not accepted as one of the big guys for some reason. </span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>The movie picks up where the last Avengers movie left off. With New York destroyed by Loki’s hoards. Ultron’s avatars, someone has to salvage. Enter Michael Keaton. YES! The one and only! He adds the much needed spice to the Spiderman franchise with his vicious vulture wings. Spidey’s school too is more interesting than MJ tripping in the canteen or school kids bullying someone in the halls. Peter Parker is part of the school mind decathlon team. But his mind is not on anything. He’s waiting for that all important phone call from Ironman.</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>Jon Favreau as Happy is the connect between Ironman and Spiderman, and Marisa Tomei is Aunt May, and you wish there was more of them both…</span></div><b><br></b><br><div dir="ltr"><span>The pace of the film is quite fast and furious. The story seems stretched in the middle, but then as all superhero films do, the end is swift and wonderful. All in all, a fun watch</span><br><span><br></span><span><br></span><span>PS: It's a Marvel franchise. Please wait for extra scenes after the film ends. Yes. Plural. 'Scenes'.</span><br><span> </span></div><br><div dir="ltr"><span>     </span></div><div><span><br></span></div></div>


Review: EK HASEENA THI, EK DEEWANA THA

<div dir="ltr" trbidi="on"><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Haseena Moans, Deewana Is Hot Lips</b></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>The Funniest Film Of The Year.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>½ star</span></div><div dir="ltr"><br></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Mini Review:</span></div><div dir="ltr"><br></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Haseena Natasha is coming home to an ancestral property to get married to her best friend Sunny. She meets the mysterious Dev and promptly begins to lust after him (Deewana), friend-zoning Sunny. Daddy and Uncle and Rita (a lady whose job is exposition, narrating the backstory to the audience) are against this haseena-deewana lust thing. They are convinced Dev is a ghost of Natasha’s grandmother’s lover. The ghost tells Natasha it’s a plot to kill her. Confused? You'll stop caring about the story and laugh your guts out at the horrendous acting and hilarious dialog.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><br></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Main Review:</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Haseena, Deewana Aur Lust! </b></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>You stare at the rather pink, Angelina Jolie-esque male lips spouting garbled Urdu words that basically are about time, endless love, skies and oceans and gardens of eden... and their love. But he says those words after a daring rescue of a girl who falls down a cliff into a pond. </span><span>He's wearing Zorro’s leftover clothes shows up to rescue the drowning girl like Tarzan, swinging from a wire (yes! In the middle of nowhere!). And before you know it, he is kissing the girl in the name of CPR. The girl comes to, but only laugh giddily at her best friend who was fixing a broken down car. The stranger vanishes.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><br></div><div dir="ltr"><span>These are three main characters in the film. Natasha, the ‘haseena’, Zorro aka Dev aka the ‘deewana’ and Natasha’s best friend Sunny (played by Upen Patel). This film will make you feel sorry for Upen Patel and that is a brand new feeling because he has not made any amazing career choices. </span></div><div dir="ltr"><br></div><div dir="ltr"><span>The haseena cannot help lusting after the deewana. And you must be forewarned that you will see an elaborate and unintentionally hilarious love-making scene on a horse. This is exactly how it goes:</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Deewana is riding a horse. He meets Haseena who's wearing a chiffon skirt and a practically not there blouse, wandering about the woods.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>‘Come ride with me,’ He says.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>‘But I don’t know how!’ She croons.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>‘You were once the best rider on this estate.’</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>And that’s all it takes for her impossible high heels to come off and with them, the long chiffon skirt comes off too, and she’s perched in front of the deewana, riding through the wilderness while he’s kissing her bare back, and then in a gymnastic gesture, she turns around to face him and the poor horse continues trotting through the woods…</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Hai Haseena! Hai Deewana!</b></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>It’s a debut film for both the haseena and the deewana, and they need to go back to a day job once the film crashes at the box office. Neither has any acting chops, not dialog delivery, and they do not heat up the screen but scald it with their presence. The haseena moans more than she delivers dialog. And when she delivers her dialog or looks at anyone in front of her, her neck is raised just a little bit more than natural, and her eyebrows have a special wiggle when she speaks. She remarks: Kahin par sun set ho gaya hai, aur yahan Sunny (daru le kar) set ho raha hai! </span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Before you facepalm, she calls Sunny 'Sunny Glue' because 'woh chipak jaata hai', and Sunny says, 'Sunny Glue nahi, Super Glue'.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>The deewana is made to say, ‘Khushiyaan nahi dard ke kharaashein hain’ (not happiness but scars of sadness). Also brilliant lines like: you are present, I am past, how can we have a future?</span></div><div dir="ltr"><br></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Before you choke on that, you realise that the deewana is an ‘atma’ a ghost (everyone in the film pronounces the word as if the word had two letters each of ‘G’ and ‘H’ in its spelling as in 'घोस्ट' ). That’s why he didn’t die when he fell off the cliff rather dramatically (the audience is too busy laughing at the skinniest legs they have seen on a hero). But then, if he is an ‘atma’, a spirit who materialises every time the haseena calls out his name, why did they waste so much time showing him run after the bad guy through the woods? Couldn’t he just materialise in front of the baddie and beat him up?</span></div><div dir="ltr"><br></div><div dir="ltr"><span>You also wonder how the ‘atma’ kisses the haseena every time they meet? If he’s just the spirit from the past, and he is actually her grandma’s lover who was killed off for being farm-hand, and he’s come back to life to save her from someone who wants to kill her, why does he kiss her all the time? Lust between grandma’s lover and granddaughter seems to be very weird!</span></div><div dir="ltr"><br></div><div dir="ltr"><span>Upen Patel the poor friend who was supposed to marry haseena, is friendzoned and how! You feel bad for the lad, but he sticks around wearing cable knit jumpers while haseena wanders about wearing flimsy dresses. The deewana is eminently forgettable in his gigantic pink lips (envied only by the Blue Groper fish) and stubble and skinny legs. </span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><b>Hasee Nahi Khatam Hoti!</b></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>There are so many songs, and the songs are each at least five minutes long, you wonder if it is the same director who gave us pulp movies of Akshay Kumar and Bobby Deol.  The music of Nadeem-Shravan seems ancient and out of place in the movie.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>  </span></div><div dir="ltr"><span>The prize for overacting in this largely hilarious romance goes to the clutching the left pec in comic alarm in the hope of conveying a heart attack by haseena’s dad who looks like a poor man’s Aditya Pancholi. Of course he turns out to be the bad guy who is given a priceless dialog like: For twenty one years I told you bedtime stories, now it time to hear bad time stories.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><br></div><span></span><br><div dir="ltr"><span>What?! Yes, daddy dearest wants the property to himself. He killed mom for it and now he wants to kill his daughter. What?! But don’t worry, the atma foils that plan and in the fracas, daddy shoots haseena, Sunny falls in front of the bullet, asking God to unite haseena and deewana and in a shower of stardust god complies. You ask yourself ‘why were you here, why were you here’ as the the united lovers sing, ‘Where were you, where were you, where were you?’  </span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div><div dir="ltr"><span><br></span></div></div>

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