SUPER DELUXE (2019)

Written by Yogeswaran Ganapathy @moviemanyogi

My Ratings: 4.5/5

Super Deluxe Review: A unique Tamil film which can never be replicated and is a definite watch for any movie lover!

Super Deluxe is a film which encompasses various issues on a runtime on 176 minutes and still fresh, interesting and highly engaging. The film has managed to bring together A-list stars, child artists, budding actors and gives a satisfactory final output.

Thiagarajan Kumararaja who last directed the cult classic Aaranya Kaandam (2011) has returned after almost a gap of 8 years and he has returned with a bang! We have waited for 8 years and the film is worth the wait. This film is surely an instant classic. The director manages to make every shot in the film speak to the audience.

The background, the wall posters, the warning signs on the road, the songs being played on the radio, the scenes going on in the television, the flickering of lights, the designs on the T-shirts all convey something to the viewer. The art direction and production management team has to be appreciated on a whole new level.
The screenplay of this film is by 4 directors who have their unique vision. The way in which the director manages to combine the stories and visions of all of them and give us a mixture with his own unique style is to be highly appreciated. Super Deluxe also has some subtle nods to Aaranya Kaandam scattered throughout.

Vijay Sethupathi has taken a role, which any A-list star would outrightly reject. This is his best performance, second only to his portrayal of Ayya Aadhimoolam in last year’s Seethakaathi(2018). The sequences in which he appears are truly the USP of the film. The child artist Ashwanth Ashokkumar playing “Rasukutty” his son in the film also has a beautiful arc. Gayathrie who appears in only a few scenes gives a spectacularly subtle performance. We are able to instantly resonate with what the character goes through in the scene where she meets Vijay Sethupathy for the first time. Vijay Sethupathi is one artist true to his art and his character is sure to be remembered for a long time to come.

Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Fahadh Faasil’s story arc is a splendid dark comedy on the lines of Andhadun. Samantha as vaembu rocks throughout the film and gives a variety of emotions that suit the situations perfectly. Fahad Faasil is like the conscience of the director to talk to the audience on various issues. His rants on the stereotypes are sure to have a huge fan following or should I say a separate fanbase!!!

Then we have the story of 4 school boys whose intentions turn into eventful incidents which help in moving the film forward without compromising the story. I don’t want to reveal anymore about this story arc. It has to be enjoyed in person. Ramya Krishnan ties beautifully into this story and also adds to the narrative in a splendid way. Myshkin, as usual, gives a superb performance. He is probably the best director working as an actor in today’s times. The scene where Mysskin meets Vijay Sethupathi is the best scene of the film. The lighting and setting of that scene elevate it to a whole new level and draws the viewer into the screen. Their character arcs merge in a simple, beautiful and highly satisfying way.

Bucks/Bagsu (Bagavathi Perumal) of Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom fame acts as a ruthless, menacing, sexist cop. He makes you hate his character from the gut. That is what is truly intended and he manages to do that perfectly.

The background music created by Yuvan Shankar Raja is awesome. The music at various points of the film is always in sync with the mod and is effective.                   

Gender bias, lust, parenthood, LGBT discrimination, politics, social stigma, chaos theory, Celestial theory, Religious superstitions, relationships are all encompassed in a Pandoras Box. Each of these issues makes a film on their own. But the director has managed to tie them together and unravel them in splendid ways and then has given a satisfactory ending to every one issue/event he has taken up. Please make your next film a bit sooner.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-Xq_Zz3nPA

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota (2018)

written by Souranath Banerjee

Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota Review: After ages I watched a typical Bollywood action masala film and enjoyed it to the bone. Ouch!

My ratings: 4/5

If a film keeps you smiling even after you have left the theatre, it has definitely done a job well!

Vasan Bala (writer of Raman Raghav 2.0) directs his second feature – and we have the best action comedy of recent times! An ode to the VHS era, Bruce Lee martial art flicks and also to the old Bollywood spells like Geraftaar (1985) and Aaj Ka Goonda Raj (1992)!

Separated childhood lovers finding themselves in adulthood, a set of good/evil twin brothers, a VHS inspired Karate kid who can beat 20 goons singlehandedly, a charming yet psychotic villain who kills in a wink – clichés lining up one after another. But the beauty of Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota is that it takes advantage of all these clichés, owns them proudly and churns them into pure cinematic humour.

Now what is fresh in this movie is the concept of ‘Congenital Insensitivity to pain’, Abhimanyu Dasani (his debut film), a brilliantly choreographed action sequence with Kishore Kumar’s evergreen song ‘Nakhrewali’ playing in the background and then of course the overall amazing performances!

Abhimanyu Dasani (son of Bollywood actress Bhageshree) stands out clearly as a winner in his debut film. Superb screen presence, he looks like a younger version of Madhavan plus the extreme level of fitness. Then there is the immensely talented Radhika Madan (earlier seen in Vishal Bhardwaj‘s Pataakha) and she is an absolute delight to watch. Mahesh Manjrekar and Jimit Trivedi are at their best perfectly blending into the roles and giving the film the additional support it needed. Even Shweta Basu Prasad made her presence felt in her cameo.

And then of course we have Gulshan Devaiah in his effortlessly charming double roles – he is so natural, funny and full of charisma. His best performance till date.

Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota is essentially a love story but told in style and a rare confidence that we search for but seldom find in our current day movies.

Paap ko jala ke raakh kar doonga” (Will burn all evil/sins to ashes) is the idea in prominence throughout the movie but it gets specially silly and enjoyable when told from a kid’s perspective.

Though the voiceovers repeatedly reminds us “Har mindblowing kahani ke peeche kuch bahut bure decisions hote hain” (There are always some bad decisions behind every mind-blowing story), but trust me, your decision to watch this awesome movie will definitely be a good one!

Go watch it.

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb0-Mw_V_bA

Poster courtesy:www.imdb.com.

Triple Frontier (2019)

Written by Sarthak Suvankar

My Ratings: 3/5

Triple Frontier Review:There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.‘ – well, let this be the moral of this film!

Triple Frontier is a movie that took its time to be made!

It all started in 2010 when Johnny Depp and Tom Hanks were supposed to be part of the film, later Denzel Washington and Sean Penn were considered for some time, then came along Tom Hardy and Channing Tatum. And it doesn’t end there, over the years at some point or another Leonardo DiCaprio, Mahershala Ali, Casey Affleck, Will Smith were all attached to the project but later dropped out for various reasons.

Finally it was Ben Affleck and Oscar Isaac who owned the main roles along with Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal. And the rest is history, I mean the present!

This Netflix Original film starts with the same drug-cartel based dramas we are so familiar with; the likes of Narcos and Sicario where the DEA and his entire team are desperate to close the case on some master mind ever-elusive drug dealer.

So the first half goes mostly concerning Oscar Isaac (who is working with the DEA) getting a tip from his beautiful informant (Adria Arjona) about the ruthless drug lord Gabriel Martin Lorea and his hidden stash. He persuades his four ex-army buddies, soon gets reunited, and goes straight into action – to raid and destroy the camouflaged residence of this Colombian drug dealer in the deep jungles of Brazil.

And also, most importantly to get hold of the moolah hidden in that house which estimated a staggering figure of seventy-five million dollars!

‘You cannot go back to your normal life after tonight. You guys need to own the fact that what we’re about to do is criminal.’

But then the movie turns more interesting in the second part where transporting the looted money becomes a real problem for the team!

Greed and certain abrupt stupid decisions plays a very important part in their journey, or rather in turning their well schemed escape plan into a mess.

And after a point it is all about surviving! 

It was Kathryn Bigelow who was supposed to direct Triple Frontier but then finally J.C. Chandor took over the reigns of the film. And undoubtedly he did a decent job.

Good performances from all around, well executed emotional scenes where you get to feel the bonding between the characters. The cinematography of Roman Vasyanov is worth praising, the picturesque locations and the awesome landscapes of the Andes mountain range and its foothills are really the heart of the movie. Action sequences are also decent but overall don’t expect too much!

I think Triple Frontier had a lot more potential and could have been made into a much better film if it had a better first half. Honestly without the amazing star-cast the story/script in itself isn’t something really to look forward to. But then again, it is definitely worth a watch.

P.S. – To all Ben Affleck fans out there, go get some tissues. Thank me later!

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo3yRLLrXQA

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Thadam (2019)

Written by Yogeswaran Ganapathy @moviemanyogi

My Ratings: 3.25/5

Thadam Review: Despite a slow first half, the murder mystery gets into full speed going into the second half and ends with one the best crime thriller twists in the genre!

Thadam means CLUE in Tamil. And in this murder mystery it is all about joining the right clues and finding the killer.

Arun Vijay since his comeback has chosen pretty good scripts and Thadam falls in that list. He plays dual roles here, one of an educated IIT graduate named Ezhil and other who is a petty thief named Kavin. He excels in both the roles and gives a satisfactory performance!

Magizh Thirumeni has done a pretty decent job as the writer/director. The hardwork, efforts, research he has put for the project is very evident. A crime drama which is very much in touch with legal tussles and its loopholes in a very realistic, gripping way. 

Tanya Hope makes a memorable debut performance. She plays the love interest of Ezhil. The chemistry between them is pretty good. She plays an integral and interesting character. Smruthi Venkat plays a naive character. She is instantly having a good emotional connect with the audience. The dialogues in her scenes are very effective.

Fefsi Vijayan plays a ruthless cop role to perfection.

Sonia Agarwal plays a cameo role which affects the story in a very impactful manner. Yogi Babu‘s character has totally been underwritten. His comedy feels very forced. I feel bad that such a good performer has been underutilized.

The music by Arun Raj (debutant ) is decent, the opening credits is very catchy.

A well written script, though the screenplay is a bit dull in the first half where the romantic portions seem a bit dragged but post interval the movie shifts to a whole new level of awesomeness.

The typical murder whodunit is given a fresh and clever twist. The final moments of the film will keep the audience on the edge of their seats for sure!

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWdqv8YiQjg

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Captain Marvel (2019)

Written by Yogeswaran Ganapathy @moviemanyogi

My Ratings: 2.75/5

Captain Marvel Review: A debut hero movie with same MCU formula but with intense final moments which sets up an intriguing future for MCU.

The Basic Plot: The story of an USA pilot Carol Denvers who becomes Captain Marvel.

The opening moments of Captain Marvel give us a look into the latest addition of the Marvel Cinematic universe … Hala which is the home planet of the Kree force. These sequences give you a strong vibe of Asgard in Thor (2011) and Wakanda in Black Panther (2018) . There we have Brie Larson present as a fierce Kree warrior under the team headed by Jude Law. Is she holding more than what meets the eye ??? That forms the rest of the story.

Brie Larson gives a memorable performance as Captain Marvel. I must say that the hate she received for the trailer of the film is totally unjustified and she has made a decent debut as a superhero in the Marvel Cinematic universe.

Samuel L. Jackson steals the show as Nick Fury in the 90’s. He adds a cool swag to the role and easily connects with the audience., specially the scenes he has with Brie Larson are really enjoyable.

The digital de-aging of Nick fury is pretty inconsistent though. It is revealing in some scenes and fabulous in others. 

Ben Mendelsohn and Annette Bening give a justified performance in their given scope.

The direction and screenplay in the film is pretty formulaic . Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck follow the same Marvel debut hero formula with only a few standout moments. The setting of the era of 1990’s could have been exploited more to make the audience have a better connect. And unfortunately the push of women empowerment is shown in a cliched way. We need to understand that women empowerment need not be born ONLY by trying to prove that men are wrong! 

The story is pretty dull. We have a main character, a mentor, a power discovery …. you get it right.

The Marvel problem of antagonist/villians (barring Thanos and Loki) still persists in its 21st film . These characters just come and go along the screen with most performances being pretty forgettable.

The first hour of the movie is bland. It’s a mix of Thor, Black Panther and nothing amusing . The second half brings out the acting range of Brie Larson effectively. The core of the movie lies in the last 15 minutes and solely because it has a great tie in to the Marvel cinematic universe. These moments greatly set up the Marvel universe for the next few movies!!

Many people would argue that captain Marvel is the most overpowered character in the MCU as of now. But in this movie, her powered state is felt to be OVER-powered due to the pretty weak antagonists who fight against her. It is like a Bollywood fight fest between Salman Khan and low level goons in Dabangg! Captain Marvel is rarely shown to be vulnerable which is a huge drawback.

Iron man is a classic example of showing this vulnerability. The character was hurled towards death , was highly vulnerable and then he defied all odds to come out all guns blazing. That made us root for the character. This particular aspect was clearly missing in Captain Marvel.

We really have to appreciate the marketing team of Marvel and the sheer brilliance of the head of MCU Kevin Feige. They have attracted audience to watch a movie pretty well knowing that they are here for the last few moments. The last 10 minutes and especially the mid-credits scene is why most of the people actually came to see the movie. And it’s by far the best Marvel mid- credits scene ever!

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LHxvxdRnYc

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com


Sonchiriya (2019)

Written by Yogeswaran Ganapathy @moviemanyogi

Sonchiriya Review:It is a movie that comes once in a decade and celebrates cinema in its purest form.

My Ratings: 4.5/5

The basic Plot line is simple enough – movie revolving around a gang of dacoits in Chambal valley during the 1970’s.

The first shot of this movie speaks volumes. The audience are given a feel of what the film is going to be right from the first shot. It is gutsy, violent, raw and yet peaceful at the same time. This is that kind of a film which makes you fall in love with cinema once again. The director Abhishek Chaubey has done a magnificent job of giving us this movie in the best possible way.

Manoj Bajpayee plays Man Singh, the leader of the Thakur baaghis (rebels). His character is such that, despite being a rebel, he follows certain principles and is deeply religious. He believes that once if you are cursed, no matter what you’ll definitely receive punishment for it.

Apart from that his highest principle is the Dharma of a rebel. That Dharma is given various genius interpretations throughout the film.

Manoj Bajpayee has once again proven that he can excel in any given role, and Sushant Singh Rajput is splendid as Lakhna Singh.

He is an important member of the Thakur gang. His character deeply resembles that of Manoj Bajpayee. And yet there are subtle differences which make their characters stand out in their own way. I believe this is Sushant Singh Rajput’s best performance since his portrayal as MS Dhoni. He effectively shows a range of emotions from fear to happiness to rage to disbelief.

Bhumi Pednekar‘s arrival with a child named Sonchiriya is the catalyst that elevates the film to a whole new level. Bhumi gives a stellar performance that is surely going to be remembered for a long time. The child artist gives a memorable performance as well.

All of the supporting cast like Ranvir Shorey, Ashutosh Rana, Mahesh Balraj and the rest manage to hold their own.

The most important fact to note is that of writing. Abhishek Chaubey and Sudip Sharma have written properly fleshed out characters who are given satisfying character arcs. There is very little shortcomings whatsoever. All the scenes are interconnected and the audience feel as if they are another character in the movie. The direction is pretty solid and screenplay is very fluent. Abhishek Chaubey gives us a realistic sense of women and their conditions in 1970s rural india. They are grounded and highly realistic. The dark humour scenes are the icing on the cake. The shootout scenes are well choreographed. The music is pretty decent.

The dialogues though few elevate the film to a whole new level. For instance when the rebels are involved in a shootout with the police forces, Manoj Bajpayee says “these government bullets won’t harm us but the government policies can Kill us !!”. This scene is even more special as it happens with the then prime minister Indira Gandhi declaring emergency in the background.

The cinematography by Anuj Dhawan does a fine job of conveying the desires of the characters even if they don’t utter a word.

Sonchiriya means a golden bird. People seek the bird truly knowing that they can’t find it. I urge you all to find THIS Sonchiriya in theatres before it becomes elusive.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aejAkKGiimk

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Vada Chennai (2018)

written by Anu Gopinath

Vetrimaran’s Vada Chennai, the first part of his ambitious trilogy sets the tone for an ultimate gangster flick which may well go down as one of the classics in the history of Indian cinema!

My Ratings: 4/5

With his film Vada Chennai, directorVetrimaran, in this first instalment, draws the battle ground and the pawns like a painter taking his time to pour out his life’s work in to the canvas. Each character is well defined, their shades, grey and the clouds of vengeance, ever looming!

One has to hail the brilliant efforts of the director as he successfully manage to sponge up the hard life of the fishermen. Dialogues are spontaneous, jokes never seemed to be forced and the language very much limited to the slang and colloquials of the slum dwellers.

Supported by a brilliant cinematography by Velraj, the director does an astounding in capturing the stench of rural perception in the life of the people and its colony, where dreams of a man starts at his doorstep and ends in the garbage bins of the same colony.

Vada Chennai tells the story of Anbu (Dhanush) a gifted carrom board player who inadvertently gets involved in the clock and dagger games of two rival gangs.

The movie if played in chronological order will come short of a decent action flick. But it’s the brilliance of Vetrimaran and the editing team lead by G.B.Venkatesh to present the movie the way it is presented, ever holding the cards close to their chest, tantalisingly revealing each cards, one at a time n each one of them making the storyline turn a corner, keeping the audience engaged and at the edge of the seats. 

The story goes back and forth in time and the narrative is so crisp and the editing so impeccable that each story is left hanging at a tantalising point before the director jumps to continue with thread of the next story, leaving the audience in an agonising wait while their fertile imagination tries to fill in the rest.

Music and background score by Santhosh Narayanan is an absolute revelation.

India  finally wakes up to the idea of the strength and power, a decent background score holds in the grand scheme of things. Santhosh Narayanan relies on the local folk songs, soft rock and at times even punk rock to set the tone of the movie. But his talent of deciphering the director’s perception of the story comes to the fore when he saves a “gem of a move” up his sleeves and reveals it  by letting the silence accentuate the boisterous effect of the compounding suspense in many scenes. Result, drool- worthy!!!

Dhanush as Anbu is brilliant in his portrayal of a simpleton who inadvertently get sucked into the scared games of betrayal and vengeance of mafia gangs.

Aishwarya Rajesh lends good support to Dhanush as his love interest and plays the supporting role to perfection.


The director has retained the core of the supporting cast of his previous cop-flick Visaranai and SamuthirakaniDaniel Balaji,KishorePawan, Radha Ravi and Aamir play their part to perfection and holds the different story lines of the movie together through their gritty performance.

So the board is set! The game is afoot! And Vetrimaran in a move which can only be described as audacious and brilliant, gives the threads of all storylines into the hands of Andrea Jeremiah. And Miss Jeremiah, in a career defining  last quarter of an hour , waltzes into the storyline by not only tying up all the ends of the threads but also put a fucking bow on it!!!

Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5GG5HJ1hVk

Similar Interest: BEST OFFBEAT INDIAN CINEMA OF RECENT TIMES (10+1 LIST)

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Best of Bollywood Thrillers 2017 and 2018 (10+1List)

Best of Bollywood Thrillers 2017 and 2018

written by Souranath Banerjee

Nowadays thrillers are back in demand. But then again there’s always an appetite for thrilling stories in Bollywood, the problem is on the supply end of it.

Let’s face it, well made Indian thrillers are rare to find but fortunately this year we have just enough of Bollywood thrillers to make an entertaining list!

Hope you have seen them all, if not then go ahead and have a thrilling life!

10. The Ghazi Attack (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn2qOnKuOoc

Inspired by true events from the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971.

The film reveals the true story behind the mysterious sinking of the US loaned Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi when it stealthy ventured the shore of Visakhapatnam to destroy Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.

Directed by Sankalp Reddy, superb plot, a tad overdramatic but then again an entertaining thriller and surely India’s first ever Submarine war movie.

9. Blackmail (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDF1qdUtbzw

A man finds out that his wife is having an affair. But instead of the typical agitated confrontation, he secretly blackmails his wife’s lover for money!

Directed by Abhinay Deo, a comedy thriller pretty similar to the director’s earlier film Delhi Belly, the characters spiralling down through a vortex of chaos and mayhem. Irrfan Khan makes the film worth your time.

8. Raid (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h4thS-Hcrk

The story of a fearless Income-tax officer who dared to raid the mansion of the most powerful man in Lucknow!

Directed by Raj Kumar Gupta, based on several real accounts of challenging tax-raids where influential people will go to any length to stop the officers from doing their work honestly.

Ajay Devgn and Saurabh Shukla at their best.

7. Mom (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hctApy_i-qg

Veteran actress Sridevi‘s last film as a protagonist, this is a perfect revenge thriller where a ‘mom’ when denied justice in the courtroom seeks vengeance over her daughter’s abusers in her own way.

Directed by Ravi Udyawar, often predictable but with fine performances from Akshaye Khanna and Nawazuddin Siddiqui the film stands out as a decent thriller.

6. Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN_9DnBh3hM

On 13 May 1998 Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee held a press conference to declare India as a nuclear state!

Directed by Abhishek Sharma, this film portrays the story of how Captain Ashwat Raina (played by John Abraham) plans and executes the mission of India’s second confidential nuclear test series at Pokhran.

Not only a thrilling story but a historic moment of triumph for our country portrayed in this film.

5. Monsoon Shootout (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdbAgeowew8

To shoot or not to shoot, that is the question! A rookie cop’s first assignment and he has to take a decision that will affect his life professionally and personally for ever.

Directed by Amit Kumar, good storytelling (structurally innovative), superb performances by  Vijay Varma, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Neeraj Kabi and Tannishtha Chatterjee. A must watch thriller indeed.

4. Tigers (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJxsiUvccuM

Coming from the Oscar winning director of No Man’s Land (2001) Danis Tanovic, this is the story of a pharmaceutical salesman in Pakistan (played by Emraan Hashmi) who challenges a multinational health care corporation realising that they are responsible for the death of hundreds of babies everyday!

Based upon a true tragic incident that took place in Pakistan in late 1990s and early 2000.

3. Ittefaq (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvfvoCdPrII

Kind of a remake of B.R. Chopra‘s 1969 film Ittefaq, directed by B.R. Chopra’s grandson Abhay Chopra.

One crime scene, two suspects and their two contradicting versions of the same murder, it is time for the detective to decide which story to believe and who to arrest!

Starring Sidharth Malhotra, Sonakshi Sinha and Akshaye Khanna this is one thriller that keeps the suspense till the end.

2. Raazi (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjMSttRJrhA

A brave Indian woman from Kashmir marries a Pakistani officer with a dangerous motive to spy on the Pakistani army.

Directed by Meghna Gulzar, superb acting by Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal and Rajit Kapoor.

An adaption of Harinder Sikka’s novel “Calling Sehmat” based of true events during 1971 Indo-Pak war. Surely the best spy movie of India till date.

1. Andhadhun (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iVYI99VGaw

A blind pianist must report a crime which he never saw! But then he seems to be always in the wrong place in the wrong time to see what a blind man should never have seen!

Brilliantly crafted by my favourite director  Sriram Raghavan, super cool performances by Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu and Radhika Apte. Undoubtedly one of the best thriller of recent times!

and (The ‘+1’ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Pihu (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhWLhuEhXm4

Here comes an out-of-the-box Bollywood concept – a cute two year old girl who finds her mom not waking up and Dad out at work, tries her best to make herself at home!

Directed by Kapri Vinod, beautifully performed by child-actor Pihu Myra Vishwakarma. Shot in one location, one character – a thrilling 1st half that goes a bit repetitive in the 2nd. A very different kind of thriller; according to me such innovative ideas should be encouraged more often!

A few other thrillers though not on the list but still worth your time are BaazaarLove Sonia, In the Shadows AjjiGurgaon, and Long Live Brij Mohan.

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2015

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood thrillers of 2016

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of recent times

Similar Interest: Best Psychological Thrillers

Similar InterestBest Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times

Similar Interest: Best South Korean Thrillers of recent times

Similar Interest: Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

 Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

The Nun (2018)

The Nun Review

written by Anu Gopinath

The Nun touted to be one of the most awaited horror flicks of the year, falls desperately short of expectations and one feels robbed off all the excitement and anticipation created by an exemplary original movie and a well made trailer.

My Ratings: 1/5

Last night, after a long deliberation and strong recommendations of my fellow CFians (The Members of the Official Cinema Forensic Film Club), when I finally watched the classic that is The Shining, I The-Nunrealized that it is considered a classic not because it scared the wits out of the audiences but because of the way it toyed with our minds! Mr.Kubrick used the story, the settings, the background score and the actors to successfully weave an intricate web of darkness in the hearts of the audiences, thus making us feel the horror and plight of characters!

But unfortunately the subtle points where Mr.Kubrick scored with his classic is exactly where Corin Hardy falters with his new flick The Nun.

Set as a prequel to the extremely successful Conjuring series, director Corin Hardy tries and tries in vain to explain the origins of one the most feared villainess of recent cinema history. The Valak!

The movie is set in the year 1952 with a priest and a sister being send to an abbey in Romania by the Vatican to investigate the recent suicide of a nun. The eerie settings of the abbey and competent cinematography of Maxime Alexandre makes the perfect setting for a decent horror flick!

Borrowed heavily from the likes of its predecessors and classics like The-NunThe Omen (1976), the movie on the onset, which had everything going for it, come a cropper the moment director failed to instigate suspense and intrigue in the minds of the audience and inadvertently looses their interest and attention!

Relying heavily on the rigmarole of the usual gimmicks of a below average horror show, it makes the mockery of a movie franchise whose original (The Conjuring 2013) is entitled with the honor of redefining this genre in the last decade!

The cast – Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet and of course Bonnie Aarons does a commendable job of holding the fort but their hard works are completely undone by a loosely written script which lacks in both substance and suspense! It neither The-Nunmanages to convince us of the origins of the spectacular villainess nor does it do justice to its originals!

The background score from Abel Korzeniowski which should have been the pillar of support to an already failing storyline, also fails to live up to the expectations and compounds to the misery that is The Nun!

The filmmakers often tend to forget that a movie just because it belongs to the horror genre doesn’t always need to be loud and dramatic. At times subtlety is the need of the hour to lure the audience towards the story and if possible have a more meaningful experience.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

The Shining – a plethora of confusions, reincarnations, theories and assumptions!

The Shining – a plethora of confusions, reincarnations, theories and assumptions!

written by Sebastian DK

In the year 1980, Stephen King‘s famous novel The Shining got adopted into a feature film (by the same name), directed by none The-Shiningother than Stanley Kubrick, casting Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers among others. A film that became a cinematic milestone and since then being celebrated around the globe as one of the top psychological horror movie ever made!

But then, how many of you have watched The Shining more than once just to comprehend the overall notion of the film – please raise your hands!

Well, to be honest I personally needed repeated viewings of this mystic feature in order to grasp the various complexities in the The-Shiningstoryline and also to dismantle the various theories that circles around this Kubrick classic.

And here are a few such theories that I hope will clear out some of the doubts which invariably people have after watching The Shining for the first time!

/ The 1921 Jack Torrance Photograph Confusion

I think this confusion could be cleared up to some extent (though not completely) with the help of certain points/facts placed under two theories: a) The Reincarnation Theory, and b) The Absorption Theory.

Before reading, keep in mind the fact that the hotel only reveals its dark magic when people are alone there. By isolating its inhabitants, the hotel illustrates how people behave differently when they know there’s no one else around.

a) The Reincarnation Theory:

There are many (tiny, easy to miss) hints throughout the film that suggest that Jack had been at the hotel before, and the present Jack The-ShiningTorrance is actually a reincarnation of the old Jack. These four hints stated below are the ones I found out to be the most significant:

* The bedroom conversation scene between Jack and his wife Wendy, in which Jack says, “I feel as if I had been here before”. One of the very first hints, and it actually points straight at ‘reincarnation’.

* In the washroom, Delbert Grady, during a conversation with Jack, says, “You’ve always been the caretaker. I’ve always been here”. Delbert implies that it was actually Jack, and not him, who was the The-Shiningactual caretaker of the hotel.

* During a conversation with the ghostly bartender Lloyd, Jack exclaims, “I like you, Lloyd. I always liked you”. Now that’s a strong suggestion that Jack sure had visited this place before, no?

* Jack is always at ease while being around or with ghosts. Though negligible, this fact is also a tiny suggestion that Jack was very much a part of The Overlook Hotel, in a different life, at a different time, and since he is used to it, he therefore blends in pretty well with the ghosts at the party/ball. Its all a normal occurrence to Jack, and that’s what Kubrick wants to show us.

b) The Absorption Theory:

Okay, if you wish to dismiss the idea of Jack’s reincarnation, go ahead, I say! Yeah we could do that since there isn’t anything solid The-Shiningthat confirms it, just mere dialogues that could very well be ignored. Now let’s look at it from a different angle.

It is possible to place a fact stating that “the photo might signify that Jack has been ‘absorbed’ from the present into the hotel’s past”. What if (a strong “if” here) Jack is a normal person who has been sucked into the hotel’s darkly violent spirit? My point is, its a horror movie adorned with a smooth touch of the supernatural, no? The message in that scenario might be that we can’t escape such powerful histories or forces of evil, and The Overlook Hotel was itself built on stolen native land and founded on cruelty.

Now we sure can give Jack the title of Mr. Protagonist, and the title The-Shiningof Mr. Antagonist to The Overlook Hotel. Funny, but actually makes (a little) sense!

In the reincarnation theory, Jack was always a part of the hotel. In the absorption one, Jack is merely sucked into it. Either way, Jack becomes a part of the hotel’s history and that’s all there is to it.

Many other things also come into play, like ‘environmental isolation leading to madness’, and (I’m repeating here) The Overlook Hotel itself being a supernatural evil spirit (“Delbert Grady opening the door to set Jack free” is a valid strong point as in this scene a supernatural force does a ‘real’ thing). But, to be honest, there is no specific clear explanation to anything at all, and I think the director intended to keep it that way.

/ The Charles And Delbert Grady Confusion

What about the two Gradys? Ever noticed Charles Grady being mentioned only once, while Delbert Grady is seen several times in the movie? Think it was a mistake on Kubrick’s part?
Confusing, no? I agree!

Ok here’s what…..
* The hotel manager tells Jack that his predecessor did hire a
‘Charles Grady who was totally normal to begin with, but lost his
The-Shininghead because of cabin fever (environmental isolation) and murdered his wife and two daughters and subsequently took his own life with a shotgun’. Nobody mentions Charles post that scene. (correct me if I’m mistaken, I don’t remember hearing ‘Charles Grady’ more than once)

* As for bald Delbert Grady, well, he is seen quite a few times in the movie. That dude is like a bad disease that won’t go away!
In the washroom, Jack encounters Delbert’s ghost (their first
meeting) and addresses him as the caretaker, also adding that he
recognized Delbert from the newspapers. But Delbert only replies
The-Shiningback saying that the caretaker is in fact Jack himself and not him (already stated above). Remember Delbert saying that one of his daughters attempted to burn the hotel down, so he had to ‘correct’ (kill) them, and also his wife when she interfered.

* Striking Common Fact: Charles and Delbert both ‘had a wife and two daughters each, and both committed familicide’.

So, about the confusion surrounding the two Gradys, I guess its possible to place three contrasting facts:

* Well, if ‘reincarnation’ is the trend here, then its possible that one
is the reincarnation of the other, and that both are from the past (Jack’s past).

The-Shining* Filmmaker’s error with the names.
I’m not neck-deep into this as Stanley Kubrick is one of the finest guys in the business. But he is also human. What do y’all think?

* Fun fact: What was baldo’s full name again?
Could be “Delbert Charles Grady” or even “Charles Delbert Grady”.
I mean, it sure is yet another strong fact that sure as hell satisfies the condition!

Hope this post clears most of the confusions surrounding the movie The Shining. Undoubtedly one of the most confusing, multilayered film, but then I believe that’s exactly the reason why it is also one of the greatest, and of all time!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com