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