Sunday, 10 September 2017

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017)

Director R.S. Prasanna's remake of his own Tamil family comedy Kalyana Samayal Saadham (2013) is a terrific laugh out loud hoot. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan takes up erectile dysfunction to mine jokes, without ever going below the belt, a mean screenplay achievement.

A surprisingly restrained fun movie that while working within family movie dimensions, both tackles and deflects from talking taboo at the same time. An Alibaba and forty thieves analogy showcases this midway road to hilarious effect.   

This is not a lazy scene-to-scene remake. The director sets up his arranged marriage family fun around Gurgaon and invests in each character's ethos. Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar's engaging chemistry tops this film over the Tamil version. The supporting cast gels in with great effect, especially Seema Pahwa as the girl's concerned mother.

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is irresistibly unavoidably funny.  

Friday, 11 August 2017

A Wednesday (2008)

A Wednesday does a hypnotic audience grip in its final act. The point it makes is instantly powerful and debatable.

The first hour though is an irritating mix of cliches, jarring background music, and some unintentionally laughable dialogue. The pace slackens in bringing various characters to the mix. The screenplay needed a serious fast forward for breathless, memorable impact. 

Naseeruddin Shah's excellent portrayal of the main protagonist binds us. So does Anupam Kher's restrained act. Jimmy Shergill's angry cop needed meat and reason. 

Though A Wednesday doesn't build up craftily, it hits the ground running, making it flawed, but solid entertainment.  

2012 (2009)

Why do we visit the movies so often? Everyone has their reasons. Sometimes, we all yearn for a sense of disbelief and an enlarged, impossible perspective. 

Like, who wouldn't want to die in epic style, with millions of fellow earthlings? Watch a whole island turn into a mammoth volcano and jump in manic glee. Scream like forever, falling into those mega earthquake cracks.   

Nobody dies the usual way in a template-ridden, mega-budget, end of the world (yes it's time of the year again!) Hollywood disaster movie 2012

Predictably, the lead characters survive to save the day. So it is left to the VFX team (hail the visual effects people!) to make it all fun and convincing, even as cities fall apart and world-famous monuments are reduced to rubble. The loud soundtrack does the rest.

Don't look for a story, expect emotional pep talk on universal brotherhood, Asian mystic talk and have fun. 

2012 is a movie to be enjoyed and forgotten, to the unhealthy crunch of tub popcorn and in dreading a fatal asteroid attack that will burn up, along with other unimportant things (like your life), that eyeball-weary, inseparable companion, your iPhone...