‘Mubarakan’, ‘Raag Desh’, ‘Indu Sarkar’ part of busy movie week
New Delhi: It’s a crowded week at the movies yet again.
Anees Bazmee’s comedy Mubarakan starring Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz and Athiya Shetty delivers enough laughs and family entertainment at the core, says Firstpost. Long drawn-out scenes and overwritten speeches overacted in overdressed sets bring in narrative drag, which is hara-kiri for a situational comedy that can succeed only if your brain is not given time to apply logic. If ‘leaving your brains at home’ seems difficult, you know what you should not watch this weekend.
You are most definitely not in original territory here nor is there anything terribly smart going on in Mubarakan, says The Times Of India. The premise of twins causing chaos has been infinitely supreme in movies like Ram Aur Shyam, Golmaal, Angoor, Seeta Aur Geeta, Chaalbaaz and even Judwaa. But Anees Bazmee, who has made a career out of dishing out gags and funny one-liners, goes at this one again with gusto. And you do find yourself amused at times.
Baaraat Company, starring Sandeepa Dhar and Anurita Jha directed by Syed Ahmad Afzal, sails through with its eccentric script and perfect casting, says Deccan Chronicle.
Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Raag Desh, starring Mohit Marwah, Amit Sadh and Kunal Kapoor doesn’t meet the requirements of the historical epic in terms of its production values, but it does match the genre’s basic requirement: the only reason to travel back into the past is to ponder about the present, says Scroll.in. In the hands of a more skilled director, Raag Desh might have been a more streamlined and less repetitive film, better cast and performed, and more mindful of the hunger of contemporary audiences for a more impressive presentation of the freedom struggle. But it might also have missed on some of the more exciting qualities of Dhulia’s writing– his ability to generalise from the specific, and his serious approach to knotty political questions.
Madhur Bhandarkar’s Indu Sarkar, starring Kirti Kulhari, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Anupam Kher, is high on dramatic flourish, low on impact, says NDTV Movies. So insipid is the 139-minute film, it leaves you wondering why on earth it has seen the light of day unless you deign to consider the political purpose that it serves in the current political scenario. It’s hard to find a purely cinematic reason for its existence.
For the Hollywood fans, science fiction action-adventure Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, directed by Luc Besson and starring Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne and Clive Owen, comes to India this week. Empire magazine calls it a wildly ambitious space opera, but also a self-indulgent narrative morass. Sometimes, it seems, creativity can benefit from a few limitations. On one level, you have to applaud Besson. This is world-building where not even the sky is the limit and every frame is stuffed with mad-genius invention. It’s the oil on canvas to The Fifth Element’s doodle on a beer mat. But what’s missing is everything else—story, character, coherence and even a sense of pace.
Though it is based on a popular graphic novel series by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets feels as if it were made up on the spot, by someone so delighted by the gaudy genre packaging at his disposal that he lost track of what was supposed to be inside, says The New York Times. The City might be an interesting place to spend some time if a busy and chaotic story didn’t keep getting in the way, and if we were allowed to hang out for a little while longer with Ethan Hawke and Rihanna.
Australian psychological thriller Berlin Syndrome, directed by Cate Shortland and starring Teresa Palmer and Max Riemelt is a thoughtful chamber piece and great white knuckle thriller that confirms Shortland as a distinctive, cherishable talent in her most accessible movie to date, says Empire magazine. It’s a tad too long and the resolution might stretch credibility for some but, in the days when one indie hit can lead to a blockbuster gig, Berlin Syndrome’s smart mastery of a tense tale should gift Shortland more mainstream opportunities.
The contained claustrophobia of the story only falters at the very end, with a scrambled climax that places the weight of the narrative on the shoulders of a minor supporting character, says The Guardian. Still, led by Palmer’s impressively restrained performance – her muted, internalised anguish almost feels like a kind of self-harm—the film creates the kind of tension that sucks the very air from the cinema.
Marathi comedy drama Shentimental starring Ashok Saraf and Upendra Limaye and directed by Sameer Patil dwells deep into social aspects, still managing to keep the comedic texture of the film into play, says Pune Mirror. The casting department needs to be congratulated for finding the apt performers for this ensemble cast. Apart from the climax that acts as a minor hiccup, the film is a highly recommended watch.
Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Tamil romantic comedy Kootathil Oruthan, Tamil romantic drama Puyala Kelambi Varom, Telugu romantic actioner Gautham Nanda, Marathi film Bhetali Tu Punha, Punjabi movie Vekh Baraatan Challiyan and Gujarati romantic comedy Vitamin She.