‘Rukh’, ‘Jia aur Jia’, ‘Geostorm’ highlights of this week
New Delhi: As is the norm, the week after Diwali isn’t exactly littered with big-ticket movie releases.
Manoj Bajpayee-starrer Rukh, directed by Atanu Mukherjee, is an intense, engaging, coming-of-age tale that features the actor in a stellar role billed as a “special appearance”, says NDTV Movies. The film explores a range of emotions—grief, rage, remorse and bewilderment—with restraint and subtlety. Rukh makes no sweeping, startling, macrocosmic statements about growing up, parenting and business ethics. It glides smoothly from one revelation to another, occasionally falling back on flashbacks but never succumbing to the temptation to over-articulate, as the young protagonist navigates the pitfalls of finding his feet in the face of grave adversity and absence of a safety net.
The film stuns with its self-assured solid storytelling, says The Quint. A thriller where details bleed out one at a time, and the understated drama slowly spreads its tentacles taking the viewers firmly in its grip. Through Mukherjee and Akash Mohimen’s screenplay, along with dialogues by Vasan Bala, the film lets us “see more” than the sordid Bollywood way of telling us and dictating every motivation of each character.
Jia aur Jia, starring Kalki Koechlin and Richa Chadda and directed by Howard Rosemeyer, has an attractive, though not wildly original premise, says The Indian Express. But the execution is so haphazard and so amateurish that you’re left wondering: how do these movies get made? Chaddha and Koechlin do an outlandish female version of meet-cute, proceed to squabble all over Sweden, while learning big lessons about life and beyond, and deliver a dud. Both these actresses have been capable of much more, and have created characters with heft. But here they get no help from the script, which is shockingly all over the place.
For Hollywood fans, American science fiction disaster film Geostorm, directed by Dean Devlin and starring Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Alexandra Maria Lara and Richard Schiff, comes to India this week. Empire magazine calls the film plodding and formulaic, joylessly ticking off boxes from the Disaster Movie Playbook. What Geostorm doesn’t do, perhaps criminally, is deliver on the promise of that original pitch: Gerry Butler, perhaps the greatest angry shout-puncher we have, versus weather. Instead, it’s a movie that strands its most charismatic chess piece on the side of the board, faffing around in zero-G while all the really cool stuff happens down below on Earth.
Vox calls it a disaster movie without a disaster and an apocalypse flick lacking the apocalypse. Thing is, the Geostorm can’t hit, because this is not that kind of disaster movie. So even though the last 20 minutes or so of the film begins to approach the Disney World level of thrill ride we all paid to see, there is still a truly baffling amount of data and tech specs presented throughout even that sequence. In the end, Geostorm pulls off one big, gutsy trick: to make you long for the end of civilization, just so the movie will end.
Marathi drama Faster Fene, starring Amey Wagh and Parna Pethe and directed by Aditya Sarpotdar, plays out like a straight thriller, without any romantic interludes, family drama and other unnecessary filler material, says Pune Mirror. The film is entirely without songs, and things move at a fast pace, ratcheting up the tension as the plot thickens. It stretches one twist too many in the second half and just before the climax, launches into a long, unnecessary explanation, but these are relatively minor flaws.
Irrfan Khan’s Benagli film Doob-No Bed of Roses, directed by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, is based on a celebrity scandal that shook conservative Bangladesh society but avoids every tabloid ingredient the story potentially holds, says Variety magazine. Through the director-protagonist’s divorce and the painful rift it causes to his family, the film ponders the big existential questions of why happiness never lasts and whether loneliness is a pre-existing human condition. Directed with an assured and graceful touch that evokes the elegiac tone of a requiem, Farooki proves he’s a singular voice in Bangladeshi cinema. Khan delivers another sublime lead performance.
Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Telugu drama Vunnadhi Okate Zindagi, Kannada romantic comedy Dumki Damaar, Kannada romantic actioner Tiger Galli and Malayalam crime thriller Villain starring Mohanlal.