‘Sarkar 3’, ‘Meri Pyari Bindu’, ‘Alien Covenant’ make up an uninspiring movie week

Fantasy film ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’, directed by Guy Ritchie, is the other notable Hollywood release this week

Amitabh Bachchan in a still from ‘Sarkar 3’.
Amitabh Bachchan in a still from ‘Sarkar 3’.

New Delhi: Two weeks after Baahubali 2: The Conclusion took the nation by storm, a bunch of movie releases seek audiences’ attention.

Romantic comedy Meri Pyaari Bindu, starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Parineeti Chopra and directed by Akshay Roy, is worth a watch only if you’re a die-hard fan of the lead pair, says masala.com. The film dealing with childhood friendship and one-sided love makes all the right references to Bollywood folklore and old Hindi film songs but fails to touch your heart. Khurrana is convincing but Chopra is, yet again, the typical bubbly girl.

The best thing you can say about Ram Gopal Varma’s political crime thriller Sarkar 3, starring Amitabh Bachchan, is that it is not as ghastly as Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, says The Indian Express. The previous editions of Sarkar worked because Bachchan was given worthy opponents, and the semblance of a story. Here, RGV completely dispenses with such things as plot, as he goes about getting his characters to mouth long-winded dialogues minus punch. He also surrounds Bachchan with the earnest young Amit Sadh, who is miscast as Shivaji, the vengeful-grandson-who-would-be-Sarkar. As his faithful lieutenant, Ronit Roy is competent, but familiar. There is no novelty.

Sarkar 3 is after all an Amitabh Bachchan show all the way, says NDTV Movies. He adopts comfortably familiar methods to prop up the most inane of lines and situations. But no matter what he does to liven up the pallid proceedings, Sarkar 3 remains a soul-deadening affair, flashy but flimsy.

For Hollywood fans, fantasy film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Charlie Hunnam, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law and Eric Bana, comes to India this week. A brazen re-imagining of Arthurian mythos, coupled with Ritchie’s style, makes for a bombastic yet entertaining King Arthur epic, says Screen Rant. Whereas Antoine Fuqua’s 2004 King Arthur attempts to present the story of Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table in a light that is both traditional and overly grounded, Legend of the Sword aspires to be anything but old-fashioned or “realistic”. It settles into the rhythm of one of Ritchie’s own British crime capers, effectively re-imagining the streets of Londinium as a medieval version of modern London’s criminal underworld and then integrating that world into the movie’s larger fantasy setting. While this reinvention of the Arthur universe borders on being slapdash in its overarching design, Ritchie’s energetic and inspired direction keeps the whole thing from sliding off the rails completely.

Empire magazine is not as impressed, calling it a jumbled affair, weighed down by confusing supernatural elements. In theory, you wouldn’t bet against Ritchie’s controversial take on Arthurian legend. It doesn’t take too long for those hopes to wither or, rather—given the film’s overblown opening battle scene—be trampled by a 300-foot CGI elephant. Although it flickers to life at times, King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword is brought down by generic effects, conflicting ideas and an embarrassing celebrity cameo for the ages.

Science fiction horror film Alien: Covenant, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride and Demián Bichir, may continue the Prometheus storyline, but it doesn’t share that film’s spirit—or else the characters might pause to show some interest in the extinct population that at one time inhabited the moon they’re exploring, says Variety magazine. Still, in an effort to appease Alien fans, Scott has returned the series to its horror-movie roots, unleashing a sequence of gory death scenes as four aliens body-snatch and otherwise terrorize the crew. By now, though, audiences are so familiar with how this species reproduces that there’s not much surprise between the point of infection and the moment that an alien embryo bursts out of the host’s chest. If anything, an impatience sets in, much as it does with zombie movies in which characters aren’t up to speed on the genre rules.

Despite the all-new cast, this is a direct sequel and continuation of Prometheus, says The New York Daily News. When the aliens show up, the viewer is promised gruesome and gory kills. At the same time, Scott deliberately wipes the slate clean of some of the problems fans had with Prometheus. Those looking for one of the better movies in the Alien franchise should appreciate what the latest movie brings to the mix. But it’s not for the squeamish or faint of heart.

In the south, Tamil action crime drama Yeidhavan, directed by Sakthi Rajasekaran and starring Kalaiyarasan and Satna Titus, isn’t bad as far as noble-minded vigilantes go, says Film Companion. There’s some thought behind the writing and the staging is done with care. The problem is the lack of surprises and the consistently sluggish vibe. There’s too much talk but the thriller isn’t entirely disposable.

Several releases this week haven’t elicited any reviews yet. These include Hindi film Thodi Thodi Manmaaniyan, Tamil action comedy Saravanan Irukka Bayamaen, Kannada action thriller Maasthi Guddi, Malayalam films Onpatham Valavinappuram and Ramante Edanthottam, Punjabi movie Lahoriye and Bengali film Posto.

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