Algorithms is pick of the week for film buffs

Documentary lovers are in for a happy weekend with director Ian McDonald’s take on the world of blind chess in India in Algorithms


New Delhi: It’s time to make your movie choice for the week.

After OMG - Oh My God!, director Umesh Shukla brings another socially relevant film, All Is Well, a contemporary take on Shravan, the ideal son from the Ramayana. The film stars Rishi Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, Asin and Supriya Pathak. Unfortunately, all doesn’t seem well with the film, according to the Gulf News reviewer, who feels this is a road trip going nowhere. Shukla wastes his talented actors and the music is jarring. Mercifully, the film is only two hours long. Read More

Just Bollywood agrees calling the film average at best, but extremely slow and confusing. While Bachchan and Kapoor do a decent job, the women have little space and the viewer may feel it was a wastage of time and money. Read here

If biopics are your cup of tea, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is back in theatres today with Manjhi-The Mountain Man, directed by Ketan Mehta and co-starring Radhika Apte. The film tells the real-life story of a poor Bihari labourer Dashrath Manjhi in Gehlaur who carved a road out of a mountain after his wife died of medical negligence. While Siddiqui is utterly charismatic and heartbreakingly believable in his portrayal, Firstpost finds the film tedious and theatrical. It thoroughly lacks the passion and fire of Mehta’s previous works like Mirch Masala and Bhavni Bhavai.

The Indian Express agrees that even an actor as fine as Siddiqui can’t make this film soar. The supporting actors provide able support too but the film lacks depth.

For science fiction fans, 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four is coming to India this week. A reboot of the Marvel superhero franchise, it stars Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell in lead roles and is directed by Josh Trank. The New York Times finds nothing about the film special and that includes the special effects which according to the reviewer are at par with the early Harry Potter movies. The critic was left wishing Mara’s character would exercise her power to make things vanish on the film itself.

Variety magazine agrees calling it “an experiment that didn’t gel” with a hasty climax that comes at the end of an extremely slow-paced film with a lot of science. This one doesn’t seem like the comic book blockbuster you were waiting for.

Other Hollywood fans may want to catch director Joel Edgerton’s mystery thriller The Gift. Starring Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Edgerton, the film deals with the life of a recently relocated couple and the arrival of an old schoolmate who turns out to be a “weirdo”. The Hollywood Reporter finds the film unfussy and comfortable in its own nasty genre. Not to be taken too seriously, the reviewer calls it “an effective throwback to “1990s stalker thrillers” and “a pleasantly unpleasant surprise”.

The Wrap is more impressed and calls it a brilliant thriller with great performances, dark gravity, chilling sound editing and mixing and the ability to be completely unpredictable. The horror feels so real you could be in a bad dream trying to wake up. Read here

Thrillers dominate down south too with director Ranjith’s Malayalam film Loham, starring Mohanlal and Andrea Jeremiah, releasing this week. The movie website Filmibeat gives Mohanlal’s performance a thumbs-up but says the film lacks in writing and technicality. The editing is average and the music is ordinary. Moreover, the second half disappoints majorly.

Documentary lovers are in for a happy weekend with director Ian McDonald’s take on the world of blind chess in India in Algorithms. The film traces the life and journey of chess champions Darpan Inani, Charudatta Jadhav, Anant Kumar Nayak and SaiKrishna S.T. In its review, The Guardian finds the black-and-white film “neither simplistic nor sentimental” and lauds its ability to stay as focused as its subjects. Read more

The Filmfare review calls it “a visual masterpiece”, more mature and authentic than any other sports-themed film in India. McDonald brings out these unique, inspirational stories and makes it an engaging watch without the exciting setup of a mainstream film. This one seems like a must watch for every movie buff.

Some other releases like director Anil Balani’s Hindi romantic film Ishq Click, featuring Adhyayan Suman and Sara Loren in lead roles, and Krish Joshi’s Kannada movie Parapancha featuring Dignath, Ragini Dwivedi and Anant Nag haven’t inspired any reviews yet.

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