‘A Gentleman’, ‘Qaidi Band’ among more than a dozen films to watch this week
New Delhi: In a rare instance even by Bollywood standards—an industry that churns out close to 300 films a year and is known for box office clashes—almost a dozen film releases compete for attention this Friday.
Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez-starrer A Gentleman, directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. is worth a watch only if you are looking for voyeuristic delight featuring two attractive people spar and fight the world for a stupid cause, says Gulf News. Barring a few well-executed action sequences and witty exchanges between Malhotra and his mate at work, the film leaves you unmoved.
Yash Raj Films’ Qaidi Band, starring Aadar Jain and Anya Singh and directed by Habib Faisal, has its heart in the right place, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired, says Bollywood Life. The first half is slow, but does a decent job of familiarizing us with jail life, and introducing the main characters. But lack of logic seeps into the second half with a forced romantic angle added for effect. More realistic treatment would have worked wonders here.
Amol Gupte’s kid’s action adventure Sniff, starring Khushmeet Gill, has an absolutely lovely premise for a film crafted for children, which adults can potentially also enjoy, says The Indian Express. But Gupte, who gave us the delightful Stanley Ka Dabba, falters with this one, because of a slack plot and treatment. Sniff is all heart, but neither sharp nor magical enough.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, directed by Kushan Nandy is a roaring mess that misfires on most counts, says NDTV Movies. The thriller, no matter how hard it pushes itself, is merely a country cousin of Bollywood’s gangster sagas, seeming authentic in terms of location and lingo, but with a plot riddled with holes the size of craters. Even the ever-dependable Siddiqui, hard pressed to pump life into the poorly conceived titular character of a cold-blooded contract killer, can do little to salvage the film.
Yadvi-The Dignified Princess, starring Chandrachur Singh and directed by Jyoti Singh and Vick Krishna, is about maintaining the legacy of a princess, but weak execution coupled with lacklustre performances and choppy editing make it a dreary watch, says The Times Of India. A biographical film made by a relative of the subject losing perspective is just one of the many flaws.
For Hollywood fans, American action comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard, directed by Patrick Hughes and starring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman and Salma Hayek, comes to India this week. Given its absence from the screen, the idea of bringing back the buddy action comedy feels both nostalgic and refreshing in its simplicity, says Empire magazine. Unfortunately, The Hitman’s Bodyguard isn’t the bullet-ridden vehicle to do it. On paper, the ingredients seem perfect: Tom O’Connor’s script was on the 2011 Black List of the hottest unproduced screenplays and the casting—the slick persona of Ryan Reynolds and the attitude of Samuel L. Jackson—seems inspired. But Hughes film never finds the energy, chemistry and surprises to make the over-familiar concoction thrive.
Science fantasy The Dark Tower, directed by Nikolaj Arcel and starring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Walter o’Dim and Tom Taylor, based—loosely seems altogether too generous a word—on the Stephen King series, is an unappealing hash of movie-making clichés that, after much scurrying and blathering, devolves into a generic shoot’em-up, says The New York Times. About the only thing holding it together is Elba, whose irrepressible magnetism and man-of-stone solidity anchors this mess but can’t redeem it.
There is also a documentary film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, about former United States vice-president Al Gore’s mission to battle climate change. For those who got it—that is, for those who grasped that the issue of climate change truly is about the survival of the planet, and maybe even the human race—the last 10 years have been a time of galvanizing hope and punishing despair, says Variety magazine. Both those spirits course through the film which once again features Gore in avuncular lecture mode, as he leads his Climate Leadership Training seminars around the world. But the movie also takes the form of a wide-ranging, visually graphic exploration of where, exactly, the planet is now, with Gore as our scientist/preacher/tour guide through everything from surreal weather patterns to the world political stage to the moving issue of photographing the Earth from space.
In the south, Tamil spy thriller Vivegam, starring Ajith and directed by Siva, has good music, visuals, high-voltage action sequences, picturesque landscapes and beautiful faces, says The Indian Express. Also add heartwarming moments between the characters and if you can overlook adulation, irrelevant emotions and unfounded logic, this is a good popcorn entertainer.
Telugu film Arjun Reddy, starring Vijay Deverakonda and Shalini Pandey and directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, is new age Telugu cinema that has never been attempted before, says 123telugu.com. It is intense, hard-hitting and quite adulterated in its intent. While family audiences may not warm up to this one, the youth is likely to love this break-up saga which relies single-handedly on Devarakonda’s standout performance.
Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Hindi film Muskurahatein, Malayalam fantasy comedy Oru Visheshapetta BiriyaniKissa, Bengali romantic drama Chhaya O Chhobi and Gujarati comedy drama Pappa Tamne Nahi Samjaay.
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