New Delhi: Director Sujoy Ghosh’s thriller Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh, starring Vidya Balan and Arjun Rampal, has one of the best first halves seen in a while, says The Indian Express; not one frame is wasted as the set-up is introduced and teased out. Post-interval, it becomes a different film, reminding you in bits of the Bollywood Teen, and the Hollywood Kill Bill. The pace slackens, the action becomes clunky, and some glaring contrivances crop up. After Kahaani, which took us into a fresh space, this one disappoints. If Ghosh does plan on making a third, he’ll have to up his game considerably. Read More
Scroll.in adds that despite a couple of major scripting flaws, the movie is never boring, well acted and consistently stays within thriller territory. The premise succeeds largely because of Balan, who turns in one of her strongest performances in recent years. The movie lacks Kahaani’s balance of thrills and humour, but it has the same spirit of righteous anger and faith in a female actor’s ability to take charge of a situation. Read More
For the Hollywood fans, Disney’s 3D computer-animated fantasy adventure Moana directed by Ron Clements and John Musker featuring the voices of Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison and Jemaine Clement comes to India this week. Variety magazine calls it a return to the heights of the Disney Renaissance, keeping with the tradition that made the studio the leader in animated fairy and folk tales, and yet, showing a thoroughly modern touch, it’s the first to do so without so much as suggesting a love interest. As princess movies go, this one broadens the studio’s horizons, and as Moana herself sings in the film, “no one knows, how far it goes.” Read More
A.V. Club mentions that the film is self-conscious of its status as the next big Disney Princess movie but for the most part, feels more heartfelt than calculated. Occasionally, the film’s combination of formula and tweaks makes it play like a one-blockbuster-fits-all reconciliation of a standard Disney checklist with a second list of corrective measures. But in the end, Moana deserves its pre-built legacy of royalty. Read More
Director Anna Foerster’s action horror film Underworld: Blood Wars starring Kate Beckinsale, Theo James and Tobias Menzies is unlikely to convert many new fans to the Underworld cause, but for the sizeable army of existing devotees, it delivers admirably on every front, says The National. There’s nothing particularly new here, and some of the cod-mysticism thrown in to differentiate the movie from its predecessors is a little contrived. We’re here for a 90-minute bloodbath of vampire-on-lycan violence, moody shots of gothic buildings, desolate landscapes and unearthly skies, and, quite simply, Kate Beckinsale. Read More
The Jakarta Post adds that the movie has a good basic concept, yet lacks in execution. The action sequences emerge as the saving grace, the sound design harmonizes well with the fights, and is arguably one of the best parts of the movie. Some of the main elements that the film lacks are CGI and special effects. Unlike in the previous movies, the characters are noticeably distant from the backdrops in some scenes. Read More
In the south, Tamil psychological thriller Saithan directed by Pradeep Krishnamoorthy starring Vijay Antony and Arundhathi Nair unfolds as a mystery thriller, says The Times of India but once that is revealed, starts to feel like a lesser film, with caricaturish antagonists, over-the-top stunts and rushed-through revelations. The shift in tone is jarring, but thankfully, it doesn’t derail the film. For almost two-thirds of its run time, Krishnamoorthy treats it more like a psychological horror film. He is also more interested in mood-building, narrating his tale with a minimal set-up and solid production values. By casting veteran actors like Y. Gee Mahendra, Charuhasan and Kitty, he sidesteps the need to establish their characters. Read More
Several releases this week haven’t elicited any reviews yet. These include Hindi film Aasra directed by Raj Sagar, Tamil films Maaveeran Kittu and Enkitta Mothathe, Malayalam family thriller Kuttikalundu Sookshikkuka and Marathi movies Fugay and Bhootkaal.