New Delhi: The Hindi version of 2015 blockbuster war epic Baahubali: The Beginning re-releases on Friday, three weeks in advance of the second instalment. But movie buffs also have a bunch of other options to look forward to in theatres.
Mukti Bhawan, directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani and starring Adil Hussain and Lalit Behl, is a heartwarming tragicomic tale about life, death and reconciliation, says Firstpost. The concept of preparing for a peaceful passing in the most blessed place in India is life affirming and comforting. It’s no easy task dealing with the inevitability of death, with the subject of losing a parent and balancing that with humour, warmth and gratitude. This is the most significant achievement of Bhutiani’s debut feature.
NDTV Movies calls it an achingly tender film with Hussain delivering a masterclass in acting. Bhutiani leavens the film’s essentially funereal air with a sustained lightness of treatment. Mukti Bhawan is guaranteed to bring a smile to your lips, tears to your eyes and unalloyed joy to your heart as you watch four members of a far-from-perfect Kannauj-based family coming to grips with the ebb and flow of life even as they seek to reverse their increasing aloofness from each other. A small, spry, sublimely beguiling essay that bears the weight of its solemn theme without the faintest hint of a stumble, if there is only one film that you want to see this week, this month, this year—or this lifetime—let it be this one.
Musical comedy drama Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Deewana, starring Sanjay Mishra, Saurabh Shukla, Vivaan Shah and Akshara Haasan is a never-ending ride that has lost its way, says Filmi Beat. Dangling on a flimsy plot, the film wanders meaninglessly to the climax and after a point, you stop caring at all. Talented actors like Shukla, Mishra and Darshan Jariwala are merely reduced to caricatures but they still manage to infuse some humour.
For Hollywood fans, science fiction comedy Colossal, directed by Nacho Vigalondo and starring Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens and Austin Stowell, comes to India this week. Variety magazine calls it a slick stretch of a joke that needn’t have played quite so thinly. It becomes a movie about small people whose messy personal “issues” create preposterously huge collateral damage. That’s something that ought to get funnier as it goes along, but despite a relatively satisfying resolution, Colossal instead milks diminishing humour from an inherently absurd conceit.
American heist comedy Going in Style, directed by Zach Braff and starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin and Joey King, never hits its stride as a warm-hearted crime caper despite the all-star trio and the rare joke that lands, says Empire magazine. Caine, Freeman and Arkin are always watchable but feel disengaged here. With the possible exception of Arkin, channeling his Little Miss Sunshine irascibility, Melfi doesn’t give them anything approaching a character. There is the odd good moment and it’s hard to disagree with its “Everyone deserves a piece of the pie” sentiment. But what Going In Style desperately needs is a twinkle.
Science fiction action film Ghost in the Shell, based on the Japanese comics of the same name, directed by Rupert Sanders and starring Scarlett Johansson, Takeshi Kitano, Michael Pitt and Pilou Asbæk, has the look of the original but not its name, says vulture.com. For all the liberties the new Ghost in the Shell takes with its source material, it’s more invested in that title, specifically the “ghost” soul of its cyborg protagonist, than any of its predecessors in the long-running anime and manga franchise. That’s not to say that it does anything dramatically interesting about that soul, or asks many challenging questions about what it’s like for a person to persist, divorced from their original body.
In the south, Mani Ratnam’s Tamil romantic thriller Kaatru Veliyidai, starring Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari, is a perfect take on love and war, says pressks.com. While the narrative tends to drag in parts, the chemistry between the lead pair and the picturesque locations make up for it.
Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Hindi films Blue Mountains: A Modern Day Classic and Mirza Juuliet, Tamil film Senjittale En Kadhala, Telugu movies Mande Suryudu and Chinni Chinni Asalu Nalo Regene, Malayalam war drama 1971 Beyond Borders and Marathi film Marathon Zindagi.