A still from the film Karwaan.
A still from the film Karwaan.

Friday Film Wrap: ‘Fanney Khan’, ‘Karwaan’ compete with Hollywood in cluttered week

Karwaan doesn't serve up the delights which should have been the natural outcome of the interactions between the seasoned Irrfan Khan and the younger magnetic Dulquer Salmaan

New Delhi: A bunch of mid-sized films vie for audiences’ attention in what appears to be a cluttered week at the movies.

Musical comedy Fanney Khan directed by Atul Manjrekar starring Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Rajkummar Rao had room to be an enjoyable comedy or satire, says Firstpost. Instead it careens towards over-the-top melodrama with debatable messaging. Fairy tales are well and good, but the melodrama combined with the stupidity of the protagonist makes some scenes unbearable. Besides feeling sorry about body shaming, the final message seemed to be that it’s all right to break the law and orchestrate a huge deception in order to give your child a shortcut to fame.

Slice-of-life comedy Karwaan directed by Akarsh Khurana starring Dulquer Salmaan along with Irrfan Khan and Mithila Palkar takes much too long to get to the point where the characters feel like they are together, says The Indian Express. Randomness of event is part and parcel of this kind of film, but the progression needs to feel inevitable. The execution is choppy and takes time to settle, and some of the road bumps the film comes up with, feel contrived. Karwaan doesn’t serve up the delights which should have been the natural outcome of the interactions between the seasoned Khan and the younger magnetic Salmaan: the characters are not filled in enough; they end up playing a type.

Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk starring Rishi Kapoor and Taapsee Pannu is a compelling, uncommonly courageous drama that gets as close to the truth as a Mumbai film ever can, especially given the times that we live in, says NDTV. The film doesn’t strive for subtlety. It places all its cards on the table, faces up. So we know exactly what is going on and what is about to come, yet the film holds one’s attention as much for the urgency of the theme as the sustained quality of the acting and the mood-enhancing camerawork.

For the Hollywood fans, musical romantic comedy Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again directed by Ol Parker starring Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Pierce Brosnanand Meryl Streep comes to India this week. In its best moments, Parker recaptures the original’s free-wheeling joy and energy but despite the cast’s energetic efforts, the overlong prequel plot needs tightening, says Empire magazine. While the plot of Here We Go Again hits some occasional bum notes, another soundtrack of ABBA classics hits almost all the right ones.

American romantic drama Adrift directed by Baltasar Kormákur starring Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin, for the most part, keeps you pleasantly engrossed without necessarily being riveted, says Variety magazine. Woodley gives herself over to the physical and spiritual reality of each scene. She knows how to play an ordinary woman who’s wild at heart, and she keeps you captivated, even when the film itself is watchable in a perfectly competent, touching, and standard way.

Tamil comedy Ghajinikanth directed by Santhosh P. Jayakumar starring Arya and Sayyeshaa Saigal is mildly amusing but instantly forgettable, says The Times Of India. Most often, the comedy is a hit-and-miss affair, with the number of misses being greater and a couple of adult jokes creeping into the mix.

Tamil drama Kattu Paya Sir Intha Kaali starring Aadukalam Naren and Munnar Ramesh directed by Youreka offers nothing new as a crime thriller, says The Times Of India. The weak writing doesn’t offer any solid thrills. The perfunctory filmmaking and performances don’t help either.

Marathi drama Pushpak Vimaan starring Mohan Joshi and Subodh Bhave directed by Bhave and Vaibhav Chinchalkar is average fare, says Pune Mirror. Some ideas work better on paper. But as soon as it is brought to screen with a seemingly realistic framework and visual referencing, the concept loses its flexibility. That’s exactly what happens with Pushpak Vimaan.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Telugu psychological drama Brand Babu, Telugu action drama Goodachari, Kannada drama Vaasu Naan Pakka Commercial and Malayalam romantic comedy Iblis.

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