Kangana Ranaut in a still from ‘Simran’.
Kangana Ranaut in a still from ‘Simran’.

‘Lucknow Central’, ‘Simran’ highlights in crowded movie week

For Hollywood fans, James Cameron's 1991 American science-fiction action film Terminator 2: Judgment Day, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and Robert Patrick, is being re-released in 3D

New Delhi: A crowded movie calendar awaits audiences in theatres this week.

Farhan Akhtar-starrer Lucknow Central, directed by Ranjit Tiwari, leans more towards sentimentality than sagacity for a prison drama, says Firstpost. Tiwari’s handling of the jail scenes are commendable even if the climax is a little contrived. And while this jailhouse rock-on see-saws between musical drama and message movie, its origins in a true story (about a real-life prison band called Healing Hearts) and its notation on the merits of reformation give it soul.

Koimoi.com recommends the film for its innovative script and stellar performances by the lead actors. While Tiwari tries his best to establish the film’s premise and characters in the first half itself, there are many places where the film seems to revolve around a single track and takes too long to arrive at the point. The second half, however, turns out to be a treat, soon after the film finds ground, it gathers pace which continues till the end.

Kangana Ranaut-starrer Simran, directed by Hansal Mehta, careens between an American indie-style portrait of a middle-class woman’s descent into crime and a screwball comedy involving a bank robber, says Scroll.in. The film is brimming with tributes to its female lead, giving her scene after scene to prove her comic timing (not always spot on), her ability to evoke pathos (not always convincing) and her skill at switching registers in a matter of seconds (not always successful). The bubbly goes flat very fast for Simran, as does the movie for Mehta and Ranaut.

NDTV calls the film exhausting. It works best when breezing along with a light touch, when Ranaut effervescently befriends bartenders and cheerily refuses to take no for an answer. Unfortunately, the film, doubling up as a showreel for the actress, pretends also to be a drama, a thriller, even a sweet romance. None of these other gears work well enough, and the eventual result is tedious.

For Hollywood fans, James Cameron’s 1991 American science-fiction action film Terminator 2: Judgment Day, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and Robert Patrick, is being re-released in 3D. The Guardian calls it a really exciting, well-made sci-fi picture, but also one of the least needed sequels and franchises in movie history. The first Terminator was such a classic, its ending so disturbing, so magnificent, so nightmarish and definitive. Bringing back Arnie—and as a good guy—is sort of beside the point. But T2 is still a very stylish film.

American action thriller American Assassin, directed by Michael Cuesta and starring Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan, Shiva Negar and Taylor Kitsch, has big ambitions and a whirlwind script where bullets zing in Malta, Ibiza, Istanbul, Tripoli, Romania, Roanoke and Rome, says Variety magazine. Yet the film is so close-mouthed and macho that it blends in with Jason Bourne, James Bond and Taken’s Brian Mills. Mitch Rapp, the protagonist, can blast his way through Turkey—but this sullen, swollen hero can’t elbow those box office heavyweights to make room.

In the south, Tamil detective thriller Thupparivaalan, directed by Mysskin and starring Vishal, Prasanna, Vinay and Andrea Jeremiah, is heavily indebted to the Sherlock Holmes series in terms of its settings, says The Indian Express. The director is unapologetic in borrowing characters from the world famous detective series and making them his own. While there are some ill-conceived portions, Thupparivaalan has many pluses and some good performances. This is a film you won’t regret watching.

Tamil drama Magalir Mattum, directed by Bramma and starring Jyothika, Saranya, Urvashi, Bhanupriya and Nassar, is a feel-good, feminist film, says The Times of India. It never shies away from wearing its feminist credentials and repeatedly points out how women and their dreams get trapped in marriage. The set-up doesn’t quite care for realism, more Hollywood indie movie than rooted drama. But the feel-good factor overrides many of these niggles.

Several movies this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Rishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal-starrer Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi; Rabbi starring Bidita Bag; Tamil films Kalathur Gramam and Yaar Ivan; Telugu movies Srivalli, Saraahsudu and Ungarala Rambabu; Malayalam film Cappuccino; and Marathi films Unbuntu and Vitthala Shappath.