‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’, ‘Welcome to New York’ to watch out this week
New Delhi: In what is a fairly busy weekend at the movies, a bunch of Hindi, Hollywood and regional films vie for attention.
Director Luv Ranjan’s romantic comedy Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, starring Kartik Aaryan, Sunny Singh and Nushrat Bharucha, provides some laughs, some of which escape involuntarily, says The Indian Express. But it also leaves you wondering if Ranjan can ever grow up his callow characters. There could have been some fun to be had with this little lot, particularly because the actors, especially Aaryan and Singh, are up for it and the supporting cast is first-rate. But Ranjan is too busy making low-rent jokes about sex and marriage. Very occasionally, you get a line which is genuinely funny and you laugh out loud, because there’s a kind of knowingness in it.
The premise—that of an anti-love-triangle involving a girl threatening to disturb a lifelong bromance—is mildly relatable, says Film Companion. Ranjan, however, injects a truckload of alarmingly disturbing relationship philosophies into this seemingly harmless storyline. What could have been a perceptive behavioural comedy about Indian adulthood turns into a horribly tone-deaf tale about two men who should have come out of the closet long ago.
Welcome To New York, directed by Chakri Toleti and starring Diljit Dosanjh, Sonakshi Sinha, Karan Johar, Riteish Deshmukh, Lara Dutta and Boman Irani, alternates between the two supposedly untalented characters preparing for their big moment and footage of Bollywood’s brightest descending on New York, says Scroll. The comedy between Dosanjh and Sinha is less effective, and feels forced and stretched despite the former’s charm and energy. There is ultimately no difference between the supposedly bad-taste IIFA awards and the movie’s overall lack of judgement about the level at which the humour is pitched.
Filmfare calls it a series of comedy skits stuck loosely together rather than an actual film with a coherent plot and screenplay. It’s a fresh idea alright and better execution would have turned it into an eminently enjoyable film.
For Hollywood fans, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, directed by Martin McDonagh and starring Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell, comes to India this week. The film, says The New York Times, is more ambitious than McDonagh’s earlier features. Like the older ones, it has loads of gab, plenty of guns and the spectacle of men (mainly) behaving terribly. It also restlessly, if not satisfyingly, shifts between comedy and tragedy—a McDonagh specialty—splattering blood along the way. This time, though, he has also given his movie characters instead of disposable contrivances, a plot instead of self-reflexive ideas about storytelling and a rather diffuse overarching metaphor. Mostly, he has freighted it with a tragedy that allows the performers—primarily McDormand but also the equally excellent Harrelson and Rockwell—to play to their range.
Action black comedy Game Night, directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein and starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, will just about win you over, says The Guardian. Kicking off with a snappy montage of the couple enjoying a life filled with the thrill of winning, there’s a likable, and at times, stylish slickness to Game Night that makes it a pleasant, high-spirited watch. The script, from the relatively unknown Mark Perez, feels a bit more fully drafted than most recent studio comedies peppering scenes with leftfield pop culture references and some actual laughs out loud. The cast is also game and the ensemble nature of the plotting means that a variety of performers are given the opportunity to shine.
Several regional films released this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Tamil films Kaathadi, Koottali and Keni; Telugu movies Hyderabad Love Story and Raa Raa; Malayalam comedy drama Kalyanam; Marathi fantasy thriller Raakshas; Marathi comedy drama Looose Control; and Gujarati comedy GujjuBhai - Most Wanted.
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