Actor Ranbir Kapoor in a still from ‘Sanju’
Actor Ranbir Kapoor in a still from ‘Sanju’

Friday Film Wrap: ‘Sanju’ dominates theatres this week

Other noteworthy movies that released this Friday were Hollywood action film 'Escape Plan 2: Hades', Tamil drama 'Auravadham', Telugu drama Sanjeevani, and Malayalam comedies Pettilambattra, Theevandi

New Delhi: Rajkumar Hirani’s biographical take on the life of actor Sanjay Dutt, Sanju, finally arrives in theatres this week after much anticipation.

The film starring Ranbir Kapoor is an entertainer that delivers more than just the superficial goods one expects from a mass entertainer, says NDTV. It sets a new benchmark for Bollywood biopics. It will be a hard act to follow. Hirani brings all his proven storytelling skills to bear upon his fictionalised but candid exploration of the real-life adventures of Sanjay Dutt. Ranbir Kapoor, on his part, pulls out the stops in astonishingly effective ways, subsuming his own personality into that of the protagonist. The director is on the top of his game and the actor soars to dizzying heights.

Sanju presents the intimate details of Sanjay Dutt’s life in a typically Hirani-esque manner, says Firstpost. There’s an emotional message in every potential scene; the film doesn’t attempt to decode Dutt or justify his life. Neither does it try to whitewash his flaws. Credit to Hirani for not painting Dutt with larger-than-life strokes. But there is a Bollywood-ish tinge to every scene. The first thing you notice about Ranbir Kapoor in Sanju isn’t his uncanny similarity to Sanjay Dutt, or that he’s a fantastic actor with the ability to morph into his subject like a chameleon. It is that there’s absolutely nothing in Kapoor’s portrayal to complain about.

For the Hollywood fans, action film Escape Plan 2: Hades directed by Steven C. Miller starring Sylvester Stallone and Dave Bautista comes to India this week. ABS-CBN News says the sequel fails to live up to the original, an unexpectedly entertaining and great watch. It feels disjointed and confused, like two different movies jammed into one. The escape plan itself is not too well-conceived, a bit too convenient, which is disappointing.

Operating on a significantly lower budget than its predecessor, the film is shot in nauseating close-up and cut to the beat of a jackhammer, says South China Morning Post. While the first Escape Plan was preposterous yet entertaining, director Miller can only cobble together a patchwork of half-realised ideas and poorly executed set pieces into a frenetic, largely indecipherable collage of shapes and sounds. The imminent third instalment may offer a glimmer of hope for some, because Escape Plan 2 feels like a life sentence.

In the south, Tamil drama Auravadham starring M.Sasikumar and Nandita Swetha directed by M.Marudhupandian finally feels a little underwhelming, because the initial portions are terrific, says The Times Of India. The mood resembles that of a horror film, with the horror that is lurking in the shadows is the man’s past. And SR Kathir’s superb cinematography mirrors this lurking danger — the frames are filled with shadows and the camera angles suggest the existence of someone just next to the frame.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Tamil action thriller Semma Botha Aagathey , Telugu drama Sanjeevani, Telugu horror film Mr. Homanand and Malayalam comedies Pettilambattra and Theevandi.

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