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Rajinikanth in a still from ‘Kabali’
Rajinikanth in a still from ‘Kabali’

Rajini mania at the movies this week

Besides 'Kabali', there's Star Trek Beyond for science fiction lovers

New Delhi: It’s time to witness Rajinikanth mania at the movies this week.

Needless to say, the superstar’s Tamil gangster drama Kabali, directed by Pa. Ranjith, is owned by him, The Indian Express tells us. His charisma pulls things through but there are moments when the film starts lagging and your attention wanders. Special mention must go to Radhika Apte, who brings a nuance to her performance as Rajinikanth’s wife and is a refreshing change after watching heroines in bit roles in Rajini movies. Read more here

Irrfan Khan-starrer Madaari, directed by Nishikant Kamat, is a run-of-the-mill thriller just about saved by the lead actor’s performance, says The Statesman. Another addition to the countless list of movies that try and cash in on the rising fervour of anti-establishment sentiment, Kamat seems to be meandering towards a predictable climax with this one, but manages to buy some time with a crafty move. Read more here

Bollywoodlife.com agrees the film has its heart in the right place, but average direction and a flawed narrative let down its honest intentions. Only an actor of Khan’s calibre could bring life to a script as dull as this. Read more here

Director Agneya Singh’s M Cream, starring Imaad Shah and Ira Dubey, is a disjointed and pretentious take on the quest for high-quality hashish and the meaning of life, says Scroll.in. The highly pretentious dialogues, most of them in English, inject unintended humour into what is an earnest but unsuccessful attempt to make grandiose statements about politics, the state of the nation, the meaning of existence, and revolution. Read more here

For Hollywood fans, science fiction action film Star Trek Beyond, the 13th film of the iconic franchise, directed by Justin Lin and starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, comes to India this week. Variety magazine calls it the most prosaic and, in many ways, the least adventurous of the Star Trek outings. It’s got a very familiar, old-fangled, no-mystery structure, and that’s because it’s basically the Star Trek version of an interplanetary action film, with a plot that doesn’t take you to too many new frontiers. Read more here

USA Today agrees the film isn’t quite a fantastic voyage. It feels more like an expensive two-hour episode of the original television series rather than a Star Wars-y epic. That’s not a bad thing overall—what is unfortunate is a momentum-killing middle and a main villain who fails to be interesting until a thrilling third act. Read more here

American supernatural horror film Lights Out, directed by David F. Sandberg and starring Teresa Palmer and Gabriel Bateman, is a half-baked, PG-13 scare-em snoozer centered on an underdeveloped supernatural concept that won’t even give kids a good nightmare, says The Guardian. Director Sandberg indeed has some visual chops, and could very well have a solid horror feature inside of him that will come out one day. Unfortunately, Lights Out is not the project that will bring his talents into view. Read more here

Deadline is more impressed, emphasizing that you probably won’t remember much of the low-budget horror flick after leaving the theatre, but nevertheless it should provide a couple of real jolts to keep you awake and worried while watching. Read more here

Marathi film Half Ticket, directed by Samit Kakkad and starring Shubham More and Vinayak Potdar, a remake of last year’s National Award-winning Tamil film Kaaka Muttai, is simple and uplifting, though fairly layered, says Pune Mirror. The script more or less remains in line with the original but the adaptation gets the tone perfectly. There is no attempt to glamorize the film to add a commercial value or simplify the issues to be more audience-friendly. Read more here

A few releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include romantic Hindi film Ishq Click, Punjabi movie Needhi Singh and Bengali film Khawto.

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