A still from Ajay Devgn-starrer ‘Raid’.
A still from Ajay Devgn-starrer ‘Raid’.

‘Raid, ‘7 Days in Entebbe’ among movies to watch this week

As the movie strike in the south Indian film industry continues, audiences are left with few options from Bollywood and Hollywood in theatres this week

Ajay Devgn-starrer Raid directed by Rajkumar Gupta adds up to a winner thanks to Devgn’s brooding intensity and Gupta’s gripping direction, says Firstpost. Credible realism and Gupta’s unembellished directorial style are what make it such a gripping experience. On the face of it, it could be said that Devgn has played precisely this part – a ramrod straight man within a broken system, doing his work truthfully against all odds – a zillion times in his 27-year-long career, yet there is a difference. In most of his previous such films, there was a superhero element to his role. Here he’s in a production that strikes a far more realistic tone than the formulaic commercial Hindi cinema that dominates his filmography.

The Indian Express is not as impressed, calling the film lengthy and tepid. If there had been as much attention to quirky detail in sketching out some characters, and the requisite pace, this would have been a highly entertaining romp, flashing back to the pre-liberalised India of the 80s, the relationship between corrupt tax officers and rich business families and the nexus between the wealthy and the highest power in the land. 

For the Hollywood fans, American crime thriller 7 Days in Entebbe directed by José Padilha starring Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl and Eddie Marsan comes to India this week. The New York Times calls it a reasonably efficient action movie, that is both an update and a throwback. It features an international ensemble of well-known actors playing real historical figures, and tries to balance geopolitical sobriety with suspense-thriller sensationalism. Padilha, the Brazilian director of the Elite Squad movies, the RoboCop reboot and the superb documentary Bus 174, balances some of the pomp and stiffness of those old made-for-TV extravaganzas with the lean, politically nuanced objectivity of recent films about 1970s terrorism. 

7 Days in Entebbe excuses nothing the terrorists did, but the film juggles points of view and toggles between various factions caught up in a diplomatic crisis, says Chicago Tribune. Some pro-Israel newspapers covering the film’s Berlin Film Festival premiere earlier this year noted its muted triumphalism. Such details will mean a great deal to some of the film’s potential audience, and less so to others. Either way, 7 Days in Entebbe is an honorable, evenhanded but curiously flat interpretation of events.

American crime comedy Gringo directed by Nash Edgerton starring David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron and Joel Edgerton is a pitch-black, often very funny slice of pulp fiction, says Empire magazine, with a number of stand-out performances, notably the ferocious Theron. Plot-wise, some of the coincidences piled on by Edgerton and his writers, Anthony Tambakis and Matthew Stone, are hard to swallow, even for a film of this nature. And while it was clearly shot, for the most part, on location in Mexico, it never quite gets that sense of sweaty impending doom captured so effortlessly in previous tales of Mexican-set mayhem.

Telugu romantic comedy Kirrak Party directed by Sharan Koppisetty starring Nikhil Siddharth and Simran Pareenja is entertaining in parts though not a rib tickling comedy, says telugu360.com. Better effort on character graphs and comic portions would have resulted in richer output.

Telugu drama Karthavyam starring Nayantara and Vignesh directed by Gopi Nainar is impressive fare and works well as a thriller, says Chitramala. A fantastic lead turn by Nayantara, brilliant work by the technical team and perfect direction by Nainar make this one worth a watch.

Malayalam drama Poomaram directed by Abrid Shine starring Kalidas Jayaram is made up of frames brimming with nostalgia and the raw energy that come from a space of art and culture, says The Times Of India. Some of them excite the viewer and some don’t. Despite the absence of natural performances, the film rides on the strength of a handful of playful moments from campus life and if that doesn’t trouble you as a viewer, the movie merits your time.

Telugu crime thriller Dandupalyam 3, Bengali horror thriller Angti Rohosso and Gujarati murder mystery Ratanpur have not inspired any reviews yet. 

My Reads Logout