A still from ‘Soorma’.
A still from ‘Soorma’.

Film wrap: ‘Soorma’, ‘Ant-Man’ new entrants as ‘Sanju’ dominates theatres

'Soorma' falls way short of harnessing the full dramatic potential of the miraculous real-life saga that inspired the film

New Delhi: Two weeks into release, Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju still dominates theatres while a couple of mid-sized new films vie for attention.Biographical sports drama Soorma directed by Shaad Ali starring Diljit Dosanjh and Tapsee Pannu falls way short of harnessing the full dramatic potential of the miraculous real-life saga that inspired the film, says NDTV. Meant to be a celebration of a sportsman’s resilience, this is a mechanical, hackneyed, dour re-enactment of a remarkable life. The Sandeep Singh story deserved far better.

The film keeps that crucial spirit to the fore when it starts off, says The Indian Express. Till Sandeep is shown as a regular guy supporting his older brother who is the hockey player (Bedi) with promise and with an eye on the India jersey, gently flirting with a pretty girl, and generally being a good son, Soorma stays believable, and watchable. The moment it shifts track, and starts building up its lead into a hero, background music blaring, and the sporting blood-and-sweat shoved into the background, it becomes your standard ‘rona-dhona’ fare.

ALSO READ: ‘Sanju’ tops off a sparkling run for Bollywood

For the Hollywood fans, American superhero film Ant-Man And The Wasp directed by Peyton Reed starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly comes to India this week. While it proves an all-round well-mounted distraction, the film undeniably lacks the scale and ambition of recent Marvel entries, says Empire magazine. There’s no getting away from the fact that Ant-Man And The Wasp, as fun as it is, lacks the sheer, mind-blowing heft of Infinity War. Or, for that matter, the scope and thematic muscle of Black Panther. Or the all-the-way-out-there, inventive deliriousness of Thor: Ragnarok. In this new era of Marvel over-achievement, it really does feel like a lesser work.

One of the nicest things about Ant-Man, the 2015 origin story of the eponymous Marvel superhero, was its modesty and congeniality, says The Washington Post. Returning in the title role, Rudd brings those same exuberant values to bear on Ant-Man And The Wasp, which makes up in brio and adorability what it might lack in narrative complexity. The film serves its purpose with a characteristically sunny disposition and occasional flair, situating its various heroes, villains and sidekicks for future installments and moving the Marvel behemoth ever forward. Amid a story that seemingly will never end, Rudd brings warmth and modest good humor to one of its most ingratiating and sweet-natured chapters. Ant-Man And The Wasp is merry and fleet, and no less enjoyable for being instantly forgettable. The buzz might be temporary, but it’s fun while it lasts.

In the south, Tamil film Tamizh Padam 2 directed by C.S. Amudhan starring Shiva and Disha Pandey has an “is this all?" feeling about it like the first part, says Film Companion. The running time (close to two-and-a-half hours) is too much, and a number of jokes fall flat. But it’s refreshing when at least some of the humour lands with a sting. Even with your brain on OFF mode, there’s a lot to laugh about: the jokes on our media, the jokes on our films (with whoosh music for the silliest things), the jokes on our heroes and heroines, the jokes on our politicians (the ‘Sasikala sabadham’ reenactment brings the house down). Shiva’s deadpan “acting" works beautifully with Sathish’s more committed clowning (his get-ups are funnier than him, though)—and a slapstick dance-off is a particular highlight.

Telugu romantic actioner RX100 starring Kartikeya and Payal Rajput directed by Ajay Bhupathi is refreshing in how the director is unafraid to show a woman who looks at a guy with pure lust, and doesn’t shy away from making the first move, says The Times of India. Unfortunately, the rest of the film is way too over-the-top, and at times, amateurish. Each scene is stretched way beyond its potential to drive home a straightforward point.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Tamil drama Mangai Maanvizhi Ambugal, Kannada action thriller Premigalige MMCH, Kannada comedy Double Engine, Malayalam thriller drama Neerali, Marathi films Ipitar and Dry Day and Punjabi comedy Vadhayiyaan Ji Vadhayiyaan.

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