New Delhi: The extended Independence Day weekend is dominated by Bollywood this year, with two big-ticket releases competing for audiences’ attention.
Akshay Kumar’s sports drama Gold directed by Reema Kagti is dragged down by a storyline that puts too much store by the anticipated crowd-pulling power of a Bollywood A-lister, says NDTV. The script, and the real events that inspired it, take a backseat in the process. As a result, what could have been a blinder of a movie barely manages to hobble its way to a climax that holds no surprises because it is a part of Indian sporting folklore. Akshay Kumar inevitably hogs the footage, but it is Sunny Kaushal, Amit Sadh and Vineet Kumar Singh who do all the fancy dribbling on the acting front. Unfortunately, they just aren’t allowed enough of the action.
What makes the film worth a watch, despite some problems, are the flashes of well-done humour, the skirmishes between the players, and the rousing finale, says The Indian Express. The period is done beautifully, and despite the predictable sports film tropes–underdogs coming up top, conflicts being resolved, last minute fortune reversals—the younger players keep up the tempo, with debutant Sunny Kaushal doing a stand-out job. A little less Akshay, and minus the songs, Gold would have been tauter, better.
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John Abraham’s action film Satyameva Jayate directed by Milap Zhaveri is quite a grisly ride to the finish, says Firstpost, and along the route you encounter a range of hammy performances by the supporting cast, many chest-thumping moments, some pretty enjoyable action scenes and a story that takes many liberties but ties up all the ends. It may not be the most intelligent thriller, but its lack of pretence is its greatest asset. It’s entertaining for some of the right reasons, and plenty of unintended ones.
It’s hard to grasp exactly what the film’s message is, says India Today. Is killing corrupt policemen in the name of nationalism something to be proud of? In this tug-of-war between high-sounding morals and propagators of justice, it’s decent cinema that is sacrificed on a burning stack of wood, while director Zhaveri spouts his brand of poetry. There is a plot twist right before the intermission, but you’re so wearied and nauseated by inept filmmaking and an overdose of patriotism by then, that you can just about widen your eyes in mere surprise. The second half tries to inject some reason, but fails miserably.
Tamil comedy drama Odu Raja Odu starring Guru Somasundaram and Anand Sami directed by Nishanth Ravindaran does take quite a bit of time to set up its premise — in fact, almost the entire first half, says The Times of India. But then, when there are about 20 principal characters and multiple plotlines, that feels unavoidable. The filmmakers do try to make the characters memorable for us, but the film doesn’t come together as well as it should. For one, it isn’t as funny as the plot implies. Some of the quirkiness feels forced. The female characters are all portrayed mainly as sex objects.
Telugu romantic comedy Geetha Govindam directed by Parasuram starring Vijay Deverakonda and Rashmika Mandanna has enough goodies for the audience to have an enjoyable time at the theatre, says Film Companion. Deverakonda’s natural charm, good looks and easy acting style work perfectly while Parasuram packs the film with enough fun and drama to keep the viewers hooked. But at a runtime of close to 150 minutes, the film could’ve definitely been tighter.
Tamil black comedy Kolamaavu Kokila and Telugu action drama Jhansi haven’t inspired any reviews yet.