New Delhi: As the festive season kicks off, several big-ticket films are ready for release.

Prabhudeva’s action comedy Singh Is Bling, starring Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson and Lara Dutta, hasn’t opened to good reviews. Hindustan Times feels the film is absolutely unfunny, a tiring and immature attempt at filmmaking. The reviewer refers to it as “torture in the name of comedy".

The masala.com reviewer pledges to never watch a Prabhudeva film again for he has been scarred for life by the “three-hour nonsense".

Meghna Gulzar’s fictional dramatization of the Aarushi Talwar murder case, Talvar, starring Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma and Neeraj Kabi, has already received rave reviews at international screenings. Variety magazine refers to the film presented at the Toronto Film Festival as a “dramatically potent depiction of police ineptitude, media excess, bureaucratic infighting and a possible miscarriage of justice". Gulzar and writer Vishal Bhardwaj’s diverse dramatizations of possible mystery-solution scenarios are gut-wrenching.

The Quint assures that the film will keep you on the edge of your seat. Instead of imposing an opinion on the audience, it lays bare the facts and allows you to decide. Bhardwaj’s writing is crisp, Gulzar’s direction steadfast and the performances, especially Khan’s, outstanding.

Tamil fantasy adventure film Puli, starring Vijay, Sridevi, Shruti Hassan, Sudeep and Hansika Motwani, has also been released in Telugu and Hindi. The Times Of India says that the film works as a visual extravaganza but fails to entertain. Comparisons with recent epic Baahubali are obvious and the film is a major disappointment with its amateurish storytelling.

DNA recommends you watch the film only if you have nothing better to do this long weekend. The fantasy genre may be new to Tamil cinema but the film is slow, ordinary and predictable.

For Hollywood fans, Ridley Scott’s science fiction The Martian, starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and Kristen Wiig, comes to India this week. The Verge calls the screen adaptation of the Andy Weir book “a celebration of math, science and sheer human will". Beautiful and meticulous, the film is a departure from mainstream sci-fi that tends to restrict itself to action and sweeping melodrama.

Forbes refers to the film as “spectacular entertainment", loyal to scientific details as well as to the ingredients of high-quality popcorn cinema. The special effects are flawless and the performances superlative.

Telugu film Shivam, featuring Ram, Rashi Khanna, Brahmanandam and Abhimanyu Singh, has all the ingredients required for a mass entertainer, says The Reporter Times. The film will keep you hooked throughout and it’s just the kind of blockbuster Ram’s fans had been waiting for.

Some of the week’s releases haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include debutant director Chandrakant Kanse’s Marathi action drama Daagdi Chaawl, starring Ankush Choudhary, Pooja Sawant and Makarand Deshpande, and Tamil romantic comedies Kathukutti, directed by Saravanan, and Naanum Rowdy Thaan by Vignesh Shiva.

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