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Gary Oldman accepts the best actor award for Darkest Hour in the 23rd Critics’ Choice Awards Show in California on 11January 2018. Photo: Reuters
Gary Oldman accepts the best actor award for Darkest Hour in the 23rd Critics’ Choice Awards Show in California on 11January 2018. Photo: Reuters

‘Darkest Hour’, ‘The Commuter’, ‘Nirdosh’ few offerings in dull movie week

A week before the massive clash of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmaavat' and Akshay Kumar-starrer 'Padman' in the Republic Day weekend, there is relative lull in movie theatres

New Delhi: A week before the massive clash of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat and Akshay Kumar-starrer Padman in the Republic Day weekend, there is relative lull in movie theatres.

Arbaaz Khan and Ashmit Patel-starrer Nirdosh, directed by Pradeep Rangwani, is a painful watch, says Gulf News. Punctuated by shoddy writing, collective bad acting, clichéd dialogues and juvenile sub-plots, this murder mystery is likely to push any unsuspecting viewer to stage a walkout even before the killer is revealed. There are no redeeming features in Nirdosh. Watch this at your own risk.

Kay Kay Menon and Raima Sen-starrer Vodka Diaries, directed by Kushal Srivastava, has more false moments than the mighty eyelashes of Sen, playing a femme fatale, says Scroll. The ones who have guessed the direction in which the plot is going will have all the time in the world to ponder over why the talented Menon agreed to be a part of such dross. They might stay on till the bitter end, propelled by sheer wonder at how the plot will untangle itself.

You need more than “vodka" to tolerate this shoddy Shutter Island remake, says Times Now. Marred by pedestrian direction and filled with clunky dialogues, Vodka Diaries loses steam after the first 15 minutes. By the time the big suspense is revealed, we realize many of the scenes are a scam to deliberately fool you. In fact, the whole movie is a scam of sorts.

Drama thriller My Birthday Song, starring Sanjay Suri and directed by Samir Soni, has just about enough meat for a short fictional film, but even that would have had to have better writing and less amateurish performances to leave traces, says Scroll. In the complete absence of character shading in the script by Soni and his co-writer Vrushali Telang, the quantum of his crime is anybody’s guess. Suri is in nearly every frame of the movie, but simply does not have the skills required for the part.

British war drama Darkest Hour, directed by Joe Wright and starring Gary Oldman, must be seen for the lead actor’s gripping, touching, amusing and enlightening performance, says Empire magazine. Wright takes history at its most momentous, wraps it around a figure who couldn’t be more potently iconic, and places this rich but heavy package almost entirely in the hands of his leading man, Oldman. It is truly a gift of a role, and Oldman repays Wright with the performance of a lifetime.

American war drama 12 Strong, directed by Nicolai Fuglsig and starring Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon and Michael Peña, sees value in substance as well as spectacle, says Rolling Stone. Based on Doug Stanton’s 2009 bestseller, Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of U.S. Soldiers Who Rod to Victory in Afghanistan, this rough-hewn drama has a compelling, mostly untold story to relate. This is not a movie with time on its hands for character development or scrappy discussions of the politics involved on both sides. What 12 Strong does deliver, however, is a rousing tribute to the bravery of soldiers whose contributions went unheralded for years. That impact cannot be denied.

Action thriller The Commuter, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and starring Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, just about stays on track, says The Irish Times. The ridiculous rules and circumstances behind this speedy venture are laid out over the opening hour. The running around which follows is perfectly convincing; the green screen effects are less so. The real star, however, is editor Nicholas De Toth whose breakneck pacing, combined with Neeson’s growling charisma, allows us to forget that not much in The Commuter makes a lick of sense.

In the south, Kannada film 3 Gante 30 dina 30 seconds, directed by G.K. Madhusudhan and starring Arun Gowda and Kavya Shetty, has its good moments, says The Times of India. The maker has tried to talk about umpteen scams and scandals that were recently seen in the country. But the drawback is the rather shoddy screenplay and some clichéd treatment to the comedy, romance and sentimental scenes. The film shifts quickly from being a light-hearted comedy to an over-the-top melodrama in a jiffy, and this can get to the viewer.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Hindi movies Hamara Tiranga and Medal, Telugu romantic actioner Ego, Malayalam adventure thriller Carbon, Marathi romantic comedy Chitthi, Marathi drama Veda BF, Punjabi romantic drama Saggi Phull, Bengali romantic comedy Total Dadagiri and Bengali crime thriller Aschhe Abar Shabor.

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