Photo: PTI
Photo: PTI

Friday Film Wrap: ‘Helicopter Eela,’ ‘Tumbbad,’ jostle with Hollywood, regional offerings

Helicopter Eela starring Kajol and Riddhi Sen directed by Pradeep Sarkar is an undeniably well-intentioned family entertainer but does appear to have a clear purpose.

New Delhi: In what seems to be one of the most cluttered weeks possible, a bunch of Hindi, Hollywood and regional language films jostle for audiences’ attention.

Helicopter Eela starring Kajol and Riddhi Sen directed by Pradeep Sarkar is an undeniably well-intentioned family entertainer but does appear to have a clear purpose, says NDTV. It is the delivery that’s choppy. It is marred by an unconvincing storyline, vapid treatment and overly hammy acting.

Helicopter Eela is so saddled with banal story-telling, stretched sub-plots and exaggerated performances, including and especially from the lead actress, that it never really takes off, says The Indian Express. The need to show Kajol in a perky younger avatar, hanging out in studios with famous film directors and musician husband makes the film meander.

Fantasy horror film Tumbbad starring Sohum Shah directed by Rahi Anil Barve is a delightfully intriguing film, says Firstpost. Although it does have a fair share of bloodied and rotting bodies, there is nothing gory or visually repulsive about it. In fact, it soon becomes clear that director Barve is not aiming at repelling the audience as much as leaving us spooked out and intrigued. DoP Pankaj Kumar evidently shares his vision since he shoots the film’s creatures in a cleverly obtuse fashion without ever allowing his camera to stare at them, greatly complemented by the sound - surprisingly understated for this genre - and production design.

Jalebi directed by Pushpdeep Bhardwaj starring Rhea Chakraborty, Varun Mitra and Digangana Suryavanshi is the tale of a tasteless journey, says News18. It’s a film that neither knows its purpose nor destination. Even in your most generous mood, you won’t find Jalebi better than the most average episode of a saas-bahu soap.

FryDay directed by Abhishek Dogra starring Govinda and Varun Sharma is loud and unfunny, says Times Now. The good news is FryDay has Govinda back in form but the bad news is, the movie is a misfire and how.

For the Hollywood fans, American musical drama A Star Is Born directed by Bradley Cooper and featuring him along with Lady Gaga comes to India this week. Variety magazine calls it a rapturous rock ‘n’ roll remake of a romantic saga that never gets old. As a filmmaker, Cooper gets right onto the high wire, staging scenes that take their time and play out with a shaggy intimacy that’s shorn of the usual “beats." The new Star Is Born is a total emotional knockout, but it’s also a movie that gets you to believe, at every step, in the complicated rapture of the story it’s telling.

Biographical film First Man on the life of Neil Armstrong starring Ryan Gosling directed by Damien Chazelle is a drama so revelatory in its realism that it shoots the moon, says Variety magazine. Chazelle knows that the story of the NASA space program has been told before. So his audacious strategy is to make a movie so revelatory in its realism, so gritty in its physicality, that it becomes a drama of hellbent danger and obsession.

Tamil drama Aan Devathai starring Samuthirakani and Ramya Pandian directed by Thamira has a tried-and-tested screenplay, with only a few engaging scenes, says The Times Of India. However, it is less preachy when compared to some of Samuthirakani’s earlier films.

Telugu action film Aravindha Sametha Veeraraghava starring Jr. NTR and Pooja Hegde directed by Trivikram Srinivas is vulnerable, but is ready to take the risk, and for that someone of NTR’s stature was apt; Trivikram should be appreciated, says The News Minute. The fights are there, and so are the high-octane dialogues. However, the movie doesn’t highlight them, rather uses them as a trope to show how a change is needed.

Malayalam epic period film Kayamkulam Kochunni directed by Rosshan Andrrews starring Nivin Pauly falls flat, says The Indian Express. Writers Bobby and Sanjay could have made the film more dark and gritty, instead of making it a simple black-and-white story told in broad strokes.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Tamil film Koothan, Malayalam comedy drama Nonsense, Marathi romantic drama Shubh Lagna Savadhan, Punjabi drama Son Of Manjeet Singh and Bengali films Ek Je Chhilo Raja, Manojder Adbhut Bari and Hoichoi Unlimited.