New Delhi: A bunch of mid-sized Hindi and Hollywood films compete for audiences’ attention in theatres this week.
Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi directed by Mudassar Aziz starring Sonakshi Sinha, Diana Penty, Jimmy Sheirgill, Ali Fazal and Jassi Gill tries for the same tropes as the first part, says The Indian Express, a mix of muddled-headed but large-hearted Punjabis, crooked Chinese, a song or two, and a series of sequences which are meant to be funny but are most flat and dull. The smartest thing you can do with a caper like this, when you are trying to stuff in all kinds of improbable things, is to keep it brisk and pacy. It is two hours and some minutes, but feels much longer.
Action thriller Genius directed by Anil Sharma starring Utkarsh Sharma, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mithun Chakraborty might have been more engaging had the face-off between Sharma and Siddiqui been the core of the plot rather than the infantile love story, says Firstpost. Shabby special effects, outlandish costumes, over-writing, under-editing, ungainly choreography and an excess of songs add to the discomfort felt during this viewing.
For the Hollywood fans, American historical drama Alpha directed by Albert Hughes starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Leonor Varela and Jens Hultén comes to India this week. Variety magazine calls it a spectacular prehistoric eye-candy survival yarn, that is enthralling in a square and slightly stolid way. Alpha is captivating without being too surprising; you can always tell, more or less, where it’s headed. Yet the film is good enough to connect, as a late-summer sleeper, with an audience hungry to see an old-fashioned movie made with new-fashioned finesse.
Action thriller Mile 22 directed by Peter Berg starring Mark Wahlberg, John Malkovich, Lauren Cohanand Iko Uwais is a testosterone cocktail of reactionary sound bites and incoherent action that even Michael Bay might have rejected as too amped, says The New York Times. The film makes for an appalling referendum on the state of commercial cinema in 2018. The plot involves Wahlberg as the principal member of a team of covert agents devoted to a “higher form of patriotism" and a level of violence we’re told most people find unpalatable. By the end, it’s clear that their solution to even the most incompetent uses of that violence is more violence.
3D animation fantasy The Stolen Princess directed by Oleg Malamuzh makes use of self-deprecating humour and offers a quirky take on the Disney Princess films, says Filmfare. The colour palette is all bright and sunny and the 3D animation is surprisingly well-rendered and looks easy on the eye. We’ve become used to Hollywood products when it comes to animation. Japan’s Studio Ghibli has emerged as an option in recent times, and this film proves that we need to explore products from other studios and countries as well.
Kannada drama Ondalla Eradalla starring P.V Rohith and Sai Krishna Kudla directed by D. Satya Prakash is fresh and has a very novel approach, says The Times Of India. The first half is completely engaging with a lot of laughs. There are parts in the second half where it gets a little slow and loud, but the message delivered towards the end is almost akin to a well-crafted fairy tale for kids.
Marathi drama Truckbhar Swapna starring Makarand Deshpande and Kranti Redkar directed by Pramod Pawar could have been a good watch had it been given better treatment and a little more thought, says The Times Of India. The film has its heart in the right place but there are numerous issues that plague its development and overall appeal.
Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Tamil musical Lakshmi,Tamil action thriller Kalari, Telugu action thriller Aatagallu, Kannada drama Sarkari. Hi. Pra. Shale Kasaragodu, Koduge: Ramanna Rai, Marathi drama Dostigiri and Gujarati comedy drama Shu Thayu.