A still from ‘Vishwaroopam II’.
A still from ‘Vishwaroopam II’.

Friday film wrap: ‘Vishwaroopam II’ big release of the week

Kamal Haasan's Tamil-Hindi bilingual 'Vishwaroopam II' arrives in theatres

In what is an otherwise dull week in the run-up to Independence Day, Kamal Haasan’s Tamil-Hindi bilingual Vishwaroopam II arrives in theatres.

The film is an incoherent mess, says The Indian Express. Even the star actor can’t rise above the shockingly inept script, which he rescues only in a few places, when his trademark intelligent, wry self-awareness manages to kick in. The rest can be safely ignored. The plot is choppy, carelessly hopping continents and time zones. When the characters are not killing each other, either via hand-to-hand combat, knives and guns, they are busy flitting about in all manner of transport, and deploying weapons.

NDTV calls it an empty shell. As tiresome as the first part was exhilarating, it is an incoherent muddle that is not even middling in terms of quality. Sexagenarian superstar Kamal Haasan, also the writer and director of this bloated mess, clearly used up all his ammo in the first go. Vishwaroop 2 is left working with low-yield leftovers.

Hindi drama Lashtam Pashtam starring Om Puri and Tisca Chopra directed by Manav Bhalla sets out with good intentions, but fails to create great moments of cross-border bromance, says The Times Of India. Writer Nitin Keswani and co-writer Bhalla do not fuel their story with any burning Indo-Pak issue. They also steer clear of any chest beating patriotism from both sides. Instead, they tie in personal incidents in life of their characters with the Indo-Pak issue in a much broader sense. Although, that’s a safe bet, packing in too many sub plots and past references, eventually backfires. Much of the second half that is spent in explaining and reasoning doesn’t quite add up.

For the Hollywood fans, Hollywood science fiction horror film The Meg directed by Jon Turteltaub starring Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose and Winston Chao comes to India this week. Nonsense science lashes together a string of monster-movie cliches, some more knowingly deployed than others, says The Guardian. Turteltaub directs the set pieces with enough B-movie nous to elicit regular jumps, deftly pulls off a mid-film twist, and keeps everything moving, often in equally surprising directions.

Fantasy comedy drama Christopher Robin directed by Marc Forster starring Ewan McGregor and Hayley Atwell is a pleasantly abrasive new spin on Winnie-the-Pooh. It would be disingenuous to say that the movie’s specifics of plot are entirely foreseeable, but the film’s twists and turns fit within a narrow path that leads toward its built-in destination with an inevitable obviousness. Nonetheless, Christopher Robin offers the pleasures of its eccentric textures—both the (synthetically) visual ones of the animals and the dramatic ones of some chattery and spiky dialogue that spices the smoothed-out action like cloves stuck in an apple.

Action comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me directed by Susanna Fogel starring Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Justin Theroux, and Sam Heughan is an enjoyable experience thanks to what Kunis and McKinnon bring to the table, says news.com. The story itself is ludicrous — logically, there is no way they wouldn’t have face-planted at the first hurdle — but you really do have to be forgiving of these missteps if you want to enjoy yourself.

Several films this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include suspense thriller Page 16, Kannada action drama Padarasa, Kannada horror thriller Kathale Kone, Malayalam comedy drama Laughing Apartment Near Girinagar, Malayalam horror film Neeli, Punjabi biographical film Dakuaan Da Munda, Bengali romantic drama Piya Re and Bengali drama Criss Cross.

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