Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a still from ‘Raman Raghav 2.0’
Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a still from ‘Raman Raghav 2.0’

Raman Raghav 2.0, Independence Day: Resurgence to watch this week

'Raman Raghav 2.0' is classic late-night entertainment with blood and gore, while 'Independence Day: Resurgence' is a belated, cluttered sequel to the 1996 smash 'Independence Day'

New Delhi: Anurag Kashyap’s thriller Raman Raghav 2.0, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal, is classic late-night entertainment with blood and gore, a compromised police officer, a moody femme fatale, and several taut moments of suspense, says There’s enough luridness to shock anybody who has not watched Game of Thrones or other television shows with healthy body counts, but the moral urgency is missing. The daring premise might have been more convincing if the psychological motivations of the characters and their social and economic conditions had been better fleshed out. Read more here

Firstpost is more impressed, calling it layered, gripping from the word go, unnerving and, in a twisted way, hugely entertaining. It is also a stinging commentary on the times we live in. The pacey narrative is unrelenting and the dialogues, not relying on filmic melodrama or earthiness, smashingly effective. Holding it all together along with Kashyap’s unswerving directorial intentions is one of the best casts put together for a Hindi film in recent times. Read more here

Romantic film Junooniyat, starring Pulkit Samrat and Yami Gautam and directed by Vivek Agnihotri, is boring and repetitive, says Filmi Beat. The below-average direction and over-the-top performances don’t help either. Read more here

Director Saurabh Varma’s action thriller 7 Hours To Go, starring Sandeepa Dhar and Shiv Pandit, will leave you tangled in a poorly woven web of multiple mysteries, says Deccan Chronicle. The first half raises your expectations, but things fall flat in the second half. Varma, who has also written the film, tries hard to confuse the audience but the truth isn’t exciting enough when the mystery unfolds in the end. Read more here

Rough Book, directed by Ananth Narayan Mahadevan and starring Tannishtha Chatterjee and Amaan Khan, makes for a noble film but has nothing novel to say, says The Times of India. The story touches upon a few necessary themes—from teacher poaching to the excessive emphasis on coaching over regular classes—but the ideas don’t find a strong voice in the movie. Their mission of portraying education as a calling and not a money-minting business gets lost in the film’s half-baked execution. Read more here

For Hollywood fans, science fiction disaster film Independence Day: Resurgence, directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman, comes to India this week. Variety magazine calls it a belated, cluttered sequel to the 1996 smash Independence Day that breaks far less ground than its alien invaders, but confirms director Emmerich as modern cinema’s most spirited conductor of popcorn chaos. Even if its storytelling occasionally tests patience, the film delivers swiftly and generously when it comes to the goods most viewers will have come for—the time-honoured joys of blowing stuff up, in set pieces that escalate dizzyingly in size and context. Read more here

The Guardian says that it’s a joyless and tedious reboot, lacking the first film’s audacity and fun. The plot’s potentially interesting dependence on the idea that there are aliens who are allies as well as enemies is lost in a tiresomely written muddle—an all-but-plotless melee of boring digital carnage. Read more here

Marathi film Ekk Albela, a biopic on legendary actor Bhagwan Dada, starring Mangesh Desai and directed by Shekhar Sartandel, remains more a surface-level look at Bhagwan Dada’s life than an in-depth look at the man himself, says Filmfare. Staying in the safe zone, even when showing interactions within the Hindi film industry, the film rarely ever gives you a moment to marvel at. Moreover, the use of Bhagwan Dada’s larger-than-life persona as the treatment of the film, including dramatic music and lofty dialogue, is intelligent but might prove tough to grasp for someone who isn’t familiar with the man. Read more here

Marathi family drama Damlelya Babachi Kahani, starring Sandeep Khare and Kishor Kadam and directed by Yogesh Jadhav and Nitin Chavan, is a complete mess, says Pune Mirror, adding that no unifying genre can define it. The treatment is overall loud, from scripting and performances to music. Read more here

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Hindi films A Scandall and Dil Toh Deewana Hai, Tamil action film Metro, Telugu movie Oka Manasu, Kannada romantic actioner Lakshmana, Marathi film Ganvesh, Punjabi movie Sardaarji 2 and Bengali film Postmaster.