Salman Khan in a still from 'Bharat'.
Salman Khan in a still from 'Bharat'.

Friday Film Wrap: ‘Bharat’ competes with ‘Dark Phoenix’

  • Bharat is an unfeeling and overstretched affair that botches its source material, says media report
  • For fans of Hollywood, American superhero film X-Men: Dark Phoenix comes to India this week

New Delhi: Salman Khan’s latest offering for his fans on Eid was released on Wednesday.

Khan’s action drama Bharat co-starring Katrina Kaif and directed by Ali Abbas Zafar has a story which had the potential to become a solid reckoner of post-Independence nation-building, and how things rolled from thereon, and a free hand to craft it, says The Indian Express. But the opportunity is squandered in unnecessary songs and dances, an aiming-for-cheap-laughs comic thread which involves making a stutterer the butt of jokes, and improbable situations.

Scroll calls the film an ode to the Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif pairing and little else. There is unmistakable tenderness as Bharat (Khan) and Kumud’s characters (Kaif) grow old together and look fondly into the distance while exchanging mock jibes and declarations of love. The rest of the 167-minute movie is an unfeeling and overstretched affair that botches its source material and squanders the opportunity to say anything meaningful about Bharat’s journey from the 1940s till the 2010s.

For fans of Hollywood, American superhero film X-Men: Dark Phoenix directed by Simon Kinberg, starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, and Sophie Turner comes to India this week. The Guardian says the mutant franchise fizzles out forgettably. Fundamentally, we are heading for the same good-versus-evil showdown that closes out Marvel movies, with lots of digital effects. The battle here is certainly spirited, and Jessica Chastain looks intimidating as the alien Vuk – although the role is a waste of her talents. Magneto’s reappearance is sub-par, and so, frankly, is Michael Fassbender’s performance, although his character has been starved of the kind of interest devoted to his old rival Xavier. We are also denied a bullet-time setpiece sequence for Quicksilver (Evan Peters), which were witty features of previous installments.

The Chicago Tribune calls the film morose and dull, numbing in its body count, and seriously galling in its emphasis on aliens getting shot up with heavy automatic gunfire at close range. Coming out of Dark Phoenix, a lame do-over of the Apocalypse movie three years ago, you’re reminded that not all superhero franchises are created equal.

Tamil romantic thriller Seven starring Nandita Swetha and Aditi Arya directed by Nizar Shafi is a bore fest, says sify.com. The film works around a highly implausible flashback. The last 20 minutes are fairly better and watchable compared with the utter boring first half. But the movie's basic mystery is too cinematic and silly.

Telugu romantic comedy Hippi starring Kartikeya Gummakonda and Digangana Suryavanshi directed by TN Krishna has nothing much to offer, says The Times Of India. Director Krishna chooses comic-book style visuals that are interesting, but get picked up and dropped off erratically, to no end. The narrative and editing on the other hand are way too choppy and old-school.

Malayalam drama Thottappan starring Vinayakan directed by Shanavas K Bavakutty is about a great setting, a few great moments and a missed opportunity, says Film Companion. The main problem is that it has too many strands to keep track of, never doing justice to any one of them. Entire sub-plots, happen so suddenly that it’s difficult to understand where it all fits in.

Malayalam comedy drama Children’s Park starring Vishnu Unnikrishnan and Sharafudheen directed by Shafi is a feel-good film and you leave with a nice feeling to see the ‘three idiots’ come good, says The Times Of India. It is apt fare for a festival release.

Malayalam romantic drama Thamaasha starring Vinay Forrt and Arun Kurian directed by Ashraf Hamza has got what it takes to both entertain and educate the audience, says The Time Of India and if what you care the most about isn't star power but moving cinema, the film deserves your time without a doubt.

Bengali thriller drama Shesh Theke Shuru starring Jeet Madnani and Koel Mallick directed by Raj Chakraborty is a decent effort, says The Times Of India. It scores high on entertainment value, but the addition of some unnecessary subplots bloats the runtime and takes focus away from the core story.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Tamil action drama Kolaigaran, Malayalam films My Great Grandfather, Mask and Virus and Bengali movies Kidnap and Feluda: 50 Years of Rays Detective.

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