Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar starring Sonam Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla and Rajkummar Rao is easy to relate to and grasp despite, or may be owing to, its essentially sanitised veneer, says NDTV. It sails to uncharted parts and travels miles, but it does so without rocking the boat too violently. In the end, it is a sensitive, tender and humour-laced melodrama that hinges as much on the relationship between a lonely, misunderstood small-town Punjab girl and her doting father as on the heroine's sexual orientation, which drives her into a difficult-to-break shell.

Director Dhar brings the sensitivity of a woman to the story of Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, says India Today. Writer Ghazal Dhaliwal lends her own touch to this story of 'the other'. With a story like this, like Bollywood has earlier shown us, it is very easy to cross over to the crass. But Shelly and Ghazal excel at walking the tightrope here and don't slip. That is the beauty of Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga.

For the Hollywood fans, historical drama Mary Queen of Scots directed by Josie Rourke starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie comes to India this week. The con­vic­tion of Ro­nan and Rob­bie, and a strong sup­port­ing cast, make this a com­pelling clash of per­son­al­i­ties, says Empire magazine. Rourke finds a way through by fo­cus­ing on a re­lat­able story about women strug­gling to sur­vive a man’s world, though she some­times sac­ri­fices his­tor­i­cal be­liev­abil­ity to do it.

The contrast between Robbie’s spooky, mannered performance and Ronan’s spirited openness, make the movie consistently interesting even if it’s not always convincing, says The New York Times. It looks beautiful and moves swiftly but never quite takes full imaginative flight.

American psychological horror film Escape Room directed by Adam Robitel starring Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll and Taylor Russell is pure No-Brainer Scary Moviemaking 101, says Rolling Stone: get some photogenic actors, figure out creative ways to off them, push some phobic buttons, leave things open for a franchise and stay on-brand. Which director Robitel and screenwriters Bragi F. Schut and Maria Melnik do really well, for a little while. Once this pattern is revealed and the film becomes more of a stuck-on-simmer conspiracy potboiler, the returns begin exponentially diminishing.

Vulture calls it a tight, thoroughly fun thriller. Robitel finds plenty of ways to keeps his finger on the tension button throughout the film’s 100 minutes. A lot of that is due to the continuously, pleasantly surprising quality of its art direction. The series of puzzle environments are clever and atmospheric and look, for lack of a better word, expensive. There’s real care and attention to detail in all of the wicked little traps of Escape Room, where a lesser production might have cut corners.

Tamil musical drama Sarvam Thaala Mayam directed by Rajiv Menon starring G. V. Prakash Kumar and Aparna Balamurali is an honest attempt that explores the cultural politics of Carnatic music, says The Indian Express. The film would have turned much better had Menon not brought in the reality show-angle in the second half. Those portions are forceful and a tad orchestrated.

Tamil action comedy Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven directed by Sundar C starring Silambarasan, Ramya Krishnan and Megha Akash seems a lot smaller in scale than the original Telugu film Attarintiki Daredi, says Film Companion. A good half hour of the film suffers from the identity crisis of being neither an STR film nor a Sundar C film.

Tamil film Sagaa directed by Murugesh starring Saran and Kishore is a classic case of bad writing ruining a premise that has promise, says The Times Of India. Murugesh has the strands for an edge-of-the-seat thriller, but the script lacks logic while its characters lack common sense.

Tamil film Peranbu directed by Ram starring Mammootty and Sadhana is a delicately textured moving drama, says The Indian Express. It is amazing how a superstar of Mammootty’s stature quickly sheds the glitz when given a challenging script.

Marathi drama Dhappa starring Deepali Borkar and Sharav Wadhawekar directed by Nipun Dharmadhikari is a simplistic and yet winning parable of childhood, says Scroll. The movie fires its dual-toned message of inter-faith tolerance and the need for free speech over the shoulders of children.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Telugu action thriller Akkadokaduntadu, Malayalam comedy Lonappante Mamodisa, Malayalam comedy drama Allu Ramendran, Kannada films Anukta, Mataash, Trayodasha, Bazaar and Bhootha Kaala, Marathi dramas Me Pan Sachin and Youth Tube, Marathi romantic comedy Sarva Line Vyasta Ahet, Punjabi comedies drama Uda Aida and Kaake Da Viyah, Bengali drama Mukhomukhi, Gujarati thriller drama Order Order Out of Order and Gujarati comedy drama Chaal Jeevi Laiye.

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