New Delhi: It’s a relatively dull week at the movies.
Action thriller Hotel Mumbai directed by Anthony Maras starring Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi and Anupam Kher is immersive and gut-wrenching, says Firstpost. The film offers novelty, when compared to the documentary Surviving Mumbai that it is based on, in the form of the creative liberty of dramatisation of actual events. While reports and first-hand accounts will have to be vetted endlessly to determine the veracity of the depiction, the film never claims to be an authentic portrayal of the events.
The Indian Express calls it a chilling film that understands the magnitude of the attack, letting the bullets, blood, bombs and the senseless brutality of 26/11 all drive this story. There is no attempt to relieve the tension, no little side stories to humour its audience, and almost no strained sentimentality. However, that both serves this deeply chilling script well — more chilling for it being real — and takes away from it.
Yeh Saali Aashiqui directed by Cherag Ruparel starring Vardhan Puri and Shivaleeka Oberoi is a deft psychological thriller with a gender twist, says Scroll. Some of the plot turns make sense and others don’t, but the screenplay, by Puri and Ruparel, is confident and clever, always making sure to steer its turns with dexterity.
For the Hollywood fans, American crime thriller The Good Liar directed by Bill Condon starring Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren comes to India this week. The Washington Post calls it a silly breeze of a movie starring two of Britain’s finest actors, each having a blast playing cat-and-mouse with the other. The story, which is ultimately about how we wish to portray ourselves, lands well enough, for the most part. The Good Liar isn’t really about grand moral issues, anyway, beyond a simple fact: The echoes of a lie, however distant, never really fade.
Knives Out directed by Rian Johnson starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas and Jamie Lee Curtis is a blast to watch, despite completely missing its biggest swing, says The Verge. The film doesn’t mess with the fundamentals. It’s tremendous fun to watch the cast have a blast with what they’re given. The mystery plot is impressively well-tuned. Each turn and revelation errs on the side of fun over being brainy, and the result is a case that feels just smart enough.
Kannada comedy drama Mundina Nildana starring Praveen Tej and Radhika Narayan directed by Vinay Bharadwaj is a beautiful slice-of-life drama, says The Times Of India. While the filmmaker has chosen a pace that slowly and steadily works towards an interesting climax, a little more drama in dealing with the myriad emotions might have helped make the intended impact.
Malayalam comedy drama Happy Sardar starring Kalidas Jayaram and Sreenath Bhasi directed by Sudip Joshi and Geethika Sudip might impress those who care the best about a colourful narration, even in the absence of a story with a strong spine, says The Times Of India. The movie gathers its emotional heft mostly in the second half, even going to the extent of showing how the cultural hatred spread by the older generation corrupts young minds, but not with much effect.
Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Hindi film X Ray: The Inner Image, Telugu crime thriller Arjun Suravaram, Telugu thriller drama Kamma Rajyam Lo Kadapa Reddlu, Tamil romantic thriller Enai Noki Paayum Thota, Tamil action comedy Market Raja MBBS, Kannada horror thriller Damayanthi, Kannada romantic comedy Brahmachari, Malayalam thriller drama Puzhikkadakan, Malayalam thriller drama Kamala, English Marathi drama The Warrior Queen of Jhansi and Marathi comedy drama Girlz.