New Delhi: The run-up to the big Christmas weekend at the end of the year is marked by a few mid-sized films.
Action thriller Mardaani 2, directed by Gopi Puthran and starring Rani Mukerji, begins nicely but soon becomes a revenge drama that lets the audience feel a collective sense of catharsis seeing a rapist get his just desserts, says masala.com. Coming as it does on the heels of the Priyanka Reddy case and a string of other crimes reported recently, Mardaani 2 is undoubtedly, very timely. Mukerji brings just the right amount of angst without being melodramatic and it's a treat to watch her on-screen after 2018's Hichki.
Mystery thriller The Body starring Rishi Kapoor, Emraan Hashmi and Sobhita Dhulipala, directed by Jeethu Joseph, has little to keep viewers engaged and fails to make a mark as a crime thriller, says Khaleej Times. Joseph seems to be clueless over how he wants his movie to turn out. Scenes and sequences have been added thoughtlessly.
For the Hollywood fans, American fantasy adventure Jumanji: The Next Level directed by Jake Kasdan starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan comes to India this week. Vulture calls it a tired, modestly funny sequel to 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The film feels kind of lifeless. A big melee at the end is useless, and while a big set piece involving a bunch of hanging bridges and an army of vicious super-baboons is occasionally fun, it feels more like we’re watching a VFX demo reel than anything involving inspiration or wit.
What gives Jumanji its likability is that it has the emphases and comedy beats of an animation, but also the performance technique of live action – and the occasional reshuffling of avatars and players lets the actors show off a little bit further. Jumanji’s next level is rather satisfying. Fans are likely to be perfectly happy with another episode on the same lines as before.
Multilingual period drama Mamangam starring Mammootty directed by M.Padmakumar aspires to be great but stops short of it, says Film Companion. Mamangam has so many scenes brimming with such exquisite drama you wished the film had remained more intimate, revolving around the characters. The writing too meanders as it tries to accommodate one action set piece after another, losing the sensitivity it creates until then.
Telugu thriller drama Amma Rajyam Lo Kadapa Biddalu starring Dhanraj Sukhram and Mahesh Kathi directed by Ram Gopal Varma is an overdrawn film filled with random scenes picked out of real life and dialogues that think they’re mocking these politicians in a very funny manner but fall flat, says The Times Of India. All we see is a film that's a hot mess of random scenes stitched together.
Kannada action drama Odeya starring Darshan Thoogudeep and Devaraj directed by MD Sridhar does have the content that fans need for a three-hour whistle fest at the cinema halls, says The Times Of India. Odeya might not be anything novel or out-of-the-box as far as its packaging goes, but if you’re a Darshan fan and enjoy formulaic commercial family dramas, the film will appeal to your sensibilities.
A few releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Hindi films Unfriends and Mudda 370 J&K, Telugu action comedy Venky Mama, Marathi thriller drama Senior Citizen and Marathi drama Berji Vajabaki.