Home / Industry / Media /  Friday Film Wrap: ‘Marjaavaan’ big release of the week

New Delhi: One week into Ayushmann Khurrana’s Bala, there are some small offerings at the movies.

Action drama Marjaavaan starring Sidharth Malhotra, Riteish Deshmukh, Tara Sutaria and Rakul Preet Singh directed by Milap Zhaveri is a 1980s Bollywood flashback with characters who are cardboard cutouts, says Scroll. The action scenes are slick and Zaveri remains loyal to the milieu and garnished speeches. It might have worked too, had the story had some heft, some surprises and if one could feel the complexities of the relationships between these flawed characters who remain nothing more than billboard-sized cardboard cutouts.

What unfolds on screen for 2 hours and 15 minutes is an example of a plot rendered hollow with cliches, big talk and over the top dramatics, says Khaleej Times. Not that these haven't worked for Bollywood movies in the past. But when one hour into the movie, a scene comes up which could well pass off as the end, and you are searching for the exit, and realise you have to sit through another one-and-a-half hours, it doesn't bode well for the movie.

Romantic comedy Motichoor Chaknachoor starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Athiya Shetty directed by Debamitra Biswal is a puerile odd-couple comedy devoid of the slightest semblance of energy, says NDTV. It is a film in desperate need of a coherent screenplay. The excruciatingly unfunny film tries exceedingly hard to extract an air of mirth from the obvious incongruities between the two protagonists. But the scrappy writing yields a monotonous, pedestrian dramedy that fails to deliver even an iota of sense.

Jhalki starring Boman Irani and Sanjay Suri directed by Brahmanand S. Siingh is a story tailor-made for tears and Singh doesn’t try to spare any, says The Indian Express. However, the film leaves one unmoved due to its cardboard characters, its imagination is limited to the atmospherics; while its characters (and some very good actors) flounder about.

For the Hollywood fans, American sports drama Ford v Ferrari directed by James Mangold starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale comes to India this week. While the film is long, it rips along at extreme velocity thanks to a panoply of colourful, entertaining characters, says Empire magazine. It doesn’t do anything particularly revolutionary: it hews to a classic sports-movie structure that’s been tried and tested in everything from Rocky to Hoosiers. But what the film does, it does extraordinarily well. Like his two protagonists on screen, Mangold knows how to go under the hood of a vehicle with a spanner — and he’s made this one fly.

Mangold fuels his true-life plot with enough flesh-and-blood action to leave to leave you dizzy, says Rolling Stone. It takes a few failed tries before the protagonists are ready to show what they’ve got at Le Mans in 1966. But getting there really is half the fun, as is getting to know the characters as more than instruments charged with making it first to the finish line. By then, Mangold has us in his grip with no intention of letting go.

Then there is action comedy Charlie’s Angels directed by Elizabeth Banks, starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska. There’s intermittent fun to be had in this throwaway relaunch of the female secret agent franchise but the party is cut short by incoherent action and a clunky script, says The Guardian. It’s an initial relief to find that Banks hasn’t decided to go the way of so many reboots and bring us a grounded, gritty take on featherlight material, and it’s her awareness of the inherent silliness of the franchise that proves to be one of the film’s saving graces. It’s never taken too seriously, and thus is hard to dislike, a disposable film aware of its own disposability.

Telugu action comedy Tenali Ramakrishna BA BL starring Ayyappa P Sharma and Sapthagiri directed by G. Nageswara Reddy is a sloppy courtroom drama which hardly has anything worthwhile happening, says Those who don’t mind juvenile humour will have some moments to enjoy. Otherwise, it is very routine and forgettable fare.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Hindi film Marrne Bhi Do Yaaron, Tamil action drama Sangathamizhan, Telugu action drama Action, Kannada crime thriller Relax Satya, Kannada horror comedy Mane Maratakkide, Malayalam mystery thriller Helen and Marathi historical drama Fatteshikast.

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