Tuesday 27 December 2016

The Great Wall ... White man to the rescue

THE ravishing, lissome and lithe Chinese heroine General Lin Mei (Tian Jing) tells Western white mercenary William Garin (Matt Damon) that they're both not that different from each other. What she means is that China and the US are alike.

Passengers ... Worst film of the year

PASSENGERS has two of the biggest movie stars in the world, but the nondescript and risible
screenplay, and the lack of chemistry between them, mean the film won't lift off.    Norwegian director Morten Tyldum's Robinson-Crusoe-on spaceship film deals with the consequences of being stranded in space alone and quickly moves on to the film's bread-and-butter issue: the romance between Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.
   Lawrence and Pratt are two likeable people, but the film envelops them in romantic cliches: romantic dinner, romantic film date, romantic view that will take your breath away and romantic gesture with a rose.

Sunday 25 December 2016

Dangal ... Wrestling with two themes

SPORTS biopic Dangal could have been an engrossing film about how a small town girl overcame
societal pressure and gender discrimination to win India's first-ever wrestling gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. It's based on the true story of Geeta Phogat, who became the first Indian female wrestler to qualify for the Olympics.
    But when you have Aamir Khan producing the Nitesh Tiwari-directed film and starring as Geeta's former national wrestling champion father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, your loyalty, and focus in the film, will be divided.

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Arrival ... Taut, intelligent and fawning to US army

AMERICA is a peace-loving country that leaves the sabre rattling and belligerence to Russia and China. This is what viewers will get after watching Canadian director Dennis Villeneuve's Arrival.  It's also about a woman navigating a minefield of male egos and the army.
    The film spouts linguistic theories and how a language affects the way people think. Furthermore, the down-to-earth and radiant performance of Amy Adams will keeps viewers engrossed in this sci-fi drama that's wrapped around US army strength, and she full deserves her Golden Globe nomination for best actress. The non-linear structure of the film is also enticing.

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Assassin's Creed ... Kill off this film

ASSASSIN'S Creed is one jumbled-up mess of non-stop violent action interspersed with highfalutin
ideas about free will and eliminating violence in society.
   I wasn't surprised when I heard the guy sitting next to me snoring lightly midway through the film, and I wasn't even upset with the two people a few rows in front of me fiddling with their smarthphones. I supposed they had to do something to escape the drab playing in front of them.

Monday 12 December 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ... Only the battle sequence stands out

THE synopsis of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story reads: "The rebellion makes a risky move to steal the
plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow."
    This tells you all you need to know about this standalone Star Wars film, which is set just before Star Wars IV. I'm not spilling the beans when I say that the rebellion does succeed at the end, because the entire world knows that jedi protege-cum-pilot Luke Skywalker brings down the Death Star in Star Wars IV, thanks to the stolen plans.

Saturday 3 December 2016

Dear Zindagi ... Mental blocks

IS Hindi film Dear Zindagi about the benefits of psychiatric treatment, or is it about a pretty 25-year-
old woman's fear of being called a slut?
   The first part of writer-director Gauri Shinde's film focuses on up-and-coming cinematographer Kaira's (Alia Bhatt) colourful life, meaning she can't commit to a man, regardless of how dashing and well off he is. She's in a relationship with a restaurateur, but while on a shoot in Singapore, she sleeps with handsome film producer Raghuvendra (Kunal Kapoor).