#90sMoviesIn2018

Editor’s note: Since cinema is not only a form of entertainment but also an important cultural tool that has the power to shape opinions, we are reviewing classics and trying to see them through the lens of the current socio-political climate. The aim is to call out biases, misrepresentation and everything else that is problematic so that we can gauge our journey thus far and the road ahead.

Movie: Ishq
Director: Indra Kumar
Cast: Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgn, Juhi Chawla, Kajol
Release: 1997

In November, 1997, when Ishq had just hit the screens, it was everything that audiences could have hoped for. Ajay Devgn and Kajol’s real-life romance was making tabloid headlines as the actors played lovebirds in the film. After several years, Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla were paired together and Anu Mallik produced soulful melodies in Virasat and was a club favorite for his foot taping numbers in Judwaa. Needless to say, Ishq was a smashing hit, despite critics not being too happy with it.

Anupama Chopra in her 1997 review of the film pointed out, “Ishq is a relentless assault on the senses and yet the director’s conviction in his patently absurd tale glues you to your seat, wide-eyed and wondering, what next?”

However, re-watch the film today and you will realize that Chopra was just being polite when she called it an assault on the senses. It is, in fact, far worse. The film tries to end with the message that love conquers all. But, sit through the long cringe-inducing two hours and forty minutes of classist, racist narrative and you will seriously begin questioning all your movie favorites from the 90’s.

For those of you who do not remember Ishq very well, here is a refresher.

Ishq is the story of two rich kids, Ajay (Ajay Devgn) and Madhu (Juhi Cahwla), and their love for Kajal (Kajol) and Raja (Aamir Khan) respectively — who come from a poor section of the society. It begins with an unctuous voice-over that tells us how the rich perceives the poor – as vermin – and are ever ready to quash them under their richly clad feet. It goes on to introduce the ultra-rich businessman Ranjit Rai (Sadashiv Amrapurkar), (Ajay’s dad in the film) and his friend Harbans Lal (Dilip Tahil) who detest nothing more than the poor. The houses they live in is as big as the ego of the filmmaker, Indra Kumar, who had clearly mistaken himself as the satirist of the century. Needless to say, that Ranjit Rai and Harbans Lal are the Machiavellian villains of Ishq, a film which leaves no opportunity to belittle the poor.

In almost every scene, poor people are denigrated by Ranjit Rai, degraded and humiliated, and generally made to feel like scum. Not just his character, the younger generation also — especially Ajay (Devgn) and Raja (Khan) — display a disregard for those in supposedly ‘menial’ jobs such as bank managers, clerks, servants and others in the service of the rich. In the end, the film tries to malign and ridicule the classist, rich villains, but fails miserably. If Ishq is meant to be a comment on our social structure and class differences, it clearly doesn’t come across.

On re-watching the film it becomes clear that not only does it use crass jokes and unconvincing narrative but it is also problematic in its depiction of several unnecessary tropes.
ajay


Let’s start with the colourism. Several times in the film, Ranjith Rai is shamed and mocked for his dark skin colour. When he rebukes his best friend for still being bald as in the old days, the friend hits back saying Rai is still just as dark as he used to be, implying insult that Rai adequately feels and expresses through facial cues.

The dialogue was supposed to be an affront, and it was. Problem is, being dark-skinned is not an insult, or a problem, or anyone’s business to comment upon. But it was normalisation of colour discrimination in films such as ‘Ishq’, through inconsequential jokes that seemingly soften the blow with humour, that still finds its echoes in matrimonials and fairness cream advertisements.

The second appalling problem with the film was the mockery it made of specially-abled persons for the sake of some pitiable comic relief. In a scene in which the mischievous duo of Ajay and Raja dupe a bank out of Rs 5 lakh in cash, they try to escape the scene of the crime by pretending to be disabled. While nothing was said out loud, the actions of the two actors clearly implied that the two were caricaturing specially-abled persons, thus comically scaring the security personnel off with their ‘weird’ gesticulations, twisted faces and muffled sounds.

In another scene, a deaf and mute man is shown to act as another element of comic relief. For almost two minutes the man is written to make squelching, unintelligible sounds to depict his muteness while he mindlessly cuts through a water pipe that the heroes are hanging on to for dear life.

In yet another scene, a mercenary hired by the evil parents to kill Raja and Kajal, was depicted to be a man with speech disabilities. Why did the makers think the character, who was obviously an unimportant trope meant only for (again) comic relief, need to have a thick stutter? The character is humiliated and ultimately killed off as villains of his kind often are in Bollywood films.

If that wasn’t enough, the film is suggestive of extremely problematic social behavior between men and women, especially Raja and Madhu. The couple is written to be a fiesty one, with both being pranksters who start interacting out of a mutual urgency to best the other’s prank. The competition becomes psychotic with Madhu making actual attempts on the lives of Raja and even the innocent Ajay by putting them in a break-less car. Raja takes revenge by turning up later at night as a ghost and literally physically harassing Madhu, who is in her bedroom. The penultimate ‘izhaar’ or admission of love also grows out of an act of near-violence. After the last prank, Madhu apologises to Raja for her behaviour and is, in response, violently kissed by Raja on the lips in the middle of a busy market scene. There is nothing romantic about it, Raja does not seek Madhu’s consent, he just kisses her to win the argument. Because that is always the best way to shut a woman up.
juhi
Further disturbing is the fact that Madhu, who is apparently oblivious to just being violated by a boy she had so far been fighting with, kisses him back in what is supposed to be retaliatory power – she kisses him harder and for longer, (again without his consent), thus equaling and even eclipsing Raja’s grand kiss. The two instantly fall in love after this very confusing interaction.

While the points made so far are all relevant in normalising illegitimate behaviour toward certain people, what is most appalling about the film is how it exploits the poor. Right from the beginning, the film tries to portray exaggerations, in both its projections of the cruel fancies of the rich and the morose helplessness of the duty-bound poor.

It shows both Ranjith and Harbans Rai (Madhu aka Juhi’s dad) as evil money magnates who are basically classist pigs that are taught a lesson in socialism by their kids. This projection is dishonest and the facade of satire quickly falls apart to reveal an ugly, elitist view of poverty and a disguised pandering to the rich. Till the very end, the two characters (and others) are seen abusing the ‘poor’ and the two are never actually faced with the gravity or magnanimity of their crimes. Their children marrying into poor families is seen as adequate ‘punishment’ for the two.

In the end, ‘Ishq’ boils down to a run-of-the mill 90’s Bollywood boiler about star-crossed lovers who find a way to unite despite familial disapproval and class difference. The few truly comic elements of the film and Anu Malik’s chirpy songs fail to hide the macabre reality of class inequality endemic to India. And the disability jokes add the rotten tomato on top.

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Newton Review

Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Raghubir Yadav, Anjali Patil, Mukesh Prajapati

Director: Amit V Masurkar

Above all things, Newton, directed by Amit Masurkar, is about the clash between idealism and reality. It’s a sharp black comedy about a young man named Nutan Kumar aka Newton, an upright election officer played by Rajkummar Rao, who’s packed off to the jungles of Chhattisgarh to conduct polls for the 76 eligible voters in that troubled region. Because he’s idealistic to a fault, he immediately locks horns with Pankaj Tripathi’s character Aatma Singh, a cynical military officer assigned to protect the booth against the insurgents who’re likely to disrupt the voting process. Masurkar, who has co-written the film with Mayank Tewari, mines humor from the most unlikely places. But it’s also a remarkably perceptive film that casts an honest, unflinching eye on the farce of the electoral process, imploring us to consider the notion of democracy that we take such pride in. It is moving too, especially the portions that reveal the extent to which tribals and poor rural folk are unscrupulously manipulated.

This is a film that raises burning questions but never pretends to have all the answers. It presents multiple points of view through its many characters, including Raghubir Yadav as Newton’s skeptic colleague Loknath, and Anjali Patil as practical-minded schoolteacher Malko. Both actors are terrific in their roles, never missing a beat, inhabiting their characters completely.

The heavy lifting, however, is left to Rajkummar Rao and Pankaj Tripathi, and expectedly they’re in rock solid form. Tripathi, who has been on a roll this year with substantial parts in Ankarkali of Aarah, Gurgaon and Bareilly Ki Barfi injects a dry, humorless quality to the world-weary Aatma Singh, who has little concern for protocol or procedure, and just wants to get everyone out of there alive, indifferent to Newton’s desperate need to conduct a free and fair election. Rao, meanwhile, offering another winning performance in another ‘everyman’ role, gets under the skin of Newton, bringing little details, little touches to round off the part. It’s hard to separate the actor from the character, and not many of our artistes can claim to possess that gift.

Newton is relevant and timely without being boring or inaccessible. You could say it lays on its message too thick in the end, or that the pace occasionally slips. But these are minor nigglings that never dent the impact of its thrust. I’m going with four out of five. It’s easily one of, if not the best Hindi film you’ll see this year. Make sure you make the time for it.

Rating: 4 / 5

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Kingsman-The Golden Circle Review

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There are spy films based on the likes of James Bond and Jason Bourne, on a dramatic sleek side and then there are those like the Kingsman that take the action and humour of typical Hollywood spy series and mix it with the outlandish-ness of comics. In 2015, director Matthew Vaughn turned the movie spy conceit on its head with Kingsman: The Secret Service and the twisted humourous film became an instant hit with the fans. Now the sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is here and just like its predecessor the wacko formula works wonders again. The story takes place a year after the Secret Service, with Henry (Colin Firth) dead, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) settling well into a life he imagined as a Kingsman until Charlie (one of Kingman’s ex-aspirant) turns up to spoil the mood. The advanced Charlie gets the better of Eggsy which results in the destruction of the entire secret intelligence. Now the new villain Poppy (Julianne Moore) is introduced in the most twisted and dramatic fashion, as a shrewd businesswoman who runs world’s biggest drug cartel, that no other spy film could carry out. And then the American cousin of Kingsman, Statesman is introduced with a highly attractive crew namely – Ginger Ale, Tequila and Whiskey (Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, and Pedro Pascal respectively). The rest of the story remains the ‘same save the world with aggressive action, reaction, some retrograde Amnesia and lots of gentleman-ship’. ,/br.

The entire setup of the film relies on the same formula of 2014 and it still entertaining. Yes, there are certain stale moments in the film, but the slick action and comedy cover it all, and the ensemble cast just acts as a cherry on the top. From Tatum to Elton John, everyone seems to have a party in their role and the enjoyment is transferable. The plot takes a back-seat in outlandish stories, but hey, we are not complaining. Basically, Vaughn is playing with the gravity of spy-thrillers here, changing the fundamental rules of action-movie storytelling radically. It blurs the stakes and makes it impossible to know what, if anything, the risks of operating in such an otherwise-lethal world are.

The sequel offers a dose of extra to everything that made its predecessor a success; more gentlemen, more action, more transformation and more destruction. However, the film lacks in the creative space. In order to tap into the memorandum of the previous film, the makers failed to give The Golden Circle its own edge, which might be disappointing for fans who are expecting another comic-thriller ride.

There are certain developments in the film and certain moments that’ll remind you of all Bollywood films, where makers are afraid to kill the beloved characters. In order to make the film wholesome, Vaughn overstepped into the territory of using actors as props instead of using them in the story. There is a subtle reference to the leadership in America right now, and that just makes you chuckle at the audacious rebel, Vaughn tried to be.

kingsman

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is an aggressively stylised action film with an overdose of stars, sleekness, and pace. The shift in the characters is too comic-like, but that is what makes it noteworthy. It’s not your regular spy film, it’s cheeky and it knows it. A complete popcorn entertainer, the film delivers to its fan base, nothing less than its prequel. The film feels like a stand-up, where you enjoy it with a drink and go home with a grin, nothing more and nothing less.

Rating: 3/5

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Judwaa 2 Review

Remakes and sequels invariably come with a big risk of ruining experiences of cinegoers. Fortunately, Judwaa 2 doesn’t come across as one of those horrid remakes that just couldn’t live up to the original and made people wonder why the filmmakers even bothered. Instead, this remake maintains the benchmark.

Salman Khan starrer comic caper Judwa which released in 1997 was a typical David Dhawan film and was an offshoot of a celebrated form of filmmaking of that time.

After two decades, the Hindi film industry has evolved and for the better. Agreed, slapstick comedy still works, but only with original content. Honestly speaking, Judwaa 2 lacks that freshness. The film is an old wine served in an old style, just the ingredients are new, giving out the same flavour. Raja (Varun) and Prem (Varun, again) are conjoined twins, who have similar reflexes. They are separated at birth by a smuggler, Charles (Zakir Hussain), who kidnaps Raja. The geek Prem grows up in the lap of luxury in London with his parents – the Malhotras; loud Raja finds shelter in a Mumbai’s fisherman’s colony. One is a ‘gali ka tapori’, the other praying for a miracle to save him from the college bullies. Circumstances lead to Raja’s entry in London, and rest as one may say, is exactly what you saw in the original, yes, even the climax.

Talking about the performances, Varun has tried hard to fit into the shoes of Salman, however, the time fails him. He literally imitates Salman’s style in certain sequences, notably when he says ‘Prem Malhotra’. While Salman’s antics were funny then, the same comedy and body language make you roll your eyes now.
Cinema has evolved, but David’s character hasn’t. Jacqueline Fernandez and Taapsee Pannu are just fine in their parts because the script doesn’t demand too much out of them. None of the actresses are able to strike a chemistry with their lead man.

Anupam Kher’s presence feels like a warm hug because he is the only actor that actually fits in that time frame.

The slapstick comedy throughout the film is borderline offensive. While we don’t expect ‘woke humour’ from the Dhawan camp, a little awareness and evolution in the filmmaking won’t hurt anyone. What appeared funny in the 90s, is largely unrelatable, superficial and juvenile in 2017. The year when we have seen better comedies like Bareilly Ki Barfi, Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan, and even Newton, this one just feels out of its place and era. Varun is the only actor expected to pull this kind of humour off, but even he needs to understand that the charm will work only to an extent as his audience wants to see his real caliber, anytime now.

There are certain references to all actors’ own films written as the punch line of extremely lame jokes. To make the script trendier, writers have actually inserted WhatsApp jokes, however, credit has to be given to Varun to pull it off with at least some dignity.

So is everything in the film that depressing? Absolutely not. The film is like a colourful nostalgia and certain moments will evoke chuckles. The setting of the film is vibrant and the songs add on to the energetic vibe. All this makes it a mass-appealing film that people would prefer to watch on a festive weekend.

David has never been a critic’s director. His motive has always been to make a mass entertainer and he has done the same with Judwaa 2. While the informed audience may ridicule his craft, the larger fanbase of the original 1997 hit will have an enjoyable time inside the theaters, with sequence and background score ringing in the collective nostalgia. Salman’s cameo adds on to the mass-appeal of the film. It’s as bizarre and illogical as the entire film but exists only for the nostalgic factor.

Judwaa 2 is a dose of nostalgia that dumbs you down. It exists because of a mass-favorite film made 20 years ago and doesn’t offer anything new to the audience. There is nothing smart about the film, and that’s disappointing. We didn’t go to the theatre expecting intelligent humour, but we didn’t expect a crude and forced comedy either. Things could’ve been much better had the makers been a little awake during the transition of the film industry from 90’s to the teens of the 21st century.

Rating:1.5/5

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Lucknow Central Review

Just three weeks after Qaidi Band, a film revolving around a band formed by jail inmates seeking freedom crashed at the box office, filmmaker Ranjit Tiwari brings to the big screen a story on similar lines.

Lucknow Central stars Farhan Akhtar, Diana Penty, Gippy Grewal and Deepak Dobriyal in lead roles. The film revolves around Kishen Mohan Girhotra, an aspiring singer hailing from Uttar Pradesh, who lands in Lucknow Central Jail based on a false murder accusation and an NGO worker Gayatri Kashyap who is asked to form a band of prisoners for a competition. If the trailer is anything to go by, the film mostly focuses on how the prisoners plan their escape and how music becomes an integral part of their lives.

Considering that the depiction of jail inmates and the life inside has always followed a stereotypical approach in Bollywood, it’ll be interesting to see how the makers have utilised it this time. It’ll also be exciting to see Farhan featuring in a music-related film after the success of Rock On franchise. Will Farhan Akhtar and his band etch a memorable film? Will Lucknow Central provide an interesting insight into the mindset of jail inmates? Will Ranjit Tiwari’s directorial debut be any better than other Bollywood prison escape films? Kriti Tulsiani from News18.com is inside the theater to find out. Tweets about #LucknowCentral from:@sleepingpsyche2
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Lucknow Central Movie Review

Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Deepak Dobriyal, Rajesh Sharma, Gippy Grewal, Inaamulhaq, Ronit Roy, Diana Penty, Ravi Kishan

Director: Ranjit Tiwari

In Lucknow Central, a bunch of desperate prison inmates turn to music in the hope of securing their freedom. Surface-level similarities to Qaidi Band notwithstanding, this is a premise with some potential, and first-time director Ranjit Tiwari delivers an inoffensive film with some moving scenes. But the inert script never powers the film with enough fuel to fly. Farhan Akhtar plays Kishan, an aspiring singer in Muradabad, who is falsely accused of murder and thrown into jail. All his dreams of becoming a musical sensation are likely quashed forever…that is until he meets and befriends four fellow inmates who form a band to distract their despotic jailor while they secretly hatch an escape plan. To begin with, the makers of this film spend more than an hour on set up. Introductions, back-stories, new rivalries in prison…frankly it’s exhausting. The band is finally set up just moments before intermission, so there’s a long way to go until we find out if they’re able to pull off their audacious plan.

Surprisingly one of the film’s big weaknesses is its leading man Farhan Akhtar, who appears so invested in playing ‘hero’ that he forgets to play the character. Both his toned physique and his physique-accentuating costumes look out of place in this movie. Casting Ronit Roy as the nostril-flaring jailor who inspires dread in his inmates has got to be the laziest decision, and Diana Penty is just blah in the role of an NGO worker convinced that forming a band and performing at an inter-jail concert will help reform these hardened criminals.

It’s all by-the-numbers storytelling, particularly the big escape plan and the way it unfolds. There is literally no surprise, no unpredictability in how things go down.

That’s a shame because there are some good actors on screen here, starting with Ravi Kishan as the shrewd chief minister who came up with idea of the concert to make himself look good. There’s also Deepak Dobriyal and Rajesh Sharma who bring the only genuine pathos you’ll find in this film.

A better title for Lucknow Central might have been Boredom Central. At nearly 2 hours and 30 minutes, it’s far too long and far too dull to inspire any other response. I’m going with a generous two out of five.

Rating: 2 / 5

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Simran Review

Directed by Hansal Mehta, Kangana Ranaut-starrer Simran is reportedly based on the life of a rather interesting character Sandeep Kaur. Kangana plays a Gujju housekeeping girl who is settled in the US. Besides being a kleptomaniac, she is a gambler, addicted to alcoholism, divorced but still very ambitious. With such interesting traits to explore, Kangana has ample opportunities to leave an impact on viewers.

Will Kangana give us a character we’d love to remember for a long time? Will she be able to pull off the role effortlessly? Will director Hansal Mehta be able to put forth a convincing depiction of Indian immigrant diaspora? Divya Pal of News18 Movies is inside the theater to get you all answers.

Another memorable performance from the powerhouse of talent- Kangana Ranaut

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Ranchi Diaries Review

Over the past few years, small-town tales have started getting recognition at the box office, thanks to films such as Nil Battey Sannata, Dangal and Bareilly Ki Barfi. These stories have not only overshadowed some real big-budget films but also brought a much-needed change in Bollywood’s everyday film slate.

Ranchi Diaries is the latest addition to this new wave of films that are being based on rural or small-town India. Helmed by first-time director Sattwik Mohanty, the film’s cast boasts of names like Anupam Kher and Jimmy Shergill. The movie also features Yaariyan actor Himansh Kohli and debutante Soundarya Sharma. It follows the story of ‘Gudiya’, played by Soundarya, and her friends, Taaha Shah and Himansh, who are out to make it big in a small town (Ranchi). The project marks Kher’s comeback to film production after a gap of 12 years. He has previously produced Jahnu Barua’s Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara, which also won him special jury award at the National Film Awards.

Even though there has not been much buzz around the film, it’ll be interesting to watch Shergill and Kher share screen space once again after their last outing Special 26, which received widespread critical acclaim. Shrishti Negi from News18.com is inside the theatre to live tweet the experience.
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The Mummy Movie Review

No one actually expected anything when Universal Pictures announced their decision to revive the Egyptian undead with The Mummy. Bringing Tom Cruise on board did excite the fans, but many were still not convinced of the fact that how can you reboot an already done-to-death, explored till molecule, ancient creature. And, their fears were undoubtedly right because what is presented as the first film from the Dark Universe, is shallow, lack-lustre, forceful version of 1999 Sommers’ series.

The makers of The Mummy, took inspiration from the original monster series of the 30s and decided to do away with the jazz and Sommers’ series, but retain the humour which resulted in a lifeless 2-hour-long ride with a few chuckles and even fewer scares.

The new Mummy doesn’t have a whole lot of show-stopping visual flimflam, instead, it’s built around a chancy big trick and introduction of a monster in the dark universe who will in turn help in the construction of this new cinematic universe. The film revolves around Nick Morton, a man with fluid conscious and how he is cursed to bring the god of death in flesh and blood, by an ancient resurrected evil-Princess-Mummy Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). The story is that of a beginning and offers a whole lot of information with little or no connection. The plot also involves Dr Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) – from the famous Jekyll and Hyde story – as a wall who can stop the evil from entering our world, just the way he tries to stop Hyde to take control of his inner conscious. Now, we don’t know how brilliant the idea of mixing two entirely different monster stories is, but looks like Dark Universe has chosen Dr Henry to be their Nick Fury.

Tom Cruise at 54 is still one of the biggest crowd pullers of Hollywood and thus because of his stature, the film had to entertain his long on-going image of selfish cocky semi-scoundrel with a kind heart and even more courage. Cruise is so devoted to maintaining his image as a clear and wholesome hero that his flirtation with the dark side lack conviction and you know from the start that no matter how dark he goes, he will see the light.

Despite so many plotlines all around, the film turns into a typical Tom Cruise vehicle instead of becoming a story-rich engine of a theoretically interesting dark Monster-verse.

The Mummy has a lot of offer, from ancient Egyptian theories to Dagger of Set and a Doctor who turns into a monster if not injected with a special serum. There’s so much lying around and director Alex Kurtzman failed to sew them all into a continuous plotline. There are too many speed breakers and this the film never really takes off at any point.

The Mummy lacks the courage of its conviction and the fun of its nonsense. It falls right into a nether zone in between the conviction and fun. The Mummy gave a first draft of what all can be expected from this supposed Dark Universe- few cursed, unfortunate monsters with kind hearts and will to fight ultimate evil. While it’s too soon to speak for the rest, at least The Mummy lacks the thrill of a horror-action and is as predictable as any fairytale. A disappointment for horror as well as Tom Cruise fans.

Rating:2/5

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IT Movie Review

Cast: Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Owen Teague, Chosen Jacobs
Director: Andy Muschietti A big reason that so many horror movies today feel underwhelming may have little to do with the films at all. We’re too distracted as an audience – mostly on account of our cellphones, and from the light emanating from others’ phones – to allow the movie to transport us to a different world. All films tend to suffer from such distractions, but perhaps no other genre relies so heavily on complete immersion.

Wisely, the makers of It, a spanking new cinematic stab at Stephen King’s dense but solid horror tome, fashion the movie as a coming-of-age adventure with creepy underpinnings. Set in the 80s, it’s about a group of seven kids who witness and experience a terrifying demonic presence as they set out to solve the mystery behind the disappearance of multiple children in their small town.


Like Rob Reiner’s classic Stand By Me, also based on a Stephen King bestseller, the new film tackles big themes like the loss of innocence and the enduring friendships of youth. But this is a balls-out scary movie that doesn’t skimp on the gore or the thrills. Led by a kid named Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) whose brother went missing the previous year, this group of nerdish teenagers find themselves confronting a wretched clown named Pennywise who feeds on children’s fears.

Director Andy Muschietti stages some intense set pieces, including one involving Beverly (Sophia Lillis), the only girl in the group, and an incident in her bathroom. It’s genuinely disturbing stuff: both the imagery, and the performances which bring out the kids’ emotions. Another scene in which the group projects slides in a garage is also deliciously terrifying.

The film works because you care for the kids. Their performances are authentic as are the scenes in which they just hang out and trash talk, or face off against the school bullies. It’s impossible not to root for them when they find themselves faced with graver dangers.

I’m going with three-and-a-half out of five for It. This is a smart, visceral horror movie with charming characters and a sense of time and place that anchors the story. I was so involved, I barely looked at my phone.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

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Shubh Mangal Saavdhan Review

The reason why Shubh Mangal Saavdhan managed to grab everyone’s attention right from the moment the makers released its trailer is that it deals with a topic we wanted to be taken up and discussed for a long time – erectile dysfunction which affects millions of men worldwide.

A remake of the Tamil film Kalyana Samayal Saadham made in 2013, it talks about Mudit Sharma (Ayushmann Khurrana) and Sugandha (Bhumi Pednekar) who fall for each other and decide to get married. But the twist in the story comes when Mudit realises that he suffers from erectile dysfunction.

Will the makers be able to talk about the ‘touchy’ issue of erectile dysfunction without demeaning it? Will Bhumi and Ayushmann – last seen in Dum Lagake Haisha – win plaudits with their affable chemistry? Will the wacky treatment of the subject manage to change the conservative mindsets? Divya Pal of News18 Movies is watching the first day, first show to live tweet the experience and get you all answers. Tweets about #ShubhMangalSaavdhan from:@divyapal2013
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Baadshaho Movie Review

Milan Luthria is back in the action game with his latest film Baadshaho. The film has an ensemble cast of six power pack performers and promises a thrilling ride full of suspense and action.

The film takes us to the era of 1975 Emergency when there’s widespread unrest in the country. The film’s trailer explains how Princess Gitanjali (Ileana D’Cruz), who is arrested for withholding the gold without declaration, puts up a fight to regain her wealth which is being transferred to the government. To ensure she achieves the objective, she asks Bhawani (Ajay Devgn), a gangster, to help her. He soon finds his assistants in Dalia (Emraan Hashmi), Sanjana (Esha Gupta), Tikla (Sanjay Mishra) and Seher (Vidyut Jammwal) and decides to execute a plan which involves hijacking a truck loaded with gold biscuits.

Baadshaho is Ajay Devgn’s fourth film with Luthria after Kachche Dhaage, Chori Chori and Once Upon a Time in Mumbai. Will the film be able to repeat the success of their last outing together? Will the film be able to justify the era of the late 70s? Will it be the perfect heist movie? Kriti Tulsiani is in the theater to find out. Tweets about #Baadshaho from:sleepingpsyche2
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