Sanju Movie Review

Sanjay Dutt – the son of superstars Nargis and Sunil Dutt – has often been referred to as the controversy’s favourite child. Take a look at his past and you’d notice that the actor – who has been a part of the Indian showbiz industry for over 40 years – has lived a life that has been spiced with multiple affairs, breakups, marriages, divorces, deadly drug phase, underworld connection, court appearances and incarcerations. His is a life that is perfect for a Bollywood movie script. And it’s interesting to see that filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani decided to direct the film Sanju on Bollywood’s most controversial yet adored star.

Hirani – who had resurrected Dutt’s career with Munnabhai – is also his close friends. Will he do justice to Sanjay Dutt biopic Sanju as it is a genre he hasn’t tried so far? Or will he end up glorifying the actor in what many think is a propaganda film? Divya Pal is watching the film to live tweet the experience and get you all answers.

Go for Ranbir’s honest portrayal and for a more humane insight about Sanjay Dutt’s turbulent life

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Equalizer 2 Review

Equalizer 2
Cast:Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo, Jonathan Scarfe, Orson Bean
Director: Antoine Fuqua

This vigilante film is a sequel to the 2014 released The Equalizer which was originally based on the 1980s Television serial with the same name. It is about a retired CIA agent Robert McCall, who plays a lone ranger delivering justice to the abused, the defenceless and the oppressed. The film opens with an elegant scene on-board a speeding train of the Turkish Railways some 400 km away from Istanbul.

Robert McCall dressed as an Arab swiftly disposes of thugs who kidnap a young girl, just to harass her mother. The incident feels so insignificant yet, serves as a reminder that McCall was created to offer help to random people on everything.”

Back in Boston, McCall works as a driver for a company called Lyft which is akin to Uber and he seems sincerely dedicated to those in need of help.

But when his only friend and former CIA handler, Susan Plummer is murdered, he stumbles upon that she is done with for investigating the case of multiple murders of upscale officials at their homes, how he solves the mystery and delivers her justice forms the crux of the tale.

The story is simple and the main plot is juxtaposed with other subplots that in turn dive into an abstract universe.

The plot takes a bit long to get into gear. There is a break in the narrative, perhaps because it seeks a reflexive vision, and that together with the naturalness in the staging, results in a frankly strange and evasive film.

The dreamlike detail in which the director uses to teleport McCall to events such as a crime scene or projects him in a place of his past or the type of mental musing he uses to psychoanalyse the supposed murders, serve as good examples.

Also, one of the main peeves is that the story never shows you that McCall is in real trouble. The whole conspiracy he faces feels very light and casual, as if it does not matter.

The climax that takes place in an evacuated town hit by a storm, offers an interesting and unusual setting but there are moments that could be termed as preposterous.

But the camera undertakes an emotional journey from the locales to the fine nuances of the characters, which produces an excellent symbiosis between the character and environment. It makes us witness the lone fighter in a rigid and focussed manner.

And before we complain about Denzel’s performance as McCall, he tells us: “There are two kinds of pain. Pain that hurts and pain that alters.”

And you witness the change with an open heart. Reuniting with Director Antoine Fuqua for the fourth time, after ‘Training Day’, ‘The Equalizer’ and ‘The Magnificent Seven’, Denzel plays the unusual action hero with elegance and intelligence.

He is aptly supported by Melissa Leo as Susan Plummer, Pedro Pascal as Dave his one-time operational partner, Aston Sanders as the local kid Miles who McCall saves from getting sucked into the underworld and Orson Bean as the Holocaust Survivor. They all add flavour and gravitas to the narrative.

Overall, despite keeping you hooked for nearly two hours, the film lacks the excitement of the cat and mouse chase between the bad men and the vigilante.

Rating: 3/5

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Bhavesh Joshi Superhero Review

function collapse(){$(‘.qr’).toggle(500, function() {if ($(‘.qr’).is(‘:visible’)) {$(“.expup”).css(“background”, “url(”);} else {$(“.expup”).css(“background”, “url(”);}});}Vikramaditya Motwane- the man behind the films like Udaan, Lootera, and Trapped, is back in the experimental game with Bhavesh Joshi. However, this time he misses the mark by a fair distance. It would be unfair to call Bhavesh Joshi, Hindi cinema’s answer to the recent trend of superheroes, in fact, the film lacks and owns characteristics more common to a dark, vigilante thriller.

The film is about a group of three friends, Bhavesh (Priyanshu Painyuli ), Sikander (Harshvardhan Kapoor)and Rajat(Ashish Verma). Bhavesh and Siku are two passionate youngsters who want to clean up their country for good and bring ‘insaaf’ to anybody in need. However, reality hits them soon enough and while Siku and Rajat get into the routine of life, Bhavesh keeps the ‘insaaf-man’ in him, alive. Things take an ugly turn and Siku takes it upon himself to keep his friend and vigilante, Bhavesh Joshi, alive in the hearts and minds of wrong-doers. The entire story is built around a big water-scam in Mumbai involving ministers, corrupt police, and few opportunists.

If plainly put, Bhavesh Joshi belongs in the list of watchable Hindi noirs, and the credit goes to the writers more than the executors. The intention behind making the film is clear right from the beginning and the subtle hints to the current socio-political situation in the country, questioning everything from the double standards of bureaucracy, the media and ‘Swachch Mission’ of certain politicians to throw any voice of dissent to the forbidden borders of the neighbouring country.
However, not everything is as rosy and perfect as written in the script. There are major loopholes in the narrative, where you keep questioning certain moves or routes taken by the hero(es). The makers wanted to make the film as close to reality as possible, but certain impractical and naive methods make you believe that in the end they did get swayed by the ‘superhero’ moral code of giving unrealistic solutions to the real-world problems. Another big issue with the film is its length. There are certain scenes and scenarios which could’ve been easily chopped to make give the story a crisp, thrilling mood, however, the idea of righteousness takes its toll after the interval.

Talking about the performances, the real breakout star in the film is Bhavesh Joshi. Not Harshvardhan but Priyanshu Painyuli. The actor wears the insaaf mask with required ingenuity and conviction, so much that it makes you believe in his cause. He is a find in the film and let’s hope Motwane and Kashyap use this talent in their future projects as well. Priyanshu keeps the pace and plot interesting but as soon as Harshvardhan steps into his shoes the plot becomes as dead as his expressions. It’s not that Kapoor does a terrible job. His deadpan expressions are perfect for his state of being a heartbroken, vengeful best friend, but he fails to bring anything new or genuine on the table. The fire that gets ignited by Priyanshu’s conviction gets a little dim and grim with Kapoor’s arrival.

The story also fails to use the potential of Mumbai in building its narrative. Sure, the chases and whistle-blowing moments in the film do take you through the lanes of the city, but somewhere the heart is missing. One of the key characters in any vigilante superhero film is the city he resides in, like Gotham for Batman or Hell’s Kitchen for Daredevil, Bhavesh Joshi fails to tap that. The action chases and sequences are enjoyable and the entire paper-mask style and using videos and internet to put across the truth reminds you of V for Vendetta, in a good way.

Overall, Motwane did try to bring a rather relatable and noble topic upfront without being too preachy. However, the execution couldn’t convey the emotions of the writing completely and sloppy editing makes it a slow take-in rather than a thrilling vigilant watch. The film deserves a watch for Priyanshu’s conviction, some relatable chapters of life and friendships, and the ‘insaaf-punch’ trickled by the writers here and there. Even heroes deserve to fail, but only if there is glory for the world somewhere. The glory here is bleak, thus making Bhavesh Joshi Superhero an underwhelming experience.

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