Reviews 2021

Review of ‘Little Things 4’: Dhruv and Kavya’s life takes a new turn.

We have been invested in Dhruv and Kavya relationship for 3 seasons. The fourth one makes it dull as many things change in these little things. The brand new episodes of Dhruv Sehgal and Mithila Palkar’s ‘Little Things 4’ take a new turn in this couple’s life, whom we adored for years.

After 14 long months, Dhruv Vats and Kavya Kulkarni reunite at their Kerala trip. 

It’s been six years since the two have managed to sail their ship, but how long will they stay the same. What about marriage?Kids? The new season is just about that. 

The eight-part presentation about their aging lives is far too lengthy and could have been done in four. The makers wish to go and stay longer on the Kerala tour in order to record it for the public. Munnar’s tea plantations, St Thomas Cathedral’s construction, shouting in the confession box, cycling at Cochin Fort, a book club with stories from people, not books, a boat lift on the lake, and tiny gags about Christy the sightseer companion, all contribute to Kerala’s graphic and green coastal state. These episodes are all about Kerala tourism.

Many people who expected to binge-watch this show for the cuteness aspect may be disappointed by the shift in tone, which is more towards the maturity level. Everyone won’t buy this maturity level. There will be clashing outlooks and the makers cannot avoid that.

As Kavya approaches her 30th birthday, the difficulties become increasingly relevant to those in their thirties. The detailing improves over time. Whether it’s Dhruv’s crooked spectacles or Kavya’s responsible handling of both sets of parents.

What is unique in this season is that Dhruv Sehgal is not the writer. Abhinandan Shridhar holds the pen, which sucks out the flavour Dhruv and Kavya gave us. 

That’s why the plot stays tedious except only for the tiny moment of exchanging rings, which takes a whole episode. 

Sehgal draws the most attention with his PJ One-Liners and his character’s uncommon innocence. Mithila is no less, and she becomes the show’s subtle character.

Navni Parihar and Loveleen Mishra, who play the moms, are the sweetest. I’d want to sit with them and gossip.

The Malayalam song,’ Kaanthaa’, in the first episode will always stay in my heart. 

DOP Anirudh Patankar does an excellent job of capturing the greenery of Kerala and the concrete of the metropolis. 

And Neel Adhikari’s music is excellent for playing in the background as Dhruv and Kavya work their tacky tenderness.

As everything cannot be the same for a long time, we need to move on along with these couples. I expect makers to take this story forward as these little things are relatable to everyone’s life.

The show is streaming on Netflix.

‘Bhoot Police’ Review: The film puzzles you to identify horror and comedy.

After ‘Stree’ and ‘Roohi’, we now have ‘Bhoot Police’ in the rat race of horror-comedy. A 2021 Indian Hindi-language film starring Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Yami Gautam, and Javed Jaffrey; is written and directed by Pavan Kirpalani. Although having an engaging plot, the film puzzles you to identify horror and comedy.  

Two brothers with distinct outlooks, Vibhooti(Saif Ali Khan) and Chiraunji(Arjun Kapoor), have a bequeathed practice of exorcism of their father, who was a legitimate tantrik. Vibhooti is a play-boy, non-believer; who makes money out of this superstitious business of tantrism and involves his brother “Chiku” in this fraud. Chiku prospects for the juncture to use his skills. 

They camp at a tantric fair looking for new cases and discover Maya(Yami Gautam), indeed a “ghost issue”, taking them to their tea estate in Dharamshala. On the way, they learn about “Kichkandi”, whom their father trapped years ago, is back again, horrifying people causing the estate to lose. 

Chiku learns more about her in his father’s ghostbusting book inherited from him.

In a scene, “Kanika”(Jacqueline Fernandez) says- ‘Nepotism ne yeh poora desh barbad kar diya hai’. And on cue, Vibhooti and Chiraunji; give each other a look. Both actors are, of course, products of nepotism themselves and their knowing expression of the link of reality on screen is humorous.

The reference to “go-corona-go” in the film as “go-kichkandi-go”; is an excellent example of drowsy writing.

‘Inspector Chedilal'(Javed Jaffrey) and ‘Goggal Baba'(Rajpal Yadav); are wasted on paper and screen. And Rajpal Yadav’s “special appearance”doesn’t even stand ordinary. Jacqueline’s usual body language and accent nowhere detect humour. Her life in the film revolves around social media. Yami’s charm always stands out but still has no justice to her character. 

 Saif Ali Khan’s expressions and the tone know the timing, but inexpressive Arjun Kapoor never fails to make you feel dumped. Despite the name ‘Chiku’ suits him but has no cuteness either.

What uniquely stays in the film is the van with “Ulat Baba and Sons” on it.

The film nowhere beats up around the bush of either comedy or horror. Pavan Kirpalani’s experiment of stepping on two boats is not at all amusing, but neither boring. Unlike ‘Street’, the film gets stuck in between while doing so.

Bhoot Police is now streaming on Disney plus Hotstar.

‘Anabelle-Sethupati’ Review: Deepak Sundaranjan’s debut thronged with irrational comedy.

Nowadays, whenever a new horror-comedy film releases, we have excitement along with terror; mainly, when we have one of the finest actors in a lead role. 

‘Annabelle Sethupathi’, a 2021 Indian Tamil comedy-horror film directed and written by Deepak Sundarrajan starring Vijay Sethupathi, Taapsee Pannu, Jagapathi Babu, and Yogi Babu. It was dubbed and released in Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada under the same title, and in Hindi, titled as ‘Annabelle Rathore’.

Rudra and her family (Raadhika, Rajendra Prasad, and Sunil)- are a group of thieves who can flick chains, wallets, and phones effortlessly. They are brought into a palace by a cop to determine if it’s haunted. The spirits of his great-great-grandfather Kathiresan (Jagapathi Babu), a couple of other relatives, and thus the palace cook ‘Shanmugam’; are indeed trapped inside the palace. The mystery of their death, however, is told interestingly through a flashback. But Deepak Sundarrajan decides to urge there only within the second half. Until then, the film lurches from one comic set-piece to a special, most of which are tiringly contrived.

Tapsee Pannu plays a double role in this film. ‘Rudra’, and the other one is a British woman named ‘Anabelle’, who marries an Indian King, named ‘Veera Sethupathi’ played by Vijay Sethupati in the 1940s. Not only Tapsee, but Vijay also has a dual role of an unnamed government official, whom we meet in the climax.

Nothing in this film tickles the fancy palace, the shabby dialogues, and the multicasting. 

The worst thing is the awful dual roles. Vijay Sethupati’s and Tapsee’s performances are undoubtful, but Tapsee’s dual character(Anabelle) is eternally wasted. She nowhere looks like a British woman.

They both are some of the finest actors, who tried their best, but the horrific writing and direction; is an injustice to them.

Yogi Babu as ‘Shanmugam’ never misses the timings, but the supporting cast and their overacting were dreadful.

What stays horror in the film is its illogical comedy. Whenever there is a scene, which is supposed to be “comedy”, I always scuffled to find it funny. And every time failed.

The best horror for me in the film was its ending, which says- ” Part-2 Coming Soon.”

 The film is available on Disney Plus Hotstar.

Review of ‘Sardar Udham’: Noiseless patriotism of a revolutionary.

Sardar Udham is a historical drama directed by Shoojit Sircar, starring Vicky Kaushal in the lead role. The film honours an unsung hero, ‘Sardar Udham Singh’ (Vicky Kaushal), an Indian rebel who murdered Michael O’Dwyer in London (in 1940) in retaliation for the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy of 1919. Dwyer was a former British colonial officer who served as the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab (British India); during the time.

In the first twenty-five to thirty minutes, when Michael O’Dwyer, brags openly at Caxton Hall in London, gets killed. 

Knowing how he induced Indians to give him massive war loans, how he recruited thousands of Indians to fight for Britain, and how it was Britain’s responsibility to dominate India, “otherwise they’ll revert to barbarism”, will hack you off.

It took Udham Singh of Amritsar 21 patient years, challenges spanning countries, including ploughing through miles of snow in the old Soviet Union, and many identities to carry out the ideal homicide. The international headlines that popped up as a result of the killing were much more fulfilling than the excitement of the actual killing.

Shubhendu Bhattacharya and Ritesh Shah’screenplay is well-written to rouse you with one of the most crucial chapters of Indian history. The non-linear narrative is noticed during the interrogation of Udham Singh by the British government after O’Dwyer’s assassination. The back and forth of past and present of Udham’s life and his encounter with Micheal O’Dwyer personally may annoy you. The flashbacks to his younger days and intimate encounters with his girlfriend ‘Reshma’ (Banita Sandhu) in 1919, when the Amritsar massacre happened, to 1927, when Udham drew inspiration from his close association with ‘Bhagat Singh’ (Amol Parashar). Then, to 1933, when he travels to the Soviet Union, and in 1934 when he arrives in London by ship, are prime events.

There are obvious questions like, “Why didn’t Udham Singh intervene sooner when he had one-on-one meetings with the rude Britisher who talked about how he intended to teach recalcitrant Indians a lesson; by instilling dread of retribution in them?.” “Why didn’t he kill him when Dwyer claimed that the slaughter of hundreds of protesters at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, Punjab, was appropriate?”

However, calmly shooting Michael O’Dwyer in his home would have gone undiscovered as simply another homicide. For the world to see his travesty of justice, this had to be a public assassination.

The film may bore those who define patriotism as chest-thumping and jingoism, but; the film is worth watching for Vicky Kaushal’s terrific performance and Shoojit Sircar’s breathtaking direction, which will make you feel as if everything is happening around you. The setting of the British during World War 2 and the British characters and their performances are prodigious.

The recreation of Jalliawallah Bagh takes its own sweet time in this film, which we have already witnessed in many movies, is only to boil your blood. 

Even though the film is two hours and forty-two minutes lengthy, it is still worth seeing. All of these occurrences transform Sardar Udham into a revolutionary’s quiet patriotism.

‘Sooryavanshi’ Review: The most awaited film is just overrated.

On the 25th of March, 2020, all theatres were supposed to run 24/7 by the release of ‘Sooryavanshi’. But the pandemic shut-down everything. After the long wait of 18 months, a typical Rohit Shetty directed masala entertainer is finally out. 

Beginning with the Mumbai blasts of 1993, the tale concentrates on a large amount of explosive material left behind from the blast, which is linked to a couple of escapees who managed to flee at the time. Mumbai is again in danger. 

The mission in charge is Veer Sooryavanshi (Akshay Kumar), overseen by his superior Kabir Shroff (Jaaved Jaaferi), who, although being the star of the 1993 bombing case, still has misgivings about some of the decisions he took.

Sooryavanshi investigates the missing RDX, which can be used in several bomb bombings in Mumbai, in addition to dealing with his domestic troubles with his wife Riya (Katrina Kaif). He races against the clock with the help of his old colleagues Simmba (Ranveer Singh) and Singham (Ajay Devgn) in the hopes of stopping the ticking bomb and averting a deadly calamity.

Shetty maintains his standard of making films, but we don’t get to enjoy this one as much as nothing new seems to be witnessed. The majority of the key scenes that we’re looking forward to have been already presented in the trailer. There are barely any scenes to look forward to.

The only scene where Simba’s and Singham’s entry happens was exciting for me.

Simmba’s comedy is always amusing and Singham’s roar and action will beat your heart faster.

Whether it’s writing or the background score, Sooryavanshi has nothing of his own. Simmba has his comedy and Singham has his actions but Sooryavanshi stands between these two but has no special skill of his own.

Even the signature background music for Sooryavanshi was a recreation of Simmba’s with the addition of the siren.

In Rohit Shetty’s cop universe, the lead women are only to dance and have some romantic time with the lead actors. Similarly, Katrina Kaif is here for the same. From Mere Yaaraa to Tip Tip Barsa Pani, she is just used for the sake of pleasure. It wouldn’t have made any difference if she hadn’t been in this film.

Pritam‘s composition with Rashmi Virag‘s lyrics, ‘Meere Yaaraa,’ sung by Arijit Singh and Neeti Mohan, is a new addition to my playlist. But, the remake of ‘Tip Tip Barsa Pani’ will remind you of Akshay Kumar’s original rendition of the song, which he performed with a vivacious Raveena Tandon in the 1994 film ‘Mohra.’ 

By re-using Udit Narayan‘s voice in the 2021 remix after nearly three decades, it all comes across as an exercise in fatigue and matching vitality utterly missing.

I did enjoy this film but didn’t find it worth watching. Singham and Simmba did better than Sooryavanshi.