Archive for the reviews Category

An Jo On HELEN

Posted in reviews, the good on September 5, 2020 by munna

On HELEN, and the art of cinematic subterfuge

Mild Spoiler Alert

Do yourself a favor, do not watch the trailer, or read whatever I have written, before watching the movie; just watch the movie – and then, if interested, read my piece.

Of course, it’s become common in the Malayalam film industry to churn out fine movies by the dozen that are rooted in culture and God’s own country’s various sub-cultures and sub-texts: But what is even more cunning, and so beautifully wily that director Xavier and writers Alfred and Noble pull out a completely different movie than they initially seemed to ‘promise.’ I was taken on a 180-degree ride of joy, feel-good sentiments, middle-class values, chauvinism, misogyny, scare, and thrills all within a span of just about 2 hours. I definitely wouldn’t compare it with ‘Parasite’, though the closest that comes to mind is surely Bong Joon-ho’s snake-and-ladder play of genres.

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Munna on Gunjan Saxena : The Kargil Girl

Posted in reviews, the good on August 17, 2020 by omrocky786


I was avoiding Gunjan Saxena but Rajen asked me with his glowing review..I have lived almost most of my life in Air Force bases around in India, I knew my comment/review would be critical of Karan Johar style’s movie treatment..I understand, people who have not seen Air Force life, it is a decent time pass movie about women empowerment and gender bias.
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An Jo’s note on RAAT AKELI HAI

Posted in reviews, the good on August 3, 2020 by munna

I quite loved RAAT AKELI HAI! There are so many things going on in the movie – it is like a labyrinth of emotions, moods, and the nightly colors. It covers so much, that the whodunit mystery is the least on your minds, though very smartly, the makers give you a clue that what ‘starts’ at home hits you at ‘home.’! Casteism, class-privilege, money, position, power, inferiority/superiority complexes, everything is dealt here; and the best part is, it is never preachy but veers you toward thinking about them.
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An Jo on PANCHAYAT

Posted in reviews, the good on July 6, 2020 by munna


Link
On ‘Panchayat’ and its unbridled yet subtle homage to ‘Swades’ and ‘Doordarshan’

Spoiler Alert

The finest scene in Amazon’s PANCHAYAT is reserved for the last episode. Very subtly, the makers dove-tail women’s rights versus nationalism; or hyper-nationalism, as the liberals would call it. With diktats raised on playing the national anthem in theaters, and people not standing up, it’s quite telling that Neena Gupta asks the ‘Sacheev’, ‘Do I have to stand even when the national anthem is playing on my phone?’ And then there’s the scene of the District Magistrate [DM] coming over and blasting the ‘Pradhan’ and the ‘Sacheev’ of not letting the woman take center-stage; because, of-course, she is rightly the selected one! And Neena Gupta’s husband, the revered ‘Pradhan-ji’ is asked to take a back-seat by stepping beyond the boundaries!

The brightest spot or idea in PANCHAYAT is that it talks; it talks, and doesn’t preach, All the ideas, all the writing, is built so organically that you just submit yourself to the series. An absolute master-piece of 8 episodes. I did feel a Season 2 coming t, and though I am impressed and curious apropos the inevitable 2nd season, I would say, the series has already done its job.

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An Jo on GULABO SITABO

Posted in reviews, the good on June 21, 2020 by munna


On GULABO SITABO and the battle between crumbling traditions and modernity

Beneath the comic musical-beats of GULABO SITABO, there carries a twang of pain for every beat. There’s a reasoning for everything here; why Amitabh was chosen? Why was he made to be a hunch-back? Why was he lisping on about his famous movie ‘Deewal’?

In perhaps one of his most unadulterated movies ever, coming close on the heels of October—that had a bad actor to begin with—Shoojit takes the finest actor-star the Hindi film industry has ever seen, and pits him against an actor who is known to own small-town-actor roles.
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tonymontana’s random thoughts on Gulabo Sitabo

Posted in reviews, the good on June 13, 2020 by munna


Juhi and Shoojit try to keep things as subtle as possible, even in moments that could have exploded on the screen as those of sheer lunacy. There’s plenty of humour here, but not one that’s forced down your throat or that plays out to draw cheap laughs. There’s an event that sets things in motion: a wall that breaks down when a tenant is relieving himself, and that remains the only instance that might draw guffaws. GS plays otherwise unfolds at a leisurely pace, playing out like a social satire, but the joke’s on you if you do not understand the larger implications of it. This is a delicious take on the Gulabo Sitabo folk tale of two women fighting for the same man. The ‘man’ here is a decrepit old building owned by a woman well in her 90s, constantly flanked by vultures about who are waiting for her demise so they could get their hands on the massive (or not) fortune.
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An Jo on ‘A Death in the Gunj’

Posted in reviews, the good on June 6, 2020 by munna


– Spoilers ahead

The first scene of ‘A Death in the Gun’ itself kind of informs the audience as to how the movie might shape out. Gulshan Devaiah’s Nandu and Ranveer Shorey’s Vikram open up the trunk of a blue-colored Ambassador car and talk, as a matter-of-factly, about twirling the body in a fetal shape: You will know at the end the significance of that scene. What is a fetal position? It is just the stage/state before you are born from the womb; the child then born sees the out-side world, but it still is oblivious to the world’s and its human inhabitants’ machinations. Its brain is still not mapped with tricks. This is hardly a horror movie; well, in a way, yes, it does talk about the horrors of not being worldly-wise.
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