Archive for the SS Exclusive Category

Shivaay on Rocket Boys 2 (Updated)

Posted in reviews, SS Exclusive, the good, TV Series with tags , , on March 23, 2023 by munna

If Kalam’s intro sequence of “har shaakh par ullu baitha hai” questioning the loyalties of a minority yet substantial number of Indian Muslims was the punchline of season 1, season 2 belongs to Dr Bhabha’s “We’re surrounded by trouble”. Continue reading

Abzee’s Oscar Predix for the year in film 2022 (Updated)

Posted in SS Exclusive, the good with tags , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2023 by abzee

The nominations for the 95th Academy Awards will be announced in exactly 2 weeks’ time. After the slapgate that was the Will Smith-Chris Rock embarrassment of last year, the Covid affected restricted ceremony of the year prior to it, the host-less events from the couple years before that, and the shadow of the #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite movements that loomed over the two ceremonies previous to these… the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would like the Oscars this year to be a return to normalcy and one that would be remembered only for the films rather than any scandal or drama. Having host Jimmy Kimmel back to anchor the evening is a step in that direction.

At a time when global film industries are in a state of flux, audiences’ viewing habits are shifting, and theatrical outings are becoming more and more about just tentpole releases… perhaps this will be the massiest Oscars in years. The Oscars have always battled low ratings owing to charges of snubbing popular films in favour of snobbish prestige fare. Think The Hurt Locker winning over Avatar, or Anthony Hopkins in The Father over Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther… there are several examples.

Summer blockbusters and superhero films, genres that have kept the film industries and theatres still relevant, have always received a reluctant appraisal from the Academy in technical categories like Visual Effects and Sound. The 95th Academy Awards could be different.

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Master on ‘Pathaan’

Posted in reviews, SS Exclusive, the good with tags , on January 26, 2023 by munna

Watched PATHAAN. Movie is good and not great but the movie has the perfect combination of ticking off all the checkboxes in covering everything: a proper bollywood syp/thriller/heist bad-spy gone rogue, good spys from everywhere, etc.
The movie starts well with SRK’s introduction and fight sequence (just like Bond movies do) prior to the titles and it is extremely well shot and choreographed (albeit too fast). Continue reading

An jo on ‘Pathaan’ Trailer

Posted in reviews, SS Exclusive, the good with tags , , , on January 11, 2023 by munna

The trailer review: Have been poor at reviewing trailers but a bit better at reviewing movies. However, catching some breathing space during hectic schedules, caught the trailer and quite liked it. Not impressed with the trailer as a whole but it provided the lay of the land and what to expect, and specially, what not to expect, quite literally and clearly.

A sharp and well-cut trailer, encompassing parts of the current mood of the country portrayed openly, while maintaining the ‘Pathaan’ identity as intended to meet SRK’s attempts over the years of his film-acting career. Continue reading

Films watched in the Year 2022

Posted in SS Exclusive, the good with tags , , , on January 8, 2023 by abzee

I was working on my annual Oscar predictions, and I somehow also ended up doing a side project on the films I saw last year. Here’s a snapshot of my film viewing in 2022.

I saw a total of 180 films last year, at an average of 15 films a month and roughly 3-4 films a week.

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Shivaay’s note on Oppenheimer and Nolan’s return to character oriented cinema

Posted in Commentary, Notes, SS Exclusive, the good with tags on December 31, 2022 by munna

Oppenheimer and Nolan’s return to character oriented cinema

As I watched (and rewatched) the teaser of Nolan’s next Oppenheimer, one cannot but help noticing the master film maker’s return to character oriented cinema, a brand of story telling that has made him one of the finest film makers of contemporary times. Not that films like Interstellar, Dunkirk and Tenet were mediocre by any yardstick (such is the genius of Nolan that even his underwhelming films are perhaps few of the decade’s best!) but the entire idea of building a plot around the central protagonist(s) is something Nolan seemed to have forsaken in exchange for larger than life concepts where characters fitted in as nothing more than pawns.
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An Jo on Khakee: The Bihar Chapter

Posted in Notes, SS Exclusive, the good with tags , , on December 21, 2022 by munna

KHAKEE: THE BIHAR DIARIES A wonderful series by the great Neeraj Pandey, not to be missed. Fantastic detailing and a superb cat & mouse game, avoiding the usual crutches of MC/BC just because it is based in Bihar. Karan Tacker is mostly wooden, his wife played by Tanu Datta is wonderful, but the scene-stealer is Avinash Tiwary’s Chandan Mahto, closely followed by the Narad Muni-esqe Ashutosh Rana who keeps switching loyalties as though he is switching rabris. [Tacker though, is physically remarkably near to the real Amit Lodha.]
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Naveen on Kantara

Posted in reviews, SS Exclusive, the good with tags , on October 18, 2022 by munna

Watched Kantara Last evening.

Kantara Hindi Review

Kantara is a village spectacle. It is story about the culture and beleifs of a small coastal tribe in Karnataka which can resonate with anyone and from any part of the country.
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“The best of Bachchan” by Shivaay (Updated)

Posted in Commentary, SS Exclusive, the good with tags , on October 13, 2022 by munna

The best of Bachchan 2a… 1980-85 : Sellout man!

Megastardom firmly established, it was time for film makers to feed off the same & fill their coffers!!

1. Shaan : Vijay Kumar

Suave, stylish and a Bond like figure in Hindi cinema, Shaan’s Vijay Kumar continues from where DON left off 2 years ago. A highly underrated film that eventually got its due despite record breaking costs thanks to director Sippy’s post Sholay demand!
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Shivaay on Vikram Vedha

Posted in reviews, SS Exclusive, the good with tags , on October 4, 2022 by munna

Vikram Vedha Review :

*It was over 90% capacity here at a PVR branch in Mysore, further reinstating the film’s astonishing run in the south (the exact opposite of the core Hindi markets!)
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Raj5 on Vikram Vedha

Posted in reviews, SS Exclusive, the ugly with tags on September 30, 2022 by munna

Just watched Vikram Vedha. The theater was 50% full on a Thursday night. Hrithik Roshan isn’t my #1 favorite actor, but I really like him. I had watched the original film back when it had come out 5 years ago, so I remembered the basic story but not all of the details.
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Master on Brahmāstra

Posted in reviews, SS Exclusive, the good with tags , on September 12, 2022 by munna

Watched Brahmastra. It’s been a long time since there’s been a movie which almost succeeds in attempting such a difficult genre in Bollywood. Remaking a south movie and getting success is alright but creating an original story based in Indian mythology is such a unique and challenging project that itself wins the brownie points for the attempt.
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Shivaay on “Mission Kashmir” – A revisit

Posted in reviews, SS Exclusive, the good with tags , on September 4, 2022 by munna

Quite an appropriate film in today’s (and yesterday’s) turmoil in Kashmir viewed through the lens of an upright police office IG Inayat Khan (Sanjay Dutt) and his foster son Altaaf (Hrithik Roshan). An extremely dark and disturbing tale of the grey nature of human psychology where there are no rights and wrongs, only perspectives that decide the outcome of everyone’s destiny (ironically Roshan’s next Vikram Vedha explores a very similar theme from a gangster’s lens this time). The film has smartly not taken sides and presented an unadulterated view of the dilemma of human life and the trechery of Kashmir politics over the years. A couple loses their son, the father eliminates an entire family to successfully perform a counter insurgency operation, one member of the eliminated family survives and grows up to hate the SSP for his actions regardless of the SSP being his own foster dad. Now whose right and who isn’t is impossible to guess. There are no rights and wrongs, only circumstances.
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An Jo on ‘Gangubai Kathiawari’ and ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ performances

Posted in Commentary, SS Exclusive, the good with tags , , on August 18, 2022 by munna

The Performances’ weightage

Over the weekend, I finally watched ‘GANGUBAI KATHIAWARI’ on Netflix. Two things struck me; one, the horrible negation Aamir is getting for LSC, and two, the over-praise that Alia got for GK.
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Master on Laal Singh Chaddha

Posted in reviews, SS Exclusive, the good with tags , on August 14, 2022 by munna

Back from LSC. 

To be fair, I watched Forrest Gump about 1.5 months back and it’s very fresh in my mind. So, even if I don’t want to, I’d end up comparing a lot of LSC with the original. I like that instead of a bus stop, the setting has been placed in a moving train which is perfect for telling the story to strangers. Continue reading