Friday, 28 July 2017


Having watched Dunkirk, it's hard to describe the feat Nolan has achieved with this film. All I can say is that it is a riveting piece of cinema that is best enjoyed on an Imax screen.

Dunkirk can safely be termed as Nolan's most accessible film in recent times. Frankly, this is no path-breaking war film that pushes boundaries or envelopes of any sorts. But there are two master strokes which he employs that elevate Dunkirk to a higher pedestal. One, Hans Zimmer's captivating background score is not just considered a separate entity but is intrinsically woven into the screenplay to the extent that it becomes the driving force of the film. Two, Nolan very well understands that opting for a linear screenplay in such a scenario could have potentially turned the film into a slog, which is why he adopts a narrative where all three scenes of action (land, air and water) are intercut with each other to build a sense of urgency the film relies on.

Constantly and consciously avoiding cinematic trappings like backstories for the soldiers or gory images of bloodshed and violence, Nolan makes his intentions crystal clear from the very first frame; to create an atmosphere of impending fear and danger of uncertainty looming large that hooks you to the edge of your seats almost throughout the film. I was lucky enough to watch the film in a 4D cinema hall which multiplied the already heightened sense of tension.

However, the film doesn't come without its share of flaws. For me, particularly, decoding the British accent without subtitles was one hell of a task, as a result of which half the dialogues went over my head and I couldn't grasp those aspects of the story.

Nevertheless, I'm going with 4/5 for Dunkirk. At a crisp running time of 2 hours, this is an overwhelming film you can't afford to miss. 

Friday, 14 July 2017


Bottom line : In their second collaboration after the highly successful Barfi, Anurag Basu and Ranbir Kapoor conduct yet another experiment with quirky characters and situations, much like a Utopian musical. The end result is that Jagga Jasoos is possibly the most polarizing film in recent times which may work for some but not for many. For most part, though, it worked for me.

Review : Before I start reviewing the film, here's a sneak-peek into the world Basu has so affectionately created : Firstly, the characters mostly converse in songs (Because guess what, the lovable eponymous hero stammers while talking and hence prefers singing out loud). Secondly, logic seems to be the last thing on Basu and his writers' minds (which is accentuated in scenes like when the two leads effortlessly pilot a plane just by reading the operating manual, or where Katrina falls off great heights only to suffer minor injuries). Lastly, the story line is frankly farcical. It is important you re-align your expectations with the above facts before venturing in to this madcap journey. I had a friend sitting next to me who was constantly cringing at the buffoonery on display. That's precisely why I used the word "polarizing" to describe the film.

Having said that, I was thoroughly amused by this relatively unprecedented style of film-making, especially for Bollywood. Basu, clearly is in strong control of his craft, and he does an endearing job of giving us plenty of joyous and teary-eyed moments that's better experienced than described. There's a lot of guilty pleasure to be had in the series of misadventures the story and its characters take us through. All this quirkiness (a big shout out to Pritam for rendering some of his best tunes) works like magic in the first half but the makers can't seem to sustain this effervescent energy in the last half an hour or so of the film. It is at this juncture that randomness and repetition seep in and the muddled up screenplay populated with too many subplots further causes partial derailment of the euphoric bandwagon the film hitherto was. It doesn't pause as much as even to try making sense of all the proceedings unfolding on screen.

But the real binding force in the film is, undoubtedly, Ranbir Kapoor. I haven't come across another actor who whips up such an infectious energy each time he takes command. Here's an actor who, despite having a checkered career, doesn't shy away from confronting challenging roles and always puts his best foot forward.

I'm going with 3/5 for Jagga Jasoos. Despite its hiccups, it's an honest film that stays faithful to what it set out to achieve. More than anything else, watch it for Ranbir who's mere presence on screen makes up for many of the film's inconsistencies.