Friday, 17 November 2017

Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017)


Jaya (Parvathy), a 35-year-old single woman meets the older Yogi (Irrfan Khan) on an online dating website.

In the tradition of romcoms, man and woman meet, clash, travel, clash, clash, clatter, meet the man's ex-lovers, travel, have a cathartic moment, clash, clatter, clash, travel, realization dawns, the end.

If Tanaju Chandra's Qarib Qarib Singlle doesn't go the irritatingly tiresome, similarly themed, Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017) way, it is largely because of its great lead casting and their performances.

Irrfan Khan again crackles in brilliance in making an underwritten role work at so many levels. Parvathy, a Malayalam film regular, is the x-factor here, playing a dull, stagnant, evasive, troubled and uniquely engaging character.

The story offers nothing much in freshness. The central premise is flimsy and potato-wafer thin. Yet there is a tangled breeziness to the proceedings. Irrfan and Parvathy make every scene together come alive. The couple's varied dynamics gives the film a genuine 'opposites attract' feel to it.

Somewhere between the conversations is the hidden unwoven literature that this film could have been (the double "ll" in "Singlle" take, among other touches).

The dour end doesn't help, but Qarib Qarib Singlle has enough laughs and moments to be a good three-stars-out-of-five watch at the movies.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)


Much like its predecessor, Kingsman: The Golden Circle celebrates its own illogical, nonsensical, pop culture bursts and spy spoof vibes. This is how an assuring badly made and overplayed James Bond movie would look like. Kingsman: The Golden Circle knits its own little yarn to make it a clever, show stagey mockery.   

The drippy, laughing-at-itself spectacle entangled me to this one. The American addition 'Statesman' is a nice rowdy peg too. 


British-American Tango
The action sequences are a real bang-beat rhythm of a roller coaster, as are the straight-faced wit-spewing characters. Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, Mark Strong, Channing Tatum, Taron Egerton, Julianne Moore, Colin Firth...The best ensemble cast assembled this year? By a long shot!  

Moore makes a bitchy baddie, but she can't top Samuel Jackson's subtle delicious villainry in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014). Firth is ever-dependable, Bridges gets a nice cameo, Egerton holds his own. Strong, Berry and Tatum bring in adorable wackiness. 

Themes, Toys, Kicks
Going anti-drug is a nice, cute theme. The Donald Trump caricature is overemphasized and blunt. John Denver songs, cowboy twang, one-eyed return, fabulous landmine death scenes, surviving bullets shots in the head, whiskey, ginger ale, champagne and Elton John. Umbrellas, butterflies, retrograde amnesia and a menacing robotic future. Everything looks slick, bright, kicking, dodging and alive.   

Glaring plot holes roll as big and rumbling as bowling balls. But this is an action comedy spoof genre that loves not having a watertight story. 

Gross, Oh Yeah!
Somehow, director Matthew Vaughn makes us digest cannibalism, minced human meat, atrocious body slicing, a graphic sexual act for implanting a tracking device and still kept me atrociously entertained. He makes grossness and utter disgust an art here.      

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is as boisterously frivolous as it intends to be and I love this film series for that consistent, creative cheekiness.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017)


Director R.S. Prasanna's remake of his own Tamil family comedy Kalyana Samayal Saadham (2013) is a terrific laugh out loud hoot. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan takes up erectile dysfunction to mine jokes, without ever going below the belt, a mean screenplay achievement.

A surprisingly restrained fun movie that while working within family movie dimensions, both tackles and deflects from talking taboo at the same time. An Alibaba and forty thieves analogy showcases this midway road to hilarious effect.   

This is not a lazy scene-to-scene remake. The director sets up his arranged marriage family fun around Gurgaon and invests in each character's ethos. Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar's engaging chemistry tops this film over the Tamil version. The supporting cast gels in with great effect, especially Seema Pahwa as the girl's concerned mother.


Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is irresistibly unavoidably funny.