Friday, 24 November 2017

Justice League (2017)

[*** stars / *****] 

Finally, here is a DC movie that works just about right at all the levels. Clever, singular action, a passable The Lord of the Rings kind of central premise, a hefty but one-dimensional villain, good inter-superhero chatter, some "we crack jokes too" laughs, another world-threatening mission, and CGI overload, within the sharp 121-minute running time, Justice League manages to keep us entertained.

Better than Batman vs Superman 
A giant leap from the flimsy, irritating terrain of the hugely disappointing Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). No common mother names here, nor the strange question, why did Batman and Superman hate each other anyway?! 

Why so 'darkious'?  
The dark, melancholy Zack Synder ambiance worked in the impressive Man of Steel (2013) as an ominous shade. Here it adds heaviness and unwelcome gloom.

The cast engages 
It is the lead characters that stand out for us. Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller and Henry Cavill are all good. Jason Momoa stands out as stellar casting as Aquaman, right next to Gal Gadot.     

Forced humor
The goofy jokes only suit Miller's The Flash though. That Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman start cracking one-liners out of the blue and context, doesn't fit in. Neither does Cyborg's "Booyaa!" 

Good, not much fun
Though Justice League doesn't rock and there are no impressive set pieces, it makes enough noise to not end up as disappointing.

Watch Justice League in 3D for a better visual experience. The wait gets longer for that one standout DC movie since Nolan's The Dark Knight (2008).  

Friday, 17 November 2017

Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017)

[*** stars / *****] 

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.