Movie- Captain America: Civil War
Director- Joe Russo and Anthony Russo
Cast- Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlet Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Paul Rudd, Anthony Mackie, Chandwick Boseman, Daniel Bruhl, Don Cheadle and Tom Holland
Run Time- 2hr 27 mins
It is a real treat for comic lovers, when some of the most sought after Marvel comic characters come together in one movie. ‘Captain America: Civil War’ starts off when a collateral damage is caused during a mission in Nigeria, by the Avengers team which puts them in trouble. Talks of clipping their powers arise as the Secretary of State approaches the team to convince them to sign a document, named after the destroyed city from ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’, according to which the Avengers will be controlled and directed by the United Nations. They will be able to act only when the UN deems it fit for the team’s involvement. This generates a debate among the superheroes whether or not to give in. While Captain America(Chris Evans) believes that they must have freedom to defend humanity without the government’s involvement, Iron Man(Robert Downey Jr) thinks otherwise. This creates a tussle and divides the Avengers in two groups as they have to finally come to a decision even if they have to go against each other.
This mega battle of superheroes is a power packed action sci-fi which will be enjoyed by all action and fantasy lovers. The hero vs hero concept in the movie generates civil war, a fight within the Avengers which lead to the disclosure of some long, pondered upon and lamented secrets. ‘Revenge is never the answer to stop violence’, is what the story talks of. Another very important message one shall carry home from the movie, is the message from Margaret Peggy to Kate that one must never give in to peer pressure when they know that they are right, even if everyone calls them wrong. Captain America chooses to stick to his beliefs and fight off his friends unwillingly. Going against one’s enemy is rather an easy job than fighting a war over disagreement with a friend.
In between this debate, Captain America’s friend-turned-psychologically-controlled soldier Bucky plays an important role, because of whom the war gets more intense. Daniel Bruhl’s character, although not a superhero, is extremely crucial in the search for lost facts which eventually cause an intense war.
‘Civil War’ not only deals with the internal conflict between Captain America and Iron Man but also involves Black Widow, Hawkeye, Wanda, Sam, a young and chatty Spiderman, Ant-Man, Falcon, Vision and Black Panther.
Even though Black Panther’s character (played by Chandwik Boseman) did not have enough screen space in comparison to some of the other super heroes, one will not be able to walk out of the theatre without appreciating his bold intelligence and dedication. Tom Holland’s presence as Spiderman is another excitement as the young spidey successfully portrays every detail of the beloved character in his little screen time. Paul Rudd’s comeback as Ant-Man is one more admirable performance.
Chris Evans’ powerful presence and his awesome physique accompanied with an overwhelming performance may not allow you to blink, so is the case with Robert Downey Jr. even though Iron Man’s more serious and responsible nature has been portrayed here unlike the witty and carefree individual from the ‘Iron Man’ franchise. Scarlet Johansson’s action sequences as Black widow, are awesome as usual, and will keep you asking for more. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s screenplay has justified the characters with ample space to perform and display their characteristics.
Director: Raja Krishna Menon
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur, Kumud Mishra, Prab Kohli, Inaamulhaq
Run time: 125 minutes
‘Airlift’ is the tale of the largest civil operation in the history of the world, where almost two lakh Indians were evacuated from Kuwait during the Iraq-Kuwait war.
The film unfolds with Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar), a Kuwait-based Indian businessman, who has almost forgotten his motherland, living a merry life in Kuwait, realizing his duty as a human being and an Indian, and eventually carrying out a huge civil operation of evacuation of 1,70,000 Indians based in Kuwait during the Iraq-Kuwait war in 1990.
Akshay’s star power definitely elevates the film. Ranjit Katyal is made authentic as Akshay does not display faux heroism for an unshowy heroism, and there is no one else who could have done the job better. His role seems to be inspired slightly by Liam Neeson in ‘Schindler’s List’. One may also find similarities between ‘Airlift’ and Ben Affleck starrer Hollywood evacuation tale, ‘Argo’. ‘Airlift’ takes us through a journey of the awakened sense of responsibility which Amrita (Nimrat Kaur) terms as a ‘manufacturing defect in some humans’ with thrilling empathy. A very crucial character in the movie is Sanjeev Kohli (Kumud Mishra) the government official who makes the evacuation of the Indians successful by convincing the ministers in India. Acting throughout the film is natural and also entertaining at times when the Iraqi general (Inaamulhaq) speaks in Hindi with an Arabic accent!
Bollywood has not been very famous for films based on real-life events because it mostly does not successfully connect the line between fact and fiction, which is extremely important for this genre. What often happens is an overdone representation with enormous drama and exaggeration of facts! But Raja Krishna Menon’s ‘Airlift’ plays it right, with the proportionate amount of drama, thrill, patriotism, fact and history.
For an overall evaluation, Menon has directed his actors perfectly to represent the Indian sentiment through their performance. Amaal Malllik and Ankit Tiwari’s music direction has served the film well, with less number of songs and relevant background score, which shall evoke a feeling of patriotism and give goose-bumps to many Indians.
Cinematographer Priya Seth had captured strong and predominantly masculine images flawlessly showing the fearful and tragic situations in the war zone. Hemanti Sarkar’s editing is impeccably executed throughout as well.
The concept of an individual escalating to tackle an enormous crisis is placed at a key position in the plot. The scriptwriters Suresh Nair, Ritesh Shah, Rahul Nangia and director Menon, have researched Saddam’s invasion suitably yet they did not allow the narrative to be boring or too preachy by the politics of history. ‘Airlift’ without any second thought is a worthy watch as it is informative, real-like and non-exaggerated.
Direction: Ketna Mehta
Actors: Nawazuddin Siddique, Radhika Apte, Gaurav Dwivedi
Run time: 2hours
The legend of Dashrath Manjhi, a determined common man from Gehlaur village in Bihar’s Gaya district could not possibly have been told in a better way. Manjhi- The Mountain Man not only tells the tale of this indomitable man but also speaks of the innumerable deaths and suppressed stories of Bihar in the 1950s-60s. Manjhi had spent 22 precious years of his life to take revenge of his wife’s untimely death by carving a way through a mountain that separated the village from the nearest town and medical help.
The biography shows how a man, only out of love for his wife could carve out a way through the mountain that caused his wife’s death, with nothing but a hammer and a chisel. The film has an effect of an adventure yet it is not merely an adventure but portrayal of life itself in the silver screen. Ketan Mehta’s direction is so appropriate that one would feel that he is present in the 1960s’ corrupt Bihar where greedy zamindars kill and torture every person to fulfill their desires. Mehta has powerfully brought out the emotions of common men in a deprived village, along with this strong love story and sheer realism.
If compared to similar genres of films in Bollywood that were concerned about suppression, rebellious groups, and a strong will or biopics like Paan Singh Tomaar and Bandit Queen, Manjhi is wrapped in hard facts of sheer realism and carries off the blend of emotion, love, exploitation, and determination perfectly well. It bombards the audience with several known and unknown information of that critical era in Bihar. The photogenic scenery of Bihar and particularly the mountain though is not as beautiful as the Himalayas, but is somewhat alright to serve the visual appeal. The cinematography is not very appealing or attractive. Neither is the acting or dialect of the side characters.
Some of the scenes which show the couple romancing seems very fantasy oriented and hence do not quite fit into the realistic storyline. Even though all the actors could not keep up with the Bhojpuri accent, other than the lead characters, some of the dialogues in the film are really awe-inspiring and grand, like the one that Manjhi says towards the end of the film “Bhagwan k bharose mat bathiye, kya pata bhagwan humre bharose baitha ho…” followed by a heartwarming laughter.
Nawazuddin Siddique’s performance as Manjhi is overwhelming as Nawazuddin and Dashrath cannot be separately identified in any part of the film. While Radhika Apte kept a strong hold throughout the film with her sweet charming presence, Gaurav Dwivedi did a great job playing a journalist who narrates the story. The persuasive acting and set-up in the film may also get you teary eyed at times. The theme music and the songs were quite appropriate to fit in the situation of the film. A good incorporation of humour, realism, love, lust and determination, Manjhi- The Mountain Man is an essential watch for all movie lovers.
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Irrfan, Moushumi Chaterjee and Jishu Sengupta
Piku (Deepika Padukone) is a 30 year old woman, living at C.R Park, New Delhi with her complaining and ailing father, Bhashkor Banerjee. Mr. Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan), is absolutely fit other than suffering from constipation, and some imaginary diseases. Her father is a stereotypical old ‘Bangali’, who discusses a lot about health issues, particularly of ‘motion’ and women empowerment and wants his daughter to be like Rani Laskshmibai, and AnnieBesant.
Bhashkor Banerjee introduces his daughter to be a ‘financially, emotionally and sexually independent and non-virgin woman’ to almost every other man she meets! His erratic and childish behavior always puts Piku into difficulty!
Irrfan aka Rana Chaudhary, the ‘non-Bengali’ owner of a cab service finds himself in the middle of a family dispute on the long road trip to Kolkata from New Delhi. He tries to calm down situations and provide logical solutions to the problems between the father and the daughter but is misunderstood and asked to stay away from ‘family problems.’ Bhaskor Banerjee loves his daughter but his weird behavior often makes her feel annoyed and disrespectful, on one such occasion when he starts arguing about being a burden for Piku, Rana reacts and shuts him up to tell how caring his daughter actually is.
Piku does not offer any sexuality or spice to the audience, but what it does is, it takes you directly into a family and introduces each and every character the way you observe your family members. It is masterpiece of simplicity and not-so-ideal relations. Piku does not have any of the clichéd romantic moments that Bollywood films generally provide the audience with, rather the subtlety and beauty in the romance between Rana and Piku shows how real and admiring relationships are.
The use of Bengali terms in appropriate places has done wonders in the script by Juhi Chaturvedi. Even the music, by Anupam Roy seems apt for the setting. The character portrayal has been nailed by the worthy actors. Any Bengali man or woman can relate so well with the film that it might bring tears streaming down their eyes with the proceedings of the film.
Piku has less of drama and more of reality focused in it which enables the audience to understand the mentality of the old, loving and tantrum throwing father. Even though he loves his dead wife, he criticizes her, and calls himself a ‘critical man’ as a justification, he is partly selfish, yet his childish tantrums will make you love the 70year old man, and many can relate to their grandparents when they witness the endearing Bhashkor Banerjee. Finally, ‘constipation’ plays a major part in the film other than all the important characters, refer to the ‘Singhaasan’, Rana has mentioned throughout the film, you’ll know why I spoke of constipation. Piku is a family entertainer, and will keep you bursting out in laughter every now and then for the complete duration.
“Myself Rani”, says the shy and simple Delhi girl, to introduce herself to anyone. When she’s asked what it means she says “Queen”. She had been injected with all the good qualities injected within her, and had been taught to obey and respect everyone. But how many respects her? Rani’s (Kangana) wedding gets called off just in the morning before her big day by her fiancé. She decides to go to Paris on her honeymoon which was pre decided all by herself.
In this journey she rediscovers herself and the hidden qualities she had in her. She experiences drunkenness, fights off a thief in a hilarious way, dances in a bar but consciously stuffs her sweater back in her purse after swinging it wildly. She travels Paris with a friend she makes at the Hotel, shops with her and enjoys her life.
Then opens the chapter of Amsterdam for her, she has to share a room with 3 boys in a hostel! Though it sounds tough, she does it and the boys turn out to be quite good too. Friends happen to her automatically and she gets all that she never got from her boyfriend – Respect, praise, a job and even a lip-to-lip kiss! Rani’s character gradually builds confidence. Vijay, her boyfriend was the one who called her queen but gradually she becomes the queen to all her friends. And definitely she looks like a happy queen when she runs to the rock show in her beautiful white laces gown and high heels and open hair fluttering in the air.
No wonder this has been the best rated Bollywood film ever (as it’s flying about in the internet)
The film gives a lot of lessons, as far as I could decipher
1. You should never co-operate and remain suppressed in life
2. Respect your lover
3. Adventure teaches a lot
4. Make friends not by judging their appearance but by their heart
5. And that Kangana Ranaut is a fabulous actress
She should get bagful of awards for her acting. Her character here was that of a middle class girl who fails to recognize a sex-toy shop, one who cannot speak proper English and mispronounces Alexander and names the man Sikandar. Direction of Vikas Bahl and the story stands out uniquely. The character analysis has been awesome, and so was the clever way of using foreign languages to make the audience feel equally helpless like the protagonist, to feel her situation. The film will make you laugh and wonder every minute; some of the scenes are really hilarious. I had personally loved the scenes when Kangana, orders food at a French restaurant and the waiter serves her disaster, once she ends up in embarrassing an Italian restaurant owner with her Indian sense of food, and the way she turns her face off from the Japanese boy named Taka when he tries to be friendly with her for the first time. One of the funniest sequences was when she gets drunk and endlessly recites the story of her life. The music is wonderful, in all Queen is a must watch for everyone.
Direction- 4.5/5, Acting-5/5, Plot- 3.5/5, Music- 4/5, Cinematography- 4/5
Chander Pahar an extraordinary adventure novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, has finally been converted into a film. The writer had never been to African but his research work had made the novel a classic. The whole journey of Bengali film industry reflects its rise through the films of today. The evolution is beautiful to watch out for. The sole reason that the film has been based on the famous novel itself is enough to draw huge crowds of all age to the theatre halls. The story is set in the 1900s and revolves around a young man Shankar (played by Dev) from a village in Bengal and his dream of travelling the world. He finds a job in Uganda railways as a station master in a desolate station in Africa, and eventually steps out for an adventure with another man. In his solitude Shankar used to read books and roam around in the nearby area with a gun as an only protection from man-eater lions and other dangerous animals. He made friends with the Massai and Zolo tribes,to help his unprotected livelihood. One day during his travelling around he found a man asleep and sick on a tree to be attacked by cheetahs and hyenas any moment, he saved him and brought him into his own cottage and took good care of him. From the man, Diego Alvarez, who was a Portuguese explorer, Shankar learnt a lot about his past and a bone chilling story of an adventure to the “mountain of the moon” in search of diamonds. Hearing this story Shankar get ready to leave his boring job of a station master who has to only attend to one train a day, and plans to set out for the diamond mine. On their way to the diamond mine they discover a volcano which was never known to exist until then. Shankar’s experience of the journey to the mine and form it back home is worth watching out for.
Dev’s acting though in the beginning seemed not up to the mark, was good enough with the development of the film. The controversy of whether Dev can fit into this role can be side tracked once you have watched the film. South African actor Gerard Rudolph plays Diego and also picks up the trouble of speaking little bit of Bengali with Shankar. The animation wasn’t as good as the Hollywood films but could pass as quite well in the Tollywood. The bunyip looked horribly ugly, just the way a monster is supposed to look.
The cinematography of Chander Pahar by Soumik Haldar is absolutely wonderful; if not anything else do go for the film just to watch the camera work. The locations for the shooting were equally awesome; the waterfalls the dangerous lion, the giraffes, the Black Mamba, the tiny insects and the hyenas were captured perfectly. Some of my favourite shots were the scene when the huge lion was standing just above the Indian man, Shankar had made friends with; when Shankar was crossing over to another side of the hill walking over a tree truck bridge to save Diego; and the shot of the rocks dropping down to the water body when Shankar and Diego were climbing the rocky walls of the waterfalls; and also towards the end of the film when Shankar is starving and screams out loud for help.
The direction by Kamaleshwar Mukherjee was quite good and also explains the development and rise in the maturity level of Dev’s acting skills. Though many would claim that the film was not as good as the description of the story, but the mental image formation of one person always differs from the other, so we can never say whose idea is more picturesque, it just depends on the beholder’s perception. The music was very apt; I loved it throughout the film. There were no songs until the end, but the sole music was very gripping. The use of African music was a clever choice; credit goes to the music directors Indradeep Dasgupta and Debojyoti Mishra. The editing by Raviranjan Maitra was also good except for a few times when it seemed that a scene started off without waiting for the previous one to end, that was disturbing for the viewers.
Story- 10/10 Direction- 9/10 Acting- 7.5/10 Music- 9/10 Cinematography- 9.5/10 Editing-8.10
There may not be a completely justified reason to this name of the film, but it’s worth a watch. The story is very different from the general conventional line Bengali films of Tollywood. Directed by Gaurav Pandey “Hanuman.com” revolves around a very simple school teacher, Anjaniputra, played by Prasenjit Chatterjee, who is forced to learn computer to cope up with the trend and set question papers using the computer. Getting internet connection to his computer he starts studying thoroughly on Albert Einstein and cockroaches!! Eventually he starts online chat with a mysterious lady named Maria from Iceland and she calls Anjaniputra, her “George Clooney”. One night Anjaniputra, on one of their video chats suddenly witnessed Maria’s murder which shook him well enough that he gave up his profession and suffered internally for not being able to tell anyone about what he saw. Finally he sells his only piece of land for a good lump sum of money and sets out for Iceland leaving a letter to his wife asking her to wait.
Then begins his journey in the delivery of truth, he gets help from several people and finally succeeds in his mission.
The landscapes of Iceland are absolutely mesmerizing, every angle of those shots were beautiful, from the aurora to the snow covered areas. Prosentjit as always stood out on his acting skills, the girl who played the character of Nan-Noori did a great job as well. Personally I felt that there were certain things unnecessarily stuffed into the film to make it more commercial. The kantabai jokes and the gibberish dialogues of the Iceland resident Bengali man played by the director himself were unnecessary.
The timings of the story as indicated by the news regarding Vajpayee did not really go with the internet savvy era of the 2010s. Some sudden sparks of intelligence in Anjaniputra’s wife who couldn’t even recognize Einstien’s name and the fact that a teenager could hack into an important person’s personal computer were not very convincing. There might have been some sequential problem in the script; otherwise I have loved the story. This is a benchmark in the Tolly industry, where this 5crore budget film was partly shot in Iceland and came up with a very different and convincing plot never been found in the industry before. The ending might seem boring to some, while some might find a dream like resemblance of a common man’s return to his old, boring and contented life.
The use of music is absolutely wonderful. The rap version of “ikir mikir cham chikir” the use of “Prithibita naki choto hote hote” in appropriate scenes and the transformed form of “Momo chitte nite nritte” were clever works.
The title of the film might have been derived from the synonymous name of Anjaniputra – Hanuman, the brave Hindu god, the follower of Lord Ram; and the “.com” has been added to it for the internet based effect on Anjaniputra’s life.
This film is an official tribute to Goutam Chattopadyay, the Bengli rock music icon of the 80s whose Mohiner Ghoragulo became very famous.
Direction – 8/10 ; Plot – 8.5/10 ; Acting – 7/10 ; Script – 6/10 ; Cinematography – 8.5/10 ; Music – 8.5 /10
The plot of Mishor Rahasya revolves around Hieroglyph, an ancient form of ancient Egyptian writing system which used pictures to describe words and actions. An Egyptian business man hires Raja Roychowdhury to decipher the meaning of some hieroglyphic writings by his teacher, Mufti Mohammad, during his sleep, thinking that he might have written his will, giving information about treasures. To decipher the meaning of the pictures Kakababu has to take a trip to Egypt himself to track down the mystery while he cannot tell anybody the meaning of the writings. Kakababu sets his adventurous feet on Egypt along with his nephew Shontu declining all the pleas of an CBI official who suspected that another disciple of Mufti Mohammad is trying to kidnap Kakababu and force him to tell them the meaning of Mufti ‘s will. Things take a turn when they land up in Egypt and Kakababu gets kidnapped by Aquadi’s men.
This film directed and scripted by Srijit Mujherji, and based on the story written by Sunil Gangopadhyay, is a master piece; everything seems well planned and executed. Prosenjit Chatterjee has proved his acting skills yet again fitting extremely well into the role of Raja Roychowdhuri aka “Kakababu”, starting from his attire and appearance, to allowing himself to become the character he has excelled in the art of acting. Devdaan also has done a great job as Shontu. No wonder Indraniel Sengupta can be one among the best villains in the film industry. His journey from “Dashami”, and “Kahaani” has given him a twist in his career, to focus more on negative roles.
The dialogues are as usual, very unique, given the patent of Srijit, they are entertaining and yet informative. Though the actual story is based on the 1960s-70s, Srijit has given his film a contemporary look. One should really look out for some scenes, like in the one when “Kakababu” fights two men with his stick and the action sequence is frozen to bring the comics-sketch effect; the scene just before the interval when Hani Alquadi is shown form the back and the camera pans and moves to a different angle covering the whole of Alquadi’s physical feature standing out in the desert rock background, and definitely the surprising scene of Alquadi’s disguise. It also has a spine-chilling climax underneath a pyramid.
The music by Indraadip Dasgupta, no wonder, has matched every sequence of the film making your heart brim up with adventure and fun.
This puja, watch out for this wonderful adventure packed film, and make your holidays worthy. I would love to declare this as one of the best Bengali films that I have watched.
Though the film ‘Atonement’ release in 2007, but I only got to watch it today, and what a wonderful work of art! Credit goes to both the author of the book and the director of the film, Ian McEwan and Joe Wright respectably. The story deals with the wrong assumption of a teenager, Briony Tallis, for which her beloved elder sister’s life gets spoilt. This guilt made her live through out, she did try to atone for her errors, but it was too late, she lost love and happiness from her life and her sister’s. The story is based in the 1930’s, and concentrate on the psyche of a teenager, who is seldom trusted and is ignored by the boy she falls for, which eventually leads her to take life in a different way, and the victims of her grave mistake-Cecilia and Robbie.
Mistakes once made leave a mark, especially when your loved ones are affected. And that mark can never be scrubbed off you, however hard you try. It just stays and eats you up from within. The actors have no wonder done a great job. Keira Knightly who played Cecilia as usual was amazing, Robbie played by James McAvoy was a character full with emotion and suffering, and the little roles that Venessa Redgrave and Romola Garai played were so wonderfully presented that you might get torn up from within by watching the girl regret her deeds. Since emotion was of major importance in this film, all the actors had given their best to bring out the character and facial expressions.
The music was stupendous, it is probably the first time I have heard the use of typewriting sounds in music. It was obviously beautiful and also went well with the scenes. The use of frequent flashbacks worked well, thought the beginning of the film was a bit confusing it picked up pace with time, and the end delivers to you a pang of guilt and remorse, from the part of Briony.
Do watch this film to understand the emotions of people. It is not obvious that one who does something does it to harm you, but often they themselves die out of pain they have given to others by one little mistake. Human Psyche is a very complicated issue; it is quite difficult to judge one’s decision on a given matter, though it is also difficult to assume things just by seeing them. There is no ‘correct assumption’ or ‘Truth’ or ‘Right’. Truth is just how people define it, and right is based on perception. What may seem right to one may seem wrong to another. So judging someone or jumping to conclusions is a defect in the human behavior, but we do so, we do such things very often, without knowing how many are left affected by our decisions and quick assumptions.