‘Lucknow Central’ review: Singing in Sing Sing


Lucknow Central’s biggest problem is that director Tiwari and co-writer Aseem Arora try to straddle too many tracks – combining Prison Break with Happy New Year to make another The Shawshank Redemption. Except for the music competition, every story and subplot traces its genesis back to this all-time cinematic classic that’ll forever continue to warmly generate life’s lessons even as it ponders over human nature and failings via Morgan Freeman’s soothingly powerful voice.

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‘Daddy’ review: A Life of Why


Director Ashim Ahluwalia’s Daddy unwaveringly and unequivocally fails on all counts, leaving you stunned at the enterprise and its unhappy achievement. Which is a bit of a surprise, really. For, based on Mumbai’s underworld gangster, Arun Gawli, you’d have thought the man’s life story and his rise and fall would have automatically made for some spiffy and crackling material onscreen.

‘Dunkirk’ review: A Powerful Cinematic Dynamo


With Dunkirk, director Christopher Nolan, who also wrote this project, scales cinematic heights that’s as startling as it is audacious. In Dunkirk, Nolan devours the screen edaciously, opening up the wormhole of his vision to you -  no screen size on this planet is enough to encompass this spectacular vision, but for now, we’ll have … Continue reading ‘Dunkirk’ review: A Powerful Cinematic Dynamo

‘Spider-Man Homecoming’ review: Does Whatever a Teen Can


In my school days, I always wanted to be a comic book hero. No, I didn’t want comics based on my life, but be one of the heroes from the comics I so desperately devoured in a state of dervish during the summer holidays. Not for me Phantom (didn’t quite fancy his life until Diana … Continue reading ‘Spider-Man Homecoming’ review: Does Whatever a Teen Can

‘Deepwater Horizon’ review: Pipeline of Evil


As I trudged wearily into the shop floor at around 2200 hours wearing my yellow-colored hard hat, the familiar refluxive and reflexive gut feel kicked in every night, the white fluorescent lamps ensconced inside wired mesh cages doing little to dispel the darkness that invariably descended inside of me. The drainage gutters on either side … Continue reading ‘Deepwater Horizon’ review: Pipeline of Evil

‘The Mummy’ review: From Bandages to Dark Ages


If you were a cook – no, this isn’t a career advice column – and you come across a rather impressive recipe penned by your favorite aunt or loving grandmother or any such rare, benevolent species in your family, what would you do? You would, in all probability, light up the gas stove, and get … Continue reading ‘The Mummy’ review: From Bandages to Dark Ages

‘Begum Jaan’ review: No Freedom at Midnight


“You have one month to empty this kotha (brothel)!” says Ilias (Rajit Kapoor). Something told me that the repartee by Begum Jaan (Vidya Balan) would invoke dates and menses, and there it was. It wasn’t even particularly powerful, and it is this predictability that haunts director Srijit Mukherji’s eponymous Begum Jaan (Mrs. Jaan). Written by … Continue reading ‘Begum Jaan’ review: No Freedom at Midnight

‘Naam Shabana’ review: Tap (to) see the Power


Here’s a question that if you answer correctly, will immediately qualify you for an interview with India’s top-secret agency - it (the agency, not the question) is beyond the purview of all the listed, government-sanctioned ones, ostensibly craftier and more effective than all the armed forces put together. Ready? Here goes: You’ve caught the only … Continue reading ‘Naam Shabana’ review: Tap (to) see the Power

‘Raees’ review: More –OH than Aah


When Sunny Leone began her moves to the rebooted – yes, we don’t call it plagiarism anymore – version of Kalyanji-Anandji’s throbbing chartbuster, Laila O Laila from Qurbani, the chair in the cinema hall next to me began rocking. Fearing the worst, I looked out of the corner of my eye, and through the limited, … Continue reading ‘Raees’ review: More –OH than Aah

‘Allied’ review: Love In Casa-Blah-nca


The opening sequence is as poetic in its hushed arrival as they come. A beautifully choreographed parachute landing in the deserts of the Sahara circa 1942 shows you the magnificently piliferous Brad Pitt cast away his jumping jack and proceed towards Casablanca. Director Robert Zemeckis couldn’t have given us a better welcome than this in … Continue reading ‘Allied’ review: Love In Casa-Blah-nca