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.
The spark and fire generator is Kangana Ranaut, who comes through all shining and emotional armor. Her act as the thieving Praful is nothing short of brilliant. The first time she robs a counter and races away in her car, her expression betrays the sheer shock she feels running through her being, stunned by her own audacity. And then, she configures her expression into a magnificent dissolve of triumph and thrill, realizing that she can get away with it.
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.
There’s a scene in Patriots Day where Veronica (Khandi Alexander, the only scene she’s in for the length of the movie) from the High-Value Interrogation Group, is interrogating Katherine Russell (Melissa Benoist), wife of terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev (Themo Melikidze), who along with younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Alex Wolff) set off bombs in Boston and has … Continue reading ‘Patriots Day’ review: The Terror and the Terrible
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
The camera follows Jayaraman (Mohanlal), panning his walk in slow motion, as he passes the dead body, and then, in the crowd, you see the killer’s visage, a child in his arms, a lady next to him. You do a double take, but Jayaraman passes him by, even though he’s had a deadly scuffle with … Continue reading ‘Oppam’ review: An Apartment, Complex
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
ACP Yashvardhan (John Abraham) enters into the frame for the first time in director Abhinay Deo’s Force 2 in a crisp, sparkling white shirt and cargoes, and the audience in the cinema hall hoots and whistles in joy. That’s the last time that shirt retains its lineage to Snow White, and is eventually dwarfed by … Continue reading ‘Force 2’ review: Biceptic and Triceptic
Author Dan Brown cracked the template of success amidst the bosky of financial turkeys he churned out initially. Set stories in a 24-hour template, add dollops of historical scientific documentation, real-life dark societies and their practices, and cults; add to this mix modern technology, the works of venerated Renaissance artists or scientists, a test-tube of … Continue reading ‘Inferno’ review: Dark Brown Template
THIS WEEK, READERS WRITE IN TO AUNT TWERP, DABSTER IN THINGS ALL SAID AND not done, and get some world-wise advice on resolving knars on their tree of life. So, here goes. Dear Aunt, I booked tickets for Akira thinking it was a biopic on Akira Kurosawa. I’m still wondering what happened. Yours befuddled, Red Beard … Continue reading ‘Akira’ review: The Agony of Aunt Twerp