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‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga’ review: Of Inspirations and Subtlety

Reading Time: 6 minutes Director Shelly Chopra Dhar makes a breezy first half that takes the best of a Wodehouse story and comes up with a sunny, happy entertainer. It’s when she takes on societal prejudices and throwing light on a couple but continues to take the pre-interval approach that the cracks in her missus begin to show. And even though her lead actress does a sincere—but skimming the character’s surface—job, it’s the rest of the cast that shines and props up the movie all through. Meanwhile offscreen, the movie’s producer continues to don the mantle of a life and music coach.

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‘Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’ review: Blaze of Glory

Reading Time: 4 minutes Kangana Ranaut is so movingly magnificent, she earns this review an extra point. In a movie not without flaws, hers is an act that’s packed with sizzling energy and ferociousness; she touches you and stuns you all at the same time. In perhaps what is fitting irony and tribute, the queen’s (Ranilaxmi’s, not Ranaut’s blockbuster movie) fight against patriarchy and society’s campy behavior is what the actress faced in real life to complete this movie, and that’s the negative energy she seems to turn around and harness to blaze ahead in this project.

‘Soni’ review: Parallels and Meeting Points

Reading Time: 4 minutes In his fantastic debut feature, director Ivan Ayr slices the lives of two women in the Delhi Police force and runs a parallel through them. And then, he throws a stunning spotlight on how similar their struggles are, even as he shows other ugly cracks in the form of school shaming, being propositioned, as if it was part of the job description, and the obnoxious entitlement that seems to oil a venal machinery. And even if he does it with a quiet, observant camera, almost as if tip-toeing into the lives of the two women of his movie, his messaging is loud and clear.

‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ review: Tailored Swift, Family Patriot

Reading Time: 6 minutes Director Aditya Dhar comes up with a slickfest of a first half that’s let down by a second half that compromises on too many fronts. But despite its malaises and tendency to take the pat route out, ‘Uri’ is worth a watch for actor Vicky Kaushal’s magnificent performance. He not only shines in the action sequences, but more importantly, shows the humane side of a trained combatant. And that, the most prestigious medal that you carry around is the one that your elders pin on you.

‘Roma’ review: Life’s Like That

Reading Time: 5 minutes Genre-defying director Alfonso Cuarón creates delicate, subtle, and stunning imagery in ‘Roma’. With a poetic script and his superb cast, he breaks your heart, then tends to it, gets you down to the bottom but ultimately uplifts you. This is 2018’s best and finest movie. This is what cinema—and life—is all about: a beautiful experience.

‘Ani…Dr. Kashinath Ghanekar’ review: A Blaze of Self-Destruction

Reading Time: 6 minutes How do you capture the zest and madness of an actor who lived life on his terms, even if those terms meant hellish conditions for those around him? How do you get the mania onscreen that Marathi stage’s first (and perhaps only) superstar evoked amongst his audience? Director Abhijeet Deshpande and actor Subodh Bhave do a stupendous job in doing all of this and more. In a movie whose title means listing its subject at the end of the credits, it’s a first amongst Indian actors’ biopics.

‘Baazaar’ review: Bland Stock Exchange

Reading Time: 3 minutes Director Gauravv K Chawla and his writing team create a stock market story that’s more stock than shock, letting you and their actors down with the velocity of a plunging economy. If there’s anything here that props up your interest, it’s Saif Ali Khan’s valiant act.

‘Badhaai Ho’ review: Parental Control

Reading Time: 5 minutes Director Amit Ravindernath Sharma addresses the issues that hits a family that’s faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Amidst all the guffaws and laughs and tender moments, the movie makes you realize that teenage pregnancies may be scandalous, but they don’t hold a candle to late-in-life deliveries.

‘Tumbbad’ review: Into the Womb of Avarice

Reading Time: 4 minutes Audacious, mad, and chillingly terrifying, ‘Tumbbad’ marks a visual treat in Indian horror movies. The trio of Rahi Anil Barve, Adesh Prasad, and Anand Gandhi shower your senses with incessant rain and then use fire to show you the way. By the time you realize you’re deep into the womb of terror, it’s much too late to retreat.

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