Dear Comrade Movie Review

I’ve been a fan of Vijay Devarakonda, after I accidentally watched Arjun Reddy.  Someone suggested to me that it’s a pretty intense story – exactly what I need to hear to watch a movie.  I really liked the depth he potrayed in the movie.  Ever since Dear Comrade songs have come out,  I’ve wanted to watch the movie.  As I did not get any company to watch it in the theater, I  had to patiently wait for Amazon Prime to stream it for me. And wait even more patiently to get 3 hours of free time at a stretch to finish the movie.  Finally, I’m done watching.

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Oh boy, Oh boy!  The movie is mesmerizing and captivating.  There’s nothing not to like in the movie.  It isn’t a love story,  it is a #Metoo Story, and how one should pursue their passion in life, despite all odds. And how a real comrade will stay by you and bring out the best in you, no matter what the circumstances.

First half is breezy and we get little scared that Vijay’s Arjun Reddy avatar will dominate  – but that quickly fades away, only to be replaced by far better things on the screen. The taking is very nuanced, and  every turn in the movie is  for the better.

Few  striking things in the movie are how girls who are passionate to do something different has to face a lot of shit in life, how it’s okay for lead actor in the movie to cry at the drop of the hat despite being a hot head,  how it’s impossible to change the core nature of a person – fuck naturo therapy and everything else,  and how you can never force someone to do anything –  you have to wait.  The climax where the Lilly bursts open, once her love for cricket is questioned and being called a talentless player – that says it all.

The songs wrench your heart, the background score soothes you.  The lead actors arrest you with their performances and you will come out of the movie nodding your head with what the director says – “Fight for what you love!”

Rating – 10/10

Have a good day and keep rocking!

Stuff I Love : KidzByte App

Ms. S  or the elder one turned 9 recently. Last few months, I was trying to think of a way to introduce her to news. No, no news channels. She gets KidsAge Magazine at home,  but that hasn’t been enough to cover the news that happen every single day. Man, the world keeps moving, and so should your knowledge about it.  Then , I considered signing up to some really cool kids newspapers like  curiousowl and one more. However, given the time kid will have in the morning – I wasnt very optimistic she can get anything done.  Oh yes, I could read to her but that time will be spent in getting the younger one ready. So, TV is out.  News papers are out.  So, how else can get her started?

Enter KidzByte app. Its a curated news app for curious minds ( read : younger kids )

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The app has many categories, and all the latest news are promptly updated.  It has a Read to me version and a short video before the text. So, kid is essentially given 3 options to understand the same news item. And the app has built gamification to its best use.  Every article ( short : around  150 to 200 words), has a question with objective type answer format. So, kids now have an incentive to read / listen / view the item. Sometimes, the  question isnt from the article, but definitely answerable by the smart phone assistant readily available on all phones these days.

There are many categories of news, and the information is updated every single day. Almost, all major events in the world and a lot of trivia is added – which adds up over time to the kid’s general knowledge.  There is an overall leaderboard, and every week’s leaderboard.  Each player is given an overall rank, and there are levels the player can reach based on the number of points he/she earns in the game. So, how does one earn points?  By answering the questions right?  How smartly connected 🙂

So, how does the app makers earn money? By giving bonus points and power ups for certain amount of money. Ofcourse, kids want to earn points quickly, and when they are learning something along the way, parents won’t mind spending as well. I’ve recharged twice as of now,  and it keeps the kid really motivated to read more and learn stuff.

There are lot of competitions they conduct on a daily basis, which Saanvi hasn’t participated yet. The next step is to create a gmail account for her,  via Family feature of gmail. Every day morning, now it’s a ritual for the kid to do the app for 10 minutes and collect her share of points for the day. At the same time, get the latest news in the most informative, non intrusive way!

Kudos to the makers of this app, and  this is one of the best apps for kids out there.

Rating – 5/5

Have a good day and keep rocking!

Notebook movie review

I flipped through Amazon Prime to see if there is anything I would like to  watch. Among the hustle and bustle of mainstream entertainment, I saw this quiet  poster, and the description read that a guy comes as a teacher,and reads the diary of a previous teacher.  Enough to get me hooked.

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Produced by Salman Khan Films, this movie stars debutantes Zaheer Iqbal and Pranutan Bahl.  It is set in the most beautiful places of Kashmir. Ex-army man Kabir(Zaheer ) is summoned by his uncle to become teacher in a school. This school is in the middle of Wuller lake, with no human facilities such as electricity, water and another human. While he  struggles to adjust with the surroundings and the kids – he finds the diary of the teacher who t aught earlier – Firdaus.  Beautifully written, it takes the viewer through Firdaus’s life  seen through the eyes of Kabir.

If you want to experience the beauty of Kashmir, watch the movie. Otherwise ,there are so many flaws in the movie to make it a passable watch. Most notable of them is,  Kabir being so bad in mathematics that his star student fails the exam, as he teaches wrong things. I dont think anyone in their right mind and zero academics would sign up to teach in the middle of a remote lake.  Firdaus is excellent, and it is really disppointing that she would give up on everything she loved and goes  behind the man she was supposed to marry. Except, her fiancee has a fling and now the expectant mother calls for justice on the day of his wedding. There are a lot of threads that do not really add up well.  There are two scenes where the director has excelled  – reason why kabir quits army and  how kabir makes a young boy put down the gun.

The Love story between the lead pair is forced, and no effort is made to establish any chemistry.  Their love story is fuelled by chance, and it didnt leave a good taste for the die hard romantic in me.  The fun part of the movie were kids, who remain cheerful though horrible things keep happening with and around them.

Watch it for the beautiful locales, lovely songs and the kids!

Rating – 6/10

Have a good day and keep rocking!

Four more Shots Please : Review

I have taken a sabbatical from Web series after I finished watching Game of  Thrones.  A recent flip through Amazon Prime showed me the trailer of this, which was supposed to stream in complete on January 25th.

So, I did what I do – Watched it in full.

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The girls in titular characters are played by my favorite actor Sayani Gupta, another favorite Maanvi Gagroo and Kriti Kulhari and V J Bani. I’ve seen the last two for the first time on screen. It’s been directed by Anu Menon and the series is created by Rangita Pritish Nandy. There are a whole lot of male characters, including still-drool-worthy Milind Soman, Pratiek Babbar, Neil Bhoopalam and Ankur Rathee. Dont’ worry – I’ve even heard of the last two names only today. Also starring Lisa Ray!

So, the web series has 10 episodes and each with a rough run time of 30+ minutes.  The ladies make friends in bar on one eventful night and remain stuck with each other ever since.  Each of them has a different profile, different challenges and have a different way of dealing with people and situations.  Through Sayani, we see how  a startup founder can be ousted from their company, and through Kriti – we see how its perfectly normal to be jealous of your good-for-nothing’s new girl friend.  V J Bani and Maanvi deal with more sensitive issues and they get the best roles of the lot. While Bani’s characterization is established as bisexual – she is only shown with lesbian tendencies through out the series.  Maanvi’s  issue of mother not being happy with her and her weight comes across as silly at first – but it grows on you over time.  While Sayani’s character bounces back like a ball,  Maanvi withdraws into more mess.

There are lot of explicit scenes and the women are as fashionable and less-dressed as they can be.  While they meet at the bar, all of them do not drink anywhere except there – and only when they come as a group.  There are couple of shock factors in the movie – How corporate politics work, how cheap behavior has no age limit and  how bad guys always end up getting one good girl after the other.

While the female characters are strong and have very good story line and defenses for them, the weaker section of the web series are guys.  For instance, Milind Soman’s character is a doctor whom Sayani secretly crushes. For a while, things look good until he suddenly starts showing interest in her. Very unlikely for a busy gynec.  On similar lines,  the character of  Prateik – while he realizes his love for Sayani all the while, he randomly ends up with his ex who cheated on him.  Not convincing enough.  I understand the shots and series is all about women,  but men aren’t so dumb out there.  Their povs, their frustrations do not get any screen space at all.

While the 9 episodes go off like a breeze with a hiccup here and there,  the 10th episode is all the tragedy.   The writer and the director feel the compulsive need to introduce drama and make every story a bad ending at the end. Sayani stands in front of the man she loves with her ex,  Maanvi breaks off her engagement as her prospective father in law is perverse, Bani breaks her heart yet again and  Kriti is now threatened to be taken away permanently from her daughter. While I understand how story cannot be ended happily as it’s real life – but there can always  be something good happening with each of the characters.  Life cannot be shit for so many people at the same time.

Another weakening aspect of the plot is the “perfect” friendship between the ladies is never put to test until the last episode.  They laugh and giggle, but over random conversations and nothing’s really deep.  Some more time for this would have kept the audience more emotionally engaged.

So, my favorite character – Maanvi aka Siddhi Gupta.  Call your girl friends home, put kids to sleep and  take a tub of popcorn and enjoy!

Rating –  8/10

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

Soni Movie Review

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It’s the season for movies. When you stop doing certain things you are very very used to from a long time, a void gets created in life. To fill it, movies are the one of the option. And when you can’t tolerate a movie like Simmba – you go for the more easier option – Pick and choose on OTT platforms.

Saw this new release on Netflix and the raving reviews on Internet. So spent time watching it.  The film revolves around the lives of two police women – a junior and  a senior.  While the junior is hot headed,  you will never find senior wording a sentence more than what is necessary. The ladies laugh a lot less, because there is nothing worthy celebrating going on in their lives.  The best part of the movie is that it unfolds in a very slow pace –  camera just stays on the faces and the places.  No hurry, and such close look to reality. End of the day , women are shown their place at home even when they are no less than their husbands.  The director did very less to explain –  he let us just be a fly on the wall to witness the lives of the lady police officers in Delhi.

I personally did not find anything negative about the film. Saloni Batra and Geetika Vidya Ohlyan have done a fantastic job. While Geetika Vidya Ohlyan plays the titular character, my more favorite is Saloni Batra. Watch it for sure!

Rating – 5/5

Have a good day and keep rocking!

Padi Padi Leche Manasu : Telugu Movie Review

 

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My favorite actors  Sharwanand and Sai Pallavi in a classical lyrical style romantic movie  –  I wanted to watch it first day first show in theatre but stayed back due to extremely negative reviews. When I found it on Prime – found time here and there to finish it off. So, how did it go?

 

I generally cry at the tip of hat and have usually become emotional in the romantic movies where the situations of the lead pair makes us melt. The lead pair cries – more so the lady and has many twists and turns.  First, good things first.  Streets of Kolkata in rains and the excellent visuals  coupled with mesmerizing background score.  The mindset of the lady –  a stubborn lady who doesnt fall, to someone who falls for an anonymous guy, to the lady who waits for her love for an year only to meet him at the earthquake and finally, the lady who tells the truth only to her lover that she wont remember him anymore. There are lot of shades to the character and sai pallavi did not disappoint at all. You could feel every emotion she played, and she played to the T.

The lead actor’s mindset is what lets you down – looks amateurish and too quick to jump on his feet. His sudden decisions in life just as he meets his father, his stalking and using age old tricks to make a medical student fall for him – too silly.  As matured sai pallavi’s character is – the more childish sharwanand’s character is.  If only the director put little more effort on adding some logic to his actions.

Watch it, but do not expect magic on the screen. You will cringe and crib – still watch it anyway!

Have a good day and keep rocking!

F2 : Telugu Movie Review

After long, entire family of 6 was in theatre last sunday to catch up with the latest telugu blockbuster F2.  I was told it will be a laugh riot and people were laughing non stop for the entire duration of the film.  So, how did it go?

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One guy married for 6 months to a sister, another guy about to be married to another sister – elope to Europe along with their neighbour who is maintaining 2 wifes to escape the torture of females in their lives. Nothing wrong with this.  The problem is , the director could not make up his mind on who is wrong until the end of the film. We are given lecture at Nasser’s house on how husband is the only person in wife’s lives and they should say “I Love you” when they are happy with wife and “I am sorry” when things go wrong.  Nothing wrong with the plot – except the basic premise is incorrect.

The ladies shown in this movie – Harika ( Tamanna) and Honey( Mehreen) are typical ladies who would want to make husbands dance on their tunes. There is no concept of women equality or husbands  not understanding their  wives. The director  clearly depicts the ladies as shrewd, cunning and cut throat.  So, for once when all the male characters jumped to Europe –  I thought the preaching is for ladies, for a change.

But, thats where the film fails. The entire film goes in one direction and the climax exactly in the opposite.  There are quite few episodes that are old, cliche and unlaughable – vennela kishore revenge, the collapse of bridge and prakash raj letting some random guys into house on the pretext of writing his biopic.

I found the plot wafer thin,  actings over board and entire sequence of events illogical. There are laughs scattered, however I have become more matured audience to entertain this kind of cinema I guess.  Leave you logic at home and be prepared to see the old wine in a new bottle – the only way to watch this movie.

2/5 for the comedy tracks in the movie.

Have a good day and keep rocking!