April 02 2020
This weekend at the movies
19 February 2018

Here is a handy guide to all the movies that released this weekend. Read our reviews and take your pick!

Black Panther: Black pride with a side of shade

Black Panther is helmed by African-American director Ryan Coogler, who’s previously tackled race in Fruitvale Station (2013) that chronicled police brutality. With his superhero venture, Coogler uses Black Panther as a metaphor to celebrate African pride and inclusion. For instance, the film’s tribes revel in their ethnicity, wearing it on their oh-so-traditional and vibrant sleeves. And the amount of shade hurled at the white man feels appropriately provocative; from calling them colonisers to snide comments about their apparent inabilities.

Read Deborah Cornelious’ review here

The Shape of Water: drowning in love

A mute protagonist and her two sidekicks, a sassy black woman and a senior gay man, save a monster from the clutches of the bad guys in The Shape of Water. The big bad villain in this case, is a Caucasian white man encapsulating all that’s wrong in the world. Cinematic excellence aside, if this premise isn’t art commenting on politics, then we’d have to be slapped in the face for it to be more noticeable.

Check out Deborah Cornelious’ review

Hostiles: Weak narrative

It is always a pleasure watching the changeful Christian Bale and in Hostiles he does not disappoint as cavalry officer Captain Joseph J. Blocker who is “no angel” where his treatment of Native Americans is concerned. It is 1892, in Fort Berringer, New Mexico, and Blocker is ordered by his commanding officer to escort Yellow Hawk, an Indian chief dying of cancer, and his family to tribal lands in Montana. You know there is going to be a gradual melting of Blocker’s heart notwithstanding DH Lawrence’s quote (“The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted”) in the beginning of the film.

Here is Mini Anthikad Chhibber’s review

‘Naachiyaar’ review: Women at work

Given that this is a Bala film, and given the director’s propensity to tell stories of people who live on the fringes, you may be forgiven for thinking thatNaachiyaar is about the trials and tribulations of a group of ragpickers. But that’s not what this is about, and Naachiyaar isn’t your regular Bala film.

Read Vishal Menon’s review of the film

Veera: Sketch in, sketch out

mandram (association) forms the backdrop of everything that happens in Veera. The film opens with a history of how mandrams were formed in the first place for social good, but have now turned into dens of wrongdoing.

Read Srinivasa Ramanujam’s review of the Veera

Aiyaary: A flashback too many

These days disclaimers in films seem to tell their own story, preparing you for what is likely to unfold on screen. Aiyaary has several of them including a ridiculous one on not supporting riding motorbikes without helmets. But the most crucial one, right at the start, has the filmmaker going on the back foot about armymen and politicians. The film itself is about Neeraj Pandey’s favourite theme—disenchantment with the system and its subversion and unofficial missions which the government would disown the minute they are outed.

Here is what Namrata Joshi has to say about the film

Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz: no spark

On paper Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz seems just like what Dr Love would have prescribed. A lonely RJ, Alfaaz (Zain Khan Durrani), with a dark past, a deep baritone, love for strays and stories about unrequited love, gets a call by mistake from a bright and chirpy meme creator Archana (Geetanjali Thapa) who is fighting her own demons. A connect of sorts gets established. However it takes the entire length of a film and some misunderstandings and complications for it to reach fruition.

Read the review here

Awe: moments of awesomeness

Awe is an unusual film. The trailer didn’t give away anything, except the fact that a few well-known actors have come together to do something new. A film like this can be a double-edged sword, with potential to be a game changer or end up as an experiment not many would care to watch. Awe turned out to be a slow-burn, shape-shifting film as it introduced its key characters and the strange worlds they inhabit.

Sangeetha Devi Dundoo reviews the film

Manasuku Nachindi: A matter of heart

Manasuku Nachindi tries to convey a lot, but all the cushioning that director Manjula does to cover up a stale story comes a cropper in a 150-minute preachy marathon. Everything in the film appears so comfortable and convenient, the struggle of the character arcs never come through.



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