A Kenyan Pride- The Lion King Film Review

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The Lion King Courtesy Wikipedia

The Lion King Courtesy Wikipedia

Bringing a remake to life with the current technology and intelligent audience can be quite a challenge.

Luckily the story of The Lion King remains untouched and Director Jon Favreau delivers a the old age father-son story with its original touch of family bonding, for the Pride.

The Lion King is the story of King of the jungle Mufasa and the principles and morals he passes down to his son Simba.

Simba is like your typical young child who wants to grow up fast, is innocent and pure from the heart. His uncle Scar takes advantage of this naivety and lays a trap for father and son and Mufasa dies.

Simba feels guilty and ends up with new friends Pumba and Timon. They help cheer him up and until he becomes an adult they are all one three happy family. Nala, who is Simba’s childhood friend and now sweetheart finds him and convinces him to return to the Pride and overthrow Mufasa.

The choice of voices for the characters has been brilliant. Danny Glover as Simba, Beyonce Knowles-Carter as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumba, Billy Eicher as Timon and James Earl Jones as Mufasa.

Director Jon Favreau had proven his talent and vision through the Netflix production of The Jungle Book (2016) and gave us a taste of what was to come.

The use of technology to create the real life characters has been awesome and the savannah plains inspired from Kenya, are gorgeous.

The film remains true in script to the original. Perhaps a few new scenes relevant to today’s generation would have been more interesting, for example the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” could have become a more digitally enhanced dream sequence.

Otherwise for the next 25 years we are set until the next remake of The Lion King.


Who’s Your Super 30? Film Review

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Super 30 Courtesy Wikipedia

Super 30 Courtesy Wikipedia

Yes it is true that Education is not a basic human right and a big money making business. While many Governments pretend to offer it free or try to, the quality is affected and the number of students can make it harder to maintain a stable environment and infrastructure.

But this is not a lecture about how education can be fixed (which it should be), apart from making it more relevant to life skills and creativity and definitely affordability and equality, this is a Film Review of Super 30.

Hrithik Roshan has been almost invisible from the silver screen since Kaabil and has been missed. He brings a powerful, honest and heartbreaking performance in the portrayal of real life mathematician hero Anand Kumar.

Super 30 is the story of transformation, inspiration and determination of one simple man called Anand Kumar. Anand is a genius mathematician and through the sheer aspiration of his father and then his own conviction to train a group of 30 students to get an equal chance at changing their fate.

The film’s director Vikas Bahl, though he faced sexual harassment charges upon the launch of publicity for the film, has delivered an excellent film. Sanjeev Datta has written a masterpiece that with the entire effort of the cast and production crew deserves an entry into the Academy Awards. If the Oscar can go to A Beautiful Mind or The Theory of Everything then why not Super 30.

The film also inspires a person to think who can be their own “Super 30” where they can help change lives and possibly bring in equality, opportunities, justice or a breakthrough.

One of the best scenes was when Anand (Hrithik) takes the blessings of the tea boy who told him about getting published in the Mathematics Journal. That was not only a turning point in his life but a testament to the honesty and respect he had for others and most of all for education.

Feel At Home- Lusala Film Review

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Brian Ogola as Lusala (Photo Courtesy Facebook

What does rain and childhood have in common?

Lots of memories like playing with the mud or maybe coming home from school with a bag full of wet books.

Come into the world of Lusala and well, things will certainly look different.

This directorial debut by Mugambi Nthiga is a well thought and executed story of Lusala, a young boy who had a troubled childhood and is still struggling with his ghosts.

There is a wonderful performance by the ensemble that includes lead actor Brian Ogola as Lusala. His breakthrough scene I would put at the one where he was burning the clothes, only if the Director showed us the same scene or a slight part of it with the ghost.

Otherwise it is a brilliant story about mental wellbeing and childhood trauma.

When Lusala is walking to work at the garage and the bystanders are staring it reminds me of the Bollywood films of the 90s when the crowds gathered to look at the stars. It takes a while for them to become casual and let the scene look even more real.

The brother and sister relationship was just so beautiful, worth the watch and discover yourself. The film is technically sound and the soundtrack added a nice Kenyan pop feel too.

Looking forward to the next project by Mugambi.

There’s A Champion in You- Film Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

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Bohemian Rhapsody- Rami Malek and Freddie Mercury, courtesy Screenrant

Freddie Mercury is before my time, not quite. Queen’s songs live on and will continue to do so maybe even like a Chopin.

Bohemian Rhapsody naturally is the biographical account of Farrokh Bulsara, known as Freddie Mercury and the birth and survival of the band, Queen.

Director Bryan Singer finds a real hero in Freddie for Bohemian Rhapsody and he delivers an excellent portrayal of a genius and his maestro band.

There is also no doubt that Rami Malek was born to play this epic role. His honest eyes mesmerize you even when he admits he is an AIDS carrier.

The first winner of the film is the story, the story of a young Parsi boy who had a grand vision of being himself and challenging the status quo. There was an interesting parallel to his and famous Bollywood Actor Sanjay Dutt’s story when the two at their peak are influenced by negative friends who end up causing their downfall. While Sanjay Dutt survived to tell a story and is contributing to changing lives of the Indian youth trapped in the viscious drugs addiction, Freddie was bitten by the deceptive HIV.

In another parallel, Freddie is talking to Mary and they are switching on and off the light lamps, it was just like Jay Gatsby and his green light for his lovely Daisy.

Bohemian Rhapsody is a must watch for any aspiring singer or band. It is a lesson for what is possible and what to be aware of. Luckily for some artists who are in control of their lives because of family roots, they age gracefully.

This is not to dismiss Freddie Mercury’s brilliance, but he is a star whose bright light can polish up a downtrodden soul.

The second winner of the film remains the music. The number of hits are countless. Whether it is “Love of My Life”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We are the Champions”, the songs are going to resound forever.

SUBIRA- Kenyan Sensation

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SUBIRA Film still, Courtesy SUBIRA

Subira is about a young girl who dreams to have her own way in a life that belongs to her, but will she be able to tackle the customs and traditions that hold her prisoner? Will she break free?

Read More (http://crossover.co.ke/2018/10/21/the-big-love-story-subira/)

Unstoppable Sanju, Sanju Film Review

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Sanju Movie Courtesy GoPaisa

Sanju Movie Courtesy GoPaisa

There are no misses in this film. Only those who are not Sanjay Dutt’s fans will not appreciate this incredible film. (Read More on KenyaBuzz)

Sanjay Dutt is a personal icon for me and I think I have watched Khal Nayak over 100 times and can remember the dialogues easily. Every human being has a positive and negative or you can call dark side. I believe as an actor Sanju portrays the darker side with a touch of innocence and that has what has caused him the troubles and shining moments in his life.

Sanju, is an excellent collection of his life so far, he has just started a new chapter in his life and is unstoppable. Rajkumar Hirani changed his career course by giving him the movie Munnabhai MBBS which he starred opposite his dad Sunil Dutt. Such moments are precious.

Ranbir Kapoor has done complete justice to the role and his sacrifice of body weight changes are nothing compared to the heavy weight of the icon’s responsibilities he was showing on the silver screen. He was adequately supported by Vicky Kaushal who played his friend Kamli and no doubt Paresh Rawal who played his father Sunil Dutt.

This has been one of Paresh Rawal’s most beautiful performances. Jim Sarbh as the villain deserves a clap, ooops slap when he was beaten up in the scene, that was one of the most satisfying scene in the film.

The film will be ground breaking for those who are afraid to have conversations of the real life of a star. Sanjay Dutt was a mega star during our parents young days and what he showed or went through was a reflection of the breaking culture in the 80s and 90s that led to drugs, womanizing and corruption.

A special mention to the three ladies, Sonam A Kapoor as Ruby, Anushka Sharma as Winnie Diaz, Dia Mirza as Manyatta and Manisha Koirala as Nargis, all suitable and stunning in their roles.

Sanju is a fantastic depiction of a real life star.

Simple and Thrilling, Raazi Film Review

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Raazi Courtesy Firstpost

Raazi Courtesy Firstpost

Raazi is another spy story based on the real incident of how a young Indian girl saved her country from an attack from the Pakistani navy. The film is an adaptation of the book Calling Sehmat written by Harinder Sikka. (Read the Kenya Buzz Film Review)

Alia Bhatt is an excellent actress and she will have a very long career. She plays the role of Sehmat the Indian spy in the film Raazi.

Raazi is another spy story based on the real incident of how a young Indian girl saved her country from an attack from the Pakistani navy. The film is an adaptation of the book Calling Sehmat written by Harinder Sikka.

Director Meghna Gulzar has not wasted time in song or dance or full blown drama, she has kept the film real and human. The film story kicks off with news that Sehmat’s father is dying from lung cancer and they need to recruit another spy to keep the information links open and her father suggests the marriage of his daughter Sehmat to Iqbal, the son of a Pakistani General.

Sehmat begins her training and when she gets married, she gets to work on sending information back home to India. Subsequently the most vital information from her saves an imminent attack on the Indian navy and while her cover is blown she is extracted by the help of her handler and his team.

The film keeps you on the edge and race to not getting caught. When Sehmat is almost caught by the house worker she has to commit her first murder and this is a heart wrenching scene.

There are several favourite scenes, from when Iqbal presents her with anklets and they consummate their marriage, when she reaches out for help at the ration store and finally when her husband confronts her. The costume design for Alia is simple, sophisticated and not at all Bollywood, just real everyday wear.

The film definitely belongs to Alia Bhatt and very notable performances by Vicky Kaushal who plays her husband Iqbal and the handler Jaideep Ahlawat as Khalid Mir. Hopefully one day they can really cast Pakistani actors to play their characters.

The songs Dilbaro, Ae Watan and Raazi are superb.

Raazi will go down in history as an exceptionally crafted film for any filmmaker student or actor. Great work by Meghna and her team.

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