Truthfully Daring- Joker Film Review

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Courtesy of NME

This film is not only difficult to watch but painfully true about what a few are going through in their lives. We may be living in comfortable lofts or cozy townhouses and travel to work or show up at school like all is normal, but guess what things are not so cool after all.

Joker is definitely a masterpiece for actor Joaquin Phoenix who has come close to winning the Oscar for Best Actor twice in 2006 for Walk the Line and then in 2013 for The Master. There is no doubt this time, it is his turn. This is no comic book character but a real life child who is struggling to make the world happy.

Screenwriter Scott Silver has woven a web of hallucinations, delusions and reality under the dark weight of Gotham city. Possibly never before has the contrast between the Rich and Poor being so obvious in a Hollywood film. Will this arouse any #MeToo type of movement?

Todd Phillips has done a very interesting job of the film, who would have thought, the guy who directed the Hangover series can direct Joker. It is no wonder that actor and now producer Bradley Cooper has contributed to this amazing film. The trio is completed with cinematographer Lawrence Sher who is exceptional too with Joker.

When Hildur Ingveldar Guðnadóttir got your attention for Sicario, you had to notice her talent and she has beautifully composed the soundtrack for Joker.

The film will have a long list of Academy Awards nominations, but most importantly it will question the Joker in you?

It is like sitting in front of your own talk show hosted, in this case by Robert De Niro.

Why does the world play with you? Why can’t they understand you? Or do you know and feel things they don’t?

Bright Star- Blinded by the Light Review

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Blinded by the Light Courtesy Wikipedia

Ever since Bend it Like Beckham I have been a huge fan of Gurinder Chadha and her latest film Blinded by the Light is just so cute.

Ladies and Gentlemen, a new bright star has arrived – Viveik Kalra who plays the role of Javed.

Blinded by the Light is based on the book, Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N’ Roll by Sarfraz Manzoor.

This South Asian breakthrough story is full of the typical Asian drama, yet it carries that young spirit looking for their own path to success. There are several surreal moments, from the neighbour appreciating Javed’s talent to the girlfriend Eliza helping Javed’s father. All along we are the same, but nationalities, caste, religion or social stigmas have kept us apart.

Blinded by the Light is carried by the mature music and words of Bruce Springsteen – “The Boss”.

The most favourite scene was when Javed returns the gold bangles to his mother, who had to pawn them to pay the house bills when her husband lost his job.

The film’s look was authentic and the use of Bruce’s songs was cool. A.R. Rahman did the film score and composed a new song – For You My Love.

Parental Challenges- Chhichhore Review

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After making a huge blockbuster like Dangal, director Nitesh Tiwari had set the bar high. Chhichhore has been an excellent choice. He has also written the story, screenplay and dialogues.

The film showcases the parental challenges that the young parents are facing with their busy careers, unfulfilled marriages and competitive children. If only, someone took the time to relive the good old times or just let their children see the many options available.

The ensemble includes Sushant Singh Rajput, Shraddha Kapoor, Varun Sharma, Prateik Babbar, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Naveen Polishetty, Tushar Pandey, Saharsh Kumar and Mohammad Samad as the teenager in distress.

Some may find the pace slow and the bald heads a little irritating but the message is simple and powerful. Teenagers are struggling with peer pressure, social image and educational achievements.

Varun Sharma steals the show and Sushant Singh Rajput delivers an excellent performance of a leader, boyfriend and father.

Chhichhore is a must watch and should go around the world to spread the simple message of how there are options in life. You can always make a choice.

Lyrical Romantic Masterpiece- Kabir Singh Film Review

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Kabir Singh Courtesy of Wikipedia

Kabir Singh Courtesy Wikipedia

Kabir Singh is not an obsessive lover but an open lover. He knows who he is and what he wants. There has never been a more close to reality romantic hero from Bollywood in ages and Shahid Kapoor has performed his best ever.

Kabir Singh is a love story between Dr Kabir and the new student Preeti. He holds no inhibitions in declaring his love and displaying it, yet maintaining her dignity. His weakness is his anger, but that is what makes him more relatable. This makes him a 3D character.

The real hero of the film, however are the meaningful and soulful lyrics and music. Since Aashiqui 2, Kabir Singh has brought to life the love songs and they will resound for many years to come. The new music duo of Sachet-Parampara are one to listen out for. Their song Bekhayali is stunning in rock sound and cracking with lyrics by Irshad Kamil. Arijit Singh, Armaan Malik, Jubin Nautiyal and Vishal Mishra all realize how rich this soundtrack is and have added their successful personalities to the album. Shreya Ghosal should have been allowed to do the song Pehla Pyaar too.

Another winner in the film is Kabir’s Dadi. It is refreshing to see an elderly act maturely, usually such interventions come through a Yash Chopra grandma in a glamourized set who drops a sprinkle of wisdom. In Kabir Singh, it was as if your grandma would say that to you.

Director Sandeep Vanga was the suitable choice for this project. Kabir Singh is the Hindi remake of his directorial Tamil film Arjun Reddy.

Kabir Singh is blazing with passion, risks and reality of today’s modern love.


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.

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