I am on a movie marathon. In the last couple of weeks, I have watched a lot of movies, both in theatres and on television. The two movies that I watched in the theatre are Manmarziyaan and Manto. The others that I watched on Television are Call Me by your Name, Concussion, Collateral Beauty (second time), Friends with benefits (fourth time) and Deuce Bigolo, European Gigolo.
I usually do not love watching television, however, the last couple of weeks I was feeling low so went on a binge-watching spree. I am not an expert movie reviewer, therefore the views expressed in this post are merely my personal feeling and should not be considered as a critique.
Manto: This is one of the best movies that I watched in recent times. I have been a huge fan of Manto’s writings and this movie did complete justice to his writing and his life. Manto was not an ordinary writer, he was a rebel who couldn’t accept the fallacy of the Partition. His writings always reflected, the injustice and bizarreness of Partition. He always empathized with the sufferings of people, especially women during partition. Nandita Das did an excellent job of using inter-textuality. She weaved Manto’s stories in his biopic as real characters. If you are not aware of his stories then you may not be able to relate to the random characters that appear and disappear throughout the movie. This movie is Nawazuddin Siddique’s best performance till date. He literally became Manto. He could express his hope and hopelessness through his eyes. Rasika Dugal gave an equally strong performance. Tahir Raj Bhasin was impressive as Shyam Chadda. But all in all, it was the narrative that kept the audience glued.
Manmarziyaan: This is Anurag Kashyap’s nemesis. This movie is a hybrid of Tanu Weds Manu and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. I found nothing unique in this movie. The story is cliche and every third Bollywood movie is on this theme. Tapsee Pannu was good but she had nothing new to do because Kangana Ranaut had already done that in Tanu Weds Manu. I read a lot of praises for Abhishek Bachchan but I felt that he acted like a speed breaker and single-handedly brought down the enthusiasm of the movie. Unlike, Ajay Devgan in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, the audience doesn’t feel any sympathy for Abhishek. Ajay was unaware about his wife’s love affair before marriage, therefore, what he did audience could sympathize however in Manmarziyaan Abhishek knew everything and he took it as a challenge to marry the girl and make her forget her ex. It was bizarre. The only person I loved in this movie was Vicky Kaushal. He was unapologetically irresponsible, he looked and played his part with elan. Anurag Kashyap is known for his out of box movies, it is sad to see him falling into the trap of cliche romance. Romance should be left for Karan Johar and gang and Anurag should keep doing what he is best at.
Call Me By Your Name: is based on the novel by Andre Acimen. This is a love story between 17-year-old Elio and 24-year-old Oliver. Let me confess, I have always felt uncomfortable watching scenes depicting homosexual love-making. No, I do not have any reservation but I always felt that most scenes were shot in a manner that left the audience bit uncomfortable. Starting from Brokeback Mountain to Fire, I never felt the intense passion in those scenes, however, Call me by your Name, breaks that reservation and shows beautifully the passion and romance between two men. The scenes left me with goosebumps and in the end, I was crying with Elio when Oliver decides to marry a girl. This movie is shot in a lazy manner and takes the audience on a beautiful and mesmerizing journey of the Italian countryside. The movie at times feels like a poem.
Concussion: This movie proves once again the brilliance of Will Smith as an actor. In this movie, Smith plays the role of Dr. Bennet Omalu, who accidentally discovers a disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) that affects American football players. The movie is about his struggle to establish his research. He is subjected to considerable pressure to back down from his research. While watching the movie I was wondering why Bollywood never makes such movies.
Collateral Beauty: This movie is philosophical and spiritual. This movie makes my heart heavy every time I watch it. This movie is so beautiful yet heart-breaking that writing about it extremely difficult. Just go and watch this movie and enjoy the collateral beauty that exists everywhere.
Deuce Bigolo, European Gigolo: When a mainstream movie is made on a prostitute her clients are always shown as good looking men often rich. The best example is Pretty Woman, Chameli etc. Yes, some men are shown creepy but not all. However, in the Deuce Bigolo series not a single client of Deuce Bigolo, the male gigolo is ever shown as normal. one gigantic, one is morbidly obese, one is full of warts, one has a male organ on her face, one is dirty. I often wonder why can’t they show a normal girl as his client. I find it quite sexist.
Friends with Benefits: I love romantic comedy and this movie is my comfort movie. I particularly love the chemistry between Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. I watch this movie whenever I feel like. This is simply my Feel-Good Movie.