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Look out for ‘Allied’, ‘Passengers’ in a dull Bollywood week

The first week of the year isn’t the most exciting time to be at the movies

Brad Pitt (left) and Marion Cotillard in a still from ‘Allied’.
Brad Pitt (left) and Marion Cotillard in a still from ‘Allied’. (Brad Pitt (left) and Marion Cotillard in a still from ‘Allied’.)

New Delhi: As has been the norm, the first week of the year isn’t the most exciting time to be at the movies.

Comedy drama Prakash Electronics, directed by Manoj Sharma and starring Hemant Pandey, Hrishita Bhatt and Sanjay Mishra, packs too much— melodrama, a message and suspense—in a movie that is an hour too long, says The Times of India. It does have a handful of funny scenes, but you have to wait for the jokes through cringe-inducing melodrama. This one is in serious need of repair on its script, music and jokes. Read more

For Hollywood fans, science fiction adventure film Passengers, directed by Morten Tyldum and starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, comes to India this week. Neither the rapport between Lawrence and Pratt nor the impressive effects can quite redeem this shallow sci-fi, says The Guardian. It might be easier to forgive the cursory plotting and the underdeveloped characters of this lightweight sci-fi if the whole story wasn’t predicated on a single act of staggering selfishness. Read more

The charisma of Pratt and Lawrence as lead pair is usually more than enough to carry a film. This time, though, their charm may have found its limit, says A.V Club. The effect of Passengers is to turn frothy sci-fi romance into an astonishingly retrograde statement on autonomy and consent, and to turn one of the most likeable actors in Hollywood totally creepy. A date movie, this is not. Read more

Romantic thriller Allied, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, is a high-style romantic espionage tale that feels like it could have been made in the ’40s, says Variety magazine. Some of it may strike the viewer as a fetishization of the past—but Zemeckis is alive to what’s great about old movies: the supple, nearly invisible craft that allows scenes to throb with emotional suspense, at the same time, made with a so-old-it’s-new classicism that is executed with enough flair to lure audiences in. Read more

The film is not so much a work of art as a triumph of craft, and therefore a reminder of the deep pleasures of old-fashioned technique and long experience, says The New York Times. You would not mistake this for an old movie. The language is too raw, the sexuality too frank, the politics too cloudy. But you might nonetheless feel like an older kind of moviegoer while you’re watching it: an adult, for one thing, whose intelligence is respected by an intricate, thematically thorny plot even as your thirst for visceral excitement is slaked by clean and breathless action sequences. Read more

Marathi film Ti Saddhya Kay Karte, starring Ankush Chaudhari, Tejashri Pradhan and Abhinay Berde and directed by Satish Rajawade, provides a good reason to return to theatres after the dismal aftermath of demonetisation for the Marathi industry, says Pune Mirror. The film does take a long time to take off, specially if you are someone who is not satisfied with a simple romance and a few laughs. In fact, the entire first half reminds us of other recent films which relied on young love stories located in the ’80s and ’90s, targeted equally at college students as well as their parents. It’s in the second half that the tone begins to shift and the credit should go to the director, writer and lead pair. Read more

Several releases this week haven’t elicited any reviews yet. These include Tamil film Unnai Thottu Kolla Vaa; Telugu movies Yerojaithey Chusaano and Padamati Sandhya Ragam London Lo; Kannada drama Pushpaka Vimana and Marathi film Zhalla Bobhata.

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