April 21, 2021

2021: AnksReview's 93rd Annual Academy (OSCAR) Awards Prediction

This year's Oscar Award is very special as we have witnessed the time with restriction in release and surge in stream services movies, however, the nomination does not disappoint to make the job of predicting its winner quite difficult. So here are my prediction based on my personal experience of watching movies as neutral critical and also covering technical aspects of it.

As usual, I have put Winner as my top choice and also provided the alternate options in some cases where it was really difficult to decide, especially a decision of what my heart like and what my mind says. So here is the list:

1. Best Picture
Its been 5 years since I have been accurate in this category and I am going with my heart here among all the option and as per me this year Best Picture from all aspect is: The Trial Of Chicago 7.

  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 {WINNER}
  • Nomadland  {Alternate Choice Winner}
  • The Father
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Mank
  • Minari
  • Promising Young Woman
  • Sound of Metal

2. Best Director
  • ChloĆ© Zhao – Nomadland - {WINNER}
  • Thomas Vinterberg – Another Round
  • David Fincher – Mank
  • Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
  • Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman

3. Best Actor
  • Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey's Black Bottom {WINNER}
  • Anthony Hopkins – The Father as Anthony - {My Choice Alternate Winner}
  • Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
  • Gary Oldman – Mank
  • Steven Yeun – Minari

4. Best Actress
  • Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman {WINNER}
  • Frances McDormand – Nomadland {Alternate Choice Winner}
  • Viola Davis – Ma Rainey's Black Bottom 
  • Andra Day – The United States vs. Billie Holiday
  • Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman

5. Best Supporting Actor
  • Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah {WINNER}
  • Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7 {My Alternate Choice Winner}
  • Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
  • Paul Raci – Sound of Metal 
  • Lakeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah

6. Best Supporting Actress
  • Youn Yuh-jung – Minari {WINNER}
  • Olivia Colman – The Father {Alternate Choice Winner}
  • Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
  • Amanda Seyfried – Mank

7. Best Cinematography
  • Nomadland {WINNER}
  • Mank {Alternate Choice Winner}
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • News of the World
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

8. Best Visual Effects
  • Tenet {WINNER}
  • Love and Monsters 
  • The Midnight Sky 
  • Mulan
  • The One and Only Ivan

9. Best Animated Feature Film

  • Soul {WINNER}
  • Onward
  • Over the Moon
  • A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
  • Wolfwalkers

10. Best International Feature Film
  • Another Round (Denmark) {WINNER}
  • Better Days (Hong Kong)
  • Collective (Romania)
  • The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia)
  • Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

11. Best Production Design
  • Mank {WINNER}
  • The Father
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
  • News of the World
  • Tenet

12. Best Original Screenplay
  • Sound of Metal {WINNER}
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 {Alternate Choice Winner}
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Minari
  • Promising Young Woman

13. Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Nomadland {WINNER}
  • The Father {Alternate Choice Winner}
  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • One Night in Miami...
  • The White Tiger

14. Best Sound
  • Sound of Metal {WINNER}
  • Greyhound
  • Mank
  • News of the World
  • Soul

15. Best Film Editing
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 {WINNER}
  • The Father {Alternate Choice Winner}
  • Nomadland
  • Promising Young Woman
  • Sound of Metal

January 17, 2021

AnksReview - Top 10 Hindi Films of 2020

I know I am a little late on putting this in as I was watching and finishing a few notable movies of 2020. So here is my list of Top 20 Movies of the unique year 2020.

1. Thappad

Thappad is a family drama set up in Delhi where a wife played by Tapsee Punnu got slapped by her husband during one incident.  The complex subject is being portrayed by great simplicity and with amazing performance. The movie makes you think about how we take big things for granted and forgiven in our society. This is by far the best movie of 2020 and kudos goes to Anubhav Sinha for great direction.

2. Serious Men

Serious Men is a comedy satire that questions how our society blindly follows intelligence without knowing the depth of it. It's a story about a father who always wanted his son to be the brightest by tricking the world as he knows it. Amazing movie and great performance by Nawazuddin.

3. Raat Akeli Hai

Raat Akeli is a Crime Thriller about a murder investigation of a famous family by a cop played by Nazazuddin Siddiqui. The movie is gripping, has its own speed, and surprises you in the climax and not to mention another great performance by Nawzuddin. 

4. Ludo

Ludo is an ensemble action-comedy with a common thread among four characters which is played by Pankaj Tripathi. It's witty, funny, shocking, and keeps you on the edge. A great watch

5. Panga

Panga is a sports-drama based on the story of a Kabaddi Player who makes comes back to the world championship in her mid-thirties and her struggle towards it. The movie was quite well made and an amazing performance by Kangra,

6. Unpaused

Unpaused is a movie made of short stories with Pandemic Lockdown as a backdrop on how the Pandemic affected the life of people from various walks of life. The beauty here is the simplicity of stories and great performance backed by superb direction.

7. Kaamyab

Kaamyab is a drama based on the retired character artiste from the Hindi Film industry whose rolls were famous but never recognized in the mainstream. It's a movie amount about their struggle to survive and keep artists among them alive and also their personal lives.

8. Shubh Mangal Zyada Saawdhaan

Shubh Mangal Zyada .... is a slapstick comedy by Ayishmann Khurana on Gay Relationship and it's acceptance by a traditional middle-class family. It's a good light watch not as good as its first franchise.

9. Chintu Ka Birthday

Chintu Ka Birthday is a comedy-drop setup in the backdrop of Iraq's crisis where a normal Indian father wants to celebrate the birthday of his son. It's a very simple movie but has a deep message and beautifully made. Vinay Pathak is simply a delight to watch with his performance.

10. Lootcase

Lootcase is a movie on the comedy of errors where normal printing press workers find Rs 10 crore of a politician and how he gets into trouble with a series of funny events after that. The good part of the movie is its plot and comic timing which keeps you interested.

I hope you all like the selection and please let me know about any movies which I missed.

September 8, 2020

Gone Boy - A Life Lost


Image Source: www.dreamstime.com

A lot of theories, speculation, judgment is been done in this famous death of a young actor of the Indian Film Industry. The media has made a circus out of it and fed an extreme version of tabloid and confused everyone. I am writing the below piece as a satire based on what mixed messages are coming out in open. By no means my intention to hurt anyone. I do wish the soul must be resting in peace and hope we will know the real truth someday.

Once Upon a Time, there was a spoiled brat from an Upper-class Rajput Hindu Family in Bihar. He somehow cracked the DCE test and joined Delhi College of Engineering. True to his nature he never finished his course and joined a Dance Group of Mumbai famous choreographer. True to his character he did not pursue dancing and got a break as the Male protagonist in Saas Bahu Soap Opera. Riding on high of fame he left a TV career and landed up in Movie. 

He thrashed and snatched each role from Bollywood Star Kids, Biggies, and hooked up with almost all actresses in tinsel town. He was high on glamour and wanted to get further high. He forced himself onto a poor Bengali girl, tortured her to become a drug dealer along with her gullible brother who has no option but to keep quiet and supply drugs daily. The brother-sister sob, sob and sobbed and started consuming drugs to survive this ordeal. One day she gathers courage and broke off with him and ran away. Deprived by his sheer absence of being dominatrix the Man decided to teach her lesson and transferred all his all the money to some offshore account and orchestrated a fake suicide attempt to implant her. To the hell of fury, the withdrawal symptoms of not getting drugs made things gone southward and he got accidentally killed by his own plan. 

It was a relief for her so she thanked God and did not even go for his funeral and thought the justice been done to her by the God and she can now live peacefully. But hell had another plan as the Man had his family and friends in evil media houses who were thirsty for her blood and looking out for revenge. They conspired one by one against her to put her in place. She went to the Cops and confessed everything and the saint Cops knew that she can never prove her case in the court of law and will be framed so to save the poor girl they started the investigation in a direction that will take the case in an endless loop. Only if it was that easy? Even the mighty of honest Cops and State Government machinery couldn’t help her out and evil media created imaginary public perception and declared her as a witch. 

One by one entire nation was looking out to sentence her. Even the holy Bollywood's Power failed which was attached by a rebel and unhappy actress as Mardani did to the British Army. The poor girl tried everything and knocked on every door. She hired a famous and modest Lawyer who fought for social justice to likes of humble Bollywood Kids who have been accused on things like- of keeping Illegal Leatha Weapons like AK56 amidst the Mumbai Terror Attacks and a most loved Actor and a wise man who was wrongly implicated to knock down multiple people sleeping illegally on the footpath as well as shooting Black Colored Deer.  Even a PR Machinery by NGO who roped in Top Honest Journalists to change public perception couldn't help her. 

Finally noise and shrill of evil media and fake witnesses caged her in Jail on drugs charges. She was sent to Jail and been tortured, molested, assaulted to confess the crime that she did not commit. Waiting for justice and knowing it will never happen, one day she takes her own life by hanging her self in her own clothing.

End of Story. Who is responsible here? Him, Her, Media, Cops, or The God? Guess we will never know GONE Boy did it again.

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, business, events, and incidents are the products of the bloggers imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

AnksReview version @anksreview

#Satire #Bollywood #Sarcasm 

May 10, 2020

My pick of Top 15 TV Series

Well, I got multiple requests to list out my review about TV Series which are available on multiple platforms, so I thought to list out some of those which I have enjoyed watching in recent times of 5-6 years. There are a lot of them which might have missed as it takes me a lot of effort to start any new series and once I start it I make it to the point to finish it fully. I have not included old sitcoms, comedy, series which runs in a loop and mostly focussed on ones which came in recent time in form of OTT and Web series in multiple platforms.

1. Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad is undoubtedly the best of all. An action-packed thriller about a Chemistry professor who decides to manufacture drugs when he discovers that he got Stage 3 cancer and has only two years to live. The beauty of this series is in its writing, its characters, the performance by all actors, and the perfect ending. This is a must-watch for everyone.

2. Dark

Dark is a German TV Series from Netflix is about a missing child that set four families from a small town in Germany to unlock the mystery which unfolds in three generations. This is a sci-fi based thriller that has taken the concept of time travel to a different level. The uniqueness of this series is its flawless presentation of such a complex story with perfect execution to make you believe the unbelievable in its every sequence.

3. Game Of Thrones

I do not need to write about this series as this is the most-watched TV Series on the planet. Amazing story, great action, and above all awesome set of characters. The series which was loved by all thought had a quite disappointing final season but this is still one of the best series of all time.

4. Fargo

If you love Crime Drama and Thriller, Fargo is indeed the one. Inspired by Fargo movie of 1996 the series carries the theme of gruesome true crime incidents which have taken in a small town in Minnesota and around Fargo city. You will be amazed to understand that all such strange incidents really happened there. Amazing direction and great performance by everyone.

5. Westworld

Westworld is HBO Series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. It's a dystopian sci-fi series on 1973 Classic movie by the same name. Westworld story touches several key aspects such as Artificial Intelligence, Concept of God, Robotics, Big Data, Data Privacy with it's beautifully crafted concept of the different world created for rich and powerful which is served by Robotic Hosts. It's perfectly written with amazing characters. It is a complex story and you need to be patient enough to watch the first season carefully where they build the plot for series.

6. Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders is a British crime drama set in 1919 post the Word War I era. It's a story about the notorious Shelby Family from Birmingham and their pursuit to become the most powerful mafia gang of the UK. What makes this one unique is- its sheer swag, attitude, characters, and an amazing performance by all the actors.

7. Black Mirror

Black Mirror is a Netflix original series about a dystopian world influenced by artificial intelligence & technology and it's influence on humanity. It is a series with each episode is independent with each other and touches several aspects of how technology is changing our world. Although the series shows how humans will use technology in the future, however, it will make you think by relating it to what's happening around.

8. Homeland

Homeland is a spy thriller by Showtime. This is one of the best CIA drama which touches on literally all threats America facing from Russia, Iran, Iraq to Pakistan. It's dramatic and get sloppy in middle seasons but picks up well later. Watch it if you love spy and geopolitical thrillers.

 9. Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul is the spinoff story of Breaking Bad. Its a story about its most interesting character Saul Goodman, a notorious lawyer. You may find this a little drag at first and just like Breaking Bad it slowly builds up and now I came to know this will bring back some leading characters of Breaking Bad back again.

10. Watchmen

Watchmen is based on a famous DC Comics story about the masked vigilante. I was always fascinated by Watchmen characters when I saw the 2009 movie by the same name and this series continues from where the movie ended, so it is advisable to watch the movies first to understand the complexities this series will bring.

11. Narcos

Narcos is a story about the world's notorious cocaine druglords from South America and covered all the cartels from Colombia to Mexico. This series would have been in Top 10, but the last season was quite sloppy which pulled it to #11.

12. House of Cards

House of Cards is a Netflix political thriller that was set up in the backdrop of US Presidential politics. This was one of the best series among all however the last season really pulled it down by it's sudden and sloppy ending post, Kevin Spacey controversy. This is still one of the greatest political thrillers.

13. Mindhunters

Mindhunter is Netflix Series that is a crime thriller based on real incidents set up in the 70s when the FBI started its crime-psychology unit which monitors the patterns to catch serial killers. It's amazingly made series and depicts some of the popular serial killers of America.

14. Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful is a Horror Thriller set up in the era of Victorian London. I am not fond of horror however this one is really well made and they brought great characters like Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula.

15. True Detective

True Detective is an American crime drama series about some dark crime investigation by cops. The series has it's own pace at the same time quite gripping the way they define the depth of its every character. Season 1 was the best among all, do watch if you like crime investigation.

Some special mentions of Mini-Series that you must watch




DISCLAIMER: This blog is for information purposes. All Images are taken from the web through Google Image Search and sites like imbd.com and subject to copyright.

April 5, 2020

15 Movies in Netflix to Entertain you during the Lock Down / Social Distancing

Hello everyone, as we all are facing lockdown and working from home which gives a new sort of stress. Here is my suggestion on some great movies that can help you sail through from this lockdown and quarantine blues. 
I have carefully selected movies which are not very popular and might have missed by many. You can go through it and let me know what do you think and if you want to add any more to this list.

Here is the list of movies hand-picked by me that you can watch in your Netflix.

1. 12 Strong (2018) | Action War Drama / True Story | English
12 Strong is an American War Drama based on True Story about a special force operation deployed in Afganistan post 9/11 Attack to take down Taliban & Al Qaida allies by aligning with Afghan warlords under the leadership of a young captain. If you like nail-biting action this is a great movie with an amazing performance from Chris Hemsworth.

2. A Perfect Day (2015) | Comedy / Drama | Spanish
A Perfect Day is a movie about retired humanitarian aid workers who try to retrieve a body from a well somewhere in Yugoslavia after the war. It has quite a unique story and great performance by all the actors.

3. Beasts of No Nation (2015) | War Drama | English / Twi

Beasts of No Nation is an amazing story about a civil war situation in Africa, where a fierce warlord trains a young orphan to join his group of guerrilla soldiers. It is a perfectly made action-packed movie with great performance, cinematography, and direction.

4. Begin Again (2013) | Drama / Romance | English

Begin Again is a very light-hearted sweet story about a singer/songwriter and alcoholic record producer how they meet in one night in new york city and develop a friendship through music. It's an amazing movie and I am a big fan of Mark Ruffalo and loved to see him in this role.
5. Dazed and Confused (1993) | Comedy | English

Dazed and Confused is a great movie or I can say cult-classic teenage comedy movie. I saw this movie long back and delighted to watch it again on Netflix. It's a simple coming-of-age comedy about a teenager getting graduated and their last party and I personally feel nostalgic for the movie which I have seen in my younger days.

6. Eye in the Sky (2015) | Action / Thriller | English

Eye in the Sky is probably the best movie on this list, it's cutting edge War/Thriller where a decision needs to be made about drone attack to kill the most wanted terrorists and at the same time avoid any collateral damage. The movie keeps you on the edge throughout and make you feel how difficult to make huge decision in split seconds and as well as own responsibility of the same. Amazingly made and Helen Mirren was simply delighted as always.

7. Game Night (2018) | Comedy | English

Game Night is a laugh riot, a movie about an urban couple who are quite competitive in winning all house Games and how things go wrong with one of the mystery games. The movie is filled with twists and turns as well as the comedy of error. You will enjoy this for sure.

8. Nightcrawler (2014) | Thriller | English

Nightcrawler is another best after Eye in the Sky, it's about an average joe who just survives city life by doing petty things and he stumbles upon a career of freelance video journalists of incidence happening around LA and sells the same to News Media. This is an excellently written and well-directed movie along with the superb performance of Jake Gyllenhaal. This movie reflects the dark reality of modern media reporting, a MUST watch for sure.

9. Red Dragon (2002) | Psycho-Thriller | English

I am a big fan of The Silence of the Lambs which is my picks for the greatest movie of all time. I was quite disappointed by its sequel Hannibal however Red Dragon is its next franchise and it doesn't disappoint especially with a super performance by Edward Norton and Anthony Hopkins. Watch it if you loved Dr. Lector's character in The Silence of the Lambs. 

10. Seven Years in Tibet (1997) | Drama / True Story | English

Seven Years in Tibet is a movie about Dalai Lama Childhood and it's escaping to India from Mao's People Liberation Army. I was always curious about the history of Tibet and this movie is based on a book written by Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountain climber played by Brad Pitt.

11. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) | Drama / True Story | English / Chichewa

This is a Netflix movie based on a true story about a 13 years old boy William Kwakuamba from the Republic of Malawi who creates Wild Mill from waste material to electrify the water pump for agriculture. It's a great story about victory with a good performance by everyone.

12. The Breadwinner (2017) | Drama / Animation | English 

The Breadwinner is an animated movie about an 11-year-old girl and her struggle during the oppressed Taliban regime in Afganistan. It's a dark with amazing storytelling along with metaphor to depict the difficult life if the Afghan region.

13. The Road (2009) | Drama / Thriller | English

The Road is quite a dark movie about father-son survival post-apocalypse. I am a great fan of Viggo Mortensen and he is simply amazing in this movie. Though this movie set up in the future, however, it reflects upon the ugly side of human behavior which will make you uncomfortable

14. True Story (2015) | Drama | English

True Story is a movie about a New York Times journalist who is accused of lying in a cover article about the slave trade in Africa. He gets into further trouble when he learns that he is also a victim of identity theft by a man who is doing jail term. It is a well-crafted movie about their discussion and an amazing performance by James Franco and Jonah Hill

15. We're the Millers (2013) | Comedy | English

We're the miller is a typical silly comedy of errors about a small-time drug dealer who makes a fake family smuggle the drug from Mexico to clear his debt and how so many things goes wrong during the trip. It's a fun movie and lovely to see Jennifer Aniston in this funny role.

I hope you will love this and let me know if you want to suggest more movies in Netflix which can help all of us during this lockdown.

* This blog is for information purposes. All Images are taken from the web through Google Image Search and sites like imbd.com and subject to copyright.