October 6, 2019

Joker (5/5)

Image Source: imdb.com

Joker: An Unhappy Clown

Joker is an American Psychological thriller film directed by Todd Phillips based on the famous villain character "Joker" from DC Comics portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix. The story set up in the 1980s in the fictional city of DC Comic - Gotham City where they show the life of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix).

Arthur is a mentally ill and failed stand-up comedian who lives his struggling life with his mother and takes a job like acting like a clown for kids. Arthur's mediocre life is shown in the backdrop of Gotham City where resentment among people is rising against the elite & rich ones. The movie shows how an ordinary man in the street like Arthur is being mistreated daily and what kind of psychological trauma & beating he is facing in a society that leads to an incidence in the subway train where he kills three rich brats employed by Wayne Enterprise to protect himself. The murder of three by clown becomes viral and the entire city's underprivileged ones create that as a political movement by everyone wearing a clown mask to show their resentment towards the establishment. In the background of this political turmoil, Arthur discovers about his mother and her past with Thomas Wayne (Brett Cullen), an owner of Wayne Enterprise who is also running for Mayor of Gotham City. The movie is about Arthur personal discover about his life which turns him into killers and shows his outrage towards an unforgiving society which escalates when he kills famous television personality Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro) on Live TV.

I can only say one thing about this movie and that is "Wow, what a masterpiece !". It's quite brave for Todd Phillips to explore Joker character, I mean just to think about making a movie on the story of a villain who always overpowered its character in all the previous superhero movies. It's well written and I could not think of any other narrative of character like "Joker" as he has put in this story. The movie is well framed with amazing screenplay and great backdrop with chaos kind of setup of Gotham City. The film direction is flawless and with noticeable background score which blends with storyline & bold performance of Joaquin Phoenix.

This movie is quite delightful to watch just by sheer and more than the perfect acting performance by Joaquin Phoenix. Joaquin's portrayal of such a complicated character from the first frame to the last frame of the movie keeps you on the edge and makes you feel for the person about what could have gone into his mind to turn it this way. He has taken care of all the small notches like- his expressive laughing condition even when he is in distress, his limped skinny body when he thinks, his imagination of being on the limelight, his dance moves and all will simply delight you.

No doubt with movies like Her, The Masters, Walk the Line Joaquin has proved his acting mettle, but the Joker is going to take him at different levels, with the class of actors like Danny Day-Lewis and probably he will get his first Oscar as Best Actor.

Must watch it if you are in for good cinema. It's simply perfect.

June 20, 2019

When They See Us - TV Series (5/5)

Image Source: When They See Us

When They See Us - Blindfold Judiciary

When they see us is Netflix's Original Mini-Series which is based on the true story of which is based on 1989 New York City's Central Park Joggers Rape case and lives of families of the five male suspects who were prosecuted in 1990 on rape charges.

The story starts with five teenagers kids who just go out on trolls at Central Park were other black kids were creating a ruckus to people in the park. They got randomly picked by the NYPD cops and at the same night, other units of cops discover a jogger brutally rape & stranded in one part of the cops. The cops got into pressure to capture rapist and with a biased judgement of Linda Fairstein (Felicity Huffman), a Head of Sex Crime. 

The first two episodes of series are all about how cops manipulate all five kids against each other and record their confessions to prosecute them for rape charges. During the trial, Elizabeth Lederer (Vera Farmiga) proved them guilty and they all get sent to Jails. Episode three and four show the story when four of them comes out after serving their terms and find it difficult to live in mainstream society with the tag of convicted sexual offenders.

In 2001 a serial rapist & murderer Matias Reyes who has been convicted for other crimes confess about 1989 Jogger Case which leads to an investigation and through DNA and Blood Samples it was found out that he raped the jogger in Central Park alone. The court vacates the conviction of five teenagers and they file suit against the city which they win final settlement amounting of $42 Million in 2012 which was biggest ever such settlement in New York State.

It's amazingly written, well-directed series which engages you at it's every moment. You can feel the pain of each accused offenders and their family with a superb performance by each actors. It's one of the most controversial case of USA which highlights corruptions, racism in NYPD & State Judicial system which was portrayed in quite a realistic manner. A Must Watch !!!

June 17, 2019

Leila - TV Series (2/5)

Image Source: Netflix

Leila - Too many causes and all are lost

Leila is Netflix TV Series from India directed by Deepa Mehta based on a novel written by Prayaag Akbar. Leila is dystopian drama based in the year of 2047, a story where environment resource is scarce and there is a huge divide in society created by fictional nation Aryavratta which is ruled by Dr. Joshi (Sanjay Suri). The nation is divided between communities separated by huge walls and segregated based on caste where clean air and water is luxury limited to very few.

The story revolves around Shalini (Huma Qureshi) who lost her daughter "Leila" and being imprisoned for purification because she was married to Rizwan Chaudhary (Rahul Khanna), a Muslim man. In Aryavratta, anyone who marriages outside caste/religion considered as sin and been sent for shuddhikaran (purification) which is as good as a prison. Shalini struggles in purification camps and finally run away to find the whereabouts her daughter. She is then captured by Guard Bhanu (Siddharth) who becomes her supervisor for labour works in the city. Shalini start working in one of the engineers of Aryavratta's SkyDome and learns that there are revolutionaries who are trying to assassin Dr. Joshi as his SkyDome project will kill the ghetto where all poor and low castes live. Siddharth promises to find Leila for Shalini and ask her to help him to assassinate Dr. Joshi.

The series is bit patchy and confuses you what's the point directors want to make. The narrative is lost between being dystopian drama, scarcity of resource, the emergence of high caste Hinduism, a love of a mother and a revolution in making. It's a very bad attempt and one can see how director and writer trying hard to establish political undertone by hiding behind the mother-daughter story. The direction is average and the plot doesn't convince you or take you to the era what this series trying to portray.

It's quite a lame and average watch which you can easily afford to miss. If they really want to make dystopian drama, take a cue from Black Mirror and be honest with the story and stick to it without any hidden agenda to defame any religion or political ideology.

June 5, 2019

Chernobyl - TV Mini Series (5/5)

Image Source: HBO

Chernobyl - Man-made Tragedy

Chernobyl is HBO's mini-series based on the story of 1986 Nuclear Plant Disaster which occurred in Pripyat, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Soviet Union). It tells the stories of the people who caused the disaster, scientists and politicians who manage the entire operation of evacuation and also enquiries to know the root cause of this man made one of the deadliest disasters in the history. This series mini-series covers all details and action of events from all aspects which starts from plant operator witnessing the explosion, efforts of firefighters to stop the fire, volunteers & team of miners digging a tunnel, people who exposed to radiation and evacuation of the entire area at such big scale.

The series is chilling, keeps you on the edge and scares you to your guts when you watch each event which was beautifully performed by all the actors. Superb direction especially by sequencing the event back and forth, especially the way investigation and rescue operation have been shown. the cinematography and background music makes it more than a real. The one thing uniquely stands out is the performance of Jared Harris who played Nuclear Scientist Valery Legasov and Stellan Skarsgard who played Boris Shcherbina, a soviet union's politician responsible for cleanup the disaster.

Superbly made and a perfect show, it's indeed a much watch series.

March 25, 2019

Delhi Crime - TV Series (5/5)

Delhi Crime - Just another day in the Police Force

Delhi Crime is based on the 2012 Delhi infamous "Nirbhaya" gang rape case that took place in the neighbourhood of South Delhi. The series follows the story in the aftermath of the gang rape, where DCP - Vartika Chaturvedi (Shefali Shah) is tasked to investigate the crime and catch all rapists.
The series starts with PCR van picks up two victims of Gang Rape on the sideway of Munirka Flyover and further shows how investigation begins to unfold to catch criminals with no records and limited clues.

The series focused on the conditions our police force works by putting the tireless amount of duty hours in extremely poor condition with the limited budget and unlimited amount of pressure of media, politicians and public at large. "Delhi Crime" takes us inside the mind and life of police officers who are quick to be blamed for any crimes happens around us.

It was superbly written and directed by Richie Mehta who carefully takes us through the investigation process as realistically as possible. You will feel you are part of the investigation and not even a single frame will make you feel you are watching any drama. Shefali Shah rules here with her natural portrayal of the role of DCP where she posses a strong personality with a bit of sensitivity side as a loving mother as well. This is indeed her best performance ever and you can't imagine anyone else replacing her for this role. Rasika Dugal, Adil Hussain and Rajesh Telang are other gems here who just blends in with their characters. Special kudos to casting and each performer even the ones who have done small roles in the side are marvellous.

I just binged watched entire season as you can't stop it once you start watching. It shows different aspects of society where we comfortably comment on police force without knowing how they live and yet perform their duty to protect us. This is by far the best Indian TV Series I have seen without even a single flaw.

February 22, 2019

2019: AnksReview 91st Oscars Annual Academy Awards Prediction

2019 - Best Pictures Nominees
Well, it's been quite sometime I have been writing about Oscar Prediction and I have been quite glad that most of my prediction on popular category came across true so far. In that respect, 2018 is quite tricky for me and also lots of surprises to arrive at the final winner of the great Gold offered by Academy.

I do not want to open a debate on what movie deserved to be in nominees and especially if some of the great movies have been missed this year as let's trust the wisdom of filmmakers, festivals participants, continuous promotions across the globe and finally the thousands of votes which comes from Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science for the final nominees. I also want to reiterate, for any movies to be even part of nomination itself is a great feat which needs to be celebrated. 

A slight difference I have done in my this year prediction, I have also highlighted "My Choice" as sometimes our own individual choices are different than the one who wins on other parameters.

So here it is, my prediction of 2019 Oscar Winners:

1.     Best Picture

Best Film Prediction - A Star is Born

§     A Star Is Born{ Winner } as well as My Choice as Winner
§     Roma{ Possibly Win, as per Oscar’s previous trend }
§     Black Panther
§     BlacKkKlansman
§     Bohemian Rhapsody
§     The Favourite
§     Green Book
§     Vice

2.     Best Director

Best Direction Prediction - Alfonso Cuaron

§  Alfonso Cuarón – Roma - { Winner } as well as My Choice as Winner
§  Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite
§  Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
§  Adam McKay – Vice
§  Paweł Pawlikowski – Cold War

3.     Best Actor

Best Actor Prediction - Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)

§  Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody as Freddie Mercury - { Winner }
§  Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born as Jackson "Jack" Maine – { My Choice }
§  Christian Bale – Vice as Dick Cheney
§  Willem Dafoe – At Eternity's Gate as Vincent van Gogh
§  Viggo Mortensen – Green Book as Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga

4.     Best Actress

Best Actress Prediction - Glenn Close (The Wife)

§  Glenn Close – The Wife as Joan Castleman – { Winner } as well as My Choice
§  Yalitza Aparicio – Roma as Cleodegaria "Cleo" Gutiérrez
§  Olivia Colman – The Favourite as Anne, Queen of Great Britain
§  Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born as Ally Campana
§  Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me? as Lee Israel

5.     Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actor Prediction - Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
§  Mahershala Ali – Green Book as Don Shirley – { Winner } as well as My Choice
§  Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman as Philip "Flip" Zimmerman
§  Sam Elliott – A Star Is Born as Bobby Maine
§  Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me? as Jack Hock
§  Sam Rockwell – Vice as George W. Bush

6.     Best Supporting Actress
Best Supporting Actress Prediction - Regina Kin (If Beale Street Could Talk)
§  Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk as Sharon Rivers - { Winner }
§  Rachel Weisz – The Favourite as Sarah Churchill – { My Choice }
§  Amy Adams – Vice as Lynne Cheney
§  Marina de Tavira – Roma as Sofía
§  Emma Stone – The Favourite as Abigail Masham

7.     Best Original Screenplay

§  The Favourite - { Winner }
§  Green Book
§  First Reformed
§  Roma
§  Vice

8.     Best Adapted Screenplay

§  BlacKkKlansman - { Winner }
§  The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
§  Can You Ever Forgive Me?
§  If Beale Street Could Talk
§  A Star Is Born

9.     Best Animated Feature Film
Best Animated Film Prediction - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
§  Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - { Winner }
§  Incredibles 2 – Brad Bird, John Walker and Nicole Paradis Grindle
§  Isle of Dogs – Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson
§  Mirai – Mamoru Hosoda and Yūichirō Saitō
§  Ralph Breaks the Internet – Rich Moore, Phil Johnston and Clark Spencer

10.  Best Cinematography
Best Cinematography Prediction - Roma
§  Roma – Alfonso Cuarón - { Winner }
§  Cold War – Łukasz Żal
§  The Favourite – Robbie Ryan
§  Never Look Away – Caleb Deschanel
§  A Star Is Born – Matthew Libatique

11.  Best Foreign Language Film
Best Foreign Film Prediction - Roma
§  Roma (Mexico) - { Winner }
§  Capernaum
§  Cold War
§  Never Look Away (Germany)
§  Shoplifters (Japan)

12.  Best Visual Effects
Best Special Effect Prediction - Avengers: Infinity War
§  Avengers: Infinity War - { Winner }
§  Christopher Robin
§  First Man
§  Ready Player One
§  Solo: A Star Wars Story

13.  Best Original Score

§  Black Panther - { Winner }
§  BlacKkKlansman
§  If Beale Street Could Talk
§  Isle of Dogs
§  Mary Poppins Returns

14.  Best Original Song

§  "Shallow" from A Star Is Born - { Winner }
§  "All the Stars" from Black Panther
§  "I'll Fight" from RBG
§  "The Place Where Lost Things Go" from Mary Poppins Returns
§  "When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings" from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

15.  Best Sound Editing

§  First Man - { Winner }
§  Black Panther
§  Bohemian Rhapsody
§  A Quiet Place
§  Roma

16.  Best Sound Mixing

§  Bohemian Rhapsody - { Winner }
§  Black Panther
§  First Man
§  Roma
§  A Star Is Born

17.  Best Production Design

§  Black Panther - { Winner }
§  The Favourite
§  First Man
§  Mary Poppins Returns
§  Roma

Do let me know what you feel about these predictions.

Disclaimer: All Images are subject to respective copyright law taken from multiple site through Google Image Search without any commercial intent.

December 29, 2018

AnksReview - Top 10 Hindi Film of 2018

We are at the end of 2018 and here is the list of my Top 10 Hindi Movies released this year. The list is decided and ranked as per the overall experience of movie watching with more focus given to story & screenplay, direction and of course performance of lead actors in it.

1. Andhadhun

Andhadun is finely crafted crime thriller by Sriram Raghavan with the excellent story which will keep you on the edge and top-notch performance of Tabu & Ayushmann Khurrana made it a perfect watch. The movie is flawless with an amazing script and perfect in all sense. This is indeed the best movie of 2018.

2. Manmarziyaan

Manmarziyaan is a twisted love story by Anurag Kashyap with the unique flavor of tried & tested love triangle used in movies like Woh Saat Din and Hum Dil Chuke Sanam. Manmarziyaan makes it to the top list because of its rawness, amazing screenplay & characterization, brilliant performance by Vicky Kaushal, Tapsee Punnu & Abhishek Bachchan, perfect direction by Anurag Kashyap and not to miss awesome music by Amit Trivedi.

3. Raazi

Raazi is spy thriller by Megha Gulzar based on true story and adaption of Harinder Sikka's novel Calling Sehmet. This is another great one by Meghna Gulzar with the perfectly written screenplay and the excellent performance by Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal.

4. Badhaai Ho

Badhaai Ho is coming off the age comedy-drama by Amit Sharma is a story about a Delhi based typical middle-class family where the middle-aged mother gets pregnant adds to disappointment to sons and people around. Ayushmann Khurrana has done such kind of role if being in odd situation in past and the movie also delights with you excellent performance by Nina Gupta and Gajraj Rao. Its funny with great story and direction.

5. Mukkabaaz

Mukkabaaz is action drama by Anurag Kashyap based on observations of several sportsperson's experiences in India. It's a story of underdog boxer who falls in love with local politician as well as head of the boxing federation and his struggle as a sportsman. The movie is a delight with the impactful performance of Vineet Kumar Singh, Zoya Hussain and the best one from Jimmy Shergill. Anurag Kashyap shows that he still has his mojo when it comes to action-packed romantic movies with rawness in story backdrop.

6. Pad Man

Pad Man is a drama by R. Balki Inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu who introduced low-cost sanitary pads. It's a well-written movie with a social message and excellent direction by Balki as well performance by Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte, and Sonam Kapoor.

7. Pataakha

Pataakha is a comedy-drama by Vishal Bhardwaj based on Charan Singh Pathik's short story titled Do Behnein, a story about two sisters who share a difficult relationship with each other. The story set out in the small village in Rajasthan bring the rawness of Indian village and it's simplicity. It's a marvelous direction by Vishal Bhardwaj who is daring enough to make such simplistic movie. It will give you the flavor of Blue Umbrella where a simple story can make movie strong. One more great highlight of this movie is a flawless performance by newcomers like Radhika Madan, Sanya Malhotra, and Sunil Grover.

8. Sanju

Sanju is a biographical drama by Rajkumar Hirani based on a life of movie star Sanjay Dutt. The movie is about Sanjay Dutt's life from his perspective. It's a great entertaining movie with excellent direction and best performance of Ranbir Kapoor as Sanjay Dutt as well as Paresh Rawal and Vicky Kaushal.

9. Padmaavat

Padmaavat is an epic period drama by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, loosely based on the epic poem Padmavat by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. It's a typical Sanjay Leela Bhansali who presented the era of Rajput and battle in a realistic way. The movie is a well directed and great performance by Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.

10. October

October is a romantic drama by Soojit Sircar about the life of hotel-management intern who discovers a strange attraction towards fellow interns who accidentally get into to coma and takes care of her unconditionally and unconventionally. It's a very complicated story presented in a beautiful manner and an excellent performance by Varun Dhawan.

So these are my best 10 of 2018, let me know about yours.

* All Images are subject to copyright and has been taken through Google Image Search from several websites without any intent of commercial usage.