April 4, 2022

RRR (5/5)


RRR - The Larger Than Life

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

RRR is a Telugu-language epic period action drama film written and directed by S. S. Rajamouli of Baahubali fame. It is a fictional depiction of the true story of freedom fighters Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem played by Ram Charan and N.T. Rama Rao Jr. respectively.

The movie is set in the time of the Pre-Independence British era where a British Governor forcefully takes away a girl from a Gonda tribe for his wife's amusement. Bheem (N.T. Rama Rao Jr.) who is the protector of the tribe goes on a mission to rescue the girl and bring her home. Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) is a British Police Officer who takes up a mission to capture Bheem to get a promotion. They both met accidentally and become friends and as the story progressed the rescue mission of the girl turned into a freedom fighting movement which was started by Sitarama's father Venkata Rama Raju (Ajay Devgun).

The story may look quite simple the way it was defined however the way it is presented by Rajamouli is simply make you awestruck. If you are impressed with Baahubali and its grandeur, then RRR will make Baahubali look pale. You will enjoy each frame of this movie from beginning to end with an amazing screenplay and superb execution of its storytelling in a grand way. This is world-class movie-making with its perfection which makes impossible action sequences quite believable with grace. Whether it's the cinematography, editing, background score, and acting performances- the movie is perfect in all aspects. It is full masala entertainment with the perfect finesse of movie-making art. RRR keep you engaged from beginning to end and makes you confused about which scene to mark most favorite among many if you have to choose one. 

A great performance by Ram Charan and N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and all key characters in the movie, however, this movie simply belong to Rajamouli's vision to portray his stories in larger than life. I was so awestruck that I am running out of adjectives. With movies like Baahubali, Pushpa, and now RRR it is certain that the Telugu film industry is way ahead of Bollywood and its peers and as competitive as any big-budget Hollywood movie.

A must-watch and that too on a big IMAX screen if you really want to enjoy the real essence of it's grandeur. This movie will create a historical landmark in the Indian Film Industry.


March 13, 2022

2022: AnksReview - 94th Annual Academy (Oscar) Awards Prediction

This is the season of awards and the most special one is Annual Academy Awards which are scheduled to happen on 27th March. I am glad to finish watching all the nominations and just like every time this time also deciding the best among all nominees is tough so I decided to go with my own heart rather than being influenced by critics or movie performances at festivals as well as other award shows. So here are my predictions for Oscar Awards in 14 main categories.


1. Best Picture

As usual, this is a very tough category to choose and this time I was quite divided between Don't Look Up, The Power of the Dog, and CODA. Finally, I go with my own liking and I feel Don't Look Up should win the Best Film this year. The movie is hard-hitting, a great satire on the current situation, and very well made. As an alternative, I believe The Power Of Dog has a better chance as it is a great movie and loved by all critics as well.

  • Don't Look Up - {WINNER}
  • The Power of the Dog - Alternate Choice
  • Belfast
  • CODA
  • Drive My Car
  • Dune
  • King Richard
  • Licorice Pizza
  • Nightmare Alley
  • West Side Story

2. Best Director


  • Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog - {WINNER}
  • Kenneth Branagh – Belfast
  • Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car
  • Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza
  • Steven Spielberg – West Side Story

3. Best Actor

This is the most difficult category to decide the winner as all are just perfect in their performances. Again going by my heart and I believe it's time for Benedict Cumberbatch to take the honor. I will keep Will Smith as an alternate choice for his performance in King Richard.


  • Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog - {WINNER}
  • Will Smith – King Richard - Alternate Choice
  • Javier Bardem – Being the Ricardos
  • Andrew Garfield – Tick, Tick... Boom!
  • Denzel Washington - The Tragedy of Macbeth

4. Best Actress

Again great performance by everyone and I was not able to decide between Jessica Chastain and Nicole Kidman finally, I believe Jessica Chastian was superb as Tammy Faye. Nicole Kidman also has qual chance for her role as Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos.
  • Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye - {WINNER}
  • Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardos - Altenate Choice
  • Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter
  • Penélope Cruz – Parallel Mothers
  • Kristen Stewart – Spencer

5. Best Supporting Actor

  • Troy Kotsur – CODA - {WINNER}
  • Ciarán Hinds – Belfast
  • Jesse Plemons – The Power of the Dog
  • J. K. Simmons – Being the Ricardos
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog

6. Best Supporting Actress

  • Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard - {WINNER}
  • Jessie Buckley – The Lost Daughter
  • Ariana DeBose – West Side Story
  • Judi Dench – Belfast
  • Kirsten Dunst – The Power of the Dog
7. Best Original Screenplay

  • Don't Look Up - {WINNER}
  • Belfast
  • King Richard
  • Licorice Pizza
  • The Worst Person in the World

8. Best Adapted Screenplay

  • The Power of the Dog - {WINNER}
  • CODA
  • Drive My Car
  • Dune
  • The Lost Daughter

9. Best Animated Feature Film

  • Encanto - {WINNER}
  • Flee
  • Luca
  • The Mitchells vs. the Machines
  • Raya and the Last Dragon

10. Best Sound
  • Dune - {WINNER}
  • Belfast
  • No Time to Die
  • The Power of the Dog
  • West Side Story

11. Best Production Design
  • Nightmare Alley - {WINNER}
  • Dune
  • The Power of the Dog
  • The Tragedy of Macbeth
  • West Side Story

12. Best Cinematography
  • The Power of the Dog - {WINNER}
  • Dune
  • Nightmare Alley
  • The Tragedy of Macbeth
  • West Side Story

13. Best Film Editing
  • Dune - {WINNER}
  • Don't Look Up
  • King Richard
  • The Power of the Dog
  • Tick, Tick... Boom!

14. Best Visual Effects
  • Dune - {WINNER}
  • Free Guy
  • No Time to Die
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home

So that's my list of predictions for the 2022 Annual Academy Award, do let me know your feedback and your prediction. Looking forward to the final award show.

Disclaimer: All images are taken from various websites through google image search and are only used here for editorial purposes.

The Kashmir Files (5/5)

 

Image Source: imdb.com





The Kashmir Files - Ignored and Forgotton

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Kashmir Files is a drama movie written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri. The movie is based on incidences that depict the genocidal exodus of Kashmiri Hindus in 1990 during Kashmir's Insurgency. It stars Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty, and Pallavi Joshi. 

The story of the movie is based on video interviews of the first generation victims of the Genocide of Kashmiri Pandits. The central character of the movie is Krishna Pandit, a Student Leader based in Delhi played by Darshan Kumar who travels to Kashmir to fulfill the last wish of his grandfather Pushkar Nath Pandit played by Anupam Kher. Darshan is brainwashed by Prof. Radhika Menon (played by Pallavi Joshi). The movie shows the horror of Genocide and Killing by going back and forth in time through narration by Pushkar Nath's four friends played by Mithun Chakraborty, Prakash Balewadi, Puneet Issar, and Atul Srivastava to Krishna Pandit. It also covers the left-liberal student politics and how it is intertwined with non-state actors. 

The movie is very graphic, shows the gruesome genocide unapologetically which was kept hidden from our history for many years. You can sense the honesty in movie making where Vivek Agnihotri portrayed stories as told by the victims with amazing direction. The movie is gut-wrenching, makes you cringe, sad and angry at the same time on the thousands of Pandits are still waiting for justice. 

Many will compare this movie with The Tashkent File, a previous movie of its maker however Rashkent File was a great story but technically was not a great movie. This one is high-quality moviemaking with great direction by Vivek Agnihotri, superb cinematography, and background score. Vivek has handled the complex storytelling of this saga beautifully by choosing key characters who are well played by each actor. Anupam Kher stands out tall by probably his best-ever performance as a victim, Pallavi Joshi, and Mithun Chakravarty are perfect and Darshan Kumar stands out boldly.

It is certainly a high-quality movie and each Indian must watch it to know what happened as recently as in 1990 and forgotten.


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
  • Chloé 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

Sherlock


Chernobyl

Unbelievable

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.