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Out of all the plethora of releases this year I make a top ten list of the best releases of 2015. 1 month still to go so a couple of releases still left so I will modify my list according to new releases. There also some films I still have to see, so comment, and let me know what you think, because this is just my opinion.I did leave some good films off but I am trying to name the top ten which are the best of the best!
A good mass entertainer that is encompassed with a good message about society.
Somewhere down the line especially after viewing the Theri trailer, I knew that even though this Vijay film had a very sensible director like Atlee of Raja Rani fame, that Theri would still be a fan pleasing masala affair. However that is not such a bad thing because after the disastrous Puli, Superstar Vijay probably just wanted to be attached to a safe, but prosperous project. Knowing all this beforehand however did not make me have low expectations for Theri, because when a formula film is done right, with some added new content and is presented in a fresh way, then entertainment is 100% guaranteed. Theri in short is popcorn entertainment at its best, but what makes this film above the average is director's Atlee's sensibilities (he added the right amount of family and class thinking scenes), and Vijay's killer performance.
Story wise Vijay is leading a happy life in Kerala with Nivi, who is his daughter that studies in kindergarten, and he is running a bakery with Rajendra his friend.He meets Annie, Nivi's class teacher, and both become good friends. Annie soon finds out about that Joseph is none other than the "late" Vijay Kumar after seeing him beat up some local goons who tried to kill Nivi, but Vijay warns her not to tell Nivi about his past. What is Joseph's past, and who is Vijay Kumar, is what forms the crux of the plot.
Acting wise Vijay is exceptional playing dual characters in Theri. He is at his best playing Joseph, because he underplays the father role perfectly. The scenes with his daughter, and the play on the word,"Baby" melts ones heart. The father daughter chemistry is heartwarming, and the highlight of the film. As police officer Vijay Kumar, Vijay is at home portraying a massy hero, however there is a Jilla hangover to this character at times. But as Vijay his action scenes are first rate, the post interval action scene at the coffee house was awesome. I'd also like to highlight the scene when in the climax Vijay is explaining to the villain that one has to raise to kids properly, and that if one doesn't and they go one wrong path of crime and its then the parents fault for the wrong guidance.That speech was awe inspiring, and it was by the far the films best scene. Mahendran as the villain is menacing to the core, his confrontation scenes with Vijay are great to watch on screen, as they exchange some good dialogue. Samantha and Amy Jackson add good glamor , but do nothing in the acting department. Baby Nainika is adorable on screen, and acts like a pro as Vijay's daughter. Her dialogues on screen will leave a smile on your face.
Like I mentioned before Theri does adhere to a regular revenge drama formula but why the film works is because of director Atlee's sensibilities. He makes sure the film speaks of real world problems plaguing India today, and peppers them perfectly in the film to get a huge impact on the viewer. Rape, corruption, lack of education, poverty are all highlighted in Theri, and the director speaks of improving the system too, which is through proper guidance of India's youth, which starts at home (with the parents), and in the climax speech that is main topic of discussion. Atlee also makes sure that Theri has a great mix of family sentiment in the film, and the scenes between Vijay and his daughter are the films ace, together they are just to cute, on screen. Hats off to director Atlee for encompassing so much in a mass film properly. The films action is another highlight the massy stunts are combined well with a sleek/ stylish look. The films music is bad as the title track is the only good track. The songs production value is also very tacky. In general the production values are just okay. The films pace is great in the 1st half but the second half lags until the climax, the film could have been trimmed by 15 min. I did not like the whole ghost Vijay Kumar track, something more creative needed to be thought for that episode. These mentioned above and the formula story are the minor blemishes in the film.
Overall Theri is a good mass entertainer, that encompasses some good class, and family sensibilities. The film is something that not only Vijay fans will lap but so will the regular going audience. Its a hit guaranteed.
3.5/5* Grade 75% B
The Jungle Book (2016)
A visually pleasing fun Disney film,that everyone will enjoy regardless of age
The Jungle Book made me feel like a child again, the nostalgia was so strong it was as though i was transported to the age of 8, and I was now Mowgali, having the time of my life in the jungle. In short Jungle Book was just pure fun. The film was a visual spectacle, with some breath taking visuals of a jungle that never looked so beautiful ( waterfalls,landscape etc), the animals though done mostly through VFX/CGI looked extremely real, there attention to detail was amazing. The films tempo was perfect, and even though a predictable tale of a child/man not welcome in the jungle anymore because of a fear from a tiger was being told, one was never bored, this is because the adventures never end in the film. There is always action, adventure, and laughter in abundance. Its a film that not only the kids, but adults will lap also. The main character Mowgali was portrayed but the child actor Neel Seethi, who was fabulous, the time he put into the role can be seen on the screen beautifully, all the tree climbing etc was done like a pro. Hats off kid. All the voice dubbing was great but, Bill Murray as Baloo, and Ben Kingsley as Bagheera were at a another level of perfection. The only problem I had with the film was the predictability and clichéd manner of the plot but its a Disney film so that real isn't a issue. Though I really enjoyed the whole monkey temple, and wild flower aspect in the film, it was a novel good idea.Overall The Jungle Book is great fun for everyone in the family, its a film worth watching because it lets the inner child of all unleash regardless of any age.
3.75/5* Grade: 78% B+
SRK is finally back to acting well,in this ode to himself and his crazy fans.
A film like Fan can only be made on a few actors around the world, and in India there are a hand full of actors who amass such a huge fan following, and Shahrukh Khan is one such actor, who's fans will do anything to catch a glimpse of the star. Fan in short is about an obsession with an actor to the an extent your whole life is just that one person. And in the film's context Gaurav, slept, breathed, and literally ate everything to do with Aryan Khanna. But when an obsession crosses a limit the price that is paid is what Fan is all about. Coming from the Yash Raj stable, and with Aditya Chopra the mastero himself the producer, with a great director like Maneesh Sharma ( of Band Baaja Baraat Fame) a lot of expectations come with this film. The SRK and Yash Raj Jodi is golden to say the least ( DDLJ, Chak De etc), and especially after viewing the trailer one was even more excited because after ages SRK was breaking his starry image, and actually acting in a film and that too in a double role. But did the film live up to such humongous expectations, well lets analyze.
Fan is not your regular film, where a story summary is needed because the story is know and in the forefront since the films inception, its about an obsession with a movie star, and what happens when the obsession turns unhealthy. Even when one talks about the films acting, there is only one actor who leaves his thundering impression in Fan, and that is SRK as Garuav and Aryan. Without a doubt I can say that in the last couple of years, and that after Om Shanti Om this is SRK's best performance. SRK plays both roles so wonderfully, that one believes that Gaurav is played by a another actor, and not SRK. They are that dramatically different at times, in looks, and in acting. He totally owns the film and hits it out of the park with this film. SRK is at his acting best. Watch out for his climax chase and speech its some of the best acting I have seen SRK do. He is back to Daar and Baazigar days.He had me in tears almost in the climax.
Fan is not a perfect film, the film has its blemishes, but its a very powerful watch, its a film that will move . You will be able to feel the pain of an obsessed fan, and his sorrow.The film takes you into the life of a star, and into the life of a common Delhi Boy, who is a crazy fan of a actor. We see a realistic side to both sides. I honestly really enjoyed the film because I could relate to Gaurav the character in bits, while I am not obsessed with any actor and his life, I did grow up on films, and there are some actors I have looked up to my whole life, and idolized, so I do understand his character at times. As a viewer I could relate to his pain at times, and thats a huge positive for the director, to make the film relatable for the viewers (or some of them like me, who grew up on films). The film has no music and is was not needed, kudos to YRF for being brave to do this in a Hindi film. The VFX is top notch, and SRK was transformed into Gaurav perfectly. The action, and chase sequences were shot sleekly, and the stunts were first rate. The production vaules in general were top notch, and beautiful countries in Europe were highlighted. Now to the films blemishes, well the only problem I had with Fan was that at times the story was way to over the top and unbelievable. Like how does one just beat up a movie star to meet another movie star is it that easy, and how is one able to enter such a huge movie stars house so easily, these examples and more such make fan really unbelievable and not realistic at times. The film has such a good realistic follow going until these hitches, but I must say with such a fast paced film even the over top scenes were entertaining, its just that the film had a chance to be a masterpiece if not for these blemishes. But a lot of the blemishes were made up for me in the appropriate and heartfelt climax.
Overall if want a watch a good SRK film after ages, and want to encourage India's stop stars to do worthy films, watch Fan and make it gross 200CR +, rather than encouraging garbage films like Dilwale. And this is coming from a non SRK fan.
3.5/5* Grade : 75% B
Hardcore Henry (2015)
The film redefines the action,but at the cost of being plot less.Still a thrilling watch
Hardcore Henry redefines the action film genre, and one doesn't have to go into detail to talk about the film, because the film has no real story, and acting/ emoting take a huge back seat in this film, because the whole film is about explosions,gory violence, and intense gun play. There is even harry potterisque magical action involved. The action just never stops, the film is a adrenaline filled roller coaster. The film is like a video game, its the first film to be filmed in first person. Its like playing call of duty, except everything is unpredictable and one is at the edge of there seat because of constant thrilling action . The action is truly awe inspiring, the film has some best stunts I have ever seen on the screen. Hardcore Henry's only downfalls are that the camera angles for the first person filming makes one pretty dizzy at first, it takes at least half an hour of the hour and thirty min runtime to get used to the crazy camera angles. Its almost seizure inducing at times. And the films biggest flaw is that there is no real story at all in the film. Its just mindless action pretty much. However overall I recommend Hardcore Henry to be watched by action film lovers at least once because the film is truly a new cinematic experience.
3.5/5* Grade: 73% B
Ki & Ka (2016)
A predictable romcom/drama that plays on gender stereotypes.A watchable film,a good effort.
Approximately 9 days after Ki and Ka released I finally watched the film ,well better late then never right ( I was ill so give me a break). Ki and Ka is made by the famously schizophrenic director R Balki, who on one side has made gems like Paa, and Cheeni Kum, and he is the same man who made last years disastrous Shamitabh. Balki always comes up with unique and out of the box ideas for all his films and Ki and Ka is not any different .Ki and Ka is a film about squashing gender stereotypes, a film where there is a house husband, and a working businesswoman wife, I was impressed with the basic idea, but I had my expectations in check, especially after watching the just okay trailer. However the film is not nearly as bad as Shamitabh, but its not as good as a Paa either, this film hits a middle ground and ends up being a watchable good effort. I will now go into a more of in depth analysis of Ki and Ka.
Story wise Kia aims to become a successful business woman and also wishes other women to work instead of managing the house-hold and just becoming the support system of her husband. On her flight to Delhi from Chandigarh, she meets Kabir . The two get along very nicely and start meeting quite often. Kia discovers Kabir wants to be a house "wife" like his mother and does not want to get caught in the race of progress by becoming of business man. Kia also learns that Kabir is the son of a highly successful building constructor but does not want to inherit his immense wealth.Kia and Kabir gradually fall in love and decide to marry where Kabir would handle the household stuff while Kia would be the bread earner. They convince their parents for this marriage and get married in a court. What happens next forms the crux plot.
Acting wise Arjun Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor have a crackling chemistry on screen, and look very compatible on screen. Arjun Kapoor gives what is one of his career best acts in Ki and Ka. Its a very unconventional role, and he handles it with maturity and is restrained on screen. Its funny to watch him on screen in such a different avatar then usual. Kareena Kapoor is at her ever dependable best, and she owns her de glam business woman role. Both of there play on gender stereotype ideas on screen is hilarious.
Ki and Ka works for two reasons, one as mentioned above the great chemistry of the leads, who look like a real couple on screen, there acting is extremely believable. The second reason is that films core idea is very fresh, and the need of the moment in India especially. In a time were rape, and abuse against women is at its all time in India a film like Ki and Ka is very important to challenge the male patriarchal thinking in India.Don't get me wrong Ki and Ka is not a preachy film, but its still a feel good film/ romcom but it talks about a important issue, and its a start even if the tone of the film is not serious but light (and a steer in the right direction). Now where the film falters is in the stories predictability and very clichéd story arc. You know there is going to be a happy ending right from the first frame, and all the conflicts in the film are those we see in any romantic comedy drama etc. On top of that the film has some not so great production values, as the whole film is shot on sets. And the dialogues of the film and the play on gender stereotyping at times is hilarious, but some dialogues are cringe worthy. The way how first Kia becomes ultra successful and then does Kabir is very unbelievable and not necessary to show in the film (in my opinion).However what makes the film enjoyable throughout despite any flaws is the films light feel good tone, that keeps a smile on your face at all times. I really enjoyed the whole train idea, how the train brings food etc, it was nice catch in the script (You will understand what I mean when you watch the film). The music , and especially the high heels song was enjoyable. The film had a tight edit, and was told at a nice breezy 2hrs.
Overall while Ki and Ka is not a must watch film, its a nice predictable feel good watch, and its fresh core idea make for some good laughs on screen. Just don't go into the theatres excepting a film that will change gender norms,because the film is far from that. But its a start.
3.25/5* Grade: 67% C+
Wait till Captain America Civil War to watch a good superhero flick. The film does have good action but thats not enough.
Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice doesn't really warrant a in depth review, and me not being a huge superhero comic fan I don't wanna get into the nitty gritty, but watching this film last night at 10:30 pm turned out to be the perfect cure for my insomnia. The film is by far one of the slowest paced films I have seen in awhile, and there are so many subplots that divert from the stories main crux that the main plot is actually rushed and insignificant. The whole Batman hating Superman problem is solved in 5 mins, and instead time is wasted showing insignificant characters like Aqua Man, Flash, and Cyborg which is obviously DC's way of promoting new superhero pictures coming up. Like I feel Batman and Superman fans were cheated out. The whole Bruce Wayne parents angle was also not convincing, and would it kill Clark Kent to smile once he is Superman. Zack Snyder the director should have token a lesson from Chris Nolan before trying to make a proper good superhero flick if compare both the Batman's there is no comparison. The whole Superman on trial thing was ridiculous too.And honestly Zack Snyder couldn't pick another Lex Luthor Jesse Eisenberg was overacting the whole time.Ben Affleck was okay as batman and Henry Cavill is adequate as superman. Amy Adams has nothing much to do as Lois Lane.The films only saving grace is the amazing action and CGI which was highlighted in the climax, especially when the films real star wonder woman starts kicking ass. Those last 30 min when things like the Bat mobile etc were highlighted I actual woke up and stood up in my seat in awe. Some of the best action scenes of the year for sure were in this film. The films scale and production values were mammoth top notch. However those last sequences don't make up for one the weakest films of the year, do yourself a favour and wait till Captain America Civil War to watch a good superhero film.
2.25/5* Grade: 48% D
Diljit Dosanj's comedy is the only saving grace in this film. The story is a letdown..
I honestly want to know what Dheraaj Ratan was thinking when he wrote the story of Ambarsariya, even Director Mandeep Kumar of Jinhe Mere Dil Luteya fame must have lost all of his senses when accepting this script to direct. The films main core crux is pathetic, the whole raw agent angle, and especially the films climax is cringe worthy bad, and laughable. The story had potential but was translated on screen in a childish manner (literally).The films only saving grace is Punjab's rising superstar Diljit Donsaj,he saves the film to an extent with his impeccable comic timing, but that wasn't enough this time around. A film like Ambarsariya had mammoth expectations,Dosanj is at his peak ( his fame singing wise and acting wise is huge worldwide at the moment),and Kumar is a hit director and was working with a hit punjabi script writer Dheraaj Ratan. I just don't understand with so much potential how did things go so haywire in the writing department. But more in depth analysis on that later.
Story wise the film is about Jatt Ambarsariya who lives dual life as a RAW agent and insurance agent. He is put on a mission to save the honest and idealistic Home Minister of Punjab from a drug mafia who is plotting the minister's murder. During the course of the mission, Jatt Ambarsariya also meets Jasleen Kaur, his boss at the insurance company and Kirat his landlord. How he balances his love triangle with the two mentioned above, and how he saves the home minister is what forms the films crux.
Acting wise Diljit Dosanj is at his comic best again, one just wishes he would expand his acting profile a bit, and show more layers in his act especially when he is supposed to play a RAW agent. Being a little more serious, and working on his action would have gone a long way in this film for him. If he keeps treading the same path he will be the Indian Kevin Hart, no will take his acting seriously people will just laugh at me till he is trending, that is until they find the next scapegoat. Navneet Kaur Dhillion, Laureen Gottlieb, and Monica Gill just add glamour. Rest of the casts special appearances were adequate.
What works for Ambarsariya is the film has the signature Diljit humour, where his one liners, and gags will keep the audience laughing throughout the film at different junctures. Diljit and his great music is the only saving grace of the film. However I did like the way Diljit investigated the 3 Jaspreet's it was a novel concept and a very funny series of sequences. But even Diljit's humour is losing its novelty because he is repeating himself in every film. He needs to reinvent himself. Now to the bad part,the films core concept, and script is a huge letdown. The whole raw agent, and assassination angle was not presented properly therefore everything to do with this subplot looked pathetic. Especially the climax, were the missing link aka the killer was revealed,that whole scene needed to be edited out and shot again with a new killer, what was shown on screen was damn stupid. And the whole layer cake rip off of not revealing the hero's name is again a pathetic move by the makers, because they are trying to rip off a classic.
Overall while I wont lie I did laugh quite a few times during the films duration, but it just wasn't enough to make Ambarsariya a good film this is because expectations were high from Diljit, Director Mandeep Kumar and writer Dheraaj Ratan, and they have failed with dumb concept in this film which had potential, but nothing was too see on screen. This film is a DVD watch, you will probably enjoy it more at home then at theatres unless your a die hard Diljit fan then a theatre watch is warranted.... I guess.
2.5/5* Grade: 56% C-
Rocky Handsome (2016)
Its all about John Abraham and his blazing action with a hint of emotions.Story needed work.
Rocky Handsome brings together the combo of John Abraham and Nishikant Kamat after there last hit action film Force which released in 2011. Nishikant Kamat has now become the remake king with films like Force, Drishyam, and now Rocky Handsome all being remakes of hit films. And rightful so he is the remake king, because as they say why mess up formula you have perfected. John Abraham has also now molded himself into a action hero of sorts, and literally resembles a dumbbell (with his huge monstrous physique) if you ask me, so with Rocky Handsome both filmmaker, and actor are in familiar terrain. However the real the question is that, is the film successful in its endeavor of making a emotional high octane action drama, that the trailer so highly portrays. Well if your looking for some kick ass action, and don't mind shedding a tear or two then, then this film is for you, just don't go into the film seeking intelligence, and I will explain this analysis in a in depth review further.
Story wise the film revolves around Kabir Ahlawat/Rocky Handsome who sets out to take revenge against Goa's drug mafia after they kidnapped an eight-year old girl who is his neighbor with whom he shares a special bond. Who is Rocky Handsome whats his past, and does he save the girl forms the rest of films crux.
Acting wise John Abraham is the soul of the film, and while he doesn't have much acting to do ( he literally mouths two lines in the film) he does display some awe inspiring, hair raising action. The training he went through to master certain fighting styles is truly applaud worthy. Nishikant Kamat the films director debuts as the films villain, and he totally kills his role. His menacing, crazy act is totally believable and he never once hits that over acting note (unlike his brother in the film). A great debut indeed. The little girl Diya Chalwad is cute, but her act feels fake at times, but she does a adequate job.
Rocky Handsome's story is so average, and its screenplay is so full of loopholes that one might think the film is bad, but the films director Nishikant Kamat makes sure that despite, all the shortcomings, that Rocky Handsome is still a good film, and honestly its a film I personally couldn't despise. However I do wonder could they not have found a better story to remake. The films loopholes do warrant that at times the viewers should just switch of there brain and just enjoy the proceedings.For example why do gangsters carry around axes instead of guns at a club, and in the climax where does the girl magically appear from, and how does the Thai body guard turn good all of the sudden, scenes like these did leave me dumbfounded at times. But all was forgiven.This is because Rocky Handsome never bores for a single moment, and doesn't really let its viewers think with such a breezy pace. The film is sleek, and shot in a very stylized manner that catches the eye at the films beginning. The background score is superb, while the music is just okay. But the film has two major aces which is the mind blowing action, and the great emotional depth in the two main characters. The action in the film is simply superb, and the best I have seen in a Indian film in awhile, the hand to hand combat scenes in the club, and climax scene will leave you gasping for breathe. Its Hollywood level action. For a film with action at its fore front, it surprised me that it had nice emotional depth, the scenes involving the little girl, and John are heart warming and very endearing. The climax had me in tears , with the whole eye scene and hug. Another surprising factor for me was how finally things like drug trafficking and forced child labor was shown in a more accurate portrayal then most Hindi films ( most films a make mockery out of the subject).
Overall honestly I throughly enjoyed Rocky Handsome its exactly what I excepted it to be a kick ass action film with a hint of emotion. Its not the most intelligent film but who cares, it pure unadulterated fun.
3.5/5* Grade: 73% B
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)
A flawed comedy drama set in war time Afghanistan, the film has its moments, but a lot is left to be desired.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a film I truly wanted to like, its a got a great ensemble cast with the likes of Tina Fey, Martin Freeman, Margot Robbie and Bill Bob Thornton in the film, it has a novel story of making a comedy/drama set in Afghanistan wartime ( cause god knows another serious film on terrorism would have just been too much) so what goes wrong. Well a lot does, but the film does salvage some good comic moments, and good acting, but its just a lot was left to be desired with WTFT. It just feels the film was not researched well enough, like the film was a comedy not a parody on the war on terrorism in AFG. Like the parties that news reporters were having, and the way people walked so freely around AFG in the early 2000's, just didn't give the feeling of a war zone that AGF was then. And this is just the surface for some of the flaws of WTFT, but let me get into a in-depth analysis now.
Story wise in 2002, cable news producer Kim Barker decides to shake up her routine by taking a daring new assignment in Kabul, Afghanistan. Dislodged from her comfortable American lifestyle, Barker finds herself in the middle of an out-of-control war zone. Luckily, she meets Tanya Vanderpoel, a fellow journalist who takes the shell shocked reporter under her wing. Amid the militants, warlords and nighttime partying, Barker discovers the key to becoming a successful correspondent.
Acting wise Tina Fey is just a one track actor, and I can never takes her performances seriously and the same happens in WTFT. Whether the film be Sisters or this film she pitches the same act, with the same comic punches. And when she tries to act seriously (in many instances in this film), its unconvincing. She needs to up her game soon, before she starts to get typecast. Martin Freeman is good, but he doesn't get much screen time, all we get see him do is work his new Scottish accent. The same goes for Margot Robbie as mentioned for Freeman instead she uses a British accent. Bill Bob Thornton is the best of the lot, but he has a special appearance of sorts, so there is nothing to gloat about here either. Together however its a nice ensemble to see on screen.
WTFT could have been a great film, its just that so much just went haywire for the film. Makers trying to make a film on journalism or news reporters need to watch Spotlight as reference. I know the film is a comedy drama but still showing news reporters doing cocaine at parties daily after a hard day at work in a war zone, is just stupid. The whole war zone angle of meeting political figures, and terrorists is just to easy for the news reporters in WTFT, real reporters wait for years for a phone call interview of wanted terrorist, and in WTFT your local terrorist is just one phone call away. These are just some of the obvious flaws the film had, its almost as though the makers did no research. Film has no realism for a film that supposed to be.The screenplay and script is muddled ( there is no coherent arc), and there is no character depth or real emotional depth in the characters in the film. The films pace in the 2nd hour is very snail like. The positives though few are enough to salvage some of the film. The films production values are amazing, AFG looked beautiful and the sets/locales accurately depicted a war zone.The film also had some nice action scenes especially the drone attack sequence, which looked very realistic. The comic moments are the films biggest ace as there are many comical moments that had me chuckling. For example the scene when Tina Fey's character realizes that the women keep destroying the water well ( and not terrorists), that the US soldiers keep fixing is hilarious. The films tone of taking war time lightly was very novel, and nice to see.
Overall Whiskey Tango Foxtrot leaves a lot to be desired it a flawed film, but for films runtime ( well for most of the runtime) I was entertained with the comic moments/ idiotic moments, its a serious film to be taken lightly, but this a film you will enjoy more if watched at home, because then you won't complain you didn't get your tickets worth.
3/5* Grade : 62%,C
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
A good psychological thriller about the unknown. John Goodman is amazing!
10 Cloverfield Lane,is what I classify as a film about the unknown (aliens)its a film where the world is (sort of) coming to the end. And let me tell you weekly now Hollywood comes out with films, about aliens, and the end of the world, so with that one liner 10CL probably seems like yet another gimmicky, VFX heavy film, were the whole world is being destroyed, and everyone is dying until there is one saviour etc. But luckily 10CL separates its self from that mess, this film rather than relying on gimmicks builds tension through its characters,its more about surviving than fighting the unknown. Its an old fashioned thriller, that rather than scaring its audience, creates a paranoiac, cluster phobic eerie feeling in the audience. Its a realistic take on what the mynas predicted. But is the film worth a watch in theatres, well lets analyze.
Story wise Michelle packs her things and leaves her apartment, angry over a dispute with her partner Ben.While driving away she turns on the radio,it claims that there are numerous blackouts in major cities. Michelle becomes distracted after Ben calls her, and her car crashes and goes off the road from the distraction, flipping upside down. When she awakens, she discovers she is chained to the wall in an unknown location. After reaching her phone only to receive no signal, a man named Howard enters the room and tells her he saved her life and the world outside is now uninhabitable due to the nuclear or chemical fallout from "an attack." What happens next forms the films main crux.
Acting wise John Goodman is at his crazy maniac best. His act draws comparison to me to Christian Bale in American Psycho, and Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs, but to a lesser a extent obviously. Its a iconic role, of a crazy old man who will go to any extent to keep things as they are. Watch out for scene when he gets burned by acid, and his reaction. This might be his career best act. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is helpless, and in sorrow, and she conveys her emotions well with a pale look, and with her distraught eyes. In the climax when she escapes, and fights the unknown one roots for her to win, and thats how one knows she has succeed in her act. These above mentioned main characters are the main reason why 10CL is so enjoyable. John Gallagher Jr gives great comic relief.
10 Cloverfield Lane is not a sequel to Cloverfield, its more of a franchise film I presume, with more films to come in the series with such a open ending. At a runtime of 1hr 45 min 10CL never gets slow or bores, the film builds tension perfectly, and the films first time director Dan Trachtenberg makes sure that films main set "the bunker" gives the audience a very cluster phobic feeling, and therefore the film gets your heart racing in panic at every thrilling instance. A example of this is the scene when Michelle steals the keys and tries to escape, but instead sees, a lady die in front of her due to the contaminated air. Its a scary thrilling moment.The film has a very dark, and eerie setting that works well with the films content. The films story and screenplay is not very novel, however the films presentation is very different than the usual world vs alien film. Here there is not many gimmicky effects or cheap graphic thrills, rather 10CL is a psychological thriller. The film is also greatly supported by the performances of the leads both John Goodman, and Mary Elizabeth are both extraordinary. I am usually am not a fan of films about the end of world but I quite enjoyed myself here. On the flip side, while 10CL is good and thrilling, the film just couldn't elevate itself from being good to extra ordinary till the pre climax/climax. And even the climax is rather unconvincing and leaves a sour taste in ones mouth. The film technically and production value wise is average, but this film is not supposed to be a very glossy film, so its adequate.
Overall 10 Cloverfield Lane is a good psychological thriller, that offers genuine scares. Great performances, and some thrilling moments make this film a recommended watch in theatres this week. Its a patch above the ordinary, and will definitely leave you with palpation's.
3.5/5* Grade: 74% B