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‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’, ‘Annabelle: Creation’ highlights of the week

LiveMint logoLiveMint 18-08-2017 Lata Jha

New Delhi: A week into the release of Akshay Kumar’s satirical comedy Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, which dominated the Independence Day holiday season, a bunch of new films will vie for audiences’ attention.

Romantic comedy Bareilly Ki Barfi, directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari starring Rajkumar Rao, Ayushmann Khurrana and Kriti Sanon, is a character-driven outing. All the characters are pivotal to the plot and backed by substantial writing, says Firstpost. The three lead actors drive most of the narrative - Khurrana’s endearing expressions, Sanon’s livewire presence and Rao’s unpredictable dialogue delivery provide the perfect ingredients for a sweet rom-com that has its share of masala. While the film lacks the heartfelt moments of Tiwari’s previous film Nil Battey Sannata, it never gets pungent. It’s like a typical desi dessert that serves your sweet tooth but may result in adding a few pounds that you would certainly not mind.

Finally, here’s a Hindi film whose second half doesn’t disappoint and unravel into a total mess, says Gulf News. While the first half is predictable and adheres closely to the trailer, the scenes after the interval are delightful. The climax where you guess which man walks away with the woman may be predictable, but there’s no taking away from Tiwari’s knack for telling a good story in an engaging manner.

Shreelancer starring Arjun Radhakrishnan, Falah Faisal and Karanveer, directed by Sandeep Mohan, is an evocative paean to those who stay away from a nine-to-five routine, says The Hindu. Mohan uses real people for most of the roles. But it’s Radhakrishnan who captures drift and aimlessness of his character effortlessly. He breathes life into his character Shreepad.

For the Hollywood fans, American supernatural horror film Annabelle: Creation directed by David F. Sandberg starring Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, and Miranda Otto comes to India this week. Clearly aware that he’s been stuck with a lazy script, yet eager to capitalize on the momentum of Lights Out, gifted Swedish director Sandberg appears to be using this project as practice, trying nearly every trick in the book, while never repeating the same stunt twice, says Variety magazine. He manipulates lighting, composition and suspense, framing shots in such a way that we’re constantly searching the shadows for hints of movement, while drawing out scenes for maximum tension.

The Guardian calls it a dull, silly prequel to the prequel to The Conjuring with Anthony LaPaglia as a doll-maker in a haunted orphanage. Yet another tiresome film in the formulaic and metastasising devil-doll horror franchise that started with The Conjuring and its sequel The Conjuring 2, notionally inspired by real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Annabelle: Creation is, heartsinkingly, a prequel to the prequel that was Annabelle (2014), which gave the glassy-eyed Victorian doll from The Conjuring its own backstory.

Then there is Gurinder Chadha’s British historical drama Viceroy’s House starring Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi, and Michael Gambon. NDTV Movies calls it an excruciatingly amateurish film about the separation of India and Pakistan. Released in India under the title Partition: 1947 — perhaps in an attempt to mislead audiences into believing it is related to the considerably superior Deepa Mehta film 1947: Earth—this film plays out like a middle-school production, complete with atrocious accents and over-nodding heads.

The film aspires to a kind of widescreen opulence that was once the preserve of old-school masters like David Lean, says The Hollywood Reporter. In the process, sadly, Chadha has distilled a fascinating and epic true story into a starchy, stuffy, sanitized period piece that never fully engages on an emotional or educational level. The subject matter alone will have built-in mass appeal, particularly across the South Asian subcontinent and the global desi community, but the overall dramatic treatment feels woefully clunky.

In the south, Telugu horror film Anando Brahma starring Tapsee Pannu and Srinivas Reddy directed by Mahi V. Raghav is a decent one-time watch comedy, says telugu360.com. Considering the shoestring budget, it should manage good profits.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Telugu romantic drama Preminche Panilo Vunna - Don`t Disturb Me, Kannada romantic thriller Kaafi Thota, Malayalam films E-The Movie and Honey Bee 2.5, Marathi film Aarti- The Unknown Love Story, Punjabi action film Rocky Mental and Gujarati film Tamburo.

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