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‘Cars 3’, ‘Despicable Me 3’, ‘Phullu’ this week in run-up to ‘Tubelight’

LiveMint logoLiveMint 16-06-2017 Lata Jha

New Delhi: The run-up to Salman Khan’s anticipated Eid outing Tubelight, which arrives in theatres next week, is littered with small movie releases.

Sharib Hashmi-starrer Phullu, directed by Abhishek Saxena, over-emphasizes everything with straightforward lines mouthed by amateur actors who pause for effect as the melodramatic background score kicks in, says The Times Of India. The social stigmas attached with menstruation and men’s ignorance of the subject provide ample fodder for a clever comedy. The jokes should practically write themselves. But the ones that writer Shaheen Iqbal includes here are laboured and crass. The writing also does a disservice to the characters; they are weirdly naive about certain issues but could beat experts with their in-depth knowledge of certain others.

Koimoi.com calls it a socially relevant film brought down by a poor script and dialogues. While Hashmi is brilliant, the movie moves at a slow and relaxed pace, ending abruptly.

For Hollywood fans, animation comedy Cars 3, directed by Brian Fee featuring the voices of Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo and Armie Hammer, comes to India this week. Variety magazine calls it a friendly, rollicking movie made with warmth and dash, and to the extent that it taps our primal affection for this series, it more than gets the job done. Yet in many ways it’s the tasteful version of a straight-to-DVD (or streaming) sequel. The audience should come out satisfied, and in satisfying numbers, but the upshot is that this year’s Pixar film is a finely executed product rather than an inspiring work of animated artistry.

In the wake of the noisy misfire that was 2011’s Cars 2, the Pixar pit crew ran the diagnostics and were able to pinpoint the winning formula of humour, heart and action that made the 2006 original such a sweet ride, says The Hollywood Reporter. They all make a welcome return in Cars 3, but, while visually dynamic, Lightning McQueen’s newest challenge still feels out of alignment with a languid end result that lacks sufficient forward momentum. Despite its many winning characters and good intentions, Cars 3 functions mainly as a tenderly rendered, wish-you-were-here picture postcard to Paul Newman, whose absence, while affectionately noted, ultimately serves as a reminder why Lightning can never truly strike twice.

Animation comedy Despicable Me 3, directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, and co-directed by Eric Guillon, featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Trey Parker, repeats a formula that worked like gangbusters in the last instalment while offering more of the same, says The Hollywood Reporter. It’s an if-it-ain’t-broke-then-don’t-fix-it approach that works just fine if you’re simply looking to take another ride on the rollercoaster. This rather clever, breakneck-paced cartoon gives fans exactly what they want: Like the new nemesis voiced by Trey Parker, it shoots machine-gun bursts of bubblegum at the audience, asking them to chew and enjoy.

Variety magazine calls it an amusing but over-stuffed sequel to Illumination’s hit franchise. It is unwieldy, but it mostly works, as the co-directors never lose sight of the film’s emotional centre, packing the rest with as much humour as they can manage. The jokes come so fast and furious, the movie can hardly find room for Heitor Pereira’s funky score. Where the first Despicable Me movie seemed to be winking at the audience in open acknowledgement of what it was stealing from other sources, this third instalment is all but rolling its eyes at us.

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Diljit Dosanjh-starrer Super Singh, directed by Anurag Singh, is a tedious watch, thanks to a predictable storyline and stereotypical villains, says Gulf News. The concept that Sikhs are selflessly benevolent and eager to help the distressed is reinforced with sickening intensity. While it’s sweet at first, it gets cloyingly virtuous toward the second half. At 170 minutes, the superhero film is long and would have benefitted from some tight editing.

For Tamil film Peechaankai starring R.S Karthiik and Anjali Rao, directed by Ashok, writing is a big strength and the audience feels connected to characters for the most part, says behindwoods.com. The film isn’t very strong on the technical front but debutant actor Karthiik pulls his role off effortlessly.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Bank Chor, starring Riteish Deshmukh and Vivek Oberoi, Haryanvi film G Kutta Se, Tamil comedy thriller Adhagappattathu Magajanangalay, Tamil action thriller Veruli, Tamil fantasy adventure comedy Maragadha Naanayam, Telugu film Arjun Reddy and Marathi movie Tujha Tu Majha Mi.

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