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‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ to rule theatres this week

LiveMint logoLiveMint 04-08-2017 Lata Jha

New Delhi: Shah Rukh Khan’s big-ticket Bollywood release Jab Harry Met Sejal has barely left room for any other film in theatres this week.

The romantic comedy, co-starring Anushka Sharma and directed by Imtiaz Ali, is the creative equivalent of a honeymoon that turns sour, says Gulf Times. The first half has some golden moments between the lead pair. Harry and Sejal have an easy camaraderie and chemistry, conversations flow easily and we trip over their blossoming friendship. But the second half spirals into a cloyingly intense and melodramatic territory. The cinematography that highlights the beauty of a handful of European countries is pleasing to watch. But we wish that all that energy and love was devoted to developing a crackling love story.

The film is shot in some beautiful locations so while you are often lost wondering where things are heading, the scenic beauty keeps you hooked. The movie goes through its ebb and flow, and all you can do is enjoy the good bits, till they last, says Khaleej Times. Being an Imtiaz Ali film, there is a both a “sufiness” to the love story and a complicated contemporary love angle and that is where the audience loses connect. If there is anything we know about Ali’s love stories, it is that they are not for everyone.

Crime thriller Gurgaon, starring Akshay Oberoi, Ragini Khanna and Pankaj Tripathi and directed by Shanker Raman, is a felicitous first film that bears the stamp of cinematic craftsmen who know their art inside out, says NDTV Movies. It conveys the urgency and sinewy edginess of its theme without resorting to shock cinema tactics. While it does follow the basic principles of the thriller genre, it never cuts loose and goes wild. The writing is precise, the lensing perfect, the sound design highly evocative, and the editing in sync with the tale’s bristly nature. The acting, modulated and unfussy, is top notch too.

As far as cautionary tales go, director Raman follows the rules closely in the gritty noir thriller, says Firstpost. Undeniably, the modern town is a metaphor for several themes Raman and his writing team have explored here—family dynamics, gender politics, greed, violence, discrimination and urban alienation being a few. The screenplay structure is a bit gimmicky and distracting and the climax pulsating. You want the characters to make different choices but Raman’s film is not about the comfortable. It’s very much about unearthing and facing the ugly truth, and that’s a rather bitter pill.

In the south, Telugu romantic actioner Darshakudu, starring Ashok and Esha and directed by Hari Prasad, offers nothing new to audiences, says telugu360.com. Poor writing and characterization and lack of entertainment make this one a disappointing watch.

Punjabi drama Toofan Singh, starring Ranjit Bajwa and Shefali Sharma and directed by Baghal Singh, is a must-watch, says newsfolo. The action is well-choreographed and while the emotional arc gets lost sometimes, every character gets his space.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Tamil horror thriller Sathura Adi 3500, Telugu action film Nakshatram, Kannada comedy Raj Vishnu, Malayalam films Sarvopari Palakkaran, Varnyathil Aashanka and Chunkzz, Marathi movies Undga and Bhikari; and Bengali mystery adventure Jawker Dhan.

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