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‘Jagga Jasoos’ highlight of the week

LiveMint logoLiveMint 14-07-2017 Lata Jha

New Delhi: Jagga Jasoos, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, and directed by Anurag Basu, finally makes it to the theatres this week after several delays. The movie jumps into its musical genre straight off the bat and mostly tells the story in an effortless manner, showing that this Bollywood musical has got it right, says Firstpost. The second half isn’t as spiffy as the first, and there are parts that seem like they’re dragging slightly—moments in which the narrative could’ve been much swifter and fast-paced. However, hope is not lost, as the entire concept on which the premise of this movie rests, is surprisingly fresh.

Director Onir’s Shab, starring Raveena Tandon and Ashish Bisht, is a courageous film and not only on account of its theme, says NDTV Movies. It dares to go against the grain of what passes for “well-made” cinema in the Bollywood playbook. It is stylish, layered, evocative and not averse to embracing subtle obliqueness. Certainly not without its share of flaws, but the deliciously cryptic style that the film employs in the elucidation of intricate human relationships makes it an irresistibly intriguing tale. It’s a rare Hindi film that respects its audience and lets them work their way through the maze.

Scroll.in is not as impressed. The film, it says, seems to want to make a grand statement about ambition, migration, exploitation and sexuality, but its scope is limited by the stodgy dialogue, mostly poor acting and incredible levels of contrivance. Onir’s previous ensemble film, I Am (2010), did a better job of weaving disparate strands together. In Shab, which he has co-written with Merle Kroger, he ties himself up into narrative knots that prove impossible to separate.

For Hollywood fans, American science fiction film, War for the Planet of the Apes, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson and Steve Zahn, comes to India this week. Instead of doubling-down on bleakness with the apes’ abusive captivity, Reeves opts instead for the lighter tone of a POW caper, says Empire magazine. The future isn’t all grimness and genocide—it seems there’s also room for pratfalls, poo-flinging, and acts of surprising tenderness. That this is a more introspective journey than advertised will frustrate those expecting to see an army of irate bonobos rain death upon their human oppressors. That’s not to say there isn’t excitement, nor that the finale lacks fire and brimstone, but the war of the title is primarily one of the soul.

While War for the Planet of the Apes leaves the door open for additional Planet of the Apes movies to further bridge the gap to the very first Apes film, its primary goal is to close the book on both Caesar’s tale and (most likely) Reeves’ time working on this franchise, says Screen Rant. War is very much a success in this respect, delivering a great blend of artful cinematic storytelling and popcorn entertainment value—not to mention, yet another awards worthy mo-cap performance from Serkis. Those moviegoers who have found themselves growing disillusioned with summer blockbusters of late, in the wake of subpar sequels and/or hollow “cinematic universe” tentpoles: War for the Planet of the Apes is very much the antidote you’ve been searching for.

In the south, Tamil action film Pandigai, directed by debutant Feroz and starring Kreshna and Anandhi, is a smartly written, stylishly crafted heist thriller, says Film Companion. Feroz orchestrates the mood superbly. The high-pitched trumpet blasts (score by R.H. Vikram), the saturated colours (Aravind), and especially the music-video editing (Prabaahar)—in a more “serious” movie, this mix would be too flashy, but here it’s perfectly in sync.

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Telugu drama Shamanthakamani, starring Sudheer Babu, Aadi, Sundeep Kishan and Nara Rohith, and directed by Sriram Adittya, has a thin storyline that does not manage to engage enough, says telugu360.com. The four male lead actors deliver convincing performances though.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Tamil crime thriller Gemini Ganeshanum Suruli Raajanum, Telugu action thriller Patel SIR, Kannada family adventure Putani Safari, Malayalam comedy Sunday Holiday, Marathi films Lapachhapi and Kaay Re Rascalaa, Punjabi movie Channa Mereya and Gujarati thriller Cash On Delivery.

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