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Film wrap | Sachin: A Billion Dreams, Salazar’s Revenge highlights of this week

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-05-2017 Lata Jha

New Delhi: A sports drama and a Hollywood fantasy flick make it an interesting week at the movies.

James Erskine’s biographical documentary Sachin: A Billion Dreams is a straightforward retelling of Tendulkar’s career and doesn’t reveal anything we didn’t already know about him, says Scroll.in. It does, however, deliver a sneak peak into his personal life with the narrative taken a notch higher thanks to a rousing score by A. R. Rahman. If you are a fan, one of those who grew up with a habit of turning off the television set when he got out, this movie is a joy-ride. If you are a critic, either during his playing days or of what he has become since, there is nothing in the movie that would change your opinion. Read more

The Indian Express is even more impressed, calling the film a treat for Tendulkar fans, laced with great storytelling, amazing real-time footage, and a sneak peek into the cricketer’s life, all the right ingredients to make the sports docu-drama grand. It is to the director’s credit that he manages to weave political scenarios with Sachin’s craft and underline what the cricketer offered to the country — positivity. Read more

For the Hollywood fans, American fantasy film Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg starring Johnny Depp, Kevin McNally and Geoffrey Rush comes to India this week. Empire magazine doesn’t think it’s the return to form you might have been hoping for. Its story might cover all the same beats as the 2003 original, but there’s little of that film’s spark or spirit. To be fair to Rønning and Sandberg, there’s some innovation on show in the earlier slapstick-swashbuckling set-pieces. But later, as the scale and volume ramp up, sense-assaulting CGI floods the action and any visual elegance becomes lost at sea. Story-wise, it really does feel on-rails – stock characters shoved from action sequence to action sequence with only dry lumps of exposition to serve as anything close to motivation. Read more

The Independent calls it a CGI extravaganza lacking spark that even Depp’s familiar routine can’t save. Like Salazar’s ship, the fifth Pirates feels a little empty, haunted by the spectre of what came before. There are fun, inconsequential moments but nothing particularly memorable, the film running out of steam midway through as the aforementioned flashbacks take over. Read more

In biographical adventure drama The Lost City of Z starring Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller, director James Gray fills the screen with intimate reveries and overwhelming spectacle, including a harrowing interlude during World War I, says The New York Times. Until now, Gray has tended to work on a somewhat modest scale, often with art films that play with genre. Here, he effortlessly expands his reach as he moves across time and continents and in the process turns the past into a singular life. There’s much to love in this film, but what lingers are those lapidary details that often go missing in stories about great men, as if they had built the world alone and no child had ever raced down a road waving goodbye as a father disappeared into history. Read more

The Atlantic calls it the best film of the year so far, a mysterious, enthralling masterpiece and the best work of Gray’s career. It feels like a work of classic Hollywood cinema, but without the arch, mannered quality that can come with a contemporary director trying to harken back to the past. Gray’s film is beguiling and poetic, capable of gluing you to the screen for every second of its languorous 150-minute running time and lingering in the brain for weeks after. Read more

Marathi film Oli Ki Suki starring Tejashree Pradhan and Sanjay Khapare, directed by Anand Dilip Gokhale, does have a social message, but it’s in your face, says Pune Mirror. Despite the obvious melodramatic script, the film does score on portrayal of kids. Most of these are fleshed out well in the script, and the child actors do a fine job. As a result, they make an impression that stays with you. Perhaps, with a better plot and a lot more grey shades, Oli Ki Suki could have been a much better film. Read more

Several releases this week haven’t elicited any reviews yet. These include Tamil comedy drama Brindhaavanam, Telugu romantic film Ra Randoi Veduka Chudham, Telugu drama Sriramudinta Srikrishnudanta, Kannada crime film BB5 and Marathi drama Tatva.

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