Padmaavat

Padmaavat poster.jpg
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Capsule Review

Cast: Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Aditi Rao Hydari, Jim Sarbh and Raza Murad
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Rating: 8/10

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest masterpiece, Padmaavat, is based on a 16th Century poem by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, and the film is a visual treat: elaborate sets and gorgeous fashion choices interplay magnificently with portays of love and bravery (of epic proportions). In the 13th Century, the peaceful existence of the Rajputs of Chittor is shattered when Alauddin Kilji becomes interested in snatching the Rajputs’ kingdom away. Alauddin is an intriguing character: the nephew of Jalaluddin Kilji, a dynastic ruler from Afghanistan who grabbed the Delhi Sultanate, Alauddin killed Jalaluddin, with the help of his slave, Malik Kafur, and made himself the new Sultan. And yet, the greatest character in this ancient brutal saga is undoubtedly that of Padmavati, the Rajput queen with unsurpassable beauty, who took a heroic step to protect her dignity when the war, for her, ends in defeat – the kingdom falls to the enemy, as the king is killed in battle and the queen kills herself. The film, more than anything else, belongs to the battles and also the anticipation that builds up to discover just which dynasty victory befalls upon.

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle

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Capsule Review

Cast: Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Rating: 4/10

The story in the sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service picks up where the last film in the spy installment left off: Harry Hart is, at first, believed to be no longer with us but when Charlie Hesketh, a trainee, previously, with a cybernetic arm, manages to enter the Kingsman servers and soon after, very tragically, a stream of missiles kill all British agents and the Kingsman headquarters perishes, it so emerges that Harry is alive; this revelation is made when the Doomsday Protocol leads Merlin and the most ridiculous of all characters in the film – Eggsy, who fails to convince as a heroic Kingsman agent, to Statesman. What then follows is a a fight by Harry (and remorsefully, the very irritating Eggsy, too) to save our world from the Golden Circle – a terrorist organization, which has got recreational drugs infected with a toxin, that makes victims suffer from mania and paralysis, before succumbing to death.

The film is convincing on the thrilling action and the wide range of spy agents thrown at you, such as Agent Tequila and Agent Champagne – both members of the Statesman, which spends time masquerading as a Kentucky-based Bourbon whiskey distillery. But that’s where the fun stops, so much so, it’s hard to resist feelings of wanting to cling onto Elton John’s extended special appearance in a glamorous avatar in the film: a pointless appearance of Cambodia and the presence of women thrown around, who only really have a special knack for jolting a speeding narrative into sudden (uncomfortable) stops – all these women do really is pretend to be charismatic, sometimes even on polar ends, but fail at it miserably, and these plotholes make the movie a bumpy ride; it’s tough to figure out which is more tragic – the many tripping points in the movie, or the untimely demise of Merlin.

My Life As A Zucchini

My Life as a Zucchini.jpg
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An orphan called Zucchini looks like a potato with blue hair. He is made of Play-Doh and Zucchini likes to roll his big owl-like eyes at life’s little moments. My Life as a Zucchini attempts to part with good wisdom over serious (and relatable – well, for me) episodes. I liked how it takes a subject so rarely explored – the lives of kids in a home, and then makes it both endearing and fun. Splashed with colours and funny-looking children, the French movie looks set to be a rare classic, where animated films are concerned.

In this tale of an orphan boy, Zucchini, who is nine years old, befriends kids in the same boat as him who all have had difficult pasts, and to make matters better the group all have the same day-to-day worries as any other kid in town – how to roll as a gang through it all. Zucchini comes to the Fontaine household after he kills his mother by accident during one of her anger-filled outbursts, whilst drunk.

Over there, he find friends: Ahmed, Camille and Alice. The four kids aren’t that much different from each other even though upon first look you would like to think otherwise. Camille, the latest addition to Fontaine saw her parents get killed and commit suicide, Ahmed’s father is in prison for looting a shop, and Alice’s father had to be taken away for his bad nature.

There is also a bully around by the name of Simon that the gang tries to keep off their tracks at the orphanage, who, in reality, is a sharp contrast to Raymond – the nice policeman, with a moustache. It is only because of Raymond (he hides the fact that Zucchini accidentally killed his alcoholic mother) that Courgette even found a space to call home in Fontaines.

Zucchini develops an infatuation for Camille, who speaks her mind and loves footie (love it! – sometimes more than the character of Courgette) and this actually is a little bit of a ‘love at first sight’ scenario because Zucchini develops romantic feelings for Camille, the moment he meets her. Camille and Courgette even spend some time thinking about how to continue to be together when they are no longer together at Fontaines’. The snowy atmosphere in the film is one of the nicest things, I feel and the movie really does have a great story.

Rating: 8/10