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Here’s to the ones who dream...A still from Secret Superstar
Movie Review - Secret Superstar

Here’s to the ones who dream...

20 Oct 2017 | 6:34 PM

Film:Secret Superstar

Cast:Aamir Khan, Zaira Wasim, Meher Vij, Raj Arun, Tirth Sharma

Director:Advait Chandan

[ + read story ]

Nonika Singh

If, like us, the trailers have misled you into believing that the film is probably set in the Valley, be informed that it isn’t inspired from the fate of the ‘real life’ all-girl band of Kashmir that was forced to disband. But then, Baroda or Valley, Hindu or Muslim, the story of many young girls in India is probably the same. They are not allowed to dream, which as the young protagonist Inziya (Zaira Wasim) tells us: “itna to basic hai na”. 

Ten minutes into the film, and you learn of her dream and her ammi (Mehr Vij) who supports her wholeheartedly albeit covertly. Behind them, lurks an abusive father with a patriarchal mindset who disapproves of not just her musical forays but her very existence. Secret Superstar, of course, is about why a young girl needs to hide her identity before uploading her video on YouTube. But just when we dread and brace for a celluloid version of Indian Idol, it becomes more of a gender issue.

In a country where mothers have to fight for the girl’s right to be born… can they fight for their rights to aspire and move them out of the rut that threatens and swarms their very being? So, it’s as much a story of dreams and aspirations, as mother-daughter’s warm and loving relationship; hence, the delectable song, Meri Pyari Ammi.

Indeed, for a film that circles around singers and singing, music isn’t the highlight, or even foot-tapping. But the film does manage to tap into our emotional core. Even when the film goes into dramatic overdrive, as in the climax, or when it deals with puppy-love, it continues to tug at heartstrings. Why the budding romance between Inziya and Chintan (Tirth Sharma) beats many a love tales hands down. 

The film, however, never gets too sombre and is rib-tickling too. Aamir Khan, as the boorish but good-at-heart composer Shakti Kumar, perks up the fun quotient. Khan gets his style and chutzpah of an outspoken music director on the wane bang on.

However, the film belongs to Zaira who after Dangal proves her mettle once again. She is seen as a girl with stars in her eyes, as a bashful teenager who goes red in the face when her suitor utters the three magical words, and as the frustrated go-getter who wants to touch the sky, yet finds it impossible to cross taboos. While playing all these layers and shades of her character, Zaira is in top form. Her protégé Khan’s indulgent proclamation, “she is the finest actor in Bollywood” seems not so much off the mark. Equally natural is Tirth Sharma as Chintan, the boy who follows her literally like a puppy yet gives an all-too endearing and winning twist to both, his character and romance.

Trust Aamir Khan to present child actors as boys-next-door with remarkable acting prowess! Like Darsheel Safary of Taare Zameen Par, Sharma too is a treat to watch and truly a hidden star. The film may not be a revelation but at two-and-a-half hours it’s no stretch either. Weaving a heart-warming story with an overarching concern that deals with pertinent issues it is more than pleasurable watching. A smile, a tear, and more…this Diwali weekend when your heart is already full, it will make your emotions brim over and over and leave you with a truly joyous feeling. Go for it!

Going around in circles, againMovie Review - Golmaal Again

Going around in circles, again

20 Oct 2017 | 6:33 PMstarstaremptyStaremptyStaremptyStar

Film: Golmaal Again

Cast: Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Parineeti Chopra, Shreyas Talpade,
Kunal Kemmu, Arshad Warsi, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Tusshar Kapoor

Director: Rohit Shetty

Tedious entry in the diaryMovie Review - Ranchi Diaries

Tedious entry in the diary

13 Oct 2017 | 6:01 PMstarstarhalfstaremptyStaremptyStar

Film: Ranchi Diaries

Cast: Himansh Kohli, Taaha Shah, Soundarya Sharma, Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Satish Kaushik, Deepak Kalra, Vijay Raaz, Bhaumik Gondaliya, Kinjal Gondaliya

Director: Sattwik Mohanty

On tepid groundMovie Review - Victoria & Abdul

On tepid ground

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Film: Victoria & Abdul

Director: Stephen Frears

Cast: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal

On the fertile groundPunjabi scope: Bailaras

On the fertile ground

06 Oct 2017 | 8:19 PMstarstarstarhalfstaremptyStar

Movie: Bailaras

Director: Ksshitij Chaudhary

Cast: Binnu Dhillon, Karamjit Anmol, Dev kharoud,
Hobby Dhaliwal, Prachi Tehlan, Nirmal Rishi, Ravneet

Warm and simmeringMovie Review - Chef

Warm and simmering

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Film: Chef

Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Padmapriya Janakiraman,
Svar Kamble, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Sobhita Dhulipala

Direction: Raja Krishna Menon

Nothing short of fantasticMovie Review - Blade Runner 2049

Nothing short of fantastic

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Film: Blade Runner 2049

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Ana De Armas, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian

Director: Denis Villeneuve

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