Wednesday, July 18, 2018

google plus

Missing the goal, by a whiskerA till from Soorma
Movie Review: Soorma

Missing the goal, by a whisker

13 Jul 2018 | 6:14 PM

Film: Soorma

Cast: Diljit Dosanjh, Angad Bedi, Taapsee Pannu,
Satish Kaushik, Vijay Raaz and Kulbhushan Kharbanda

Director: Shaad Ali

[ + read story ]

Nonika Singh

An inspirational real life hockey player, who conquered physical debilitation to bounce back right into the game and life! Indeed, as far as sports biopics go, there is no denying that the tale of Sandeep Singh, India’s former hockey captain and highest goal scorer of many a tournament, needs to be told.

Alas, the celluloid adaptation of his indomitable courage, resilience and talent is not even half as inspiring or touching as the real story itself. The narrative style that the director Shaad Ali has chosen is surprisingly both flat and linear. Not surprising, he misses the opportunity to strike right into your hearts with what is clearly a winning drama. Even the climactic high, the incident which pushed Sandeep into a wheelchair, doesn’t shake you from within. Though you see it coming, the very sight of the gun is enough to prepare you. But as and when it happens, it is robbed of the stirring impact it should have been imbued with. 

Diljit Dosanjh in the titular role, like always, is endearing on the screen, especially in the opening sequences where he is just this carefree Sunny. Be it his fledgling romance with Harpreet (Taapsee Pannu), who too plays hockey with spirit or bonhomie with his brother, you can’t help but fall for Diljit’s beguiling simplicity. But, of course, blame it on his immense popularity, it takes a while to shirk off the nagging feeling that he is Diljit the star singer-actor and accepting him as Sandeep, the master of flicks is a slow burn process. Sure, he gets the drag flick right, moves and holds the stick as befitting a champion and finally does become this extraordinary player whom life dealt a whammy. 

Keeping him company and in good stead is Angad Bedi as Sandeep’s elder brother Bikramjeet Singh, also a hockey player. He is the mentor, guide and support system all rolled into one. Satish Kaushik, as the father, tries his best to add flesh and blood to his part. Lest you forget his Mr India connection, there is a reference to Mogambo too. It’s also heartwarming to see Vijay Raaz enthuse emotion and humour as the well-meaning coach but beyond a point, his repetitive dialogue phaad ke rakh de... gets jarring. Teary-eyed expressions of the family and sprinkling of songs follow the usual Bollywood route, though we quite like the lilting number Ishq Di Baajiyaan. 

Hockey scenes are shot well, yet, you never quite feel the adrenaline rush of let’s say, a Chak De. The narrative falls between two stools, doing justice to neither the excitement of the game nor the person’s exemplary strength. Ali’s film is promising only in bits and parts. 

As an afterword of sorts the film ends on real footage of Sandeep Singh receiving the Arjuna Award. With his head held high as he walks up to then President of India Pratibha Patil, you do feel a sense of pride in the player representing a sport that rarely gets its due. Sadly the film packs in very few of these high moments. It also means it spares us jingoism, though one of the two matches between India and Pakistan is over the top.

The film may not strike the goal with the speed and precision that the game calls for… still you can watch it for both the real and the reel hero. If only instead of flicking through Sandeep’s life Ali had sunk his teeth into the predicament/struggle/triumph as the penalty corner specialist truly deserves…it would have been a different ballgame. And we would have come back truly awestruck by this Soorma. As it exists, the final offering fails to go beyond what newspaper reports have already conveyed.

Vadhaiyan! You got the comedy rightMovie Review: Vadhaiyan Ji Vadhaiyan

Vadhaiyan! You got the comedy right

13 Jul 2018 | 7:12 PMstarstarstarhalfstaremptyStar

Movie: Vadhaiyan Ji Vadhaiyan

Director: Smeep Kang

Star cast: Binnu Dhillon, Kavita Kaushik, Gurpreet Ghuggi,
Karamjit Anmol, Jaswinder Bhalla, BN Sharma, Rupinder Rupi

A dizzying joy-rideAnt-man and the Wasp (Imax 3D)

A dizzying joy-ride

13 Jul 2018 | 6:44 PMstarstarstarhalfstaremptyStar

Movie: Ant-man and the Wasp (Imax 3D)

Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Judy Greer, Michael Douglas, Abby Fortson, Michael Peña, Hannah John-Kamen, David Dastmalchian, Michelle Pfeiffer, Walton Goggins, Randall Park, Laurence Fishburne

Director: Peyton Reed

A slow lesson in love & brotherhoodMovie Review: Nankana

A slow lesson in love & brotherhood

06 Jul 2018 | 7:39 PMstarstarhalfstaremptyStaremptyStar

Movie: Nankana

Director: Manjeet Maan

Star cast: Gurdas Maan, Kavita Kaushik, Anas Rashid

Doesn’t hit where it hurtsMovie Review: Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Doesn’t hit where it hurts

06 Jul 2018 | 7:36 PMstarstarhalfstaremptyStaremptyStar

Film: Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Director: Stefano Sollima

Cast: Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin , Isabela Moner as Isabela Reyes and Jeffrey Donovan as Steve Forsing, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Catherine Keener

A fascinating adventureMovie Review: Isle of Dogs

A fascinating adventure

06 Jul 2018 | 7:28 PMstarstarstarhalfstaremptyStar

Film: Isle of Dogs

Cast (voices): Greta Gerwig, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, F. Murray Abraham, Harvey Keitel, Akira Ito, Akira Takayama, Koyu Rankin, Courtney B. Vance, Yoko Ono, Mari Natsuki, Liev Schreiber, Yojiro Noda, Frank Wood

Director: Wes Anderson

A meta life, alive on silver screenMovie Review: Sanju

A meta life, alive on silver screen

29 Jun 2018 | 7:18 PMstarstarstarhalfstaremptyStar

Film: Sanju

Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Vicky Kaushal, Dia Mirza, Sonam Kapoor, Manisha Koirala and Jim Sarbh

Director: Rajkumar Hirani

Dumbing it down furtherMovie Review: Escape Plan 2: Hades

Dumbing it down further

29 Jun 2018 | 7:22 PMstarstaremptyStaremptyStaremptyStar

Film: Escape Plan 2: Hades

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Huang Xiaoming, Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley, Dave Bautista, Jesse Metcalf, Jaime King, Wes Chatham, Titus Welliver, Baylee Curran

Director: Steven C Miller

  • Happy 36th Priyanka Chopra!

    Happy 36th Priyanka Chopra!

    NEW DELHI: Global star Priyanka Chopra is ringing in her 36th birthday on Wednesday with alleged beau Nick Jonas in London.

  • SpectrumThe summer of content

    The summer of content

    Sacred Games on Netflix India, has shown beyond doubt that the streaming giant means business and plans to have a huge impact on the way that Indian viewers choose and view content.

  • Maximum City, maximum art

    The denizens of Mumbai have always been in the forefront of heritage conservation in their own myriad ways.

  • A garden hanging on in time

    A casual drive on Delhi roads will make you catch a glimpse of the many tombs, serais, baolis and monuments that the Capital boasts of.

more Spectrum...