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“Luca” Review: Pixar’s Latest Film Captures the Magical Feeling of a Summer in the Mediterranean
Rating : 6/10
I was initially disappointed by the setting of Luca . The latest animated film from Pixar, which opens on Disney+ this Friday, June 18, tells the story of the 13-year-old Luca (voiced by Jacob Tremblay). He finds a best friend in Alberto (voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer), and they spend a dreamy summer at Portorosso in the Italian Riviera. The thing is — and here’s where my discontent arose — Alberto and Luca are not regular teenagers but sea monsters who live underwater in a world hidden from humans.
Luca is a shepherd and herds his family’s goatfish but dreams of bigger things. Guided by Alberto, the two kids leave the seas and go to Portorosso in search of adventures and the Vespa that will make them possible — when dry, sea monsters transform into creatures indistinguishable from humans and definitely able to ride scooters. Let me add here that the transformation from sea monster to human comes with some Disney-suitable modesty garments made of seaweed. Also, Alberto lives by the motto that “everything good is above the surface” and believes that Vespas are “the greatest things humans ever made.”
The film, which is set during the summer months in the late 1950s and early 1960s, transports you to Italy from the opening credits set to “Un Bacio A Mezzanotte” by Quartetto Cetra. Other Italian pop songs are scattered throughout the movie, like “Il Gato E La Volpe” by Edoardo Bennato and “Viva La Pappa Col Pomodoro” by Rita Pavone.
The characters speak English with sort of an Italian accent, and here and there they say some well-known words in Italian — a little bit in the same way Coco did with English and Spanish. So you’ll hear “aspetta,” “silenzio,” “forchetta” and “piccoletto” and be able to understand their meanings in context.
The fictional town of Portorosso — and with it the whole Italian recreation of the movie — seems almost a bit too stereotypical sometimes. There’s a gelateria, kids play soccer in the town’s square, old men play cards, you can see laundry hanging on clotheslines, there are copious amounts of pasta being eaten and everyone moves their hands a lot when they talk. But as has been traditional in recent Pixar projects, the production team made a trip to Italy to research the “local culture, architecture and overall feeling of the film’s setting,” according to the film’s production notes. Luca was directed by Enrico Casarosa ( La Luna ), who grew up in the port city of Genoa.
I grew up in the Mediterranean city of Barcelona myself and have vivid memories of the summers I spent by the sea, having the same sunkissed cheeks and nose all the kids in this movie sport. That’s probably why the movie’s recreation of a whole anthropological underwater world puzzled me a little bit, especially when a story simply about a couple of friends in the Mediterranean for the summer could have been unbelievable and fantastical as-is. I didn’t see the need to add the supernatural element to something that already is dreamy and almost filled with magic.
Luca’s Supernatural Element
Luca is a coming-of-age story in which the protagonist learns the value of taking risks and getting out of his comfort zone — hence getting him out of the water and into the unknown in a world where he’s not exactly accepted or understood. Alberto and Luca have to hide their true identities because sea monsters aren’t necessarily well-loved in Portorosso.
“Sea monsters are a metaphor, really, for feeling different or excluded,” Casarosa explains in the film’s production notes. “I love the sense that all of our characters in some way feel different or unusual. Luca and Alberto so passionately want to be part of this other world — but they fear they won’t be accepted as they are. And yet, they love being sea monsters.”
“Some people, they’ll never accept him, but some will, and he seems to know how to find the good ones,” Luca’s grandmother (voiced by Sandy Martin) says, referring to the young one knowing how to make room for himself in the above-water world.
Other than its message of acceptance and openness, Luca packs the usual amount of physical comedy and humor. Alberto and Luca find a friend in the vivacious and brave Giulia (voiced by Emma Berman), who likes swearing by invoking cheeses. So there are a lot of “Santa Mozzarella!”, “Santo Pecorino!”, “Santa Ricotta!” and “Santa Gorgonzola!” Plus, it’s quite amusing to see the results after the first time the two teenage sea monsters have an espresso.
You’ll only be reminded about our current reality at the very end of the movie. Luca’ s closing credits include a message explaining the film was dreamed up at Pixar Animation Studios but produced “in our slippers around the Bay Area.” In the same way and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the movie was also unprecedented in the way they recorded the voices; all the actors performed their lines of dialogue from their homes.
The character of Alberto, whom Grazer voiced from inside his mother’s closet, is a carefree teenager who believes we should all silence that fear inside us that sometimes prevents us from taking chances. He calls his inner voice Bruno and advises shutting Bruno up often. His “Silenzio Bruno!” is probably one of the main takeaways from this movie that, while I had imagined it differently, made me long for a summer filled with sun, gelato, swims and friendship.
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Lust Stories Reviews
Bollywood's sexual awakening (not to be confused with sexualisation and/or male gaze) has been a long time coming. In that regard, Lust Stories is a step in the right direction.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5 | Oct 10, 2023
What makes Akhtar's short groundbreaking is its unflinching articulation of the hypocrisies of the entitled middle class.
Full Review | Mar 11, 2019
In Lust Stories, directors Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar deconstruct the splendor, complexity and chaos of lust.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5 | Aug 28, 2018
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this short-film anthology is that four Indian directors - Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar - have accurately interpreted lust as the forbidden emotion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5 | Aug 27, 2018
Hopefully Lust Stories will educate and force discussion in the still-maturing public sphere of India and its diaspora around the world. But if nothing else, it showcases Indian filmmaking at its best.
Full Review | Jul 16, 2018
Lust Stories flies by in a blur of character and emotion, but the stories are out there, and the conversations will continue.
It's a refreshingly honest view of the ways that women think and behave that are not always shown so freely on screen.
Full Review | Jun 26, 2018
Four women shine in four short flicks. Each one reveals desires and picks. Acting and directing? First rate. You might enjoy it with your mate.
Full Review | Jun 25, 2018
[Lust Stories'] four directors center intelligent and amusing narratives around the thoughts and desires of real women, without specific service to masculine ideals.
Full Review | Jun 22, 2018
Lust Stories doesn't dwell on consequences. It bears the quality of life and moves on from one chapter to another.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5 | Jun 14, 2018
Manisha is excellent throughout and comes across as a real woman wanting a meaningful, fulfilling relationship.
There are enough reasons for us to be at odds with each other - certainly these days, when antagonism is almost encouraged - but there's room for everyone, Lust Stories seems to say; for all kinds of people, and above all, all kinds of movies.
- Cast & crew
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Four short films by four of India's biggest directors exploring love, sex and relationships in modern India. Four short films by four of India's biggest directors exploring love, sex and relationships in modern India. Four short films by four of India's biggest directors exploring love, sex and relationships in modern India.
- Zoya Akhtar
- Dibakar Banerjee
- Karan Johar
- Radhika Apte
- Anurag Kashyap
- Kiara Advani
- Vicky Kaushal
- Bhumi Pednekar
- 103 User reviews
- 19 Critic reviews
- 1 win & 4 nominations
- Megha (Karan Johar's segment)
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- Tejas (Anurag Kashyap's segment)
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- Runtime 2 hours
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Lust Stories Review : A mixed bag of sexy, funny, and awkward
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Seems the review writer likes to replicate porns in improved vocabulary, otherwise the film is worth seeing indeed.
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‘Lust Stories’ review: Lots of talk and some show
Zoya akhtar, anurag kashyap, dibakar banerjee and karan johar explore modern relationships and sexual desire in the netflix film..
In 2013, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar each contributed a chapter to the anthology film Bombay Talkies, which celebrated the centenary of Indian cinema . Bombay Talkies was a mixed bag, as such projects tend to be, with the strongest contribution coming from Banerjee. Johar’s gay-themed chapter emerged as the surprise package.
The four directors have reunited for another bash at discrete narratives woven around a common motif. Sexual desire and its boring cousin, monogamous love, are among the big themes of Lust Stories . The film was premiered on Netflix on June 15. Although the liberation from censorship that the streaming platform offers does result in moments not usually permitted on the big screen – the creaking of bedsprings, pleasuring the self – Lust Stories is mostly decorous and quite safe for the workplace.
There is some lust, but also plenty of caution. The Netflix film has the disadvantage of being streamed in the aftermath of such productions as Lipstick Under My Burkha and Veere Di Wedding, which are far more uninhibited in their exploration of sexual desire. The erotic quotient is dialled down in all but one of the stories, suggesting an approach that is both grown-up as well as restrained by Indian morality.
The first chapter, directed by Anurag Kashyap and starring Radhika Apte and Akash Thosar, offers an indication of the anxieties and limitations involved in the pursuit of a life guided by bodily passion. It opens with Radhika Apte’s ecstatic face poking out of a taxi window, taking in the air and contemplating the thrill of hooking up with her attractive student, Tejas (Akash Thosar).
Like other opening images in Lust Stories , this one proves to be deceptive. Apte’s Kalindi, a married college professor, seems unprepared for the rush of emotions that crowd her head and heart. Tejas is 21, and Kalindi, going by her behaviour, seems to be only a few months older.
The power dynamic that makes such relationships illicit is alluded to, but the problems Kalini faces are older than the questions raised by the global movement against institutionalised sexual violence: Is Tejas faithful? Is he also sleeping with a classmate? Does he actually love Kalindi at all?
Kalindi’s jangling nerves and obsessive behaviour, which are met with Tejas’s very relatable calm, have their comic moments. Apte is superb as the on-the-verge Kalindi, whose eyes have a touch of mania to them and whose contradictory monologues on relationships, addressed to no one in particular, indicate that the bohemian life isn’t for everybody. The narrative is as shambolic as Kalindi, but the performances by Apte and Thosar, the talented actor from Sairat , rescue the story from wandering off.
Calm returns with the following film, by Zoya Akhtar. Bhumi Pednekar plays Sudha, a maid in a sexual relationship with her employer Ajit (Neil Bhoopalam). The bedroom bliss evaporates when Ajit’s parents drop in with a marriage proposal. Should Sudha blow the whistle, or quietly serve tea and snacks to Ajit’s prospective wife and in-laws?
The story is underdeveloped and a bit too rushed, and the class divide between Sudha and her employers isn’t as thoroughly excavated as it needed to have been. Yet, Akhtar creates a suitable hothouse atmosphere in the apartment where Sudha once dreamt of being on an equal footing with the man to whom she has given her body.
Dibakar Banerjee’s story opens, once again, on a striking visual – Manisha Koirala, older, her worry lines pronounced and her cheeks sagging but still lovely – prancing in the sea in a swimsuit.
Koirala is Reena, a bank employee who is cheating on her money-minded husband Salman (Sanjay Kapoor) with his best friend Sudhir (Jaideep Ahlawat). A piquant love triangle ensues, one that involves Reena’s place in the bond between Salman and Sudhir that is older than her marriage.
This chapter is less successful than Akhtar’s film in making the most of its mostly interior setting. The jumpy editing is a distraction from the story’s real strength: its writing and performances. Like with the rest of Lust Stories , the actors revel in the opportunity to portrays characters that are usually not available to them in mainstream productions. Jaideep Ahlawat is typically solid as the lover, while Sanjay Kapoor is a surprise as the self-centred but also wise Salman. The narrative adds interesting layers as it proceeds, and allows Reena the honour of delivering the coup de grace.
Why so serious – and squeamish – about the messiness often caused by sexual encounters? It is left to Karan Johar to introduce some much-needed wickedness and fulfill the promise of erotic frisson promised by the title. Johar’s segment has some talk but also some show. Rekha (Neha Dhupia), the voluptuous librarian at the all-girls school where Megha (Kiara Advani) teaches, offers the younger woman life-altering advice: cleavage is meant to be exhibited, not hidden.
Perhaps it is the twin peaks peeking out of Megha’s too-small blouse that floors future spouse Paras (Vicky Kaushal). Or not. Paras turns out to be the average Indian husband – loving, good-natured, one to grow old with, and utterly hopeless in the bedroom. Vicky Kaushal does a fabulous job of portraying the genial but witless Paras, who is so blinkered that he forgets that his knockout wife with the perfectly arched eyebrows and descending hair has expectations too.
Not for nothing is the librarian named after one of Indian cinema’s most sultry stars. Rekha shows Megha the way, bringing this lust story to a fitting, if predictable, ending.
- Lust Stories
- Anurag Kashyap
- Karan Johar
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Lust Stories movie review: Netflix’s new film undresses repressed Indian sexuality
Lust Stories movie review: Four of Hindi cinema’s most prominent directors -- Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar -- disrobe repressed Indian sexuality in Netflix’s new film.
Lust Stories Directors - Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, Karan Johar Cast - Radhika Apte, Bhumi Pednekar, Manisha Koirala, Kiara Advani, Neha Dhupia, Vicky Kaushal, Jaideep Ahlawat, Sanjay Kapoor Rating - 3.5/5
Lust Stories, the new original film from Netflix, due out on June 15 - one of the first Indian originals on the streaming service -- is a unique tapestry of Indian cinema. Through four short films, directed by four of the country’s most prominent Hindi filmmakers, it presents the sort of unusual stories that feel fresh, yet familiar. It’s almost like a sampling platter that you might find at a fancy restaurant, an unexpected marriage of contrasting styles and sensibilities, tones and textures that highlights the best (and worse) of what we have to offer.
We’re an unfathomably diverse country. There are enough reasons for us to be at odds with each other - certainly these days, when antagonistic behaviour is almost encouraged - but there’s room for everyone, Lust Stories seems to say; for all kinds of people, all kinds of cultures and above all, all kinds of movies.
Lust Stories models itself on anthology films such as New York Stories - a rather hit-or-miss experiment that is remembered more for the filmmakers it attracted (Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen) rather than any particular story it told - and the Paris, je t’aime series.
I was most impressed by how each of the four stories happen to have female protagonists without being obnoxious about it - it leaves you to realise this fact on your own, instead of having some overzealous producer pound you over the head with their progressiveness. These women are brought together by a shared theme of lust - yes - but also guilt, and shame, and, oddly enough, WhatsApp.
The opener, directed by Anurag Kashyap, is almost like a screwball comedy, but laced with an indescribable darkness that is so unique to his films. It stars Radhika Apte as Kalindi, a fiery college professor who initiates a rather iffy sexual relationship with one of her students.
She regrets it immediately, and having heard stories of overemotional stalkers, warns him that they will not be meeting up again. This plays almost like an adolescent’s fantasy, but Kashyap has significantly increased the student’s age - perhaps keeping in mind the immaturity and inexperience of the Indian male - almost to the extent that the ‘relationship’ seems less scandalous than it really is.
But as the plot progresses - each short is roughly 30 minutes long, give or take a few - so does the characters’ status quo. I might be mistaken, but there is a psychological thriller aspect to the way Kashyap tells this largely comedic story, but I suppose that depends on your world view. Apte, meanwhile, is phenomenal as Kalinidi. She has the tendency to erupt into rambling monologues, armed with nothing but a complete and utter misreading of Ayn Rand, and Apte gives the impression that a lot of it was improvised.
It’s an electric opening segment, which is very satisfyingly tempered by Zoya Akhtar’s more serene follow-up. Bhumi Pednekar’s Sudha is the antithesis of Kalindi - cool, in control of her emotions, and near-silent. Sudha is a maid who has entered into a sexual relationship with the bachelor at whose house she works.
Like Lust Stories’ treatment of its women - unfussy, hence empowering - there is a subtlety to how Akhtar tackles the very tricky theme of class in her film. And a lot of it is thanks to her ability to tell a story visually, with expert exposition and an unshakable perspective. We spend a day in Sudha’s life, rarely leaving her side, as we watch her go about her daily duties - which on this particular day involve preparing tea for her lover and his possible future wife and her nervous parents.
Pednekar has basically two words to say in the entire short, but conveys so much with just her face and her body language - she’s angry at herself for having let this continue for so long, for letting her guard down after years of steely determination, and for having deluded herself into believing that it was real. It wasn’t. Of course it wasn’t. Because that isn’t the India we live in.
But unlike Sudha, Reena - the protagonist of the third short, directed by Dibakar Banerjee and easily the best of the lot - feels no shame in what she does. She might not have much feeling left in her at all, after the years of psychological abuse she’s faced at the hands of her husband, a rich businessman who talks about black money and ₹ 200 crore deals in the flippant manner with which one might discuss what’s for dinner.
She’s a classic femme fatale, sure to be controversial in the way she plays around with the two men in her life - manipulative, seductive, supremely confident yet so vulnerable. And Manisha Koirala is perfectly cast. We emerge from the claustrophobic confines of the cramped Mumbai apartment of Akhtar’s short to a sprawling beach house that doubles as a meeting place for Reena and Sudhir, her husband’s best friend and her lover, played by Jaideep Ahlawat. They’ve been at it for three years, but with tempers running high and resolves reaching their breaking point, they invite Reena’s husband for a meeting at the scene of the crime: the beach house. What happens next is staged with the expertly choreographed emotional beats of a play - at once tense and so, so sad.
It’s unfortunate then that Lust Stories ends with Karan Johar’s short, which sticks out like he did in Bombay Velvet. It’s the only film that seems to be drawing attention to itself, which is especially noticeable after the rather low-key vibe of the previous three segments. It features the least complex protagonist of the quartet - Kiara Advani’s small-town wife discovers the wonders of a vibrator in a scene that seems to have been inspired by, of all things, a joke Tanmay Bhat made at Johar’s expense at the infamous AIB roast.
It is also the only film of the lot that isn’t set in Mumbai, which I thought was sort of the point of this exercise. And it’s the only film of the four whose protagonist doesn’t have to wrestle with their own unethical behaviour - like the repercussions of infidelity and harassment that Kalindi and Reena must bear – unless, of course, Johar thinks using vibrators is wrong.
Perhaps if it was the first film instead of being the last, it would’ve played better - certainly, on its own, it’s a perfectly fine broad comedy. But as I said before, Lust Stories is a fairly accurate representation of where we’re at as a country - both in terms of progress and cinema. There’s room for Karan Johar, even if he wants to behave like the uncle in the metro who wants to squeeze into a packed compartment.
Watch the Lust Stories trailer here
Follow @htshowbiz for more The author tweets @RohanNaahar
- Anurag Kashyap
- Radhika Apte
- Zoya Akhtar
- Francis Ford Coppola
- College Professor
- Bhumi Pednekar
- Manisha Koirala
- Kiara Advani
- Neha Dhupia
- Vicky Kaushal
- Jaideep Ahlawat
- Sanjay Kapoor
- Dibakar Banerjee
- Karan Johar
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Lust Stories Movie Review: 4 Directors Explore The Idea Of Lust, Without Caution
In lust stories , anurag kashyap, dibakar banerjee, karan johar and zoya akhtar come together to present four unnerving stories of desire..
Lust Stories Movie Review: A poster of the film (courtesy NetflixIN )
Radhika Apte in a still from Lust Stories (Courtesy YouTube)
Banerjee's film is about fidelity. A man sits on a beach in white shorts, with a white kerchief to protect those very shorts. A still-stunning woman walks out of the water cinematically and asks how she's looking. 'Like a mother of two,' he replies, and they laugh. She asks why he never learnt to swim, and he says it's because his father wasn't a member of the Gymkhana. Later, she considers herself and says she isn't that overweight, to which he parries, "As compared to?" It is an easy, mature, finely aged relationship, free of the torridness we associate with an affair. These people, it is clear, know each other. It is soon evident they know each other too well. He is her husband's closest friend, and, as the night turns murkier, the cuckolded husband joins them at the beach-house. Secrets and mangoes are sliced open. Banerjee's lines are reminiscent of a Woody Allen drama - in one gem, the husband calls the wife "the queen of ban sakti thi," the queen of what may have been - and so is this mature, emotionally terse imbroglio. This film packs the wallop of a feature, perhaps because of the stunning performances. Jaideep Ahlawat - who was so strong in Raazi - is terrific as the man unable to choose between saving his friendship and saving his affair, and he finally gives up and sits by himself, reliving his own old triumphs on YouTube. Sanjay Kapoor is a startlingly good pick as the defeated husband, and there is "a moment of denial - where he hears his friend's name and still thinks of someone else - that is a knockout. Speaking of knockouts, the film belongs to Manisha Koirala. Her unbearably expressive face shows off her vulnerability but then turns inscrutable as a Sphinx. At one point the husband asks whether her affair began after one of their fights. "No, it was a peaceful day," she smiles, exhaling freely and secretlessly.
Manisha Koirala in a still from Lust Stories (courtesy YouTube)
Johar's film is about loving yourself. This one is a broader comedy featuring a buxom librarian and a silly principal who believes Nabokov meant to write 'lions' when his narrator called Lolita the fire of his loins, but there is a tenderness and a sense of purpose that makes it special. A shy young bride, having considered her entire life right upto the wedding-night as foreplay, quickly tires of the five-second intercourse her husband loves so much. Kiara Advani is positively lovely as this wide-eyed young bride, with Vicky Kaushal suitably cringeworthy as the loser who refuses to multitask, or even to ask. It is the sly writing that really scores: the girl requests a serving of small-talk before things get serious, she reads Alfred Noyes in class and thinks wistfully of riding highwaymen, and finally - in a most memorable bit of self-effacement - there is a climax triggered off by the grandmother, one that forever redefines the meaning of a song.
Neha Dhupia in a still from Lust Stories (courtesy YouTube)
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Bhumi Pednekar in a still from Lust Stories (courtesy YouTube)
What a classroom this has turned out to be. A+ for Akhtar, A for Banerjee, A for Johar, B for Kashyap. Lust Stories is out on Netflix, and I applaud these four distinct filmmakers for exploring this anthological format and still maintaining their originality of vision. Your mileage may vary on which film you like best, but it is heartening to watch these creators decode the idea of lust and never attempt to titillate. That would be too obvious. Carnality, after all, is only part of the equation. The headiness of lust lies also in the exhalation, the smile, the laugh. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Come.
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Lust Stories – Movie review
Producer : Ashi Dua Sara and Ronnie Screwvala Director : Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar Starring : Manisha Koirala, Sanjay Kapoor, Jaideep Ahlawat, Kiara Advani, Neha Dhupia, Vicky Kaushal, Bhoomi Pednekar, Neil Bhoopalan, Radhika Apte and Akash Thosar Music : Amit Trivedi, Tanish-Vayu and Prateek Kuhad Lyrics : Shellee, Prateek Kuhad and Tanishk-Vayu
Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar came together to make a short film each, the sum of which formed a larger film called ‘Bombay Talkies’. The film was made as a mark of respect for and celebration of Hindi cinema completing hundred years of its existence. All the four films had a common theme – cinema. This time around, the four of them have joined forced to put together a film which deals with the theme of lust. It is a subject that has been seldom explored in Hindi cinema and it is interesting to see four of the most prolific filmmakers around to come together to weave a narrative each on this theme.
Of the four stories, my favourite is the one directed by Karan Johar. His film talks about the way women are looked upon as asexual beings in the largely orthodox Indian society and how, for them, sex is equated with something that they have to do to bear children. Megha, the character played by Kiara Advani, represents a large number of women in our country who suffer from repression and do not get an opportunity to express themselves sexually or otherwise. Johar delivers a strong message while layering his story with dollops of humour. Watch out for the scene where the title track of ‘Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham’, another of Johar’s films, plays in the background while Megha is having a moment. It is funny and at the same time, you realise Johar is trying to convey to the audience how his sensibilities have evolved since over the years. I liked the subtlety and the verboseness of Dibakar’s film. Manisha Koirala proves yet again why she is widely regarded as one of the finest actresses to have worked in Hindi cinema. Sanjay Kapoor, too, delivers an impressive performance proving that the Hindi film industry ought to have tapped his talent better. Jaideep Ahlawat, who recently delivered a majuscule performance in ‘Raazi, is in fine form here too. I was expecting a dramatic outburst by Sudha (Bhumi Pednekar), a young woman in love with the man whom she works as a maid for and who used to satisfy her carnal desires or a confrontation between the two but the maturity and subtleness with which Zoya does justice to the theme and fleshes out the story is commendable. My least favourite of all the films was the one directed by Anurag Kashyap. It is far from being disengaging or tedious but a lot of things in the film, including Radhika Apte’s performance seemed laboured. The film had its moments but for some reason, it seemed to me that Anurag was trying rather hard to put across a point. This is in sharp contrast to Zoya’s film where the narrative trudged along smoothly.
The film is replete with memorable performances. While it is great to see Manisha Koirala back on the big screen after a long time, it is equally elating to see young talent like Akash Thosar (he made his debut in the Marathi blockbuster ‘Sairat’) continuing to do good work. My favourite performance was from my favourite film of the lot. Kiara Advani lends vulnerability, grace and a hint of mischief to Megha’s character wonderfully and shows that she is one of the finest but underutilised talents around. Vicky Kaushal is a fine actor but he goes overboard in a few scenes while trying to bring to fore some of the quirkiness of the na?ve Paras. Bhumi Pednekar barely has any lines but she conveys a lot through her silence and expressive face. Neil Bhoopalan is brilliant too; he makes it difficult for you to figure out whether to loathe him or not. Nikita Dutta, a popular face on television, makes her presence felt as the unsuspecting Shreya who is oblivious to all that has transpired between her future husband and the woman who works for him as a maid.
‘Bombay Talkies’ had come five years ago. One just hopes one does not have to wait for that long for the four filmmakers (or another set of filmmakers) to come together to put forth their vision towards making a thematic motion picture.
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