RTHReviews : TVF Aspirants

RTHReviews : TVF Aspirants

Whether it is TVF’s Permanent Roommates, or TVF Pitchers, or TVF Triplings, or Panchayat, and now with Aspirants, they just know how to hit it right everytime. (at the time of writing this, I’m yet to Kota Factory which is next on my watchlist)

Does the show entertain you? Does the show educate you? Is the time well-invested when you watch this? And the answer to all of those questions is a big YES.

TVF Aspirants, a web series that depicts the life of UPSC aspirants who are living in Rajender Nagar, Delhi, is one which is very well depicted and portrayed. More than the storyline which was already great (written by Deepesh Sumitra Jagdish), what was even better to watch here was the journey of the characters and their emotional depth that was relatable and made us connect with them.

Naveen Kasturia, Shivankit Parihar, Namita Dubey, Abhilash Thapliyal, and the actor who stole the show away, Sunny Hinduja, all of them deserve a big hearty applause for their character portrayal. Brilliant job.

The show has some great takeaways, teaches the audience a few good lessons that are valuable for a lifetime and those key dialogues which made some scenes so much special.

Along with all of this, there was another essential factor which made the show what it is – that background score, it just made every scene right, it made the show so much more special.

Well done, TVF.

(Now streaming on YouTube here.)

RTHReviews : Godzilla vs Kong

RTHReviews : Godzilla vs Kong

We are living in 2021, an age where technology is rapidly advancing and if there is one thing that should be done right, that’s the VFX. Does Godzilla vs Kong deliver on that front, let’s find out.

Firstly, right off the bat, one can directly watch this film as a one-off and still get entertained, but to feel the depth of the characters and the story, it’d be suggested to watch Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (in that order) before you hop on to watch this.

Now, if you’ve seen those films, and then compare them with this, you’d notice that Godzilla vs Kong lacks a lot of depth, there’s no emotional connection with any of the human characters and the film ends up being too straightforward to watch. There’s this, there’s that and now watch the action – that’s the gist of the film. What keeps you tied up is the buildup of Kong and Godzilla from the previous films that keeps you going here.

All in all, what comes out of the film is that whether you’re a human, a creature, or a machine, everyone’s got an ego and everyone wants to be at the top.

Where does the movie actually deliver? VFX. That part they have done right and a good job at that. Whenever those action scenes pop up, or they take you to a location, it was a delight to watch the scenes.

Conclusively, you watch the film for the action and that’s it. There’s not much of a story that keeps you interested. Whose the winner of the film? Intellectual Property.

One Line Summary : Batman vs Superman : Dawn of Justice, much?

RTHReviews : Nobody

RTHReviews : Nobody

From the screenwriter behind the John Wick universe, Derek Kolstad, comes another film which unofficially seems to be in a similar universe or set in the same tone as the John Wick universe.

What does the official synopsis of the film say?

Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) fails to defend himself or his family when two thieves break into his suburban home one night. The aftermath of the incident soon strikes a match to his long-simmering rage. In a barrage of fists, gunfire and squealing tires, Hutch must now save his wife and son from a dangerous adversary — and ensure that he will never be underestimated again.

So, coming back to the film, what was the hype about this film? Derek Kolstad writing the script and Bob Odenkirk starring in an action film, both enough to make you watch the film.

But did it produce the outcome they were looking for?

While it was great to see Bob Odenkirk in a new role, with the talent that he has, he’s the only one who’s pulling this film through.

The premise of the film doesn’t seem worthy of a storyline, it’s more of a ‘this had to be done, so the story could be made’ and moreover, there wasn’t anything typically new in the film.

A bunch of things just feel straightforward, you don’t get any twists and turns, you don’t get any thriller, it’s a pure action film that almost seems forced, walking around the bylines of the John Wick, but hardly being able to portray the depth or magnificence of the John Wock universe.

Why compare? Even if we don’t, it’s still ends up as a pretty straightforward film, which is a good watch, with more sequels to come, but don’t expect anything royal for sure.

Reviewing Oscars 2021 Nominations

Reviewing Oscars 2021 Nominations

The Academy Awards 2021 are upon us, finally. While there were a million films to watch this year, these few set themselves apart with their powerful performances, strong messages and just how beautiful the films were to watch.

Before the awards set the stage, reviewing all the Oscars 2021 nominated films.

(Here’s my predictions for Oscars 2021 here)

– Judas and the Black Messiah

Powerful – that’s the right word to describe this film! There’s so much history behind this film and Shaka King & Will Berson have done a brilliant job showcasing it.

No right words to describe that extraordinary performance from Daniel Kaluuya, who’s already the front-runner for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role awards for Oscars 2021. Lakeith Stanfield’s performance makes the film equally interesting, without him this filn would’ve held no ground.

The film has history, the film is educative on cultural grounds, it’s powerful and one to watch!

– Mank

Mank is based on the 1930s, through the eyes of Herman J. Mankiewicz experiencing the life and struggles of Hollywood at the time, and more importantly, the story behind his writing of Citizen Kane.

The film seems to be quite long, even though its not in duration, seems stretched at times. While its interesting to get the lens of 1930s Hollywood and what transpired back then, the film doesn’t hold you as it should have.

Sure, if you have watched Citizen Kane, or are a fan of Gary Oldman, you’ll end up watching this, and so did I, but don’t hold your expectations too high.

– Pieces of a Woman

Vanessa Kirby is the spotlight in this heart-breaking, emotional roller-coaster of a film. Her performance is so emotional and intense and authentic, she is single-handedly the backbone of this film.

The film revolves around a woman whose life and marriage are upended by the death of her child, the impact it leaves upon her as well the people around her, how life progresses beyond such a moment. While the film skips through time, every now and then, they do try to highlight key moments in the character’s life, her journey of emotions, through all of this and that part is touching.

Vanessa Kirby and Shia LaBeouf were excellent in their roles, and drive the movie forward for what it is. Watch it for the story.

– Minari

A film so authentic and inspiring, it just warms your heart while watching it, and definitely stays with you as well.

Where there’s hope, there’s pain as well. Where there’s promise, there’s disaster as well. That is depicted remarkably well in Minari.

Mix that with those emotional and realistic performances from Steven Yeun, Youn Yuh-jung, Alan S Kim, Han Ye-ri, and Noel Cho, and you’ve got a film so good, you can feel it, you can relate with it, and you definitely have to watch it.

– Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Applause worthy and intrinsic performances from Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman, make the film what it is.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a fine adaptation of an August Wilson play, with hard truths at the core of the film. It definitely is thought-provoking and touching.

Knowing this was Chadwick’s last film made this watch even more emotional, but beyond that both of Viola’s and his performances were filled with passion and this film is a definite watch just to watch that.

– Hillbilly Elegy

I’m not sure why not film missed any hype around this awards season, you’ve got a Ron Howard directorial, Hans Zimmer music and starring Amy Adams.

The film revolves around this dysfunctional family of three generations, their struggles and how life moves ahead. Sure, there are flaws in the storyline, it skips a few beats here and there, and the film could’ve covered more aspects, but at the same time, I really enjoyed watching the depth in the relationships of the characters. Glenn Close has a line in the film which says, you always help family no matter what and it summarizes the film quite well.

Glenn Close is one to watch here, her character just melts your heart away, and she’s just so good in the film. If someday you’re looking for a random watch, this one can be your choice.

– Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman is dark, intense, and thought provoking. Emerald Fennell has done quite a clever job with its story and direction.

There’s a lot to grasp in this film, and at times, it gives you a good punch as well.

Carey Mulligan is the heartbeat of the film, everything you experience and are told is through her lens, and all the emotions felt is because of her magnificent acting for which she totally deserves that Oscar nomination.

This one is a must-watch and may surprise with a win, never say never.

– The United States vs Billie Holiday

The film revolves around the life of Billie Holiday, and her battle with drugs, racism, and the government.

While the film deeply moves something within you, it is also one which feels quite stretched and hectic to watch, most of the times. From what I’ve read, the filmmakers did touch upon a lot of issues and struggles with her life, but they didn’t quite execute all of it well enough.

All in all, Andra Day’s performance is what this film stands out for, that’s it, the range of emotions and feelings depicting every phase of her character’s life was just phenomenal.

– News of the World

A good Western film and a Tom Hanks film, both together, and the film already had me interested.

An average but gripping film, that phases slowly, where you need to be patient with the story that delivers with the performances of Tom Hanks and Helena Zengal, and the relationship that builds between their characters is one to watch in this one.

In all, it’s a feel-good film that you should watch for Tom Hanks.

– Another Round

Another Round is not too serious, but not too fun either, it holds the ground perfectly in the middle. An interesting concept executed perfectly by Thomas Vinterberg, one that surely is captivating.

What deserves a definite mention is the strong, authentic acting of all the four main actors around whom the film revolves, with a spotlight on Mads Mikkelsen who is brilliant and charismatic in the film.

The film is pure joy and leaves you satisfied at the end of it, also packing with it a message of alcoholism’s role in people’s lives. Definitely don’t miss this one.

– The Father

This one was emotional, heart-touching, and at the same time, sad. Touching upon the topic of dementia and expressing what the individual with it feels, the storyline does just that, and goes even beyond when you yourself feel lost at times watching the film, not knowing what’s exactly happening.

That I felt was such an expressive aspect of this film. And making it more remarkable was this powerhouse of a performance from Anthony Hopkins, watching him just melts your heart. What a portrayal of his character!

This film is sure-shot recommended to watch, don’t miss it.

– The Trial of the Chicago 7

Keeps you at the edge of your seats, is what this film is. Based on a true story, Aaron Sorkin has done a brilliant job at conveying the story, the emotions behind that story, and the emotions that the characters are going through.

As the film progresses, it’s such a fast paced one that you are hooked to the screen, you can’t take your eyes off it. There are moments you get goosebumps with what’s going on and that is how much you’re involved with the film.

Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne and the rest of the cast too, all of them have done such a brilliant job. Its a gripping one, and easily one of my top films of 2020. Absolutely recommended.

– Sound of Metal

Before we proceed to the storyline of this film, let me start by saying, Riz Ahmed was absolutely fantastic in this film. What a stunning, remarkable performance, one to remember for sure!

Riz’s character is central to the film, and the entire storyline is revolved around his journey, with what’s he going through.

And that journey, without spoiling anything, is a sight to watch, it’s mesmerizing, it gives you the feels, you can feel the struggles, you can feel the pain, his acting is authentic and that makes the film so much more powerful.

You always know the before, you know the after in such moments, but the process is what we don’t understand and what it feels like, that’s is strikingly conveyed in this film.

Even the takeaway from it is something we can all learn from. Riz Ahmed is a top contender for that Best Actor award, and absolutely deserves that nomination.

– Nomadland

Nomadland’s storyline is one, the essence of which can be applied to all cultures and all people.

But speaking of the film, the life of nomads, their joys, their struggles, their problems, their emotions, all of which is successfully portrayed by Frances McDormand. Frances’ wide set of emotions and acting is brilliantly shown in the character, and she is definitely the Best Actress frontrunner for Oscars 2021.

Include it with the amazing direction and cinematography of Chloé Zhao, and you’ve got a winner here. This one is a watch.

My Oscars 2021 Predictions

My Oscars 2021 Predictions

It’s that time of the year, the Academy Awards 2021 are due in 48 hours!

Having watched all the nominated films, with some really great films on the cards, one to select amongst many is going to be a difficult one.

Anyhow, here are my predictions for the Oscars 2021 –

• Best Picture – Nomadland

(Nomadland seems to be the obvious frontrunner here, but alternatively, The Trial of the Chicago 7 or Minari, wouldn’t be surprised if either of those two win)

• Best Actor – Chadwick Boseman

(Chadwick’s role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was so impactful and powerful, but simultaneously, I feel Riz Ahmed was just excellent in Sound of Metal)

• Best Actress – Frances McDormand

(This year’s Best Actress nominations are so powerful. Right from Andra Day in United States vs Billie Holiday, or Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman, Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman, and Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, but McDormand’s range of emotions and acting takes it away for this one)

• International Feature Film – Another Round

(No surprises here, Another Round has to win this one)

• Best Original Song – Fight for You (H.E.R., Tiara Thomas, D’Mile) (Judas and the Black Messiah)

• Best Supporting Actress – Youn Yuh-jung (Minari)

(Three actresses, three heart-touching roles, wish all three could win here – Youn Yuh-jung, Olivia Colman, Glenn Close)

• Best Supporting Actor – Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah)

(Daniel’s winning this one, no doubts about it)

• Best Director – Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)

• Best Animated Feature – Soul

(Soul is probably the film of the year for me, that message, that storyline, Soul is winning this category)

• Best Original Screenplay – The Trial of the Chicago 7

(All the films nominated here are such good ones, but the Aaron Sorkin screenplay kept you on the edge of your seats and should be a winner here.)

• Best Adapted Screenplay – The White Tiger (Ramin Bharani)

• Best Visual Effects – Tenet

(No other film is matching Tenet in this category)

• Best Cinematography – Nomadland (Joshua James Richards)

• Best Original Score – Soul (if I had to guess, Soul’s taking this one)

• Best Makeup and Hairstyling – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

• Best Costume Design – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

• Best Film Editing – Promising Young Woman (Frédéric Thoraval)

• Best Production Design – News of the World

• Best Sound – Sound of Metal
(Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michellee Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh)

RTHReviews : Maharshi

RTHReviews : Maharshi

One who seeks victory is a Man. One who spreads Victory is a ‘Maharshi’. This one line describes the film, Maharshi and the kind of impact it has on you.

The film does take its time with the multiple arcs it touches upon and its duration has been up for debate, but I felt all of those arcs were connected well and their depth doesn’t make you mind the time.

Touching upon the subjects of success, happiness, relationships, entrepreneurship, agriculture, fame, there was a perspective to learn in every phase of this film.

This was my first watch of a Mahesh Babu film and I’m already a fan, what talent. Allari Naresh was equally brilliant in the film, and so is the rest of the cast with so many of the characters playing important roles in the film, including Pooja Hegde, Prakash Raj, Jayasudha.

One word review: Meaningful

Said everything about the film, another thing that has to be touched upon are the dialogues in the film, that make a huge impact, not just in film, but also in our lives – and I wanted to touch upon a few here…

1. There are no full stops in success. There are just commas. Success is not a destination. Success is a journey.

2. In a world which remembers only the fastest runners, why would I live otherwise?

3. Do you know why so many people are left behind as failures here? Instead of identifying their strengths, they are scared of others’ strengths. They keep thinking about what others are doing, how they are and why it happens only to them and lose themselves. Here, everyone is a hero of their life. Everyone has their strengths.

4. If we step into the game with the fear of losing, we can never win.

5. One who seeks victory is a Man. One who spreads Victory is a ‘Maharshi’.