Movie Review – Yeh Ballet

TL;DR – a fun film about finding your place in the world through a talent you never knew you had   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Yeh Ballet. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

We continue our look at Indian cinema this week with an interesting film that has recently arrived on Netflix. It is a film that charts the highs and lows of two kids finding a new outcome for their lives. Also, it is kind of cool that it is all based on a true story.  

So to set the scene, we open in on the Mumbai slums as Asif (Achintya Bose) competes in a festival of people stacking on top of each other to get the prize hanging above. Elsewhere Nishu (Manish Chauhan) has made it onto the TV and while his raw talent is impressive, his lack of skill lets him down. Both of the boys have a trajectory of where their lives are headed and neither of them is happy with where it is going. All of this changes when a local talent scout and dance studio owner (Jim Sarbh) brings over the cantankerous Saul Aaron (Julian Sands) to coach his students in ballet and he sees something brilliant in the two boys from the slums.       

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Movie Review – Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (Extra Careful of Marriage)

TL;DR – A fascinating if a little blunt film about love in India  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (Extra Careful of Marriage). Image Credit: T-Series.

Review

In my endeavour to watch more non-English language films, I had been spending a lot of time with those coming out of Europe, but this week I want to shift things by focusing on India. With that in mind, today we look at the first of two Indian films out this week that really intrigued me and this is a film is all about finding love even in the face of your family.

So to set the scene, we open in on two guys making a last-minute rush to get to a train that is about to depart as we hear about just how much weddings cost in India. We then go back a bit in time to meet Kartik (Ayushmann Khurrana) and his partner Aman (Jitendra Kumar) who hide who they are from their families by living away in Delhi. One day as they are helping a good friend elope they get caught by her family and need to get out of town for a bit. Well, that’s good timing because Aman’s cousin Goggle (Maanvi Gagroo) is about to be married back in Ahmedabad. The only problem is that Aman’s family does not know he is gay and it goes about as well as you imagine it does.

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TV Review – Bard of Blood

TL;DR – This an interesting spy series which is unfortunately held back a bit with inconsistent pacing and the flow-on effects from that.  

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Bard of Blood. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

One of my goals this year has been to expand my global cinema intake from places away from the traditional English speaking countries that I am used to. I have not been as successful as I would have liked, but when a new Indian spy thriller drops on Netflix you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Now I have finished it, wow, is this series a lot, and I think it might also have lasting repercussions.

So to set the scene, in Balochistan, Pakistan, a group of Indian deep-cover spies are in a lude video internet café using it as a cover as they upload important information back to New Delhi. However, before they can finish, they are captured by the local Taliban. Before they can be executed the Pakistani Intelligence forces intercede and save then, not to keep them alive, but to kill them at the right time and place. Back in India, one of the chiefs in India’s Intelligence bureau Sadiq (Rajit Kapur) feels that something is odd so he seeks out Kabir Anand (Emraan Hashmi) code name Adonis but there is bad blood between them over what happened last time in Pakistan. He instead sends Isha (Sobhita Dhulipala) to retrieve him, however, Sadiq is murdered in his home and Adonis is framed, and only he might be able to save the agents because there is a mole in the Indian government and he does not know who they might be. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls and PM Modi

TL;DR – This was such a surreal experience even if it might have been the most uncritical political interview I have seen in a while.  

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls and PM Modi. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review


It has been a long time since I have been able to catch an episode of Man Vs. Wild. Back in the day it was this weird yet deeply compelling story of Bear Grylls dropping himself into the wild (or apparently wild) locations and trying to survive by consuming some of his own urine. Well if anything is going to get me back into a show it is Bear Grylls going on a trip with the Indian Prime Minister.

I was wondering how if at all the show had changed over the years and in the first five minutes of the show Bear picks up and examines some elephant dung. So the more things change the more they stay the same. Over the years, there have been some contentions as to how staged the show is if at all. Well here when you have a world leader in a place that he could get killed by a tiger so there is no chance they would be allowed to walk around by themselves and I liked that they acknowledged that the Secret Service is around.

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Movie Review – Kaake Da Viyah

TL;DR – A really interesting scenario with some memorable performances, but it could have been streamlined a bit and it could have dialled the zany back a bit.

 Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Kaake Da Viyah. Image Credit: Yogmaya Productions.

Review

If there is one genre that I always find interesting, it is the family politics of conflicting generations. There is that divide between tradition and the future, people taking sides, and in the case of Indian cinema a good song or two. Well, today we get to look at a film that is just that as three generations try to use marriage to outmanoeuvre the rest.

So to set the scene, Navi (Jordan Sandhu) is studying and spending as much time away for home as possible because he has found his one true love Mahi (Prabh Grewal). That is because at home his mother Tej (Priti Sapru) and his grandmother Bebe (Nirmal Rishi) are constantly fighting. As Bebe never forgave that her son married Tej without her blessing. He wants to marry Mahi, but he is not sure how to break it to both of them, well the one day he finally finds the courage disaster strikes when he discovers that both his mother and grandmother have found wives for him and they are not Mahi.

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Movie Review – Uyare (Rise)

TL;DR – A powerful look at overcoming adversity thrust upon you by a cruel and uncaring world     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Uyare (Rise). Image Credit: S Cube Films.

Review

Today we are looking at a film that charts the lows and highs of someone who is recovering from one of the worst breaches of trust imaginable. This is a film that knows how to cast a light on a real problem in society by creating strength rather than spectacle.  

So to set the scene, we open in as Pallavi Raveendran (Parvathy Thiruvothu) who is taking her first flight in a plane and in that moment she found that joy that is discovering your passion. This is what she wanted to be when she grew up and she focused her life on becoming a pilot. When she finally gets to flight school, everything is going well until her boyfriend Govind (Asif Ali) could no longer accept the fact that she is the successful one in the relationship.  

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Movie Review – Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil

TL;DR – It is said that a film succeeds if it makes you feel something, well if that is all it took than this film would be a success, but considering this made me feel revulsion and anger, I think it takes more than that.    

Score – 1 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Warning – This film contains extensive scenes of abuse

Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil. Image Credit: Netlifx.

Review

Okay I’m going to be honest right from the start, I am coming to this film as someone who is from outside of India and does not have the most extensive experience with Indian cinema, so there may be some context I am missing. Also, by writing this review I feel like I am positioning myself in the same position as some of the people criticised in the film, an irony that is not lost on me. But all of that being said, you can skip to the end if you want because I do not in any shape or form recommend this film.

So to set the scene, we open in on a couple a man (Rohit Kokate) and women (Khushboo Upadhyay) who are walking along a coastal boardwalk in Mumbai. They are in a relationship but they are not married so they need to be discreet given the conservative aspects of Indian society. But as they talk it is clear that both of them want different things out of the relationship.

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