Padman – Movie Review

Padman is the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a metalworker from Coimbatore who made history by making low cost sanitary pads for women. What began as a way to make life better for his beloved wife, who had been using dirty cloth during menstrual cycle like so many other women in his village, not only gave way to a huge revolution which brought down social stigma surrounding menstruation but also made menstrual hygiene accessible to thousands of women in rural India at very cheap rates (almost a third of what the multinational-brands cost). What’s more applaud-worthy is that Mr. Arunachalam refused many multinationals’ offers to buy his brainchild, because then the cost per pad would only increase, thereby defeating the whole purpose.

This is one truly amazing story. If I had not read Twinkle Khanna’s The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, of which the story of Mr. Arunachalam is a part, I would not have believed this was a true story. Also, some trivia: this is not the first time this story was adapted to the silver screen. Phullu (2017, Hindi) is the first film to show Mr. Arunachalam’s life. While I haven’t watched Phullu, Padman comes from a popular director, starring popular actors and basically, with a big scale and a vast reach. It’s good for the film and the cause as well.

The film has a thoroughly entertaining first half. Or should I rather say, “engaging”? Not a moment is wasted. The director, R Balki (known for the wonderful Paa and the highly hypocritical Ki & Ka) establishes the characters neatly and presents the issue at hand without much ado. The leading man’s obsession with jugaadu (if I may use the word) is established without doubt when he makes a simple onion-cutter so his wife doesn’t have tears in her eyes while chopping the onions. This is not a man who gives up.

The second half is mostly enjoyable too but its dullest moments come in the form of the love angle between Akshay and Sonam. Sonam is okay, but her character isn’t really developed to mature, hence lacks the depth needed. If I were the writer/director, this is where I would have taken the cinematic liberty to change the story a bit and not give as much importance to the romantic angle here. It took away, although briefly, the feel of the film in the second half. But, all’s well that ends well, they say, and it’s true of Padman too. I found myself clapping in the final moments of the film (and at two or three other places too, actually).

Akshay powers Padman to the place where it stands. I’ve read reviews that said Padman fell prey to the stardom of Akshay and this is evidently seen in how the film falls flat because of it, but I honestly do not subscribe to this argument. In fact, I think the film has benefited a lot from Akshay doing it and not, say, Salman or Shahrukh. This is not to take anything away from Akshay’s stardom or his performance, but I just couldn’t imagine any other “star” of the Hindi film industry doing squats after wearing a sanitary pad himself, checking his posterior now and then to see if his brainchild worked. Radhika Apte is magical, as always. Sonam has the least to do here and does exactly what she can.

On the downside, however, it’s really mention-worthy that Padman comes with its own share of contradictions. Amidst the talk about women empowerment and all that, we also get dialogues like, “A person who cannot protect women isn’t a man after all”. Sexist much? I am not saying Mr. Arunachalam wouldn’t have thought this way. It’s quite possible. But you can at least choose to edit these things out when making a film like this. Subjects like these deserve perfection.

So in the end, I definitely liked Padman. I personally think most reviews out there are harsher than necessary but hey, to each his own! I’m going with 3.75 out of 5!

PS: All the pictures are screenshots from the film’s official trailer on YouTube.

Padmaavat – Movie Reivew

Putting the controversy, politics and its added emotions aside, after a point Padmaavat needs to be looked at purely as a film. A film which fluctuated between brilliance and being a drag quite frequently.

I walked into this film with huge expectations thanks to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bhajirao Mastani. Every frame in that movie was a delight and treat to watch. There’s intense emotions and riveting plot coupled with great characters. Can I say the same about Padmaavat? Disappointingly No! Padmaavat has a few well written characters, but the movie struggles with the plot and its pacing. More than once, I wished the story just moved along a bit faster.

(Disclaimer: I knew the story of Rani Padmavati from a long time before the release. So nothing in the story was new to me. And so that could be one of the reasons why the story might not have appealed to me as much. But I did I look forward to the climax because I read so much about it. I wasn’t disappointed and thoroughly enjoyed that final act! Though a bit over the top dramatic, that climax does give you goosebumps with its music and emotion. But how it leads up to that final act is another story altogether that is riddled with plot holes and speed bumps)

As much as I was disappointed with the plot, I was also floored by another element: Performances in the film. Ranveer Singh as the evil Alauddin Khilji owns this! There is evil beyond reason and madness and that always makes for some good entertainment. Kudos to Ranveer to pull it off as well as he did. His performance alone is worth buying a ticket for.

But I bought the ticket for other reasons 😛 Deepika, you beauty! She was stunning in Bhajirao and she continues to be stunning here. That opening scene of her! Uff! Doesn’t the heart flutter? I can under Raja Ratansingh falling for her instantly. Who wouldn’t? 😛

But other than that plausibility, there were many plot points with no justification given. They were there just to push the plot along even if we don’t get to know the reason behind them. They looked silly in the larger scheme of things. And moreover could easily have been worked around had there been better writing. But thanks to over dramatization of each act in the movie, few scenes do end up being boring and silly. As it’s a spoiler free review, I can’t go anymore into the details.

Shahid Kapoor too does a decent job. Other than playing Ratansingh, he was also given the role to pacify the Rajput community with his dialogues that are aimed at only one thing: Praise the valor, ethos and skill of the Rajputs and their swords and in the process win over some protesting audience. Does it work? I sure think it does. I for one, was flattered with the community 😛

The cinematography, as always with any Bhansali film, was top notch. It’s one of the reasons why I look forward to his movies. The color palette, the sets, costumes work hand in hand and give us beautiful frames but not as frequently as it was for Bajirao (forgive me for the comparisons). The CG looked too artificial wherever it was used and that was a sore point for me. It wasn’t too bad but it wasn’t good either.

There was not much scope for song sequences in the film and so the songs too were okay considering that. It was nothing brilliant but works for this film. The background score was where the movie tries to hit hard. It tries to make up for the lacklustre writing with its rising tempos.

In the end, the movie was one huge tribute, glorification and love letter to Rajput community in India. It is sad that they read that letter upside down and were hurt. This movie would honestly make Rajputs proud about their ancestry. Audience can’t help but go, “wow” for them. But the movie on the whole, sometimes, beats its chest out, and sometimes puffs and drags itself. It is not thoroughly entertaining save for the performances from its lead actors: Ranveer and Deepika. And oh yes, also Shaihid.

But it isn’t a bad film by any stretch. It just did not come through as well as Bhansali would have hoped for. Watch it for the performances, with less expectations on the story and you might enjoy it (might!).

 

Tumhari Sulu – Movie Review

Two words: Vidya Balan.

Take her out of this film and we would have had a pretty average film on the screens. This isn’t a film big on “story”. It follows the life of an impulsive and ever-ready middle class woman who has a thing for trying new things and trying to win at them, enjoying every minute of this in the process. Vidya’s Sulochana (fondly called Sulu) is not afraid of failing at things she participates in. The process, the journey – that’s what matters to Sulu. She’s genuinely happy for winning simple, small things like pressure cookers and the like at various contests both in and outside of her housing society. What happens on one such visit to a radio station to collect her winning goodies changes the course of Vidya’s life….well, at least for a while. How she handles this forms the rest of the story.

Good things first, casting Balan wasn’t ever a choice. This role SCREAMED for Balan to be cast. Honestly, I cannot think of anyone else who’d do so much justice to this role as Vidya did. She fits the role of a middle class housewife to a T, flaunting her simple saris and hardly any makeup. One look at her and you’d be convinced she’s Sulu. Looks apart, I cannot think of anyone else who’s as expressive as Balan. Sulu’s “Main kar sakti hain” attitude is infectious and thankfully for the film, never goes over-board to the point of getting annoying. Thumbs up for casting the under-utilized but exceptionally talented theater actor and director Manav Kaul as Ashok, Sulu’s husband. Manav’s portrayal of various emotions – love, anger, sadness, insecurity among others – stands as a testament to the man’s vast experience in theater. When he dances to Ban Ja Tu Meri Raani, it’s just endearing!

The first half of the film hits all the right notes. This portion of the film is a breeze, never too heavy, never too serious. It’s almost like Vidya’s character graph and the film itself are in perfect tandem here. As Sulu’s life gets complicated, so does the film and needlessly so. As Sulu’s work starts to interfere with her personal, family life and her career choices are questioned by her immediately family, even her sweet husband, the film also takes many dips in narration. There’s also a thread about Sulu’s son Pranav getting into trouble at school for messing up things like teenagers always do. And this dude runs away from home after a lot of drama. This could have been passed in favor of a more convincing plot point. So, thanks to some unnecessary digressions and a slowed-down pace, the second half of the film is not as enjoyable as the first. But good news! We have Vidya Balan lighting up the dull portions of the film as well.

Overall, Tumhari Sulu is a cute little film with Vidya towering above anything and everything else. This one’s a good watch! I’m going with 3.5 out of 5!

PS: All the images are screenshots from the film’s official trailer on YouTube.

Simran – Movie Review

Simran’s trailer had Kangana all over it. There’s hardly a second when she’s not on screen. The film itself is not any different.

Simran is yet another showcase for Ranaut’s brilliant acting capabilities. Winner of three national awards and millions of hearts, Ranaut is undoubtedly one of the country’s finest actors. She is literally in every scene in the film. She’s wonderful, no doubt, but the film falls short of being a fine one.

Loosely based on (and not mentioned anywhere in the credits) the real events in the life of Sandeep Kaur, a 30-something woman who gets addicted to gambling, ends up with a huge debt and eventually robs banks to pay off her dues, Simran doesn’t take its material seriously, especially in the second half of the film. There was so much potential here and with an actor like Kangana, national-award winning director Hansal Mehta (Shahid, Citylights, Aligarh) could have as well made this the film of the year. But the film is overly dependent on Kangana and that’s where everything else takes a backseat. Including the writing, the backbone of any film.

It’s not all bad from the start. In fact, the film does kick off well. The first half is rather enjoyable, to be honest, with only one or two dull moments. It’s the second half that falters, beyond repair towards the climax, if I must say. When you are showing us the story of a woman who robs banks to clear her debts, showing her rob the banks is important. Those scenes are important. You cannot handle them with a casual attitude. Now, I do not know if that’s exactly how Sandeep Kaur robbed those banks IRL, but in this time and age, it cannot be as easy as they show in the film. None of the banks seem to have protection and all of them seem to employ people with very questionable emergency-handling skills. And, the folks at the banks and the police department seem to be unaware of the MO of a 30-something woman who’s already robbed a couple of bank using the SAME MO. Communication gaps much? I do not know.

It was probably meant to come across as “light-hearted” treatment, but the heist sequences didn’t work for me. In fact, most of the second half did not work for me. I wasn’t shown Kangana’s inner turmoil and how she handles it as much as I would have liked or appreciated or even empathized with, for that matter. As a result, I could not invest in the final moments of the film as much as the director would have liked his audience to. Sometimes, it probably works best to keep the comedy parts and the serious stuff of a film separate, give them their own space to make an impression.

And the film’s complete lack of any other strong character (maybe apart from the dad, whose character is also uni-layered) doesn’t work in its favor. Even the MBA-aspirant dude (Sohum Shah) doesn’t get scope. The songs could have easily been done away with.

Overall, Simran could have been so much better. Kangana shines but the film, only occasionally. I’m going with 2.75 out of 5!

Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan – Movie Review

An official remake (also by the same director) of the Tamil film Kalyana Samayal Saadham, Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan is a breezy tale of a man with erectile dysfunction whose marriage is to happen in a few days. Concept = 10/10.

I haven’t watched the original (although I’ve been suggested the same several times) but I can assure you that you will have a good time watching Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan. It is a cute little film and there are enough good things about it which far outweigh the minor lags, particularly in the second half, and a not-so-satisfying / kind of bland climax.

The film also kicks off rather strangely. Hardly any time is taken to introduce characters; we are just dropped into the setting that is their lives and from there on, you are on-board! By the time those annoying late-comers to the movies finish coming in the way of your watching, you see Mudit (Ayushmann) line-maar-ing Sugandha (Bhumi). Arey kuch toh batao na in logon ke baare mein? Anyway, the first is super-smooth and before you realize it, you’re half way through the film. I had problems buying into their love story BEFORE the marriage proposal comes in, though. It wasn’t given enough importance, like the part I said about establishing characters. I would have bought the emotional scenes, especially in the second half, a bit more readily had this pre-marriage love story been more convincing. Happy to report, the movie more than makes up for it in the form of some brilliant and simply funny dialogue writing by Hitesh Kewalya, screen presence of Ayushmann and Bhumi and the lighthearted treatment of the script.

Although the movie is centered on the condition of erectile dysfunction, it never goes into medico mode to throw at our faces all the facts and figures, what should or should not be done about it. It also doesn’t venture into making mockery out of the condition. There’s no pity for the character, either. Basically, very less drama about the condition itself. What we watch is not probably what happens, sadly, but you like what you watch. You wish reality was this kind and understanding. But, anyway, suffice to say there’s no Masti and Grand Masti wala humor. The film instead banks on the concept of sticking to the central theme and never wavering from it. That’s what works in its favor.

Of its 1hr 45mins, the final 10-15 are the weakest. I wanted more from those dozen minutes. This belongs to that section of films which I probably will never watch again but were fun while they played out! I liked it!

I’m going for 3.5 out of 5 for this one! Recommended!

PS: All the images are screenshots from the film’s official trailer on YouTube.

Lipstick Under My Burkha – Movie Review

I FINALLY WATCHED IT! Thanks to Amazon Primevideo where it’s now streaming, I finally watched the most “controversial” movie of this year! So how did I find the “lady-oriented” movie? Read on to find out.

Note: I put up images that would offend Mr. Pahlaj Nihalani because WHY NOT?

The trailer (not the second one but the bolder first one) was oh so good. Unashamed. Unapologetic. The film is directed by debutante director Alankriti Srivastava and features Konkona Sensharma, Rathna Pathak Shah, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur in main roles. Vikrant Massey and Sushant Singh play supporting roles.

The other three women and their families are tenants in Rathna’s old mansion house. The four women lead different lives but share the same sense of quiet, secret rebellion. Be it changing from burkha to t-shirt and jeans in a Sulabh complex on the way to college, or doing a sales job without husband’s knowledge, or even a 60-year old woman going to swimming classes and fantasizing about her 20-something instructor!

These are ordinary women with ordinary desires. But how easy is it for women to satisfy even ordinary desires in a country like ours? Pretty difficult, if you ask me. Like a million other women, these four ladies try to live their dreams without the ever-scrutinizing, accusing and judgemental gaze of society falling upon them. When the inevitable happens eventually, humiliation ensues. Lipstick Under My Burkha mirrors the current lives of women in India. Like in real life, nothing ends on a rosy note. It’s like we are lifted and dropped in the lives of all these women for a few days and then lifted off from there again. But nothing, nothing can take away the earnestness of this film. It’s all heart.

Rathna Pathak Shah as the older woman who reads sleazy Indian fiction is PERFECT. Rathna ma’am, you are a boon to the industry! And Konkona is effortless as always, in a character that’s got several layers to it! Newbies Aahana Kumra (also seen in Amazon Primevideo’s Inside Edge) and Plabita Borthakur are on point too, breathing life into their characters with such ease that it is difficult to say it’s their first film. Vikrant Massey is a gifted actor. Very few actors have it all in their eyes and Vikrant is one of them.

The first half is racy; the second dips a little. Dialogues by Gazal Dhaliwal are the best I have heard in recent times.

I’m going with 4 out of 5 for this one!

PS: All images are YouTube screenshots from the movie’s official trailer.

Jagga Jasoos – Review

**Guest Review by NaChaKi**

Here is a film that is a musical, rom-com, action, fiction, and some more! But how well did it handle the variety of genres?

The film opens as a narrative by Shruti Sengupta, the female lead. It introduces the comic book hero Jagga The Detective, or Jagga Jasoos, who has a hairdo that reminds us of Tintin. With Disney backing the project, and with a Tintin-like hero who’s (also) a detective, and with good support cast and crew, Jagga Jasoos could have been a much better film than what it is.

What…, is the film that bad?! No, it’s not! In fact, a lot of audiences can enjoy the whole journey the film takes them through. Only, the film seems to stop shallower than it promises. The film is narrated through an innovative screenplay, which may leave some audiences confused, though. The film engages the audience through the first half and creates a good platform for the film to take off well, but it feels like a bumpy ride on a flat road!

The film offers a lot of promise visually and delivers too, for most part. There’s a typical Disney look and feel to the film, thanks to the visuals. The music maintains the mood all through. Given that the film is a musical, the music score and songs play an important part of the narrative. Pritam, surprisingly in a way, does the job well. A couple of songs such as galtii sE mistake… and ullU kaa phaTTaa… linger among the audience, thanks also to the choreography. The other songs are not hummable though, given the nature of the songs to form a mandatory part of the narrative. The dialogue is enjoyable with comedy sprinkled here and there. Editing could have been better in the second half. The script has too many sub-plots that complicate the narration, but the screenplay makes a honest attempt in presenting them. I’d say this much though: if the film does not work out well at the box-office, blame it on the choice of such a lighter-vein screenplay for a movie with so many sub-plots that cut across various genres. And on the weak climax.

Why would anyone care to watch the film, you may ask. If nothing behind the screen seemed impressive to you, place all your hopes on Ranbir Kapoor, who does not disappoint any bit. Ranbir as Jagga did a very good job in the role of an adolescent-like adult who cannot articulate words like he can croon the songs. I shall not divulge more but go watch it for him and you’d not be disappointed! And Katrina Kaif? Honestly, I was not impressed. She merely fits the bill, or well, she does not spoil it. Saswata Chatterjee as Badal Bagchi who raises Jagga is perfect! Saurabh Shukla too does the job well. The others are adequate.

Oh yeah, go for it anyway, since there’s gonna be a sequel/series, clearly.

PS: All the images are YouTube screenshots from the film’s official trailer.

Mom – Movie Review

Sridevi’s 300th film, produced by her husband Boney Kapoor and directed by Ravi Udyawar, comes in the 50th year of her film career. Imagine what 50 years of being in front of the camera can do to an actor. At 53 years old, there’s a slight but sure tremble in her voice. Her performance, however, stands solid. Some crucial scenes in the film and some not-so-crucial ones, like the one where she clutches the car steering with trembling hands after escaping a near-fatal accident, for instance, are the places where her vast experience comes to life.

The film is basically a thriller which seeks inspiration from the tragic Nirbhaya incident. Not the first to deal with the issue of rape (more recently, Raveena Tandon’s comeback film Maatr dealt with the same issue), Mom’s portrayal of the incident as it unfolds in the film is one of the most calmly brutal, chilling sequences I’ve seen in recent times. A black SUV cruises through the Delhi roads. Aerial shot. A haunting BGM. AMAZINGLY SHOT! Kudos for this scene!

The film’s first half is racy and riveting. The second drags in comparison. Also present in the second half are some scenes that could have been cut off. With tighter writing, especially in the second half, Mom could have made a stronger impact. Also, I need to mention here that Mom does away with long monologues that we have come to expect from movies of this genre. I mean, Sridevi could have been given lengthy-ass dialogues to mouth in, I don’t know, court or something, and the gallery would have erupted with thunderous applause! There’s no preaching here, save for the subtle, mild yet solid one-line dialogues here and there. Nawazuddin gets one of those dialogues and the man nails it, of course.

One thing I would remember from this movie for a long time to come would definitely be Sajal Ali’s performance. She bears a striking resemblance to Kareena Kapoor and delivers a knockout performance. It’s so hard to believe that this is only her second feature film. I would love to see her perform in many more movies.

Akshaye Khanna is alright but there’s no real met to his character. Adnan Siddiqui doesn’t get much to do but does whatever he has to just fine. Abhimanyu Singh is at his ominous best.

So, is Mom a good film? Yes. Is it moving? Partly but not completely. The scenes of horror make you weak in your knees but those of revenge being finally taken do not leave you satisfied. You wish there was more to it. You wish the bastards died a much more brutal death. You wish they were beaten to pulp.

I’m going with 3/5.

PS: All the images are YouTube screenshots from the film’s official trailer.

Hindi Medium – Movie Review

Hindi Medium is an important film. I must admit that the trailer did give me the feeling that it was along the lines of Aakaasamanta but when I watched the film, I realized that they were only superficial similarities. These are two different films at their cores and both just as sweet and touching and memorable. A month after the film’s release, makers of the 2014 Bengali hit Ramdhanu went to court accusing Hindi Medium of blatant plagiarism of their original content. Regardless of the source of the original content, the film is out there, now even on Amazon PrimeVideo, for you to watch. Should you watch it, then? Read on.

Set in Delhi, Hindi Medium has Irrfan and Saba Qamar (fun fact: she’s Pakistani. I didn’t know this until I read up the film’s Wiki page. We aren’t so different, after all) playing Raj Batra and Meeta Batra, with their child Pia Batra – an affluent family of a barely-educated businessman father, a not-so-badly educated, ambitious mother and a kid who doesn’t speak much, living in Chandni Chowk neighborhood of Delhi where Raj’s business is based out of. Wanting to get their daughter admitted to the best school in the city (country?), the couple is ready to go through anything and everything – be it moving from Chandi Chowk to the upscale Vasant Vihar, trying to “fit in” in the city’s “elite” circles, hosting parties only to make themselves and others believe they are no less socially acceptable, signing up with a “consultant” (played by the charming Tilotama Shome) for these posh schools, taking courses themselves, and even moving to the slums of Delhi pretending to be poor – all in the hope of getting an admission at least in the RTE quota in the best school in the city.

The film is important because it lays bare our obsession with “English” and goes on to show how education is not limited by the medium of instruction, or even which school you study in. Without making solid and serious comments, the film also shows how education sector has become more of a business in India – one of the more profitable ones at that. And not to mention how political it is. In the end, the film also makes a statement on the importance of proper functioning of Government schools.

The first half unfolds at a leisure pace. The second is more gripping. Performances are on point. Irrfan is exceptional. Saba Qamar is a pleasant surprise. I would love to see her in many Indian movies. Deepak Dobriyal is a fine, fine artist and Hindi Medium gives him ample scope to shine. Together with the subtle yet effective Swathi Das, he creates an image of innocence, vulnerability and selflessness only a poor man is capable of. Amrita Singh as the school principal doesn’t get much to do. Ditto for the kid who plays the daughter. Lakshman Utekar’s camera captures Delhi in all its abundance and the lack of it, the slums and star bunglows with unflinching ruthlessness.

So the question is, will Hindi Medium become bigger the itself eventually? Can it become a 3 Idiots? It remains to be seen.

I’m going with 3.5 out of 5!

PS: All the images are YouTube screenshots from the film’s official trailer.

 

A Death In The Gunj – Movie Review

A Death In The Gunj marks the directorial debut of Konkona Sensharma. Based on the original short story by Mukul Sharma (who, I read or heard somewhere, is related to Konkona), A Death In The Gunj is about what happens to a family that decides to spend a few days in the 1970s McCluskieganj, a small, sleepy hilly town in the outskirts of Ranchi, then in the state of Bihar.

First things first, allow me to warn you that if you are a lover of fast-paced thrillers, A Death In The Gunj could be a bit of a disappointment. The film is not much of a thriller as it is drama at its core and gives it the thriller-y feel is the title above all else, which lays bare the fact that there’s an impending death happening and from the word go, you keep guessing. But this guessing game doesn’t take control over you, for Konkona’s exceptional actors keep you hooked with their histrionics. In fact, the story in itself is not very mind-blowing. If you ask me to sum it up, I would probably say, “A family outing gone wrong”. It’s that simple. But what makes the film tick is how Konkona handled it.

Kalki, Ranvir and Gulshan Devaiah in a still from the film.

Written by Konkona and Disha Rindani, the screenplay is near-perfect for a film of this kind. The pacing could have been better but that would mean A Death In The Gunj would have been deprived of its soul. The film’s brightest moments are the slow ones. It’s in these little moments that Konkona brings about the best in her actors. Some of the characters are underwritten, I must admit, but all of them are given their moments. The first half of the film sets the mood while the second is where emotions become more pronounced, and the air turns calmly intense. There is no shouting at the top of the voice, no blood-curdling shrieks, hardly any jump-scares. Everything unfolds with the calm and composure of a silent home with normal people who do not have secrets. But reality is, of course, different.

Kalki in a still from the film.

The weakest portion of the film is what should have been the strongest. I did not see the climax coming, honestly (but some would and did) but after you finish the film, you realize that it was only waiting to happen all along. But again, I also think the film could have ended in several different ways, some more satisfying than the one that made the cut, in fact.

Vikrant Massey in a still from the film.

I would not trade any of these actors for anyone else. Casting is pitch-perfect. Kalki Koechlin as Mimi The Seductress, Tilotama Shome as Bonnie, Jim Sarbh as Brian, Gulshan Devaiah as Nandu, Konkona’s ex-husband Ranvir Shorey as the hot-headed Vikram, late Om Puri as O.P are perfect and pitch in fine performances. But the film belongs to Vikrant Massey (besides Konkona). He plays Shuttu, the innocent college-going boy who is also everybody’s handyman, someone’s babysitter and nearly-everyone’s target of playful bullying. Vikrant is a gifted artist and his portrayal of Shuttu with his many emotions testifies it. He is an absolute delight to watch. It would be a shame if he doesn’t bag many roles in the future.

I’m going with 3.5 out of 5 for A Death In The Gunj. It is available on Amazon PrimeVideo for watching.

PS: All the images are YouTube screenshots from the film’s official trailer.