The race for Oscar heats up with some good movies this week.
‘Hidden Figures’ is a true story of 3 gritty black women working for NASA in the 60s when America still had ‘racism’ and blacks had everything separate, including bathrooms! Very good performance from all three of them (Henson, Spencer and Monae) where they portray characters who contribute actively in sending the first American to space despite social and personal hurdles. Kevin Costner does well to remain in the background despite being a superstar. A must watch if you love history!
‘Split’ might resurrect the career of Night Shyamalan as he gets back in to his groove once again. He should thank James McAvoy for playing the lead of a split personality to perfection and Anya Taylor-Joy for essaying the character of one of his victims.
‘Lion’ gets in the race for Oscar along with Dev Patel (won the BAFTA for the best actor) as ‘Saroo’, as he makes his way back home from Australia with the help of Google Search, after getting lost in childhood and adopted by Australian parents. Nicole Kidman sans makeup gives a stellar performance as the Australian mother. Sunny Pawar as the young Saroo certainly is the flavor of the Oscars this time and might help pip the movie towards the goal to do a Slumdog. Besides, a ‘poor India with its struggling characters’ is always the favorite of the 60+ aged Oscar jury and director Garth Davis ensures that he doesn’t leave any stone unturned with cameos from Nawaz and Tannishtha. My personal favorite for the Oscar best movie, though ‘Lalaland’ might just play spoilsport. Oscar or not, Google is definitely the winner!
The same cannot be said about Bollywood this week.
‘Rangoon’ is probably the movie with the worst ending sequence ever, if you excuse Mithun’s earlier movies and some B grade Bhojpuri films. It is a complete let down by Vishal Bharadwaj, considering that I had even liked his flop ‘Matru ki Bijli..’. The good things about this movie are camera, choreography, CG and Kangana. The first half is in order and lulls you in to thinking that the second half would be crafted by the master in to an exciting finish. Set in the times of the final years of India’s freedom struggle and the Indian National Army, it confuses and constantly shifts gears from being a espionage thriller and a romantic mush. Watch it on Netflix or Amazon (once it releases on either) if you are a Kangana fan. Shahid is good, but his association with Vishal seems to be dwindling in fortunes gradually from ‘Kaminey’ and ‘Haider’. Saif plays himself-sans expressions! Good to see Gerson DaCunha as his father.
‘Mona Darling’ is a great example of how a good plot can go awry if you don’t have a proper script in place and actors are non actors.The whole movie is shot in darkness and adds to the nonsensical plot.
This week its best to focus on Hollywood and cheer for your favorite Oscar nominated movie.