• Trainwreck: Woodstock '99

    Trainwreck: Woodstock '99

    It is important to begin by saying that growing up when I did, in the 2000s, and learning about pop culture and music in a country belonging to the Global South, I had never heard of the Woodstock concerts and the incidents that took place in their aftermath. I was also not aware of the popular bands from the 90s and have never indulged in them since I started listening to music. Later, when I have come to hear, read,…

  • Carter

    Carter

    Netflix’s latest offering in the array of their many action-adventure productions, ‘Carter’, directed by Byung-gil Jung, is viscerally violent in its action. Sadly for the Korean film, it is equally violent in its visual aesthetics. Even for the more lenient fans of the action genre, which I consider myself as one, the film becomes the opposite of what it intended to be. Jarring and incoherent execution of high ambition makes the film exhaustive, not engrossing. The film’s flimsy excuse of a story could not be compensated by the relentless hammering of action sequences that provide very little thrills.

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  • The Fledglings

    The Fledglings

    It’s a major challenge to deal with the subject of visual impairment in a movie or a documentary. Because cinema often uses people’s sight as a prominent tool to guide us through certain experiences. Nevertheless, there have been quite a few filmmakers who respectfully and intimately wade into the world of visually impaired individuals, and try to open us to a vast sensory world that we can otherwise never understand. Polish documentarian Lidia Duda’s deeply empathetic and non-intrusive gaze in…

  • Thirteen Lives

    Thirteen Lives

    Thirteen Lives is based on a miraculous true story that took place in 2018 Thailand, also known as the Tham Luang cave rescue, where a group of 13 people – 12 children and their football coach found themselves trapped inside a flooded cave for three weeks. The incident is fairly recent, and has been covered twice for the screen – in Feras Fayyad’s 2019 film The Cave and last year’s documentary from Academy Award-winning filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy…

  • A Perfect Day for Caribou

    A Perfect Day for Caribou

    ★★★½

    Jeff Rutherford’s feature-film directorial debut A Perfect Day for Caribou (2022) carries the spirit of Jim Jarmusch. On the outset, it seems to be telling the tale of an estranged father and son. It is set in the vast, rural region of Mid-West America, and somewhere in the 1990s when people used brick-like mobile phones. However, the gorgeous monochrome cinematography (by Alfonso Herrera Salcedo), dry and deadpan humor, the intersection of mundanity and a dreamlike feeling, and finally the portrayal…

  • Gabbeh

    Gabbeh

    Gabbeh or a magic carpet in the oriental imagination is the traveler’s joy, the means to navigating the far and unknown. In Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s film (the first in his ‘Poetic Trilogy’), it is a Gabbeh that an old couple stumble across, floating on a river, which sweeps us into lands lined by cascades of clear waters and a collision of colors. Rippled by variegated hues of blue as diverse as shades of sky meeting the horizon, this carpet featured a horseman carrying away his girl across what seemed an endless highland.

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  • Prey

    Prey

    In the first Predator (1987), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and a host of other actors well known for playing macho characters during that era, form an elite paramilitary rescue team that is tasked with a mission to rescue hostages in a guerrilla-held rainforest territory. At a glance, the screenplay by Jim and John Thomas screams typical action movie fare, the dialogue and the male posturing emphasizing that sentiment and doubling down on it. The action set-pieces with explosions and…

  • Bullet Train

    Bullet Train

    Arriving at its station two weeks after Jordan Peele’s sci-fi western Nope (2022), Bullet Train offers its own lively blend of well-chosen cast members and a director who unabashedly wears his influences on his sleeves. However, whereas the former does so with richly allegorical subtext to match its suspenseful genre thrills, David Leitch’s action comedy about a group of hired guns who all converge on the same locomotive going from Tokyo to Kyoto is a film that feels like it…

  • Honor Society

    Honor Society

    Just like its protagonist, ‘Honor Society’, released on Paramount+, is neat and smart. Director Oren Zegman and writer David A. Goodman (‘Family Guy’) have collaborated to produce a zany and confident story that works both as a high school drama and a dark comedy, with the fast-paced narrative of a heist movie. Lead by an unerring performance from Angourie Rice as Honor, this constantly-breaking fourth-wall film hardly skips a beat in its pulsating exploration of the cutthroat competition that comes hand in hand with education these days.

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  • Wedding Season

    Wedding Season

    ★★

    “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!” is one line of information that I have been fed over the years, so relentlessly that I have no doubt whatsoever when such a clichéd dialogue can appear in a situation, even on screen. I went into Wedding Season expecting these little tidbits splashed here and there. That’s exactly what happens in Wedding Season, a film that tries and tries to get past clichés but never succeeds. It follows the…

  • What Josiah Saw

    What Josiah Saw

    An original Shudder production- What Josiah Saw is a high-concept drama that breaks the traditional tropes of horror to evoke some form of disjointed and absurd fear in the viewers. Be it the odious setting or the almost neo-noir genre, the film will definitely keep you on your toes.

    What Josiah Saw is a story of an estranged family- Josiah Graham (father), Miriam Graham (mother), Tommy (youngest son), and the twins May (daughter) and Eli (son). Josiah lives with his…

  • Darlings

    Darlings

    ★★

    Dark comedy can be a tricky genre. While it permits a filmmaker the creative freedom needed for their ideas to flourish, it also allows them to play with character motivations, leading their dark and/or grey nature to weave into the tapestry that they have created. With Darlings (2022), director Jasmeet K Reen and co-writer Parveez Sheikh turn a Mumbai chawl into a place that entirely operates within our realities but is heightened by a sense of extremities.

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