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Sharp Objects: Vanish (2018)
Gripping performances and a top notch direction by Jean-Marc Vallée.
Its impossible not to compare "Sharp Objects" to the massively successful "Big Little Lies" and while the story line of the two shows might be completely different, there is enough surrealistic direction to draw comparisons. Jean-Marc Vallee is an amazing director and how he weaves every shot is nothing short of astounding- the present and the past in this show are connected by a very thin line which adds to the mystifying feel of the series.
Amy Adams is no doubt one of the most talented actress of out generation and here too she shines. The bigger surprise however for me was Sophia Lillis who plays Adams' younger version- without saying much, her expressions reveal it all. The show also reminded me of the excellent film "Dolores Clairbone" in which too a journalist is sent to her estranged town- but this show is greatly creepier.
Overall, it was a great pilot and one that has me hooked to the series!
Shigatsu wa kimi no uso (2014)
So so beautiful!
Wow, this anime was really beautiful- not just in terms of its story but also in its visuals. The spring blossoms falling, the bright red-orange sunsets and what not! Sure it has its share of cliches and a lot of it also reminded me of the film 5 Centimetres Per Second, but then it was a beautiful story with touching characters. See this one on a rainy day and you won't be disappointed.
Ghoul: Out of the Smokeless Fire (2018)
Builds the tension well!
So finally, India's first major horror series is out and being a huge horror buff, I was really excited for it. And I wasn't disappointed.
"Ghoul" introduces intriguing characters and also a political theme. The opening sequence was well-done and while what happens next is a cliche you can see in any military-horror film, but it was at least executed well. Excited for the next episode!
What an episode!
This episode is criminally underrated- it really is! This was a beautiful, touching episode that made me choke up by the time it was over. I was just watching this anime for a guilty pleasure but boy isn't this anime beautiful! The sunsets and the beautiful animation....But this episode was different- tackling hard issues like pressure on children by parents who are never pleased, abuse and guilt! Beautifully moving!
Not at all scary, boring and confused!
Well, I liked "Pretty Little Liars" and I thought why not give this one a shot too. I was really dead wrong about this show.
"Ravenswood" is not just boring- it is plain dumb. The characters are annoying, make stupid decisions and there is just no suspense or scare here. There was a recent teen-horror TV series "Scream" that sustained the tension so well and had me pumping up to the finale. But this one just kept on putting up questions and questions up to a point where you demanded some answers. Obviously the answers are given in a rushed finale, but that leaves you more dumb than shocked! God, this show is really bad!
Now lets talk about some of the good things about the show: the performances are nice and I liked the girls who play Olivia, Remy and Miranda. The boy characters were just so annoying and I hated Caleb so much- with his one liners. This is not PLL where we would want some jokes. This is a horror show-give us some tension or some scares please. Also there were some creepy moments too- but only two or three in a series that runs for nearly 450 minutes!
Take my advice, see something else. Don't waste your time on this!
Sacred Games: Rudra (2018)
Wow this show has surprised me! You can never predict a singe thing here-who is who and who will die next! Many people might say that the show is copying GOT by killing anyone anytime! Please don't do that. This is an Indian show with an Indian identity that is both well-made and well-written! Indian television is finally changing for the good.!
Sacred Games: Pretakalpa (2018)
One of the best episode of the entire series!
When we binge watch a show, there comes an episode in the middle that truly shocks us in every way. Well, this is this episode!
The episode deepens on the mystery as to who is leaking the information in Gaitonde's gang while simultaneously solving the case of the old woman whose son has been missing. Apart from the story, this episode is beautifully acted and directed. I have spoken enough of Siddiqui in my earlier review, but the real actor here is Jitendra Joshi who plays the constable Katekar. The way the episode highlights about his family and all the sacrifices cops make is just amazing. If we had Emmy awards in India- this guy would certainly win for the best supporting actor. His performance is so nuanced and realistic but unfortunately underrated.
The one issue I had with the episode is its nudity. While I appreciate that Indian film industry is getting broader and more open minded but I would really appreciate if nudity is used in cases when it is really required. Remember how Rajkumar Rao went nude for "Shahid"- in that scene the nudity earned its spot when a cop beats Shahid naked. That scene created a sort of sympathy for the character and instilled in us a hatred for police brutality. But here it just seemed that the show is trying to be an another "Game Of Thrones".
Nevertheless, this was an amazing episode that is both suspenseful and emotional.
Sacred Games: Ashwathama (2018)
Intriguing and well-acted
This is how you begin a series! Let's admit it. The current state of Indian television is just devastating- from non-sense soap operas that will make you cringe- television is nothing but melodrama.
Leave it to Anurag Kashyap to revive the same. "Sacred Games" has been hyped so much around the Internet that it raises the question- is it really that good? Indeed it is. Well directed and superbly edited, this series will hook you from the very first scene itself- the way it clashes between past and present is amazing again.
But the biggest treat here are its actors especially Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Saif Ali Khan. Siddiqui is the kind of actor whose presence is enough to have you hooked- even his voice gives you the goosebumps. While the sharp writing is definitely to be credited for it, it is ultimately Siddiqui's dedicated work that makes this series work. Saif Ali Khan is also great and the way he goes around throwing abuses will surely make you laugh and raise your eyebrows at the same. Glad to see him in something different rather than stupid comedies like Humshaakals.
Overall- it is an amazing show that will hold your attention right away! Watch it!
Ek Doctor Ki Maut (1990)
A moving and beautifully made film that captures the corruption in the Indian System
"Ek Doctor Ki Maut" is an extremely engaging and well made film by Tapan Sinha that showcases how the jealousy and negligence on the part of some people can really lead to a real setback for mankind.
Pankaj Kapoor masterfully portrays Dr. Roy- a doctor/researcher working on the cure of leprosy. As soon as his research is publicized by the newspaper, Dr.Roy begins to be ridiculed and mocked at by fellow doctors. What follows next is Dr.Roy's oppression by the government and authorities and the corruption that prevails in this system.
Apart from this, the film also beautifully explores the relationship between a husband and a wife (again a touching performance by Shabana Azmi) and also that between friends .
Overall, an important film that deserves more recognition than it has got!
Riveting, emotional and one of the best television conclusions of all time!
I started watching "Gravity Falls" in 2014 on Disney Channel but seeing the marvelous quality of the show, I decided to give it a regular watch and god it was worth it!
Gravity Falls is one of the most amazing Disney shows of all time and it isn't just humor or the supernatural that makes it great- but a powerful emotional resonance that will move everyone!
This finale left me in tears-it was action packed, smart and kick-ass (I am in love with Grenda-she is a bad ass!) but above all it was so touching and moving and said so much in this short 40 minutes length. The themes of growing up, leaving things behind and moving on without forgetting the past and always placing family above all- this episode addressed all.
Overall, this is a show that has secured a place in my heart and I am not forgetting it in this life!
The Sinner: Part I (2017)
Intriguing and Intense !
Well, I had really high hopes with "The Sinner" and although the episode took time to kick in, it was worth the wait.
Jessica Biel plays Cora -a mom whose another day at the beach turns to a horrifying one when she commits a violent act. That is all I am going to say about this one.
The performances are top notch here-Biel, Bill Pullman and Christopher Abbott- all give in excellent performances. And the best part about this show is that it is not a whodunit but a whydunit and that what makes it special! Give the episode time to kick in and you will really enjoy it.
A satisfying if not a great conclusion to the series
So PLL has finally ended after 7 long seasons with a finale that we had been waiting for. ......
The 80 minute run time was great and I really felt the show winded up many of its characters pretty well and although there were hell lot of sex-scenes and it did get a little cringe inducing at times--it was still okay. The final scene with the Liars reuniting was also satisfying and that time I really felt that I was going to miss this show. It was a little cheesy but who are we fooling ? PLL has always been about cheesiness.
The big AD reveal was kind of disappointing. I Marlene was planning for a shocking revelation but ended being totally non-sense. There were many answers that were left unresolved.
But the episode as a whole did convey the sense of completeness that I was hoping for. Janel Parrish was amazing in this episode and she is really one of the best part of the show.......
Overall it was a satisfying conclusion that could have been so much better!
Pretty Little Liars (2010)
Pretty Little Liars- An Entire Series Review
So I started watching Pretty Little Liars aka PLL in 2015 and today when it is nearly the end of 2017, I finished it. I wouldn't exactly label it as an addicting show like Stranger Things or Big Little Lies or GOT- but this is a show that has its own kind of addiction. You might not end up binge watching it (which probably explains what took so long to complete it) but this is a show that you can't leave once you started if you are really interested in drama-mysteries.
Plus + Points :
1. The series has great character development and also a flood of characters every season. You have the writer Aria, the quirky Hanna, smart Spencer and sensitive Emily as your four major Pretty Little Liars. Also on the list is enigmatic Alison and one of my favorite character -----Mona. You start with four girls as they try to solve the murder mystery of their friend and as the series progresses you see them grow, their friendship strengthened as they deal with their own personal issues. The performances are awesome too and I can't pick out out a single one cause every character ends up being memorable.
2. The mystery. The show is not like your everyday mystery show where every season provides with answers. PLL is a show that requires patience, you eventually get to know everything but you have to connect the pieces together . I was really impressed by how I Marlene King knew what she was doing and eventually ended up answering most of the questions if not all throughout the series. It also leaves your brain sometimes to connect all the dotes and all the interwoven plots are really well written. Also just to mention-it is not your very real to life story, PLL is set in its own world something like the Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys universe.
3. The uniqueness. Even a good show can get tired with itself. PLL always found ways to be fresh and original. Whether it be the twists and turns or the creepy episodes in the 4th season, this show always knew how to stay original.
4. The themes. PLL is just so much more than your mystery drama. It is also one heartfelt exploration of love, loss, friendship, sexuality, parenting, divorce, extra-martial affairs, family and hope. Only I know how much I have learnt from this show about all the things in life we take for granted especially family.
Minus - Points.
1. Stretched Way too Long. PLL was an amazing show but it really started to feel tired and was stretched way too long. It should have stick to 5 seasons and it would have been perfect.
2. Idiotic Twists. Sometimes PLL threw in twists that literally came out of nowhere and didn't connect at all especially in the major 'A' reveal. It was really a disappointment for a series this smooth.
3. Uneven seasons. I really enjoyed the first two seasons, the third one was also thrilling, the fourth was also okay, the 5th dragged a bit, the 6th season started off well but got so much bad, the 7th was fast paced and exciting but the finale wasn't just that appealing.
PLL definitely has its share of negatives but it is a show every teenager should watch. It is not only well-written with great one-liners, philosophy and life lessons, it is also a show that teaches so much about life. I learnt so much from this show and I am really thankful for that.
Thank you PLL for the wonderful experience all these years. Thank you!
Happy Death Day (2017)
Highly Entertaining, Self-Aware Film With A Stellar Performance By Jessica Rothe
Last few years haven't been good enough for the slasher genre-the same repetitive story-line about a psychopath butchering dumb characters until one virgin girl is left to confront the masked girl- has now become mundane. What the genre needs is some fresh breath and surprisingly, this film delivers something more.
"Happy Death Day" revolves around Tree who wakes up in Carter's dorm room thinking it to be a one-night stand. She dresses up, goes to her sorority house, romances her professor and while going to a party in the night-is murdered by a killer wearing a mask.....Then she opens her eyes, she is again in Carter's room and all the events repeat,as it is,ending with Tree again getting murdered. Tree realizes she must uncover the identity of her killer if she is to break the loop.
Even if you are not a fan of the genre, you will be thoroughly entertained by HDD cause it is such a lightly handled and easy going fun-ride which never takes itself too seriously. The biggest strength of the film is that it exactly knows what it is. Surprisingly it also plays with your expectations--so if you are signing for a horror-splatter fair -you will be disappointed cause this film is not even remotely scary, Consider it as a 'Mean Girls' meets 'Your-Average Slasher Film' meets 'Groundhog Day'. The time loop sequence is well-executed and just when you fear that it might get monotonous, Christopher B. Landon throws a clever montage at you with Demi Lovato's 'Confident' playing in the background. Jessica Rothe puts her heart and soul into her performance and even for a film this cheesy, she delivers it all. Supporting cast like Israel Broussard as Carter, Ruby Modine as Lori and Rachel Matthews as Danielle-also shine in their parts.And while the film fails as a horror film it balances it with an emotional appeal and even a touch of philosophy! How crazy is that! As for the flaws, the killer reveal was disappointing for me--- it really came out of no where. But the final twist was nonetheless satisfying.
But still its flaws don't hinder it from shining- HDD resurrects the slasher genre with its own unconventional spins.Here the protagonist isn't your virgin, calm and bookish girl but rather a mean-spirited and kick-ass biyotch. All its humor and performances culminate to give a feel-good and well-executed film. Don't miss it!
Can't I give it more than 10 ? Tell me I can IMDb.
This episode was brilliant- absolutely brilliant. There was never a moment wasted- each scene made sense.
It was tensed, very emotional and scary to the most-I could hear my heart beating faster and faster. The performances all rocked especially Sean Astin took the show this time. He was brilliant and easily one of the most memorable character of the series.
My favorite episode of the entire season. Loved it!!
Big Little Lies (2017)
A Perfect Life Is A Perfect Lie
'Big Little Lies' has for its opening scene, five of its leading ladies taking their children to school, while the shots are interwoven with dazzling ocean shots, sex imagery, as a soothing track 'Cold Little Heart' by Michael Kiwanuka plays in the background. The surrealism of the opening scene has you hooked, and so does the entire series.
Moms with their first graders, dropping them off to school. How can this become a series which has already swooped away 8 Primetime Emmys, taking in award in every major category it was nominated! 'Big Little Lies' might seem like an another of those clichéd dramas involving parents but this is a masterpiece that proves you wrong shooting you right in the heart in the pilot itself. There have been pleasing shows exploring the concept of secrets and bitching like 'Desperate Housewives', teen-favorite 'Pretty Little Liars' and the recent 'Devious Maids'- but 'Big Little Lies' has its own ways of exploring the themes, it knows where to be soft and where to be brutal. By brutal, I am talking really brutal!
We have Madeline, Celeste, Jan, Renate and Bonnie- all mothers of first graders who are there to drop their children for the orientation. Madeline is the quirky, outspoken one BFF with Celeste who has two lovely boys and a lovely husband, Renate is the grossly rich CEO working mom, Jane is the newbie in town fighting her troubled past while Bonnie is married to Madeline's ex Nathan. After an incident of bullying on the orientation day of the school, Madeline becomes friends with Jane whose son has been accused. As the situation gets worse, dirty secrets are exposed, love is hindered and a deadly past crawls out from the grave, ultimately leading to a final-showdown at a fund-raising event.
To say that one factor upheavals the show would be untrue cause this is a show that is made phenomenal by its entire crew- be it the vivid approach of direction that is both mainstream and David Lynch like, or the haunting cinematography, the masterful screenplay and obviously the talented cast. Kidman and Witherspoon rule this series, while the former plays a wife who has a seemingly perfect life- the other is dealing with the consequences of her own actions. These two actresses know how to literally switch personalities with their characters and its hard to talk about their unnerving talent without spoiling the entire show- just know that Witherspoon plays the most lovingly bitchiest character you'll see while Kidman brings forward the plight of women stereotyped as 'housewives'. Woodley is never given enough character development due to the slow build up- but when she really comes to the picture, she displays why she has developed such a massive appeal in her short acting span. Skarsgård comes out as a riveting surprise of the entire series- you'll know it when you have seen it. Dern also doesn't lets her supporting character be thrown into the background- playing a rich and overprotective mother, and that too with a charm. Other cast members like Kravitz, Scott, Tupper and Nordling to give the best in their relevant roles. No doubt the show was nominated for the best casting choice and won too!
The gossip talks are beautifully explored with dexterity that is so close to brilliance- you have town folks being questioned one by one in random sequences that pop midway – that contributes largely to know more about the characters. However the best part about the series is that it's just not limited to its gossip material- it explores so much about female psychology coming out as very sensitive drama discussing issues like marriage, sex, extra-martial affairs, violence, rape and bullying, parenting, hope and love. Violence is graphic at times but never over the top- it's up to a level that is just necessary to showcase the heinous evils of the society. It also cleverly debunks the theory of perfection in today's world and is stated amazingly by one character's lines,
"Beautiful, rich, and madly in love something's got to be wrong.."
The series does kinda goes downhill after the third episode- the fourth and fifth episode could have been joined in one. The final twist is predictable, but satisfies largely.
'Big Little Lies' is kind of Desperate Housewives meets Gone Girl vibes, but has an undeniable identity of its own. Watch it !
13 Reasons Why: Tape 1, Side A (2017)
Its bane and boon is- its way too truthful to its adaptation.
I read 'Thirteen Reasons Why' five months back and I really enjoyed it- the concept of our little deeds really influencing someone to suicide was mind-blowing. Then the TV show happened and with a lot of hype. So I finally decide to check this aware that I will not be disappointed and I wasn't.
13 Reasons Why makes a familiar but still pleasing pilot, much thanks to its talented cast that worked very well especially the two leads Dylan Minnette and Katherine Langford who deliver great performances especially the latter who gets into the skin of her character- that was the Hannah we wanted for 13 Reasons Why.
While the plot seems familiar since I am already acquainted with the book but impressively the makers and writers do add their own perspectives to make the story more relatable to its current audience- the dialogues that have Google maps in their context that wasn't quite a thing back in 2007 was really witty.
Overall liked it- the theme of the episode was well delivered.
A satisfying conclusion to a powerful drama
In one sitting..In one sitting I watched 'Big Little Lies'. Don't know if its the magnificent cast, or the surreal direction or the addictive screenplay but this series magnificently works. Also I am in love with the theme song that plays at the beginning.
So talking of the finale, it couldn't have been handled better- it was intense, emotionally powerful, empowering and more importantly satisfying. I was really impressed with the way they wrapped it all in a dramatic ending. I had guessed the mystery and whodunit scenario in the 3rd episode itself but still was thrilled to see my theory actually being true. The entire cast was brilliant- Witherspoon, Kidman, Woodley, Skarsgård, Dern, Scott and Kravitz. But overall this show has been governed by Witherspoon- her bitchy likable character was easily the best part.
BLL's mastery lies in the fact that it covers more issues than it promises and serves as an eye opener for sensitive issues and plight of women in it.
Overall a heavenly bliss to be a witness of a show this good...
Big Little Lies: Burning Love (2017)
"The Food ain't tasty"
Whenever a shocking scene comes in BLL, I am not surprised. Having seen 6 episodes you do realize that it can get really nasty all of a sudden.
What my real issue has been- that all along BLL was shown as a murder mystery all along and the first 4 episodes were moving with that ominous tone but now it feels like the show is isn't an Agatha Christie thrill ride- its a psychological and social drama about the lives of three mothers and the different issues they have had. Shailene Woodley gets her bite of cake in this episode and so does Zoë Kravitz who had been thrown into the background for this long. Skarsgård impresses as he has in previous episodes.
The episode was in fact great and the tension in the get together scene was well showcased. The episode did get a little cheesy at points but it only enhanced the plot. Lets see the surprise the finale has!
Big Little Lies: Once Bitten (2017)
"Evils of a seemingly perfect town"
Perfection is a myth. Don't believe it- see "Big Little Lies".
To be honest, despite this being a top rated episode I found it to be a little slow. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't have an impact- it does and has a very powerful emotional resonance to it and again the show is stolen by its three ladies- Witherspoon, Kidman and Dern. Woodley is also perfect in her portrayal but there is very little time and development given to this character. Our heart now mainly goes for Kidman and Witherspoon.
This episode was like every other intense, well-acted and hauntingly explored a social evil- domestic violence. It goes brutal without being brutal and its largely due to Kidman's performance and the complexity in her character- she deserves her Emmy this time, she really does.
I had signed in for BLL for a murder-mystery. I got so much more than that- a heartfelt drama that openly talked about sex, extra- martial affairs and abuse. The story goes along smoothly and performances are stellar while the cinematography and surrealistic direction really transforms you to the town of Monterey. Its a show that has an impact and leaves you to think- SEE IT.
It just keeps on getting better
I just cannot sleep until I finish this work of art and dexterity."Big Little Lies" is so fine a show that you don't want it to end, its that great and this episode justifies that.
We learn more about the ladies's past and their ability to hide it shrewdly.Nicole Kidman literally gets into her character Celeste and so does a surprising Alexander Skarsgård as her husband.There is more light thrown into romances of the past while a dark, dirty future is being ominously hinted at.
The show has literally brought forward some very sensitive issues and that too with a realistic brilliance-why ladies endure domestic violence, suppress their own dreams for their families and would do anything for the safety of their children. Emotional, disturbing, touching and tensed- this is a series you don't want to miss.
Big Little Lies: Living the Dream (2017)
"Rich, beautiful, madly in love..................Something had to be wrong"
Third episode of a bitchy tensed drama.And it is getting intense.There is something in this show- be it the flamboyant cast, the jazz,R&B music or the weird kind of feeling with the cinematography- this show has you hooked literally.
The episode was quite well handled and got quite intense at times- it knew where it was to get intense without over exaggerating like other thrillers. The lives of modern parent who want the best for their children or rather want the society to look that they want the best for their children is beautifully explored in this episode. Laura Dern steals the spotlight here, while Woodley who wasn't getting much in the initial phases gets to show how unnervingly talented she is. Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are shining in every episode so its futile to talk about these two stars.
In other words, this was a great tensed episode with character revelations while justifying the title..
Can't wait to see where these ladies go now...
Petty, little feuds
Another episode of a tensed, funny and suspenseful series. God, I am enjoying this. BLL is slowly beginning to uncover its themes- I think the show heavily deals with the themes of parenting and the lives of parents behind the parenting veil.
10 minutes into this episode and you get a very tensed moment almost to the point of being uncomfortable-the series has you hooked. With vivid characters especially Witherspoon in this episode, keep you chained throughout-you don't blink, you don't look at the time- all you are interested in are the lives of three mothers.The feuds each character has and how they intensify with minor details is awesome. How can a show about moms of 1st graders be interesting ?
Big Little Lies proves it can be.
Big Little Lies: Somebody's Dead (2017)
"Well Acted, Tensed And A Great Way To Start A Series"
From the moment "Big Little Lies" starts- you are hooked- waves crashing, moms driving while an another scene has flashbacks of a gruesome murder. I was hooked from the very first scene- the slow build up which slowly leads to a tensed moment and that too involving moms of 1st graders was something really appreciating. The characters were introduced cleverly which leaves you wanting to know more about them and thus maintaining suspense. This is going to be a great series.
The cast is awesome- Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Alexander Skarsgår who give in extremely tensed performances with so much realism.Hats off to these guys.
A very good pilot to a seemingly good series.Hoping for the best.
Lets do it all again!!!
So I wasn't impressed when they decided to this 5 year jump but nothing could stop it.One more episode after "Game over Charles" would have been enough to wrap this great show gone average but then again its all about the money isn't it ??? So here we have again the Liars back for an another mystery.....
Surprisingly,I was impressed by this episode about they weaved all this and this episode somewhat got nostalgic---The Liars now completely changed with their new love lives and ghosts of their past buried?? Or are they????The episode revolves around Alison trying to convince the Liars to help release Cece.So the liars are back and how the makers put forward the new environment and how the girls react to it was really impressive.Spencer meets Toby and that was touchy,Aria meets Ezra and so on..............So overall it felt good but I had hoped that if they would have done this years later like a revival or miniseries or something this episode would have just been perfect-----they could have just revived it like Gilmore Girls and thus increase the nostalgia for the years to come..But the show has to continue for 7 seasons so they dragged it..:(....
For the most part I liked this episode and even though Vanessa Ray really had a role for about a minute or to her performance really moved me.The best part however was how they paid homage to the first episode of the series and that is where I found a smile on my face.Lets uncover an another mystery!!