A big Hollywood offering dominates the theatres as local films take a backseat this week.
Sudhir Mishra’s romantic political thriller Daas Dev starring Rahul Bhat, Richa Chadda and Aditi Rao Hydari is an audacious, dizzying, pulsating drama that merges two literary classics, Devdas and Hamlet, and transports them to a place light years away from their respective cores, says NDTV. The doomed love story of Devdas gets a vigorous contemporary spin—it isn’t quite as downbeat as the much-filmed original—and the tragic revenge saga of Hamlet winds up in a shadowy political household where intrigue and conspiracy lurk in every shady nook. Daas Dev must rank among the better screen adaptations of Devdas, not the least because of its daring, free-wheeling departures from the norm laid down for cinema derived from literary sources.
Mumbai Mirror is not as impressed with this modern retelling of Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s epic text on the brooding lover who takes to the bottle with an unwavering passion for self-destruction. The social construct of the time when Devdas was written perhaps, validated the story of minimum possibilities. And any contemporary adaptation would have to account for alternatives. But this one spreads its wings in all directions and loses focus of the core. Also a take on the Bard’s Hamlet, this one’s a bit overambitious and chugs down more than it can chew.
For the Hollywood fans, American superhero film Avengers: Infinity War directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, featuring an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Benedict Cumberbatch comes to India this week. The knowingly overstuffed Marvel mashup turns out to be bedazzling fun, despite the fact that this many superheroes means they’re all less special, says Variety magazine. The directors are far more stylish and exacting filmmakers than Joss Whedon, who made the first two Avengers films. Scripted with wit and savvy by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, Infinity War is a brashly entertaining jamboree, structured to show off each hero or heroine and give them just enough to do, and to update their mythologies without making it all feel like homework. At the same time, you may begin to lose hold of what made each of these characters, special.
The Verge calls it stunning, hilarious and heartbreaking. The long-awaited face-off between the Avengers and Thanos (Josh Brolin), the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) ultimate big bad duo, is massively entertaining, deftly incorporating dozens of characters across multiple storylines with a kinetic flair. Its devotion to banter and one-liners makes it one of the funniest movies in the studio’s history, but it’s also a film where very bad things happen to good people. After years of movies where even the most mediocre heroes appeared to be invulnerable and indomitable, it’s an arresting jolt—and exactly the film the franchise needed.
In the south, Tamil horror thriller Diya directed by A. L. Vijay starring starring Sai Pallavi, while well-intentioned, doesn’t provide a holistic view of the pro-choice versus pro-life debate, says The Indian Express. The story is predictable. There isn’t much surprise beyond the first few minutes until the very end. But the tone and the mood set by the director and his team is very effective. Diya has two heroes, one is Sam C.S .whose orchestral outreach (sometimes a tad overpowering) successfully gives a prevailing sense of unease. The other is undoubtedly Sai Pallavi, who makes a strong debut in Tamil with an incredibly subtle and measured performance.
Telugu comedy drama Achari America Yatra, starring Vishnu Manchu and Brahmanandam Kanneganti directed by S. Nageswara Reddy, is disappointing fare which fails on all accounts, says telugu360.com. The silly plot, weak direction and poor humour-laced scenes make this an awful film which can be skipped with no second thoughts.
Marathi film Nude directed by Rvai Jadhav starring Kalyanee Mulay and Chhaya Kadam is a poignant piece of cinema that doesn’t pander, says Film Companion. It makes a powerful statement about the patriarchal Indian mindset that a woman’s integrity is linked to and how she chooses to present her body to the world. Both Mulay and Kadam deliver powerful performances while the film is visually stunning.
Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Tom Altar-starrer Hamari Paltan, Tamil action comedy Pakkaa, Telugu drama Chennai Chinnodu, Malayalam films Thobama, Uncle and Aravindante Athidhikal, Kannada movies Kaanoorayana and Dhwaja, Odia drama Shakti and Bengali thriller drama Guptodhoner Sondhane.liveminta