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Critics’ Review Roundup: ‘Spider-Man’ & ‘Pushpa’ Continue to Perform Well Despite the Release of ’83’

Cinemas in India continue to thrive thanks to Spider-Man: No Way Home. The Marvel film has become the biggest film of 2021 with global box office collections of over $1 billion, and Rs 165 crore in India.


Releasing a day after the superhero film, Pushpa has been ringing the cash registers as well. The latest release of the week, 83, however, is struggling to find its feet.

Silverscreen India brings to you this compilation of reviews from both critics and audiences of all the films that have released this week in theatres as well as online-streaming platforms:


This Kabir Khan directorial features an ensemble cast comprising Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, JiivaTahir Raj BhasinSaqib SaleemHarrdy SandhuAmmy VirkPankaj TripathiBoman Irani, Nishant DahiyaSahil Khattar, and several others. It was one of the highly-anticipated films of the post-pandemic era.

The story revolves around the Indian cricket team and their journey as the underdogs who go on to win the country’s maiden World Cup in 1983, under the leadership of then captain Kapil Dev. Dev’s character is essayed by Singh in the film.

Swathy R Iyer of Silverscreen India felt the film’s focus on the team’s struggles fluctuates and she noted that it glosses over the finer details of the sport. “Although it tries to paint a picture of the sport as a force that unites, the way in which it tries to do this is bizarre,” she wrote, adding that the focus largely shifts to ‘locker-room banter’ and the team’s off-field camaraderie.

Anupama Chopra of Film Companion, called the film “unabashedly manipulative,” and wrote, “Cricket is positioned as a cure-all – the sport ushers in love, communal harmony, national pride, and a sense of identity for a nation still struggling to establish itself on the world stage.” While the ideas and execution are simplistic, she found the film still works.

For Anna MM Vetticad of Firstpost, while the film brims with cliches, they don’t prick because of Khan’s directorial finesse. “83 works nevertheless because it is a celebration, it understands the difference between opponents and enemies, and because of its cast,” she wrote.

Almost all reviewers noted that the film refrains from villainising the players of the opponent teams – a common trope in sports films that aim to tickle patriotic sentiments. Singh’s performance as Dev stood out as did the fact that all actors physically looked their parts.

83, which was declared tax-free in New Delhi ahead of its release, collected over Rs 14 crore on its first day.

The film has an IMDb rating of 7.2.

Atrangi Re (Disney+ Hotstar)

Aanand L Rai‘s film features actors Dhanush, Sara Ali Khan, and Akshay Kumar in the lead, playing the characters of Vishu, Rinku, and Sajjad, respectively.

As per Disney’s synopsis, “Runaway Rinku gets forcefully married to an already engaged Vishu. The love triangle gets weirder when Rinku’s lover Sajjad shows up.”


Sankeertana of Silverscreen India called the film a mess, but one that is endearing at times. Among the film’s merits, for her, is its interesting use of the language barrier between the lead couple. However, she noted that instead of just following Vishu, the film would have been served better if told primarily from Rinku’s point of view. She further added that “the film’s take on trauma and mental health is comically offensive and uneducated.”

Anupama Chopra of Film Companion reflected similar sentiments and said the film required a more sophisticated understanding of mental health. She also wrote, “Though the film is centred on Sara Ali Khan, it is Dhanush who does the heavy lifting.”

Both the Silverscreen India and Film Companion reviews highlighted that AR Rahman is the true star of the film.

For Anna MM Vetticad of Firstpost, Atrangi Re is the oddest Hindi film of 2021. “There is a difference between complexity and contrivances. Atrangi Re confuses the two and piles twist upon twist to sustain its bizarre plotline,” she wrote. She also highlighted the glaring age difference between Khan and Kumar, which adds to the “discomfiting, icky nature of the relationship” between their characters.

The film has an IMDb rating of 7.3.

Minnal Murali (Netflix)

Basil Joseph’s Minnal Murali features actors Tovino Thomas, Aju Varghese, and Guru Somasundaram, among others.

According to Netflix’s synopsis, “A tailor gains special powers after being struck by lightning, but must take down an unexpected foe if he is to become the superhero his hometown needs.”

Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India marvelled at cinematographer Sameer Thahir’s camerawork for keeping the film free of flamboyance. She further added, “The two (principal) characters are not driven by material ambitions or masculinity-related issues but by a deeply personal quest for love. Basil and his writers, Arun Anirudhan and Justin Mathew, substitute the pessimism of Western superhero movies with scenes about empathy and romance.”

Vishal Menon of Film Companion too highlighted the connection that the film strikes with Indian audiences owing to its non-Westernised portrayal. “Minnal Murali is finally a superhero who behaves and speaks just like us, without it having to feel like a compromise,” he wrote.

Anna MM Vetticad of Firstpost reflected similar sentiments and called the film culturally-rooted, observant, and insightful. “Basil’s film may be a tribute to the Hollywood superhero genre and made on a larger budget than is the norm with Malayalam cinema, but it is also everything that the Malayalam New New Wave of the past decade is loved for across India.”

The film has an IMDb rating of 8.6.

Shyam Singha Roy

Nani-starrer Shyam Singha Roy is a period drama that also features Sai Pallavi, Krithi ShettyMadonna Sebastian, and Rahul Ravindran, among others. Directed by Rahul Sankrityan, the film is a period drama centred on Nani’s character who has Telugu as well as Bengali ancestry.

For Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India, the film takes up done-and-dusted tropes like reincarnation and prioritises visuals over good writing. What stood out for her was the cinematography and the performances. “The pivotal architect of Shyam Singha Roy is cinematographer Sanu John Varghese, whose cinematography is as elegant as the writing is mediocre. He creates gloss and grit in equal poise, adding depth to even the shallowest scenes.”


Noting that the women actors are the film’s saving grace, she found it incongruous that the male lead draws his heroism from “playing a saviour to women.”

Mukesh Manjunath of Film Companion, on the other hand, felt that the film could have focused more on the titular character. He also added, “Rahul Sankrityan struggles to get the balance of language right – there is a heavy dose of Bengali and the justifications given by Shyam and Rosie as to why they speak in Telugu seem half baked.”

While applauding the performances by Nani, Pallavi, and Sebastian, Sankeertana Varma of Firstpost, felt the film itself comes across as expendable. “Even if the film does manage to tie everything together in the end, the lack of conflict makes it all seem like an expendable experience. A film can make one feel many things, but not indifferent,” she noted.

The film collected around Rs 7 crore (gross) on its first day of release, in the Telugu-speaking states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The film has an IMDb rating of 8.8.


Samuthirakani-starrer Writer, directed by Franklin Jacob, is a realistic crime drama.

Franklin, who has assisted director Pa Ranjith in films like AttakathiMadras and Kabali, told Silverscreen India that Writer revolves around the rarely-discussed working class in the police department. “When I began to research the jobs there that are least talked about, I felt the station writer role was unique and wanted to make that the lead character,” he added.

Writer is produced by Ranjith’s Neelam Productions.

Referring to films such as Visaranai, Jai Bhim, and Karnan, which also have significant police characters, Nadika Nadja wrote in her review for Film Companion that Writer “tries to talk about something none of these films have: the mental health of the people who have to carry out the state’s dirty work. The people who are told, over and over again, just follow orders.” However, she added that the film could have looked at certain characters in depth.


Ashameera Aiyappan of Firstpost noted that the film unfurls as a lifestyle movie more than a cop drama. “Writer only falters a bit in the final act where it stacks revelations one after another. But even in these relatively weaker portions, the film has enough emotional gravitas to keep us hooked,” she added.

The film has a 9.3 rating on IMDb.


Apart from the aforementioned films, other movies like Rocky, Kunjeldho, Blood Money, and Anandham Vilayadum Veedu also released this past week, giving us enough content to chew on until the release of RRR on January 7.