Salman Khan’s Antim and Silambarasan TR’s Maanaadu were the two big releases to hit Indian theatres this past week. Antim was highly-anticipated since Khan’s last film Radhe took the digital route and released on ZEE5 Premium on a pay-per-view format. Maanaadu, on the other hand, suffered multiple delays before finally hitting cinemas.
John Abraham-starrer Satyameva Jayate 2 also released in cinemas on Friday.
On the other hand, Venkatesh Daggubati’s Drushyam 2, the Telugu remake of the Malayalam hit Drishyam 2, released on Amazon Prime Video, following the footsteps of the original. And post a successful theatrical run, Rajinikanth’s Annaatthe began streaming on Netflix and SunNXT, just three short weeks after its release on Diwali.
Meanwhile, Silverscreen India brings to you this round-up of reviews of the films that released in the last week, both theatrically and on OTT.
Nithya Gnanapandithan of Silverscreen India, wrote that the filmmaker, who “sticks to the central plot and only provides diversions of the quirky kind that mostly add to the entertainment without detracting from the core thriller,” is the real star of Maanaadu.
Ranjani Krishnakumar of Film Companion wrote, “This is perhaps the only film where the hero not trying hard enough can be entertaining.”
Srivatsan S of The Hindu, said that Venkat Prabhu “takes a mainstream Hollywood trope and converts it into a masala film, thereby making the final product look refined.”
All critics agreed that the film primarily excelled due to Prabhu’s writing that uses a science fiction trope to create an effective thriller.
The film has a current IMDb rating of 9.4.
Drushyam 2 (Amazon Prime Video)
Venkatesh Daggubati’s Drushyam 2 is the Telugu-language remake of Mohanlal’s Malayalam hit Drishyam 2.
The film marks the Telugu debut of filmmaker Jeethu Joseph, who also helmed the original. In a conversation with Silverscreen India, Jeethu revealed that he was in Hyderabad for the Telugu sequel’s script discussion on the day Drishyam 2 released.
The film takes off six years after the events in Drushyam and revolves around Rambabu’s attempts to save his family from a police investigation. Actor Meena, who plays Jyothi in the sequel, appeared as Rani George in Drishyam and its follow-up as well.
Critics commended the film for remaining faithful to the original with only minor changes, mainly owing to the lead.
For Mukesh Manjunath of Film Companion, Venkatesh’s Rambabu feels more playful than Mohanlal’s Georgekutty which “makes Rambabu’s plight more desperate. His plans to save his family seem more reactionary than Georgekutty’s cunning or genius schemes.” Manjunath added that the sequel is “stronger than its predecessor, directed by Sripriya, because it is more cinematic.”
Sankeertana Varma of Firstpost, wrote that the sequel is more methodical than it is emotional, and added, “It repeats the same threat, so the audience isn’t as involved as they were for the first instalment. But all those complaints vanish once you start looking at this film not as a sequel, but as the same film but from a different perspective.”
Drushyam 2 has a current IMDb rating of 8.6.
Salman Khan’s Antim follows the story of a cop in Mumbai, who tries to fight and stop the land mafia. The film also features Aayush Sharma and Mahima Makwana, among others. It is directed by Mahesh Manjrekar.
The film is the Hindi remake of the Marathi film Mulshi Pattern.
Anupama Chopra of Film Companion said the fatal flaw of Antim is that it keeps interrupting the main narrative to shore up its star. She added, “The trouble is that the film, already shouldering the burden of Salman, soon dissipates into a head-swirling saga of guns and goons.”
Udita Jhunjhunwala of Firstpost found Antim to be “a violent, testosterone filled crime drama where men shoot first and don’t even think later.”
The film has collected somewhere between Rs 4.25 to Rs 4.5 crore, and has struggled to garner footfall outside of Maharashtra.
It has a current IMDb rating of 8.1.
Satyameva Jayate 2, written and directed by Milap Zaveri and starring John Abraham, is a spiritual sequel to their 2018 film Satyameva Jayate. It is a vigilante action thriller that revolves around the misuse of power in all spheres.
Anupama Chopra of Film Companion wrote that Satyameva Jayate 2 is more a showreel for Abraham’s body than a film. She notes that it could be viewed as a “tutorial on how not to make a movie” or as a “tour of the problems that plaque the country. Because Milap hasn’t really written a script. He’s stitched together assorted scenes that expose corruption, atrocities against women and children, venal politicians and policemen.”
For Tatsam Mukherjee of Firstpost, the film “is an ugly exhibition of appeasement filmmaking, where a director is trying to tick off as many boxes of the audience he can appease, using the most tired tropes in the history of Hindi cinema.”
The film collected between Rs 2.75 to Rs 3 crore on its first day, and around Rs 1.75-2 crore on the second.
It has an IMDb rating of 6.4.
Chhorii (Amazon Prime Video)
Nushrratt Bharuccha’s Chhorii uses the horror genre to talk about female foeticide and infanticide.
As per the official synopsis, it is the story of a couple expecting their first child, who are forced out of their home and escape from the city to seek refuge in a house located deep inside sugarcane fields. The house is inhabited by an old couple who seem to know more than they tell.
The film is a remake of director Vishal Furia’s own Marathi film Lapachhapi. Furia told Silverscreen India that they have stuck to the soul of the original and added that a lot of attention has been paid to the film’s sets, costume design and colour scheme.
Anupama Chopra of Film Companion said the film, though well-intentioned, is dotted with logical fallacies and gets a bit stretched. However, she commended the director for getting the atmospherics right.
Manik Sharma of Firstpost, meanwhile, wrote that Chhorii “wants to be an eye-opening montage of patriarchal horrors but there is little that is spooky or spunky about this film that meanders, aimlessly for the most part, almost like the field it is set in.”
Chhorii currently has an IMDb rating of 7.3.