Vivek Agnihotri‘s The Kashmir Files emerged as a sleeper hit and collected over Rs 100 crores at the box office in two weeks. The film continues its run in theatres and is Bachchan Pandey‘s biggest competitor at the box office.
Silverscreen India brings to you, a compilation of reviews of films that released both online as well as offline last week:
Jalsa (Amazon Prime Video)
Suresh Triveni’s Jalsa features actors Vidya Balan and Shefali Shah in lead roles. The film also stars actor Surya Kasibhatla as Balan’s son with special needs. Born with cerebral palsy, Kasibhatla’s casting is one of the rare instances of actors with special needs essaying the characters as well.
Maya Menon, played by Balan, is a well-respected journalist while Ruksana Mohammad, played by Shah, is a cook and caretaker to Maya’s son. “A fateful accident makes it so that Maya cannot look Ruksana or herself in the eye. Jalsa follows the trajectory of her fall.”
For Sankeertana of Silverscreen India, the casting of Balan and Shah as two mothers is genius.
About the film, she writes, “ Jalsa isn’t just interested in the economic disparity. It also wants to see how disparate thought is based on where one comes from. The rich can afford to be indifferent, charitable, angry, and vengeful, but those less fortunate have to choose the path of forgiveness and compromise, even if unwillingly. Even if begrudgingly. ”
For Anupama Chopra of Film Companion, while the film explores the familiar territories of class, religion, power, co-screenplay writer Prajwal Chandrashekar and dialogue writers Abbas Dalal and Hussain Dalal create a more intimate drama.
Chopra reflects similar sentiments as Silverscreen India‘s Sankeertana in terms of the portrayal of differences, and writes, “The film isn’t shrill in calling our attention to the difference between Maya and Ruksana’s circumstances. Instead, every interaction underlines how disparate their worlds are.”
Anna MM Vetticad of Firstpost, calls the film “unslottable” – “that is not specifically about anything yet is about everything, ranging from class differences to happenstance and the call of the human conscience – in short, it is about life itself.”
She also credited Chandrashekar and Triveni’s screenplay, Hussain and Abbas Dalal’d dialogues, Shiv Kumar Panicker’s editing, Saurabh Goswami’s cinematography, Anthony B Jayaruban’s sound designing, and Gaurav Chatterji’s background score make the film worth every moment.
However, it is “the casting of Surya is just one of multiple reasons why Jalsa is an unusual Hindi film worth celebrating,” Vetticad adds.
Jalsa has an IMDb rating of 6.8.
The Rosshan Andrews directorial is the tale of a young and zealous cop who goes against his amoral colleagues to save an innocent man from spending a lifetime in prison. It features actors Dulquer Salmaan, Manoj K Jayan, and Diana Penty in prominent roles.
For Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India, even though Salute is a good-hearted film, it comes with a “sly exterior – a slogan on a banner – that tries to cover up the flaws of an utterly lazy screenplay.”
She writes, “In Salute, Andrews and his writers, Sanjay-Bobby, do not map out the background of this conflict but direct their energy to launch a regular cat-and-mouse chase between Aravind and the anonymous killer. As a result, you never learn about Aravind’s inspirations or the emotional details of his relationship with the people around him.”
Vishal Menon of Film Companion, writes that the film’s ambitions are two-fold. “What this does is keep one part of the film interesting because it’s also about a faceless, nameless criminal who needs to be found. Yet on the other side, we get flat, pointless scenes about faceless, nameless family members to pursue an emotional depth to Arvind’s crisis.”
According to Anna MM Vetticad of Firstpost, the film does not adhere to the conventions of the Malayalam filmverse. “It is neither loud nor flashy as commercial cop films from this industry often are. It is not preoccupied with the hero’s swag, which is particularly commendable because that hero is played by the producer.”
Despite its missteps such as the stretched screenplay, Salute works for Vetticad because of “Jakes Bejoy’s music and DoP Aslam K Purayil’s frames that smoothly shift from the personal to the panoramic and back when the need arises,” in addition to Salmaan’s performance.
Salute has an IMDb rating of 7.3.
VK Prakash’s Oruthee features Navya Nair in the lead role and revolves around Radhamani and her fight against a corporate company.
Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India, calls the film “the tale of a woman surviving urban misery”.
“Oruthee is a film that doesn’t aspire much. There is no real in-depth analysis of the life of women in a big city or an ending that puts forth a grand worldview,” she writes, and notes that it is Nair’s performance that really charges up the film.
According to Vishal Menon of Film Companion, the film “has an easy pace that takes its time to set up Radhamani’s everyday routine and although it contributes to creating a realistic connect with her situation, it postpones important events until much later, when it begins to feel hurried.”
He also credits Nair’s performance along with Vinayakan’s that keeps the audience invested in the film.
Oruthee has an IMDb rating of 9.4.
The Farhad Samji-directorial features actors Kriti Sanon, Akshay Kumar, Arshad Warsi, Pankaj Tripathi, and Jacqueline Fernandez, in prominent roles. The Hindi remake of Karthik Subbaraj‘s 2014 film Jigarthanda, Bachchan Pandey revolves around budding filmmaker Myra Devekar (played by Sanon) who is tasked with creating a film on a gangster, and the events that transpire after she crosses paths with him.
“Akshay unfortunately is saddled with a sloppy script that is too afraid to take chances with him,” she writes.
Chopra also notes the age differences between the female characters in the film. While Seema Biswas plays the role Kumar’s mother despite an age gap of four years, Sanon essays his romantic interest with a jarring difference of 16 years.
For Monika Rawal Kukreja of Hindustan Times, the film somewhat works in blending the “two genres that Akshay seems to have mastered — action and comedy.”
While the film opened with Rs 12 crores, its earnings on the second day dropped to Rs 11 crores, thus taking the collections to stand at a little over Rs 23 crores.
Bachchan Pandey has an IMDb rating of 7.0.