1. Heart Of Stone(English): Almost two hours of plodding , and I realized Gal Gadot and her team are wannabe Mission Impossiblers, possibly on the lookout for their espionage franchise. But sorry, Gadot is no Cruise, although she tries hard. The stunts are strictly for the diehard fans of the action genre. Every time Gadot somersaults, I didn’t flip. She didn’t give me reason to.Her manoeuvres are purely green-screen antics.If the action sequences are meant to be so oafish, why spend so much money going to various countries?And who are these selfimportant aspirational 007s? Our Alia Bhatt comes into the picture an hour into the story , and even then she is uncertain about what she is supposed to do. Or say.She drops in and out probably wondering if it was worth it.She rattles of her lines as though reading from teleprinter. It is the only way she could get away with all the technical jargon on how to hack into classified information without getting caught. You need nerves of steel to sit through the tortuous trashiness of Heart Of Stone. Fans of Gal and our own gal Alia are especially advised to stay away: it may be a while before you would want to revisit their films again.
2. Kushi(Telugu): Named Kushi(which is Khushi without ‘h’), the only joy during the viewing of this dreary love drama is the coffee at interval point. Vijay Deverakonda , trying hard to act like a loverboy who hates Arjun Reddy, plays a BSNL employee who begs his boss Joya(Rohini) to be posted “somewhere nice cool and exotic” .She sends him to Kashmir. It turns out a punishment posting not for Deverakonda but for the audience who for the next hour or so is subjected to the most tawdry subversion of Kashmir’s terror links with Pakistan, with Samantha Ruth Prabhu masquerading as a Muslim ‘Begum’when she is actually a Brahmin.Samantha is neither interested in transitioning believably from Beghum to Brahmin nor does she seem to follow her character’s journey from a tourist in Kashmir to a married woman struggling to keep thoughts of elusive motherhood from destroying her family.If Samantha looks like a bewildering brew of broken and resilient, Deverakonda , saddled with a ridiculously rudderless character, oscillates between buffoon-lover and reluctant husband. Shallow to the extent of seeming designed for a doll’s house, Kushi is one of the poorest demonstrations of on-screen love in recent years. If one had to describe Kushi in one word, it would have to be plastic.
3. Thank You For Coming(Hindi): A tortuous flimsy discourse on sexual intercourse and the female orgasm, Thank You For Coming was like a joke without a punchline. Or sex without the climax. Bhunika Pendnekar groaned moaned and shrieked through a role that needed the sex appeal of Sunny Leone and the comic timing of Goldie Hawn. Honestly, this one needed nerves of steel to sit through. It was meant to be progressive. But seemed more like a kids’ party where everyone blew up condoms in the false belief that they were balloons.Delete, erase, trash.
4. Chandramukhi 2(Tamil): A shrieking banshee of a film, Chandramukhi 2 is more a series of hysterical skits on schizophrenia being passed off as stories of horror-possession. The horror of it is not so much that Kangana Ranaut plays a woman possessed at a pitch high enough to shatter eardrums. The real horror is that she comes into the picture at the fag-end when audiences have either abandoned the project or are so upset with what they have been subjected to that even an appearance by Elizabeth Taylor wouldn’t have helped.Kangana ,we are told, was paid Rs 20 crores for her fleeting appearance.For what? That is the mystery that we should explore rather than sit through two hours and thirty-seven minutes of traumatizing tripe, that makes the audience feel like they are trapped in a zoo, with all the antics happening outside the cages.
5. Dhooman(Malayalam): This is probably the great Fahadh Faasil’s worst film and performance. Even a supporting actor like Roshan Matthew makes a better impact than Faasil. We can comfortably blame this calamitous happening on the slippery slimy script. What was Fahadh,errr, smoking during the narration? That Fahadh shares more chemistry with Roshan Mathew than his co-star Aparna Balamurali is a comment on how misguided this whole endeavour actually is. We know cigarette smoking is injurious to health.But watching this lame pretentious cancer-can-be-fun laughable sermon on no-smoking is a heath hazard too.