HIT & Trance are on Amazon Prime

Two recent films I saw in the theater, are now streaming on Amazon Prime.

HIT is a Telugu mystery thriller starring  Vishwak Sen as a troubled detective.  This film produced by Nani is worth a watch!

 

Trance is a Malayalm film starring Fahadh Faasil as a faith healer preacher.  It’s the first film with Fahadh’s wife Nazriya since Bangalore Days.  The film is directed by Anwar Rasheed, director of Ustad Hotel.  The first have is exceptional, but I found the second half abstract and confusing.  Still worth a watch for Fahadh’s performance, and the supporting role of director Gautham Menon.

Top 5 Tamil Films of 2019

 

Honorable mentions:

Viswasam:

 

and Bigil starring Vijay:

 

5. Kaithi:

4. Magamuni

3. Asuran

2. Peranbu

1. Super Deluxe

Super Deluxe was my favorite Indian film of all of 2019.

Mahanati Review – Keerthy Suresh captures the magic of Savitri

I have been anticipating Mahanati for a year, since Dulquer Salmaan posted a picture of himself on twitter as Gemini Ganesan, announcing that he was debuting in his first Telugu film, a period piece.

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I didn’t know anything about the legendary actress Savitri until I posted my trailer reaction to the Mahanati teaser trailer.  I asked for people to send me links and clips, and my Youtube viewers sent me songs and scene clips, but universally, they all told me I HAD to see Maya Bazar.  Boy, am I glad I watched the 1957 classic film before I watched Mahanati.  Because the very first glimpse of Keerthy Suresh in the film is a filming of a famous scene from Maya Bazar, and I recognized it immediately.  Watching Maya Bazar meant I could judge whether Keerthy was nailing it as Savitri — and boy did she ever!

Here’s my full review of the film:

 

Nadigaiyar_Thilagam_Stills__7__0Dulquer Salmaan had to walk a fine line.  He played the actor Gemini Ganesan, who married Savitri even though he was already married, and also had a mistress (with whom he fathered Rekha!).  He has to be so charming and compelling that you believe that Savitri would fall for him, and you also don’t like him very much at many points in the film.  He did an exceptional job.

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Vijay Deverakonda and Samantha Akkineni play newspaper reporters compiling a story about the mystery of Savitri’s last days.  They have a wonderful chemistry together.  Samantha Akkineni has a career best speech in the final 15 minutes of the film.

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Hats off to director Nag Ashwin, for an incredible film, only his second full length feature film.  This film covers the 50’s through the 80’s and the period details seem to be perfect.  Many, many scenes from classic films are recreated, including actor Naga Chaitanya playing his grandfather ANR.  It’s an amazing scope for a film, and so ambitious a project.

But the key is that Keerthy Suresh really captures the charm and spirit of the legendary actress Savitri.  It’s a career best performance for her. The soundtrack is also exceptional, and I’m playing Mooga Manasulu (Muted Hearts) on repeat.

Melanie on Splitscreen Podcast with Shah!

Shah Shahid invited me as his guest on his Splitscreen Podcast where we talked about Bollywood news and upcoming films.  It was a wonderful conversation!  We talked about  the Sanju trailer, and Veere Di Wedding.  I also introduced a few Regional film trailers to Shah, including Ranam Detroit Crossing, Mahanati and Naa Peru Surya.

 

 

Avengers Infinity War – Review with my son Josh

I saw Avengers Infinity War with my husband and my son Josh.  I invited Josh to be my special guest and discuss the film — because Josh has lots of opinions about Marvel films.  First we did a completely spoiler free review of the film.  We both liked it, and would give it 4 stars out of 5 – but the full evaluation has to wait for the final installment next year.

 

Our “Spoilerific” discussion was more lengthy, as we really dive deeply into the ramifications of the ending of the film for other upcoming Marvel films that are scheduled to be released in the next few years.

Sanju Trailer Reaction – It’s Amazing!

I just watched the teaser trailer for Sanju, and my mouth is hanging open in amazement.

Rajkumar Hirani is the same director who made Munna Bhai MBBS and also blockbusters like PK and 3 Idiots.  This trailer is simply genius, and I love how Ranbir breaks the fourth wall and talks right to the audience.

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I am blown away by the makeup and how Ranbir carries himself just like Sanjay.  We have 2 months to wait, until June 29th.

Here’s the trailer so you can see for yourself just how well Ranbir Kapoor pulls it off:

Bharat Ane Nenu Spoiler Free Movie Review

 

It’s a solid film, and a much needed hit for star Mahesh Babu.  Director Siva likes to add a message to his dramas, and he gives us an almost too perfect political hero — but gives the fans what they want with some great action sequences.  The music by Devi Sri Prasad is a standout.  The village festival number in the second half was more incredible than I imagined it would be.  From the stills in the lyrical video, I knew it would be my favorite, and it was just gorgeous!  Really good background score too.

 

 

Mahesh Babu gives a stellar performance, especially the speeches.  There’s one particular intense speech he gives at a press conference that is one of his finest spots of acting of his career.  He always looks cool in the action and songs, but here Siva has given him some meaty drama scenes to play, and he hits it out of the park.

I wasn’t surprised at the reveals in the last half hour.  I found the plot sometimes predictable, but I still enjoyed watching it all play out.

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Pardesi in The Hindu newspaper!

Suchin Mehrotra contacted me as he was writing an article about Non-Desi promoters of Bollywood who live outside of India.  It was published in The Hindu!

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Chicago-based Melanie Greenberg looks to do just that through her YouTube channel, Pardesi, where she reviews the latest releases in Hindi, Tamil, Telegu and Malayalam cinema.

Her love was sparked three years ago when she chanced upon Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge on Netflix. She was smitten by Shah Rukh Khan and never looked back.

Her more formal induction into the world of Indian cinema was aided by bloggers Kathy Gibson of accessbollywood.net and Margaret Redlich, who runs dontcallitbollywood.com. Apart from reviewing films, accessbollywood. net maintains an up-to-date list of the Bollywood films available on Netflix and Amazon in the U.S. while dontcallitbollywood.com devotes a page to ‘Starter Kits for Indian Film’ with posts on everything from regional films to top stars and a history of the industry.

Redlich has also written a book Don’t Call It Bollywood – An Introduction to the Hindi Film Universe to tell the uninitiated that Bollywood is about more than “flashy dance sequences and unbelievable plots.”

Glad my pals Margaret of DontCallItBollywood.com and Kathy of AccessBollywood.net get shoutouts — and even pictures!

Check out the full article here.