Several commenters on my reaction to the trailer of Allu Arjun’s new film DJ told me I should watch Arya 2 and Arya.
I didn’t LOVE Raabta as much as Margaret of Don’t Call It Bollywood did, but it was a welcome couple hours of escape for me this weekend. We have a family member that has just been put into hospice, and this movie took me away to beautiful Budapest for a bit. Several shirtless scenes of Sushant also helped very much, the first in the very first minute of the film.
As Margaret said, it’s Magadheera, but totally different. If you want an action film, go see Magadheera. But Raabta is a timepass romance with some angst.
For Bollyfools, I watched a few of the new Regional trailers, which unfortunately have no subtitles! Super frustrating.
I have only seen Allu Arjun in Rudhramadevi and he was amazing in that, even though he was not the lead. I watched both the Rom Com feeling teaser, and then the full trailer, neither of which have subs. Anyone that speaks Telugu, help me out as to what’s going on. Is it a double role? The action looks cool, and even though I’m not a Pooja Hegde (ugh, Mohenjo Daro) fan, the rom com aspect looks adorable.
Dhanush has VIP 2 which will also have KAJOL!! So excited to see her in a new film. I don’t speak Tamil, and I’ve not seen VIP 1, so I have no idea what’s going on in this trailer. That ending flying kick looks super cool. Any translation help would be most appreciated!
Kartik from Bollyfools translated Rana’s new teaser for me. The title means I am the King and I am the Minister. Rana will be opposite Kajal for the first time, and I’m really excited to see that. When he’s on the scaffolding with the noose, Rana says, “I will decide when I die, and I will decide when you die!” I love that shot with him as the prisoner about a foot taller than all the guards behind him.
I can’t review Wonder Woman like any old film. It shouldn’t be so momentous that a woman director has directed for the first time a superhero film, that cracked $100 million opening weekend. But it is. Patty Jenkins had directed an Oscar winning independent film, Monster, that cost $8 million, had garnered the Directors Guild Award for the TV Series The Killing — and yet…. the headlines said it was a “gamble” to let her helm a superhero film. It is maddening. When young male directors are given huge action or superhero films after smaller indie films, it’s not called a gamble. The Mary Sue called out this double standard misogyny.
I can’t separate my review of the film from what it has felt like to read about other women’s reaction seeing the film. It’s everything to see a woman centered superhero film, directed by a woman. And then there are the pictures of the little girls who dressed up to see the film, or got to meet their heroine. Gah!
I was a young girl when the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman TV show aired in the US. I watched it every week!
It is everything for these girls now to have both a female lead for Star Wars and now Wonder Woman.
So, how was the film? It was good. Very good. I don’t know if I can call it great merely as a film — but at this point, it’s not merely a film, it’s a cultural phenomenon. I can’t separate all my feelings out. I will tell you that Gal Godot was excellent as Wonder Woman. When she was cast, people said her accent would be horrible — you know what? I thought it was perfect. It made her seem that much more “other” — that she had been raised on this isolated island away from the world.
Chris Pine was fantastic. It was huge that someone who had headed up his own franchise, Star Trek, was willing to play the sidekick to a female Superhero. This is what Chris Pine said back in 2015 when he was cast as Steve Trevor:
“What excites me most is to work in a movie with a superhero woman. With a woman in the lead role. I am teamed with this intelligent, beautiful and strong woman to defeat the villains and save humanity.”
He had a nice comedic touch in early scenes with Gal Godot, and there was great chemistry between them, too, especially in a nice scene where he teaches her to dance. Let me just tell you also, another nice thing about a woman director — we learn just how much male nudity you can have in a PG-13 film! He’s not a damsel in distress, but he’s always the one to say, “No, Diana, you can’t do that.” And then he turns around and she’s already done it. Like the incredible No Man’s Land scene.
I really enjoyed the early part of the film, where we see little girl Diana watching her aunt, General Antiope train the Amazon warriors. And how cool is it that Robin Wright, Princess Buttercup herself is this badass warrior! Connie Nielsen was also perfectly cast as Diana’s mother.
I really enjoyed the film right up till near the end. It was a solid film. The battle on the Amazon Isle was great. But nothing was so visually stunning that it took my breath away.
Where the film was a bit lacking for me was the villain reveal and the way the film ended. I won’t go into spoilers exactly why. My main issues, though were with the villain’s motivation. As my son said, “The themes got a bit muddy there at the end.” Still, this was a film that was about something and not just watching superheroes crash into buildings. Diana believes in the inherent goodness of humanity, and then learns the world is more complex than she thought. Someone’s sacrifice restores her faith in humanity.
There is actually Oscar talk about Wonder Woman. This is big. And I’m not just talking about technical VFX awards. Anne Thompson of Indie Wire wrote today that she could see a supporting nod for Chris Pine and a best actress nod for Gal Godot. Wouldn’t that be something to see?
I have been going back and forth on my rating between four and four and a half stars. It’s not a perfect film, but it felt so damn good. Gal Godot is the perfect Wonder Woman — And for those little girls!
I’ve never really reacted to a teaser trailer before, but I am super excited about this one for Mahesh Babu’s Spyder, due out in September. I went on a binge of Mahesh Babu films last year, and unfortunately, the first film of his I saw in the theater was Brahmotsavam, which was a confusing mess. Spyder is directed by the Murugadoss who gave us Aamir Khan’s Ghajini, which is a masterpiece. Crossing my fingers that he gives Mahesh as great a movie. September seems very far away!!
Rarandoi Veduka Chudham (Come, Let’s Watch the Spectacle) is an enjoyable family drama starring Naga Chaitanya and Rakul Preet Singh. This I believe is their first film together, and the first time I’ve seen Rakul in a film.
This film is put out by Naga Chaitanya’s family banner, and he did well in the film, but frankly, I enjoyed his 2016 films Premam and Sahasam Swasaga Saagipo much more. The first half of this film is slow, but it’s saved by the last hour or so of the film when the conflict comes to a head.
I also enjoyed seeing Jagapathi Babu again as Naga’s father. He was Mahesh Babu’s father in Srimanthadu.
Margaret of DontCallItBollywood and I have been friends for a couple of years, and I was the one that got her to start watching Malayalam films. There’s only one theater in Chicago that plays them, and we meet in the middle there to watch them together when we can. It’s a 45 minute drive for both us — but for Dulquer, it’s worth it! I’ve started doing regular reviews on the Bollyfools Youtube channel, and this is my first joint video review with Margaret. We filmed it quickly in the lobby of the theater, so I apologize in advance for all the background noise.
How we met through her masters thesis project, and how we both started watching Indian films!
I loved this charming sweet film! Ayushmann Khurrana and Parineeta Chopra were both great in this best friends to lovers romance. First time director Akshay Roy did a fantastic job, and I can’t wait to see more films by him. I loved how he gave a wink and a nod to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope, and even directly referenced Natalie Portman in Garden State.