Gumnaam (1965)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) The movie belongs to Helen and Mehmood with their huge screen presence overshadowing all other cast members.
2) A must-have Bollywood soundtrack/album from Shankar-Jaikishan with timeless gems like “Jaane Chaman Shola Badan”, “Hum Kaale Hain To”, “Jaan Pehechan Ho”, “Iss Duniya Mein Jeena Ho To”, “Jaane Chaman Shola Badan”, and “Gumnaam Hai Koi”.

 
CONS –
1) This Agatha Christie story adapted by Dhruva Chatterjee failed in execution by the director Raja Nawathe.
2) A weak screenplay is full of potholes underutilizing its excellent cast.

 
QUOTE –
“Mehmood : Khayaloon mein… Khayaloon mein… “

Death on the Nile (1978)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

PROS –
1) All the heavy-lifting is mainly done by Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot. He’s truly an actor’s actor.
2) The movie came into life after the 3rd murder.
3) Another Agatha Christie’s murder-mystery with a pan-European ensemble.
4) The scene at Temple of Amun with all the possible future suspects got to be the best scene of the movie.

 

CONS –
1) Quite a generic whodunit plot very similar to Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

 

QUOTE –
Hercule Poirot: “The great ambition of women is to inspire love.”

Double Face (1969)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 0
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) An erotic murder-mystery with some strange cinematography.
2) Klaus Kinski is known for his sociopathic roles. This time he plays a subdued husband trying to solve the case.

 
CONS –
1) It’s an average movie with terrible acting and incoherent screenplay but still got some weird elements which keep the audiences hooked.

 
QUOTE –
John: I’m looking for a blonde named Christine.
Concierge: Second floor, number five. You can’t go up. There’s already a man up there.
John: It will be more interesting.

True Detective (Season 1)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A must watch detective crime thriller of epic proportion with 17 years of non-linear storyline. It’s HBO’s reply to Memories of Murder (2003).
2) Matthew McConaughey as Detective Cohle gave a great performance of a sociopathic cop.
3) Opening song: “Far from Any Road”
4) Unapologetically good ol’ misogynist show with a high level of testosterone.
5) The climactic fulfilling scene between Rust & Marty

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
“Marty: A man’s game charges a man’s price. Take that away from this, you’ve nothing else.”

Riverdale (Season 1)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) An extraordinary teen-drama adaptation of Archie Comics characters from light-hearted comic-book stories to a well-executed dark murder-mystery.
2) Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper and Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones occupied the slot of central characters. Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom is also noteworthy.
3) Good soundtrack through-out the 13 episodes. e.g. Dean Lewis – Waves

 
CONS –
1) This show is riddled with aesthetic faces and that’s what keeps the show gripping even with mediocre sub-plots.
2) Every character is having multiple romantic link ups with every other character in every other episode. After a few episodes, the audiences will lose count.
3) Concepts of homosexuality, incest, forbidden love etc. are added left, right and center.

 

 
QUOTE –
Jughead: In case you haven’t noticed, I’m weird. I’m a weirdo. I don’t fit in, And I don’t want to fit in.

The Invisible Guest (2016)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) Devasted parents of a murdered son plan out the ultimate ploy for justice.
2) Ana Wagener as Elvira. Hiding in plain sight throughout the movie.
3) It’s a courtroom-drama enacted completely outside the courtroom with shades of Rashomon effect.
4) Mediocre first-half but exceptional second-half with the story unfolding with multiple plot twists.

 

CONS –
N/A

 
QUOTE –
In my 30-year career, I’ve met two types of clients. Those who accept their situation and cooperate, even if it means going where they don’t want to go, and those that think they’re smarter than I am and want me to get them off without getting dirty. You’re the second type. But let me be clear on this. There’ll be no salvation without suffering, and you’re not smarter than I am.

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A modern-western set-up in Sparta, Mississippi. Released at the height of the Civil Rights movement in the USA, the movie captures racism in a very pragmatic way.
2) Sharp screenplay, memorable music, and great cinematography.
3) A small town whodunit murder-mystery with subtle elements of a buddy-cop movie.
4) Rod Steiger as Chief Gillespie was an absolute charm to watch.

 
CONS –
1) Rod Steiger won Academy Award for Best Actor for his role but wasn’t he the second lead?

 

QUOTE –
Gillespie: “Virgil”? That’s a funny name for a nigger boy to come from Philadelphia. What do they call you up there?
Virgil Tibbs: They call me MISTER TIBBS!