Paatal Lok (Mini-Series)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 

PROS –
1) A small-town politician decides to get rid of his rival’s loyal henchman and ends up opening a pandora box. The numerous colorful characters involved in this mess are merely a ruse, irrelevant to the main puppeteer Bajpayee (played surprisingly by Anup Jalota).
2) The sub-plots and backstories are better than the main plot. Without the flashbacks, it’s an ordinary episode of Crime Patrol.
3) Jaideep Ahlawat finally landed up in a show where he can show his true prowess.
4) Fast-paced screenplay and brilliant writing by Sudip Sharma.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
“aisa shaastron mein likha hua hai, par maine WhatsApp mein padha hai”

Duel (1971)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) It’s one nail-biting thriller that will keep the audiences on the edge of their seats.
2) That rusted gigantic truck is an intimidating walking piece of horror. It’ll give chills to audiences every time it reappears on the screen.
3) The unseen truck driver makes it scarier. It appears as if some supernatural force is behind the wheels.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
David Mann: You can’t beat me on the grade. You can’t beat me on the grade!

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A gripping heist-thriller with superb writing. This shows no matter how tense the primary plot is, witty writing should never be compromised.
2) The codenames used by the perpetrators clearly a big influence on future directors in heist movies. e.g. Reservoir Dogs (1992) and most recently Money Heist (2017).
3) Peter Stone’s tight screenplay.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Garber: 26 minutes? Your instructions were complicated. The money has to be counted, stacked, tied, transported. It isn’t physically possible.
Mr. Blue: You’d be surprised what’s physically possible.

Miracle Mile (1988)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) Almost real-time screenplay after Harry gets the fateful call.
2) Soundtrack by Tangerine Dream – Running Out Of Time

 
CONS –
1) Forgettable main cast.
2) I wasn’t expecting a dark nuclear holocaust climax for a movie which appeared as a rom-com from the very first minute.

 
QUOTE –
Julie Peters: People are gonna help each other, aren’t they? Rebuilding things?
Harry Washello: I think it’s the insects’ turn.

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

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

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) An imposter on a murder spree to hide his misdeeds.
2) Mostly shot in scenic Italy.

 

 
CONS –
1) Tedious first half, boring screenplay overall. The movie is 30 minutes too long. It’s more drama and less thriller.

 

QUOTE –
Tom Ripley: I always thought it would be better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody.

A Simple Plan (1998)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) A Coen Bros. movie not directed by them. A companion piece to Fargo (1996)
2) Oscar-worthy performance of Billy Bob Thornton as Jacob stands out.

 
CONS –
1) 30 minutes too long.

 

QUOTE –
Neil Baxter: Looks like we’re both gonna have an awful lot of explaining to do.
Hank Mitchell: Just me.

Uncut Gems (2019)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) How Much Land Does a Man Need? Safdie Brothers recreated Leo Tolstoy’s classic tale of greed. A gambling addict risked it all but paid with his life.
2) Adam Sandler as Howard Ratner gave his performance of a lifetime. Never Before.
3) The movie reminds me of Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing (1956), where the audiences are rooting for the protagonist to win but the climactic twist will leave everyone shell-shocked.
4) Kevin Garnett’s playing himself gives great weightage to the plot.

 

CONS –
N/A

 
QUOTE –
Howard Ratner: I know, I know. Jews and colon cancer. What’s is that? I thought we were the chosen people.

Deliverance (1972)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A canoeing adventure gone wrong for 4 friends.
2) The fascinating anti-establishmentarian character of Lewis played by Burt Reynolds primarily in the first half of the movie.
3) The male-rape scene was shocking and disturbing. There is some serious amount of body-horror in this thriller. Drew’s badly twisted corpse, Lewis’s broken femur sticking out was one unbearable sight to see.
4) Dueling Banjos

 
CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Lewis: Machines are gonna fail. And the system’s gonna fail. Then…
Ed: And then what?
Lewis: Then survival. Who has the ability to survive. That’s the game: Survive.
Ed: And you can’t wait for it to happen, can you?

Southern Comfort (1981)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) An extraordinary paranoia thriller with 9 National Guards running for their lives when the tables are turned.
2) The bayou; the swamps; the entire background of this in-house-Vietnam movie is exasperating.
3) The unsettling dialogue-less climax with the last 2 remaining soldiers trying to escape the Cajuns.
4) Parlez Nous à Boire

 
CONS –
1) A weak cast but still a strong movie.

 
QUOTE –
Sgt. Casper: There’s supposed to be a river here.
Spencer: Them ecology boys must’ve moved it.

Unknown (2011)

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

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) A fast-paced and gripping thriller from the first to the last minute.
2) An assassin who mistakes his fake identity to be his reality because of a freak accident.
3) Great supporting cast with legends like Frank Langella and Bruno Ganz

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Ernst Jürgen: In the Stasi, we had a basic principle: ask enough questions and a man who is lying will eventually change his story. But the man who tells the truth cannot change his, however unlikely his story sounds.