• Movie Review

    Chocolat (2000)

    Chocolat (2000) is a comedy-drama that happens in a small village in France during the 1950s. It follows Vianne Rocher, a chocolatier arriving in the quiet community resulting in residents opening up to new possibilities. I easily get interested in movies that cover tightly-knit communities and the dynamics within, so I liked the film. It had a predictable story and a slow screenplay that won’t be fancied by most. Chocolat is available on Netflix and scores a ‘Raw’. Vianne Rocher, a single woman and her daughter live like nomads moving from one town to another, staying in each place for some time but never burying their roots anywhere. During one…

  • Movie Review

    The Last Mercenary (2021)

    The Last Mercenary (2021) is a French action-comedy that is available on Netflix. The screenplay feels like an attempt by Bollywood to give an action film with sentiments. A long lost father, who was the top-secret agent (Richard Brumère or The Mist) in the country, gone rogue and now a mercenary, coming back from hiding to protect his only son (Archibald), who has lost his government given cover and protection. The film gets a mangoidiots rating of ‘Raw’ for some good action sequences by  Jean-Claude Van Damme, whose appearance reminds me of Pradeep Rawat of Ghajini’s fame. Archibald’s secret identity is being misused by a bad guy who plans to put…

  • Lounge

    My failed visit to Paris in 2016 and Schengen VISA

    Today I started re-reading Ms Pallavi Aiyer’s book on Europe “Punjabi Parmesan”. She starts by sharing her anxiety and feeling of being treated second-class as she waits with a blue passport (Indian) in the queue at immigration in Brussels while her Spanish husband and baby boy sailing through the area with their maroon (Spain) passports. This reminded me of one of the many incidents I have had with applying for VISA or the experiences I have faced at the immigration counters in a foreign airport. The below incident happened to me in 2016, for that year’s summer vacation, my wife & I decided to go to the beautiful city of…

  • Movie Review

    The Girl with a Bracelet (2019)

    The Girl with a Bracelet aka La fille au bracelet (2019) is a french courtroom drama. It was about a teenage girl on trial for killing her best friend based on circumstantial evidence. The movie was not about who killed the girl, but the process of what happens when you are accused of a murder and how it affects your family. It was well taken and I enjoyed the film. I am happy to give it a Mangoidiots rating of ‘Ripe’. Be aware that there are visuals of blood and a dead body in the film. And there is obscenity in the dialogues. For a film that carefully avoids becoming…

  • Movie Review

    Alice (2019)

    Many artists around the world, in many languages, have written heart-wrenching stories about women getting into (not those who are trafficked) the oldest profession due to utter despair in order to earn a living and save their loved ones.  Alice (2019), an award-winning French film is a modern-day, realistic version of this. The film was not about being sensual, but about the hardships and struggles faced by Alice, the Protoganist who was a loving and caring wife being cheated by her husband both financially and in their marriage. It is available on Kanopy. Married to a hard-working manager in a firm who is also a writer, Alice with a young…