• TV Show Review

    Pepsi, Where’s My Jet?, a miniseries that was gripping

    Can a half-a-line plot make a gripping mini-series? To see one, watch the Netflix show Pepsi Where’s My Jet? It is about a twenty-year-old John Leonard in the 1990s, fighting the mighty PepsiCo to make good on their promise of rewarding a Harrier fighter jet for those who collected seven-million Pepsi points in 1995. The four-episode series was not a courtroom battle, not a thriller of corporate espionage, not of unexpected twists, yet it was interesting and made me complete over an evening. If you ask what John Leonard did was audacious, yes it was! I liked the way the director Andrew Renzi focused on the two main individuals, John Leonard…

  • Movie Review

    See How They Run (2022), unpretentious yet entertaining

    There are films which have a simple plot, familiar characters, and unpretentious handling by the director, yet are entertaining. The comedy, murder-mystery film, See How They Run (2022) was one of those films and gets our Ripe rating. The lead actors Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan were instrumental in ensuring the period film set in 1953 London was humorous and enjoyable. Available on Disney+ Hotstar. A murder happens backstage during Agatha Christie’s play in a famous London theatre. A voice-over says this is yet another Whodunit (Who has done it) genre story. Though it was of that genre, the screenplay was uncomplicated and easy to follow.  I liked the recreation of…

  • Movie Review

    Bachelor (2021), was quirky and slow yet enjoyable

    The film had an interesting narrative style. In most scenes, we get dropped in the middle of the happenings, there were no gaps between scenes or context provided. This was profound in the first thirty minutes when we see countless characters in a bachelor pad and haphazardly several events happening. We are confused, only to understand what the director Satish Selvakumar had conveyed when the courtroom drama unfolds in the second half. Bachelor (2021) starring Divya Bharathi and G V Prakash Kumar becomes memorable only near the climax, which means you need to endure more than two hours of the slow and quirky screenplay. Due to its length, the film…

  • Movie Review

    Middle Class Melodies (2020), an underrated entertainer

    Middle Class Melodies (2020) starring Anand Devarakonda (Vijay Devarakonda‘s brother) and Varsha Bollamma is a movie with a simple story and it was entertaining.  I liked this feel-good movie, a genre which has become a rarity in recent times. Raghava, a graduate living in a small town dreaming of becoming big by cashing his culinary skills. Did he succeed by setting up a restaurant in the nearby city of Guntur and did he marry his sweetheart is the story? Director Vinod Anantoju has a done job in the casting. Every character including Chaitanya Garikipati as Gopal, Divya Sripada as Gauthami and Goparaju Ramana as Kondalrao were perfect for their roles. A…

  • TV Show Review

    Tamil Rockerz on Sony Liv, a familiar police-villain chase!

    🎥தமிழ் ராக்கர்ஸ் (2022), சோனி லைவ் தொடர். நாயகன்: அருண் விஜய் . நாயகிகள்: ஐஸ்வர்யா மேனன், வாணி போஜன். 👮🏾தமிழ்ப் படங்களில் (தொடர்களில்) நாயகன் பெரிய காவல் அதிகாரியாக இருந்தால்: – அவருக்குக் காதல் கல்யாணம் தான் ஆகியிருக்க வேண்டும், – மனைவி கொஞ்சம் நாளிலேயே வில்லனால் (கடத்தி) கொல்லப்பட்டு விடுவார், – நாயகன் இறந்த மனைவியின் மேல் இருக்கும் காதலை நினைத்து நினைத்து குடிப்பார், ஆனாலும் மிக நல்லவர், நிலை தடுமாற மாட்டார் – அப்போ எதற்கு பாட்டில் பாட்டிலாகக் குடிக்கிறார்? – காதல் மனைவி நகைச்சுவையாக பேசுவார், எல்லோரிடமும் நன்றாக பழக கூடியவர், கருணையே வடிவானவர், – பல சமயங்களில் காதலை, காதலி தான் சொல்வார், – நாயகன் கடமையே கண்ணாக இருப்பார், இரவு பகல் பாராமல் உழைப்பார், – மனைவியை சினிமாவுக்கு அழைத்து சென்றால், கடமை அழைக்க பாதியில் மனைவியை அம்போ என்று விட்டுவிட்டு செல்வார், – நாயகன் எவ்வளவு பெரிய அதிகாரியாக இருந்தாலும் நாயகன் மற்றும் அவரின் மனைவிக்கு…

  • Movie Review

    The Gray Man (2022), an uninspiring spy action

    If I am given just a minute to think of the story for a big-budget spy movie, I am likely to come up with something uninspiring like The Gray Man (2022). The Netflix original film made with a $200 million budget was much talked about in the Indian press for Dhanush playing a role in it. It was good to see Ryan Gosling in a full-length action film after the emotional hit First Man (2018), his excellent performance keeps us sitting through this film. It gets a Raw rating. Sierra Six is an undercover CIA assassin, while on a mission he gets access to a memory card that may contain…

  • Movie Review

    Ante Sundaraniki (2022), an enjoyable romcom that ran too long

    The film’s plot can’t be any less original than Ante Sundaraniki (2022), yet I enjoyed this romantic comedy thanks to a fine screenplay and good acting. Nani as Sundar Prasad and Nazriya Nazim as Leela Thomas have done their respective roles well. Joining their characters as their respective mothers are the two veteran actresses of South Indian cinema, Rohini and Nadhiya, and both were brilliant. Had the film been edited sharply and the three hours of running time tightened, I would’ve been happy to give it a Ripe rating on the Mangoidiots scale. Sundar Prasad is a Hindu boy from an orthodox middle-class brahmin family. His schoolmate is Leela, a…

  • TV Show Review

    The G Word with Adam Conover was largely fun to watch

    Many of us living in democracies are getting tired of our governments tackling the pressing issues of our times, like climate change, rising inequality, banking bailouts, slow pandemic response and so on. We are wondering what are the various government departments really doing? Are they just a drain on our hard-earned money paid as taxes?. Unfortunately, we the public have little understanding of the functioning of our government bodies, like the role of the regulators for food, health, medicines, banks, stock market & others. Why do they exist? Normally, we find these to be boring and we are interested to discuss elections and elected representatives, who keep us occupied by…