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Trailer Talk: What to Watch (Or Ignore) in January

The return of Akshay Kumar??

January sees 4 big releases- K-horror Alone, whimsical Hawaizaada, gritty Baby and OTT Dolly ki Doli. We tell you what to watch

Hawaizaada

Our thoughts about Ms. Sonam Kapoor are complicated.

We enjoy how she remains the rare film star who makes films expressly for young women- be it candy floss romances like Khoobsurat or Austen adaptations like Aisha. We also think that given the right role (See: Ranjhana), she can be a good actress. But everything she does also seems to emerge from a cocoon of privilege (much like the Akhtar siblings). All emotions are at surface, most of the characters (apart from her) in the whole world are caricatures, and everything trends a little too young. If she was fourteen and just discovering herself, we’d applaud her. But she’s older, and should know better. Which brings us to the trailer of Dolly ki Doli

Dolly ki Doli

We love stories with a good con job at their center, and the amount of fun Dolly seems to be having is infectious! We also love the costumes, and the reliable band of character actors that fill up the peripheries of the film.  Plus, it is always a treat to watch Malaika Arora Khan dance! But what we can’t stand is the way almost all female characters, apart from Sonam, are relegated to stereotypes- either jokes or sex objects, and nothing in between. Also Rajkummar Rao >>>>> Pulkit Samrat, and nothing will convince us otherwise.

Will we watch it: Well, let’s just keep a close eye on the spoilers, shall we? If Dolly ends up riding into the sunset fancy free at the end of the film, we will rush to the theatres, but not if she ends up falling for one of the men she cons. That’s one cliché too many!

Baby

We will watch anything with Huma Qureshi in it. And anything with Kay Kay Menon. And almost anything with Akshay Kumar (sorry, Singh is Bling). This trailer reminds us of 2013’s D-Day in a good way. But we are always wary of the way Indian cinema portrays terrorism, or Pakistan. There is the risk of going full-Gadar on these complicated issues, and few directors show the restraint to stop themselves from doing so. And while we’ve enjoyed both of Neeraj Pandey’s last two films when we first watched them, we ended up finding their politics a bit queasy on second thoughts.

So let’s just say we are cautiously optimistic about this film?

Will we watch it: Ohh yes! But here’s hoping it doesn’t give us flashbacks of Sunny Paaji

Alone

Bipasha Basu deserves better. Better than badly made re-makes of Korean horror films. Better than the discount smarminess of Karan Singh Grover (seriously, was Emraan Hashmi on holiday?). Better than Erotiyoga positions, and definitely better than dialogues as trite as  “koi kissi ki jagah kabhi nahin le sakta

 

Will we watch it: Only if we were surgically attached to the screen.

Hawaizaada

 

We like the individual components of this film. There’s Ayushmann Khurrana who we even loved in Bewaqoofiyan. There’s Mithun da, who is impossible to dislike. And the tone of the trailer is delightful. It may be a little too ‘inspired’ by Scorsese’s Hugo- but there is a nice mix of magic realism and steam punk to it which is quite wonderful. It is a tone that is difficult to sustain though. Get it right and you have a Wes Anderson film, get it wrong and you have Ajooba.

Also this recent Indian Science Congress brouhaha has us worried that the director will treat the movie as an incontrovertible historical fact, instead of a sweet fable. And that the Government will make it tax free because it shines a light on India’s ‘golden past’. And that textbooks will soon be re-written to remove the Wright Brothers’ names.

Will we watch it? Probably, provided the marketing doesn’t push the ‘based on a true story’ angle too much.

What are you watching in January?

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