REVIEWS: GULLY BOY, LUKKA CHUPPI and SONCHIRIYA
Three very interesting movies in three weeks. Because all these movies have been running for a few days, let me begin by providing my ratings in the beginning itself. SONCHIRIYA is 4 out of 5; LUKKA CHUPPI gets 3 out of 5 and GULLY BOY gets 3.5 out of 5. All the three movies are worth seeing and amongst several reasons detailed subsequently, GULLY BOY because it is the first rap based Bollywood production, LUKKA CHUPPI because it is an enjoyable light hearted take on live-in relationships and SONCHIRIYA because it is raw and powerful. The only reason why both GULLY BOY and LUKKA CHUPPI get ratings less than SONCHIRIYA is that both GULLY BOY and LUKKA CHHUPPI tend to be a bit “filmy”; SONCHIRIYA is stark and real.
GULLY BOY: Directed by Zoya Akthar, this is a familiar story about the ultimate success of the underdog. But what makes it stand out are the characters and the way these are enacted by the actors. The slums of Dharavi are portrayed realistically and so are the intense dramatic moments in the chawl settings. Ranveer Singh easily graduates to being the best actor that Bollywood has today because of his prowess in the different roles he has essayed with a confidence as though he was born to play each of the roles. Although he looks a tad old to play the role of Murad, he doesn’t allow that to come in the way of his living that role. And the rest of the cast Alia Bhatt, Vijay Raaz, Kalki Koechlin and debutant Siddhant Chaturvedi amongst others deliver fabulously well. As I mentioned earlier on, GULLY BOY after beginning really well seems to hurtle towards the end and the speed with which the underdog gets his due sounds and feels filmy.
LUKKA CHUPPI: If you are from Kerala, you would be justified in asking me as to whether I am reviewing the Hindi movie or the Malayalam movie because there was a Malayalam movie with the same title released a few years back! But both these movies are as different from each other as chalk from cheese. LUKKA CHUPPI belongs to the refreshing genre of light-hearted comedies based in small towns, the origins of which can be traced back to the delightful TANU WEDS MANU. And we have had gems like VICKY DONOR, SHUBH MANGAL SAVDHAN and BADHAAI HO which dealt with issues which are outside the ambit of comfort conversations. It didn’t matter if they were filmy in their treatment of the topics, but they dealt with them with no crudity and in fact with a lot of sensitivity and laced the messages with humour, so that the feel-good factor permeated the whole movie. Directed by the well-known Marathi film director, Laxman Utekar, LUKKA CHUPPI tries to fit into this genre, but its “filmy” treatment puts it in the bottom half of these genre of well made movies. While all the actors perform well (Vinay Pathak, Pankaj Tripathi, Kriti Sanon), the one to walk away with all aces is the lead actor Kartik Aryan. With a more believable script, this drama about live-in relationships would have sounded less like a college skit and would have got a four star rating.
SONCHIRIYA: This is the least publicised of the three movies being reviewed and perhaps is the one which will fare the poorest in the box-office parameters. If I hadn’t known who the director is, I would have guessed that Vishal Bharadwaj might have been the person wielding the megaphone. Well, he has composed the music, but credit must go to Abhishek Chaubey, for having created this masterpiece dacoit drama. Abhishek Chaubey, who gave us UDTA PUNJAB last year, strikes again with a hard-hitting dacoit story pictured in the ravines of Chambal. It is grim, dry and rough and makes no pretences about it being so close to reality. It is also violent (you shouldn’t expect mushy scenes and nicely manicured settings) and the cast consisting of Manoj Bajpayee, Asutosh Rana, Sushant Singh Rajput, Ranvir Sheorey, Bhumi Pednekar performs superbly. It is perhaps India’s best Western till date!!
SONCHIRIYA: 4 out of 5
LUKKA CHUPPI: 3 out of 5
GULLY BOY: 3.5 out of 5
March 6th, 2019