This week, our resident movie critic, Kevin McIndoe, gives his verdict on Viceroy’s House, Bodom, Badrinath Ki and Jagga Jasoos.
In an era long before India turned the tables on the UK and started buying up British Steel and Jaguar cars, the Raj still ruled.
However, its days were numbered, and this film charts the progress of the last British viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten, and his bid to broker an acceptable exit strategy from India.
Mind you, Lord Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville) and his wife Winnie (Gillian Anderson) aren’t the sharpest tools in the box.
When Winnie reminds him: “We have come to give India its freedom; not to tear her apart”, she seems to typify some deluded, bountiful Britain that disavows any responsibility for its soon-to-be former colony’s strife.
But worryingly, India’s revolutionary leaders are portrayed with indifference. The struggle for freedom; the cruelty, injustice and larceny of British colonialism all seem to have been ignored or airbrushed. The divisions along religious lines (which lead to the partition and Pakistan) are handled crudely.
Therefore, one can’t take this film too seriously.
But it is an enjoyable watch if you treat it like a play by Noel Coward; there are plenty of cut-glass accents and cucumber sandwiches to go around. There’s also plenty of pomp, circumstance and some stunning cinematography.
Bonneville basically re-does his Lord Grantham (Downton Abbey) act, and very well too. Anderson is excellent, as always. However, with an assembly of acting talent such as this (with Michael Gambon, Simon Callow and Roberta Taylor), its failure to handle the history properly must count as a major disappointment. Gandhi or A Passage To India, it ain’t.
Review by Kevin McIndoe
We all love a good, slasher romp in which some smartmouth (usually American) teenagers are terrorised and picked off, one-by-one, by some dark force. However, we don’t usually expect it to come from Finland or for it to be based on an unsolved case from 1960. In this, Elias and Atte trick two girls into taking a trip to where the murder of four teenagers took place, Lake Bodom. It’s not long before the mismatched quartet get an inkling that all is not as it should be, as the spookiness of their dark woods setting gets a grip. Great fun, with just enough of that Nordic Noir melancholy to keep you hooked to the end.
When a man and a woman constantly indulge in friendly and sometimes not-so-friendly banter, there’s certain inevitability about how the film is going to play out. In this, Badrinath Bansal (Varun Dhawan) and Vaidehi Trivedi (Alia Bhatt) can hardly agree on anything. Badrinath is no sophisticated gentleman while Vaidehi is the feisty, liberated sort. Of course, they come from different cities, for one, and there is plenty going on to get in the way of any budding romance. Sparks fly, some pretty nifty dancing ensues (of course) but these two have the guile (and the gobbiness) of any seasoned rom-com regulars from Hollywood.
Quirky detectives have been a mainstay in movies since the year dot. In this, Jagga Jasoos (Ranbir Kapoor) may be a nerdy teenaged intellectual but he’s not lacking in courage or tenacity. When his father goes missing, he resolves to track him down, with the aid of his feisty Little Girl sidekick (Sayani Gupta). The premise of this looks promising, and it’s a musical/comedy/road-movie with something of a Disney-like feelgood factor. Both leads are characters you just root for as they take on an epic adventure filled with encounters from all sorts of life forms. Take the kids.
Oman Release Date: April 6