31 October 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Movie Review: Sardar Udham: Stretchy but an emotional ride! ***½

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Frankly speaking, I never knew that Vicky Kaushal is working on a movie named “Sardar Udham” hence when I saw its release on Amazon Prime, it surprised me. Similarly, I feel very ashamed of saying that I wasn’t aware about Sardar Udham being one of our key freedom fighters who went ahead to avenge the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre and assassinated Michael O’Dwyer in London who was the Governor who approved the order of killing in 1919. I am thankful to the director, Shoojit Sircar, for accepting to talk about a real-life character who has made such an impact and is still forgotten. Also, not much is known about Sardar Udham hence researching and scripting a movie based on him must not have been an easy task for the makers.


Talking about the movie, the 1st half takes you back and forth in timeline which looks thrilling initially but later becomes a nightmare for you as we end up keeping track of the job the character of Vicky Kaushal does in different countries during various time periods. Also, due to lot of use of English starts irritating you after a while. I understand its necessary to keep as it is, but I feel that it should be mentioned somewhere during the trailer of synopsis of the movie about how much percent of Hindi has been used in a Hindi movie perse. That will keep the expectations from the audience right.


So, after a lot of juggling between the timeline and difficult screenplay, the movie starts making sense after a while when the killing of Dwyer is shown so early in the movie. And then comes the moment which makes this movie book a special place in your heart. It takes us to the flashback of how and why Jallianwallah Bagh massacre impacted Sardar Udham so much. Seeing all those visuals gives you several goosebumps and I could feel lump in my throat after every two minutes. 

Also, Vicky Kaushal displays one of his best performances during this long segment of post-massacre scenes. Not only here, but there are many scenes where Vicky has stood out and made this as one of his career-defining movies after URI. I must say that he has clearly surpassed his URI performance in many scenes from this movie. Few of them are where he is being sentences to death in the court; other being when he gives free speech.


Overall, the movie is not hyper-nationalistic like Akshay Kumar movies. It is narrated keeping everything very undertone and simple. Even in the segments where Sardar Udham and Bhagat Singh are sharing the screen, the things are kept very light rather than giving them a rebellious tone. You need to watch this for the 2nd half where the Jallianwallah scene begins and appreciate one of the best works from Hindi film industry. Overall, I would still give this movie 3.5 stars. 1.5 stars to the rest of the movie as its really boring and stretchy and 2 stars to the Jallianwallah Bagh scene which is an excellent piece of cinema. Please do watch this movie on Amazon Prime.





27 October 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

The Blue Jinx: A Gemstone Murder Mystery by Nisha B Thakur (Book Review: 3*/5) !!!

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33rd Book of 2021


Generally, the thrillers are written in long format which makes me doubtful before picking them up considering if I have enough time to complete them in a sitting or two. While searching for a shorter version, I stumbled upon Amazon Kindle and got this book named “The Blue Jinx: A Gemstone Murder Mystery” written by the authoress, Nisha Thakur. The book is of just 137 pages which made it very easy for me to complete it within two sittings itself. As it can be made out from the title of the book itself that it is a murder mystery, I liked how the story is plotted around that theme.


I must appreciate the author for the nice characterization as I could relate and imagine all the characters mentioned in the book. It makes the whole setup sound real because generally when your story includes paranormal activities too, it becomes hard to relate to the whole thing. But because the way author has introduced all the characters and their respective connections with each other, it becomes very easy for us to connect the dots and decipher who’s black, white, and grey.


The 1st half of the book is okay where Nikhil is trying his best to show his talent at Hemant’s project but due to certain abnormal and uncertain activities happening with him, he is unable to focus on the project. As a reader, you want to understand what is happening and how he can get rid of it, but author takes too much time to get to the point which becomes quite repetitive. Later, in the 2nd half of the book, the things progress faster, and we get to learn about how the murder took place. I liked the flashback story which leads to the murder as I found it quite relevant and relative to the whole scenario. It didn’t disappoint me at all.


The climax of the story is nicely closed giving the reference to the title of the book “The Blue Jinx”. You get a new perspective on how a gemstone can change things for you. I have experienced it myself so I could relate to it. Talking about the drawbacks of the book, I must say there are many typos and grammatical mistakes in the book which needs to be sorted out as it’s possible in the Kindle version. Similarly, the book is sometimes spoken from Nikhil’s perspective whereas also in the 3rd voice which becomes confusing. Author should have stuck herself in one of the voices or she could have written the story from multiple character’s voices too. I also felt that there’s a love angle being developed between the two characters, but it wasn’t nourished well in the book. It felt incomplete.


Overall, I would say this is a fine attempt in terms of psychological thriller written by an Indian author. I give this book 3 stars out of 5. You can read it if you are looking to read a short thriller in a sitting or two.





12 October 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

400 Days by Chetan Bhagat (Book Review: 3.5*/5) !!!

1968th BLOG POST

32nd Book of 2021


So, some writers stay with you for long even when they don’t impress you every time they write. Chetan Bhagat has become one such author for me as I have been involved with his books since he wrote his 1st one. It is because of him that I got acquainted with many Indian fiction authors and I respect him for whatever revolution he has brought in the literary and book world in India. His latest book released 3 days back and the hidden fan within me couldn’t stop himself from reading this 352-pages book after office hours. The title of the book goes by the name “400 Days” which is published by Westland publication.


This time the book is not about the murder mystery but an abduction case where a girl is missing and again – the case reaches the private detectives- Keshav and Saurabh. I really liked the start of the book as author takes us into the story and characters slowly. Till the time the case doesn’t reach the Bhagat’s detective protagonists, you just love the way characters are introduced and the story being taken further. As soon as Keshav and Saurabh enters, the story gets a push initially where they start applying their brain and bring things in a better state than where it was after the police investigation. Though I believe that police are shown in quite bad light by Chetan in his thriller stories but still, I must say that the way detectives are shown working on the case gives some justice to them.


As the story moves forward, Chetan doesn’t want it to be all about the thriller case only. He is quite Bollywood-ish and filmy hence you’ll find his fitter detective falling for his client and ending up getting emotionally connected with her and the case. Now, this affects the pace of the story because sometimes it ends up as a romantic angle more than the thriller aspect. Even though the whole section is enjoyable and relaxing, it starts irritating the curious reader in you who wants to know the person behind the abduction of the 12 years old girl. If you see both these plots separately, I must tell you that it’s great but the way it comes in between of the engaging mystery solving spree, it impacts your interest in the thriller.


There are few aspects that Chetan has tried to counter in his book, and I must say he is quite successful as it gets noticed – the reason why I am also mentioning it here in the review. How the modern relationships are broken even when it’s all fine in the people’s eye is represented so nicely. Similarly, the dilemma and problems when one thinks of getting divorced is given prominence which I believe is responsible attempt from the author because it could have been skipped to show the glamorous part of leaving someone just because you don’t want to continue anymore in the toxic relationship. I also liked how well Chetan has handled extra-marital affair rather than mentioning it just as multiple sexual encounters between two people.


He also reflects on how the children gets affected because of experiencing regular fights and arguments at home. Their psychology gets completely disturbed due to it. The consideration of saas-bahu angle and how a boy gets confused about whom to give more importance between mother and wife is given lot of prominence in this story which I believe is fine to discuss as this is a major issue in many Indian households. How social media can lead to big crimes or damages in a normal family is highlighted as the major takeaway which I believe should be a concern for modern parents who just give mobile phone to their kids and never check what they are up to. Similarly, how blind faith on someone can lead to your victimization is given prominence in the story. So, Chetan has basically tried to touch upon many social concerns which I believe has been executed properly. Lastly mentioning, the fitness spirit of Saurabh in this part of the Detective series tells us how rather than accepting your bad shape, we should get up and improve our lifestyle, habits and try getting into shape rather than crying about being body shamed.


Talking about the climax and revelation of the criminal, I must say that Chetan has again missed the jackpot here. You just can’t keep speaking about half dozen characters in your whole book and suddenly introduce someone new in the pre-climax and make him the culprit. This is the easiest way of writing a thriller. There’s no talent here. In fact, it should surprise the reader at the end that I never thought he/she could have done this. This book doesn’t give those vibes at all. Though I liked how the romantic story between Keshav and Alia is given a beautiful ending which actually made me feel emotional.


Overall, I found this book very stretchy. It could have been shorter by 100 pages. I give this attempt 3.5* out of 5. It is an okay read but nothing that will make you put this in one of the best books read this year.






8 October 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Movie Review: Chehre: You can miss it! **½

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Since I had heard about the movie “Chehre” in its pre-production phase, I was very excited about it as Amitabh Bachchan and Emraan Hashmi were to work for the first time together. I always find Emraan’s movies little different in terms of how he projects his character or the type of stories he selects. There’s a mystery into it which keeps you very close to the dark subjects. Chehre also falls somewhere in the same category but this movie is not all about him. Amitabh Bachchan and Annu Kapoor also plays important and mysterious characters which keeps the surprise element intact for most of the times.


The movie is about how this group of friends (where there’s a retired judge and two advocates) try to get someone at their home and then start a game where they identify a mistake or crime committed by the guest and then try to punish him/her accordingly in the same Courtroom procedure. The same thing happens with Emraan Hashmi and the moment you realize that he has committed something criminal in his past makes you excited as to how it will be unfolded without any evidences or proof available with this group of friends. Amitabh Bachchan, as a prosecutor, plays his part very well to make everything sound and look believable. Though, the dialogues and some charges look forced but then, that’s how faulty the script of the movie is.


The story, screenplay or the idea behind this movie must have surely sounded great on papers in black ink but when adapted into the movie, there are few scenes which looks intense but mostly, you will have a grin on your face in terms of what circus is happening on the screen. The whole premise is interesting, but the movie keeps losing its suspense and authenticity from time to time. The movie also takes us into the flashback where we get to meet Krystle D’Souza and Sameer Soni. Krystle’s presence makes the screen beautiful and charms up the whole serious tone of the movie. As one of her big opportunities on the big screen, she has done extremely well. Sameer Soni has just overacted his part.


Later, in the pre-climax, Amitabh Bachchan has a very long monologue which I was expecting right from the beginning because when you subscribe with an actor who’s baritone voice is the best in the business, you would want to include something like this in your plot – and moreover when your premise allows it. But unfortunately, the performance and dialogue delivery by Bachchan is superb and unbeatable, the content of the monologue is just not relatable to what had been shown to us in the 2 hours. After a time, you start wishing it to end soon even after it’s Big B who’s speaking it. And talking about the climax, the superficial scene was just too funny to say anything about it.


Overall, Chehre is a kind of movie if you miss – you lose nothing. It isn’t the best of either of the big actors – either Amitabh Bachchan, Annu Kapoor or Emraan Hashmi. I give this 2.5 stars out of 5.