Murtaza Ali

Murtaza Ali has rated 19 movies, and has posted 20 comments.

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  • Azhar: Yay! Thumbs Up: An engaging multi-genre film about cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin
  • Dil Dhadakne Do: So-So: Dil Dhadakne Do is essentially about rich people, their extravagant lives, and scandalous affairs
  • Revolver Rani: Yay! Thumbs Up: Revolver Rani (2014): Sai Kabir's political satire featuring a tour de force performance from Kangan
  • Piku: Yay! Thumbs Up: Piku is an evocative family drama that tugs at our heartstrings
  • Court: Yay! Thumbs Up: Court is a multifaceted work of cinema that’s extremely relevant to the times we live in.
  • Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!: Yay! Thumbs Up: A dark, sprawling period piece oozing with suspense and film noir elements
  • Happy New Year: So-So: Farah Khan's hackneyed orgy of excess
  • Haider: Yay! Thumbs Up: A powerful socio-political commentary on Kashmir of the 1990s
  • Dedh Ishqiya: Yay! Thumbs Up: A great tribute to the lifestyles of the Nawabs of Awadh.
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: Yay! Thumbs Up: Jennifer Lawrence packs a punch in this star-studded extravaganza
  • Lootera: Yay! Thumbs Up: An exceptionally well made romantic period drama
  • The Master: Yay! Thumbs Up: American filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson's hypnotic masterpiece
  • Django Unchained: Yay! Thumbs Up: Tarantino's lampoon on human trafficking
  • Inkaar: Yay! Thumbs Up: Indian filmmaker Sudhir Mishra's tale of misunderstood love with shades of Rashomon
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Yay! Thumbs Up:
  • Chakravyuh: Yay! Thumbs Up: Chakravyuh is a thought-provoking work of cinema that despite its flaws remains true to its theme
  • Gangs of Wasseypur 2: Yay! Thumbs Up: Gangs of Wasseypur II, like Wasseypur I, has its flaws and seems overdramatic at times, but despite
  • The Dark Knight Rises: So-So: The Dark Knight Rises suffers from a loose plot and an excess of superficial characters.
  • Gangs of Wasseypur: Yay! Thumbs Up: A desi rendition of Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather Trilogy


  • Azhar:

    Just like Azhar's career and life, the movie also has its highs and lows, but there is not a moment in there that can be described as boring.

    My full review can be read at:

    posted 8 years ago
  • Dil Dhadakne Do:

    My thoughts on the movie...

    Dil Dhadakne Do is essentially about rich people, their extravagant lives, scandalous affairs, and the problems that surround them. Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar must have had the Indian diaspora in their minds while devising the movie’s script. Many major production houses are still sticking to the time-tested formula of making films that cater to the Anglophonic tastes of the ever expanding urban middleclass. Dil Dhadakne Do too is targeted towards the very class of audience.

    Dil Dhadakne Do brings to the fore the issue of marital incompatibility between partners. It’s a topic that’s seldom been touched upon in Hindi films. Even the modern Indian families haven’t yet fully come to terms with the important issue of gender equality. Yes, the women certainly have greater liberty but they still don’t enjoy the equality that’s associated with the fairer sex in the western societies. For all important matters (like marriage, family planning, work, etc.) the females must seek permission from their fathers/husbands. And then there’s this childish fascination for a male heir to take forward the family legacy.

    Dil Dhadakne Do comes across as a breath of fresh air with a rainbow of touching performances. But, the movie could have been much more than a clichéd melodramatic family affair had the makers given greater importance to storytelling than merely trying to accommodate a stellar ensemble cast in the screenplay. The movie can be watched for the performances and the scenic locations (although the movie proves to quite underwhelming even in this department, especially when compared to Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara). Dil Dhadakne Do certainly lacks a universal appeal, and while it will best be appreciated by the Anglophone urban audience, anyway who is not particularly uninterested in rich people's problems can afford to give it a try.

    The full review can be read here:

    posted 8 years, 11 months ago
  • Revolver Rani:

    My thoughts on Revolver Rani...

    Revolver Rani is essentially a satire on the power hungry politicians, treading through the dark alleys of power in the Chambal Valley, who have little regard for anything save their own ambitions. Revolver Rani comes across as an experimental film and as with all experiments the probability of failure is much higher than the probability of success. Not everyone has the appetite for nonsensical, over-the-top violence which Revolver Rani offers in abundance. A rather overt swashbuckling style of cinema à la Sergio Leone is something the Hindi film audiences are usually not very comfortable with. And that’s precisely where Revolver Rani suffers. Hindi cinema is still in the need of its very own Quentin Tarantino who can help the audiences expand their cinematic horizons. But, until the audiences grow more receptive, films like Revolver Rani would continue to be treated as mere exercises in style.

    The best way to approach Revolver Rani is an indigenous tongue-in-cheek Western featuring a rugged cowgirl as oppose to a cowboy. Yes, Alka Singh can best be described as the female equivalent of a desi cowboy straight out of some Western pulp novel. The movie’s graphic novel feel only accentuates it further. Besides, the film is rife with symbolism and allegories. The thinking viewer will certainly be able to savor what’s at his/her disposal. The director Sai Kabir, a self-confessed fan of Johnnie To and Robert Rodriguez, paints a lurid canvass, oozing with an abundance of grotesqueries, adorned by shifty, larger-than-life characters caught in existential traps—all this facilitates the orchestration of rather palatable mise-en-scène.

    Revolver Rani presents experimental filmmaking at its very best but typically with little commercial relevance, especially in the context of the Indian market. Kangana Ranaut shines in her portrayal of a politically powerful female goon. There’s no denying that Kangana Ranaut performs Alka Singh to a tee. Barring a few anachronisms, everything right from her non-glamorous look to her native accent to her aggression in bed makes Kangana look convincing as Alka Singh—a caricature that strongly harks back to Uma Thurman’s character “The Bride” in Kill Bill movies. Kangana’s tour de force performance is well complimented by the rest of the cast. And the unconventional music adds to the overall mood of the film. There is certainly more to the film than meets the eye. As a socio-political satire, its relevance cannot be overlooked. The undercurrent of dark humour only adds to movie's overall appeal.

    My full review can be read here:

    posted 8 years, 11 months ago
  • Piku:

    Piku is an evocative family drama that tugs at our heartstrings and delivers a serious message about life in an altogether non-serious manner. It teaches us about the meaningfulness of life while depicting how most of us fail to savor its true pleasures while we still can.

    Here's the link to my review of Piku

    posted 9 years ago
  • Court:

    Brilliant review!

    Court is a multifaceted work of cinema that’s extremely relevant to the times we live in. It is a commendable attempt on the part of a young and upcoming filmmaker like Chaitnaya Tamhane to come up with such a complex meshwork of cinematic art at the very onset his career. Chaitnaya impeccably blends cerebral and emotional elements to conjure up a powerful social commentary oozing with tragicomic motifs. The still camerawork (with camera often held at a distance), minimalist mise en scène, and the movie‘s deliberate pacing accentuates the slowness of the judicial process in India. Court has something to offer to everyone. The students of cinema most definitely need to study it. It is a film that needs to be watched!

    My review of the film can be read at:

    posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  • Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!:

    Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (2015): Dibankar Banerjee's dark, sprawling period piece oozing with suspense and film noir elements

    Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! can best be described as a marriage of commercial and experimental filmmaking. It is entertainment galore but not at the expense of creative freedom. In the context of contemporary Hindi cinema, it is nothing short of a monumental achievement. And those who think that Hindi cinema is just not good enough to make great suspense thrillers (Vijay Anand was the pioneer of the genre in Hindi cinema) certainly need to watch this film.

    There is a subtle difference between suspense and mystery and “Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!” for the most part falls in the former category (yes, there is mystery but the suspense element is stronger). The master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock defines mystery as an intellectual process while suspense as an emotional process. In order to get the suspense element going it is essential to provide information to the audience.

    The movie is set in 1942-43 Calcutta (now Kolkata) with the carefully chosen World War II backdrop in an attempt to resonate the ever bustling tempo of the city of joy with the chaos and hysteria of war. Dibakar Banerjee needs to be congratulated for eliciting worthy performances from his entire cast of actors. Sushant Singh Rajput seems to have finally got the role that he was waiting for. Amidst a series of memorable performances, it’s Neeraj Kabi’s portrayal of Dr. Guha that stands first among equals. While the movie is bound to disappoint the hardcore Byomkesh Bakshi enthusiasts, it has all the elements to satisfy the masses and the classes alike. Highly recommended!

    The full review can be read at:

    posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  • Happy New Year:

    Nice review...enjoyed reading it as always. Here are my thoughts...

    Happy New Year has all the elements of a quintessential Bollywood masala movie: songs, music, dance, crappy action, nonsensical humor and risqué dialogue. The movie can best be described as an orgy of excess. An intelligent viewer would do good to prevent himself from getting unsettled by this naked display of extravagance. In Happy New Year, Farah and SRK seem so obsessed with the idea of making self-congratulatory remarks to their own works that they completely forget that the audiences deserve to be fed with something new every once in a while. They fail to grapple with the fact that banality is not always what the audiences crave for.

    Happy New Year is the epitome of commercial escapism in Hindi cinema aka Bollywood. It maybe the Diwali blockbuster that the masses want but it most certainly is not the movie that they deserve.

    The full review can be read at:

    posted 9 years, 7 months ago
  • Haider:

    I couldn't have agreed more with your thoughts on Haider. The pacing is indeed slow at times but, as you have put it so eloquently, other elements does keep it going.

    Here's the link to my review of Haider:

    posted 9 years, 7 months ago
  • Dedh Ishqiya:

    Enjoyed reading your review!!!

    Dedh Ishqiya serves as a much-needed breath of fresh air that comes at a time when commercial Hindi cinema seems be going through a phase of stagnation with respect to creativity. The films are cashing in on the box office but do not seem to be offering enough as far as the content is concerned.

    As a multifaceted work of cinema, Dedh Ishqiya proves to be a great respite. Made in the vein of Hindi gangster films like Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) and Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster (2011), Dedh Ishqiya effortlessly transcends genres. The movie’s impeccable comic timing serves as a great means to punctuate tension as and when it builds up. The strong undercurrent of dark humor adds a whole new dimension to the movie.

    Dedh Ishqiya is entertainment galore for a casual viewer, and, at the same time, it offers enough food for thought for an intelligent viewer. Highly recommended!

    My full review can be read at:

    posted 10 years, 4 months ago
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire:

    I really enjoyed reading the review. I agree with almost everything that you have said about the movie... the rating of 3.5, I feel, is just.

    Jennifer Lawrence does pack a punch in this star-studded extravaganza.

    Pleased o take some time out to read my review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)-

    posted 10 years, 5 months ago
  • Lootera:

    Very well written indeed... your thoughts seem to be in sync with my own thoughts. The biggest compliment that I can give is that there is nothing "Bollywood-like" about it... Lootera seems to carry the stamp of a quintessential art house product from European cinema. Vikramaditya Motwane and team need to be congratulated for their commendable effort!

    Please take some time out to check my blog's review of Lootera:

    posted 10 years, 10 months ago
  • The Master:

    Fine analysis... one of the rare ones that I happen to agree with completely.

    The Master, in my opinion, is an endlessly fascinating work of cinema that may require multiple viewings to grasp its deeper meanings. The Master is undoubtedly the best film to have come out of the English-speaking world in the year 2012. It reaffirms Anderson's position as one of the best US directors alive; he looks all set to join the likes of Malick. Anderson’s imaginative direction in The Master reminds one of the singular styles of two of the greatest American filmmakers, Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick. Perhaps, their legacy has finally found a worthy successor.

    Here's the link for my complete review:

    posted 11 years, 2 months ago
  • Django Unchained:

    Brilliant review... I just couldn't have agreed more with your analysis. Tarantino has always been a great fan of Spaghetti Westerns. Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci are his idols... perhaps he can relate more to Corbucci which is quite evident in Django Unchained. I personally enjoyed it a lot from starting till end.

    Here's the link for my complete analysis of Django Unchained:

    posted 11 years, 2 months ago
  • Inkaar:

    Great review... finally I have found one that's in sync with my understanding of the movie. I believe that the movie is more about misunderstood love than it's about sexual harassment.

    Here's the link to my review of the movie... please do let me know what you think of it:

    posted 11 years, 4 months ago
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

    Quite an exhaustive review... perusing it was quite a pleasure. I find your review to be the most balanced among the ones that I have encountered on the internet.

    Btw, please do take sometime out to checkout my review of The hobbit:

    posted 11 years, 5 months ago
  • Chakravyuh:

    Loved your analysis of the movie though I thought you have been a bit harsh in your overall assessment.

    And I agree that the friendship element was quite week. The movie indeed could have been much more brilliant had it does away with its Bollywood-like excesses and brusqueness.

    posted 11 years, 7 months ago
  • The Dark Knight Rises:

    Well, I am back as promised! I loved the review even though I found the ratings a bit too generous.

    IMO, The Dark Knight Rises suffers from a loose plot and an excess of superficial characters. It wouldn't be a hyperbole to say that, given Nolan's usual standards, The Dark Knight Rises is a mere exercise in mediocrity. The typical Hollywood style ending accentuates it further. But, if one overlooks these flaws, the movie serves to be a decent experience. The Dark Knight Rises is definitely not the Batman movie that we deserve, but it surely is a movie that we would find difficult to resist.

    I have also written an exhaustive review for my blog which can be read at:

    posted 11 years, 10 months ago
  • Gangs of Wasseypur:

    Nicely written! While I am almost certain about movie's great show in the global arena, I too am skeptical about movie's show at the Box office.

    Also, I recently wrote a review of Gangs of Wasseypur for my movie blog that can be read at:

    posted 11 years, 11 months ago