‘Justice League is an unremarkable epic that is partly saved by Affleck and Gadot’
Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Henry Cavill, Ray Fisher
DC's Justice League is the follow up to Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and is the equivalent of what Avengers is for Marvel. Justice League unfolds after the death of Superman in Batman V Superman. The earth is defenseless as it doesn't have the Kryptonian to protect it anymore and as Lex Luther rightly pointed out in one of the scenes in Batman V Superman, the demons lay waste to earth led by Steppenwolf. What they are after are three cubes or boxes that hold the power to destroy and create worlds. Steppenwolf wants to assimilate them and using the power that will be unleashed, he wants to end his banishment and rule the known worlds. One of those cubes is present on earth and earth also is the epicenter of the hell that Steppenwolf wishes to unleash. However, in his path stands the Justice League.
Let's start off with the positives first. The film is laced with quirky and heroic characters who are not only larger than life but also endearing. Ben Affleck as Batman aka Bruce Wayne anchors the whole group using his charm and physicality wherever necessary. The introduction and back stories of the characters are kept very, very brief which doesn't really affect the viewer as most of the characters have been referenced before in Batman V Superman. Also, the trailer had warmed-us-up to the extent of revealing things that it shouldn't have. Once the team is formed, the characters have a ball with the action and humor that ensues. There are some really heroic moments that will make one and all go up in arms.
Gal Gadot as Wonder-Woman is fast becoming one of my favorite superhero rendering of all times. There is such an effortless charm and vitality in her act that it's hard not to fall for her act. Also, the fact, that she is not hideous helps the cause (if you understand what I mean). Ezra Miller as Barry Allen aka Flash is quirky and fun. He doesn't overstay his welcome and is absolutely hilarious when he has to be. Ray Fisher as Cyborg is the only straight-faced character and that makes him a tad bit boring.
Having said all that, the film still has some major issues. Justice League is two hours long and that's including the credits. There is just so much that you can cramp in such a limited time and I am saying this because we have six heroes to deal with here. Out of those six, we haven't seen at least three never before. Thus from the screenplay point of view, the film feels very choppy and episodic in the first half.
The film boasts of a lot of action but none of it is anything that we haven't seen before. They are standard city-leveling destructions that we have come to expect in films of this type. However, one brief action sequence on Amazon is beautifully done. I wish there was more of it.
Overall, Justice League shows promise but it falls way short of its mark. It constantly gives you a feeling of being a film that was hurried.
‘SULU flies high on Vidya Balan's spirited act’
Vidya Balan, Manav Kaul, Neha Dhupia and Vijay Maurya
There is a scene in Tumhari Sulu towards the end, where Sulochana's (Vidya Balan) son gets suspended from his school for making a business out of letting his friends watch titillating videos on his father's phone for a price. The whole family gathers for a meeting to discuss what might be the cause of this problem and how best to solve it. Sulochana's twin sisters keep repeating that Sulochana should leave her job as an RJ immediately to solve this problem. I was baffled by this advice that made no sense whatsoever and yet deep down in my heart, I could relate the scene to many situations where I found girls/women being asked to give up their independence and earning ways for reason more trivial than this. The heart of Tumhari Sulu lies in these moments that accumulate to make this film a sweet and gentle wake up call.
Sulochana aka Sulu is a loving wife and mother. She is also someone who is bubbling with life and dreams. She wants a piece of everything and has a new idea every day to do something different. But she is also not someone who would stick to one thing and that has resulted in her having lesser success than expected of her in life. Her husband Ashok (Manav Kaul) is the best thing in her life. He colors all her dreams and is incidentally her best friend. Sulu gets a crack at being an RJ at a late night show quite by chance and this leads her on a path of success, self-discovery and above all accomplishment. But all of it comes at a cost.
This is not the kind of film that handles the subject in a heavy-headed manner. There are no tragedies in Sulu's life. She doesn't have to work too hard or pay a difficult price for being the RJ that she becomes. Sulu herself is very strong and does what she wishes to do. She is not rebellious but she is strong. What then lies at the heart of the struggle or drama of this film?
The answer is that this is not that kind of a film. It has an emotional core, not a dramatic one. The film doesn't spike much apart from at the very end but then again Sulu springs back up in a matter of moments but that never for a second takes you out of the spirit of the film. Suffice is to say that this is a fluffy and loveable take at half a flight of a lady who always had dreams to fly but never tried long enough or hard enough to rise above the ground.
Vidya Balan is endearing. She is so real that it's hard to believe that she could be anyone else other than Sulochana. She uses her physical changes to her advantages to such an extent that she gets into the skin of the character, literally and figuratively. Not only does she excel in playing the house-wife but also finds her footing as the RJ.
Manav Kaul has proved once again that when given the right role he can excel. Neha Dhupia is great in a role that suits her mojo. She is delightful in her scenes with Balan. Vijay Maurya is hilarious as Sulu's colleague.
Overall, Tumhari Sulu flies high on spirited performances, great chemistry between the lead pair, subtle yet hilarious comedy and a story that is bound to strike a chord with one and all.