Family, trauma mesh with immense sensitivity in the stunning LEAVE NO TRACE

‘Leave No Trace’ is one of those films I will never truly appreciate till I have a kid. The world of cinema has seen countless portrayals heartfelt parent-child relationships and I am still at the phase where siding with the children in the equation comes more naturally. But it’s clear writer/director Debra Granik is telling… Read More Family, trauma mesh with immense sensitivity in the stunning LEAVE NO TRACE

YEELEN – Souleymane Cissé leaves us spellbound with sublime visuals and staunch mysticism

I feel some guilt for simmering desire within for some major studio to announce a remake of Souleymane Cissé’s 1987 fantasy film ‘Yeelen’. After a second viewing, I was certain the backing of even a moderate budget will imbue the needed spectacle worthy of Cissé’s confident vision. Like most fantasy or sci-fi filmmakers from the… Read More YEELEN – Souleymane Cissé leaves us spellbound with sublime visuals and staunch mysticism

THE BURIAL OF KOJO – Blitz Bazawule shows much more than promise in his lavish debut

It’s not an exercise in hyperbole to say ‘The Burial of Kojo’ was my most anticipated film of the year. It goes without saying that the Ghanaianess of this production anchored this sentiment. But it’s also to do with being roped in behind the curtain as Writer-Director Samuel ‘Blitz’ Bazawule (Blitz the Ambassador) rallied film… Read More THE BURIAL OF KOJO – Blitz Bazawule shows much more than promise in his lavish debut

WIDOWS – McQueen pivots off genre tropes for a deftly weighted thriller

Steve McQueen’s surprises with his latest feature ‘Widows’. I was ready to bet the farm and more that his venture into genre filmmaking would be nothing short of brilliant – and it is. But the surprise for me lay in how he goes about crafting a caper that is aware it is subverting rules of… Read More WIDOWS – McQueen pivots off genre tropes for a deftly weighted thriller

I AM NOT A WITCH – Nyoni’s debut sears the conscience of a toxic status quo

By the time I had sat through Zambian-Welsh director Rungano Nyoni’s debut film, ‘I Am Not a Witch’, there was a small cloud of guilt hovering over my head. It’s to do with how hilarious I found this film about ingrained misogyny and blatant human rights abuses. It’s really down to Nyoni’s clever approach; making… Read More I AM NOT A WITCH – Nyoni’s debut sears the conscience of a toxic status quo

BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE is an overstuffed but healthy dose of pulp-noir

Has the El Royale seen anything but bad times? We hope the answer is no. Otherwise, what’s the damn point of a film. Last seen receiving acclaim for the slightly overrated ‘The Martian’, writer-director Drew Goddard is now overseeing a thriller that is way more ambitious than it needs to be. Set around the junction… Read More BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE is an overstuffed but healthy dose of pulp-noir

BADLUCK JOE – This bloated romp really should’ve been all about Patapaa

I reckon there is an alternate version of Ramesh Jai’s ‘Badluck Joe’ loafing in the cloud. This unmade script is a deft satire about the cynical machinations and mafias that spawn around grief when the rights to oversee funeral rites are at stake, in addition to a juicy inheritance of course. This unmade version isn’t… Read More BADLUCK JOE – This bloated romp really should’ve been all about Patapaa

HEREDITARY – Deep down, I’m thankful this deeply upsetting film wasn’t perfect

When ‘Hereditary’ hit its peak in an unmissable moment that petrifies the soul, I was thrust through a torrid gateway to a suffocating dimension of childhood regret and trauma. If you are anything like me, chances are you were seized by palpitations and fits as an unforgiving bout PTSD took hold. First-time director Ari Aster… Read More HEREDITARY – Deep down, I’m thankful this deeply upsetting film wasn’t perfect

An unforgettable Tom Hardy ramps up the absurdist intensity in VENOM

There’s a scene in ‘Venom’ in which Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock, a hapless investigative reporter, enters a high-end restaurant looking for his ex-girlfriend, Anne (Michelle Williams). He’s recently bonded with the titular symbiote after some espionage gone wrong and he thinks he is going insane. His hulking frame is soaked in sweat and the brash… Read More An unforgettable Tom Hardy ramps up the absurdist intensity in VENOM