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RAAZI (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Diminutive, dazzling Alia Bhatt conquers stardom with her dynamic performance as  “Shemat” a Muslim girl willing (raazi) to sacrifice her life for the love of India; marrying a Pakistani man “Iqual” (Vicky Kaushal), she fills her dying father’s (Rajit Kapoor) wish, to take his place as a spy for India; the story revolves around the Indo-Pakistani 1971 war. “Raazi” is ... Read More »

OCTOBER (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Director/producer Shoojit Sircar and actor Varun Dhawan have created the unexpected from Bollywood; “October” is a quiet, introspective film, centering on two young people, training at a five-star hotel in Delhi, India. “Dan” (Dhawan) is flippant, “Brahminesque” in his attitude toward his employers and patrons; at twenty-one, the world is his lotus flower and he assumes it always will be. ... Read More »

PADMAVATI (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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For twelve years Peneflix, along with Hollywood and Foreign, has focused on the Bollywood genre; mastering the salacious gaze, nubile, partially clothed, perpetually running, tearful heroes and heroines now rank on the entertainment scale of Western audiences. Ancient, epic poems, myths, tales: “The Ramayan”, The Mahabharata”/ “The Bhagavad Gita”, reference the way one should conduct one’s life, mimicked by The ... Read More »

PENEFLIX BEST AND NEAR BEST FILMS OF 2017

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As I peruse other critics best and worst films I feel fortunate that, because of my pay grade, have rarely seen many of the “worst”; no matter the product, each year there are enough quality films, that in retrospect my passion  is satiated. Granted I have not seen, “The Post”, “Phantom Thread” “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”.  So here ... Read More »

TIGER ZINDA HAI (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Here is a mixed marriage, not seen since the Jodha/Akbar era; fifty-one-year-old, pneumatic, perennial bachelor Salman Khan (“Tiger”) paired once again with Katrina Kaif (“Zoya”) as East Indian and Pakistani agents sent to battle militants in Tikrit, Iraq; based on an actual event in 2014, terrorists took over a hospital and held 46 nurses (Indian and Pakistani) captive; the rescue ... Read More »

SIMRAN (ENGLISH/HINDI)

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Directed by Hansal Mehta, filmed entirely in the U.S. cities of Atlanta and Las Vegas, loosely based on a true story, “Praful/Simran”  a thirty-year-old, divorced, Gujarati, housekeeping employee succumbing to a gambling addiction and resorting to robbing banks to salvage her debt. The film is immensely fun, racy, infused with satisfying, marvelous manipulation; imbued with “Pretty Woman”, “Bonnie and Clyde” ... Read More »

A GENTLEMAN (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Predictability can be totally refreshing especially with the “dog” films of summer; watching “A Gentleman”, tumultuous reality, gritty politics and crime were suspended in favor of a raucous romp through Miami, Mumbai and Goa; gorgeously-paired Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez, destined to bond, flirt, sing and dance, creating a sugary confection of romance and intrigue, ubiquitous on the Bollywood screen. ... Read More »

JAB HARRY MET SEJAL (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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How can an actor of superior renown, a winner of fifteen Filmfare Awards (Bollywood’s equivalent of the Academy Awards) willingly plummet, with a resounding thud, into such a deplorable scenario? Shah Rukh Khan has intrigued audiences with his stunning versatility, his fearless choice of roles: from inebriated Lothario (“Devdas”) to stalker (“Fan”); from antihero (“Baazigar”) to coach (“Chak De India”); ... Read More »

MOM (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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No medium does vigilante justice like Bollywood; overwhelming satisfying when women met out punishment, when accountability fails.  Two iconic films “Kahaani” and “Ek Hasina Thi”, are immensely creative in serving “revenge” frigidly calculated; “Mom” pulsates with premediated cunning, intelligence, verve and a performance of such heartfelt depth that a Filmfare Award should be in her future; Sridevi as “Devki Sabarwal” ... Read More »

TUBELIGHT (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Despite the supercilious title and the lengthy prologue there are some fine moments in this rendition of Hollywood’s 2015, “Little Boy”; a young boy feels the power of faith can, in reality, “move mountains”; this Bollywood version, starring Salman Khan, as “Laxman” a simple-minded, but loveable man-child, follows Gandhian precepts to expedite the safe return of his brother “Bharat” (Sohail ... Read More »

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