Film reviews from 2024

When the world learnt how sexy tennis can be.

In the ongoing 2024, Akhil Arora’s movie reviews have entered the wasteland and Riley’s brain.

Wild Wild Punjab Netflix Varun Sharma

Wild Wild Punjab

“But no matter what turns it takes, the Netflix movie is devoid of fun. Wild Wild Punjab is unable to juice out thrills from even the most basic ingredients, be it a car chase, a panicky shootout, or getting stuck on a railway track. It also suffers from a lack of imagination, pushing its characters into repeat situations just minutes apart.”

Junaid Khan Maharaj Netflix movie

Maharaj

“[He] is what modern-day critics would term a pseudo-liberal. Instead of recognising the warped power dynamic and decades of societal brainwashing she’s gone through, Karsan blames Kishori. When the Maharaj notes that he ought to be satisfied with his leftovers, Karsan remarks: ‘I can’t digest leftovers. Not of food or honour.’ A guy who believes in widow remarriage is also a first-class proponent of victim blaming.”

Anxiety in Inside Out 2

Inside Out 2

“Thanks to Anxiety—the best new addition—Inside Out 2 leaves its old sense of self behind. But it’s an expansion, not an evolution. It knows it cannot top its predecessor. […] But you can tell Pixar is learning to accept and embrace that limitation. As Joy tells Anxiety towards the end, learn to control the things you can affect and not worry about the ones you can’t. It’s about finding harmony.”

Anya-Taylor Joy in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

“Less than an hour [in], the audience is treated to a 15-minute ultra-complex action sequence. […] What begins as a parasail wing shooting out of a motorcycle is just the start. It has countless moving parts—the multiple fliers add dynamism to the set piece—and yet it’s all coherent and easy to follow. […] It’s the glorious pinnacle of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.”

Ryan Gosling in The Fall Guy movie

The Fall Guy

“Filmmaking can be incredibly complex but sometimes, all you need are two beautiful people who light up the screen together. Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt are proof. On The Fall Guy … the two showcase movie star charisma from the moment we first lay eyes on them. You can’t help but fall in love. They share incredible chemistry, the kind that pulls you into the film and makes you forget everything.”

Zendaya in Challengers movie

Challengers

“Early into Challengers, Tashi notes that she doesn’t want hitting a ball with a racquet to be her only skill in life. But several years later, Tashi acknowledges that hitting a ball with a racquet is perhaps her only skill in life. […] That single-minded focus defines how Tashi lives her life and how she sees the people around her. [… Luca] Guadagnino takes primal human emotions—attraction, jealousy, failure, betrayal, despair, and sacrifice—and turns them into something endlessly fascinating.”

Sofia Boutella in Rebel Moon Part 2

Rebel Moon — Part Two: The Scargiver

“The lines are so generic and devoid of specificity that they could have been written by AI models. Heck, AI might do a better job. […] On top of that, as with the original, [it’s] filled with dreary exposition. Instead of jumping into the thick of things … [Zack] Snyder wastes half of the film’s runtime slashing about, giving you backstory after backstory in a desperate bid to get you to care for the ensemble.”

Parineeti Chopra as Amarjot Kaur and Diljit Dosanjh as Amar Singh Chamkila in Amar Singh Chamkila

Amar Singh Chamkila

“The strongest argument it makes is for artists to pursue their art. You can live in fear, or you can do what you were born to. Chamkila is a singer, so he’s going to sing. No matter what happens. Imtiaz Ali finds his way to an argument against the environment of censorship and self-censorship that looms over filmmaking in India today. But it’s not the defining force of the film as it ought to be.”

Millie Bobby Brown in Damsel

Damsel

Damsel … is part of a fairly new strain of feminist films that wish to dismantle the stereotypes associated with fantasy films such as these. Its subversive claims … are made clear from the start. […] But alas, this 101-minute entirely self-serious tale … has little to say and even less to show. I kept waiting for the film to kick in, to usher me into what it promised and wow me with its action, but that moment never arrived.”

Bhumi Pednekar in Bhakshak (2024)

Bhakshak

“[Instead] of developing its characters, the Netflix movie is too busy dropping lines. Unable (or unwilling) to craft scenes that could get their point across, [the writers] give into grandstanding, over and over. […] Bhakshak is packed with pithy virtue-signalling dialogues, with the film’s lead character … launching into them of her volition or being set up by other characters to deliver them.”