Rahul Desai

Rahul Desai
Tomatometer-approved critic

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
4/5 100% Gully Boy (2019) Gully Boy finds that promised land. It becomes the reality that most storytellers here can only dream of, and the dream that most artists yearn to realize. - Film Companion Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
90% Fly Away Solo (Masaan) (2015) The filmmakers manage to create a space that puts you in their characters' places, leaving you to imagine the loss of your own loved ones. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
No Score Yet Ahalya (2015) A perfect retelling of a myth that would appeal to the impatient netizen - a meaningful story told succinctly. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
100% Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) Harshaali Malhotra steals the show... - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
86% Baahubali: The Beginning (2015) I cannot begin to imagine what goes on in the expansive mind of S.S. Rajamouli. It's not often one sits through 160 minutes of an Indian period drama, and continues to sit hoping for the sequel to magically materialise on screen. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
43% Manjhi: The Mountain Man (2015) This Great Indian Biopic Syndrome strikes again with Manjhi - serial offender Ketan Mehta's third consecutive interpretation of real events... - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
No Score Yet Kaun Kitney Paani Mein (2015) Kaun Kitney Paani Mein is a wry, dry and extremely cultured take on the age-old Indian cinema staple of rival villages, class wars, young star-crossed lovers and politics. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
66% The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015) Director Guy Ritchie crafts a slick, enjoyable retro-funky barrage of musical-action set pieces. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
38% Welcome Back (2015) It's not funny that able-minded humans spend 150 minutes demonstrating to us what a LSD-fueled midlife crisis would look like. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
30% Phantom (2015) Questionable ideals and Katrina Kaif make Phantom less than memorable. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
77% Algorithms (2014) Algorithms makes me wish I could play the game. More importantly, it demonstrates that, just like chess is about the mind, so is (dis)ability. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
No Score Yet Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon (2015) All in all, this film is torturously dated, and runs far too long even as a glorified television episode. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
No Score Yet Calendar Girls (2015) I wonder if any industry insiders care anymore that their lives are hung out to dry by one of their own chaps. And it's not even fun to watch. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
59% The Intern (2015) Nancy Meyers' movies are nice and feel-good, and so effortless that you wonder if she strives for more. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
13% All Is Well (2015) ... just another formulaic comedy. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
No Score Yet Gour Hari Dastaan: The Freedom File (2015) I'd like to believe in its authenticity, in its existence. The film, in a way, does its job. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
93% Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (2015) Rogue Nation is the most interesting of the lot. It's smart - too smart and cocky at times - but how often can you say that about a non-Bond spy franchise? - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
43% Bangistan (2015) It provides food for thought, but perhaps we're just tired of the same old food. Go the whole hog; give me a happy meal instead. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
75% Drishyam (2015) If you're comfortable(or unaware) about the ambiguous origins of Drishyam, buy half a ticket to watch the second half. Or perhaps ask your friend's friend to watch it and interpret the plot to you. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
59% Southpaw (2015) The elements are nothing new - tragedy, champ-turned-chump, eccentric coach, and grandstanding finale. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
No Score Yet Puli (Telugu) (2015) Ambition on paper doesn't translate into thrills on screen. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
84% The Walk (2015) I found myself treating my seat as if it were the balancing rod, peering over to look below; my shoulders and feet tightened with each immaculately filmed step. This is why we go to the movies. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
27% Pan (2015) Even magic becomes predictable. And despite the innumerable set pieces, that's where Pan fails to sparkle. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
45% Jazbaa (2015) By itself, Jazbaa is not a bad film. It's just really badly made. It is treated as more of an occasion than a film, more of a comeback vehicle than a kidnap drama - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
1.5/5 11% Shaandaar (Shandaar) (2015) It's a pity to see such a lazy, derivative, listless effort from a talented bunch of artists who're known to push the envelope. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
1/5 No Score Yet Wedding Pullav (2015) Consistently bad... - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
3/5 72% Crimson Peak (2015) The director commits to a full-bodied re-visualisation of the haunted-house genre. And fittingly, he succeeds, somewhat, in creating a gothic cathedral amidst an overpopulated landscape of modern skyscrapers. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
2/5 29% Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 (2015) Pyaar ka Punchnama 2 rarely rises above being a wry assortment of self-aware caricatures. Times have changed. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
92% Sicario (2015) Far from the gritty hand-held treatment most cartel-themed sagas employ, Deakins' style means that Villeneuve can concentrate on his distinct grammar of storytelling. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
3.5/5 91% Titli (2014) Parul Sondh's production design is perhaps the film's most evocative character. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
2.5/5 29% Main Aur Charles (2015) A general sense of overambitious storytelling... - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
1.5/5 45% Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015) Khan's career in the last decade has been an open-for-all, giant cleansing ritual. His formula of infusing philanthropy into performance arts has become insufferable to sit through. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
3/5 62% Tamasha (2015) Eventually, what starts out as a simple coming-of-age story, ends up as complex, multifaceted mission to brandish the virtues of storytelling. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
3/5 61% Angry Indian Goddesses (2015) At its core is the half-broken heart of an angsty, disruptive, take-no-prisoners crusader. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet Kajarya (2013) Madhureeta Anand is probably different from the many storytellers hitching a ride on the women-empowerment bandwagon, but this film's form suggests otherwise. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
0/5 14% Hate Story 3 (2015) To state that Hate Story 3 is a bad movie would be offensive to the very soul of bad movies. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
2.5/5 67% Bajirao Mastani (2015) Bhansali's imagery and craft are perhaps second to none, but his storytelling continues to resist evolution. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
1/5 25% Dilwale (2015) Easily their most forgettable outing; one of the worst of 2015... - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
2/5 56% Wazir (2016) It is disheartening to begin 2016 like this. Fortunately, the only way from here is up. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
2.5/5 83% Chauranga (2015) Certain images, a few characters, their sins, eyes, flaws and hypocrisies - they stay with you, despite being restrained by the kind of idealistic filmmaking only an impassioned debutant can produce. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
2/5 76% Fan (2016) The makers just can't resist the urge of "playing the game" (and then mentioning it, literally) - oversmart disguises, over-shoulder strides, anonymous phone calls, ignorant foreigners... - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Nil Battey Sannata (2016) Choppy, predictable but fairly sweet and well-performed... - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
2.5/5 63% Laal Rang (2016) It swings, and misses a lot (ill-placed songs, Shankar's deformed love track, voice-overs, meandering drunk conversations), but comes around to recognizing its essence. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
0/5 No Score Yet Mastizaade (2015) The problem with folks who throw their weight behind raunchy comedies is that they want to bankroll a state of mind. It becomes more about being bold just for the heck of it. - Film Companion Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
3/5 71% Ghayal Once Again (2016) Ghayal Once Again isn't simply Ghayal all over again. Amidst its goofy modernisations of lawlessness, there's an embattled Ajay Mehra - who is now more Batman than Salman. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
1.5/5 67% Saala Khadoos (2016) These overcooked, manufactured emotions are redundant layers in context of typical underdog stories. Saala Khadoos is everything that is wrong with this genre. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
1.5/5 No Score Yet Kaafiron Ki Namaaz (2013) This film comes across as the kind of verbose play or minimalist painting designed to be incomprehensible enough to attract applause from unsuspecting purists. But that doesn't automatically mean it's clever. Not my cup of kahwa, this. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
2.5/5 No Score Yet The Blueberry Hunt (2016) Sometimes, I do wonder if narrative rules work uniformly across all genres. Kurian could have taken us elsewhere, or not taken us anywhere. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
1.5/5 No Score Yet Rocky Handsome (2016) A depressingly faithful adaptation of the Korean hit The Man From Nowhere, Rocky Handsome revolves around a sullen, sunken John Wick wannabe... - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
1/5 No Score Yet Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 (2016) When I look back at my life, I'll know the exact moment I died inside a little. At a 9 AM show on a Friday morning, my spirit left my body as I watched Tusshar Kapoor run across Thai beaches dressed in a red sari. - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019