Rahul Desai

Rahul Desai
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
29% India's Most Wanted (2019) Director Raj Kumar Gupta does the impossible - he makes suspense look boring and convoluted and painfully monotonous. - Film Companion EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
27% De De Pyaar De (2019) The truth is that 3DP (on a good day, this would stand for Deepika Padukone being third in a guestlist) isn't a very thoughtful "social comedy." - Film Companion EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
8% Student of the Year 2 (2019) The math is simple. I love the movies, but is it too much to ask for the movies to love me back? - Film Companion EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
No Score Yet Blank (2019) Soapy craft and writing aside, the problem lies in the film's facile politics. - Film Companion EDIT
Read More | Posted May 6, 2019
1/5 40% Kalank (2019) Kalank ends up impersonating one of those tragically dated Lucknowi nawabs that sees "character," rather than impending disaster, in the cracks of their dilapidated mansion walls. - Film Companion EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
1/5 No Score Yet The Tashkent Files (2019) The problem here isn't the director's leaning or his point-of-view. It's the way he chooses to camouflage it - that is, the way he chooses to quasi-intellectualize his storytelling skills in order to hide his rather simplistic sense of reasoning. - Film Companion EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
2/5 17% Romeo Akbar Walter (2019) RAW never really examines its main character's obvious identity crisis and his conflict of faith - partly due to the actor's limited abilities, but mostly due to the mood of our times. - Film Companion EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
1.5/5 25% Notebook (2019) The story might have even been a cutesy take on loneliness and virtual companionship if the writing had bothered to focus on the psychology of the protagonists. - Film Companion EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2019
44% Junglee (2019) The vapid hero-returns-to-save-sanctuary tale is blind to the biggest elephant in the room: "action star" Vidyut Jammwal still trying to do the acting thing. - Film Companion EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
0.5/5 33% Kesari (2019) The only way Kesari could have done justice to its source material is if it didn't exist. - Film Companion EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
2.5/5 57% Badla (2019) Badla remains forcibly consistent to this oeuvre of maternal rage. Only, it focuses on the other side of the kahaani, which is why you can see the strings and the puppeteers running the show. - Film Companion EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2019
1/5 33% Luka Chuppi (2019) Two decades too late. - Film Companion EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2019
1/5 No Score Yet Firebrand (2019) Despite its note-worthy themes, the filmmaking is not just unsubtle but guileless, the performances are too designed and the resolution is pretentious. - Film Companion EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Period. End of Sentence. (2018) Craft-wise, it is nothing remarkable, at least in context of the world it represents. But if social relevance is a part of filmmaking in narrative fiction, social relevance is filmmaking in narrative non-fiction. - Film Companion EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
92% 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
93% Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) Harshaali Malhotra steals the show... - CatchNews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
87% 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
38% 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
67% 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
33% 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
27% 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
60% 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
11% 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
38% 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
77% 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
83% 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
42% 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 10% 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 73% 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 25% 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 92% 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 64% 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 11% 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