Tag Archives: Thriller

TV Review: Mai (2022)

Sheel Chaudhary works as a nurse in an old-age home and belongs to a middle-class family. Her daughter Supriya is mute and performs stand-up comedy in her college. One day, Sheel senses that Supriya is hiding something about her. And when she tries to express herself, she gets hit by a speeding truck and dies on the spot. Post-funeral, Sheel gets to understand that Supriya didn’t die from an accident, she was murdered and then the mother’s quest for the hidden answers behind the mystery begins.

To be honest, I like Mai‘s story and how this is continued in six episodes. But there are a lot of points that make the outcome, the finished product, look no finesse. The crafting of the show doesn’t give that strong impact.

One major flaw of the show is zero expressions of Sakshi Tanwar in some critical scenes. She didn’t get lost when Supriya suddenly got hit by the truck, it was more surprising than the accident. She killed Jawahar which was a game-changer but she didn’t get mad about it. Sheel bravely confronting the underground crime is unimaginable. She is ridiculed and insulted by the goons through verbal solid abuse and she behaves as if this is normal to her. When she emotionally breaks in front of her husband, she doesn’t utilize shouting at full throttle. Maybe Sakshi’s voice is like that but I imagine a motherly role going fully paranoid at her applied scenario. She is, without a doubt, an impressive actress but in a given role, I expected more rage and craziness.

The foundation of this show, Supriya’s death, is the most senseless sequence. I have never understood the idea of a character getting killed by a vehicle suddenly crashing into him/her. How is that possible first of all even if used for horror-feel? How come the characters involved before the accident are unable to detect the sound of a running vehicle? This was a truck! Sheel and Supriya kept communicating and couldn’t hear a truck coming toward them? You got to be kidding us. And then Supriya’s injuries by a speeding truck were laughable.

After a long time, I watch Prashant Narayanan and give another impressive performance. And I fail to understand how come this actor still didn’t get the deserving recognition in this showbiz. This actor is on par with Nawazudding Siddiqui and can give him a tough time in any given role. He has been criminally underrated for around twenty years. I really hope to see him getting ranked somewhere in the age of streaming services where many underrated actors are making their names.

Wamiqa Gabbi, Ankur Ratan, and Raima Sen were all first-rate. Seema Pahwa had an extremely short character that needed a push. Mai has a strong hold on violence. And overall, manages to give a kind of thriller the audience wants to watch. I just feel that Mai could have tested Sheel’s central characterization.

Film Review: Marathon Man (1976)



I wonder how much Marathon Man speaks William Goldman‘s novel of the same name but in any case, this suspense/thriller film was a crazy contribution to the American cinema in many ways. I liked the direction of film (John Schlesinger) which was straight to subject, mixing and bringing complexity in characters of Doc (Roy Scheider) the CIA guy and big B of the marathon man (Dustin Hoffman), and Elsa (Marthe Keller) the gf of Babe, the marathon man.

First hour of the film was generally growing concerns to know a possible crime scene at some stage and that was the beauty of film-making, the director exactly was spot on. Again my same concern in every film i.e., character development and that was another home run by the director. First hour of Dustin Hoffman’s central character was much of supporting role till the murder of Doc. And from the murder, Babe was the anchor of the ship.

Another impression was the antagonist, in fact a cruel antagonist. The film was mostly remembered for the role of Dr. Christian Szell, a Nazi war criminal played by Laurence Olivier. He played a marvelous villain and thanks to him that due to that unforgettable torturing scene, viewers had to think twice before paying a visit to the dentist. His repeated dialogue “Is it safe?” itself was cruel and annoying but was to play our nerves in few seconds. This role earned the legend his only Academy nomination for Best ‘Supporting’ Actor.

Marathon Man 1

The great British actor gave his heart out in displaying a spectacular performance. This is the film when he was in treatment of cancer and the case was so serious that he took this role to leave a large sum of earned money to his family. He had to shoot the scenes every day with heavy doses of painkillers which later affected his memory. He lived another 13 years after a successful operation.

The then 38 y.o. Hoffman lost 13 pounds for the role to shape himself as a graduate student. The bathtub scene of his drowning was real as he himself requested to water him as long as possible to offer a realistic view. An interesting trivia confirmed that the guy who played Dr. Szell’s brother whose car was involved in oil-truck collision in opening-scene was, in real, a survivor of Hindenburg Disaster.

One major difference between the novel and film was unfortunately the conclusion. Sources said that Hoffman was unhappy whereas Goldman used the word ‘shit’ to the interviewer to mark his opinion for the conclusion. In the film, Babe moved Szell on gunpoint to the pump-room and forced him to swallow the diamonds whereas in the novel, Babe lead Szell to the Central Park and fired multiple shots on him.

Marathon Man was a brilliant storyteller which explored Nazi war criminals staging appearances in remaining old years of their lives and handling/mishandling of CIA. It was and is a perfect treat for Hoffman or Olivier fans to watch their magic.

Ratings: 8.2/10

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