The Final Cut

December 13, 2015

The Hunger Games series reaches an impressive conclusion; Hate Story 3 is for stupids only

The Final Cut

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 ****

Dir: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Juilanne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Sam Ciaflin, Philp Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Dormer, Jena Malone

The concluding entry in the Hunger Games series just may very well be the best of the lot. That comes as a pleasant surprise after the overstretched place-holder that was the third film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I(the producers needlessly opting to split the third chapter of the book trilogy into two parts to rake in more moolah at the box-office). Part 2, however, not only packs in a lot of action but an unexpected amount of depth as well, questioning the nature of war, myth-making, violence-as-entertainment, propaganda, media manipulation, and the often hopeless cycle of history. The movie does give us a victory for the "good guys" but not one which comes without costs or with easy solutions. This is heavy stuff for a young-adult franchise - and one which may not please fans of the first two movies which focused more on the action and the games in the arena - but it does ensure that this is a series which will not be erased from memory that easily and will age better than many of its young adult peers and franchises that it inspired.

Jennifer Lawrence, as our reluctant heroine, Katniss, holds our attention and the movie together. This series turned her into a global superstar and she doesn’t disappoint. The rest of the regular cast are almost all present and Jena Malone as Johanna Mason, another winner of a past Hunger Games, gets a moment to shine in a sarcasm and anger-laced scene with Katniss.

Cut to chase: There’s a surprising amount of depth in this satisfying conclusion to the series.

Hate Story 3 *

Dir: Vishal Pandya
Starring: Zarine Khan, Sharman Joshi, Karan Singh Grover, Daisy Shah

Sex. Revenge. Plot twists. Sibling rivalry. Exotic locales. All these elements can make for an intriguing thriller. But you have got to have a proper script, people! And a plot that has at least a modicum of sense. But no such luck here. Scriptwriter Vikram Bhatt (who’s given us many schlockfests as both writer and director) takes his central idea from An Indecent Proposal (a billionaire offers to solve a couple’s problems in exchange for sleeping with the wife) but throws in a business rivalry, corporate skulduggery, a sibling rivalry, a romantic triangle (or is it a quadrangle?), political manoeuvrings, and plane explosions. None of which really matters because this is a stupid film made for sex-starved stupid people who are willing to put up with anything as long as they gets of lip-locking and flesh baring on screen.


On that front, the film certainly delivers with two of Salman Khan’s former leading ladies, Zarine Khan and Daisy Shah, daring to bare. The former appears to have shed quite a bit of the weight that had led some to uncharitably dub her Fatrina (for her resemblance to Katrina Kaif) but no real acting talent is required here and hence none is displayed. Sharman Joshi, who plays Zarine’s husband, looks in pain throughout probably due to the agony of being reduced to working in movies like this and having to spout dialogue like "he’s a cunning, vulgar rascal." Karan Singh Grover, as the unscrupulous billionaire, and Daisy Shah as Joshi’s assistant-cum-pawn against Grover are as good (or bad) as you would expect them to be in this C-grade "erotic" thriller.

Note: the main song from the movie - ‘Tumhhein Apna Banana Ka’ - currently getting a fair bit of airplay on cable tv is a reworking of a song previously used in the Sanjay Dutt-Pooja Bhatt starrer Sarak which itself was ripped off from Musarrat Nazir’s ‘Chalo Tau Katt Hi Jaye Ga’.

Cut to chase: Goes from bed to worse.

The Final Cut