The Story : It’s been a while since Captain America: Civil War, where an ecstatic and starstruck teen Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland) rubbed shoulders with the mighty Avengers. Months later, Peter yearns for the heroic experience once again. But mentor Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) advises him to go back to school and patiently wait for his moment of glory, when he can assist the Avengers.
Review : However, patience is certainly not the boy’s virtue. Desperate to earn a sensational ‘job offer’ from Stark, the trainee masked crusader curbs petty robberies and scouts for a crime worthy enough to fight. He soon runs into ‘Vulture’ (Michael Keaton), a man who poses real threat to lives. Can Spider-boy take him down?
Jon Watts starts his film with a clean slate. Unlike the previous outings, his Spider-Man reboot doesn’t necessarily have the aura of a superhero epic. He gives it a quirky campus-caper twist, which evokes mixed views initially. His Peter is solely focussed on being an A list (Avengers like) superhero. There are no sob stories of Uncle Ben or Aunt May either. May in fact, is a hottie (Marisa Tomei)! Once you warm up to Watts’ vision, this Spidey film, replete with humour and thrilling stunt scenes, grows on you and tugs at your heartstrings eventually.
What also works is Holland’s effortless earnestness. The British actor is no looker unlike a Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield, nor does he carry their character’s emotional turmoil or bewilderment. But that makes him the most relatable Spider-Man, till date. You feel his need to prove himself to Stark; heartbreak, when that dream falters and him discovering himself at the end of it all.
Other than Robert Downey’s recurring special appearances (even at an Indian wedding), it is Michael Keaton’s formidable screen presence as the anti-hero, that holds the film together, when Parker’s goofing around gets a tad tiresome.
The Story: Kumail Nanjiani(Kumail Nanjiani) is a Pakistani cab driver and an aspiring comedian who is instantly drawn to American student Emily Gordon(Zoe Kazan) who he bumps into at a bar in Chicago. But, his parents want him to be a good Muslim and marry a Pakistani. And therein lies the conflict or at least some of it …
Review: Michael Showalter’s drama is based on the real-life romantic track of the protagonist (Kumail who plays himself) and the gori he ultimately marries. And the script (co-written by Kumail and Emily) has many laugh-out-loud moments. Their initial dates, where the couple talks of keeping it casual are fun to watch. As is the scene in which you’re introduced to Kumail’s family. The banter at Nanjianis’ suburban Chicago home with his parents Azmat (Anupam Kher) and Sharmeen (Zenobia Shroff), is delightful. Like most immigrants, they’ve made America their home, but Pakistan still resides in their hearts. Typically they encourage their son to pray to Allah and even organize a daily parade of eligible young Pakistani-American women for him to choose his bride from.
Kumail who fears that he’ll be osctracised doesn’t tell his parents about his American girlfriend. Nor does he give in to Emily’s request of having dinner with her parents—Terry (Ray Romano) and Beth (Holly Hunter) who are visiting from North Carolina. This is when Emily decides to call off their relationship. But fate wills otherwise. When she lands up in hospital, Kumail who takes charge of the situation also comes to terms with how deeply he cares for her.
Self-deprecatory humour keeps the mood alive through and through. Be it a mention of the ISIS or Terry’s wish to talk with a Muslim about the 9/11 attacks, everything provides a `good’ laugh.
Kumail’s cowardice in not telling his parents that he is dating a non-Muslim and his initial terse interactions with Emily’s parents in the hospital are both funny and emotional.
As far as performances go, Ray and Holly lead the way; Anupam Kher is adept and Kumail with his mostly-comic expressions passes muster. The film lacks the vitality of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and other such romcoms. It could also do with a 10-minute shorter run. But there is no taking away from the fact that this smart comedy is an ideal monsoon getaway.