THE BIG SCREEN
Twenty years after Dame Judi Dench beautifully captured the aching loneliness of Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown, the diminutive national treasure slips back into regal garb for Stephen Frears’ heart-warming comedy drama torn from a long-lost page in history. The year is 1887 and Queen Victoria (Dame Judi) is comfortably installed as Empress of India, although she has never visited the domain. In Agra, two lowly men – Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) and Mohammed (Adeel Akhtar) – are chosen by British authorities to present the monarch with a ceremonial gold coin called a mohur. They travel to Windsor Castle, where Abdul catches Victoria’s eye and is rapidly promoted to the monarch’s spiritual adviser or “Munshi”. If there is method in director Darren Aronofsky’s madness, it is frustratingly elusive, concealed behind layer upon layer of directorial brio, atmospheric sound design and an emotionally wrought lead performance from Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence as a young wife whose poet husband (Javier Bardem) is crippled by writer’s block. She shines even when Aronofsky’s picture plunges into the gloom. Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) proposes to his sweetheart Katrina (Charlotte Vega) shortly before she is killed by merciless gunmen on a crowded beach in Ibiza. Revenge boils in his veins and over the next 18 months, Mitch metamorphoses into a gym-toned angel of death in order to infiltrate the terrorist cell responsible for Katrina’s death. Before he can complete his suicide mission, Mitch falls into the clutches of the CIA’s deputy director, Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan), who offers Mitch the opportunity to train with Cold War veteran Stan Hurley (Keaton) as part of a covert operation codenamed Orion. A maniacal koala bear with delusions of grandeur threatens the safety of creatures great and small in The Jungle Bunch. Based on a hit French TV series, director David Alaux’s jaunty computer-animated adventure follows in the paw prints of a menagerie of brightly coloured tales populated by anthropomorphised critters including Zootropolis, Sing, The Secret Life Of Pets and Kung Fu Panda. Stuttering leader of the Losers’ Club, Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher), vows revenge following the loss of his younger brother, Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott), who was dragged into the subterranean lair of Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgard).
Jennifer Lawrence stars in twisted thriller mother!