Bharat’s Achilles heel is its desire to pack so much in, at headspinning pace, tossing causality to the wind. Zafar reduces history to one damn thing after another, resulting in a 150-minute fire sale of period costumes and abandoned story beats.
It is an interesting story, and yet the film doesn’t quite summon up the atmosphere of the raft. It doesn’t fully plunge you into that strange milieu, nor does it quite analyse exactly what was going on.
At heart, Late Night is a romcom and like so many romcoms, the funny stuff recedes after the first act, as the plot and its relatability imperative gets into gear. Yet Kaling is very good at conveying the paradoxical misty-eyed idealism of those working for this long-running TV institution.
Whether or not you have seen the original film, there is a terrific performance here from Moore, and an equally good one from Turturro, who may be entering into his own golden years of bittersweet character work.
Like Set It Up before it, Always Be My Maybe hits all of the beats we have come to expect yet fails to do so well enough, as if the mere existence of a technically well-structured romantic comedy is better than nothing.
Even die-hard De Palma completists would be better served by forgetting this one exists – a tedious, ugly thriller devoid of anything to say that will serve as a regrettable footnote for a distinguished film-maker who is capable of so much more.
Spencer works hard to keep us on her side and it’s her messy, melancholic character work that endures, a portrait of a woman broken and breaking those around her that’s really quite hard to shake. Ma is a few more drafts from perfection but the actor playing her is the real deal.