Solo: A Star Wars Story Review

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Plotline: –

Solo deals with the origin of Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich), one of the most loved and revered characters of the Star Wars franchise. The film focusses on Solo’s salad days and how he met his best friend Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and acquired his iconic ship, ‘Millennium Falcon’.

Positive Points: –

  • As one expects, Solo comes off as a huge entertainer with an idiosyncratic mixture of action, humour and visual effects.
  • The performances of the central cast along with their chemistries are delectable.
  • John Powell’s score.
  • Ron Howard’s direction and to some extents even the screenplay by Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan.

Negative Points: –

  • No matter how good Ehrenreich is (and he is pretty good, to be honest!), no one can replace Harrison Ford as Han Solo and that’s something we got to live with now.
  • There’s nothing quite novel about Solo. So if you were expecting anything out of the box, then purge it before you watch the film.
  • It seems to go out of direction more than a couple of times which affects its pacing substantially. So it’s kind of an engaging followed by a disengaging followed by an engaging experience with Solo.

Direction, Screenplay & Other Technicalities: –

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The strongest aspects of the entire Star Wars’ franchise lie in its action and visual effects and this flick keeps up with that image. The direction has been splendid and Howard’s acumen is even more evident during the action montages. I have sort of a mixed review for the writing but it still tends more on the positive side. I enjoyed the way the story has been set up with some smart and unexpected twists, clever dialogues and interesting characterisations. I loved the way Woody Harrelson’s Beckett has been developed which is also one of the best things in the film as a whole. There are a lot of moments for the audience to cheer upon as well. What vexed me about everything put together, was the lack of proper focus on Solo’s origin (like his childhood and all), the hackneyed villain and the absence of any new interesting story that could, for a moment, bring in something special to the franchise. I mean we are done with this chaotic galaxies and mutinies and rebellions; we deserve to see something more serious and different from what we are always fed with. If the makers are having a problem in understanding this, then they should take a few lessons from Logan. Another nettling thing about the story was its lack of emotional strength. There were a lot of moments where the audience could have been stirred up but those (potentially special) scenes come up like any other mere montages.

The film excels in its technical department. Be it the camera-work or the editing or the visual effects, everything’s spotless. Not to forget the top-notch score by Powell who also makes use of John William’s iconic Star Wars’ theme music to its best. That’s something which never gets old and never will, to be honest.

Performances: –

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I liked Alden Ehrenreich as Jr. Solo in this feature. Of course, he can’t replace Ford (no one can) but he is good with whatever he was given to perform. His rendition of the character may be a bit different from the original one but he holds Solo’s quirkiness pretty much ably on his shoulders.

Woody Harrelson is terrific as Beckett and is arguably the best performer out of the whole lot. Well, experience always counts but what’s amusing about the entire thing is Harrelson’s natural act (he is more dramatic with his acting) which is a treat to watch.

Emilia Clarke is adorable and has performed superlatively. Donald Glover impresses in his short stint. Paul Bettany has been an excellent antagonist here but the lack of novelty in his character couldn’t help him in making a strong impression on the audience or on the film either. Thandie Newton and Jon Favreau, on the other hand, make impactful cameos.

Final Verdict: –

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Solo: A Star Wars Story plays it safe and for no awful reasons at all. No matter how much one criticises it, he can’t deny that it’s a delightfully entertaining movie with some great technical execution and charming acts. However, that shouldn’t be a license for the makers to continue this trend because the audience will ultimately get excruciated with the repetitive elements of the series (except its score). Notwithstanding everything, it’s a film that will be liked both by the fans of the Star Wars franchise and the general moviegoers.

RATING: 3.5/5

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