Radhe-Your Most Wanted Bhai is a celebration of Salman Khan’s stardom and his own filmography.
Salman Khan lives in his own universe, quite literally. With Radhe: The Most Wanted Bhai, he brings back the memories of 2009 hit Wanted that, in a way, started his second innings to superstardom. With Prabhudeva back behind the megaphone, Khan has the license to go back to chequered shirts and his famous bracelet. Needless to say that at least 500 people must have been harmed in the process. Of course, we are not counting the sensitive audience and non-Salman Khan fans.
So, encounter specialist Radhe (Khan) has been brought back from suspension because the Mumbai Police is determined to eradicate the drug menace plaguing the city’s schools. However, the task isn’t as simple as Khan’s signature dance steps, mostly because of the lousy script and patrtly due to the menacing villain Rana (Randeep Hooda), who despite being shadowed by Khan’s mega-stardom manages to make his presence felt.
Prabhudeva has pulled out all the stops and given Bhai the freehand to mouth Eid oriented one-liners and back them with punches. He is faster than a flash and mightier than a mountain, and confronting him is not going to fetch you good results. So, just relax, sit back and see him making mockery of science and logic. You can also cheer if you want to, simply because the makers never promised it to be anything other than what it is: a celebration of Khan’s projected super human abilities around Eid.
You also have Disha Patani breaking into a dance right in the middle of a fight sequence and delivering such unconvincing dialogues that would put even Mithun Chakraborty at an election campaign to shame. I am not even talking about Jackie Shroff who dances in a sleeveless dress.
Radhe is a collage of high-pitched songs and slow-motion shots that made us cringe even five years back. You need to have a high appetite for Khan’s antics to enjoy this one.
With films like Mom or Tumhari Sulu, here’s how the portrayal of mother has changed in Bollywood over the ages.
Mere paas maa hai”- These four simple, yet powerful lines that were first said 46 years ago in the film Deewar have transcended the barrier of time and remained with us ever since. Whenever we think of the mother character, we are reminded of the significance of these lines and how we can fight against all odds if we have the mother’s hand over our head. Since its very inception, Bollywood carved out the archetype of a mother character, according to which she is overtly sentimental, melodramatic, and over the top in her depiction of emotions. Think of Neerupa Roy, Jaya Bachchan in the later part of her career, Kirron Kher, Farida Jalal or the iconic image of a plough bearing Nargis Dutt in Mother India, all these characters have embodied a similar prototype, that is, their entire existence revolves around the purpose of being a mother.
However, in recent times, Bollywood has been seen taking baby steps towards portraying a mother that is a character of her own, is grounded by certain motivations that are not an extended version of the hero’s motives and is independent.
A very recent example would be Renuka Shahane’s Tribhanga where we see the equations between mother and daughter spread over three generations of women. Going beyond the typical image of a mother figure that is as ‘pure’ as a goddess, this films focuses on the issues that were hardly associated with the perfect mother. It talks of single motherhood, abuse, open relationships and aspirations of a woman. When we paint a mother’s character with just one shade, we often tend to leave out her most humane qualities, and Shahane challenged this notion in her film where relatability lies in the imperfectness of the mother.
In Jazbaa, we see Aishwarya Rai’s Anuradha breaking the docile image of a mother and taking charge of things when her daughter is kidnapped. In Mom, Sridevi’s character does the same when she turns into a vigilante trying to avenge her stepdaughter after she is sexually assaulted at a party.
Nil Battey Sannata saw a mother who goes beyond her archetypical duties and enrolls in a school so that she can help her daughter excel in the subject of mathematics. The film ends with her tutoring struggling maths students which makes the statement that some characters are not bound by the constraints of doing something just because society expected them.
For the greater part, mothers are also shown as women whose ultimate goal is motherhood, and once that is achieved, she goes back to being a side character, stripped off of her own desires and individuality. Her life, which was till now associated with the man she married, suddenly starts revolving around her offspring, and she finds it hard to separate herself from their identity. Pradeep Sarkar challenged this concept in his film Helicopter Eela, which shows the transformation of a single mother from being overprotective about her son to rediscovering her desires and aspirations that she had before she got married.
Tumhari Sulu saw a mother struggling with her domestic responsibilities and her professional work as the onus to hold her family together fell on her, being the woman. However, the film did a good job in representation those struggles which are the reality of many and finally letting us know that you can keep the latter without losing the former.
Another remarkable portrayal would be Tabu’s character Ghazala in Haider. Hindi cinema has imprinted the image of a woman crying and praying for days after her husband’s demise but in Ghazala, the complexities of human behaviour show when she marries her husband’s brother instead. Anyone who has read Hamlet, the play Haider is based on, knows this is how things are supposed to unfold, but the odd choice of replacing a sentimental mother provided her character with a lot of depth and perspective that were previously hard to find. Taking that trail of thought forward, director Imtiaz Ali made a very important point through a compact scene in Jab We Met when he made Geet’s character (Kareena Kapoor) defend Aditya’s (Shahid Kapoor) mother even though the latter had nothing but disrespect towards her. After it is revealed that his mother had an extramarital affair and her subsequent elopement bought shame to the entire family, Geet explains to Aditya that when it comes to a mother, its hard to explain things, but her actions were a consequence of her being in love with someone, which is why Aditya should be more accepting of her.
Farhan Akhtar’s sports film Toofan, which was slated to stream on Amazon Prime Video from May 21, has been put on hold.
The release of ‘Toofaan’, the inspirational sports drama produced by Ritesh Sidhwani, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra & Farhan Akhtar which is to be premiered on Amazon Prime Video has now been pushed keeping the current scenario of pandemic in view and ensuring the safety of all, until normalcy is restored.
Excel Entertainment and ROMP Pictures made the significant statement on their social media today and urged everyone to “stay home, stay safe and stay united”. They wrote, “The situation in India is truly heart-breaking, and we at Excel Entertainment and ROMP Pictures send our thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by the pandemic.
“In light of the the severity of the situation, our focus is completely on the pandemic and on supporting our employees, their families and in helping the wider community. Therefore, we have taken the decision to postpone the release of our film ‘Toofaan’ until the situation improves. We will issue an update regarding the new release date in due course of time. Please continue to observe Covid Appropriate Behaviour. Also, please register and get vaccinated when it’s your turn. On behalf of the entire team of Toofaan, we urge you to Stay Home, Stay Safe and Stay United. Jai Hind.”
The sports film was earlier planned for a September 2020 release. It was then postponed and slated for a digital release on Amazon Prime Video on May 21, 2021. The surge in the number of Covid-19 cases around the country is the concern of the hour and Excel Entertainment and ROMP Pictures joins the league of production houses which have put their projects on hold.
The latest Marathi movie, Photo-Prem, on Amazon Prime Video, reminded me of a 2014 Tamil work called Mundasuppati (Turban Village). Here the villagers have a huge phobia about being photographed. The story goes that an ancient superstition about faces being captured on camera will spell doom. The film had a great climax with the village mob chasing our hero, a photographer, as he is eloping on a two-wheeler with his lady love. And the contraption stalls, and in a clever move, he takes out his camera and points it at the angry crowd, which turns around double quick and scoots!
In Photo-Prem, helmed by Aditya Rathi and Gayatri Patel, the protagonist, Sunanda, also addressed respectfully as Maee (played by Neena Kulkarni), is also camera shy to the extent that she has a terrible fear of being being captured by the lens – paranoia that she has had ever since she was a teenager. It is never clear why she feels so, and as she grows older and gets married, it is revealed that she was not even to be seen in her honeymoon pictures. Her boorish husband (Vikas Hande), who keeps lording over her and hardly ever talks to her, complains in one scene that it appeared from the honeymoon pictures that he had gone all by himself. The directors, who are also writers, stretch this a little too far when Sunanda shies away from being photographed even during her own daughter’s marriage.
But this changes when Sunanda attends the funeral of a woman, and notices her family scampering around trying to find a picture of her’s for a newspaper obituary. Later, when Sunanda visits the woman’s home, she sees the picture of a young girl on the wall; obviously the family could not find a later-day picture.
This incident pushes Sunanda to ponder about her own death and how her grandchildren can remember her in the absence of a photo. And the rest of the movie wanders through her attempt, punctuated by reluctance and a deep sense of inexplicable shyness, to get a picture of herself. This sudden obsession is not written with a sense of believable conviction.
And, Photo-Prem seems such a drag even with its relatively short runtime of 90 minutes, peppered as it is with inane situations. Incidents such as an acquaintance repeatedly accosting Sunanda on the street with questions, and her own daily conversations with her house-maid are at best silly, and if the writers had fancied that these would produce laughs, they could not have been wide off the mark.
Jaaved Jaaferi’s new Netflix show Lava Ka Dhaava reminds us of his commentary days from the popular children’s show Takeshi’s Castle.
Seasoned Bollywood actor Jaaved Jaaferi has a special place in the hearts of the late millennial and early Gen Z kids of India. During the late 90s and early 2000s, Jaaved showed his cool dance movies in Boogie Woogie, was a part of fan-favourite kids films like Jajantaram Mamantaram and most importantly, won hearts with his commentary in the Japanese show Takashi’s Castle.
Takeshi’s Castle was an adventure-based game show where the participants would have to navigate difficult obstacle courses. Some of them included scaling high walls, others had to cross a pond through ‘skipping stones.’ The show was also made interesting by the presence of ‘royal guards’ or pranksters who would try to stop the participants from completing the round successfully. However, no matter how many people won these obstacle courses they would always lose in the ‘final showdown.
Takeshi’s Castle was an integral part of our childhood. It was a super interesting and unpredictable show. But for us Indians, what made the show so special was Jaaved Jaaferi’s commentary. The actor was relentless, using his sense of humour and voice modulations to make puns and jokes about every situation. There were also segments called ‘Jaaved’s Ridiculous Replay’ where we would see a contestant falling repeatedly, added with a quirky thing that the actor said. The show was a riot, thanks to the actor.
Hence, we were excited when we first learnt that the actor is hosting a similar game show. The show, which released on Wednesday, is called Lava Ka Dhaava. It is a Hindi dubbed version of the American show The Floor is Lava. It is also a high-pace obstacle course where the participants have to go from one corner of a room to the other without falling in make-believe lava.
The concept of the show comes from the popular game and meme of the same name. In viral internet videos, a person could be heard saying, “the floor is lava,” and their friends would scarmble to find any furniture they can climb on.
This show takes it to another level. While the lava is make-believe, it is still hot and intimidating. The contestants, who play in teams of three, have to jump across rotating furnitures, slippery rocks and even insect infested walls to go to the other corner. It is also time-bound, after five to six minutes, the stairs that help you get out of the lava room start dissappearing, making the exit next to impossible.
The show is interesting to watch. It is basically like watching any other American game show like wipe-out. However, we cannot deny that Jaaved’s involvement in the show makes it a lot funnier. Of course, there are some jarring moments, like how the audience is supposed to pretend that the actor is actually communicating with the contestants, or the times where it seems like he is reading out of a script to synch it with what the contestants are saying. The language spoken is also too literal instead of colloquial to separate it from the original version. Hence, ‘Spider-Man’ becomes ‘Makdi Manav.’ It also gets a little repetitive after three episodes.
That being said, Laava Ka Dhaava is a fun show to watch. It is amusing to see people bring out their most competitive side only to slip and fall in fake lava. Since we are also living in trying times, a show like this is exactly the mindless and hilarious distraction we need.
Salman Khan has teamed up with Jacqueline Fernandez for a dance number Dil De Diya, for his upcoming film Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai.
Dil De Diya, the much awaited dance number from Salman Khan’s Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai, has been launched today. The power-packed dance track features Jacqueline Fernandez with Salman Khan. The teaser of the song was made live yesterday.
The peppy number is a mix of groovy dance moves and electrifying beats. Jacqueline is seen wearing an ethnic dress which she carries with utmost panache, whereas Salman is seen in a black casual suit looking his dashing best. The sizzling chemistry between Jacqueline and Salman is there for all to see.
Every time I collaborate with Salman, it is simply the best. His energy is contagious. Dil De Diya from Radhe is one of my favourite songs of all time. It is completely different from all my previous dance numbers. Also, having the dancing legend Prabhudeva sir behind the lens directing you was a surreal experience. We had so much fun shooting for it. I just had to do this one, and I cannot wait for people to see it.” said Jacqueline about her experience of the song’s filming.
Radhe’s director Prabhudeva said, “Jacqueline’s glam and persona on screen are just exceptional; everyone knows it. She was our only choice for this song. I knew she would do a phenomenal job, and we are certainly thrilled with the output. She did complete justice to the choreography, and I hope everyone likes it too!