Monthly Archives: June 2021

Jagame Thandiram Movie Review: Weak Script, Careless Editing Make Dhanush-starrer a Bore

Kartik Subbaraj’s Jagame Thandiram, starring Dhanush sets itself a lofty goal, but begins to limp in the first few minutes due to its weak script.

Jagame Thandiram

Director: Karthik Subbaraj

Cast: Dhanush, Aishwarya Lekshmi, James Cosmo

Tamil cinema still, in this day and age, believes that a film must pack into its runtime every aspect of life and living or just about. Director Karthik Subbaraj’s almost three-hour long gangster adventure mostly set in London, Jagame Thandhiram, just does this, giving us a taste of dances, fights with bullets narrowly missing one’s ears and the radical side of British politics. Yes, you heard me right, with some of that country’s leaders trying to stop immigration of especially brown and Black people – with special reference to Sri Lankan Tamils — and deport them.
Immigration may be a pressing issue in countries across continents, but that a young man from Madurai – who runs a “parotta” eatery by the day turning into a sickle-weaving thug after sunset — should pop into London to “sort” things out appears farfetched, even with our thinking hats off. And this young man is none other than Suruli, played by Dhanush (who is increasingly copying father-in-law Rajinikanth’s mannerisms), a small-time gangster from Madurai.

With his marriage being called off at the eleventh hour, Suruli becomes an even bigger desperado willing to place his neck on the block, and flies to London.. While Suruli is turning the city into a bloody mess, I began to wonder what the heck Scotland Yard was doing! Come on, England is not the badlands somewhere in Africa or closer home. But with blazing guns and whizzing bullets, Suruli vanquishes the foes, taking on dozens of men singlehandedly to emerge supreme. This is imagination gone berserk.

Penned by Subbaraj, the movie is just a one line plot: Suruli is hired by racist British mobster, Peter (James Cosmos), in faraway Madurai to kill his rival, Sivadoss (Joju George), a Sri Lankan Tamil. Suruli’s girlfriend, Attila (Aishwarya Lekshmi), is at best a flower-vase on the mantlepiece, but she does turn him into a Sri Lankan Tamil sympathiser, and it takes just one weepy story from her to convert our man.

The film sets itself a lofty goal, but begins to limp in the first few minutes. Scripted shabbily and edited with little care, it fails to invest in this theme. Instead, it goes all out to make a hero out of Dhanush, who has been coming up with the same, jaded performance for a long time. He probably has potential, but would need a good and imaginative director to get him out of his comfort zone. And, the kind of bloody violence that Subbaraj dishes out can be difficult to stomach, and his tendency to be another Quentin Tarantino is a pointless exercise.

Sherni Movie Review: Vidya Balan roars in this man-animal jungle on Amazon Prime

Directed by Amit Masurkar, Vidya Balan plays a forest officer trying to resolve man-animal conflicts in Sherni. The film started streaming on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, June 18.

Movie Name: Sherni
Cast: Vidya Balan
Director: Amit Masurkar

Sherni opens to a panoramic view of the forest. You know you have landed in the middle of dense, raw danger. So does Vidya Balan, who plays Divisional Forest Officer Vidya Vincent, in the film. Vidya is here to resolve human-animal conflicts – stuff we read about in the newspapers every day. But her battles go beyond just that. She has to find her own footing as a woman in a man’s world.

Just like the central force of the film – tigers – Vidya also lies low, not from fear, but for aim. She subtly finds her way through the jungle, just as Sherni attempts to journey Hindi cinema to a terrain that has been probed, but not explored.

In Amit Masurkar’s Sherni, we are introduced to India’s wild spaces, which face seemingly unstoppable threats from poaching, deforestation and overgrazing. That’s one side of the story. On the other, there are communities that rely on forest returns for their livelihoods. Meanwhile, cattle and men venturing into the jungle are turning up dead. Yes, a wild cat is on the loose. Caught in the middle of this are forestry officials and our protagonist Vidya Vincent.

Sherni is reminiscent of Avni or T1’s case. The tigress was accused of killing 13 people. After months-long hunt, she was shot dead in 2018 in Yavatmal, Maharashtra, by a civilian hunter-led search accompanied by some forest department officials. Many activists described it as ‘cold-blooded murder’ and the case even reached the Supreme Court of India. The case is still going on with officials trying to find whether Avni was a man-eater or not.

Coming back to Sherni, Vidya soon realises that humans and tigers are both endangered. This fact hits her when lives are lost in the jungle and a politician grabs the opportunity to make big promises about showing the tiger its rightful place – sending it to a zoo or a circus, that is. Even the forest department remains complacent and corrupt. Things are not that different in reel or real lives.

Akshay Kumar reveals Bell Bottom release date is July 27, film to hit theatres worldwide

Akshay Kumar’s much awaited film, Bell Bottom, will release in theatres worldwide on July 27.

Big news for fans of Akshay Kumar. The much-awaited film, Bell Bottom will release worldwide on July 27. Akshay took to social media to announce the same. Sharing a short teaser of Bell Bottom, Akshay Kumar announced that the film will release in theatres and that the wait is finally over.
AKSHAY KUMAR’S BELL BOTTOM TO RELEASE ON JULY 27

Akshay shared a short teaser of Bell Bottom to announce the release date of the film. Sharing the news, Akshay wrote, “I know you have patiently waited for the release of #Bellbottom. Couldn’t be happier to finally announce the release of our film. Arriving on the big screens worldwide #BellBottomOn27July (sic).

This piece of news isn’t just a happy one for Akshay Kumar fans, but also for the trade business, which has been affected due to the closure of cinema halls owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Pointing out the same, trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted, “Release date announcement of #BellBottom is sweet music to the ears of the exhibition fraternity, in particular Clearly highlights the confidence #AkshayKumar and #BellBottom producers have in the theatrical biz Await more theatrical release announcements in coming days (sic)!

AKSHAY REACTS TO FEE REDUCTION NEWS

Yesterday, June 14, Akshay Kumar took to Twitter to put an end to reports that stated that he has reduced his fee for the upcoming film Bell Bottom. Reportedly, Akshay had reduced his fee by Rs 30 crore after producer Vashu Bhagnani requested him to do so. Akshay shared the news article that claimed that he has reduced his fee and wrote, “What waking up to FAKE Scoops feels like!,” with eye-rolling emojis.

The news article claimed that Akshay gave Vashu Bhagnani a discount as the two are friends. The article also stated that Vashu asked Akshay to reduce the fee as the film’s release date has been deferred twice due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. It is interesting that within a day, Akshay Kumar chose to make the announcement of Bell Bottom release.

ABOUT BELL BOTTOM

Apart from Akshay, Bell Bottom also stars Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi and Lara Dutta. Bell Bottom is a spy thriller set in the 80s and is based on the plane hijacks that took India by storm back then. While Akshay plays a RAW agent while Lara Dutta essays the role of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who was in power at that time. Vaani Kapoor plays Khiladi Kumar’s wife in the film.

Vidya Balan in powerful new song Main Sherni celebrates real women. Watch video

A new song from Amazon Prime Video’s Sherni just dropped. The powerful track features Vidya Balan along with four real-life shernis – Mira Erda, Natasha Noel, Eshna Kutty and Trinetra Haldar, among others.

In just four days, Vidya Balan’s Sherni will drop on Amazon Prime Video, and the excitement is palpable. But, ahead of the release of Sherni, the makers on Tuesday, June 15, unveiled a new track, Main Sherni, to celebrate the real shernis of the world. The powerful track features Vidya Balan along with Mira Erda, Natasha Noel, Eshna Kutty and Trinetra Haldar and celebrates their stories of resilience. The song is sung by Akasa and Raftaar.
MAIN SHERNI TRACK CELEBRATES REAL SHERNIS OF THE WORLD

Main Sherni is a nod to the courage and resilience of the real-like shernis, women who have beaten the odds and managed to carve a niche for themselves, all the while ensuring they do not conform to the norms. The music video features Vidya Balan, along with Mira Erda, F4 Racer and Driver Coach; Natasha Noel, body-positivity influencer and Yoga trainer; Eshna Kutty, a social-media influencer and hula-hoop dancer; and Trinetra Haldar, one of the first transgender doctors in Karnataka.

Apart from these, the song also features Jayshree Mane, a frontline warrior at BYL Nair Hospital; Riddhi Arya, a student who delivers food to frontline warriors; security guard Anita Devi; Seema Duggal, a teacher; house help Archana Jadav, among others.

VIDYA BALAN ON MAIN SHERNI

Speaking about the track, Sherni actress Vidya Balan said, “The music video Main Sherni is our tribute to all the women across the globe who have this indomitable spirit of never giving up. Sherni is special for all of us and with this film and music video, we are celebrating women who have shown us that there is nothing a woman can’t do. Just like Vidya Vincent, my character in the movie, we want to show that women are fearless and powerful … and that you don’t have to roar to be a tigress. This is what we have tried to capture in this anthem.

Haseen Dillruba teaser out. Taapsee finds herself in the middle of the ultimate kaunspiracy

The teaser of Haseen Dillruba is out. The film stars Taapsee Pannu, Vikrant Massey and Harshvardhan Rane in lead roles.

The teaser of Taapsee Pannu’s upcoming film Haseen Dillruba is out. The clip shows how Taapsee is caught in the game of love and betrayal with Vikrant Massey and Harshvardhan Rane.

HASEEN DILLRUBA TEASER OUT

Haseen Dillruba will explore love and its three shades – lust, obsession and deceit. In the film, Taapsee’s character will find herself experiencing these three extreme shades of love. The teaser begins with Taapsee’s marriage with Vikrant Massey and shows his obsession with his new wife. Later, Harshvardhan Rane enters the frame and we see Taapsee’s affection grow towards him.

The official synopsis of the film reads, “A woman whose heart longs to live like words captured in a novel, finds herself entangled in the murder of her own husband. Will she get lost in the chaos of her real-life-novel or find her innocence?”

ABOUT HASEEN DILLRUBA

Haseen Dillruba is directed by Vinil Mathew. The film has been produced by Aanand L Rai under his banner Colour Yellow Production in collaboration with Eros International and Himanshu Sharma. The story of Haseen Dillruba has been penned by Kanika Dhillon. Amit Trivedi has scored its music.

Haseen Dillruba was earlier supposed to release in September 2020, but due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the release date had to be postponed. The makers then skipped its theatrical release. The film is now set to stream on Netflix from July 2.

Shaadisthan Movie Review: Memorable Performances Make It Relevant and Meaningful

Shaadisthan, starring Kirti Kulhari, is refreshing storytelling powerfully backed by sensitive and memorable performances from the lead cast.

Shaadisthan

Cast: Kirti Kulhari, Nivedita Bhattacharya, Rajan Modi

Director: Raj Singh Chaudhary

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a non-preachy, uncliched feminist story. Directed and co-written by Raj Singh Chaudhary, Shaadisthan is a moving drama about women breathing under patriarchy.

The film follows a conservative couple Sanjay (Rajan Modi) and Kamla Sharma (Nivedita Bhattacharya) from a small town of Rajasthan and their teenage daughter Arshi (Medha Shankar) who are forced to travel with four young, rebel musicians Freddie (Apurva Dogra), Jigme (Shenpenn Khymsar), Imaad (Ajay Jayanthi), and Sasha (Kirti Kulhari) to Ajmer for a family wedding.

As their contrasting ideologies collide inside a camper van, they reluctantly begin to share parts of their ordinarily segregated lives. In Sasha’s world, women can do whatever the hell they want to do. And for Sasha, that means a songwriter, a musician and a free spirit. On the other hand, Arshi is not even allowed to speak and verging on the breakdown, thanks to her father who is planning to marry her off as soon as she turns 18.

Chaudhary’s Shaadisthan is also about the roles of stay-at-home mothers from small towns of India. Kamla has been ignored, her spirit broken. It’s a tribute to the realness of the film and Nivedita Bhattacharya’s earnest performance that you end up wondering: What kind of life did Kamla dream of, this generous woman who ended up with a regressive partner and no room to breathe? Nivedita beautifully depicts the fears, insecurities, and pain that women deprived of social and economic independence go through. She slips into the skin of Kamla’s character so well that you feel for her throughout the movie.

Kirti Kulhari’s filmography is full of female-led stories. Take Falak Ali in Pink, Inspector Dalbir Kaur Bagga in The Girl on the Train, Advocate Anjana Menon in Four More Shots Please and her most recent award-worthy performance in Criminal Justice. But when she strips off the makeup and is embraced into the hippie group of young men to embody Sasha, the actress really roars as a woman. A scene where she schools Sanjay for calling their music “shor (noise)” is easily one of the best moments in the film.

However, Sasha’s feminism often comes across as privileged. She is educated, financially independent who can afford to leave her family and travel anywhere and everywhere, but she doesn’t realise that it’s not easy for Kamla to fight the entrenched societal sexism and patriarchy the way she does. Kamla is a non-working middle-class woman who is constantly facing an existential threat wherein freedom could mean loss of security and protection that patriarchy offers. Sasha reeks of privilege and naivety of the real world outside her insulated bubble when she tells Kamla, “Women like us fight so that women like you don’t have to fight in their world.”

Medha channels a teenager’s vulnerabilities and simmering frustrations with utmost honesty and sincerity that acts as a catalyst for the family to address issues they’d rather leave unspoken. Besides, the men of Shaadisthan- Apurva, Shenpenn, and Ajay- deserve a special mention for delivering memorable performances. Their camaraderie with Kirti seems extremely natural and real. Rajan Modi brilliantly plays the strict patriarchal father who thankfully has a change of heart at the end.

Shaadisthan is refreshing storytelling powerfully backed by sensitive and memorable performances from the talented cast. PS: Its women look exhausted by the end, but also freed, open, honest- just as they should be.

Shaadisthan is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

Saif Ali Khan and Arjun Kapoor’s Bhoot Police to get a digital release

Bhoot Police will skip a theatrical release and will premiere on an OTT platform. Producer Ramesh Taurani said that he has got a good deal.

Bhoot Police is the latest Bollywood film which is bearing the brunt of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The film’s producer Ramesh Taurani has confirmed that it will skip theatrical release and will premiere on an OTT platform. Bhoot Police stars Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Kapoor, Yami Gautam and Jacqueline Fernandez.

BHOOT POLICE TO RELEASE ON OTT

In an interview with ETimes, Ramesh Taurani said that he doesn’t see theatres opening before November 2021 and he had no other option than going for a digital release for Bhoot Police. He said, “I had no option. I don’t see the theatres opening before November 2021, and that too at 50 per cent capacity. The way things are going, it’s still going to take a lot of time to go back to old times.”

Adding that none of the actors have any objection to releasing the film on an OTT platform and not waiting till the theatres open, Taurani said, “Look, I was supposed to release ‘Bhoot Police’ in September 2021. I felt that it would be better in the present scenario if I stick to my original month. So yes, Bhoot Police will be released on OTT mostly in September, or October.”

What is the reason behind releasing the film on an OTT platform? Taurani answered, “I have got a good deal. I do not discuss money in the public domain but I can tell you that I have not been shortchanged.” However, Taurani clarified that theatres will remain his first choice, from his next venture itself. He said, “Viewing a movie in a theatre is an unparalleled experience.

ABOUT BHOOT POLICE

Bhoot Police is being directed by Pavan Kirpalani, who has earlier directed films like Ragini MMS, Darr @The Mall and Phobia. The shooting of the film began in Himachal Pradesh in the first week of November 2020. For the next schedule, the actors flew down to Jaisalmer. The film boasts of an ensemble cast, consisting Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Kapoor, Yami Gautam, Jacqueline Fernandez and Jaaved Jaaferi, among others. The makers have been tight-lipped about the characters these actors are playing in the film. Bhoot Police marks Saif Ali Khan’s first collaboration with Arjun Kapoor and Yami Gautam. Earlier, the film was scheduled to release in theatres on September 10.

While the makers have yet not announced on which platform Bhoot Police will be released, news reports claim that it will premiere on Disney+Hotstar.

Akshay Kumar, Chiranjeevi Back FICCI Corona Awareness Drive

The campaign titled Corona Ko Harana Hai aims at creating awareness of Covid appropriate behaviour, the importance of vaccination and other important issues related to Covid.

Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar along with film stars from different regions come together to be part of a social campaign to create awareness of Covid appropriate behaviour, the importance of vaccination etc.

The campaign is titled ‘Corona Ko Harana Hai’. Telugu icon Chiranjeevi, Tamil star Arya, and Kannada star Punit Rajkumar are also part of the campaign.

The campaign will be launched in Punjabi, Marathi and Hindi, by The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

Sanjay Gupta, Chairperson of the FICCI Media and Entertainment Committee, said: “Thanks to the heroic efforts of our healthcare workers and various NGOs, we are at a point where it’s beginning to feel like the tide is turning. But we must remain vigilant to protect ourselves, our families and our communities from the continued spread of the virus. This is a crucial period to scale vaccinations and implement an effective preventive programme to ensure that we are prepared for the future and minimise the impact of the virus on lives and livelihoods.”

Parineeti Chopra thanks fans for loving Saina, Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, shares happy pic

Parineeti Chopra shared a note of gratitude on Instagram. The actress thanked the critics as well as the audience for loving her performances in the three films – Saina, Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar and The Girl On The Train.

Parineeti Chopra took to Instagram to share a happy picture. She dedicated the post to the audience, fans and the critics who appreciated her performances in the last three films – Saina, Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar and The Girl On The Train. All these movies are now available on different OTT platforms.

PARINEETI CHOPRA THANKS THE AUDIENCE FOR LOVING HER FILMS

Parineeti Chopra shared a picture on Instagram in which she can be seen lying on a bed of grass with beautiful little flowers on one side. She is in a very happy mood and you can tell that by taking a look at the picture. In her note of gratitude, Parineeti wrote that the old days are back again. “Thankful. Happy. Blessed. The industry and fans have given me unconditional love and appreciation for SandeepAurPinkyFaraar TheGirlOnTheTrain Saina. Old days are back again. Thankyou reviewers, thankyou audiences (sic),” she captioned the photo.

PARINEETI CHOPRA’S RECENTLY RELEASED FILMS

Parineeti Chopra had three back-to-back releases this year. The Girl On The Train released in February 2021. Parineeti played the role of an alcoholic divorcee in the film. The Girl On The Train is the Hindi adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ 2015 novel of the same name. The film is available on Netflix.

Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, also starring Arjun Kapoor, released in March 2021. Directed by Dibakar Banerjee, the film initially released in the theaters. Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Saina is based on the life of ace badminton player Saina Nehwal. Parineeti Chopra was lauded for her performance in the film. Though the film released in the theatres initially, it failed to perform well at the box office due to the restrictions imposed in some states owing to the rise in the number of Covid cases. Saina is now available on Amazon Prime Video.

Vidya Balan shares teaser of Sherni, tigress always knows the way. Trailer out on June 2

Vidya Balan shared the new teaser of Sherni on social media. Amazon Prime Video will launch the trailer on June 2.

Vidya Balan-starrer Sherni’s trailer will be launched on June 2. The film will be directly released on Amazon Prime Video. Vidya shared the new teaser of Sherni on social media today, May 31, alongside the release date of its trailer. Directed by Amit Masurkar and produced by T-Series and Abundantia Entertainment, Sherni stars Vidya Balan as a forest officer.