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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Akshay Kumar addresses Sooryavanshi, Bell Bottom release date rumours

Akshay Kumar addressed rumours about his films Sooryavanshi and Bell Bottom releasing on Independence Day in an official statement. The actor called them ‘purely speculative’.

Akshay Kumar released an official statement to provide clarification on rumours that his upcoming films Sooryavanshi and Bell Bottom would release on Independence Day. The films were slated for a theatrical release, but were postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

AKSHAY KUMAR ADDRESSES REPORTS OF INDEPENDENCE DAY RELEASE OF HIS FILMS

Akshay Kumar clarified that the release dates of Sooryavanshi and Bell Bottom haven’t been finalised. He also thanked fans for their love and excitement for his movies. Akshay stated, “I’m humbled at the excitement and eagerness of my fans regarding the release of Sooryavanshi and Bell Bottom, and want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for all their love. However, at this point, it is purely speculative to say that both films will release on Independence Day. The producers of both films are working out the release dates and will make announcements at the right time.”

ABOUT SOORYAVANSHI

Sooryavanshi is the fourth film in Rohit Shetty’s cop universe that began with Singham in 2011. After Singham and Singham Returns, Ranveer Singh featured in Simmba. Now, Akshay is coming with Sooryavanshi, which stars Katrina Kaif in the lead role. Ranveer Singh and Ajay Devgn have cameo roles in the film.

ABOUT BELL BOTTOM

Bell Bottom is based on the plane hijacks that took India by a storm in the early 1980s. The spy thriller also stars Huma Qureshi, Lara Dutta and Vaani Kapoor. Akshay plays a who will unravel the conspiracy theory behind the series of incidents. Lara Dutta essays the role of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who was in power at that time, whereas Vaani Kapoor plays Akshay’s wife in the film. Directed by Ranjit Tiwari, Bell Bottom is co-produced by Vashu Bhagnani, Jackky Bhagnani, Deepshikha Deshmukh, Monisha Advani, Madhu Bhojwani and Nikkhil Advani.

Vidya Balan’s Sherni to release on Amazon Prime Video in June

Sherni is all set to premiere on Amazon Prime Video next month. The film stars Vidya Balan as a forest officer.

Vidya Balan-starrer Sherni will be directly released on Amazon Prime Video. The OTT platform announced today, May 17, that the film will begin streaming from June. Directed by Amit Masurkar and produced by T-Series and Abundantia Entertainment, Sherni stars Vidya Balan as an honest forest officer.

Speaking about the film, producer Bhushan Kumar said in a statement, “Sherni is one of the most unconventional and engaging films I have had a chance to produce and I am thrilled that it’s premiering on Amazon Prime Video as the movie will travel to a global audience. As always, it has been an absolute pleasure to collaborate with Vikram and I look forward to creating more entertaining and exceptional content with Abundantia Entertainment.

SHERNI’S CAST

Apart from Vidya Bala, Sherni’s cast includes Sharad Saxena, Mukul Chaddha, Vijay Raaz, Ila Arun, Brijendra Kala and Neeraj Kabi. As an honest forest officer, Vidya Balan’s character struggles for a balance in a world of man-animal conflict. Sherni has been shot in the jungles of Madhya Pradesh.

Vidya Balan was last seen in Shakuntala Devi, which released on Amazon Prime Video on July 30, 2020.

Mother’s Day 2021: The Shifting Portrayal of a Mother in Bollywood

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.

Photo-Prem Movie Review: A Paranoia Dealt with Little Conviction

The core plot seems to be covertly lambasting the modern world’s obsession with selfies and photographs, but it is hardly fleshed out.

Directors: Aditya Rathi, Gayatri Patil

Cast: Neena Kulkarni, Amita Khopkar, Vikas Hande, Chaitrali Rode,Sameer Dharmadhikar

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.