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Adrushya, Review: Invisible man meets blind twins

Adrushya, Review: Invisible man meets blind twins In the last two decades, Marathi films have thrown-up some real gems. They have also not fought shy of experimenting with both form and content. We have been treated to some films that were rooted deeply in Marathi culture and ethos, while there were others with more universal themes. Non-Marathi speaking producers, directors and writers have made their way towards Marathi filmdom, with varying degrees of success. Directed and co-written by a ...

Dhaakad, Review: Kan-gana Ran-aut-do Charlize Theron?

Dhaakad, Review: Kan-gana Ran-aut-do Charlize Theron? Whenever director Razneesh ‘Razy’ Ghai shouted action on the sets of this film, he must have meant either of two things: A. Kangana Ranaut, Arjun Rampal and a battalion of cronies get at each other, either with arms and ammunition, or fists, kicks and ambition. B: Some version of a lullaby is sung by someone, from at least four characters. There is little else happening. So, what? Is something more needed? Yes, surely! But wher...

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2-Song launch at Imagicaa: How far will you go to watch a film song?

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2-Song launch at Imagicaa: How far will you go to watch a film song? Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is the second part of the franchise, the title of which means Maze or Labyrinth. Imagicaa is an amusement park situated at Khopoli, some 80 kms from Mumbai. The invitation from the Public Relations was tempting: 1.00 pm - Media assemble time at T-Series office, Andheri West   2:00 PM - Departure For Imagicaa, with Media   - Media to be segregated in 2 buses   5:00 PM - ...

Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Review: A ban on soap and kisses instead of foeticide

Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Review: A ban on soap and kisses instead of foeticide Even a relatively small budget film from Yash Raj Films (YRF), with only two known names to tout, succeeds to a large extent in highlighting the hideous Indian social practice, seen predominantly, in a few states, of killing/aborting the girl child. Since marriage involves a large sum as dowry, which is given by the girl’s family to the boy’s family, the birth of a girl child is considered the genesis of a m...

Three trailers of Prithviraj: On stage, on screen and off-screen

Three trailers of Prithviraj: On stage, on screen and off-screen This is what the invitation, received on Friday, 06 May 2022, by WhatsApp, from YashRaj Films read: “Hello, Yash Raj Films cordially invites you to the trailer launch of their first historical film - based on the life of Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan starring superstar Akshay Kumar and Manushi Chhillar and directed by Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi (Padma Shri). Date: 9th May 2022- Monday Time: 10.30am Venue: YRF Studios, Sta...

Village Council ‘Panchayat’ to have second session on Amazon Prime Video from 20 May

Village Council ‘Panchayat’ to have second session on Amazon Prime Video from 20 May One of the most loved web series, Panchayat, is all set to return on your small screen for its Season 2. Amazon Prime Video launched its long trailer at a packed media gathering at the swanky J.W. Marriott Hotel, Juhu, Mumbai, on May 09.  The village comedy-drama is based on the premise of a city man migrating to a village and the situations he faces there, which are poles apart from city iss...

Wonder-dancer AJ stakes claim as India’s answer to MJ

Wonder-dancer AJ stakes claim as India’s answer to MJ Amit Jadav, aka AJ, a Mumbai prodigy, is a singer-dancer who can leave you wonder-struck with moves that are leaves right out of Michael Jackson (MJ)’s work-book, including the moonwalk and spin. At the performance on 07 May at the Birla Matushri Sabhagar, South Mumbai’s prestigious hall, a packed auditorium found their jaws dropping when he wowed them with act after act, syncing hundreds of moves with video-projection of...

RIFF 08, 2022, 15: Films I saw at the Rajasthan International Film Festival

RIFF 08, 2022, 15: Films I saw at the Rajasthan International Film Festival Princes and Vagabonds, Directed by Fabienne Le Houérou: Brave attempt but low cinematic values make this documentary watchable only for its informative and curiosity factors.   Pilibhit (The Yellow Wall), Directed by Ashutosh Chaturvedi, Pankaj Mavchi: Inspired from true stories, it tells you how the place got it curious name, has a good treatment and powerful performances.   ...

Mere Desh Ki Dharti, Review: Suicide or pesticide, you decide

Mere Desh Ki Dharti, Review: Suicide or pesticide, you decide You get two films for the price of one when you, or if you, go to see Mere Desh Ki Dharti. Now, if you happen to arrive a little late, after the opening credits, the first half makes you wonder whether you have been ushered into the wrong auditorium of a multiplex, and the film you are watching is not Mere Desh Ki Dharti. On the other hand, if you arrived on time, you must wonder whether the reels have got mixed-up (what an archaic...

Parveen Babi, A Life--by Karishma Upadhyay: Break-ups and break-downs

Parveen Babi, A Life--by Karishma Upadhyay: Break-ups and break-downs Appearing out of nowhere, Parveen Babi made her screen debut with the film Charitra, acting opposite cricketer Salim Durani, in 1973. That was not the first film she had signed, which credit goes to Dhuen Ki Lakeer, released the following year. Her career really took off with Majboor (1974, co-starring Amitabh Bachchan) and she was seen in some 58 films totally, the last one releasing in 1991, years after she had given up a...

Dehati Disco, trailer launch: Ace choreographer Ganesh Acharya debuts as leading man

Dehati Disco, trailer launch: Ace choreographer Ganesh Acharya debuts as leading man They chose International Dance Day to release the trailer of the film Dehati (Rural) Disco at the deserted and decrepit Golden Tobacco cigarette factory, in suburban Vile Parle, Mumbai, which stopped production of their Panama brand decades ago, and the place, which was a landmark once upon a time, now constitutes vestigial remain. Dance has always been the heart of our Indian cinema. We have seen several ic...

Heropanti 2, Review: A bullet in his bum

Heropanti 2, Review: A bullet in his bum Denizens of Mumbai and environs might not need the meaning explained, but this is an international portal, and an explanation is in order. The title comes from two words, hero, which needs no translation, and panti, which does. Most probably, it is derived from panthi, which mean traveller. Panthi easily becomes panti, the combination with hero standing for one who follows the hero’s, or heroics’, path. Lead actor Tiger Shroff took a walk a...

Runway 34, Review: Plane truth

Runway 34, Review: Plane truth Yes, the film is about an aircraft, and a pilot’s attempt to land against all odds on Runway 34. But that is exactly half the story. The film has no action whatsoever, not even a single blow, and it is not even about hijacking. A married man, with a young daughter, is piloting a plane with 150 persons on board, when it hits rough weather. How he manages to avoid disaster constitutes the portion before the intermission. Next appears a much feared man who is...

Escaype Live, trailer launch and press meet: Two Sidhharths, one JJ, many escaype artistes

Escaype Live, trailer launch and press meet: Two Sidhharths, one JJ and many escaype artistes Disney + Hotstar, one of a handful of leading OTT platforms, has formulated what it calls the “biggest social thriller of the year”. They have named it Escaype Live and it is described as “the most relevant story of current times.” Created and directed by Siddharth Kumar Tewary, it took three years to make, against an estimated six months, and will release only on Disney+ Hot...

RIFF 08, 2022, 14: Synopses of films screened, Part II

RIFF 08, 2022, 14: Synopses of films screened, Part II (24) Film Name : Chhipkali Director : Koushik Kar Beyond our materialistic world, there lies an unexplored dimension, where a series of incidents occur but they surpass our conscious mind. Based on this context, our story revolves around an interrogative conversation between a detective and a suspect regarding a murder case. This story challenges our conscious mindset, outlook towards the perceptible world, our society, its norms and th...

RIFF 08, 2022, 13: Synopses of films screened, Part I

RIFF 08, 2022, 13: Synopses of films screened, Part I (1) Film Name: It Gets in Your Blood Director : Ed Hartman “It Gets in Your Blood” is a short documentary by Ed Hartman. The film is about Richard Lyford, a filmmaker who made 9 films before he was 20-years-old, worked for Disney on Fantasia, Dumbo, and Pinocchio, and went on to direct an Academy Award-winning documentary. In spite of all of this, very few know who he is, or why he is important to filmmaking, today. (2) Film...

TIPS redoes Rahman’s Rangeela hit, Mangta hai kya, with new music video

TIPS redoes Rahman’s Rangeela hit, Mangta hai kya, with new music video It was a new venue for me, though not very far from my house. Located high above a leading footwear brand showroom on Linking Road, Santa Cruz, Bombay Adda (hangout) is a cosy place, just right for the size of the turnout on April 22. The occasion was the launch of the reprised version of A.R. Rahman’s hit from the film Rangeela, released 27 years ago, by TIPS Music, the company that had released the Rangeela ...

Jersey, Review: Down and out, yet 300 not out

Jersey, Review: Down and out, yet 300 not out A loser making it big in sports is the stuff that many films have been made on. This one tries to be different. Imagine a cricketer who quit the game years ago, is dead broke, and his government job has landed him under suspension. You can bet that he will make a comeback and reach a new zenith, however, it does not quite happen the way you might anticipate. Yes, his return to the game is a major twist, but the giant of a twist is reserved for the...

Operation Romeo, Review: Regaining consciousness and recharging consciences

Operation Romeo, Review: Regaining consciousness and recharging consciences When Neeraj Pandey, of A Wednesday fame, is co-producing a film, and it is titled Operation Romeo, you expect a taut thriller of the terrorist/spy genre. But Operation Romeo takes the ‘Operation’ part of its title to mean a set of planned moves by an individual, bereft of any spy/terrorist inclinations, though there is a crime of sorts involved, and some scenes do go for your jugular. ‘Romeo’ i...

Never Kiss Your Best Friend, 2: Day of the pun, family fun, and well begun is half done

Never Kiss Your Best Friend, 2: Day of the pun, family fun, and well begun is half done Four members of the cast of this ZEE5 OTT web series were present at the Taj Imperial Hotel, Mumbai, on 11 April, and another two joined through a video link, to be grilled by anchor Siddharth Kannan about the series, their roles, and their interactions during the making. They were joined by the director, and the five then fielded questions from the good media turnout. Nakuul Mehta, Anya Singh, Karan Wahi,...

Gajab Thai Gayo!, Review: Study in a Gujarati medium school, you could win Rs. 25 lakh

Gajab Thai Gayo!, Review: Study in a Gujarati medium school, you could win Rs. 25 lakh Defying any form of classification, Gujarati language film Gajab Thai Gayo! (It’s a Calamity, though calamity is perhaps too strong a translation of Gajab) moves in so many different directions that you end up failing to appreciate its novelty and path-breaking tracks. What appears to be a film on science-fiction constantly hammers the triple messages, that India and Indians have made huge contributio...

A Hero, Review: On the see-saw of truth and lies

A Hero, Review: On the see-saw of truth and lies Out on parole, a jailbird becomes a hero overnight, without lifting a finger. It wouldn’t be much of a story if it ended there, and it doesn’t. There are twists and turns, quite like a suspense thriller, only here there is no murder nor any serious crime committed. That’s the operative word. Serious. Is lying a crime? Is repeated lying a serious crime? Is lying to garnish a truth a very serious crime? Iranian master Asghar Far...

Attack-Part 1, Review: Dawn of a new Ira

Attack-Part 1, Review: Dawn of a new Ira Ira is the new Artificial Intelligence set-up, inspired by Alexa, that is implanted in a soldier who has been paralysed as a result of a bullet wound, converting him into a cyborg. That concept was milked over years in Hollywood films like The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Genisys (2015), and Terminator: Dark Fate (2019). Then there was the Universal Soldier series, Universal...

Jalsa, Review: The feisty anchor, their devoted maid, her teenaged daughter and a ghastly accident

Jalsa, Review: The feisty anchor, their devoted maid, her teenaged daughter and a ghastly accident If there was a contest for the most misleading film names, Jalsa (celebration) would stand a good chance of making it to the top, with the title emanating from the last few minutes, having no connection to the two hours that have gone before it. And though the film is being touted as an Amazon Prime Original Film, with T-Series and Abundantia as production partners, why did I get the feel throug...

Bachchan Paandey, Review: Gangsters are best played by real-life gangsters

Bachchan Paandey, Review: Gangsters are best played by real-life gangsters Why would you choose a name like Bachchan Pandey, unless you thought you could cash-in on the franchises called Amitabh Bachchan (name of a real life actor) and Chulbul Pandey (name of a reel-life character, played in several movies by Salman Khan)? Point is, does a superstar himself, like Akshay Kumar, who plays the title role, need these props? Leaving the Paandey behind, ‘Bachchan’ is made to speak some ...

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