Monthly Archives

June 2017

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Sen and Sensibility (Day 1125)

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Aparna Sen started their careers as actresses and moved on to direct films as well. With films like 36 Chowringhee LaneParoma, Mr & Mrs Iyer15 Park Avenue and so many more, as a filmmaker, Sen addressed issues that were rarely shared on screen. Her cinema reflected a point of view that connected with her audiences because they addressed issues often neglected by society like loneliness, old age, mental illness, female sexuality and desire and this continues to her last release Sonata.

ML_Konkona&Aparna_Picture(3)Daughter Konkana Sen has in a way followed in her mother’s footsteps, been an actor and is slowly diverting towards filmmaking. Konkona shares this desire to tell the untold story, make visible the unspoken or often deliberately ignored experiences be it through her characters as an actor or in her transition as director in A Death in the Gunj.

On 01 July the mother-daughter will come together on Mumbai Local 5 pm @Mcubed Library Bandra to discuss what it means to tell the story you feel must be told. They will discuss how cinema is demanding of them as people and as artists?

I will be there if I am in town for sure, will you?

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The Fakir of Venice (Day 1124)

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The Fakir of Venice is a drama inspired by the experience of filmmaker Homi Adjani, a tale of 2 common men who are hired to locate a poor guy to could be represented in Venice for a scam. The idea is to bury him in the sand for an installation art project and Farhan Akhtar is chosen for the role. He looks impoverished enough to pass off as a poor slum dweller from India and the European art world is attracted by the idea. In the process of this game of deceit, however, a real relationship blossoms between the characters Annu Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar which is the soul of the film.

The film is opening at the Jagran Film Festival in Delhi this week.

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Tiger Shroff striking a pose with Spider-Man (2)

Spiderman Homecoming (Day 1123)

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The countdown has begun for the Spiderman and the trailer of the movie has already been launched in 10 different languages across the country and got a massive response. The movie is also set to launch in around four languages in India and parents/ teachers are preparing to book bulk tickets in advance.  One actor is over excited about the Spiderman and he is our own Tiger Shroff.

Tiger Shroff has come on board to dub as Spider-Man in the Hindi version of the much awaited ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’! This is Tiger’s first ever association with a Hollywood tent-pole film and the actor launched the exciting Hindi trailer of SpidermanHomecoming at an adrenaline filled event.

Tiger Shroff and Spider-Man
Shroff unveiled the Hindi version of the trailer, amidst fans dressed as Spidey and thrilled the audience with his lightning-fast superhero moves, driving the flashbulbs into a frenzy.

He confessed that dubbing for Spiderman was like half a dream come true because Spider-Man has been his long time hero.

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Baasi Eid

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The celebrations continue the following day, There are so many loved ones that it is not possible to meet all on the sane day as a result many groups meet collectively the day after for the embrace and the good wishes. 

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Movie Review: It is a dim Tubelight

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Film: TubelightDate: 23 June 2017

Writer/Director: Kabir Khan

Producer: Salma & Salman Khan

Stars: Salman Khan, Om Puri, Sohail Khan Matin Rey Tangu, Zhu Zhu

 Ratings: 1.5 stars

 Laxman Singh Bisht is the butt of all jokes in his school set in the far away mountains because he is dim and clumsy but a few years later, when his younger brother, Bharat Singh Bisht arrives together they fight all the bullies in the town!

 Set in the turbulent times of 1962 Sino-Indian War, writer director Kabir Khan is inspired from Alejandro Monteverde’s Little Boy.

 In the original it is a little boy blessed with unusual powers craving for his father to return from the Hiroshima war, in the adaptation it is a childlike Salman Khan unaccustomed to fending for himself yearning for his younger brother to return from the war.

 The problem with the film is it just does not pick up. The first half is consumed in introducing the characters and the situations and the screenplay meanders aimlessly addressing all kinds of issues like magical powers and Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings, all noble thoughts but unconvincing.

 The pace is exceedingly slow and the narrative lack luster. That the film is devoid of entertainment is understandable but for a subject as passionate to be devoid of any emotion is unforgivable! Absolutely nothing about the film works- not the dull writing, the cardboard characters, the dull performances and the absolutely forgettable music.

 In the absence of Bharat, Laxman who is totally dependent on his younger brother does not go through any crisis. He says he is yearning for his brother but is always smiling, cycling around town. He has no source of income but is immaculately dressed and often treats his friend for ice-creams. It is a bit strange that in the entire town there is only one Chinese family and only one car…! 

 For a filmmaker celebrated for his documentaries Khan is arrogantly inattentive to details, his crowd scenes are stage like and his characters not remotely connected to reality. There are not as many people in town as in the chorus during a dance sequence. The screenplay is both unemotional and un-engaging.

 Yes the film has picturesque locations but backdrops don’t make a film nor can superstars substitute for a plot.

 It is disheartening but this Eid Tubelight will not sparkle for Salman Khan Fans. Because this time, Khan is not in a mood for action/ romance/ item number or even to remove his shirt!

This time, Khan is in a mood to depict his emotional side, now it is up to you, whether you want to weep with him or for him!

It is a tragedy that the filmmaker who served you Kabul in 2006 New York in 2009 Ek Tha Tiger in 2012 and Bajrangi Bhaijaan in 2015 fails to shine the theatres with Tubelight in 2017!!

Clearly something has gone terribly wrong somewhere and I bet both the Khan knows what it is.

To not spoil the mood of the festival further I rate Tubelight with 1.5 stars.

SINGAPORE - JUNE 07:  Spider-Man fans at Marina Bay Sands on June 7, 2017 in Singapore.  (Photo by Ore Huiying/Getty Images for Sony Pictures)

Spider-Man Army troops (Day 1121)

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A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging superhero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.).

SINGAPORE - JUNE 07:  Spider-Man: Homecoming stars Tom Holland and Jacob Batalon pose with fans at Marina Bay Sands on June 7, 2017 in Singapore.  (Photo by Ore Huiying/Getty Images for Sony Pictures)

SINGAPORE – JUNE 07: Spider-Man: Homecoming stars Tom Holland and Jacob Batalon pose with fans at Marina Bay Sands on June 7, 2017 in Singapore. (Photo by Ore Huiying/Getty Images for Sony Pictures)

Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is coming to your nearby theatres on 7 July and in the meantime one can sense there is a buzz about the film when a large group of Spider-Man fans attend the promotion event dressed up as the friendly neighbourhood web slinger, occupying the entire venue.

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Tale of Friendship ( Day 1120)

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The fourth of seven plays to be staged under Aditya Birla Group’s theatre initiative Aadyam, Rage’s Anand Express written by Carl Miller based on the much-loved book Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray has been adapted by Akarsh Khurana and directed by Nadir Khan.

Anand had a dream, he desired to go to Anand in Gujarat and become the Anand in Anand. When he dies unexpectedly, his friends anguish over his unfulfilled desire and without consulting the adults escape with his ashes on an epic mission to honour their friend’s last wish. The race is between the youngsters fulfilling their friends wish and the seniors trying to nab them.

AE iiArtistic director Divya Bhatia describes the play as a coming-of-age story, a compelling drama full of insights. Director Nadir Khan says his primary focus with any text and especially this one—since it’s so different from anything he has done so far is to stay as true to the characters as possible.”

 

Bai Bhai

Scent of a Woman Season 3 (Day 1119)

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Elaborating on Manhar Gadhia Production new play 7X3=21 directed by Pratik Gandhi are monologues by women at different phases of their lives.

Three out of the seven plays focus on motherhood. The firs/ Bhai Bhai performed by Binda Rawal is the story of a young widow who in order to educate her daughter becomes an auto rickshaw driver in Ahmedabad. People she meets in her life introduce her to bootlegging and gradually she becomes the most feared and the most powerful woman in a man’s world.

MadhubalaThe second 21 Mu Tiffin is a story of a housewife who runs a tiffin service for students. She leads a mundane life until a young student truly appreciative of her culinary skills transforms her gaze but when the student departs the housewife returns to her drab life again. What makes the play interesting is that is written from the daughter/ Chandralekha Rathod’s perspective.

IndoThe third/ Jhankhana is about a spirited urban girl/ Veronica Gautam caught up with the fun of life until she realises that her biological clock is ticking and it is perhaps too late to have a baby. Pratik Gandhi so far known as an actor makes an impressive debut as a director, introduces his characters imaginatively and uses minimum props while shifting from one story to another. The table and chair transform to recliner/ sofa and the disguised posters in the backdrop come alive with lighting when the character tells her story.

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Apeksha

7x 3 =21 Season 3

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Manhar Gadhia Productions is back with season 3 of his very successful play 7×3 = 21 and this time the theme is Desire.  Written by 7 writers and performed by seven actors, director Prateik Gandhi travels you through fascinating journeys of seven extraordinary women – two single, three mothers, one soul and a star.

TinderThe single girls Ami Trivedi/ Apeksha and Toral Joshi/ Tinder are independent women who believe in dating their prospective grooms before deciding if they are worthy as partners. Apeksha is an interior designer, apparently artistic but who loves everything entertaining. Her frustration is that she is unable to express her choices in a world of hypocrites. The second marriage in candidate in Tinder is more pragmatic and willing to compromise for some luxuries of life.  She is ready to prove her skills in the kitchen provided her partner matches her aspirations in the bedroom, does that happen, does it ever happen in any relationship??.

There is a story of a haunted soul/ Indo enacted by Shradha Musale desperately seeking salvation, a cruel story of rejection. A story of loneliness and anguish/ Madhubala inspired from the life of the 50’s superstar abused by the family and isolated by those she loved to die a painful death. And finally stories of three mothers: Bhai Bhai/ 21 mu Tiffin and Jhankhana struggling for survival in compelling circumstances.

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Jai Ho India (Day 1117)

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Somehow we were sure we would win the India v/s Pakistan in the finals, we did not.

As the men in Blue plummeted to an 180 run defeat giving Pakistan their first victory since 1992 and I sang…Zindagi ki yehi reet hai haar ke baad hi jeet hai…
I consoled myself that it is important to lose once in a while to value the importance of success.
Afterall Cricket is not our national game, it is our national obsession!
Our national game is Hockey and the Hockey team did India proud by defeating Pakistan 7-1.

LONDON - Hockey World League Semi-Final.08 Canada - India (Pool B)Foto: Akashdeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh.COPYWRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS

The song playing in my head is Jeet jayenge hum desh agar saath hai…

The performances are a reality check for the country.
It is time to give due importance to other sports as well.
Time to become less obsessed with Cricket and promote our national game.
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