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July 2019

Movie Review – SUPER 30

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Finally, Eklavya defeats Arjuna
Film: Super 30
Date: 12 July 2019
Director: Vikas Bahl
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Mrunal Thakur

In Mahabharata, when Guru Dronacharya learns that a poor boy Eklavya looks up to him as his teacher, he promptly asks for
his right thumb as guru dakshina sothat prince Arjuna remains the best archer and so that the son of a king can be groomed to
become a king.
In Super 30 Anand Kumar’s father, a postman believes that gone are the days when the son of a king bequeaths the throne for
today, only the deserving is entitled to wear the crown!
Inspired from the life of a brilliant mathematician Anand Kumar, who collected a group of underprivileged students and prepared
them for entrance exams of IIT (Indian Institutes of Technology) the film is shot in Ramnagar Fort and in Sambhar Lake Town.

A gold medalist from Patna’s Ramanujam College, Kumar resolves a difficult theorem as an article for a foreign journal and is
invited by the Cambridge for higher studies. The Education Minister has promised to help him economically but at the right
moment turns a deaf ear to his pleas and Kumar is forced to burn his books and sell papad on the streets.
One day, his bicycle rams into a luxurious car and the rich man, also alumni of Ramanujam makes a star teacher out of Anand
Kumar. The coaching classes ushers a new lifestyle and for the first time, the family is comfortable. Life seems settled when a
chance encounter with a rickshaw driver revives memories of the king and the crown prince and overnight Anand Kumar deserts
Arjuna/ his rich students in search of Eklavya/ the underprivileged students.

Many years ago, a teacher had once asked me, why our films always trivialized the professor, do we have no regard for the man
who imparts knowledge to us, he had asked. Vikas Bahl’s Super 30 breaks the stereotype. We have read many posters of ‘Mulgi
shikli pragati jhali’ and now Super 30 emphasizes that one educated child can transform the fortunes of an entire family.

We have seen enough of cinema celebrating the rich and the corrupt now Super 30 proves that knowledge, not money is real
power and the human mind is the strongest weapon. In this film, the poor are not weak and whether he is an office peon, the postman
or the ward boy in a hospital all have a voice and more important, self-worth. In Kumar’s world parents lend wings to their offsprings and children participate in the dilemmas of the adults.

Like all films, there are some misgivings. Some things are not clearly explained like the children come from different age groups
but study in the same class. Then we have no idea about their basic education. The pace is a tad slow and some sequences appear
long but all this does not matter because there are many pluses to compensate like the narrative, Ajay Atul’s music, Sanjeev
Daattaa’s writing, all the characters, locations, dialect, and subtle humor.

There are some scenes that haunt you long after the film is over…The stormy night when Anand Kumar and his brother drive
their father to the hospital. When Anand uses his exercise book pages to wrap the home-made papads and sell them on the
streets. When the students present a street play in English and succeed in what they have set out for.

Of the performances, Pankaj Tripathi as the self-absorbed politician is effective and Mrunal Thakur alluring in the romantic
scenes but you cannot look at anybody when Hrithik Roshan is on the screen! Hrithik makes a special connection with all his
characters over the decades but this time he lives Anand Sir and invades into our hearts forever.

Super 30 is inspirational, aspirational and a must watch for the young and the old, poor and rich, for all teachers/ parents and
students, in fact, there cannot be a better tribute than Super 30 for the Guru Purnima Day.
I rate Super 30 with 4.5 stars out of which 1 star is exclusively for Hrithik Roshan.
Bhawana Somaaya

Justin Rao challenges Kangana Ranaut

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It is more than 24 hours but my head is still reeling with what transpired at the media meet for the promotion of Ekta Kapoor’s forthcoming film Judgemental Hai Kya? When the team gathered in their designer costumes to talk about the film they had not in their wildest imagination anticipated what was to follow. During the question-answer a journalist/ Justin Rao asked Kangana Ranauta question and in response, Kangana first attacked the journalist for bashing her film Manikarnika and later accused him for tarnishing her image and brand.

When the journalist was taken aback by her aggressive stand and expressed it, Ranaut covered it up by saying she was being candid with him because they are friends. The journalist denied being her friend so Kangana explained “But you had lunch with me in my van and spent three hours chatting with me and you have also been messaging me so that makes us friends”.

The journalist denied being her friend, denied ever having lunch with her or spending three hours in her van. “I have never messaged you and only met you for interview fixed by the PR so why don’t you produce records of the messages please”.

Kangana was visibly stumped by his argument and so were others on the stage. She should have kept quiet but she got further defensive as producer Ekta Kapoor, Rajkumar Rao and others watched quietly. Sanchita, PR of the film tried their best to calm down the commotion but it was not easy.

In my opinion there are many lessons to be learnt from the episode.

Actors must learn that gone are the days when they can say anything on a public platform and it will be accepted. It will not; special lies and allegations.

Producers must learn that the media meet maybe a fashion display for the team but for the journalists it’s an opportunity for a story, so if you are not prepared to answer some hard hitting questions, forget about the meet just send press releases.

PR companies must learn that they are as accountable to the media as to their producers and if a journalist is offended/ abused/ attacked it is their moral responsibility to extract an apology for what happened.

The journalists of course have the biggest lesson to learn, it is time to stop treating these events as entertainment. Your job is to ask questions not get bullied by actors.

Proud of you Justin Rao/ PTI for holding your ground without raising your voice…!

 

@bhawansomaaya

 

Spider-Man: Far From Home – Day 1609

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The latest Spider-Man release is a major outing for all the Marvel fans and the perfect follow-up to the game-changing event Avengers: Endgame. The film is poised to be the Spider-Man movie with four different costumes. He will start out wearing his Iron Spider suit and Homecoming suit (which Tom Holland says ‘near and dear’ to his heart.) followed by a new stealth suit and the “Upgraded Suit.”

 

Regarding the stealth suit, this is Holland’s most preferred suit given to him by Nick Fury, for which the actor said, “The idea behind the suit is Peter Parker doesn’t want to be seen as Spider-Man in Europe. It’s kind of Captain America-like, with a Spider-Man twist… And it also looks pretty badass. The “Upgraded Suit” serves as a way for Peter to honor Tony Stark”.

 

Spider-Man: Far From Home is the conclusive end to Phase 3 because of the way it portrays Tony Stark’s legacy and working on Endgame the team realized that the true end of the entire Infinity Saga, the final film of Phase 3, had to be Spider-Man: Far From Home, because — spoiler – lose Tony Stark at the end of Endgame.

 

The relationship between Peter Parker and Tony Stark is so special over the five films that Tom Holland has portrayed Spider-Man in the MCU that the challenge was how Spider-Man stepped out of the shadow of his mentor, Tony Stark, and become a hero. And it’s for that reason that Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home are essentially two pieces of the same story.

 

@bhawanasomaaya

Deols are back – Day 1608

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I still remember the day we shot an exclusive photo shoot with Sunny Deop and Amrita Singh for Dharendra’s Betaab. He was so shy to hold Amrita in the arms that Dharmendra had to still literally with his back to the actors so that his son would relax in the presence of his heroine. Most of the initiative for the poses were done by Amrita Singh because by then she had gathered that her hero was not going to take any initiative.

Decades later, I saw him playing Dharmendra’s role when supervising Bobby’s launch with Twinkle Khanna in Barsaat. From the mahurat to the premier any question asked to Bobby was replied with   ‘You will have to ask Sunny bhaiyya’.

And now a few more decades’ later papa Dharmendra and Sunny get ready to launch the third generation Karan Deol. Karan is neither as shy as his father or uncle and from the comfort depicted in the poster he is going to prove his Daddu’s son. So all the best to Sunny Deol for his directorial venture #PalPalDilKePaas starring Karan Deol and Sahher Bambba to release in September 20, 2019 and those wanting to follow the new stars can follow them on @imkarandeol  @sahherbambba @zeestudiosofficial @iamsunnydeol

@bhawanasomaaya

 

Abhinay Deo ready with Doosra – Day 1607

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Director Abhinay Deo’s upcoming sports drama Doosra made news for the intriguing poster that captivated the attention of audiences. Headlined and narrated through the eyes of a young girl living in a restrained household, the trailer of the film released today giving a peek into the riveting story. Weaving together two stories of courage and freedom, driven by the iconic moment when Sourav Ganguly pulled off his T-shirt and waved it bare-chested from the balcony at Lords in London, this film brings together sports and the dreams and aspirations of millennial.

One of India’s most famous wins in Cricket, it brought the country together, rooting for the team and lending themselves a sense of self and national pride that had never been experienced before. Set in the late nineties and the early 2000s, the story comes to an important climax after India’s victory in the 2002 NatWest final against England. It was a moment that changed an entire generation, a moment that made Indians understand their worth, a moment that gave them liberation.

In the novel format of a sports drama that combines a fictional narrative with the real footage, Doosra depicts the impact of cricket in the real lives of Indians and their attitude. The trailer showcases the protagonist interwoven with Ganguly’s T-shirt moment and interviews of well-known names associated with the cricketing world like Harsha Bhogle, Rajdeep Sardesai, Shashi Tharoor, Boria Majumdar, and Piyush Pandey, commenting on the moment.

Conceived by Chicago-based Executive Producers Masha and Rohan Sajdeh the film has been scripted by India’s first advertising Grand Prix winner at Cannes – Agnello Dias.

Actor Plabita Borthakur (PK, Lipstick Under My Burka) and Ankur Vikal (Slumdog Millionaire) play the roles of principal characters in Doosra. 

@bhawanasomaaya