Journey of a Fakir – Day 1590

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Maharashtrian mulgi Amruta Sant is gearing up for the Indian release of her first international movie The Extraordinary Journey of a Fakir. Directed by Ken Scott, Amruta portrays the role of the protagonist’s mother and says opportunity came to her out of the blue when she happened to audition for a role  she had not come for but was there waiting in the same venue. Call it destiny casually and within a week she was finalized for the role of Aja (younger Dhanush)’s mother.

Amruts plays a single mother who earns her livelihood as a daily labourer. The director carried his characters to the location for rehearsals and after a series of workshops decided he was ready to shoot. Amruta is a theatre actor who is now popular in films. Her last film Panhala directed by Nagesh Bhosle got her a lot of acclaim and now awaits Nikhil Advani’s Batla House.




Shahid Kapoor preps with Medicos – Day 1589

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For his upcoming film Kabir Singh, wherein Shahid Kapoor plays a surgeon the actor spent a lot of time observing and interacting with the best doctors at Mumbai’s hospital. He insisted on following them quietly on their rounds so he can get all the nuances right for the role.  What Shahid does not know is that now the doctors are waiting to watch the film to catch him on the wrong foot. I am told medical colleges are organizing a common screening to check out  how the actor has  portrayed the role of a surgeon.



Superstar Mammootty – Day 1588

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For some actors it is never pack up and Malyalam cinema’s Mamootty is one of them. Over 300 films old and recipient of every award possible, is all set to bring to us the biggest film of his life, a true story based on a festival called Mamangam celebrated on the banks of Bharatapuzha in Kerala. For 280 years fierce battles were waged by a few men against a mighty king during Mamangam. The film will showcase the story of one great real hero and one glorious unknown hero.

This is not only the biggest project of Malyalam cinema set in the period of 1695 but also the first Malaylalam to be released in four languages- Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi.

The film will showcase Kalaripayattu, the oldest Indian martial art choreographed by Sham Kaushal.  Directed by M. Padmakumar and produced by Venu Kunnappilly of Kavya Films, Mamangam stars Achutan, Sudev Nair, Sidhique, Unnimukundan, Sureshkrishna and Manikkuttan.



Black Hole – day 1587

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Black Hole is made up of three elements – a woman, a white sheet, and the idea of the cosmos.

The piece explores ideas from Theoretical Physics from the perspective of an ordinary person. The premise of the piece is a terminally ill mother and daughter who begin a game, discussing mysteries of science as a way to cope with the pain and fear of what awaits them. However, slowly, the theories and principles of science and wonders of the galaxies begin to unfold deeper mysteries of ‘who’ they are and where they will go.

As concepts from astrophysics intertwine with personal narratives exploring love, loss, mortality, experiential limits, and the bodies we live in, the piece examines our thirst for knowledge, our hunger for experience, and how the two combine to create our understanding of the cosmos we inhabit.

 The show has been traveling to small towns Palampur, Mandi, Hamirpur, Solan in Himachal Pradesh, often alone, doing the minimal version of the show


Woanologues – Day 1586

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Now Saat Teri Ekvis season 3 in Hindi is #Womanologues.

The underlying theme of the new set of monologues is desire. Manhar Gadhia, the brain behind the  show  shares, “There’s a lot of talent waiting to be appreciated and the  trick is to  pick up stories that will strike a chord with the audience so I selected 7 prolific writers and then look for equally talented actors who will project these fascinating characters.

To direct these stories I picked on Pratik Gandhi – a director’s actor whose attention to detail and passion for the craft is well known. Gandhi is the man in charge for the latest outing of #Womanologues.

Gandhi reveals this is something he wanted to do for a long time something he wanted to try for a long time. After being directed by so many directors he wanted to experience the same feeling and doing so on stage was the perfect choice.  The concept was challenging and the subjects varied – survival, intimacy, motherhood, love, appreciation, it was a rainbow of emotions and every color of relationships. These are stories of women you cannot ignore.



Movie Review: Bharat

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 Watch Bharat with your family

Film: Bharat

Release: 05.06. 2019

Director: Ali Abbas Zafar

Writer: Ali Abbas Zafar, Varun Sharma/ dialogue

Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Tabu, Disha Patani, Sunil Grover, Jackie Shroff

Music: Vishal-Shekhar

It is 1947 and the last train to India is set to leave Lahore.  Jackie Shroff struggles to board his family, wife/ Sonal Kulkarni with two toddlers on top of the train. He has entrusted the responsibility of the daughter on his oldest son young Bharat who is carrying little Guddi on his back. ‘Hold me tight’ the little boy tells his baby sister, ‘We are not at a fair’. She clings to him but as the train takes off Guddi falls down and Jackie Shroff goes searching for his daughter.

The family is separated and even though decades pass by, the ghosts of the past continue to haunt Bharat who lives in the hope of uniting with his father someday.

Based on the year 2014 South Korean film Ode to My Father which traces the history of South Korea following the life of the hero, writer-director Ali Abbas Zafar adapts the story to India-Pakistan partition and after.

We can describe Bharat as a story of a nation, the story of a family or the story of a hero. There is a dialogue in the film that says: ‘A country is made up of people and people are recognized by their families’ and that is the message of the film.

Bharat’s father has asked him to wait for him at his aunt’s Ration Store in Delhi. He does not want his family to be a burden on his aunt and takes up odd jobs to earn some money. He sells newspapers, shines shoes and when he is a little older, he joins The Great Russian Circus.

The 70s concentrates on migration post-oil crisis in the Gulf where Bharat emerges as the hero fighting for equality an attraction blossoms between him and the chief engineer Kumud Raina/ Katrina Kaif.

What works about the film is its sheer simplicity and high emotional quotient. There are flashbacks and flash forwards but they don’t intervene in the narrative. The main characters are well etched out and refreshingly original. For Bharat, the family comes first and for Kumud, what you see is what you get. Kumud has no qualms about proposing to Bharat and when he turns her down, does not hold it against him!

The film travels six decades and adds action/ drama/comedy/romance adding many layers and flavors to the story.

The drawbacks are the exaggerations in the name of creative liberty. There are some factual errors, some detailing deficits in terms of production design/ dialect/ costumes and the supporting cast. No effort is made to elaborate on Bharat’s younger siblings and you have no idea about who is who in the family scenes.

Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif are 70 plus but except for a few grey strands walk erect and look robust.

But that’s irrelevant, what is important is that the film touches your heart. The railway station sequence in the beginning and the Wagha Border sequence in the climax fill your eyes with tears….The sea pirates attacking the Navy ship and the twist they bring is hilarious!

Curly haired KatrinaKaif owns Kumud with quiet dignity and shares special chemistry with her hero, Salman Khan. Salman shares special chemistry with director Ali Abbas Zafar which is evident in their trilogy, Sultan /2016, Tiger Zindaa Hain /2017 and now Bharat/ 2019.

It is my duty to warn Salman lovers that he does not take off his shirt this time. I must also prepare you that the film is a tad long, scattered and stretched in parts but nevertheless an engaging watch.

Bharat is reflective of the olden times when films entertained you and also served you justice within three hours.

Make your festival special and book your ticket to Bharat for the love of your family and your country.

Bhawana Somaaya