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December 2017

Movie Review: Still figuring out Fukrey Returns Day 1243

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Film: Fukrey Returns

Date: 08.12.2017

Director: Mrighdeep Singh Lamba

Producer: Excel Entertainment

Cast: Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Ali Fazal, Manjot Singh, Richa Chadda

Ratings: 1.5 stars

Fukrey Retuurns is the remake of 2013 release Fukrey starring four slackers Hunny/ Pulkit Samrat, Chucha/Varun Sharma, Zafar/ Ali Fazal and Laali/ Manojit Singh who come together to make easy money and live up to their notorious image in Delhi. In the sequel, they are joined by a fifth partner in the crime, Panditj marvelously played by Pankaj Tripathi.

Bholi Pujaban portrayed by the saucy Richa Sharma controlled the four friends who were vastly relieved when the don went behind the bars in the prequel. In Fukrey Returns Richa Sharma is back from the jail and the boys are back to hunting treasure for the don.

In the two hours 21-minute film the characters wander all over the city – the zoo, the ruins, the minister’s bungalow and a glamorous stay at a 7-star hotel. There was no storyline in the prequel and there’s no plot in the sequel either unless you call Varun Sharma having premonitions a serious track? Many described Fukrey as a delightful watch and many were cracking with laughter at the screening of Fukrey Returns too.

I didn’t get the humour the first time nor the second time. If you are my age bracket I suggest you stay far away from the film. If you are under 30, relish senseless chatter and senseless PJs, in short, you are a slacker, you can get your mad friends together and head to the nearest cinema hall.


As a critic it’s not always possible that you fathom every film you watch, I couldn’t figure out Fukrey nor Fukrey Returns but for the competent performances, I rate the film with 2 stars.






Gulzar Salim Arif together again (Day 1242)

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Writer-director Gulzar and Salim Arif have done many combined collaborations for theatre, this is one more. Essay Ppl is about a puppet Pinocchi that comes alive with the help of Jimini his conscience and now he has to prove a worthy boy to himself and others. Gulzar has written extensively for children – books/ poetry/ prose/ theatre but this one is beyond his earlier productions because he raises the vital question that is relevant in present times.

07.b.12.17 WORKSHOPS POSTERIPTA’s Bobby Ki Kahani tells about a little girl called Bobby who has been brought up by her parents like a boy. The story has no connection with Raj Kapoor’s Bobby because this one is written by legendary Vijay Tendulkar and adapted by Shivdas Ghodke. It is interesting how so many decades later the subject still has relevance in our society and echoes the same sentiments in our children.


Shashi Kapoor : Farewell Friend (Day 1241)

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I’m at a book launch and in the middle of the event my What’sUp reads: Shashi Kapoor no more.


I knew he was in the hospital… I knew he was not doing well, his daughter Sanjana Kapoor had discussed he was deteriorating but I was hoping he would fight back and return home. He didn’t.


As I rush out of the venue waiting for my car, I discover it is thundering and raining heavily. There is no reason for this sudden climate change and I wonder if it is nature’s way of displaying anxiety over Shashiji’s exit.

It is a dark stormy evening and as I drive home, my mind wanders to the first time I met Shashi Kapoor way back in the 70s. I had called his home to fix an appointment for an interview and he asked me to come over the following morning to Famous Studio. Still in college and inexperienced I innocently asked ‘Where is that?’ ‘Open the directory young lady and find out for yourself’ was his answer.  That was the first lesson I learnt as a journalist. You don’t ask directions, you figure it out yourself.

He gave me a wonderful interview and I kept meeting him again and again chronicling his life and career over the years.  He was extremely charming and devastatingly good-looking and female reporters fought with each other to interview him. He was the busiest star in film firmament in the 70s shooting double/ triple shifts a day and conducted all his meeting/ interviews in his car, driving from one studio to another.

Shashi Kapoor has unknowingly been a major influence in my grooming as a journalist. There are many lessons I have learnt from him. Once due to shortage of rooms at a studio he was sharing his makeup room with veteran actor Bharat Bhushan. I had an appointment with him and as soon as I entered his room began chatting with him.  He was annoyed that I had not greeted Bhushanji and when I whispered that I had not been officially introduced to him, Kapoor flared up ‘you don’t know Tansen… you don’t know Baiju Bawra  why do you presume you need introductions?’ He was right and I apologized.  Not satisfied he dragged me to his set holding my hand and made sure I said Namastey to his producer/ director/ writer and the camera man. He said it was rude to not acknowledge the unit and I have remembered that.

SK @prithviHe said an actor must always know his lines thoroughly and he always did. He was as meticulous about his dubbings and marked his pauses on the dialogue sheet so he did not make a mistake. He was a master at time management as well and compressed all his meetings/ interviews while travelling from one studio to another. I was with him when he would meet up with foreign architects to supervise plans for Prithvi Theatre at that time an empty space. It was his dream to resurrect his father’s theatre and his wife Jennifer went all out to make Prithvi Theatre the cultural hub it is today.

When Jennifer ill, Shashi Kapoor put everything on hold to be with his wife and when she died, he went into depression and neglected himself. He put on so much weight that he had to eventually stop working.  He was not interested in acting any longer and not interested in making films either.

He continued to be attached with Prithvi Theatre fortunately and spent most of his evenings watching a play and later relishing a drink at the café.  I always bumped into him every time I visited the theatre and chatted with him about old days. Initially he found it all entertaining but as years went by and he turned frail he appeared more and more disoriented and seldom talked with anybody.

Come November though and Shashi Kapoor was always present at the Prithvi Theatre Festival to light the lamp and declare the festival open. In the later years he did the honors sitting on a wheelchair but the tradition continued. The guests were happy just to see him and it did not matter that he did not recognize them any longer.

Except this November, last month for the first time since the inception of Prithvi Theatre in the late 70s Shashi Kapoor was not present at the inaugural because he was in the hospital.  He had in recent times been in and out of the hospital so many times that all of us thought he would somehow recover and come back once again.

He didn’t but the show had to go on and Kunal Kapoor and his children kept the spirit going.

Shashi Kapoor is no more but we will remember him through his films and his legacy of Prithvi Theatre. As long as his children and his grandchildren continue with the tradition their parents believed in, Shashi Kapoor will live with us forever.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya


Ghosts and Angels (Day 1240)

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One night Aadarsh falls asleep while studying for his music history exam. In his dreams, along with his sister Nidhi, he enters a strange new world of music and encounters interesting

Personalities, it is a story about adventure, friendship, struggle and celebration. Written by

Saurabh Nayyar and directed by Avneesh Mishra Sur aur Asur is a story of unconscious dreams and making them true, a story about imagination.
Mithilesh Singh written/ directed Jhumru meets Jhumri is a story about possibilities and impossibilities. Produced by Ekjute it tells about a Lion cub who wants to befriend a baby deer. Is this possible? One cannot tell till one meets the two and find out what’s going on.


Wintertime @ Prithvi (Day 1239)

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For three years now winter has been a special season for the children. There is a special festival featuring plays and workshops for children aged 6 years to 16 years. Perfectly timed to match the Christmas vacations Prithvi Theatre always adds a touch of creativity to the holidays for both the parents and the kids.


This season has its delightful share of plays that kicks off with Hanumanji Aa Rahe Hain about a child who is angry because the BMC has broken down the hutments and police is not helping the slum dwellers, as a result, the child seeks help from Lord Hanuman in a nearby temple which is also an illegal construction. Written by Makrand Deshpande and directed by Amogh Phadke it is an interesting perspective on conflict and resolution.

Ek Rupaiyya is about a little boy, who for a little need steals a one rupee coin, all he wants is a little happiness but heaven falls apart. Writer-director Nitin Bharadwaj taps your conscience and makes you rethink the concept of right and wrong.



Karntic Modern (Day 1238)

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TM Krishna, the iconic Karnatic classical musician, vocalist, writer and social activist returns to Mumbai with an extended tour over two consecutive weekends in December. Following on his fantastic series of events as part of Karnatic Modern in its first year in December 2016, Krishna is back with unusual concerts, conversations and lecture demonstrations. But this time the programming is bigger and bolder.


For the first time ever there is a theatre collaboration of Karnatic classical musicians with the Kattaikkuttu Sangam, a group from Kanchipuram that presents the traditional movement and musical theatre form of Kattaikkuttu from Tamil Nadu – featuring musicians and actors from the age of ten to sixty and lead by the legendary playwright, director and actor P Rajagopal.


A stunning finale follows with Grammy award-winning and Padmashree, Master percussionist Vikku Vinayakram and TM Krishna and his co-musicians in one of Mumbai’s most loved heritage monuments, The Afghan Church in Navy Nagar for the first time in ten years.


The festival is curated and produced by Devina Dutt from the Mumbai based arts company First Edition Arts.