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Student of the Year 2,The Jawaani Song

Student of the Year 2’s ‘The Jawaani Song’ recently dropped and has received mixed reactions from the audience. Many have expressed their displeasure at altering the original number ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ by Kishore Kumar and RD Burman from Randhir Kapoor and Jaya Bachchan’s Jawani Diwani. The composer duo Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani have reprised the song, which has been picturised on Tara Sutaria, Ananya Panday and Tiger Shroff.

Randhir Kapoor on Student of the Year 2s The Jawaani Song: Remixes are making old songs accessible to youth

Randhir has spoken in support of the new version. “I feel there is no harm in recreating songs. The original track came out four decades ago. Many youngsters were not aware of the song, but today, everyone knows it because of the remix. [After the redux version released], they all went back and searched for the original song on the Internet. I haven’t seen the song but I have heard it; it has a nice tune. Also, Karan [Johar] has officially bought the rights of the number. So, his intentions are honest,” the actor told Mid-Day

In February 2019, the remixed version of 70’s classic ‘Mungda’ from Total Dhamaal had received criticism from veterans in the music industry. After Rakesh Roshan expressed his displeasure with the new version, legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar and her sister Usha Mangeshkar reacted to the number and complained that no one seeks their consent before using the songs.

Bharat trailer: Salman Khan teases his different looks in Ali Abbas Zafar’s upcoming patriotic drama

After teasing his various looks in a slew of posters from his upcoming Eid release Bharat, Salman Khan has unveiled the first official trailer from the movie on 22 April.

Bharat trailer: Salman Khan teases his different looks in Ali Abbas Zafars upcoming patriotic drama

As Jawaharlal Nehru’s Tryst with Destiny speech plays faintly in the background, Salman’s character is introduced. An old Bharat (Salman) reminiscences — through a voiceover — about his colourful journey, which began amid the violence and bloodshed of the partition. Initially a circus performer, Bharat is forced to seek a job at a government office as the country faces nationwide unemployment in the wake of Nehru’s death.

The actor also shared a collage of all the five previously-unveiled posters in a motion poster on 20 April. Beginning with 1964, where Salman is seen as a young circus performer, the posters take us to 2010, in which he can be seen as a 70-year-old.

Bharat will trace the journey of a man, spanning four decades. Earlier, the makers treated the audience with the teaser, that gives glimpses into the various phases of the film.

An official adaptation of 2014 South Korean film Ode To My Father, Bharat is produced by Atul Agnihotri’s Reel Life Production Pvt Ltd and Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series. It is slated to release on 5 June.

Kalank, The Curse of The Weeping Woman, Jersey, Kanchana 3: Know Your Releases

This week the movie goers will have plenty of options as films from several genres and languages are hitting the big screens across the country all on the same day. From an intense romantic drama like Kalank to a spine-chilling horror film like The Curse of The Weeping Woman, the audiences are spoilt for choice.

Kalank

Kalank, The Curse of The Weeping Woman, Jersey, Kanchana 3: Know Your Releases

What is it about: Directed by Abhishek Varman, Kalank is a multi starrer set in pre-Independent India, which tells the story of complex relationships, forbidden love, deep-buried truths, secrets of betrayal and a history of affairs that threaten to destroy the contrasting worlds of characters in the film.

Who is in it: Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Madhuri Dixit Nene

Why it may work: Apart from its ensemble of cast which is a blend of veteran actors and youth, Kalank features arresting frames full of grand visuals along with Pritam’s songs that tug you at the heartstrings like ‘Ghar More Pardesiya’ and the Kalank title track.

The Curse of The Weeping Woman

Source: Twitter

What is it about: Directed by Michael Chaves, The Curse of The Weeping Woman tells the story of a woman stuck between heaven and hell as a consequence of throwing herself in the river after drowning her two sons in jealous rage. She’s now on a lookout for souls of children to replace her own.

Who is in it:  Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velásquez

Why it may work: Originally titled The Curse Of La Llorana, the film will bring to creen one of the most well-known horror stories based on the Mexican legend of La Llorona. Set in the Conjuring universe, this movie is sure to be packed with horrific scenes that promise to scare even the bravest.

Jersey

Source: Twitter.

What is it about: Directed by Gowtam Tinnanuri, Jersey is a sports drama about a passionate and a gifted cricketer in his mid-thirties. With everyone encouraging him to give up on his dreams, the story will reveal whether he gives in or continues to pursue his career.

Who is in it: Nani, Shraddha Srinath, Sathyaraj

Why it may work: Considering Nani’s previous unforgetabble performances, one can expect him to get into the skin of this character as well and make the film less like a fictional drama anymore, and more like a real-life story based on an actual cricketer’s life.

Kanchana 3

Source: Twitter.

What is it about: Directed by Raghavendra Lawrence, Kanchana 3 will mark the fourth installment in the popular Muni film franchise. It will narrate the story of a popular ghost hunter as he returns to fight evil spirits.

Who is in it: Raghavendra Lawrence, Vedhika, Oviya, Soori

Why it may work: The film stars three heroines – Vedhika,  Oviya and Nikki Tamboli — with Raghava Lawrence in dual role. The trailer garnered immense praise from the audience who are eagerly anticipating the film’s release.

Kalank: Alia Bhatt-Varun Dhawan’s period drama leaked online by Tamilrockers a day after release

Online piracy website Tamilrockers has leaked Kalank online, reports The Indian Express. Despite control measures implemented to stop online downloading and piracy, Tamilrockers seems to have circumvented most.

The online piracy website recently leaked two major Hollywood films in the country — Hellboy and Pet Sematary. It also leaked the much-awaited first episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones season 8, added the report.

Kalank: Alia Bhatt-Varun Dhawans period drama leaked online by Tamilrockers a day after release

Ajay Devgn on Alok Nath’s casting in De De Pyaar De: Decision to replace him could not have been mine alone

The makers of De De Pyaar De, especially the lead actor Ajay Devgn have received significant backlash for casting Alok Nath in the romantic comedy, despite allegations of sexual assault against him. Tanushree Dutta and Kangana Ranaut’s sister Rangoli Chandel led the criticism against Devgn for Nath’s inclusion in the film. Now, Devgn has issued a clarification.

Ajay Devgn on Alok Naths casting in De De Pyaar De: Decision to replace him could not have been mine alone

evgn said that the film was initially supposed to release in October 2018 and the shooting concluded in September. The sequences featuring Alok Nath were eliminated by August. However, they were shot over 40 days across various locations with a combination of over ten actors. He said it would have been difficult to reschedule the shoot with a replacement, due to conflicting schedule of other actors and would have caused monetary loss to the producers.

“Everyone is aware that film-making is a collaborative process. The decision to replace Nath could never have been mine alone. In this case, I would have to go with the joint-decision of the entire unit. Not to forget, I could not have brought the entire combination of actors back or put up sets again for a 40-day re-shoot because this would mean doubling the budget, which again wasn’t my call to make. It would have to be the call of the makers. Had circumstances played out even slightly differently, I would have pushed for a different combination of actors. Unfortunately, this was not to be,” the actor said in a statement.

He asserted that his stand on the #MeToo movement remained unchanged. According to the statement, Devgn said that he did not understand why attempts were being made to single him out as insensitive as the circumstances in this case were out of his hands.

Previously, at the trailer launch of De De Pyaar De, the actor had also explained that the film had been completed prior to the allegations levelled against Nath.

Love Aaj Kal 2: Complaint filed against Sara Ali Khan for riding pillion without helmet during film’s shoot

A complaint has been filed against Sara Ali Khan, who is currently shooting for Imtiaz Ali’s Love Aaj Kal 2 in the capital, for riding pillion without a helmet during the shoot. Delhi Police officials have said that necessary action will be taken against the actress after details about the incident are received, perused and verified, reports News18.

Love Aaj Kal 2: Complaint filed against Sara Ali Khan for riding pillion without helmet during films shoot

A video of the incident has gone viral on social media where Sara is seen on a bike with Kartik for the shooting of a particular scene. Whereas Kartik was wearing a helmet, the Simmba actress was spotted without one.

Sharing the video, an anonymous complainant tagged Delhi traffic police on Twitter and demanded that action should be taken against Sara for allegedly violating the law. The complainant also urged action be taken against Kartik for being an accessory to the violation.

She also became subject of heavy trolling on social media because of the incident.

Not long ago, Sushant Singh Rajput was seen riding pillion without a helmet in Mumbai, a day after the release of his film Sonchiriya. However, no police action was taken.

After Manikarnika, Kangana Ranaut’s next directorial will be an epic action drama based on real-life story

After Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, Kangana Ranaut has locked a script for her next directorial, an epic action drama based on a real-life story.

The film will be mounted on a large scale, but will be different from any other epic that has been made in recent times, the actor said in a statement.

After Manikarnika, Kangana Ranauts next directorial will be an epic action drama based on real-life story

“I’m on the verge of announcing my next directorial venture. It’s an action film, an epic drama. It has taken a lot of my time. Currently, we are putting everything in order, but we have locked the script. We will be doing a photoshoot, soon after, which we plan to release the poster, too,” said Kangana.

The actor feels great that female artistes are bringing a lot of business in the industry and believes it is the “right time” for her to start working on her second directorial project.

Kangana on 9 April wrapped up the shoot of Panga in New Delhi and will now head to Kolkata for the next leg. Apart from Panga, she also has Mental Hai Kya and Jayalalithaa biopic. She has also revealed that she will helm a film based on her life, written by Baahubali scriptwriter KV Vijayendra Prasad.

De De Pyaar De song ‘Vaddi Sharaban’ sees Ajay Devgn, Rakul Preet grooving to a peppy number

De De Pyaar De’s new song, ‘Vaddi Punjaban’, is a groovy number that describes Rakul Preet Singh’s love for alcohol in the film. Rakul is seen matching steps with Ajay Devgn in this song, composed by Vipin Patwa and penned by Kumaar.

The song reaches a new level of energy with Sunidhi Chauhan and Navraj Hans’ vibrant vocals. Chauhan proves yet again that her voice can lend magic to any number she’s a part of. ‘Vaddi Punjaban’ has a peppy beat and as the song proceeds, the tempo reaches an exhilarating climax.

De De Pyaar De song Vaddi Sharaban sees Ajay Devgn, Rakul Preet grooving to a peppy number

Also featuring Tabu, De De Pyaar De’s narrative deals with the love triangle between a 50-year old man (Devgn), his ex-wife (played by Tabu) and a 26-year-old girl-next-door (Rakul Preet).

As reported earlier, the film was initially supposed to hit screens in October 2018 but it was postponed in order to avoid a clash with Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra-starrer Namaste England and Ayushmann Khurrana and Sanya Malhotra-starrer Badhaai Ho. Later, it was announced that the film would go head-to-head with Kangana Ranaut’s movie, Mental Hai Kya, on 22 February.

After countless delays, the film is now slated for release on 17 May, clashing with Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra-starrer Jabariya Jodi. De De Pyaar De is directed by Akiv Ali and produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Luv Ranjan and Ankur Garg.

Photograph’ is about love & longing in the time of introspection

Time has come to a standstill at the quaint café where middle-aged widower Saajan Fernandes, essayed by Irrfan Khan, sits at a table near the exit, his eyes fixed on a woman at another table, frantically searching for him. The woman Ila (Nimrat Kaur) is stuck in a loveless marriage. She chugs glasses of water, eyes glued to the entrance, looking for the stranger she daily sends letters to in a lunchbox, unaware that Saajan is the man.

By now, that scene of Ritesh Batra’s 2013 gem, The Lunchbox, has come to define quiet heartbreak. Ila and Saajan spend the whole film without actually meeting each other. Sadness rests heavy on every little second of the frame, as longing and love find expression through an unusual plot pusher — the lunchbox.

Photograph is about love & longing in the time of introspection

Batra’s cinema has so far thrived on setting up longing as a bedrock of romance, and one is transported to the cafe scene of The Lunchbox while watching his latest, Photograph. Like The Lunchbox, Photograph follows two strangers — whose romance would never have blossomed — but for an unlikely plot device.

If a lunchbox became key to triggering off a relationship between strangers who never meet in Batra’s first Hindi feature, his new film makes a photograph the tool for an unusual romance.

Like The Lunchbox and Batra’s English 2017 film Our Souls At Night, Photograph primarily concerns itself with examining how the simple desire to long — for attention, company, affection, or even to be understood — consumes every one of us.

In Photograph, Rafi, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, is a lower-class street photographer who works at Gateway of India. He convinces Miloni (Sanya Malhotra), a meek upper-class CA topper, to let him photograph her. He promises to capture “the wind in her hair” and the “light on her face”. It’s not just the promise that entices her, it’s the way he sees her. For, Miloni’s robotic existence has stripped her of the ability to recognise herself.

Photograph leads up to a momentous moment midway when Miloni tenderly reaches out for Rafi’s hand inside a cab. In that fleeting moment, she reveals — like Saajan did in the cafe — just how much she longs for someone to make her loneliness less unbearable.

In the real world, Miloni and Rafi would never get the luxury of a happily-ever-after, which is why witnessing them longing to get away from their isolated existences feels so rewarding.

Kesari movie review: Akshay Kumar does a Sunny Deol in this Gadar-style drama with gusto and zero nuance

WARNING FOR PARENTS: This is an extremely violent film filled with Game of Thrones-grade bloodshed, beheadings and impalements. It is curious that the Central Board of Film Certification, which has issued A (Adults-only) ratings for far less gore and the use of swear words in recent years, found Kesari fit for a relatively mild UA. In the Indian system, UA stands for “unrestricted public exhibition subject to parental guidance for children below the age of 12″. For some perspective, please note that Udta Punjab was rated A for its abundance of expletives, the Rani Mukerji-starrer Mardaani was rated A for colourful language and violence that is tame compared to what we see in Kesari which has got a UA despite heads being chopped off, an eye being mutilated in close up and, among a zillion instances of bloodletting, a clear, lingering shot of a dead Sikh soldier’s body pierced by multiple swords that have been driven into the ground to hold him up almost horizontally. (Warning ends)

 

Kesari movie review: Akshay Kumar does a Sunny Deol in this Gadar-style drama with gusto and zero nuance

Imagine a real-life battle in which a band of 21 soldiers defended a fort against about 10,000 opponents and managed to inflict heavy casualties on the enemy. This, according to records, is what happened at the Battle of Saragarhi in 1897 in which men of the British Indian Army’s 36th Sikh Regiment warded off Pathan troops for several hours till their last breath at a small British outpost that falls in modern-day Pakistan.

There is enough drama in the truth to merit a nail-biting, breath-stopping film. The truth is not enough for too many filmmakers though.

So, in the hands of writer-director Anurag Singh — creator of Punjabi blockbusters making his Bollywood debut here — Saragarhi gets embellished and twisted to please the communities it means to pander to and play along with the current dominant national discourse.

There can be no doubt about the bravery and skills of the 36th Sikh Regiment, but co-writers Girish Kohli and Singh seem to consider it an inconvenience that these men were, after all, fighting for the British Empire. In their bid to turn the 36th Sikhs into a cause that viewers of Independent India could root for, Kohli and Singh divert attention from Her Majesty and write conversations into the screenplay that position Saragarhi as a campaign by brave Sikhs for their qaum and for India’s azaadi.

Then, to cash in on the prevailing nationalist frenzy steeped in Islamophobia, they present the Pathans with an absolute lack of nuance as hordes of bloodthirsty, regressive, cowardly, unethical barbarians fighting a jihad in Allah’s name against a civilised, liberal, gutsy, noble force.

When Havildar Ishar Singh (Akshay Kumar), head of the 36th Sikh Regiment at Saragarhi, opens his mouth and roars, the Pathans, though armed to the teeth, cower before him as the Pakistan Army did nearly two decades back when Sunny Deol hollered at them and threatened them with a handpump he had uprooted with his bare hands. Like old-style Hindi film villains, the Pathans are often stupid to boot and in at least one scene are shown assaulting a solitary Sikh one by one instead of in unison. If this film’s version of events is to be believed, the Pathans’ only strength lay in their numbers and their utter amorality.

Kesari takes its time to get to the battle, spending its somewhat slow-paced first half establishing Ishar’s unwillingness to accept orders from British seniors that go against his principles, acquainting us with his wife (Parineeti Chopra) through a long flashback and fantasy sequences in which he holds imaginary conversations with her, and building up the bond between him and the men newly under his command at Saragarhi. This segment is equal parts funny, mushy to cringe-worthy levels and trite.

Still from Kesari trailer. YouTube screengrab

The momentum picks up post-interval as does the tension, despite a Sikh soldier breaking into song at a crucial moment in the battle. But as much as the combat is executed skilfully and is designed to set pulses racing, the clichéd, populist portrayal of the Pathans, the Sikhs and vintage Bollywood heroism robs Kesari of all finesse and intelligence.

Far from being a war drama based on actual events, it then becomes just another Die Hard in which the ever-invincible Bruce Willis is replaced by the ever-invincible Akshay Kumar. When an explosion occurs in the midst of tents, sending them up in flames and consuming everyone within touching distance, only Akshay a.k.a. Ishar emerges unscathed. The Pathans are so intimidated by him that even when he is completely surrounded, it takes them time to attack him all at one go. As it happens, Ishar is also a saint.

The manner in which Kesari stereotypes the Muslim Pathans — the marauding mob, the evil mullah, the wily and campish sniper — fits the narrative being pushed by the present Indian establishment. (And for the benefit of discerning viewers who might object, two ‘good’ Muslims are thrown into the mix for good measure.) While this aspect of the film merits a discussion considering the wave of Islamophobia sweeping across today’s world, it is equally important to focus on  the positive othering of Sikhs.

Bollywood categorises Sikhs into two clear-cut groups: the undiluted boisterous buffoon and the undiluted braveheart. Kesari deals in the latter. The positive  stereotyping of marginalised and minority communities tends to lull liberals and members of those communities into complacence, but needs to be viewed with concern for what it is: a sugar-coated form of othering, a manifestation of the filmmaker’s inability to see that community as “one of us” or, at worst, a mask for prejudice. If you find your heart warming up to the routine pedestalising of Sikhs in Hindi films, remember that pre-2000 Hindi cinema was marked by a positive stereotyping of Muslims, with the golden-hearted, all-sacrificing Muslim being a regular in stories back then. What did that trope seek to hide?

Blanket statements and blanket characterisations of communities in films should always give us pause.

To say none of this matters if a film is entertaining amounts to denying the power of cinema. Yes, Akshay’s natural charisma does come through in Kesari when he is not over-acting. Yes, the men under his command are well cast, with Suvinder Vicky and Vansh Bharadwaj particularly making a mark as the supportive Lal Singh and the rebellious Chanda Singh respectively. Yes, the cinematography by Anshul Chobey is impressive and the battle scenes are more technically polished than the recent Manikarnika. And yes, the passing reference to caste discrimination among Sikhs is a greater acknowledgement of caste than we are used to from Bollywood. But none of this should distract us from the sad reality that Kesari’s makers do not have faith in the very story they claim to tell.

Early in Kesari, a British officer taunts Ishar Singh — the soil of Hindustan births only cowards, he says. His contempt sparks off a rage in Ishar and a desire to demonstrate that Indians are valiant. He spouts a line around this time about how he is tired of the enslavement of his people, first by Mughals and now by the British. This entire portion is written to indicate that the 36th Sikh Regiment fought at Saragarhi for their own self-respect and, in the long run, India’s freedom, not because they were paid to do so nor out of loyalty to Her Majesty the Queen of England. What a perfect example of mindless cinematic patriotism — it seems not to have occurred to the writers, that at the end of the day, what their film is saying is that Ishar’s goal was to prove himself to his white master.

Irrespective of what the 36th Sikhs’ actual motivations were, obviously theirs was a historic last stand worthy of a film. When an honest army procedural could have had an impact, the team of Kesari chose instead to be a barely disguised propaganda vehicle and to chronicle this remarkable episode with self-defeating twists. A spot of exaggeration here and there could of course be explained away as cinematic licence, even the loudness and initial tempo could have been excused, but this goes way beyond that. It is as if Team Kesari were dissatisfied with the truth about the 36th Sikh Regiment who, ironically, they seek here to lionise.