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Gulabo Sitabo Review: Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana deliver compelling performances in this satire

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Gulabo Sitabo

In the times of lockdown, if you crave for a good time at the movie theatres, Amazon Prime Video brings to you a thriller Gulabo Sitabo that will enthral you till the end with the timeless performances and classic settings.

Gulabo Sitabo: Cast and crew

 Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Vijay Raaz, Brijendra Kala, Srishti Shrivastava, Farrukh Jaffar

Directed by: Shoojit Sircar

Written by: Juhi Chaturvedi

Produced by – Ronnie Lahiri & Sheel Kumar

Gulabo Sitabo: A review on the storyline and writing

Gulabo Sitabo-1

 Gulabo Sitabo is a tale between two people, i.e. Mirza (Amitabh Bacchan), a greedy man who is consumed by the desire to occupy the Fatima Mahal, the century-old place owned by his wife Begum (Farrukh Jafar), and one of his poor tenants Baankey Rastogi (Ayushmann Khurrana), a young man who struggles to make ends meet and pay for the food, rent and education of his family (his mother and three younger sisters).

Fatima Mahal, the heartthrob of Mirza is in ruins and shambles. All Mirza desires to evict all the tenants including the most annoying Baankey who fails to pay the rent and indulges in pointless feuds with him. Things get worse when Baankey breaks the wall of a common toilet and Mirza rushes to the police station. The mansion becomes a centre of tension when Mr Gyanesh Mishra (Vijay Raaz), an officer of Archaeological Survey of India (Lucknow Circle) declares the haveli as a potential natural public property and convinces Baankey that this will be their perfect way to get hold of Mirza. Mirza, however, allies with Christopher Clark (Brijendra Kala) a lawyer who claims to solve the property issues.

Shoojit Sarcar in this film delivers a social and a satirical piece on how the evil force of greed shapes your mind in different ways. Gulabo Sitabo is a story where the greed for a mansion is heavier than the concerns about the people living in it.

The script written by Juhi Chaturvedi is one of the best aspects of the film. The intelligent writing gives you a taste of the Lucknawi dialect. The humour is induced in the language and the delivery, especially during the frequent arguments between Mirza and Rastogi. The story is funnily dark in places and you are bound to chuckle.

The storyline serves justice to the title i.e. the traditional puppet show of Gulabo Sitabo, from which the inspiration of the film has been drawn. Gulabo Sitabo traditionally is the story about young Gulabo’s constant bickering with the old Sitabo. Thus, the film successfully conveys this idea.

However, the filmmaker and writer at some points have taken too long to establish unnecessary scenes and plotlines. This lowers the pace of the film pushing it to a boring edge, at times.

Gulabo Sitabo: A review on the characters and cinematography

Gulabo Sitabo-4

A satire of this kind, Gulabo Sitabo serves an impressive main cast with the veteran star Amitabh Bachchan as Mirza paired with the very versatile Ayushmann Khurrana as Baankey.

Amitabh as Mirza is a treat to watch as he delivers a crafty performance and serves justice to the role of a 78-year-old. Mirza is exactly portrayed as what he is claimed to be, i.e. greedy and obsessed with the materialistic value of the mansion, seldom showing kindness or apathy for his tenants.

Similarly, Ayushmann, as usual, delivers a convincing act of a young man burdened with financial and social pressures. He beautifully brings out his character Baankey’s insecurities and desperation in light.

The special part of this film is that, while it could have chosen to be a two-person narrative, Gulabo Sitabo hosts an exceptional supporting cast. Srishti Shrivastava, who is known to have done great roles in web series, plays a brilliant role as Baankey’s witty sister. We also have Farrukh Jaffar who ends up adding a twist to the tale. The performance of Vijay Raaz as the officer and Bijendra Kala as the undisguised shark is a worthy watch.

Three-time National Award winner Abhik Mukhopadhyay brings true magic through his camera. The promising cinematography transports you to the beautiful city of Lucknow and its natural charm. You feel like you belong there with the decaying mansions, tuk-tuks, cycle rickshaws and the traditional narrow lanes.

Gulabo Sitabo: A concluding verdict

Creatively told and represented, Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo is an appealing tale on the vice of greed. It revolves around two obstinate characters who are constantly in a quarrel with each other.

It is a mixed bag of an eccentric premise along with witty writing and impressive performances with a few trails off that can be ignored. All in all, it is an entertaining watch that gives you experience in the Lucknavi andaaz!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have had 3 years of experience in the field of media, as a video production assistant, photographer and as a writer. I am a political science graduate from the University of Mumbai.

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Entertainment

Review for Breathe Season 2: An Abhishek Bachchan Debut Web Series

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Recently, Amazon Prime Video launched Breathe Season 2 for which the audience was waiting for almost 2 years. It is the second season of  Amazon Prime Original Series and the audience appreciated the first season very much, the acting of R. Madhvan and Amit Sadh was able to take viewer’s breathe away. There were very high expectations from Season 2. Season 2 came up with a change in cast and Breathe 2 came up as debut web series of Abhishek Bachhan. Let us see if Season 2 was able to take the viewer’s breathe away or not.

Cast: – Abhishek Bachhan, Nithya Menan, Amit Sadh, Hrishikesh Joshi, Plabita Borthakur, Srikant Verma, Saiyami Kher.

Director: – Mayank Sharma

Review of the Series

 

Breathe Season 2 introduced Abhishek Bachchan and Nithya Menan (South Indian actress who began her career with Mission Mangal) into the lead role. The series also Amit Sadh is also back in his role but this time with a difference. The acting of Amit Sadh is liked very much. His temper is similar in this season but the difference is that now he has been shifted to the crime branch of Delhi. The acting skills of the actors are no doubt very good but the only concern is the emotional sense of the acting. The audience is disheartened at the lack of emotions shown in the series though it was required most of the time. When Siya was kidnapped from a birthday party, viewers wanted to have emotional scenes of parents which were the demand of the story, but that is missing.

The basic plot of the story without any spoiler is that the 6-year-old daughter, Siya of a couple (Abhishek Bachchan and Nithya Menan) is kidnapped. Siya is a little girl with diabetes who requires 4 injections every day. The couple is very tensed and disheartened at the sudden disappearance of their daughter. But soon the kidnapper called them. The story took a turn when the kidnapper did not ask for any ransom but asked them to take some lives. This weird demand for kidnapper shocked the couple and from here, the story begins.

breathe season 2(amit sadh)

The plot of the story portrays it as an engrossing Physiological Thriller which forces the audience to watch more but as the series proceeds, the turns and twists become predictable. These days, there are dozens of Thrillers in the market which has raised the level of expectations of the audience to a higher level. That is what this series seemed to lack partially, not completely.

The past stories of characters, suspense, an unsuccessful marriage and efforts of a man to solve all his problems along with saving his daughter from a dangerous unknown man comes up as a good plot. But some scenes might seem annoying and not useful.

Was Season 2 of Breathe able to catch viewer’s breathe away?

To be specific, the beginning of the series and revelation of the plot and characters was able to engross the viewers and make them stick to the upcoming episodes. Also, the acting of Amit Sadh was able to convince the audience at a great extent but with more and more episodes, the plot turned out to be predictable. The audience of the Thriller genre will be able to predict the plot very easily. Overall, the series was not able to catch the viewer’s breathe away completely.

 

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Must-read fiction and non-fiction books about Pandemics: Your next read during the quarantine

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We all know how the “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” got out of stock suddenly after the fire incident at Notre Dame. Similarly, with the outbreak of Global Pandemic Corona Virus, much great fiction and a non-fiction books about Pandemics are in limelight. Some of these literary works on Pandemics are based on real pandemics while some of them are part of the authors’ imagination. These books are ready to become part of your reading list during this quarantine. These will help you understand the social and economic conditions of society during various pandemics and how they affect individuals. So, let us have a look at the list of must-read books about pandemics: –

The Next Pandemic: On the Front Lines Against Humankind’s Gravest Dangers

books about pandemic (the next pandemic)

The Next Pandemic: On Front Lines Against Humankind’s Gravest Dangers is a must-read book written by Dr Ali S. Khan. The book throws light on the fact that microbes cause diseases but the people help in spreading it. With the advent of various deadly viruses like Ebola, Zika and now, Corona, it is quite sure that these epidemics are normal and they will keep on coming back. But how deadly they will become will depend upon the people. People often take precautions for granted, politicize emergencies and try to take it lightly. In this book, Dr Khan has talked about the pandemics and measures to be taken in case they return.

A Journal of The Plague Year (Penguin Classics)

books about pandemic (the plague journal)

A Journal of The Plague Year is written by Daniel Defoe. It is published by Penguin Classics and throws light at the 17th Century London where the streets turned empty and human life faded away in suffering due to outbreak of Plague. The book is written in the form of Journal of Defoe who was only five years old during the outbreak of the Plague. For the book, he recalled some of his memories and also used his experience. Though the experiences recollected in the book are four centuries older yet the social situation can be related to the present society in many ways.

Beauty Salon

books about pandemic (beauty salon)

Beauty Salon has been written by Mario Bellatin and Kurt Hollander. It is a work of imagination in which a pandemic broke out which infected men only. The narrator of the story gave refuge to some men in his beauty salon but the number of men began to increase. Whenever one of them dies, others came to replace the dead. The book metaphorically points towards AIDS and social treatment of a patient as the time when this book was written was known for a revolution against the inhumane social treatment of AIDS patients.

The Pandemic Century – One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris

books about pandemic(the pandemic century)

The Pandemic Century is written by Mark Honigsbaum. In this book, the author brings out the notion that our science is still not developed enough to prevent deadly pathogens present in the air waiting to cause harm to human life. In 1918, when Spanish Flu broke out, scientists and medical experts tried their best to prevent such deadly Pandemics in future. But even after a century of development in medical science, Zika, Ebola and Corona caused Hysteria in society.

The Coronavirus: what you Need to Know about the Global Pandemic

books about pandemics(the coronavirus)

The Coronavirus is written by Dr Swapnil Parikh. Dr Parikh has written about all the myths and facts that surround the evolution of Coronavirus. The book is written with keeping India in mind as India is a country with high population density and this increases the risk of coronavirus altogether. This book is a must-read for everyone who wants to understand the real cause of addressing this deadly pandemic.

These books on pandemic will not only help you get rid of boredom but also enhance your knowledge about the issue of grave concern. Even the imaginary novella like Beauty Salon is powerful enough to enhance the analytical skill of the readers and make them analyse both the stage of medical evolution we are at and the outlook of society towards such pandemics and those who are diagnosed with it.

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 Mahendra Singh Dhoni The Captain Cool turns 39

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Mahendra SIngh DHoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni or better known as Mahi or Dhoni is the most loved Indian Cricketer of all the time. Fans often call him Captain cool. The Cricketer has been the former captain of Indian Cricket Team but is still looked upon as most respectable player not only by fans but also by his teammates. Today, on his 39th birthday, let us have a look at some amazing and wonderful facts about Dhoni.

Only Captain to win All ICC Trophies

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (worldcup)

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is known for captaincy in 2011 World Cup won by India but he is also the only captain in the whole long history of Cricket to win all the ICC Trophies. The credit not only goes to the smart captaincy of this legend but also to his smart choice about his teammates and their respective positions on the playfield. Under his captaincy, India won ICC  T20 World Cup in 2007, Asia Cups in 2010 and 2016, ICC World Cup in 2011 and ICC Champions Trophy. Such a record has not yet been set up by any other captain of any cricket team in the world.

Better known as Captain Cool

Dhoni(IPL)

Almost everyone knows when someone is referring to Captain Cool, they are talking about Dhoni. But the major reason behind this is yet unknown to many. Dhoni is very calm by nature. During matches, almost players often lose their control over their emotions but Dhoni is always seen in the calm and composite mood even during hard times. This control over himself not only makes him the most respected player but also gives strength to his co-players.

Footballer

Cricket is not the only game which Dhoni has played since ever. Before Cricket, he used to play football and badminton. His outstanding goalkeeping skills caught the eye of his childhood coach, who asked him to play for school cricket team as wicketkeeper. Also, Dhoni has played both football and badminton at district level championships.

Helicopter Shot

Dhoni’s Helicopter Shot is very famous. Almost everyone has heard about it. But Dhoni is not the inventor of this shot. It was learnt by him from his friend named Santosh Lal and that too, during a tennis tournament in Ranchi.

Honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel

Dhoni (army)

Dhoni has been conferred to the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the year 2011. Dhoni has since always expressed his love for the Army and his country. He also serves the nation by taking up his duties in the Army. According to him, he always tells his wife that she is the third love of his life with the country being the first and his parents being the second.

Only Cricketer to reach Eight IPL Finals

Dhoni is the captain of IPL team “Chennai Super Kings” and he has been the only cricketer to reach finals of all the eight IPL seasons. He has also won three of the finals in years 2010, 2011 and 2018. And the most interesting fact is that he is the only captain with such a title.

Final word

Dhoni is one of the most loving cricketers of the Indian Cricket Team. He has fans all over the world. On his 39th birthday, a lot of his fans have been wishing him. Twitter is full of birthday wishes. Rohit Sharma wished “Happy Birthday Youngster” to him. BCCI has also tweeted to wish him. Along with this, many cricketers and celebrities are wising him. With these wishes, we hope Dhoni will set more and more records in the future and make his family, friends, fans and the country proud.

 

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Entertainment

Bollywood and its Debate on Nepotism

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UntitleBollywood and Nepotism

After the demise of 34-year-old actor Sushant Singh Rajput, Bollywood and Nepotism are the new hashtags trending on the social media. Everyone is trending #boycottnepotism on Twitter while star kids are being trolled but also being ranted upon. Recently, Sonakshi Sinha left Twitter while Alia Bhatt and Sonam Kapoor have either turned off the comment section of their Instagram posts or limited it. This sudden rage of the public seems as if the enlightenment about nepotism is new to them.

 Nepotism is the practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. This practice is not only found within the four walls of Bollywood. It can also be found in Business firms, Politics, Educational Institutes, etc. But Nepotism and Bollywood are recent talks of the town. 

IS NEPOTISM GOOD OR BAD?

Bollywood and Nepotism(Starkids good actor)

Majority of enraged Indians would directly conclude that Nepotism must be uprooted as it is a bad practice. But it is not true incomplete sense. Nepotism gives a direct way to children of some of the fine Bollywood actors into Bollywood without much struggle. This might be biased against some fine struggler actors but it is wrong to come up with a notion that all Star Kids are bad actors. Actors like Ranbir Kapoor, Hritik Roshan and Alia Bhatt have proved this fact true. Ranbir Kapoor has himself came up with acceptance that he is a product of Nepotism and this reminds him every time to act well.

Bollywood and Nepotism(Ananya Pandey getting award)

On the other hand, Just like not every star kid is a bad actor, not all of them are good actors. Many actors and actresses have got their first break in the movies of Big Banners yet their acting skills couldn’t convince the public. Many of these star kids are launched again and again by Big Banner even after giving continuous flops. Such actors not only come up with a confidence of never running out of work but also take their work for granted. Even after so much struggle, people like Akshay Kumar are not able to get awards while Ananya Pandey got best Debut Female Award for a performance which was not even liked by the public. 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR NEPOTISM?

Bollywood and Nepotism(Sonchiriya)

In a single sentence, It is us. It is us who make a Star Kid a star and a talented struggler running out of the work. Whenever movies like Sonchiriya and Tumbadd are released, very few go to watch them while whenever movies like SOTY 2 are released we book tickets weeks before just to follow the trend. This is the reason why movies like SOTY 2 are successful to collect good amount on Box office while movies like Tumbadd are not even able to come in limelight. 

Bollywood and Nepotism (Suhana Khan)

The media is equally responsible for Nepotism. Whenever a star kid makes an entry in Bollywood, it is the media which promotes them the most. Not only the star kids stepping in Bollywood but also the star kids who have no achievement other than being a star kid. Little Taimur who is very young to even understand the meaning of Bollywood has more than 150 fan pages on social media. Suhana Khan, who hasn’t yet worked in any movie was on the cover page of Vogue Magazine. The reason was not only her being the daughter of Shah Rukh Khan but also the fame, which she received since she was a teenager. 

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

Bollywood and Nepotism are not always synonymous and Nepotism can’t be always bad if the person who gets the opportunity is worthy of it. Indian audience should stop judging anyone on the basis of their background and start appreciating talent. We might not be able to convince God Fathers of Bollywood to stop launching flop actors again and again but we can surely watch more and more movies of raw talents like Vidyut Jamwal and Prachi Desai because they are talented. And in the end, boycotting and ranting over all-star kids is not a solution. We should support talent. So even if a star Kid is a very good actor, we should buy tickets from their movies as well. 

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Aarya: The miss universe delivers another charming performance in her style

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aarya

Disney + Hotstar’s new release Aarya has had us captivated and we cannot stop talking about it. The story revolves around Aarya Sareen who takes it as her responsibility to find the man who shot her husband Tej Sareen and get the culprit to justice. While she begins this journey there are several secrets that are revealed on her way.

Watch Aarya on Disney + Hotstar

 Aarya cast: Sushmita Sen, Chandrachur Singh, Vikas Kumar, Ankur Bhatia, Sikander Kher, Namit Das, Manish Chaudhary, Jayant Kriplani, Sohaila Kapur, Maya Sarao, Priyasha Bhardwaj, Sugandha Garg, Alexx O’Neil, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Jagdish Purohit, Flora Saini, Virti Vaghani, Viren Vazirani, Pratyaksh Panwar, Joy Sengupta

Aarya directors: Ram Madhvani, Sandeep Modi, Vinod Rawat

Aarya – A comprehensive review

image for aarya- a comprehensive review

Originally, this show on Disney+Hotstar has taken inspiration from the Dutch series Penoza that was released in 2010 and went on for 5 seasons. It portrayed the themes of loyalty, love, betrayal, and family. Well, Aarya too is about a powerful woman who looks out for her children and family more than anything.

Almost set in the same light as its origin, Aarya begins and ends with the main character Aarya (Sushmita Sen) hanging upside-down on TRX straps. The story in the between of this, reveals three business partners, a robbed drug consignment, a mysterious murder, and a woman pulling all straws to support her two families and eventually being torn between it.

While Aarya takes it on her to find the masked man who shot her husband, Te (jChandrachur Singh), the story takes its own twists and turns. This is a story about a cop who is behind some business secrets, a mafia who is behind the drugs and other business partners in the ring who have started to discover things and have their own deep secrets. Aarya’s task is no easy as her family is put on the doorstep of danger and threats, and the mother in her vouches to protect her blood no matter what.

Aarya is a tale of a mother and her children who pay the brunt of the mistakes and misdeeds committed by the husband. The series is centred around Aarya and her three children i.e. the two teenagers Veer (Viren Vazirani), Arundhati (Virti Vaghani), and the eight-year-old Adi (Pratyaksh Panwar). All these three youngsters are brutally shaken to the core of the death of their father, especially the youngest Adi who was a live witness to the trauma of his father getting shot. It is also a tale about the other two siblings who battle their journey of growing up and teenage issues amidst the danger that dawns upon their family.

image for aarya- a comprehensive review

Aarya is a strong powerful woman of principles. Her ardent love for her family is always shown wherein the brutal turn of events she emphasizes how the future of her children is more crucial than her gruesome past. She also believes that sometimes you have to make a choice between what is less of evil amongst the two situations.

The cast performance in this series is compelling and impressive. Chandrachur Singh as Tej does an incredible job. To add to the Rajasthani style, Jayant Kripalani as Aarya’s father Zorawar, with Sikandar Kher as his point man Daulat perfectly fulfils their roles. Jawahar, the coke-snorting maniac played by Namit Das, ACP Khan played by Vikas Kumar, Shekhawat, the Russian peddler-distributor played by Manish Choudhary, and Sampat played by Vishwajeet Pradhan, all deliver outstanding performances and do complete justice to the character.

Of course, apart from all these people, the main show stealer is none other than Sushmita Sen. Graceful, powerful and committed to her character like any of her past roles, Sushmita Sen is a true treat to watch. She reveals the powerful journey of a woman who breaks out of her comfort zone to assert her dominance and turns every stone to protect her family. She brings to you her classic screen presence and captivating dialogue delivery to keep you hooked.

The writers have managed to write an engaging piece, somewhere where the plot loses itself but finds a way to regain itself back in the pace.

Aarya: A concluding verdict

image for aarya- a comprehensive review

Aarya, this new venture on Disney + Hotstar is a recommended watch. It will captivate you with its thriller tales, and get you hooked with the impressive writing at different points. Of course, all in all, Sushmita Sen truly makes it what it is with her charm, poise, and elegance. It is a recommended watch on how love and loss intertwine each other in the course of time.

Also Read | Netflix’s Bulbbul- a powerful tale of womanhood, a fable that asks relevant questions

 

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