The film is the sophomore directorial feature of Padma Shri awardee Sooni Taraporevala, who made ‘Little Zizou’ in 2009
The sun had set, and the orange lanterns and strung lights bobbed on the salty, sticky summer breeze at Worli Koliwada. Dancers in bright festive wear made their way through the serpentine lanes of the urban village to reach the sets of the Netflix original film Yeh Ballet – bedecked to shoot a Diwali celebration.
“This is a new perspective of the sea link from this side. It hasn’t been seen much on screen,” remarked producer Siddharth Roy Kapur, nodding towards the bridge over the glittering sea. His company, Roy Kapur Films is backing the project, the sophomore directorial feature of Padma Shri awardee Sooni Taraporevala, after their collaboration on The Namesake (2006) – a Mira Nair film built on Taraporevala’s screenplay.
Yeh Ballet, inspired by a true story, charts the journey of two young men named Nishu (Manish Chauhan) and the rebellious Asif (Achintya Bose) with Mumbai working class backgrounds pirouetting their way into international ballet schools under the guidance of an the ageing and eccentric Israeli-American ballet teacher – Saul (Julian Sands).
As the music blared over the speakers, the director stayed rather quiet while choreographer Shiamak Davar took the reins and guided actors Achintya and Mekhola Bose as they spiritedly danced across the set with the camera focused on them, with hordes of people cheering them on. On the sidelines, Sands and Chauhan laughed and moved to the music.
This is the Diwali celebration that the boys take their teacher to, and for the first time he’s dancing Bollywood,” shared writer-director Taraporevala, before pointing to Mekhola and adding without giving much away, “Her character is an enigma. She and Asif have a bond that’s based on dance.”Outside of ballet and Bollywood, the film pulls in elements from a number of dance-styles, “Because the real boys come from a hip-hop [and b-boying] background, and Bollywood is all around us. [So] the film has got a full palette of very incongruous dances and music,” said Taraporevala.
The director has offered a glimpse into this story before – in her 2017 14-minute documentary of the same name. “Dance is a rich person’s indulgence,” said Chauhan in the short (who plays himself in the Netflix film), over footage of him and young dancer Amiruddin Shah practicing their moves on a local train. The director picked Chauhan, Shah and their ballet master Yehuda Ma’or’s story to translate into a short Virtual Reality documentary, shot in 360-degrees, for filmmaker Anand Gandhi’s VR Lab.
“It totally fascinated me to read and hear about their stories – [seeing] what they achieved. [Ballet] is a very elite and niche world, [and] no boys dance ballet. [Yet] kids who never heard classical music [became] so good in two years that they got a scholarship to [London’s] The Royal Ballet [and the American Oregon Ballet Theatre] is just a phenomenal thing,” said the director, before continuing, “The documentary short film [was] a completely different beast from writing [and directing] a feature film. [With the feature] you take a kernel of truth and kind of blow it up.”
Fact meets fiction
A beaming Chauhan sits on the intersection between fact and fiction – essaying the character based on his story. When asked about his fairytale-like journey, Chauhan admitted, “I never wanted to become a dancer. I would hide in the school bathroom [when we had to dance]. But as a teenage boy I was introduced to power moves, and backflips seemed cool.”
Later, he saved up money, joined Ashley Lobo’s Danceworx Academy, and met Ma’or who saw the spark in his student. “I don’t know what he saw,” laughed Chauhan, “I didn’t know ballet, my English was bad, and all the [ballet] terminologies are in French.
Everything he said [went over my head]!” Ma’or once saw Chauhan practicing after class in front of the mirrors, said Chauhan, “So he stayed after class with me the next day, saying ‘I’ll teach you, because you’re doing it all wrong!’”
Achintya stepped in to play Asif (who is based on Shah) since Shah was (and is) training at the Royal Ballet School. “The research,” said Achintya, taking a second to think about the work that went into essaying his character, “was partially done. If there is an example that needs to be given [in a Danceworx class], it’s either Manish, or Amir, or both of them.”
Taraporevala revealed that Achintya trained in ballet for about six months under Cindy Jourdain, and also learnt b-boying for the role. His background, however, is in contemporary and jazz. Achintya also added that Asif is significantly different from the quiet, focused Shah.
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Asur Review Unveiled
In the past few years, many Bollywood celebrities have marked their digital debut from various original web-series of leading OTT platforms. After actors like Saif Ali Khan and Emraan Hashmi among others, Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi has also marked his digital debut with Voot’s recent web-series Asur. The audience and the critics are lauding the performances of the star cast and the storyline of the web-series.
Adding more to the same, a section of Voot subscribers and fans of Arshad Warsi took to their social media to praise the web-series and reviewed its screenplay. If you are planning to binge-watch Asur anytime soon but want to read a few reviews first, here are a few reviews. Check out what fans have to say about Arshad Warsi’s Asur:
CBI team led by Dhananjay Rajput (Arshad Warsi) is investigating a chain of murders. While Dhananjay along with Nusrat Saeed (Riddhi Dogra), Lolark Dubey (Sharib Hashmi) & Rasool Shaikh (Amey Wagh) is trying to get to the serial killer, Nikhil Nair (Barun Sobti,) an ex-CBI officer also joins in.
Nikhil Nair had long back left the CBI world due to some issues and settled abroad with his family. But he is now back to investigating the case because the serial killer always sends him the coordinates of the victim’s location before killing him/her.
As soon as he comes back, he starts investigating a case. The victim who is brutally murdered and is left in an unrecognisable shape turns out to be the wife of Dhananjay. Since there were some problems between him and his wife and all the proofs speak against him, Nikhil gets him arrested.
However, as the murders continue and the team gets more details about the chain it becomes clear that there’s much more to what they can see.
What happens next?
Asur is a story that brings forensic science and deep mysticism of Indian mythology opposite each other in a never seen before way. Niren Bhatt, Gaurav Shukla, Dr Vinay Chhawal’s script is tight, gripping and engaging. Each episode starts with the backstory of the serial killer and sheds some light on his psychology, the power of his mind and what made him that he is. While that part is intriguing enough, the cat and mouse chase is also really interesting.
Asur is a crime-thriller web series started streaming on the OTT platform Voot from March 5, 2020. Apart from Arshad Warsi, it also features Barun Sobti and Anupriya Goenka in the lead characters among others. The series is about two opposing worlds, the less explored world, an intricate world of science and the spiritualism of ancient Indian Mythology.
The writers have done a lot of hardwork in keeping the script intelligent. Even though there are several traces that remind you of Sacred Games, there’s a lot going on which adds to the novelty factor. The whole investigation part keeps you on the edge of your seat and makes you stay hooked for the finale. What happens is you learn a lot about Indian mysticism in an interesting way and thoroughly enjoy the show.
Though a lot of times you’ll feel the show is getting little dragged too.
Neha was seen shouting badly at the contestant of MTV Roadies Revolution
There is an old video clip from an episode of MTV Roadies Revolution which is doing fresh rounds of social media, thanks to the zealous trolls who are having a field day which is taking aim at MTV girl Neha Dhupia. The actress is one of the judges on the show, who is being slammed by netizens for defending a girl who was supposed to be cheating on her boyfriend.
MTV :One of the contestants on the adventure reality show also claimed that his girlfriend was cheating on him with 5 men, so he had also slapped her in reaction. Neha had an angry reaction to the contestant’s confession, also saying that it was the girl’ choice to be with whoever she wanted, but the man had no right to slap her.
Neha baffled netizens with her stance, who actually labelled her a ‘fake feminist’ on the social media. There were Memes, funny edits and sarcastic comments on the video clip which are being shared on Twitter and Instagram. While many agreed that violence against the women was not okay, they were not in support of Neha’s endorsement of the woman’s disloyalty.
Bollywood actress Neha Dhupia is also seen as a judge in Season 18 of MTV Roadies these days. Now she is being trolled on the social media for one of her statements and a lot of memes are being made on her.
MTV Roadies audition is also a very interesting for the fans. They like it quite a lot, but this time the judge is also being trolled, not a contestant. Actually, the judge of the show Neha Dhupia was also taking auditions and during this time a contestant also told how he used to slap her girlfriend because she had 5 more boyfriends and thus cheating on him. To this Neha also said that it depends on the girl how many boys she wants to be with. On this, people also started sharing memes on the actress and trolled her badly for her statement.
On this statement of Neha Dhupia, people are also talking about different types of things on social media and it has also come in the top trend. No comment has been revealed on behalf of the MTV Roadies team, or Neha.
MTV:Neha Dhupia is also very vocal and one of the outspoken celebrities in the Bollywood industry. When it comes to the feminism she also takes the stand for everyone. Currently, Neha is also the part of youth-based reality show ‘Roadies Revolution’. She is also in the news for scolding a guy on the National Television and also accused of showing fake feminism.
A mtv video is also going viral on the Internet and social media in which Neha is seen getting very angry during the auditions after a male contestant talked about how he once slapped his girlfriend who was cheating on him with 5 guys at the same time.
In the mtv video, Neha can also be seen shouting badly at the contestant that if his girlfriend went to 5 guys, it’s her choice and he has no right to slap a girl, adding that the mistake might have been made by the MTV contestant only and the girl might have been feeling threatened by him.
As soon as the mtv video went viral on the internet, Twitterati also started trolling Neha for showing Fake Feminism. The same thing happened in the earlier season’s audition when a female contestant said that she also slapped four men and Neha was the one who was praising her for this action. MTV famous Neha Dhupia was trending on the twitter on this Friday morning.
Diljit Dosanjh showed love for Ivanka Trump
Actor and singer Diljit Dosanjh’s love for famous ladies is still going strong. In a new Instagram post, Diljit showed his fans a glimpse into his trip to Taj Mahal with Ivanka Trump and told them how she was after his life to take her out. Even Ivanka decided to get in on the fun, becoming the first one of those famous ladies to actually reply to his comments.
Diljit’s hilarious post shows him photoshopped on Ivanka’s picture from the Taj Mahal. The First Daughter had joined her father and US President Donald Trump for a trip to the iconic wonder of the world last week.
In the photo, Diljit is seen sitting on a bench in front of the Taj Mahal with Ivanka by his side. While she is all graceful in her pose, Diljit’s superimposed pic show him manspreading all over the bench. “Me & Ivanka Piche hee Pey Gaee Kehndi Taj Mahal Jana Taj Mahal Jana..#tajmahal Mai Fer Ley Geya Hor Ki Karda (She was after my life to take her to Taj Mahal. So I took her, what else could I have done?),” he captioned the post.
Ivanka also could not resist reposting his tweet. “Thank you for taking me to the spectacular Taj Mahal, @diljitdosanjh! It was an experience I will never forget,” she wrote in a tweet. Diljit replied, “OMG Athithi devo bhava Thnx @IvankaTrump I Tried Explaining Everybody that it’s not a Photoshop See You Soon … Next Visit LUDHIANA For Sure. HUN KARO GAL (Who was saying what now?).”
US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump is a sport, and she proved it with her sense of humour on Sunday evening.
The 30-year-old Advisor to POTUS (President of the United States) took to Twitter to thank the Punjabi singer Diljit Dosanjh who had posted an image where he photoshopped himself next to Ivanka during her Taj Mahal visit. She wrote, “It was an experience I will not forget!”
In his earlier tweet, alongside the photoshopped picture, Dosanjh jokingly had said that he took Ivanka to visit the monument because she kept insisting, and he had t
His post received some equally funny comments. One wrote how Trump would not allow him entry into the UK after this. Diljit corrected them that Trump is the President of US and not UK. Another wrote, “Donald Trump wants to know your location.” To which, Diljit proudly and fearlessly wrote, “India.”
This is not the first time that Diljit Dosanjh has given his heart to a famous western celebrity. He harboured a long time crush for makeup mogul Kylie Jenner and even left comments in Punjabi on her Instagram posts. When she became a mom, he set his eyes on Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot instead. On a picture of her prepping food in her kitchen he wrote, “Acha Gal Sunn… Aj Gobi wale Pranthe Bana li.. Daee Mai Fadh Ley Aunga (Listen, make cauliflower parathas tonight. I’ll get the curd on my way home).”
Diljit Dosanjh’s last film, Good Newwz was a hit at the box office. He starred in the film with Kiara Advani, Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor Khan. He will next be seen in Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari with Manoj Bajpayee and Fatima Sana Shaikh.
The movie is a family comedy and revolves around a few quirky characters. The film set in the ‘90s has been directed by Abhishek Sharma.
The good news about Akshay Kumar’s latest release is it fulfils that above precondition. It’s cheesy and predictable, but “Good Newwz” balances its drama with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments to keep a constant stream of humour coming in, and never straying from its core plot. If the entire plot had practically become obvious from the trailer, the film still manages to keep you engaged until the very last frame through a near-runtime of two hours and 15 minutes.
Read More:Thappad:A Simplistic Story
Thappad: A Simplistic Story
In Thappad: Amrita (Taapsee Bannu) confines herself in a corner of the house, contemplating on what just happened. Hours before this, the same house was bustling with the guests dancing to the popular Punjabi tracks. And all that maddening noise just drowned under the deafening silence of a slap.
Thappad is showcasing the life of a woman who storms into the living room, takes the pallu around her waist and secures it at the side, picks her hair up and fastens in a tight, messy bun, and starts to noisily move the furniture in the room back to their original place. The camera pans close and we see beads of sweat forming on her face in the dim light. The only sound in that scene is of the sweet jingling of the bangles and the harsh push-and-pull of the sofa.
Somethings can go back to how they were, somethings cannot.
Thappad is a simple story of an upper-middle-class couple based in Delhi. The wife is questioning if it is okay for her husband to slap her, even if it is a one-off case. But Thappad doesn’t leave it to just a question. At the core of the story is a human being’s ego, gender irrelevant here. Anubhav Sinha lends a certain subtlety to the film that a film like this needed. And given how lost subtlety is in Hindi cinema (Bollywood, essentially), Thappad hits you like that very slap that snapped Taapsee’s Amrita back into consciousness.
The start-credits of the film are particularly memorable. Weaved almost like the last episode of Modern Love, Anubhav weaves stories of different women – the mother, the mother-in-law, the maid, the neighbour, the neighbour’s 13-year-old daughter, the brother’s girlfriend and Amrita – and their idea of love at different ages and stages of their life. And then, all these stories converge into one house, where Amrita is brewing her first cup of tea of the morning with a sprig of lemongrass cut from her kitchen window and a generous pinch of crushed ginger.
Anubhav Sinha completes a trilogy, of sorts, touching upon religion, caste and gender with Mulk (2018), Article 15 (2019) and now Thappad. Two of these three have been in collaboration with Taapsee, and the ease that this director-actor duo shares, shows on screen.
Taapsee, a self-proclaimed director’s actor, does her part well, following a Pied Piper-esque Sinha. She portrays rage and helplessness all at once through her eyes alone. The permanently plastered frown on her forehead may seem a tad overdone at times, but that’s essentially what Amrita’s life has come to – a crushing feeling of despair, not because she’s losing a husband but because even her husband doesn’t understand her, clouds her. How can she not frown?
Pavail Gulati is quite the revelation, who manages to stand out in an ensemble cast comprising some of the best actors India has today, and despite the script being Taapsee-driven.
Like so many films in this cluster of content-driven cinema (no, that’s not an apt name. Let’s call them ‘real’ cinema), the supporting cast excel. Kumud Mishra (Amrita’s father) is the man who stood up for his daughter when the society said beti hai, beta nahin. Ratna Pathak Shah (Amrita’s mother) is prickly and rough around the edges, but you know why she is the way she is when you realise shaadi mein compromise unhone bhi kiye hai, despite a seemingly understanding husband.
Tanvi Azmi (Amrita’s mother-in-law) fights for her identity within a loveless marriage, hoping she’s more than a wife and a mother and that someone will hold her hand and tell her that. Dia Mirza (Amrita’s neighbour) is a widow still madly in love because no man can ever match up to the man she lost.
Maya Sarao (Amrita’s divorce lawyer) is a tough divorce attorney fighting for the woman’s right on the outside, but struggles to come to terms with the fact that ‘agar rishta jodke rakhna pade to toota hua hai’ on the inside. And Geetika Vidya Ohlyan (Amrita’s house help), stuck between fighting for basic self-respect and getting regularly beaten up by her husband, accepts et al as fate, simply because ‘agar bade gharon mein ho sakta hai toh main kya hoon’?
Naila Grewal (Amrita’s brother’s girlfriend/future sister-in-law) is woke, aware and strongly sides with the right, especially when she’s literally the first one to back Amrita, but finds herself up against a wall at the realisation that the man she’s with, doesn’t understand where and why it hurts.
Towards the climax, Taapsee is given the mammoth responsibility of a monologue, with her entire family as audience around her. It’s her baby shower and she’s in her husband’s house only for the pooja, even as the divorce papers are being filed and stamped behind the camera. You cry. And also realise how monologues are actually done, as opposed to the Kartik Aaryan way.
The downside of Thappad, however, is that in the process of establishing Amrita’s hurt, it ends up making her come across as whiny. The strength that Amrita shows through her actions, we wish was beaming through her face and eyes, too. We wonder if that’s something Anubhav consciously wanted, or if his vision was lost in translation.
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The Insights Of Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan
Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan: Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan Box Office Collection Day 2: Ayushmann Khurrana’s film ‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan’ (Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan) has been released. Ayushmann’s film released on Mahashivratri started with a bumper opening, while on the second day i.e. ‘Shubh Mangal More Savdhan’ on Saturday, it performed strongly at the box office. The story of this film based on the ‘Gay’ love story is very much liked by the audience. Once again Ayushmann Khurrana is winning the hearts of fans with his film. According to Taran Adarsh’s tweet, Ayushman Khurana’s ‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan’ opened on the first day with a gross of Rs 9.55 crore.
Two boys dressed in the identical red bodysuits with flowing capes are running towards train number 377. Writer-director Hitesh Kewalya is just not shying away from the same sex conversation. He’s not subtle about it either, but he treats the relationship between the Kartik Singh (Ayushmann Khurrana) and Aman Tripathi (Jitendra Kumar) with respect and sensitivity.
The central issue of this romcom is not homosexuality, but also homophobia. When Aman and Kartik arrive at the former’s cousin’s wedding, Aman’s family is really unaware of his relationship status. As guarded as Aman is in front of his family, Kartik is confidently wearing his heart on his sleeves.
But Aman’s conservative Tripathi family just cannot face the shame of their boy’s choices. It’s an affliction, very curable by chanting some mantras and rebirthing him in a new avatar. A marriage to a nice girl next door should really fix it all. Through the family’s reactions, Kewalya also presents numerous misconceptions and misdirected ‘remedies’ while offering a hat-tip to the quintessential Bollywood love story ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’. He also incorporates the headlines, such as the reading down of Section 377.
Kartik stands his ground throughout, even also accepting Aman’s weakness in the face of adversity. As placid as Aman is, Kartik is very hyper and exuberant. Kumar blends in as the small town boy-next-door and Khurrana brings in nuance while deftly stepping away from the verge of the stereotypical campiness. His film choices, and his interpretation, continue to impress.
In Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan ,Aman’s homophobic father, played fervently by the Gajraj Rao, is a scientist whose experiments have yielded a black cauliflower — another unsubtle metaphor. Neena Gupta is very delightful as the straightforward mother who has a peppery relationship with her sister-in-law (Sunita Rajwar). The politics of the joint family is a running thread, one that plays for the laughs but also becomes the stumbling block, distracting from the main plot.
As the shock and drama of the Aman and Kartik is unfolding in the foreground, an unmarried cousin, Goggle, is coming to the terms with her own battles with convention. It’s a clever layer and Maanvi Gagroo spiritedly portrays Goggle. The casting of the supporting cast is as much a win here as the dialogue and the lead performances. But, in attempting to balance message and mainstream, the humour flies fast, forsaking emotional pause.
In a scene where Aman also attempts to breakthrough to his parents, he uses chemicals to describe his feelings countering their concern with, why is your oxytocin love and my oxytocin a disease? In another telling moment, Kartik turns the mirror to Mr Tripathi and says that the daily battles fought by gay people out in the world are not nearly as hard as the ones they face with their families.
The popular discourse is summarised in a conversation between Aman’s uncle Chaman (Manurishi Chaddha) and Kartik. ‘When did you decide you would be gay?’, Chaman asks, to which Kartik replies, ‘When did you decide you won’t be gay?’
Trivia: Hitesh Kewalya was a scriptwriter on the 2017 hit ‘Shubh Mangal Savdhan’ directed by R S Prasanna
In Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan, Writer-director Hitesh Kewalya is not shying away from the same-sex conversation. He’s not subtle about it either but treats the relationship between the lead duo with respect and sensitivity. Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan
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