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Baywatch Movie Review: It Has Very Little Of Priyanka, But It’s Fun

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Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra

Directed by Seth Gordon

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Rating: *** ½(3 and a half stars)

The vicious reviews in the foreign press are hard to digest. Really, what do you expect  Baywatch to be?  Gone With The Wind-Surf?

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No seriously, isn’t self-mockery the  only way a 40-year old franchise can  survive with its head above the ocean water? Baywatch has a swanky sexy swing to its gait even now. You just need to get into the swing of things.

Do not, repeat DO NOT, get judgemental about its amplified  level of asininity, or the hammy bimbo-meets-beefcake performances. Just go with the aqueous flow and you are bound to turn the tides of the tripe to  your own advantage.

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The characters are all beachside prototypes…you know, heroic in  a very cheesy way.

There is a  rescue sequence in mid-ocean where a boat catches fire.One by one the lifeguards run into the water at high-speed, the slow-mo credo temporarily abandoned. The  valour is strictly of thedimestore variety. And the dialogues that Mitch(Dwayne Johnson) mouths would put Chinese cookies to shame.

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A  lot of the phallic/flatulence/ fornication gags have been wiped out by the Indian censor board. But you really can’t the cheesiness out ofBaywatch. It’s like taking the cheese out of the burger.

The  cheesiest  of the  lot—and hence the most enjoyable  character—is Matt Brody an Olympian swimmer who has fallen on  hard days but continues to be pompous and selfobsessed to the point of seeming  a parody of Ayn Rand’s Howard Rourke in bulgy trousers with biceps to match.

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The sporting  Zac Efron plays this characters with lipsmackingrelish.His over-the-top portrayal jells well with the mood of amped-up sea slickness that this film specializes in.Efron  even musters the temerity to look at the breasts   of  a female lifeguard he has just crushed over.When she  points out his crass behaviour he says it’s compliment.

Don’t look for political correctness in Baywatch.  The  actors just ham for no better reason than to nail the Baywatch spirit  to the nearest lamp post and watch the neighbourhood dog pee on it.

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And now for our own Priyanka Chopra. Such a massive disappointment. Such a betrayal of trust, having told us over and over again that she  plays the arch villain, it’s more like the ouch villain. She’s barely seen on screen for  a few minutes. And when she does appear she hams her lines trying to appear evil.

Priyanka Chopra is the intentional comic relief of a film that needs no such relief. If you insist on laughter , try the nerdy Ronnie(Jon Bass) who gets his heart lodged in his colleague’s  vagina and  his penis lodged in  a beach chair.

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Baywatch never opts for ennui as a decent alternative to smutty entertainment.It lets out a welter of off-colour humour in scenes that have been written to spotlight Dwayne  ‘Rock’ Johnson’s dexterity with dumbness. You can’t afford to miss his, and this film’s gumption/.

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Pink Director’s Next  Featuring Yami As A Crime Reporter To Stream From February 16

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Yami

Anniruddha Roy  Chowdhury whose  Pink  featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu was one of  the  most important  films of  2016, is all set to  release his  next  Hindi film.

Entitled LostAnniruddha’s film , based on true  events, will see Yami Gautam Dhar(that’s  what the actress calls herself after her marriage)  as a crime journalist. LOST is an emotional social thriller that represents a higher quest, a search for lost values of empathy and integrity.

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Inspired by true events, Lost is a story of a bright young woman crime reporter in her relentless search for the truth behind the sudden disappearance of a young theatre activist.

Lost

Lost

Says Aniruddha  “The shoot of LOST has been an incredible journey. I have been eager for the release of our hard-worked venture. The film is a realistic highlight of media in a social context and I am sure that it will give the audience a compelling watch. I am curious about its release and see the responses it shall get. I hope they will welcome it with open hearts.”

Yami Gautam Dhar  who plays  the lead  of  the  crime reporter  says,   “I can’t be happier and more proud of the film’s selection for the opening night at CSAFF. I feel like its one that the people will connect to and will be the one that you cannot miss, especially in the current age and time. I have loved playing this role because it was such a special experience, it allowed me to explore so many layers of emotions as an actor and the entire team has worked really hard on it. I genuinely cannot wait for the film’s release, especially to see the reactions of the audience to it.”

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The crime investigation  drama boasts a stellar cast. Along with Yami, the film will feature Pankaj Kapur, Rahul Khanna, and an ensemble of younger talent, including Neil Bhoopalam, Pia Bajpai, and Tushar Pandey, in pivotal roles.

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Jamuna Had A Love-Hate Relationship With  Bollywood

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Jamuna

Veteran  Telugu  actress  Jamuna who passed away on Friday, shared an uneasy relationship with  the Hindi film industry.She did eleven Hindi films including the iconic Milan in  1967 where Jamuna  agreed to play the  second lead, or the  supporting role if you will, to Nutan.

 Jamuna as Gauri was the Other Woman who craved for the hero Sunil Dutt’s attention whereas  he had  eyes and devotion  only for Nutan. In later  years  Aruna Irani played a similar  role in  Caravan.

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 In Milan Jamuna  was not keen to  do a supporting role. Producer L V Prasad tempted her with three chartbusting songs. Besides, Jamuna had played the same role in Mooga Manasulu, the  Telugu original  of  Milan. But it  was the songs composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal  which convinced  Jamuna to  take up the second lead in Milan.

 While  Nutan had no solo songs  in Milan, she did have the chartbuster duet  Sawan  ka mahina . Jamuna on the  other hand,  had two  splendid Lata Mangeshkar solos: Tohey saawariya naahin khabariya  and   the magnificent Ghazal Aaj dil pe koi  zor chalta nahin.Not only  these, Jamuna  also had a  hit duet  with Mukesh  based on her character  Gauri:  Bol Gauri  bol tera kaun piya.

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But  then, fate  intervened. After the film released  one of Jamuna’s solos, the poignant and memorable  Aaj dil pe koi zor chalta nahin was  snipped  out of the film.

Here is what  happened:  the  Ghazal , one of Lataji’s all-time greats, was very much a part of Milan when  it released on 17 March 1967. But then  it was seen to hamper the  flow of the  film and  edited  out. The  beautiful song occurred right after intermission. Producer  Prasad, a shrewd  filmmaker, got to know that audiences prolonged their  loo breaks as there was  a song after the break. Hence the sacrifice  of  a seriously  sonorous melody.

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Jamuna hardly did  Hindi films after Milan. Her last  Bollywood appearance  was in  Raj Kumar  Kohli’s Raj Tilak  where she  was lost in a multistarrer as  the royal  queen.

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Karan Johar Moves Alia Song From Switzerland To Kashmir

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Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani

The  romantic duet in  Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani  which was to be  shot in Switzerland and which was  delayed  due to the film’s leading lady Alia Bhatt’s motherhood, is now being relocated to  Kashmir.

Purely out of  the  love for  new mom Alia.

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Says a source in the know, “Karan loves Alia  like his own daughter. He would do anything for her. He postponed  the  release of Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani as the love duet could not be shot before Alia’s maternity leave. Karan had decided to shoot the song in Switzerland  after Alia’s maternity love. But now he has relocated the song to Kashmir  as Alia doesn’t want to leave her  baby girl behind for  long stretches.”

And as Karan Johar argued, snow is  snow. How does it matter whether it is  Switzerland or Kashmir?

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This  song would be Karan Johar’s tribute to  his  idol Yash Chopra. Alia would be dressed in chiffon sarees while  Ranveer, for  a change, would be seen in  formals.

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Bobby Deol’s Switchover To Villainous Roles

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Bobby Deol

After  Prakash Jha’s webseries Ashram where Bobby  played a sleazy  godman, and Love Hostel  where  he was a ruthless assassin,   he is playing the villain to Ranbir Kapoor in  Sandeep Vanga’s  Animal.

Bobby says it is not conscious career decision to play negative characters  but a conscious  decision to play interesting characters. “ I don’t look at  characters as positive or negative.When I watch  films there is always  one character  that stays  with you. I want to play that  character.”

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Prakash Jha’s Ashram proved a gamechanger for Bobby.  He admits finding  challenging roles is tough.  “I am trying. I  am doing Sandeep Vanga’s Animal with Ranbir  Kapoor , Parineeti Chopra. Then I am doing the family film Apne  2 which I am  very excited  about.”

 In an  earlier  interview with  this writer Bobby spoke  about his   long absence  from screen  before Prakash Jha’s Ashram.  “My fans   would ask why I wasn’t being seen on the screen.And I couldn’t tell them it was  because  I wasn’t getting good roles. But my fans  stood by me. They gave me  the strength  to  keep looking for the right roles. Thankfully I found the roles I liked. My new  films have given  me  some new fans. I am  thankful  I am still here. Yeah , I am in a good space right now.”

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