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Brahmotsavam May Be A Big Blow At The Boxoffice

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…But It Is Destined To Be Acknowledged As A Minor Classic, Says Subhash K Jha

So the blame game has started. Whenever an excessively ambitious film flops, the  doomsday revellers have a field day demolishing the endeavour as though it deserves every bit of its debacle.

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And so it is that Mahesh Babu’s fans are busy breaking the internet with condemnation for director SrikanthAddala, who contrary to the boxoffice results, has done a fine job and a very ambitious and ultimately unmanageable task of putting together the ultimate homage to that near-extinct institution that we once so revered.

The Indian Joint Family.

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The film is a sublime take-off on Sooraj Barjatya’s Hum Saath Saath Hai . The sprawling acres of festivity populated by relatives friends and associated who keep popping in and out to partake in the pleasures of brotherly bonhomie.The epic canvas is done up with far more finesse than was seen in Barjatya’s film.

In Bramhotsavam the vast family is captured in panoramic swoops of  celebratory songs and dances shot in striking colours of ecstacy.It’s a pleasure to treasure watching Mahesh Babu step back from the centre of his universe to  allow the whole mammoth cast a stroll across the canvas to remind us that the pleasures of a united Hindu family are not over. Not yet.

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Filled with some very endearing actors Brahotsavam is what Barjatya’s Hum Saath Saath Hain would have been had it been done at a more aesthetic scale.The heightened emotions of a family that lives, eats, sings dances and, yes, worships, together are here scaled to a steep level  of emotional expression. But the tone never gets shrill. This is the magic of Brahmotsavam that the disappointed audiences have missed completely. The characters are trapped in time-zone where bliss is generated by a self-governed democracy of domesticity that has no connection with the reality outside the family mansion.

The way the director weaves in and out of the family idyll’s endless excursions into euphoria is emphatically endearing to watch. At the helm of the helium-induced euphoria is the father-son relationship played at a perfect pitch by Sathyaraj and Mahesh Babu.

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From their body-language we can see the two are buddies first, father-son thereafter.

Not that Mahesh Babu is any less attached to mother, played by Revathi. He can as easily discuss saree shades with her as he can thresh over entrepreneurial finer-points with his father. The hero here seldom sits still. He is all over the house including the ladies’ section, just like [tooltip id=”88b6af99531f838ed90aed058b7d870a”][tooltip id=”c1b465420d07c688942ed18eadfd9f92″ keyword_color=”#000000″ background_color=”#ffffff”][tooltip id=”4db8f5608d45f5de7881d9bce162f4bf”]Salman Khan[/tooltip][/tooltip][/tooltip] in Hum…Dil Chuke Sanam and Hum Saath SaathHain. He is the consummate metro-sexual man equally comfortable with his machismo and sensitivity.He befriends the two beauties Kajal Aggarwal and Samantha Ruth Prabhu, but commits himself to a relationship only with one.

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Into the humdrum of the domesticity the director weaves the sounds of familial harmony and genealogical allegiances, torn sunder by the ‘outsider’, the disgruntled brother-in-law(Rao Ramesh) who can’t bear to see the joint strength  of Mahesh Babu and his screen-father presiding over the domestic paradise.

Mahesh Babu’s father’s quiet death(he dies unobtrusively while conversing with his son) signals the second movement  in the plot where the hero sets out to trace and collect his family roots from all over the country.

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This is where the film’s silken threads , so delicately woven into the fabric of family together, comes apart at the seams, exposing a serious lapse of purpose and intent.

In some ways Brahmotsavam fails to hold together in much the same as the joint-family system. Just because family values are no more a matter  of predominant concern to our society at large, it doesn’t follow that the dynamics of familial unity are to be discarded by our cinema. Bramahotsavam is a brave and winsome effort to show the joint-family system as far from dead.

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Long live the joint family.

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Why On  Earth Is Sushmita Sen Smoking A Cigar In Aarya’s First  Look?

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Aarya

Season 3  of Aarya is being shot as  you read this, and naturally Sushmita Sen is  super-kicked about it, so kicked that she has put  out a  video where she is seen  in the  best Lady Boss version of herself.

Alarmingly, she is seen puffing away at a  cigar, to  complete her Badass Lady Boss image.

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 There was a  time when women smoking  cigarettes  in Hindi cinema signaled vampishness. If a female actor was  shown smoking it meant she had evil designs  over the  hero, and life in general.

 Sushmita being Sushmita, a cigarette won’t do. A  cigar it is, to go with her formidable image. The last Bollywood actor I saw smoking a cigar  on screen was Premnath in the 1970s. Back then so  many  people didn’t die of cancer  by smoking.

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 These are  different far more dangerous  and deadly times.

Sushmita is an iconic  actor.She  needs to be more careful about the image  she projects . Smoking  a  cigar doesn’t  enhance a woman’s(or a  man’s) muscle power. Nor does it make her look cool.

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About shooting for the third season of Aarya  Sushmita says, “Aarya is synonymous with my name.  I have lived as Aarya for two whole seasons and the love received by the audiences has only encouraged me to do more. Walking on the sets of Aarya Season 3 makes me feel at home and gives me  a sense of empowerment. I’m grateful to the entire team at Disney+ Hotstar, Ram Madhvani Films and Endemol Shine India for the vision of creating Aarya and taking it to newer heights with every season.”

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Shah Rukh, Deepika, John Will Meet The Media  On Monday At 4 pm(But There’s  A Catch)

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Pathaan

Pathaan has effectually discredited the  efficacy  of media interactions to promote  a  film. The  film’s lead actors Shah Rukh  Khan, Deepika Padukone  and John Abraham did not conduct any  press or portal interviews  to  promote the  film.

And  yet Pathaan  is  a blockbuster.

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 This  weekend  the Pathaan producer Aditya  Chopra  of  Yash Raj Films  took a call on behalf  of  the Pathaan team  to do one media  meet at the Taj Land’s End in Mumbai  on Monday January 30 at 4 pm.

The  three principal actors  and  director Siddharth Malhotra  will address  the  media.

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 But  here’s the catch: the media will not be allowed to ask any questions. There will be no  Q& A s or  one-on-one  interactions.This  basically means that the  Pathaan  team will  have an opportunity to  say what it wants  to the media. But the  media will have no say.

Make what  you will of this  one-way traffic.

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A  source close  to Yash Raj informs  me that this is  the   pattern  regarding the media that  Yash Raj will follow for  future  releases: no  press meets  no promotional  engagements.

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Fake Projects of Pathaan Director Being Planted In Media

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Pathaan

Siddharth Anand Denies Considering  Any Project With  Deepak Mukut

A  word of caution to those marketing and publicity wizkids  who think  it’s okay to  plant fake stories  on (fake) projects  with the Pathaan director.

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 It is  not.

Such baseless announcements  are meant only to  raise  the equity  of the  producers  with whom Siddharth   Anand’s name is  linked. One  such  producer whose name  has cropped up after the  spectacular success of  Pathaan is  Deepak Mukut.

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There were  reports  everywhere that Siddharth Anand’s next would  be with Mukut.

Turned out to be a false rumour.

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A  source in the  know informs, “Siddharth now has to complete Fighter  starring Hrithik Roshan and  Deepika Padukone  for Yash Raj.Then  he  is   committed to direct the sequel to War 2 for  Yash Raj films.  They will then start  work on the  next film in the Pathaan  franchise. There is no scope  or  room for any outside  projects  for Siddharth Anand. So every announcement  that  you read of a  new film  to be  directed by Siddharth Anand  for an  outside  producer is likely to  be  a hundred  percent fake.”

When I asked Siddharth Anand  about the  supposed project  with  producer Deepak Mukut he promptly replied,  “NOT AT ALL.”

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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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