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Drushyam 2 Is A Faithful Remake

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Drushyam 2 (Telugu, Amazon Prime Video)

Starring Venkatesh, Meena, Nadhiya, Naresh, Kruthika, Esther Anil

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Rating: ***

Drushyam 2: A  diligently  faithful remake  of a cult  film that I felt was overrated, is not quite what  one needs at the moment. Nonetheless, as far as  faithful remakes  go, Drushyam 2 reprising in Telugu, pretty much the whole scenario, lock stock and barrel,  from the original Malayalam  film,  is  a job competently done.

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Veteran Venkatesh has lately been  seen in some socially relevant films, notably  Narappa(also on  Amazon) which was  a  more  flexible  remake of a Tamil  film Asuran.

 Drushyam 2 doesn’t budge an inch from the Malayalam original. Which is  not a bad thing, considering the  plot’s watertight  alibi for a remake  is its protagonist’s watertight alibi for a murder that he  committed six year earlier, in the  first  part of the Drushyam /Drishyam   franchise.

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For Rambabu(Venkatesh) it is  still family first.He will do anything to protect his wife and  daughters   from harm even if it means killing and burying a boy  who  harassed Rambabu’s daughter.

 I have  never been   too fond  of the  plot’s Good Murderer –Bad  Murderer distinction that  writer  Jeetu Joseph makes .The thesis  of Joseph’s   dubious  morality  gets an even thornier thrust in Part  2 with cops who are made  to feel guilty for  trying to trick  Rambabu and his family  into  a confession as he gets away with murder, quite literally.

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The  end-game in  Drushyam 2 is  all about  moving around the pieces  on  the chess board until the law enforcers are  check mated. In keeping  with the law-is-an-ass spirit  of  the original here too the  investigating cop is left fuming and  swearing to get Rambabu the  next time.

Sampath  Raj as   the investigating cop is a welcome addition to the original cast in  a film that adheres stubbornly to the original’s  (twisted) mindbend to the  extent  of  seeming  like a  blind copy. We can mute the  dialogues of  this Telugu  version  and it is interchangeable with the  Malayalam   original.

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For me   the  main attraction of  the  unadventurous transition  from the  Malayalam original  to Telugu is the lead  performance. While Mohanlal in the Malayalam version  played the reluctant killer  as  an inscrutable  genius of sorts,  Venkatesh  is a more flustered guilt-ridden protagonist, a common man  wondering how  he got into this  uncommon situation.They are both film buffs.But in the  Malayalam  original  Mohanal  seemed a  fan of Mohanlal only. Vankatesh  plays  the  secret  killer with  a lack  of  smugness.

 The  supporting cast is adequate though unremarkable , with a  bevy of junior artistes behaving as  if they are  street loiterers caught behaving like  a Shakespearean  chorus. Finally Drushyam  2 feels  like it’s  too clever for its own good. Getting away with  murder is all very fine. Gloating  about it is something else.

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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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Pathaan Collects 55 crore nett in India On Day 1

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Pathaan

YRF’s Pathaan has apparently wiped out all previous records as it collected 55 crore nett in India and recorded the biggest ever Day 1 for a Hindi film. The total collections of Pathaan on Day One is 57 crore nett (Hindi – 55 crore and dubbed versions 2 crore).

It is the widest Hindi release of  all  time in India and also the highest grossing 1st Day for a   Hindi film.It is  also the  highest grosser  on the  first first for a  non-holiday release. Pathhan is  also the highest  opener for Shah Rukh Khan.

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Akshaye Widhani, CEO of Yash Raj Films, says, “It is a historic day for Indian cinema and we are humbled to see the love and appreciation that is flowing for Pathaan globally. For Pathaan to shatter records in this fashion on a non holiday, just proves that the theatrical business is here to stay, provided we make films that entice people to come to the cinemas to witness a never seen before experience that entertains them thoroughly.“

He adds, “We, at YRF, are thrilled with the start that the film has got across India and we are hopeful that Pathaan brings joy to cine-goers globally in the days to come! Pathaan is the fourth film of our YRF Spy Universe and we are thrilled that we have been able to elevate the cinematic experience of audiences with each film from this franchise. We humbly share this moment with all the stake-holders of the film who have given their blood, sweat and tears to give people a movie-going experience like never before.”

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