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Dulquer Salmaan’s 5 Films To  See, And The One We’ll Never Get To See

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Dulquer Salmaan has chosen a career path very different  from his  father the iconic Mammoothy

I asked Dulquer Salmaan  if that  was deliberate. “It had to be different from his. I  couldn’t possibly do what he had already done. He has a larger-than-life image. It made no sense to  walk in his footsteps.

There is  a nothing like  a ‘born actor’. It’s all about honing the skills. Duplication  never works for anybody. Why would  it have worked for me?I chose my own path because that was the only way to go . At the same time I’ve to  admit  there was an advantage in being my fathers’s son. The debut film came  much easier to me than it would have if I was an outsider.”

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Dulquer Salmaan

Dulquer Salmaan

 So would  like to  do a film with his father?  “The thought has crossed the minds of many filmmakers. We’ve had  quite a  few offers to work together. But no.I don’t think that’s a good idea. The comparisons  would be  unacceptable  to me. So unless it is something that offers  a truly special challenge  for us to come together it is unlikely that we will work together.”

While   it is unlikely  that we will see Dulquer Salmaan with  his illustrious  father together, here  are Dulquer Salmaan’s  5  films worth checking out.

Solo: 4 stories about bereavement and  loss, Solo with its supremely impassioned plea to fob off isolation is a shout-out for comfort and warmth in  a world gone completely cold. In the frigid frozen environment of  isolated  hearts and broken  promises,  a light is lit. Solo is ample proof of Bejoy Nambiar’s mastery over the desi noire genre which so far Anurag Kashyap thought  he owned.

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It is also a lucid testimony to Dulquer Salmaan’s virtuosity. He has rapidly emerged as  one  of  India’s most  exciting contemporary actors. Nambiar’s characters  find  love and then lose it in the most bizarre ways. In the first and my favourite story Shekhar with the speech impairment  loves and marries the seductive dancer Radhika(the very fetching Sai Dhansika) who can see  better than those with vision.

Their ravishing romance, more Mani Ratnam than Karan Johar, reaches an awful dilemma then slides into a tragedy with such resonance that I was rendered teary eyed and speechless in no time at all. Nambiar gives us no room to grieve for  lost love.

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The next story which is  cleverly and stylishly noireish(Kashyap and Ramu on  one of their more inspired outings)  has chameleon-like Dulquer transforming into  a vendetta-seeking widower. I  found this story way too devious and self-congratulatory  to be spontaneous. The storytelling  here lacks the grace  of the first story. Bejoy is  way too eager to push all the right de Palma-Hitchcock  buttons. The morality tale  is just about gripping though never gloriously memorable. The  third story , a dark  violent saga of  persecution and  retribution again soars to tremendous heights of  lucidity.

Here Dulquer Salmaan ,playing the gun-toting killer from a  broken violent home, uses his silences to express screaming disdain for  social codes.  Among the  four stories this one  has the optimum velocity and an ability to be an independent full-length feature film on  its own.

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The gangsters (these include the very wonderful Dinesh Prabhakar , seen in the week’s other release Chef) are  constantly fighting over MGR-Sivaji Ganesan songs . The  brutal hits are staged in grotesquely ironical circumstances , for instance a Tamil melodrama plays on  television while  the man of the house is being roughed up outside. Or a businessman who is  vital to the plot  is attacked while he performs Ganpati  puja in Mumbai.

This  story is partly set in Mumbai and conveys a lot of the city’s gangster-patois with  a relish that Nambiar had displayed in  his stunning debut film Shaitaan.  There are images and  shots in this story that I’d rate as  among the best in the gangster genre in Indian cinema.

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Like the  first two stories this one too has an unexpected twist in the tale that leaves  one of the protagonists bereaved and alone….solo! Dulquer  plays the child-man  in the  fourth and least satisfying story  about a volatile  armyman and his  forbidden love for  his neighbour’s daughter(Neha Sharma). The incestuous undertones in this story left me somewhat underwhelmed though not in  any permenantly  damaging way.

Mahaniti:  Dulquer Salmaan’s Gemini Ganesan is a masterly portrayal of the male  ego  swathed in superficial compassion . Again, like KeerthyDulquer steers  the performance away from being imitative. Bravely  the  film doesn’t gloss over  the unpleasant aspects  of Savitri’s life. The marriage to the much-married Tamil matinee  idol Gemini Ganesan (played with  an endearing  vigour by Dulquer Salman) and the  subsequent clash of egos, her lapse into alcoholism and her eventual  plunge into penury are all  dealt with  a certain beguiling blend of  melodrama and poignancy.

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The mix can be infuriatingly overblown for the uninitiated but highly satisfying for those who are  familiar with the drama of deceit depression and  descent that  governs many success stories of the entertainment world.

Kadhal Kanmani: I was reminded of Vivek Oberoi and Rani Mukherjee and the life that they tried to make together in Saathiya after marrying under trying circumstances. In Mani’s new delightful disarming drama of love without commitment Aditya(Dulquer Salmaan) and Tara(Nithya Menon) don’t just shy away from marriage and the accompanying obligations,  the splendidly scripted drama makes a valid case for the Mumbai couple to stay unmarried and enjoy a kind of freedom that is an obligation of a kind different from what we think of as marital duties.

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Ratnam’s lovers ooze a poised charm without getting overly cute . Salmaan and Menon are so compatible together you wonder what’s keeping them from taking the plunge.They look so made for each other, it isn’t funny. As in his past romantic yarn Mani Ratnam remains the master of vignettes. He weaves precious  little scenes of distending drama that exude a portable passion.

The romance is vast in scope but not  immeasurably ‘epic’ .The young actors know their job and does it with a flair that tenders a deep empathy for their characters. We can’t help falling in love with the love that Aditya and Tara feel for one another. Railway tracks and compartments crowded with impatient commuters serve as a meeting ground for Mani Ratnam’s young lovers in Ok Kadhal  Kanmani.

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Karwaan:  Irfaan  and  Dulquer together  is   reason enough to  sink your teeth  into this  tale  of  a  weird yatra.In a sequence that would have been profoundly amusing if it were not so tragic a beautiful lady (Amala Akinneni, if you must know) looks at two coffins and tells Dulquer, “The right one is your father.” Sighs Dulquer, “So far  the right one was the wrong one for me.”Excavating humour from the innards of mortality is never easy.

Writer-Director Akarsh Khurana attempts the near-impossible and comes up with a film that never offends, even when it poses some serious problems of pacing.You know that the film is looking for ways to keep the journey going when there are unnecessary detours on the way. And why not?! Dulquer’s Avinash is a repressed unhappy 10-5 geek who hates his bullying boss (Akarsh   Khurana) and wants nothing more, nothing less, than to break out of his executive dungeon and …well, just shoot pictures with an actual camera, not its digital doppelgangers.

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Karwaan has much that is wrong with it. But it also has plenty that pleases, a warmth and an empathy for the misfits that makes it a very endearing road trip, albeit with irrelevant deviations.

Zoya Factor: Dulquer Salmaan as  the  captain of  the  cricket team which “adopts” ‘Zoya’ Sonam Kapoor  as their lucky mascot, is  the   only  saving grace  in  this vapid  adaptation  of an interesting novel. Dulquer’s reined-in performance  works  to  pan out Sonam’s excessively exuberant  portrayal of a girl who is  so  hellbent on creating  a  stir she ends up  courting chaos. So far Dulquer Salmaan has not been lucky  in his  choice  of roles  in Hindi. That  needs  to be  rectified  sooner rather than  later.

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Biography

Dulquer Salmaan is an Indian Film actor who predominantly works in Malayalam cinema. He is the son of actor Mammootty. Dulquer made his debut with the Malayalam film Second Show (2012) for which he received the Filmfare  Award for Best Male Debut.

He also received award for his Tamil debut Vaayai Moodi Pesavum (2014). He won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor for his performance in Charlie (2015).

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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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