Connect with us
Freedom Fight(Malayalam, Anthology Of 5 Stories, SonyLIV) Freedom Fight(Malayalam, Anthology Of 5 Stories, SonyLIV)

Exclusive Premium Content

Freedom Fight, Though  Brilliant At Times  Finally Chokes On Its Own Bile

Published

on

Freedom Fight (Malayalam, Anthology Of  5 Stories, SonyLIV)

Directed by Jeo Baby, Jithin Issac Thomas, Akhil Anilkumar, Francies Louis, Kunjila Mascillamani

Advertisement

Rating: ** ½

The  masterly  Jeo Baby who  gave us   the great   The Great  Indian Kitchen last year is billed as  the  “presenter” of this  5-storeyed  anthology. Baby even  directs  one  of the stories  , and that  without doubt, is the central attraction  of  this  enormously  craggy though nonetheless remarkable omnibus  with stories  about an individual’s personal  space  and   the freedom that the  space strives desperately to wangle in the midst of insurmountable  societal pressures and  prejudices.

Advertisement

Jeo Baby’s  story  Old Age Home shines brightly. It’s  set in an idyllic verdancy  in a  luxurious  bungalow  where the patriarch(Jijo George) who  has  just retired  is  detected with the  beginnings of  dementia. A  househelp(Rohini), evicted  from her home  by her son,   is  brought in by the  sensible practical wife(Lali PM). The  dynamics  among the  three characters are encunciated with  a  clarity and complete lack  of guile.There are  no   evil characters in  Jeo Baby’s story. The conflict that arises within the domestic setting is  not about power  but powerlessness and how the best of intentions could be squandered in practical necessity.  The direction is here phantom-brilliant.  Jeo Baby  leaves the characters  to their own devices. The fact that the three actors, specially the  redoubtable Jijo George, know exactly what to do, makes it all look easy and graceful

The  quality of  grace is tragically missing  in the  other storie,  except perhaps   the story Ration directed  by Francies Louis where  class differences  bubble to the surface  in  a quaint coastal Kerala  town between two neighbouring  families.  Food plays  a pivotal part  in  the  equation between  the  two families  and  when the well-off blogger(Mini IG)’s  rare frozen fish disappears  from the  economically modest neighbour(Kabani)’s refrigerator  I was reminded of   Maupassant’s  shortstory The Necklace  where  the  non-affluent  woman looses her aristocratic friend’s necklace, goes from pillar to post to  replace it,  only to discover  it was fake. Some such  searching anxieties guide the  course of the story which features the  director Jeo Baby as  the  husband of the  non-affluent woman.

Advertisement

The gentle touch is  ripped out of  what could have been the  third illuminating story on the  dyanamics   of  personal freedom  Asanghadithar directed  by Kunjila Mascillamani where women working in  small dress stores in a huddle of airless  shops, decide to protest to get a toilet  built. The  lack of   private  space  to answer  the call of Nature is an acute problem for women who cannot just  go to a wall and relieve themselves. The story  is brave  enough to take on a taboo subject. But  the treatment is turgid and  humourless with the  women  discussing  bodily fluids over  cups of tea .After a while it not only gets tedious but also embarrassing when  the men are used as boorish props in a set-up that is blatantly  gender-biased.

Bodily functions  acquire  a new  level of  acceptance  in  Pra.Thoo.Mu. Directed  by Jithin Issac  Thomas this  story of a thrashed and  humiliated sewer cleaner is   filled with a  raging  indignation ;  the theme of tyrannical  injustice  gets drowned in a  flow of excreta. Shit happens, literally in this brutal  story which luckily for us, is in  black-and-white. Bodily wastes  in  colour may  have  been a bit too much  of realism to take.The  volume of  physical abuse and  emotional  violence  in this story are  irrationally exacerbated. Director Isaac may argue that there is no room for squeamishness in a society constructed on laws  of inequality.  Fair enough.  But I still don’t want to watch the  privileged  bully politician (Siddharth Siva) literally defecating into the sewer clear(Unni Lalu)’s face.  Hats  off though , to the actors for being  part of one of  the nastiest  depictions of social injustice  ever put on screen.

Advertisement

While each of the four above stories  possess redemptive  curves Geethu Unchained directed by Akhil Anilkumar is an outright  failure. Neither fish nor fowl, neither funny not tragic, just exasperating,  this is the story of  an office-going middleclass girl(Rajisha  Vijayan) who  must make up her mind about marrying a  man who proposes to her. This one  is  so  low in quality I wonder how it got here in this anthology!

Or maybe the overweening mediocrity  of Geethu Unchained is  supposed to remind us that even stories of shit cleaners can be more  estimable than stories that are plainly shitty.

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

Exclusive Premium Content

Aamir Khan’s Sister Plays Shah Rukh’s Mother In Pathaan

Published

on

Aamir Khan’s Sister Plays Shah Rukh’s Mother

Ever  since Pathaan released on Wednesday, audiences  have been  curious to know who  is the woman who plays Shah Rukh Khan’s adoptive mother in Afghanistan. The stately lady  with  royal looks is none  other than the late producer  Tahir Hussain’s daughter and  Aamir Khan’s elder  sister Nikhat Khan.

 Nikhat has been  closely  associated with the  film industry  and has helped her father in the production of his  films like Dulha Bikta Hai and  Tum Mere  Ho.

Advertisement

Nikhat has  acted earlier in the Akshay Kumar starrer Mission Mangal ,  Ajay Devgan’s Tanhaji and  in Sandh Ki Aankh(as a Maharani).

For Pathaan, it was Shah Rukh Khan who suggested Nikhat Khan should play his foster-mother in  Afghanistan who names him ‘Pathaan’. It proved to be  an inspired  piece of casting, as  audience have  loved Nikhat  Khan’s cameo.

Advertisement

It is  heartwarming that  all three Khan superstars  are  associated with Pathaan in one  way  or the other.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Exclusive Premium Content

Anurag Kashyap’s New Film Is About Love Jihad

Published

on

dobaara anurag kashyap, anurag kashyap movies directed, anurag kashyap wife, anurag kashyap new movie, anurag kashyap age, anurag kashyap upcoming movies, anurag kashyap net worth, anurag kashyap daughter

Love Jihad, whatever  that means, is  the theme  of  Anurag Kashyap’s new film Almost Pyaar  With D  J Mohabbat.

Debutant Karan  Mehta plays a Muslim boy  in an intense relationship with  Alaya F who plays  a Hindu  girl.Kashyap has spared the  audience none of the ugliness that  such a relationship generates  among  social-media  bouncers, the self-styled  guardian of morality .

Advertisement

In the hardhitting powerful and pertinent film  a  bigot is heard commenting snidely, “These people first talk about Mohabbat. Then  they talk about Mohammed.”

Happily and  surprisingly,  the Central Board Of Film Certification gave the  film a ‘UA’ certificate  with no  cuts: a  rare non-‘A’ film of Kashyap.

Advertisement

So far  Kashyap and his  team have kept the Love Jihad part  of  the plot  out of all media interaction.

But the  cat is  now  out of the bag.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Exclusive Premium Content

Samantha Ruth Prabhu to Star Alongside Varun Dhawan in Prime Video’s Indian Original Series , Samantha Speaks

Published

on

Samantha Ruth Prabhu

Samantha Ruth Prabhu will be starring alongside Varun Dhawan in the Indian installment of the Citadel universe, the global-event series from Prime Video and the Russo Brothers’ AGBO. The untitled Citadel series based out of India is being helmed by renowned creator duo Raj & DK (Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK), who are the showrunners and directors.

 The local installment is written by Sita R. Menon, along with Raj & DK. The streaming service also confirmed that the production is currently underway in Mumbai. After this, the unit will head  to North India and then onwards to international locales like Serbia and South Africa.

Advertisement

  Richard Madden (Bodyguard) and Priyanka Chopra Jonas will star in the first-to-launch series within the Citadel universe, which comes from the Russo Brothers’ AGBO along with David Weil (Hunters) and is set to premiere in 2023. Alongside Madden and Chopra Jonas, the first-to-launch Citadel series will also feature Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games saga). Additional local-language Citadel productions are also in the works, including an Italian Original series starring Matilda De Angelis (The Undoing).

  Speaking on  her participation in  The Citadel  franchise for  the  first time,Samantha says, “When Prime Video and Raj & DK approached me with this project, I decided to take it up in a heartbeat! After working with this team on The Family Man, it is homecoming for me.The Citadel universe, the interconnected storylines between the productions across the globe, and most importantly, the script of the Indian installment really excited me.”

Advertisement

   Samantha  says she is  looking forward  to working with Varun Dhawan  .  “I am thrilled to be a part of this brilliant universe conceptualised by the Russo Brothers. I am also looking forward to be working with Varun for the first time, on this project. He is someone who is full of life and cheer when you’re around him.”

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Exclusive Premium Content

Bollywood’s Achche Din Have Come

Published

on

 Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar

All you doomsday  prophets, the  booms-day  profits  are here.  Pathaan  has  opened the floodgates again for Bollywood’s  bumper  bonanza at the  boxoffice.And now there is  only the achche din ahead  for  Hindi  cinema.

In the  next   two months there are  three sureshot  blockbusters coming up, beginning with Shehzada.  An astute devilishly impish  adaptation  of  Allu Arjun’s  2020 Telugu   blockbuster  Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo.The super-popular Kartik  Aaryan gives  his own  spin to the  character. This  performance will take   Kartik to the  next level of stardom. Kartik’s version of  Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is  radically different  from  its Telugu  version. Shehzada  takes  the core idea of  the Telugu original  and turns it into a  something  completely different. Kartik’s  co-star in Shehzada  is  Kriti  Sanon with whom he earlier shared superhit space in Lukka Chuppi.

Advertisement

 Then there  is Luv Ranjan’s ravishing rom-com   Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar. The director’s   male viewpoint on the chaos  of love relationships  crests to a comic  high in his latest. Ranjan  for  the first time, collaborates with Ranbir Kapoor for the  first time  collaborates with Shraddha  Kapoor  who badly needs a hit.This film should do the  trick. The winsome  lead pair tries  to do one  another  in a  game of Luv This is Luv Ranjan’s Hum…Aapke Hain Con. Ranjan  has in the past used  the romcom  space to  entertain his audience  to the hilt, he  says this  time the stakes are different. It is  not something we’ve seen before.

 Finally  it is   Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.  Karan  Johar’s first directorial in six years(not counting the one segment each  in Ghost Stories and  Lust Stories). This time he has assembled a dream star-cast  of Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Ranveer Singh and  the  boxoffice darling(s) Alia Bhatt.  But trust me, this one is  not about assembling stars  into a complacent plot. The writing in this  zany Romeo & Juliet is so crisp  and engrossing, the experience  is  likely to be   the visual version of a multi-flavour icrecream cone. Colour, choler and karma collide in this tragic-comic love story . Let the  box office dhamaka  begin  from the house  of Dharma.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Most Popular