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Hidden Figures Is A Sanitized But Disarming Depiction Of Segregation: Movie Review

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Starring: Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae

Directed by: Theodore Melfi

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To pee or not to pee, that’s the question. Every inspiring story has its turning point. That life-giving moment of epiphany occurs in Hidden Figures,the new praiseworthy film about racial segregation and  women’s empowerment in the America of the 1960s, when Katherine Johnson(Taraji P Henson) goes out to pee.

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Now that sounds simple enough, right? But this is American in the 1960s when Black Americans, or Coloreds or Negroes as they were called back then,has to deal with  a separate set of working ethics as opposed to the Whites. So when Katherine “goes out” to relieve herself she really goes out, to a place pretty much far removed from the spot at NASA where she has been assigned a place as a member of special task force.

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How Katherine gets a position so denied to women and blacks is another story.

But right now it’s the pee that we must be with. The ‘Coloured Bathroom’ being a good 45 minutes away Katherine returns one wet rainy afternoon to her desk to be shouted at by her boss(Kevin Costner) who let me hasten to clarify, is not a villain.

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(Spoiler ahead: there are no bad guys in this film).

And Katherine gives it back, pointing out in her pee complaint. centuries of segregation of humiliation that her people have gone through. This is  a truly liberating cinematic moment and one that sets the mood for the rest of this beautified often sanitized and scrubbed-out look at racial  segregation as seen in and through the lives of three spirited African American women who made a place for themselves at NASA conquering bigotry and bias.

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Hidden Figures is a charming but it’s not a monumental film on racism in America  in the way The Color Purple was three decades ago or the new film Moonlight is  . Hidden Figures chooses to  portray uncomfortable home-truths as palatable digestible soluble homilies spread out into two hours of charming characters and a detoxified depiction of racial prejudice.

Even the white characters are not bad people. Not in that awful way we saw them being  in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave.Here the white characters are portrayed with latent empathy. Once they warm up to out three heroines they do just fine. Dorothy(Octavia Spencer)’s  stern  supervisor played by Kirsten Dunst and Katherine’s skeptical colleague played with compelling care by  Jim Parsons, come around in no time at all.

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And then there is the lovely Janelle Morae as Mary Jackson who snuggles up to the Judge in court to ask, ‘If a man can go into space why can’t a colored woman attend an engineering college meant for white folks?’ The Judge does what any man would do. He lets her have her way.

The half-smile that the Judge gives Mary is just the way we feel about this film. It may be guilty of cleaning out the hurt pain and ugliness. But it’s doing what is always right.

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But Kevin Costner takes his symbolical  repudiation of racism a bit too far when we see him break down the signboard for colored toilets .There are times when you feel there could be more tactful ways of breaking down walls.

It isn’t as if director Theodore Melfi lacks  a subtle  vision. This is a film that doesn’t shy away from its vision of a world where we must overlook human cruelty and bias and hope to start a new social order where segregation is magically wiped out. Hidden Figures portrays the black community as sweet, affectionate hopeful and picture-perfect.Katherine’s home life with her three lovely daughters and a doting mother , plus a suitor(played by Mahershala Ali, seen inMoonlight as well) seems  like it’s out of Homes & Gardens.

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Where is the pain and struggle of these incredibly spunky women who proved the colour of their skin couldn’t keep them down? Frankly, I didn’t miss the pain at all. Hidden Figures prettifies pain without diluting the theme of  wrestling adversity. The film prefers to wear its heart on its sleeve rather than parade the pain and poverty of a people who were stifled by segregation.

Here in this portrait of  misery in recession,we  get to meet three of the most unforgettable women played by actresses who drop their vanity and get inside the skin of their characters without fear of failure.

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Hidden Figures feels lightweight while saying things about the way women specially of a particular skin-tone, are treated at workplaces.Like the 3 heroines who break the shackles of their destiny to emerge triumphant this film remains  happy at heart even when sadness seems constantly around the corner.

 

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

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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.

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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.

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

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Anurag Kashyap’s New Film Is About Love Jihad

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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 .

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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  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.”

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   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.”

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Bollywood’s Achche Din Have Come

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 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.

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 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.

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