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Hindi Remake  Of The Great Indian  Kitchen To Star Sanya Malhotra?

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The buzz in Bollywood  circles is that erstwhile actor Harman Baweja  has bought the remake rights of  Jeo Baby’s near-flawless Malayalam  masterpiece  The Great  Indian Kitchen about a  housewife coping with kitchen tyranny in her husband’s home.

The  film has been  unanimously applauded for its scathing  critique  on the deeprooted patriarchy which allows men to  sit and badmouth the  cooking while the womenfolk  toil  endless hours in the kitchen

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The  Hindi remake  will apparently star Sanya Malhotra in a performance  played to perfection by Nimisha Sajayan in  the  original.Arati Kadav who has  earlier directed  the very strange  Carbon  will  take over the  directorial reins from Jeo Baby.What baffles is  this  rush to remake  South Indian films when in fact the original  has already been seen  by  a  pan-India  audience, with subtitles  on the OTT platform. No matter how  sincerely the remake  is done, it will be compared unfavourably with the  original.

The  original  Malayalam  film  The Great Indian Kitchen is that breakthrough film on the fine art of cooking that Tarla Dalal and Vikas Khanna  could have never imagined. It takes us right into the heart of the kitchen so close to the gas cylinder we can smell the onions sizzling in the saucepan as Nimisha Sayajan (simply billed as the anonymous ‘Wife’) toils over the meals endlessly. The nervous preparation is almost like an elaborate college exam every day. Her monotony and fatigue mean nothing to the men in the house, her husband (Suraj Vejaramoodu, brilliant ) and her father-in-law who are required to eat and litter the dining table with bones and morsels, with occasional burps of approval, mostly frowns. At one point, the father-in-law tells the wife to not prepare the rice in the pressure cooker.

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“The flavor goes,” he mumbles and leaves.

Nimisha registers every flinch of her character with the volume of immersion that’s at once unparalleled and unplumbed. I wonder of how much of  Nimisha’s angst and  humiliation  Sanya Malhotra  can project.Kitchen tyranny is  predominantly a  scourge  in  traditional pockets of  South India and  in the cow belt  of North India.

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Like The White Tiger, the other recent masterpiece on casual social discrimination that has acquired a traditional sanctity in our society, The Great Indian Kitchen pulls us so close to the Wife’s tormented tedium that we feel her inescapable claustrophobia, made doubly unbearable as nobody around, men or women, see her predicament as anything but comfortable.

The remarkably scathing comment on gender discrimination  shocks  and repels. This is not an easy film to watch. In some ways, it is the ultimate horror tale where only the protagonist feels the walls closing in on her while the men around her are busy enjoying the fruits of her hellish labour.

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Then there is the Wife’s menstrual break. The four days when she is isolated and forbidden from entering the kitchen. This is where director Jeo Baby, after denuding the culinary arts of all romance and enchantment, politicizes the plot by bringing in the issue of women not being allowed into the Sabarimala temple. While the Wife grapples with the wages of kitchen politics, on television news, women fight with police and politicians for the right to enter their place of worship.

The pattern of patriarchal persecution emerges in this fine, almost great, film with an intensity that will hit you hard in your solar plexus. Standing at the centre of the culinary chaos is Nimisha trying her best to be the docile cooking concubine, toiling in the kitchen all day and then making herself available to her husband for hurried unceremonious sex in the night. When the Wife suggests some foreplay, the Man looks at her with naked contempt and replies with shriveling condescension.That’s when I knew. This is not a film that will let the Great Indian Patriarchy off the hook easily. It will make you squirm and wince. But what it says cannot be ignored.

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No matter how diligently the remake is  done(Hindi title Bharatiya  Rasoi Ki Amar Kahaani?) it will fall way short. One  hears Harman Baweja will play  the husband. That  would be ….ummmm….startling.

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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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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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