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Hugh Jackman Talks About His Role In Logan

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In the highly anticipated film, LOGAN, from 20th Century Fox, Hugh Jackman reprises his iconic role as James ‘Logan’ Howlett, best known to movie fans worldwide as Wolverine. Directed by acclaimed and award-winning director James Mangold, this latest installment in the phenomenally popular X-Men series sees an aging and embittered Wolverine – whose healing abilities are beginning to weaken – and Charles Xavier, protect a young girl named Laura who is very similar to Logan, and is being hunted by sinister forces.

HUGH JACKMAN ON THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES AND FIERCE AMBITIONSOF HIS FINAL PERFORMANCE AS WOLVERINE

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Australian-born actor Hugh Jackman first came to international prominence in 1998 when he played the lead role of Curly in the Royal National Theatre’s acclaimed stage production of Oklahoma! in London’s West End. The performance earned him an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.

The following year he was cast as Wolverine in Bryan Singer’s X-Men and both the film, and Jackman’s performance were warmly received by movie fans and critics worldwide. He returned to the role in 2003’s X2: X-Men United, 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, and the 2009 prequel X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He also cameoed as Wolverine in 2011’s X-Men: First Class. He returned for the role of Wolverine again in 2013’s The Wolverine, a stand-alone sequel taking place after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, and in the 2014 sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past and the 2016 follow-up X-Men: Apocalypse.

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Jackman has confirmed that the forthcoming Logan will be the final time he plays the role of Wolverine.

Among Jackman’s other screen work is the romantic comedy Kate & Leopold for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor. The film was directed by Logan director James Mangold. Jackman was also nominated for a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award, for his role as Jean Valjean in Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables.

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Some of the other acclaimed directors Jackman has worked with include Christopher Nolan (The Prestige), Woody Allen (Scoop), Darren Aranofsky (The Fountain), Baz Luhrmann (Australia), Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) and Joe Wright (Pan).

Jackman’s stage work includes productions of Beauty And The Beast, Sunset Boulevard and Carousel as well as several solo shows. He has also hosted both the Academy Awards and the Tony Awards (four times), garnering four primetime Emmy nominations including one win.

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Hugh Jackman recently sat down for the following interview:

Q: When you began talking about this project with James Mangold [Logan’s director and co-writer] what was the first thing you discussed?

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A: Well, the first discussion was just, ‘Will you do another one?’ And he immediately said ‘Yes’, which I was thrilled about. Because of all Jim’s talents – and he might be one of the most successful directors in Hollywood, he’s tackled so many different genres so brilliantly – he’s really an amazing writer and developer of scripts. When we worked on the last Wolverine and on Kate and Leopold, the first movie I did with him, they were scripts that had been written that he directed. So I was really excited about the possibility of what would come if Jim had a clean slate, a blank canvas and that’s what we had. So that was the first conversation: Are you in? Will you do it? And, will you write it? And, as I say, he immediately said yes. I guess I’d left enough time from the last one! [Laughs]

Q: Did you already have an idea of what you wanted to do with this film?

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A: I had a pretty clear vision. Actually, I had a very clear vision of what I wanted this film to be. I was with a friend and we were having a couple of drinks and he was like, ‘If you could do whatever you wanted with the character, what would it be?’ And I just started  talking and talking… the next morning I was with Michele [Schweitzer], my partner in crime, and I began telling her and she suggested writing it down so I immediately recorded it, she still has it. One day I’ll let someone have it! Anyway – and this feels a little bit like I’m missing 29 chapters in the middle – but what I said in that recording and what we shot in New Mexico is pretty damn close.

Q: So you and Jim were on the same page pretty quickly?

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A: I didn’t want to impose on Jim from the start too much because he’s a writer, director, an artist and I wanted to see where he was coming from. But we were definitely in the same ballpark. There were some differences, naturally, but we both wanted a movie that was a standalone film, that wasn’t necessarily intermingled with the history or the timeline of previous X-Men films.  We wanted something that felt very different, very fresh and ultimately something very human because it seems to me that the strength of X-Men and the strength of Wolverine is more the humanity than his superpower.  For me, exploring this character for the last time, it was important to get to the heart of who that human was. You know, more than what his claws can do.

Q: Is it an original story?

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A: One of the first things I said to Jim was I had a vision of something closer to Unforgiven. Not necessarily the story but what Unforgiven did back in the day. There’s so much fan following and history to a western with Clint Eastwood in the lead but he kind of subverted that a little bit. It’s still a western. It’s still Clint. He still kicked ass at the end but it’s definitely turned it on its head so that was the starting point.

Q: So the Old Man Logan comic book series wasn’t the starting point?

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A: Old Man Logan, having spoken to the writers, is absolutely inspired by Unforgiven so I’d like to see the connection more in that way. Obviously, I’ve read Old Man Logan but there’s more differences than similarities and that wasn’t what we were using as a template. I made a reference to Old Man Logan at Comic Con. I was half teasing but I was more talking about the fact that I’m getting old so it’s maybe time to move on. But people took it as verbatim that we were therefore doing the story of Old Man Logan. There are elements of that but the truth is I haven’t read the whole Old Man Logan comic in probably four years so I certainly wasn’t going back and saying, ‘Oh, what did they do here? We gotta do it this way…’ It really existed in a different plane.

Q: Is it important to you that the film has an R rating?

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A: I have to say everyone from Jim, me, the studio, we were all in agreement that ‘We should make this R rated’. Even at the time when these discussions where happening I said, ‘This will not be a movie driven by a rating’. This will not be a movie where we go ‘Oh, it’s cool. It’s R rated. It’s not R rated because of the violence, even though there is some R-rated violence in it. That’s not what defines it as an R rated film. That R rating is more about the subject matter, the way the characters are treated as well as the way violence is depicted. I think this is far more realistic than anything we’ve done before in the X-Men franchise and maybe many other comic book movies, far more human. It seems to me that Wolverine may be one of the darkest, most complex characters in the comic book universe and every time for the last 17 years I’ve seen PG13, a little part of me has winced going, ‘Wolverine would never be in a PG13 movie’. All Jim and I were apprehensive about was just basically taking off the seatbelt, taking off any kind of restriction and just diving into this character.

Q: Where do we find Wolverine at the beginning of this story?

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A: He’s very lost. He’s despondent. He’s older. There’s quite a few more grey hairs and he’s not well. He’s physically sick and I would say spiritually, emotionally, he’s not in a great place. He finds out that there is a very high levels of mercury in his body. Apparently from eating tins of tuna but I thought well, what happens when a guy walks around for 130 years filled with metal? Even though he has an immune system and can heal, at some point everyone on this planet starts to slow down.  The body’s ability to fight gets less and less. And it’s the same for Wolverine. He’s sick. We don’t know how sick but he’s also very isolated. He feels alone and despondent. He really doesn’t have much to live for.

Q: What is his living situation?

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A: The way it’s set up, just before our movie opens – maybe six months or a year before – there was some event involving Charles Xavier, played brilliantly by Patrick Stewart because he’s older too and one thing we explore with his character is what happens when the most powerful brain on the planet falls victim to dementia of some kind. We don’t get into specifics. Is it Alzheimer’s? Is it dementia? But we know that he’s now dangerous because when his brain doesn’t work things happen. He has these seizures and people around him fall into comas. Cars crash, things happen, so some event like that has happened and because he’s pretty much like a father figure to Wolverine in the movies, Wolverine takes him in.

Q: So they’re fugitives?

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Yes. Wolverine hides Xavier down in Mexico, just off the border in this place where they’ve been hiding out for pretty much a year with Caliban who is played by Steven Merchant who is, again brilliant and hilariously funny. Caliban is there to help. He’s a tracker. He has the ability to find people and help spot when people are coming, so it’s the three of us. We are hiding out in this disused smelting plant by some offshore company on the border o the U.S. and Mexico and have been living there for quite a long time alone, potentially just living out the rest of our days, whoever sort of goes first, you know.

Q: Can you explain a bit more about Charles Xavier’s mental state?

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Charles is not in a good place. His mind is going. He doesn’t remember things. He doesn’t understand why he’s there at times. At times he’s very cognizant and at other times he’s very confused. What I loved about what Jim wrote is that you see and truly feel the frustration of caring for someone like that.  Particularly when you’re fugitives and you’re hiding out and that person has no understanding of the situation. Their relationship goes through a transformation as the way they relate to one another changes, where they stand off against one another – they have arguments and it’s very sort of real life in a way.

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Bhupinder Singh The Popular Voice That Drawing Room Singers Were Drawn To

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Bhupinder Singh

Whenever one thinks of the booming pain-lashed  voice of Bhupinder Singh  one thinks  of Gulzar  and  Khayyam, not always together, although once,  in a Rajesh Khanna-Shabana Azmi starrer Thodisi Bewafaai, Bhupinder ,Gulzar and  Khayyam did come together  for an underrated  haunting melody Aaj bichde hain kal ka darr bhi nahin zindagi itni mukhtsar bhi hain hai.Today’s parting doesn’t bother  you about  tomorrow…life isn’t that short.

Indeed, life was  not short  for Bhupinder. He  lived a long satisfying life  in a world of music. He  died there as well.He sang some  of  the most beautiful film songs in  recent memory, many of them in Gulzar’s  films.

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 I know . You are thinking about Beeti na bitayee raina  in Gulzar’s Parichay and Naam ghum  jayega  in Kinara. In all fairness, these were  not Bhupinder’s songs although he  did sing in them. There were Lata Mangeshkar’s songs.For vintage  Bhupinder in  Gulzar’s cinema please turn to Koi nahin hai kahin  in Kinara. It is  a  heartstopping R D Burman  composition where Bhupinder creates  a momentous  mood  of isolation desolation and despair.

  1. D Burman and  Bhupinder were  bonded  for life. Bhupinder  played the guitar in some of RD’s most celebrated  compositions  including  Kishore Kumar’s Chingari  koi bhadkein  Amar  Prem.

Bhupinder’s  voice, like Mukesh’s, was the one that drawingroom  singers were drawn to. He didn’t always sing in  tune.  But he  never failed to sing from the heart.I remember asking  Gulzar why he insisted  on Bhupinder’s voice for some of  the greatest songs  in his cinema when  there was  Kishore Kumar  to do the needful.

Gulzar Saab had given me a  shrivelling  look. “Beta,tum nahin  samjhoge. It’s  not always  about  getting the  sur right.  The emotions  underlining the song are far more important than technical correctness  in the rendition. In  my Mausam  only  Bhupinder could have sung  Dil dhunta hai phir wohi phursat ke raat din . In Kinara Kishore had Jaane kya sochkar nahin guzra. But for Koi nahin hai kahi it had  to be Bhupinder ,and Bhupinder only.”

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I remember asking  Bappi Lahiri why he  chose Bhupinder  for Saiyyan  bina ghar soona  in the film Aangan Ki Kali and Kissi nazar  ko tera intezaar aaj bhi hai  in Aitbaar.

Bappi’s reply was revealing:  “These  two  compositions had  a very strong classical base. I needed  a male  voice to match Lataji and Ashaji’s  proficiency with Hindustani classical music.”

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Among the great music composers  of Hindi cinema  , the  mighty Khayyam  was  the one to  repose the optimum faith in Bhupinder’s unique baritone. The  singer sang some of his  most memorable songs for  Khayyam beginning with the  little-known solo Rut jawan jawan in  1966 Khayyam enlisted  Bhupinder’s  vocal  skills  for songs  like Karoge yaad toh har baat yaad aayegi in  Bazar and Kabhi kissiki muqammal jahan nahin milta  in Ahista Ahista.In  Muzaffar Ali’s Anjuman  , Khayyam  brought together the  Bhupinder and Shabana Azmi for  the rare duet Gulab jism ka  yuhin nahin khila  hoga.

Shabana  recalls   the experience with  happiness. “I  was  so besura. Bhupinder Singh was such an accomplished  singer. He patiently waited  for me to get it right.”

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While  his film songs often got eclipsed in the background  score—and Bhupinder  himself admitted  to me  that he was  not the hero’s voice—he was right up there on stage with his wife Mitali Mukherjee belting out  one successful Ghazal after  another, the  most famous  among them being Shama jalaye rakhna  jab  tak ki main na aaoon

I met  Bhupinder  only once. He was  recording a song for Vishal Bhardwaj.  Gulzar  was also there. He  introduced  me  to Bhupinder . When  I told him how much I liked  his duet with Lataji  Thodisi zameen thoda aasman  from the  film Sitara Bhupinder in all humility  replied, “Oh, but that  song  is special because of the little  nuances that Lataji brought  into it.”

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 In a world filled with self-glorification Bhupinder liked to  just do his work and move on.He  never looked back. There  was always the  next song.

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“Shah Rukh Khan Is A True Pathan”  Kamal Haasan

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Shah Rukh Khan

When   Shah Rukh Khan turned 50  the Tamilian maverick actor Kamal Haasan paid  the actor who played a Pathan free of fee for Kamal in Hey Ram, lavish compliments for his qualities of humility practicality and apolitical astuteness.

Said  Kamal Haasan, “Probably Shah Rukh knew where he was headed.  Probably he did not know where he’d end up on the ladder but was willing to climb till he could no more. With that mindset humility is something you had to train on right from the word go.  Shah Rukh first practiced on a quality that most successful people try  to practice when it is too late. Early trainers like him require  least humility lessons at the top  Late trainers learn the hard way.  Humility is taught through humiliating lessons.”

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Kamal  was all praise for Shah Rukh’s powers of apolitical articulation. “Shah Rukh spoke the best part of his mind for all to hear and the worst part he digested like food and the world never saw it. No,that does not make him a politician.”

Kamal Haasan  is extremely fond of Shah Rukh. They go back a  long way to the time when 12 years ago, Shah Rukh agreed to do an extended cameo in Kamal  Haasan’s Hey Ram .Kamal Haasan who played the role of the cop on the lookout for a serial killer in the Tamil hit Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu,   expressed a keen interest in Shah Rukh playing the role in the film’s Hindi version.  When Gautham Menon, who understandably respects Kamalji opinion, asked the thespian who should play his role in the Hindi remake, Kamal promptly gave Shah Rukh’s name.

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Kamal Haasan and Shah Rukh share a mutual admiration society from the time they worked together in Hey Ram  in 2000. Shah Rukh had refused to charge any money for the film claiming that the honour of working with the great Kamal Haasan was reward enough.

Says Kamal Haasan appreciatively, “Shah Rukh is a true Pathan. A man of his words. I owe him a big favour.”

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For a party in Chennai to celebrate Kamal Haasan’s career in 2013 Shah Rukh not only flew down  he danced drenched in sweat from head to toe.

 Recalled Kamal Haasan, “He danced wonderfully on stage and it looked like he had come out of the bath and forgotten to dry.”

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The air conditioning at the posh luxury hotel had conked off leaving SRK swathed in sweat.

Says Kamal, “It was every celebrity-bash’s worst nightmare come true. The air conditioning at the hotel broke down. We were all left seething and simmering in the heat, helpless, angry and bitter. Shah Rukh was fully and formally dressed in a suit for the occasion. His condition in the heat was indescribable. But look at this entertainer! He pulled off his coat, jumped on to the stage and danced, although he dripped sweat like he had just had a bath.”

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Shah Rukh, we are told, was pretty much completely drained out and on the verge of dehydration after his sweat-soaked performance. “But he didn’t care. At that moment he forgot all his discomfort. It was just Shah Rukh Saab (that’s how Kamal Haasan addresses his junior colleague) and the stage. He is a natural-born entertainer,” says Kamal Haasan.

 Says Kamal emotionally, “Shah Rukh is an artiste at heart and I wish my younger brother stays that way. I wish that success like it always has will sit very lightly on his shoulder. Wishing more success to him will induce only emotional sniffles but then that might be only from his detractors .Old friends like me never tire of his success. More to you, Brother, more of all that you love in life”

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Abhishek Bachchan’s Must-Watch Films

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Abhishek Bachchan

Happy Birthday …Abhishek  Bachchan’s  Must-Watch Films

  1. Naach(2004):  Naach in fact carries the Abhimaan theme forward. On a simplistic level we can take heart in Abhishek doing an overdriven version of his dad’s compromised and jealous musician’s part in Abhimaan.But the dynamics are far more intricate in Naach. The protagonists are no longer driven apart by their ego. They are victims of a well-oiled machine of power and passion that inflicts a certain self-annihilating rejection of a standard code of morality on their lives.When we first see Rewa she’s sitting at the roadside impervious of passing traffic. As the music in her head plays a pounding invitation (remember Urmila Matondkar’s opening song in “Rangeela”?) she jumps to her feet and performs an enigmatic seductive and yet personal dance that has no definition.Antara Mali’s Rewa dances to an indeterminate rhythm that goes well with the film’s restless unanchored hitherto-unexplored man-woman axis. The camerawork by newcomer Kiran Reddy is so anguished and passionate you begin to see the characters as dancers caught in a dance of self-destruction.Varma catches them to stop them from falling to the ground. Abhi’s love for Rewa is redeemed, though personally I’m not convinced by the happy ending to their turbulent and short-fused relationship.If she refuses to be compromised by the murkiness of showbiz, he sees assimilation and surrender as the means to further his career as an actor. If initially she’s a choreographer who has never choreographed a dance, he grins and says,  “I’m an actor who hasn’t acted”.As you share their mutual sneers, you get ensnared into their world of heavy-traffic ambitions. The sounds and fumes of Mumbai’s roads qualify the Rewa-Abhi relationship as much as Reddy’s poetic cinematography which captures Abhishek and Antara in the most aesthetic kiss I’ve ever seen on an Indian film.The relationship grows with an animal passion and then gets stymied as Abhi’s ambitions carry him away from Rewa.It’s the first half where their relationship grows that holds you. Small details from the couple’s lives and their intense focus on dance crowd the canvas without toppling over the narrative.The second half about the couple’s ‘groaning’ disenchantment is laden with angry dance numbers where Abhishek’s grimace and growl are offset by Riteish Deshmukh’s gentle attentions towards Antara. In the film’s less weighty moments there’s a touch of Varma’s Rangeela.Naach is perhaps what Rangeela couldn’t be. An anxious and passionate look at the compromises that showbiz demands from the wannabes.There are only two principal characters and some well-etched passers by providing a beguiling backdrop to the tale. Both Abhishek and Antara perform their parts with a conviction that comes straight from the most unexplored areas of their talent.Naach escapes the blind alleys that Hindi cinema chooses to wander in.Naach is Varma’s most personalized and sensitive film ever. In it he creates an untried synthesis of realism within the morally suffocating world of showbiz and a freewheeling fantasy where both the struggling protagonists find success on their own terms.
  2. Yuva(2004): Abhishek Bachchan blossomed into a formidably engaging actor .Yuva is that rarity which can be watched both as an entertainer and a vehicle for projecting socio-political ideas.The easiest thing in the world is to sneer at someone who attempts to be unconventional through conventional routes. In that sense, Mani Ratnam and Michael Mukherjee, his protagonist in his latest film, share the same predicament.A riveting blend of social message and entertainment is what sets Yuva apart. Like Ratnam’s first Hindi film Dil Se, Yuva is an extremely restless film about young characters who are on the lookout for a relevance to their existence.While Michael wants to use student power to change the festering fortunes of Indian politics, the loutish Lallan (Abhishek Bachchan) just wants a decent life for his wife Shashi (Rani Mukherjee) and himself, and never mind if it’s through indecent means. You can almost read between the lines that Ratnam crosses from one protagonist’s life into another. The effect is of sea waves lapping against the shore and receding to leave behind tempting tides of significance.The three-tiered plot creates a sense of lyricism in the plot. Every character fits in the Kolkata milieu without stretching in the larger picture. Yet the existence of the binding cosmic force that keeps watch on Ratnam’s world and the world beyond his creation, looms large over the narrative.The gangster Lallan and his volatile blow-hot, blow-cold relationship with his wife Shashi echoes Manoj Bajpai and Shefali Chhaya’s rapport in Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya.But beyond that echo of familiarity is an aching originality in every frame, nurturing the characters through a remarkable process of self-discovery.Unlike Dil Se, whose narrative couldn’t really hold the audiences, Yuva keeps us glued to the goings-on till the very end, not because it tells a remarkably original story but because the characters come alive here as complete people, full of little gestures and understated personality traits that we may miss at first.Yuva is like a visit to a strange and warm tropical island. At first the sights and sounds may appear too familiar for excitement. But every shrub and every rock hides a new experience.It’s that subterranean experience that Yuva brings to the surface.Ratnam goes from one level of characterisation to another, weaving in and out of three lives without creating an autonomous self-contained world for each protagonist. The men who tower over the plot are also the tools in the hands of destiny.
  3. Sarkar(2004):  What makes this film the most special achievement of Varma’s career? It’s the father-son combination of Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, furnishing Varma’s ebony vision of the world gone awry with a kind of blazing and bridled intensity that one last saw when Dilip Kumar and Amitabh played father and son in Ramesh Sippy’s Shakti.Sarkar is a far more complex jigsaw of patriarchal intensity, filial crises and familial obligations. Its ethical complexities go far beyond politics and cinema to embrace a kind of multi-dimensional secularism where religion is not about gods but definitions of goodness.Who’s the real villain? The people who rape society, or the ones who check crime and corruption by means that are extra-constitutional? The socio-political issue becomes more tangled in the light of the septic corruption that has crept into the governmental structure.Into this world comes Bal Thackeray, the Shiv Sena chief. Thackeray’s name is changed to Subhash Nagare in the film. But the power and the socio-political positioning of the man remains unaltered in the movie version of his life.No other actor in the universe could’ve played Thackeray’s screen version, or done the astonishing things that Bachchan has done to the character. Bachchan plays Nagare, the frail and yet all-powerful man.Marlon Brando’s The Godfather act provides a prototypical starting point for Subhash Nagare, one of the most entrancing heroes ever in Indian cinema.Varma brings out the protagonist’s power and glory through a demeanour that never screams for attention. Little gestures and nuances, agreeable and yet sinister, swathe the screen in a splendid arc of life and vitality.Abhishek as Shankar, the quietly faithful, duty-bound younger son destined to take up the strange family business — a role that has its roots in Al Pacino’s character in The Godfather — is in-sync with his character and the senior Bachchan’s prismatic persona.Abhishek’s delicately balanced facial expressions, his projection of the character’s fierce unquestioning loyalty towards his father’s politics, is done with such rare care and sensitivity that you cease to look at the actor.
  4. Antar Mahal (2005): Abhishek Bachchan uses his eyes and inward-drawn body language to create a socio-economically oppressed prototype. He almost seems like a distant kin of Om Puri in Satyajit Ray’s Sadgati. With less than 20 minutes of screen space, Abhishek’s eyes pierce a hole in the narrative’s sepulchral vision.In the bowels of feudalism there cries a female heart… The deep anguish of desolation has never created a more piercing and indelible dent in our soul. The refined, evenly defined resonance of Ghosh’s new Bengali work of art leaves behind the awkward rhythms of his last film in Hindi Raincoat.In Antar Mahal, he gets it right. The astonishing grace with which the director steals Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay’s skimpy short-story and turns it into a scintillating study of feudal and patriarchal oppression immediately links this work to some of the greatest literary adaptations from Bengal.The lonely wife Madhabi Mukherjee in Ray’s five-decade old film was more flirty. Soha Ali Khan as the child-bride, who is smothered in ritualistic subjugation in the inner chambers of a feudal household, is far more tender, fragile, vulnerable and heartbreaking. Images of her peeping anxiously and forlornly from behind filigreed curtains just sweep your heart away.Soha resembles the child-bride in Ray’s Devi — with a difference. Ray could’ve never imagined going into the graphic scenes of sexual subjugation. He was too much of a puritan to project sex in anything but silhouette.Ghosh brings feminine oppression out of the closet. In resplendently lit scenes of poetic languor (cinematographer Abhik Sen creates a lilting and magical play of light and shade), director Ghosh conjures images of unbearable pain and torture, as the heir-hungry decadent zamindar (Jackie Shroff, aptly cast) heaves and thrusts into his child-wife while the lascivious priest chants ritualistically to plead to the gods of procreation.The contrast between love and sex, male oppression and tender ministration is brought into the frames with teasing sensitivity when the Bihari sculptor Brij (Abhishek Bachchan) arrives in the sepulchral mansion to create a ripple effect in the lives of the brutish zamindar’s two wives, the doddering and crumbling elder bahu (Roopa Ganguly) and the sweet and heartbreaking younger wife (Soha).You can’t forget Roopa’s look of erotic longing as the Bihari sculptor shivers in his sleep in the outer courtyard. You cannot forget the bonding between the two wives, deeply but diametrically reminiscent of Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das’s camaraderie of desolation in Deepa Mehta’s Fire.But Ghosh doesn’t dwell on the bonding. He sweeps across the burning ghats of emotional desecration, entering the enchanting embers of simmering discontent only long enough to sweep us into the vortex of these demoniacal emotions. We are then pushed out of the inner chambers like unwanted guests.But the hospitality while it lasts, is overpowering. This is a film that invites you into fascinating folds of emotions, creating pockets of intangible feelings for us to savour… and live with forever.The doomed characters wrench us out of our habitual repose to evaluate the space and sound of cinema in a novel light.Though Ghosh’s film is exceptionally literate and articulate, it doesn’t do away with that cinematic quality of emotions which make the characters seem to be simultaneously sublime and obtainable. The anguish of the women is handled with a graceful delicacy unequalled in the work of any other Indian director. You cannot forget Roopa Ganguly and Soha Ali Khan’s collective desolation, or their shared unexpressed passion for the soft and kind sculptor, or the way they handle the suffocating brutality of their household.
  5. Manmarziyan(2018):  While Tapsee and Vicky give to their robust parts, it is Abhishek Bachchan, whose quiet character creates a space in the heart of the plot and lodges itself in the library of the luminous by respecting the character’s need to remain noble without seeming over-sweetened or simply stupid.Manmarziyan takes the traditional love triangle to a new level of expression, articulating an idiom that cannot entirely avoid tedium. After Rumi marries Robbie the narrative runs out of steam. There are repetitive scenes in the second-half which could do with some serious pruning. In spite of its flawed flow due to its extended length Manmarziyan is a winsome romantic tale which dares to ask a very basic question from diehard romantics: love is all very well, but what else? Imagine if Mani Ratnam had sex in his mind for Moun Ragam. Yes, the same story that Sanjay Leela Bhansali made into Hum… Dil Chuke Sanam about a marriage of inconvenience where the kind patient husband desists from consummating the marriage until the wife comes out of her earlier relationship.Imagine if the wife can’t come out of her stuporous obsession with her first love because, hell, the sex with Vicky (Kaushal) is toooooo good.The girlfriend-wife is played by Tapsee Pannu who seems to get more confident with every film. Her Rumi is no walkover for sure. Nor is it someone you would want as your wife, or your son’s wife or even as son’s friend’s wife. She is an unabashed epicurean… and the fact that Tapsee can play this super-annoying selfish woman without making us cringe is in equal measures a triumph of writing (Kannika Dhillon) and performing.Take the sequence where Tapsee’s Rumi rides a mo’bike to her future husband’s home and tells him, sorry, she can’t marry him. But hey, she can talk to him on Facebook. And she rides off.Outrageously self absorbed Taapsee plays Kangana’s smalltown harridan from Tanu Weds Manu multiplied by 10. She is vixenish yet spontaneous, arrogant in her selfishness and yet not unlikeable. Tapsee brings out all the contradictions in her character. She spares us none of Rumi’s churlishness. By the time she heads to Kashmir for her honeymoon with her husband on the rebound, I was hoping someone would slap this unapologetic self-server hard.Fate does that. The trouble with a pleasure-seeker like Rumi is, she is given a lot of leeway by the people around her. Her Punjabi joint family consternation at her sickeningly self-gratifying behaviour with Vicky comes through in spurts of hurt and indignation.Not that Rumi cares. She is arguably the most annoyingly self absorbed romantic heroine seen on screen. Vicky Kaushal as her cheesy DJ lover has worked hard on looking his part. The hair and the clothes and the body language exude a sense of selflimiting rebellion. It is never very clear whether the passion between Vicky and Rumi is all about sex, or something more.
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Nawazuddin’s Dream  House Turns Into A Nightmare

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Nawazuddin

Brick by brick, Nawazuddin  Siddiqui  constructed his own Taj Mahal in Mumbai. Gleaming white  and  custom-built, Nawaz  is rightfully house proud. Nawaab, Nawaz’s home named after his father, has  six  bedroom  , two large  halls, two spacious  lawns .On the first floor Nawaz has a large space to grow trees. Nawaz loves greenery. He want my home in Mumbai to  remind me  of  my home in my  village .

His voice  beaming with  pride and joy, Nawaz said, “I had  an exact map  of  every inch of my  dream  house in my head, and I would not compromise  on even an  inch of that  vision. If during my absence something  was built wrongly I  came back and  broke it. There have been many demolished walls before the  house happened.I wanted every inch of the house to be the way I had designed  it in my mind.I must thank my  brother who helped me  a lot ;during my  absence he supervised the construction.”

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When  I  had mentioned  that people were comparing his home  Nawaab  with Shah Rukh Khan’s Mannat  Nawaz demurred, “There is  no  need to compare the two. That is his dream home.  This is mine. Sabke sapne alag alag hote hain(to each his  own dream).I’d like  you to come to see my home.It is on Yari Road in Andheri.”

And now the same home has turned  into  a veritable  horror castle where his wife  is fighting an ugly  property battle with Nawaz’s  mother .

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The wife  Aaliya who has apparently been locked out of  the bedrooms  and  other private areas in the sprawling palace allegedly by Nawaz’s mother , has  made the livingroom sofas  the  temporary(?)  home for herself  and her children.

Nawaz’s home Nawaab is swarming with cops and lawyers while he is  nowhere to be traced, and rightly so. Whatever Nawaz  says at the moment will be  held against him. Whichever side he chooses he will be seen as a traiter  and a man who won’t own up to his  responsibilities.

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So where is  Nawaz? According to friends, he  has moved   into a  hotel  for now. There he has remain until his lawyers  sort  out the mess  at his home.

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