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Mahaan Mahaan

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Mahaan, A Fractured Showcase For Vikram’s Virtuosity

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Mahaan(Amazon Prime Video)

Starring   Vikram, Dhruv Vikram, Simran, and Bobby Simha

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Directed  by  Karthik  Subbaraj

Rating: ***

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Mahaan is a brazen showcase  for  Tamil star-actor Vikram. He  plays a  booze-loving Gandhian….hang on, it gets even better…a  booze-loving Gandhian whose son, played by(who else) Vikram’s real-life son Dhruv is  on his Papa’s hot pursuit.

Loyalties  are tested, power  is wrested and  no one is arrested.And yet we are expected to be invested…For almost three hours.Mahaan makes for  tedious exhausting viewing. Its moral  values are largely  attached to the  nether regions. The mental  faculties of  most of the characters seems faulty, what  with  the hero calling himself Gandhi Mahaan. It’s like  Sunny Deol calling himself  Sunny Dhai Kilo Wallah.

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Vikram’s whole  family seems pathologically obsessed with the Mahatma. At least that’s what we gather from  their  fractured conversations. And yet  Mahaan(really , how much selfglorification can  we take?) wants  to be the  biggest   booze peddler in Tamil  Nadu,akin to  what Shah Rukh Khan aspired  to be  for Gujarat in Raees.

Mahaan  adds a sheen of  intended irony to  the boozed-out proceedings by making  Vikram’s characters a liquor lover with a Gandhain  chip on his shoulder. His wife Simran(in  a thankless  monstrously  under-written role)  leaves him.So he  adopts  Sathya(Bobby Simha) and his  son Rocky(Sannath)as  his  surrogate family.

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For  almost an hour  of  the  film the trio goes around boozing, singing dancing,  killing, looting.  threatening politicians in order  to get  booze licenses  under the table. It seems  after  Kurup and Pushpa the South has taken charge of  propagating scummy heroes.

There is  a  politician, Gnanam(Muthukumar) who behaves as  if he has gone beyond booze , to  a level of substance  abuse that no one can defuse. He claps his hands and squeals  jeers and  cheers  like  a  monkey on heat.Yes, he is  the caricaturish  politician  whom we can  all recognize.

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Come to think of it, almost very  character in this viscous and violent high-drama is high on  unknown substances. Vikram  dances  to   some strange  songs, boozes, cries for his family, boozes,  taunts and heckles his political ally, boozes…you get the picture?

The one constant in the erratic archaic and often idiotic  drama of  one upmanship is  alcohol.Vikram as  Gandhi Mahaan  gives a look-at-me narcissistic  performance full of brio bombast  and  of course booze. His real-life  son playing his unruly son , is  over-the-top Breathlessly trying to  keep up with Daddykins, Sunny Boy ends up looking more psychotic  than enraged.

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The  ambience  is  kinetic. But the payoff is  meager. This is a film filled anger and resentment. But the  storytelling  doesn’t justify the amount of sound of fury on  display. I am  sure it  signifies something. Unless we are looking at  an emptied-out product with no appetite for  sensibleness.

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Karan Johar Moves Alia Song From Switzerland To Kashmir

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Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani

The  romantic duet in  Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani  which was to be  shot in Switzerland and which was  delayed  due to the film’s leading lady Alia Bhatt’s motherhood, is now being relocated to  Kashmir.

Purely out of  the  love for  new mom Alia.

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Says a source in the know, “Karan loves Alia  like his own daughter. He would do anything for her. He postponed  the  release of Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani as the love duet could not be shot before Alia’s maternity leave. Karan had decided to shoot the song in Switzerland  after Alia’s maternity love. But now he has relocated the song to Kashmir  as Alia doesn’t want to leave her  baby girl behind for  long stretches.”

And as Karan Johar argued, snow is  snow. How does it matter whether it is  Switzerland or Kashmir?

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This  song would be Karan Johar’s tribute to  his  idol Yash Chopra. Alia would be dressed in chiffon sarees while  Ranveer, for  a change, would be seen in  formals.

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Bobby Deol’s Switchover To Villainous Roles

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Bobby Deol

After  Prakash Jha’s webseries Ashram where Bobby  played a sleazy  godman, and Love Hostel  where  he was a ruthless assassin,   he is playing the villain to Ranbir Kapoor in  Sandeep Vanga’s  Animal.

Bobby says it is not conscious career decision to play negative characters  but a conscious  decision to play interesting characters. “ I don’t look at  characters as positive or negative.When I watch  films there is always  one character  that stays  with you. I want to play that  character.”

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Prakash Jha’s Ashram proved a gamechanger for Bobby.  He admits finding  challenging roles is tough.  “I am trying. I  am doing Sandeep Vanga’s Animal with Ranbir  Kapoor , Parineeti Chopra. Then I am doing the family film Apne  2 which I am  very excited  about.”

 In an  earlier  interview with  this writer Bobby spoke  about his   long absence  from screen  before Prakash Jha’s Ashram.  “My fans   would ask why I wasn’t being seen on the screen.And I couldn’t tell them it was  because  I wasn’t getting good roles. But my fans  stood by me. They gave me  the strength  to  keep looking for the right roles. Thankfully I found the roles I liked. My new  films have given  me  some new fans. I am  thankful  I am still here. Yeah , I am in a good space right now.”

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Pathaan Collects 55 crore nett in India On Day 1

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Pathaan

YRF’s Pathaan has apparently wiped out all previous records as it collected 55 crore nett in India and recorded the biggest ever Day 1 for a Hindi film. The total collections of Pathaan on Day One is 57 crore nett (Hindi – 55 crore and dubbed versions 2 crore).

It is the widest Hindi release of  all  time in India and also the highest grossing 1st Day for a   Hindi film.It is  also the  highest grosser  on the  first first for a  non-holiday release. Pathhan is  also the highest  opener for Shah Rukh Khan.

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Akshaye Widhani, CEO of Yash Raj Films, says, “It is a historic day for Indian cinema and we are humbled to see the love and appreciation that is flowing for Pathaan globally. For Pathaan to shatter records in this fashion on a non holiday, just proves that the theatrical business is here to stay, provided we make films that entice people to come to the cinemas to witness a never seen before experience that entertains them thoroughly.“

He adds, “We, at YRF, are thrilled with the start that the film has got across India and we are hopeful that Pathaan brings joy to cine-goers globally in the days to come! Pathaan is the fourth film of our YRF Spy Universe and we are thrilled that we have been able to elevate the cinematic experience of audiences with each film from this franchise. We humbly share this moment with all the stake-holders of the film who have given their blood, sweat and tears to give people a movie-going experience like never before.”

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“Professionally, What  A Year It Has Been For Me,” Raveena Tandon On Her Padma Shri

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Raveena Tandon

Raveena Tandon  feels  she is in a dream. “I woke  up  today to the  news that  I have been awarded the Padma Shri by  my Government. I felt all my years  of hard work  has  finally come to  fruition.I can’t wait to get  back to Mumbai.”

Raveena  is  in Bhopal attending a  wedding.  “I woke  up  on Thursday morning to the good news. My husband(film distributor Anil Thadani) who is in Mumbai had no clue about it. I had to inform him that his wife is now Padma Sri Raveena,” she laughs heartily.

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She then grows  melancholic. “The past one year has been a whirlwind  for me. Professionally, it couldn’t get any better. My webseries Aranyak on Netflix  and  then the bigscreen  blockbuster KGF 2 where I played one of the protagonists , became huge  successes.Sadly,it  was  also the year that  I lost my father(well-known producer-director Ravi Tandon). It was  the severest blow of my life.I am still processing the loss. The Padma Shri would have made  my Dad so proud.”

Remind her  she is  still young and already a Padma winner and Raveena expresses  her  happiness. “I guess I am lucky to have received the honour at the  midpoint of my life and career. I am also very happy that M M  Keeravani Sir has  also received the Padma Shri.His Naatu naatu has  the  world dancing to his tune. But even  before Naatu naatu he has done such exemplary work.”

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Getting nostalgic Raveena  says, “I started working when I was 17.I have done every kind of  cinema, balancing out a Chote Miyan  Bade Miya  with  a Shool, a Rakshak with a  Ghulam-e-Mustafa,  a Bulundi and a Khauff with a Daman and an Aks. It’s  always been  my endeavour to be be seen in escapism and  real cinema. Some people think dancing around trees  and  doing the masala  stuff is easy.  It is  not!  In fact  being real on screen is far easier.”

Raveena feels the  good days  are  back in the entertainment  industry. “I saw Pathaan and  I whistled  and clapped the loudest. It is  an out-and-out mass entertainer and bound to revive the  sagging fortunes  of  our industry.  While the Padma Shri is a personal triumph,  the success of Pathaan  is  a happy occasion for the entire industry.So yeah, I am on top of  the world,”

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Raveena’s fans  would like to know her khubsoorati  ka raaz.

She  laughs, “It’s nothing more than sleeping and eating right. I  try to eat  correctly. I have only  organic  food. More  importantly,I am happy and secure in life. If you are content within it is  bound show on your face.”

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