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Rashmi Rocket, Taapsee Soars Skywards With This Thought provoking Sports Drama

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Rashmi Rocket(Zee5)

Starring: Taapse Pannu,  Priyanshu Painyuli,Abhishek Bannerjee,  Supriya  Pathak, Manoj Joshi

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Directed by Akarsh Khurana

Rating: *** 

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Towards  the  closing  of this  cannily crafted athletic sports  drama, Taapsee in  what’s  clearly a awards-nomination showreel moment  , talks to  her unborn child, giving us  a classic glimpse into her feminine  impulses… a womb with a  view,  so to speak.

You really can’t keep a  good woman  down. The unsporting  sports association  in  this   rocking sports drama  tries hard to  play spoilsports, garrulously making our spunky heroine  Rashmi Veera’s sprint to national and  international glory from Kutch to Kutch Khaas,   a frigging  hurdle  race.

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The smoothly  turbulent script(we know exactly when and where  the  next storm is coming from) where we  are told in the credits  that Taapsee’s  Haseen  Dillruba writer Kannika  Dhillon has done some “additional screenplay”(in  other words, some  damage  control)  plays  it safe most of the way.

Given the  constraints of  a real-life sports drama  where the  protagonist is at once based on a real character and is an amalgamation  of all those female athletes who   have been subjected to  the humiliating  ritual  of a ‘gender test’, Rashmi Rocket does well for itself.

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It is an amiable, charming film with no real flashy high points.But the  actors ensure  we remain invested in Rashmi’s rise-fall-rise trope . Abhishek Bannerjee as  the  out-of-luck lawyer who fights  Rashmi’s case in front of  a female judge(Sipriya Pilgaonkar) who seems  straight  out of  Law & Order,is  earnest enough to earn brownie points even  if he plays dirty to win.  But it’s for a  good cause.

I wish there was more of Rashmi’s romance with the army officer , who is so  supportive he gives  infidelity a bad name, and Priyanshu Painyuli  plays  the  ardent love interest  with such  fidelity I  wished there was  more of him in the plot.Rashmi’s  blow-hot-blow-cold relationship with her outspoken mother(the ever-dependable  Surpiya Pathak)  is  illustrative of the  film’s intentions: stay  in the safe  zone  and  whip up  excitement in that zone.The  recipe  rocks.

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Clearly  the   script  is  not overly bothered with the  supportive cast,not even the skilful Varun Vandola who  ends up playing the dirty nepotist villain in an underwritten role.

This  is  again Taapsee’s  drama , and she embraces it with a confident  hug, manly shoulder  and all. Her  expressions of Rashmi’s  humiliation and defiance  are so faithful as to lift the drama  notches above  the routine.When it comes to selecting roles, Taapsee is  clearly  proving to be the Aamir Khan  among actresses.

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While Rashmi Rocket remains charming and  well-intended  all the way, it could have easily avoided some of the more  blatant  pitfalls of  masala cinema,  like a song-and-dance at a wedding and Rashmi’s  arch-rival on the field coming out so suddenly in her defence in the courtroom

Such things  can  only happen in movies. Not that we  mind, as long as  the product remains as  patently true to  character as  this. Rashmi Rocket is Zee5’s  face-saving  gambit after an endless stream of  trash.

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Jamuna Had A Love-Hate Relationship With  Bollywood

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Jamuna

Veteran  Telugu  actress  Jamuna who passed away on Friday, shared an uneasy relationship with  the Hindi film industry.She did eleven Hindi films including the iconic Milan in  1967 where Jamuna  agreed to play the  second lead, or the  supporting role if you will, to Nutan.

 Jamuna as Gauri was the Other Woman who craved for the hero Sunil Dutt’s attention whereas  he had  eyes and devotion  only for Nutan. In later  years  Aruna Irani played a similar  role in  Caravan.

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 In Milan Jamuna  was not keen to  do a supporting role. Producer L V Prasad tempted her with three chartbusting songs. Besides, Jamuna had played the same role in Mooga Manasulu, the  Telugu original  of  Milan. But it  was the songs composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal  which convinced  Jamuna to  take up the second lead in Milan.

 While  Nutan had no solo songs  in Milan, she did have the chartbuster duet  Sawan  ka mahina . Jamuna on the  other hand,  had two  splendid Lata Mangeshkar solos: Tohey saawariya naahin khabariya  and   the magnificent Ghazal Aaj dil pe koi  zor chalta nahin.Not only  these, Jamuna  also had a  hit duet  with Mukesh  based on her character  Gauri:  Bol Gauri  bol tera kaun piya.

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But  then, fate  intervened. After the film released  one of Jamuna’s solos, the poignant and memorable  Aaj dil pe koi zor chalta nahin was  snipped  out of the film.

Here is what  happened:  the  Ghazal , one of Lataji’s all-time greats, was very much a part of Milan when  it released on 17 March 1967. But then  it was seen to hamper the  flow of the  film and  edited  out. The  beautiful song occurred right after intermission. Producer  Prasad, a shrewd  filmmaker, got to know that audiences prolonged their  loo breaks as there was  a song after the break. Hence the sacrifice  of  a seriously  sonorous melody.

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Jamuna hardly did  Hindi films after Milan. Her last  Bollywood appearance  was in  Raj Kumar  Kohli’s Raj Tilak  where she  was lost in a multistarrer as  the royal  queen.

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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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