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Sillu Karuppatti: A Winsome Anthology  Of  Good, Better &  Blessed

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Sillu Karuppatti(Netflix)

Written  &  Directed  by  Halitha Shameem

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Rating: *** ½

Sillu Karuppatti: A Winsome Anthology  Of  Good, Better &  Blessed

Sillu Karuppatti: Anthologies generally don’t work because different directors are  brought in for different segments. In  Sillu Karuppatti the  gifted  Halitha Shameem is the helmer of all the stories, and she does an admirable job  of keeping the faith alive all through the quartet.

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Every story speaks about  fighting adversity with  positivity.And the message is neither over-sweetened   nor rubbed in  with excessive melodrama and  bravado. The tone is  constantly moderate , if not pitch-perfect and I found myself responding to the stories with much warmth and affection.

To kick off there is most unconvincing  story  of  the  foursome The Pink Bag where  slum children  are glorified to the  point of  endorsing  poverty porn.When scavenger  Maanja(Rahul) finds  a diamond ring in  the waste –bin he sets out to somehow return the  precious jewel  to the  well-to-do  girl. So far so good. But once the deed is done(why  it takes so long is  the  30-minute question) director Shameem wants us to believe there a future for the slumdog and slimqueen. Now,that’s stretching it really too far. But then, let’s  not forget, the mood is  one of  hope and  optimism.

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The  slum kids act  unselfconsciously bringing the  drama to a  Boyle(of  the Danny kind).In spite  of its naivete this story  is charming.

Besides, who can hold any grudges against an anthology  that finds humour in  scrotum cancer? In  the second story  Kakka Kadi , our hero Mugilan(Manikandan) is happy being famous  as meme-creator on  YouTube until he is diagnosed with a cancer he can’t even talk about.That’s when he mets Madhu(Niveditha Sathish) who not only  shows Mugilan how to say the  ‘s’ and the  ‘c’ words  without  embarrassment but also how to  overcome  his  fear of death.

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Though again tilting towards an arcadian humanism Kakka Kadi is  ultimately a  winner because  of the sharp dialogues and its proclivity to smile in the face  of death.The jokes on having the  ‘balls’ to  conquer death  are  specially funny, considering.

In the third  story Turtles  a  widower and a spinster(hate that word!)   Navaneethan (Kravmaga Sreeram) and Yashoda (Leela Samson) come together  in a world that  thinks anyone above 60 is opium for  obituaries. Can these two  feisty  senior citizens  actually dream of  a life together? Yes!  The  story tells us emphatically. The two characters are very sharply drawn and  their difference  in attitude to love  and intimacy are discussed mutually  during a  lazy turtle walk ,with a certain amount of unforeseen  forthrightness.But the story is too event-packed for  30 minutes.

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Turtles   was  my favourite  story of the  four, followed by Hi Ammu where  a neglected  wife(yawn)  teaches her indifferent  but not unkind husband how to be more  attentive.

Hi Ammu has the best acting  of  the anthology, by  Samuthirakani as the husband genuinely  clueless as  to what his  wife(Sunainaa)  is  so  bitter about. The story , though gender-biased(the wife says  her husband is  indifferent to whatever she says, but  does she listen?) has  a blithe  and  bouncy feel  to it that takes it a long way .

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Sillu Karuppatti is not  without its fatal flaws.  All the stories are  upbeat to the point of being unrealistic. But then what is wrong with finding some  hope in these times  of despair?

 

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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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