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Thank You, Poorna, For Giving Us A Purpose: Movie Review

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Starring: Rahul Bose, Aditi Inaamdar, Dhritiman Chatterjee, HeebaShah

Directed by: Rahul Bose

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At one crucial point in the telling of this simple and heartwarming tale of a tribal girl’s climb from the pits to Himalayan heights, RahulBose playing an upright bureaucrat, asks the little Andhra girl what is her purpose for climbing the Everest.

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“I have no purpose. I just want to do it,” she tells her mentor  honestly.

The simple confessional articulation exemplifies this film’s mood. So rich in its message,so far-flung in its intentions and purpose and yet so intimate in treatment and execution, Rahul Bose wins you over with his honesty of purpose. There is no duplicitous bones in the structure of this film.Sure, there are passages in this motivational tale that follow the rags-to-riches trajectory with textbookish precision.

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But the heart is unweariedly in the right place, bringing to the narrative  a kind of  non-negotiable integrity that is at once compelling and winsome.Authenticity is the key to the cogency of Bose’s  vision. He chooses actors and locations who are as true to the original  milieu as cinematically possible. The rest just follows .

The narrative sweeps us into an emotional realism that is at once sparse and dramatic , pumping up the saga of resilience and humanism with vignettes and frames that form a panoramic arc over the film’s rugged landscape.

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Poorna’s  saga begins in an impoverished village of Andhra Pradeshand ends  on the highest  summit of the Everest. It is an ambitious arc, navigated and tempered with  a lavish affection for the downtrodden and an absence  of patronizing pride in depicting the rise of a young underprivileged girl to heights of glory.

Little Ishaan in Taare Zameen Par had his Ram Shankar Nikumbh to steer him into the light. Poorna has Praveen Kumar,a  bureaucrat who belongs to that rare breed of civil servants who still believes he took on the job with the purpose of improving lives of the underprivileged.I’ve read some very strange comments on how RahulBose has cast himself in a self-glorifying role. Wait…is that against the law? To play noble characters? Has that been declared a cognizable offence by a social  order that thinks cynicism is cool?

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It is easy to get cynical about a  character whose heart bleeds for those who are not given one square meal a day.There is an emotionally surcharged moment in Bose’s narrative where the conscientious bureaucrat  eats a mid-day meal with school girls to get a feel of the awful food that is served up by government-funded canteens.Bose’s Praveen Kumar doesn’t flinch as he swallows morsels of the garbage(junk food at its purest?).

But we do.

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Throughout the telling of this inspiring tale of a girl who won’t buckle under the pressure of poverty and cynicism, Rahul Bose gives us the portrait of a bleak landscape lit up by a distant hope.He is the artiste who won’t judge  a value-system that condemns the downtrodden to doom. But he won’t condone it either.

He can laugh with Poorna  at her poverty—don’t miss the sequence where the girls at the boarding school giggle and compare each  other’s poverty—but he won’t laugh AT her condition.

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Poorna is a little gem with a  big heart. It has many virtues. AditiInaamdar who plays Poorna is a prized find. So is young S Mariya as Poorna’s spunky but tragically vanquished cousin . The scenes showing the two girls bonding are so heartwarming as to make us overlook the film’s obvious flaws of over-statement .However some of the other actors in incidental roles seem to have come on board just to feel good about themselves for helping a noble cause.

The film is shot with minimum fuss and optimum feelings. When  little Poorna stood at the peak of the Everest I felt I was standing up there with her. Gloriously triumphant and hoping that what MajroohSultanpuri wrote 45 years ago for a just social order would come true soon: Kitne din aankhen tarsenge/ Kitne din yun dil tarsenege/ Ek dintoh baadal barsenge/ Ae mere pyaase dil/aaj nahin toh kal mehkegikhwabon  ki mehfil.

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Take a bow, Mr Bose. Poorna is not just a tale  of the triumph of the human spirit. We all have a Poorna  inside us waiting to conquer our own  Everest.

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Pink Director’s Next  Featuring Yami As A Crime Reporter To Stream From February 16

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Yami

Anniruddha Roy  Chowdhury whose  Pink  featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu was one of  the  most important  films of  2016, is all set to  release his  next  Hindi film.

Entitled LostAnniruddha’s film , based on true  events, will see Yami Gautam Dhar(that’s  what the actress calls herself after her marriage)  as a crime journalist. LOST is an emotional social thriller that represents a higher quest, a search for lost values of empathy and integrity.

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Inspired by true events, Lost is a story of a bright young woman crime reporter in her relentless search for the truth behind the sudden disappearance of a young theatre activist.

Lost

Lost

Says Aniruddha  “The shoot of LOST has been an incredible journey. I have been eager for the release of our hard-worked venture. The film is a realistic highlight of media in a social context and I am sure that it will give the audience a compelling watch. I am curious about its release and see the responses it shall get. I hope they will welcome it with open hearts.”

Yami Gautam Dhar  who plays  the lead  of  the  crime reporter  says,   “I can’t be happier and more proud of the film’s selection for the opening night at CSAFF. I feel like its one that the people will connect to and will be the one that you cannot miss, especially in the current age and time. I have loved playing this role because it was such a special experience, it allowed me to explore so many layers of emotions as an actor and the entire team has worked really hard on it. I genuinely cannot wait for the film’s release, especially to see the reactions of the audience to it.”

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The crime investigation  drama boasts a stellar cast. Along with Yami, the film will feature Pankaj Kapur, Rahul Khanna, and an ensemble of younger talent, including Neil Bhoopalam, Pia Bajpai, and Tushar Pandey, in pivotal roles.

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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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