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The Unforgivable The Unforgivable

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The Unforgivable A Gripping Emotional  Thriller

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The Unforgivable(Netflix)

Starring  Sandra Bullock, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jon Bernthal, Viola Davis, Richard Thomas, Linda Emond, Aisling Franciosi, Rob Morgan.

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Directed  by  Nora Fingscheidt

Rating: ** ½

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What  they are doing to The  Unforgivable is…well, unforgivable. Ever since this  high-profile post-prison drama  began streaming on Netflix  last week, the reviews have been shockingly savage, unduly harsh and  irrationally dismissive, so much that I  even thought  of  skipping it. Luckily I  didn’t.

I wouldn’t say  The Unforgivable  is  an instant masterpiece. It can’t even be counted among   the versatile Sandra Bullock best works…Or  perhaps  it can. She is certainly  in her element as   Ruth Slater who  emerges from prison after  20 years  for killing  a cop.

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Everyone who has seen cinema  about convicted protagonists  trying to rehabilitate  themselves  knows  killing  a cop puts  the  criminal in  a special category  of offenders.  Even if  the law finally  lets you off, there are  lawmakers  out there ready to extinguish your life for the  dirty deed.

Ms Bullock is terrific at projecting her bereft character’s  abject  isolation from her surroundings.  Bullock  has  built an invisible  fortress  around her  character. Ruth is no longer afraid  of  being hurt or harmed. She  has  nothing to lose…except  perhaps  the chance  to meet her long-lost sister whom she lost when she  went to jail.

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The  screenplay, adapted  from the 2009 British miniseries Unforgiven written by Sally Wainwright, is  never short of  surprises,not all  of them  pleasant. There is one specially distasteful twist in the  plot where one brother’s wife is caught sleeping with the  other. I  thought  this was a fairly drastic and ludicrous  method of rationalizing hate  crime.

But that’s only one  twisted  plot point.  That apart  The Unforgivable is  briskly paced and keeps   us  involved  right until the  violent slightly  ironical  end. Most important  of  all, it gives Sandra Bullock a chance to display  how deeply moving she  can be  in dramatic  roles.

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  I must confess, though, I am no fan of the recent  Bullock who seems to have done something severe to her face. Only her eyes are still  powerhouse  emotive vehicles. She is  devastatingly tragic as Ruth Slater.

There is a  beautiful moment of empathy with a colleague from her  workplace who gifts her a  jacket.

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“Why would you  do that?” is Ruth’s bewildered reaction.

 This is a woman to whom life has been extra-unkind , who expects  no tenderness  from anyone.Ruth is a woman on her own.  Bullock surrounds the character with  a citadel  of silence. I  could feel her  hurt. The  film features  another great actress Viola Davis in an  under-written part. Towards the climax I could  feel  the screenwriters struggling  to  amplify her  presence by  casting Davis as a  soul sister to  Bullock.

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The Unforgivable is  far  more  intelligent than you think and far more watchable than the critics have  made  it out to be. One  of their  grievances  is that Bullock has made this project happen so she  could be eligible  for an Oscar.What is  wrong  with creating opportunities for oneself? Ruth Slater  in The Unforgivable has stopped looking out for herself.She is no role model to follow for anyone. But her life  story serves  up some  important  lessons on what not to do with serendipity when it comes knocking at your door.

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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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