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Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review: Film Is Better Than Expected!

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Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Izabella Moner

Directed by: Michael Bay

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Rating: *** ½(3 a half stars)

Welcome to the age of rage.

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The war between constantly-transmuting machines and human beings that started in the  first Transformer film ten years ago  has now reached a point of no return….Or a point of illimitable returns, if  you look at the collections of the latest film which are impressive in spite of the savage worldwide reviews .

And what exactly are the critics so offended by?  Transformers: The Last Knight breaks none of the rules that director Michael Bay had set in the first film of the in 2007. Bay adds renewed vigor in the battle between Man and Machine as he takes the story back by many centuries to give us a direct link between the outerspace invasion by the machines and Merlin , the inebriated magician in 484 AD.

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Here I must mention that I found the legendary Stanley Tucci’s magician far more entertaining that Shah Rukh Khan’s Goga Pasha in Tubelight. Tucci plays Merlin as a tipsy mischiveous over-aged brat with a sense of propriety hanging out of his slurring tongue even when civilization is threatened with extinction.

Director Michael Bay has a great sense of fun underlining even his most grim apocalyptic thesis on the ruination of civilization. Here in the fifth Transformers he  is on sturdy ground, enabling him to create visual splendor on  a scale that’s both awesome and believable.The relentlessly sweaty narrative is occasionally let down  by actors who don’t get the joke, who play their characters far too seriously. For example the little  girl Isabela Moner who plays the very important character of the under-age drifter who  befriends the Transformers and wages her own  battle against their extinction.

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Not the young girl’s fault, but she just doesn’t get the point. She struggles to  convey gravitas where giggles are the order of  the (Michael) Bay.I couldn’t help remembering the little girl in Logan and her resilient and powerful rapport with Hugh Jackman. Here in Transformers Mark Wahlberg  keeps saying the the girl is “family” .

We  just have to take his word for it.

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Not that the franchise takes a beating for the want of intrinsic credibility.  Transformers The Last Knight moves at a  rapidfire speed generating mayhem from the brittle life forces  of a virtual reality . The transmutant special effects are bigger larger more vibrant and vitiating that ever before. Michael Bay’s forte is spectacle. He clogs the screen with a retinue of remarkable  visuals , some so awe-inspiring they leave you wondering how on earth(and other planets) can such cinematic splendor of such interplanetary proportions be achieved .

If you are looking for  the human touch as ceaselessly altering machines invade earth, there is plenty of that happening with great actors like Anthony Hopkins and John Turturro  pitching in with their muted might to create a world where , as men and machine  compete hard to be mean they generate a kind of unrehearsed humour and warmth  that comes to a Big Screen Spectacle only when the director is sure he has nothing to prove  any more in the given franchise.

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Adroitly assembled , sinewy and savage,  supple and funny,The Transformers in its latest avatar is far  more impressive than you expect it to be.

 

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Aamir Khan’s Sister Plays Shah Rukh’s Mother In Pathaan

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Aamir Khan’s Sister Plays Shah Rukh’s Mother

Ever  since Pathaan released on Wednesday, audiences  have been  curious to know who  is the woman who plays Shah Rukh Khan’s adoptive mother in Afghanistan. The stately lady  with  royal looks is none  other than the late producer  Tahir Hussain’s daughter and  Aamir Khan’s elder  sister Nikhat Khan.

 Nikhat has been  closely  associated with the  film industry  and has helped her father in the production of his  films like Dulha Bikta Hai and  Tum Mere  Ho.

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Nikhat has  acted earlier in the Akshay Kumar starrer Mission Mangal ,  Ajay Devgan’s Tanhaji and  in Sandh Ki Aankh(as a Maharani).

For Pathaan, it was Shah Rukh Khan who suggested Nikhat Khan should play his foster-mother in  Afghanistan who names him ‘Pathaan’. It proved to be  an inspired  piece of casting, as  audience have  loved Nikhat  Khan’s cameo.

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It is  heartwarming that  all three Khan superstars  are  associated with Pathaan in one  way  or the other.

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Anurag Kashyap’s New Film Is About Love Jihad

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Love Jihad, whatever  that means, is  the theme  of  Anurag Kashyap’s new film Almost Pyaar  With D  J Mohabbat.

Debutant Karan  Mehta plays a Muslim boy  in an intense relationship with  Alaya F who plays  a Hindu  girl.Kashyap has spared the  audience none of the ugliness that  such a relationship generates  among  social-media  bouncers, the self-styled  guardian of morality .

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In the hardhitting powerful and pertinent film  a  bigot is heard commenting snidely, “These people first talk about Mohabbat. Then  they talk about Mohammed.”

Happily and  surprisingly,  the Central Board Of Film Certification gave the  film a ‘UA’ certificate  with no  cuts: a  rare non-‘A’ film of Kashyap.

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So far  Kashyap and his  team have kept the Love Jihad part  of  the plot  out of all media interaction.

But the  cat is  now  out of the bag.

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Samantha Ruth Prabhu to Star Alongside Varun Dhawan in Prime Video’s Indian Original Series , Samantha Speaks

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Samantha Ruth Prabhu

Samantha Ruth Prabhu will be starring alongside Varun Dhawan in the Indian installment of the Citadel universe, the global-event series from Prime Video and the Russo Brothers’ AGBO. The untitled Citadel series based out of India is being helmed by renowned creator duo Raj & DK (Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK), who are the showrunners and directors.

 The local installment is written by Sita R. Menon, along with Raj & DK. The streaming service also confirmed that the production is currently underway in Mumbai. After this, the unit will head  to North India and then onwards to international locales like Serbia and South Africa.

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  Richard Madden (Bodyguard) and Priyanka Chopra Jonas will star in the first-to-launch series within the Citadel universe, which comes from the Russo Brothers’ AGBO along with David Weil (Hunters) and is set to premiere in 2023. Alongside Madden and Chopra Jonas, the first-to-launch Citadel series will also feature Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games saga). Additional local-language Citadel productions are also in the works, including an Italian Original series starring Matilda De Angelis (The Undoing).

  Speaking on  her participation in  The Citadel  franchise for  the  first time,Samantha says, “When Prime Video and Raj & DK approached me with this project, I decided to take it up in a heartbeat! After working with this team on The Family Man, it is homecoming for me.The Citadel universe, the interconnected storylines between the productions across the globe, and most importantly, the script of the Indian installment really excited me.”

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   Samantha  says she is  looking forward  to working with Varun Dhawan  .  “I am thrilled to be a part of this brilliant universe conceptualised by the Russo Brothers. I am also looking forward to be working with Varun for the first time, on this project. He is someone who is full of life and cheer when you’re around him.”

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Bollywood’s Achche Din Have Come

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 Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar

All you doomsday  prophets, the  booms-day  profits  are here.  Pathaan  has  opened the floodgates again for Bollywood’s  bumper  bonanza at the  boxoffice.And now there is  only the achche din ahead  for  Hindi  cinema.

In the  next   two months there are  three sureshot  blockbusters coming up, beginning with Shehzada.  An astute devilishly impish  adaptation  of  Allu Arjun’s  2020 Telugu   blockbuster  Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo.The super-popular Kartik  Aaryan gives  his own  spin to the  character. This  performance will take   Kartik to the  next level of stardom. Kartik’s version of  Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is  radically different  from  its Telugu  version. Shehzada  takes  the core idea of  the Telugu original  and turns it into a  something  completely different. Kartik’s  co-star in Shehzada  is  Kriti  Sanon with whom he earlier shared superhit space in Lukka Chuppi.

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 Then there  is Luv Ranjan’s ravishing rom-com   Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar. The director’s   male viewpoint on the chaos  of love relationships  crests to a comic  high in his latest. Ranjan  for  the first time, collaborates with Ranbir Kapoor for the  first time  collaborates with Shraddha  Kapoor  who badly needs a hit.This film should do the  trick. The winsome  lead pair tries  to do one  another  in a  game of Luv This is Luv Ranjan’s Hum…Aapke Hain Con. Ranjan  has in the past used  the romcom  space to  entertain his audience  to the hilt, he  says this  time the stakes are different. It is  not something we’ve seen before.

 Finally  it is   Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.  Karan  Johar’s first directorial in six years(not counting the one segment each  in Ghost Stories and  Lust Stories). This time he has assembled a dream star-cast  of Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Ranveer Singh and  the  boxoffice darling(s) Alia Bhatt.  But trust me, this one is  not about assembling stars  into a complacent plot. The writing in this  zany Romeo & Juliet is so crisp  and engrossing, the experience  is  likely to be   the visual version of a multi-flavour icrecream cone. Colour, choler and karma collide in this tragic-comic love story . Let the  box office dhamaka  begin  from the house  of Dharma.

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