A new wave of patriotism seems to have taken over the themes of films in India these days. John Abraham-starrer film Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran, released in May 2018, clearly falls in the very category. Based on the real incident that led to India’s inclusion in the Big 5 States, the movie is a dramatic revisit to our country’s glorious past. However, the team of scientists and engineers depicted in the movie resembled Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and Rajagopala Chidambaram who carried out the historic Operation Shakti under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government; John’s character was a fictional one.
Asked about what training and preparation it took for him to perfect the role of Ashwat Raina, the handsome hunk told a leading tabloid, “I had to go through a lot of research. The character’s name is Ashwat Raina and he’s a junior bureaucrat in the Prime Minister’s Office. So, for that Abhishek said, ‘Even a blind man knows when John Abraham walks. Your physicality is very over-powering. So, you need to deconstruct yourself. You need to stop going to something called a ‘gym’ and eat regular food like a normal human being and live normally‘, which for me, was a big task in itself.
Then, we went into the backstory of the character. ‘What did Ashwat’s parents and grandparents do’, not that we have used it in the film but Abhishek is a NSD (National School of Drama) graduate. So, he thinks differently. He put me through the entire process, and when I kept going through it, and when I saw the film, I realised it was very useful. The extent of workshops that I have gone through for Parmanu has been intense but it’s all being worth it.”
When asked if he had any inhibitions before signing the film, Abraham said, “No… because I did films like Madras Cafe in the past and before that I did lot of films in which I took lot of risk like Water, No Smoking and Kabul Express.
John, star of films like No Smoking, Desi Boyz, Welcome Back recently made his debut as a Marathi movie producer with Savita Damodar Paranjpe. It is a famous Marathi play, adapted into Hindi and Gujarati, that John made into a film.
John Abraham is back at what he does best! The action hero who has proved his mettle in amazing performances in Dishoom, Force franchise and Satyameva Jayate, will also be seen as a cop in Batla House in an action packed performance. To fill you in, he essays the character of ACP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav in the film who is at the crux of a supposed cover-up. But is the film worth a watch? Read our entire review here.
What’s it about
Batla House is a film based on true events. The film is inspired by the controversial case of Batla House firings that took place in 2008 in Jamia Nagar, Delhi. It was one of the most intriguing cases as it raised many brows on Delhi police and ACP Sanjeev Kumar who led the operation. Many questions were raised about the intent of the op. Was it the aftermath of Delhi blasts to nab the culprits or was it just a cover-up? The movie tries to answer the question and absolve the alleged claims that were flagged.
The film grabs you by the scruff of your neck and forces you to see the grim reality of communal disharmony and the riots that it births. With gripping action sequences and nail-biting fight-offs, John Abraham’s muscle power speaks its own language. His stoicism can be easily branded as effortless. The highlight is that film also scratches the surface of post-traumatic disorder as John’s character struggles with a bullet that didn’t kill him. He even takes help of therapy later which directs the conversation to the right direction. Also, Nora Fatehi is a surprising revelation in the second half which pulls better strings than the the first. The court-room sequence in the same also makes the most engaging part of the drama.
Cannot lay more emphasis on how the film wastes the talent that is Mrunal Thakur. Even considering the little she is left to build with, Mrunal’s character is saying most of the clichéd dialogues. But John’s character isn’t that far behind. Apart from the not-so-subtle jargons, the chest-thumping one liners mar the buildup. Not to mention the romantic track between John and Mrunal sticks like a sore thumb. Apart from the vein-popping display of arms, even John’s restrained cop act falters at times when the plot needs it the most especially in the confrontational scenes. Director Nikkhil Advani tries to keep the pace but the story-telling consumes a lot of time on the peripheral red tape than getting to the point. It is only the second half that one sees the story that was promised.
John Abraham is at his home territory as he portrays the role of a decorated officer and it’s nothing we have not seen already. Watch it for the depiction of real life incidents and the obvious cinematic liberties. It’s not really the independence day treat but makes for a one-time watch. We are going with 3 stars.
Mission Mangal has a lot going for it especially in terms of narrative, dialogues and performances. It captures the spirit of scientists in a relatable light-hearted manner
Mission Mangal is coming this Independence Day along with Batla House. The film chronicles the journey of the ISRO scientists who made mission Mangalyaan possible with so many constraints in a fictional way. The film stars Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan in lead roles. Actresses like Taapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen, Kirti Kulhari and Sonakshi Sinha join the team as the women scientists in the mission.
What is it about
The film is a fictionalised tribute to the team of ISRO that made mission Mangalyaan a success with limited budget and resources. Akshay Kumar plays the mission director Rakesh Dhawan while Vidya Balan is the project director, Tara Shinde. The film gives a glimpse into the lives of the core women team that made use of their common sense to accomplish such a project. Mangalyaan was a huge success for ISRO after the failure of GSLV.
Finally, the much-awaited song, actually remake, O Saki O Saki from Batla House is out. The hype around the number is huge, especially after the magic Nora Fatehi created with Dilbar Dilbar. Koena Mitra, the actress on whom the original song was filmed tweeted that the new one sounded like a mess. That also generated attention for the video. Coming to the actual remake itself, Nora Fatehi looks and dances like a Goddess. Her grace, flexibility and sensuousness keep your eyes fixated on her. With that rose, sequinned bustier top and red skirt, Nora Fatehi looks like a sexy gypsy lady, just as we see in the movies. It will instantly remind you of some songs of the ’90s. Coming to the picturization, it is nothing innovative per se. The new version has been sung by Tulsi Kumar, Neha Kakkar and B Praak. The track has been recreated and written by Tanishk Bagchi while the original was composed by Vishal- Shekhar. It has some new lyrics but the sound is that of the original.
The old one from the film Musafir was way ahead of its time in terms of sound, dance and picturization. Koena Mitra exuded a lot of oomph and though they may not be a prolific a dancer as Nora did complete justice to the beats and rhythm of the number. And she did a step that was just like what Urvashi Rautela did in Aashiq Banaya Aapne in 2018. And it was sung by two powerhouses, Sukhwinder Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan. In the new one, we miss their vocals and of course, the presence of Sanjay Dutt who added the swag. Music wise, the original is still better.
BL Verdict: However, the new version of O Saki O Saki is one of the best ones we are hearing this year. It might not be as creative as the new version of Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga but is good. It will rank along with the likes of Yeh Jawaani remake in Student Of The Year 2. Stay tuned to BL for more scoops and updates!
Sushmita Sen is a living and walking inspiration for all the girls out there and there are no two ways about that. Be it the way she has challenged society’s norms and standards by adopting two girls as a single parent or the way she has done it with all the dignity in the world, the former Miss Universe is grace personified. It is that’s one of the many awe-inspiring things about her and we are just glad we are here to see her do it with elan. In fact, the actress who is currently dating model Rohman Shawl has opened up about a deadly disease that had left her broke.
In an interview with Rajeev Masand, Sushmita Sen revealed that while we saw her strutting and sashaying at ramps, she fought a deadly ailment all by herself, amidst raising her daughters. It dates back to 2014; the actress said that she fell seriously sick and was rushed to hospital after fainting. Initially, the doctors could not figure what was wrong with her but after a gamut of tests, it came to the fore that her adrenal glands had stopped making a vital hormone, called cortisol. Reportedly, she had gone into an adrenal crisis, which usually ends in multiple organ failure but she barely survived.
Sonakshi Sinha considers herself an instinctive performer and someone who looks forward to doing her best even in the face of failure.
The actor says she does not worry about the aspects of films that are out of her control.
“Every film is important to me. I hope, wish and pray every film does well. It is bad luck that the last couple of films did not work out. But I don’t lose hope, I always look forward to do my best,” Sonakshi told Press Trust of India.
“I pick up films very instinctively. Box office is not in my control, as an actor I have control over my performance and acting. I don’t stress over what is not in my control.”
“Every film that I have done, irrespective of whether they have done well commercially or not, has taught me a lot. I will always cherish that experience,” she said.
The actor, whose last cinematic outing was multi-starrer Kalank, will next be seen in Mission Mangal alongside Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu and Akshay Kumar. She will also reprise her role in Dabangg 3 opposite Salman Khan.
“I have also signed Bhuj: The Pride of India. We will hopefully start work in June. It is a fabulous role,” Sonakshi said, adding she was approached for a film on the same story in the past.