Two years ago, Nagraj Manjule’s Marathi film Sairat took the classic Romeo and Juliet trope of forbidden love and gave it a rural twist. Even with a running length of almost three hours, the audience went along on the journey with teenagers Archi and Parshya, played with surprising skill by newbies Rinku Rajguru and Akash Thosar.That tale was set in the interiors of Maharashtra, where the caste system dictated relationships. The resounding success of Sairat, its thumping soundtrack and heart-wrenching climax, has resulted in a number of remakes, including this Hindi version.
In the glossy Dhadak, director Shashank Khaitan locates the story in Rajasthan where a cutesy love affair unfolds among the cenotaphs, in step-wells and around the lakes of Udaipur. Outfits crafted from bandhini,leheriya and mirror-work in vibrant shades are juxtaposed with the blues, whites and stone of the desert state town, captured warmly by cinematographer Vishnu Rao.
Madhukar Bagla (Ishaan Khatter), the son of a rooftop restaurateur, throws caution to the wind and woos Parthavi (Janhvi Kapoor), daughter of an unscrupulous hotelier with political ambitions. Ashutosh Rana plays a caricature upper-caste zamindar, but it is a typecasting he has perfected – smirking behind his thick moustache, encouraging his son’s hooliganism and playing the merciless tyrant.
Despite warnings that their mismatched social status would be trouble, college classmates Madhu and Parthavi continue their naive love story. Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor exude ingenuousness as they build up to a dramatic mid-point. If in the first half Parthavi plays the dominant role in the relationship, in the second half Madhu takes charge. The script tackles this well and the actors play their parts compliantly.
Kapoor brings the requisite arrogance of a spoilt, upper-caste girl used to getting her own way. Khatter is endearing as the eager-to-please boy unprepared for the curveballs life is about to fling in his direction, events that dramatically catapult him towards manhood. While Sairatconvincingly showed the enormous challenges for a runaway couple, Madhu and Parthavi land on their feet relatively easily and it’s not long before they are playing house-house in Kolkata. (I found myself rather distracted by how these two broke and runaway teens had such an expansive wardrobe).
Khaitan has adapted the source material to achieve two positives. Firstly the running time is reduced to a manageable 130-odd minutes. Secondly he has brought out the best from two inexperienced actors. Dhadak may be missing the frenzy and infectious energy of the Zingaat hit tune of the Marathi original, the grit and grime of Archi and Parshya’s struggles, and a feisty lead like Rajguru, but Khaitan’s sanitised drama does have its own strengths. Top of the list is Khatter who owns the affable, silly, wide-eyed Madhu from frame one. Plus there are commendable supporting performances by Ankit Bisht and Sridhar Watsar as Madhu’s BFFs. The dewy Kapoor has her moments too, but wobbles in the most dramatic scenes and often drops her Rajasthani accent.
Holding on to the honour killing idea, the writer-director has taken liberties with the climax to retain the essence of Sairat, albeit watered down. Without revealing any spoilers, suffice to say it does not deliver the punch that left you winded while watching Manjule’s tragic tale, and you wonder if the reimagining was necessary. Yet, within the ambit of Bollywood, Dhadak is a watchable film that goes beyond the initial curiosity factor to stand on its own legs.
At a time when supposedly responsible filmmakers are glorifying gangsters, terrorists and sociopaths in ostensible bio-pics, ‘Soorma’about the struggles of hockey champ Sandeep Singh to overcome crippling obstacles to claim a name among sports legends, comes as a gust of unpolluted air.
This is a film that needed to be made, a story about a man whom future generations need to know about and look up to. Damn, the young need role models from our everyday life, not imported super-heroes who can’t save their own egos even as they purport to save civilization from destruction.
Soorma serves up an appetizing homemade dish of inspirational drama and some beautifully furtive flights of flirtation where Diljit Dosanjh’s Sandeep Singh courts Tapsee Pannu’s Harpreet with hockey and love songs. There is a resonant ring of authenticity to the courtship, as though director Shaad Ali were addressing love not as a second-hand emotion but a first-hand dip into emotions that are so real and pure, they make us smile.
A lot of the time Shaad’s narrative deploys the standards sports tropes: protagonist undertaking punishing regiment, cruel coach and gruelling tasks for the hero, savage setbacks and those inspiring songs about akela-chala-chal (very cutely redolent in Gulzar’s poetry). These stereotypical signposts of sportive cinema are sprinkled into Sandeep Singh’s life-story with inspiring gusto.
Shaad Ali films Sandeep Singh’s story with tremendous empathy. There are no attempts to titivate the tale with an august aura, or make the characters more appealing than they really are. It is the narrative’s good fortune that it gets the actors it deserves. Not just Diljit Dosanjh who simply takes charge of Sandeep Singh’s character with pride and affection, but the rest of cast who huddle together in a circle of shared kinship that moved me to tears, specially when Sandeep is wounded by a near-fatal gunshot.
There is a sequence where a man kindly inquires about Sandeep’s health, and Sandeep’s father (played with contagious compassion by Satish Kaushik) looks so forlorn for a few minutes he becomes every disappointed father who ever dreams of seeing his child conquer the world.
Angad Bedi as Sandeep’s Veerji is also splendid. Physically and emotionally potent, Angad makes the supportive sibling’s part look so real you wish you could take him home to be your real-life bro. Vijay Raaz as Sandeep’s Bihari coach reins in his emotions with expertise. Tapsee Pannu as the hockey player who is wooed by Sandeep Singh has seldom looked so pretty.She lends emotional heft to the film’s second-half when she must move away from love to redeem the loved one.
The irony of the situation is not lost on the narrative. Director Shaad Ali, making as triumphant a comeback after the crippling failures of Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom , Kill Dill and OK Jaanu , as Sandeep Singh after the freak gunshot, keeps the narrative straight and uncluttered. He gets fabulous support from his leading man. Diljit Dosanjh makes the character and his struggles look so artless and credible you want to reach into the innards of the plot and hold the protagonist’s hand and tell him, ‘It’s okay. You will be fine. I’ve suffered too.’
In a sequence like the one where Diljit pleads and rages over the phone against his beloved’s seeming betrayal. Dilijit’s gentle control over the swelling emotions is laudatory. If this performance doesn’t fetch Dosanjh a National award, what will?
Don’t look for subtleties in this tale of valour and resilience. In fact some portions,for instance the buildup in the train to the gun-shot, are purposely constructed in an unvarnished style to impress on us the immediacy and longevity of a saga that goes beyond one individual’s ability to make a comeback.
If Sandeep Singh was nicknamed ‘Flicker Singh’ this film takes that flicker into sphere of a burning flame. Soorma just makes you happy for the unsung heroes whom cinema has the power and reach to put on a pedestal.
Director Shaad Ali’s upcoming biopic on hockey player Sandeep Singh, “Soorma”, has been cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) with ‘U’ certificate. Soorma features Pollywood singer turned actor Diljith Dosanjh in the lead role of Sandeep Singh. Tapsee Pannu is playing the female lead in this sports drama.
Soorma tells the struggles faced by Sandeep Singh after he gets accidently shot on a train in 2006.Later his hard works and dedication paved the way for his return to the Indian National Hockey Team.
“Getting a U certificate feels really great as it encourages the kids to come and get inspired from a hockey legend. Families and kids can come together and have a great experience as its an inspirational film,” Ali said in a statement.
“I am really thankful to the censor board as U certification will help the film getting a wider audience,” he added.
Soorma is produced by Chitrangda Singh, and Deepak Singh under the banner of Sony Pictures Networks Productions and It is scheduled to hit theatres on July 13, 2018.
Sanjay Dutt’s biopic, Sanju starring Ranbir Kapoor has finally released today and we must say the buzz among the audiences for the film is on another level.Well, Sanju is a biopic of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, whose life has had a lot of shades with different positive as well as negative angles. Hence, audiences are surely going to be witnessing good and worst incidences of Sanjay Dutt’s life on big screen.
As we have seen in Sanju trailer, one scene which shocked us was an interrogation scene with a cop who slapped Sanjay Dutt during a session. And as per the reports of Mid-Day, that cop is none other than former police commissioner of Mumbai police, Rakesh Maria. As per Mid-Day, Maria, incidentally a close friend of the film’s producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, was in charge of the probe in the 1993 serial blasts case and was deputy commissioner of police. His team arrested Dutt from the airport after he returned from Mauritius.
Another scene which will definitely stun you is a begging scene in which Ranbir Kapoor can be seen sitting like a beggar on the streets of US. Apparently, this was the time when Sanjay Dutt was in a rehabilitation centre in America.
The year 1993 was the life-changing year of Sanjay Dutt’s life. He was found keeping AK 56 rifles with him. The scene will also be seen in the film which is one of the key points of the whole film.
Well, back in 1993, entire Bollywood had come out to support Sanjay Dutt during his TADA case. Celebs like Salman Khan, Ajay Devgn, Shah Rukh Khan, Sridevi, Raveena Tandon and others came out on streets to support Sanju on the streets.
Apart from Ranbir, Manisha Koirala, Dia Mirza, Anushka Sharma, Sonam Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and Vicky Kaushal were best at their performance.
Ranbir Kapoor can exhale. Sylvester Stallone is no competition for him, not this week at least.You know a film is in grave jeopardy when despite filled with high-octane action it almost puts you to sleep. If there is any concept of cinematic entertainment akin to “soporific slickness”, then this is it.“Escape Plan 2” makes all the right noises. The jungle calls inviting us to enjoy bones vehicles and egos being crushed to a pulp — all done at an ear-splitting decibel.
The action director (the director seems missing in action) fills up the frames with flaming cars, blazing guns, bugling biceps and flaring nostrils.All of these come-hithers amount to zilch in a film so devoid of intelligence and basic common-sense, it makes the last Kamal R. Khan outing look like a masterpiece. A monster-piece of stunted dimensions “Escape Plan 2” is specially disappointing to Rambo fans, who expect Sylvester Stallone to take centre stage again, as he did in the first Escape Plan film in 2013.
This time Stallone’s role is dishearteningly stilted. To match his dialogue delivery, I suppose. The facial muscles have frozen even more with time and what was the Sexy Rambo Drawl at one time is now simply the 72-year Old Man’s Drawl. Sad. Worse is the length of Stallone’s role. He seems to be sauntering in an out of the skimpy script perhaps waiting for the next Rambo film to happen. While it does, he could well have used his time in better pursuits than this prison-break actioner which makes you break into sweaty rashes as it reduces the plot to a pulp and logic to ashes.
Without beating around the battered bush — the way this apology of a stunt spree does — it can be revealed that Chinese star Huang has the main part here. And it must be said that Huang’s stunt moves in the prison fights are very impressive. Unfortunately this Chinese battering ram battles it alone. The rest of the cast playing prison inmates look like they are letting the body-doubles and CGs do all the dirty deeds. Can’t blame the actors for being lazy. They are only following the script. The outline of the hi-tech prison resembles the interiors of a tacky video game designed by a company that is struggling for survival. The desperation shows. What can we say about “Escape Plan 2” that doesn’t sound rude? This is the action film we were all NOT waiting for. Part 3 is on the way.