Vikramaditya Motwane to direct untitled young adult dark comedy series backed by Legendary Global, Library Pictures

Vikramaditya Motwane, who created and directed Netflix’s first Indian Original Sacred Gameswill soon helm a Hindi young adult dark comedy series financed by US-based Legendary Global and Library Pictures. Variety reports that no official log line or title has been revealed yet.

 Vikramaditya Motwane to direct untitled young adult dark comedy series backed by Legendary Global, Library Pictures

Vikramaditya Motwane. Image from Twitter

The report further states that Motwane will write and executive produce the series as well, alongside co-creator Abhay Koranne (Bhavesh Joshi Superhero and Abhinav Bindra’s biopic). Motwane will also produce the series via his banner Andolan.

“This is a story very close to my heart and I am looking forward to collectively creating an incredible experience for local as well as global audiences,” said the filmmaker in a statement.

This project is said to be among the many projects that expect from the deal between Motwane and Legendary Global, states Variety. Legendary Global was established in December 2019 and will develop, produce and finance international language projects.

Motwane is known for his films like the Rajkummar Rao-starrer Trapped, Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha’s drama Lootera and his directorial debut, the coming-of-age drama Udaan. His now defunct production house Phantom Films had previously collaborated with Blumhouse to produce India’s first horror original series Ghoul, starring Radhika Apte and Manav Kaul.

His upcoming digital project includes AK vs AK for Netflix, featuring Anurag Kashyap and Anil Kapoor. Billed as a revenge drama, the film will reportedly see both Anurag and Anil play themselves, navigating the highs and lows of belonging to the tinsel world. Initially, the film was titled AK vs SK, with Shahid Kapoor in the lead, but the actor was later replaced by Kapoor.

Updated Date: May 19, 2020 19:49:32 IST


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Coronavirus Outbreak: Veteran Marathi playwright Ratnakar Matkar passes away in Mumbai

Veteran Marathi writer and playwright Ratnakar Matkari has died, family sources said on Monday.

Matkari, 81, considered a pioneer of the children’s drama movement in Marathi, died at a hospital in suburban Marol here late Sunday night, a BMC official said.

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Matkari had tested coronavirus positive last week, the official said.

From story books for kids to plays, his work in Marathi literature was phenomenal, a writer said.

In his condolence message, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, We have lost a precious gem from the world of literature. He wrote for children and for grown-ups as well.”

“His immense contribution in various forms such as plays, short stories, novel has enriched the world of Marathi literature,” Thackeray said.

Updated Date: May 18, 2020 17:48:02 IST

Tags : Buzz Patrol, BuzzPatrol, Coronavirus, Coronavirus Outbreak, COVID-19, Ratnakar Matkari

Oscar-winning helmer Danny Boyle to direct Michael B Jordan in Warner Bros film Methuselah

Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle is set to direct Michael B Jordan in Warner Bros project Methuselah.

According to Variety, Simon Beaufoy, who worked with Boyle on Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours, is in talks to rewrite the script.

The studio had been working on the film for many years with Will Smith and Tom Cruise initially interested in the project. Tony Gilroy wrote the previous draft off James Watkins’ treatment.

 Oscar-winning helmer Danny Boyle to direct Michael B Jordan in Warner Bros film Methuselah

File Image of Danny Boyle

The plot is based on the biblical story of a man who lived to be close to 970 years old.

Jordan is producing the project through his Outlier Society label, along with Heyday’s David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. Warner Bros is also considering to start a franchise with Methuselah.

Boyle was attached to Daniel Craig’s final outing as No Time to Die, but exited the project due to creative differences. His recent directorial venture was Beatles movie Yesterdaywhich minted $153 million at the box office. The film starred Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran and Kate McKinnon in pivotal roles.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s other films include Without Remorse and Denzel Washington-directed Journal for Jordan. He has also joined the cast of David O’Russell’s venture alongside Christian Bale and Margot Robbie,

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

Updated Date: May 17, 2020 17:35:14 IST


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Youtube VS Tiktok the viral roast by Carry Minati Original Video

The guy being viral on social media recently, called Carry Minati… is on our blog today let’s dig deeper and know who is Carry Minati and where does he come from?

Ajey Nagar, better known as Carry Minati, is an Indian YouTuber and streamer from Faridabad, India. He is known for his comedic skits and reactions to various online topics on his channel CarryMinati.

Life of Ajey Nagar

Nagar was born on 12 June 1999 in Faridabad, a city near India’s national capital New Delhi, where he is based. He attended school till 2016, when he dropped out to pursue his YouTube career; he decided to skip his Class-XIIBoard examination after feeling unconfident about the economics examination, and later completed it through long-distance learning.

Popularly referred to as ‘CarryMinati’, or just ‘Carry’, Ajey Nagar is known for his distinctive and energetic Hindi-language commentary. He is mainly involved in creating diss songs, satirical parodies and comedy, apart from live gaming.

Nagar started posting videos on YouTube since he was 10 years old. Initially, he posted videos where he performed mimicry of Sunny Deol and played video gamesCarryMinati is his original YouTube channel, which has been active since 2014. In 2014, the channel’s name was AddictedA1 and Nagar used to upload recorded video game footage along with his reactions on the game. The channel was not very successful. In 2015, the Channel’s name became CarryDeol, on which Nagar uploaded footage of playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive while mimicking Sunny Deol. Subsequently, he changed the name of the channel to CarryMinati when he started ‘roasting people’. In early 2017, Nagar started another YouTube channel called CarryIsLive, where he live-streams himself playing video games.

Nagar is assisted by Deepak Char, who is his business manager. Along with his team, Nagar uses a part of his Faridabad house as a studio for producing content. As of May 2020, Nagar has earned the Silver, Gold and The Diamond YouTube play buttons.

web series

Best Web Series to Watch during this lockdown; action, thriller, horror and drama

1. The Walking Dead

A group of survivors led by police officer Rick Grimes travel in search of a safe and secure home after a zombie apocalypse spreads across the USA. The Walking Dead is an American post-apocalyptic comic book series created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore – who was the artist on the first 6 issues and cover artist for the first 24 – with art on the remainder of the series by Charlie Adlard.

2. The Vampire Diaries

On her first day at high school, Elena meets Stefan and immediately feels a connection with him. However, what she doesn’t know is that Stefan and his brother, Damon, are in fact vampires. The Vampire Diaries is an American supernaturalteen drama television series developed by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, based on the popular book series of the same name written by L. J. Smith. The series premiered on The CW on September 10, 2009, and concluded on March 10, 2017, airing 171 episodes over eight seasons.

3. Vikings

Ragnar Lothbrok, a legendary Norse hero, is a mere farmer who rises up to become a fearless warrior and commander of the Viking tribes with the support of his equally ferocious family. Vikings were Norse people primarily from southern Scandinavia (in present-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden), who from the late 8th to late 11th centuries, raided and traded from their Northern European homelands across wide areas of Europe, and explored westwards to Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland.

4. Stranger Things

This thrilling Netflix original drama stars Golden Globe-winning actress Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, who lives in a small Indiana town in 1983 — inspired by a time when tales of science fiction captivated audiences. When Joyce’s 12-year-old son, Will, goes missing, she launches a terrifying investigation into his disappearance with local authorities. As they search for answers, they unravel a series of extraordinary mysteries involving secret government experiments, unnerving supernatural forces, and a very unusual little girl.

5. The Witcher

The witcher Geralt, a mutated monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world in which people often prove more wicked than beasts. The Witcher is a Polish-American fantasy drama series produced by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. It is based on the book series of the same name by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski.

Vicky Kaushal turns 32: Taapsee Pannu, Ayushmann Khurrana, Meghna Gulzar, Karan Johar, Madhuri Dixit wish actor on birthday

Bollywood actor Vicky Kaushal is celebrating his birthday today. A number of celebrities wished the actor, who was last seen in the horror-thriller Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship, on the occasion.

Taapsee Pannu shared a photo from the sets of the 2018 film Manmarziyaan. The actress wrote, “Happy birthday mere Neele kukkad! Stay the boring black n white you are. Always.”

Check out the post

 Vicky Kaushal turns 32: Taapsee Pannu, Ayushmann Khurrana, Meghna Gulzar, Karan Johar, Madhuri Dixit wish actor on birthday

Taapsee Pannu wishes Vicky Kaushal on his birthday

Director Meghna Gulzar who had worked with Vicky Kaushal in Raazi shared a candid image where both can be seen smiling during a conversation. The director captioned the image, “Muskurate raho, hasate raho (keep smiling, keep on making others laugh.)”

Check out the post

Vicky’s brother Sunny Kaushal posted a sweet birthday note on Instagram, speaking about how things have not changed between the two of them.

Check out the post

Ayushmann Khurrana too shared a photo with the Masaan actor on his Instagram Stories. Ayushmann’s next film Gulabo Sitabo alongside Amitabh Bachchan will release directly on Prime Video on 12 June.

Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit posted a tweet to wish him a very happy birthday. “May you always keep smiling and keep entertaining everyone with your talent!” she wrote.

Filmmaker Karan Johar took to the Stories section of Instagram and wrote, “Happy birthday to the boy with the kindest smile and the hugest talent! big love to you Vicky!!!” followed by four heart emojis.

Vicky Kaushal was part of Netflix’s Lust Stories plot that was directed by Karan Johar.

Kiara Advani, Shilpa Shetty, musician Akhil Sachdeva and T-series head Bhushan Kumar too wished the actor on his birthday through social media.

Vicky Kaushal made his Bollywood debut with the critically acclaimed Masaan which was directed by Neeraj Ghaywan. His father is veteran action director Shyam Kaushal.  

Check out the posts

Updated Date: May 16, 2020 17:23:38 IST


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Blow the Man Down movie review: Bridgette Savage Cole, Danielle Trudy establish themselves as major new talents

Language: English

Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Trudy’s Blow the Man Down begins with a spirited rendition of the seaman’s chant of the same name (some of you may have heard Woody Guthrie’s version of it) — we see a group of seasoned greybeards belting it out even as we look around Easter Cove, Maine; the tiny port town where our story is set.

 Blow the Man Down movie review: Bridgette Savage Cole, Danielle Trudy establish themselves as major new talents

A still from Blow the Man Down. Twitter

Now, one might question exactly how singing a song about a gale knocking you down at sea is supposed to be good luck for sailors — it is actually in the same vein as theatre actors saying ‘break a leg’ to each other before going onstage. It is quiet courage with just the right amount of fatalism; like the Faceless Men saying ‘Valar morghulis’ (all men must die) on Game of Thrones. It sets the tone for Blow the Man Down, a delectable small-town noir that starts off as Fargo Lite before establishing its unique voice, and delivering a stunning finale marked by poetic justice.

Mary Beth Connolly (Morgan Saylor) and her older sister Priscilla have an argument at their mother’s funeral (Priscilla withheld the extent of their financial troubles from Mary Beth), following which Mary storms off, and ends up hitching a ride with a stranger named Gorski (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). Mary notices blood in the trunk of his car, and before you know it, things escalate — fearing for her life, Mary grabs a harpoon off the nearby docks, and impales her attacker. This triggers a sequence of events that will test the sister’s relationship, as well as the complex network of loyalties and motivations among the residents of the town, and its keepers; three proverbial little old ladies, Susie Gallagher (June Squibb), Gail Maguire (Annette O’Toole), and Doreen Burke (Marceline Hugot). 

Todd Banhazi’s cinematography deserves a lot of credit for the effectiveness of Blow the Man Down. Right from the first shot, where a man chases a woman in the snow in the distance, the camerawork is sharp, decisive, and underlines the ‘low-key noir’ sensibilities of the film beautifully. A school of fishes in a net, being transferred into a barrel, the murder-via-harpoon, the sister’s awkward attempts to get rid of Gorski’s body — these are all very different kinds of scenes involving different challenges as a cinematographer, and Banhazi aces every last one of them.      

Squibb, who you might remember as Kate Grant from Nebraska (or indeed, Sheldon Cooper’s impossibly cherubic grandmother ‘Meemaw’ from The Big Bang Theory) does a brilliant job too. She is perfectly cast as the mild-mannered matriarch with a secret. Everything about her is low-key and yet, Squibb manages to imbue her scenes with an inscrutable charisma. Saylor and Lowe are also competent as the Connolly sisters.  

The most memorable performance, however, belongs to Margo Martindale (most recently seen reprising her role as a fictionalised version of herself on the concluding season of BoJack Horseman). She plays Enid, the quietly menacing owner of the local brothel, named Oceanview. This establishment seems to have everybody’s blessings, including the local police, but everything is not what it seems, of course.

Martindale’s ability to infuse even innocuous statements with a simmering, righteous disdain is remarkable. Even the subtle way she uses her cane makes it feel like more of a superhero/supervillain’s accessory than a crutch. Without her, Blow the Man Down would have been remembered as a fun, eccentric cousin to Fargo et al. With her, it will be rightly remembered as a classic of the genre. 

In the recent past, many filmmakers have created characters like Enid, with uneven results — the idea is to have a visibly ‘strong woman’ heading a traditionally patriarchal institution (a recent, if somewhat misguided example from Bollywood is the Mardaani cop film franchise, starring Rani Mukerji). These characters can go two ways — they either subvert the familiar male hegemonic pattern that comes with their office, or they end up becoming the kind of hegemonic power they started off fighting. And Enid actually occupies both of these roles, and everything in between; it takes some serious acting on Martindale’s part to convey all of this in what is, at the end of the day, a supporting act in an already compact film (at just under 90 minutes). The second of her two scenes with Susie and Co is a miniature masterpiece by itself. 

At the end of the movie, we see the sailor’s songs again, this time being hummed by Susie and her fellow matriarchs. It is a subtle show of strength by the women who run Easter Cove, as if to say, “Don’t worry, we’ve got this.” It is an immensely warm, likeable moment, one that will stay with you for a long time.

Blow the Man Down establishes Bridgette Savage Cole and Danielle Trudy as major new talents, miners of the macabre, and it will be fascinating to see what they do next.

Blow the Man Down is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Rating: ****

Updated Date: May 16, 2020 14:29:17 IST

Shah Rukh Khan mourns demise of Red Chillies colleague Abhijeet, says he was ‘my most resilient and solid ally’

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Friday mourned the demise of his close ally Abhijeet who was also one of the very first members of his film company Red Chillies Entertainment.

Taking to Twitter, Khan penned down a post in his remembrance and said that he will miss him.

“We all started the journey of making films with Dreamz Unlimited. Abhijeet was my most resilient & solid ally,” he tweeted.

“V did some good, some wrong but always believed v will sail through because strong team members like him were there to look after the rest of us. Will miss u my friend,” his tweet further read.

The 54-year-old actor also alternatively posted a list of lessons that he learnt from the COVID induced lockdown.

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Check out the posts

(With inputs from Asian News International)

Updated Date: May 16, 2020 12:56:12 IST


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Ryan Gosling to produce, star in space drama directed by Phil Lord, Chris Miller, based on The Martian author’s next

Filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller have come on board to direct and produce the movie adaptation of The Martian author Andy Weir’s next novel.

The MGM project features Ryan Gosling is the lead.

 Ryan Gosling to produce, star in space drama directed by Phil Lord, Chris Miller, based on The Martian authors next

Ryan Gosling. Image from Twitter

Gosling is also producing the project alongside Ken Kao, Weir and Amy Pascal.

Aditya Sood, the president of film at Lord Miller production banner, will also produce.

According to Variety, Gosling played a major role in roping in Lord and Miller for the project.

All of us at MGM are incredibly excited by this literal dream team coming together around Andy’s astounding novel.

“With their masterful ability to balance drama, action, and humour, Phil and Chris are the perfect filmmakers to take on this unique material and we are thrilled to have them partner with Ryan, Ken, Andy, Amy and Aditya to bring this movie to life for big screens everywhere, said Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, MGM film group president.

Weir’s yet-untitled book is described as a solitary tale of an astronaut on a space ship who is tasked with saving the planet.

It will be published early next year by Random House.

Updated Date: May 16, 2020 12:56:02 IST


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Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii’s Sachin Kumar passes away; Chetan Hansraj, Vineet Raina mourn actor’s demise

Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii actor Sachin Kumar passed away due to a heart attack in the early hours of 15 May. The actor had featured in another popular show Lajja which was produced by Binafer Kohli. Sachin quit showbiz in pursuit of a career in photography.

In an interaction with SpotBoye, actor Chetan Hansraj expressed his shock at the news stating that he got to know of the news from Facebook and did not know the actual reason for his death. “We had worked together in Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki but he had quit acting a long time back,” he added.

Actor Rakesh Paul confirmed the news to Times of India adding that he could not see him since by the time he learnt of his demise, Sachin’s body had already been sent to the crematorium.

“What I have learnt is that he went to sleep and the next day he did not open the door. His parents panicked and they got keys and when they opened the door, he had passed away,” he was quoted as saying.

Actor Syed Zulfi posted about Sachin’s death on Facebook, writing, “Miss you brother Sachin rest in peace gone to soon.”

Writer Salil Sand expressed his grief over the passing away of the actor on Instagram, writing, “We worked together and now one gets to know that you are no more!! #Stunned and #Shocked #SachinKumar.”

Actor Vineet Raina too mourned the loss of the actor on Facebook.

Check out the posts

Updated Date: May 16, 2020 10:40:54 IST


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Coronavirus Outbreak: With shows moved up in the calendar, OTT platforms are milking the most of lockdown

OTT content has surged to new highs during the COVID-19 lockdown that began on 24 March. As reported across the US, Netflix subscription numbers witnessed a 47 percent rise since the lockdown started. As per their earnings statement, their global subscriptions have gone up by a significant 25 percent approximately.

 Coronavirus Outbreak: With shows moved up in the calendar, OTT platforms are milking the most of lockdown

Abhishek Banerjee in a still from Paatal Lok. YouTube

In India, Netflix has added demand and subscribers, even as it cuts down 25 percent of bandwidth to save data usage. Netflix had a sustained advertising campaign here that encouraged people to stay home and chill. It feels a bit too real today. 

Netflix is not alone in witnessing growth, although its success worldwide has been the most talked about. Amazon Prime Video has also witnessed a significant rise in viewership interest. When we reached out to the company, they refused to comment on subscription or viewership as part of global policy. But a visible rise in advertising of original Indian content from the platform on both TV channels and digital platforms shows that the time to capitalise on audience interest is now.

Prime Video has just released the thriller Paatal Lok, part of their extensive Indian Originals slate for this year. Minor adjustments have been made to Bandish Bandits, the next Indian Original show to drop on this platform, although post production and editing are on track for most shows. At a quicker pace then before, original Indian content, made in Hindi, have become big drivers for OTT Platforms in the post-lockdown scenario. 

Interestingly, the benefits of lockdown go beyond established brands in this space. Voot Select, an OTT platform from Viacom 18 that has launched with a small but impressive inventory, has seen a huge surge in viewers with Asur. A crime thriller set in Varanasi, it stars Arshad Warsi, Barun Sobti, and Anupriya Goenka among others. Co-writer Niren Bhatt explains, “People in metros had stopped going to office, and had begun working from home a few days before the lockdown came into effect.  Voot told us that interest in the series had already begun to rise then. It’s a relatively new platform, and Asur doing well has gotten people to stay on and watch their other shows too.”

Showrunners and directors are now restricted from speaking about their upcoming series or films for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video India. Announcement calendars and slotted press releases have something to do with this.  Increased demand means shows are being pushed up too. Sources confirm that Hasmukh, the crime comedy series starring Vir Das, was also moved up on Netflix. 

Sources also confirm that editing or wrapping up of post-production of most shows has been told to stay on track, as have been those that are currently writing content. As reported in their global earnings release, the company has over 200 shows and films being completed remotely across the world. Dubbing challenges have emerged for all OTT platforms, as languages like Italian and Mandarin have become relatively inaccessible owing to lockdowns.

Given their increasing presence and brand recall in India, Netflix has contributed significantly to daily wage labourers’ welfare, and also offered four-week steady pay for below-the-line workers committed to stalled shoots and projects. 

The sentiment amongst makers, who are working for these OTT giants or are in process of engaging with them professionally, is not euphoric. Instead, they are staying the course to maintain normalcy. 

Bombay Begums is a promising upcoming Netflix series by Alankrita Shrivastava, yet to be announced. Reportedly staring Pooja Bhatt, Rahul Bose, Plabita Borthakur, and Shahana Goswami among others, it is among the many Indian Originals Netflix will heavily advertise to gain a foothold in the Hindi viewership belt.

Refusing to comment on the show directly, Shrivastava offered a glimpse in the mindset of a showrunner working remotely. She is developing stories while completing her ongoing commitments. “These are such strange times, and the pressure to be productive in the middle of a pandemic also feels unnatural. I have been finding it really hard to work during this period because my mind is so preoccupied with anxiety. All I want to do is stare at the ocean, drink coffee, and doom surf.”

“Nevertheless, I am editing my series through virtual editing suite software. It’s slow, and not like working with my editor in close proximity but we’ve both gotten used to it. And it’s kind of comforting because I have something to do all day, and it forces one to think about other things. Also, since I am alone and so is my editor, it’s like hanging out together all day virtually. I am also prepping for another show that I am directing a few episodes of. So there is some script work on that, and some prep meetings. And that is fun too. So I’m trying to make it through this crisis just like everybody else on the planet I guess.”

Lockdown has the sharpest impact on shooting content. As Amit Sial, star of web shows like Mirzapur and Inside Edge, mulls, “Even if one were to manage a shoot with a tight crew that observes protections like masks and sanitisers, how would actors shoot with one? How do they keep a distance? Shooting is not possible in these circumstances. Meanwhile, reading scripts and pre production is continuing.” 

In a post-lockdown era, fear of contagion will deter many from flocking to movie theatres. This means that the surge in OTT might be here to stay. This also offers OTT platforms in the massive Indian market an enviable position in commanding the kind of content they want to make or produce.

Disney+ launched in India on Hotstar with Angrezi Medium, a film affected by the COVID-19 storm. In the near future, OTT platforms might become the preferred destination of high-budget, lavishly produced content in both film and long-format forms. The question is will that necessarily translate to quality content? Or will the viewer be simply spoilt for choice? 

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 16:52:06 IST


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George Miller’s upcoming Mad Max film to be a Furiosa prequel, will not feature Charlize Theron, confirms director

Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller has confirmed that his standalone on Furiosa will be a prequel to the 2015 hit.

There were rumours that the director was meeting young actors such as Anya Taylor-Joy to take over the part of Furiosa, which was terrifically portrayed by Charlize Theron in the previous film.

 George Millers upcoming Mad Max film to be a Furiosa prequel, will not feature Charlize Theron, confirms director

The Mad Max universe. Image from Twitter

Miller told The New York Times that he considered de-aging Theron for a while but abandoned the idea later.

“For the longest time, I thought we could just use CG de-aging on Charlize, but I don’t think we’re nearly there yet. Despite the valiant attempts on The Irishman,’ I think there’s still an uncanny valley. Everyone is on the verge of solving it, particularly Japanese video-game designers, but there’s still a pretty wide valley, I believe,” the Australian director said.

Miller is planning to film the Furiosa movie after he finishes production on his next film, Three Thousand Years of Longing, starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton.

The director developed the script for Furiosa while making the Fury Road to help Theron get into character.

According to the paper, Miller “sought to answer questions about what the character’s life was like in the idyllic Green Place,’ why she was plucked from the group of woman warriors known as the Vuvalini, and how she became the hardened warrior we meet by the time Fury Road‘ begins.

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 16:25:22 IST


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Katy Perry drops new single Daisies from fifth album; writes ‘everyone has their stories of resilience to tell’

Katy Perry treated music enthusiasts on Friday with a new song ‘Daisies,’ which is sure to leave one feel motivated.

The 35-year-old musician shared information about her new song on Instagram.

Check it out here

The newly launched song starts off with the lyrics, “Told them your dreams, and they all started laughing I guess you’re out of your mind till it actually happens.”

The song is motivational, inspiring and is a reflection on how one gets back to their own feet when others have knocked them down. The music dominantly falls to a soothing version supported with slow beats and rhythms.

“They said I’m going nowhere tried to count me out, took those sticks and stones, showed ’em I could build a house. They tell me that I’m crazy, but I’ll never let them change me, till they cover me in daisies, daisies, daisies,” the lyrics read.

The music video sees Katy Perry casually strolling in a garden filled with daises as she croons to the song. The outdoor video was shot and produced by director Liza Voloshin.

In the two-minute and 56-second video, the ‘Roar‘ singer is also seen flaunting her baby bump.

On 5 March, the singer put all the speculations around her pregnancy to rest, as she dropped her song ‘Never Worn White‘, where she is seen cradling a baby bump towards the end of the video.

Katy Perry is gearing up to marry longtime boyfriend Orlando Bloom. The couple who dated on and off from 2016 got engaged on Valentine’s Day last year. However, the ongoing coronavirus crisis has made the duo push back their ceremony dates.

(With inputs from Asian News International)

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 15:40:26 IST


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SAG awards announces temporary change in the eligibility, allows films without theatrical release to qualify

After Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild awards too announced a temporary change in the eligibility for qualification, allowing films without theatrical release also to qualify.

“We are still revising our film release criteria but will be following the Academy’s rule change to allow titles with a planned theatrical release to be eligible if streamed or released on VOD first,” Variety quoted an e-mail as saying.

“Full language will be announced in June along with the rest of our rules,” the email further read.

Earlier on 28 April, the Academy had announced that there will be a temporary hold on its eligibility criteria under which films needs to have a minimum theatrical run of seven days in the commercial theater of Los Angeles for
qualifying.

After the temporary change in the eligibility criteria, digitally released films will now be allowed for competing without theatrical releases.

The streamed film must have a planned theatrical release for being eligible in the Oscar race.

Check out posts on SAG- AFTRA

(With inputs from Asian News International)

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 15:34:41 IST


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After INOX, PVR expresses ‘disappointment’ over films’ digital release; Producers Guild of India defends decision

Expressing their displeasure over the statements issued by few multiplex chains against the digital release of films, Producers Guild of India (PGI) on Friday said, it is time for the entire industry to come together and support each other, amid the nationwide lockdown, which has resulted in shutting of theatres.

Also read on Firstpost: After Gulabo Sitabo, Amazon Prime Video announces Vidya Balan’s Shakuntala Devi biopic will premiere directly on streaming platform

In an apparent reference to the decision of the makers of Gulabo Sitabo to release the film on a streaming platform, multiplex INOX on Thursday had expressed its “extreme displeasure and disappointment” over the move.

Kamal Gianchandani of PVR Pictures also said they were expecting the producers to hold their films for theatrical release.

“As PVR, we believe that the theatrical release is the best way for audiences to experience the labour and creative genius of our filmmakers. This has been so for decades and not just in India but globally,” Gianchandani told Press Trust of India. 

Gianchandani said the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has caused an unfortunate shutdown of cinemas but they are confident when the situation returns to normalcy, people will definitely go to theatres to watch movies.

(Click here to follow LIVE updates on coronavirus outbreak)

“We are confident, once we get to the other side of this crisis, there will be enough and more pent up demand from cine-goers who have been cooped up at homes for the last many weeks. We are likely to see demand by force on a sustained basis, once we reopen.”

He said the exhibitors have asked producers to “hold back their film’s release till cinemas reopened.”

“Needless to say, we are disappointed with some of our producers deciding to go straight to streaming platform/s, he said.

Gianchandani noted that cinema halls have faced competition from OTT platforms in the past as well.

“That said, this is not the first time films are being premiered on streaming platform/s. Cinema exhibition has regularly faced competition from new emerging distribution platforms over the last many years, and it has continued to enjoy cine-goers patronage and affinity.

“I would also like to use this opportunity to express our appreciation for all the producers who have publicly voiced their support for the theatrical platform and have decided to reschedule their releases to accommodate the reopening of cinemas, he added.

On the other hand, the Guild said it is disappointing to see abrasive and unconstructive messaging from some of their colleagues in the exhibition sector.

This is a time for the entire film industry to come together with empathy and support for the difficult predicament that each of our constituents finds themselves in – from producers, distributors, exhibitors, daily wage earners and technicians, to the thousands of people whose lives and livelihoods are in some way dependent on our industry, PGI said in a statement.

Statements that call for “retributive measures” against producers who decide to take their movies direct to OTT platforms -especially at a time when cinemas are unfortunately closed for the foreseeable future – do not lend themselves to a constructive or collaborative dialogue on the way forward for the industry.

The Guild said when it comes to financial losses, the situation of the producers is no different from exhibitors.

Elaborate and expensive sets erected for under-production films have had to be taken down due to no date in sight for shoots to resume, with the sunk cost of the set and studio rentals to be borne completely by producers – as insurers refuse to cover the cost.

Shoot schedules have had to be abruptly cancelled due to the lockdown, with huge cancellation charges being borne completely by the producer – again with no support from insurers.

The Guild said cinemas may be one of the last sectors of the service likely to be given permission to re-open and even if theatres in India start functioning, there is no guarantee that the overseas theatrical market, which is a key component of the economics of Hindi films, will resume.

Producers of Hindi movies will have to wait for cinemas across the entire country to re-open, as the economics of the business require an all India release. For cinemas to be open across the entire country, it is clear we are sometime away.

“Even if it has in some countries, it might not have in others, hence leading to additional loss of revenue for a producer.

The Guild said by the time cinemas will start functioning, there will be a huge backlog of films, which will lead to sub-optimal showcasing of small and mid-budget films.

One because of the social distancing norms that will be both mandated and necessary for public safety. Secondly, because of the inevitable concern that cinema-goers will have about venturing back into public spaces.

In addition to this, there will be a huge backlog of releases, and the smaller and medium scale films especially will suffer from sub-optimal showcasing in addition to all the concerns above.

The Guild said given these factors, it is only natural that producers will seek out all avenues available to recover their investment and to stay in business.

Also read on Firstpost — Jyothika’s Ponmangal Vandhal, Keerthy Suresh’s Penguin, among others, to directly premiere on Amazon Prime Video

However, it emphasised that it is unequivocally and passionately supportive of the theatrical release of films.

A theatrical release will always be the preference for movies that were conceptualised as cinematic experiences. But these are unprecedented times for all the reasons mentioned above, and it is imperative to see things in that context.

For producers to continue to keep producing’ the movies that light up our cinema screens, they need to continue to be in business in the first place, the statement read.

The Guild said it would like to work collaboratively with the exhibition sector to bring the audiences back to theatres.

Read the entire statement here

The production fraternity would like to work collaboratively with the exhibition sector to ensure that once cinemas do re-open, we do all we can to bring audiences back in large numbers to experience our movies in the way they were always meant to be enjoyed – at the theatres.

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 14:19:25 IST


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Madhuri Dixit turns 53: Sanson Ki Mala Pe to Barson Ke Baad, discovering actor’s lesser-known dance numbers

Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit turns a year older on 15 May. Known for her beautiful expressions and effortless acting, she started her career with the 1984 film Abodh alongside Tapas Paul. Following a successful stint in the film industry, she went on a long sabbatical after her wedding and moved to the US. The actor has since then made a comeback with a number of memorable performances.

Madhuri Dixit, who has regaled the audiences for decades with her dancing skills has many popular songs to her credit. Today, we are looking at a few lesser known dance numbers of the actress.

Phool Maangu Na Bahaar Maangu

This romantic track from the film Raja, starring Madhuri Dixit and Sanjay Kapoor, features the lead pair matching steps in a fort. The film which won Madhuri a Screen Award for Best Actress had a number of other popular tracks, including ‘Akhiyaan Milaoon Kabhi‘ and ‘Nazrein Mili Dil Dhadka.’

Sanson Ki Mala Pe

Clad in a saree, Madhuri can be seen dancing in the song with graceful hand gestures and powerful moves. A number from the 1997 film Koyla, the film starred Shah Rukh Khan alongside the actress. While the film is perhaps better known for the song ‘Ghunghte Mein Chanda Hai,’ Madhuri’s stellar performance in ‘Sanson Ki Mala‘ Pe cannot be ignored.

Barson Ke Baad Aayi Mujhko Yaad

Showcasing Madhuri’s dancing prowess to the fullest, this lesser known song from the Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit starrer Anjaam is a must-watch for her fans. The psychological thriller, which also starred Deepak Tijori, Johnny Lever and Sudha Chandran in pivotal roles, has a number of other popular tracks including ‘Badi Mushkil Hai’ and ‘Chane Ke Khet Mein.’ However, none perhaps capture the chemistry of the lead pair as effortlessly as this one.

Yeh Gathri Taaj Ki Tarah

The song from the film Gaja Gamini shows Madhuri dancing, draped in a saree in Maharashtrian style. The actress has performed with much elegance in the dance drama song. The film was written and directed by artiste MF Hussain and is his ode to womanhood and his muse Madhuri Dixit.

Allah Allah Mera Dil Dhakde

This one perfectly captures the dancing style so prevalent in Bollywood flicks in the 90s. Clad in a red saree, Madhuri is seen dancing and romancing Rishi Kapoor in a picturesque European town in ‘Allah Allah Mera Dil Dhakde’. The film is Yaarana.

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 14:12:24 IST


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Live-action show based on Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson novels in development at Disney+

A live-action series based on Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson novels is in development at Disney Plus.

Riordan and his wife Becky announced the project on Twitter and said the show will follow the storyline of the original Percy Jackson five-book series.

“We can’t say much more at this stage but we are very excited about the idea of a live-action series of the highest quality, following the storyline of the original Percy Jackson five-book series, starting with The Lightning Thief in season one.”

“Rest assured that Becky and I will be involved in person in every aspect of the show, he said in a statement posted on the social media platform.

The Lightning Thief and the second book in the series, Sea of Monsters, were previously adapted as feature films.

The movies featured Logan Lerman as the title character, a boy who discovers he is the son of the Greek god Poseidon, and Alexandra Daddario as another demigod, Annabeth.

The five-book series also comprises of The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.

Check out the post

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 13:38:35 IST


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Sia to release new single Together on 20 May; song will feature in soundtrack of her film Music

Singer Sia will release her new single titled ‘Together‘ on 20 May.

The song will feature on the official soundtrack for her upcoming movie, Music, which also marks her directorial debut.

The Australian singer’s team shared the news on Wednesday on Twitter.

“New Sia single: Together – out everywhere May 20th! pre-save on https://www.wecantakeithigher.com – Team Sia (sic),” read the post on Sia’s official page.

According to Billboard, Music, which was announced at the 2015 Venice Film Festival, is “due for release” in September.

It features Kate Hudson, Maddie Ziegler, and Leslie Odom Jr.

Sia has co-written and co-produced the film with writer Dallas Clayton and producer Vincent Landay, respectively.

Check out the posts

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 10:37:04 IST


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Jyothika’s Ponmangal Vandhal, Keerthy Suresh’s Penguin, among others, to directly premiere on Amazon Prime Video

Following the announcement of the upcoming direct-to-digital premieres of Gulabo Sitabo and Shakuntala Devi, Amazon Prime Video India has announced five other highly-anticipated South Indian films will release directly on the streaming service.

These include Tamil film Ponmagal Vandhal starring Jyothika, Keerthy Suresh’s Penguin (Tamil and Telugu), Sufiyum Sujatayum (Malayalam), Law (Kannada), and French Biryani (Kannada).

“Indian audiences have been eagerly awaiting the release of these seven highly anticipated films, and we are delighted that Amazon Prime Video will now be premiering these movies for our customers, who can enjoy watching these from the safety and comfort of their homes, and on a screen of their choice,” says Gaurav Gandhi, Director and Country General Manager, Amazon Prime Video India.

Here is Amazon Prime Video’s direct-to-service slate for South Indian films

Tamil

Ponmagal Vandhal – 29 May

 Jyothikas Ponmangal Vandhal, Keerthy Sureshs Penguin, among others, to directly premiere on Amazon Prime Video

Poster of Jyothika’s Pon Magal Vandhal

Starring Jyothika, Parthiban, Bhagyaraj, Prathap Pothen, and Pandiarajan, Ponmagal Vandhal is a legal drama. The movie is written and directed by JJ Fredrick, and produced by Suriya and Rajsekar Karpoorasundarapandian.

Also read on Firstpost — Coronavirus Outbreak: Pon Magal Vandhal releases on OTT; TN theatre owners threaten to boycott Suriya, Jyothika’s films

Tamil and Telugu

First still of Penguin. Twitter

First still of Penguin. Twitter

Penguin – 19 June

Starring Keerthy Suresh, Penguin is written and directed by Eshavar Karthic. The film is produced by Stone Bench Films and Karthik Subbaraj.

Kannada

Law – 26 June

Poster of Law. Amazon Prime Video

Poster of Law. Amazon Prime Video

Starring Ragini Chandran, Siri Prahlad, and veteran actor Mukhyamantri Chandru, Law is written and directed by Raghu Samarth, and produced by Ashwini and Puneeth Rajkumar.

French Biryani – 24 July

First look of French Biryani. Twitter

First look of French Biryani. Twitter

French Biryani features actors Danish Sait, Sal Yusuf, and Pitobash as leads. The movie is written by Avinash Balekkala, directed by Pannaga Bharana, and produced by Ashwini and Puneeth Rajkumar, and Gurudutt A Talwar.

Malayalam

Sufiyum Sujatayum – TBA

Sufiyum Sujatayum poster. Amazon Prime Video

Sufiyum Sujatayum poster. Amazon Prime Video

Starring Aditi Rao Hydari and Jayasuruya, Soofiyum Sujatayum is written and directed by Naranipuzha Shanavas, and produced by Vijay Babu’s Friday Film House.

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 09:56:12 IST


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Karan Johar, Kajol, Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, Ranveer Singh, Abhishek Bachchan recall favourite ’90s films on Twitter

The nostalgia about the ’90s is up in the air with actors such as Kajol, Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar and Abhishek Bachchan all recalling their favourite movies from the decade on Twitter.

The microblogging site has started a new campaign where it asked celebrities to name their favourite movies from the ’90s while tagging others for the same. Twitter has also launched a new emoji to commemorate the era.

“First up, what’s your favourite ‘90s movie? Respond with #90sLove #BackToThe90s or #90sNostalgia and tag five friends to continue the conversation. And look who’s kicking it off – ’90s sweetheart herself @itsKajolD !” read the post from Twitter India.

To this Kajol replied, “Love this @TwitterIndia . My favourite movies are ”Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” & ”Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha” and I’m tagging @ajaydevgn @aamir_khan @karanjohar @TanishaaMukerji @iamsrk Tell me yours!”

Ajay reminisced about his 1998 movie Zakhm from the era as he tagged Akshay and Abhishek for the challenge.

“So my most favourite film from the 90s till date is Zakhm. And I am further tagging @akshaykumar & @juniorbachchan to tell me theirs.. #90slove” he tweeted.

In his reply to Ajay, Akshay tweeted, “Thank you @ajaydevgn …so my favourite films from the 90s would have to be ”Sangharsh” and ”Andaz Apna Apna”. I’m further tagging @ranveerofficial and @karanjohar to share theirs. #90slove.”

Abhishek said his father, Amitabh Bachchan’s Agneepath was his favourite movie from the decade.

“Thanks AJ @ajaydevgn my favourite film from the 90’s would have to be Agneepath. I would like to further tag @Riteishd @iHrithik and @TheJohnAbraham to tell me theirs #90slove” he replied to Ajay.

Filmmaker Karan Johar, who was nominated by Akshay, wrote, “Hey Akshay ! I owe my journey in cinema to the 90s! My favourite films in that decade are #HumAapkehaikaun and #Lamhe ( not including my most favourite #DDLJ as I worked on it)”.

Check out the posts

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 09:15:26 IST


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Coronavirus Outbreak: INOX ‘disappointed’ at scheduled theatrical releases heading directly to OTT platforms

In an apparent reference to the decision of Gulabo Sitabo makers to release the film on a streaming platform, multiplex INOX on Thursday expressed its “extreme displeasure and disappointment” over the move.

Also read on Firstpost: After Gulabo Sitabo, Amazon Prime Video announces Vidya Balan’s Shakuntala Devi biopic will premiere directly on streaming platform

Starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana, the Shoojit Sircar-directed movie will debut on Amazon Prime Video on 12 June.

 Coronavirus Outbreak: INOX disappointed at scheduled theatrical releases heading directly to OTT platforms

Cinema theatre. Representational image

Without naming the production house or the film, the theatre chain released a statement on Twitter, saying such a move was “disconcerting”.

“INOX would like to express extreme displeasure and disappointment on an announcement made by a production house today, to release their movie directly on an OTT platform by skipping the theatrical window run.

“The decision of the production house to deviate from the globally prevalent content windowing practice is alarming and disconcerting,” the statement read.

INOX said cinemas and content creators have always been into “mutually beneficial partnerships” where one’s action provided fillip to another’s revenues.

“In these troubled times, it is disturbing to see one of the partners not interested in continuing the mutually beneficial relationship, especially when the need of the hour is to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other, and bring the film industry back to its vibrant best.

“Such acts, though isolated, vitiate the atmosphere of mutual partnership and paint these content producers as fair-weather friends rather than all-weather life-long partners,” the statement further read.

The multiplex chain said it will now be “constrained to examine” its options, and reserves all rights, including taking retributive measures, in “dealing with such fair-weather friends”.

“INOX would like to urge all content creators not to skip the theatrical run, and stay with the age-old and established windowing pattern, which is in the best interests of all stakeholders in the value chain,” the statement concluded.

Here’s the entire statement

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 08:54:22 IST


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Coronavirus Outbreak: Shah Rukh Khan seeks citizen contributions to Meer Foundation to support ‘healthcare soldiers’

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Thursday asked people to support healthcare workers amid the coronavirus pandemic by contributing towards Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other essentials.

(Click here to follow LIVE updates on coronavirus outbreak)

Shah Rukh said many people have been asking how can they partner up and take the cause of supporting healthcare workers forward, but usually Meer Foundation, his NGO, doesn’t function on donations.

However, “these are dire circumstances that would require all of us to unite and chip in if we can”, he added.

In a video released on the official handle of the NGO, Shah Rukh said it is important right now for everyone to support the medical staff who are risking their lives to save people.

“We are all facing a crisis against a force we can’t see- the coronavirus. To fight the virus, our country’s doctors, scientists, medical professionals and everyone involved in the healthcare sector are like our soldiers…”

“The medical personnel require PPE, which include gloves, masks, overalls or any equipment that one may need to protect ones physical self from the virus whole treating the patients,” he said.

In a separate tweet, Shah Rukh appealed to the people should to donate to Meer Foundation to help protect “our healthcare soldiers.”

“Let’s support the brave health officials and medical teams that are leading the fight against the coronavirus by contributing towards supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE). A little help can go a long way. @MeerFoundation,” he added.

Check out the post

Earlier, the 54-year actor had announced that Meer Foundation will work with the Maharashtra and West Bengal governments for the supply of 50,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the healthcare professionals.

Shah Rukh, along with wife Gauri Khan, had also offered their four-storey personal office space for treating COVID-19 patients.

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 08:41:46 IST

Tags : Buzz Patrol, BuzzPatrol, Coronavirus, Coronavirus Outbreak, COVID-19, PPE Kits, Shah Rukh Khan

Paatal Lok review: Anushka Sharma-produced Amazon Prime series is a slow burn with the ambition of a pacy thriller

Let me tell you at the onset that Anushka Sharma’s Amazon Prime Video series Paatal Lok — created by Sudip Sharma (writer of Udta PunjabNH10, Sonchiriya) — isn’t a show for those who like to multi-task while watching TV.

If you find yourself in the middle of the series, wondering how the hell the protagonist, Hathi Ram Chaudhry (the ever-so-brilliant Jaideep Ahlawat), landed in the interiors of Punjab or Chitrakoot (MP), it’s because you weren’t paying enough attention. Because Paatal Lok’s brilliance lies in its details and authenticity; in the contrast between a big city like Delhi versus the interiors of the North-Indian heartland (Sudip Sharma’s trump card — as seen in his earlier films); in the expressions between characters who aren’t saying much with dialogues but with their eyes and body language.

So put that Scrabble game on pause, and let’s dive in.

 Paatal Lok review: Anushka Sharma-produced Amazon Prime series is a slow burn with the ambition of a pacy thriller

Within the first few seconds of the pilot episode, Delhi Police officer Hathi Ram tells his subordinate Ansari (Ishwak Singh) about the three Loks and their distinctions. Swarg Lok (heaven; where the rich/upper class resides), Dharti Lok (the world as we know it, purveyed by the middle-class) and Paatal Lok (the netherland, where crime and oppression overlap to create its own brand of hell). Through the nine episodes of the series, Hathiram becomes the representation of Dharti Lok, and gets embroiled in a high-profile attempt to murder case that brings together the other two widely separated worlds: Swarg and Paatal.

As he sinks further into the case, he will understand more about the systemic dance of power and oppression — regardless of gender, religion, caste and class — and how they align with crime and the system. Everything is connected, even though it may not seem so in the first five episodes.

The plot of Paatal Lok is admittedly loosely based on ex-Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal’s book The Story of my Assassins. We are told right at the beginning that the attempted murder victim is reputed journalist Sanjeev Mehta (Neeraj Kabi). Hathiram takes it upon himself to find out more about the four suspects in the case, while also trying to understand who hired them. His journey takes him to the interiors of Punjab, MP and Haryana, as he tries to uncover the nexus between heartland crime, caste and religion-based oppression, and vote-bank politics.

As we’ve seen in Sudip Sharma’s previous work (most notably Nh10 and Sonchiriya), the writer-director is really adept at bringing out the disparity between the different Indias: the India of a big-city like Delhi with rampant media and bureaucratic culture, and the India of a small town like Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), where caste, crime and oppression go hand-in-hand. Hathiram keeps going back to Chitrakoot as it holds the key to the backstory behind one of the suspects, Hathoda Tyagi (Abhishek Banerjee). We are also told backstories of the other suspects, Tope Singh (a Dalit from Punjab with a heartbreaking origin story), Cheeni (a trans street-dweller from Nizamuddin in Delhi who does seedy jobs to survive) and Kabir M (a driver who Delhi Police is convinced is related to ISI and is sitting on a larger terrorist plot).

Jaideep Ahlawat in Paatal Lok.

Even though Hathiram is at his wit’s end in his thankless job, he becomes the underdog who must get to bottom of happenings in the series. As the trope goes, he is equally troubled — an alcoholic with fractured relationships with his wife (Gul Panag) and son. As he uncovers more about the case, the lists of murders increase. It becomes very clear that someone is watching Hathiram and trying to eliminate any possible way of his getting to bottom of the case. The answers will come from the back stories of the suspects — and therein lies the core of Paatal Lok as well.

Jaideep Ahlawat is the clear star of the show, and about time he got a series to shoulder. We’ve seen that he can do urban roles like in Dibakar Banerjee’s Lust Stories short, and also gritty rural characters, like Shahid Khan in Gangs of Wasseypur. Ahlawat stands right in front of a stellar cast, including Abhishek Banerjee, Neeraj Kabi, Rajesh Sharma, and Gul Panag (who plays a sometimes-gullible, sometimes-feisty homemaker) among others.

Eventually it becomes clear that Paatal Lok suffers from too much being packed into every episode. Sometimes the tease works as you start to deconstruct in your head what symbols and glances and edits mean. But often, the plot becomes a bit too scattered, paying attention to arcs that could have easily been cut out (steamy affairs and unnecessary gore) and arcs that could do with a more indepth look (the link between guerilla crime gangs and politics in Chitrakoot, and how it’s the hotbed for vote-bank politics in North India or the history of violence and oppression against a particular Dalit community in Punjab.)

The primary problem with Paatal Lok is that it is trying too hard to be too many things: a thriller, a social commentary, an “edgy” take on new India and its fault lines.

The thrills can be seen mostly in the technical department (with crisp cinematography and post-production work), the social commentary bits are routinely thrown in your face, and whenever the show wants to be “edgy” or “dark” either the stakes are raised with violence, or incessant swear words. And in the midst of all this, it never really becomes any of the above things.

What you can’t fault Paatal Lok with is its attention to detail and its production value, credit of which goes to Anushka Sharma’s Clean Slate Filmz. For a debut web production, the show has a decent mix of familiar and fresh faces, and excellent world-building. At several points during the series, I wanted to pause and take a break to soak it all in, but also found myself scratching my head to put the pieces together. To its credit, at the end of nine-episodes, enough curiosity had been built to want to watch season 2.

Which brings me to the ultimate question behind this review: in a sea of content options, where does Paatal Lok stand? I’d say give it a shot. Don’t expect anything spectacular and you may be surprisingly hooked.

Rating: ★★★

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 08:02:15 IST


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Amazon Prime Video announces Vidya Balan’s Shakuntala Devi biopic will premiere directly on streaming platform

Amazon Prime Video India on Friday announced that the much-awaited Hindi biopic Shakuntala Devi will exclusively premiere on the streaming platform.

 Amazon Prime Video announces Vidya Balans Shakuntala Devi biopic will premiere directly on streaming platform

Vidya Balan in a still from Shakuntala Devi. Twitter

Featuring National Award-winning actress Vidya Balan, the film is based on the life of Shakuntala Devi, nicknamed the “human computer” for her innate ability to make incredibly complex calculations within seconds. The film also stars Sanya Malhotra, who will be seen playing the role of Shakuntala’s daughter, with whom the genius enjoyed a complicated but extraordinary relationship, alongside Amit Sadh and Jisshu Sengupta in pivotal roles.

Written and directed by Anu Menon, the film has been produced by Sony Pictures Networks Productions and Vikram Malhotra. The screenplay is written by Menon and Nayanika Mahtani, while the dialogues are penned by Ishita Moitra. Menon and Moitra have previously collaborated on the first season of Amazon Prime Video India Original show Four More Shots Please!.

The announcement comes merely a day after the streaming platform announced the the direct-to-digital release of Shoojit Sircar’s comedy Gulabo Sitabo, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana. It became the first film out of the ones that were scheduled to release theatrically but were indefinitely postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown.

(Click here to follow LIVE updates on coronavirus outbreak)

Shakuntala Devi was initially scheduled to release in theatres on 8 May. On Thursday, cinema hall chain INOX issued a statement criticising the producers of Gulabo Sitabo for setting an unfair precedent by moving the premiere of a planned theatrical release to a digital platform. It accused the producers to be “fair-weathered” friends and not “all-weathered” companions.

Now that another major film will soon make its premiere directly on a streaming platform, it may further disappoint INOX and other cinema hall chains. But given the uncertainty of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, the producers may not afford to wait.

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 08:00:50 IST


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Cannes Film Festival flashback: Most memorable editions, from post-WWII beginnings to its 2009 pinnacle

May holds a special place in the calendar of film lovers across the world. It is when the privileged few of them gather at that most hallowed rendezvous on the Croisette for Cannes Film Festival — and it sure is a privilege to discover the best films of the year, before they are coated with all that promotional sheen.

Sadly, Cannes 2020, originally scheduled to run from 12-23 May, will not be held in its “original form” this year due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis; but it was announced on Sunday that it will screen an official selection of its films at fall festivals like Venice. Meanwhile, all its parallel sections — Directors’ Fortnight, Critics’ Week, ACID — have been cancelled. With many other festivals also cancelled, cinemas closed, and productions on hold, the COVID-19 pandemic has paralysed the film industry. 

It is unfortunate especially following the success of last year’s edition, which proved exactly why Cannes is still considered the barometer of quality in cinema. Some of the most beloved films of 2019 began their journey at the festival: Beanpole, Bacurau, I Lost My Body, Invisible Life, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Pain and Glory, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, The Lighthouse and, not to mention, the eventually Oscar-winning Parasite. It was truly an exceptional line-up, in terms of scale, variety and substance. Turning back the clock, we time-travel to Cannes film festivals over the years with equally exceptional line-ups.

End of a war, birth of a festival

Highlights | Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau), Brief Encounter (David Lean), Gaslight (George Cukor), Gilda (Charles Vidor), The Lost Weekend (Billy Wilder), Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock), Rome Open City (Roberto Rossellini)

 Cannes Film Festival flashback: Most memorable editions, from post-WWII beginnings to its 2009 pinnacle

Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau) – Cannes 1946

Proposed as an alternative to Venice Film Festival (then politicised by Mussolini), the first edition of Cannes was initially supposed to be held in 1939. Louis Lumière, the man who gave us cinema, was announced as president. MGM had chartered an ocean liner to bring all the stars from Hollywood. Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Gary Cooper, James Cagney, Mae West, Norma Shearer, Spencer Tracy, and many more had arrived on the Croisette. Then, Germany invaded Poland and they all had to book return tickets. The world had to wait till the war ended for a taste of what Cannes had to offer — and boy, did they deliver.

Alfred Hitchcock got everyone’s hearts racing and adrenaline pumping with Notorious. Billy Wilder followed up Double Indemnity with a grim portrait of alcoholism in The Lost Weekend. David Lean served a romantic tearjerker for the ages in Brief Encounter. Italian neorealism began to take shape with Roberto Rossellini’s Rome, Open City. Jean Cocteau crafted an anti-Disney treatment of Beauty and the Beast, where the surreal and real, the ugliness and beauty come together in a magic realist concoction. Out of the 44 feature films screened, 11 of them (one from each participating country) were awarded the top prize, Grand Prix (now called Palme d’Or), for reasons of diplomacy. This included India’s sole Palme d’Or crown (till now) in Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar

However, it was anything but a smooth-running operation. In a comedy of errors, the reels of Hitchcock’s Notorious were reversed, screened with the ending reel first, while the projection of George Sydney’s The Three Musketeers was turned upside-down. There was also tension brewing over the beginning of the Cold War. Russia blamed every technical issue on the US; the US cried sabotage over last-minute parties being scheduled at the same time as Hollywood films. 

Despite reversed reels and upside-down projections, Cold War scandals and consolation awards, the inaugural edition proved it could only get better. Cannes 1946 helped France regain its status as an economic power in Europe post-WWII, also enhancing its cultural weight over the rest of the world — at least, in terms of cinema. 

The glitz and glamour

Highlights | Ballad of a Soldier (Grigori Chukhrai), La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini), L’avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni), The Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman), The Young One (Luis Buñuel)

La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini) - Cannes 1960

La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini) – Cannes 1960

Within a decade, Cannes had set a new precedent for other festivals. Call it a temple of cinema or a glamorous vanity fair, it was beginning to attract the best filmmakers in world cinema. It also became the new locus for the golden age of Italian cinema, as two of its canonical entries, Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and Antonioni’s L’avventura, were both screened at the festival. Not without controversy of course.

La Dolce Vita and L’avventura divided the critics and the public, stirring the deepest admiration and aversion. The former ended up winning the Palme d’Or, the latter the Jury Prize. However, for a large portion of the public, La Dolce Vita was an overlong decadent affair intended to outrage all good taste and sensibilities. They also didn’t care for the pacing or abstract narrative of L’avventura, having expected it to be a straightforward investigative thriller. The boos and barbs got so severe, lead star Monica Vitti left the screening hall in tears.

Cannes has become a stage for glitz and glamour, parties and photo calls, and the army of paparazzi that comes with them. With La Dolce Vita, Fellini sums up the hope and despair, the beauty and ugliness to this superficial celebrity lifestyle, testifying to the social malaise underneath. In L’avventura, Antonioni created a new visual language of his own, one which reflected its synthetic nature while merging the realms of reality and abstraction. Before Come and See and Ivan’s Childhood, Grigori Chukhrai gave us an equally lyrical meditation on war in Ballad of a Soldier. Also screened at the festival were Bimal Roy’s Sujata and William Wyler’s Ben-Hur (out of competition).

With Marché du Film established just the previous year, Cannes had also set the stage to become the premier global film market we know it as today, giving film professionals the opportunity to shake hands with the best in the business.

Pulp Fiction puts American indie films on the world cinema map

Highlights | Exotica (Atom Egoyan), The Hudsucker Proxy (Coen Brothers), Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino), Three Colours: Red (Krzysztof Kieślowski), Through the Olive Trees (Abbas Kiarostami), To Live (Zhang Yimou)

Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino) - Cannes 1994

Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino) – Cannes 1994

Cannes 1994 will forever be remembered as the year Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction won the Palme d’Or, thanks to jury president Clint Eastwood. The film beat favourites like Krzysztof Kieslowsk’s final feature, Three Colours: Red, and Nanni Moretti’s Dear Diary, which was eagerly championed by jury vice-president Catherine Deneuve. The victories of Sex, Lies, and Videotape in 1989 and Pulp Fiction in 1994 gave American independent cinema global validation. Pulp Fiction of course benefited from producer Harvey Weinstein’s “Iron Curtain Strategy” to increase the buzz with limited screenings, while targeting selected American critics to deliver glowing reviews. It began his enduring love affair with Cannes, as he returned as jury president 10 years later and delivered three more of his films (Death Proof in 2007, Inglourious Basterds in 2009, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in 2019) in the race for Palme d’Or. 

The edition boasted a particularly rich line-up across the various sections. Un Certain Regard, the official selection which was created in 1978, and favoured atypical films and lesser-known filmmakers, included Olivier Assayas’ Cold Water (L’eau froide), Pedro Costa’s Down to Earth (Casa de Lava), Claire Denis’ I Can’t Sleep (J’ai pas sommeil) among others. Adding to the festival’s scale and eclecticism were the parallel sections. Critics’ Week featured Kevin Smith’s Clerks, while Directors’ Fortnight had a commendable line-up of films from Aki Kaurismäki (Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatiana), Ang Lee (Eat Drink Man Woman), Michael Haneke (71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance) and Shekhar Kapur (Bandit Queen). John Waters’ hilariously absurd satire, Serial Mom, was also screened out of competition.

The pinnacle of eclecticism

Highlights | Palme d’Or: Antichrist (Lars von Trier), A Prophet (Jacques Audiard), Bright Star (Jane Campion), Broken Embraces (Pedro Almodóvar), Enter the Void (Gaspar Noé), Face (Tsai Ming-liang), Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold), Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino), Thirst (Park Chan-wook), The Time That Remains (Elia Suleiman), Wild Grass (Alain Resnais), Vincere (Marco Bellocchio), Vengeance (Johnnie To), The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke)

Un Certain Regard: Dogtooth (Yorgos Lanthimos), Father of My Children (Mia Hansen-Løve), Mother (Bong Joon-ho)

Out of Competition: Drag Me to Hell (Sam Raimi), Pixar’s Up (Pete Docter)

The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke) - Cannes 2009

The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke) – Cannes 2009

Andrea Arnold, Bong Joon-ho, Jane Campion, Gaspar Noé, Lars von Trier, Park Chan-wook, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Haneke, Pedro Almodóvar, Yorgos Lanthimos and more. Talk about an umissable festival line-up. But with this diversity came division, as some of the jury members ended up in a bitter battle. Jury President Isabelle Huppert and fellow juror James Gray reportedly fought over the former favouring Antichrist, and in the end, reached a compromise with The White Ribbon.

The 2009 edition was also an example of how Cannes is a unique showcase for little-known filmmakers to introduce their films to larger audiences. It is hard to imagine if we would all have been raving about Lanthimos and the Greek Weird Wave, if Dogtooth hadn’t won Prix Un Certain Regard. Ditto, with Mia Hansen-Løve. It is no wonder filmmakers and producers organise their production schedules in order to be able to present their films at Cannes.

Cannes 2020 could have matched the 2019, if not 2009, edition with a line-up, which would have probably included Annette (Leos Carax), Bergman Island (Mia Hansen-Løve), The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson), Last Night in Soho (Edgar Wright), Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul), Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon (Ana Lily Amirpour), Peninsula (Yeon Sang-Ho), Pixar’s Soul (Pete Doctor), Tenet (Christopher Nolan) and many more. We’ll know more when Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux makes an announcement on the selection in June. Even if there’s no physical or online edition of the festival, just imagining a “What if” wishlist makes for a comforting exercise in these strange times.

Updated Date: May 14, 2020 20:06:41 IST


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Coronavirus Outbreak: BTS announces livestream concert for June after postponing Map of the Soul tour

South Korean pop sensation BTS has announced that it will perform a live-streamed concert in June.

The seven-member band, which was forced to postpone its Map of the Soul concert in April due to the coronavirus pandemic, will reconnect with its legions of fans worldwide through the live streamed concert.

 Coronavirus Outbreak: BTS announces livestream concert for June after postponing Map of the Soul tour

K Pop boyband BTS. Image from Twitter/@965TDY

The band said that its Bang Bang Con The Live concert will be held on 14 June, at 6pm Korean time (2.30 pm Indian Standard Time).

The band said that the paid-for concert will run for approximately 90 minutes and be followed with other content.

The Map of the Soul tour was initially scheduled to kickstart from 25 April with the group performing in Seoul, Japan, Europe and North America, writes Variety. The band was to take the stage at London’s Twickenham Stadium on 3 and 4 July, followed by shows in Berlin and Barcelona.

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

Updated Date: May 14, 2020 18:27:18 IST

Tags : Bang Bang Con, BTS, Buzz Patrol, BuzzPatrol, Coronavirus Outbreak, Map Of The Soul, Tune In, TuneIn

Michael Madhu, popular Kannada actor and comedian, passes away aged 51

Popular Kannada actor and comedian Michael Madhu died of a heart attack on Wednesday evening. Known for his roles in films such as 1993 film Shhh! and 2013’s Bhajrangi, the 51-year-old actor is survived by his wife and two daughters.

According to a report in Mid-Day, the actor collapsed in his house in Bengaluru and was rushed to the KIMS hospital where he breathed his last.

Karthik Gowda, creative executive producer at Hombale Films, tweeted about Madhu’s demise.

Here is Gowda’s tweet

Madhu acted in over 300 films in a career spanning 15 years. First coming into prominence with the 1993 film Love Training, he held pivotal roles in films like AK 47, Vaali, Suryavamsha, Neelambari, Yamalokadalli Veerappan, Meese Hottha Gandasige Demandappo Demandu, Suprabhatha and Minugathare.

A Times of India report revealed Madhu had entered the industry to become a choreographer and added Michael to his name since he was a fan of pop singer Michael Jackson.

The actor was known for his unique style of comedy, involving body language and expressions that would leave fans in splits.

The Kannada film industry recently lost another comedian Bullet Prakash. The veteran actor died on 6 April after suffering from a liver infection.

Updated Date: May 14, 2020 18:16:37 IST


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The New Mutants, Disney’s X-Men spinoff starring Maisie Williams, to now release on 28 August

The New Mutants, the horror-tinged X-Men spinoff, is slated to be released in theatres on August 28, Disney has announced.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the much-awaited film was earlier scheduled for a spring release but was taken off the calendar due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Disney inherited the film upon acquiring 20th Century Fox.

Here is the new release date announcement 

Directed by Josh Boone, the film follows a group of young mutants trapped in a secret facility. It features Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga and Blu Hunt.

The New Mutants, based on the comic of the same name, was the first X-Men spinoff and released in 1982.

Taylor-Joy plays Russian mutant Illyana Rasputin/Magik, who uses teleportation discs and sorcery to move from place to place. Williams portrays Scottish mutant Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane, who straddles between her religious beliefs and her desire to turn into a wolf. Heaton is American mutant Sam Guthrie/Cannonball, who is invulnerable when he propels into the air.

Henry Zaga is Brazilian mutant Roberto da Costa/Sunspot, who can manipulate energy from the sun. Hunt is the Native American mutant Danielle Moonstar/Mirage, who can create illusions using the fears and desires from people’s personal thoughts. Finally, Braga plays Cecilia Reyes, a doctor and the group’s mentor, who has the ability to generate a protective bio-shield around herself.

The movie has had a tumultuous journey to release which led to intense speculation that it would skip theatres and go directly to streaming, which wasn’t the case.

Shot in 2017, the film was originally was set to arrive in theatres on 13 April, 2018, before being pushed back 10 months to 22 February, 2019.

The release date was further pushed to 2 August, 2019, with insiders suggesting reshoots would happen to tweak the film.

Reshoots never took place, and the film remains largely what test audiences saw back in 2017, but with finished visual effects.

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

Updated Date: May 14, 2020 11:28:03 IST


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Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris vs the Steven Soderbergh version, plus a diss about Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

One of my favourite disses in cinema history is Andrei Tarkovsky calling 2001: A Space Odyssey a “comic book”. It can be found in Naum Abramov’s interview — catalogued in Andrei Tarkovsky: Interviews, in the chapter “Dialogue with Andrei Tarkovsky about Science Fiction on the Screen” — from 1970. That was during the time Tarkovsky was adapting Stanisław Lem’s novel, Solaris, into a film. (The film came out in 1972.)

Abramov mentions that most sci-fi directors focus less on the central idea of the film than on impressing the viewer with art direction: the details of everyday life on other worlds, or the details of a spacecraft’s construction. “I think Kubrick’s Space Odyssey is guilty of that,” he says, leadingly. We can practically hear his whispered prayer that Tarkovsky will pick up the cue and respond with a quote for the ages.

 Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris vs the Steven Soderbergh version, plus a diss about Stanley Kubricks 2001: A Space Odyssey

A still from 2001: A Space Odyssey

And boy, he does. “Design is design. Painting is painting. And a film is a film. One should ‘separate the firmament from the waters’ and not engage in making comic books.” In all the science-fiction films he’s seen, Tarkovsky says, the filmmakers force the viewer to examine the material structure of the future. “More than that, sometimes, like Kubrick, they call their own films premonitions. It’s unbelievable! Let alone that 2001: A Space Odyssey is phoney on many points even for specialists. For a true work of art, the fake must be eliminated. I would like to shoot Solaris in a way that the viewer would be unaware of any exoticism. Of course, I’m referring to the exoticism of technology.”

Can you imagine the clickbait value of this statement in this digital age? Sample headline: “Tarkovsky says ‘2001’ is ‘phoney’ and just a ‘comic book’!” But what he means is this. The moon landing in 2001 is staged like an “event”. In Tarkovsky’s view, it should be staged like a bus arriving at a stop, because that would be the drab reality — the everyday environment — of the situation in the future.

In other words, the event should not be exoticised, but “conveyed to the viewer through the perception of the film’s characters”. (And to these characters, this event would not be the “event” it is to us, the audience.)

In Tarkovsky’s view, the detailed ‘examination’ of the technological processes of the future transforms the emotional foundation of a film into a lifeless schema with only pretensions to truth.

I wonder if Tarkovsky would be singing a slightly different tune if he’d been born in a capitalist country, with a Hollywood budget to spend on his movie. I also disagree with his contention that 2001 is just “lifeless schema.” The death of HAL 9000 is one of the most emotional set pieces in cinema history, plus it’s backed by the man/machine philosophy that runs through the film, right from the time the apes made their first “machine”. But generally speaking, I am with Tarkovsky. All he’s really saying is that the world should not be laid down for us like a high-school presentation. We should feel that the world already exists, that it has existed even before we stepped into the theatre.

A still from Andrei Tarkvosky's Solaris

A still from Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris

This world, in Solaris, is a planet apparently capable of reaching into the recesses of your mind, the places where you’ve tucked away your most painful memories. In the case of the psychologist, Kris Kelvin, these memories are of his wife, Hari. Solaris creates a replica of her and sends her/it to the space station he’s in, orbiting the planet. The thing that looks and walks and talks like Kris Kelvin’s wife back on earth, who killed herself, is simply a repository of alien intelligence.

The most touching — most emotional — aspect of the story is that this replica is a blank slate, which is slowly filled with knowledge of what happened back to the original Hari. The supreme irony for me, given Tarkovsky’s dismissal of 2001, is that Hari is a lot like HAL 9000. She has been “programmed” with a semblance of what it means to be human, but she has never led a life that’s allowed her to actually experience these emotions.

The Steven Soderbergh version of Solaris (2002) — which was truer to the spirit of the novel than to Tarkovsky’s film — made these emotions its focus. We get more flashbacks of the woman’s earlier life, before she died. The man ends up in space, and he’s revisited by replicas of this woman created by the planet — this much is similar in both films. But Soderbergh looks at the situation as an opportunity for some sort of couple’s therapy.

A still from Steven Sodenbergh's Solaris

A still from Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris

Stanisław Lem did not mind this adaptation, but he said, “I am not delighted with the prominence of love. Solaris may be perceived as a river basin — and Soderbergh chose only one of its tributaries.” Is that wrong? Is a creator not allowed to take only the parts of a book that interest him, and not feel obliged to “represent” the entire book?

Tarkovsky would have hated Soderbergh’s version. He died in 1986, but it’s almost as though he anticipated a narrower, love-centric adaptation in the future, and therefore embedded a critique in his film.

When yet another incarnation of Hari dies, Kris Kelvin is distraught. But a colleague tells him, “Don’t turn a scientific problem into a common love story.” You could call the Tarkovsky film an uncommon love story, a love story that’s just one of the many facets of an inscrutable prism. It’s not just about man and woman. It’s about life itself.

Near the end, Kris Kelvin asks his colleague, “Listen, having spent so many years here on the station, do you still feel a clear connection to your life down there?” The colleague is dismissive. He replies, “When man is happy, the meaning of life and other eternal themes rarely interest him. These questions should be asked at the end of one’s life.” And the camera’s focus slowly drifts to the shawl Hari used to wear, now draped on a chair. Tarkovsky’s film could be described with a line from Soderbergh’s: “There are no answers, only choices.”

You could argue that this is true about any difficult film. We choose one interpretation over another, the one that makes most sense to us. But one thing is certain. Tarkovsky was serious about that Kubrick diss. He was serious when he said, in that interview, that he wanted his film to be free of “the exoticism of technology.” The space station feels lived in and dingy, unlike the clinically cool interiors of Kubrick’s film. When Kris Kelvin asks his colleague that question, we really feel the weight of these words: “having spent so many years here on the station…” The premise may be new, but it unfolds in a world that existed (convincingly) long before we enter the theatre, or sit before a smaller screen.

Baradwaj Rangan is Editor, Film Companion (South).

All images from Twitter.

Updated Date: May 14, 2020 10:55:43 IST


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James McAvoy, Riz Ahmed cast in audio adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s bestseller The Sandman for Audible

Actor James McAvoy will voice the lead role in Audible’s upcoming audio-drama series adaptation of author Neil Gaiman’s popular novel The Sandman.

The Amazon-owned company, which produces audio entertainment content, unveiled the star-studded cast of the audio series on Wednesday.

Check out the announcement here

The Sandman, which Gaiman created alongside artists Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, was originally published by DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint.

Besides McAvoy, the audio series will also feature Riz Ahmed, Justin Vivian Bond, Arthur Darvill, Kat Dennings, Taron Egerton, William Hope, Josie Lawrence, Miriam Margolyes, Samantha Morton, Bebe Neuwirth, Andy Serkis, and Michael Sheen.

According to the official plotline, the story begins with an occultist who attempts to capture the physical embodiment of Death (Dennings) in a bargain for eternal life.

But he instead mistakenly traps Death’s younger brother Dream (McAvoy), another of the seven god-like siblings known as The Endless who oversee aspects of human existence, including Desire (Bond) and Despair (Margolyes), Destiny, Destruction and Delirium.

After 70 years of imprisonment Dream finally escapes, embarking on a quest to reclaim his lost objects of power and rebuild his kingdom, the world of sleep and imagination called The Dreaming.

Gaiman will narrate the series, which will be directed by his longtime collaborator Dirk Maggs. The duo will also serve as executive producers.

The first installment of the multi-part original audio drama series is set for release on 15 July.

The show adapts volumes 1-3 of the graphic novel series — Preludes & Nocturnes, The Doll’s House and Dream Country.

“A truly exceptional cast of artists will be bringing this cultural phenomenon to life. We are honored to be working alongside Neil Gaiman and DC to create a truly immersive adaptation that we know fans and listeners will love,” Audible Originals editor-in-chief David Blum said in a statement, posted on the company’s website.

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

Updated Date: May 14, 2020 10:30:29 IST


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