Nonfiction is an area that opens upon so many creative possibilities and yet not many mainstream Indian filmmakers have tried their hands at it. The husband-wife duo of Nitesh Tiwari and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari has taken the mantle of making a documentary series titled ‘Break Point’ for ZEE5 on the rise and eventual fallout of the former Indian doubles tennis champions Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi who together won three men’s doubles Grand Slam titles which included winning the French Open and Wimbledon in 1999. At one point in time, it felt as if the duo of Paes and Bhupathi would win every doubles title under the sky but then their egos came in between, bringing their dream partnership to end. While many efforts were made to bring them back together, the old magic just could never be created again. Nevertheless, Paes went on to win 15 more men’s doubles/mixed doubles Grand Slam titles (taking his overall tally to 18) teaming up with various other players. As for Bhupathi, he won 9 more (taking his tally to 12) teaming up with different partners.
‘Break Point’ takes us to the very start of their respective journeys. Paes had already been a pro when he first asked Bhupathi to become his doubles partner even though the latter was still playing at the college level. The rest, as they say, is history. But initially, it was a decision that didn’t go well with Leander’s father Vece who felt that Bhupathi at the time had a huge mountain to climb before he could even dream to be on the same court with Leander. But nothing mattered to Leander who had already made up his mind. He had a simple dream: to see two Indians winning a Grand Slam. And he saw Bhupathi as his only hope of realising it. Even his choice of Team Song was ‘Made in India’. And when at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Paes and Bhupathi almost scored an upset win over the Woodies (the Australian duo of Mark and Todd Woodbridge), it become obvious to everyone that the ‘Indian Express’ (that what they came to be known as) is here to stay. The real icing on the cake was Leander winning the bronze medal for India in the men’s singles at Atlanta with Bhupathi supporting him from the stands. Even though Bhupathi had every reason to return home after their doubles defeat he stayed back and cheered for his partner.
It wasn’t too long before the duo of Paes and Bhupathi became a rage. What made them tick were their complementary styles. While Bhupathi’s backhand was world-class, Paes’ forehand was as par with the best in the world (he even defeated Pete Sampras in a singles match in straight sets at Newport during their only clash). Bhupathi’s height allowed him to serve big and reach for strong returns. Paes was far more agile and could cover a lot of court area and was easily the more flamboyant of the two. His flamboyance, passion, and zeal are quite apparent in the interviews featured in ‘Break Point’. On the other hand, Bhupathi’s calmness on the court also gets reflected in the interviews that he has given for the documentary. In fact, Paes originally started the famous chest bump during a Davis Cup match to cheer up his usually calm partner and get their competitive juices running. From then on it became the duo’s signature. In Paes’ words, “Whenever we were low on energy, we chest bumped”.
‘Break Point’ mostly relies on interviews to tell its story. Other than Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, their family and friends, Australian Mark and Todd Woodbridge, American Bryan Bros, Martina Hingis (who won Grand Slam titles with both Paes and Bhupathi), Sania Mirza (who won two Grand Slam titles with Bhupathi) are also a part of the documentary. To its credit, the film at its best does indeed have the thrill and excitement of drama and the realism of documentary. Perhaps, the biggest challenge as a documentary filmmaker is to make real people tell their lives’ stories in front of the camera. And the Tiwaris are up to the task. They succeed in overcoming the challenge for the most part by making their subjects talk candidly about their high as well as low points. There is no denying that construction is at the very heart of filmmaking, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, but when it comes to good documentaries the element of realism must be able to speak for itself. And, despite some missed opportunities, it certainly does so in ‘Break Point’. Credit must also go to the editors Irene Dhar Malik and Charu Shree Roy. The film serves as a powerful reminder of what Paes and Bhupathi stand for. Yes, they didn’t last for as long as everyone had hoped for but whatever they achieved together in the global arena is something to look up to. In fact, even their failures offer some valuable lessons to be learned.
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SUNNY, AMEESHA ANNOUNCE SEQUEL OF ‘GADAR’
MUMBAI: The wait is finally over! Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel are all set to make you nostalgic with the sequel of their iconic film ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’.
On Thursday, Sunny took to Instagram and shared a teaser poster of his upcoming project with a promise of announcing “something very special” on Dussehra. Ameesha, too, shared the same poster on her social media handle. The two have not mentioned ‘Gadar’ anywhere in the post. But the poster, which has the number ‘2’ and a line ‘The Katha continues’ written on it, clearly indicated that the announcement is related to the film’s sequel only. For the unversed, 2001 released ‘Gadar’ was directed by Anil Sharma. The period-action drama was set in 1947, the time of partition in India. It mainly revolved around Tara Singh (portrayed by Sunny), a Sikh truck driver from Amritsar, who falls in love with Sakina (portrayed by Ameesha), a Muslim girl hailing from a political family in Lahore, Pakistan. Fans became super excited after seeing Sunny and Ameesha’s posts. “Gaddar 2 biggest blockbuster paji,” a social media user commented. “Gadar part 2… Wow,” another one wrote.
TAAPSEE TO VISIT STATUE OF UNITY TO PROMOTE ‘RASHMI ROCKET’
MUMBAI: We are all aware of celebrities visiting different places in the country to promote their upcoming projects. Taapsee Pannu’s upcoming film ‘Rashmi Rocket’ will be releasing on 15 October. The trailers and songs of the movie have been well received and people are waiting to watch this spectacular movie the moment it releases. Taapsee, Priyanshu, and Abhishek Banerjee will be visiting Ahmedabad in a day for special promotions and it is also reported that while promoting her movie the stunning actress may visit ‘The Statue of Unity’ in Baroda. It seems the team of ‘Rashmi Rocket’ plans to pay homage to this monument which is one of the greatest symbols of unity. ‘Rashmi Rocket’ primarily deals with the issue of gender testing in sports. The movie is based on Rashmi, an incredibly fast runner who dreams of crossing the finish line as an athlete and making a mark for her country. However, she soon understands that the race to the finish line has multiple obstacles and what seems like an athletic competition turns into her personal battle for respect, honour, and her individual identity. The central topic of the movie is gender testing in sports.
GURU AND MRUNAL’S ‘SNOW FIGHT’ ON THE SETS OF ‘AISE NA CHHORO MUJHE’
MUMBAI: Guru Randhawa and Mrunal Thakur had an amazing time on the sets of their next single ‘Aise Na Chhoro Mujhe’. While the entire team was under layers of clothes freezing in -10 degrees, both the artists were having snow fights and riding on the snowmobile all around the location. Guru and Mrunal were having such a blast on the set while filming in Kashmir, so much so that director Aashish Panda had to intervene and remind them they were shooting for the music video and had to get in their character. Both these artists, who have paired for the first time together for a music video, got along like a house on fire and completely forgot that the cameras were still rolling. Going by the camaraderie Guru and Mrunal share, we can’t wait to watch ‘Aise Na Chhoro Mujhe’ to catch their electric chemistry. Presented by Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series, the love song penned by Rashmi Virag and composed by Manan Bhardwaj, is an achingly sweet romantic track that tells a modern-day Romeo-Juliet story.
RAJKUMMAR BAGS NEW FILM ‘BHEED’
MUMBAI: Rajkummar Rao is all set to work on a new film titled ‘Bheed’. The upcoming project will be directed by Anubhav Sinha. Excited about the film, Rajkummar said, “I am thrilled to be working with Anubhav Sinha. It’s a matter of great honour and privilege to collaborate with a filmmaker who has such a distinct voice. Reuniting with Bhushan Kumar feels like coming back on home turf after the success of Ludo last year.”
Anubhav is extremely happy to get Rajkummar on board. “Bheed is one of those titles that the whole team jumps at the moment you propose it. To me, casting was crucial. Raj is a very intriguing actor. He is one of the very few actors who can be so successfully transparent in a story. There always was a keen desire to work with him and I am looking forward to it. I am honoured to have a solid collaborator like Bhushan on my side who is such a strong pillar and a sturdy sounding board,” he shared.
‘Bheed’ is touted as a socio-political drama, which will be shot across Lucknow. It is expected to go on floors in November. Also, the movie is jointly produced by Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series and Anubhav’s Benaras Mediaworks.
4 ACTORS WHO HAVE PUT INDIA ON THE GLOBAL MAP
MUMBAI: Cinema is a universal language. A film’s story and emotions speak to the audience. Holding the statement true, many B-town actors and actresses have found acceptance and love with their international ventures. While legendary actors like Irrfan and Om Puri have made a dent with their work in Hollywood, we have a younger generation of stars following their lead.
Here’s looking at four new-age actors who have put India on the global map with their acclaimed projects:
Ali Fazal became a hit in the west within no time. The actor, who is soaking in the success of ‘Mirzapur’, made a debut with ‘Fast and Furious 7’. Later, he played the lead in ‘Victoria and Abdul’ alongside Judi Dench. Ali also has ‘Death On The Nile’ in the pipeline.
Touted as a powerhouse performer, Huma Qureshi ventured into international space with Zack Snyder’s zombie action-thriller ‘Army of the Dead’. Released on Netflix, the actress made a lot of noise for her impactful performance in the same.
The young actor Priyanshu Painyuli is garnering love from all across for his phenomenal choices. The actor, who left everyone mighty impressed with his character Robin in ‘Mirzapur’, featured in American drama ‘Extraction’ in 2020. Priyanshu is gearing up for the release of ‘Rashmi Rocket’.
Actress Elnaaz Norouzi, who stunned the audience with her portrayal of a Cam-Girl in ‘Chutzpah’, will feature in an Apple TV+ and Emmy Nominated drama series ‘Tehran’ with Oscar-nominated star Glenn Close. Meanwhile, Elnaaz also has a thriller titled ‘Sangeen’ in India on the horizon.
REMEMBERING KISHORE KUMAR’S ICONIC SONGS
MUMBAI : There are a handful of celebrities in the showbiz who leave a strong imprint on everybody with their exemplary persona, and late legendary singer Kishore Kumar is one of them. Born as Abhas Kumar Ganguly and fondly remembered as ‘Kishore Da’, the versatile singer died at the age of 58 on 13 October 1987 but his memories are still etched in people’s hearts. Other than being one of the most accomplished singers of his time, he was also a screenwriter, actor, composer, director, and producer.
Paying an ode to the evergreen cinema gem on his 34th death anniversary, here are a few of his iconic songs that have been remade in Bollywood films: ‘Pal Pal Dil Ke Pas’ is the song from the cult classic ‘Blackmail’, it is still considered one of the best songs of Kishore Kumar’s career. It was recreated two times. ‘Dil Me Choopa Lunga’ is an evergreen song from the 70s sung by Kishore Kumar for ‘Darling Darling’. The song was re-used for ‘Wajah Tum Ho’. ‘Dil Kya Kare’ is the song that belongs to the romantic drama film ‘Julie’. The track was recreated for ‘Kaabil’. ‘Bachna Hai Haseeno’ is the iconic song sung by Kishore Kumar that belongs to the musical drama film ‘Hum Kisise Kum Naheen’. The song ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ was recreated and also the title of the film.
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