‘BREAK POINT’ OFFERS THE THRILL AND EXCITEMENT OF DRAMA AND THE REALISM OF DOCUMENTARY - The Daily Guardian
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‘BREAK POINT’ OFFERS THE THRILL AND EXCITEMENT OF DRAMA AND THE REALISM OF DOCUMENTARY

Murtaza Ali Khan

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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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APPLAUSE ENTERTAINMENT BEGINS 2022 WITH A HAT-TRICK OF SHOW RELEASES IN JANUARY

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Applause Entertainment has kick-started 2022 on a high note, with two back-to-back show releases. The Sameer Nair-headed content studio of the Aditya Birla Group started the year with a bang with ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’ streaming on Zee5 and ‘Humble Politiciann Nograj’ streaming on Voot Select.

Now, Applause Entertainment is all set to score a hat-trick with Mohit Raina-fronted ‘Bhaukaal Season 2’, streaming on MX Player.

Interestingly, Bhaukaal Season 2 is Applause Entertainment’s 30th release since its inception, it is 10th offering on MX Player and also its seventh show to boast of a second season. The first season of ‘Bhaukaal’, which was released in early 2020, became a huge hit for its hard-hitting storyline based on a real-life super cop, Navniet Sekera. The second season of the show revolves around how this police officer in Muzaffarnagar, UP, busts the Dedha gang and brings law, order and peace to the region.

What makes this feat even more commendable is that Team Applause is constantly exploring different genres with every show. ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’ produced in association with Emmay Entertainment, streaming on Zee5, is a story of a royal dysfunctional family featuring an ensemble of fantastic actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Lara Dutta, Soha Ali Khan, Kritika Karma, Anya Singh and Raghubir Yadav. The political satire, ‘Humble Politiciann Nograj’ produced in association with Firstaction Studios and Danish Sait, streaming on Voot Select, takes ahead the 2018 film with a new story running into 10 episodes. ‘Bhaukaal Season 2’ produced by Applause Entertainment in association with Baweja Studios Production has been eagerly awaited by the audience ever since it was announced post the release of its first outing.

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DEEPIKA, ANANYA & SIDDHANT STARRER ‘GEHRAIYAAN’ TRAILER OUT NOW

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MUMBAI: Directed by Shakun Batra, Amazon Original Movie ‘Gehraiyaan’ stars Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday, Dhairya Karwa as leads along with Naseeruddin Shah and Rajat Kapur in pivotal roles.

Gehraiyaan will have its World Premiere on Amazon Prime Video across more than 240 countries and territories on 11 February 2022. Directed by the very talented Shakun Batra, Gehraiyaan is a relationship drama that looks beneath the surface of complex modern relationships, adulting, letting go and taking control of ones’ life path.

Speaking about the film, Deepika Padukone said, “Alisha, my character in Gehraiyaan is extremely close to my heart and certainly one of the most challenging characters I have portrayed on screen. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to play a role that was fun and challenging at the same time.”

Ananya Panday said, “Shooting with the wonderful cast and crew of Gehraiyaan has been an absolute high point for me and I never wanted the shoot to end! There’s a certain realness to the story of Gehraiyaan; while the film dives into the complexity of relationships it also talks about the thrill of being in love, of discovering oneself and charting ones’ path.”

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ALIA BHATT CLOTHES THE NEEDY

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NEW DELHI: Pretty Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt, who will soon be seen in S Rajamouli’s magnum opus ‘RRR’, is now giving back to the community through a new initiative. She launched Ed-a-Mamma, a conscious clothing brand for kids, a while back and has now kicked off a ‘Buy1Give1’ initiative, which will provide basic clothing for underprivileged children. For this initiative, every purchase made on their website will be matched with a garment donated by Ed-a-Mamma for a child in need. Ed-a-Mamma has partnered with Goonj – a renowned NGO working across India that focuses on clothing as a basic, yet unaddressed need. Alia Bhatt said, “With Ed-a-Mamma, I set out to create a world that nurtures in children, a love of nature. Knowing full well that they will look after what they love. The Buy1Get1 initiative will be used to gift garments to children in need and we hope to make kids understand the joy of sharing with people who are less fortunate.”So while the actress’ career is flying high and she is busy with numerous films, Alia has not forgotten those in need.

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SIDDHANT BRINGS A LUXURIOUS HARLEY DAVIDSON HOME

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MUMBAI: Actor Siddhant Chaturvedi recently brought home a luxurious Harley Davidson Sportster S, making him the first person in India to have the bike.

The ‘Gehraiyaan’ actor took to his social media to share the news of the same with his fans and followers. The actor, who rose to fame with MC Sher from Gully Boy, has certainly come a long way in the matter of just 3 years, which is a rather remarkable feat.

On the work front, Siddhant is currently gearing up for Shakun Batra’s next ‘Gehraiyaan’. He also has ‘Phone Booth’, ‘Yudhra’ and ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ in the pipeline. 

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SONAL CHAUHAN TO PLAY LEAD IN AKKINENI NAGARJUNA’S THE GHOST

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MUMBAI: Akkineni Nagarjuna’s ‘The Ghost’ is a much-anticipated film ever since its announcement. Earlier it was said that the Bollywood star, Jacqueline Fernandez was cast for the film however, the word on the block is that the talented Sonal Chauhan will be playing the lead opposite Nagarjuna instead of Jacqueline.

That’s right, Sonal Chauhan fans are in for a treat as they get to see their favourite actress on the silver screen. A source close to the film said “Makers felt Sonal Chauhan was the best fit for the lead role opposite Nagarjuna in ‘The Ghost’. They felt both the actors Sonal and Nagarjuna would make for a fine on-screen pair and that’s when they approached her. The two are definitely going to portray some great chemistry in the film.” 

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SALMAN TO FEATURE IN GURU RANDHAWA’S NEW SONG

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MUMBAI: Superstar Salman Khan will be seen flaunting his acting skills in singer Guru Randhawa’s new song ‘Main Chala’.

Female vocals of the track have been lent by Lulia Vantur, and the female artist who will be featuring alongside Salman is Pragya Jaiswal. On Tuesday, Guru Randhawa took to Instagram and shared the update with his fans.

“Love will be in air with #MainChala! Song releasing on 22nd January. Stay Tuned,” he wrote.

He tagged Salman Khan and Pragya in the comments. Produced by Salma Khan, the romantic track will be out on January 22.

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