Bryan Cranston is synonymous with Breaking Bad and vice versa. The statement is perhaps just as axiomatic as saying that sun rises in the east and sets in the west or saying that December is the twelfth and final month of the year in the Gregorian calendar. And, it’s going to stay that way for a long, long time to come. That’s exactly what happens to you when you become the face of an exemplary show that goes on to revolutionize the long-form storytelling. Today, it’s nigh impossible not to think of Walter White and Breaking Bad every time Cranston appears in something new. Showtime’s latest offering Your Honor, which will be available in India on Voot Select, stars Cranston in the role of a respected New Orleans judge whose teenage son gets involved in a hit-and-run that leads to a game of deceit and one-upmanship in the face of insurmountable odds. Halfway into the first episode when the son tells his protective father about his predicament, Cranston really shines as a performer like only someone of his calibre can. But we are immediately drawing comparisons with Walter White. I believe it’s a weight that Cranston must carry on his shoulders. For, it’s not something that can be done away with. The viewers too must learn to deal with it. This assessment of Your Honor, a 10-episode legal thriller helmed by Peter Moffat, is based on the first four episodes that have been made available to critics by Showtime as part of a special press preview.
Now, Your Honor shares many similarities to Breaking Bad, not the least of which is Cranston. But it isn’t exactly a perfect show like Breaking Bad. I think it’s important to set the record straight so that the expectations are kept under check right from the onset. Let’s first discuss the strongest aspects of the show. The New Orleans setting of the series is what needs to be praised. One seldom gets to see such a strong sense of the locales in a crime thriller series but Moffat is not someone to go easy on the detail. Over the years so many memorable movies have been set in New Orleans (A Streetcar Named Desire, Easy Rider, Live and Let Die, Cat People, Tightrope, New Orleans, Angel Heart, Blaze, Hard Target, Double Jeopardy, Déjà Vu, and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, among others) and while watching Your Honor, one is immediately reminded of them. For a keen-eyed and informed viewer, it’s nothing less than a rendezvous with nostalgia.
Another strong area of the series is the strong acting performances on offer with Cranston leading from the front. Essaying the part of Michael Desiato, a well-respected judge with a strong sense of justice for the underprivileged who is quick to forgo his moralities and relationships to protect his son, Cranston never really misses a note. He is brilliantly supported by an ensemble cast that features the likes of Michael Stuhlbarg (as Jimmy Baxter, the much-feared head of a crime family), Hope Davis (as Baxter’s unforgiving and vengeful wife Gina who is perhaps even more dangerous than her husband), Hunter Doohan (as Desiato’s asthmatic son Adam who accidentally kills Baxter’s son), Isiah Whitlock Jr. (as Desiato’s best friend and confidante Charlie), Carmen Ejogo (as a high profile lawyer and Desiato’s former intern Lee), Margo Martindale (as Desiato’s mother-in-law Elisabeth), Sofia Black-D›Elia (as Adam’s teacher and paramour), Lamar Johnson, and Amy Landecker, among others. The best scenes, of course, take place between Cranston and Doohan. They are tender, often painful, and sometimes explosive. Also, Cranston and Ejogo share interesting chemistry.
Your Honor is based on the Israeli series Kvodo, created by Ron Ninio and Shlomo Mashiach, which ran for two seasons from 2017 – 2019. Interestingly, SonyLIV had come out with an Indian adaptation of Kvodo a few months back, also titled Your Honor, with Jimmy Sheirgill in the lead and set in the city of Ludhiana, Punjab. The beauty with series remakes is that the writers tend to take a lot of liberties and often end up with something entirely new as we saw with House of Cards. The Showtime series, for example, offers a strong social commentary that exposes white privilege and the widespread prejudice against Black Africans. And, in doing so, it succeeds in establishing a strong dialogue with the Black Lives Matter movement and widespread conversations about racism in the US. However, as a crime thriller series, Your Honor leaves a lot to be desired. While there is no dearth of drama and emotions, the moments of genuine thrill are few and far between. It starts on a high note with the ghastly accident that sets up the plot. Everything that follows it somehow fails to match its intensity. Here is a slow-burner that revels in its characterization rather than the plot. So, if you are looking for a solid character study with terrific performances then Your Honor wouldn’t disappoint you.
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ARSHAD TO BE SEEN IN TURBANED LOOK IN NEW FILM ‘BANDA SINGH’
MUMBAI: Arshad Warsi will be seen donning a turban in his new film ‘Banda Singh’.
On Monday, Arshad took to Twitter and shared the first official poster of the movie. In the image, he can be seen sporting a turbaned look as he poses with actor Meher Vij. “Really excited to become #BandaSingh for you all. All we need is your blessings,” Arshad captioned the poster.
As per a statement, ‘Banda Singh’ is a survival story of a man and his family, set in North India and based on true events. It is helmed by Abhishek Saxena.
Abhishek said, “I have been looking for a script like this to direct since a long time as my earlier two films Phullu and Saroj Ka Rishta were on social issues but Banda Singh is about survival. I am quite thrilled to go on floors and roll the film with Arshad, Meher and rest of the cast.” ‘Banda Singh’ will go on floors in mid-November.
TRAILER OF JOHN’S ‘SATYAMEVA JAYATE 2’ PACKED WITH PATRIOTISM & ACTION
MUMBAI: The makers of the John Abraham-starrer ‘Satyameva Jayate 2’ finally dropped the trailer of the much-awaited sequel to the 2018 hit ‘Satyameva Jayate’.
The nearly three-minute-long trailer shows John on a mission to fight against injustice, corruption, and misuse of power. He undertakes three different avatars in order to do so.
The trailer, high on patriotism, is packed with action, drama, and powerful dialogues. Sharing his excitement, John said, “I am very happy that cinemas have now re-opened even in Maharashtra and the audiences will be able to experience ‘Satyameva Jayate 2’ in theatres. A film like ‘Satyameva Jayate 2’ is meant for the big screen and for the masses/people who have not been able to watch movies in theatres due to the pandemic. The response by all the exhibitors who saw the rushes has been encouraging, they are also looking forward to the film.”
Divya Khosla Kumar also shared her excitement to be a part of this franchise. “It’s been such a pleasure working with John and Milap. Satyameva Jayate is an iconic film and I am positive that the second instalment will only be a feather to the cap of the film franchise. I hope the audience and my fans embrace me and my performance,” said Divya.
BAJRANG DAL VANDALISES ‘ASHRAM 3’ SET IN BHOPAL
BHOPAL: The upcoming web series ‘Ashram 3’ directed by Prakash Jha has sparked controversy after Bajrang Dal workers ransacked the series’ sets on Sunday during its filming and even threw ink at the director. The filming was going on at the old jail in Bhopal, where the Bajrang Dal workers stopped the vehicles and pelted stones at them, leaving some crew members injured. After the incident, Irshad Wali, DIG Bhopal, clarified, “All the miscreants have been shunned from the premises and no one has been fatally injured, though some vehicles have been damaged. Further action will be taken against those responsible.”
Bajrang Dal Bhopal leader Sushil Sudele said, “We want the film industry to be promoted here in Madhya Pradesh. People should get employment but this land should not be used to humiliate Hindu samaj. In the earlier installment of the series, it was shown that women are exploited inside Ashram, is it so? Stop defaming Hindus and if he wants to gain popularity, then why not name any other religion and see the number of protests that happen. We have given only a warning for now and Prakash Raj has said that he is in talks to change the show’s title.” He added, “I repeat the show’s name will have to be changed from ‘Ashram’ or won’t be filmed here in Bhopal.”
KARTIK STARTS SHOOTING FOR ‘SHEHZADA’
MUMBAI: Kartik Aaryan is wasting no time in jumping from one project to another and is all set to start shooting for his next, titled ‘Shehzada’, with co-star Kriti Sanon.
Taking to Instagram, Kartik posted a classy picture in which he can be seen holding the clapperboard of the film in a stylish fashion. For the picture, Kartik stands on the glossy, reflective floor of an elegant, white corridor. Adding a crown emoticon, he wrote the caption, “#Shehzada Shuru…”
Helmed by Rohit Dhawan, ‘Shehzada’ will mark the second collaboration between Kriti and Kartik after their 2019 hit romantic film ‘Luka Chuppi’. Apart from Kriti and Kartik, Paresh Rawal, Manisha Koirala, Ronit Roy, and Sachin Khedekar are also a part of ‘Shehzada’.
The upcoming project is an action-packed, musical, family film, which will be shot over various schedules in Mumbai and Delhi in the next several months. The film, produced by Bhushan Kumar, Allu Arvind, and Aman Gill, will release on 4 November next year.
KANGANA ON CLOUD NINE AFTER RECEIVING 4TH NATIONAL FILM AWARD
NEW DELHI: 25 October 2021 will always be a memorable day for Kangana Ranaut as she received her fourth National Film Award. Kangana was awarded the Best Actress Award for her performances in ‘Manikarnika: Queen of Jhansi’ and ‘Panga’.
For the special occasion, she chose to wear a traditional silk saree. She even shared several pictures of her look on her Instagram account before walking up to the stage to receive the award. “All set to receive the highest honour for an artist in the country today …. National Award,” Kangana captioned the post.
This is her fourth National Award. Earlier, Kangana won Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘Fashion’ and Best Actress Awards for ‘Queen’ and ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’.
After receiving the prestigious award, she took to the photo-sharing application to thank her parents for being her support system. “We all grow up with a deep desire to be worthy of our parents love, care and sacrifices…After all the troubles I give my mummy papa such days seem to make up for all those mischiefs ..Thank you for being my mummy papa I wouldn’t want it any other way,” wrote Kangana.
‘SOORYAVANSHI’ PROMOTIONS: KATRINA SHARES HILARIOUS VIDEO OF AKSHAY & ROHIT
NEW DELHI: Katrina Kaif treated fans with a hilarious behind-the-scenes video from the first of ‘Sooryavanshi’ promotions. Taking to Instagram, Katrina shared a video in which she could be sarcastically seen saying, “So guys, this is the first day of promotions for Sooryavanshi, and I have never seen Rohit sir and Akshay so excited, they are ready to go, they are full of energy, they are like,” and turns the camera to capture Rohit and Akshay resting. The moment both of them realise that they are being captured by Katrina, they ask her to stop. “Don’t record,” Rohit could be heard telling Katrina.
“Arre but you wake up at 5 in the morning, you must be tired,” Katrina teases Akshay, who asks her, “What are you doing? We have a reputation,” and both Akshay and Rohit run away from Katrina in a hurry.
Sharing the video, the ‘Bang Bang’ actress wrote, “Just look at the excitement of the boys for our first-day promotions together @itsrohitshetty @akshaykumar #sooryavanshiintheatres #sundayvibes #sooryavanshi Nov 5th.”
Responding to the video, Akshay also wrote, “Waiting for #Sooryavanshi for a year and a half now, a few moments of peace toh banta hai nah! But pranksters like you clearly want trouble @katrinakaif. No worries, #AaRahiHaiPolice.”
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