Bryan Cranston is back in his element in legal drama ‘Your Honor’ - The Daily Guardian
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Bryan Cranston is back in his element in legal drama ‘Your Honor’

Murtaza Ali Khan

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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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PRITHVI CHANGES HIS NAME TO HONOUR HIS LATE TAUJI

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Actor Prithvi Tanwar, has changed his name to honour his late uncle. Prithvi’s first name was Mahesh. Prithvi says, “I changed my name from Mahesh to Prithvi in 2019. The reason is, I was close to my paternal uncle who carried this name. After his death, I wanted to keep his name alive. This is my small effort towards that.” He added, “Modeling brought me down to Mumbai. I joined an acting school and started appearing for auditions. The negativity of failure hit me. I decided to go back home. But after I reached home, I started getting calls for shoots. When I discussed with my father, he said if I would have stayed in Mumbai a little longer, I would have got work. He asked me to go back to Mumbai and give another try. My family has been supportive.”

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BOBBY DROPS HEARTWARMING PHOTOS WITH SON ARYAMAN

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NEW DELHI: Bollywood actor Bobby Deol on Wednesday wished his son Aryaman Deol on his twentieth birthday by sharing adorable pictures with him on social media. The ‘Race 3’ actor took to his Instagram handle and shared rare pictures with his son. In the pictures, Aryaman can be seen hugging his father, as the two pose for the camera. In the caption, Bobby wrote, “Happy birthday my angel,” followed by a heart emoji.

In the comments section of the post, Chunky Panday wrote, “Happy Happy birthday dear Aryaman.” Darshan Kumar wrote, “Happy Birthday Aryaman Wish you the World.” Deol’s Race 3 co-star Saqib Saleem also commented with kissing face emojis. On Tuesday, Bobby had celebrated three years of his film ‘Race 3’. Sharing an old video from the sets just before his shot, he wrote, “This is where it all began again! The journey has been incredible, especially 2020! Cannot wait to show you all everything coming up next.”

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FARHAN AKHTAR’S ‘TOOFAAN’ GETS NEW OTT RELEASE DATE

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Mumbai: Actor Farhan Akhtar’s most anticipated film, ‘Toofaan’, is scheduled to release on July 16. The upcoming sports drama is getting a digital release on Amazon Prime Video. Announcing the same, Farhan on Wednesday took to his official Instagram account and wrote: “With humility, love and in dedication to the fighting spirit of the beautiful people of our nation, our film ‘Toofaan’ will be releasing on July 16th. #ToofaanOnPrime.”

Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has helmed ‘Toofaan’, which is set against the backdrop of boxing and revolves around the character of Farhan who plays the role of a boxer in the film. Actors Paresh Rawal and Mrunal Thakur are also a part of the movie.

While announcing the release date of ‘Toofaan’, Farhan has also unveiled a new poster of his look from the movie. In the poster, Farhan can be seen standing in a boxing ring flaunting his chiseled body. ‘Toofan’ is backed by Ritesh Sidhwani, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Farhan.

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KIARA ADVANI REVEALS SHE WOULD LOVE TO DO A BIOPIC ON MADHUBALA

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KIARA ADVANI YEARNS FOR MORE AND PUSHES HERSELF

Kiara Advani recently completed seven years in Bollywood. The star celebrated the special day with her fans. She engaged in a virtual interaction with her fans across the nation to celebrate the glorious seven years. Her fans asked their favourite actress various questions related to films, her journey and much more. The star even took to social media platforms to talk about her acting journey so far. A fan quizzed the actress about the role that she would love to play in future. To which she replied, “I would love to do a biopic on Madhubala. That is a dream for sure.”

Speaking about the celebration, Around 40 fan pages across India came together to celebrate Kiara’s 7 glorious years in Bollywood. Her admirers from Delhi, Lucknow, Banglore, amongst other cities ranging from different age groups united to shower their love on Kiara.

The actress has carved her niche in the industry with her amazing performances in ‘Fugly’, ‘MS Dhoni’, ‘Bharat Ane Nenu’, ‘Lust Stories’, ‘Kabir Singh’, ‘Good Newwz’, ‘Guilty’ and ‘Indoo Ki Jawani ‘amongst others.

She has some stellar performances in her kitty. From ‘Shershaah’, ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’, ‘Jug Jugg Jeeyo’ and Shashank Khaitan’s next amongst Kiara is one of the busiest stars in the industry today. The biographical action drama ‘Shershaah’ revolves around the life of the Kargil hero Vikram Batra. The film is slated to release on July 2, 2021.

The star was last seen in the comedy film ‘Indoo Ki Jawaani’ where she features alongside Aditya Seal and Mallika Dua.

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KAREENA SHINES BRIGHT ON A BILLBOARD AT THE TIMES SQUARE

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MUMBAI: Kareena Kapoor has successfully established herself as one of the biggest female superstar in the country over the years and continues to be the reigning star claiming the throne.

Continuing to win hearts, Kareena is now shining bright at the Times Square in  New York City where her commercial for a popular jewelry brand is being displayed at a massive billboard. Sharing a video of the same on her IG, the actress wrote, “Shining bright like diamonds and gold on a billboard #TimesSquareNYC”.

Receiving major love from netizens, Kareena’s post already has got viral on social media with millions of her fans from all across the globe commenting on how much they love her on the NYC Times Square billboard.

On the professional front, Kareena Kapoor Khan will be next seen in the highly anticipated Advait Chandan directorial ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ opposite Aamir Khan. She also has Karan Johar’s period drama ‘Takht’ lined up.

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SUNNY, AMEESHA EXPRESS GRATITUDE TO FANS AS ‘GADAR’ CLOCKS 20 YEARS

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Sunny Deol’s ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’ clocked 20 years on Tuesday and the star thanked the audience for making his film ‘an event’.

The 2001 film, that also starred Ameesha Patel in the lead, became an instant hit. The Anil Sharma directorial did not just impress viewers but also registered huge numbers at the box office. The actor-politician took to Twitter to express gratitude to all his fans who made the film a ‘historic’ affair. Sunny tweeted a video song from Gadar, ‘Musafir Jaane Wale’, featuring him and Ameesha.

Sharing the video, he thanked viewers for showering the action love story with so much love. Sunny wrote, “We made a film, you made it an event! #20yearsofGadar, I express my gratitude to everyone who made our film historic.”

Taking to Instagram, Ameesha uploaded a series of posts recalling her acting stint on the project. In one of the posts, she shared a few unseen moments from the set and captioned: “Gadar…behind the scenes of the most iconic film that Bollywood has seen till date…thank you all for the love..20 years of Gadar.”

Released on 15 June, 2001, ‘Gadar’ was a romantic drama set against the background of India’s partition. The film also featured late Amrish Puri and Lillete Dubey.

On the occasion, Lillete too took to social media to remember her work in ‘Gadar’.

“15 June 2001…. 20 years since ‘Gadar’ opened on this day. And what a storm it created.Remembering the making of the film and especially my wonderful co-star who also came from theatre — the man with the deepest baritone Amrish Puri,” she wrote.

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