JL50, the new Sony LIV series created and directed by Shailender Vyas, was originally meant to be a science fiction movie but now it has been released as a four-part miniseries with each episode clocking roughly 30 minutes. The sci-fi thriller series revolves around a CBI investigation of a flight crash in the hill town of Lava situated in West Bengal. The investigation takes a shocking turn when it is discovered that JL50 which crashed a week ago is the same aeroplane that had mysteriously disappeared after taking off from Kolkata (erstwhile Calcutta) 35 years ago.
JL50 stars Abhay Deol, Pankaj Kapur, Piyush Mishra, Rajesh Sharma, Amrita Chattopadhyay, and Ritika Anand who is also one of the producers on the series. While Deol plays a CBI officer named Shantanu, Kapur plays a professor of quantum physics who holds the key to the mystery surrounding the crashed aeroplane.
Now, as evident from the aforementioned storyline, the theme of time travel is central to the series. According to Wikipedia, the concept of time travel involves “movement between certain points in time”.
It is widely accepted that even though time travel may be theoretically possible, it is beyond our current technological capabilities. But that hasn’t stopped the science fiction writers from exploring the
different aspects of time travel. If we talk of cinema, film franchises including Star Trek, Back to the Future, X-Men and Avengers have depicted humans arrive in the past or future, almost at will. Each time a new time travel theory is put into effect. Generally, the most popular means of time travel involves a time machine— originally made famous by H. G. Wells’ 1895 novel The Time Machine.
Over the years, we have become more sophisticated when it comes to time travel. Take, for example, the concept of wormhole (aka Einstein–Rosen bridge). A wormhole can be visualised as a tunnel that links disparate points in spacetime. So, if we enter the tunnel which is connected to the present at its opening we can effectively travel into the past or the future connected to its other end. It’s like taking a shortcut in time.
JL50 too relies on the wormhole concept to explore the possibilities of time travel. It is heartening to see serious sci-fi finally working out reason- ably well in India. In the past, we have seen the concept of time travel used ludicrously in films like Fun2shh and Action Replayy, but JL50 finally brings some dignity to time travel. Credit goes to creator-director Shailender Vyas and actor-producer Ritika Anand for the belief and commitment to their vision. Abhay Deol and Pankaj Kapur also need to be commended for backing a project like this.
The series has all the right ingredients and yet it falls short of attaining brilliance. And it’s mainly because of two reasons. Firstly, it lacks the deep exploration that the long-form narrative requires. The ending is too quick and slick. While it may have worked for a movie, it leaves a lot to be desired within the construct of a miniseries. Secondly, the makers appear to take the viewers for granted when they choose to go easy on science and the concept of time travel. Gone are those days when the Indian audiences weren’t exposed to international films and series. Viewers of today, especially those on the web, are well-accustomed to watching sci-fi films and series. For example, a viewer who has seen Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is bound to feel a bit let down by JL50. Why stick to the elementary stuff when the audiences have an appetite for more?
Despite the misses, JL50 holds a great promise for the future of sci-fi films and series in India. Pankaj Kapur’s riveting performance is the strongest point of the series followed by Abhay Deol’s long-awaited return to form. Kapur is right up there with the very best actors in the country. He plays a Bengali professor specialising in quantum physics with such effortless ease that one can seldom associate with a non- Bengali actor essaying a Bengali part. And he makes the character delectable to watch. Every time he is on the screen the show attains a different level of brilliance.
As for Deol, he finally brings his A-game to the fore ever since he lost his mojo during the 2010s. He did essay some truly amazing characters during the 2000s but then the last decade wasn’t so productive for him. One hopes to see his best work yet during the 2020s. And this series is certainly a good start.
Also, the performances of Ritika Anand and Rajesh Sharma are solid. Amrita Chattopadhyay also makes her presence felt during her short but memorable appearance. The couple of scenes she shares with Deol are quite intense. If you are a sci-fi lover then JL50 will certainly not disappoint you as long as you don’t approach it with very high expectations.
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Chrishell Stause laughs off troll’s comment over divorce with Justin Hartley
Washington [US], January 22 (ANI): Hollywood actor Chrishell Stause shook off a troll’s remark on social media with a witty response on Thursday (local time), regarding her divorce from Justin Hartley.
According to E! News, the ‘Selling Sunset’ star proved she’s not going to let her trolls bring her down by laughing off a comment a person posted underneath her Instagram photo on Thursday (local time). The photo had shown the Netflix star posing alongside her castmates Mary Fitzgerald, Amanza Smith, Maya Vander, and Heather Rae Young.
There seemed to be a new face added to her ‘Oppenheim’ team photo. As per E! News, following the footsteps of many social media users, Chrishell turned that viral photo of Senator Bernie Sanders at the presidential inauguration into a meme and added him into the group photo.
In fact, some followers noticed Chrishell appeared to cover up her co-star Christine Quinn with the Vermont politician. Along with a series of laughing emojis, she wrote, “Ok I HAD to. Welcome to the team, Bernie!”
While most of the commenters got a kick out of Chrishell’s post, one user seemed more focused on her split from Justin Hartley and wrote, “Now I understand why your… ex-hubby divorced your ass. You dumb fool.”
However, Chrishell didn’t play into the negativity. “It’s true. I guess I am exposed,” she wrote along with laughing and rolling eye emojis. “I was internet memeing too much.”
The 39-year-old actor filed for divorce from Justin Hartley back in November 2019 after two years of marriage, they reached a divorce settlement in January. The exes have since moved on. In December, Chrishell made her romance with ‘Dancing With the Stars’ pro Keo Motsepe Instagram official. And after sparking relationship rumours with Sofia Pernas in May, Justin appeared to confirm their dating status on social media in January. (ANI)
Alison Brie recalls her major accent fail on ‘Hannah Montana’
Washington [US], January 22 (ANI): During an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Hollywood actor and producer Alison Brie shared a hilarious acting fail memory from her time on the hit show ‘Hannah Montana’.
According to E! News on Thursday (local time) while appearing on an episode of ‘The Tonight Show’ starring Jimmy Fallon, Alison recalled the audition for her first on-screen role on ‘Hannah Montana’. While looking at a picture of herself she said, “What a face. You know, I was very excited. But the thing I remember most is that I decided to go in for my audition with, like, a very broad Long Island accent. Not requested!”
The host of the show, Jimmy asked her about her role on the hit show, to which she replied that she played a “kooky hairdresser that is hired by the brother’s nemesis.”
The ‘Happiest Season’ star then went into the acting mode and portrayed the hairdresser, shouting in a heavy L.I. accent, “Ya need a haircut? I’ll do it! I’ll do it! Gimme your hair!” Jimmy laughed on as Alison further shared, “Like–but then I book the part. I come in for the first rehearsal with the director and everybody and I’m doing my shtick, and the director’s just like, ‘Great. Just lose the accent. We’ll go from there.”
Alison has come a long way from her Hannah Montana days. On the show she also briefly spoke about her latest project, ‘Promising Young Women’, which she said is “so unique” and “has a lot of surprises.” (ANI)
Bella Hadid returns to social media, talks about mental health
Washington [US], January 22 (ANI): American model Bella Hadid encouraged her fans to “take time to get help for mental health,” after returning to social media on Friday.
According to E! News the 24-year-old model took her Instagram after a short hiatus and sent out a message on mental health for her followers. She wrote, “I took some time away to reflect and learn about myself in a way that would be too much to explain at the moment, but with time I will express.”
She added, “The memories and fortune I came back with are pure wisdom, a closer relationship with myself & my spirituality, a sense of self-love that I have always lacked, a few great friends, and these books that saw me through. I found myself, my strength and my light again.”
Alongside her message, Bella shared a series of photos from her time away, including a shot of her riding a horse. Other pictures showed Bella’s reading material, ‘How to Love’ by Thich Nhat Hanh, among others, as well as snaps of crystals and photos from outdoor activities.
“I am only here to be an instrument of peace & love to help people that suffer and hopefully the world, in time,” she continued. “Thank you to my angels who have supported and have continued to love me, for me. You saved me. Take time to get help for your mental health. It’s worth it to get to your full potential,” she concluded the post.
As most of her fans might recall, Bella has been very vocal about the importance of mental health over the years on her social media. While celebrating her twenty-third birthday in 2019, Bella had shared a note on Instagram about asking for help in times of need. (ANI)
Britney Spears’ controversial conservatorship examined in new documentary ‘Framing Britney’
Washington [US], January 22 (ANI): American singer and songwriter Britney Spears’ controversial relationship with her father James Spears due to her conservatorship situation is being put under the microscope in the new documentary titled ‘Framing Britney’.
According to E! News, the documentary will dive into the career highs and lows of the singer as well as her unusual conservatorship situation, which sparked a great deal of controversy in recent years. The trailer for ‘Framing Britney’ released on January 21.
The ‘Oops…I Did It Again’ singer had reached the peak of her fame as a teenager with her 1998 smash hit album ‘…Baby One More Time’. In 2006, Britney faced intense criticism as she publicly struggled with mental health issues, following which in 2008, her father James was named co-conservator of Britney, along with a lawyer, Andrew Wallet.
Even though Wallet resigned from the position back in 2018, James has continued to control all of Britney’s financial assets and has the final say in most of her personal decisions. Britney has sought legal action to remove James as conservator and live independently; however, a judge declined the request and extended the conservatorship till September 2021.
This legal battle between Britney and her father has sparked the ‘Free Britney’ movement, which wanted the artist to be freed from her conservatorship. Footage from a protest in Los Angeles can be seen in the new trailer for the documentary episode.
As per E! News, in addition to highlighting her relationship with her father, the new documentary will also explore the ways in which the public turned on Britney during her most vulnerable time in the spotlight which further turned her mental health crisis into a “cruel national sport”. (ANI)
Disney+ Hotstar, Neeraj Pandey announce ‘Special Ops Universe’
Mumbai (Maharashtra India), January 22 (ANI): Following the resounding success of espionage thriller ‘Special Ops’, Bollywood director Neeraj Pandey and streaming platform Disney+ Hotstar announced that they will be creating a ‘Special Ops’ universe now.
Created and conceptualized by Neeraj and Friday Storytellers, this is the first time in India, multiple characters, stories, and seasons will co-exist within a universe in a multi-series format. Bollywood actor Kay Kay Menon, whose portrayal of Himmat Singh was well-received by the viewers, will reprise his role in ‘Special Ops 1.5: The Himmat Story’.
Divulging details about the upcoming thriller series, the director said, “Special Ops was conceptualized as a universe which will go beyond the regular narratives of linear seasons and conventional storytelling, and the ensemble of cast and characters does lend itself extremely well. The response by the audiences demanded that we embark on the journey.”
He added, “The series will start with Himmat Singh being assigned to another case, but the deflection point is the same parliament attack that started the series of events. It will be narrated across 3 episodes approximately an hour long each.”
‘Special Ops season 1.5: The Himmat Story’ will go back in time to 2001 and explore the formative years of Himmat Singh as an R&AW agent and how he used his wits and intelligence for a different operation.
Kay Kay also spoke about the exciting upcoming project and added, “If you thought that you had seen the best of Himmat Singh, you need to wait for Special Ops 1.5 – it is a terrific redemption story! While it’s not a prequel to Special Ops, there is some interesting history about the character that will unfold.”
While the show is slated to launch later this year, the makers have already released an intriguing first look of it. Much like ‘Special Ops’, this new series will also be shot across multiple international locations and promises to scale up the action and drama quotient. (ANI)
Adele, Simon Konecki reach divorce settlement nearly two years after split
Washington [US], January 22 (ANI): Singer-songwriter Adele and her estranged husband Simon Konecki have reached an agreement on their divorce settlement, nearly two years after their split.
According to E! News, the duo has agreed to terms on a divorce settlement that was filed with the court on January 15. However, the document has not been entered or signed by a judge to officially dissolve their marriage yet.
The estranged couple will finalise their divorce as soon as the judge in the case signs off on the judgment package, which needs to happen within the next six months, as per the publication.
The duo, who share eight-year-old son Angelo, first announced their split in April 2019 following seven years together. “Adele and her partner have separated,” the singer’s representative announced in a statement to US Magazine at the time of the separation announcement.
“They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment,” the rep had added. In May 2020, a source told PEOPLE that Adele and Simon have been living across the street from each other in L.A. as they co-parent their child amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Adele and Simon made their relationship public in January 2012. Six months later, the Grammy winner announced that she was pregnant. The ‘Hello’ singer and Simon welcomed their son on October 19, 2012. The two married in December 2016, however, she managed to keep the news private for a few months.
This was Simon’s second marriage. He was previously married to stylist Clary Fisher from 2004 to 2008, and they have a daughter. Meanwhile, Adele, who has been extremely low-key about her private life, was rumoured to be dating British rapper Skepta after they exchanged some flirty Instagram messages in June 2020.
However, the singer cleared the air surrounding the dating rumors with an Instagram post on Oct. 28, 2020, that expressed her gratitude for hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’.
“Had the best time on SNL! Thank you to the most wonderful cast, crew, writers, and producers,” she wrote. She concluded the message with, “I’m going back to my cave now to be the (single) cat lady that I am! Peace out til next year [black heart emoji].” (ANI)
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