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 Generally, the most popular means of time travel involves a time machine— originally made famous by H. G. Wells’ 1895 novel The Time Machine.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.
CSK look to regain winning momentum against Delhi
After a lacklustre outing against Rajasthan Royals, three-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will take on Delhi Capitals (DC) in a league encounter at the Dubai International Cricket stadium here on Friday.
In their last game, the M.S. Dhoni-led side suffered a 16-run defeat, and barring Faf du Plessis most of the CSK players failed in leaving an impact. Moreover, Dhoni’s decision to come down the order backfired and the charismatic captain received a backlash from not only fans but also many cricketing greats like Sunil Gavaskar, Gautam Gambhir, and others. Dhoni later clarified on his decision to come lower down the order. The captain himself wasn’t happy with the bowlers.
Also, the decision to replace an unfit Ambati Rayudu with Ruturaj Gaikwad didn’t click as the debutant was back in the dugout without troubling the scorers. Moreover, CSK openers failed in both games and that is another cause of concern for the team management.
Sam Curran, who has been promoted up the order, played a cameo in both games but the England allrounder needs to spend some time in the middle. Dhoni had hit three maximums in the final over against the Royals, but that couldn’t win the game. It will be interesting to see how the CSK skipper will now approach the game against Delhi.
On the other hand, Delhi were on the verge of defeat in their first game against Kings XI Punjab before Marcus Stoinis rescued his side to push the contest to the Super Over decider.
Later, it was Kagiso Rabada who showed his talent with the ball and ensured the night belonged to DC. The DC top-order failed to fire against Punjab while Rishabh Pant and skipper Shreyas Iyer showed some resistance with the bat. But they were unable to convert their efforts into a big innings. It was Stoinis, who hammered 53 off 21 balls to propel his side to a fighting total.
The team management is likely to stick with the same combination on Friday, but at the same time it will also hope the top-order to provide an ideal start.
Meanwhile, the DC bowlers had a satisfactory outing against Punjab but the major concern for the Iyer-led team would be the injury of ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who picked a couple of wickets in his very first over, but had to leave the field later.
Ashwin’s recovery becomes crucial here. CSK have dominated DC, winning 15 of the 21 games.
Gigi Hadid, Zayn Malik blessed with baby girl
Supermodel Gigi Hadid and former One Direction singer Zayn Malik have welcomed their first child. Pop superstar Zayn tweeted to confirm the birth of their baby girl on Thursday. “Our baby girl is here, healthy and beautiful. To try put into words how I am feeling right now would be an impossible task. The love I feel for this tiny human is beyond my understanding. Grateful to know her, proud to call her mine, and thankful for the life we will have together ,” wrote the 27-year-old singer on his verified Twitter account, with folded hands and heart emojis. Gigi later shared the news on Instagram. She wrote: “Our girl joined us earth-side this weekend and she’s already changed our world. So in love.”
Why Tom Hanks felt like a ‘total failure’
Hollywood star Tom Hanks has shared that there was a time when he felt like a total failure. He experienced this low phase in his personal life. Hanks was married to Samantha Lewes from 1978 to 1987 and had two children with her, daughter Elizabeth and son Colin. During an appearance on ‘In Depth With Graham Bensinger’, Hanks shared that he thought his children might think he was “abandoning” them when he walked out on the marriage, reports mirror.co.uk. The ‘Forrest Gump’ star felt that way when his parents divorced, and didn’t want to “burden” his children with the same feeling. Host Bensinger said, “At the time you were in therapy three times a week. You said, ‘I was sad, confused, emotionally crippled. I guess the house of cards has to fall in before you start to figure things out.’ How so?” Hanks replied: “Well, I felt like I was a complete, abject, total failure and everything I thought was working was actually not working. It’s a place that everybody comes to in their life for one reason or another.” He also explained how he worked through that period of his life. “I’d go off and talk to somebody and say, ‘What have I done wrong?’ And they would say, ‘what do you think you’ve done wrong?’ ‘Why am I so unhappy?’ ‘tell me about your unhappiness. And you work through that till you figure out, you have been an idiot, but you’re no longer an idiot,” said Hanks.
Yash is sweating it out to prepare for his role in ‘KGF2’
South superstar Yash-starrer ‘KGF’ created quite a stir among the audience. People are eagerly waiting for the sequel of the blockbuster flm but due to the pandemic the shooting had to be put on hold. The team has recently resumed shooting. Yash is also all set to get back to the sets and is currently undergoing intensive training. “Yash is going the extra mile and has doubled up on his workout routines while preparing to get back on the sets of ‘KGF2’. His daily workout routine is broken down into different sets of exercises,” shares a source close to Yash. The source continues, “He starts his day around 6 am with half an hour of cardio. Following which he starts weight training and ab workouts that take up an hour and then another cardio session. He also works out in the evening with different exercises and heavyweight training, he is also on a very strict diet.”
Streaming on OTTs: Binge on Bollywood this festive season
Superstar Akshay Kumar is leading the pack and how. A slew of films are all set to release on digital platforms during the upcoming festive season, with direct-to-OTT films emerging as top trend .With cinema halls shut, the trend of Bollywood stars and filmmakers releasing films on OTT continues. The festive Fridays are around the corner and every digital platform is stocking up on fresh quota of films. We have picked 10 binge-worthy films which are slated to release on the streaming platforms in the coming months.
The Akshay Kumar-starring horror comedy premieres digitally on November 9, on the occasion of Diwali. The film is a remake of the Tamil blockbuster ‘Muni 2: Kanchana’. Raghava Lawrence, who had helmed the original, also helms the Bollywood remake co-starring Kiara Advani, Tusshar Kapoor, Sharad Kelkar, and Ashwini Kalsekar. The film is slated to premiere on Disney+ Hotstar.
Starring Ishaan Khatter and Ananya Panday, the Maqbool Khan directorial is a romantic action drama that is being touted as a roller coaster ride that kicks off when a boy meets a girl one night. It will launch on Zeeplex and Zee5 on October 2.
Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sudhir Mishra’s latest is an adaptation of Manu Joseph’s book of the same name. The film is a satire about an underachiever, lower caste man who wants to project his boy as a boy genius. The film releases on October 2, on Netflix.
highlight of the Anushka Shetty and R. Madhavan horror thriller is Hollywood star Michael Madsen of ‘Kill Bill’ and ‘Reservoir Dogs’ fame in a special role. Directed by Hemanth Madhukar, the film has been confirmed for a Gandhi Jayanti release on Amazon Prime Video.
GINNY WEDS SUNNY
The romantic comedy, starring Vikrant Massey and Yami Gautam, is about Ginny, who gets set up with Sunny but the match is not that simple, and complications arise amid love, life, weddings and music. The film is slated to release on Netflix on October 9.
BHUJ: THE PRIDE OF INDIA
The war action film, based on a true story, stars Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Ammy Virk, and Sharad Kelkar. It is set during the IndoPak war of 1971. The film will release on Disney+ Hotstar.
Anurag Basu’s multi-starrer ‘Ludo’ features Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra. It is a dark comedydrama is about four people whose lives collide. The film will release on Netflix.
THE BIG BULL
The film stars Abhishek Bachchan. Directed by Kookie Gulati, the film is reportedly based on India’s securities scam of 1992. It will release on Disney+ Hotstar.
Sanjay Dutt plays an army officer in the Girish Malik directorial, which also stars Nargis Fakhri and Rahul Dev. ‘Torbaaz’ is the story of one man who rises above a personal tragedy and decides to transform the lives of refugee camp kids who are on the path of destruction, through cricket. The film will release on Netflix.
The film is about Shivangi, a 10-year-old girl who must save her family’s village in Punjab from the restless ghosts of its horrific past. The film stars Shabana Azmi, Satyadeep Mishra, Sanjeeda Sheikh and Riva Arora. It is slated to release on Netflix.
With inputs from IANS
Akshay visits Gurdwara in UK, takes break from ‘Bell Bottom ’
Superstar Akshay Kumar on Thursday took out time from his busy outdoor schedule for ‘Bellbottom’ in the UK, to seek blessings at a gurdwara in the country. Sharing a glimpse of his visit, Akshay wrote: “Had a rather blessed morning… spent ten minutes in this gurdwara today and counted my blessings. I feel a sense of calm I haven’t in months,” he wrote, tagging his post with #GratitudeIsTheBestAttitude and #IkOnkar. Akshay also posted a picture of him praying at the gurdwara, with his head covered with a white cloth.
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