Mrunal Thakur feels that very few filmmakers give equal footing to women characters in their movies. According to her, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is one of those filmmakers who treats female characters in fheir films well. “There are very few filmmakers who envision a story that gives its women characters an equal footing. In the best of Rakeysh’s works, one can see how beautifully he layers his women. Be it Soha Ali Khan’s Sonia in ‘Rang De Basanti’ or the female characters in ‘Delhi 6’ or ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, his women are memorable,” said Mrunal.
She will be seen in Mehra’s next film ‘Toofan’ alongside Farhan Akhtar. “In ‘Toofan’ my character is an anchor to the narrative despite not being the driving force of the plot. It was a beautiful experience working with Farhan and Rakeysh. They subconsciously help you push yourself to explore things you haven’t tried. The little nuances they bring to their work teaches you so much,” she said. “I have learnt so much from ‘Toofan’, most importantly (the fact) that women in new-age narratives aren’t ornamental. They have a solid ground to stand on and the male actors like Farhan facilitate that,” said Mrunal.
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BUNDESLIGA RUNNER-UP LEIPZIG SHARES SPOILS WITH WOLFSBURG
Leipzig squandered a chance to take the lead in the Bundesliga after Wolfsburg rallied back to share the points following a 2-2 draw in the 16th round.
The visitors from Leipzig caught a perfect opening on Saturday evening though as they marked the opener with only four minutes gone when Emil Forsberg’s square pass into the box allowed Nordi Mukiele to tap home at the far post, reports Xinhua news agency.
The Wolves thought they had restored parity two minutes later but Wout Weghorst’s goal was disallowed due to a handball.
Wolfsburg continued on the front foot but had to wait until the 22nd minute before Yannick Gerhardt’s pinpoint cross found Weghorst, who nodded home the equaliser.
The hosts gained momentum and turned the tides with 35 minutes played as Gerhardt set up for Renato Steffen, whose deflected strike from 20 meters into the top right corner made it 2-1. Three minutes later, Leipzig almost levelled but Wolfsburg’s goalkeeper Koen Casteel’s diving save defused Dayot Upamecano’s dangerous header on target.
After half time, Leipzig came out with guns blazing and tied the game nine minutes into the second half. Wolfsburg’s defense failed to clear a free-kick into the box, allowing Willi Orban to poke home a loose ball from very close range.
Both teams pressed for the winner and traded attacks as Wolfsburg’s John Anthony Brooks rattled the woodwork following a header at the hour mark before Leipzig’s Dani Olmo tested Casteels in quick succession moments later.
With the draw, Wolfsburg stays in 6th place meanwhile Leipzig dwell in the second spot after missing the chance to jump atop the table.
SHAHID KAPOOR’S ‘JERSEY’ ALL SET FOR DIWALI RELEASE
MUMBAI: Shahid Kapoor-starrer ‘Jersey’ will have a Diwali release. It is scheduled to hit the theatres on 5 November. Shahid made the announcement on Instagram. He shared a picture dressed in a cricket uniform. “‘Jersey’ releasing in theatres this Diwali 5th November 2021. The triumph of the human spirit. A journey I am so very proud of. This ones for the team ….” he wrote alongside the image.
Shahid’s upcoming sports drama is a Hindi remake of a Telugu hit of the same name. The Hindi version is directed by Gowtam Tinnanuri, who had also helmed the 2019 original. It also stars Mrunal Thakur. The story is about a talented but failed cricketer named Arjun, who decides to make a comeback in his late thirties and play for India, in order to fulfil his son’s wish. —
Monthly Recommendations by JAIVEER MISRA
Time really does fly. We are in 2021! And while the year gone by brought with it unprecedented challenges that have tested the human spirit, artists across the globe have been at work, creating, and uplifting humanity by bringing the joy of music into homes through online platforms. And it’s not just artists in the conventional sense, we have witnessed people singing to one another on their balconies, mothers soothing their children with lullaby’s and farmers humming their traditional folk songs while ploughing the fields. It is not surprising then that song releases through 2020 reflected personal journeys and connected with audiences like never before. To recap, BTS was at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 again in December, this time with ‘Life Goes On’, a hip-hop type single, about the struggles of pandemic life. The first verse when translated says “One day, the world stopped/ without any warning/ Spring didn’t know to wait/ showed up not even a minute late.” It would be safe to say that BTS made history with this first Korean No. 1 song ruling the charts. It was a pleasure to witness Mariah Carey back with her single ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’. Hitting the charts repeatedly 26 years after it was first released is a testament to this veritable pop masterpiece and its joyous appeal to the masses. Looking at the trends on the Billboard Hot 100 for January, singles ruling the charts continue to reflect the festive spirit. ‘All I Want For Christmas’ still rules with ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ by Brenda Lee, ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ by Bobby Helms, and ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time OF The Year’ by Andy Williams maintaining top spots. For those who want to start the new year by listening to some really qualitative Jazz this holiday season, I would strongly recommend ‘Lullaby Of The Leaves’. Composed by Bernice Petkere and lyricist Joe Young, ‘Lullaby Of The Leaves’ was featured in the 1932 Broadway revue Chamberlain Brown’s Scrap Book. Many recordings have followed since but Ella Fitzgerald brings a touch of magic to it like no other artist can. Also outstanding is ‘Jazz About Love’ where Ella and Louis Armstrong weave their magic around the theme of friendship. While we are unable to enjoy musical theatre at the moment, there is nothing to stop us from revisiting and indeed listening to the all-time greats. My recommendations for this month include ‘On The Street Where You Live’ from My Fair Lady, ‘And I am Telling You I’m Not Going’ from Dreamgirls and ‘One Day More’ from Les Miserables. My recommendations for those who enjoy a touch of Bollywood music include ‘Shayad’ by Arijit Singh, ‘Taaron Ke Shehar’ by Neha Kakkar, Jubin Nautiyal, Jaani and ‘Nashe Si Chadh Gayi’ also by Arijit Singh. I sign off wishing you all the very best as we ring in the New Year. Let 2021 be all that we want it to be and more – the start of good tidings and joy. A Very Happy New Year to all!
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YOU STILL MAKE MY HEART FLUTTER: AKSHAY TO TWINKLE
MUMBAI: Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna have completed 20 years of marital bliss on Sunday and the actor says she still makes his heart flutter. Akshay posted a picture along with Twinkle on Instagram. In the image, Akshay is seen sporting a white shirt while Twinkle is hugging the ‘Kesari’ star from the back dressed in a stunning royal blue ensemble. He captioned the image: “The surest I’ve ever been of a partnership…twenty years of togetherness and you still make my heart flutter and sometimes even drive me up the wall but then again I wouldn’t have it any other way coz a smile is never far when you are near…Happy anniversary Tina.”
Twinkle dropped a red heart emoji in Akshay’s comment section. She also shared the same picture on Instagram and shared that Akshay is the beauty and the brawn in their marriage. She wrote: “You are the beauty and the brawn in this partnership and I can’t even say I am the brain, because you are smarter than me. We don’t need each other to be complete (that’s just a cliche from soppy ballads) but we want to have the other one around always and that is perhaps the only way it is meant to be. Happy Anniversary Mr K.” Akshay and Twinkle tied the knot in January 2001.
FREIDA PINTO TO PLAY NOOR INAYAT KHAN IN ‘SPY PRINCESS’
Freida Pinto will essay British spy Noor Inayat Khan in ‘Spy Princess’. Freida will also executive-produce the limited series based on Shrabani Basu’s book, ‘Spy Princess: The Life Of Noor Inayat Khan’, reports deadline.com. Anand Tucker will direct the project and Olivia Hetreed will pen the screen adaptation based on the book, with Shrabani as Series Consultant. “She was a fierce and amazing woman, the most unlikely heroine of World War II. Sending women to the front line is controversial even now. Then it was unthinkable,” said Freida about Noor, the first Allied Forces female wireless operator sent into Nazi-occupied France in 1943. “Olivia has crafted Noor’s story into something very powerful, thrilling and extremely relevant,” she said. —Corres
ONLINE ABUSE CAN’T BE NORMALISED: ZOYA AKHTAR
MUMBAI: In a session jointly organised by the Population Foundation of India and Jaipur Literature Festival, director and producer Zoya Akhtar, discussed the dangers of online abuse and bullying with author Mihir Sharma. The session titled, ‘Cyber Bullies: Anonymity and Accountability’, was streamed on YouTube and Facebook. The conversation between Zoya and Mihir, a Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, underscored the dangers of cyberbullying. Mihir is the author of ‘Restart: The Last Chance for the Indian Economy’. Zoya has directed films such as ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ and ‘Gully Boy’.
Zoya says, “Social media gives people anonymity while bullying and abusing just about anyone and there is no accountability. The fact that social media platforms enable the abusers of women by not identifying them or holding them accountable is a recipe for disaster as it is just a matter of time before the virtual abuse seeps into real spaces.” She also expressed concern over the fact that online abuse spares no one, not even young girls for whom the psychological damage may prove to be debilitating. This deterioration in online discourse is not a recent development but a trend that has become increasingly toxic, says Zoya.
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