Swara Bhaskar, Akshay Oberoi, Vidya Malvade
After the controversial Amazon Prime series Rasbhari, Swara Bhaskar is back in the news with her new series Flesh which deals with the diabolical world of flesh trade. She essays the pivotal character of ACP Radha Nautiyal, an insomniac and a hard-drinking police officer with a troubled past, who is pitted against the basest criminals as she tries to unravel a web of immorality, cruelty and corruption. A lone woman fighting shifty pimps, malevolent criminals, and corrupt bureaucracy, Nautiyal is always unfazed. She is not averse to killing and torturing men or putting herself at risk. She is always willing to go the extra mile in order to get to the truth. Bhaskar is well supported by an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Akshay Oberoi, Vidya Malvade, Mahima Makwana, Yudhisthir Urs, and Natasa Stankovic.
Interestingly, the Siddharth Anand-created series, which recently premiered on Eros Now, has opened to some very strong reactions. A critic has accused it of “lacking nuance or sensitivity”. Another critic has described the series as a “flinch-fest”. Yet another critic has accused it of “sensationalism”. These extreme reactions to a series that explores the dark world of human trafficking immediately brought to my mind Brian De Palma’s 1983 crime drama Scarface, starring Al Pacino in the role of a Cuban refugee Tony Montana who arrives in 1980s Miami with nothing and rises to become a powerful drug lord. De Palma’s classic, based on a hard-hitting screenplay by Oliver Stone, unflinchingly depicts the naked reality of the drug mafia. But, De Palma’s dogged determination to portray the reality didn’t go too well with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which rated even a highly censored third cut of the film as ‘X’.
De Palma and the producer Martin Bergman were hell-bent on proving that the film was merely depicting the reality. So, they arranged a hearing with the MPAA and roped in a panel of experts including some narcotics officers who testified that Scarface accurately portrays the actual conditions prevalent in the drug underworld. Their testimonies greatly convinced the members of the rating board and decided to give an “R” rating to the aforementioned third cut of Scarface which ensured that the film could be released without any reduction in ticket prices. Also, it allowed them to run the ads as most newspapers, TV, and radio stations didn’t run ads for an X-rated film.
Flesh, written by the veteran writer Pooja Ladha Surti, too seems to suffer from a misperception that what it portrays is an exaggerated account of what actually goes on in the world of human trafficking. But, if we read the actual reports capturing the ground reality, then the depiction of sex and violence in Flesh wouldn’t really come across as over the top.
Now, in order to understand this better, it is important to understand the lack of livelihood opportunities outside of major Indian towns and cities. This often drives children and families out in search of work which makes them vulnerable to agents and traffickers waiting to exploit their situation. Also, ease of transportation and urbanisation has made it easier to traffic victims across India. According to a report by the National Crime Bureau, Murshidabad in West Bengal has the highest number of cases of human trafficking and illegal migration. Children are regularly trafficked from Murshidabad to Mumbai, Pune and other large cities of India. Murshidabad (like many other places in the country) is extremely vulnerable owing to poverty, lack of education and work opportunities in the region. The border areas are particularly prone to cross-border trafficking. Most victims of sex trafficking are young girls who are lured under false pretenses of marriage or employment. Girls of age 13-16 think that marriage is the only way to get away from poverty and so they often get caught up in the sex trafficking rackets. Those coming from backward castes and communities are most susceptible.
While it is certainly not easy to watch for the faint-hearted, there is no denying that Flesh is an earnest attempt to portray the stark reality of human trafficking. Living in big cities with all the facilities at our disposal, we often tend to overlook the harsh realities associated with a poverty-stricken life. Flesh dares to jab us in the small of our backs, reminding us of the dichotomy that exists between the civilised world, which we think we have built for ourselves and real world, hiding behind the veneer of civilisation, where anarchy and barbarism still reign supreme.
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AS ‘TADAP’ TEASER UNVEILED, SUNIEL ROOTS FOR HIS SON AHAN’S DEBUT
MUMBAI: Suniel Shetty’s son Ahan Shetty is all set to make his acting debut opposite Tara Sutaria in the film ‘Tadap’.
On Tuesday, the makers unveiled the teaser of the film. The teaser gives us a sneak peek into the world of Ishana and Ramisa, portrayed by Ahan and Tara respectively and establishes their characters well. While Ramisa is seen at the picturesque location of snow-clad mountains, Ishana, on the contrary, is spotted in a rugged macho avatar with his bike.
Sharing the teaser of his son, Suniel took to Instagram and wrote, “A glimpse of my heart for the world. A teaser of what I’ve loved. A humble tease of what is to come #Tadap – a little at a time. So excited for my son @ahan.shetty & his teaser of #Tadap. Give him as much love as you gave me.”
Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and directed by Milan Luthria, ‘Tadap’ will be out in cinemas on 3 December.
EMRAAN OPENS UP ABOUT PARALLEL LOVE STORY WITH HORROR GENRE
MUMBAI: Ahead of the release of his horror film ‘Dybbuk’, Emraan Hashmi opened up about his connection with the particular genre. “I feel I have a parallel love story with this genre. I personally like horror films and hence starring in ‘Raaz 2’ and ‘Ek thi Dayaan’ was like a dream come true for me. A wave of horror films will always be there in the industry and Horror should be consumed like this (‘Dybbuk’),” he said. Emraan also urged filmmakers and actors to come forward to create more horror films in the industry.
“I feel yet in our country and industry, this genre hasn’t been completely explored yet. Not many films are made. I really wish more and more stars come forward to do horror films. Also because I know the success ratio of this genre is a lot more,” he added.
Talking about ‘Dybbuk’, the film also stars Nikita Dutta and Manav Kaul in prominent roles and is all set to release on 29 October on Amazon Prime Video.
‘JONAS BROTHERS FAMILY ROAST’ TO STREAM ON NETFLIX
WASHINGTON: Streaming giant Netflix is all set to come up with a comedy special ‘Jonas Brothers Family Roast’, which features none other than musicians brothers Nick Jonas, Kevin Jonas, and Joe Jonas.
Touted as a celebration of “the universal truth that no one can get under your skin quite like your own family”, ‘Jonas Brothers Family Roast’ will include sketches, songs, games and special guests all meant to tease the brothers about their lives and careers, reported Variety. Pete Davidson, Niall Horan, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, John Legend, Lilly Singh, and Jack Whitehall will make special appearances in the special. Also, Saturday Night Live’s Kenan Thompson will host the show.
On Tuesday, Nick took to Instagram and shared a teaser video to announce the launch of the show. “Someone teach @joejonas how this works… The Jonas Brothers Family Roast will be available on @netflix,” he captioned the clip.
‘Jonas Brothers Family Roast’ is scheduled to release on 23 November 23.
WITNESS COP SALMAN AGAINST GANGSTER AAYUSH IN ‘ANTIM’ TRAILER
MUMBAI : The makers of the Salman Khan, Aayush Sharma-starrer film ‘Antim: The Final Truth’ unveiled the action-packed trailer of the film on Monday.
The film also marks the debut of Mahima Makwana. The trailer comes loaded with pumping action, highoctane background music, and much more. The nearly three-minute-long trailer opens with Salman Khan, who plays the role of a cop, in his first-ever Sardar persona.
The trailer also gives the audience a good peek into the transformation of Aayush’s character, the nemesis of Salman in the movie. Aayush plays the role of an aggressive, dreaded and territorial gangster. Both Salman and Aayush had to undergo significant physical transformation to play their characters in the film, and the trailer shows precisely that. Laden with thrilling action, in the trailer, Salman Khan comes out as a ruthless, no-bars-held cop who will stop at nothing to rout out crime.
‘Antim: The Final Truth’ is directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, produced by Salma Khan and is presented by Salman Khan Films. The film will be globally released in theatres by Zee Studios on 26 November.
SHARVARI’S PRIYANKA CHOPRA MOMENT
Gorgeous debutant Sharvari, who will be seen in the family entertainer ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’ playing the role of the new Babli, is over the moon about her Priyanka Chopra moment on the sets of the film. When Sharvari donned a metallic gold bikini and dazzled the crew with her sass and curves on the Abu Dhabi beach, she reminded us of Priyanka’s stunning onepiece bikini sequence in ‘Dostana’ that had stopped the heartbeat of the audience. Sharvari says, “I was the happiest person on set the day I shot this scene. Growing up, the image of Priyanka Chopra walking out of the sea in her golden bikini in ‘Dostana’ was etched in my mind. She is the queen of sass and cool, she looked drop-dead gorgeous.”
She adds, “Ever since I decided to become an actor, I have secretly wished for a sequence like that to be in. And it’s a really sweet coincidence that ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’ script had a sequence of me coming out of the sea in a stunning bikini. I just couldn’t believe it!”
Sharvari exclaims, “So, on the day of the shoot, I was thrilled and confident to pull this off. I was in good shape and had the best crew to shoot this. I was seeing my wish come true. I hope I have pulled off the scene well because someone like Priyanka Chopra had absolutely nailed it and set benchmarks of how to do a great bikini sequence with so much oomph.”
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.
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