‘HARRY POTTER: RETURN TO HOGWARTS’ HAS ITS MOMENTS, BUT LEAVES A LOT TO BE DESIRED - The Daily Guardian
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‘HARRY POTTER: RETURN TO HOGWARTS’ HAS ITS MOMENTS, BUT LEAVES A LOT TO BE DESIRED

Murtaza Ali Khan

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HBO Max recently premiered a reunion show for the cast of the Harry Potter films titled ‘Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts’. It’s available in India on Amazon Prime Video. The special basically commemorates the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film, the cinematic adaptation of J. K. Rowling’s first book in the Harry Potter series ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,’ with the cast reuniting to have new discussions and to share personal anecdotes, and experiences on the sets of the various films in the eight-part film series. ‘Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts’ also features interesting insights from the four directors who worked on the series viz. Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, and David Yates as well as other members of the creative team.

‘Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts’ takes us to the early days of pre-production on the first Harry Potter film that was marked by a great uncertainty pertaining to the casting for the lead parts, particularly the titular character of Harry Potter. In the year 2000, after a seven-month search, Daniel Radcliffe was finally discovered. The child actor had already established himself as an actor in the 1999 BBC television production of ‘David Copperfield’ in which he played the eponymous character’s childhood years. But, Radcliffe’s parents were hesitant at first as the idea of a long-term commitment to the film series must have sounded a little intimidating to them. Producer David Heyman finally succeeded in persuading Radcliffe’s parents to allow him to take up the part of Harry Potter. The same year British actors Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were selected from thousands of children who were enthusiastically auditioning to play the parts of Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, respectively. At the time, Grint was eleven years old and Watson ten and their only previous acting experience was limited to doing school plays.

Now, there is no denying that ‘Return to Hogwarts’ has its moments but it certainly could have been much better at so many fronts. I mean J. K. Rowling is hardly present. And all those bits that exist actually exist in isolation as she never really is physically present at the reunion (if that’s what you would like to call it). In other words, Rowling does appear, but it’s only through archival footage from 2019 rather than a new interview. This came amid rumours that she would not participate due to her controversial comments on transgender people, with stars such as Radcliffe, Watson, Grint and others speaking out in support of trans people. But, according to latest reports, it has emerged that Rowling was actually invited to appear on the special, but her team determined that the past footage was adequate. Regardless of what the reason is, I would have loved to hear her talk about her discussions with the various directors on the eight films as well as her long conversations with Alan Rickman (who essayed the part of Severus Snape), among other things.

It’s totally understandable that the film wants to focus on Dan, Emma, and Rupert and how they grew up literally on the sets of the Harry Potter films, but I strongly feel that there is a lot more to the Harry Potter films. Also, I understand that a lot of the actors have passed away but many of them are still alive. I must say that I dearly missed Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore), Maggie Smith (Prof. McGonagall), Jim Broadbent (Horace Slughorn), Brandon Gleeson (Mad-Eye Moody), David Thewlis (Remus Lupin), Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney), and Timothy Spall (though his character Peter Pettigrew is mentioned in the passing), among others. So, it is really a half-baked union at best.

However, for me, the best part of the special is the inclusion of Chris Columbus (who was the director on the first two films). It is unfortunate that Columbus never really got his due as Daniel Radcliffe rightly points out in the film. He was after all the spearhead of casting and everything else at the very beginning. But for some reason no one talks about him and what he achieved working with the young actors on Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets. Also, I particularly enjoyed the conversation between Gary Oldman (Sirius Black aka The Prisoner of Azkaban) and Daniel Radcliffe. How a young Radcliffe developed great chemistry working with a veteran like Oldman. I also liked the segment featuring Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) wherein she reads out the letter Radcliffe wrote to her confessing that he had a big crush on her.

Overall, ‘Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts’ makes for an interesting nostalgic trip but one that leaves one wanting more.

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Comedian Raju Srivastava suffers heart attack, admitted to AIIMS

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Raju Srivastava

Comedian Raju Srivastava has suffered a heart attack and has been admitted to AIIMS, Delhi. Comedian Srivastava’s health deteriorated last night after which he suffered from a heart attack.

Srivastava fell unconscious when he was working out on a treadmill at the gym. Later he felt severe chest pain and then collapsed after which his trainer brought him to the hospital.

According to comedian Sunil Pal Srivastava’s health is good now. He is recovering rapidly and will be home soon.

Meanwhile, just hours before Srivastava suffered a heart attack he shared a stand-up comedy piece on his Instagram. He mimicked a few veteran actors on information being spread on Covid-19 via caller tune on the phones.

However, Srivastava got recognition by participating in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. He has done roles in films like Bombay to Goa, and Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya. Moreover, Srivastava is also the chairman of the Uttar Pardesh Film Division Board.

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Taapsee Pannu’s ‘Shabaash Mithu’ to stream on Voot Select; streaming date awaited

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Taapsee Pannu

Bollywood actor Taapsee Pannu’s film ‘Shabaash Mithu’ is all set to stream on OTT platform Voot. Recently the movie released in theaters but failed to impress the audience.

The movie is based on the life of Indian cricketer Mithali Raj. Pannu’s movie is slated to stream on Voot select in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. Meanwhile, the final streaming date of the film is still awaited.

Earlier on Tuesday, Voot Select dropped a teaser of the film on Instagram. “The untold story of a fighter, an achiever, and a game changer who deserves a ‘Shabaash’ over and over again. Watch Taapsee Pannu as ace cricketer Mithali Raj, in the World Digital Premiere of Shabaash Mithu, Coming soon on #VootSelect,” Voot captioned.

Taapsee portrayed the role of a sportsperson for the third time in her career.

Meanwhile, Pannu shared her excitement about the movie’s OTT release and said, ” This film is very close to me. As someone who prides in championing roles and characters that celebrate women, playing the character of an iconic and truly inspiring cricketer has been a matter of immense pride and satisfaction. It was a challenging character to portray, especially as every chapter in Mithali’s life revealed the many layers of this national inspiration. I am very excited about its release on Voot Select.”

However, the movie was released on 15 July 2022 and is helmed by Sriji Mukherji.

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Scared to work on a film on Mahabharat, explains Aamir

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Aamir Khan has discussed his long-term goal of developing a movie based on the Hindu epic poem Mahabharata and stated that he is frightened to begin work on it. An ambitious plan to produce a high-budget movie based on the Mahabharata has been under development by Aamir. In fact, writer Anjum Rajabali revealed to the media in 2018 that he left the Rakesh Sharma biopic in order to concentrate on the movie, which is rumoured to have a budget of Rs 1000 crore.

“When you make a film about the Mahabharata, you’re not just making a film,” Aamir explained. “You are performing a yagya. It is not just a film, it is much more. That is why I am not ready for it yet. I am scared of bringing it out. Mahabharata will never let you down, but you may let down Mahabharata. “

Aamir previously discussed how long a movie on the epic would take, saying in an interview, “It is a longing. The task is enormous. For me, it is a dream come true. However, if I make the decision to succeed now, I will have to dedicate 20 years to it. The content is incredibly intriguing to me, but I’m afraid that if I say yes and decide to do it, five years will solely be spent on research before it can be put into practise.”

Aamir’s forthcoming movie, Laal Singh Chadha, is now being promoted, a legitimate reimagining of the 1994 Forrest Gump, a Hollywood production. Laal Singh Chaddha is the movie that Aamir spent more than ten years working on.

The Advait Chauhan-directed movie also prominently features Kareena Kapoor Khan and Mona Singh. The movie is scheduled to hit the theatres on August 11. Rakshabandhan, starring Akshay Kumar, is expected to compete with the movie at the box office.

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‘If you don’t feel like watching the movie, then don’t’, Akshay Kumar reacts to boycott Raksha Bandhan trend

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Raksha Bandhan

Bollywood star Akshay Kumar is in the news these days for his film ‘Raksha Bandhan’. A campaign of boycott is being run against Kumar’s film.

Meanwhile, Akshay Kumar himself has broken the silence on this whole controversy. He said in a special conversation that if someone does not want to see this film, then do not watch it, because we live in independent India. He recently said this at a promotional event for the film in Kolkata.

“If you don’t feel like watching the movie, then don’t. It’s a free country and the film is out there, so if someone wants to watch it or not, it’s up to them. I would like to tell you, no matter which industry it is, be it the clothing industry, film industry, or anything else, all of these help the economy. But doing things like boycotting movies, it doesn’t make sense,” Kumar said.

A few days ago, Aamir Khan also expressed his views about the ongoing campaign to Boycott Laal Singh Chaddha in India.

“That Boycott Bollywood…Boycott Aamir Khan…Boycott Laal Singh Chaddha… I feel sad also because a lot of people who are saying this in their hearts believe I am someone who doesn’t like India… In their hearts, they believe that… And that’s quite untrue,” Aamir Khan said.

Earlier in 2015, Aamir Khan made a controversial statement and said, “Our country is very tolerant, but there are people who spread ill-will.” Where his wife Kiran Rao also considered leaving the country for the safety of their children.

Moreover, on 11 August Laal Singh Chadda and Raksha Bandhan will clash at the box office. Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Raksha Bandhan’ is directed by Aanand L Rai and Aamir Khan starrer ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ is directed by Advait Chandan.

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Abhishek Bachchan to be honored with the Leadership in Cinema Award at 13th IFFM

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Abhishek Bachchan

Actor Abhishek Bachchan will be bestowed with the leadership in Cinema Award at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2022.

“I’m excited and looking forward to being part of celebrating all things movies and cinema in Melbourne. I’m elated to have been invited by IFFM and to be part of a festival that truly celebrates Indian cinema in all its glory. For them to confer me with the Leadership in Cinema award is truly an honor for me and I’m thankful to the jury and the team of IFFM. To be in another country celebrating Indian pride and Indian content alongside my peers in something I’m truly looking forward to,” Bachchan said.

The ‘Guru’ star will also deliver a special speech about his journey in cinema at IFFM 2022.

This year the film festival will be in its physical version after being solely virtual for the last two years.

Moreover, the festival will run from 12 August to 20 August. The festival will also hold virtual programming between 13 August to 30 August for Australian audiences. At the festival over 100 films across 23 languages are being screened.

Meanwhile, the award night will take place on the 14 August in Melbourne. The festival will be opened with the film Dobaaraa directed by Anurag Kashyap.

However, Karan Johar, Kapil Dev, Anurag Kashyap, and Vaani Kapoor are likely to attend the Film festival.

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Bieber said sorry to an unidentified user, fans go crazy over his benevolence

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Justin Bieber

The generosity of Justin Beiber has won the hearts of many on numerous occasions. Justin Beiber is well known for being extremely generous to his friends and fans.

The pop star apologised on his Instagram on Sunday for making “inappropriate comments” on a user’s post.

Contrary to his persona, Justin revealed that he had rudely commented on a user’s Instagram post and had eventually realised that he should not have done so.

On his story, Justin published an apology to the unidentified user.

He said,”For some reason, I commented on some guys’ page ‘sad existence’ because he was doing something I thought was dumb. I’m not quite sure why I felt the need to write that. If what he was doing made him happy, who am I to say anything? I hope it didn’t hurt his feelings. It’s been eating me up all day. To the dude I wrote it to, man I’m sorry”.

This kind gesture by Bieber has won the hearts of millions, pouring him love from his fans all across the globe.

Justin has begun his “Justice World Tour” after experiencing recent health complications, and he is currently in Norway, where he performed.

Justin will travel to India soon. On October 18, he will perform in New Delhi as part of his “Justice World Tour.” On the aforementioned date, he will perform at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. Prices for the concert tickets start at Rs 4,000 and go up from there.

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