‘THE DIG’ IS A COMPELLING DRAMA ABOUT A GREAT ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOVERY - The Daily Guardian
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‘THE DIG’ IS A COMPELLING DRAMA ABOUT A GREAT ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOVERY

Murtaza Ali Khan

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The legendary 16th-century Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes famously said, “For historians ought to be precise, truthful, and quite unprejudiced, and neither interest nor fear, hatred nor affection, should cause them to swerve from the path of truth, whose mother is history, the rival of time, the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instruction of the present, the monitor of the future.” The very spirit of Cervantes’ statement was evoked by Basil Brown, a self-taught English archaeologist and astronomer, who in 1939 discovered and excavated the skeleton of an 88-foot Anglo-Saxon ship buried at Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, in Suffolk, England. The discovery and the excavation which unearthed a treasure trove of many valuable antiquities is the subject of Simon Stone’s historical drama film ‘The Dig’ which recently released on Netflix, following a limited theatrical release.

Despite being looked upon as an amateur archaeologist by the Cambridge archaeologist Charles Phillips (essayed by Ken Stott) who took control over the excavation once the discovery became known to the British authorities, Brown (played by Ralph Fiennes) remained stuck to his guns that the ship belonged to the much older Anglo-Saxon period as opposed to the general belief that it dated back to the more common Viking era. He finally succeeded in corroborating his estimation after he discovered a Merovingian Tremissis, a small gold coin belonging to the Dark Ages. Unable to control his elation, Phillips proclaimed, “This is Anglo-Saxon. It’s Dark Ages, by Jupiter! Sixth century! This changes everything. These people were not just marauding barterers. They had culture! They had art! They had money!” British Museum curator Sue Brunning described it as “one of the most important archaeological discoveries of all time”.

It all begins when Suffolk landowner Edith Pretty (portrayed by Carey Mulligan) hires Brown to tackle the large burial mounds at her rural estate in Sutton Hoo. Working only with a few assistants from the estate, Brown slowly begins to excavate the more promising of the mounds. One day the trench collapses on him, but he is dug out in time and revived. This changes his outlook and he decides to dig up a mound that initially overlooked owing to his early assessments. And soon he strikes gold (literally). Even though an inquest confirms that Edith Pretty is the owner of the ship and its priceless treasure trove, she decides to donate the Sutton Hoo treasure to the British Museum, requesting that Brown be given recognition for his work. She dies in 1942. A note at the end of the film states that the treasure was kept hidden in the London Underground during WWII and was first exhibited — without any mention of Basil Brown — 9 years after Edith’s death. It’s only recently that was Brown given full credit for his contribution and his name is now displayed permanently alongside Pretty’s at the British Museum.

According to scholars, Rædwald of East Anglia is the most likely person to have been buried in the ship. The site is important in establishing the history of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of East Anglia and the early Anglo-Saxon period and has illuminated a period that lacks historical documentation, often referred to as the Dark Ages. Interestingly, the discovery of the Anglo-Saxon ship skeleton has prompted many comparisons with the world of the Old English poem ‘Beowulf’ that’s partly set in Götaland in southern Sweden, which has archaeological parallels to some of the finds from Sutton Hoo.

‘The Dig’ is a deliberately-paced, old-fashioned drama that does a wonderful job of bringing us face-to-face with an important chapter of human history. The film has two memorable performances at its core. While the 35-year-old Mulligan essays the part of Edith Pretty (was in her mid-50s during the excavation) with considerable subtlety and conviction, the 53-year-old Nicole Kidman, who was originally supposed to essay the part, would certainly have suited to the part better. But, Mulligan, to her credit, does a fabulous job of bringing Edith Pretty to life. Every time she appears on the screen, we see a stoic-looking woman struggling hard to fight her growing illness. The other memorable performance comes from Ralph Fiennes who is mesmerising as Basil Brown. Fiennes’ name alone is an assurance that you are not going to watch anything worthless. He is always a treat to watch. Every time the English actor steps in front of a motion-picture camera, he doesn’t fail to give a demonstration of his acting pedigree and class. And ‘The Dig’ is no exception. From the very first moment that he appears on the screen, we are convinced that we are looking at a man who has spent years excavating sites. ‘The Dig’ digresses in the moments when it focuses on a redundant romantic subplot involving two secondary characters. But barring that little deviation, it is a compelling historical drama that needs to be watched.

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MICHAEL KEATON TO RETURN AS BATMAN IN UPCOMING ‘THE FLASH’ MOVIE

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WASHINGTON [US]: American actor Michael Keaton’s fans now have a reason to rejoice as the actor is reprising his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the upcoming movie ‘The Flash.’

Fox News quoted a report by The Wrap as stating that Keaton’s talent agency, ICM Partners, confirmed his participation in the Andres Muschietti-directed DC Comics superhero film. Muschietti confirmed production kicked off in London on Monday in an Instagram post. The 69-year-old actor first played the Caped Crusader in Tim Burton’s 1989 hit ‘Batman,’ and then again in the 1992 film ‘Batman Returns.’

As reported by Fox News, Ezra Miller is set to reprise his role as Barry Allen/The Flash. Fans were introduced to him in ‘Justice League’ in 2017. Sasha Calle, best known from ‘The Young and the Restless,’ will play Supergirl.

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‘The Flash’ is slated to be released on November 4, 2022.  — Correspondent

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AKSHAY REPLACES KARTIK AARYAN IN KARAN JOHAR’S ‘DOSTANA 2’?

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NEW DELHI: Days after actor Kartik Aaryan was allegedly thrown out of Karan Johar’s Dostana 2, the latest gossip doing the rounds is that Akshay Kumar will be onboard the project. 

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Quoting sources, the publication has reported that Karan Johar has personally requested the superstar to join the film and help him sail through as huge money is involved in it already. And in all probabilities, Akshay Kumar is likely to give his nod for Dostana 2. 

Dostana 2 was announced in 2019 by Karan Johar.

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ADITI RAO HYDARI SHINES AS PRIYA SHARMA IN ‘GEELI PUCCHI’

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NEW DELHI: Making waves with her amazing performances, Aditi Rao Hydari has truly established herself as one of the most bankable and versatile movie star in the Indian entertainment industry. Known for her seamless act in both, commercial- mainstream cinema and content-driven films, the stunner is a popular name not just in the Hindi film industry, but in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam as well. Currently, receiving immense love for her incredible performance in the Netflix anthology ‘Ajeeb Daastaans’, Aditi has truly outdone herself as Priya Sharma in ‘Geeli Pucchi’.

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JACQUELINE SHARES SELFIE OF HERSELF RESTING AT HOME, URGES PEOPLE TO STAY SAFE

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MUMBAI: Back to spending time at home amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, Bollywood star Jacqueline Fernandez on Wednesday posted a stunning monochromatic photo from her home, urging people to stay safe.The ‘Kick’ actor posted a gorgeous picture on Instagram of herself resting in a chair. The picture shows the ‘Aladdin’ actor in a thigh-length jumpsuit and a messy bun. She is seen seated in her room taking rest during the lockdown.

Fernandez captioned the post as “Back to this.. stay safe everyone (and added a joined hands emoticon).”

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Of late, the actor has been quite active on social media and has been updating fans on her activities by posting pictures and videos. Earlier, the ‘Brothers’ star shared a picture after her physiotherapy. She shared a photo that showcased the cupping marks down her back when posing for a mirror selfie.Currently, the actor is spending time with her kittens at her home amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown.Meanwhile, 58,924 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Maharashtra in the last 24 hours, according to the state health ministry. As many as 52,412 people recovered in the said period and 351 died. The total case tally reached 38,98,262 while the death toll reached 60,824.

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MUMBAI: Amazon Prime Video, unveiled the official trailer of the all-new Amazon Original Series ‘LOL- Hasse Toh Phasse’. This local edition of the International Amazon Original Series LOL, will unite an eclectic group of comedians who have left their own indelible mark on India’s comedy landscape. Aadar Malik, Aakash Gupta, Aditi Mittal, Ankita Shrivastav, Cyrus Broacha, Gaurav Gera, Kusha Kapila, Mallika Dua, Sunil Grover and Suresh Menon, under the vigilant watch of hosts Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani will face their toughest challenge yet!

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NEW DELHI: Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit recently became the latest addition to the viral ‘Bajre Da Sitta’ trend. The actor shared a gorgeous video of her performing to the popular song and giving priceless expressions.Madhuri took to her Instagram handle and shared a short clip in which she performed the viral song, flaunting her pre and post glow up looks. She captioned the post as, “On trend with #BajreDaSitta.” In the video shared by the 53-year-old actor, she could be seen lip-syncing to the song while sitting in her green room right before her makeover. Later in the clip, after the star’s dramatic transformation, she is seen clad in a light and dark pink lehenga. Madhuri also wore drop diamond earrings and a necklace, with her hair tied into a bun.

Meanwhile, on the work front, the ‘Dhak-Dhak’ girl of Bollywood will be debuting in the digital world through the suspenseful family drama series by Netflix titled ‘Finding Anamika’. The plot of the series revolves around the story of a global superstar, wife, and mom who suddenly vanishes without a trace. As police and loved ones search for answers to her disappearance, her perfectly crafted facade is stripped away, revealing hidden truths and painful lies in the life of an iconic actress. 

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