The new Disney+ series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” based on the Marvel Comics characters Sam Wilson / Falcon and Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier is a proof that the small screen is going to be an important avenue for the further expansion of the major superhero franchises as we have already seen with WandaVision and Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which is available in India on Disney+ Hotstar Premium, is set after the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019) with Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprising their roles as Sam Wilson (aka The Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (aka The Winter Soldier). Directed by Kari Skogland, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier also stars Daniel Brühl, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell, and Erin Kellyman in pivotal roles.
When at the end of Endgame an aging Steve Rogers had passed his shield to Sam Wilson, it had opened up the exciting possibility of a Black Captain America. Wilson, however, is quick to dash all our hopes when at the beginning of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier he hands over Rogers’ shield to the U.S. government for a museum display. To everyone’s great shock the government soon announces John Walker, a decorated member of the U.S. Army, as the new Captain America and so Steve Rogers’ dream of a Black Captain America goes for a toss.
To make the matters worse, Rogers’ shield is also handed over to Walker. Bucky Barnes, who got recently pardoned, is furious to learn about the new Captain America. Also, he is mad at Wilson for not honoring Rogers’ wish and giving away the shield to the government. Meanwhile, Wilson learns about a terrorist group called the “Flag Smashers” that’s fighting for open national borders, believing that life was better during the Blip when Thanos had wiped out half of the human population. Wilson and Barnes team up to stop the terrorist group but quickly learn that the terrorists are all super soldiers headed by a girl named Karli Morgenthau. Alarmed that someone has recreated the Super Soldier Serum, they embark upon a mission to get to the roots of the conspiracy. When Barnes fails to attend a session of the government-mandated therapy as part of the pardon granted to him, he gets arrested. But Walker has him released. Walker desperately wants to get Wilson and Barnes onboard but the duo considers him unworthy of the Captain America title and refuses to work with him.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier raises some very pertinent issues about the times we live in. It succeeds in establishing a strong dialogue with the Black Lives Matter movement and widespread conversations about racism. It constantly reminds us about the white privilege through its various characters. How John Walker gets offered the coveted title of Captain America on a platter. How difficult it is for the authorities to choose a Black Captain America. Through the story of Isaiah Bradley, a black super soldier who fought the Winter Soldier in the Korean War, we learn how he was imprisoned and experimented on by the U.S. government for 30 years for his super-abilities when he should have been hailed as a hero just a white man like Steve Rogers was. Wilson’s reluctance to carry Rogers’ shield somewhere also stems from his insecurities as a black man living in the US.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is also not hesitant to deal with the issue of refugees. It constantly puts the government under the scanner for its decision-making. Five years after the Blip when the disappeared half of the population suddenly began to reappear it created a major issue for the governments of the world. There is a scene wherein Wilson confronts the politicians and reminds them of their powers and what they are truly capable of doing if they really take it upon themselves to serve the humanity. Living through the pandemic, one does get a similar feeling about the governments and the authorities the world over. Yes, they are increasingly incapacitated by the pressures they are constantly facing but they are still capable of doing a lot more for the people.
Despite all its merits, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier does suffer from occasional ramblings when the plot tends to take a few unwanted turns. Also, the constant total shifts can be a little annoying at times. Some of the scenes set on the fictional island of Madripoor feel like an extension of Blade Runner / Blade Runner 2049 and add little to the story of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. But even during its weak moments the series is saved by its performances. While Mackie and Stan (good to see more of him with newer layers unfolding now that the part is not just that of a killing machine anymore) are solid in their roles, the biggest surprise comes from Wyatt Russell as John Walker. In Walker’s constant efforts to fill in Rogers’ shoes we finally realize the herculean nature of carrying the Captain America title which Steve Rogers made look like a cinch. Another memorable performance comes from Daniel Brühl who is brilliant to watch as the duplicitous Helmut Zemo.
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LISA HAYDON EXPECTING THIRD CHILD WITH HUSBAND DINO LALVANI
MUMBAI: Model-turned-actress Lisa Haydon is currently awaiting the arrival of her third child with her husband Dino Lalvani. She recently featured on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar India where she spoke about motherhood, pregnancy, family plans, and the arrival of their daughter.
Lisa is due on June 22 to give birth to her daughter. However, she feels that he daughter might be here sooner. “Our third child-a daughter-is due to arrive on June 22, but I can already feel the contractions, so it might happen sooner. When Zack was born, Dino and I were like, “Where did this angel come from? And when Leo was born, he was a force of nature, and we were like “That’s our child, the other one’s an angel”,” she said in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar India. “Zack, who is four now, is very excited about the prospect of having a little sister…I think he was a bit jealous when Leo came along, but he is now looking forward to being a big brother,” she added.
TAAPSEE JETS OFF TO VACATION WITH SISTER IN RUSSIA
NEW DELHI : Ahead of the release of her film ‘Haseen Dillruba’, actor Taapsee Pannu has headed to Moscow, Russia with her younger sister Shagun Pannu.
Taking to Instagram, Taapsee has posted several pictures from her vacation with Shagun. “Time to surround myself with colours, sit on street side, looking at the sky, take a deep breath and say ‘all is well’…also, hello Moscow. Let’s feel close to ‘normal’ again,” she wrote along with a picture of her sitting against the backdrop of Moscow’s beautiful buildings. In one of the images, Taapsee can be seen walking in the lanes of Moscow. “The joy of walking in such lanes. Tapctravels,” she added. Before boarding the flight, she even took to Instagram Stories and updated her fans about her trip. “’Time out’ time …the usual suspects are off again,” she had captioned the post.
Coming back to her project ‘Haseen Dillruba’, the Netflix film is directed by Vinil Mathew. Actors Vikrant Massey and Harshvardhan Rane are also a part of the mystery thriller, which is set to release on July 2. The film focuses on the love triangle between Taapsee, Vikrant and Harshvardhan. It is written by Kanika Dhillon.
NICK JONAS SHARES ADORABLE PICTURE WITH PRIYANKA CHOPRA
WASHINGTON: Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas are undoubtedly one of the most adorable celebrity couples, as the duo never misses a chance to express their love for each other publically. On Monday, Nick shared a cozy picture with PeeCee, as he misses her while she shoots in London. The singer-songwriter took to his Instagram handle and shared an adorable picture with his wife, in which they are seen embracing each other while sharing an intimate moment. Dedicating the heartwarming post to her, Nick wrote, “Her. That’s it. That’s the post. Missing my.”
The snap features Priyanka clad in a beautiful pastel blue saree teamed up with silver bangles, giving major ‘desi-girl’ vibes, while Nick is dressed in a casual white sweater and a black trouser. Not to miss, their pet dog Gino also got captured as he lies behind them. Soon after posting the picture, fans of the duo chimed into the comments section and dropped a string of emoticons in awe of the much-in-love couple. Priyanka is currently shooting for her upcoming Amazon Prime Video show ‘Citadel’ in London, while Nick is in Los Angeles. Recently, the couple reunited in Los Angeles for the Billboard Music Awards 2021.
BHUMI PEDNEKAR AND AKSHAY COME TOGETHER FOR RAKSHA BANDHAN
MUMBAI: In August 2020, Akshay Kumar had announced the film Raksha Bandhan with a poster featuring him. The film directed by Aanand L Rai was aiming for a November 2021 release. However, owing to the pandemic, the film has still not gone on floors.
The film will be going on floors on June 21. Ahead of the shoot, it has been revealed that Bhumi Pednekar will be playing the female lead of the film. Bhumi and Akshay will be reuniting after they played a married couple in the hit film Toilet-Ek Prem Katha. Last year, Akshay had also produced the film Bhaagamathie which had Bhumi in the lead.
Meanwhile, this is Akshay›s second project with Aanand L Rai. He wrapped up the filmmaker›s next Atrangi Re earlier this year. The film also stars Sara Ali Khan and Dhanush.Announced last year on the occasion of the Raksha Bandhan festival, the movie revolves around the brother-sister bond. Akshay Kumar had said, “Raksha Bandhan is a special film for all of us, rarely are such pure and simple films made. Can’t wait to begin filming for this one!” Raksha Bandhan is a Colour Yellow Production in association with Cape of Good Films. Directed by Aanand L Rai and written by Himanshu Sharma and Kanika Dhillon.
RICHA CHADHA IS GRATEFUL THAT ‘FUKREY’ HELPED HER MEET ALI FAZAL
Some films are special forever, not just for the audience but for the actors starring in them as well. As the first installment of the superhit comedy Fukrey completes 8 years, actor Richa Chadha has shared a story on her social media, saying Fukrey will forever be special because that’s where she met her partner Ali Fazal.
They went on to do Fukrey Returns together and will next be seen in the third installment of the film franchise with the rest of the cast. Reportedly, their romance bloomed after the second installment had been filmed.
While both Richa and Ali are established artists as well as producers who’ve each carved a niche for themselves, together they are without a doubt a force of strength, love and compassion. Richa shared a series of stories, talking about the film and having made great friends with the entire cast, but it was her series of stories on beau Ali Fazal that was adorable.
SUSHANT’S FIRST DEATH ANNIVERSARY: RHEA AND OTHER CO-STARS PEN EMOTIONAL NOTE
It has been a year since Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his apartment on June 14, 2020 in Mumbai. June 14, 2021 marks the first death anniversary of Sushant Singh Rajput, who passed away at a young age of 34 leaving everyone in shock. Bollywood and television stars remember the actor and posted emotional messages on Sushant’s 1st death anniversary. Rhea Chakraborty, Sushant’s alleged girlfriend shared a picture with Sushant and wrote, “There isn’t a moment where I believe that you aren’t here anymore. They said that time heals everything but you were my time and my everything. I know that you are my guardian angel now -watching me with your telescope from the moon and protecting me. I wait for you everyday to come pick me up, I look for you everywhere – I know you’re here with me. It breaks me everyday, then I think of you saying – you’ve got this bebu and I carry on to the next day. A barrage of emotions cross my body everytime I think of you not being here. My heart aches to write this, my heart aches to feel anymore. There is no life without you ,you took the meaning of it with you. This void cannot be filled. Without you, I’m standing still. My sweet sunshine boy , I promise to give you ‘Malpua ‘everyday and read all the quantum physics books in this world- please come back to me. I miss you my best friend, my man, my love. Bebu and putput forever (sic).”
Sushant’s Sonchiriya co-star Bhumi Pednekar shared a post remembering the actor. “Miss you, your questions and everything we spoke about. From the stars to the things unknown, you showed me the world like I had never seen it before. I hope you’ve found your peace my curious sweet SSR…Om Shanti,” Abhishek Kapoor, Sushant’s first film’s director, Kai Po Che, wrote: “1 year today… Still numb. #omnamahshivaya #sushantsinghrajput #superstar forever.” The duo also worked together in the 2018 film Kedarnath. Mukesh Chhabra, who directed Sushant Singh Rajput in the actor’s last Bollywood project Dil Bechara, paid tribute to the actor with these words: “Nothing seems to be the same. The void you left behind still remains. Here’s hoping I’ll see you once again. Miss you brother. #stillnumb #sushantsinghrajput.”
Ankita Lokhande also penned an emotional tribute to Sushant Singh Rajput on his first death anniversary. The actress shared a video which captured several moments from their life together. From the days of their TV to Sushant Singh Rajput preparing for his film ‘MS Dhoni’ and candid moments spent at home. Sushant Singh Rajput and Ankita Lokhande were in a relationship for seven years and this video shows their life when they were together. Ankita had captioned this video as, “14 June. This was our journey !!!! Phir milenge chalte chalte.” Previously, Ankita Lokhande had revealed that she has kept a havan in memory of Sushant Singh Rajput, on his first death anniversary. Ankita also kept a hawan for the late actor. Sushant Singh Rajput›s best friend Mahesh Shetty had also shared a glimpse of the actor, dancing and captioned it, “This is how I›ll always remember you bhai. Love you meri jaan… now & forever.”
Siddharth Gupta was a good friend of Sushant Singh Rajput, and the two were roommates in the past. He wrote on his social media, “Alien brother. Living the lesson you taught through your way of life is probably the best way to honor you my angel brother. For good or for worse I am the collateral, the after taste of the experience You were! Like you always said don’t try to be perfect try to have the perfect intent. I am trying bhai. Miss you.
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