Almost all follow-up stories (whether sequels or prequels) are weighed down by expectations and comparisons. The fans of the original of course are keen to watch them and yet at the same time they are usually a little wary. Sometimes, the high expectations and the emotional attachment to the original can also make them overly critical in their scrutiny of the new offering. The best follows up stories are always mindful of two things, above everything else. First, there has to be enough on offer for the fans of the original as one certainly doesn’t want to antagonise or alienate them. Second, it should also be able to stand on its own for the benefit of new viewers as one obviously wants to grow one’s viewership. Often the worst ones fail on both these counts. Now, ‘The Matrix Resurrections,’ the latest installment in The Matrix series, is neither an ideal follow-up story nor a forgettable one. The film has its moments but it is also has many shortcomings.
‘The Matrix Resurrections’ is 18 years in the making. So, what took it so long? Following the release of ‘The Matrix: Revolutions,’ the Wachowskis refused the possibility of another Matrix film. But the studio remained quite keen in reviving the franchise through a possible fourth Matrix film. In fact, Zak Penn was hired to write a new screenplay after the Wachowskis refused every offer to create more sequels. Finally, in late 2019, a fourth Matrix film was finally announced, with Lana Wachowski returning as director (without her sister), and Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their iconic roles of Neo and Trinity, respectively. However, the COVID-19 pandemic created a lot of uncertainty. The filming started in February 2020 but was halted the very next month owing to the pandemic. According to reports, Lana even toyed with the possibility of shelving the project and leaving the film unfinished, but the cast insisted that she finish it. And so, the filming resumed once again, concluding three months later in August 2020.
Now, the most unique part of ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ is how it takes the meta route. Metacinema, also meta-cinema, is a mode of filmmaking in which the film informs the audience that they are watching a work of fiction. In other words, it often references to its own production, thereby working against the narrative conventions that aim to create an immersive experience for the viewer. Now, some filmmakers go to great lengths to ensure that the viewer completely forgets that he/she is watching a film. Take, for example, the case of Christopher Nolan who consciously changed the setting of a key scene in Batman Begins to an opera house instead of the cinema hall setting in the original text in order to ensure that the attention of the viewers is never drawn to the idea of watching a film in a cinema hall while watching the scene. Similarly, we also have filmmakers like Woody Allen who take the completely opposite route, often going meta when they see the creative possibility.
‘The Matrix Resurrections’ introduces us to a new version of Neo, now known in the Matrix as Thomas Anderson. He is a successful video game developer, creator of a trilogy of games based on his dreams of the Matrix. But, he is now done with the Matrix and doesn’t want anything to do with it. However, his business partner, Smith, tells him that their financers, Warner Bros., want them to make a sequel to their trilogy. The similarity in the situations faced by Neo the video game developer and Lana the filmmaker is quite evident. But, just like Nolan, Lana too is conscious about the effects of going meta. She and her team of writers purposefully choose the world of a video game. It could very well have been a movie within a movie instead of a video game within a movie but obviously Lana decided against it to give ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ a more realistic touch.
‘The Matrix Resurrections’ can best be described as an interesting concoction of old and new ideas. Now, there is no denying that the film cannot be separated from its predecessors. For, there are constant references to the original trilogy and it’s not just limited to the characters. In fact, a re-watch of the first three films viz. ‘The Matrix,’ ‘The Matrix Reloaded,’ and ‘The Matrix Revolutions’ is strongly recommended before watching ‘The Matrix Resurrections’. Some of the newer things that get introduced in Resurrections only build on the Matrix mythology. And yet Resurrections falls short of attaining the brilliance of its precursors. Despite her best efforts it’s quite evident that Lana Wachowski is not at the top of her game here. Also, she missed a trick by not recasting Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus and Hugo Weaving as Smith in Resurrections. As for Reeves, he looks great as this new Neo closely resembling his John Wick avatar and so there is no reason for any future Matrix films to experiment with his look. Also, Carrie-Anne Moss is splendid as Trinity as always. Among the other members of the cast, each of Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jessica Henwick deserves a special mention.
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APPLAUSE ENTERTAINMENT BEGINS 2022 WITH A HAT-TRICK OF SHOW RELEASES IN JANUARY
Applause Entertainment has kick-started 2022 on a high note, with two back-to-back show releases. The Sameer Nair-headed content studio of the Aditya Birla Group started the year with a bang with ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’ streaming on Zee5 and ‘Humble Politiciann Nograj’ streaming on Voot Select.
Now, Applause Entertainment is all set to score a hat-trick with Mohit Raina-fronted ‘Bhaukaal Season 2’, streaming on MX Player.
Interestingly, Bhaukaal Season 2 is Applause Entertainment’s 30th release since its inception, it is 10th offering on MX Player and also its seventh show to boast of a second season. The first season of ‘Bhaukaal’, which was released in early 2020, became a huge hit for its hard-hitting storyline based on a real-life super cop, Navniet Sekera. The second season of the show revolves around how this police officer in Muzaffarnagar, UP, busts the Dedha gang and brings law, order and peace to the region.
What makes this feat even more commendable is that Team Applause is constantly exploring different genres with every show. ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’ produced in association with Emmay Entertainment, streaming on Zee5, is a story of a royal dysfunctional family featuring an ensemble of fantastic actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Lara Dutta, Soha Ali Khan, Kritika Karma, Anya Singh and Raghubir Yadav. The political satire, ‘Humble Politiciann Nograj’ produced in association with Firstaction Studios and Danish Sait, streaming on Voot Select, takes ahead the 2018 film with a new story running into 10 episodes. ‘Bhaukaal Season 2’ produced by Applause Entertainment in association with Baweja Studios Production has been eagerly awaited by the audience ever since it was announced post the release of its first outing.
DEEPIKA, ANANYA & SIDDHANT STARRER ‘GEHRAIYAAN’ TRAILER OUT NOW
MUMBAI: Directed by Shakun Batra, Amazon Original Movie ‘Gehraiyaan’ stars Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday, Dhairya Karwa as leads along with Naseeruddin Shah and Rajat Kapur in pivotal roles.
Gehraiyaan will have its World Premiere on Amazon Prime Video across more than 240 countries and territories on 11 February 2022. Directed by the very talented Shakun Batra, Gehraiyaan is a relationship drama that looks beneath the surface of complex modern relationships, adulting, letting go and taking control of ones’ life path.
Speaking about the film, Deepika Padukone said, “Alisha, my character in Gehraiyaan is extremely close to my heart and certainly one of the most challenging characters I have portrayed on screen. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to play a role that was fun and challenging at the same time.”
Ananya Panday said, “Shooting with the wonderful cast and crew of Gehraiyaan has been an absolute high point for me and I never wanted the shoot to end! There’s a certain realness to the story of Gehraiyaan; while the film dives into the complexity of relationships it also talks about the thrill of being in love, of discovering oneself and charting ones’ path.”
ALIA BHATT CLOTHES THE NEEDY
NEW DELHI: Pretty Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt, who will soon be seen in S Rajamouli’s magnum opus ‘RRR’, is now giving back to the community through a new initiative. She launched Ed-a-Mamma, a conscious clothing brand for kids, a while back and has now kicked off a ‘Buy1Give1’ initiative, which will provide basic clothing for underprivileged children. For this initiative, every purchase made on their website will be matched with a garment donated by Ed-a-Mamma for a child in need. Ed-a-Mamma has partnered with Goonj – a renowned NGO working across India that focuses on clothing as a basic, yet unaddressed need. Alia Bhatt said, “With Ed-a-Mamma, I set out to create a world that nurtures in children, a love of nature. Knowing full well that they will look after what they love. The Buy1Get1 initiative will be used to gift garments to children in need and we hope to make kids understand the joy of sharing with people who are less fortunate.”So while the actress’ career is flying high and she is busy with numerous films, Alia has not forgotten those in need.
SIDDHANT BRINGS A LUXURIOUS HARLEY DAVIDSON HOME
MUMBAI: Actor Siddhant Chaturvedi recently brought home a luxurious Harley Davidson Sportster S, making him the first person in India to have the bike.
The ‘Gehraiyaan’ actor took to his social media to share the news of the same with his fans and followers. The actor, who rose to fame with MC Sher from Gully Boy, has certainly come a long way in the matter of just 3 years, which is a rather remarkable feat.
On the work front, Siddhant is currently gearing up for Shakun Batra’s next ‘Gehraiyaan’. He also has ‘Phone Booth’, ‘Yudhra’ and ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ in the pipeline.
SONAL CHAUHAN TO PLAY LEAD IN AKKINENI NAGARJUNA’S THE GHOST
MUMBAI: Akkineni Nagarjuna’s ‘The Ghost’ is a much-anticipated film ever since its announcement. Earlier it was said that the Bollywood star, Jacqueline Fernandez was cast for the film however, the word on the block is that the talented Sonal Chauhan will be playing the lead opposite Nagarjuna instead of Jacqueline.
That’s right, Sonal Chauhan fans are in for a treat as they get to see their favourite actress on the silver screen. A source close to the film said “Makers felt Sonal Chauhan was the best fit for the lead role opposite Nagarjuna in ‘The Ghost’. They felt both the actors Sonal and Nagarjuna would make for a fine on-screen pair and that’s when they approached her. The two are definitely going to portray some great chemistry in the film.”
SALMAN TO FEATURE IN GURU RANDHAWA’S NEW SONG
MUMBAI: Superstar Salman Khan will be seen flaunting his acting skills in singer Guru Randhawa’s new song ‘Main Chala’.
Female vocals of the track have been lent by Lulia Vantur, and the female artist who will be featuring alongside Salman is Pragya Jaiswal. On Tuesday, Guru Randhawa took to Instagram and shared the update with his fans.
“Love will be in air with #MainChala! Song releasing on 22nd January. Stay Tuned,” he wrote.
He tagged Salman Khan and Pragya in the comments. Produced by Salma Khan, the romantic track will be out on January 22.
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