‘UNPAUSED’: A MIXED-BAG AFFAIR THAT FAILS TO MATCH THE MAGIC OF ‘PUTHAM PUDHU KAALAI’ - The Daily Guardian
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‘UNPAUSED’: A MIXED-BAG AFFAIR THAT FAILS TO MATCH THE MAGIC OF ‘PUTHAM PUDHU KAALAI’

Murtaza Ali Khan

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Following its Tamil anthology film Putham Pudhu Kaalai, Amazon Prime Video has come out with the Hindi anthology film Unpaused, also shot during the pandemic and featuring stories about themes of love, fresh beginnings, hope, and chance. Unpaused is an interesting package of five short films that brings together directors like Nikkhil Advani, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Raj & DK, Nitya Mehra, and Avinash Arun. Like all package deals, Unpaused  has both pros and cons. But, before we get to the strengths and the weaknesses, let’s first look at the storylines of the various segments. 

The first short film titled ‘Glitch’, directed by Raj & DK, stars Gulshan Deviah and Saiyami Kher. The story is set in the near future where pandemics have become a norm. The world at present is dealing with Covid-30 and everything seems to happen in the virtual space. In these times when people fear human contact, a ‘hypo’ man meets a ‘warrior’ girl on a blind date. As soon as the neurotic man learns that the girl is a pandemic warrior stationed at the frontend to deal with the virus attacks, he freaks out and walks out of the date. But both touch each other in ways they can’t comprehend. Will their chance encounter develop into something more meaningful?

The second segment titled ‘Apartment’, directed by Nikkhil Advani, stars Richa Chadha, Sumeet Vyas, and Ishwak Singh. It follows the owner of a successful online news magazine who learns of her husband’s sexual indiscretions at the workplace. While trying to come to terms with it, she loses all her strength and attempts to end her life. But she stops halfway when a pesky stranger unexpectedly shows up at her door. Will she go back to finishing her ghastly act after he leaves? Or will she succeed in finding the inner strength to face the reality? 

‘Rat – A – Tat’, the third short film in the anthology, is directed by Tannishtha Chatterjee. Starring Lillete Dubey and Rinku Rajguru, this segment follow two women, four decades apart—one who chooses to be alone and the other who is alone because of circumstances. While confronting loneliness during the lockdown, their paths cross in the most unlikely circumstances. Will they succeed in overcoming the stark generation gap and become friends? Or will their egos continue to evade all the possibilities of hope and new beginnings?

The fourth short film titled ‘Vishaanu’ is directed by Avinash Arun and stars Abhishek Banerjee and Geetika Vidya Ohlyan. It follows a young migrant family which gets thrown out of their rented house during the lockdown after failing to pay the rent. They then decide to illegally sneak into a lavish sample flat that’s situated in the same building in which they were working as construction workers. For how long can they stay there? What will happen once the bubble gets busted?

The final segment, directed by Nitya Mehra, is titled ‘Chaand Mubarak’. It stars Ratna Pathak Shah and Shardul Bharadwaj. It follows an affluent middle-aged single woman who is a little paranoid of contagion and wants to avoid social contact at all costs. But, she is forced to seek the help of a young rickshaw driver to get her medicine during the lockdown. The woman’s stubbornness and elitist views are in contrast to the driver’s orthodox views on relationships. Will the two strangers out of their common loneliness form an unlikely friendship? Or will their overwhelming divides get the better of them?

Unpaused can best be looked upon as an interesting storytelling experiment. Anthologies aren’t new to cinematic storytelling but what’s different here is the fact that we are talking about stories filmed during the pandemic and dealing with the themes of new beginnings such as discovering love or finding hope amidst the lockdown. This makes it inevitable to compare Unpaused with Putham Pudhu Kaalai. The striking difference between the two anthologies is that of music. Putham Pudhu Kaalai uses diegetic and non-diegetic music to its great advantage as it compensates for a lot of other weaknesses. There were all kinds of restrictions imposed during the lockdown and so shooting with a small clue under controlled conditions is bound to take a toll on the quality of storytelling. That’s where the music and the songs came to the rescue and Putham Pudhu Kaalai scored heavily. Unpaused, on the other hand, has little to offer on this front. 

While the acting performances are solid all around, the quality of storytelling is mostly inconsistent. ‘Glitch’ has its moments, but the abrupt use of sign language doesn’t add anything to the story. ‘Apartment’ has a good message at its core but it gets a little preachy in the end. Lillete Dubey and Rinku Rajguru are brilliant in ‘Rat – A – Tat’ but despite the promise, it just fails to tug at the heartstrings. ‘Vishaanu’ comes across as the weakest segment of the lot.

Its premise is certainly interesting but the story fails to pick up. Fortunately, Unpaused  ends on a strong note thanks to ‘Chaand Mubarak’, which has a well-rounded story that’s made even more special by delectable performances of Ratna Pathak Shah and Shardul Bharadwaj.

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It’s Pawri time on sets of Bhumi Pednekar, Rajkummar Rao-starrer ‘Badhaai Do’

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New Delhi (India), February 25 (ANI): Bollywood actor Bhumi Pednekar announced the schedule wrap of her upcoming film ‘Badhaai Do’ on Thursday by joining the ‘Pawri Ho Rahi Hai’ meme trend.
The ‘Durgamati’ actor joined the trending meme bandwagon and announced the schedule wrap for ‘Badhaai Do’ with a hilarious short video.
She captioned the video, “Where’s the pawri tonight? On #BadhaaiDo sets! Schedule wrap hua hai. Badhaaiyaan toh banti hai na phir! #pawrihorahihai @jungleepictures @rajkummar_rao #HarshavardhanKulkarni #AkshatGhildial @sumadhikary.”
In the video, Bhumi can be seen on the sets of the movie along with co-star Rajkummar Rao, the film’s director Harshavardhan Kulkarni, and the rest of the crew. In the clip, the trio can be heard saying, “Ye Sumi hai (Bhumi’s character), Ye Shardul Hai (Rajkummar’s character), aur ye humare director hain, aur ye humari pawri ho rai hai.”

Ever since the sequel of ‘Badhaai Ho’ has been announced, fans have been elated to witness the comedy-filled family entertainer. With the addition of Rajkummar and Bhumi as the lead stars for ‘Badhaai Do’, the film already promises to impress.
‘Badhaai Ho’, back in 2018, was one of the most successful movies that also won a National Award for the Best Film in 2019 for its unconventional storyline and impactful yet convincing performances.
While Rajkummar plays the role of a cop in the second installment, Bhumi will be seen playing a PT teacher with big dreams in the film. (ANI)

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R Madhavan celebrates 10 years of ‘Tanu Weds Manu’

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): Aanand L Rai’s ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ starring R Madhavan and Kangana Ranaut went on to become a sleeper hit. The unusual love story of Tanu (Ranaut) and Manu (Madhavan) has been etched in the hearts of movie buffs for giving the Hindi film heroine a rebellious vie.
The film, which released in 2011, clocked 10 years today. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Madhavan took to his Twitter handle to share a heartfelt note thanking the entire team of the film. He also shared a poster of the romantic-comedy movie.
The actor tweeted, “@aanandlrai @KanganaTeam @vikramix @Viacom18Studios
Thank YOU ALL SOO SOO MUCH for this awesome piece of history. Will cherish this for the rest of my life. #10yearsoftanuwedsmanu.”
The director of the film also took to social media to thank his fans for loving the film and giving him an identity. Calling himself ‘Woh Tanu Weds Manu Wala director’, he penned a heartwarming note.
L Rai wrote, “Someone said so beautifully…”Nothing of me is original, I am the combined effort of everyone I have ever known” Thank you for giving me my identity Thank you for making me ‘Woh Tanu weds Manu Wala Aanand Rai’ Thankyou.”
‘Tanu Weds Manu’ is the story of Tanu (Ranaut) and Manu (Madhavan). It followed Tanuja Trivedi or Tanu, who is a bold girl and lives in Kanpur with her parents. Her family wants her to get married and therefore fix a meeting with NRI Doctor Manoj Kumar Sharma alias Manu. But Tanu is in love with someone else. The story then sees many highs and lows. In the end, Tanu realizes her love for Manu and they get married.
The film also featured Jimmy Shergill, Swara Bhasker, Deepak Dobriyal, and Eijaz Khan, among others, in pivotal roles.
‘Tanu Weds Manu’ was followed by ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ in 2015. It narrated the story of Tanu and Manu after their wedding. The sequel, which featured Ranaut in double roles, went on to become a bigger hit. (ANI)

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Ryan Gosling to headline ‘The Actor’ movie adaptation

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Washington [US], February 25 (ANI): Hollywood star Ryan Gosling is set to play the lead role in ‘The Actor’, an upcoming adaptation of Donald E Westlake’s novel ‘Memory’.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Duke Johnson will helm the forthcoming movie and produce it with Abigail Spencer under their Innerlight Films production banner.
Gosling, who will also bankroll the film alongside Ken Kao, will play the lead role of Paul Cole, who must deal with his damaged memory as he struggles to rebuild his life after being left for dead and hospitalised in 1950s Ohio.
Gosling’s character Cole will follow a thrilling journey to find home, love, and ultimately himself. Gosling and Kao’s partnership follows their recent project announcements of Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s ‘Project Hail Mary’ at MGM and Leigh Whannell’s ‘Wolfman’ at Universal.
Paul Young is also producing the film through his company Make Good. Apart from helming the film, Johnson co-wrote the screenplay with Stephen Cooney, based on Westlake’s novel.
Meanwhile, Gosling has a number of projects in the pipeline, including Netflix’s ‘The Gray Man’, which also features actor Chris Evans and hails from the Russo brothers.
He will also feature in filmmaker duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s astronaut movie titled ‘Project Hail Mary’ and Leigh Whannell’s ‘Wolfman’ movie. (ANI)

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Tom Holland reveals real ‘Spider-Man 3’ title after trolling fans

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Washington [US], February 25 (ANI): Actor Tom Holland has finally revealed the real title of the third installment in the ‘Spider-Man’ franchise after the star cast of the film trolled fans with their own version of fake titles.
The real title for the latest installment in the superhero franchise is ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’.
Holland took to his Instagram account on Wednesday night to reveal the title of the film. Holland and his co-stars Zendaya and Jacob Batalon appear in a 30-second clip, which begins with Holland walking out of director Jon Watts’ office and lamenting over being given a fake title for the film.
Holland says in the video, “He gave us a fake name again … I just don’t understand why he keeps doing this.”
“You don’t understand? I feel like it’s pretty obvious. You spoil things,” Batalon responds, teasing the star’s reputation for sharing details of the superhero films before they are public knowledge.
“I don’t spoil things. Name me one thing I’ve actually spoiled,” Holland shoots back, as Zendaya chimes in, “The last movie title.”
The camera then zooms in on a whiteboard displaying a number of potential titles, with ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ featured at the centre.
The upcoming film is slated to release on December 17, this year. On Tuesday, Holland, Zendaya, and Batalon had posted never-before-seen stills from the upcoming movie – and announced three different titles.
Holland’s suggested title read ‘Phone Home’, referring to the 1982 film ‘E.T.’, Zendaya’s was ‘Home Slice’ and Batalon’s featured the title ‘Home-Wrecker’.
‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ also features actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Marvel mainstay Doctor Strange and is rumoured to delve into the multiverse as it will also unite separate generations of Spider-Man films.
Alfred Molina, who played Doctor Octopus in Tobey Maguire’s ‘Spider-Man 2’, will appear. So will Jamie Foxx, playing Electro, the villain he portrayed in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which starred Andrew Garfield.
Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers have written the script for the forthcoming Marvel film.
Filmmaker Jon Watts has helmed the upcoming movie after directing ‘Spider-Man Homecoming’ (2017) and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ (2019), which earned more than USD 1.1 billion globally, making it the highest-grossing ‘Spider-Man’ movie of all time. (ANI)

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Jack Giarraputo launches creative advertising agency Slice Collective

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Washington [US], February 25 (ANI): American film Producer Jack Giarraputo, whose films have grossed over USD 4B at the global box office, has launched Slice Collective, a full-service creative advertising agency that produces Hollywood-level campaigns for clients around the world.
The company, co-founded with investment banker Abhishek Som (former Lazard, IEG, and Private Equity) is disrupting the industry through global access to top-level creative marketing talent.
Giarraputo said, “We are a Hollywood-based agency with an international roster of creative talent, which leads to new ideas and a fresh perspective on global marketing campaigns. Our international setup enables us to take advantage of cost efficiencies, allowing us to service a growing list of micro targets with effective messaging. We are on the road towards personalized marketing, which was once considered cost-prohibitive but now getting closer to reality.”
Som said, “Our work in the U.S. and beyond has validated the idea that our international creatives can deliver in a way that is just as compelling as their American counterparts.”
Leading the Slice team is Leo Draper, former VP Creative Advertising, Sony Pictures, and StudioCanal executive joined by Nick Herbst, who manages business development.

Additionally, Reliance Entertainment veteran Medha Jaishankar will be serving as media advisor. (ANI)

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Ishaan Khatter shares adorable throwback picture to wish Shahid Kapoor on birthday

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): We all have fond memories from our childhood, and who doesn’t like looking at old pictures with siblings? As Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor turns a year older today, his brother and actor Ishaan Khatter shared a heartwarming birthday wish with an unseen throwback picture to mark the special day.
Ishaan took to Instagram and posted a then and now picture with his ‘bade bhai’ to wish the birthday boy. The ‘Dhadak’ actor shared a collage of two pictures – one from their childhood that features a young Shahid holding Ishaan in his arms. Another picture showed the grown-up sibling duo posing together from their appearance in Karan Johar’s talk show ‘Koffee With Karan’.
Sharing the adorable images, Ishaan wrote a few lines the famous song ‘Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli’. He captioned the post, “Zindagiiiiii kaisi hai paheli haaye. Kabhi toh hasaaye, Kabhi yeh rulaaye. But through it all.. I’ll always love you, bade bhai. Happy birthday.”

Ace filmmaker Zoya Akhtar was among the first ones to comment on the post with a heart emoji. Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana also showered love on the sibling duo with a heart emoji.
Shahid and Ishaan are amongst the cutest brothers in the industry. They always talk fondly of each other and never stop motivating each other and appreciating one another’s performances.
Ishaan, who was recently seen in Mira Nair’s web series ‘A Suitable Boy’ has often expressed his love for his brother. On social media, they keep showering each other’s posts with witty and adorable comments.
Meanwhile, on the work front, Shahid will next be seen in ‘Jersey’, which also features Mrunal Thakur and Pankaj Kapur. The actor will be essaying the role of a cricketer in the film. It is a remake of a Telugu movie of the same name.
On the other hand, Ishaan will next be seen in ‘Phone Bhoot’ co-starring Katrina Kaif and Siddhant Chaturvedi. (ANI)

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