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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PRITHVI CHANGES HIS NAME TO HONOUR HIS LATE TAUJI
Actor Prithvi Tanwar, has changed his name to honour his late uncle. Prithvi’s first name was Mahesh. Prithvi says, “I changed my name from Mahesh to Prithvi in 2019. The reason is, I was close to my paternal uncle who carried this name. After his death, I wanted to keep his name alive. This is my small effort towards that.” He added, “Modeling brought me down to Mumbai. I joined an acting school and started appearing for auditions. The negativity of failure hit me. I decided to go back home. But after I reached home, I started getting calls for shoots. When I discussed with my father, he said if I would have stayed in Mumbai a little longer, I would have got work. He asked me to go back to Mumbai and give another try. My family has been supportive.”
BOBBY DROPS HEARTWARMING PHOTOS WITH SON ARYAMAN
NEW DELHI: Bollywood actor Bobby Deol on Wednesday wished his son Aryaman Deol on his twentieth birthday by sharing adorable pictures with him on social media. The ‘Race 3’ actor took to his Instagram handle and shared rare pictures with his son. In the pictures, Aryaman can be seen hugging his father, as the two pose for the camera. In the caption, Bobby wrote, “Happy birthday my angel,” followed by a heart emoji.
In the comments section of the post, Chunky Panday wrote, “Happy Happy birthday dear Aryaman.” Darshan Kumar wrote, “Happy Birthday Aryaman Wish you the World.” Deol’s Race 3 co-star Saqib Saleem also commented with kissing face emojis. On Tuesday, Bobby had celebrated three years of his film ‘Race 3’. Sharing an old video from the sets just before his shot, he wrote, “This is where it all began again! The journey has been incredible, especially 2020! Cannot wait to show you all everything coming up next.”
FARHAN AKHTAR’S ‘TOOFAAN’ GETS NEW OTT RELEASE DATE
Mumbai: Actor Farhan Akhtar’s most anticipated film, ‘Toofaan’, is scheduled to release on July 16. The upcoming sports drama is getting a digital release on Amazon Prime Video. Announcing the same, Farhan on Wednesday took to his official Instagram account and wrote: “With humility, love and in dedication to the fighting spirit of the beautiful people of our nation, our film ‘Toofaan’ will be releasing on July 16th. #ToofaanOnPrime.”
Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has helmed ‘Toofaan’, which is set against the backdrop of boxing and revolves around the character of Farhan who plays the role of a boxer in the film. Actors Paresh Rawal and Mrunal Thakur are also a part of the movie.
While announcing the release date of ‘Toofaan’, Farhan has also unveiled a new poster of his look from the movie. In the poster, Farhan can be seen standing in a boxing ring flaunting his chiseled body. ‘Toofan’ is backed by Ritesh Sidhwani, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Farhan.
KIARA ADVANI REVEALS SHE WOULD LOVE TO DO A BIOPIC ON MADHUBALA
Kiara Advani recently completed seven years in Bollywood. The star celebrated the special day with her fans. She engaged in a virtual interaction with her fans across the nation to celebrate the glorious seven years. Her fans asked their favourite actress various questions related to films, her journey and much more. The star even took to social media platforms to talk about her acting journey so far. A fan quizzed the actress about the role that she would love to play in future. To which she replied, “I would love to do a biopic on Madhubala. That is a dream for sure.”
Speaking about the celebration, Around 40 fan pages across India came together to celebrate Kiara’s 7 glorious years in Bollywood. Her admirers from Delhi, Lucknow, Banglore, amongst other cities ranging from different age groups united to shower their love on Kiara.
The actress has carved her niche in the industry with her amazing performances in ‘Fugly’, ‘MS Dhoni’, ‘Bharat Ane Nenu’, ‘Lust Stories’, ‘Kabir Singh’, ‘Good Newwz’, ‘Guilty’ and ‘Indoo Ki Jawani ‘amongst others.
She has some stellar performances in her kitty. From ‘Shershaah’, ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’, ‘Jug Jugg Jeeyo’ and Shashank Khaitan’s next amongst Kiara is one of the busiest stars in the industry today. The biographical action drama ‘Shershaah’ revolves around the life of the Kargil hero Vikram Batra. The film is slated to release on July 2, 2021.
The star was last seen in the comedy film ‘Indoo Ki Jawaani’ where she features alongside Aditya Seal and Mallika Dua.
KAREENA SHINES BRIGHT ON A BILLBOARD AT THE TIMES SQUARE
MUMBAI: Kareena Kapoor has successfully established herself as one of the biggest female superstar in the country over the years and continues to be the reigning star claiming the throne.
Continuing to win hearts, Kareena is now shining bright at the Times Square in New York City where her commercial for a popular jewelry brand is being displayed at a massive billboard. Sharing a video of the same on her IG, the actress wrote, “Shining bright like diamonds and gold on a billboard #TimesSquareNYC”.
Receiving major love from netizens, Kareena’s post already has got viral on social media with millions of her fans from all across the globe commenting on how much they love her on the NYC Times Square billboard.
On the professional front, Kareena Kapoor Khan will be next seen in the highly anticipated Advait Chandan directorial ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ opposite Aamir Khan. She also has Karan Johar’s period drama ‘Takht’ lined up.
SUNNY, AMEESHA EXPRESS GRATITUDE TO FANS AS ‘GADAR’ CLOCKS 20 YEARS
Sunny Deol’s ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’ clocked 20 years on Tuesday and the star thanked the audience for making his film ‘an event’.
The 2001 film, that also starred Ameesha Patel in the lead, became an instant hit. The Anil Sharma directorial did not just impress viewers but also registered huge numbers at the box office. The actor-politician took to Twitter to express gratitude to all his fans who made the film a ‘historic’ affair. Sunny tweeted a video song from Gadar, ‘Musafir Jaane Wale’, featuring him and Ameesha.
Sharing the video, he thanked viewers for showering the action love story with so much love. Sunny wrote, “We made a film, you made it an event! #20yearsofGadar, I express my gratitude to everyone who made our film historic.”
Taking to Instagram, Ameesha uploaded a series of posts recalling her acting stint on the project. In one of the posts, she shared a few unseen moments from the set and captioned: “Gadar…behind the scenes of the most iconic film that Bollywood has seen till date…thank you all for the love..20 years of Gadar.”
Released on 15 June, 2001, ‘Gadar’ was a romantic drama set against the background of India’s partition. The film also featured late Amrish Puri and Lillete Dubey.
On the occasion, Lillete too took to social media to remember her work in ‘Gadar’.
“15 June 2001…. 20 years since ‘Gadar’ opened on this day. And what a storm it created.Remembering the making of the film and especially my wonderful co-star who also came from theatre — the man with the deepest baritone Amrish Puri,” she wrote.
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