Vidya Balan and Raj Arjun starrer ‘Natkhat’ exposes deep-rooted patriarchy in Indian society - The Daily Guardian
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Vidya Balan and Raj Arjun starrer ‘Natkhat’ exposes deep-rooted patriarchy in Indian society

Murtaza Ali Khan

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Short films offer a great platform for young and upcoming filmmakers to showcase their talents. But, making a short film is always a tricky proposition. For, the financial prospects are quite uncertain. However, the one thing that drives such productions is passion as the constant threats and fears often serve as fuel that end up stirring the deepest artistic urges of the filmmaker. One thing, however, is more or less certain. What these films lack in scope they more than make up for it in terms of vision. Of late, the short films are becoming more and more mainstream with big names from the Hindi film industry joining the bandwagon. Also, the pandemic has given a further fillip to this emerging trend of making short films with established stars. Natkhat, co-written and directed by Shaan Vyas, is a fine example of what storytellers can achieve using the shot film format.

Natkhat stars Vidya Balan in the role of a mother who takes it upon herself to teach her young son an important lesson about gender equality that he will never forget. The short, co-produced by Vidya Balan and Ronnie Screwvala, has already traveled to many international film festivals. Ever since its premiere at the ‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival’ last year, Natkhat has found a spot on many most-anticipated short films lists. The short film is now being streamed by Voot Select as part of Voot Select Film Festival—a direct to OTT Film Festival that will showcase more than 15 critically acclaimed movies across genres over an eight day period.

The Shaan Vyas directorial succeeds in singularly pointing why despite so many reforms and new laws patriarchy has still managed to endure in our society. Let’s try and examine the story of Natkhat to understand this better. The short follows Sonu (portrayed by Sanika Patel) who one day along with his friends at school decides to teach a girl a lesson she would never forget. At dinner time when the grown-ups discuss a female politician who is causing them some trouble, Sonu offers them a suggestion with the ghastly admission of the sinister act he committed at school. The bunch of boys had taught the girl who had dared to hit one of them a lesson by dragging her to the woods and threatening her to cut off her pigtail. When he offers the same advice to the grown-ups at the dinner table in order to teach the female politician a lesson, the father (essayed by Raj Arjun) gets up in a fit of rage to scold his young son but he is stopped by the grandfather (played by Atul Tiwari). The old patriarch consoles his enraged son by reminding him about the boy’s gender privilege: “Boys will be boys. What do you expect? Will you crucify him for this?”

Now, the servile mother (essayed by Vidya Balan) in a ghunghat is listening to the conversation from a distance. She is not even allowed to sit and eat with the men of the family even as she serves them hot food and rotis. She can only eat inside her room after they are finished. But even from within the ghunghat we can sense her dread and uneasiness on hearing her son’s ghastly admission of an act he committed at school. She is deeply disturbed by the toxic machismo her young son with an impressionable mind is in the process of inheriting from those around him. So she takes matters into her own hands and decides to teach her son the principles of equality using the age-old art of bedtime stories.

Natkhat is a powerful reminder that the root cause of all oppression that women are subjected to in our society is a direct result of patriarchy. What children see while growing up has a lasting impression on their impressionable minds. Their conditioning already begins long before they even realize it. By the time they grow up into adults the damage is already done. If, however, the parents can make conscious efforts to educate their children about the importance of gender equality then the dark influences of patriarchy can be greatly mitigated.

There is so much that remains unsaid in Natkhat and so the onus is on the actors to convey the same non-verbally and they are up to the mark. In particular, Vidya Balan, Raj Arjun and young Sanika Patel need to be commended for their brilliant performances in the short film. It’s really heartening to see a leading Bollywood actress like Balan taking such keen interest in a project like Natkhat and not just as an actor but also as a producer. While there still there is still a long way to go before the short films start enjoying the same reverence and recognition that’s generally associated with feature films, Natkhat proves that short film format is more than capable of delivering a strong message in a most effective manner possible.

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Comedian Raju Srivastava suffers heart attack, admitted to AIIMS

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Raju Srivastava

Comedian Raju Srivastava has suffered a heart attack and has been admitted to AIIMS, Delhi. Comedian Srivastava’s health deteriorated last night after which he suffered from a heart attack.

Srivastava fell unconscious when he was working out on a treadmill at the gym. Later he felt severe chest pain and then collapsed after which his trainer brought him to the hospital.

According to comedian Sunil Pal Srivastava’s health is good now. He is recovering rapidly and will be home soon.

Meanwhile, just hours before Srivastava suffered a heart attack he shared a stand-up comedy piece on his Instagram. He mimicked a few veteran actors on information being spread on Covid-19 via caller tune on the phones.

However, Srivastava got recognition by participating in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. He has done roles in films like Bombay to Goa, and Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya. Moreover, Srivastava is also the chairman of the Uttar Pardesh Film Division Board.

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Taapsee Pannu’s ‘Shabaash Mithu’ to stream on Voot Select; streaming date awaited

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Taapsee Pannu

Bollywood actor Taapsee Pannu’s film ‘Shabaash Mithu’ is all set to stream on OTT platform Voot. Recently the movie released in theaters but failed to impress the audience.

The movie is based on the life of Indian cricketer Mithali Raj. Pannu’s movie is slated to stream on Voot select in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. Meanwhile, the final streaming date of the film is still awaited.

Earlier on Tuesday, Voot Select dropped a teaser of the film on Instagram. “The untold story of a fighter, an achiever, and a game changer who deserves a ‘Shabaash’ over and over again. Watch Taapsee Pannu as ace cricketer Mithali Raj, in the World Digital Premiere of Shabaash Mithu, Coming soon on #VootSelect,” Voot captioned.

Taapsee portrayed the role of a sportsperson for the third time in her career.

Meanwhile, Pannu shared her excitement about the movie’s OTT release and said, ” This film is very close to me. As someone who prides in championing roles and characters that celebrate women, playing the character of an iconic and truly inspiring cricketer has been a matter of immense pride and satisfaction. It was a challenging character to portray, especially as every chapter in Mithali’s life revealed the many layers of this national inspiration. I am very excited about its release on Voot Select.”

However, the movie was released on 15 July 2022 and is helmed by Sriji Mukherji.

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Scared to work on a film on Mahabharat, explains Aamir

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Aamir Khan has discussed his long-term goal of developing a movie based on the Hindu epic poem Mahabharata and stated that he is frightened to begin work on it. An ambitious plan to produce a high-budget movie based on the Mahabharata has been under development by Aamir. In fact, writer Anjum Rajabali revealed to the media in 2018 that he left the Rakesh Sharma biopic in order to concentrate on the movie, which is rumoured to have a budget of Rs 1000 crore.

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Aamir previously discussed how long a movie on the epic would take, saying in an interview, “It is a longing. The task is enormous. For me, it is a dream come true. However, if I make the decision to succeed now, I will have to dedicate 20 years to it. The content is incredibly intriguing to me, but I’m afraid that if I say yes and decide to do it, five years will solely be spent on research before it can be put into practise.”

Aamir’s forthcoming movie, Laal Singh Chadha, is now being promoted, a legitimate reimagining of the 1994 Forrest Gump, a Hollywood production. Laal Singh Chaddha is the movie that Aamir spent more than ten years working on.

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‘If you don’t feel like watching the movie, then don’t’, Akshay Kumar reacts to boycott Raksha Bandhan trend

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Raksha Bandhan

Bollywood star Akshay Kumar is in the news these days for his film ‘Raksha Bandhan’. A campaign of boycott is being run against Kumar’s film.

Meanwhile, Akshay Kumar himself has broken the silence on this whole controversy. He said in a special conversation that if someone does not want to see this film, then do not watch it, because we live in independent India. He recently said this at a promotional event for the film in Kolkata.

“If you don’t feel like watching the movie, then don’t. It’s a free country and the film is out there, so if someone wants to watch it or not, it’s up to them. I would like to tell you, no matter which industry it is, be it the clothing industry, film industry, or anything else, all of these help the economy. But doing things like boycotting movies, it doesn’t make sense,” Kumar said.

A few days ago, Aamir Khan also expressed his views about the ongoing campaign to Boycott Laal Singh Chaddha in India.

“That Boycott Bollywood…Boycott Aamir Khan…Boycott Laal Singh Chaddha… I feel sad also because a lot of people who are saying this in their hearts believe I am someone who doesn’t like India… In their hearts, they believe that… And that’s quite untrue,” Aamir Khan said.

Earlier in 2015, Aamir Khan made a controversial statement and said, “Our country is very tolerant, but there are people who spread ill-will.” Where his wife Kiran Rao also considered leaving the country for the safety of their children.

Moreover, on 11 August Laal Singh Chadda and Raksha Bandhan will clash at the box office. Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Raksha Bandhan’ is directed by Aanand L Rai and Aamir Khan starrer ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ is directed by Advait Chandan.

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Abhishek Bachchan to be honored with the Leadership in Cinema Award at 13th IFFM

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Abhishek Bachchan

Actor Abhishek Bachchan will be bestowed with the leadership in Cinema Award at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2022.

“I’m excited and looking forward to being part of celebrating all things movies and cinema in Melbourne. I’m elated to have been invited by IFFM and to be part of a festival that truly celebrates Indian cinema in all its glory. For them to confer me with the Leadership in Cinema award is truly an honor for me and I’m thankful to the jury and the team of IFFM. To be in another country celebrating Indian pride and Indian content alongside my peers in something I’m truly looking forward to,” Bachchan said.

The ‘Guru’ star will also deliver a special speech about his journey in cinema at IFFM 2022.

This year the film festival will be in its physical version after being solely virtual for the last two years.

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Meanwhile, the award night will take place on the 14 August in Melbourne. The festival will be opened with the film Dobaaraa directed by Anurag Kashyap.

However, Karan Johar, Kapil Dev, Anurag Kashyap, and Vaani Kapoor are likely to attend the Film festival.

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Bieber said sorry to an unidentified user, fans go crazy over his benevolence

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Justin Bieber

The generosity of Justin Beiber has won the hearts of many on numerous occasions. Justin Beiber is well known for being extremely generous to his friends and fans.

The pop star apologised on his Instagram on Sunday for making “inappropriate comments” on a user’s post.

Contrary to his persona, Justin revealed that he had rudely commented on a user’s Instagram post and had eventually realised that he should not have done so.

On his story, Justin published an apology to the unidentified user.

He said,”For some reason, I commented on some guys’ page ‘sad existence’ because he was doing something I thought was dumb. I’m not quite sure why I felt the need to write that. If what he was doing made him happy, who am I to say anything? I hope it didn’t hurt his feelings. It’s been eating me up all day. To the dude I wrote it to, man I’m sorry”.

This kind gesture by Bieber has won the hearts of millions, pouring him love from his fans all across the globe.

Justin has begun his “Justice World Tour” after experiencing recent health complications, and he is currently in Norway, where he performed.

Justin will travel to India soon. On October 18, he will perform in New Delhi as part of his “Justice World Tour.” On the aforementioned date, he will perform at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. Prices for the concert tickets start at Rs 4,000 and go up from there.

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