After a hiatus of 4 years, Amit Masurkar, the writer-director of Newton, has finally returned with his next film, Sherni, released as an Amazon Original. The film stars Vidya Balan in the lead role of an honest and tenacious forest officer caught at the centre of human-animal conflict. If Newton was a satire on the power dynamics that governs the lives of the tribal people inhabiting the Naxal-prone areas across India then Sherni can best be described as a satire on the power dynamics that governs the lives of the village people living in the periphery of densely forested regions of the country and the forest officers guarding them. Sherni, based on a screenplay co-written by Aastha Tiku, Yashasvi Mishra, and Masurkar himself, also stars Sharat Saxena, Vijay Raaz, Mukul Chaddha, Satyakam Anand, Neeraj Kabi, and Brijendra Kaala in pivotal roles.
Just like Newton Kumar, Vidya Vincent is a person of principles. When Newton’s father tries to marry him to an underage girl he protests. While serving as a presiding officer during a seemingly impossible mission to conduct free and fair voting in a Naxalite territory, Newton doesn’t leave any stone unturned to ensure that every eligible individual is able to exercise their right to vote. For, he is someone who follows the rules to a tee. And the fulfillment of his duty means everything to him. Vidya, on the other hand, is quick to hand over the notice to a contractor when she finds out that he is not filling up the waterholes which are a lifeline for lifeline for wild animals in the scorching heat. But she also knows when to avoid a confrontation.
In Balan’s own words, her character in Sherni is “passive-aggressive”. As an actor she has played countless strong female characters over the years. But, unlike those characters, Vidya Vincent’s true strength lies in her passive aggression. She is a doer but she doesn’t believe in boasting about it. When a villager gets mauled by a tigress she is quick to defuse the situation by engaging with an ex-legislature on the spot which allows her team to collect the all important DNA samples from the dead body. That’s what makes Vidya Vincent a more complex character than Newton Kumar. And fortunately for Masurkar his casting was spot on. For, a lesser actor would have struggled to make Vidya Vincent so believable.
While working with Masurkar on Sherni, Balan had to let go of her old methods in order to embrace the director’s unconventional shooting style. As part of her preparation, she spent time with real-life forest officers and did forest trails with them to acclimatize herself. She also watched documentaries and read books in order to get a deeper insight into her character. Also, for the first time in her life, she lived in a tent as part of the shooting schedule. All the hard work and preparation has resulted in a compelling film with both Balan and Masurkar going the extra mile to make things look as realistic as possible.
Also, the other actors have played their parts really well. The veteran Sharat Saxena shines in the role of an egotistical hunter, Pinto Bhaiya, who is only concerned about his hunting records. “Just by looking into the eyes of a tiger I can tell if it’s a man eater or not,” he brags. Vijay Raaz is equally brilliant in the role of Prof. Noorani who assists Vidya and her team in capturing a tigress on a killing spree. While Bijendra Kala, essaying the part of Vidya’s superior, succeeds in occasionally delivering some much needed laughs, Satyakam Anand portrays the part of an opportunistic politician with menacing glee. Mukul Chaddha looks believable in the part of Vidya’s husband during the limited screen time he gets. However, Neeraj Kabi is a tad bit disappointing in a rather clichéd role. He certainly ought to choose his roles more carefully.
Sherni is deliberately paced and takes some time to set up its world and the characters that inhabit it. But the narrative picks up pace after a rather slowish first half paving the way for a suspense filled final half an hour. Masukar isn’t merely interested in making a film about a tiger hunt. He aims for something much bigger and succeeds to a great extent in examining the power dynamics and socio-politics that governs the lives of those inhabiting the forest areas. And he does so with a touch of his trademark satire that made Newton so memorable. Had Sherni released in theatres then perhaps it wouldn’t have succeeded in drawing the crowds at it isn’t really that kind of a film. While it is no Tarzan or Jungle Book, it is certainly a kind of film that the OTT audiences wouldn’t mind watching as it would come across as a breath of fresh air amidst the run of the mill content that gets churned out day in and day out.
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DEEPIKA PADUKONE DROPS AESTHETIC MONOCHROME PICTURE
NEW DELHI: Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone on Sunday treated her fans to an aesthetic monochrome picture of her that had a chiaroscuro effect on it.
Deepika took to her Instagram handle and shared the picture that featured her silhouette, while she stood behind translucent curtains. Though she did not write anything in the caption, she dropped a half-moon emoji there. Her husband and actor Ranveer Singh was blown away by his wife’s beauty and commented “Gorg” on her post.
Not just Ranveer, fans also showered love on Deepika’s photo, with many dropping heart, heart-eyes and fire emojis. “So beautiful ji,” one wrote, while another said, “You are heart.” A third one added, “Sunshine on the gloomy day.”
Meanwhile, on the film front, Deepika will be seen next in Shakun Batra’s yet-to-be-titled film.
The actor also has an impressive line-up of projects in the pipeline including ‘83’, ‘Baiju Bawra’, ‘Fighter’, ‘Sanki’, ‘Pathan’, and ‘K’, which is the Indian adaptation of Nancy Meyers’s 2015 hit Hollywood film ‘The Intern’, and will also feature megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
RANVEER SHARES LIGHT MOMENT WITH DHONI
MUMBAI: Superstar Ranveer Singh and former Indian national cricket team skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who are part of the All-Stars Football Club, were spotted playing football together at a stadium in Mumbai. After their gaming session, Ranveer took to his Instagram handle and posted a picture with Dhoni. The duo can be seen sitting on the ground and sharing a light moment. In his post, the actor showered love on MSD, indicating that how much he admires the legendary cricketer.
“Bade bhai ke charno mein hamesha. My Jaan,” Ranveer captioned the Instagram post. Ranveer, known to be a lover of sports, also posted a photograph with cricketer Shreyas Iyer, who took part in the match. The ‘Ram-Leela’ actor also heaped praise on Iyer as he wrote, “There was no other way to stop him (Shreyas).” Meanwhile, on the work front, Ranveer will be seen in a cricketer avatar in Kabir Khan’s ‘83’ film, which is based on India’s iconic win at the 1983 Cricket World Cup.
KANGANA GIVES GLIMPSE OF HER ‘DHAAKAD’ FIGHT
MUMBAI: Actor Kangana Ranaut is preparing hard for her role in the upcoming film ‘Dhaakad’. On Sunday, Kangana took to Instagram Story and posted a video of her rehearsing fight moves for ‘Dhaakad’.
“Ladako number 1, Baaghi ladki #Dhaakad rehearsals,” she captioned the clip.
For the unversed, Kangana is currently in Budapest for the above-mentioned movie, which is being helmed by Razneesh Ghai.
Arjun Rampal and Divya Dutta are also a part of ‘Dhaakad’, which is based on issues like child trafficking and crimes against women. Apart from ‘Dhaakad’, Kangana will also be seen in ‘’Thalaivi’ — based on the life of late politician Jayalalithaa.
PRIYA BAPAT STARRER CITY OF DREAMS SEASON 2 TRAILER RELEASED
The trailer for the much-awaited City of Dreams season 2 starring Priya Bapat is out and the series will release on July 30. The Priya Bapat starrer City of Dreams Season One was a runaway hit and was one of the finest web series from India. Priya Bapat played a girl who went from being a housewife to be a leader and she portrayed that with absolute conviction. It was directed by decorated director Nagesh Kukoonoor.
Season 2 will see a see-saw battle of power between Priya Bapat and Atul Kulkarni from the looks of the poster. The cast also includes Sachin Pilgaonkar, Sushant Singh, and Eijaz Khan. The trailer for Season 2 has been received with a rousing welcome and it goes on to show the kind of love season one garnered.
Priya Bapat spoke to The Daily Guardian and here is what she says, “It’s an intense show with some incredible performances. I am so happy, proud, and lucky to be doing such a project. A huge thanks to my director Nagesh Kukoonoor sir for placing his trust in me. The trailer for Season 2 is out now and the series would be coming on July 30 and I can’t contain my happiness”.
“The audience reaction and feedback for Season 1 have given me such validation and fulfillment as an actor. The satisfaction is huge. There are some seriously good actors in it and some legendary names. And it’s all like one happy family. The trailer has got some great feedback and it’s time for the show to come. Stay safe and much love to all,” she further added.
Priya Bapat made her debut with Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. She is also remembered for her roles in Munnabhai MBBS and Lage Raho Munnabhai. Her role in Kaksparsh and Timepass 2 acclaimed her good response from critics.
AKSHAY REMEMBERS CAPT VIKRAM BATRA, SHARES THE TRAILER OF ‘SHERSHAAH’
NEW DELHI: The power-packed trailer of Sidharth Malhotra’s upcoming movie based on the life of Param Vir Chakra awardee Captain Vikram Batra was released on Sunday.
Sharing the trailer, superstar Akshay Kumar penned a heartfelt note in remembrance of the Kargil war hero.
Taking to his Instagram handle, Akshay shared the much-awaited trailer with his fans and followers. Sharing the video and praising Sidharth for playing the war hero, he wrote, “Shershaah Trailer. What possible tribute can a reel hero give to a real hero.” Continuing with the caption, the National-Award-winning actor further noted, “Except to say that your sacrifice inspired us for life, Param Vir Chakra Awardee Captain Vikram Batra!”
Akshay added that he had always felt honoured that he shares his birthday with the war hero that is- 9th September. “And now feel privileged to share the trailer of #Shershaah that will tell the story of your heroic sacrifice to millions of us. Jai hind!”, Akshay said.
‘Shershash’ is a true story of Kargil war hero, Captain Vikram Batra who died during the war in 1999. The movie has been helmed by Vishnu Varadhan while Karan Johar, Hiroo Johar, Apoorva Mehta, Shabbir Boxwala, Ajay Shah, and Himanshu Gandhi are producing the film. Kiara Advani who will be seen playing the love interest of Sidharth will portray Dimple Cheema in the film that will release on 12 August on Amazon Prime Video.
ANGAD BEDI, MOUNI ROY’S NEW SONG ‘BAITHE BAITHE’ TO RELEASE ON 28 JULY
MUMBAI : Actors Angad Bedi and Mouni Roy will be seen together in an upcoming music video titled ‘Baithe Baithe’.
Taking to Instagram, Angad shared that the new song will be out on July 28. He also unveiled the first poster of the song, wherein he and Mouni are seen dressed up in ethnic attires.
“Do you believe in love at first sight? Baithe Baithe releasing on 28th July 2021,” Angad wrote. ‘Baithe Baithe’ is sung by Stebin Ben, Danish Sabri and Aishwarya Pandit. Meet Bros have composed the love track.
Mouni has also shared the poster of the song on her Instagram handle. With the announcement, congratulatory messages and best wishes have poured in for the actors. “Congrats beauty,” actor Vidya Malwade commented.“Best of luck. Can’t wait to hear the song,” a fan commented.
On the film front, Mouni will be seen in ‘Brahmastra’ and ‘Bole Chudiya’. The details of Angad’s upcoming film and shows projects have not been announced yet.
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