WANDAVISION’S SITCOM NOSTALGIA SETS THE STAGE FOR A JAW-DROPPING MID-SEASON TWIST - The Daily Guardian
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WANDAVISION’S SITCOM NOSTALGIA SETS THE STAGE FOR A JAW-DROPPING MID-SEASON TWIST

Murtaza Ali Khan

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The new Disney+ series “WandaVision” based on the Marvel Comics characters Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch and Vision is a strong reminder why American television is on a roll. 

 In recent times, we are witnessing some of the most fascinating experiments taking place in American television space. In fact, it wouldn’t be a hyperbole to say that American television is today leaps and bounds ahead of American cinema. Some of the best creative minds in the US are currently working in the television space and have been producing some of the best content in the world. Here, I would like to mention the likes of Ryan Murphy, Jonathan Nolan, Jordon Peele, Damon Lindelof, among others. Even the likes of David Fincher and Ethan Hawke in recent years have produced their best work while working in the television space. Now, the primary reason why I am full of praise for American television is because of the creative scope that it is offering to the content creators which is mostly not possible with cinema these days as even someone like Alex Garland expressed while promoting his recent sci-fi miniseries “Devs”. Television essentially takes away the trouble of distribution and so the content creators only need to focus on the creation part. And, it has been given a major fillip by the ongoing global pandemic as television is finding new audiences with each passing day. 

 “WandaVision” is set three weeks after the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019). Wanda Maximoff and Vision are living a blissful suburban life in the town of Westview, New Jersey, trying to conceal their true identities. An important question arises here. How is Vision Alive in the idyllic universe of “WandaVision”? After all, The Avengers had lost Vision when he came between Thanos and the Mind Stone during the finale of Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Well, it obviously has something to do with Wanda and her wide range of superpowers. What’s even stranger is that Wanda and Vision are trapped in a world of sitcoms à la “Bewitched” and “Roseanne”. The journey begins in black & white with a 4:3 aspect ratio in the ‘50s. But by the end of the second episode, we enter the ‘70s and therefore the black & white imagery makes way for colour. 

 Interestingly, the third episode is even titled “Now in Color”. It’s only by the end of this episode that we finally start getting some idea about what really is happening as one of the characters hitherto living in Westview makes contact with the outside world for the first time. Apparently, Wanda has been controlling the reality all along. She is not just exercising complete control over Vision but she has taken control of the entire Westview population. In other words, everyone within the world of Westview is a puppet in her hands. We also learn that Wanda had earlier broken into a SWORD facility and stolen Vision’s corpse before bringing it back from the dead. Clearly, she has crossed all limits but whatever she has done she has done out of love for Vision. But taking a whole town hostage isn’t something that can be taken lightly by the authorities. What will happen when Wanda would be forced to confront the powers on the outside? Will Vision accept her transgressions once he comes out of her spell? Will The Avengers come looking for them? Even as one tries to grapple with these questions “WandaVision” unleashes the ultimate jaw-dropping mid-season cliffhanger marking the return of Wanda’s dead brother, Pietro Maximoff, aka Quicksilver.    

 But the excitement just doesn’t end here. For, it’s not the Pietro who earlier appeared with Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), the one essayed by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. But, it›s the other Pietro, the one portrayed by Evan Peters in the X-Men movies. Oh, yes… you read it just right! Now, this can mean just one thing. After years of wait, the X-Men have finally made a foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). And it’s been made possible by Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox back in 2019 (for a whopping USD 71.3 billion). Before the acquisition, 20th Century Fox owned the rights to a wide array of Marvel characters such as the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. So, 20th Century Fox kept on making the X-Men movies while Disney had to be content with the Avengers movies. But all that has changed with the much-awaited crossover finally happening with “WandaVision”. When Evan Peters’ Pietro walks through that door and meets Wanda, it is quite possibly not just the greatest moment in the history of the MCU but also the beginning of the biggest crossover event in entertainment franchise history. And to think that it wasn’t too long ago when Luke Skywalker had shown up in “The Mandalorian”, these indeed are proving to be exciting times for American television.  

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Lifestyle & Entertainment

RADHIKA MADAN RECEIVES COVID-19 VACCINE SHOT

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MUMBAI: Actor Radhika Madan informed her fans that she got vaccinated against the coronavirus on Wednesday, and also urged everyone to register for the same with a social media post. Taking it to her Instagram handle, Radhika shared a picture of herself getting vaccinated at a dispensary.

In the caption, she wrote, “One step at a time #Vaccinated”. She further urged everyone to get themselves registered for their shot and while adhering to all the precautions and discipline at the vaccination centres. “Wear double mask, sanitize your hands, maintain distance and don’t panic. Don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep the day before and stay well hydrated #FightCorona,” Radhika concluded.

Earlier stars like Salman KhanHema Malini, Anupam Kher, Johnny Lever, Saif Ali Khan, Kamal Haasan, Satish Shah and others had also received the vaccination shots. Bollywood actors are constantly striving to create awareness against COVID-19 as well as offering assistance in arranging necessities via their social media.

Imparting hope in these unprecedented times, celebrities have united to spread positivity and awareness pleading everyone to wear masks, maintain social distancing as well get vaccinated to help eradicate the virus.

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ALT BALAJI’S HAI TAUBBA DEPICTS UNIQUE STORIES OF LOVE

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MUMBAI: ALT Balaji’s Hai Taubba is a four-episode anthology drama. The series depicts society’s perception of these distinct individuals with their unique stories of love. It reminds viewers of how judgemental the world is and reminds a person to check themselves before judging another human being.

Gagan Anand started his career in the fashion industry as a designer and model. He has made his mark in the entertainment industry with major roles in major shows such as Ek Veer Ki Ardaas Veera, Bajirao and Ye Hai Mohabbatein. In the OTT space, he has been absolutely brilliant with shows like Fixerr under his belt. He will currently be seen in a major role in ALTBalaji’s brand new series, Hai Taubba as Nitin.

Gagan Anand exclusively spoke to The Daily Guardian and shared his excitement of being a part of Alt Balaji show.

How excited are you to be back on screen with Alt Balaji show Hai Taubba? How did you bag the role?

Balaji is like a family to me now, working with them since a long time is like working with your loved ones.

Hai Taubba is a story, which has all the emotions which one could feel, and after doing a few grey shades / character I am really excited to play this emotional one which has the same sex love story.

What does your character look like in the show Hai Taubba? How relatable it is?

I am playing Nitin’s character who is a masculine physiotherapist, looks like a strong alpha man but from inside he is really very emotional, falls for a taxi driver Amit. We will see an unsaid love story between them and the separation will make people cry.

You have done TV shows as well, how different was doing a show for OTT platform?

Yes, I have done TV shows as well and I felt, life gets monotonous while doing TV. And the content we created on web now a day really satisfies the hunger of creative minds. We play a lot of character in a short span of time and explore a lot.

How was the experience working with the co actors?

It was fun working with all of them. When you go outdoors for work, you enjoy more and spend a lot of time together while working and shooting, so you make friends, which is a good part of it. Even chilling in Goa after the packup was a great fun. Overall have some good memories of screen as well.

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HANSAL MEHTA IS SUPER PROUD OF ‘OMERTA’

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MUMBAI: Hansal Mehtas directorial ‘Omerta’ was released three years ago on Tuesday. He talked about the film and said Rajkummar Rao’s performance stands tall among their projects together. Hansal shared the poster on Instagram of the film and wrote: “3 years of #Omerta. A film I’m super proud of. A performance by Raj that stands tall in our work together.”

‘Omerta’ is a biographical crime drama that had Rajkummar essaying Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, British terrorist of Pakistani descent. The film revolves around the 1994 kidnappings of Westerners in India.

Mehta had helmed ‘Scam 1992’ last year. He will be directing its second instalment ‘Scam 2003: The Curious Case Of Abdul Karim Telgi’.

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PAYAL DEV OPENS UP ABOUT CROONING ‘DIL DE DIYA’ FROM SALMAN’S ‘RAADHE’

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Singer Payal Dev sets the stage on fire with the super energetic song ‘Dil De Diya’ for Salman Khan upcoming movie ‘Raadhe’ featuring Jacqueline Fernandez. The song is composed by Himesh Reshammiya, sung by Payal Dev and Kamaal Khan, music produced by Aditya Dev and lyrics by Shabbir Ahmed.  

Sharing her experience about singing this song exclusively with The Sunday Guardian, Payal says, “It’s an honour to sing for Himesh Reshammiya and we have previously collaborated on movies like ‘Happy Hardy’ and ‘Heer’. I’m a fan of his compositions which are unique and sure-shot hits. When he reached out to me for ‘Dil De Diya’, I was super excited as working with him and Salman Khan is always challenging and fun. The song is such a vibe that it gives a nostalgic feeling every time I hear it. When I got to know this song is for ‘Raadhe’ I was over the moon to be part of such a brilliant album. I am a huge fan of Salman. Post recording the song, he heard the song and really liked my voice and versatility. I’m thankful to Himesh and Salman for giving me this opportunity.” Currently, the singer is judging a singing reality show, IPML on Zee TV.

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ABHISHEK BANERJEE WAS LIKE A BOUNCING BOARD FOR ME: NUSHRRATT BHARUCCHA

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NEW DELHI: Nushrratt Bharuccha and Abhishek Banerjee were recently seen in ‘Ajeeb Daastaans’. The duo shared great chemistry on-screen in their film and Nushrratt revealed the reason behind the same. She shares, “It was truly a blessing that Abhishek Banerjee was cast in the ‘Ajeeb Daastaans’ alongside me. I have given so many auditions at his casting agency since the time I started my career, he would enact the scenes with me as my co-actor and give me the necessary critique. I could easily discuss my character and story with him.” Nushrratt adds, “He was like a bouncing board for me literally, where I could easily bounce off my ideas on how to enact a particular scene and he would also improvise along with me. While shooting for Khilauna, I could put in extra effort in my character with his help, because I could easily run my thoughts through him, and I knew he would give me honest feedback.”

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JACQUELINE FERNANDEZ LAUNCHES YOLO FOUNDATION

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MUMBAI: Jacqueline Fernandez, on Tuesday, announced the launch of her ‘You Only Live Once’ foundation to create and share stories of kindness amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

  Taking to her Instagram handle, Jacqueline announced the launch of the YOLO Foundation; an initiative to create and share stories of kindness in these challenging times.

    In the caption, Jacqueline wrote, “We have this one life, let’s do whatever we can to make a difference in this world!! I am proud to announce the launch of the YOLO Foundation; an initiative to Create and Share Stories of Kindness.”

  She further added, “In these challenging times, the Yolo Foundation has partnered with several NGOs to help in whichever way we possibly can. Watch this space to know how you can contribute and make a difference to the lives around you #staysafe #spreadlove #helpothers”

Jacqueline had previously extended her help to people in rebuilding their houses post-flood relief and had also worked towards the nourishment of children during Covid-19. Meanwhile, on the work front, she has films like ‘Bachchan Pandey’, ‘Bhoot Police’, ‘Attack’, ‘Cirkus’, ‘Ram Setu’ in the pipeline. 

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