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Friday,03-December-2021

Bollywood

Multiplex Association of India writes to Maharashtra CM urging to keep cinemas open

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Citing reports that claim the possibility of a statewide lockdown in Maharashtra from April first week, the Multiplex Association of India has written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urging him to keep cinemas open even if a lockdown is implemented across the state.

The letter, signed by Multiplex Association of India President Kamal Gianchandani, talks about the losses incurred by the film exhibition industry ever since the nationwide lockdown last year and requests the chief minister to allow the cinemas/ shopping centres/ malls to continue operating during the lockdown if is is implemented.

The letter mentions: “We write to you with reference to a recent news in circulation across multiple media platforms citing possibility of second lockdown in the state of Maharashtra from 2nd/3rd April 2021 for a limited period. The news also mentions that the shutdown is expected to be different from last year’s as it would not hamper economic activities like before, but essentially focus on preventing crowding for arresting the increasing transmission of Covid.”

“While we appreciate the efforts by the authorities to control the spread of Covid and are ready to support the Government and the District Administration to overcome challenges posed by the pandemic, we believe that the lockdowns (if implemented) are going to negatively impact the cinema, retail and shopping industry.”

Talking about the cinema exhibition industry experiencing a “possible bankruptcy”, the letter further reads: “Sir, the cinema closure ordered by the Maharashtra Government on 13 March 2020, followed by closures in other states across the country, have already brought the industry to an unprecedented situation. With Zero revenues in 8 months (13 March 2020 till 9 November 2020), and thereafter meagre revenues in the last 5 months (9 November 2020 till 31 March 2021), the cinema exhibition industry is now facing possible bankruptcies.”

“Given the dire economic and financial impact of the epidemic on our sector, we would sincerely urge the Maharashtra Government to allow the Cinemas/ Shopping Centres/ Malls to continue operating as per regular functioning and let the customers experience a controlled and safe movie-going and shopping experience. We also urge you to allow cinemas & malls to operate as per regular operational hours. This will also ensure that footfalls are dispersed and operations run smoothly.”

“As always, assigning top-most priority to the health and well-being of the movie-goers and our employees, we have implemented a safety and precaution plan with the most stringent SOP’s, to ensure a safe, secure and a hygienic cinema viewing experience for the movie lovers of our state.”

“As an important part of the Media & Entertainment Sector, the cinema industry has contributed towards the State Exchequer, even during times of economic slowdown. The industry also generates a huge number of employment opportunities and would continue to do so in the future across all parts of the State of Maharashtra.”

“In view of the above, we would like to request Government to favorably consider the following,

— to not issue a second lockdown order w.r.t Cinemas/ multiplexes/ shopping centers/ malls

— issue necessary orders to allow Cinemas/ multiplexes/ shopping centers/ malls to operate as per regular operational hours.”

Bollywood

‘Shabaash Mithu’ to hit the screens on Feb 4, 2022

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On the occasion of Mithali Raj’s birthday on Friday, the release date of ‘Shabaash Mithu’ starring Taapsee Pannu has been announced. It will hit the screens on February 4, 2022.

‘Shabaash Mithu’ is the coming-of-age tale of women’s cricket in India as witnessed by the most successful woman cricketer. The film chronicles the highs and lows, setbacks and moments of euphoria of Mithali’s life with Taapsee essaying the titular role.

Also seen in the film will be the talented actor Vijay Raaz in a key role.

‘Shabaash Mithu’ has been shot across domestic and international locations to aptly bring alive Mithali’s iconic journey and her meteoric rise to the world stage.

Produced by Viacom18 Studios, Shabaash Mithu’s Creative Producer is Ajit Andhare, while the film is Directed by Srijit Mukherji and Written by Priya Aven.

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Ali Fazal joins Gerard Butler in action thriller ‘Kandahar’

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Actor Ali Fazalis all set to star in an action thriller titled ‘Kandahar’ alongside Gerard Butler.

‘Kandahar’, is being directed by Ric Roman Waugh, who has directed films like ‘Angel Has Fallen’, ‘Felon’, Greenland’ and an upcoming Film with JK Simmons ‘National Champions’ among many others.

Commenting on being a part of the project, an excited Ali said: “I always look forward to new and exciting ventures . We are all set to begin production soon”.

‘Kandahar’ is based on the screenplay, which the director developed in tandem with former military intelligence officer Mitchell LaFortune. Mitchell’s experiences at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Afghanistan have shaped up the story and the principal photography of the film is expected to begin soon in Saudi Arabia.

The film is being produced by Thunder Road Films, the producers of the ‘John Wick’ and ‘Sicario’, G-BASE and Capstone Group.

Back at home, Ali will be soon seen in an untitled Arati Kadav film. The actor took to his Instagram a few days back to share the first look of the futuristic space film.

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‘Bob Biswas’: Intriguing but perfunctorily mounted

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Film: “Bob Biswas” (Streaming on Zee5); Duration: 132 minutes.

Director: Diya Annapurna Ghosh; Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Chitrangda Singh, Paran Bandopadhyay, Ronith Arora, Tina Desai, Samara Tijori, Ditipriya Roy, Pavbitra Rabha.

IANS Rating: ***1/2

This film focuses on the assassin Bob Biswas, a character conceived by Sujoy Ghosh and Advaita Kala in 2012 released Kahaani which featured Vidya Balan, thus technically making it a prequel to Kahaani.

Actor Saswata Chatterjee had portrayed the quirky character in Kahaani with such flair and unconventional style that it landed becoming an intriguing figure worth exploring his backstory, and thus this film germinated.

Unlike the high-octane, nifty thriller Kahaani, Bob Biswas with a character-driven plot, is a slow-paced film. The titular character in a vulnerable state of mind embarks on a journey of self-discovery after being in a coma for eight years. Unable to recall his past, and while trying to piece his life together with his wife Mary, son Benny and stepdaughter Mini after he steps out of the hospital. How he gets his prospective victim’s MMS on a mobile phone and is forced to kill them while working undercover as a life insurance agent, forms the crux of the film.

Set in Kolkata, the script does have its moments, with the twists in the tale and the code of conduct among criminals, but it is Bob’s gullibility that keeps you hooked to the screen.

While we miss Saswata Chatterjee as the eponymous killer, Abhishek Bachchan with his bemused appearance and unwonted demeanour delivers an equally earnest performance. He is aptly supported by Chitrangda Singh as his wife Mary, Ronith Arora as Son Benny, and Samara Tijori as Mini.

Purab Kohli has his moments of onscreen glory as the drug peddler Bubai. Similarly, Pabitra Rabha as Dhonu the street-food seller, and Paran Bandopadhyay as the pharmacist Kali Da who keeps saying: “Niyam, Niyam hota hai…” leave their mark on the screen.

Tina Desai in a significant role as Police Officer Indira Verma is stereotypical and so are all the other supporting actors who are a part of the city’s underbelly.

While Bob Biswas’ back story is intriguing and the film informs you of how he is connected to the tale in ‘Kahaani’, writer Sujoy Ghosh takes the lazy way out.

His script fails to tell us about Bob’s initiation into the world of crime, how he became a contract killer in the first place. This would have been much more interesting. Also, Bob’s journey as the assassin is smooth and perfunctory that beyond a point, you just don’t get emotionally hooked.

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