Features – BollySpice.com http://bollyspice.com The latest movies, interviews in Bollywood Wed, 29 Jun 2016 17:18:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 Shah Rukh Khan celebrates 24 years in films and reveals 24 lessons http://bollyspice.com/shah-rukh-khan-celebrates-24-years-reveals-24-lessons/ Tue, 28 Jun 2016 06:07:52 +0000 http://bollyspice.com/?p=125316 To celebrate 24 years of arms open wide, romance, dance and of course some brilliant performances in the Hindi film industry, star Shah Rukh Kann took to Twitter to share the lessons he has learned from 24 imaginary women each beginning with the first letter of their name. Here is his list from the series of posts “Thank you for 24 years of living and loving. 24 years of having learnt life from 24 beautiful imaginary women. List and lessons to follow… 1. TINA: There is nothing abnormal 2. GENA:Give everyone, not accumulate 3. FAGUN: Fall and get up nonetheless.

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imageTo celebrate 24 years of arms open wide, romance, dance and of course some brilliant performances in the Hindi film industry, star Shah Rukh Kann took to Twitter to share the lessons he has learned from 24 imaginary women each beginning with the first letter of their name.

Here is his list from the series of posts

“Thank you for 24 years of living and loving. 24 years of having learnt life from 24 beautiful imaginary women. List and lessons to follow…

1. TINA: There is nothing abnormal
2. GENA:Give everyone, not accumulate
3. FAGUN: Fall and get up nonetheless.
4. MINA: mediocrity is not acceptable
5. DHUN: Don’t have unnecessary negativity.
6. RHEA: Respect ‘HER’ everywhere always.
7. DIPA: Director is pilot always
8. CHITRA: Compete hard,in true rightful ardor
9. EASHA: Eventually all sadness heals accordingly.
10. CAROL: Children are raised On Love
11. ITI: Imagine the impossible
12. TYRA: Take your Risks audaciously
13. SKY: Smoking kills you
14. LYRA: Laugh your regrets away
15. TIA: Take India ahead
16. SWATI: Superheroes wear acutely tight innerwear.
17. FIDA: Family is dependable always
18. AMNA: Art matters, not artist
19. ANITA: Assume not imbeciles take advice
20. MIRA: Mommy is right always
21. Akira: A King inspires righteous aims
22. ASMA : Always smell ‘manlike’ agreeable
23. NAINA: Nature always instills naked awesomeness
24. LAILA: Life abounds in loving all.

Once again thank you for the years and happiness”

Many Lessons I think we can all take to heart. Thank you SRK for many hours of Filmi happiness – we look forward to many more!

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A Trueblue Shiver-giver – ‘Conjuring 2’ Is The Horror Sensation Of The Decade http://bollyspice.com/trueblue-shiver-giver-conjuring-2-horror-sensation-decade/ Tue, 14 Jun 2016 05:00:38 +0000 http://bollyspice.com/?p=124753 Starrring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe Directed by James Wan If only Bollywood’s horror films were not so afraid of the dark. Here is why we can never make a trueblue shiver-giver like The Conjuring. We are so obsessed with ticking off all the boxes in the Book Of Horror that we forget to focus on the actual fear of the unknown. Put in another way, the Indian horror industry is so inured in the familiar, it makes the fear of the unknown seem like a premeditated rollercoaster ride rather than a genuine exploration of the supernatural. The Conjuring

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16jun_theconjuring2Starrring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe
Directed by James Wan

If only Bollywood’s horror films were not so afraid of the dark. Here is why we can never make a trueblue shiver-giver like The Conjuring. We are so obsessed with ticking off all the boxes in the Book Of Horror that we forget to focus on the actual fear of the unknown. Put in another way, the Indian horror industry is so inured in the familiar, it makes the fear of the unknown seem like a premeditated rollercoaster ride rather than a genuine exploration of the supernatural.

The Conjuring 2 is not the least interested in impressing us with its undoubtedly impressive grip over the grammar of the horror genre. There is a history to the horror here, yes. And in a truly shocking prologue we are familiarized with the previous exorcising excursion of the couple Lorraine and Ed Warren (played with a scrubbed neat conviction by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson).

With brutal yet graceful directness we are dragged into the world of the dead and the semi-dead where spirits roam with creepy casualness in homes that seem as comfortably familiar as yours and mine. Having provided a ruthless trope, the narrative effortlessly sets the stage for the couple’s next act of exorcism in a disturbingly normal London suburb lined with identical houses.

How is one to know that of them is ….brrrrr….haunted?

Director James Wan’s high-points in the plot are never accentuated. Almost no effort is put into creating banner-announcing suspense or building up to those moments where we are meant to jump out of our skins (and we do, oh yes believe me, we do!). It’s in searching for spiritual anomalies in the routine existence that Wan gives us the most chilling treatise on terror seen screen (so go ahead, scream) in the last ten years.

While the 2-hour film is designed to coil itself around our fear bones there is no dearth of warm humorous moments in the plot if we look for them.

“He has taken all the music away,” says the single mother Peggy (Frances Conner looking a tad too distraught all the time) of 4 very bright children, about her estranged husband. Taking the poignant revelation as a metaphor for the family’s lost happiness exorcist Ed Warren promises to restore happiness into the family by getting rid of ….errr, ghosts from the past.

“No, I meant he took all the records and cassettes including our favourite Elvis Presley,” replies the anguished mom used to dealing directly with four demanding children, and now an uninvited spirit in their home.

This ‘music’ exchange is an exceedingly funny moment, and the kind of tangential humour that director James Wan insinuates into the plot with devilish ingenuity. Though the fear-fest flags off in 1977 nowhere is the signpost of periodicity flashed into our flushed faces. The songs from that era like Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’ and the Bee Gees’ ‘I Started A Joke’ are so naturally assimilated into the storytelling we are never allowed to feel distanced from the joy sorrow and fears of the characters.

Patches of the clenched plot are almost like scintillating spoofs on spook. And yet we never cease to be spooked…not when little possessed Janet is played with such tender sincerity by Madison Wolfe. My heart reached out to Little Ms. Wolfe in that fabulously formulated scene in the wing with Lorraine Warren where Janet talks about how isolating it is to be possessed by a demon. In her innocence and vulnerability to the diabolic attack on her person, Ms Wolfe reminded me of that other satanically possessed little girl Linda Blair in the that other milestone of the supernatural genre The Exorcist in 1973.

As Wan gets into the swing of things the brisk narrative transforms into a trot and finally into a breathless last act which is guaranteed to give the weak-bladdered a run for the loo and the cynics a run for their money.

It’s hard to say what makes The Conjuring 2 so infinitely terrifying. A primary factor in its favour is the unassuming tone of narration which yokes the horror of the humdrum into the resilient spirit of routine life. Just as the family under satanic attack refuses to be bullied by the spirit in their midst, we are never bullied into being scared.

This time the terror is on the house.

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‘Criminal’ Is An Underrated Piece Of Cinema – Subhash K Jha http://bollyspice.com/criminal-underrated-piece-cinema/ Sun, 15 May 2016 04:00:11 +0000 http://bollyspice.com/?p=123913 Criminal (in Hindi) Starring Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Gal Gadot Directed by Ariel Vromen Having read the vicious reviews, Criminal, which I braved in Hindi, turned out to be as misunderstood and misinterpreted as The Jungle Book would be if it was taken literally to be a jungle fable (did someone just say, it is?). There is a lot more to Criminal than the outrageously absurd premise of a ruthless criminal Jericho (Costner, knock-out in his malevolent makeover) whose brain is implanted with a slain CIA agent’s memory to get vital earth-saving information on a terrorist before

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16may_criminalCriminal (in Hindi)
Starring Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Gal Gadot
Directed by Ariel Vromen

Having read the vicious reviews, Criminal, which I braved in Hindi, turned out to be as misunderstood and misinterpreted as The Jungle Book would be if it was taken literally to be a jungle fable (did someone just say, it is?).

There is a lot more to Criminal than the outrageously absurd premise of a ruthless criminal Jericho (Costner, knock-out in his malevolent makeover) whose brain is implanted with a slain CIA agent’s memory to get vital earth-saving information on a terrorist before catastrophe strikes civilization.

Catastrophe struck this film in angry welters with critics dubbing Criminal as one of the worst films in recent times. In brief, a ‘criminal’ waste of time and energy, the critics chorused.

In actuality Criminal has a lot going for itself. The action sequences on the streets of London are among the best I’ve seen in recent times, comparable if not better than what we see and savour in Captain America. Then there is Kevin Costner. If you admire this actor as much as I do, his proclivity to transform from his habitually genial roles to an evil violent criminal is beyond admirable.

As Jericho, the venom machine, Costner spreads vitriol across the screen in rippling motions. Then begins his moral and emotional transformation as Jericho begins to think with another, obviously more evolved and empathetic brain. He is bewildered and bitter about losing his psychotic rage. He is a man reluctant to feel.

“They’re called emotions,” explains Jericho’s Frankenstein Tommy Lee Jones playing the doctor who undertook the brain-transplant surgery. Lee Jones, one of America’s most versatile actors, wears a constantly worried look. He knows he has unleashed an entity that can go either way. There is brilliant scene in a medicine store between Costner and Lee Jones which ends with a stumped saleslady offering Costner medicines “on the house”.

She is the audience. We are equally stumped.

Costner humanizes Jericho with compelling dexterity. As he enters the dead CIA agent’s home and meets his beautiful grieving wife (the stunning Gal Gadot, aka Wonder Woman) and little daughter his venom alchemizes in unexpected ways giving to the monster a new window into human emotions he never knew existed.

Israeli director Ariel Vromen exercises a firm control over the action-drama. While Jericho changes, the narrative remains steadfastly true to the action genre, implanting into the stunts the kind of irresistibly dark and seductive tension that Curtis Hanson once imposed on his cinema.

The script is furiously unapologetic about the implausibilities, pushing through the virile material with unrelenting enthusiasm. Some of the verbal exchanges are decidedly over-heated and unconvincing and stilted. I also wanted to know more about the dead CIA officer (Ryan Reynolds)’s life. What was he like? His absence is the strongest presence in the film.

Criminal cuts across the chase to give us an entertainer with balls brains and a moral backbone to the relentless and sometime reprehensible violence.Most of all, Costner walks the talk with such confident strides, you are with his reformation from monster to human being even as the world all around goes up in flames.

It’s apocalypse unplugged.

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Tiger’s Mean Moves Apart, ‘Baaghi’ Is a Dud – A Subhash K Jha review http://bollyspice.com/tigers-mean-moves-apart-baaghi-dud-subhash-k-jha-review/ Mon, 02 May 2016 04:00:53 +0000 http://bollyspice.com/?p=123461 Starring Tiger Shroff, Shraddha Kapoor, Sudheer Babu Directed by Sabbir Khan Baaghi is a film in a tearing hurry. It hurls and races through a series of fetchingly staged action sequences hoping that the audience won’t notice the woeful want of an authentic emotional design under the whipped up excitement in the plot. It’s like watching an episode of Game Of Thrones with the throne thrown into the sea. What you are left with is the Mona Lisa painting with smile that has no context. What the flick is she grinning about?? You can tell when a film is faking

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16may_baaghi-jhaStarring Tiger Shroff, Shraddha Kapoor, Sudheer Babu
Directed by Sabbir Khan

Baaghi is a film in a tearing hurry. It hurls and races through a series of fetchingly staged action sequences hoping that the audience won’t notice the woeful want of an authentic emotional design under the whipped up excitement in the plot. It’s like watching an episode of Game Of Thrones with the throne thrown into the sea. What you are left with is the Mona Lisa painting with smile that has no context.

What the flick is she grinning about??

You can tell when a film is faking it by its aggressive storytelling with a background score to match. Baaghi piles on the visual velocity and the aural audacity with irreparable impunity. Bruised battered and unvanquished is how the hero Ronnie (so named because he is forever Ronnying away?) emerges in this turbulent tale of two dudes and a giggly gal Siya who spreads sunshine like confetti at a wedding.

Shraddha Kapoor’s sunshine girl act is a repeat of her performance in Ek Villain, with oodles of oomph added on, courtesy the backwaters of Kerala where Ms. Kapoor does the water-nymph act decorously. She makes for a prim provocateur.

There is a desperate edge to the narrative, an urgency that flows not so much from the characters as from the intellectually impaired narrative that, for the record, borrows generously from the 2011 Indonesian film The Raid: Redemption where the martial-arts hero Iko Uwais made his way through a skyscraper floor by floor to reach the villain to rescue the heroine.

To his credit, Tiger Shroff makes all the mean horizontal moves over the multi-storeyed building (alas, built on a plotless foundation) look thoroughly convincing. This chip off the old block can dance and fight as confidently as Hrithik Roshan (we’re talking about a time when Mr. Roshan was not distracted by unwanted attention). Tiger’s dialogue delivery in Hindi has a long way to go. But we are not in this to watch Tiger talk. We just want him to kic ass and shake hips. He does both with contagious gusto.

There are lots of song breaks and romantic exchanges between the couple to remind us this is Romeo & Juliet set in Bruce Lee’s kingdom. Luckily the songs are hummable, the choreography is splendidly in-sync with Tiger’s gravity-defying moves and the cinematography (Binod Pradhan) gives the young couple ample landscape to spread their lithe personalities into an enticing arc.

Sudheer Babu, a known name in Telugu cinema, is an impressive adversary for the sinewy Tiger. The two are well-matched physically, and their combats are compelling. But there is no emotional heft to the simmering discontent and palpable tension. The narrative plays out like one music video after the next with the protagonists going through the motions professionally, if somewhat dispassionately. Sunil Grover provides the comic relief. But by then you are already laughing at some of the supposedly serious exchanges between the lovers which sound like a parody of passion.

Though not unwatchable Baaghi lays way too much stress on optical thrills. Forget feeling for the lovers, you wait for them to stop singing dancing and fighting long enough to give love a chance.

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“Fan Is Shah Rukh Khan’s Best In Years” – Subhash K Jha Review http://bollyspice.com/fan-shah-rukh-khans-best-years-subhash-k-jha-review/ Sat, 16 Apr 2016 15:24:29 +0000 http://bollyspice.com/?p=122098 Fan Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Shah Rukh Khan…and….well Shah Rukh Khan Directed by Maneesh Sharma Rating: ****(4 Stars) Welcome home, Shah Rukh. What a triumphant return to form for an actor whose career has been lately beleaguered by sub-standard scripts and mediocre directors. This time Shah Rukh is in the mood to kill….And we don’t mean that just as a metaphor. As this far-from-frothy take on the very complex star-fan relationships develops into a ominous cat-and-mouse chase, Shah Rukh grips both the characters—yes, for those who came in late he plays both the star and the fan—in a firm grasp

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Fan Shah Rukh Khan
Fan
Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Shah Rukh Khan…and….well Shah Rukh Khan
Directed by Maneesh Sharma
Rating: ****(4 Stars)

Welcome home, Shah Rukh. What a triumphant return to form for an actor whose career has been lately beleaguered by sub-standard scripts and mediocre directors. This time Shah Rukh is in the mood to kill….And we don’t mean that just as a metaphor. As this far-from-frothy take on the very complex star-fan relationships develops into a ominous cat-and-mouse chase, Shah Rukh grips both the characters—yes, for those who came in late he plays both the star and the fan—in a firm grasp that makes us …simply gasp.

Shah Rukh is in full command of both the characters. He gives both Aryan and Gaurav ample room to grow, grow apart and then clash in ways that shows what skilful scripting can do to a superstar’s yearning to excel.

Outwardly playing Aryan Khanna, the superstar, would seem relatively easier for Shah Rukh than playing the obsessive fan. But playing the star is actually a far tougher task. Shah Rukh incorporates elements from his real life into the on-screen persona. Aryan Khan comes across as a very humane icon, there are bouts of charm and fits of rage going hand-in-hand here. He makes no attempts to deify himself. That’s what gives the narrative its muscle and lubrication.

As for the fan Gaurav Chanana, the prosthetics go a long way in creating a character who is so believable and yet so distinguished Aryan Khanna that it’s almost like two different actors playing the two roles. The voice, the body language and the complete character transformation, we’ve seen Shah Rukh do it in My Name Is Khan and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.

From the sunny to the sinister, Shah Rukh’s Gaurav Chanana takes us on a rollercoaster ride across a plot which is propelled by pungency. The superstar gets some valuable support from co-actors like Sayani Gupta, Deepika Amin and Yogendra Tikoo whose presence is skillfully woven into the darkly disarming drama of a duel between the dapper star and his distressed disingenuous doppelganger.

Writer Habib Faisal seems to tap into the fan’s inner-most adulation for the star. There is more angst than sweetness in the relationship. In scene after scene, even when the angry fan gets down to ‘create a scene’, Faisal conceptualizes the turbulent conflict between the idolized and the idoliser, with a keen eye on keeping the drama on a tight leash.

For a large part of the narrative the energy and mood are bridled and broken down to an acceptable and credible level. Director Maneesh Sharma films the duel of deception in bright colours that flatter to deceive. The bonhomie wears thin soon enough. When it does, the narrative is ready to shift gears with brisk adeptness.

A lot of the credit for bringing the two protagonists’ irreconcilable lives into a karmic clasp goes to editor Namrata Rao. She breathes an urgency into the proceedings without knocking the drama senseless. Towards the end, the plot begins to fall apart. Which, in a way, is what is only to be expected. Doom, you see, is a pre-condition in a relationship between unequals.

What Fan ultimately says about the star’s equation with his admirers is that tragedy awaits any attempt to break the barrier that divides the heroes from their followers. Every star who thinks he and she must mingle with the fans and “belong” with them must see this film.

Director Maneesh Sharma whose garbled take on love sex and live-in relationships in Shudh Desi Romance had my mind boggled and my head rattled, lends a lucid heft to the drama in Fan. Though the climax is not as strong as the rest of the film we come away from Fan with far more happy thoughts than we did from Shah Rukh’s other recent films.

Yup, this is the wapsi of the actor who was too engrossed in working with friendly directors to see that these ‘friends’ were doing to his career exactly what the fan sets out to do to Aryan Khanna’s career.

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Highlights from the London press conference of FAN with Shah Rukh Khan http://bollyspice.com/highlights-london-press-conference-fan-shah-rukh-khan/ Thu, 14 Apr 2016 19:58:10 +0000 http://bollyspice.com/?p=122019 By Aashi Gahlot and Rima Bhatia “Don’t try to be me. Be yourself” – SRK It is finally almost time to see the King Khan, Shah Rukh Khan in a double role. The upcoming Fan is the story of Gaurav (SRK) becoming dangerously obsessed with his all time hero film star Aryan Khanna (SRK). Is this film highlighting the dangers of idolising film stars? Is it a film star’s perspective on calling out for privacy? Or is this film a study into the human psyche? We will soon find out on April the 15th, 2016. Meanwhile, we at BollySpice had

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By Aashi Gahlot and Rima Bhatia
16apr_fan-madametussauds-04
“Don’t try to be me. Be yourself” – SRK

It is finally almost time to see the King Khan, Shah Rukh Khan in a double role.

The upcoming Fan is the story of Gaurav (SRK) becoming dangerously obsessed with his all time hero film star Aryan Khanna (SRK). Is this film highlighting the dangers of idolising film stars? Is it a film star’s perspective on calling out for privacy? Or is this film a study into the human psyche? We will soon find out on April the 15th, 2016.

Meanwhile, we at BollySpice had the chance to join in the #UKFanTakeover and attend a press conference with both Gaurav and SRK. Mind you, Gaurav was in wax figure form and our superstar SRK was kept safe! Madame Tussauds in London have transformed the wax figure of SRK into the much anticipated stalker, Gaurav.

We bring you the highlights of the press conference in which a number of questions were addressed by host Ameet Channa and the various journalists present.

Ameet Channa: How did it feel playing opposite yourself, as it were?

SRK: I’ve always found it odd to come and stand next to my own statue… The first time I saw, I was a little awkward facing myself…to do a whole film like that with a person who kinda looks like you- this statue looks exactly like me- but Gaurav in the movie is a look alike. He doesn’t exactly look like me. It was quite surreal.

Inshallah, when everyone watches the film it’s actually very schizophrenic because you know, I have a look-alike trying to be like the actor in the film. I watched the film about 5 days back and I don’t seem to recognise him or relate to that character at all. In the film, Aditya Chopra, Maneesh Sharma, they first took me as Shah Sir and refers to him as Gaurav. Even on the sets they would be like Gaurav ko yaha le aao. Gaurav ka scene hai. And then when I was doing – Shah Sir! Your scene is here!

So it is very strange, dichotomous and weird… Two face.

AC: Whom are you a fan of?

SRK: Mr. Bachchan of course, because my time 80’s. When I was watching films it was full of Mr. Bachchan. So, I’m a big, big lover of his work, himself. Dharmendra, Mr. Rishi Kapoor and Saira Bhano, Mumtaz. And initially when I joined, young ladies who were working like Madhuri, Juhi – I was BIG FAN of them. I used to watch their films and really love them. So, it still is as a matter of fact, Madhuri actually, I’m still kinda fan like.

AC: Any Gaurav-isms within you apart from being a fan of someone? Are you slightly obsessive at all?

SRK: No. I think only about my kids. I think I need to control that. But otherwise no…From the age of 15-25 when we have the luxury of being a fan, or selflessly, or unconditionally loving someone, cutting their pictures out, sticking posters- I had to kinda start fending for myself. I had to do a job, start working, finish my studies and you know. So, when between 15-25 is the best time to be a fan, I was working. Didn’t have the luxury of being a fan. At 25 I became a star. Before I became a fan, I became a star.

AC: Last time we met for Dilwale you also released a quote saying that the stuff that you were supposed to between 15 and 25 you are starting to do now and enjoy yourself more.

SRK: Yes…I would love to now have the luxury of being in love, falling in love unconditionally with someone whom I may never meet. Or keep a picture of in my diaries!

AC: That would be fabulous! Well, I can tell you that you have a fan in my 4-and-a-half year old daughter. She went to school yesterday and said, “Dada is going to spend the day with Shah Rukh Khan!”

OPEN FLOOR

Aashi Gahlot, BollySpice: What are you personally taking away from this film?

Just one thing: How not to be Shah Rukh Khan.

You know it is difficult. I’ll be honest. I’m very upfront in front of people because I want people to understand as much as they can when they meet me to know that there are parts of an actor that I need to talk about and expose so that youngsters understand. It’s difficult not being yourself after being liked for being yourself for so many years…I’m a stylised actor. I can drop all that for certain films such as Chak De or My Name is Khan.

The films that we do are films geared towards a large number of people. So you do play yourself a lot. And I know how to do that and how not to do that. But this film – and I hope people kind of appreciate the effort – and not because I’m saying make it a big hit or something. But it really gave me confidence to try and be not myself. And it’s difficult. It’s really difficult you know… 25 years day in and day out – the arm moves. Like it’s not a joke that people love the fact that I put my arms up. I’m not saying I don’t need to put it in a film.

But somewhere I learnt and got confident a lot more in this film than the ones I did previously how not to be myself and still be able to get lots of people be attracted to that character. So it’s not how to deeper play a character but how to be Shah Rukh Khan. I think that’s – especially with Gaurav.

Even with Aryan Khanna, because he is a movie star. I’ve not played him hopefully like I am in personal life. It’s very different from me…(he’s) less flamboyant, perhaps a little bit more worried about life than I am. So it’s very interesting that I’ve been able to do these things…

LOVEENA Tandon, AAJ TAK: In your family, who is your biggest Fan? And do you sometimes, like us, feel challenged dealing with your kids when they are growing up? In your life have you met anyone as obsessed as the fan in your film?

Now I think I know the first part easily… I think because of my silliness, antics and perhaps being of a personality which is a little more outgoing than Suhana who is very shy, Aryan…very alpha male – I think AbRam is the most attracted to me in the house. I think he asks for me more often than anyone else in the house and they think I have trained him- or maybe I have- but I can ask him “who do you love more?” And he always says papa. So I think he is kinda fan like.

The second part you asked is … do I have issues? I find teenagers so lazy and grumpy! I don’t know. They were okay about three or four years back. Now they are only just lying down and making faces in the telephone- and it’s the same face! (Makes a pouty face). And you ask them something and “YAAAA” …” “NOOOOO!” The nos are the same and yeses are the same. The strange tone – “NOOOOO!” “YEESSSSS!”…

Obsessiveness. Have I met someone like Gaurav?… No, nobody really obsessive.

I’m saying this because I have a lot of lady fans so they are really gentle and nice. So I have never had anyone aggressive. Of course, sometimes walking in a public place or twitter you have people abusing or behaving badly. But I just think they are ill mannered. They aren’t really obsessive or fan-like dangerous.

Mumtaz, Asiana: When I heard about this film, I confess, I thought it sounded very much like a vanity project. A bit self-indulgent to do a film about yourself… What do you think of that? Is this a vanity project?…

SRK: …When we released the Jabra song there was a gentleman sitting in the press – he was a senior journalist.

He had a very strange question about the whole film and that’s when I realised people might mistake it for a completely narcissistic, self indulgent, self obsessed movie star at the age of 50 going “I’m gonna start making films about my fan. And I’m the star. And I’m EVERYTHING. And ME, ME, ME! And nobody else!

He asked Maneesh, “What’s the story of this film?”
So Maneesh said “I’m really sorry. I can’t at this point dive in the full story.”
“Well how can you hold our interest?”
He said “because I will tell the story of…”
“But we know everything about Shah Rukh…”
“Ya but it’s not about…”
“It is like a documentary na?”

It’s not a narcissistic, self indulgent film.

I think the core of the film is, and the most interesting part of the film is, one part it is necessary even if I say so- I’m not talking about myself- you needed an actor who needed a body of a 25-30 years. It can be made with Mr Bachchan. It can be made with Salman. It can be made with Aamir or Akshay Kumar. And lots of others. The reason being, you don’t have time to set up a movie star. People should feel that there is a movie star on the scene. And then a look-a-like. Who wants to not be a movie star. Just wants to meet him.

So I think it was an interesting take that there are people who you know, have tried to look like the people they admire, you know, their hairstyle. I used to do it. I used to try and look like Amit ji. So, it’s not a vanity…for me.

As a matter of fact, the biggest worry – I don’t have a worry now- the film is done, you can’t help it. I think one of the things Abhi, myself and Maneesh had felt, there might be a completely wrong understanding of what I may be in real life… when this young girl asks me about “5 minutes”.

I’ve had a lot of people say- “are you like that in real life? You don’t give 5 minutes to a fan of yours?”
I’m like – “No! It’s just a story. It’s not me.”

Neha, Lycra Radio: How important was it for you to make FAN? Is there a message you want to give to your fans with this film?

SRK: There’s a part of it I can talk about. But essentially when we make a film it is just to tell a story… Movies should just entertain you. And emotionally enrich you. Make you happy, sad. Make you think about it. But having said that, the experience of what Gaurav does in the film, as the film progresses and the story unfolds- couple of things I can tell to people if they really like someone. One: DON’T PHYSICALLY HURT YOURSELF OR THE OTHER. Second: It’s really nice – there’s a line in the film which the actor tells – you know even I am very regular…we are very regular people. We come from regular backgrounds. And things went a different way for me and I became a movie star.

Don’t try to be me.
Be yourself.

You can love me as much as you want. Perhaps take a few moments of my life to inspire yourself if need be But what would be wonderful is that you’re such a good guy, you’re so intelligent. And we have the same background. You will probably achieve a lot more in life by being yourself instead of trying to be a shadow of someone. And please, I am not being patronising… Just be realising that there is no one more important than yourself.

Even if you’re a mad fan of someone, that person is really lovely and beautiful, but not more important- look after yourself first before just completely dedicating your life to anyone.

Check out our gallery of pictures

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Gabbar Meets Chulbul In This Sambhar Western – Subhash K Jha reviews ‘Sardaar Gabbar Singh’ http://bollyspice.com/gabbar-meets-chulbul-sambhar-western-subhash-k-jha-reviews-sardaar-gabbar-singh/ Mon, 11 Apr 2016 03:00:56 +0000 http://bollyspice.com/?p=121809 For those hoping to see Telugu superstar Pawan Kalyan make a safe launch in Hindi with this film about a rogue cop who takes on a feudal brat in an imaginary princely state, here is the sobering verdict: the film and its luminary-hero are a wash-out from first frame to last. Mr Kalyan, known to exercise vast clout in Andhra Pradesh, should have consulted the astrologers and trade pundits before making the tricky transition. What works in Telugu doesn’t necessarily work in Bollywood. Sardaar Gabbar Singh with its mothballed Good Versus Evil rendering of the masala-morality saga, is like an

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For those hoping to see Telugu superstar Pawan Kalyan make a safe launch in Hindi with this film about a rogue cop who takes on a feudal brat in an imaginary princely state, here is the sobering verdict: the film and its luminary-hero are a wash-out from first frame to last.

Mr Kalyan, known to exercise vast clout in Andhra Pradesh, should have consulted the astrologers and trade pundits before making the tricky transition. What works in Telugu doesn’t necessarily work in Bollywood. Sardaar Gabbar Singh with its mothballed Good Versus Evil rendering of the masala-morality saga, is like an over-spiced sambhar dish which the diehard foodies with take out of habit and the uninitiated will skip.

16apr_sgs-review

It is like something the cat dragged in. It is fetid and disposable, unbearably redundant and entertaining perhaps only to the leading man. Yes, Mr Kalyan seems to have a lot of fun. He takes on the baddies as though they were bad jokes written at the back of a truck. The fights find the goons and sidekicks dropping to the ground like bird poop from the skies.

The film relies almost entirely on popular gimmicks from the 1980s’ formula films. Even the sets and locations reek of subversive nostalgia, more remarkable for what they represent rather than resonate. Huge chunks of footage is devoted to building up Mr Kalyan’s Gabbar in messianic colours. He prances around in a loose-fitting khaki uniform, shirt unbuttoned, belt loosened. This is a cop on a rampage with his loose morals matching the way he wears his uniform.

Sorry. But Salman Khan did it first in Dabangg. And with a lot more swagger and self-confidence. Pawan Kalyan’s Gabbar act is more buffoonery than heroism. His persona is so pronounced in its devotion to connecting with the audience that the larger-than-life hero often ends up looking a cartoon-strip version of a real-life hero, more conned against than conned.

Sharad Kelkar playing the fiendish feudal-lord is able to furnish some grandiosity to his arrogant character. It’s hard to take the hero seriously when the villain looks more imposing and dignified. By the time Kajal Aggarwal enters the story to play the petite bone of contention between cop-hero and feudal landlord we are nowhere close to being interested in what the characters do with their lives.

For all we know, they can go fly a kite. Pawan Kalyan doesn’t need Makar Sankarati to do that.

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“Meditating on Mount Abu…I was prompted to write a novel about Merlin” – Carmel Niland http://bollyspice.com/meditating-mount-abui-prompted-write-novel-merlin-carmel-niland/ Sun, 10 Apr 2016 05:00:13 +0000 http://bollyspice.com/?p=121775 A mysterious and magical being with raven hair and intense blue eyes is about to enchant you! Merlin, also known as Ambrosius Marcus Cotta and Myrrdin, is the legendary wizard popularly associated with Arthurian legends.  When one mentions Merlin, the word magic immediately comes to mind. In fact, you could say that magic is Merlin’s middle name and indeed it is. Written by Carmel Niland, A Darker Magic This Way Comes is the first tale of five belonging to the Merlin’s Secrets series. Merlin’s love story is certainly special. For one, the love story stretches through time across 1500 years! Merlin and

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Merlin_coverA mysterious and magical being with raven hair and intense blue eyes is about to enchant you!

Merlin, also known as Ambrosius Marcus Cotta and Myrrdin, is the legendary wizard popularly associated with Arthurian legends. 

When one mentions Merlin, the word magic immediately comes to mind.

In fact, you could say that magic is Merlin’s middle name and indeed it is.

Written by Carmel Niland, A Darker Magic This Way Comes is the first tale of five belonging to the Merlin’s Secrets series.

Merlin’s love story is certainly special. For one, the love story stretches through time across 1500 years! Merlin and Emily are fighting destiny to be together.  Was falling in love part of the plan? Is falling in love ever part of the plan? This couple have the meddling parents, scheming villains, a battle between good and evil and of course, fireworks aplenty!

Definitely a Bollywood formula.

We caught up with author Carmel Niland and asked her what the book would look like on a Bollywood screen, which actor would be playing Merlin and whom Merlin dances like.

And yes…

Merlin can definitely dance!

Follow now:
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“A Darker Magic This Way Comes” is out on 14/04/2016 (Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and all good bookstores)

Please describe Merlin in three words?

Hot, sexy wizard.

Carmel Niland copyWe heard that Merlin dances! What’s his style?

Somewhere between Hrithik Roshan and Shahid Kapoor, although the Kapoor style is more like another character from our world in the novel, Toby. Toby practices Tae Kwon Do with its aerial turning kicks which are heart stopping but Merlin prefers dancing as opportunity to leap and spin with music holding Emily in his arms, She is classically trained in ballet and in the street dancing of hip hop so she will take him places where he never thought he’d go.

Is Merlin a better lover or fighter?

Merlin is an Arch Druid from the fifth century and he does not fight in the traditional sense of the word. He does not carry a weapon and must live by his wits and his magic. As a lover he still has his training wheels on with few prospects, in this first book, to observe or practice lovemaking. But his innocence will provide Emily with an opportunity, who although she is a maiden, she is from the twenty first century and therefore more worldly-wise. She will have to seduce him. He will prove to be a fast learner and that by the second book The Curse of the Dragon Kings he will soon make up for it!

What are Merlin’s flaws?

He is jealous of Emily’s longstanding relationship with her childhood friend, Jack and he nearly loses her because of that. He is a show off anxious to demonstrate how good he is at everything. As well, he also overestimates his own abilities to engage the Darkness and win. The sorceress, Morgana, continually out manoeuvres him with some tragic consequences.

If a Bollywood film on Merlin was to be made then what are the three MUST HAVE ingredients?

Given that A Darker Magic This Way Comes is already a story of forbidden love, with a love triangle, interfering parents, outstanding magic and wonder and a fight between good and evil you would think it had been conceived in India, the birthplace of the world’s magic. .If you ask me instead what are its must have ingredients beside those mentioned I would say it is the swirling darkness and the colours that dance across the skies, the characters of remarkable beauty and grace and a reverence for the place of spirit in all things. And, by the way, once in the nineties meditating on Mount Abu, a hill station on the border of Rajasthan and Gujarat, I was prompted to write a novel about Merlin.

If you could put a Bollywood song into ONE dramatic interlude where would that be and what would the song convey?

I would build it into the chapter called Battle of the Elements where Moloch and Merlin battle in the night sky across Dartmoor displaying their artistry at making roars of torrential rain and sky splitting lightning and thunder. Merlin flies using his staff and he is dressed in a long cape of black and purple and Moloch is a vast crimson mask over swirling rancid air. But they are both masters and their work compares to a New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Merlin brings in the spirits of the elements to help him. They all sing. Meanwhile Toby is on a giant bat singing Credence Clearwater Revival’s “I see a bad moon rising,” and Emily and Jack on the ground of Dartmoor praying for the Archangel’s Michael’s intercession.

We love love stories and we heard that “A Darker Magic This Way Comes” is a magical love story pivoting upon Merlin and Emily. What inspired you to write about love?

Because love is all there is. Merlin says to the evil Moloch: “use your time to ponder love, the most powerful force in the world; it is that which inspires shining courage in us all” Love moves, like Ganesh, immovable objects. It melts rocks, creates life and through it all things are possible.

What makes Merlin and Emily’s love story special?

It is forbidden because it is across fifteen hundred years and these two people had agreed to their destiny before they were born. Now they want to change it. Who knows where it will take them?

Merlin-2A good Bollywood film must have a conniving villain! What are the villains like in your book and who is Merlin’s worst enemy?

There are five villains. There is King Vortigern, obsessed with power and greed who brings in invaders, Saxons, Jutes and Angles to protect his backside from the invading Picts. There is Gorlois, the father of Morgana, who beats her beautiful mother, Ygern, at every opportunity. There is Morgana an evil, voluptuous sorceress, a woman of perverted tastes. There is the Arch Druid Hu Powyll who uses his position of trust and power to work with the Dark and finally there is Moloch, a Prince of Darkness with blazing vermillion eyes. His purpose is to enslave Britain and place Morgana on the throne. He is Merlin’s worst enemy.

What have been your challenges whilst writing the book?

My challenges have been finding a quiet place and time to go into the very different world. It is a world of the disintegrating Roman Britain where dragons live in the waterways, gryphons that carry people across the abyss between the worlds and sometimes there is a very bossy Archangel Michael, with his sky of swords who wants to play with Merlin. And there is the wondrous Arianrhod, a weaver of dreams from the Northern Lights, who spends most of her time on the ceiling in the spying guise of a spider.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

Merlin. He is everything, timeless and just as at home in Australia or India as he is in Devon or Wales. He is a genius, a mathematician, an engineer. This is how he describes himself…”I weave magic. I engineer battles, I remember the future. I toy with the laws of nature. I fly with my ladyhawk on the sky tracks of the air. I am a smith of strangeness.” He is simply irresistible.

Finally, which Bollywood actor would you cast as Merlin? 

I am thinking of Ranveer Singh because his style is both classical and contemporary, he is very athletic, he can smoulder and he is very intelligent. That covers the hot, sexy part of Merlin and he can learn the wizardry. I prefer Romantic Comedies and there I see the perfect actress to play Merlin’s mother, Ingraine. She is Aishwaya Rai who, in my opinion is and was the most beautiful woman in the world and she would be perfect for the role of Arch Druidess and Mistress of Magic and healing arts and the guide of Merlin

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“Kareena and Arjun’s Combined Chemistry Confers A Captivating Hue To The Engaging Ki & Ka” Subhash K Jha Review http://bollyspice.com/kareena-arjuns-combined-chemistry-confers-captivating-hue-engaging-ki-ka-subhash-k-jha-review/ Fri, 01 Apr 2016 07:08:36 +0000 http://bollyspice.com/?p=121473 Ki & Ka Starring Kareena Kapoor Khan, Arjun Kapoor,Swaroop Sampat, Rajit Kapoor Directed by R Balki Rating: **** ½ The streeling is pulling Arjun Kapoor into the kitchen.And Kareena Kapoor doesn’t mind as long he is fully functional in the bedroom. That, dear audience, in a nutshell is Ki & Ka. A film about role reversal between the sexes where the ambitious wife Kiya (Kareena) goes out to earn the bread and butter, while the husband Kabir (Arjun) is blissfully happy looking after the home. Immediately,there is an infectious charm to the proceedings. Every scene is a joy to behold.

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kiandkaposter02Ki & Ka
Starring Kareena Kapoor Khan, Arjun Kapoor,Swaroop Sampat, Rajit Kapoor
Directed by R Balki
Rating: **** ½

The streeling is pulling Arjun Kapoor into the kitchen.And Kareena Kapoor doesn’t mind as long he is fully functional in the bedroom. That, dear audience, in a nutshell is Ki & Ka. A film about role reversal between the sexes where the ambitious wife Kiya (Kareena) goes out to earn the bread and butter, while the husband Kabir (Arjun) is blissfully happy looking after the home.

Immediately,there is an infectious charm to the proceedings. Every scene is a joy to behold. It could have something to do with Kareena Kapoor’s presence. She lights up every frame as only she can. And then when you have the cinematographic genius P C Sreeram manning the lenses even Arjun Kapoor looks so radiant, you want to ask this couple….where do they generate so much sunshine in their souls?

Most films about married couples in Bollywood are paeans of pain. Well, surprise surprise! A marriage need not be a melody of misery, provided the couple does what it wants to without caring about how they would look to the world.
So when Kabir meets Kia on a flight , they hit it off instantly.The words that flow between the cool Kabir and the hot Kiya are so conversational I wondered if Arjun and Kareena thought of the dialogues as they played out their characters’ combined karma. The dialogues are never florid or bombastic. Every character, even in those very engaging boardroom meeting in Kareena/Kiya’s workplace, are so lived-in ,they are worthy of being illustrative of how couples should converse in our films from now till the time when rom-coms are made in Bollywood.

The incidental character even a random staggler like the guy who shushes the couples in the hospital is memorable. And I fell in love with Kiya’s maid who saunters in at noon, puts on her employer’s TV, plonks herself on the sofa and phones her boyfriend to come over for some fun.

Seriously, I want to see an entire film on her life.

For now, there is Balki and his take on how to playfully dodge gender stereotyping in a country where even words have a gender. Given the unbelievable patriarchal prejudices it takes guts for a man like Kabir to tell his father to shove his wealth up his you-know-what, as he, Kabir wants to be an housekeeper like his mother. It takes even more guts for an actor to play a man who is happy cooking, cleaning and living off his wife’s income.

Arjun Kapoor makes the character’s unconventional, some would say downright embarrassing aspirations seem so normal, you wonder why more husbands don’t adopt the you-go-I-stay route. This is by far Arjun’s most accomplished performance. The joy he exudes in house-keeping chores is almost contagious. The hurt he conveys is palpable when his wife begins to resent his growing popularity (Abhimaan in reverse) as the face of the metrosexual kindered man very happily, very heterosexually in touch with the feminine side of his personality.

Perhaps it is the company that Arjun keeps. Kareena Kapoor Khan’s dazzling beauty (I am afraid there is no other way to describe it) plus her ability to communicate her character’s frantic ambitions without making her seem like a man in skirts, makes Balki’s job a lot easier. How wrong can you go when you have so much beauty grace and talent at your disposal?

Not that Balki is in the mood to get lazy with his charming couple’s ability to make the frames look fabulous even when they are dressed in their night clothes or perched on the potty. To make a film where the couple is submerged under no marital stress (Kareena’s easygoing mother, played by the long-missing Swaroop Sampat, is the antithesis of Jaya Bhaduri’s meddlesome mom, Achala Sachdev in Kora Kagaz who wrecks havoc on her daughter’s marriage) is not as easy as it sounds.

This genial film about two young free-spirited people who assume non-traditional roles and then live happily ever after (almost) is powered by terrific directorial treatment. Freed of flamboyant and florid flourishes the free-flowing narrative sweeps you into its arms with its understated charm.

Much of non-dramatic scenes are played pitch-perfectly because of the writing and the two actors. Before too long you begin to care for Kabir and Kiya the way you would for a couple in the neighbourhood that doesn’t quite fit in. The lengthy sequence where she is traumatized by a suspected pregnancy winds its way through a series of finely cut shots (Chandan Arora’s editing keeps the proceeding snappy but gives the couple space to express their feelings comfortably) adding up to a sequence that’s savagely real and funny and somehow, slightly sad too.

These are scenes from a marriage that will outlast temporary setbacks.

The crisis point in Kiya and Kabir’s winsome togetherness is reached in a tongue-in-cheek homage to Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Abhimaan. Kiya’s outburst accusing Arjun of being a scheming manipulator makes her look awfully unfair and rather paranoid. Wives, we know,are capable of such temporary lapses of reason.

The crisis, you feel, is brought on because every film needs one. Ironically the climactic crisis in the couple’s marriage is precipitated by Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan who make a very agreeable joint appearance. The best dialogue of the film is given to Mrs Bachchan who tells her superstar husband, “If I had continued my career and if you had agreed to look after our home I would have been the one waving to fans outside.”

Touche.

The film begins with Arjun Kapoor sobbing on a flight and ends with Kareena Kapoor sobbing on another flight.

They are welcome to their drama. We came away smiling from this affable drama that proves a happy marriage is not a myth.

Not yet.

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Special Subhash K Jha Review: “Ignore What You’ve Heard About Batman V Superman, Just Experience It” http://bollyspice.com/special-review/ Sun, 27 Mar 2016 11:27:02 +0000 http://bollyspice.com/?p=121289 There are actually three super-heroes combating that dreaded ‘E’ force—Evil, what else—as all around us ​ ​”​Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.” So predicted poet W B Yeats. Now, the truth of Yeats’ lines hits us with persuasive force in Superman V Batman. It’s a world filled with images of unspeakable devastation. The skyscrapers crumble to the ground as rapidly as the conscience of a civilization

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batmanvsuperman

There are actually three super-heroes combating that dreaded ‘E’ force—Evil, what else—as all around us

​”​Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.” So predicted poet W B Yeats.

Now, the truth of Yeats’ lines hits us with persuasive force in Superman V Batman.

It’s a world filled with images of unspeakable devastation. The skyscrapers crumble to the ground as rapidly as the conscience of a civilization that no longer cares about wrong or right.

Batman V Superman embraces and celebrates that destruction towards which humanity hurls with impunity and insensitivity. Let’s get one thing clear. This is not an easy-viewing film. And for those addicts of Marvel Comics’ super-heroes hoping to see Batman and Superman rip off their masks to unleash a furious hand-to-hand combat the weight is infuriatingly long. The anticipated fight between the two heroes comes after lengthy bouts of existential doubt built around the theme of Good Versus Evil.

Should we trust in heroes to rescue us from Aramaggedon? And really, the struggle to save civilization from catastrophe is fraught with futility when you know that it’s all going to end in a heap of ruination anyway.

In the film that plays out like a disembodied symphony of ruination there are prolonged images of self-doubt projected from the collective conscience of the idolized super-heroes onto a world hellbent on self-annihilation.

Can the collective might of Superman and Batman slow down humanity’s inevitable destruction specially when the two super-heroes reveal themselves to be…well, just one of us, really! But with the power to rise above the mundane if only they are able to overcome the bouts of self-doubt that are thrust on them by a civilization on the look-out for heroes and super-heroes to provide hope of redemption in these times of despair.

Director Zack Snyder does not flinch from the fear of complicating his commodious canvas with a clutter of conscientious conflicts. A lot of savage fun has been poked during the last two days by critics at the narrative snarls which hit out at our expectations of a grand duel between the two superheroes.

Like it or not, this epic work is a lot more than just a sum-total of Batman’s games of one-upmanship with his batty arch-rival. It is an epic work of colossal conflicts that does not edit out the superfluous elements in the drama merely to keep the proceedings on a tight leash. As a film meant to provide epic entertainment for comicbook fans it takes grand leaps of faith, gamboling from one unrelated image to another, all joined by the idea of humanity’s hurling end, hoping that the sum-total of images and themes would come together to denote the devastation that awaits mankind.

Most of all, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice humanizes the super-heroes. It tells us not to put excessive faith in those whom we trust to diminish and disable destiny’s tyrannical thrust. Both Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) come across as weak and washed-out, way past their prime, ill equipped to combat humanity’s self-inflicted crimes.

Devotees of the two super-heroes would be dismayed to see how rigorously and mercilessly this subverted super-hero film humanizes the super-heroes, rendering them emotionally and physically compromised, or for that matter how silly the callow scientist villain Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) looks in his efforts to own the world with his technological delusions.

There is almost a caricatural element to Luthor’s character. Most of the time the influential politicians and entrepreneurs he is seen hobnobbing with, are barely able to hide their contempt and ridicule for Luthor. I specially liked Holly Hunter’s senatorial smirk each time she tries to deal with Luthor’s juvenile aspirations to run the world.

With disturbing cheekiness Batman V Superman laughs at all those self-appointed Gods who offer hope for a dying civilization. This films tell you in a language brimming with contextual crypticism and with images that are more often disembodied than cogent, that we must look for our ‘God’ within ourselves. This statement is driven home with ironic force when Batman and Superman join forces at the end to rescue the latter’s mother Martha (Diane Lane) from the villain. (The reason for this collaborative mission: Batman’s mom’s name too was Martha. Makes you wonder: what if the two super-heroes had dads named Luthor!)

Oh yes, the two super-heroes get extra fighting fuel from Wonderman, played with feisty fury by Gal Gadot who is all spunk and spark signifying something substantially sexier than oomph.

This is a film that revels in bewildering ruminations, constructs spirals of dark ominous themes to show the meek shall never inherit the earth. And the strong are too busy fight their own demons to pay attention to what they were created to do.Save the world.

God save the super-heroes!

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