Movie Review: Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi

Death is a tragic phenomenon of life. But several films in Bollywood have presented this inevitability in a lighter or even in an outrageously funny way. For example, JAANE BHI DO YAARO [1982], EKKEES TOPPON KI SALAAMI [2014], DADDY COOL [2009], BUDDHA MAR GAYA [2007], MALAMAAL WEEKLY [2006], PUSHPAK [1987], NEHLLE PE DEHLLA [2007], etc. Now Seema Pahwa’s directorial debut RAMPRASAD KI TEHRVI also promises to have a light take on death. So does RAMPRASAD KI TEHRVI manage to entertain and impress viewers? Or does it fail in its endeavour? Let’s analyse.

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RAMPRASAD KI TEHRVI is the story of a family assembling together after ages due to a tragedy. Ramprasad (Naseeruddin Shah) is an old aged patriarch who suddenly passes away while teaching piano at his house to a kid in the neighbourhood. He resided with his wife, addressed as Amma (Supriya Pathak) by one and all. Their sons and daughters live in different parts of the country. Obviously they all rush to Ramprasad’s mansion, located in a small house in Uttar Pradesh as soon as they get the news. What should have been a period of mourning for the family results in chaos as past wounds resurface. On top of that, Seema (Konkona Sen Sharma), wife of the youngest son of Ramprasad, Nishant aka Neetu (Parambrata Chatterjee) does not come. It leads to gossip and speculation among the wives of the other sons. Meanwhile, since Ramprasad passed away on December 19, the pandit announces that the <em>tehrvi</em> will hence fall on January 1. It leads to an argument in the family as some feel it will be awkward for people to attend such a ceremony on the first day of the year. The issue resolves and then, another problem arises. Ramprasad’s children come to know that the patriarch had opted for a loan of Rs. 10 lakhs and that he has returned only Rs. 3 lakhs. It is now their responsibility to repay the rest of the amount. While going through his diary, they come to know that he took the said loan as his children were demanding money from him. This revelation leads to another round of <em>tu tu main main</em>. In all this chaos, Amma feels left out. The grandchildren meanwhile are least bothered about the death of their grandfather and are having a fun reunion. She realises that it’ll be difficult for her to stay in the <em>haveli</em> all alone. Even if she chooses to stay with their sons, it seems that they won’t be ready to accept her. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Seema Pahwa’s story is promising. The biggest strength is that it’s very relatable. Everyone has been in the situation depicted in the film. Hence, one can’t help but relate very well to a lot of happenings in the film. Seema Pahwa’s screenplay is however inconsistent. A few scenes and confrontations are very well thought of and also fleshed out. On the flipside, the film slips in the second half as crucial details are left out about some important characters. Seema Pahwa’s dialogues are realistic and situational. However, the funny dialogues of Prakash Bade jija ji (Brijendra Kala) seem out of place.

Seema Pahwa’s direction is quite neat in the first 30 minutes. The way she establishes the setting and the mood makes for an engaging watch. Some of the characters like that of Seema seem very interesting and a lot could have been done here. However, one wonders why Seema Pahwa left out the backstories of certain characters. This is especially in the case of Seema’s character. One fails to understand what exactly she did wrong with Neetu and his family. It’s not like she was the only daughter-in-law who stayed away from her in-laws. The rest of the <em>bahus</em> also got separated from Ramprasad and Amma. Also, towards the end, Seema’s change of heart makes one feel that she’ll ask Amma to stay with her. That’s what the build-up seemed like. When she doesn’t, one wonders why that is so. Probably, she had the same issues as other daughter-in-laws and was not ready to take the responsibility. But this bit should have been better explained. Meanwhile, Rahul (Vikrant Massey) lusting after Seema individually seems like a great idea but looks a bit forced. The final scene is heartening but comes too suddenly.

RAMPRASAD KI TEHRVI begins well. No time is wasted as Ramprasad passes away in the first scene itself. From here, it’s a breezy watch as all the madcap characters arrive and create madness. A few scenes stand out like the four brothers having drinks and expressing their long-suppressed anger. Also, the sequence where Amma hides behind a pillar and sees that everyone is having a gala time while she’s mourning the demise of her husband is very moving. Post-interval, the film gets too serious. Many who would go for the film after seeing the trailer and assuming that it’ll be a light-hearted film will be in for a surprise, or rather, shock.

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RAMPRASAD KI TEHRVI is laced with some fine performances. Naseeruddin Shah is dependable in the cameo. Supriya Pathak is the best part of the lot. One can feel the pain of her character. Konkona Sen Sharma is as expected quite excellent but is let down by weak characterization. Parambrata Chatterjee delivers a great performance. Vikrant Massey is excellent. Vinay Pathak (Pankaj), Manoj Pahwa (Gajraj) and Ninad Kamat (Manoj) enhance impact with the way they have exceled in their respective roles. Sadiya Siddiqui (Pratibha), Divya Jagdale (Sulekha) and Deepika Amin (Sushma) also do well but after a point, their gossiping seems repetitive. Anubha Fatehpura (Rani; badi jiji) is convincing while Sarika Singh (Dhaani; choti jiji) is very good in the scene where she speaks to Amma at night outside. Manukriti Pahwa (Bitto; who falls for Rahul) is quite lively. Brijendra Kala, Sawan Tank (Samay), Neivan Ahuja (Saksham; neighbour), Shikant Verma (Basant Chote jija ji), Yamini Dass (Mami ji), Vineet Kumar (Mama ji), Rajendra Gupta (Tauji who spoke English) and Mahesh Sharma (Vinod, who was with Tauji) are decent. Lastly, Sanah Kapur is quite memorable as the younger Amma.

Sagar Desai’s music is forgettable. <em>’Ek Adhoora Kaam'</em> registers as it comes at an interesting situation. The rest of the songs like <em>’Jo Ghum Hua Hai’, ‘Aisa Hai Kyun'</em> and <em>’Bulawaya Aaya Re'</em> do not leave a mark.  Sagar Desai’s background score is subtle and well woven with the narrative.

Sudip Sengupta’s cinematography deserves praise. There are several long takes which are very well captured by the lensman. Darshan Jalan and Manish Tiwari’s costumes and Parijat Poddar’s production design are straight out of life. Dipika Kalra’s editing is fine but one wishes the flashback scenes of Seema and Nishant had got more screen presence

On the whole, RAMPRASAD KI TEHRVI has a very interesting story to tell but fails to make the desired impact due to a very weak second half. The film would face a tough time in cinemas and should have ideally released directly on an OTT platform.

Qubool Hai 2.0: 5 times Zoya and Asad proved that love is above all

Television’s one of the most loved couples, Asad and Zoya or #AsYa as they are fondly called by their fans, are back with the reboot of iconic show Qubool Hai 2.0 on Zee5 Premium. Conceptualized by Mrinal Jha, interestingly while the characters retain their original flavour, Qubool Hai 2.0 is a lot more refreshing and absorbing giving you all the reasons to fall in love. Everything about the sizzling on-screen chemistry between Karan Singh Grover and Surbhi Jyoti’s scintillating and oh-so-fixating! From her “Allah Miyaan!” moments to his strong and wistful pull towards her, we just can’t have enough of them!

Qubool Hai 2.0 5 times Zoya and Asad proved that love is above all

While their desire for each other makes us swoon, let’s have a look at all the times that Zoya and Asad have proved that love is above all!!

1. Love transcends differences

She’s feisty and he’s a tough cookie! Zoya and Asad are perfect examples of opposites attract. They both are shown to be starkly different and on opposite sides of the ongoing conflict in the show. Yet, they don’t yield to the circumstances and stand by each other till the very end. They seem to come from parallel universes and come to grips with each other’s flaws and quirks like they’d never existed! They successfully show us how that two people from different worlds can also find love in each other.

2. Trust is the proof of Love

Zoya is quite smitten by Asad and trust and faith form the bedrock of their relationship. She doesn’t perceive him through the prism of the world but bases her own feelings and experiences on him. He sets her leap in delirium and that’s all that matters! She knows that together they can conquer the world and hence despite not knowing his agenda she is ready to walk with him on all the rocky roads of life.

3. Love above duty

Asad comes across as resilient, ambitious and purpose driven guy and is extremely focused on his job. Despite coming across as cold and unperturbed by everyone around him, his heart skips a beat every time he is with Zoya. He is always making sure that Zoya is well taken care of. He doesn’t shy away when they accept their love and put a lock of love on the bridge together.

4. Love comes with protectiveness

In the series, there have been multiple times where Asad has been seen protecting Zoya. Whether it was from the goons or whether it was about getting her home safe to Islamabad, Asad never shied away from showing how much he cared about Zoya. Zoya, too, in her own way showed how she cared for Asad when he was being framed and did not care about her own life. On another occasion she even comforts him when her father spoke ill about India

5. Love gives you a reason to stay

Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Zoya and Asad’s love for each other was so strong that every time they decided to part ways, they found themselves back with each other. They had found a home and comfort place in each other and nothing could stop them from being drawn back. Neither of them was afraid of the consequences of their love. They went into everything, together. They were in it to win it!

The unique storyline is a notch higher than the original edition, and is intricately woven with meticulous detailing to the smallest of nuance thus adding to the overall big picture and the cinematic splendour.

Also Read: “There are a lot of differences and lot of similarities”, Karan Singh Grover on Qubool Hai being aired as a web show

Rahul Roy and his family test positive for COVID-19, the actor is shocked with the results

Rahul Roy, who has recently recovered from a brain stroke, has tested positive for COVID-19 along with his family. The entire state has been imposed with a lockdown as per CM Uddhav Thackeray’s orders. The CM has asked the people to take care of themselves while providing them with all the essentials. With Rahul Roy and his family testing positive, the actor took to his Instagram to share his COVID-19 story and revealed that his family had not left their house for 14 days.

Rahul Roy and his family tests positive for COVID-19, the actor is shocked with the results

He wrote, “Quarantine Day 19. My Covid story My Resident Floor was sealed on 27th March as a neighbour had got tested positive so as a precautionary measure we all were sealed within Flats for 14days. I and my family had to fly to Delhi on 11th April so we did RTPCR test from Metropolis Lab on 7th April only to receive the test reports on 10th April stating my whole family @romeersen and @priyankaroy_pia are Covid positive. We had no symptoms at all, and we came to know that the same day BMC officials were doing testing for the whole society so we again did the Antigen test and we all were negative, and moments later again gave samples for RTPCR which went to Suburban Lab but the test report has still not been given to me.”

He elaborated, “BMC officials came made me and my family sign isolation forms, sanitised my home, the doctor called asking random questions of what my family business is into? Where is our office? Travel itineraries… haha don’t know what the connection was? Suggested me to get hospitalised to which I replied We have no symptoms so he said ok and suggested to make a chart of oxygen level and take medicines which I am doing since the time i came back post brain stroke from hospital. I know covid is there but how did I and my family contract this virus without leaving the house, without meeting people or even without going for walks is a question I will never be answered to? My sister @priyankaroy_pia is a yogini and a breathing expert who practices ancient breathing techniques and did not leave the house since 3 months, and without any symptoms has been shown positive in the reports.”

Signing off, he said, “For now waiting for second 14 days quarantine to get over and redo my tests. For all of you, wear your masks, wash your hands, stay clean. And I hope you do not contract the virus staying inside the house. Hope to be back soon with negative reports. Love you all”

Take a look at his post.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Rahul Roy (@officialrahulroy)

Here’s wishing Rahul Roy and his family a speedy recovery.

12 ‘O’ Clock

In the film <em>12 O’Clock</em>, we are introduced to Gauri (Krishna Gautam), who lives with her parents (Makarand Deshpande and Divya Jagdale), younger brother (Vishesh) and grandmother in a lower middle-class locality of Bombay. The father works as a peon in an office. Soon, Gauri starts displaying odd behaviour and it turns out that she is possessed by a spirit. Gauri’s father takes her to a doctor (Ali Asgar) and then to a psychiatrist Debashish(Mithun Chakraborty). The parents also take her to a tantrik (Ashish Vidhyarthi). However, nothing helps. At the same time, there is a series of murder committed in the city and the police is clueless about the murderer. But there is a connection between the murders and Gauri’s condition. The commissioner of police (Dalip Tahhil) and his trusted police inspector, Francis (Manav Kaul) get to know something which sends shivers down their spines. What happens thereafter? Does the psychiatrist free Gauri from the spirit? Is the tantrik able to help? Is she actually possessed? Are the police able to solve the murder mystery? What happens after is what forms the rest of the story.

Movie Review: Madam Chief Minister

Politics is an important component of our society and in recent times, with the advent of social media, it has become popular even among the youth who earlier weren’t that interested. However, the same wasn’t reflected in our films. We have obviously had plenty of films involving politicians but a fictional film revolving around the life of a neta was rare. Most of them which were released recently like THACKERAY [2019], THE ACCIDENTAL PRIME MINISTER [2019] and PM NARENDRA MODI [2019] were biopics. MADAM CHIEF MINISTER, directed by Subhash Kapoor of JOLLY LLB fame, which has released today, fills up this space. It’s not a biopic and serves as a fictional political thriller. The trailer and some of the parallels with the life of ex-Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati have caught some attention. So does MADAM CHIEF MINISTER emerge as an entertaining political fare? Or does it fail to entice? Let’s analyse.

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MADAM CHIEF MINISTER is the story of a girl who rises from being a nobody to the most powerful woman in Uttar Pradesh. Tara Roopram (Richa Chadha) is born in 1982 in a village in Uttar Pradesh. The same day, her father, Roopram (Mukteshwar Ohja) is killed by members of a higher caste. Tara’s grandmother, who is anyway upset with her birth since she’s the fourth daughter in the family, gets enraged when she learns about the demise of Roopram. She accuses Tara for this tragedy and is about to kill her. But Tara’s mother (Seema Modi) stops her from doing so. Many years later, Tara is grown up and works as a librarian in a university. She is in a physical relationship with Indramani Tripathi (Akshay Oberoi), a political heir and a politically active student in the university. One day, Tara tells Indramani that she’s pregnant and that she wishes to marry Indramani. To which Indramani makes it clear that it’s not possible because of caste differences. He advises her to abort the child. She refuses and threatens to expose him. His goons attack her when she’s working in the woods. However, she’s saved by the men of Master Surajbhan (Saurabh Shukla), who belongs to the Parivartan Party of India, which fights for the lower caste and downtrodden people. Tara is indebted to Master and she starts living with him and even working for his party. She picks up the workings of politics quickly. Some time before the state elections, she advises Master to form an alliance with Arvind Singh (Shubrajyoti Barat) of the Vikas Party, who had approached Master for a political partnership. Master sends Tara to meet Arvind Singh and convince him about the terms that Master has. Tara succeeds. When no one is ready to fight elections against the sitting CM, Tara takes up the challenge. She impresses the junta with their fiery speeches. She also fakes an attack on herself to gain sympathy. All these reasons help her defeat the sitting CM in the elections. As per the alliance terms, for the first 2½ years, a candidate of Parivartan Party of India will serve as the Chief Minister. The party members select O P Kushwaha (Sangam Bhaguna) due to his seniority and political experience. But, Master vetoes the decision and makes Tara the Chief Minister. She shifts to the CM’s sprawling residence. She gets her mother to stay with her who is obviously proud of Tara’s achievements. Meanwhile, her OSD (Officer on Special Duty), Danish Khan (Manav Kaul) informs her about the MLAs of the Vikas Party who are selected by Vikas Singh to serve in the cabinet. All of them are close to Vikas, as a friend or family member, and one of them is none other than Indramani Tripathi! Tara is angry that someone who tried to kill her will become a Cabinet Minister. She tries her best to ensure he doesn’t get the minister’s post. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Subhash Kapoor’s story is promising in parts. After RAAJNEETI [2010], we haven’t really had a fictional political flick. It’s commendable that the writer researched well and managed to come up with some interesting sequences, many of which are based on common political tactics like unholy political alliances, horse trading etc. But Subhash Kapoor’s screenplay doesn’t do complete justice. The first half has some goofs which one tends to overlook in favour of the many plusses in the film. But in the second half, these minuses get amplified and affect the impact. Subhash Kapoor’s dialogues are realistic and sharp at places. However, the catchphrase used by Tara during her speeches ‘<em>Main tumhari hoon</em>’ could have been better thought of and more hard-hitting.

Subhash Kapoor’s direction is exceptional at places but otherwise, it’s quite pale, especially in comparison to his past films. What’s surprising from the very start is that the film moves too quickly, which is not really Subhash’s style. At first, one feels great since a fast-paced narrative can also mean a better narrative. But in the process of rushing through things, the director skips a few developments, which leave the viewers confused. For instance, why doesn’t Tara go ahead with the pregnancy and when is it that she changes her mind is never depicted. Secondly, a member of Master’s party Sundar (Boloram Das) does a heinous act of betrayal. Sadly, his track is forgotten completely in the second half. The finale seems a bit abrupt. Ideally, the makers should have reversed the chronology. The poisoning bit track should have been followed by the horse-trading sequence as the latter was quite powerful. If the film had ended with this said action-packed track, the impact would have been there. Sadly, the vice versa happens. So a fantastic sequence is followed by a disappointing one and hence, the audience comes out of the theatre feeling not-so-impressed.

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MADAM CHIEF MINISTER has a decent beginning, explaining the caste wars prevalent in rural areas. The introduction of adult Tara and her relationship with Indramani is quickly explained and depicted. But it’s when Master Surajbhan enters the narrative that the film gets better. The pure bond that he shares with Tara is heartening. The execution seems a bit jerky at places but one doesn’t mind much here as there’s a lot happening in the film. Two scenes that really stand out here are – Tara forcing herself and other lower castes people into the temple; and the other one is when she forcefully tonsures Indramani. The intermission point is arresting. Post-interval, the film zooms like a rocket as Tara ‘kidnaps’ MLAs from Vikas Party and holds them in a guest house. The drama that ensues here is sure to keep one at the edge of the seat. Sadly, from here on, instead of maintaining this high, the film falls. The track of the CM being slowly poisoned is unpredictable but doesn’t really create the desired impact as it’s flawed. The finale is well thought of but again, it lacks the punch.

Speaking of performances, Richa Chadha does justice as she puts up a confident and convincing performance. The best part about her performance is that she understands Tara well. She goes overboard as Tara plays to the gallery while giving speeches but she also draws a line so that it doesn’t seem like a ham performance. Saurabh Shukla is lovely and all his scenes are engaging. Manav Kaul is dependable always but is let down by the script in the pre-climax and finale. Akshay Oberoi leaves a huge mark. One wishes that he had more screen time. Shubrajyoti Barat is fine as the villain. Boloram Das is fair. Sangam Bhaguna, Mukteshwar Ohja and Seema Modi don’t get much scope. Nikhil Vijay (Babloo) played a half-baked character and it seemed like he was trying to imitate popular actor Dhanush. Raviza Chauhan (Shashi Rai) is great. Shreya Awasthi (Dr Laxmi), Alok Sharad (Judge) and the actor playing judge Supriya Tiwari are okay.

Mangesh Dhakde’s music is wasted. Ideally, this should have been a songless film. <em>’Chidi Chidi'</em> is forgettable. Mangesh Dhakde’s background score, however, is dramatic and has a commercial vibe. Jayesh Nair’s cinematography is spectacular.

The scene where Richa apes Dr. Ambedkar’s statue’s pose especially is very well captured. Vikram Singh’s production design is sans complaints. Veera Kapur Ee’s costumes are straight out of life while Nikita Kapoor’s make-up and prosthetics add to the realism. Parvez Shaikh’s action isn’t gory and yet, works well as per the film’s theme. Chandrashekhar Prajapati’s editing is problematic.

On the whole, MADAM CHIEF MINISTER boasts of an interesting idea and fine performances by Richa Chadha and Saurabh Shukla. But the loopholes in the script and a disappointing and abrupt finale spoil the show. At the box office, it will struggle to get footfalls as it has been released without any awareness.

Anita Hassanandani rings in her 40th birthday with husband Rohit Reddy

New mommy Anita Hassanandani recently gave birth to a baby boy and named him Aaravv. The couple has been enjoying their time as new parents and have been sharing multiple pictures and videos of their baby boy. With Anita Hassanandani celebrating her 40th birthday, she posted a reel where she’s seen celebrating her birthday with her husband in an intimate celebration.

Anita Hassanandani rings in her 40th birthday with husband Rohit Reddy

From roses to cakes to balloons, her birthday looked absolutely perfect. With the recent lockdown, a bigger celebration was not possible but the couple managed to make the most of their time. Taking to her social media, she shared the reel and in no time the wishes started pouring in from her fellow industry friends and her fans. She wrote, “LockDown Birthday 2021 ????”

Take a look at her post, right here.

SCOOP: Did Aamir Khan want Vikram Vedha to be set in China? Opted out due to Covid-19 led negativity?

Over the last few days, it has been confirmed that Hrithik Roshan will play the role of Vedha in the official remake of Vikram Vedha with Saif Ali Khan stepping in to be the cop, Vikram in the film. It will be directed by Pushkar – Gayatri, who directed the Tamil original too. However, a year and a half back, Aamir Khan was supposed to do the role of gangster in this film. He took a back seat from the remake around the month of November, which was followed by media articles that the actor had walked out since he was not satisfied with the script. Bollywood Hungama did some investigation and came out with exclusive reason why the superstar walked out of Vikram Vedha.

SCOOP Did Aamir Khan want Vikram Vedha to be set in China Opted out due to Covid-19 led negativity

A source associated with the film shared on anonymous condition, “Aamir Khan loved the original version of Vikram Vedha and had conveyed to Neeraj Pandey, Reliance and the director duo, his vision for the gangster drama. Aamir wanted to spin it around as a quintessential Hong-Kong based Gangster drama, with sleek action, set against the backdrop of gang-wars in Hong-Kong, making the story more friendly for Chinese market, to get additional gains from the market. The storytelling template would have been a first for Indian audience too.”

The creative team had started working on the script and multiple narration meetings happened with Aamir, who was happy with the way the script had shaped. His idea was to make it one of the first Indian films that actually appeals to the neighbouring Asian country, with actors from all across. He saw that potential in Vikram Vedha, and wanted to take things to the next level. “But when Covid-19 outbreak happened, followed by the tussle in Ladakh, the relationship between India and China went from bad to worse and Aamir had no option but to back out of the film.”

After he backed off, the team got back to Hrithik Roshan, who was their first choice even before Aamir, but had initially rejected the film because of date issues, but the pandemic cleared his shoot calendar and gave him the time space to come on board Vikram Vedha. “He always liked the script and was inclined towards playing the negative lead. So that’s how, it all happened.” the source shared.

Remember, it’s a Bollywood Hungama Exclusive.

Also Read: Aamir Khan’s fans in China celebrate his birthday at the Indian embassy

No Means No

No Means No is a cross-genre action-packed, teenage musical love story, a courtroom drama that’s more like the thrill of a roller-coaster ride as each twist and turn begins to unravel to reach a conclusion that calls out for justice.

Movie Review: The Big Bull

Actor Abhishek Bachchan’s career has seen a lot of ups and downs. But one can’t deny that he is a powerful performer, as proven by his work in films like YUVA [2004], DHOOM [2004], SARKAR [2005], GURU [2007], DOSTANA [2008], PAA [2009], BOL BACHCHAN [2012], etc. After taking a break of nearly 2 ½ years, he returned to the big screen with a stellar act in MANMARZIYAAN [2018]. In the past one year, he has made his mark on digital with the web series BREATHE: INTO THE SHADOWS [2020] and the crazy comedy LUDO [2020]. Now he’s back with another web venture, THE BIG BULL. The trailer has been liked and there’s a curiosity to see what it has to offer, despite the subject being similar to SCAM 1992, arguably the most successful web series of India. So does THE BIG BULL manage to stand out and impress the audiences? Or does it fail? Let’s analyse.

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THE BIG BULL is the story of a common man’s journey from rags to riches. The year is 1987. Hemant Shah (Abhishek Bachchan), a resident of Bombay, is working at Bal Kala Kendra on a modest salary. He is in love with Priya (Nikita Dutta), his neighbour but since he’s not financially secure, he’s apprehensive about asking her father for her hand in marriage. One day, a parent of one of the kids, who comes to practice at Bal Kala Kendra, tells Hemant that after selling stocks of Bombay Textile, he’s able to earn a nice moolah. This makes Hemant curious about the world of stocks. Meanwhile, his brother Viren Shah (Sohum Shah) loses a large amount of money in stocks. Viren is in debt and Hemant decides to invest in Bombay Textile’s shares. But he does his homework before doing so. This enables Hemant to not just make Viren debt-free but also earn a neat little profit. In no time, Hemant enters the world of stocks and starts working for a stock trader named Kantilal (Hitesh Rawal). Hemant aspires to have a trading account but as per the rules, he needs to pay Rs. 10 lakhs for it. In order to earn the said amount, Hemant joins hands with union leader Rana Sawant (Mahesh Manjrekar) of Premier Auto. His insider trading activity soon helps him earn Rs. 10 lakhs. Hemant starts to now manipulate stocks and even gets banks on board to exploit the loopholes in the system. All this takes the sensex to dizzying heights. Thus, he becomes a hero of sorts among stock brokers. Since his financial condition improves, he marries Priya. While everyone is hailing Hemant Shah, Meera Rao (Ileana DCruz), the finance journalist at India Times newspaper, is least impressed. She’s confident that Hemant is illegally making money at the stock exchange. She writes critical articles about him. And one day, she stumbles upon shocking evidence about Hemant’s nefarious activities. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Kookie Gulati and Arjun Dhawan’s story is interesting. It is inspired from the life of Harshad Mehta, the infamous stock broker, and his experiences were fascinating, cinematically. Kookie Gulati and Arjun Dhawan’s screenplay is effective at most places. The writers have tried their best to make the goings-on as entertaining and as dramatic as possible for a better impact. They succeed, but not fully, for two reasons. One, they have edited out several important events from Hemant Shah’s life and have made it too fast-paced. Secondly, the comparisons with SCAM 1992 take away the impact to some extent. Ritesh Shah’s dialogues, however, are sharp.

Kookie Gulati’s direction is decent. He had the challenge of not just keeping the goings-on entertaining but also easy to comprehend. This is because not everyone understands the concept of stocks and shares. And Kookie succeeds to an extent at both the aspects. On the flipside, one can’t help but draw parallels with SCAM 1992. Even if one tries his/her best, one can’t forget the Pratik Gandhi-starrer web series as it was highly memorable. And it was handled in a much better manner. One wishes if THE BIG BULL had released before SCAM 1992 as then, it would have been more entertaining and interesting for viewers. Now, since most of the target audience of THE BIG BULL have already seen SCAM 1992, one already knows more or less the entire story. Hence, one knows in advance what’s going to happen. Thankfully, the writers have fictionalized some plot points and added a twist in the end which will leave the viewers surprised. Even if one keeps the SCAM 1992 comparisons aside, the film has another major hiccup. It moves too fast. Some developments are never explained properly. For instance, one gets a hint that Hemant’s father was upset with him and had even kicked him out of the house. But what exactly happened is never explained in the film. Then, Hemant starting his own consultancy, named Mile High, happens all of a sudden, leaving viewers bewildered. The character of Sanjeev Kohli (Samir Soni) is crucial to the narrative but the writers and director don’t give him the required due.

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THE BIG BULL has an average opening. The entry scene of Abhishek Bachchan should have been powerful but instead, it’s bland. The film thankfully gets better with the scene where Hemant walks with Priya at night and the former finds out about Viren’s debt. While the rise of Hemant is depicted neatly and quickly, what stand out are the scenes that come just before the end of the first hour. The song <em>’Ishq Namazaa'</em> is very well shot and keeps the interest going. Hemant’s experience at the party in Delhi is intriguing. The scene of the Income Tax Department’s raid and the interview scene of Hemant and Meera run parallel and is the best part about the first hour. In the second half, things get better as Meera attempts to uncover the truth based on the leads that she gets. This is also the time when Hemant gets on shaky ground and tries to his best to get out of the mess. The last 30 minutes is when the film really gets better. The press conference scene is treated dramatically and is bound to arrest attention. The twist in the climax is unexpected.

Abhishek Bachchan gives a commendable performance and he also underplays at several places. He is essaying the part of a flamboyant, egoistic man but he understands that it doesn’t mean he has to go overboard. Interestingly, the actor had done a similar role in the past, in GURU [2007], and the actor ensures that one is not reminded of that performance when they see THE BIG BULL. However, the brief shots of him laughing manically seem unintentionally funny and should have been done away with, ideally. Ileana DCruz hardly gets any scope in the first half but shines in the second half. However, she looks very unconvincing as an old lady in the present-day track. Nikita Dutta is lovely and leaves a huge mark. Sohum Shah is, as expected, dependable and maintains a strong position from start to finish. Mahesh Manjrekar and Samir Soni are decent in their special appearances. Supriya Pathak Shah (Amiben; Hemant and Viren’s mother) is convincing. Saurabh Shukla (Manu Malpani) gets his act right. Ram Kapoor (Ashok Mirchandani) has limited screen time but he rocks the show. Shishir Sharma (Rajesh Mishra; Meera’s boss) is fair while Lekha Prajapati (Tara; Viren’s wife) and Hitesh Rawal get limited scope. The same goes for Sumit Vats (Hari). Kanan Arunachalam (Venkateshwar) is too good especially in the scene where he spills the beans. Tripti Shankhdhar (Ashima; who meets Meera in the train) and Rio Kapadia (NCC MD Singh) register an impact despite being there for just one scene.

Music is average but is well placed. <em>’Ishq Namaza'</em> is soulful and shot beautifully. The title track plays in the background in some important scenes in the first half. <em>’Hawaon Mein'</em> is played during the end credits. Sandeep Shirodkar’s background score adds to the drama.

Vishnu Rao’s cinematography is appropriate. Durgaprasad Mahapatra’s production design is rich. Darshan Jalan and Neelanchal Ghosh’s costumes are reminiscent of the late 80s and early 90s era. NY VFXWaala’s VFX is praiseworthy. Dharmendra Sharma’s editing is too slick and quick at places.

On the whole, THE BIG BULL gets affected due to the comparisons with SCAM 1992. Yet, it stands out at several places and works due to the performances, the dramatic moments and the unexpected finale.

Esha Gupta sizzles in an orange monokini in latest post

Esha Gupta has been revisiting her Maldives trip by sharing throwback pictures on her Instagram feed. The actress has been looking stunning in every pictue she has been sharing on her feed.

Esha Gupta sizzles in a orange monokini in latest post

On monday, Esha shared a picture of herself chilling on the sand in a printed rgane monkini. Sharing the sunkissed picture, she shared aboat emoticon as a caption. She has left her hair open and opted for minimal accessory with a shell necklace.

Esha Gupta sizzles in a orange monokini in latest post

On the work front, Esha Gupta was last seen in her digital debut with RejctX 2.

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