Mubarakan movie review: Anil and Arjun Kapoor’s laughathon is rib-tickling entertainment at its best

Have you felt it has been a long time since you had a proper family entertainer that will make you roll on the floor with laughter? If the answer is yes, then Mubarakan could end that dry drought right now. Directed by Anees Bazmee, the movie stars Arjun Kapoor in double role, with Anil Kapoor playing his jovial uncle. Ileana D’Cruz and Athiya Shetty are the female leads. Here’s our review…

What’s it about

A story of identity confusion between twins isn’t new to Bollywood. There have been several films made on this subject in Bollywood over the past few decades. Anees Bazmee who’s known for his successful stint with humour and his own style of comedy has dabbled with the genre again with Mubarakan – a story of twins Karan and Charan (Arjun Kapoor) who find it hard convincing their families to let them marry their respective girlfriends, played by Ileana Dcruz and Athiya Shetty. Mubarakan is a typical Anees Bazmee film with a twist. The setting oscillates between Punjab and London and the supporting cast comprises of big names like Ratna Pathak Shah and Pavan Malhotra who play heads of families to Karan and Charan. Anil Kapoor plays a bumbling Sardar Kartaar whose decision-making abilities lend to ample humour to this already funny plot. Bazmee weaves drama laced with ample comedy by focusing on the script that has some genuinely funny gags. A big fat Punjabi wedding is in the heart of this film that also builds the right emotional connect with its audience.

What’s hot

Arjun Kapoor approaches both his characters of Karan and Charan with equal zeal. He manages to ensure there is no overlap between them despite the fact that they look the same. His mannerisms and body language for Charan especially is commendable because he needs to underplay his emotions in an otherwise over the top setting. Mubarakan proves that Arjun has a natural affinity towards comedy and he succeeds in pulling off some really tough gags and scenes with ease. Anil Kapoor gets the best lines and punches in the film that does full justice to his potential. Anil also seems to be having the most fun and looks at ease in most of the scenes. Be it is quirky British accent or his approach to explaining out a situation using props like vegetables and ketchup bottles, he manages to keep your funny bone tickled in every scene. Anees Bazmee deserves full marks for writing a clean family entertainer with not a single line or dialogue that might feel awkward or adult. Ileana and Athiya add to the glamour quotient and both have good chemistry with Arjun. Pavan Malhotra and Ratna Pathak Shah are the heavyweights in this already large ensemble and their stand off scenes are a major highlight. Hawa Hawamanages to get your feet tapping and is superbly choreographed for the big screen.

What’s not

The pace does take its time to pick up early on and the humour gets repetitive in some portions. Also, Athiya’s track seems underwhelming. Neha Sharma and Karan Kundra have important roles but little screen time. Bazmee manages to raise the tempo in the second half only to lead us to a seemingly dull climax. Mubarkan also has too many songs that could have done with some better editing.

What to do

Mubarakan is one of the most entertaining films of 2017. Arjun Kapoor’s double role act and Anees Bazmee’s superb direction make it a total paisa vasool experience.

Rating:4.0 out of 54.0 Star Rating

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Indu Sarkar movie review: Madhur Bhandarkar’s political drama paints a grim picture of an India that was still struggling to find its identity

After a lot of suspense over its release, the Supreme Court finally cleared Indu Sarkar for release, a day before its scheduled date with the theatres. The film, that is set during the Emergency period that lasted from 1975-77, promises to be a riveting tale of goings-on of the time. After a dismal run at the box office with his last few films, filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar will surely hope to revive his career and redeem himself with this political drama. But will a tale of the misgivings of a government manage to fetch him success? Let’s find out…

What’s it about

Indu Sarkar tries to examine the Emergency period through the eyes of its protagonist, Indu Sarkar. Indu (Kirti Kulhari) is an orphan girl with a defined stammer due to which she is never adopted from the orphanage that she has been brought up in. Finding solace in words, Indu aspires to be a poet, but is discouraged from doing so, prodded instead to be a good housewife. Without a sense of direction, Indu is quite happy when Navin Sarkar (Tota Roy Chowdhury) marries her, providing her with a home, and more importantly, a surname. This guy, Navin Sarkar, is a sychophant. He is the quintessential babu, who loves the comfort and promise of a cushy government job and detests the public who questions his employer. He is the ‘yes man’ to the Development Minister, who tells him to milk the Emergency period for his benefit. Now, the fact that her husband is a government employee hasn’t bothered Indu at all until she tells him about the protests against the Emergency that she had witnessed at the market and he reprimands her for the same. Committed to her role of being the dutiful homemaker, Indu turns a blind eye to the injustice all around her, till, in a turn of events, she finds herself to be the sole caretaker of two kids, whose parents were killed in a government-organised slum demolition. Identifying with the struggle of the orphaned kids, she gives them asylum. But her husband, who is a loyalist of the reigning government, throws a fit over this and asks Indu to choose between him and the kids. She obviously does what she has to and moves out of his house. Unassumingly she also becomes a part of the underground movement against the government, led by Nanaji (Anupam Kher). The government in question here is obviously the one that had imposed the Emergency. And while there’s only a glimpse of the then Prime Minister (Supriya Vinod), it is her son, Chief (Neil Nitin Mukesh) who does the ordering.

What’s hot

Madhur Bhandarkar has painted a very grim but vivid picture of the Emergency period that had lasted a total of 21 months. It is an India that was still hungover on the freedom struggle, an India that was used to a century of being ruled and was lost with the newfound freedom, an India that was yet to find an identity, an India that was yet to open up to the world. The filmmaker has brought these aspects of the recently Independent India to the fore, quite beautifully. This is a period that is usually ignored by history textbooks as well as films and hence, it is a refreshing change to witness the struggle that went into the making of the India we see today.

Besides that, the film obviously belongs to Kirti Kulhari. Her Indu stammers but never minces her words. She speaks her mind even if it takes a while longer for the words to come out. Playing with the risk of sounding too preachy, Kirti manages to portray Indu’s sense of righteousness and her inherent vulnerability with equal ease. And after a stellar performance in Pink, Kirti nails it in the courtroom scene in this one as well, making you reach for the tissue with her emotionally charged act.

What’s not

The fact that the government remains faceless for the most part of the film is indeed a dampener. While you have Neil Nitin Mukesh playing the forever irritated ‘Chief’ you can’t help but pity the weakly sketched character he has been handed out. In the few scenes that he has, Neil’s character is restrained and vague. Agreed that he was playing a role inspired by a real politician, but since the film was anyway a fictional account, couldn’t his character been meatier. It just seemed like a charade. Also, the fact that makers had to chop the character’s mother, the Prime Minister’s role in the film seems to have affected it adversely. Or for that matter, why did even Anupam Kher, who played a character similar to that of Chandrashekhar Azad from Indian freedom struggle, have such a puny role? While we are sure that the filmmaker wanted to tell the tale through the eyes of the protagonist, it wouldn’t hurt to have other well-written characters in the film too.

Also, after a rather engaging first half, the film slackens a bit in the second half, with a very stretched out qawwali sequence, which intends to show the inner turmoil of the Chief but only serves as a yawn-fest.

What to do

Indu Sarkar is an account of, what was touted in the film to be, India’s second freedom struggle. After a steady dose of pre-independence stories, it is indeed refreshing to see the struggles that plagued a recently free India. Madhur Bhandarkar is back to doing what he does best – sketch immensely powerful female characters. If you have a taste for political dramas, Indu Sarkar will surely engage you. But even if you are not a fan of the genre, you must watch it for Kirti’s stupendous performance, if nothing else.

Rating:3.5 out of 53.5 Star Rating

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Bollywood Actor Inder Kumar Passes Away

45 year-old actor Inder Kumar is no more. He suffered a heart attack at his residence in Four Bungalows, Andheri, Mumbai at around 2 am yesterday. We’ve seen him in several Salman Khan films like WantedKahin Pyaar Na Ho JaayeTumko Na Bhool Paayenge etc. A while ago, he was shooting for an upcoming movie titled Phati Padi Hai Yaar. He was  cremated yesterday at 4 pm.

May his soul rest in peace.


Check Out The 27 Ridiculous Cuts Pahlaj Nihalani Ordered For Lipstick Under My Burkha

Lipstick Under My Burkha finally released in theatres on July 21 after facing many trials and tribulations. The primary one being the CBFC and its chief, Pahlaj NihalaniAlankritaSrivastav‘s film on strong and confident women is a refreshing watch and if you haven’t seen it yet, we suggest you put it on #1 on your to-do list.

The film “they didn’t want you to see” was reportedly released with 27 cuts. All the cuts are ironically alarming, precisely because their is nothing alarming about them.

Check out the entire list here:

1. Delete the dialogue “Delhi na bahut door hai ab“.

2. Delete the visuals of Shirin and Rahim in market along with the dialogue “Baby doll pahle tere husn ki kone kone ki interview to le loon”.

3. Delete the visuals of Shirin and Rahim in market along with the dialogue “Ek minute, ek minute kya ho gya? Hen, ye kahan se aaya. Hum laye hain“.

4. Delete the visuals of Arshad and Leela along with the dialogue “Dilli ki sari setting kar li hai maine“.

5. Delete the visuals of Arshad and Leela along with the dialogue “Samjha tu.”

6. Delete the visuals of Arshad and Leela kissing along with the dialogue “Tere sath tho London hi na jaon… London jane ke liye kaun kah raha hai hm?”

7. Delete the visuals of Arshad and Leela kissing along with the dialogue “Zaada tashan mat dikha. Samjha“.

8. Delete the visuals of Arshad and Leela talking along with the dialogue “Tu chal na mere sath… final hai”.

9. Delete the visuals of Arshad and Leela standing.

10. Delete the visual of Leela standing.

11. Mute the word “Beh****od” and “Ch***ya”.

12. Delete the visual of boy making love with girl “jor se

13. Delete the visual of boy making love with girl. “Sorry”.

14. Delete the visual of boy making love with girl. “E saali

15. Delete the visual of boy making love with girl. “Saali tere ko… kasam se”.

16. Delete the visual of boy making love with girl.

17. Delete the visual of boy making love with girl.

18. Delete the visuals of a girl talking on the phone.

19. Delete the visuals of a girl opening blouse buttons.

20. Delete the visuals of a girl showing her naked back.

21. Delete the visuals of a girl showing her naked back. Boy opens his pant says “Aah“.

22. Delete the visuals of a girl showing her naked back. “Aah”.

23. Delete the visuals of a girl showing her naked back. “Aah”.

24. Delete the visuals of boy making love with a girl.

25. Delete the visuals of boy and girl kissing.

26. Delete the visuals of boy and girl kissing.

27. Delete the visuals of boy and girls kissing.

That’s all! We are done, ladies and gentlemen!

Watch our exclusive interview with team Lipstick Under My Burkha about sexism, patriarchy and Pahlaj Nihalani.

Also let the Lipstick ladies show you how to handle sexist questions:

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“I Am Bored With This Discussion On Nepotism” – Vidya Balan

Nepotism has become the talk of the town in recent times, and rightly so, because this is something that needs to be acknowledged and talked about. But now, it has unfortunately just become a ‘who’s on whose side’ thing, and Vidya Balan seems to agree too. She was at the launch of Rahul Bose‘s HEAL foundation yesterday, and here’s what she said when asked about her thoughts on the matter.

With due respect to everyone who embroidered this controversy, I am bored with this discussion on nepotism. I mean I am seriously bored on who is on which side of the debate these days. I turn the page of the newspaper the moment I see the word… I am not interested.”

Hmmm. Thoughts?

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“Male Actors Are Better Valued Than Us In Hindi Cinema” – Anushka Sharma

Anushka Sharma is one of the most successful actresses in Bollywood today. She is talented and can be counted upon to deliver a good movie & a powerful performance. Her last few films, specially Phillauri NH10 have been rather different, which proved that Anushka can single-handedly carry a film on her shoulders.

The rampant gender divide in the film industry, however, has not escaped Anushka’s notice. In a recent interview with Mid-Day, she said:

Films led by female actors do not open to remarkable numbers. A lot of us are trying to change that with the kind of work we do. Who said that the industry was fair? Talking of the gender divide won’t make it go away. Male actors are better valued than us in Hindi cinema. As an actor, what I can do is choose roles that send out a message [of empowerment, both as actor and the character]. As producer, I am trying to foster a new value system that makes content king in the long run.”

That is true! Look at NH10 for example, Anushka produced and acted in the film, and it was a critical success. It may not have entered the 100 crore league, but the film did good business.

She also spoke about the films that do not fare that well at the Box Office, Bombay Velvet, for example. The onus of carrying a film lies on the lead character’s shoulders, she feels. Therefore, Ranbir Kapoor was targeted when Bombay Velvet did not perform too well. Anushka told Mid-Day:

What happened to him (Ranbir) was unfair. He is one of the best actors we have today. But it’s also because Bombay Velvet was Johnny’s film more than Rosie’s (Anushka’s character in the film). I would have been held solely responsible if NH10 had flopped, not because I produced it, but because the film was riding on my shoulders. But, he continues to be targeted also because of other films he did that didn’t fare well. I was relatively less affected because I had successful films before and after Bombay Velvet.”

Do you agree with Anushka? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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5 facts about Valerian and The City of A Thousand Planets you should know before you get to watch it this Friday

Valerian and The City of A Thousand Planets is the big Hollywood movie releasing in India this week. It is a sci-fi space action adventure movie that is directed by Luc Besson. If you are a Hollywood movie buff, you would be knowing about Luc Besson and some really good movies that he has made like The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional, Nikita as well as Scarlett Johannson’s 2014 movie Lucy, that was one of the surprise hits of the year. Now three years later, he is ready with Valerian and The City of A Thousand Planets that is based on the French science fiction comics series Valérian and Laureline.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Dane DeHaan plays Valerian while Suicide Squad’s Enchantress, Cara Delevingne will be Laureline in the movie. Other stars in the supporting cast involve John Goodman, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Kris Wu, and Rutger Hauer. Before you get to watch the movie in theatres this Friday, here are five things you need about the movie.

Valerian was director Luc Besson’s dream role since childhood

Luc Besson is believed to be obsessed by the comic book series in his childhood, especially with the character of Valerian. Bit just that, he was also said to have a huge crush on Laureline.

Valerian boasts of many fan made aliens

Before Luc Besson started working on the movie, he has a special contest where he asked his fans to submit their rendition of aliens. The contest attracted more than 3,000 submissions from all over the world, from which Besson selected the best ones used them in the movie.

Cara Delevingne had to read the script in one sitting…

To save the film’s storyline from online spoilers and social-media leaks, Besson made the lead actress Cara Delevingne to read the entire script in one sitting with an attendant waiting nearby. She took an hour and a half to go through the script and was said to be stunned by it. But she was still lucky enough, if you look at the next entry…

…while Rutger Hauer was not even given the script to prep for his part

Blade Runner star Rutger Hauer is playing the President of the World State Federation in the movie. As part of the secrecy protocol, Hauer only received his lines of dialogue the day before he started shooting.

Believe it or not, Rihanna has a Bollywood-style dance sequence

Rihanna‘s character, Bubble performs a dance routine, then proceeds to unleash a rapid-fire display of transformations, it’s the ultimate space makeover medley, where she changes many outfits and looks, one of her most favourite being the Cleopatra one.

Here’s the trailer of the movie…

Valerian and The City of A Thousand Planets is scheduled to release this Friday.

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Game Of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3 ‘The Queen’s Justice’ trailer: Get ready for the most awaited union of all times as Jon Snow meets Daenerys Targaryen

After the perfect episode 2 in Stormborn, Game Of Thrones will be back with the third episode, The Queen’s Justice. The episode will showcase the aftermaths of Stormborn with Euron victory march to the westeros, Daenerys’ ‘arrogant’ claims, Cersei all ready for the war and the much awaited and talked about union of Jon Snow with Daenerys Targaryen.

The episode is titled, The Queen’s Justice, which means there will be some hard decision making on the parts of either Daenerys Targaryen or even Cersei Lannister but considering the latter half of the title, ‘Justice’, it doesn’t go along with Cersei’s character. So our bets are on the mother of dragon’s justice.

While we are eagerly waiting for the episode, here’s what happened in the second episode. The episode saw Tyrion laying out a plan to conquer the seven kingdoms, for Daenerys, Samwell finds a cure for Ser Jorah’s grayscale, Cersei tries to persuade the lords against Daenerys, Greyjoys along with Martells are attacked by Euron, Jon faces revolt of sorts and Arya heads home after learning that Jon is the King in the north…

Check out the teaser of episode below:

HBO’s official synopsis for episode reads, “Daenerys holds court. Cersei returns a gift. Jaime learns from his mistakes.” In that synopsis, the one thing that excites me the most is where Jamie learns from his mistakes. Wondering what that mistake be? Will he come to terms with the fact that Cersei is no less than the Mad King he slayed and as he is famous as the ‘King Slayer’ in the seven kingdoms, will he be the one who’ll slay the queen that is Cersei Lannister? May be…

Stay tuned for more updates on Game Of Thrones…

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The Trailer Of Gurgaon Just Came Out & It’s The Most Gripping Thing you’ll See Today

If you love thrillers as much as I do, then this noir film Gurgaon is right up your alley. It stars Ragini KhannaAkshay OberoiPankaj TripathiAamir Bashir and Shalini Vatsa. I don’t want to say much because trust me, this trailer will do all the talking for itself.

Check it out.

Intense, right? Cannot wait for the movie!

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“Look At How They Treat Taimur, Misha Or Even AbRam” – Saif Ali Khan

Saif Ali Khan and Karan Johar, along with Varun Dhawan were in a puddle of sorts the last weekend after the IIFA. Their skit involved some jokes related to the ‘N’ word – and it didn’t go down well with a majority. Many felt that three industry insiders taking a dig at Kangana Ranaut was unfair, specially because she spoke her mind and the alleged truth.

Soon after, Varun, Karan and Saif apologised for their comments. They said it was all said as a joke which got misinterpreted. But the damage was done. Now Saif wrote an open letter through DNA giving his full and final take on the matter.

Here are a few excerpts from his letter:

“It was not supposed to be a big deal, but I realised at some point, that it might have offended Kangana (Ranaut). I called her and apologised personally. That should be the end of it. Everybody needs to take a chill pill and back off.”

“In today’s world, apologies are made through Twitter or though some other social media platform. That, is basically apologising to your fans and the world in general, instead of apologising to the person concerned, because you don’t want to lose support.”

“I’m sure it’s not the first or the last time I’m going to say something stupid in an attempt to be funny. And I apologised to Kangana, so I don’t owe anybody else an explanation. The issue is over.”

“The real flagbearer of nepotism, I’d say is the media. Look at how they treat Taimur, Shahid’s daughter Misha or even Shah Rukh’s son AbRam. They photograph them and hype them up to be the next big thing and the child has no choice. From a young age they have to deal with being celebrities, which they don’t really deserve, before they can even speak or talk, leave alone understand what is happening.”

“If you say star kids have an advantage, of course, they do. It’s an advantage created by the press because people are interested in them. There is a curiosity to see Taimur, Sara or Ibrahim. It’s supply and demand. People want it, media serves it. So we’re all part of the same vicious circle in that sense.”

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