Mukkabaaz Movie Review: Vineet Kumar Singh Shines In Anurag Kashyap’s Greatest Film

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Mukkabaaz review: Vineet Kumar Singh in a still (Image courtesy: AnuragK2.0)

Cast: Vineet Kumar Singh, Rajesh Tailang, Jimmy Shergill, Shreedhar Dubey, Zoya Hussain

Director: Anurag Kashyap

Rating: Five stars

There is nothing I love more in boxing than the feint. The act of throwing half a punch – the very beginning of the blow, to be precise – in order to bluff and misdirect your opponent, making them bob the wrong way before you hook them right, is elegantly artful. Mukkabaaz does this devastatingly well. As a viewer, it is enormously thrilling when a film threatens or promises to go in one direction, prepares you for it, and heads surprisingly, joyously in another. This is not the film you might expect.

The film opens with a lynching. Worse, it opens with a lynching that is being recorded on a cameraphone, as Muslim cow-traders are beaten and exhorted to say ‘Jai Shri Ram.’ This is horrific, but the two boxers watching the clip later are merely bemused. They identify the goons as fellow fighters, and, walking past one of them, tease him as he cursorily denies the accusations. Their tone is not of admonition and accusation but of jovial jeering, as if a rascal was caught doing something playful. This is what it means to them. These are the boxers of Bareilly, and our hero Shravan Kumar is the best of the lot.

Thus does director Anurag Kashyap double-load the film right from the start, giving us a hero to love – soft-eyed and sincere and spry – while making him worship a rapist like Mike Tyson. Kashyap is at his absolute best in Mukkabaaz, all heart and heartland, a movie made with a vintage filmi sensibility but highly modern skills. And a story that bleeds. The love is pulpy and the revenge served up with masala, and that treatment takes this vital narrative farther.

Our boxer rebels, you see. One sunny day he steps up against his dictatorial boxing overlord, a coach who makes his students carry grain and clean mutton, and socks him in the face. This is not because of righteous indignation – though he claims it is – but because a girl in the coach’s house has arrested his attention and he wants, desperately, to make an impression. He is thrashed, soundly, by several, but he has played his card. He wants nothing more than to be her hero.

She, too, wants a hero. Appropriately named Sunaina – the one with lovely eyes – she is a mute girl who speaks volumes with her giant, limpid eyes, and they gleam as she tries to convince her mother that this boxer is a good idea. The mother has several objections, but she brushes them aside as she imitates Ranveer Singh’s dandruffy Tattar-Tattar dance step to say that Shravan looks at her the way Singh looks at… Looks at who, her mother asks? Sign language is forsaken now as she moves her mouth enthusiastically, with an Indian heroine needing no more than a couple of syllables for complete recognition: Dee-pi-ka.

These lovers are, naturally, star-crossed. He is a boxer with little hope of a fighting future especially after his impulsively-conceived act of defiance, and Sunaina is not just a Brahmin but the niece to the man Shravan punched. There are massive complications, but Kashyap tackles them with a superbly light touch, throwing in crowdpleasing lines and lyrics as well as an overall front-bencher approach that genuinely made me whistle. This doesn’t come at the cost of the film’s politics. Pricklier and slyer than the director has been in the past, Mukkabaaz reaches its dark centre with a scene where neighbours come over and offer what they call mutton to a Dalit coach before there is a power outage. The cow-mob erupts all over the boxers who didn’t know better.

The film has four cinematographers – Rajeev Ravi, Shanker Raman, Jay Patel, Jayesh Nair – and I assume a couple of them were responsible exclusively for the in-ring action, which looks fantastically credible as well as mud-coated and earthy. There is a terrific tracking shot in the beginning, which follows Shravan as he enters the feudal coach’s home, and delivers the grain before looking up and the shot breaks only when he looks up to see Sunaina. It’s a fine looking film, bright and vivid yet shadowy when it needs to be, and the music by Nucleya and Rachita Arora gives it vitality, with some lyrics penned by co-screenwriter Vineet Kumar Singh, who also happens to play Shravan.
His is a tremendous performance, not least because of his staggeringly authentic physicality. Singh looks the part, from the way his t-shirt sleeve cuts into his biceps like tightly tied twine to the agility with which he skips in the ring, and his arduous workouts immediately put glossier Hindi film heroes in their place. He makes Shravan real, when he’s throwing punches as well as when he’s vulnerable. Singh has always been impressive, but this is the kind of breakout performance that will make the country take notice. It’s a knockout. This is a long film, and contains interludes that aren’t strictly necessary – like that of a sadistic boss – but Vineet’s compelling performance makes him a character to root for, and even if we are shown the odds too many times, his triumphs feel earned, they feel good. They feel like our triumphs.

He is also a thickheaded hero, one who beats people up and apologises to them, repeatedly, and the way he looks at his heroine is with reined-in desire, expressing his interest with apologetic eyes, as if he doesn’t dare expect reciprocation.

It isn’t hard to see why he would be smitten. The girl’s hands move faster than his own, while furiously expressing herself via sign-language, sure, but also when she slaps him, which she does hard and with impunity, whenever she needs to make a point. Zoya Hussain is great in an excessively demanding part, mute but loud as can be, the feistiest heroine we’ve had in a while.

Ravi Kishan blew me away with his role as a sincere Dalit coach, one who grew up idolising Pele, wasn’t allowed to box, but is an athlete and sits bolt upright, even when being insulted.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Kevin Spacey just got fired from Ridley Scott’s new movie, a month before its release

Ridley Scott will completely remove Kevin Spacey from his upcoming biopic thriller All the Money in the World — with fewer than two months to go until the movie’s scheduled December 22 release.

According to Deadline, which first reported the news, Christopher Plummer will replace Spacey in the film’s most prominent supporting role. Scott’s drastic choice to cut Spacey from the movie will put it at risk of missing its December 22 release date, thus jeopardizing its Oscar eligibility.

The news follows a wave of sexual assault allegations made against Spacey by more than a dozen people, including multiple accusations of assault on underage victims.

Based on a true story, All the Money in the World details the harrowing 1973 kidnapping of J. Paul Getty’s 16-year-old grandson, J. Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer, no relation), and Getty’s refusal to comply with the kidnappers’ demands. Spacey was set to play the elder Getty, and the decision to reshoot his role entirely, especially so close to the film’s release date, is extremely unprecedented.

The decision to cut Spacey from the film indicates how drastically Hollywood is reacting to the allegations against the actor

Though there have been other historical instances where an actor has been replaced during a film’s production, recasting a role or conducting extensive reshoots after a film has wrapped is rare, and usually only happens to this extent in the case of an unexpected death — for example, Paul Walker’s brothers standing in for reshoots of Furious 7 after his death.

That Scott and the All the Money in the World’s producers are willing to go to such lengths to essentially erase Spacey’s presence from the film speaks to how seriously Hollywood is taking the allegations of sexual assault that have been levied against him — or at least how desperate many people in the entertainment industry are to distance themselves from a man whose behavior was allegedly a longstanding open secret.

The decision comes after the film’s production studio, TriStar, abandoned what would have been an aggressive marketing and awards season campaign built around Spacey’s performance. The studio additionally pulled the film from what would have been an Oscar-bait slot at the American Film Institute’s November film festival. Regarding that decision, TriStar issued a statement, noting, “All the Money in the World is a superb film … But given the current allegations surrounding one of its actors and out of respect for those impacted, it would be inappropriate to celebrate at a gala at this difficult time.”

All the Money in the World features an ensemble cast including Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg. According to Deadline, the decision to replace Spacey and reshoot all of his scenes was “unanimous” among the film’s cast and crew.

Vox has reached out to Spacey’s representatives for comment.

Source:-VOX

Money ‘taken from Cambodian child’ in casting game for Angelina Jolie movie

‘Srey Moch [above, with Jolie] was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time,’ the US star, who directed First They Killed My Father, told Vanity Fair. Photograph: Roland Neveu/Netflix

A casting technique used in Angelina Jolie’s new film involved giving money to, then taking it away from an impoverished Cambodian child – who was awarded the part when she became “overwhelmed with emotion”.

Jolie, who is a goodwill ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), recounted the method in an interview with Vanity Fair. Her made-for-Netflix film First They Killed My Father, tells the story of life under the regime of Cambodian dictator Pol Pot. According to the article, Jolie looked in “orphanages, circuses and slum schools” for children “who had experienced hardship” to audition for the role of Loung Ung, from whose memoir the film is adapted.

Evgenia Peretz, the article’s author, wrote that the casting directors then “set up a game, disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then [for the child] to snatch it away. The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie.”

“Srey Moch [the girl ultimately chosen for the part] was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time,” Jolie told Peretz. “When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back.”

“When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral,” Jolie added.

In the interview Jolie also revealed that she was diagnosed last year with Bell’s palsy, which causes temporary paralysis of the facial muscles. Jolie credits acupuncture for helping her to recover from the condition, which had caused one side of her face to droop. “Sometimes women in families put themselves last, until it manifests itself in their own health,” she said of the illness.

Jolie also discussed the surgery she underwent after learning that she had a gene mutation that increases her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. In 2013 the actor underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery and later wrote about the experience for the New York Times. She has since had her ovaries removed, a decision she says she made after blood tests indicated she might have cancer. When Jolie learnt that she didn’t have cancer, she says, “I dropped to my knees. I went into the actual [ovarian] surgery happy as they come. I was skipping. Because at that point it was just preventative,” she said.

First They Killed My Father will be shown at the Toronto international film festival, and is expected to be released later this year.

[“Source-theguardian”]

Munna Michael Movie Review

Munna Michael Review {2.5/5}: Tiger fans will have a field day with his breakdancing

CRITIC’S RATING: 2.5/5
AVG READERS’ RATING: 2.7/5

REVIEW THIS MOVIE
CAST:Tiger Shroff, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Nidhhi Agerwal, Ronit Roy
DIRECTION:Sabbir Khan
GENRE:Action
DURATION:2 hours 20 minutes
SHOW TIMINGS IN YOUR CITY
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  • CRITIC’S REVIEW
MUNNA MICHAEL STORY : Munna (Tiger) is an orphan brought up by an ageing chorus dancer Michael (Ronit) in a Mumbai chawl. The boy grows up idolising Michael Jackson. To realise his dream of grooving like the King of Pop, he even agrees to tutor a hoodlum, Mahindar Fauji(Nawazuddin). Their bromance turns ugly when both end up falling in love with Deepika aka Dolly (Nidhhi).

MUNNA MICHAEL REVIEW : With Tiger around, filmmakers normally do not bother finding a script. Instead they just coast along joining the dots of a routine story with neatly-choreographed songs and fights at regular intervals. You can almost record screen proceedings with your stopwatch because after every 15 minutes, there is a–song, fight, song, fight and some more blah.

Tiger has in the past made films like Heropanti, Baaghi work at the box-office with just his agility and sincerity. So director Sabbir Khan, whose third outing this is with the star-cub, continues providing formula for the intellectually challenged. But Tiger fans will have a field day with his breakdancing.

In what seems like an encore of his previous work, Tiger dances like a dream and breaks bones with the grace of a ballerina. You can only tell that this is a different film only because he mouths a different dialogue here. It goes, “Munna jhagda nahi karta, munna sirf pithta hai.”

How cleverly original that is! But, grant it to this star-son. He continuously pulls out weapons from his arsenal–back-flip, midair Van Damme-split and kick, glide, moonwalk or a just bare-body shot—forcing his audience into submission, even though there’s no semblance of anything coherent showing on screen.

When the fidgeting reaches a frustrating point, you’re introduced to the land-grabbing, gun-toting goon, Mahindar, who hires Tiger to teach him some mean moves on the floor. Furthermore, this Don with a Rajasthani dialect explains that the reason he needs to correct his two left-feet condition is because he’s madly-in-love with Dolly, a dream-dancer from Meerut.

Debutant Nidhhi, who is the bone of contention here, is overconfident and underwhelming by turn. She wears a neat shape on her but then again, it is Tiger’s chiseled frame that draws more whistles than the newbie’s.

Nawaz continues to be a revelation in each film. Here he adds a new dimension to his terribly mean, horribly funny routine, making you chuckle.

Well, if you’re in the mood to get rid of the monsoon blues with the foot-tapping ding dang, ding dang ditty, you should get introduced to Munna Michael; he’s not making breaking any new ground, but his moves are certainly infectious.

[“Source-timesofindia”]