Om Puri put his best foot forward
Om Puri, one of Bollywood’s original crossover artistes (East is East, My Son The Fanatic), will be seen in yet another international film when The Hundred-Foot Journey opens across India this Friday. Adapted from a book by Richard C Morais and directed by Lasse Hallstrom, the film also stars Helen Mirren and Juhi Chawla. It’s out-and-out war when an Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai, opens next to a Michelin-starred French restaurant in the South of France. The film has received tepid response in the West with reviewers even describing it as ‘bland’ and ‘pleasant’. The Hundred-Foot Journey, with music by A R Rahman, will no doubt appeal to those who found flavour in Jon Favreau’s Chef, another film for the ‘gastrophile’. Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon also star in this one.
Nawazuddin on a high
It seems only fair that the actor to be raking in praise for his performance in Salman Khan headliner Kick, is Nawazuddin Siddiqui, best known for his impressive parts in independent films. As Khan’s nemesis in Kick, his role is reminiscent of the Joker – vile, wild and funny too. Getting this praise and starring alongside a Bollywood superstar in a blockbuster hit is another milestone in a long and difficult journey for the son of a farmer. A chemistry graduate, Siddiqui worked in a petrochemical factory in Baroda before moving to Delhi where he became fascinated by acting. The early years of struggle included receiving personal comments about his height and complexion. “People said I was not fit for a part because they wanted a model type. People at home would say, ‘what will you do in Mumbai – you are dark and don’t have the height’,” Nawaz once told me. In frustration, he tried many things including using fairness creams and drinking milk after eating fish to lighten his complexion. “I tried it all; nothing worked. It’s only when you come to the big city that you realize that this complexion is also okay.” Going by his steady rise, it’s more than OK!
Kamal ready to roar
Kamal Sadanah debuted as an actor in 1992 in Bekhudi with Kajol. He acted in a number of forgettable films (Rock Dancer, Mohabbat Aur Jung) thereafter and even made a ‘comeback’ on TV in 2006. After that, like many before him, he turned his hand to production and remade his father’s hit film Victoria No. 203 (2007). But now Sadanah is ready to try his hand at direction with the ambitious Roar-The Tigers of the Sundarbans. Releasing on September 19, 2014, the film explores how the ‘hunters become the hunted’ as an elite commando officer enters the jungle in search of the remains of his photojournalist brother who was mauled by a white Bengal tigress avenging the ‘kidnapping’ of her cub. Starring Abhinav Shukla, Himarsha V and Achint Kaur, among others, the film extensively uses visual effects to capture the drama of the majestic animal in the jungle.
hopes to entertain
It’s all about ‘Entertainment’, not the dog that’s tormenting Akshay Kumar in today’s release, but the essence of movies for Tamannaah. The actor, who made her movie debut aged 14 and who has done more than 20 films in the South, made her Bollywood debut in the dud Himmatwala followed by the recently released and universally panned Humshakals. These mindless comedies stand in sharp contrast to her Tamil/Telugu films such as Baahubali and Aagadu. Tamannaah says she finds movies “creatively satisfying” and, having tasted failure in the South too, she is very aware of the value of patience. “I understand that nothing lasts forever, which is why acting is a part of my life, not the centre of it,” she once said.
22 Jump Street
Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube
Delightfully able to improve on its hilarious predecessor and picking up from where it left off, this one keeps your funny bone tickled all the way. Jenko (Tatum) and Schmidt (Hill) reverse social roles when they head to college this time around, suffering through heart-break and cynicism (for looking too old for college) as they struggle to keep the ‘bromance’ alive. —Team Indulge
Director: Luc Besson
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Cho Min-sik
Lucy (Johansson), a drug mule, is accidentally infected by a synthetic drug that has been forcibly sewn into her abdomen. As the drug infects her blood, she starts to gain extraordinary powers that range from telekinesis to mental time travel. The film tracks how she overcomes her captors and tracks all the other drug mules like her. A bit of a confused effort but worth a watch from a feminist angle. —TI
Director: Sajid Nadiadwala
Cast: Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez
Devi Lal Singh (Khan) is a restless soul, always looking for an adrenaline rush, even at the cost of a steady job. His thrill-seeking behaviour soon extends to illegal activities too and the cops are hot on his heels as he makes his way to Poland for a major heist. A typical Bollywood blockbuster but Khan’s fans will not be disappointed.