Stories about biopic

Nandita Das does justice to the iconoclastic Manto in a way Sarmad Khoosat could not

Viewing the trailer of Nandita Das’s Manto was a great pleasure, especially since prior to seeing Sarmad Khoosat’s biopic of Saadat Hasan Manto released in 2015, I had not seen its trailer. Comparisons of Das’s version with Khoosat’s trailer will seem inevitable, even much-needed, given what the respective directors and main actors are trying to prove in a short span of less than three minutes, if the trailers are to be believed. Das’s Manto, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, comes across as an iconoclast and a rebel right from the opening scene of the trailer, where Manto is shown to be in ...

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Sanju is not the best film by Rajkumar Hirani but it is still definitely worth a watch!

There aren’t many films that you want to review after watching the teaser. When I was approached about reviewing Sanju, in my head I was saying, “Are you kidding me, of course I’ll do it!” Also, in my head, I was sure it was going to set the box office on fire and define new benchmarks of how to make a biopic. And I was not the only one. Yes, there aren’t many films that carry as many expectations as Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju did. The challenge for someone like Hirani is how to surpass what he has already made and how ...

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Can Bohemian Rhapsody do justice to a band as legendary as Queen?

Seeing how eager Hollywood is to immediately turn even mildly intriguing people and events into subjects of elaborate films, it seems peculiar that there hasn’t been any major Queen or Freddie Mercury biopic thus far. Watch the trailer for the upcoming Bohemian Rhapsody – a film that has been in development hell for the better part of a decade, but will finally come out later this year – and it quickly becomes apparent why filmmakers might have been reluctant to pursue such a project: it’s just so hard to do justice to a band as legendary as Queen. After all, ...

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Sanju: A biopic no one dare question or criticise

It is no secret that Raj Kumar Hirani shares a strong bond with Sanjay Dutt, having worked with him in Munna Bhai MBBS (2003), Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006) and PK (2014). All three films were critical and commercial successes. So when Hirani decided to helm the movie based on Dutt’s life, it made complete sense and didn’t come as a surprise. Hirani has a very successful track record as a director. All of his movies have amounted to ground-breaking cinema and record shattering box office numbers. The addition of Ranbir Kapoor to the film as Dutt was another breakthrough as we ...

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Darkest Hour is like a series of historical paintings, with each angle covered perfectly and in great detail

The film industry’s heavy-weights joined hands together to give a marvellous treat to filmgoers with a stunning political drama cum biopic, Darkest Hour. The film offers detailed directorial work, electrifying performance, engaging screenplay and most importantly jaw-dropping makeover. Darkest Hour is mainly suspense. It dexterously interweaves all the relevant episodes in history which we already know about. However, you still want to spare 125 minutes to watch the day to day delineation of Winston Churchill’s early days in office and his sparkling leadership in such precarious moments. For its flamboyant presentation, the film had been nominated for six Academy Awards and has won ...

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Battle of the Sexes: When too many narratives and ideological boxes spoil the broth

Even nearly 45 years after it happened, the famous showdown between women tennis star Billie Jean King and former men’s champion Bobby Riggs remains one of the most well-known fixtures in tennis history. Fans of the sport who are old enough to have witnessed the 1973 match certainly remember the hoopla around the encounter. However, even those of us born years or even decades after the incident took place, are likely to be familiar with at least the bare basics of the contest and how it went down. It’s this sporting event, the circumstances leading up to it, and the people ...

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Padman: Shaping the narrative surrounding menstrual hygiene with care and ironic wit

From Airlift (2016) to Rustom (2016) and from Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017) to recently released biopic Padman, Akshay Kumar is portraying inspirational characters and filmgoers are loving his selection of movie subjects. His latest thought-provoking venture Padman revolves around a taboo topic – menstruation. The movie skilfully highlights basic hygiene that is necessary during menstrual cycles. Based on Twinkle Khanna’s short story The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land, Padman is about Tamil Nadu’s Padmashree winner, Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist who not only empowered the village women but also created inexpensive sanitary pads. The film has been appreciated all over ...

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Can the biopic ‘The Mercy’ do justice to Donald Crowhurst’s intriguing story of travelling around the world in a boat?

In October 1968, amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst set out to compete in a non-stop, single-handed, round-the-world yacht race. Eight months later, the fascinatingly shocking details of his journey would come to light and end up causing a public sensation. Now, nearly half a century later, his story – just as intriguing today as it was almost 50 years ago – is being brought to the big screen in the upcoming British film The Mercy. The official trailer for the movie shares a few scenes from this drama while shedding light on its overall narrative. Colin Firth portrays the film’s protagonist, a struggling ...

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Viceroy’s House is a British director’s flawed re-imagination of the 1947 Partition

We have seen Gandhi and we have seen Jinnah. Now, here comes another contender that demands viewing with the same veneration, if not more. But the problem is, I was less than thrilled watching the Viceroy’s House, not wanting to keep this adaptation of the 1947 Partition beside the previous two classics directed by Richard Attenborough and Jamil Dehlavi respectively. In her latest flick, the Bend It Like Beckham director, Gurinder Chadha bends the truth just enough to prove Lord Louis Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville) an angel, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Denzil Smith), an egotistical villain. She portrays Jinnah as if he were single-handedly responsible for the carnage and bloodshed ...

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I Salute you, Aitzaz Hassan

Shehzad Rafique is a well-known name in the Lollywood industry. From Ghunghat to Rukhsati to Nikaah, the masses till date remember his movies. After a short hiatus, Rafique is back with a biopic on Aitzaz Hassan – a 14-year-old martyr, who stopped a suicide bomber from entering his school in 2014, saving the lives of thousands of students – titled Salute. The movie is amongst the first biopics that Pakistan has produced on martyrs. Saima Noor was highly appreciated for her drama Rung Laaga with Faisal Qureshi – and now she graces us with her presence on the big screen. As an accomplished actress, a lot of expectations were pinned to Saima’s able shoulders. ...

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