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Kapadia is hot favourite of critics, but will 'Seed of the Sacred Fig' end her Cannes quest?

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New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Hours before the moment of reckoning arrives for Payal Kapadia’s ‘All We Imagine As Light’ at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, and punters have a field day trying to predict what the 38-year-old director from Mumbai will bring back home, she can at least bask in the sunshine of praise lavished on her by some of the most revered critics.

‘All We Imagine…’ will be up against the sympathy wave for the Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof’s ‘Seed of the Sacred Fig’, which earned an eight-year jail term for its maker, who had to flee his home country to escape the secret police, which apparently has already incarcerated the movie’s two lead actors.

Be that as it may, Kapadia has a lot of pleasurable reading to do. Here’s a sample of what the international critics had to say after the screening of ‘All We Imagine…’ ended with an eight-minute standing ovation from the audience.

Peter Bradshaw of ‘The Guardian’ gave five stars to the film and started his review with these words: “There is a freshness and emotional clarity in Payal Kapadia’s Cannes competition selection, an enriching humanity and gentleness which coexist with fervent, languorous eroticism and finally something epiphanic in the … mysterious final moments.”

His judgment at the end of the review: “It is both dreamlike and like waking up from a dream. This is a glorious film.”

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Fionnuala Halligan of the ‘ScreenDaily’ is equally generous with her praise. She opens with the comment: “All cities are crossroads, transitory beacons of artificial light which attract visitors and those who stay forever but who will always remain visitors.”

And then, Halligan pans to Kapadia’s metropolis. “Mumbai is its own special case; something that Payal Kapadia eloquently pleads in ‘All We Imagine As Light’,” she writes. “It’s a light for audiences to surrender to, a realist-infused story of three women broadly representing three generations in a city where their hold is fragile, where their breaths barely leave a mist of a trace.”

Foreign critics are clearly transfixed by the film’s portrait of Mumbai. Stephen Saito points to the relationship between Mumbai and Kapadia’s characters when he writes in ‘The Moveable Fest’, “… the unrequited love between those living in Mumbai and the city as it currently exists can stir up just as much passion when an urban centre can promise so much and can offer so little in return.”

He concludes by noting: “Where so many can be overlooked, Kapadia is able to see into every window, tenderly finding the soul in people and places losing touch with their humanity.”

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And just in case you have been wondering what the title of the movie seeks to convey, the Variety critic, Jessica Kiang, has the answer: “The film’s title is only ever obliquely explained, in a story someone tells of a factory worker so exploited by his workplace’s gruelingly long shifts that at times he could barely remember what the daylight looked like.”

Will the three women at the centre of the film meet the same fate? Kiang hopes not and she concludes with these lines: “The light is all around them, and if they have to imagine it, it’s only because they cannot see it emanates from within.”

Jordan Mintzer of ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ contextualises the film for a global audience and writes about how the film is a world apart from standard Bollywood fare and yet has certain elements of it.

‘All We Imagine As Light’, Mintzer writes, “is about as far as you can get from the stylistics of Bollywood’s masala musicals, even if there is one short and memorable impromptu dance scene toward the end.”

But then, as he points out, “its story of women looking for love and happiness in a calamitous world brings to mind those popular Mumbai-set movies in which heroines suffer plenty of heartbreak before things eventually work out.”

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Writing in the Joy Sauce, New York-based filmmaker and writer Siddhant Adlakha declares: “Payal Kapadia’s ‘All We Imagine As Light’ is a luminous portrait of Indian womanhood, and announces the arrival of a major dramatic voice.”

Comparing it with Kapadia’s 2021 docu-fiction, ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing’, which won the L’Oeil d’Or at Cannes in 2021, but was never released in India, Adlakha says her debut feature film “is gentler and more intimate than her incendiary documentary”, but it told through “similar dreamlike portraitures, and a similar eye for how India’s political fabric nestles its way into each aspect of daily life. The result is a film that moves the needle forward, for depictions of women in Indian cinema, by leaps and bounds.”

The ‘IndieWire’ critic, Sophie Monks Kaufman, gives the film ‘Grade: A’ and she writes: “The intimate way that women move through a city sprawl gives Payal Kapadia’s drama about two nurses in Mumbai a deeply romantic gauze. This romance has to do with the way that people occupy their space in this world, whether alone or sharing it with others.”

In a few hours, the world will get to know how much of the enthusiasm of the critics is shared by the jury, which is headed by the ‘Barbie’ hitmaker, Greta Gerwig.

–IANS

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Saira Banu pens emotional note for her good friend Rajendra Kumar

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Saira Banu pens emotional note for her good friend Rajendra Kumar

Saira Banu pens emotional note for her good friend Rajendra Kumar

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Veteran actress Saira Banu, who often grabs eyeballs on Instagram courtesy of her insightful posts about her life and her late husband, the cinema icon Dilip Kumar, has remembered the late actor Rajendra Kumar on his birth anniversary.

On Saturday, Saira took to the Stories section of her Instagram and shared a throwback image wishing the late actor.

She wrote on the picture, “Remembering the legendary Rajendra Kumar ji also known as Jubilee Kumar on his birth anniversary. He wasn’t just a prominent actor with whom I had the pleasure of sharing the screen in much-loved films like ‘Jhuk Gaya Aasman’, ‘Ayee Milan Ki Bela’, and ‘Aman’, Rajendra ji was also a cherished family friend and a constant well-wisher.”

The former actress then wrote that their bond was beautifully captured in his biography, ‘Jubilee Kumar: The Life and Times of a Superstar’.

He spoke about her in the biography, and had shared, “I have always prayed that Saira should find a worthy life partner. And see, my wish came true; she married the legend of Indian films, Dilip Kumar.”

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The actress further mentioned: “His words reflect the warmth and affection he had for our family, making his memory all the more precious. Happy Birth Anniversary, dear Rajendra ji. Your legacy and the kindness you bestowed upon us continue to inspire many.”

Rajendra Kumar, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 1970, appeared in more than 80 films in a career spanning over four decades.

He starred alongside Sunil Dutt and Nargis in ‘Mother India’ which was India’s first submission for the Oscars in the Best International Feature Film category.

He was popularly known as Jubilee Kumar during the 1960s when he starred in several commercially successful films.

–IANS

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Twinkle Khanna shares ‘genuine concern’ on menopause phase in a hilarious way

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Twinkle Khanna shares ‘genuine concern’ on menopause phase in a hilarious way

Twinkle Khanna shares ‘genuine concern’ on menopause phase in a hilarious way

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Actress Twinkle Khanna has raised awareness for the late periods in women at the age of 50, wondering if it is ‘menopause’ or ‘pregnancy’.

The digital media company Tweak India, which was founded by the ‘Baadshah’ actress shared a Boomerang video of Twinkle on the Instagram, in which she is wearing a white top, holding a cup in her hand and wondering: “When you’re 50 and your period is late, you wonder if it’s menopause or pregnancy”.

The bilingual digital media platform for women, Tweak India, which is now acquired by the Good Glamm Group, captioned the video as: “50 and swiftly descending into panic – Is this the welcome to the perimenopause club?”

The columnist Twinkle, who is known for her books ‘Mrs Funnybones’, and ‘The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad’ is in her 50s and relates to the late periods and the menopause situation that occurs in women.

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Menopause, which occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, is the time when menstrual periods permanently stop, marking the end of reproduction.

The common symptoms during this time are — women can experience hot flashes, night sweats, reddening of the skin, vaginal dryness, trouble sleeping, and mood changes.

There are also physical changes like — bone loss, increased central abdominal fat, and adverse changes in a woman’s cholesterol profile and vascular function.

Twinkle, who is the daughter of superstars Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia, made her acting debut in 1995 with the movie ‘Barsaat’, alongside Bobby Deol.

She has starred in movies like ‘Dil Tera Diwana’, ‘International Khiladi’, ‘Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan’, ‘Mela’, ‘Chal Mere Bhai’, and ‘Jodi No.1’.

Twinkle is married to Akshay Kumar, and the couple have a son Aarav and daughter Nitara.

–IANS

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Hina Khan is taking 'one step at a time' as she drops workout video amid chemotherapy

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Hina Khan is taking 'one step at a time' as she drops workout video amid chemotherapy

Hina Khan is taking 'one step at a time' as she drops workout video amid chemotherapy

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Actress Hina Khan, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for stage three breast cancer, is taking ‘one step at a time’, saying ‘this journey should be remembered for what I made off it’.

The diva took to her Instagram account and shared a Reel video, wherein we can see her working out in a gym. In the video, she is wearing a pink tank top and black tights and is flaunting her pixie haircut, which she opted for because of her treatment.

The post is captioned: “Will it to win it, one step at a time.. Doing what I promised myself.. yes .. just as I said you can find Good Days and make the most of it, even if they are few.. This journey should be remembered for what I made of it. not the other way around..”

“Thank you Allah for giving me this strength.. I pray for your continuous support and healing. With all due respect to everyone who’s battling similar fights more or less.. the idea is to know yourself, find your own way and listen to your body. #ScarredNotScared #AWindowToMyJourney #TheGirlWhoNeverGivesUp #DaddysStrongGirl #OneDayAtATime,” added Hina.

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On June 28, Hina took to social media and announced the news of her breast cancer.

The actress is best known for her role as Akshara in the popular TV show ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’. She has then participated in ‘Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 8’, ‘Bigg Boss 11’, and ‘Bigg Boss 14’.

On the work front, Hina recently made her Punjabi film debut with ‘Shinda Shinda No Papa’, alongside Gippy Grewal.

–IANS

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Nia Sharma gets into serious debate with Aly Goni over ’Sitaphal’ on 'Laughter Chefs' set

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Nia Sharma gets into serious debate with Aly Goni over ’Sitaphal’ on 'Laughter Chefs' set

Nia Sharma gets into serious debate with Aly Goni over ’Sitaphal’ on 'Laughter Chefs' set

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Indian television’s one of the hottest actress Nia Sharma on Saturday shared some behind-the-scenes (BTS) video and photos from the set of her show ‘Laughter Chefs Unlimited Entertainment’.

Nia, who has 7.7 million followers on Instagram, shared a string of photos and videos, wherein we can see her wearing a sleeveless yellow dress and paired it with white heels.

In a snippet, we can see her holding the phone of social media sensation Orry, who appears to be a special guest on the show and is making a video.

Nia can be heard saying, “Hey guys this is Orry’s phone, and this is Nia and we are on Laughter Chefs today. That is Krushna Abhishek, host Bharti Singh, and chef of the show Harpal Singh Sokhi.”

Another video shows Nia having a debate with Aly Goni, who is also a part of the show, on the colour of ’Sitaphal’.

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Nia says, “Sitaphal is yellow’, while Aly, replies to her, and says: “Sitaphal ese colour ka hota hai.”

She also posted a happy picture with other members of the show – Arjun Bijlani and Aly.

The post is captioned: “It’s weekend again… Tonight on Laughter Chef… our trash talks and some delicacies.”

The show also features Rahul Vaidya, Karan Kundrra, Ankita Lokhande, Vicky Jain, Jannat Zubair Rahmani, Reem Shaikh, Sudesh Lehri, and Kashmera Shah.

‘Laughter Chefs Unlimited Entertainment’ airs on Colors.

On the professional front, Nia is also known for her roles in ‘Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai’, ‘Behenein’, ‘Meri Durga’, ‘Kaali – Ek Agnipariksha’. In 2020, she participated in ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi: Made in India’ and emerged as the winner.

She has also done web series like ‘Twisted’, and ‘Jamai 2.0’.

Nia is currently starring in the fantasy-thriller-romance ‘Suhagan Chudail’, essaying the role of Nishigandha. The show also stars Debchandrima Singha Roy, and Zayn Ibad Khan.

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–IANS

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Raveena Tandon, Rasha Thadani's blissful Budapest diary

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Raveena Tandon, Rasha Thadani's blissful Budapest diary

Raveena Tandon, Rasha Thadani's blissful Budapest diary

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Actress Raveena Tandon on Saturday gave a sneak peek into her vacation in Budapest, Hungary, with her daughter Rasha Thadani.

The 90’s heartthrob Raveena took to Instagram and shared a series of pictures, posing with her daughter amid the picturesque views of the European city.

In the first picture, Raveena is seen wearing an olive green co-ord set with an open-hair, no-makeup look. Rasha is dressed in a white crop top paired with a black zipper and matching joggers.

Another picture shows the mother-daughter duo posing with close friends.

The ‘Mohra’ actress also shared glimpses of their day tour, showcasing the architectural beauty of Budapest.

Raveena captioned the post: “All in a days work! #budapest.”

The pictures have left Raveena’s fans in awe of her beauty.

One user commented, “She is looking so gorgeous even at the age of 49… goals.”

Another fan said: “Blessed beauties.”

The ‘Aks’ actress is married to film distributor Anil Thadani. The couple has two children – daughter Rasha and son Ranbirvardhan.

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Raveena, who is the daughter of the late director Ravi Tandon, made her acting debut in the 1991 action film ‘Patthar Ke Phool’. She has since featured in hit movies like ‘Dilwale’, ‘Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi’, ‘Ziddi’, ‘Laadla’, ‘Bade Miyan Chote Miyan’, ‘Dulhe Raja’, and ‘Anari No.1’.

In recent years, she starred in the Kannada film ‘KGF: Chapter 2’, which was written and directed by Prashanth Neel and produced by Vijay Kiragandur under the banner Hombale Films. The ensemble cast included Yash, Sanjay Dutt, Srinidhi Shetty, and Prakash Raj, among others.

The actress also starred in the legal drama film ‘Patna Shukla’, directed by Vivek Budakoti and produced by Arbaaz Khan, featuring Manav Vij, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Satish Kaushik, Anushka Kaushik, Jatin Goswami, and others in pivotal roles. The film is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

Raveena’s upcoming projects include ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ and ‘Ghudchadi’.

–IANS

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