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Delhi Belly Filmmaker Akshat Varma’s irreverent take on Hindu Epic ‘Mahabharata’ is priceless

Akshat Varma after a bone tickling performance in Delhi Belly, will now be seen in a short movie with a satire on 'Mahabharata'

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Hindu Epic Mahabharata. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Mumbai, Sept 08, 2016: Akshat Varma, last seen in the movie Delhi Belly played an infamous role of tickling our bones to the best. the actor now is back with a bang and will be featuring in a short film with an outstandingly courageous yet subtle mockery attempt at the polyandry of ‘Mahabharata’. Agreeably the story is juicy enough for a lot of criticizers but simultaneously will leave no stone unturned for the audience as well to raise their eyebrows against the attempt of making a farce on the respected Hindu Mythology Epic.

But sigh…giggle… ahem… Varma dares the unthinkable in this day and age of sanctimonious rage when saffron is the colour that determines all our moves. Here is a fantastically twisted… And yet curiously logical and rational look at the timeless mythology.

It starts with Arjun (played by an endearingly vulnerable Amol Parasher) bringing home Draupadi while mom Kunti (Neena Gupta) cooks ‘tindas’ in the kitchen.

Akshat Varma. Image source: Youtube
Akshat Varma. Image source: Youtube

Draupadi, as played by the radiant Aditi Rao Hydari, looks definitely more inviting than the ‘tindas’. And even the Pandavas agree on that, at least one Pandava, Bheem (Arunodoy Singh) seems hopelessly horny as Draupadi at the gym (if you please!) comes on so strongly, you suspect she is not very happy with just having Arjun around.

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Amol Parasher as Arjun is almost as if he hopes his brothers would share instead of just stare at Draupadi.

Yudhishsthir (played with a sinister kala chashma and an indecipherable scowl by the underrated Akshay Oberoi) couldn’t care less. He is not disinterested in Draupadi’s oomph. Just more interested in gambling.

Sahdev (Jim Sarbh, the terrorist from ‘Neerja’ brilliantly bang-on as the sardonic son who is not interested in Draupadi in ‘that’ way) and Nakul (Vivaan Shah) are into other things.

There is a fabulously funny scene in a shopping mall where the ever-seductive Draupadi tells her giggly gal pal that she only has to deal with three lustful husbands, not five. This is said with Draupadi eyeing a male mannequin’s lingerie-selling bottoms.

Mama Kunti is of course the last to know. Oblivious of their preference, she tells Nakul and Sahdev that she is getting them married, to twin daughters, if you please.

Sarbh, who is possibly the best of the brilliant cast, gives his mom a befitting reply. “Maa, main khushi se paagal ho gaya.”

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We can’t go that far in our appreciation of Varma’s rigorously revisionist look at a revered mythology. But full marks to this long-legged luscious and hilarious short film for leaping into an arena that most would avoid in this day and age.

Thankfully, some spirit survives even in this era of castrated cheekiness. And for that, this short film deserves three stars. (IANS)

  • Arya Sharan

    Interesting portrayal of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

  • Ayushi Gaur

    The censor board’s call for this movie will be a treat to watch

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Anil Kapoor: I Need To Learn How To Go Easy On Myself

Actor Anil Kapoor says that he needs to learn to go easy on himself

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Actor Anil Kapoor
Anil Kapoor says that he has always been his worst critic. Wikimedia Commons.

After four decades in Bollywood, Anil Kapoor feels he needs to learn how to go easy on himself, and that is his biggest challenge. The actor says he has always been his worst critic.

Anil entered the industry with a small role in 1979 with Umesh Mehra’s “Hamare Tumhare”, and then went on to carve his niche by balancing his stature as a respectable actor and his popularity as a saleable star, with performances including “Woh 7 Din”, “1942: A Love Story”, “Mr. India”, “Tezaab”, “Ram Lakhan”, “Lamhe”, “Beta”, “Taal”, “Nayak: The Real Hero” and “Pukar”.

At 62, he has managed to keep himself relevant in the forever fickle world of Bollywood showbiz, and his fit and sprightly persona defies his age. Anil insists his constant struggle is to go easy on himself.

“I’ve always been hard on myself and I’m always my own worst critic. So my biggest challenge continues to learn to go easy on myself and to let go when I need to,” Anil told IANS.

He says his career goals continue to be the same as they were all those years ago, when he was starting out.

“Strangely enough, my goals haven’t changed much! I’m a simple man with a simple plan — to be better than I was yesterday. So that’s what I continue to strive towards,” said the actor.

Anil Kapoor
Anil Kapoor feels that Cinema is the most engaging way in which stories are told. Wikimedia Commons

If anything, he has managed to stay relevant by experimenting with his craft and subjects, as trends changed in Bollywood over the past 40 years.

There have been the international forays, too. He featured in Danny Boyle’s Oscar-wiing global blockbuster “Slumdog Millionaire”, and also worked in “24”, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” and “Family Guy”.

His versatility is proved by the fact that he was equally at home in these international projects as he was in out-and-out Bollywood outings as “No Entry”, “Welcome”, “Race”, “Dil Dhadakne Do”, “Mubarakan”, “Fanney Khan”, “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga” and “Total Dhamaal”.

“I’ve always believed that change is the only constant. So, I have let life and opportunities change me along the way, in the most organic ways possible. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the passion I feel for my work,” said the actor, who recently became part of a panel discussion by Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films in Kolkata to decode “what makes films powerful”, as part of a six-city tour.

Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films brings stars together to talk about the power of cinema and the short film genre. The panel discussion in Kolkata was moderated by Anupama Chopra, and also included Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Vinay Pathak, Sheetal Menon, Bejoy Nambiar and Niranjan Iyengar.

“Cinema is perhaps the most engaging way in which stories are told and shared”, he said, adding: “And stories have always had the power to shape minds and lives.”

The actor points out that power comes with a sense of responsibility.

Anil Kapoor
Anil Kapoor along with ‘Shootout at Wadala’ cast at a promotional event. Wikimedia Commons

“Anyone in a position to influence minds and hearts has a responsibility towards the people they are reaching. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the right platform and a mouthpiece to communicate with the world, so when you do, it comes with the duty to be mindful of the message you’re sharing and affirming,” said the father of three.

Anil will be back on the big screen in Anees Bazmee’s “Pagalpanti”, with whom he has in the past worked in “No Entry”, “Welcome”, “No Problem”, “Welcome Back” and “Mubarakan”.

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“Pagalpanti” also stars John Abraham, Arshad Warsi, Pulkit Samrat, Ileana D’Cruz, Kriti Kharbanda, Urvashi Rautela and Saurabh Shukla, and is slated to release on November 22.

The film is produced by Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar’s T-Series and Kumar Mangat Pathak and Abhishek Pathak’s Panorama Studios and co-produced by Vinod Bhanushali, Shiv Chanana, Aditya Chowksey and Sanjeev Joshi. (Bollywood Country)