Thursday October 18, 2018

The Trailer of Rajinikanth’s new Film ‘Kaala’ Shows He Is Serious About Politics

Rajinikanth not only plays the hero of the farmers a la Aamir Khan in "Lagaan" without the dhoti, he also takes on Nana as only he can.

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he also takes on Nana as only he can.
Rajinikanth plays the hero of the farmers. Wikimedia
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‘Kaala’ Rajinikanth, it seems, is the son of the soil. Dark (kaala) thoughts are vanquished as he seethes against those who toil to torment the farmer. He rages against the landlord played by Nana Patekar, who it is quite clear from the trailer’s first shot, is a formidable adversary for our hero. Rajinikanth not only plays the hero of the farmers a la Aamir Khan in “Lagaan” without the dhoti, he also takes on Nana as only he can.

Interestingly, Nana plays a nuanced, scholarly adversary. So we can safely assume that this time Rajinikanth’s herogiri won’t be offset by plain unalloyed evil. This is a more complex villain. Nana addresses the masses and refuses to be a snarling lip-curling villain. That he insisted on learning the Tamil language from scratch for this part is a measure of the actor’s diligent commitment to getting it right.

We can safely assume the confrontational episodes between Nana and Rajnikanth will give a centrifugal force to what otherwise looks like a film designed to exploit the plight of farmers by pinning their exploitation to a suave refined adversary.

“To you, land is power. To us, (the masses), it is life,” says Rajinikanth to Nana.

Dark (kaala) thoughts are vanquished as he seethes against those who toil to torment the farmer.

‘Kaala’ Rajinikanth, it seems, is the son of the soil. Wikimedia

Why do I feel Nana would still get more applause than the hero in every state barring Tamil Nadu? Is the tenor of the trailer to blame for this unintentional leaning towards the wrong side?

At one point, Nana’s Maharashtrian character refers to Rajinikanth as ‘Raavan’. This is a subversive reading of the Ramayan popular in the south wherein Raavan is interpreted as a scholar and a nobleman who was destroyed by his passion for Sita.

Speaking of Rajini’s women, there is Easwari Rao as Rajinikanth’s “cutely bucolic” wife. They seem to share the same “cute” relationship that Rajinikanth and Radhika Apte did in his last film. Rajini is shown as an indulgent husband. But he is also shown to be courting another woman, played by Huma Qureshi (who of course speaks in a voice far removed from her own).

Read More: Veteran Actress Poonam Dhillon Says Age Barrier Is Yet To Be Broken In Bollywood

When you are the ‘Maharaja of The Masses’, you are entitled to your little side attractions. And you can be called “kaala” even if it sounds as racial as Roseanne Barr’s tweet that prompted her show on the ABC channel to be cancelled.

Rajinikanth can get away with anything. He is the hero that Indian cinema deserves. (IANS)

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Nana Patekar Denies Accusations Of Sexual Harrassment

While a string of Bollywood celebrities, including filmmakers and actors have called out casting couch and sexual harassment in the industry, naming and shaming is yet to become a reality.

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nana patekar and tanushree dutta
Tanushree Dutta And Nana Patekar. DNA

Actor Nana Patekar on Thursday dismissed an accusation of sexual harassment by actress Tanushree Dutta, saying he may take legal action.

In his first response since the allegation re-emerged this week a decade after Tanushree Dutta had spoken out about it, Nana Patekar told Mirror Now: “What can I do about what one says? You tell me. What does it mean by sexual harassment?”

Tanushree Dutta, who had first raised the allegation against Nana Patekar in 2008, brought the spotlight once again on her unsavoury experience of working with the actor in the film “Horn ‘Ok’ Pleassss”, through a recent interview.

Nana Patekar told Mirror Now: “We were on the set and there were 200 people sitting in front of us. What I can say?”

Asked if he will take any legal action, he said: “I will see what can be done legally. (When asked about any legal action) Let’s see. It is also wrong/inappropriate to talk to you (media) since you publish anything.”

Nana patekar
Nana Patekar

On the allegation that there’s a different face to the National Award-winning actor, Nana said: “Let anyone say anything. I will continue to do in my life what I have been doing.”

Tanushree’s allegation is being seen as one that is likely to kickstart Bollywood’s own #MeToo movement.

She has hit out at Nana and named choreographer Ganesh Acharya, director Rakesh Sarang and producer Sami Siddiqui as accomplices in the harassment she faced.

Back in 2008, at a press conference to address the “indecent behaviour” allegation by Tanushree, Nana had said he was highly surprised at the charges by the actress, who he said was “my daughter’s age”.

On her part, the former beauty queen has said her voice was suppressed back then by Nana’s powerful position.

Nana patekar
Tanushree hopes her story gives “girls a sense of confidence to come out with their story if they are suffering”.

Strong reactions from Bollywood are yet to emerge on the controversy.

In fact, Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan on Thursday dodged a question about the news, steering clear from the row.

At a film’s trailer launch, a mediaperson asked the thespian and superstar Aamir Khan to share their views.

Big B said: “Naa toh mera naam Tanushree hai, naa hee Nana Patekar. Kaise uttar dun aapko iss sawaal ka? (Neither is my name Tanushree, nor is it Nana Patekar. How do I answer this question?)”

On the other hand, Aamir said: “Without knowing the veracity of something or the details of something, I don’t think I can comment. It is not right for me. But I would like to say that whenever something like this does happen, it’s really sad. Now if it has happened or not it is for people to investigate.”

Actress Shruti Seth hopes Tanushree’s moment of stepping out and naming and shaming “is the beginning of the end of sexual harassment in Bollywood”.

Nana Patekat, Metoo
#MeToo movement is a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault. #MeToo spread virally in October 2017. Flickr

“I hope more women find courage to call out their perpetrators. Bravo,” she added.

Tanushree hopes her story gives “girls a sense of confidence to come out with their story if they are suffering”.

“Back then, the mainstream media did not pursue the story as actively as it is happening in the present day. Now, it is the right time for all the victims to share their story,” Tanushree said.

Also Read: Bollywood Celebs Express Anger on Mandsaur Gang Rape

While a string of Bollywood celebrities, including filmmakers and actors have called out casting couch and sexual harassment in the industry, naming and shaming is yet to become a reality, even as Hollywood counterparts have remained outspoken ever since mass allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein came to light.

Comedian Bill Cosby has been sentenced upto 10 years in prison and has been branded a “sexually violent predator” by a US court for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. (IANS)