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Nine Months Down

Friday, October 05, 2018

The third quarter of 2018 is done with; and it has been a fruitful three months, with a variety of films being released and also appreciated by the audience.

The film of the month is undoubtedly 'Stree' – the horror comedy directed by debutant Amar Kaushik – starring Rajkummar Rao as a tailor in small-town Chanderi as Shraddha Kapoor as his enigmatic love interest. The film made the required 100-crore-mark to make it a bona fide hit.

If Sharat Katariya's 'Sui Dhaaga' about the struggles of a working class family turned out to be a hit, Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma's stardom gets a chunk of credit; even though they obliterated all traces of their 'A List' glamour.

The quarter began with the low-key but well-made 'Soorma', directed by Shaad Ali, about hockey legend Sandeep Singh, starring an earnest Diljit Dosanjh and Taapsee Pannu. It was an inspiring story of a man who rose above crippling misfortune and made a miraculous comeback.

Taapsee Pannu is on a roll; and got much appreciation for her performance as a fiery Amritsar woman caught between her lover (Vicky Kaushal) and husband (Abhishek Bachchan) in Anurag Kashyap's 'Manmarziyaan'. She also played a spirited lawyer, in Anubhav Sinha's 'Mulk', defending her Muslim husband's family against accusations of terrorism, with Rishi Kapoor giving a marvelous performance as her father-in-law who has to prove his patriotism in court.

'Dhadak', Shashank Khaitan's remake of Marathi hit 'Sairat', was appreciated by those who had not seen the original, but it started off the careers of Jahnvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khattar (her first film; second after 'Beyond The Clouds'), with a Dharma Productions movie.

Reema Kagti's sports-based period film 'Gold', starring Akshay Kumar and Milap Milan Jhaveri's violent vigilante film 'Satyamev Jayate', starring John Abraham did well at the box office. 'Happy Phirr Bhaag Jaayegi' – the sequel to Mudassar Aziz's surprise hit 'Happy Bhaag Jaayegi'  was not as big a success, and Sonakshi Sinha was surpassed by her co-stars Jimmy Sheirgill, Jassi Gill and Piyush Mishra.

The disappointments were Anil Kapoor-Aishwarya Rai starrer 'Fanney Khan', directed by Atul Manjrakar. Timanshu Dhulia's dull 'Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3' (starring Sanjay Dutt), Kamal Haasan's 'Viswaroopam 2', Shree Narayan Singh's 'Batti Gul Meter Chalu' (starring Shahid Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor), 'Yamla Pagla Deewana Returns', Vishal Bhardwaj's 'Patakhaa' (with Sanya Malhotra and Radhika Madan as warring sisters), Sajid Ali's 'Laila Majnu', Anil Sharma's 'Genius' and JP Dutta's 'Paltan'.

Nandita Das' 'Manto', Tabrez Noorani's 'Love Sonia' and Deepesh Jain's 'Gali Guleiyan', made film festival rounds and got their share of appreciation, but were not expected to be box-office super-hits.

Irrfan Khan's talent and Dulquer Salman's newbie (for Hindi cinema) appeal gave 'Kaarwaan' a degree of freshness. Nothing was expected of films like 'When Obama Loved Osama', 'Nawabzaade', 'Brij Mohan Amar Rahe', 'Halkaa', 'Mitron' and 'Ishqueria'; so nobody was surprised when they vanished from the theatres without a ripple.

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