08042021-LSTC-01.qxd 4/7/2021 11:23 PM Page 1 c m y b TRIBUNE Home gym Aditya Roy Kapur didn’t let the Coronavirus hamper his intense workout regime for his next action film OM. He has now set up a gym in his house as well as farmhouse. CHANDIGARH | THURSDAY | 8 APRIL 2021 An anthology of four stories, Ajeeb Daastaans, which will be released on Netflix on April 16, brings together talented actors and directors who are unique in their own special ways Sheetal First take Shefali Shah’s directorial project Somedayselected for 51st Annual USA Film Festival Shefali Shah’s web show Delhi Crime had won the Best Drama Series at Emmy Awards last year, and now, the versatile actress’ debut directorial venture Someday has been selected for the 51st Annual USA Film Festival’s International Short Film and Video Competition. The short film has been shortlisted in the finalist category of the Oscar-accredited film festival and will undergo the final round of judging this coming week. Shefali says, “Someday is my first trial and error with direction. Our labour of love has made it to the final selection of USA film festival, and I can’t even begin to tell how excited I am. The reason I sent it to the festivals across the globe was to see where I stand as a total newcomer in direction.” Words of wisdom Rani Mukerji has been a part of the industry for 25 years now. She has given us some remarkable performances over the years. The actress has a piece of advice for young girls wanting to become a Bollywood star! Rani Mukerji’s advice to young girls wanting to become an actor Rani says, “My only advice would be that being an actress in the film industry is not easy. It’s a very, very difficult profession to be in as there are a lot of expectations that the audiences have from you once you become an established star. Also, to be able to work in different conditions is not very easy.” Rani says behind all the glamour that people see lies a lot of passion for the craft, which an actress has to put in every single day. A FTER anthologies like Lust Stories, Ghost Stories and Unpaused, it seems directors are enjoying the format, as it offers variety in content. Yet another anthology Ajeeb Daastaans will be releasing on April 16 on Netflix. Backed by Karan Johar, it brings together a team of known directors — Shashank Khaitan, Raj Mehta, Neeraj Ghaywan and Kayoze Irani — to dish out a strange combination of stories. The anthology boasts of an ensemble cast, including proven gems of OTT — from Shefali Shah of Delhi Crime to Jaideep Ahlawat and Abhishek Banerjee of Paatal Lok to Manav Kaul, who last seen in Saina and Nail Polish, and seasoned actress Konkona Sen Sharma. Also there are some in neverseen-before avatars such as Fatima Sana Shaikh, Nushrratt Bharuccha and Aditi Rao Hydari. Produced under the digital branch of Dharma production, Dharmatic creations, Ajeeb Dastaans, offers twists in all the four stories, a thing that goes hand-in-hand with its twisted characters. Breaking stereotypes In the story Khilauna, directed by Raj Mehta, Nushrratt will be portraying the role of a single mother struggling to make both ends meet, the most unglamorous character she had ever portrayed on screen. Talking about her role, she jokes, “The director made me mop floors at my own house to get into the skin of my character. I used to talk to my house help to expose myself to their way of talking.” Opposite her, Abhishek, who had Twist in the tale(s) the intersectional realities of the two women; bringing those emotions to life is not possible unless you understand them. Konkona and I have approached our characters differently and brought our own energies in to the act, which was much-needed.” Powerful trio STILLS FROM AJEEB DAASTAANS his fair share of real-worldproblems while playing a migrant worker in the anthology Unpaused, commends the child actor, Inayat Verma. He adds, “Inayat has amazed us the way she played her character, and both Nushrratt and I were in awe when she delivered her shots so easily.” As far as his role of a washerman is concerned, he says what he took home as a lesson was how to fold his clothes! Debutant’s take With this anthology, Kayoze Irani, son of Boman Irani, steps into direction with his short story — Ankahi. He confirms that he always wanted to work behind the ❝ MY CHARACTER IN THE STORY MAJNU HAS THE GUTS TO SAY WHAT SHE BELIEVES IN... IT WOULD BE FUN FOR THE AUDIENCE TO SEE HOW THE TWISTS UNFOLD. need to be verbal and a lot can be said without words.” About her experience, Shefali adds, “I had already told Kayoze that the closing shot should be on him for he was doing a great job. I, on the other hand, wasn’t confident about my sign language. Needless to say, I enjoyed playing this role.” FATIMA SANA SHAIKH Identifying yourself camera. While Shefali and Manav had to learn sign language to portray their roles, Kayoze calls it a delight to work with the actors who were encouraging each other. He adds, “Ankahi is about unsaid emotions. It proves that communication doesn’t The story Geeli Pucchi is Neeraj Ghaywan’s brainchild. It stars Konkona Sen Sharma, who plays a factory worker, and Aditi Rao Hydari, a housewife who is still unsure how to embrace her homosexuality. Aditi says, “I enjoyed playing this character, which explores The Serpent, which builds the arc of notorious criminal Charles Sobhraj, whips up enough excitement to keep you hooked The machinations of a smooth criminal Nonika Singh Who exactly was Charles Sobhraj — the ultimate ladies’ man, the conniving conman or the vilest serial murderer? If the question continues to intrigue you, there is no reason why the BBC/Netflix series, The Serpent, won’t. However, the series does not gloss over the crimes of this hardened criminal. Sure, the actor Tahar Rahim playing halfIndian, half-Vietnamese, Charles Sobhraj is a handsome man and looks every bit enigmatic too. His sweetheart Marie-Andrée Leclerc aka Monique (Jenna Coleman) matches his glamour all the way. Beneath their charm offensive lie sinister designs. The series does not let his obvious (and venomous) charm take away from his pitiless acts. The fact that in his heyday he was a smart cookie who hoodwinked not just his victims, but also the police is factored in. But above all he was a killer who had no compunction in robbing/murdering gullible men and women, mostly hippies. The Serpent lives up to its title as well as the name given to Sobhraj for his ability to slither away and is not ambivalent about his wrongdoings. His childhood prob- NET FLICKS AND MORE Series: The Serpent Director: Tom Shankland &Hans Herbots Cast: Tahar Rahim, Jenna Coleman, Billy Howle, Ellie Bamber, Amesh Edireweera, Ally Khan, Pravessh Rana and Darshan Jariwala Rating: lems (there was no love lost between him and his Vietnamese mother who divorced his Indian father) may have propelled him to become the ‘Bikini Killer’ as he was infamously known. All this surfaces much later in the series and is not used as an alibi to justify him. Besides, though he is depicted as a party animal there is no unnecessary romanticising of the man or his Casanova image. Moreover, it’s only in the later episodes that he is given some smart one-liners. When he utters, “I intend to die an old man,” you realise it was no empty boast. For after serving jail time in India he is very much alive, even if languishing in a Nepal jail. Step by step, from him holding others captive to his capture, the series goes on to build the arc of the man. He could change his identity as fast as the speed with which he would swindle passports c m y b and get rid of backpackers to which they belonged. This was his modus operandi. But the series primarily focuses on Thailand which is where he posing as gem dealer Alain is believed to have committed maximum number of murders. It is also where we meet his nemesis, a Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg (Billy Howle). From the moment Herman learns of the disappearance of two Dutch nationals, he becomes a man possessed. Working outside of his purview and authority how he connects the dots that lead him to Charles forms the backbone of this thriller that sends more than a chill down your spine. There is more than one moment when your heart is literally pumping against your chest. Take the scenes where Dominique (Fabien Frankel), a French man held captive by Charles tries to escape. Will he, won’t he; the excitement is as palpable and as real as if not just Dominique’s but our life depends on it. And one is actually afraid for this French woman Nadine (Mathilde Warnier), who sticks her neck out and collects evidence for Herman. The obsession of Herman to nail Charles nearly matches the ruthlessness of the man who goes about getting rid of his victims as not just matter of fact, but also a matter of right. In one particular episode where he lands in Nepal he also indulges in a mini diatribe against hippies, lending the series a piquant touch. Indeed, the depiction of how he ensnared his victims gets a bit repetitive at times. Yet the eight part series never loses its grip over you and each episode does climax as a cliff-hanger. Told in a nonlinear manner as the narrative continues to go back and forth, three months later, two months back, you do get a tad irritated with keeping tabs on the timeline that mostly hovers around 1970s. But the maze the directors and writer create is worth getting entangled in. With understated performances (pitch perfect Tahar Rahim) and cinematography that brings alive not just Thailand, but other countries such as Nepal, even India and Pakistan, the series takes you through, The Serpent sure works its charm upon you. The biggest triumph of the series is that without glorifying, it allows you a peep into the mind of the criminal who in Herman’s words, “loved notoriety as much as he loved to escape.” email@example.com Jaideep Ahlawat can be seen in intense character in Shashank’s Majnu, which revolves around three characters and the strange relationship they have with each other. Revolving around love, jealousy, betrayal and guns are the characters of Jaideep, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Armaan Ralhan. After Ludo, Fatima is playing a wife again, but, mind you, she takes no nonsense and is as fierce as she was in the climax of Ludo! She adds, “My character has the guts to say what she believes in and although we all have some societal limitations in the storyline, it would be fun for the audience to see how the twists unfold.”
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).