Fashion Films Lite Blogs

A Glimpse into the Academy Museum Gala 2023

Hailey Bieber dazzled in a striking black dress with shimmering details. She wore delicate jewelry and little makeup, letting the Saint Laurent ensemble do all the talking…writes Olivia Sarkar

The Academy Museum Gala in 2023 took place in Los Angeles, CA. The annual fundraiser, which always has a lot of celebrity power,  generates money for the museum’s public programming and exhibitions. There are always some undoubtedly incredible fashion moments from the star-studded red carpet.

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone, the House Ambassador, wore a couture Louis Vuitton gown to the third Annual Academy Gala in Los Angeles. A little floor-sweeping embellishment adorned the one-shoulder gown. She accessorized the monochromatic look with a bracelet set and a pair of earrings that dangled. She only applied a small amount of blush and left her lips bare for makeup.

Karlie Kloss

Glamorous in a black Schiaparelli suit, Karlie Kloss was a sight to behold when she appeared. She wore a provocative cutout bralette with a dramatic train attached, paired with flared pants.

Hailey Bieber

Hailey Bieber dazzled in a striking black dress with shimmering details. She wore delicate jewelry and little makeup, letting the Saint Laurent ensemble do all the talking.

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez, the worldwide phenomenon, was also present at the Academy Museum Gala in 2023. Her choice of clothing for the evening was a black gown with 3D floral designs made of shimmering silver around the neck. She accessorized her ensemble with a flawless diamond show.

Cara Delevingne

Among the best-dressed was Cara Delevingne, who wore a seductive black gown with a sheer expanse and a sculpted neckline. Her outfit was complemented by an incredible diamond necklace and bold red lips.

Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner attended the star-studded dinner wearing a beautiful crimson gown by Fendi.

ALSO READ-UK Asian Film Festival announces winners at Closing Gala

Bollywood Films Lite Blogs

Ranbir Kapoor’s ‘Animal’ Roars to the Top

In ‘Animal’, Ranbir Kapoor plays the son of India’s richest man (portrayed by Anil Kapoor) who takes on an antagonist played by Bobby Deol. The cast also includes Rashmika Mandanna…reports Asian Lite News

Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor’s recently released film ‘Animal’, directed by Sandeep Vanga Reddy, has not just set the Indian box-office on fire but has also emerged as the Number 1 film globally surpassing the likes of ‘Napoleon’ and ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes’ with $42.1 million, according to data published by ComScore.

The film, which is gore galore and credits Ranbir as a superstar, features Ranbir in dual roles. It released across 38 global territories. The worldwide gross total includes $6.1 million in North America where it was released across 850 locations and opened at Number 7, reports Variety.

In ‘Animal’, Ranbir Kapoor plays the son of India’s richest man (portrayed by Anil Kapoor) who takes on an antagonist played by Bobby Deol. The cast also includes Rashmika Mandanna.

Like Reddy’s previous films, the Telugu-language ‘Arjun Reddy’ (2017) and its Hindi-language remake ‘Kabir Singh’ (2019), ‘Animal’ is a study of toxic masculinity.

As per Variety, in second position, Ridley Scott’s Apple Original Films-produced and Sony Pictures-distributed action epic ‘Napoleon’ collected $35.7 million worldwide, including $28.6 million internationally. It now has a global total of $137 million.

‘Napoleon’ is playing on more than 21,500 screens in 63 markets. The key market still to release is South Korea, where it releases on December 6. In third place, Lionsgate’s ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes’ grossed an estimated $29.4 million globally from 88 territories over the weekend, taking its international total to $123 million and the global gross to $244 million.

In fourth position, ‘Renaissance’, a concert film written, directed and produced by Beyonce, earned $27.4 million, including $6.4 million internationally and $21 million in North America where it opened as the No. 1 title. The film is playing in 88 territories. Rounding off the top five was Disney’s ‘Wish’ with $26.2 million from 34 territories, including $18.8 million internationally and $7.4 million in North America for a global gross of $81.5 million.

ALSO READ-A Cinematic Tribute to Tagore’s Timeless Tale

Bollywood Films Lite Blogs

A Cinematic Tribute to Tagore’s Timeless Tale

The film explores the universal themes of love that knows no boundaries, transcending both geographical borders and cultural divides…reports Asian Lite News

The trailer of the upcoming Bengali film ‘Kabuliwala’, which stars veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty, has been unveiled, and it presents a rich tapestry of the past penned by Rabindranath Tagore.

Mithun essays the role of Rahmat in the film. The tale of Rahmat, set against the bustling cityscape of Kolkata in 1965, unfolds as an Afghan man’s paternal love overflows for a little girl named Mini — portrayed by the talented child actor Anumegha Kahali.

The film explores the universal themes of love that knows no boundaries, transcending both geographical borders and cultural divides.

Abir Chatterjee and Sohini Sarkar step into the roles of Mini’s parents, enriching the narrative with their compelling performances.

Mithun Chakraborty shared, “In stepping into Rahmat’s shoes in ‘Kabuliwala,’ I find myself traversing the timeless corridors of Tagore’s narrative. It’s not just a role; it’s a profound connection with a story that transcends eras, reminding us that love is a language understood by the heart, regardless of time or borders.”

Director Suman Ghosh said, “Recreating ‘Kabuliwala’ is a creative journey filled with passion and nostalgia. It’s an honour to delve into the nuances of Tagore’s work once again, especially with the legendary Mithun Chakraborty. With ‘Kabuliwala,’ we aim to weave magic on screen, capturing the hearts of audiences just as Tagore did with his timeless tale.”

Abir Chatterjee, who plays a pivotal role in the film, said, “Being part of ‘Kabuliwala’ is a unique opportunity to bring Tagore’s poignant story to a new generation. The film beautifully captures the essence of love that defies time and cultural barriers. This film is not just a recreation; it’s a celebration of Tagore’s enduring legacy, and I believe audiences will connect with its timeless emotions”.

‘Kabuliwala’ is set to be the Christmas Release of 2023 by Jio Studios & SVF Entertainment.

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Bollywood Film Review Films

Sam Bahadur: A Riveting Tale of India’s Military Legend Comes to UK Cinemas

The much-anticipated Bollywood film “Sam Bahadur” has made its grand debut worldwide in cinemas on Friday, 1 December. This cinematic masterpiece pays homage to Field Marshal Sam HFJ, Manekshaw, MC, a name synonymous with valour and strategic brilliance in Indian military history. A feature by columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

Starring in this monumental film is Vicky Kaushal, who vividly brings to life the title role of Sam Bahadur with his power-packed and unique performance. Alongside him are the very talented Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Neeraj Kabi, Edward Sonnenblick, and Zeeshan Ayyub, each contributing to the film’s rich tapestry of characters.
Directed by the acclaimed Meghna Gulzar, known for her impactful storytelling in films like “Raazi” and “Talvar,” and produced by the visionary Ronnie Screwvala, “Sam Bahadur” is more than just a biopic – it’s a tribute to a man whose life shaped the geopolitical contours of South Asia.

India’s first Field Marshal, Manekshaw, led an extraordinary life. His career spanned from the tumultuous times of World War II to his pivotal role as the Chief of Army Staff during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War. This conflict not only altered the course of history but also led to the creation of Bangladesh.

Vicky Kaushal as Sam Manekshaw

“Sam Bahadur” delves deep into Manekshaw’s dynamic personality, showcasing his unyielding spirit and strategic genius. The film is crafted with a narrative that intertwines personal triumphs and professional milestones, bringing to light the essence of a no-nonsense army commander affectionately known as “Sam Bahadur” by those he led.

The screenplay, penned by Bhavani Iyer, Shantanu Srivastava, and Meghna Gulzar, take the audience on a journey through the life of a legendary leader, a man of principle and valour. The musical score of “Sam Bahadur” is crafted by the renowned trio Shankar Ehsan Loy, with soul-stirring lyrics by the legendary Gulzar, adding depth and emotion to this epic narrative.

“Sam Bahadur” isn’t just a film; it’s a slice of history, a story of leadership, and a tribute to a man who became a legend.

“Sam Bahadur” has released nationwide in cinemas through Bakrania Media on Friday, 1 December.

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Films Lite Blogs

Dilli Dark’: A Satirical Take on Racism and Identity in Delhi

While several Indian films have taken up the caste problem in the country, not many have dwelled on the issue of colour…writes Sukant Deepak

What is special about filmmaker Dibakar Das Roy’s movie ‘Dilli Dark’, which will have its international premiere at the 27th Tallinn Black Night Film Festival in the ‘First Features Competition’, is not just the fact that it manages to bring forth the many shades of the capital city towards an ‘outsider’, but does that with an underlying humour without trivialising a sensitive subject.

Revolving around a Nigerian man, Michael (played by Samuel Abiola Robinson) studying in Delhi, who sells cocaine at night and is subjected to racial slurs and a distinct gaze owing to his skin colour, the film sees him getting attracted to a ‘god woman’, played by Geetika Vidya Ohlyan of ‘Soni’ fame whose ashram he joins in order to find himself. However, he soon realises that all she wants from him is cocaine.

The director tells that the film was conceived as an amalgamation of ideas that stemmed from personal experiences including being bullied for having dark skin as well as events that happen in Delhi — racial prejudices against Africans and other dark-skinned people — that brought together themes of race, colour and identity.

“The various themes have developed over the course of a decade, but which took approximately two years to come into the form of a screenplay,” he recalls.

While several Indian films have taken up the caste problem in the country, not many have dwelled on the issue of colour.

Roy feels that while colour, race and South Asian identity are seldom part of the narrative in Indian movies, he wanted the audiences to receive a serious message in a non-serious tone, which would incite them to ask themselves questions rather than someone preaching to them.

Talk to him about his relationship with Delhi, and he says that while he loves yet he has a toxic relationship with it.

“It is a beautiful city with a rich history and an unparalleled cultural tapestry. However, it can be extremely crude. It is this mix that has tried to depict in the film.”

For someone who from a young age has been writing, directing and acting in plays, cinema was a natural extension of his desire to create performance-based narratives.

Recalling that it was casting that took a lot of energy, the director recalls that they auditioned and held workshops for even the roles with one or no dialogues. A very important facet of the casting was the faces, which also became an essential aspect of the production design and the mise en scene.

“Also, an important part of the casting was finding the African cast, right from established actors such as the lead Samuel Robinson, who have delivered hits like ‘Sudani from Nigeria’, to the non-actors who we used for the smaller parts. It was an interesting exercise in casting as this was probably the first Indian movie with such an extensive African cast,” says Roy.

Using satire to project racial discrimination in the film, the director feels that it can be an excellent tool as it employs a disarming charm and not brute force.

“It asks but does not tell. It helps the audience see the wrongs in society without making them feel defensive or like an antagonist,” says Roy, who wants to explore themes of spirituality, consumerism, love and politics but all through the lens of a darkly comic eye.

A self-taught filmmaker, he does not really miss formal training.

Stressing that his sources of inspiration and approach to craft are derived from varied sources, he adds, “I feel that the structure of film school would have shaped my approach with a hand that may have been too firm.”

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Films Interview Lite Blogs

Manoj Bajpayee on Being a Private Person

Hailing from Bihar, Manoj is an example of how an outsider can make it big in the film industry…reports Asian Lite News

Actor Manoj Bajpayee undoubtedly churns out good films every year but he knows very well how to balance out the limelight by staying low-key with his personal life. In a recent conversation Manoj called himself a private person and also talked about how “shyness is an aspect” of his personality.

“(In childhood) I was stubborn and I was shy… I am still that sort of a person today till I get comfortable and I am able to open up. That shyness is an aspect of me,” he said on the sidelines of the 54th International Film Festival of India in Goa. The ‘Satya’ star also shared that he does not like to talk about himself so much in public.

“When you work you have to talk to people, give interviews…so everyone is not aware about that aspect of yours …everybody thinks that you know it is very easy for me to talk but no it is not. I am giving interviews I take it as a job and I have to do it well. I am a very private person. I don’t like to talk about my life …I don’t like to get out from my home …I don’t like giving interviews. I feel tired talking about myself … I get exhausted. I like to talk about other people, other filmmakers and actors more than myself,” Manoj emphasised.

Hailing from Bihar, Manoj is an example of how an outsider can make it big in the film industry. His current stardom is a result of decades of hard work, underlined by hits, crushing failures and most importantly his never-say-die attitude. Reflecting on his journey in the Indian film industry, he said,” I believe it is a miracle…a boy from a village has spent 30 years in this industry. I have done a lot of work it is nothing short of a miracle.

With a big smile on his face, Manoj described his journey as “extraordinary”. “My story is not an ordinary story it is extraordinary because for a village person to come this far you need blessings from God…you need some kind of miracle to happen because it has not been easy and it is still not easy but people don’t understand they always see the end part of it they don’t see the journey,” Manoj shared. (ANI)

ALSO READ-Lal’s ‘Neru’ Promises a Riveting December Showdown

Films Kerala Lite Blogs

Lal’s ‘Neru’ Promises a Riveting December Showdown

The poster simply features Mohanlal dressed up as a veteran lawyer in official attire, donning a black coat on top of a white shirt…reports Asian Lite News

Superstar Mohanlal is gearing up for his next film ‘Neru’, a legal drama. Dressed up as an experienced lawyer, the poster looks bleak and grounded, with the actor really selling his avatar.

A bleak kind of legal drama, the narrative revolves around the actor taking the reins of delivering justice himself while fighting the very system which he works under.

The movie was confirmed to be releasing sometime this year, though its release date was unknown with some even speculating that the film will not be released before 2024. However, back in early November, the film’s release date was confirmed as December 21.

Unveiling the poster of himself, Mohanlal wrote: “#’Neru’ Official Poster. Releasing worldwide on December 21st!”

The film will be directed by the veteran and highly acclaimed director Jeethu Joseph who had also directed Mohanlal’s films ‘Drishyam’, and ‘Drishyam 2’ which were later remade in Hindi as well and starred Bollywood superstar Ajay Devgn.

The poster simply features Mohanlal dressed up as a veteran lawyer in official attire, donning a black coat on top of a white shirt. Wearing glasses and sporting a full beard, the actor’s dress however looks less like an attorney and more like a judge, a curious choice.

Mohanlal has worked with Jeethu Joseph in several films before such as ‘Aadhi’, and ‘12 Man’. Apart from that, the two will also be working together in the upcoming action-thriller Malayalam film ‘Ram’, which will release sometime in 2024.

Last seen in ‘Jailer’ in a special appearance, the megastar will next be seen in actor-producer Vishnu Manchu’s epic film ‘Kannappa’, while Jeethu Joseph last directed the acclaimed mystery-thriller film ‘Kooman’ in 2022.

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Films Lite Blogs

A Tribute to Bravery

‘The Attacks of 26/11’: Directed by Ram Gopal Varma, the movie despite its very positive reception by audiences and critics alike is also notorious for going into meticulous bloody details about the carnage that unfolded…reports Asian Lite News

The horrifying incident of the 2008 Mumbai attacks which is well known as 26/11 was a tragic incident which has gone down in history as one of the worst and biggest terrorist attacks to ever take place.It has been 15 years now, and while India is moving on from that nightmare it has left scars that have never fully healed. Carried out by 10 Pakistani terrorists, the attacks went on for three days with the Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus being the biggest targets.Over 175 people were killed in this attack and over 300 injured.

Over the years many storytellers have presented the story of these attacks from different aspects. Some have presented the story from the victims’ point of view, some from the medical fraternity, the NSG commandos to the planning of the attacks.

1. ‘Major’: Directed by Sashi Kiran Tikka and written by its lead actor Adivi Shesh, this tri-lingual film from 2022 is a must watch. Telling the story of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, a soldier in the Indian Army and later the team commander of the NSG (National Security Guard) commandos who participated in taking down the terrorists, the movie tells the gut-wrenching story of how the great soldier laid down his life fighting the terrorists.The film apart from Adivi Sesh stars Prakash Raj, Sobhita Dhulipala, Murali Sharma, Saiee Manjrekar, and Revathi among others.

2. ‘The Attacks of 26/11’: Directed by Ram Gopal Varma, the movie despite its very positive reception by audiences and critics alike is also notorious for going into meticulous bloody details about the carnage that unfolded. Playing partially like a documentary, the movie did not have any filmy appeal as such but told the story very accurately to the point that it almost scratched the old wounds. Starring Nana Patekar, Sanjeev Jaiswal, Atul Kulkarni, and Jitendra Joshi, among others, the 2013 film is a very dark and realistically grisly watch, but one worth watching.

3. ‘Hotel Mumbai’: The Hollywood film directed by Anthony Maras tells the story of the Taj hotel staff and how they risked their lives selflessly to ensure the survivors of the guests. Though it does take some liberties with the details, the film is largely on-point and strikes at the heartstrings. One of the biggest heroes of this whole tragedy is General Manager Karambir Kang who lost his family, but continued with his duties. The 2018 film stars Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Anupam Kher, Nazanin Boniadi, Tilda Cobham Hervey, Jason Isaacs, Suhail Nayyar, and Vipoin Sharma in the lead roles.

4. ‘Mumbai Diaries’: This engaging thriller series created and co-directed by Nikkhil Advani alongside Nikhil Gonsalves, tells the story of the attacks from a different angle in its first season.A medical-thriller-drama so to speak, the first season narrates the story of the medical staff of Mumbai General Hospital, as well as the journalists who reported these events.The series stars Mohit Raina, Konkona Sen Sharma, Mrunmayee Deshpande, Satyajeey Dubey, Shreya Dhnwanthary, Natasha Bharadwaj, and Tine Desai in pivotal roles.

5. ‘Taj Mahal’: This 2015 French-Belgian thriller film may perhaps be the most unknown film to be based on the attacks. Narrating a more fictionalised, but nonetheless realistic tale, the story follows a French teenage girl staying at the hotel when the attacks happened. A story of survival against horrifically unfavourable odds, this finds its protagonist Stacy trying to stay alive until the NSG squad and the Mumbai police are able to handle the situation.While the movie was critiqued for its neo-realistic and non-serious tone, the claustrophobic environment of the production, as well as the acting received praise, leading to mixed reception.Directed, written by Nicolas Saada, the film stars Stacy Martin, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Gina McKee, Alba Rohrwacher, Fred Epaud, Praveena Vivekananthan in lead roles.

ALSO READ-‘Turbo’ First Look Unleashes Grit and Mystery

Films Kerala Lite Blogs

‘Turbo’ First Look Unleashes Grit and Mystery

One after the other, megastar Mammootty is not looking to stop any time soon. After the massive success of his films ‘Kannur Squad’, and the ongoing spree of success that ‘Kathaal – The Core’ is enjoying, his movie ‘Turbo’ has unveiled a gritty, blazing first look.

The poster was released by the makers on Sunday as they wrote: “Make way for Turbo Jose. Presenting the First Look Poster of @’Turbo’TheFilm Directed by Vysakh, Written by Midhun Manuel Thomas & Produced by @MKampanyOffl”

A rather raw and gritty looking film, and very much rustic in tone, ‘Turbo’ sees the megastar basically wearing very standard clothing, donning little more than a black shirt, and a mundu (a standard dhoti worn in South states, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Kerala), while sporting a very short haircut and beard.

Stepping out of a black jeep amidst a bleak and hazy background, it really is unknown what to make of what the actor really is in the film.

Before this, the actor had revealed that the shooting for the film had already begun back on November 7 revealing a small glimpse of the shooting process.

Much like ‘Kannur Squad’, there are entire sets being designed from scratch and made with excruciating detail. Directed by Vyaskh, ‘Turbo’ marks Mammootty’s third collaboration with the director after previously working together on the films ‘Pokkiri Raja’ and ‘Madhura Raja’.

Also produced by the actor, the script for ‘Turbo’ is written by Midhun Manuel Thomas.

In addition, apart from ‘Turbo’, the actor will also be seen in the film ‘Bramayugam’ with both films hitting theatres sometime in 2024.

ALSO READ-‘Kathaal’ Teaser: A Glimpse into a Haunting Family Drama

Films Kerala Lite Blogs

‘Kathaal’ Teaser: A Glimpse into a Haunting Family Drama

The film is slated to hit theaters on November 23, showcasing Mammootty’s relentless commitment to delivering diverse and compelling narratives…reports Asian Lite News

Mammootty, the unstoppable Malayalam megastar, continues his prolific streak with the upcoming release of ‘Kathaal – The Core.’ Following the massive success of ‘Kannur Squad,’ the teaser for Mammootty’s latest venture offers a glimpse into what promises to be a poignant emotional drama.

Narrated by the talented actress Jyotika, the teaser introduces Mammootty’s character, a man distanced from his family and eventually estranged from them, leading to a bitter feud that shatters the once-happy household. ‘Kathaal’ exemplifies the experimental nature typical of Malayalam cinema, renowned for its unconventional storytelling.

Directed by Jeo Baby and written by Paulson Skaria and Adarsh Sukumuran, the teaser sets a haunting and somber tone, not in the fashion of a horror film but due to its raw, down-to-earth, and grounded portrayal. The film is slated to hit theaters on November 23, showcasing Mammootty’s relentless commitment to delivering diverse and compelling narratives.

‘Kaathal – The Core’ unfolds as a mellow and grounded legal-family drama, portraying Mammootty’s character, Mathew, as a serious and reserved individual. The storyline, while not entirely clear, hints at a family in disarray, with Mathew’s wife, played by Jyotika, focusing on her own concerns after more than two decades of marriage.

The trailer suggests a minimalist and rooted approach, with a prominent focus on Mathew’s legal battle involving charges of ‘cruelty’ and hints of a political dimension. The family drama unfolds against a backdrop of perpetual rain, emphasizing the dark and lonely atmosphere permeating the film.

Mammootty’s son in the film faces challenges, contributing to an ominously morose ambiance throughout the trailer. The score by Mathews Pulickan stands out, punctuating the atmosphere with its evocative impact.

As ‘Kaathal – The Core’ gears up for its theatrical release on November 23, audiences can anticipate another compelling performance from the ever-dynamic Mammootty in this thought-provoking exploration of family, loneliness, and societal complexities.

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