Apr 012018

Esha Gupta collaborates with Delhi NGO to provide funds for appointing teachers, improving facilities for schools in Bijnor

Esha Gupta
Esha Gupta

A series of entrepreneurial endeavours behind her, Esha Gupta has consistently been working towards upgrading the lives of the less privileged. After having announced the creation of an academy that will look into the requirement of Indian footballers struggling with monetary concerns, Gupta has now adopted two villages in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district to promote education.

Esha Gupta admits that the project is ambitious, but is prepared to devote her attention towards it. “There will be logistical issues, but I will personally look into it. Everyone has the right to education. There are many children in small towns who want to study and make a meaningful career, but don’t have the required amenities. If I can help them, I will feel privileged.”

The project, which marks Gupta’s collaboration with Delhi-based NGO, Pehel, will see her provide financial support to schools for the provision of basic amenities. Even though the actor hasn’t visited the town, her team has helped her zero in on the villages that require her attention. “There are three schools across two villages that we are supporting. Either they are far away from the primary residential area, or simply lack basic facilities. In both cases, they needed to be upgraded,” she says.

A source close to the actor tells mid-day, “Esha will provide funds for the appointment of teachers in the villages. The NGO will shortlist qualified teachers, who will be deputed to the locations. While Gupta will also enable the schools in purchasing projectors, the NGO will also raise money to build better toilets and open a local library where the children can study.”

The project will kick-off this month, with work on her football academy commencing in June. “Esha will travel to Bijnor soon to look into the nitty gritties.”

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Oct 162017

To watch a star-studded screening at Liberty Cinema, Mumbai, isn’t less than a colossal experience. After all, this grand theatre has celebrated different shades of the film industry since Independence. This theatre has witnessed the success of many Indian classics and it once again came to life when Anurag Kashyap’s film ‘Mukkabaaz’ was screened here for the Mumbai Academy of Motion Images.

One can just imagine the huge crowd that came to watch his most-waited film. As soon the name ‘Mukkabaaz’ appeared on the silver screen, viewers couldn’t contain their happiness. 

‘Mukkabaaz’, unlike his previous films, unfolds a new chapter about love in the time of hate. This new rendition brings together a cocktail mixed with the right amount of punches that keeps you hooked to the story. 

Mukkabaaz Movie Review: This Anurag Kashyap Film Is All About Love, Hate…And Punches© Twitter

Shravan Singh (Vineet Kumar Singh) is an aspiring boxer from Bareilly and can do anything to be a national player. He meets Sunaina (Zoya Hussain), his boss Bhagwan Das Mishra’s (Jimmy Shergil) niece and instantly falls in love with her. A beautiful love story brews between Shravan and Sunaina who is mute and uses technology to express her thoughts. Their beautiful tale is simple and touching. 

But what happens when you offend and hurt the ego one of the most powerful men in Uttar Pradesh? Your dreams are crushed, you struggle every single day and you don’t get to choose who you love and you brace yourself for a never-ending fight. ‘Mukkabaaz’ (The Brawler) is about love, hate, passion, sports and everything above and beyond it. 

Mukkabaaz Movie Review: This Anurag Kashyap Film Is All About Love, Hate…And Punches© Twitter

The menacing character of Bhagwan Das Mishra is someone who can crush you to pulp. You don’t mess with a man like him because when you do, he makes it his life’s sole motto to ruin you and everyone around you. Hurt by Shravan and Sunaina, he vows to destroy them. You also have Ravi Kishan who becomes Shravan’s coach and advices him that in order for the world to hear him out, he needs to win and make people value what he says. 

Kashyap introduces you to UP in a very different manner, unlike the one you witnessed in ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’. His vision of UP is cruel, vexed, enraged, corrupt, diluting yet true and real that you can’t get over it when you leave the theatres.

From casteism to the bureaucracy of Indian sports to not having the freedom to aspire and love, Kashyap brilliantly points out vital societal issues that sub-consciously make a huge impact in our lives.  

As Kishan says in the teaser of the film, “Uttar Pradesh ke Mike Tysen hai jinhe pehla mukka chalane se pehle ek Brahmin ki kanya se mohabbat ho gayi.” 

Mukkabaaz Movie Review: This Anurag Kashyap Film Is All About Love, Hate…And Punches© Twitter

In a country where we often talk about sports, ‘Mukkabaaz’ presents a true picture of how talented people struggle to achieve what they aspire and how power corrupts everything. The music of the film is yet another highlight that totally sweeps you away. Look out for the soundtrack ‘Paintra’ which will give you goosebumps with its beats. 

Every actor fits so well to their role that you wouldn’t even think for a moment that they are just playing a character. The film takes pretty good time to establish its plot but it’s engrossing all the way.

P.S. The film didn’t follow Kashyap’s usual sex and violence formula yet stands out to be a film that every millennial must watch. 

The film is set to hit the theatres near you on 10 November.   

Sep 302017

Sushant Singh Rajput in a still from 'MS Dhoni: The Untold Story'Sushant Singh Rajput in a still from ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’

While rumour has it that Sushant Singh Rajput will soon step into the shoes of the Great Khali, the industry today celebrates one year of ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story,’ a film which went on to have cash registers ringing at the box office and also brought Sushant major critical acclaim.

Also read – Sushant Singh Rajput: I’m not dumb to get affected by stardom

The actor who walked away with rave reviews for his nuanced performance in the film proved that he truly was one of the finest actors in the Indian film industry.

Over the years Sushant Singh Rajput has managed to not just impress audiences with his character transformations but also bowl them over with his versatile performances. With ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story,’ Sushant took on the challenge of essaying the titular role of an iconic personality who is still around and relevant , a move which several touted as a confident sign of a good actor.

Also read – Sushant Singh Rajput: I won’t play myself on-screen

The film became a critical and commercial success and was the fifth highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2016 in India with collections of approximately 1.16 billion (US$18 million). The Sushant Singh Rajput starrer was declared tax-free in Uttar Pradesh by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav a day after its release, and in Dhoni’s home state, Jharkhand, a few days later. Maharashtra was also declared tax-free on October 5 by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Also view – Photos: Dhoni and wife Sakshi at ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’ premiere last year
MS Dhoni: The Untold Story screening

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Sep 142017

3 out of 5 stars
Box Office: TBA

Lucknow-Central-posters-2Kishen Mohan Girhotra (Farhan Akhtar) is a young man who belongs to Moradabad, a city in Uttar Pradesh. One fateful day, Kishen gets accused of murder which lands him in Lucknow Central Jail where he’s awaiting his High Court trial for a death penalty. Meanwhile, a diligent NGO worker Gayatri Kashyap (Diana Penty), is compelled to form a Band of Prisoners for the band competition which is to be held in the dreaded jail of ‘Lucknow Central’ that year and this is how Kishen’s and her paths cross. Kishen befriends four other inmates, namely Dikkat Ansari, Victor Chattopahdyay, Purushottam Pandit, Parminder Trehan and convinces them to join the band.

The dramatic narrative of Lucknow Central portrays how Kishen’s life progresses in jail and how music becomes an intricate part of not only his journey, but the rest of the band’s as well.


Good Reviews  |  Average Reviews  |  Bad Reviews

Positive Reviews

“Outstanding study Of imprisonment and freedom.”
– India-Forums

Average Reviews

Negative Reviews

Aug 252017

3 out of 5 stars
Box Office: TBA

babumoshai-bandookbaaz-movie-poster-1The action-packed drama follows the lives of two bounty hunters Babu Bihari (Nawazuddin) and Banke Bihari (Jatin). Shot in the backdrop of a hamlet in Uttar Pradesh, the film is a bloodstained tale of friendship, love and deceit. The duo who gels up together to attain reward for killing people, at one point get their lines crossed and are planted against each other. As the story unfolds, it’s only Babu Bihari fighting his battles of evil vs eviler alone.

Life reveals some hard-to-digest secrets to Babu after he gets shot in head by someone whom cherished dearly. His entire existence laced with the blood of those he murdered, is turned against him. While mortgaging his soul to the devil, all he’s left with is the ashes of his broken heart.


Good Reviews  |  Average Reviews  |  Bad Reviews

Positive Reviews

“Nawazuddin’s self-deprecating remarks and his seamless transformation from killer to lover is applause-worthy.”
– Times Of India

“Quirky and entertaining.”
– Sify

“Babumoshai Bandookbaaz is an entertaining ride for sure and if you are a Nawaz fan, the film will definitely be a treat for you”
– movietalkies

“Guilty-pleasure, very ‘male’ movie”
– Mid-day

Average Reviews

“Even after accepting its gimmicks, sensationalisms and hinterland exotica, the point of view behind BABUMOSHAI BANDOOKBAAZ is not clear.”
– Glamsham

“Your hopes might not get fulfilled as the film just misses the mark by inches.”
– indiatvnews

” Assassin Nawazuddin Siddiqui shoots in the air”
– hindustantimes

Negative Reviews

“Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bidita Bag, this film has sparks of originality but they get buried in a convoluted story that is tired and tiring”
– Anupama Chopra

“BABUMOSHAI BANDOOKBAAZ is a poor show owing to its incoherent script. “
– Bollywood Hungama

“Even Nawaz Can’t Stop The Misfire From This Faulty Loaded Film!”
– filmibeat

“Sadly, the film doesn’t quite do justice to its own potential and that definitely squanders the efforts of the actors. “
– filmfare

“Nawazuddin Siddiqui shines in a dull drama”
– indiatoday

“This Nawazuddin Siddiqui film feels much too familiar”
– indianexpress

“Poor Man’s Gangs Of Wasseypur”
– koimoi

“Nawazuddin’s worst film”
– Rediff

“Babumoshai Bandookbaaz has a fine story, but is executed with so much sleaze that you just come away wondering why a fine actor like Nawazuddin Siddiqui needs to stoop so low. “
– Nowrunning

Aug 172017

3 out of 5 stars
Box Office: TBA

Bareilly-Ki-BarfiA young woman from a small town in Uttar Pradesh who smokes the occasional cigarette, drinks alcohol straight from the bottle and binges on Hollywood films on the sly sets the parameters for being progressive in the romantic comedy Bareilly Ki Barfi.

It’s certainly myopic to think that smoking or drinking alcohol equals progressive, but there’s a lot to enjoy in director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s movie, if you can discard this reductive analogy.

It’s a romantic quadrangle that’s fuelled by a superlative performance by Rajkummar Rao as the classic underdog gone rogue.

Actor Ayushmann Khurrana and Kriti Sanon are his perfect foil, but they don’t hold a candle next to Rao’s impeccable comic timing and his hilarious two-sided personality switch.
We have Bittu (Sanon) from a typical middle-class household who’s frustrated by the patriarchy and sexism around her.

Her conservative mother (played superbly by Seema Bhargava) is India’s answer to Mrs Bennett, the literary figure from Pride and Prejudice, who wants to marry her daughter off to a decent gentleman.

The rotund matriarch is irked when her spirited daughter spurns off her suitors, one of whom wanted to know whether she was a virgin or not.
She feels misunderstood by society at large, but feels a kinship with novelist Pritam Vidrohi after stumbling upon his book. It was a failed literary debut, but it transforms Bittu’s life.

The comedy of errors and garbled identities is unleashed when she sets out to meet Vidrohi in person.

Khurrana plays the wily Chirag Dubey, the seemingly affable guy who promises to help Bitti meet her dream author.


Good Reviews  |  Average Reviews  |  Bad Reviews

Positive Reviews

“Watch this if you are in the mood to unwind with a romantic comedy filled with an endearing set of flawed, but sweet individuals.”
– Gulfnews

Average Reviews

Negative Reviews

Dec 172012

Vidarbha 302 for 2 (Ubarhande 129*, S Shrivastava 84*, SS Das 53) trail Karnataka 619 for 8 dec by 317 runsScorecard

Amol Ubarhande hit his maiden first-class hundred to lead Vidarbha’s strong reply to Karnataka’s huge total. The Vidarbha openers Faiz Fazal (22) and Shiv Sunder Das (53) could not go on to make big scores but Ubarhande and Shalabh Shrivastava had put on 209 runs by stumps. Ubarhande was more aggressive of the two, hitting 18 fours in his 129 while Shrivastava was unbeaten on 84 off 218 deliveries. The visitors had chosen to field on a grassy Mysore pitch and Karnataka’s KL Rahul had said the hosts would have done the same, but so far, there have been a double hundred, two centuries and four fifties in the game.

Baroda 208 and 116 for 4 (Kaushik 3-23) lead Tamil Nadu 230 (Prasanna 75, Aparajith 62, Vahora 4-36) by 94 runsScorecard

Things slowed down at the Moti Bagh ground after Tamil Nadu gained a 22-run lead, but there had been plenty of excitement before that. Resuming the day on 166 for 6 in pursuit of Baroda’s 208, Tamil Nadu slipped to 182 for 8, before R Prasanna and No 10 M Rangarajan steered them past the hosts’ score. Tamil Nadu eventually made 230, Murtuja Vahora ending with 4 for 36. J Kaushik probed away when Baroda came out to bat, and dismissed the first three Baroda batsmen after each of them had got starts, the highest being Aditya Waghmode’s 39. None of those batsmen had a strike-rate above 40 and Ketan Panchal’s 38-ball duck summed up Baroda’s approach. The captain Ambati Rayudu was battling it out on 18 off 57 deliveries at stumps.

Uttar Pradesh 227 and 217 for 4 (T Srivastava 73) lead Haryana 276 (Dewan 93, Joginder 65, Rajpoot 6-68) by 168 runsScorecard

Uttar Pradesh recovered from an iffy 121 for 4 in their second innings through the efforts of Parvinder Singh and Eklavya Dwivedi in Lucknow. UP had already conceded a 49-run lead to Haryana, who could add just five runs to their overnight 271 for 8 before being dismissed. The fast bowler Ankit Rajpoot took his best figures of 6 for 68, his maiden first-class five-for. Tanmay Srivastava made 73 upfront for UP, but Mukul Dagar, Mohammad Kaif and Suresh Raina went cheaply, with Mohit Sharma and Amit Mishra sharing the wickets. Parvinder and Dwivedi, though, added an unbeaten 96 for the fifth wicket to ease the hosts’ nerves.

Maharashtra 196 and 266 (Khadiwale 96, Bawne 55, Narwal 3-48) lead Delhi 193 by 269 runsScorecard

Delhi have a daunting 270-run target to chase on a lively Roshanara Club pitch against Maharashtra on the fourth day. The Delhi team was guilty of allowing Maharashtra to surge to 266 in the second innings with major contributions from Harshad Khadiwale (96) and Ankit Bawne (55).

For the full match-report, click here.

Dec 112012

Uttar Pradesh 548 for 8 dec (Dagar 116, Alam 100, Kaif 85, Chawla 85) and 175 for 3 (Raina 105*) drew with Vidarbha 308 (Badani 76)Scorecard

Uttar Pradesh’s match against Vidarbha ended in an expected draw, but not before UP secured three points for the first-innings lead to end the round on top of the Group B points table. Vidarbha had begun the day on 237 for 6, still playing their first innings, in reply to UP’s mammoth 548. Hemang Badani, who was unbeaten on 69 overnight, could add only seven more runs to his score as Vidarbha were bowled out for 308. Piyush Chawla, who was picked in the India Test team for the Nagpur Test against England, claimed No. 10 Sandeep Singh as his first victim of the match, finishing with figures of 32.3-2-108-1. Captain Ranjit Paradkar, who had injured himself while fielding, did not bat at all.

Despite taking a 240-run lead, Suresh Raina chose not to enforce the follow-on, and then came out to open for UP. While UP lost their other opener, Tanmay Srivastava for a duck, Raina went on to score 105 not out before play ended with UP on 175 for 3.

Haryana 257 (Yadav 63) and 255 for 7 (Sunny 54) drew with Maharashtra 540 for 8 dec (Atitkar 190, Jadhav 109, Bawne 86)Scorecard

Haryana batted out 116 overs in their second-innings in their second innings to successfully draw their match against Maharashtra in the game that pitted the bottom-rung teams of the group against each other. Haryana began the day on 75 for 2, 208 runs behind Maharashtra. Overnight batsman Sunny Singh went on to make a half-century, the only one of the innings, but the rest of the line-up too contributed cameos to keep Haryana afloat. All the batsmen who batted on the day got into double digits, right down to No. 9 Mohit Sharma. At stumps, Haryana were 28 behind Maharashtra, but importantly only seven down.

Karnataka 192 (Binny 61, Awana 5-81) and 475 for 9 dec (Binny 85, Uthappa 81, Gautam 71) beat Delhi 258 (Awana 74, Rawal 48, Sharath 4-52) and 250 (Manhas 80, Bhatia 63) by 159 runsScorecard

The wait lasted five games, as Karnataka recorded their first outright win to spark life into an underwhelming Ranji season. Only two results were realistic going into the final day, as Delhi, set an improbable 410, were left fighting to save the match after losing three in a hurry the previous evening. Karnataka were held up by a century stand from the experienced due of Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia, but the wicket of Manhas opened the floodgates as Karnataka wrapped up the game by 159 runs not long after tea.

Read the full match report here.