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Christopher Plummer’s character in Ridley Scott’s film is about All The Money In The World – and a huge ego

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In one of the most compelling scenes of Ridley Scott’s period crime drama All The Money In The World, Christopher Plummer’s character of billionaire John Paul Getty is seen admiring a precious object while explaining why he invests in things, not people.

He says artifices never deceive, unlike people. That is what makes him turn into a connoisseur, collecting priceless or invaluable (since he believes everything has a price) artifacts all his life as he walks by his loved ones, leaving them to their own miseries.

Christopher Plummer in a still from All The Money In The World. YouTube

Christopher Plummer in a still from All The Money In The World. YouTube

It is this characteristic trait that shapes the central narrative of the film where he refuses to pay a paltry sum of $17 million (considering he was the richest man in history) as ransom for one of his grandsons. “I have 14 granchildren. If I pay one penny now then I’ll be broke,” he reasons.

In another scene, when a person in crisis writes to him for a donation to cure a loved one’s illness, he writes back, “If I keep giving money for every charity proposal I get, I’ll be as destitute as you are.”

Clearly, Getty has little concern for loved ones, whether those of others or his own. Such a case of extreme rapacity can stem only from a man completely immersed in materialism, having no association whatsoever with flesh and blood.

However, there was one stark humane quality that Getty boasted of and that Plummer craftily masked with the character’s grabby streak. The apparent obsession for money was also a self-defense mechanism to conceal his monster size ego, which surfaces in certain scenes where he goes through weak or powerful moments.

In fact, his association with his daughter-in-law Gail Harris, played by Michelle Williams, has hints of his ego peppered all over it. Harris, well-versed with the covetous schemes of the old man, maintains that she wants no alimony from her divorced husband and would settle only with the custody of their children. Getty is taken aback by Harris’ unpredictable demand as he believes that everything has a price, including a divorce.

But Harris claims she does not ‘need’ the money and in the process, delivers a tough blow to the gigantic ego of the billionaire who gets the easiest deal of his life, rather casually. He reads into his former daughter-in-law’s confident smile, that her only purpose of doing so was to rob Getty of the adrenaline rush he gets from negotiating a tough deal. She shows indifference towards his estate which does not go down well with Mr Scrooge who spent a lifetime building it.

But he has ingenuous ways to get back at her. Once her son gets kidnapped and she knocks on Getty’s door for ransom money, he turns a deaf ear and delegates the negotiation and rescue operations to his right hand man, played by Mark Wahlberg. However, that would only make Harris regret her decision of knocking away the money he was gladly (or not so gladly) willing to hand out to her. Getty would only derive sadistic pleasure out of her worries. The blot of a deal too easily won would remain on his illustrious career.

He offers to pay the ransom only if she returns the custody of her children to her husband. Once she helplessly gives in, it would have given Getty enough reason to wave the victory flag. But as they say, greed is a bottomless pit. Getty makes sure that the realisation of defeat strikes Harris even after his death.

Post his demise, his heir becomes the rightful owners of his wealth. Since his son, and Harris’ former husband, is mentally unfit (he is a drug addict), the wealth is inherited by his grandchildren. But since they are still minors, their mother Harris becomes the interim owner of his estate.

To her amazement, she discovers that Getty’s organisation is registered as a family trust (only for tax deduction purpose). But the flipside is he cannot spend the wealth, only invest it. That is why he invests in objects, the way he likes it to be.

While one might romanticise with the notion that “it is not important to become rich but to stay rich”, Getty’s move has wider repercussions that go back to the initial deal with his daughter-in-law. In the closing scene of the film, a servant asks the now-rich Harris if she needs anything. “No, I have everything I need,” she says before she turns around and stares into the cold eyes of Getty’s bust.

It is then that the above mentioned realisation of defeat hits her hard. The same money that she rejected years ago, as a weapon of her choice against her former father-in-law, now sits comfortably in her lap. All thanks to a man who would let her get away with All The Money In The World, for the sake of getting the last laugh.

Published Date: Jan 10, 2018 12:37 PM | Updated Date: Jan 10, 2018 12:37 PM


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Chloe Sevigny, star of Melinda and Melinda, says she ‘probably won’t work with Woody Allen again’

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IANS

Jan,20 2018 17:56 45 IST

Los Angeles: Actress Chloe Sevigny says she would ‘probably not work with Oscar-winning director Woody Allen again.

Chloe Sevigny. Image from Twitter/@DevinmillsLA

Chloe Sevigny. Image from Twitter/@DevinmillsLA

From Boys Don’t Cry to American Psycho, Sevigny has had one of the most prolific resumes of character parts in independent movies. In 2004, she appeared in the Allen’s comedy Melinda and Melinda.

Now, Sevigny has expressed reservations about collaborating with the director, reports variety.com. 

“I have my own turmoil that I’m grappling with over that decision,” Sevigny said.

“Would I work with him again? Probably not.”

Sevigny joins a chorus of actors who have either donated their salaries from Allen’s movies to the Time’s Up campaign, including Rebecca Hall and Timothee Chalamet, or expressed regret in agreeing to co-star in one of his projects.

In 2014, Allen’s daughter Dylan Farrow published a letter in the New York Times, where she said that she was sexually assaulted by him at the age of 7. Allen has denied any wrongdoing.

Published Date: Jan 20, 2018 17:56 PM | Updated Date: Jan 20, 2018 17:56 PM

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Filmfare Awards 2018: Irrfan Khan, Vidya Balan, Zaira Wasim, Rajkummar Rao win top honours; see full winners’ list

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The 63rd Jio Filmfare Awards were held on 20 January at NSCI dome, with the who’s who of Bollywood in attendance. Hosted by the Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar, the awards saw top Bollywood personalities gathering to mark one of the biggest nights for Indian cinema. This year, smaller films took away the cake by getting multiple awards in various categories. Trapped, Secret Superstar and Newton emerged the big winners of the night.

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Vidya Balan and Irrfan Khan won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor

Best Film (Popular)

Hindi Medium

Critics’ Award for Best Film

Amit Masurkar (Newton)

Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male) (Popular)

Irrfan Khan – Hindi Medium

Critics’ Award for Best Actor (Male)

Rajkummar Rao – Trapped

Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female) (Popular)

Vidya Balan – Tumhari Sulu

Critics’ Award for Best Actor (Female)

Zaira Wasim – Secret Superstar

Best Director (Popular)

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari – Bareilly Ki Barfi

Best Debut Director

Konkona Sen Sharma – A Death in the Gunj

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female)

Meher Vij – Secret Superstar

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male)

Rajkummar Rao – Bareilly Ki Barfi

Best Music Album

Pritam – Jagga Jasoos

Best Lyrics

Amitabh Bhattacharya – ‘Ullu Ka Patha’ (Jagga Jasoos)

Best Playback Singer (Female)

Meghna Mishra – ‘Nachdi Phira’ (Secret Superstar)

Best Playback Singer (Male)

Arijit Singh – ‘Roke Na Ruke Naina’ (Badrinath Ki Dulhania)

Lifetime Achievement Award

Mala Sinha

Bappi Lahiri

Writing Awards

Best Original Story

Amit V Masurkar – Newton

Best Dialogue

Hitesh Kewalya – Shubh Mangal Saavdhan

Best Screenplay

Shubhashish Bhutiani – Mukti Bhawan

Technical Awards

Best Action

Tom Struthers – Tiger Zinda Hai

Best Background Score

Pritam – Jagga Jasoos

Best Production Design

Parul Sondh – Daddy

Best Costume

Rohit Chaturvedi – A Death In The Gunj

Best Sound Design

Anish John – Trapped

Best Editing

Nitin Baid – Trapped

Best Choreography

Vijay Ganguly and Ruel Dausan Varindani (‘Galti Se Mistake’ – Jagga Jasoos)

Best Cinematography

Sirsha Ray – A Death In The Gunj

Short Film Awards

Best Short Film (fiction)

Neeraj Ghaywan – Juice

Best Actor (Male) in a Short Film

Jackie Shroff – Khujli

Best Actor (Female) in a Short Film

Shefali Shah – Juice

Best Short Film Non-fiction

Hari M Mohanan – Invisible Wings

People’s Choice Award for Best Short Film

Umesh Bagade – Anahut

Published Date: Jan 21, 2018 09:41 AM | Updated Date: Jan 21, 2018 09:41 AM


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Ahead of Padman release, Twinkle Khanna interacts with Malala Yousafzai, addresses Oxford students

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Indian author, film producer and woman empowerment activist Twinkle Khanna joined a canon of cultural, political and high profile figures as she addressed students at The Oxford Union, a prolific world renowned debating society. The event came ahead of the worldwide release of her Akshay Kumar-starring film Padman on 25 January which marks Khanna’s debut as producer.

Popularly known to her readers as Mrs Funnybones, which also doubles up as the title of her first book and columns. Her second book, The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, managed to land itself at the number two spot on Amazon India’s bestseller list.

Twinkle Khanna, Malala Yousafzai at Oxford.

Twinkle Khanna, Malala Yousafzai at Oxford.

The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad featured a number of short stories, one of which was the story of a man who invented a machine to make low-cost sanitary pads. Recognising the vital need to share this story with a wider audience, Khanna donned the producer’s hat to develop it for the big screen.

The result is her latest endeavour, Padman, the world’s first feature film on menstrual hygiene based on the life of social entrepreneur and activist Arunachalam Muruganantham who revolutionised sanitary hygiene in rural India 20 years ago. Padman traces Muruganantham’s international journey from an outcast exiled from society for his endeavours of delving into such a taboo subject, to becoming a champion of India’s modern history, as he followed his dream to bring a revolution to menstrual hygiene in India.

Students flocked to The Oxford Union to see Khanna’s speech and Q&A session, in what marked the first time for an Indian film to be showcased at the institution. Before Khanna took to the stage, the audience was presented with the official trailer of Padman.

In her speech, Khanna recalled what drew her to the story of the real life Pad Man Muruganantham, Arunachalam Muruganatham’s story fascinated me. He is the first man to wear a sanitary pad – imagine that!” She went on to note the significance of his achievements, To me he is an example that intelligence is truly not constrained within the boundaries of a particular language or a formal mechanism like education.”

Khanna went on to explain why she feels the world needs to know about Pad Man’s story and the importance of spotlighting issues relating to menstrual hygiene. My primary motivation to make a movie on menstruation was to bring awareness to a subject that so far has been tucked away in shadows and like Voldemort is never mentioned.” 

She also pointed out the global nature of the problems including in the UK, saying that: In the beginning, I thought that period poverty was only a problem in my country and countries like Africa, Bangladesh, but groups like Plan International UK have found that one in ten school girls in the UK itself are missing school because they are unable to afford hygiene products and end up using substitutes like rolled up socks.” 

Khanna’s speech also dealt with the controversial taxes on sanitary products, the impact of menstrual hygiene on girls’ education and even had a few questions of  her own for the women in the audience. Recalling Muruganantham’s own idiosyncratic maxim and its relevance to the world, Khanna said, He (Muruganantham) said to me: ‘all countries want to be strong but if mother strong, sister strong, woman strong then only is a country strong’ and that is something we need to look at globally.

Speaking about her hopes for the film, she told the audience, “Padman, I am hoping is more than a movie, that it’s part of a movement where women are no longer hampered, embarrassed or held back because of their biology; where ads no longer show blue liquid instead of red; where President Trump can’t shame a reporter by saying ‘she is bleeding between her whatever’ and a world where, although we can’t promise every schoolgirl iPads, we can ensure that they get all the sanitary pads they need.

In the Q&A session that followed her speech, Khanna asked an audience filled with Oxford students to raise their hands if they were currently on their periods. When almost three-quarters of the room raised their arms aloft, Khanna said Now imagine sitting here with a rag cloth or a rolled up sock or even wadded up newspaper between your legs. Would it even be possible for you to study under those circumstances? Yet pads are still seen as a luxury item. It’s odd that pads are taxed at 12 percent in India but brooms are tax free, because it is more important that you keep your house clean rather than your body; and that America has taxes on tampons but Viagra is in fact tax-free, perhaps because policies are made by 65-year-old men.

Answering questions from The Oxford Union Vice-President Sabriyah Saeed, Khanna said: One of the things I really wanted from this movie, which I think we are already on the way to achieving, is to make it a conversation starter. We want all members of a family to discuss this topic, including the men, even if it is merely to decide whether they should go and see Pad Man or not!

When asked whether or not she could accept the fact that religious practices can sometimes form an obstacle when it comes to female menstruation, Khanna responded:

 “In Hinduism, you often see the priest sweating in front of the ‘Ya​jna’ (a ritual conducted in front of a sacred fire). If god can accept his sweat, then he can accept my blood!

The day also saw a meeting between Khanna and Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Oxford University student Malala Yousafzai. Speaking at the event prior to Khanna’s speech, Yousafzai told Khanna: I’m really excited to see the film Padman, and am looking forward to seeing the trailer shortly because the message behind the film is truly inspiring.” 

Approaching its 200th anniversary, The Oxford Union has an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford, with the aim of promoting debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe. Former participants include US Presidents Reagan, Nixon, and Carter, Sir Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Malcolm X, Mother Teresa, Sir Elton John, the Dalai Lama, Michael Jackson, Malala Yousafzai, Morgan Freeman, Shashi Tharoor, and Buzz Aldrin, to name a few.

Published Date: Jan 19, 2018 17:24 PM | Updated Date: Jan 19, 2018 17:58 PM


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