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Okka Kshanam movie review: This Allu Sirish-Vi Anand film redeems itself in an unexpected way

They say all you need is one moment to change your opinion on something. And once you cross the threshold, it’s not the same anymore.

It couldn’t be more true in case of Allu Sirish, Surbhi starrer Okka Kshanam (which translates to ‘One Moment’). Directed by Vi Anand, the film dabbles with the concept of parallel life and how human will can triumph destiny. The concept might sound twisted and complicated; however, Vi Anand gives us enough reasons to believe that it’s a possible scenario in the lives of the film’s lead characters. But that’s far from the biggest achievement of the film. It’s strength lies in how it wins you over as it unfolds and after you cross the threshold level, it turns into an unlikely thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seats.

The film narrates the story of Jeeva (Allu Sirish), who meets Jyotsna (Surbhi) in the parking lot of a shopping mall. It’s love at first sight for him, and she too reciprocates his feelings. In fact, she takes the initiative to give him her number. One day, Jyotsna tells Jeeva that she has the habit of watching people and that, the life of another young couple (played by Srinivas Avasarala and Seerat Kapoor) intrigues her. Jyotsna suspects that Srinivas Avasarala has been harassing Seerat, and she begs Jeeva to help Seerat. When Jeeva finally bumps into Srinivas Avasarala, he learns a shocking truth that whatever incidents happen in Srinivas and Seerat’s life will unfold in a similar manner in his and Jyotsna’s life too. They call it ‘parallel life’. The rest of the story is about how Jeeva races against time to save Jyotsna from an impending danger.

Okka Kshanam.

Before we talk about why the film works in the end, it’s also important to acknowledge how boring the first half of the film feels.

Vi Anand spends ample time to build the story featuring Allu Sirish and Surbhi, and it just doesn’t seem to come together for nearly 45 minutes into the story. We are shown vignettes of their love story, how they meet each other’s family members; however, their budding romance lacks the charm to sweep you off your feet. It’s not the question of whether Sirish and Surbhi play their roles earnestly or not (they do), but it’s the anticipation of the film’s core emotion that stops us from investing our time and energy into empathising with the lead pair’s romantic subplot.

Nothing really happens that’ll make us want to root for the characters, except for flashes of what’s happening in the lives of Srinivas Avasarala and Seerat Kapoor. And then, by the time, the interval twist is revealed, the film already has our curiosity.

There’s something about how the film is written and narrated in the second half that it feels like you’ve stepped into a different thrill ride in an amusement park. The characters are the same, but Vi Anand shifts gears effortlessly and makes up for all the lost time in the first half. In hindsight, although it’s true that the initial portions of the film focus on making us want to root for the lead pair, who’s clueless about what’s going to hit them, it was perhaps a necessary evil.

Of course, it could have been better. But none of this matters once the mystery behind the lives of Srinivas and Seerat is unravelled. It’s thrilling and Vi Anand ensures that the tempo isn’t lost almost till the end.

Watching this film reminded me of the impact that an energy drink has on us. We don’t feel its effect in the beginning, but once the reaction kicks in, it effect keeps going on and on until you feel refreshed. Perhaps, that’s how Anand and his team also writes their scripts. Like their previous film Ekkadiki Pothaavu Chinnavada, this film too turns into a rewarding experience if you have some patience and faith in the storyteller. Okka Kshanam is a director’s film, but it just wouldn’t have been the same with a rousing background score by Mani Sharma, who’s in top form.

For Allu Sirish, Okka Kshanam marks the beginning of a new phase in his career. The actor is a lot more at ease in this film compared to his previous works, and he does a good job in making us believe that his character is truly desperate to save his girlfriend’s life. Surbhi, who played Sirish’s romantic interest, fits the role to the T, but it’s Srinivas Avasarala and Seerat Kapoor who take the cake for their performance as a troubled couple. Satya, Praveen too deliver commendable performances.

Quite rarely do we come across films which redeem themselves after leaving an overwhelming feeling that we made a big mistake watching them in first place. But Okka Kshanam not just wins your over in the end, but also leaves a solid impression that you can’t just write off the storyteller in Vi Anand. There’ll be a moment in the story that’ll make you forget your cynicism and enjoy the roller-coaster ride. For me, it was the precise moment when I realised that Vi Anand was two steps ahead of my imagination. A big thumbs up to Okka Kshanam.


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Diljit Dosanjh on picking projects in Hindi films: ‘Unlike in Punjab, I’m not in a position to choose roles in Bollywood’

A few years ago people would wonder whether a turbaned sikh guy could be a mainstream Bollywood hero but Diljit Dosanjh has put those doubts to rest. Not only is the singer-actor having back to back releases in Bollywood but is also being cast opposite A-list heroines. After making a promising debut and an earnest performance in Udta Punjab opposite Kareena Kapoor, he was seen with Anushka Sharma in Phillauri. In his upcoming release, Welcome To New York, he will be seen with Sonakshi Sinha and then with Taapsee Pannu in Soorma, a biopic on hockey player Sandeep Singh, which will hit the theatres in June. He is currently shooting with Kriti Sanon for Arjun Patiala.

Diljit Dosanjh. Image from Twitter/@diljitdosanjh

Diljit Dosanjh. Image from Twitter/@diljitdosanjh

Naturally, Diljit’s confidence has taken a boost. In his initial days, he would have probably wondered in self doubt when asked if there was a limitation to the kind of roles offered to him, but today he confidently states in a mix of Hindi and Punjabi, “Isn’t there a turbanator in every field? Sikhs are there in Navy, Army, the police force…there is no profession left where there is no sikh. So how can I have any such limitations?”

He further adds, “In the beginning when I started with music in Punjab and was keen on acting as well, people would dismiss me saying it wasn’t possible as no sikh had ever been seen as a Punjabi film hero and that I should be restricted to music. My first Punjabi film didn’t but I slowly started delivering hits, some of which even became top grossers. (Diljit has been appreciated for his versatile performances in Punjabi films like the Jatt & Juliet series, Punjab 1984 and Ambarsariya). Later, people said that I won’t be successful in Bollywood because I wear a turban, but my turban helped me get films here.”

Not easily accessible and also considered media-shy, Firstpost tracks him down on the sets of the singing reality show, Rising Star, where the jovial and happy go lucky jatt is the centre of attention. He is in the midst of young singers and some big names from the music industry – Shankar Mahadevan and Monali Thakur. Sporting a shiny yellow jacket and black turban, Diljit seems to be enjoying every bit of it. “I am enjoying both, acting as well as singing, I just wanted to do some good work which I am doing, let’s see where my life takes me. I enjoy each day of my life. Sometimes I have my mood swings but I still try to maintain a balance,” says the singing star, who candidly talks about his upcoming stage-show reality film, Welcome To New York which is based on an award show. “There are so many actors in it, and I, too, have a small part. But if you ask me the experience of doing the film, I really didn’t understand anything. I don’t know how they shot the film in so much chaos. I have no idea. It was difficult to shoot but I kept taking orders from the director and went on doing what I was told,” he laughs.

Known for his rustic charm and simplicity, Diljit might have a lot in the pipeline, but he isn’t someone who would succumb to stereotypes. He wants to do roles that are integral to the story. “I won’t do as many films now. It is just that I had lesser commitments and hence I can be seen in so many films. Last year I refused three to four films. If I don’t like anything I say no to it. Even in Punjab, I did just one film a year and I will follow the same in Bollywood provided I am offered one. I am in no hurry, no greed, as I am getting more than what I am capable of. I would like to use the remaining time on my singing and churn out more Punjabi films for my fans. I also have fans in the US, UK, Canada and I would like to continue doing stage shows for them. Whatever I have to say from my heart, I do it through Punjabi music,” he says without displaying an ounce of stardom.

“I enjoy making music more because there are no limitations as compared to movies. You have a team with who you gel and make music. But the film is not under your control. You listen to the story and script but what finally comes on the canvas could be different, whereas in music you can reject your own composition if you don’t like it and try something different. But films are huge projects; a lot of money is invested and directors have their own point of view,” he adds.

Secondly, Diljit says, he finds more freedom in the choice of movies back home. “I am not in a position to choose roles right now in Bollywood but in Punjabi films I have that choice. Producers are friends there but in Bollywood whatever is being offered I am taking up. My upcoming Punjabi film, Rangroot is on World War I which was something I was passionate about,” he says.

Considering the fact that Diljit never played any sport earlier in his life, one would expect the Shaad Ali-directed Soorma to be one of his most challenging roles of that of a hockey champion. Diljit says jokingly, “When I was a kid, I didn’t get the opportunity to play much sports as my parents would tell me to study. And now when I am getting paid to play so why not? (laughs) But I didn’t face any difficulty while shooting for Soorma. I didn’t have to do much training in the sport, I just had to play the game. I am very happy that in the second year of my acting career in Bollywood I got to do a biopic. Actually, I don’t find my work difficult. Just that when I am acting, I try to feel for the character I’m portraying but every take of mine tends to be different. I don’t treat myself as an actor who has a process, I perform with instinct.”

And even as Bollywood is showering love on him, Diljit prefers to meet people only for work as he doesn’t like “bothering people unnecessarily”. “I don’t stay in touch with industry folks much. I am here only to work. I never got work because of networking or meeting producers in parties. I don’t believe in PR,” signs off the endearing star.

Published Date: Feb 22, 2018 08:57 AM | Updated Date: Feb 22, 2018 08:57 AM


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The Joker origin film, directed by Todd Philips and produced by Martin Scorsese, to roll from 1 May

IANS

Feb,22 2018 09:29 23 IST

Los Angeles: Filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s untitled The Joker origin film is scheduled to start production in May.

Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Image courtesy: Facebook

Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Image courtesy: Facebook

The production house Tracking Board’s Jeff Sneider announced the news on social media. Sneider posted what appears to be a part of a press release which featured the project’s logline and listed a start date of 1 May, reports aceshowbiz.com.

The post, which was shared by him on Wednesday, also revealed the status of three-time Oscar-nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix, who was recently revealed to be in talks with the studio for the role of the Clown Prince of Crime, as “interested”.

Sneider, however, wrote that the details are subject to change. Details on the upcoming Joker origin movie’s plot are currently unknown though the film is set in Gotham City in the early 1980s and has more of the look of a gritty crime drama than comic book movie.

It is also said that the film will be separate from the DC Extended Universe in an effort to create new and unique storylines.

Acclaimed filmmaker Scorsese will serve as a producer for the project. Todd Phillips is set to direct the standalone film from a script he co-wrote with Scott Silver. Release date has not been locked for the Joker stand-alone film yet.

Published Date: Feb 22, 2018 09:29 AM | Updated Date: Feb 22, 2018 09:29 AM

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‘Beyonce needs to auto-tune’, says TV host Wendy Williams; Twitterati roast her for remark

Los Angeles: American TV host Wendy Williams has faced backlash from fans for criticising singer-actress Beyonce Knowles and saying she needs auto-tune.

Beyonce. Image from Twitter.

Beyonce. Image from Twitter.

Williams criticised the singer on her show on Tuesday, where she said, “There are only a few people who can sing raw dog and Fergie is not one, she needs autotune. Jennifer Lopez needs autotune. Janet Jackson needs autotune. Beyonce needs auto-tune.”

Her remarks sparked rage on social media. While one user tweeted, “Wendy Williams, Beyonce has autotune where?”; another posted along with a clip of Beyonce flawlessly hitting high notes during a live performance.

Another shared a clip of the singer at a cappella performance of ‘Halo‘ and wrote, “Wendy Williams: ‘Beyonce needs auto-tune to sing.”

Beyoncé the ONLY!! And I repeat ONLY bitch we got that sounds better than her studio recordings live. And NO I DONT want to hear about your out of breath ass, throat surgery needing, can’t hold a note for dear life faves!!!! I SAID WHAT I FUCKING SAID!!!! pic.twitter.com/Dlw9VlKfRm

— 💎 (@KnowlesCarta) February 21, 2018

With inputs from IANS.

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