The short 30-second teaser of Harry & Meghan Vol. 2 reveals that the dominating narrative of the final 3 episodes is going to be about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's shocking decision to step back from their senior royal roles and move their home base to Los Angeles with their kids - Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1. Their controversial exit's intense coverage was the starting glimpses of the teaser as Meghan hinted at the \"direct conflict\" between the Sussexes and the royal family.
MGM's new religious-themedsuspense thriller Stigmata rocketedto number one over the weekend with $18.3M, according to finalfigures, making it the third-largest September opening in history behindlast year's Rush Hour,which debuted with $33M, and 1996's The First Wives Club which bowed with$18.9M. The film's final weekend gross was a full million dollars lessthan the studio originally estimated. Starring Patricia Arquette as a possessedwoman and Gabriel Byrne as an investigating priest, Stigmatalaunched in 2,899 theaters (the widestSeptember opening ever) and averaged a solid $6,316 per site. The strongshowing gave MGM its first number one movie in three and a half years whenThe Birdcagehit the top in March 1996.
Universal's comedyBowfingerwas in fifth place with $3.6M which included grosses for the sneak previewof the studio's Kevin Costner pic For Loveof the Game. The baseball romance screenedin 1,022 theaters on Saturday evening with 71% of the shows at or nearcapacity according to studio spokesman Jeff Sakson. Women made up about59% of the audience while the over-30 crowd represented 70% of the turnout.Universal also reported that an extremely high 94% of the exit polls werein the top two boxes which should bode well for the film's 2,800 theaterlaunch on Friday.
The BJP is headed for a massive win in Gujarat, where it has been in power for nearly two-and-a-half decades, and is marginally ahead of the Congress in Himachal Pradesh, according to exit polls broadcast by television networks after the final phase of voting in Gujarat Monday. Counting of votes will take place on December 8.
Maneesh Sharma.'s recent film, Shuddh Desi Romance (Pure Indian Romance, hereafter SDR, 2013), begins with a montage of hands--those of heterosexual Indian couples who either hold or reach out to hold one another's in public. This beginning itself marks a shift in the changing mores of India in the twenty-first century, where acts previously considered \"private\" are now increasingly on public display. This film, Sharma's third, following Band Baaja Ramat (hereafter BBB, 2010) and Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl (hereafter Ladies, 2011), is again concerned with the relationships of young people in contemporary, urban India, following as it does the back-and-forth romantic relationships of Raghu (Sushant Singh Rajput) with two women, Gayatri (Parineeti Chopra) and Tara (Vaani Kapoor), who enter and exit his life almost as haphazardly as his feelings for them develop (and dissipate). Raghu first meets Gayatri en route to his arranged wedding with Tara and, following a brief exchange of kisses and cigarettes with Gayatri on the bus, he arrives at his wedding only to flee, leaving Tara alone at the altar with the garland she was to place around his neck. Following this foiled wedding, Raghu pursues a relationship with Gayatri which also leads to a planned wedding, only this time Gayatri flees at the last minute, leaving Raghu stranded. Raghu subsequently reencounters Tara (at another wedding) and, just as they begin to grow attracted to one another and decide to finally wed, Gayatri reappears, again confusing Raghu who ultimately (again) leaves Tara for Gayatri.
In this back-and-forth to and from the wedding altar, the trope of the Indian (Hindu) wedding is even further hollowed out than it was in Sharma's first film, BBB, in which the two leads (Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma) play young wedding planners who fall in and out of love with each other even as they orchestrate and participate in the increasingly lavish arranged weddings of other young Indian couples. While BBB effectively illuminated the business transactions underlying these arranged marriages, SDR goes one step further, as the young people here, rather than ultimately coming together at the finale (as they do in BBB), increasingly question the very institution of marriage. In many ways, SDR can be said to do the same with regard to the conventions of popular Hindi cinema, aka Bollywood, creating in the process a new form of popular Indian cinema which, as with the relationships in the film, challenges the very notion of what Bollywood entails in the twenty-first century. In this review, I would like to map out the various formal and thematic ways in which SDR challenges and reformulates earlier conventions associated with Bollywood and carves out a new niche for itself that simultaneously reflects the rapid changes taking place in contemporary urban India. 153554b96e