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MOHENJO DARO “Mohenjo Daro” Starring Hrithik Roshan, Pooja Hegde, Kabir Bedi, Arunoday Singh, Suhasini Mulay; directed by Ashutosh Gowariker; music by A.R. Rahman

He took us to colonial India with “Lagaan,” then the 16th century with “Jodhaa Akbar,” and now director Ashutosh Gowariker delves even further back in time to the Indus Valley civilization circa 2016 BC with his latest epic adventure romance. The setting is Mohenjo-daro, known as one of the earliest urban settlements and the most advanced city of its period, with sophisticated civil engineering and urban infrastructure. Not much is known about the culture of the era, so Gowariker used his imagination to create a love story set in that time. MOHENJO DAROHrithik Roshan stars as Sarman, an indigo farmer who travels upriver where he somehow ends up saving the life of a beautiful woman named Chaani. Pooja Hegde, makes her Hindi film debut as Chaani, who is "the Chosen One," a symbol of the blessing of Sindhu Ma, the goddess of the river, which is an integral part of their culture. Kabir Bedi plays Maham, a politician who along with his son Moonja, played by Arunoday Singh, are seizing power to rule the city. To win his love, Sarman must defeat Maham and rouse the people to save their city. Reports say the director worked for years with expert archaeologists in developing the film, which was shot primarily in Bhuj.

RustomRustom” Starring Akshay Kumar, Ileana D’Cruz, Arjan Bajwa, Esha Gupta; directed by Vipul K. Rawal; music by Ankit Tiwari, Jeet Ganguly, Raghav Sachar, Arko Pravo Mukherjee.

RustomAkshay Kumar plays the lead role in this thriller inspired by real events involving K.M. Nanavati. For those unfamiliar with his story, it’s about a Naval officer who shot the man his wife had fallen in love with using his service revolver. The case received unprecedented media coverage. The officer, a patriot with no criminal background, was declared not guilty. However, that verdict was dismissed and the case was retried. The main argument in court was whether the naval officer shot in the “heat of the moment” or whether it was a premeditated murder. He was later convicted and sent to life imprisonment but garnered huge support from the public, the Indian Navy and the Parsi community. Rallies were held on Bombay streets demanding his pardon. In the film, Kumar’s character is named Rustom Pavri. Ileana D’Cruz plays his wife. Arjan Bajwa is Vikram, her lover. And Esha Gupta plays Vikram’s sister. The makers call it “a gripping tale about pride, passion and power, and a man who must uphold his own integrity and that of the nation.” Great to see Akshay Kumar on a roll this year after his solid performance in “Airlift.”


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