‘Bhoomi’: Sanjay Dutt, Aditi Rao chemistry elevates the film (Movie Review, Rating ****)

Film: ‘Bhoomi’; Director: Omung Kumar; Starring: Sanjay Dutt, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sharad Kelkar, Shekhar Suman; Rating: ****

“Jadd se ya dhadh se?” Sanjay Dutt plays a cruel KBC with his daughter’s rapist, offering to either kill or castrate him.

The pleading begging rapist takes the knife and plunges it into his pants.

I squirmed , as I was meant to. Bhoomi a film about a father and daughter’s revenge on her wrongdoers set in the seamier side of the city of the Taj Mahal, is not an easy film to view. Just because it stars Sanjay Dutt, don’t expect him to rise Phoenix-like to the occasion. With remarkable disregard for his larger-than-strife image, Sanjay Dutt plays an aging caring doting father who is a helpless mute entity in the case to fight his daughter’s violators.

The rape-revenge motif has been done so much to death I wondered why we need another film on the theme. But “Bhoomi” has plenty of surprises to offer. It never lets the very beautiful Aditi Rao play the victim-card eventhough she is violated humiliated and vilified repeatedly. Yet she stands tall and dignified. This could be because Aditi Rao in the film’s titlular role is just so frigging ethereal. Her makeup-free scrubbed and honest face conveys hurt, suppressed anger and hastily dismissed bewilderment. She is a treat to watch.

Put her on screen with Dutt and you have magic. Scenes such as the one where she tells her broken dad it’s time to rise above the tragedy, are pitch-perfect in their shrill yearnings, neither overstating nor trivializing the very grim issue of rape.

Sanjay Dutt though a little wheezy and out of rhythm, is heartrendingly avuncular.His breakdown in the courtroom is so raw and unrehearsed it washes away all cynicism. He seems so protective of his “Betu” and so shattered by her violation that we tend to forgive the film’s absolute absence of novelty. A parent grieving over a daughter’s rape is not just familiar territory it is also a territory that threatens to explode under the weight of overstatement in our cinema.

With rather unnecessary detailing Bhoomi charts out the daughter’s rape. Shot in a ramshackle single theatre ironically named Bhagwan Talkies, the gangrape is filmed against a backdrop of a film being screened within the film. In this way we are reminded of how cinema is responsible for an increase in sex crimes. (more)

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UPSC-2017 invites applications for Assistant Mechanical Engineer

Candidates willing to take up the post can apply for the same till August 31, 2017 (Thursday).

The Union Public Service Commission is inviting applications for the post of Assistant Engineer (NQA) Mechanical Engineering at Department of Defence Production managed by Directorate of Quality Assurance Naval under the Ministry of Defence. Candidates willing to take up the post can apply for the same till August 31, 2017 (Thursday). The number of vacancy is one reserved for the OBC candidates only. The qualified candidates would be offered the salary as per Rs. 44900/- (Pay Level-7) Allowance. The post carries probation of two years.

Eligibility Parameters:
Age: Not exceeding 30 years on closing date. Relaxable for regularly appointed Central/U.T. Government Servant up to Five years as per instructions/orders issued by Govt. of India from time to time.
Educational Qualification: Degree in Engineering in the disciplines of Mechanical Engineering from recognised University. Experience in Computer operations for the purpose of preparation technical reports, technical/Briefs etc. would be preferred.

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UPSC-2017 invites applications for Assistant Engineer (NQA)

Experience: Two years’ practical experience in Quality Assurance/Quality Control Production/ Manufacturing and testing of Engineering Equipments including knowledge of various standards and their interpretation.

Roles and Responsibilities: The Officer shall be responsible for

  • Quality assurance, acceptance, inspection of equipments and stores,
  • Defect investigation, trials, vetting of draft indents/ agreement/ supply orders, sampling plans, liaison with production units,
  • Removal of bottlenecks and suggesting methods of improvement of quality.

How to Apply: Click Here

Buying a car, gold or property? How GST will impact your expenses from 1 July

Govt has surely kept the consumer’s interest in mind while deciding the tax rates under GST

Company News :The introduction of GST from 1 July 2017 would not only have an impact on businesses in India but also on the common man’s monthly budget. The prices of goods and services forming part of the monthly budget would either increase or decrease depending on the GST treatment.

Eating out

For example, when an individual eats out in a restaurant, today there is service tax and VAT charged in the invoice, apart from having a service charge collected additionally. The service tax and VAT is not applicable for all types of restaurants and therefore varies from restaurant to restaurant. Under GST, the rate of tax on the restaurant invoice could be either 5%, 12% or 18%, depending on whether the restaurant is under composition scheme, non-air conditioned or air-conditioned, respectively. The replacement of service tax and VAT with GST at the above rates would make it simple for the customer to understand how much is actually going to the government in terms of taxes.

Buying gold

When it comes to buying gold, we Indians cannot stay away from this temptation. The taxes on gold currently is around 2% in most states, comprising of 1% of excise duty and 1% of VAT in most States.

Kerala has a higher VAT of 5%. The GST rate is increased from the existing rate of around 2% to 3%. While most consumers would have to shell out additional tax of 1%, consumers in Kerala would benefit from the rate reduction.

Buying property

For under-construction property, there is a significant impact post GST. The existing tax rates are broadly around 6% in most States comprising of service tax and VAT (other than a few where the VAT rate is higher). Under GST the rate shall increase to 12%, with the ability of the builder to avail all input tax credits, resulting in reducing his cost which may be passed on to buyers by commensurate reduction in prices. However, this may not be possible for the builder immediately, especially where the builder has already procured the construction material. Hence, for properties currently under construction, the transition into GST would have consumers being charged with the additional tax without actual reduction in construction value.

ICC Champions Trophy: Top 8 memorable India vs Pakistan matches

Ahead of the Champions Trophy clash, we look at India-Pakistan ODI matches in ICC tournaments

The most awaited contest in the ICC Champions Trophy, 2017, will be the one between arch-rivals India and Pakistan — on Sunday, June 4, at Edgbaston, Birmingham. The match is sure to refresh the age-old rivalry followed closely over decades, and it promises to be one of the highlights of the tournament.

While India-Pakistan Cricket matches had been more common in earlier years of this decade, things have changed in the past few years, and India-Pak clashes on cricket field have become few and far in between. Matches in marquee ICC tournaments have an added significance, given the prize that any team wins is much bigger. While India has never lost a match to Pakistan in World Cup tournaments, it has been beated in two of the three times the two teams have met in Champions Trophy tournaments.

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India-Pakistan Cricket has been known to stop traffic, give people racing heartbeats and force students to skip studies even during exams. Fans expect Sunday’s match to be nothing short of great, despite Indian captain Virat Kohli playing down the importance of this clash and branding it as ‘any other match’. Even as we wonder if India will begin its defence of the Champions Trophy title on a successful note, let’s take a look at earlier memorable India-Pakistan matches in World Cup and Champions Trophy tournaments.

1. 1992 World Cup

This was during the 1992 World Cup at SCG in Sydney that these two nations from the Indian sub-continent played together in a World Cup match for the first time. (more)

AB de Villiers No 1 batsman in ICC ODI list, Kohli only Indian in top 10

Kagiso Rabada ranked No 1 bowler, not a single Indian player in top 10 bowlers ranking

India captain Virat Kohli is the lone cricketer from the country to feature in the top 10 of the ICC Players Rankings for ODIs as he managed to hold on to his third spot in the batsman’s chart.

The intense competition in the individual rankings justifies the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy’s significance as players from the eight participating teams feature prominently in it and not much separates the top players in the fray.

The top three batsmen – South Africa’s AB de Villiers (874 rating points), Australian David Warner (871) and Kohli (852) are separated by just 22 points.

Among other Indians to feature in the top 20 of the ICC Players Ranking for ODI batsmen are Rohit Sharma (12th), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (13th) and Shikhar Dhawan, who dropped a place to 15th.

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However, there was disappointment for India in the bowlers chart as not a single cricketer from the country features in the top 10 list which is being headed by Kagiso Rabada of South Africa.

Left-arm spinner Akshar Patel finds himself at joint 11th spot along with New Zealand’s Matt Henry while Amit Mishra (13th) and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (joint 18th) are the other two Indian bowlers to feature in the top 20 list.

Only 23 points separate the top three bowlers – Rabada (724 points), Imran Tahir (722) and Mitchell Starc (701).

India, South Africa and England have four batsmen each inside the top 20 with New Zealand (three), Australia and Pakistan (two each) also having significant presence. Read more

Movie review: Wonder Woman reinvigorates tired superhero conventions

The story is repositioned to the trenches of World War I

“Wonder Woman! All the world’s waiting for you,” rang the theme song to the classic 1970s television show as one-time Miss World America, Lynda Carter, transformed into the star-spangled superhero. Yet while gun-toting raccoons headline today’s superhero movies, the world has waited a long time for its most famous female superhero to receive a dedicated film.

Female superheroes have been confined to sidekick roles (Black Widow is the highest profile Avenger without her own movie) or relegated to TV (where Jessica Jones and Supergirl kick ass on a weekly basis). Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is the first major female-led superhero movie – and as a hero, her antecedents reach back to the suffragettes.

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As historian Jill Lepore details in The Secret History of Wonder Woman, the formative years of Wonder Woman’s creator, psychologist William Moulton Marston, took place against the backdrop of the suffragette movement. As a freshman, he had heard Emmeline Pankhurst speak when she visited Harvard in 1911.

An advocate for women’s rights, Marston would later describe the “blood-curdling masculinity” of comic books as their “worst offence”. His remedy? To create a “feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman”. So in October 1941, All Star Comics introduced Wonder Woman, “to whom the problems and feats of men are mere child’s play”. Read more

OnePlus 5 launch imminent; company halts ‘flagship’ OnePlus 3T production

OnePlus 5 is due to be launched soon and it will feature Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor

OnePlus has announced that its latest flagship OnePlus 3T, will soon be discontinued. The production of OnePlus 3T has already reached the end of its production life, and sale of the devices will continue till the stock lasts.

The latest development comes days after the company’s CEO revealed that the next flagship smartphone OnePlus 5 will be launched soon and will feature Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor.

Recently, the China-based smartphone manufacturer OnePlus teamed up with DxO, a software company with expertise in image processing software, to enhance the photography capabilities of the upcoming OnePlus 5 smartphone.

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In a blog post on the OnePlus official forum, the company said: “We are happy to announce that we have teamed up with DxO to enhance your photography experience with our upcoming flagship, the OnePlus 5. DxO is perhaps most well-known for creating the defining photography benchmark, the DxOMark. They’ve got years of imaging experience and expertise, both for professional cameras and for smartphones.”

“But we can only go so far in telling you that we’re excited to be working with DxO. Our friend Etienne Knauer, SVP Sales & Marketing at DxO, had this to say: “OnePlus has always been one of the leading innovators in the smartphone industry, and we are proud to partner with them and support their exciting mobile photography strategy.” (more)

Salman Khan not worried about Baahubali 2 box office record

Baahubali: The Conclusion has so far collected over Rs 1,500 crore across the world

SS Rajamouli’s “Baahubali: The Conclusion” may be setting the box office on fire but superstar Salman Khan said he doesn’t get worried about the business of a film as he thinks every movie has its own destiny.

“Baahubali: The Beginning” released on July 10, 2015, a week before Salman’s “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”.

“Baahubali: The Conclusion”, which hit theatres on April 28, has so far collected over Rs 1,500 crore across the world.

“After ‘Baahubali: The Beginning’, we came up with “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”. Now after ‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’, we are coming up with ‘Tubelight’. There is a lot of pressure on the CEO of Salman Khan Films. I don’t get worried so much. It is a phenomenal success and it is amazing.

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“I have not seen the film but I will watch it. But it doesn’t matter (box office records) as I think every film has its own destiny. Lets see what the destiny of ‘Tubelight’ is and how much it earns,” Salman told reporters here at the trailer launch of “Tubelight”.

The “Dabangg” star on a lighter note further said, “They (referring to Rajamouli doing one film in four years) do one film in four years, I do two films in a year and the average is that much.”

Salman’s brother, actor Sohail Khan, who also stars in “Tubelight”, said it’s good if a movie sets a record at the box office.

“It’s lovely when a film does well commercially as it sets a yardstick (for other films). It’s nice that ‘Baahubali…’ did well,” Sohail said.

During the launch, Salman seemed emotional while talking about his other co-star, legendary actor Om Puri. (more)

Brad Pitt in Mumbai to attend War Machine screening, meets Shah Rukh Khan

The 53-year-old actor plays a US General posted in Afghanistan

Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt is in India to promote his latest film, the Netflix satire “War Machine”.

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan will be moderating a special chat session here with Pitt, in which the two actors will discuss the project.

In the movie, the 53-year-old actor plays a US General posted in Afghanistan.

Directed by David Michod, of “Animal Kingdom” fame, the Netflix Original film is inspired by the book “The Operators: The Wild & Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan” by late journalist Michael Hastings.

An investment in the range of $60 million also makes it Netflix’s biggest-budget feature to date.

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Surprise! Brad Pitt in India to promote ‘War Machine’

Pitt’s character is loosely based on General Stanley A McChrystal, a retired United States Army general best-known for his command of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

His last assignment was as Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, US Forces Afghanistan.

Hastings’s blistering profile on McChrystal led to his firing by Obama.

Pitt’s company Plan B is also one of the producers of the film.

The first big-budget Hollywood movie on Netflix will be released on May 26.