By Joginder Tuteja
Manoj Bajpayee is on a roll. After the superhit second season of The Family Man and a notable performance in anthology Ray, he is now back with a fantastic show yet again in Dial 100. The dramatic thriller was looking good right from the promo stage itself and the way Manoj Bajpayee has enacted the part of a baffled police officer out to save the lives of his wife and son, it is good to see how he embodies the character totally.
The film has a whole does have its moments, especially the middle portions which are really tense and bring you on the edge of the seat. I did expect the tense mood to continue right till the end as well with the finale been a little more gripping. However, the unconventional ending does raise an eyebrow and makes one thing that how one person’s mistake could well turn out to be catastrophic for someone else. Moreover, this ZEE5 offering by director Rensil D’Silva with Neena Gupta and Sakshi Tanwar as the leading ladies does make for a family watch.
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Ever since big movies started premiering directly on the OTT, the coming weekend would be the biggest, what with as many as two biggies arriving on back to back days. While Shershaah releases at Amazon Prime on 12th August, Bhuj – The Pride of India arrives at Disney+Hotstar on 13th August. Though in the past there have been instances when two major films have arrived on the same day or back to back, never before has been a scenario like this when one would have found biggies to be the kind that would have rather released in theaters.
Let’s talk about Shershaah first. This is a dream that Sidharth Malhotra is said to be carrying for over five years already. There was an idea in place to play the part of Captain Vikram Batra and once Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions came on board, this dream started turning into reality. In fact the film was ready around the same time last year itself and the team waited patiently to let theatres open, despite temptation from leading OTT channels to premier it digitally. However, they chose to wait until the first wave subsided.
In fact if not for the second wave, the Vishnu Vardhan directed film could well have released theatrically but then guess it was destined for this entertainer to arrive straight on the small screen. The film’s promo further made one believe strongly that Shershaah would have opened quite well at the box office, had it arrived theatrically. The buzz is quite strong for the patriotic entertainer with the good emotional quotient in there and rest assured, it should fetch quite some eyeballs for Amazon Prime once it premieres there.
A day later arrives Bhuj – The Pride of India, a multi-crore affair with Ajay Devgn leading the show. A quintessential biggie with liberal dose of patriotism, drama, heroism and action coming together, this ‘masala’ entertainer was announced for Disney+Hotstar premiere last year itself. However while other major biggies led by Akshay Kumar’s Laxmii arrived last year itself, Bhuj – The Pride of India waited to release at an opportune time. This is why the Independence Day weekend release holds quite some prominence due to 1971 Indo-Pak war theme.
The promo has already set the stage for Bhuj – The Pride of India being the kind of volatile big screen affair which is abound with VFX and wide canvas action. Moreover, dialogue-baazi is the kind that would have definitely made a big impression had that been witnessed with hundreds of other audience members in theatres, the way it worked in the superstar’s last theatrical release Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior. However, for now one would have to be content with the biggie with Sanjay Dutt and Sonakshi Sinha in the lead on the small screen.
Shershaah – Amazon Prime – 12th August
Bhuj – The Pride of India – Disney+Hotstar – 13th August
(Joginder Tuteja is a trade expert and film critic, and loves to talk and write about anything that is related to films. Views are personal)