Good intention, bad execution
June 11 2017 12:44 AM
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By Troy Ribeiro

FILM: The Wishing Tree 
CAST: Shabana Azmi, Jayati Bhatia, Jaya Bhattacharya, Makrand Deshpande, Hashpreet Kaur, Shivani Joshi, Aditya Manghani, Varsha Agnihotri 
RATING: *1/2


Targeted for children and designed as a fantasy film with textures of folk legend and striking visual allegory, The Wishing Tree is all about nature and grace. It also packs in motivational and inspirational messages and life’s lessons.
Set in a fictional place called Haridham, the film is about a 6,000-year-old tree that stands as a dormant spectator to human atrocities. An exceptionally overweight Nikita (Hashpreet Kaur), when depressed, escapes into the jungle and meets a mystic woman who informs her that the dying tree where she resides is actually the Wishing Tree. She tells her: Jo sacche dil se mange to usse Kalpvriksh zaroor deta hai (Make a wish with a sincere heart and the Wishing Tree will make your wish come true).
Charged with this knowledge and after experiencing the same, Nikita confides in her friends; Sean (Mark Shaw), a slow learner; Fatima (Shivani Joshi), a Shah Rukh Khan fan; Dhanua (Aabhas Yadav), a boy working in a tea stall and Guriqbal (Aditya Manghani), a boy who steals because his father’s business is not doing well.
And as the young kids connect with the tree, the dying tree blossoms back to life. But then there are people with vested interests, who want to chop The Wishing Tree. How the five friends unite to protect the tree forms the crux of the narrative.
The performances of the kids are sincere but perfunctory. They are supported by Saurabh Shukla as the dhaba owner, Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal as their English teacher, Vineet Sharma as the corrupt cop, Shernaz Patel as Sean’s mother, Navneet Nishan and Rajit Kapur as Fatima’s parents, Raj Zutshi and Jaya Bhattacharya as Nikita’s parents, Vrajesh Hirjee as Panna Lal, the hunchbacked tree-cutter, and Makarand Deshpande as Sadho, the wheeler-dealer of stolen goods.
Shabana Azmi as the mystic woman, is an extension and glamorous representation of the Makdee avatar, and is as vague as her character.
While the premise and its intention is noble, the execution of the film is totally warped. The director has gone full-throttle displaying her technical brilliance in effects and computer generated images, but marring the narrative in the bargain. The characters are paper thin and flat, especially Shabana’s character. She is vague and dull-witted.
Overall, even Mr Bachchan, who lends his baritone voice can’t help the film in raising its stature and content. — IANS


Ranbir wants Rs5,000 reward for suggesting SRK film title


Actor Ranbir Kapoor is happy that Jab Harry Met Sejal — a title that he suggested — has been finalised for the Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma starrer directed by Imtiaz Ali. He says he wants Rs5000 as reward, and in cash.
Ranbir, who was present at a song launch of his upcoming film Jagga Jasoos, said here: “I suggested the title of the film and that time people laughed at me saying, Kya bakwaas title hai (“What a useless title it is”). Today, when the poster of the film released with my suggested title, I was very happy.” Recounting how the conversation around the title had panned, Ranbir added: “I was shooting at the Mehboob Studio where Shah Rukh sir and Imtiaz were also shooting. So I went to meet them and I suggested the title while chatting with them. I am looking forward as a fan and as an audience member to watch the interesting collaboration of Imtiaz Ali and SRK.”
The poster of When Harry Met Sejal was unveiled last week and it was confirmed that the film will release on August 4 — a week before the scheduled date, thereby averting a clash with Akshay Kumar’s Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.
On Twitter, Shah Rukh had quipped about the title: “Just in case Ranbir Kapoor ever claims it... The title Jab Harry Met Sejal was never ever suggested by him! So he doesn’t win the Rs 5,000 reward.”
Commenting on that, Ranbir said: “That time I didn’t know about the reward. Now that I am aware of it, I will go to Mannat (Shah Rukh’s house) to take my 5,000 rupees from Shah Rukh sir... In cash please.”
The actor was here with Katrina Kaif and their Jagga Jasoos director Anurag Basu to launch a new song Galti se mistake. — IANS


Miranda Kerr returns to 
runway after marriage


Supermodel Miranda Kerr, who married Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel on May 27, returned to the fashion runway here and flaunted her wedding ring for the first time.
Kerr, 34, posed for photographs backstage at the Moschino Resort Collection show at Milk Studios, reports dailymail.co.uk.
The wedding ring appeared to be platinum inlaid with diamonds, while her engagement ring featured a diamond in a platinum setting.
The model shared images with her fans via Snapchat as she prepared for the runway. 
Kerr and Spiegel announced their engagement in July 2016 and got married at his Brentwood, Los Angeles, home. 
She was previously married to actor Orlando Bloom with whom she shares 6-year-old son Flynn. She and Bloom separated in 2013 and their divorce was finalised later that year. — IANS


Katrina is a machine of superhit films: Ranbir


Actor Ranbir Kapoor says his Jagga Jasoos co-star Katrina Kaif is a big star, who delivers superhit films time and again. He would even like to make a film “only for her” in the future as a producer.
“I think Katrina is a machine of superhit films. In the future, when I will produce a film, I would like to make a film only for her,” Ranbir, who was present at the song launch of the film along with its director Anurag Basu, told the media. 
Katrina, who was sitting next to him, smiled and said: “Thank you very much.” 
The actors have also shared screen space in films Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and Raajneeti.
Ranbir, who is currently busy shooting for a biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt — directed by Rajkumar Hirani — feels safe and blessed to have a wide range of films in the pipeline. 
“Last few years weren’t that good at the box office, but even then I’ve got the opportunity to work with Raju sir, Anurag Basu and Ayan Mukerji. I feel very fortunate and blessed. 
“They are putting their vision in a film and gifting it to me. So, I really hope that I can repay that with my talent,” said Ranbir, whose films like Bombay Velvet and Roy bombed at the box office. — IANS







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