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‘Jai Bhim’, ‘Marakkar’ make it to Oscars ‘submission list’

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Two Indian films — the controversial Tamil film ‘Jai Bhim’ starring Suriya and Lijomol Jose and Priyadarshan’s Malayalam period drama ‘Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham’ (Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea), with Mohanlal playing the titular character — are on the list of 276 movies eligible for this year’s Academy Awards.

The voting for the Oscar nominations is set to begin on Thursday, January 27, and it will continue until Tuesday, February 1. The announcement limits the eligibility year to 10 months. Last year, the Academy had extended it until February 28, 2021, because of the pandemic.

All of the presumed Oscar contenders, reports ‘Variety’, are on the list. These include ‘Being the Ricardos’ (Amazon Studios), ‘Belfast’ (Focus Features), ‘CODA’ (Apple Original Films), ‘Dune’ (Warner Bros), ‘Encanto’ (Walt Disney Pictures), ‘House of Gucci’ (MGM/United Artists), ‘The Power of the Dog’ (Netflix), ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ (Paramount Pictures), ‘Spencer’ (Neon/Topic Studios), ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ (Sony Pictures) and ‘West Side Story’ (20th Century Studios).

Some of the international features from the Oscar shortlist are also eligible for best picture, in addition to the best international feature category, such as Japan’s much-awarded ‘Drive My Car’, Italy’s ‘The Hand of God’, Iran’s ‘A Hero’ and Norway’s ‘The Worst Person in the World’.

Directed by Priyadarshan, ‘Marakkar’ is one of the most expensive films in the history of Malayalam cinema. It narrates the epic tale of Kunjali Marakkar IV, a Malabar sea lord and his epic battles against the Portuguese. The movie had won three National Awards — Best Feature Film, Best Special Effects and Best Costume Design.

‘Jai Bhim’, which raised the hackles of the PMK, a political party in Tamil Nadu that represents mainly the Vanniyar community, is based on a true incident in 1993, involving a case fought by former Madras High Court Justice K. Chandru, when he was an advocate. Behind him in this legal battle was Sengeni’s wife, Rajakannu.

The only other film to make the cut from South Asia is Bhutan’s ‘Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom’, a 2019 film directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji. It had its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival.

The film was selected as the Bhutanese entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards, but later disqualified. It was resubmitted as Bhutan’s entry for the 2022 Oscars and was shortlisted for the awards.

Nominations for the 94th Academy Awards, according to ‘Variety’, will be announced on Tuesday, February 8. The ceremony is scheduled to be held on Sunday, March 27, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and will be televised on the American network ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.

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Director Shankar lauds Suriya’s ‘Jai Bhim’ as praise keeps pouring in

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Ace director Shankar is the latest to join the list of those showering praises on director Gnanavel’s critically acclaimed film ‘Jai Bhim’, featuring actors Suriya, Lijo Mol Jose and Manikandan in the lead.

Almost a month after the film’s release, the highly-rated Tamil director wrote on his Facebook page that ‘Jai Bhim’ had proved again that a powerful film could bring about enormous change.

Shankar, who has two ongoing projects — one with Ram Charan and the other with Kamal Haasan, said, “A voice for the voiceless. What a hard-hitting emotional rollercoaster. Director TJ Gnanavel’s detailing and realistic approach was nerve-racking and commendable.

“Beyond the film and acting, Suriya Sivakumar’s compassion towards society is really laudable, yet he livens up each scene with his subtlety and impact. Manikandan, Lijomol and all other cast and crew excelled. It has been proven again, that a powerful film can bring an enormous change,” the director said.

The critically acclaimed courtroom drama is inspired by true events that happened in Tamil Nadu in the 1990s and tells the moving story of an upright lawyer coming to the aid of poor people from the Irular community who have no means to stand up to the brutality of an inhuman police force that seeks to exploit their helplessness.

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TN Directors’ Union writes to Ramadoss; Suriya says support ‘overwhelming’

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Overwhelmed by the support pouring in for him from both the film industry and from fans across the country, Tamil star Suriya on Wednesday took to Twitter to express his gratitude.

He tweeted: “This love for #Jaibhim is overwhelming. I’ve never witnessed this before! Can’t express in words how thankful I am for the trust and reassurance you all have given us. Heartfelt thanks for standing by us.”

The actor, who hasn’t been on Twitter for quite a while, also took time to respond individually to some of the tweets, both from fans and other celebrities.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Thiraipada Iyakkunargal Sangam (TANTIS), better known as the Tamil Film Directors’ Union, has backed Suriya and written a letter to PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss, urging him to look at Suriya as a brother.

Stating that both creative freedom and political freedom were important, the office-bearers of the Directors’ Union pointed out to Ramadoss that if a mistake had occurred unknowingly, resolving the issue in a friendly manner would be the most healthy thing to do.

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South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce backs Suriya, writes to Anbumani Ramadoss

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Coming out strongly in support of its member, actor and producer Suriya, the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce on Monday asked PMK leader and former Union minister Anbumani Ramadoss to refrain from criticising the actor over his film ‘Jai Bhim’.

In a letter to Ramadoss, South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce President Katragadda Prasad pointed out that Suriya had acceded to his request for removal of a symbol from the Tamil film ‘Jai Bhim’ that was recently released on an OTT platform.

“Respecting your feelings, our member Suriya immediately removed that symbol from the film,” Prasad said.

“The South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce is pained by the fact that your party cadres continue to criticise Suriya despite neither the hero of the film nor the production house having anything to do with the decision to use that symbol in the film,” the President of the Chamber said.

Pointing out that Suriya, who did not have any political, caste or religious affiliations, was a socially responsible philanthropist and was a beacon of hope in the field of education, especially to students on the fringes of society, Prasad urged Ramadoss to refrain from criticising the actor.

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PMK-Suriya row: Party cadres force ‘Jai Bhim’ out of TN theatre

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The stand-off between the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and actor Suriya over the issue of the latter’s film ‘Jai Bhim’ allegedly insulting the Vanniyar community escalated on Sunday when a group of PMK cadres forced a theatre in Mayiladuthurai district to stop screening a Suriya film.

Sources said that a group of PMK cadres raised slogans outside the Peerless theatre on Park Avenue Road that was screening ‘Vel’, a Suriya film. The theatre management pulled out the film that was being screened.

The group, led by PMK’s Mayiladuthurai district secretary Panneerselvam, also submitted a petition to Mayiladuthurai Superintendent of Police, demanding action against Suriya.

Speaking to reporters, Pannerselvam, who said that the PMK would not allow any Suriya film to be screened in Mayiladuthurai, went on to announce a reward of Rs one lakh to anybody who assaults the actor when he visits the district.

Only days ago, a war of words had erupted between PMK chief Anbumani Ramadoss, who wrote a letter to Suriya, levelling allegations and demanding answers. Suriya had on Thursday neatly responded in kind, politely but firmly denying allegations and replying to all the questions asked.

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Prakash Raj responds to language row triggered by ‘Jai Bhim’

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Acclaimed character actor Prakash Raj has broken his silence on the slapping scene in the critically acclaimed Tamil film ‘Jai Bhim’.

Raj, who plays IG Perumalsamy, slaps a Hindi-speaking pawnbroker, who looks to use language as an instrument to obfuscate the truth and his involvement in the crime. The IG asks him to speak in Tamil. The scene did not go down well with a certain section of the audience and triggered a major debate on social media, with many expressing their displeasure on Twitter.

Tweeting the link of an interview he had given to a news channel, Prakash Raj on Saturday wrote, “Opened up on the slapping controversy of #JaiBheem and more. Do spend a few minutes to read and share … keep supporting relevant cinema … love you all #JaiBheem.”

In the interview, the actor said, “After watching a film such as ‘Jai Bhim’, they did not see the agony of the tribal people, they did not see and feel terrible about the injustice, they saw only the slap. That is all they understood; this exposes their agenda. That said, certain things have to be documented. For example, the anger of South Indians on Hindi being forced upon them.”

Explaining the relevance of the scene, Raj said: “How else will a police officer who is investigating a case react when he knows that a person who understands the local language, chooses to speak only in Hindi to dodge the interrogation? That has to be documented, right? The film is set in the 1990s. If that character had Hindi imposed on him, he would have reacted this way only. Probably if it came across as more intense, it is also because that is my thought too, and I stand by that thought.”

Replying to his critics with a strong riposte, the actor said: “For some, the slap scene irked only because it was Prakash Raj on screen. They appear more naked than me now, because their intent has been revealed.

If the pain of the tribal people did not move them, then, all I say is: ‘Unakku ivvalavuthaan purinju daha da, nee thaana avan? (Is that all you understood? Are you that kind of person?) There’s no point reacting to such bigots. You know, I came to Hindi very late. I have also given back something to that industry. It’s okay for us to have differences, we have to learn to live with them. The focus here is on the injustice. Let us be fair.”

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Prakash Raj’s slapping scene in ‘Jai Bhim’ triggers debate on social media

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A slapping scene featuring actor Prakash Raj in just-released Tamil film ‘Jai Bhim’ has triggered a massive debate on Twitter.

The scene in which Prakash Raj is shown slapping a Hindi-speaking pawn broker, asking him to speak in Tamil instead, has not gone down well with a section of the audience, who took to Twitter to express their displeasure.

One user tweeted, “I am really heartbroken after watching #JaiBhim, nothing against actor or anyone but felt really bad, there is a scene in the film where a person speaks Hindi and Prakash Raj slaps him and tells him to speak in Tamil. Honestly this kind of scene was not needed. Hope they cut it.”

“We wait for Tamil films. We support them, we request the makers to release it Pan India, in return we don’t want anything but just love. If not love then at least not humiliation,” he added.

While one segment took exception to it, another segment pointed out that the police officer’s character (played by Prakash Raj in the film) only asks the pawn broker’s character to speak in Tamil because of the latter’s efforts to use language as an instrument to obfuscate the truth and his involvement in the crime.

“The scene is not against Hindi-speaking Indians. The particular character tries to get away by speaking in Hindi (so that Prakash Raj wouldn’t understand) and knowing this strategy, he slaps him and asks him to speak in Tamil. Tamil filmmakers are not against the Hindi language ,” wrote one film critic in response to the tweet by the user.

The debate also saw some people venting their ire at actor Prakash Raj, who played the character of the police officer.

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Suriya’s Jai Bhim Review: An eye-opening honest tale

Jai Bhim Review

Tamil actor Suriya is overwhelmed with the appreciation for his performance in Soorarai Pottru. His next offering Jai Bhim is streaming on Amazon Prime skipping the theatrical release. TJ Gnanvel directed Jai Bhim which is inspired by several real-life incidents that took place in 1993. Suriya’s 2D Entertainment produced Jai Bhim and the film has Prakash Raj, Lijo Mol Jose, Manikandan, Rajisha Vijayan in other important roles. Jai Bhim is streaming in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi languages. Here is the review of this realistic tale:

Story:

Sengenni (Lijomol) and Rajakannu (Manikandan) are a young couple from a lower caste (Irula community) in the village. The President of the village gets robbed and Rajakannu is framed in the case that he never committed. Soon Rajakannu goes missing from the police custody after he gets brutally man-handled. It is then, Sengenni approaches Advocate Chandra (Suriya) and the rest of the film is all about the evils in the society and how the lower caste are marginalized by those with power.

Analysis:

Jai Bhim is honest and is focused about the brutality of the cops, caste discrimination, the pain of Irulas and how a woman stands against the system with the support of an honest advocate. The best part of Jai Bhim is the screenplay and the hard-hitting narration. The courtroom episodes are well packed. Each and every actor is too good with their performances which makes Jai Bhim a must-watch if you are fond of realistic tales.

Jai Bhim sounds like an investigative thriller. Suriya’s role has no elevations that a lead actor has in a South Indian film. He behaves like the other role in the film. He plays the role of an activist and an advocate who takes up issues that are ignored in the society. The drama looks narrated in detail and the custodial torture is quite brutal. The climax delivers the justice.

Performances:

Suriya is terrific as an advocate. He is subtle and handled the role of Chandru in style. The actor should be appreciated for picking up such scripts. Lijo Mol Jose and her performance is the other highlight of the film. She plays a pregnant woman who struggles hard for her missing husband. Manikandan is perfect and flawless as Rajakannu in this hard-hitting drama. Rajisha Vijayan has been decent. Prakash Raj and Rao Ramesh look perfect in their assignments.

Jai Bhim is inspired by an incident that took place in Tamil Nadu in 1993. The screenplay is the asset for the film and the dialogues are hard-hitting. The cinematography work is good and the background score matches with the mood of Jai Bhim. With some good production values and editing work, Jai Bhim excels in all the departments. TJ Gnanvel’s work is highly impressive.

Verdict:

Jai Bhim is hard-hitting, realistic and it makes an impressive watch because of the top-class performances.

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TN CM Stalin: ‘Jai Bhim’ made my heart heavy, recalled my time in prison

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Monday showered praise on actor Suriya’s upcoming courtroom drama ‘Jai Bhim’, which releases on November 2, saying that the film had been occupying his thoughts all night long and that it had made his heart heavy.

In a letter to the crew of the film, Stalin said, “I watched ‘Jai Bhim’ yesterday. Thoughts about the film made my heart heavy all night long. The lives of Irulars living on the fringes of society and the difficulties that they face couldn’t have been more artistically and precisely picturised.”

“Although the screenplay has been woven around one incident, the impact it has on viewers’ hearts is quite heavy. Sometimes, some mistakes committed by some police officials tarnish the reputation of the entire department. At the same time, you have showed that it was another police official who was instrumental in bringing out the truth. You have shown that truth is established by straightforward and conscientious police officers,” he said.

Stalin pointed out that apart from this, the film also goes to show that any kind of injustice could be set right through law and justice. If both parties — a lawyer (Chandru) and a police official (IG Perumalsamy) — set their minds to it, they could prevent societal disorderliness.

“My friend Suriya has portrayed the character of a lawyer who is silent and at the same time, intense very efficiently. In fact, he has lived the part of Chandru. Suriya deserves three congratulations – one each for selecting such a story, making it into a movie and for acting in it,” the Chief Minister said.

Stalin also congratulated the director of the film, Tha. Se. Gnanavel, and the entire film unit, saying that he wished more such films were made.

The Chief Minister also said that he was touched by Suriya’s gesture of not just stopping at making a movie on Irulars, thinking that he had done his duty but going on to donate a sum of Rs 1 crore to the Pazhangudi Irular Trust for the welfare of Irulars. “This is an attempt to light a lamp (and dispel the darkness) in their lives,” he said.

Stalin also said that he happened to meet retired High Court judge Justice Chandru when he had gone to watch the film.

“He handed to me a report filed by the Justice Ismail Commission. It was a report filed by the Inquiry Commission on the manner in which we had been arrested under MISA. An attack similar to the one that was unleashed in a police station was unleashed on me in the Central Jail on the night of February 2, 1976. Respected Chitti Babu sir bore many of the blows that were meant for me. As a result, he lost his life. Chitti Babu sir has written about all the torture that we underwent as a ‘prison diary’. All these thoughts came rushing to my mind when we came out after watching ‘Jai Bhim’,” Stalin said and thanked the unit for making an impactful film.

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‘Jai Bhim’ all set for rollout in five languages

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Suriya-starrer ‘Jai Bhim’ is set to release on Tuesday on Prime Video and it has already got fans kicked as there is palpable excitement about the film. Giving another reason to rejoice for fans, the streaming giant has now revealed that the film will be released in five Indian languages.

The film will cater to a broad set of audiences across demographics as it’s set to release in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada and Malayalam. Headlined by Suriya, ‘Jai Bhim’ is a thought-provoking story inspired by real-life incidents based on the life of popular advocate and judge – Justice Chandru. It talks about how the judge went beyond the call of duty to serve justice.

Written and directed by Tha. Se. Gnanavel, ‘Jai Bhim’ stars Suriya in the lead along with Prakash Raj, Rao Ramesh, Rajisha Vijayan, Manikandan, and Lijo Mol Jose in pivotal roles. The films boasts of a stellar technical team as DOP S.R. Kadhir, editor Philominraj, and art director Kadhir and music composer Sean Rolden have worked together on the film.

Produced by Suriya and Jyotika under the banner of 2D Entertainment in association with Rajsekar Karpoorasundarapandian, the film is ready to stream on Prime Video from November 2, across 240 countries and territories.

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Jai Bhim Trailer: One more sincere attempt from Suriya

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Talented actor Suriya is back with a bang with Soorarai Pottru. The actor’s upcoming movie Jai Bhim is heading for a direct digital release on Amazon Prime. The film is a courtroom drama that is inspired by various real-life incidents. Suriya plays a sincere lawyer who stands for the tribals in a village who are innocent but framed in a crime. Jai Bhim is all about Suriya’s attempt to save them and prove their innocence. The trailer looks realistic and Suriya shines in this sincere attempt. Some of the visuals are hard-hitting and emotional.

Jai Bhim is made with high production values and is expected to receive critical acclaim. Prakash Raj and Rao Ramesh played other prominent roles in Jai Bhim that is directed by Gnanavel. Suriya’s home production 2D Entertainments bankrolled Jai Bhim and the film will stream from November 2nd in all the South Indian languages.

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Suriya’s legal thriller ‘Jai Bhim’ to be streamed on Amazon Prime Video on Nov 2

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Amazon Prime Video launched the official teaser of the much-awaited courtroom drama ‘Jai Bhim’. Featuring Suriya as a lawyer, the upcoming drama is helmed by T.J. Gnanavel and is bankrolled by Suriya and Jyotika’s 2D Entertainment.

All set for its release on Amazon Prime Video on November 2, ‘Jai Bhim’ has got an ensemble cast of actors like Prakash Raj, Rao Ramesh, Rajisha Vijayan, Manikandan, and Lijo Mol Jose. This intense courtroom drama is to start streaming this Diwali in Tamil and Telugu across 240 countries and territories.

On the auspicious day of Dussehra, the makers of ‘Jai Bhim’ launched the official teaser, which hints at the main crux of the movie. This is a story that takes us through the lives of the innocent tribal people, who earn to make their ends meet.

‘Jai Bhim’ is to mirror the social injustice and brutality against innocent people. Suriya Siva Kumar plays advocate Chandru who battles for human rights. The teaser sets the tone for a highly engrossing and intense narrative, laid out in a hard-hitting courtroom drama.

It is co-produced by Rajsekar Karpoorasundarapandian, while Sean Rolden composes the music. It will release in Tamil and Telugu on Amazon Prime Video, on November 2.

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Suriya releases motion picture of Tamil courtroom drama ‘Jai Bhim’

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Multiple award-winning Tamil actor Suriya on Monday shared a captivating motion poster from the courtroom drama “Jai Bhim”. The upcoming film will be streamed on Amazon Prime Video, starting from November 2, but the poster has doubled the hype building up around the movie.

The motion poster introduces Suriya in a powerful narrative setting, reminding his fans about the legal personalities who fought for social uplift. The film, which also showcases the talents of Prakash Raj, Rao Ramesh, Rajisha Vijayan and Lijo Mol Jose, is also about the struggles of certain sections of people in a divided society.

“Jai Bhim” has been written and directed by T.J. Gnanavel. The music is by Sean Roldan, which is the industry name of Tamil composer Raghavendra Raja Rao. Suriya and his wife and co-star Jyotika have produced the movie under the 2D Entertainment banner.

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Suriya’s next heads for an OTT Release

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South Indian top actor Suriya tested his luck last year with Soorarai Pottru and the film had a direct digital release through Amazon Prime. The film received critical accalim and Suriya’s work is appreciated widely. The actor today announced that his upcoming movie Jai Bhim will head for a direct digital release through Amazon Prime in November this year during the Diwali weekend. Suriya essays the role of a lawyer in Jai Bhim.

TS Gnanavel directed the movie and the shoot reached the final stages. Suriya and Jyotika produced this bilingual on 2D Entertainment banner. Rajisha Vijayan is the leading lady and Prakash Raj plays a pivotal role in this courtroom drama that is shot simultaneously in Tamil and Telugu languages. Suriya is also making his digital debut with Navarasa that will stream on Netflix from tomorrow.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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