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Amazon acquires movie giant MGM for $8.45 billion

San Francisco: Amazon on Wednesday announced to acquire movie giant MGM for $8.45 billion, at a time when the world’s largest telecommunication company AT&T has announced to merge WarnerMedia with Discovery to create a new media giant that will compete with leading streaming players like Netflix.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s or MGM which has a century of filmmaking history, has a vast library of over 4,000 film titles, including 12 Angry Men, Basic Instinct, Creed, James Bond, Legally Blonde, Moonstruck, Poltergeist, Raging Bull, Robocop, Rocky, Silence of the Lambs, Stargate, Thelma & Louise, Tomb Raider, The Magnificent Seven, The Pink Panther, The Thomas Crown Affair, and many others.

“MGM has a vast catalog with more than 4,000 films that have collectively won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys,” said Mike Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Prime Video and Amazon Studios.

“The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling,” Hopkins said in a statement.

MGM has been up for sale since December 2020.

“I am very proud that MGM’s Lion, which has long evoked the Golden Age of Hollywood, will continue its storied history, and the idea born from the creation of United Artists lives on in a way the founders originally intended, driven by the talent and their vision,” said Kevin Ulrich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MGM.

Last week, AT&T and Discovery announced a definitive agreement to combine WarnerMedias premium entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery’s leading non-fiction and international entertainment and sports businesses to create a premier, standalone global entertainment company.

Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T would receive $43 billion (subject to adjustment) in a combination of cash, debt securities, and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt.

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Bollywood Latest News

Milestone’: Nuanced cinema for a select few

Ivan Ayr’s second feature film opens to nothingness. A black screen stares at you for nearly 30 seconds, almost preparing you for the immersive experience ahead. It is as if Ayr lets you absorb a bit of the bleakness that would seem to define his protagonist Ghalib’s life over the next 98-odd minutes.

Ghalib is a truck driver, portrayed with understated angst by Punjabi actor Suvinder Vicky (he was Joginder in “Chauthi Koot”, for ready reference, among other impressive roles). As the narrative opens, Ghalib is asked to load goods in his vehicle by the depot supervisor. He tries telling he has a bad back, but doesn’t argue on being ignored.

It is a trait we spot in Ghalib repeatedly, as the plot unfolds. He takes a lot of pasting without arguing — yet that’s only when it comes to himself. For, Ghalib instinctively tends to fight for friends and co-workers, too. In his introverted way, he is ready to stand up for a colleague who gets attacked by the labourers’ union or an aging driver who is sacked by the owners because he can no longer see clearly at night.

The storyline (Ayr and Neel Mani Kant) takes time developing Ghalib as a character, and to let the audience understand the character’s mind. This is important because Ghalib rarely speaks or expresses, and one way this is achieved is by letting Angello Faccini’s camera stay with Ghalib in almost every frame of the film (indeed, you would be hard-pressed to recall a single scene in this film without Ghalib). It is a style reminiscent of Ayr’s treatment in his debut feature film, “Soni”, where he used the cinematic idiom to let us fathom how his protagonist, the lady cop Soni (memorably essayed by Geetika Vidya Ohlyan), is given to bursts of rage while struggling to cope with a sense of emptiness in her life.

In “Milestone” (also known as “Meel Patthar”), Ghalib doesn’t give in to rage. Rather, he seems withdrawn in a shell even when he is in a crowd. It is a shell that Pash (Lakshvir Saran), a new young recruit at the transport company, tries to crack. Pash is almost star-struck by Ghalib, but the latter has no doubt that the youngster has been assigned as his helper because the owners plan to eventually replace him some day. The situation is a silent comment on how the employer is increasingly becoming an expendable asset, no matter the dedication shown.

For Ghalib, his struggle to survive life’s ruthless vagaries is compounded by the fact that he mostly always tries to keep everyone happy by doing the right thing. It is apparent in the way he gives in without much of a debate when he is directed by the ‘mukhia’ of his ‘pind’ to “compensate” his in-laws for the death of his wife. The loss of his wife is the plot point that singularly drives the melancholy about Ghalib’s existence, we will gradually realise as the screenplay moves.

“Milestone” is nuanced cinema. The film demands an amount of participation on the part of the viewer, as layered storytelling draws you into Ghalib’s intricate world of silences. It is your film if you cherish the aesthetics of the moving pictures.

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‘Money Heist’ to end in 2 instalments of 5 episodes each this year

The globally popular Spanish web series “Money Heist” is all set to come to an end in two instalments of five episodes each. Volume 1 of the finale will release on September 3 while Volume 2 drops on December 3 this year, according to an announcement.

So far, there have been four Parts to the show. While Parts 1 and 2 released in 2017, Parts 3 and 4 dropped in 2019-2020.

“When we began to write Part 5 in the midst of the pandemic, we felt we had to change what was expected from the 10-episode season and used every tool we could, to create the sensation of a season finale or series finale in the first volume itself. We decided to work in an extremely aggressive genre, putting The Gang on the ropes,” said creator of the series, Alex Pina.

“In Volume 2, we focus more on the emotional situation of the characters. It is a journey across their sentimental map that connects us directly to their departure,” he added.

Originally titled “La Casa de Papel” (The House Of Paper), the Netflix series stars UIrsula Corbero, Alvaro Morte, Itziar Ituno, Pedro Alonso, Paco Tous, Alba Flores, Miguel Herran, Jaime Lorente, Esther Acebo, Enrique Arce, Maria Pedraza, Darko Peric and Kiti Manver among others.

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Bollywood Latest News

WarnerMedia, Discovery form new leader in global entertainment space

AT&T and Discovery have announced a definitive agreement to combine WarnerMedias premium entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery’s leading nonfiction and international entertainment and sports businesses to create a premier, standalone global entertainment company.

The “pure play” content company will own one of the deepest libraries in the world with nearly 200,000 hours of iconic programming and will bring together over 100 of the most cherished, popular and trusted brands in the world under one global portfolio, including HBO, Warner Bros., Discovery, DC Comics, CNN, Cartoon Network, HGTV, Food Network, the Turner Networks, TNT, TBS, Eurosport, Magnolia, TLC, Animal Planet, ID and many more.

Under the terms of the agreement, which is structured as an all-stock, Reverse Morris Trust transaction, AT&T would receive $43 billion in a combination of cash, debt securities, and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt. AT&T’s shareholders would receive stock representing 71 per cent of the new company; Discovery shareholders would own 29 per cent of the new company.

A statement said companies with shared values, complementary assets and iconic brands and franchises will offer the most differentiated content portfolio in the world. Also, WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. form one of the largest global streaming players.

The new company will compete globally in the fast-growing direct-to-consumer business — bringing compelling content to DTC subscribers across its portfolios, including HBO Max and the recently launched discovery+.

The transaction will combine WarnerMedia’s storied content library of popular and valuable IP with Discovery’s global footprint, trove of local-language content and deep regional expertise across more than 200 countries and territories.

The new company will be able to invest in more original content for its streaming services, enhance the programming options across its global linear pay TV and broadcast channels, and offer more innovative video experiences and consumer choices.

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Bollywood Latest News

Seema Pahwa says she ‘feels cheated’ by Pagglait

Actor-director Seema Pahwa says a few people who worked on her film Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi, were also crew members on the recently released Pagglait. Seema says that she feels ‘cheated’ how she was still not informed of the similarities between the two films.

While Seema’s movie released on January 1 in theaters, Sanya Malhotra’s Pagglait released on Netflix in March. Both the films have a similar plot of a large, extended middle class family from UP coming together for the funeral of a loved one.

Speaking to Film Companion, Seema said the similarities between the two movies were ‘painful’ for her. “We made Ram Prasad Ki Tehrvi in 2018 and released it before at MAMI and other film festivals. Pagglait came after that and had some similarities, which was painful to see. 

“The location it was shot at was the same as ours, there were similarities between the characters too. I thought that this was because both films have middle-class families, in which you find the same kinds of characters. Maybe that could’ve been a coincidence but the location being the same was a problem because the audience got confused between the films,” she said.

Seema added that the matter could have been resolved with a conversation. “There should’ve been some conversation between us and we could’ve changed some things to make our films more individualistic. There was ignorance on my part too because I found out too late that a film just like ours was being made. I feel cheated because there were people who worked on Pagglait who had also worked on Ram Prasad Ki Tehrvi and who knew about the film. It’s a little surprising that they didn’t see it as a second chance and make some changes. I haven’t spoken to them yet, but it was shocking,” she said.¯

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Netflix acquires Dev Patel’s ‘Monkey Man’ for $30 million

Netflix has acquired most worldwide rights for British Indian actor Dev Patel’s directorial debut, “Monkey Man.”

The streaming service has reportedly paid around $30 million for the revenge-thriller, reports Deadline.

Written by Patel, Paul Angunawela, and John Collee, “Monkey Man,” set in India, follows Patel as a hero who emerges from prison to take on a world filled with corporate greed and eroding spiritual values.

Filming has just finished on the movie, the cast of which includes Sharlto Copley (“Maleficent”) and Indian actors Sobhita Dhulipala of “Made in Heaven” fame and Sikandar Kher (“24: India”).

“Monkey Man,” to be out in 2022, is a co-production between Bron Studios and Thunder Road Pictures, in association with Creative Wealth Media.

Patel next stars in A24’s “The Green Knight,” which will be released in July 2021.

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Sanya Malhotra decodes what ‘Pagglait’ means

Actress Sanya Malhotra has decoded the title of her new film “Pagglait”. She says for her a person who listens to their heart and does not seek external validation is a Pagglait.

 

“Pagglait is a person who listens to the heart and does what the heart says. Someone who does not seek external validation. That person (for me) is a Pagglait. The person who listens to themselves and not the outside world is a pagglait,” Sanya said.

 

In the film, Sanya is Sandhya, a young woman who becomes a widow within a few months of marriage. While the family grieves, Sandhya is unable to bring herself to mourn the death of her husband.

 

The dramedy, directed by Umesh Bist, also features Sayani Gupta, Shrutii Sharma, Ashutosh Rana, Raghubir Yadav, Sheeba Chaddha, Meghna Malik and Rajesh Tailang, and dropped on Netflix on March 26.

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Parineeti Chopra: I’m privileged I can sing

Actress Parineeti Chopra is out with her third song, Matlabi yariyan unplugged, which features in her new film The Girl On The Train. She feels privileged to be an actress who she can sing.

“I love singing and singing at whatever opportunity I get. Today, as an actress, I am just privileged that I can sing, I have the opportunity and I get a chance to sing behind a mic and have the world hear it. So, when I had heard this song back in London one and half years ago when we were shooting it, Ribhu and I had discussed that we would do a version in my voice.” Parineeti said.

The song has been composed by Vipin Patwa, and Kumaar has written the lyrics.

The Girl On The Train co-stars Aditi Rao Hydari, Avinash Tiwary and Kirti Kulhari among others, and is an official Hindi adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ bestseller about gender battles and domestic violence, which was also adapted by Hollywood in 2016, starring Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett and Justin Theroux. 

The latest re-telling (Directed by Ribhu Dasgupta) that was released on Netflix on February 26 is the story of Meera Kapoor (played by Chopra), a lawyer with a dark past and a broken marriage who begins to fixate on the perfect life of a couple she sees in their home while on her daily commute in a train. The film was shot in a two-month start-to-finish schedule in London in late 2019.

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ screenwriter on penning ‘Raya And The Last Dragon’

Screenwriter-producer Adele Lim shot to global fame writing ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ in 2018 and is back penning the story of Disney’s new CGI fantasy adventure, Raya And The Last Dragon. She says the makers wanted her to anchor the story in love, given the fantastical tone of her latest effort.

“The tone we wanted to lead with was one of love for our world, our family and joy. With a project like this that is so fantastical, we wanted to find emotional anchors for our character and her journey, grounded in something true and relatable,” said Lim.

The animated film tells the tale of the fantasy world of Kumandra, where humans and dragons once lived in harmony. When an evil force threatens the land, the dragons sacrifice themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, the same evil returns and it is up to lone warrior Raya to find the legendary last dragon and restore the fractured land and its divided people.

The film will release in theaters across India on March 5.

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