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Sunflower: Quirky but lacks focus

“Sunflower” keeps you guessing all the way, all right — but that’s because the show tries to do too many things, diluting the impact of the dark comedy thrills it should have stuck to. It’s starts on a different sort of a high as a murder mystery, showing you the murder (and murderer) right at the start. The screenplay then struggles to weave enough suspense drama to sustain interest through its eight episodes.

Creator Vikas Bahl’s writing tries setting a quirky tone while lacing the plot spins. The fun factor is mostly brought alive by an interesting ensemble cast, for Bahl and co-director Rahul Sengupta have got the casting bang-on. The handpicked set of actors living out the protagonists of the show bring alive even the most insane moments in the story and end up its primary redeeming feature.

At the centre of the plot is the murder of Mr Kapoor (Ashwin Kaushal). He is killed in a rather ingenious manner by his neighbour and bete noire, Mr Ahuja (Mukul Chadda), as the story begins. The cops arrive, with Inspector Digendra (Ranvir Shorey) and Inspector Tambe (Girish Kulkarni) in charge. Everyone in the society plus the support staff is a suspect, but the focus falls on the happy-go-lucky bachelor Sonu Singh (Sunil Grover), who lives a few floors below the victim and gets tangled in the probe in a bizarre manner.

Sunil Grover, towering over all in an author-backed role, proves again he is a talent who just needs to be tapped with the right role. Grover makes Sonu impish and stupid at the same time. He keeps it cool and comical when Sonu is in charge, just as when he is caught with his pants down (literally) and, yes — if you’re a Gutthi fan — he does get to wear the skirt at one point and he pulls it off with vintage aplomb.

Ashish Vidyarthi as the conservative Iyer, Mukul Chadda as Ahuja, Radha Bhatt as his wife, Ranvir Shorey and Girish Kulkarni as the inspectors, and Annapurna Soni as the domestic help are particularly worth mention, adding to the humour and the drama.

“Sunflower” is an okay watch but with some more focus in writing could have had the essential resonance to stick in your mind as an entertainer.

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Comedy drama ‘Metro Park 2’ gets rolling

Eros Now’s “Metro Park” featuring Indian American Gujarati family will take the audience on another exciting joyful ride as they kick-start the shooting of Season 2 with an addition to the stellar cast.

Starring Ranvir Shorey, Pitobash, Purbi Joshi and Vega Tamotia in the lead roles, it will also witness veteran actors Milind Soman, Sarita Joshi and Gopal Dutt joining the family.

Written by Ajayan Venugopalan and directed by Abi Varghese and Ajayan Venugopalan, the series revolves around the eccentricities and quirks of an Indian Gujarati family settled in New Jersey. 

The shoot will be conducted with complete precautions with limited staff, sanitizers all around the sets, temperatures and oxygen checked before entering the set, along with the necessary precautions taken keeping in the mind the utmost safety of every member of the show.

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Ranvir Shorey bats for legal marijuana in India

Ranvir Shorey  had made his debut opposite Manisha Koirala in the film Ek Chhotisi Love Story in 2002. Since then he has been making progress in the cut-throat world of Bollywood. But never has he witnessed multiple releases as now amid this pandemic. He clarifies=, however, that it’s just a coincidence that his various projects shot over the past two years got released on OTT platforms around the same time. After the short web series Metro Park – Quarantine Edition and the Kunal Kemmu-starrer Lootcase, the latest release of the actor is the series ‘High’ which revolves around the theme of drug mafia.

‘High’ comes at a time when drug abuse in Bollywood seems to be the hottest topic of debate with multiple arrests being made. On being asked by Hindustan Times if use of drugs was really a part of the party culture in Bollywood, the actor replied, “I think drug consumption in Bollywood is the same proportion as it is generally in society. I have seen drugs at non-Bollywood parties as well.”

The Sonchiriya actor also strongly believes that besides CBD oil, marijuana should also be made legal in India. He says, “It is based on very archaic laws; it is legal in a lot of countries. I believe this is another colonial hangover that we have.”

Ranvir had recently reacted to veteran actor and Rajya Sabha member Jaya Bachchan, who had said that one must not insult the platter in which they eat, referring to those giving a bad name to Bollywood amid the nepotism debate. The 48-year-old had said that he wasn’t given anything on a platter which was reserved for star kids and people like him only got a few pieces from it. On being asked if he had ever been replaced by a star kid, Ranvir said, “These things don’t happen in front of you. This happens behind the scenes. But I have had instances where scripts were given to me for certain parts and I said yes to them. And finally those films were made with some other people, including star kids.”

Ranvir however, agrees that streaming platforms are contributing in a big way in providing good opportunities to the talented and newcomers. “This is a great time for artists and technicians. The OTT platforms are adding the most to this, not the traditional theatrical system,” he asserted.

Shorey and wife Konkona Sen Sharma are officially divorced now.

Veteran actor Ranvir Shorey stars in the series ‘High’ about dug mafia which is now streaming on OTT platform. (Photo courtesy BCCL)
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