review

France receives request from Mali to review defence accords

Paris [France] (ANI/Sputnik): The French Foreign Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that Mali has requested that France review bilateral defence agreements.
On Sunday, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop told the France 24 broadcaster that the African country had officially requested Paris to reevaluate their bilateral defence pact. “We have received a request of that sort, [and] are considering it,” a French Foreign Ministry spokesperson said at a briefing when asked by Sputnik.
At the same time, the ministry did not reveal what exactly Mali wants to review.
Mali has experienced two military coups over the past two years. The first coup, which took place in August 2020, resulted in the ousting of former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and the appointment of Ba N’daw as interim president.
Ba N’daw was arrested by soldiers on May 24, 2021. The Military Council, led by Vice President Assimi Goita, took over the country and announced presidential and parliamentary elections next year. The constitutional court of Mali declared Goita president of the transitional period.
In November, Diop said that the general election, which was supposed to end the transition period, will have to be postponed from February 2022 to 2025 due to the volatile security situation.
In 2013, France and Mali signed defence agreements after Paris launched a military operation to counter Islamist militants. The deal provides legal grounds for French troops to operate in the country. (Image source: Unsplash)

Karnataka CM reviews COVID situation

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] (ANI): In view of the surge in COVID cases, the Karnataka government on Tuesday decided to extend guidelines till the end of the month.
The decision has been taken after Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday chaired a review meeting on the COVID situation via video conferencing in Bengaluru. Ministers Dr K Sudhakar, BC Nagesh, Araga Dnyanendra and senior officials attended the meeting.
The rise in cases among school children was also discussed in the meeting. A decision was also taken to authorise the Deputy Commissioners of respective districts to take a call on closing schools based on the number of cases, reports from the BEOs and Health officers.
Officials are instructed to arrange children’s ward, ICUs and other treatment facilities for children at Taluk and District hospitals. Education and Health department officials asked to conduct a general health checkup in schools every fortnight.
District collectors and Superintendent of Police are instructed to strictly enforce COVID guidelines at public places. Instructions were issued for monitoring the health of those in home quarantine and timely distribution of health kits for them.
The Chief Minister wanted the officials to strengthen the Triaging to ascertain whether an infected person needs hospitalisation or not immediately on getting the test report.
It was decided to utilise the services of House Surgeons and Final Year Nursing students in the Home Isolation and Triaging process.
The government decided to establish 27 COVID Care Centres in Bengaluru immediately.
The Revenue and Endowment departments were instructed to issue appropriate guidelines to be followed during the coming Sankranti, Vaikunta Ekadashi and other festivals.
The daily COVID testing in Bengaluru is to be raised to 1.30 lakh. The Chief Minister instructed the officials to take stringent action against those holding public conventions. The State government was instructed to take action to decongest the market areas based on the ground realities.
Karnataka reported 11,698 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, out of which 9,221 cases were reported in Bengaluru only.
In Karnataka, the active caseload stands at 60,148 including 49,000 active cases of Bengaluru.
As many as four people have succumbed to coronavirus infection in the state on Monday including two deaths reported in Bengaluru.
Worth mentioning, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai on Monday evening said that he had tested positive for COVID-19 infection. (Image source: Instagram)

Gujarat CM reviews Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project

Surat (Gujarat) [India]: Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel visited and reviewed the development of the High-Speed Bullet Train Mumbai-Ahmedabad project in Surat on Sunday afternoon.
Union Minister of State for Railways Darshana Jardosh was also present at the venue. National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) MD, Satish Agnihotri who was here as well told ANI today, “We have acquired and started working on approximately 98.5 per cent of the 350 kilometres land stretch in Gujarat.”
“We will try to adhere to the time period of 6 years given by the Railways Minister to complete the project in Gujarat,” Agnihotri said.
Jardosh tweeted, “Reviewed the ongoing work of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project C-4 section at Vaktana near Surat with Gujarat CM Shri @Bhupendrapbjp ji. The High Speed Bullet Train Project is on track to bring unparalleled economical transformation for our nation.”
At present Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) project is the only sanctioned project of High-Speed Rail (HSR) in the country which is under execution with financial and technical assistance from the Government of Japan.
A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), namely National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has been formed to implement the Project, the Ministry of Railways said.

SQUID GAMES-:WHEN THE HYPE IS REAL

Netflix series review by Sachin Sisodia

Squid games is another one of those concepts which we have seen quite a few times before(Battle Royale, Hunger games, Belko Experiment, Escape Room…).

A bunch of people locked up in an environment where they have to battle it out to the death, all for a cash price for 45.6 billion or something.

Squid Game' Season 2: Our Favorite Theories, Clues, and Dreams | Decider

The games are all unique, all the type which we probably have played before as kids. With the added incentive of life or death there is a real intensity to these games which intrigues us throughout.

The characters all have unique and relatable motivations and circumstances. They all need money for one reason or another be it for themselves, their family members , debts, etc.

The characters surprisingly are very well written and rounded up which is what keeps us hooked right unitl the end and perhaps seperates this show from other violent shows.

Squid Game: From Jung Ho-yeon's North Korean accent to foreshadowed deaths,  5 details you didn't notice in Netflix show | Web Series - Hindustan Times
HoYeon Jung and Lee Yoo-Mi

The show throws concepts of morality in the face of adversity, consumerism, democracy, class separation, gender equality, all very subtly and naturally weaving and fitting into the story without taking any unneccesary stops.

It lets you form your own opinion of these concepts and themes instead of drilling its own politics into you.

From the standards of storytelling in modern times its Oscar worthy!

The ending revelations perhaps felt uninspired even if they were executed well(driven mostly by the actors performances and direction), the twists and turns ranged from genuinely shocking, emotional to ‘Havent we seen that somewhere else?’.

Yes the plot twists at the end remind you of Escape Room perhaps even of Hunger Games or Battle Royale but the writing and character development is what elevates the show a notch above. The show is clearly one of the best of the year!!

iPhone 13 Review: The Best Yet!

By Kshvid News Desk with inputs from agencies

The iPhone 13 doesn’t add many new features, but it does improve on the iPhone 12 in key categories — most notably battery life, power, display, and cameras – to make it one of Apple’s most stunning all-around gadgets.
On the surface, it’s difficult to see why Apple didn’t label this phone the iPhone 12S. The design remains virtually unchanged, the specifications aren’t much different, and there aren’t many noteworthy new features. Everything about the iPhone 13 is, however, a little better than before, and some components are noticeably improved. The iPhone 13’s battery life is its defining feature. Previously, iPhones were not known for their long battery life, but we were unable to run the iPhone 13 out of power on any of the days we tested it.
When it comes to battery life, Apple has finally mastered it, and it’s now significantly superior to its ancestor iPhone models. Meanwhile, the iPhone 13’s new A15 Bionic high-end Chip is tremendously powerful, and when combined with 4GB of RAM, it’s capable of rapidly and efficiently executing several apps and tasks.
The iPhone 13 features a new dual camera that improves image clarity, while the company’s Sensor-Shift optical image stabilization (OIS) technology, which was previously only available on Apple’s Pro Max handsets, is a big deal for those who want to shoot quickly without losing their subject in a blur.

Even the iPhone 13’s screen is a little better than previous standards iPhone screens, which is a major improvement if you’re moving from an iPhone XS or older.
The OLED technology used here allows for a brighter picture than ever before, with incredible picture quality.
However, Apple hasn’t integrated a 120Hz refresh rate on the iPhone 13 which is disappointing from a consumers point of view given the apple enterprise, so you won’t get the same seamless experience as you would with the iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Apple’s new iPhone will set you back as usual, with the iPhone 13 starting at 79,900 Indian rupee / £779 / AU$1,349 – however, this year’s pricing includes 128GB of storage, rather than the 64GB of the iPhone 12.
While the iPhone 13 may not appear to be a significant step forward for Apple at first look, the enhanced battery life, performance, screen, and the camera makes it an ideal gadget for anyone upgrading from an older iPhone or switching from Android.

The Design
If you already have an iPhone 12, you won’t notice much of a change between it and the iPhone 13 but If you have an older iPhone or an Android device, though, you will notice certain variations. The latest iPhone has a flat-edge design, which was first seen on the iPhone 12 series. That means the phone’s shape is a little more angular than previous models’ rounded finishes, but it’s still easy to use one-handed.
The phone’s front and back panels are both made of glass, but only the front panel features Apple’s trademarked Ceramic Shield technology, which was first debuted on the iPhone 12 last year. Apple claims that this glass is four times as resistant to drops as prior iPhone glass, although we wouldn’t recommend putting this claim to the test. The iPhone 13 series is dust and water-resistant to IP68 standards, which means it can withstand immersion in up to six metres of water for 30 minutes. Don’t expect this phone to be completely waterproof, but it should be able to withstand the occasional splash.
The quiet switch, volume controls, and SIM tray are all located on the phone’s left edge. The power button is located on the right edge, making it easy to locate with your thumb or finger while attempting to wake the device. The speakers and the Lightning port connector for charging and data transfer are located on the bottom edge.
Although the iPhone 13 is easy to use one-handed (it measures 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7mm), the iPhone 13 mini may be a better alternative if you want a fully one-handed device or have smaller hands. The quiet switch, volume controls, and SIM tray are all located on the phone’s left edge.

The power button is located on the right edge, making it easy to locate with your thumb or finger while attempting to wake the device. The speakers and the Lightning port connector for charging and data transfer are located on the bottom edge.
Although the iPhone 13 is easy to use one-handed (it measures 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7mm), the iPhone 13 mini may be a better alternative if you want a fully one-handed device or have smaller hands. The iPhone 13 is available in five colours: Blue, Midnight, Starlight (a cream hue), Product Red, and Pink. These colours are very faint, so if you don’t like any of them, you might want to wait and see if Apple releases more colours in the future — the company released a purple iPhone 12 six months after it was first released. If you own an iPhone 12, keep in mind that the old model’s cases will not fit the new device.

The Display
The iPhone 13 has a 6.1-inch display with a resolution of 2532 x 1170 pixels. The display is an Apple Super Retina XDR OLED, which produces a clean and brilliant image — the brightness has been improved on the iPhone 13, and it can compete with rival smartphones in direct sunlight. That resolution translates to 460 pixels per inch, which isn’t the finest we’ve seen on the market but is plenty for regular use – we never felt the need for a higher resolution, even when viewing videos or playing games. The handset’s screen is surrounded by slim bezels, and the notch at the top takes up a portion of the display but it’s 20% smaller than the one on the iPhone 12, giving you a little extra screen real estate and a bigger full-screen display. It’s not a significant difference, but it’s evident when compared to the iPhone 12. It’s something you’ll get used to soon, though.

The iPhone 13 display does not support Apple’s new 120Hz refresh rate, which was first introduced on the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max — the displays on those phones refresh twice as quickly as a conventional 60Hz screen for a smoother experience while reading websites or playing games.

The Camera
On the back, there are two cameras: a 12MP wide-angle camera with an f/1.6 aperture and a 12MP ultrawide camera with an f/2.4 aperture and a 120-degree field of view. Because there is no telephoto lens and you must rely on digital zoom, this phone isn’t ideal for long-distance photography. This is a terrific and varied experience when not shooting at a distance. The main camera has 1.7 million pixels (up from 1.4 million on the iPhone 12), which makes a considerable increase in image quality.
You’ll also get Apple’s Sensor-Shift OIS technology, which debuted in the iPhone 12 Pro Max last year and provides the finest image stabilisation we’ve seen on an iPhone, allowing you to shoot sharp images even when the phone isn’t still. In most situations, photographs produced with the iPhone 12 had less noise, and there were few instances where the camera didn’t perform to our expectations — it’s a fantastic point-and-shoot experience.
The 120-degree field of view of the ultra-wide camera is great when you want to capture more of your subject or location, but we generally used the main camera. Although there is digital zoom up to 5x, the results aren’t particularly stunning, and many other smartphones are more capable in this area, it’s far from a necessary feature. Photographic Styles, which you can access through the camera app, is another new feature here. Custom looks, such as Rich Contrast, Vibrant, Warm, and Cool, can be applied to your photographs with these.

A 12MP f/2.2 wide camera on the front of the phone performs admirably for selfies and video calls. The front cameras on iPhones have long been outstanding, and while there are no significant advancements here, you’ll be pleased with the results.
The iPhone 13 can record video in 4K at 24, 30, and 60 frames per second, as well as Full HD at 30, 60, 120, and 240 frames per second. The introduction of Cinematic Mode, which allows you to film with a bokeh effect in which the background of your shot is blurred, is the major video recording enhancement.
The effect switches between subjects because it follows faces in the picture. We’ve found that this works great, although it does take some getting used to, and you may need to experiment a few times to obtain the right photo.
This is, nevertheless, a nice tool that you might appreciate if you enjoy experimenting with video modes.

Camera Sample

The Specs and performance
Apple’s iPhone 13 series includes the company’s new A15 Bionic chipset, which is the company’s next attempt to create the world’s most powerful smartphone chipset. Apple claims that its CPU is 50% quicker and its GPU is 30% faster than the competitors. Whatever the veracity of such claims, Apple’s new phone is certainly powerful, and while everyday performance won’t differ significantly from that of the iPhone 12 or the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, it will be a significant upgrade for those with an iPhone 8 or lower.
During our testing, we discovered that the iPhone 13 could start apps in a matter of seconds and could easily switch between apps with only a short wait for each to load. Gaming on the phone was also a breeze, with titles loading as swiftly as we’ve seen on other Apple devices like the iPad Pro (one of the company’s most powerful gadgets in 2021). On the OLED panel, the games looked amazing, with the GPU performance improvements standing out.
The phone’s Geekbench 5 scores match our testing, with an average multi-core score of 4688. In the same test, the iPhone 12 received a score of 3859, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 received a score of 3367 and the OnePlus 9 Pro received a score of 3630.

Apple has taken yet another significant step forward in this area, but the difference is most obvious in benchmarking results. The everyday experience will be much the same, but it will be a significant upgrade over previous iPhone models. The A15 Bionic chipset is paired with 4GB of RAM, which is plenty to keep it running at top speed.

That’s less RAM than most comparable Android phones, but Apple doesn’t appear to require much to get the most out of its A15 Bionic. You can choose between 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage, and if you plan to fill your phone with media over the course of a few years, we recommend going with the 256GB or 512GB option; even with iCloud compatibility, 128GB may be difficult to fill up.
At the very least, Apple has ditched the laughably little 64GB storage capacity that has been its standard offering for the past few years. The iPhone 13 series is 5G-ready, and it’s comforting to know that you’re prepared for the next-generation technology even if you don’t need it yet or it’s not yet accessible where you are — 5G is becoming more widely available, and the iPhone 13 will work with any 5G carrier.

The Software
The iPhone 13 ships with iOS 15 preinstalled, allowing you to make use of all of Apple’s latest software innovations. The updates for 2021 aren’t as significant as the big revamp we saw with iOS 14, but the new features are intriguing, including a new Focus mode that can be accessed via a dropdown menu.

When you tap the Focus label, you’ll have quick access to the Do Not Disturb mode, as well as options for when you’re at work or ready to sleep. When you’re at your desk, you might want to turn off your Twitter notifications. This will make it possible for you to do so.
Other new features are small, but altogether, it’s a wonderful improvement of what we’ve already seen.
Apple is likely to maintain a new iPhone with software upgrades for many years to come; even the iPhone 6S is compatible with iOS 15, so assuming Apple continues to offer that level of software support, the iPhone 13 should continue to get updates until approximately 2027.

The Battery Life
Apple’s phones have never been known for their long battery life, and while the iPhone 13 doesn’t have the best battery life we’ve ever seen in a smartphone, it is a significant upgrade over previous models. Although we haven’t confirmed whether Apple has increased the size of the cells within the iPhone 13, the increased battery life suggests that it has. Apple was rumoured to be expanding the size of the batteries in all models ahead of the iPhone 13 debut. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max are expected to have the best battery life in the series, according to Apple’s calculations. In comparison to the iPhone 12 and previous models, we found the battery life to be much enhanced.
During our testing period, the iPhone 13 got through every day with enough battery life to last at least another couple of hours.

We pushed the phone to its limits one day by leaving the screen on all day, streaming video from YouTube and other sources from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. We were unable to turn off the phone, and it still had 20% battery life. That was after eight hours and 48 minutes of full brightness on the screen. As previously stated, this isn’t the best battery life you’ll find in a smartphone – many Android options will last longer – but it’s a significant step forward for Apple, and it’ll make the iPhone more appealing to many potential purchasers.
The iPhone 13 is compatible with 20-watt chargers, which we found to provide adequate but not exceptional rapid charging. The phone was charged from zero to 26 per cent in 15 minutes and 51 per cent in 30 minutes. Wireless charging is back, and if you have a suitable charger, you’ll be able to charge at 15W. That’s not the quickest wireless charging on the market, but it’s still handy if you don’t like having to plug your phone in or if you’re running low on juice and have a Qi charger handy. The iPhone 13 does not come with a charger, much as the iPhone 12 series. Apple argues that you’re likely to have a Lightning charger from a previous iPhone purchase, thus the goal here is to reduce e-waste.
If you don’t have one, you can buy one from Apple for Rs 4500, $19 / £19 / AU$29, though there are other cheaper third-party options. You might also wish to upgrade your charger to make use of the 20W charging capability, which many older iPhone chargers lack.

Should you buy the iPhone 13?
Buy it if …
⦁ You own an older phone
If you have an iPhone 12, the iPhone 13 is probably not for you because there isn’t enough new here to justify an upgrade – but if you have an older iPhone, like an iPhone 8 or iPhone XR, there’s plenty to be thrilled about.
⦁ You need a good battery life
The iPhone 13’s battery life is a significant improvement over prior iPhone models. Choose this iPhone over previous and less expensive versions if you require a smartphone that can last a whole day on a single charge.

⦁ You want lots of power
The iPhone 13 is a capable smartphone and one of the best we’ve ever used. If you require a lot of power, you can get it without upgrading to the iPhone 13 Pro.
Don’t buy it if . . .
⦁ You own an iPhone 12
If you already have an iPhone 12, it’s doubtful that you’ll need the latest model’s enhancements. If you’re desperate for the latest handset, go for it; nonetheless, updates are few and far between here.
⦁ You want a small screen phone
The iPhone 13 mini shares many of the same specifications as the iPhone 13, and it’s likely to be the best pick if you have smaller hands or simply prefer a smaller smartphone.
⦁ You want an affordable phone
The iPhone 13 is one of the most cost-effective models in this year’s lineup, but it isn’t inexpensive in the big scheme of things. There are many more affordable Android phones available, or if you want to continue with Apple, the iPhone SE is a good option.

#apple #iphone13 #review #shouldyoubuy #camera

Amit Shah holds security review meeting in Srinagar

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India]: Union Home Minister Amit Shah who arrived on Saturday on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir held a security review meeting in Srinagar.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha was also present at the meeting The Home Minister is set to interact with members of Jammu and Kashmir’s Youth Clubs today.
Shah will also inaugurate the first direct international flight between Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar and Sharjah in the UAE.
This is his first visit to the union territory since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.
Over the past few days, several civilians have been killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, sparking fear in the valley.
Recently, after the killings of non-locals in Jammu and Kashmir around 700 people have been detained in the union territory, a few under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), police officials informed.
Meanwhile, a total of 26 detainees are being shifted to the Central Jail of Agra from Jammu and Kashmir under the Public Safety Act 1978. The order has been issued ahead of Shah’s visit to the union territory.
So far, as many as 15 terrorists have been neutralised in two weeks in the union territory informed IGP (Kashmir), Vijay Kumar, on Wednesday.

PL: Spurs dominate against Newcastle while West Ham edge Everton

London [UK]: Harry Kane netted a superb goal and made another for Son Heung-min to help Tottenham Hotspur to a 3-2 comeback win at Newcastle United.
In Steve Bruce’s 1,000th match in all competitions as a manager and in front of Newcastle’s new owners, the home fans were given a dream start when Callum Wilson headed in Javier Manquillo’s second-minute cross. Spurs were level on 17 minutes with Tanguy Ndombele’s superb curling finish after Sergio Reguilon had picked him out. Kane then turned the match on its head with a clipped finish from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s precise through-ball for his first league goal of the season.
Lucas Moura headed against the crossbar on 39 minutes before play was stopped due to a medical issue in the crowd. Shortly after play resumed in first-half stoppage time, Son’s close-range finish from Kane’s assist put Spurs 3-1 up.
After the break, Newcastle substitute Jonjo Shelvey was sent off for a second booking. Eric Dier’s 89th-minute own goal gave the hosts hope, but Spurs held on to move up to fifth on 15 points. Newcastle remain 19th with three points.
Elsewhere, Angelo Ogbonna’s header earned West Ham United a 1-0 victory that ended Everton’s perfect home record this season and moved them above the Toffees into seventh place.
In an evenly contested first half, Alex Iwobi squandered an opportunity to put Everton ahead from close range following Abdoulaye Doucoure’s 22nd-minute cross. After the break, Salomon Rondon headed agonisingly wide for Everton while West Ham’s Pablo Fornals curled his shot just off target as the teams traded chances.
But with 16 minutes remaining, West Ham took the lead when a superb corner kick from Jarrod Bowen was headed in by Ogbonna from close range. West Ham’s victory takes them to 14 points, ahead of eighth-placed Everton on goal difference.

Kya Meri Sonam Gupta Bewafa Hai? Review: Decent Idea With A Poor Execution

Critic’s Rating: 2.5/5

Movie streaming on ZEE 5

Story: When Sintoo (Jassie Gill) is left high and dry by the love of his life Sonam (Surbhi Jyoti), he scribbles his frustration on currency notes. The notes become viral, setting off a chain of events in the lives of Sintoo and Sonam that range from bizarre to unbelievably random.

Review: The Rs.10 currency note bearing the line ‘Sonam Gupta Bewafa Hai’ became viral and fodder for memes on the internet, a few years back. The strange trend also hit headlines across the nation, as everyone wondered, who exactly is Sonam Gupta and what led to this scathing accusation, perhaps, by a jilted lover. Writer-director Ssaurabh Tyagi tries to capitalise on this viral sensation by weaving a fictional story around it. This attempt to infuse a full-fledged narrative around just one famous line is so forced that it shows in every frame of this crumbling film. Tyagi’s story is rooted in Uttar Pradesh’s small town with quirky and loud characters that represent the myriad clichés of the typical ‘small-town thinking.’ Among many other things, the film also preaches how one must think big to become big.

Sintoo, like almost every other aimless youngster of the town is besotted with Sonam Gupta, who is brash, entitled, feisty and way out of his league. When she dupes him and disappears, all hell breaks loose and Sintoo gets a rude reality check. For the first hour or so, the film literally moves around in circles trying to the set the premise so that the film’s title can be somehow fitted into the plot. The only fun one can have here is watch the eccentricity of the characters and the modest non-urban setting. It’s a sheer pleasure to watch the late veteran actor Surekha Sikri master her craft for one last time. The film’s hero Jassie Gill is aptly cast as the gullible Sintoo, who is pampered by his unreasonable mother and flanked by useless friends. Despite the obvious flaws in the writing, Jassie makes Sintoo lovable and easy to root for. Ditto for Surbhi Jyoti, who plays the complex and unreadable character of Sonam with confidence and élan. Like most such films, there is a lot riding on character actors as well and Tyagi gets some aces to do the job. This includes Atul Srivastava, Vibha Chhibber and Bijendra Kala. Vijay Raaz is disappointingly repetitive.

But all of these actors are in service of an extremely weak script that tries to tackle too many issues, often leaving unexplained holes in the narrative. And the biggest problem is that the film is pitched as a comedy, but is not least bit funny. The music is strictly average. ‘Kya Meri Sonam Gupta Bewafa Hai?’ seems to have been born out of a one-line idea that stretches on for over two hours with some decent performances as the only saving grace.

RK Singh reviews Plants

New Delhi [India]: Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy RK Singh on Friday held an extensive review meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Power, Ministry of Coal, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Railways, and the power PSUs.
Taking a detailed and comprehensive review of the coal stock position at individual thermal power plants (TPPs), he directed the officials to work in a coordinated manner to streamline the stock and supply of coal, in anticipation of the rising energy demand, a release by the Ministry of Power informed. Singh reviewed the day-wise status of power requirement and withdrawal from the grid state wise, the coal stocks’ status, and the Hydro Power generation.
He went into reasons for shortfalls in power generation, across power generation units.
The minister also asked the power secretary to look at the possibility of reducing the benchmark of 14 days of coal stocks to a benchmark of ten days of coal stocks for identification of plants to divert coal to plants with extremely depleted stocks.
“Singh desired the power ministry to hold a separate review for power plants with captive mines, to ensure maximum use of these mines by their power plants. He also wanted ministry officials to look more into blending imported and indigenous coal, for better economics for the plants, in case importing was the requirement for such plants,” the release added.
The minister pointed out that rising demand for energy augurs well for the economy and is encouraging. He impressed upon the officers that energy demand is likely to rise and that will need to be factored in as they address the current constraints.

COVID situation in Karnataka, TN reviewed

New Delhi [India]: In a telephonic conversation with health ministers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday reviewed the COVID-19 situation in these states.
Due to the rising cases in Kerala, the Minister discussed matters related to COVID-19 management in those areas of the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, which border Kerala, according to an official release. Highlighting the need to take adequate steps to contain the inter-state spread of COVID-19, Mandaviya requested the respective health ministers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to increase the pace of vaccination in districts of their states that border Kerala.
The Central government has been at the forefront in the fight against the COVID19 pandemic and vaccinations form an integral component of its five-point strategy to fight the pandemic (including test, track, treat and COVID appropriate behaviour).
India has been running the largest vaccination drive against COVID-19 since January 16 this year.

Central delegation to meet top WB officials

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: A Central government delegation will meet top officials of the West Bengal government on Thursday to discuss the implementation and progress of rural development and Panchayati Raj projects of the Centre.
The Central delegation reached Kolkata on Wednesday. The members of the delegation will oversee the progress of all the projects of the Centre, primarily related to the rural development and panchayat services in the state. They will hold meetings West Bengal Chief Secretary, Finance Secretary and Panchayat Secretary.
On Wednesday, the delegation members visited several places in the state to assess the implementation of the projects on the ground.
The BJP-led Centre and TMC government in West Bengal are at loggerheads, especially after the 2021 Assembly polls. Therefore, the visit of the Central delegation carries much significance.

Chief of Army Staff Narvane visits Southern Command, reviews operational situation

New Delhi [India]: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General MM Naravane on Friday visited Southern Command and reviewed the operational situations in the sectors.
According to an official release, General Naravane is on his two-day visit to the southern command. During his visit at Pune, the COAS reviewed the operations of the assembly lines of Passenger and Commercial Vehicles and the Engineering Research Centre (ERC).
General Naravane also visited the Strategic Systems Complex (SSC) of Larsen & Toubro(L&T ) at Talegaon near Pune to witness their production facilities and developmental efforts towards modernising the Indian Armed Forces.
The COAS was briefed about various defence related programmes and engagements of L&T with the Indian Army.
The COAS complimented the efforts of both the indigenous manufacturers in promoting Atmanirbharta in defence manufacturing.
On the second day of his two-day visit to the Southern Command, that is on August 7, General Naravane will be visiting INS Hansa, an Indian naval air station near Dabolim in Goa.

Review of results demanded

Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India]: A large number of students who failed in class 12th examination of Jharkhand Academic Council or got fewer marks staged a protest in Doranda and near the state’s education minister’s residence.
The students sit on Dharna on roads demanding a re-examination. According to students, results were prepared on the basis of class 11th result and they were declared failed or given fewer marks.
A delegation of students’ even met the minister and gave their memorandum regarding this.
Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) student’s leader Ravi Kumar said, “The results declared by Jharkhand Academic Council should be re-evaluated. The students who study got fewer marks in comparison to those who study less based on the previous records. So this is not correct.”
A student Anu Kumari said, “I got passed in class 11, but now I have been failed. Now the admission has started and where would I get admission.”
Speaking to ANI Jharkhand Education Minister, Jagarnath Mahto said, “There’s a grievances cell. Those who have failed should approach there and seek information. They raise objection and concerns in written form, responses will be given in written only.”

Collar Bomb Review: Jimmy Sheirgill And Asha Negi Racing Against Time Is Enthralling

Critic’s Rating: 3.5/5

Cast: Jimmy Sheirgill, Asha Negi, Sparsh Srivastav, Rajshri Deshpande, Naman Jain

STORY: The story takes place in a small town in Himachal Pradesh where a suicide bomber holds a school full of children hostage. The key to saving their lives lies in the past of the celebrated cop (who is also captive). Will he be able to catch the mastermind and save lives?

REVIEW: Collar Bomb follows Manoj Kumar Hesi (Jimmy Sheirgill), a decorated cop with a tumultuous history. Before a suicide bomber Ali (Sparsh Shrivastava) threatens to blow up a school where he has kidnapped students, Manoj Hesi is plunged into chaos and compelled to conduct a series of heinous crimes. The lovely hamlet around Manoj falls into lunacy as he races against time to complete this scavenger hunt from hell, confronted by an evil that seems to have no other objective than to strike terror. Over the course of the film, the mystery around the cop’s own past is also unraveled.

This crime drama, written by Nikhil Nair and directed by Dnyanesh Zoting, is packed with enough twists and turns to keep the viewers on the edge of their seats. There’s a good combination of crime, drama, action, mystery, and emotions in this story. The plot revolves around a ticking bomb, creating a pressure cooker situation for both Manoj Kumar Hesi and the audience. The screenplay is fast-paced, yet it loses its grip at times. When compared to other films in the same genre like ‘A Wednesday’ and ‘Madaari,’ the tale has a lesser impact. The climax, on the other hand, will capture your attention and reveal everything that has been kept hidden.

The cinematography by Jitan Harmit Singh is fascinating with scenic locales of the hill station that are soothing in this otherwise serious crime drama. Nisarg Mehta and Gaurav Sharma’s dialogues are quite average and reminiscent of the 80s cinema. For example, “Wardi wale kuch nahi kar paayenge toh khadi walo ko toh maidaan mein utarna padega na (If people in uniform cannot perform their duties properly then politicians have to take charge in their hand).”

As SHO Manoj Hesi, a renowned supercop, Jimmy Sheirgill steals the show. But he is trapped in a script that leaves little room for vivid character development. Despite this, Hesi takes a centre stage along with the other police officials, especially ASI Sumitra Joshi (Asha Negi), who is a no-nonsense cop. Asha Negi who recently appeared in ‘Ludo’ and ‘Abhay 2’ opposite Kunal Khemu, is impressive. She is also seen doing some stunts as well (the scene where she enters into a dhaba, which is set on fire by some locals, is quite the entry) and even her local dialect is spot on. Sparsh Shrivastav as the suicide bomber Ali, Naman Jain as Akshay Hesi (Manoj’s son), Rajshri Deshpande and the rest of the ensemble cast have given decent performances in this intense crime-thriller.

“Life is a chain that is built from the decisions we make,” as Jimmy Sheirgill says in the end, perfectly summing up this 87-minute riveting drama. It will have you hooked to your seat the entire time.

The 1-hour-26-minute film is streaming on Disney+Hotstar.

Haseen Dillruba Movie Review: Only Lovers Left Alive

Haseen Dillruba Movie Review Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and a half stars)

Star Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Vikrant Massey, Harshvardhan Rane, Aditya Srivastava, Yamini Das, Daya Shankar Pandey, Ashish Verma

Director: Vinil Mathew

Available On: Netflix

It starts with a gas cylinder blast killing Rishu (Vikrant Massey) and making his wife Rani (Taapsee Pannu) a prime suspect in the case. Jwalapur’s Rishu is the stereotypical electrical engineer found in the jokes of stand-up comedians who hasn’t had any sex in his college and could marry the first girl he sees. Rani (Taapsee Pannu) has had a fair share of broken relationships in the past but finally decides to settle down with Rishu in an arranged marriage.

An ardent fan of mystery-erotica comic writer Dinesh Pandit, Rani, gets too bold to handle by the innocent, pill-popping Rishu. Their contrasting personalities restrict them from coming closer and enters Neel (Harshvardhan Rane). Rishu’s cousin Neel is the man straight out of Rani’s lusty fantasies. He arrives as someone Rani could identify with, eventually falling for him.

Rani’s life turns upside down when she confesses her liking for Neel. How all of this might end up killing Nishu? Well, you either have to watch this film or read a novel by a ‘fictional’ writer Dinesh Pandit to know what actually happens next.

Haseen Dillruba Movie Review: Script Analysis

Kanika Dhillon indeed takes a leaf or two from Satyajit Ray’s Charulata when she shows a bored ‘ardent reader’ wife falling for a cousin of her good-at-heart-yet-lacking husband. After penning movies like Manmarziyaan, Judgementall Hai Kya, writing dark & deranged relationships is Dhillon’s space now. Taking the same route in Haseen Dillruba, Dhillon keeps on peeling layers of her leads in a way that might not come across as rational at times.

She gives the ‘bubble burst’ joke to Rishu’s 70-odd-year-old mother living in Jwalapur. Here, she misses to shape the story around her characters but instead tweaks them to serve the purpose of the narrative. Great performances solidly back certain twists, but they’re too few to fill in the mighty 130 minutes the film asks from you.

One of the best things about Radhika Apte’s Phobia was how Jayakrishna Gummadi captured the protagonist’s mind through his sharp camerawork. Jayakrishna continues to impress with his reliable frame selection. It must’ve been extremely tough for Editor Shweta Venkat Mathew to chop out the clutter finding a flat base. Because the story tackles multiple genres in mystery, drama, crime, romance & Kanika feeding dough to every single one of them drags the story. The extra stretched 20 minutes hurts the grip attained by some establishes plot twists & performances.

Haseen Dillruba Movie Review: Star Performance

Taapsee Pannu is now at the level where she can actually take the risks of opting for good roles in mediocre projects. She’s as good as someone can get for a character like Rani. With every passing project, one thing Taapsee guarantees in her every film is ‘good acting’. She just can’t go wrong until she wakes up one day and decide to do Judwaa 3 for some reason (don’t cancel me, it’s a joke!).

The same goes for Vikrant Massey, who has reliably been good in all of his films (except Dolly, Kitty…) delivers a decent performance yet again. He gets the best character arc of all, and he gives not a single reason why he doesn’t deserve that. Despite being ladened with a thick beard, he retains the expressive bits of his face especially using his devouring eyes.

Harshvardhan Rane gets the weakest character of three. He is one of those actors I believe could do wonders if he gets placed in a right film. This isn’t that movie for him. He still owns his presence on the screen, no matter with whom he’s sharing it. Aditya Srivastava’s part is too weak to do justice to any good actor. He just doesn’t get his moment throughout the movie. Yamini Das is outstanding as the desi mother of Vikrant’s Rishu. Apart from the ‘bubble burst’ joke, she is the comic relief that deserved more limelight. You could’ve taken anyone else other than Daya Shankar Pandey, Ashish Verma for their roles; it still wouldn’t have mattered.

Sidebar: Haseen Dillruba has double L in its spelling, changing the usual spelling with single L. Writer Kanika Dhillon’s Judgementall Hai Kya also had the same thing with double LL tweaking the original spelling of Judgemental. I know that was Ekta Kapoor; this is just a useless easter egg I wanted to point out at.

Haseen Dillruba Movie Review: Direction, Music

Though I totally understand how solid this story must’ve sounded on paper, the somewhat flawed execution takes away the spark. The ‘Hasee Toh Phasee‘ fan in me knew there wouldn’t be any shortcomings from Vinil & that’s indeed the case. Direction isn’t the cause of bothering; the story he’s directing is. He keeps the visual charm of the film intact for a long time; the narration takes away the cake.

This is a bad day at the office for Amit Trivedi as well. If you don’t want to listen to a single Trivedi song on loop after a film with his songs, there’s surely something not right. Amar Mangrulkar’s background score stays right in between getting too chaotic going all-silent.

Haseen Dillruba Movie Review: The Last Word

All said and done, despite all the gritty elements it possesses, Kanika Dhillon‘s story tries extremely hard to touch & nail too many genres, eventually exploding right at the end. All this needed was cutting short 20 minutes, establishing a substantial footprint in at least one of the many things attempted.

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