Tribeca, ‘The Kings’ And Much More: Hollywood- Bollywood Shorts

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Seemed like fun and games mixed with a little sadness down Hollywood-Bollywood Street this past week. And the mix included dance, television, feature films and cuisine.

‘The Kings”

The Indian dance group that won the Season 3 in India’s Got Talent, showed off their chops at the American show, NBC’s World of Dance, wowing the judges and walking off with the crown.

‘The Kings’ performing final act to win the top prize at NBC’s World of Dance (Photo: videograb youtube video of final routine and judges reax – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vweyQrGMEAk)

This 14-member troupe from Mumbai and its “Bollywood hip-hop style” won over the likes of tough judges like Ne-Yo, Jennifer Lopez, and Derek Hough, who were “jumping in their seats!” reported in.mashable.com.

With gold armor suits and aggressive moves for the number titled, “Spartan’s Act” the team’s performance was worth every penny of the $1 million  prize. “”Now, that’s what the judges called it (sic) a MILLION DOLLAR performance!” the group tweeted, when they scored a perfect 100 from each of the 3 judges.

“At World Finals, this crew showed no mercy!” was another tweet from the confident competitors, “Finally #TheKings ar the World Champions. We made it! India is on Top” with an emoji of the Indian flag and a crown.

Suresh Mukund, the choreographer of the team, said poignant words on Instagram – “It was the best experience of our life so far.
The journey of local dancers from the small gully of vasai Nallasopara to the WORLD CHAMPIONS was really challenging filled with never ending hard work and dedication.”

Tribeca Film Fest

Poster of movie ‘Yesterday’ starring Himesh Patel (Poster photo courtesy imdb.com)

The Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan, created by Hollywood great Robert De Niro, concluded May 4, with the world premiere of ‘Yesterday’ the film by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), starring Indo-British actor Himesh Patel (East Enders) which will be released June 28 nationwide. Patel, as Jack Malik, the only person who remembers the Beatles after a 12-minute global electrical outage, was Boyle’s choice after a massive search.

“After agreeing to helm the project, Boyle set out on a search across the UK to find a lead that “play an everyday bloke” while also appearing to be a “big star,”” reported International Business Times April 3, adding, “Boyle called the search “challenging,” wanting to find an actor who could both pay proper tribute to The Beatles music while also giving the songs a unique twist. His search ultimately led him to actor Himesh Patel.”

“Since the film is an ode to the enduring recognition of quality in an age of short attention spans and not a new Beatlemania, finding the right performer was key,” notes deadline.com. And Patel fit the bill because he “doesn’t sound like the Beatles and doesn’t try to,” deadline.com says.

Screenwriter Richard Curtis is quoted by deadline.com praising Patel’s performance, “You know you have to have a performer who can rebirth these songs for you. The songs don’t feel like cover versions.”

‘Chef Fati’

Chef Fatima Ali, posthumous winner of the James Beard Media Award. (Photo: Twitter)

This April 27, the James Beard Foundation announced the 2019 winners of its Broadcast Media Awards, and among them was Fatima Ali, who was tragically, struck down by cancer. She was posthumously awarded the award in the category, “Personal Essay, Short Form” prize for her piece, “I’m a Chef with Terminal Cancer. This Is What I’m Doing with the Time I Have Left” which was published in Bon Appétit.

‘Top Chef’ host Padma Lakshmi gave a shout out to Ali, announcing on Instagram that she could not be prouder of her late friend and posting a picture of the two of them. Ali, who had been a contestant on “Top Chef” and the ‘Fan Favorite’ in the 15th Season, was a Pakistani-American chef, restaurateur and television personality. Known popularly as “Chef Fati,” Ali died January 25, this year, of bone cancer diagnosed two years ago in 2017.

The James Beard Foundation says on its site that its mission “is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse and sustainable for everyone.”

‘Gujju’ Kal Penn

Kal Penn on Twitter with brief video on “Ladies Bhai” (Photo: Kal Penn Twitter video/screen grab)

When Hollywood actor Kal Penn posted an old video of him impersonating a ‘typical’ Gujarati man, it not just drew a laugh, it went  viral on Twitter with reactions from ‘Gujjus’ from around the world!

In the April 29 tweet, Kal Penn introduces the short video with “Meet ladies Bhai: an old, ridiculous Gujarati sketch character with a great shirt.”

With 4, 283 likes and 773 retweets and growing, Kal Penn touched a nerve – the laughter nerve. The video shows the Indian-American actor in a bright multicolored polka dot shirt, well-combed hair, speaking English and Gujarati mix, getting a bang-on accent, talking about being a real ladies man, and taking a walk with a girl he refers to as Shalini, the daughter of his neighbor Kaminiben, kissing her for “two to three hours” and needing some ointment for his dry lips.

Asit Kumarr Modi tweeted, “Sir, please please come to our @YMKOC_NTF show. We will be happy to host you on your show and would love to work with you”

When a man named Imroze said “@kalpenn needs to be on Tarak Mehta ka ooltah chashmah,” Kal Penn promptly replied, “You joke but this has legit been a goal,” with a cc to @YMKOC_NTF.

So look out people – Kal Penn could show up on ‘Tarak Mehta ka ooltah chashmah” yet. That is a comedy show revolving around residents of a housing society who keep getting into sticky situations and help each other get out of them. For now, Kal Penn’s video is making news across Indian media- in India and abroad.

“This was the most hilarious thing I’ve seen on the internet today Kalpenbhai .. See held my hend ane pachi mane ek kiss aapi kidhi.. that was perfect accent with some perfect Gulish thrown there.. lol lol,” said Ronak Gandhi.

Nirali said, “This is the most gujju thing I’ve ever seen and I love it.”

“Wow your gujlish has really improved!” said Margi Patel.

“Need an entire series of this ASAP! Get on it @Netflix!” said asap rajy.

Someone calling himself just Suraj, tweeted, “dibs on this for the next costume  party,” referring to the bright polka dot shirt Kal Penn wore in the video.

“Late Night” With Mindy

Mindy Kaling’s first full-length movie “Late Night” where she stars alongside Emma Thompson, is gearing up for its June 7 release in theaters nationwide under the banner of Amazon Studios. It just released its second trailer May 1.

Mindy Kaling in a still from ‘Late Night’ her first full-length feature film releasing June 7 nationwide. (Photo courtesy Amazon Studios)

The story revolves around a legendary talk-show host Katherine Newberry, of 30-years standing (Emma Thompson) worried about her future on late night television unless she can make a game-changing transformation.

The only woman ever to have a long-running program on late night, Newberry isn’t that kind to writers who make up her all-male staff. But as her ratings plummet she is accused of being a “woman who hates women,” triggering her decision to hire Molly Patel (Mindy Kaling), a chemical plant efficiency expert from suburban Pennsylvania, as the first and only female on her writing staff.

As rumors swirl about Newberry being replaced by a younger, hipper male host, her lifelong fan, Patel, jumps to the rescue, also to prove she’s not just a diversity hire, but the one person who can turn her idol’s career around.

The second trailer picks up some great one-liners about being white, and being a writer of color, dropped with the usual Kaling aplomb, and super finish by Thompson.

Late Night is directed by Indian-American film maker Nisha Ganatra.

Watch the brand new trailer #2 for LATE NIGHT here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trC8rNFsBFw

(Updated from earlier version)

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