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Kick review: No paisa vasool in Salman Khan’s spectacularly dull film

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by Deepanjana Pal

Shaina (Jacqueline Fernandez), a psychiatrist, is pining for her ex-boyfriend, Devi Lal (Salman Khan). Supercop Himanshu Tyagi (Randeep Hooda) is looking for the mysterious, masked thief Devil who goes around pulling of spectacular stunts.

Within the first half hour, the only ones who don’t know that Devi Lal is Devil are Shaina and Himanshu. What follows for the next few hours is a procession of shots showing Khan walking, Khan driving, Khan dancing, Khan in a hoodie, Khan in a colourful kurta, Khan in black, Khan with a beard, Khan without a beard, Khan with tears in his eyes, Khan striding, and Khan’s ass being kicked.

That’s Rs 100 crore in Sajid Nadiadwala’s kitty, apparently.

A Nadiadwala film starring Khan isn’t expected to throw up surprise twists, which makes it easy to write a spoiler-free review of Kick because everyone knows who’s going to win the cop versus robber game, when the robber is played by Khan. If Robin Hood and Mother Teresa had a lovechild and that child was raised by Mithun Chakraborty, his name would be Devi Lal Singh.

Devi Lal, is a genius and a daredevil, so much so that his back story has to be shown as an animated sequence. Real people can’t do justice to his awesomeness (and no one is going to let any child do the frightfully dangerous and idiotic stunts that little Devi Lal pulls as a kid). There are even a couple of scenes in which we see Devi Lal grow up so that we are treated to an animated version of Salman Khan doing a few tricks. It looks more credibly real and has more expression than Khan himself manages, but maybe the cartoon was just being human. (There’s something almost poetic about the animated Khan possessing expression and the human Khan looking like a statue stolen from Madame Tussaud’s.)

Kick is supposed to be the story of an adrenaline junkie who’s constantly looking for a new and better high. Instead, all we see Khan do is beat people up and dance badly, which may well be how he gets an adrenaline rush. In actuality, Kick is an attempt by Khan to show himself as a heroic good samaritan. Devi Lal in Kick doesn’t enter the world of crime because of greed, but because he has a cause that is expected to make cherubs clap and angels weep with gratitude. In reality, it’s a little creepy but we’ll get to that later.

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There isn’t much by way of suspense in this film, but it does raise a few questions. Like, for instance, how much were the real actors in the cast paid for being in Kick? If they’ve negotiated well, then this is what we hope acting in Kick has earned the following:

Nawazuddin Siddiqui: a house
Randeep Hooda: a house and a car
Sanjay Mishra: a luxurious vacation
Rajit Kapoor: the right to demand a better wig.

Predictably, the only ace up the film’s sleeve is Siddiqui, who manages to have some fun as Devil’s arch nemesis. The one scene in Kick that has some crackle is Siddiqui’s final encounter with Khan.

Ironically for a film about a guy who is bored and whose only ambition in life is to feel a heady rush of pleasure — yes, boys and girls, that’s what Devi Lal means when he says he’s looking for a ‘kick’ — Kick is a spectacularly dull film. Nadiadwala is clearly aware of this because why else would Salman Khan as Devi Lal make his grand entry and then, within seconds, remind us he’s also Dabangg’s Chulbul Pandey?

Devi Lal enters the film, driving a curious vehicle that is part bike, part car and completely ridiculous. He whisks a bride, groom and bride’s friend out of a wedding, and as he is making his exit, one random member of the wedding band lands on the bike’s bumper. Instead of howling in agony at the pain that one imagines follows a man’s crotch hitting unyielding metal, the man sees Devi morph into Chulbul Pandey. HIs eyes glaze over and he plays the Dabangg tune.

That’s basically what Nadiadwala expects audiences across the country to do: see their beloved Bhai (who is, helpfully, also called Bhai in the film) and not notice anything else, least of all how painfully idiotic the script, acting, stunts and twists in Kick are. No one expects the writing to be good in a Nadiadwala film, but Kick is just terminally lazy.

For instance, Himanshu grimly informs his team that Devil’s three crimes show a pattern: Devil targets people who have made headlines and the robbery is done on holidays. Who’s victim number four? A peon who hasn’t made headlines. So much for pattern. More absurdly, Devil sends a handwritten note to the police along with a mug shot of the man he says he’s going to rob. What do Himanshu and the rest of the police force do? They erupt in a frenzy of investigation to find Mr Mugshot. Why use the handwriting to catch the criminal when you can go hunting through the haystack of Delhi’s population to find the man in the mugshot?

The worst part of Kick isn’t that Nadiadwala and Khan take themselves seriously, but that they think their audiences are fools. The audience won’t notice that the characters and plot twists make no sense. Devi Lal, who is supposedly a gold medallist engineer and has made headlines with inventions like hyper-real holograms, becomes a thief because he needs Rs 11 lakh for a medical emergency. Really? He couldn’t get a loan? Sell his hologram technology? Or here’s a radical thought: get a job.

The audience won’t care that Shaina essentially kidnaps a patient from a hospital because he’s her ex-boyfriend and she wants revenge on him because he’s forgotten her. As far as she knows, he’s got “retrograde amnesia”, but why should she, a doctor, care about those details? He didn’t recognise her. He must be punished. How? By “healing” him so that he remembers her, and then dumping him. She doesn’t realise that all Devi Lal wants is to get into her home. Once she figures out she’s been a pawn in his plan, you’d think she’d be doubly mad, but no. Shaina and her need for vengeance are conveniently forgotten. And of course the audience won’t care about details like if a man jumps out of a building in Poland, it’s highly unlikely he will land in London, the only city that has red double decker buses and a place called King’s Cross.

Will the audience find anything creepy about the fact that Devi Lal feels a “kick” because a little girl, lying in bed, smiles at him? Only if they’ve read about Woody Allen. How does this girl end up in Devi Lal’s care? She has a “chest tumour” and because her parents can’t find the money for her treatment, they leave her in a children’s home and jump off a building. How is getting orphaned supposed to help a sick little girl? Because their suicide note will waft to Devi Lal, naturally. So now this girl has the guilt of her parents’ suicides and a guardian who gets a “kick” when she smiles at him. If that doesn’t turn her into a violent psychopath, maybe she’ll grow up to star in the Indian remake of Kick Ass.

But there are two wonderful, heartening and life-affirming things that one can take away from Kick. Early on in the film, you can see Khan being kicked on his bottom by Mithun Chakraborty. Unfortunately, we aren’t shown Chakraborty’s foot making contact, but the suggestion is plain and this is one illusion that we’ll gladly buy. More importantly, this is the last time we’ll see Salman Khan in a film in 2014.

That gave us a kick.

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Canadian News

Joint statement from the Greater Toronto Area & Hamilton Mayors and Chairs

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford, left, and Toronto Mayor John Tory
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, left, and Toronto Mayor John Tory take part in a candlelit vigil to honour the victims of a deadly shooting in Toronto on Wednesday July 25, 2018. Ten-year-old Julianna Kozis of Markham, Ont., and 18-year-old Reese Fallon of Toronto were killed in Sunday's shooting attack, and 13 other people were injured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

We are united in fighting COVID-19 – protecting our residents and saving lives.

While the measures we have taken to stop the spread of the virus have made a difference, this virus has still taken far too many lives in our communities and continues to threaten the lives of our residents.

At the same time, there is no denying the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the economy. Jobs have been lost, many businesses have closed or are at risk of closure, and many families are worried about their financial future.

We’ve been hit hard but that’s why it is so important that we keep moving forward and come back as strong as possible.

Today, the GTHA Mayors and Chairs met to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on the region and how our municipalities can work together on the economic restart and recovery.

We know the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area alone is projected to lose 355,000 jobs and 28% of GDP along with $894 million in lost wages and $3.7 billion in revenue losses for businesses. This will be felt right across the GTHA but it also threatens the provincial and national economies.

A strong recovery right here in the GTHA is crucial to healing the economic damage done by COVID-19 and helping the families and businesses all governments have been working to protect throughout this emergency.

Ontario’s economy and Canada’s economy need the GTHA to come back stronger than ever when the restart begins.

We are determined to deliver this recovery and we agreed today that the GTHA municipalities will be working together to successfully and smoothly reopen our vital regional economy when the time comes.

We also discussed how we can in a consistent way achieve significant, necessary financial support from the other governments to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect our ability to contribute to the recovery. A strong recovery needs strong cities and regional governments.

We have agreed we will work together to share information about our respective financial positions and explore together measures we can advocate to the other governments which will help to ensure the financial stability of local and regional governments in the GTHA.

Our child care and recreation programs help parents get back to work.

Our emergency services keep people safe.

Our transit systems get people to work and home safely.

Our major infrastructure projects – often built in conjunction with the other governments – will help kick-start the recovery and create countless jobs.

Our economic development activities attract jobs and investment.

We built a strong and vibrant GTHA and we know that we will need to come back even stronger and as quickly as we can in order to keep Canada’s economy going.

With the cooperation and support of the provincial and federal governments, we are ready to rise to this challenge.”

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Canadian News

Four People Charged in Mississauga Pedestrian Fail to Remain Fatality

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Investigators from the Major Collision Bureau have charged four people in Mississauga’s most recent fatal fail to remain collision.

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, at approximately 8:40 p.m., the victim, a 61 year-old female from Mississauga, was struck by a south bound vehicle as she was crossing Mavis Road in the area of Knotty Pine Grove in the City of Mississauga. The vehicle did not remain and the victim, having suffered major injuries, was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Saturday, February 17, 2018 shortly before 7:00 p.m., Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM, a 60 year-old male from Brampton, and the driver believed to be responsible in this incident, surrendered to police at 22 Division. Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM has since been charged with Fail to Remain Cause Death.

Hivissa SATCHITHANANTHAN, a 25 year old female from Brampton, Shajeetha SATCHITHANANTHAN a 28 year-old female from Brampton and Gowtham SATKUNARAJAH a 28 year-old male from Brampton have each been charged with Accessory After the Fact in relation to this incident.

Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM will answer to his charge on March 12, 2018. Hivissa SATCHITHANANTHAN, Shajeetha SATCHITHANANTHAN andGowtham SATKUNARAJAH will answer to their charges on Monday March 26, 2018 at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision, have dashboard video footage of the incident or who may have any information regarding this incident is asked to contact investigators with the Major Collision Bureau at (905) 453-2121, ext. 3710. Information may also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by visiting www.peelcrimestoppers.ca or by sending a text message to CRIMES (274637) with the word ‘PEEL’ and then your tip.

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Canadian News

Justin Trudeau in India: Hug missing! Mounting pressure?

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The much publicized and anticipated visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India was marred with questions. The questions were centered on the kind of welcome he would be given in the Sikh dominated state of Punjab. Also the famous hug by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was being anticipated. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally made his much-touted visit to India. He landed on the Indira Gandhi Airport, New Delhi only to be received by Gajendra Singh Shekhawat not even a Cabinet Minister in Narendra Modi’s government.

He is presently the second rank Minister of State for Agriculture.  That comes in complete contrast to the warmth that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his NDA government has generally displayed towards the visiting dignitaries.  Only a couple of weeks ago, when the heads of the 10 ASEAN states arrived in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t receive Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the airport, as he has previously done with many leaders including Barack Obama, Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe, and Benjamin Netanyahu.

The fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t join him is all surprising even when Prime Minister Trudeau visited Gujarat. This is unusual because the Indian Prime Minister has set a trend that he always accompanies head of the state when they visit his home state.

Even Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath did not show up, let alone accompany Prime Minister Trudeau to the Taj. However, during Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s 15 January visit to the Taj Mahal at Agra, Yogi Adityanath had received Netanyahu and his wife and shown them around as well as hosted a lunch for them. For first three days, none from the executive or the elected representative held any meeting with the delegation.

Media in India is trying to spread a message that the cold treatment given by Prime Minister could be because two of the four Sikh members of Trudeau’s cabinet – Harjit Sajjan and Amarjeet Sohi – support the Khalistan movement. However, had that been the case his visit to Punjab would have got a similar response.  However, the Punjab Government led by Captain Amarinder Singh rolled out a red carpet during his stay at Amritsar and even the two leaders held some fruitful discussions.

Thus putting an end to those criticisms that that Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit was devoid of any warmth.  Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh, for instance who met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau setting aside his earlier prejudice that he exhibited during the visit of Defence Minister Harjeet Singh Sajjan.

In recent months, Gurudwaras (Sikh temples) in Canada, the United States and Australia have banned Indian officials from visiting gurudwaras and the moment started with Gurudwaras here in Toronto. Could that be the reason for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not accord one of the warmest welcomes that he is known to provide?  Or the use by Canada’s parliament of the term genocide to describe mass killings of Sikhs in India in 1984 has left the Indian Prime Minister disturbed?  However, more than Prime Minister Modi, this could have left the Congress party in troubled waters, but that was also not the case as Amarinder Singh hails from the same party.

The lukewarm welcome to Prime Minister Trudeau can have its political ramifications too. Will it hamper the significant 2015 deal, in which Canada agreed to supply 3,000 metric tons of Uranium to power India’s atomic reactors?

Somewhere Prime Minister Modi has not taken the issue of non allowing entry of Indian officials to Gurudwaras and the statement on Genocide too lightly. Prime Minister Modi however has failed to understand that Canada cannot curtail the right of freedom of speech and expression of its citizen.

Two nations perhaps failed to resolve the matter before Prime Minister boarded the flight from Canada and not welcoming Prime Minister Trudeau could be a tactical decision to put pressure on him. With Prime Minister Modi preferring to meet him at the far end of the tour has conveyed a lot about the myopic approach of Prime Minister Modi.

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