Review: ‘Selection Day’ fails to capture the nuances of the novel

A still from the show 'Selection Day.'(Supplied)
Updated 14 January 2019

Review: ‘Selection Day’ fails to capture the nuances of the novel

CHENNAI: Children are often pushed into fulfilling goals that their parents themselves failed to clinch, and this is the theme of a new film by British-Indian filmmaker Udayan Prasad, who made his name with My Son the Fanatic and The Yellow Handkerchief. A Netflix original, Selection Day plots the story through six episodes in season one, with the next slated to follow in March.

Based on Booker Prize winning Arvind Adiga’s 2016 novel of the same name, Prasad’s web outing lacks the nuances and subtlety of the source material. For instance, the frequent intrusion of a Hindu deity into the visual narrative jars, as do some of the other sequences that go overboard in a series whose half a dozen episodes seem inadequate to lead the plot to the next season.

Essentially a teenage cricket drama (a sport which is unbelievably popular in India), Selection Day underlines the almost cruel discipline imposed on Manju Kumar (Mohammad Samad) and his older brother, Radha Kumar (Yash Dholye), by their father (Rajesh Tailang) to ensure that the boys get picked for the under-19 Mumbai cricket team. The father, driven by the ambition to turn his sons into stars, goes to an almost insane extent. The teenagers are uprooted from their village in central India and taken to Mumbai, their schooling is thrown into disarray and their own preferences are brushed aside. The younger son hates cricket, and is passionate about science, but the father will hear none of this, and his blind obstinacy gets him into a physical fight with a legendary coach, Tommy (Mahesh Manjrekar) – who had taken the boys under him.

Selection Day falters in the way relationships are scripted, especially between Manju and a spoilt brat, Javed Ansari (Karanvir Malhotra), but throws up first-class performances. Samad and Dholye are as impressive as the veteran Tailang, and make a striking pair both on and off the field. Selection Day works best when it focusses on the boys — the sub-plots that have been added in the web series could have been best avoided.


Fans tease Kourtney Kardashian over Arabic playlist

Kourtney Kardashian shared a playlist full of Arabic songs online. (AFP)
Updated 14 October 2019

Fans tease Kourtney Kardashian over Arabic playlist

DUBAI: Twitter users poked fun at US reality television star Kourtney Kardashian’s “Armenian playlist,” which she shared on her website Poosh.com earlier this week, over its mostly Arab music.

Kourtney visited the country with her sister Kim Kardashian, who baptized her children during a visit to their ancestral homeland, Armenia.

After the visit, the reality star took to her website, and her Instagram Stories, to share a specially curated playlist titled “Armenian playlist” — except the head-bopping tunes were mostly Arabic.

While the list did include Armenian music, Kourtney, the eldest of the Kardashian sisters, also had a number of Arabic hits such as “Lolaak Habibi” by Egyptian star Tamer Hosny, “Boshret Kheir” by Emirati singer Hussain Al-Jassmi and “Ya Tabtab Wa Dallaa” by Lebanese sensation Nancy Ajram.

According to her website, “The curation includes a mix of new and classic rap, Arabic pop, and R&B songs she (listened) to on her trip.”

“To be fair she didn’t say it was an ‘Armenian Playlist.’ It’s a playlist for her trip to Armenia. Lord knows my Paris playlist isn’t exclusive to French music,” one fan shared on Twitter.

But other users chose to tease Kardashian over her choice of title.

“When a majority of Kourtney’s Armenian playlist are Arabic songs looooool (sic),” one user tweeted. 

“I laughed at it being called an Armenian playlist when 7/8 of the songs are Arabic,” another Twitter user posted.

Kardashian’s Armenian ancestors on her father’s side emigrated to the US from an area that now lies in Turkey.

The visit was the stars’ first to the nation since a 2015 trip marking the centenary of the mass killings of Armenians that saw her husband give a chaotic, impromptu concert in capital Yerevan.

The sisters were accompanied by Kim’s four children — aged four months to six-years-old. Her elder daughter, North, was baptized in 2015 in the Armenian church in Jerusalem, but joined her siblings in Armenia. Rapper Kanye West, Kim’s husband, was not present at the baptism.

“Thank you Armenia for hosting my family and I in such a memorable trip,” Kim  posted on Instagram at the time. “So blessed to have been baptized along with my babies at Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenia’s main cathedral which is sometimes referred to as the Vatican of the Armenian Apostolic Church. This church was built in 303 AD.”

On their visit, Kim gave a speech at the World Congress on Information Technology, where she heaped praise on Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, calling her a “brave and amazing young woman” and said she shared her concerns about climate change.

Talking about plans for her businesses, which include beauty products and shapewear, Kim said she was considering opening a factory and investing in Armenia.

“I'm excited as tonight I have a meeting and I'm gonna talk about future investments and opening up a factory here and how to really bring this (business) to Armenia (sic),” Kim said.