Jazbaa

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Vampire Owl :: Holy Vampire Crocodile! This is Aishwarya Rai, isn’t she?

Vampire Bat :: Yes, it is her only. I don’t understand why you are asking. Did you also lose your eye sight with that werewolf scratch on your arm?

Vampire Owl :: No, it just has been such a long time since I saw her on a movie poster. I am surprised.

Vampire Bat :: You have the right to be surprised and also to watch this movie.

Vampire Owl :: So, you are planning to make me watch this movie.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, and it will be cheapest movie ticket which we would have bought in the last few years. I am sure that it will be worth it, no matter how we see it.

Vampire Owl :: It is good to see Aishwarya Rai returning in a heroine-centric movie. I had a crush on her when I was immortally a little bit younger.

Vampire Bat :: It is quite natural, you know.

Vampire Owl :: Yes, but not for us vampires.

Vampire Bat :: Aishwarya Rai has always been beyond one world.

[Gets the tickets].

What is it about? :: Anuradha Verma (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) is a very successful lawyer who can gets any person free from prison, no matter what kind of case he is involved in. She has that kind of a reputation which can make anyone jealous. She is a single mother and her only relation in this world is her little daughter Sanaya (Sara Arjun). One day, her daughter is kidnapped and the kidnapper asks her to save a rape accused even though the proof is clearly against him. Meanwhile, her good friend Yohan (Irrfan Khan) is an officer on suspension who needs her help. As Anuradha tries to find something that could save the accused, Yohan helps her, but it turns out that things are not what they seem to be, and other people are involved in the chain of incidents.

The defence of Jazbaa :: A stylish thriller take its form in Jazbaa with its twists and the way in which the whole thing is shot. I have loved how the camera moves around the city and captures the same in a beautiful way. The return of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan should be what defends this movie for the audience more than the rest though. The movie’s final twist is working, and it also leaves the audience with a good message, even though it could have been used frequently within the movie itself. Whenever the movie threatens to go down, the cast successfully keeps it working at a good level, and it leaves us free to make our guesses with its suspense. No, I haven’t watched the original, and so further comment on how well it was adapted, is not possible. From what I have read, it seems to be a lot the same.

Claws of flaw :: With story already there as this is an adaptation of the South Korean movie Seven Days, there was a fine platform for Jazbaa, which it hasn’t used to full potential. A number of twists are predictable concerning a politician and his interest in the case. There is also an extension of the ending after we feel that the movie has ended, and that was rather unnecessary. The movie’s focus is also not always there in the same way. With the return of Aishwarya, the movie could have accomplished more with smartness in action rather having sequences like the heroine running, screaming and even crying in slow motion. In a movie which otherwise leaves exaggeration, doesn’t make the best use of the court room scenes either. A better second half could have brought things to another level. The melodrama should have also been reduced. It should have gone full thriller, and there is loss of strength.

Performers of the soul :: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is back after the 2010 movie Guzaarish with Hritik Roshan. After five long years, she returns and makes an impact in this movie. Most of the time, she remains strong, but one has to wonder about those melodramatic moments and the slow motion sequence. There is no doubt about that fact that she has made her return a memorable one. But that is not all, as Irrfan Khan and Shabana Azmi often makes a bigger impact. The former’s dialogues are those which make the day instantly better. He plays the kind of cop who is not a hero, villain or a side-kick; he is much more, and he pulls that off in style. The latter is completely at ease here too. Priya Banerjee has a few moments in her short stay. The veterans Jackie Shroff and Atul Kulkarni are unfortunately used less.

Soul exploration :: The movie talks about the complications that the law has, and how justice is rarely fair for the person who suffers. It also talks about justice for a rape victim, and how too many factors affect the proceedings of a case. There is actually the need for change in attitude among the people, and it is to be the first thing. Otherwise, nothing that much positive comes to the scene. Movies will have its stars doing the job, but otherwise, it is in the hands of the common man to make a difference. But as evil is a lot easier, and so is not reacting to evil committed, such a situation is too far away. The movie’s soul could have been the social message which follows a full thriller, and with that kind of a progress, this movie could have got there as the social thriller. Such movies can make the difference.

How it finishes :: Talvar had very less number of shows here which meant that I ended up missing it. Thankfully for Jazbaa, it does get enough screens here, and the credit to the same should go to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan making the grand return in a heroine-centric movie, making the audience clearly interested. The movie has its positives and negatives, but what it surely manages to be, is a movie is worth watching this weekend. There is enough in this flick to inspire a one-time watch, and I am saying this with an attempt at the original still pending a try. I would like to hear from someone who has watched Seven Days, and I am sure that some of the people who are reading this should have had the opportunity for watching the Korean version.

Release date: 9th October 2015
Running time: 122 minutes
Directed by: Sanjay Gupta
Starring: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Irrfan Khan, Shabana Azmi, Priya Banerjee, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Jackie Shroff, Atul Kulkarni, Siddhanth Kapoor, Sara Arjun

jazbaa

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Brothers

brothers

Vampire Owl :: But wasn’t the original called Warrior?

Vampire Bat :: Yes, but this is called Brothers. Family sells more than the others in Bollywood. So, having it in the title itself is a positive to bring the audience.

Vampire Owl :: So, tell me about the original.

Vampire Bat :: But I haven’t watched the original.

Vampire Owl :: What? Why? I don’t believe it. There is no reason why you might have missed that movie.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, I understand that there was no reason, but some things happen for no reason, and this one didn’t happen for some reason which was not there.

Vampire Owl :: You should watch it some time.

Vampire Bat :: May be, but these days, I am not sure what I should watch and what I shouldn’t.

Vampire Owl :: That is a heavy crisis.

Vampire Bat :: Well, I have watched so many movies at the theatres, and I wonder what is the point other than to lose your existence in this world and live thinking about those flicks which can erase you sooner or later with no benefits.

[Gets the tickets].

What is it about? :: This official remake of the 2011 movie Warrior begins with talks about starting a new fighting league in India giving the fighters the right to fight, and meanwhile, Gary Fernandes (Jackie Shroff), an old man and a former fighter is released from prison. He is welcomed by his younger son Monty Fernandes (Sidharth Malhotra) who is hoping to prove himself in the world of street-fighting. His other son, David Fernandes (Akshay Kumar) is not in terms with his brother and father though, and lives separately with his wife Jenny Fernandes (Jacqueline Fernandez) and their little daughter who is suffering from kidney failure. He is working as a teacher, but can’t find enough money for the treatment of his daughter, and decides to go fighting as he used to do a long time ago.

Where it goes :: With the new league being formed, the two brothers try in their own ways to get into the competition, as the younger one has a viral YouTube video in his favour and the elder takes over the spot which was left open by an injury inflicted to a star fighter by the younger one. While Monty enters the tournament as the brute with strength, aggression and a never give up attitude, David enters the same with experience and a defensive strategy, using counter-attack, grapples and evasion as his strengths – he is powered by his family’s needs and the support of his students while Monty has the strength of his willpower and hate for his brother who abandoned him. With international fighters also being part of the tournament, can one of these brothers win it without going on to destroy the other? Where will the father stand in this battle of brothers?

The defence of Brothers :: There are many levels in which the movie works, and first and the most efficient one is the emotional side, which exists throughout the movie. It is powerful with the beginning, and gets stronger only to reach its zenith by the climax and the finish. The second one is the message about the family which also exists strong enough. The third is the action which is also powerful and gory, even though more could have been considering the stage. The transformation into the action stage is quite good, with the arena setting which is of high quality – the details related to this are very well done. The background is also well established, and the family man’s problems are well portrayed to create another level of emotional sequences. Brothers surely is successful in creating the desired effect on the audience, no matter where it stands in comparison with the original – the adrenaline rush is huge.

Claws of flaw :: The worst thing that has happened for this movie is the item song from Kareeena Kapoor which is not only bad, but also not suitable for this movie. One has to wonder why Bollywood thinks that it is important to bring an item song everywhere, even when the material is officially remade from Hollywood. There is also that flashback which is too long, and the relationship could have been established easily without this long a background. The movie could have been kept shorter that way, or some more fights could have been added; there is also scope for adding more to the elder’s teaching life and the younger’s daily lamentations. There are clichés, and you can predict when these two will come against each other, and may be even about how it will end; yes, without reading the story-line in Wikipedia. There was more scope for the action scenes, instead of rushing through Monty’s sequences too quickly.

Performers of the soul :: As expected, do look out for Akshay Kumar in this movie as is right there with full strength as one of the two protagonists. His sequences with his wife and daughter are very well created to make that big impact with the families, and he excels throughout, a lot more than the rest of the cast – Only Jackie Shroff comes up with a similar intense performance, as you can see the performance in his eyes itself. Akshay Kumar does very well with all sides, as the family man, as the teacher and the fighter. Jacqueline Fernandez has a smaller, but noticable role which does very well. Sidharth Malhotra has less to talk and has more chance to be part of the action as he is the tough angry young man here. He does that well, but there is nothing much to his character. Shefali Shah and Ashutosh Rana are good too. You already know about Kareena Kapoor in her worst item dance.

How it finishes :: I apologize for not agreeing with most of the reviews out there, even though there is absolutely no need for that. I am just doing it because this movie had a powerful emotional impact on me, which I am releasing in a positive way. I loved the movie’s emotional impact, and the way in which the stage is set for the action which makes the second half better than the first. Well, I haven’t watched Warrior, and so that should be taken into consideration when you look at how I have felt related to this movie. May be, if you have watched that original movie, you will consider this in a different way, but let me tell you that this has a lot for the family as well as the young audience as I see it; I am also sure that Bollywood had a big chance of messing up this remake, but I am glad that they didn’t.

Release date: 14th August 2015
Running time: 159 minutes
Directed by: Karan Malhotra
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Sidharth Malhotra, Jacqueline Fernandez, Jackie Shroff, Shefali Shah, Ashutosh Rana, Kiran Kumar, Kareena Kapoor (special appearance in an item song)

brothers.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Aurangzeb

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Talking about Aurangzeb, one has to wonder why this name for a movie which resembled Don and its remake in its first trailer shown in the theatres, but then you remember the Mughal Emperor who fought for kingship over kinship (“kingship knows no kinship” as declared by the movie itself in some of the posters), as the young emperor battled his brothers and also put his father under house arrest in the Agra Fort for the control of the throne; then after his formal coronation in Delhi, he does execute his brother, the eldest son and the heir apparent of Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal, Dara Shikoh – as it is recorded in the annals of history. But his striving towards achieving his aim, and his master tactics might have also been considered while giving this name to the movie. His continuation of warfare might be another thing – the desire to achieve more heights, as he built up a massive army for more and more military expansion throughout the boundaries of his already vast empire. He was among the wealthiest of the Mughal rulers if what is written about him is true. By 1690, Aurangzeb had territories stretching from the South to the Afghan area. But after his death, the empire built on blood and intolerance breaks apart, something which has to be considered with the kingship of this movie.

The movie starts with a quote from The Odes, a collection of Latin lyric poems by Horace a.k.a Quintus Horatius Flaccus, the famous Roman poet from the age of the first emperor and the founder of the Roman Empire, known to us as Augustus Caesar. I can’t bring myself to remember that quote, but here we have another emperor! Never mind, our story follows the illegal real estate developer Yashvardhan (Jackie Shroff) and his always pleasure-seeking arrogant son Ajay (Arjun Kapoor). Rishi Kapoor, Prithviraj and Sikandar Kher is one cop family and challenges the family of criminals in a battle which is more unseen than seen. The police department succeeds in capturing Ajay and torture him, while they send out Ajay’s twin brother, Vishal (Arjun Kapoor), to Yashvardhan to find his secrets and bring his empire down to earth from the sky which it has set as the limit. Vishal joins the crew and becomes an informer, with a desire to take revenge for his mother who had to run away from his father Yashvardhan due to his dirty deeds. Here, the two brothers create the idea of Aurangzeb – the king, who puts his throne, sceptre and crown ie kingship above kinship. But in another way, Arya (Prithviraj) is also Aurangazeb – the concept not being limited to one person. Even his family of police officers has interest in real estate and they are all businessman on the end of the day. They fight their own battles, and the result is clearly unpredictable with the high emotional element involved.

Prithviraj Sukumaran has come up with a simple, yet excellent performance. There was evidently no mistake when he was declared as the future of Malayalam movie industry, and now he has moved further north and extended his domain more than once. He has been both the most liked and the most disliked movie actors the Malayalam movie industry has ever seen, and there has been unnecessary controversies for sure. For the Bollywood audience who don’t know him, right from the beginning of his career through Nandanam to establishing himself as part of the elite class in Thalappavu, he had a good number of ups and downs in Malayalam movie industry, and is now at the zenith of his glory with Ayalum Njanum Thammil and Celluloid, which brought to him the Kerala State Film Award for the second time, after a gap of six years. Lets just forget Aiyyaa and consider this his Grand Hindi debut, as he is indeed leaving a permanent mark with this one. Along with these movies mentioned, if you need to watch more of his movies, I would recommend Vargam, Akale, Indian Rupee and Classmates, two of his interesting performances which also have their own entertainment value.

There are also a number of critically acclaimed off-beat movies, like Akasathinte Niram, Veettilekkulla Vazhi and Manjadikuru. City of God and Manikyakallu are also worth mentioning here. But still, there might be no other movie like Celluloid, and as watching it might also be a tribute to the Indian movie industry, I would recommend it the most – Prithviraj is also at his best there, and therefore it is a must watch for all the true lovers of movies. His presence in Tamil is also to be noted and he is there in Telugu too, even as I have not explored that much. His other release in Malayalam, Mumbai Police also seems to be running pretty good in the theatres. After having a bad patch, he is now back in full power, and he is slowly blending into that police officer role which didn’t seem to suit him in a number of movies which failed miserably, but has now become part of his new series of roles in more than one language. Prithviraj had the opportunity and the option to step up, and he has successfully done that. There shall be more of him in Bollywood too, there is no doubt about that.

For the people who are confused already, Prithviraj is not the hero and neither is he the villain in this movie. But he surely does more than one job, as a businessman police officer, as the saviour and upholder of the law, the husband who forgets to smile at home (even as he has a grin when dealing with crime) and finally, as the family man who does what is expected of him. The big screen presence might have actually come up as a surprise for both his fans as well as the common movie watcher. He also narrates throughout the movie, and has presence on the big screen very often. Thus he does something more than being the supporting actor here. His character is there from the beginning to the end, as if he is the one who watches everything. His character has his understandings and transformations, and none of them seem to put the actor out of ease. The role of the two protagonists belong to Arjun Kapoor does the two characters with so much ease, especially the more evil side – the other one is just fine. There is no doubt that he is among the best of the young talents and he has proven it once again through this movie. After his performance in the action romance drama Ishaqzaade, here he comes up with another treat for the viewers. So, here are two actors, doing their job very well.

Sashaa Agha, the daughter of the Pakistani singer and actress Salma Agha also makes her Bollywood debut in this movie. Other than being the gorgeous presence in the movie, the twenty one year old also sings in the movie, the song being well received already. Even if one has to wonder if she is a little uncomfortable out there and there is a sure confusion around, the plot would have run well without that character, and considering that, she has done more than enough. She has surely earned her spot to be there, and her bikini-shot has already made it to the trailers; her song video already watched a lot; her debut surely a great one which has touched the stars with the role in an Yash Raj Films production. In total, it should be a perfect beginning for her. Jackie Shroff is a solid presence in the movie and same is the case of Rishi Kapoor, both of them contributing with more of themselves than anything else. The two would seem to be on the sides of evil and good in the beginning, but later fade into a grey from which the roles would seem to be reversing a bit, even as none of them really gets out the greyness which engulfs them. The latter stands out as the mastermind and the visionary. The cast makes the movie mostly about performances rather than the plot or anything else, as they have all done a very good job.

Despite the rise of my new blog; http://divineepic.wordpress.com/ and a possible further development which awaits it, the movie reviews shall continue and the movies of the soul shall continue to influence the minds without any halt, as they form an integral part of the weekend which restores the soul from its low energy stage to the supreme stage. Aurangzeb doesn’t fall behind in doing the same either. We have loved Don, and this movie leaves us no option, but to like it for what it is. With all the thrills and action sequences, Aurangzeb leaves the viewers with another thing – a message about the importance of brotherhood and the divine superiority of kinship over kingship in a complicated simplicity as it adds a certain kind of “thrill of eventual goodness” to whatever might have been a game of blood otherwise. With a little more vision, it could have been a classic for sure. The last week might have belonged to space travel and zombies with one English and one Hindi movie, and the earlier week belonged to a shootout or rather an encounter, but this is undoubtedly the week of Aurangzeb – not the emperor of history, but the new king of this century. The new blog belongs to another world, not of the movies; but this one belongs completely to this one world of celluloid, even as it shall never be free from the effects of that outside world which decides more than what it can handle.

Release date: 17th May 2013
Running time: 137 minutes
Directed by: Atul Sabharwal
Starring: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Arjun Kapoor, Sashaa Agha, Amrita Singh, Jackie Shroff, Swara Bhaskar, Deepti Naval, Tanve Azmi, Rasika Dugal, Sikandar Kher

aurangzeb copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Shootout at Wadala

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There is always something about John Abraham, whether with his debut movie that is Jism, the special ones which were Kabul Express and No Smoking, my favourite performances of him which are Zinda and Taxi 9211 or even his most stylish performance ever, that is Force – as long as the fans of Dhoom won’t disagree. To add to it, however you look at it and whatever some of the critics say about it with an artificially created anguish which has created a fake reflection of imperfection which is more applicable to Chak De India, Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal was also something special. Dostana didn’t fail to impress me and Garam Masala is of lesser importance only because of its Malayalam original eclipsing it. He has always been underrated, as all the fans stood by the actors who have a famous family background, and our man is more of what I would feel to be a self-made man, something which I consider to be of great importance in a world of pride, prejudice and reservations. As the Vampire Bat thinks a lot about where he is from, it is something which always catches the legendary bat attention. Well, once you catch the attention of the Vampire Bat, there is no lack of the paranormal analysis which would be based on a few cups of tea and the absolute truth which can be obtained only by seeking in the sea of lies which is shown to the common movie watchers through some reviews.

Consider Django Unchained for a change – what was in it? Nothing other than racism supported by gore. It leaves the intellectual ones with more wrong questions than anything else. If the performance of those actors alone would make that movie superior, our own shootout would be far ahead with an all-round performance. Well, this movie does take them all aside, and happens to be John Abraham’s best performance ever – from now on. No, it is still not going to mesmerize you, as that step is still far away. The movie is the sequel to the 2007 film Shootout at Lokhandwala, and is based on the book Hussain Zaidi’s Dongri to Dubai – but as I haven’t ventured into these two initiatives and my knowledge is limited, I shall not comment on them. Its dramatization of the first-ever registered encounter by Mumbai police is also something I know nothing about – by nothing I mean a perfect void which would justify all the absence, and I shall not talk about something which happened before I had fallen into this world of misery in an official way. For now, I would know that there is a location called Wadala and there was an encounter there, and the rest shall be my immediate conception of fiction through a movie which has already been praised enough by the critics – for this praise is the absolute truth and nothing else.

Well, as I don’t fall prey the type of nonsense which says like “Sholay is the greatest Indian cinema” kind of stuff, and the stereotypes like “men with muscles can’t act”. The presence of pride and prejudice is so much, and the absence of sense and sensiblity is evident even in this age; may be Jane Austen knew this when she named her novels. As the second axiom shall be easily proved when one watches the movie, I knew all the time that Sholay was so overrated that even the word would be ashamed of it. Even from a long time ago, I knew that it made no sense. It would always remain an unsuccessful imitation of the West in the most ridiculous manner. It had absolutely nothing to generate any feeling, and none of the events were of significance. The presence of only the DD National channel at home would still force people to watch it more than once, and it is surely this nostalgia that has helped in making it attractive even at this age. But, I will not compare this movie to that pseudo-classic, as this belongs to the new world. They would still make them worse with remakes, as there was Aag, as well as movies like Agneepath which might be the worse of them all. Coming back to this movie, it is beyond all those over-hyped movies. It is also not your typical masala entertainer even if the elements are there.

Well, by the time I finish deconstructing these pseudo-classics, the fake movie lovers will come up with more lies. There is this unreal world created by these people which doesn’t need to be turned upside down, but there is the need for the existence of the real world, the world of truth. But I am not going to publish them in detail as a movement against the majority who are brainwashed to believing that the name of the best movie is “blah blah” and “mr. blah blah” is the best actor. I am beyond these lies though, as now I know that the medium is the message. I would never watch a movie according to what the critics say, and I believe the same would be the case of anyone who has some individuality left within them. The media manufatures consent and makes you believe, and now the critical reviews seem to keep people from watching movies or preventing them from doing the same. In this movie’s case, there are a good number of positive reviews, which is a good thing to see, but for all the negatives, there is something we don’t know. It can still be subjectivity and the powerful assertion of oneself, but then, why would a common man read those reviews looking for objectivity? We can only hope that they are just personal opinions, in that case, I really wish they were all blogs like mine which is not really read by people before going for a movie.

With some apologies for thinking and being different, lets focus on our movie of the moment. John Abraham has done a fantastic job as the protagonist/antagonist, with a powerful transformation from the college student who aims at the ceiling to the merciless gang leader who aims at the clouds. From the man of fear to the man who creates fear, he has done a great job, and the latter works perfectly for him. This is quite different from all the roles he has done so far, as it is the main role and it requires so much effort, and he hasn’t lagged behind. He is the one who carries the movie forward on his shoulders, even as Anil Kapoor as the valiant police officer also comes up with a strong performance and the presence of Jackie Shroff as another police officer never ceases to bring some old memories back; but a cameo it is for Jackie. Kangna Ranaut is good in the limited screen presence required for an action movie. Tusshar Kapoor, Manoj Bajpai and Sonu Sood actually seem to come up with something better every scene. The first one surely requires a special mention for the moments he creates.

There is clearly the battle between two sides, plus another extra side, if you could find it. Between all these, there are three item songs, by Sunny Leone, Priyanka Chopra and Sophie Choudry, and the first one even if the most revealing is closer to the story than the others. The other two would seem to add more colour to the whole movie which is full of action, blood and gore – not as gory as your favourite Hollywood slasher movie, but by Bollywood standards. The second item song by Priyanka Chopra could actually be avoided as not belonging to its genre, and the third one by Sophie Choudry might be the most surprising and the more appropriate to what has been happening in the action scene. As the second one pales in comparison, and there is one other song, the whole world of Manya Surve gets so much longer than the average viewer would like. There is also a bit of slow-motion action to add to it, but the Keralite viewers has seen the biggest use of it, and it might not be even big enough to not notice. The power of the movie lies in the fact that it was executed so well, even as there is nothing extraordinary in there, neither in the script nor the adventure which moves a little towards predictability in the end.

Another thing is that this movie came so close to ending the legacy of the non-Indian named movies in my movies list, but with the words “shootout at”, the statistics remain that I have never ventured into reviewing a movie with a non-Germanic-Romance language name – it could be said non-English, but one has to think twice about the words like “Amen”. So this is a legacy which this movie too shall not break, and instead would choose to continue, with a place name which is out of it, but in totality an integral part of the legacy. As all those Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi movies which I found interesting to review had those type of names, it is interesting that most of the movies with local names have failed, especially in Malayalam; starting from Annayum Rasoolum, going through Lokpal to Natholi Oru Cheriya Meenalla. Well, this movie makes sure that the non-native titled movies keep their status above average. The two or three Malayalam movies in the theatres also continues this legacy, and so does a number of upcoming movies; therefore lets see if I can get to bless the reviews list with a movie of native title; Akam had come so close, but just missed out – that should make the masala entertainer/superstar flick fans who try to impose their lies in a violent and baseless manner incredibly happy.

Release date: 3rd May 2013
Running time: 155 minutes
Directed by: Sanjay Gupta
Starring: John Abraham, Kangna Ranaut, Anil Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor, Manoj Bajpai, Sonu Sood, Jackie Shroff (cameo), Sunny Leone (cameo), Priyanka Chopra (cameo), Sophie Choudry (cameo)

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.