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Chitrangda Singh on #MeToo: We can’t leave everything to legal process, should socially ostracise certain people

Earlier, Chitrangda Singh would often reason that perhaps she did not push herself “enough to shine like a star”. That the several breaks she took intermittently with her priorities changing, or being trapped in family problems and shuttling between Delhi and Mumbai, affected her career to a large extent. But today, more than ambition, the actor-producer counts on passion. “I don’t know the definition of being ambitious but I am very passionate about cinema. I want to produce, act. I want to be cinema person 360 ways possible. I don’t know whether that means being ambitious but it keeps me going,” says Chitrangda, who will be next seen in Saif Ali Khan-starrer, stock market thriller Baazaar (releases on 26 October). Her last film, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3, with Sanjay Dutt in the lead, tanked at the box office.

“I don’t get that much screen time in Baazaar, so that was a bit of a challenge. Without getting too many lines, I still had to help the plot unravel. One thing that Nikkhil (Advani, producer) told me when he was pitching me this role was to stand up to Saif’s strong character. He was looking for someone who conveyed dignity for this role. Saif plays my husband. He is an antagonist and he has very powerful lines and dialogues. My character doesn’t have those flashy dialogues. I needed to have a strong presence. That was more important than looking just pretty,” she says.

Chitrangda Singh. Facebook

But my character is warm. Though she is not in love with her partner, she looks at his games in a different way. She is born into a wealthy family and for her, the definition of ambition, greed, happiness is different as compared to the other three characters (Saif, Radhika Apte and Rohan Mehra), who are willing to sacrifice relationships and friendships for power. My character is observing all this, but there are repercussions on their marriage. But more than love and emotional angle, the film’s base is the game – power greed and how you manipulate. That is why Saif is an antagonist not the protagonist so to speak” she adds.

Chitrangda shares screen space with Saif for the first time. She sees him as an understated actor with excellent timing. “Saif is a lot of fun on set. There is an easy vibe and when you feel comfortable with someone, then that becomes a pleasure. Also, I like that he underplays his performances,” says Chitrangda. She had a pleasant time working with the other two co-stars as well. “With Radhika, I don’t have much work. We met just for two days. But she was full of stories and I am excited about the work she has been doing.”

The actress, however, found it “scary” working with newbie Rohan Mehra. “He is a quiet guy, very earnest. He had learnt the complete script by heart, my lines, Radhika’s lines, everybody’s lines. Tell him page number 72 and he would be all ready to start. I was shocked. I told Gauravv (K Chawla, director) that Rohan is over prepped. It is scary. He is totally into it,” she laughs heartily.

Chitrangda began her career as a model prior to making the transition to the silver screen. She was compared to the legendary Smita Patil in the initial years of her career. In fact, noted director Shekhar Kapur complimented her by saying, ‘You have outdone Smita Patil,’ when he saw her performance in her debut, Sudhir Mishra’s Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2003), which was followed by the 2005 film Kal: Yesterday and Tomorrow (2005).

Then, she took a break from acting between 2005 and 2008 after her marriage to Indian golfer Jyoti Randhawa and made her comeback with the leading role opposite Sanjay Suri in the film Sorry Bhai!. Further, she tried her hands at mainstream cinema with Desi Boyz (opposite Akshay Kumar) and made a couple of special appearances in songs of Tamil movie Anjaan and Akshay Kumar’s 2014 movie Gabbar Is Back. After a few more forgettable films, she reemerged as a producer this year with Shaad Ali-directed Soorma, starring Diljit Dosanjh and Taapsee Pannu.

Chitrangda Singh and Saif Ali Khan in a still from Baazaar. YouTube

However, she has not been getting meaty parts as much as she used to be offered in the past. “I know what you mean. You can only choose what gets offered to you. You pick the best out of that. Sometimes you are lucky with good stuff coming your way, or you try and make a mark with what is offered to you. And opposed to it, you try set up the kind of films you want to be part of and make that kind of cinema. These are the only ways that you can still remain excited about cinema,” says the actress, who will act in one of her two productions that she plans to announce soon.

And in the recent wave of sexual harassment allegations, Chitrangda also opened up about her “distressing” experience on the sets of Babumoshai Bandookbaaz. Though she did speak out during the making of the film, she feels it is easy to bring out her side of the story given the #MeToo movement that has gained traction in the past couple of months. “There is no structure, no process and no organisation that one could go to voice your grievances and at that time, no such movement had started. So yes, it is easier to talk about it now. Thanks to Tanushree Dutta for taking up the charge and initiating the movement in India,” she says, furthering, “It is a very good and healthy thing to happen to any industry that you do not let people go further, get promoted, get encouraged for the favours being done, or if there are any compromises they are willing to make. That shouldn’t be the basis of their promotions. It should be only on the basis of your potential and talent.”

However, Chitrangda strongly feels that instead of leaving everything to the legal process, the social consciousness needs to be the order of the day. “Most of the times you can’t prove rape. If you are not taken to hospital and get checked. How do you prove it? How does Vinta Nanda prove? But that doesn’t mean she is lying. We can’t leave everything to the legal process. Social responsibility has to grow. We should socially ostracise such people. Consciousness can’t come by filing an FIR at a police station. I hope that my son doesn’t grow up thinking it’s all okay, and that can only happen if we make enough noise now. It’s only then that the next generation will know that even a bit of harassment is just not okay,” she says.

Further, giving her views on the chances of certain people misusing the movement, the actress states that they do not deserve to be part of it. “Maybe collateral damage will happen. But I hope people are as truthful and honest for the sake of the girls who have really suffered. At some point, if people have used it as a manipulation and tend to benefit from it, they don’t deserve to be part of the movement. That won’t be fair to the real victims because you become an enabler. You enabled and encouraged this somewhere, as a result of which the same people have expected that from more girls. It’s extremely important to draw the line, and it’s also important for the media and us colleagues and people from the industry to recognise that ,” says Chitrangda.

Jackie Shroff on Nana Patekar, Sajid Khan’s exit from Housefull 4: Don’t want to fan issue by commenting

Mumbai: Actor Jackie Shroff, who will be seen playing central character in The Playboy Mr. Sawhney has said that unfortunately people take a lot of pleasure looking in others’ personal life.

Jackie Shroff. Image via Facebook

Jackie Shroff was interacting with media at the special screening of The Playboy Mr. Sawhney along with his co-actors Divya Dutta, Neetu Chandra, Manjari Fadnis, Arjan Bajwa, Samir Kochhar, director Tariq Naved Siddiqui and producer Karan Arora on Wednesday, 25 October, in Mumbai.

Reacting on #MeToo movement where Jackie Shroff’s former colleagues Nana Patekar and Sajid Khan are facing the heat, Shroff said, “It’s unfortunate at the moment. Both of them were my colleagues. They are fighting it out in public and washing their dirty linen out there. People are watching and enjoying out there”.

“Unfortunately, people get a lot of pleasure looking in others’ personal life.”

When asked to comment on Nana Patekar and Sajid Khan, who have been ousted from Housefull 4 by Fox Star Studios, the producers of the film, Shroff said, “I don’t want to fan it. If they take (these men) in their films or don’t, it’s their call.

If they don’t remove them, there might be an agitation. So let it rest.”
The Playboy Mr. Sawhney revolves around young guy (Tahir Raj Bhasin) who is facing problems with his girlfriend seeking the advice of his grandfather (Jackie Shroff) in the matters of love and life.

Talking about his association with the short film, Shroff said, “Not only me but a lot of people are making short films. I hope filmmakers keep approaching me to do short films so that I continue working in them.”

The Playboy Mr Sawhney stars Jackie Shroff, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Neetu Chandra, Divya Dutta, Arjan Bajwa, Manjari Fadnis, Sudhir Mishra and Pitobash in key roles.

It is a short love story written and directed by Tariq Naved Siddiqui and produced by Karan Arora.

Mohalla Assi trailer: Sunny Deol, Sakshi Tanwar’s satirical drama raises poignant questions about religion

The trailer of Sunny Deol and Sakshi Tanwar’s controversial film Mohalla Assi was released by the makers on 25 October. The film had been mired in a two-year-long battle with the Central Board of Film Certification before being cleared with an ‘A’ certificate in September, 2018.

Still from Mohalla Assi. YouTube screengrab

Directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi, the film is based on Kashi Nath Singh’s book Kashi Ka Assi that dissects the politically-charged events of 1990 and 1998 — including the Ram Janmabhoomi issue and the implementation of the Mandal Commission.

The trailer charts the journey of a priest residing in Varanasi’s Mohalla Assi who goes about his life normally till certain events force him to take on the challenge of building the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. His fervour to establish his religious sentiments pushes him closer to fanaticism.

Meanwhile, Deol’s on-screen wife, Sakshi Tanwar, provides the much-needed lighter moments with her innocence and naivete. Delivering cuss words with ease, Tanwar brings in a rustic authenticity to the otherwise serious narrative.

Presented by Crossword Entertainment in association with Wisdom Tree Productions, the film has an ensemble cast comprising Ravi Kishan, Saurabh Shukla, Mukesh Tiwari and Rajendra Gupta among others.

FryDay movie review: Govinda can’t escape the ’90s in this unimaginative, below par comedy

Govinda fans can rejoice. This FryDay marks the return of the entertainer number one, in all his 1990s glory. He throws his entire body into the comedy — jiggling, wriggling and contorting his face while delivering the modicum of entertainment and laughs scattered through director Abhishek Dogra’s sit-com.

A still from FryDay. YouTube

Writers Rajeev Kaul and Manu Rishi Chadha set this story in Delhi. Varun Sharma plays Rajiv, a down-on-his-luck water purifier salesman with a sleazy boss and an unethical colleague. Rajiv is no Einstein and those around him take advantage of this simplicity. His job now depends on installing this one water purifier on this fated Friday.

Somewhere else in Delhi, a theatre actor is performing Mughal-E-Azam and gobbling up the dialogues of his co-stars. It is vintage Govinda but, like many other scenes, is over-written and overcooked.

After a crash course in salesmanship by a bargain basement motivational speaker (Sanjay Mishra), Rajiv finally bags a client and on the appointed Friday, he arrives at Gagan Kapoor’s (Govinda) home. But the portly middle-aged man, who lives in a garish bungalow, has other plans for the day. With his wife Bela (Prabhleen Sandhu) away on work trip to Simla, Gagan has wasted no time inviting over his young paramour, Bindu (Digangana Suryavanshi).

Every time the doorbell rings, Gagan’s plans for a little hanky-panky are thwarted. Unwanted guests include a thief, Rajiv, the maid and a cop. Dogra’s bedroom farce, largely located in this one set, gains some momentum only thanks to Govinda’s energy. However crass the theme of infidelity might be, only he can turn out dialogues like, “Once in a week it is must, what about Gagan Kapoor’s lust?”

Although he is a fitting junior counterpart to Govinda, Varun’s act as hapless character (seen in Fukrey and almost everything else he has done) is repetitive and tiresome. Fortunately, the actresses play it straight, leaving the comedy to the main actors, supported by Brijendra Kala as the conman.

Dogra’s direction is unimaginative and the production values so sub-par that besides Govinda fans with a penchant for physical comedy, there is no reason to thank god for this FryDay.

Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Zaira Wasim begin shooting for second schedule of The Sky Is Pink in London

Actors Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar and Zaira Wasim have started shooting for Shonali Bose’s The Sky Is Pink. The film, which is based on a true life story, will be shot in Mumbai, Delhi, London and the Andamans.

Shooting of the London leg of The Sky Is Pink begins. Image from Twitter/ @taran_adarsh

Juhi Chaturvedi is writing the dialogues while Pritam Chakraborty will be providing music for the film, which is backed by Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur.

A Filmfare report earlier stated that portions of the film in UK between 10 to 21 October. The shooting will follow the narrative where Aisha (the character) has grown up.

The Sky Is Pink’s narrative — based on a true life story — follows Aisha Chaudhary (essayed by Zaira Wasim), who became a motivational speaker after being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 13

“I look forward to diving into this film. It’s very special to me. As soon I read it, I knew I had to be a part of telling this story, so I’m wearing two hats on this one… as an actor and as a co-producer,” Priyanka had said in a statement.

“In both aspects, I am equally excited to work with the amazing team of actors and technicians we have on board. Shonali is a formidable filmmaker and I can’t wait to see this story unfold in her expertise. I’m looking forward to working with Farhan, Ronnie and Sid again. All in all, it’s a great homecoming,” added the actress, who is working with Farhan after Dil Dhadakne Do.

Tanushree Dutta demands narco analysis, lie detector tests on Nana Patekar over sexual harassment charges

Mumbai: Actor Tanushree Dutta on Saturday demanded that actor Nana Patekar and three others, against whom she has filed a complaint alleging sexual harassment, be subjected to narco analysis, brain mapping and lie detector tests.

Dutta submitted an application in this regard to Oshiwara police station through her advocate Nitin Satpute.

Tanushree Datta alleged that Nana Patekar had misbehaved with her while filming a song 10 years ago.

Dutta has accused the 67-year-old actor of misbehaving with her when the two were shooting a special song for Hindi film Horn Ok Pleassss 10 years ago.

Based on her complaint, Oshiwara police had registered a case under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code against Patekar, choreographer Ganesh Acharya, producer Samee Siddiqui and director Rakesh Sarang.

Satpute on Saturday said that his client had also sought the arrest of Patekar, Acharya, Siddiqui, Sarang and their “fake witnesses”.

Dutta’s application mentioned that the accused were “highly influential and high profile” persons with “good political connection” and, therefore, it was possible that they could put “undue pressure, fear, coercion and influence” on the witnesses, Satpute said.

The lawyer claimed that there were eyewitnesses to the alleged incident which took place on 26 March, 2008 but they were not coming forward to record their statement as they were afraid of the accused.

Satpute claimed that these witnesses would step forward to record their statement only after the accused are arrested.

Dutta believes that the accused, who while speaking to the media have been denying the accusation, may put pressure on witnesses or produce “bogus witnesses” to record “negative statement” against her, the lawyer said.

Dutta has also approached the Maharashtra State Commission for Women as well as the Deputy Collector under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 to get justice, he said.

Patekar, on Saturday, had told reporters here that “I said this ten years ago… a lie is a lie (Dus saal pehle bol chuka hoon, ab jo jhoot hai woh jhoot hai‘)”.

Andhadhun, Sui Dhaaga box office collection: Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer collects Rs 15 cr on opening weekend

Sriram Raghavan’s new thriller Andhadhun topped the Indian box office in its opening weekend, pulling in an estimated Rs 15 crores in ticket sales, trade analyst Taran Adarsh reported on Monday.

The movie, featuring Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu and Radhika Apte, earned critical acclaim and performed well at the box office over the weekend, with takings of Rs 2.7 crores, Rs 5.10 crores and Rs 7.20 crores on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Ayushmann Khurrana and Radhika Apte in a still from Andhadhun. Image via Twitter

Andhadhun revolves around a visually challenged piano player, played by Ayushmann, who gets into a mysterious situation. It is about how a series of incidents get unfolded afterwards, bringing about significant changes in his life. The story has been written by Arijit Biswas, Pooja Ladha Surti, Yogesh Chandekar along with Raghavan.

The Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan starrer Sui Dhaaga earned Rs 9.20 crores in it second weekend, taking its total collection to Rs 71.70 crores.

Sui Dhaaga is based on Make in India campaign launched by the government in 2014, which was aimed at promoting the country’s indigenous industries.

Adarsh also declared the horror-comedy Stree officially as a “blockbuster” after the film earned Rs 1.11 crores in its sixth weekend. The film has raked in Rs 129.21 crores since its release last month.

Ileana D’Cruz may be cast opposite John Abraham in Anees Bazmee’s next project, tentatively titled Saade Sati

Namaste England director Anees Bazmee’s next project will be headlined by John Abraham. The film will go on floors in 2019, Bazmee told DNA. The same report states that Ileana D’Cruz has been cast as the female lead.

Ileana D'Cruz. Facebook

The film primarily revolves around two male characters, but Ileana is the solo heroine in it. Anees wanted someone with good comic timing and was impressed with her act in Mubarakan (2017), so he got her on board,” a source told the publication.

The report adds that Fanney Khan actor Anil Kapoor will also be a part of the film. Kapoor has previously worked with Abraham in Bazmee’s 2015 comedy Welcome Back.

The source also reported that the film’s title has not been decided. It was previously called Saade Saati but later changed to Pagalpanti. However, Bazmee was unhappy with both the options and has decided to come with something fresh. But, Saade Saati is the working title of the film. DNA was unable to confirm this with the filmmaker.

D’Cruz had been a part of successful commercial Hindi films like the comedy Main Tera Hero with Varun Dhawan and thriller Rustom opposite Akshay Kumar. Her recent release was Raid, starring Ajay Devgn and Saurabh Shukla.

Manikarnika: EOW closes inquiry against Kangana Ranaut film’s copyright issues; dismisses Ketan Mehta’s claims

In May 2017, Ketan Mehta had sent Kangana Ranaut and the producers of upcoming period drama Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi a legal notice for hijacking Rani of Jhansi: The Warrior Queen, his most ambitious film project. Following this, in June 2017 he had approached Economic Offences Wing (EOW) to book Ranaut for breach of trust and cheating. Now, Mid-Day reports that EOW has closed the case.

Kangana Ranaut in Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi

The publication reports that in the inquiry conducted by EOW’s general cheating department had collected all material related to the film from Mehta as well as the producers of Manikarnika. The unit also recorded statements from various people involved.

The inquiry concluded that the story of Queen of Jhansi is known to all and the allegations could only be proved if dialogues, scenes and sets in Manikarnika were the same as Mehta’s script, which they were not. The approval to close the case was approved by senior EOW officials a few weeks ago.

Manikarnika has been making headlines owing to the Sonu Sood-Kangana Ranaut altercation following the former’s exit from the period film and his subsequent replacement. Swati Semwal also quit the film as she was unsure if her role would have been substantial enough following Sonu Sood’s exit from the movie.


Katrina Kaif appears as first celebrity guest on Neha Dhupia’s radio talk show, No Filter Neha

Neha Dhupia’s third season of her popular radio talk show No Filter Neha had actress Katrina Kaif as the first guest. During the course of the interview, Kaif revealed certain funny anecdotes about her own life.

Katrina Kif (left) and Neha Dhupia

Being in a chirpy mood, Kaif began the show by confessing that there have been instances when the actress has pulled her trainer from an afternoon party just so that she could begin her workout. In her defense, Kaif added that in the recent past, she had become much more independent while exercising in the gym.

Extremely conscious of her health, Kaif has even threatened her trainer that when she dances, if she finds any portion of her body “jiggling”, then her trainer’s “had it”. The actress even accepted that she was not a hardened fashionista and was not aware of the latest trends or anything of the sort. Preferring to wear baggy, comfortable clothing, Kaif said that her friends and family often pull her leg stating she likes wearing her grandmother’s outfits.

Speaking about the one thing she loves, Katrina stated that her relationship with a certain type of clothing has recently grown to mean something to her. The actress continued, stating that sweatpants or track-pants were her new favourite obsession.

Being one of the most celebrated actresses to have mastered the art of dance-numbers, Katrina said that she would naturally gravitate towards the centre of the stage, even during a duet performance. Recalling one such instance from ‘Kala Chashma’, Kaif said, “In the process of wearing to the center of the camera, Siddharth (Malhotra) often got a finger in his eye or a finger in his ear. He did mention it one or ten times – STAY OUT OF MY SPACE PLEASE!,” said the actress.