Category Archives: Bollywood News

October trailer: Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu-starrer is an evocative, visually pleasing story of love

The trailer of Shoojit Sircar’s October with Varun Dhawan and Banita Sandhu in leading roles has been released. Dhawan and Sandhu play Dan and Shiuli respectively, two young hotel management trainees. The job always gets the better of Dhawan. Soon, their ordinary lives are shaken up after a traumatic event, never to be the same again.

october 825

Ever since it was announced, the film is being touted as a unique love story devoid of love at first sight and other run-of-the-mill tropes. The film has been promoted as a celebration of love, nature and the autumn season — a theme that is unmistakable in the October trailer, too.

After Sandhu ends up in the ICU after a life-altering incident, Dhawan devotes himself to her, her condition affecting him more than it probably should. Sandhu, who is making her acting debut with October, does not get a lot of dialogues in the trailer, but her expressions are enough to convey what her character is feeling. The cinematography shines in the 2-minute trailer, which mostly consists of dark tones and sombre lights that bring a chilly vibe.

Sircar, who has films like Piku, Vicky Donor and Madras Cafe to his credit, is known for his unique storytelling style. In October, too, his vision shines through and you can tell, that he is the force behind the perceptible change in Dhawan’s approach.

AR Rahman and Komail Shayan have combined their brilliance to dish out a pacifying score for this Rising Sun Films production. October is slated to release on 13 April, 2018.

Varun Dhawan on October: I need this film more than anyone else at this point in my career

Mumbai: Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan says his upcoming film October came as a much-needed opportunity in his film career.

Varun Dhawan in October. Image from Twitter/@filmfare

At the film’s trailer launch on 12 March, Varun said, “I was the last person cast in the film after meeting Shoojit Sircar. I think casting should happen that way… Not because one actor is doing good in films. When I heard the story, I was so moved by it that I felt the need of doing the film. I need the film more than anyone else in the room at this point of time in my career.”

October promises a unique love story.

“When I sign a film, I look at the script more than anything, and how much the maker is putting in the film. In October Shoojitda, writer Juhi Chaturvedi and every one of our crew members put their heart and soul in it. I had to be a part of this film. They signed me for the film even before Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Judwaa 2,” Varun said.

Besides being an emotional journey for him, the film turned out to be a learning experience for Varun.

“Dada (Shoojit) asked me what do I do when I wake up. I said, ‘As usual, I check my phone, I post things on social media’. Then he asked me not to do that, and instead observe a plant for 10 minutes. I started doing that and felt a huge change. I unlearned a lot… It was a very different experience,” Varun said.

October is releasing on 13 April.

The Dirty Picture director Milan Luthria says Bollywood may be reaching its saturation point with biopics

His directorial venture The Dirty Picture, loosely based on the life of South actor Silk Smitha, has become one of the most memorable Bollywood films, but Milan Luthria believes the enthusiasm the audience shows towards the biopic genre will soon fizzle out.

The filmmaker ,who was a part of panel discussion In Someone else’s shoes: Fireside chat with makers of stellar biopics along with Hansal Mehta, Nandita Das and Dangal writer Piyush Gupta, at FICCI Frames event in Mumbai, said it is the “laziness” that prompts a lot of directors/writers to work on a biopic.”Earlier, we did not have buyers for biopics, like for The Dirty Picture.

The Dirty Picture (L); Dangal

Today, the acceptance level is high. But I am afraid we might be reaching a saturation point.”People chase it (a genre) without even knowing why are they doing it. I feel there might be laziness in writing. It is difficult to chart out a road map…. Start out the story with a new character. Reference point always makes things easier for writers,” he said.

Luthria, however, believes “good biopics” will continue to do well.Mehta, who has worked on true stories like Shahid and Aligarh, said the subject of a film should be entertaining and engaging.”Did I care if Dangal was a true story? To some extent, yes.

But do I care that it was an entertaining story? Yes I do . Like how true was (the story of) Shahid. He was not alive to tell me the story. We have always cried that we do not have good stories, but we need to work hard to find them.”If we are making biopics with the thought that everyone is making it, then it will be the dead end. We will screw it up if we just make it. There has to be a lot of potential in the story to bring it up on screen. Even in case of Aligarh, people were not telling us everything, but we had to make the story engaging,” he said.

Luv Ranjan on Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’s success: Critics called the film misogynistic; I looked beyond that

Mumbai: Luv Ranjan’s Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety — which remained “rock steady” on its second Monday — has left the filmmaker happy, but not surprised.

Sunny Singh, Nushrat Bharucha and Kartik Aaryan in a still from Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. YouTube

It has crossed over Rs 50 crore at the box office since releasing on 23 February.

“We always knew we were making a film that would appeal to the youth. Critics called the film anti-women, misogynistic. But that didn’t bother me. I was looking beyond the criticism,” Ranjan said.

“For me, my actors Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha and Sunny Singh are stars. And beyond them, it’s the script that is the superstar,” he said, adding that there is no threat to his film in the coming week.

Varun Dhawan, Katrina Kaif might pair up for the first time in Remo D’Souza’s ABCD 3

Remo D’Souza’s blockbuster dance movie franchise ABCD (Any Body Can Dance) is reportedly all set to make a comeback with its third installment and according to reports, the film is going to star Bollywood A-listers, namely — Varun Dhawan, Katrina Kaif, Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez.

Varun Dhawan and Katrina Kaif during a performance. Image from Twitter/@KatrinaKaifFB

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh recently took to his Twitter profile to share that a big announcement regarding D’Souza’s film, which will be unveiled on 19 March. Calling it the ‘biggest dance film ever’, Adarsh also revealed that D’Souza will be collaborating with Bhushan Kumar (from T-Series) on the project.

According to reports, with Dhawan and Kaif being “terrific dancers”, this appears to be the “perfect cast”.

“The film has 3 principal characters and Remo D’Souza has already signed Katrina Kaif and Varun Dhawan. For the third character, the director is in talks with two actresses, Jacqueline Fernandez and Vaani Kapoor, however, is yet to sign the contract with either of them. Just like ABCD 2 even this film will be shot in 3D. The film will go on floors by January/February next year since Remo D’Souza will be busy with Race 3 till June. A lot of pre-production needs to be done, as the plan is to serve the audience with world class dance moves. Before going on floors, the entire cast of the film will undergo training sessions and workshops. The film will be shot in India and abroad,” said a unverified source, according to a Koimoi report.

According to a Pinkvilla report, another unverified source has claimed that Kaif will be seen playing a Pakistani character once again, while Fernandez will be seen playing a British girl. “So we will get to see Katrina Kaif play a Pakistani character yet again. Yes, we’ve learnt that Remo D’Souza’s next film with Varun Dhawan will see the actress playing a Pakistani girl, while Judwaa heroine, Jacqueline Fernandez will play a British girl. The title of the film is ABCD 3,” said another unverified source, according

If Dhawan and Kaif do pair up for D’Souza’s film, it’ll be the first time that the two actors will appear together on screen.

Baaghi 2 song ‘Mundiyan’ could have been a nostalgic blast from the past, but for its lyrics

Bollywood and Punjabi beats have had an almost 100 percent track record. Bhangra inputs immediately work wonders for the Indian audiences — both in the subcontinent and overseas, as seen in songs like ‘Sadi Gali’ from Tanu Weds Manu, or ‘London Thumakda’ from Queen.

The song ‘Mundiyan Te Bach Ke’ by Punjabi MC — earlier part of Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Boom — has now been revamped for the upcoming film Baaghi 2 featuring Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani in the lead roles.

Still from the Baaghi 2 song 'Mundiyan'. YouTube screengrab

Any Punjabi pop fan would agree that the original song was an instant chartbuster the time it released and emerged as a true crossover Punjabi hit. The track, originally sung by Punjabi artist Labh Janjua, also made it to Hollywood: Its remix version featured Jay-Z and the track was the main theme of the 2012 Sacha Baron Cohen starrer The Dictator.

After many revamp versions, a new addition is the Baaghi 2 track ‘Mundiyan’ which has been remixed by Sandeep Shirodkar and penned by Ginny Dhawan. While the new track does bring on pure nostalgia for the original song, the lyrics don’t work with said nostalgia.

Being a Tiger Shroff track, it has a lot of dance (choreographed by Rahul Shetty) and Disha Patani matches his moves. There’s no doubt that Shroff is an excellent dancer, and he does justice to this song as well. But watching him mouth those lyrics evokes a mix-bag of emotions.

Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz surpasses ‘broken boy healed by happy woman’ trope with Geetanjali Thapa’s act

In the week before the release of his latest movie (and very first love story) Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz, acclaimed director Onir was asked in an interview what the lead characters of Archana and Alfaaz represent. He responded, “Alfaaz is broken from the inside, whereas Archana, who has leucoderma, is broken from the outside.”

Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz. Image from Twitter/@justscorpion

Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz tells the unlikely but sweet story of RJ Alfaaz (played by newcomer Zain Khan Durrani) — a mysterious RJ with a troubled past (yes, the ‘boys with troubled pasts’ have left music and joined radio now) — and Archana (National Award winner Geetanjali Thapa), who is a chilled out, idealistic, leucodermic maker of memes and WhatsApp forwards. Their paths cross virtually after a minor Tinder-phone number mishap. When Archie (short for Archana) gushes on the phone to him about how much she loves and admires the mysterious and romantic RJ Alfaaz, he decides to tell her that his name is Abhimanyu.

That’s pretty much all I remember him telling her, actually. See, if both Alfaaz and Archana are broken in different ways, it’s certainly had vastly different effects on their personalities. Alfaaz’s brokenness comes from a sorrowful experience with his teenage girlfriend, while Archana is apparently “broken” because she has leucoderma. She doesn’t, to be honest, seem very broken at all in the movie, and is actually an endless repository of good cheer and strength.

Anyway, by the time we first meet them, Alfaaz’s brokenness has inspired most of his personality to slowly seep away through the cracks over the years. All that’s left seems to be a thick concentrate of intense poetry and love stories that he recites on his captivating radio show, but otherwise, Alfaaz is a man of few words and by extension you also feel few thoughts.

I like to think that Archana was meant to be a symbol of female resilience and vigour, and Alfaaz a testament to the extreme fragility of masculinity. It seems an apt metaphor to me. On the other hand, it could also be a different, although a far more hackneyed trope: That of the silent brooding man being saved by the perkiness of the manic pixie lady love.

Most of Alfaaz’s responses to the delightful and engaging Archana on social media are barely a couple lines long. And until the very end, he doesn’t seem to say much to anyone that isn’t a response to a question or an assurance that he is, in fact, okay.

Archana, on the other hand, seems to have responded to her supposed “brokenness” by wearing the cracks with pride and embracing life with arms wide open. She may cover the patches on her neck with a scarf (until the end), but she has a love for roaming around Calcutta barefoot, and a unique approach to Tinder which involves saying yes to anyone who doesn’t upload a photo of themselves, just like her. She goes on dates to tiny momo canteens, is always quick with her truly delightful smile, and has a complicated office-friend-romance type situation with her colleague that she handles with friendliness, compassion and a spine of steel.

She knows what she wants (to make “beautiful” memes, and RJ Alfaaz), and falls hard for so-called Abhimanyu because of how much her mysterious phone pal reminds her of the RJ. And I mean she falls hard. She sends him adorable, vivacious and amusing messages all day that make her smile in anticipation of his response when her phone buzzes, and she continues to text him even when he persists in being a boring and brooding sort of guy. There are moments when you feel sure that if you were one of Archana’s friends and read his lacklustre responses, you’d immediately encourage her to cut her losses and move on to someone a bit more exciting. But Archana seems to give everything and everyone around her a chance, while Alfaaz retreats into his stark, white, bare apartment (with a great view) to read Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

There are lots of great views in Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz, and one of its best features is its pretty, nostalgic depiction of slow, slow Calcutta. The movie itself does feel a bit long, and it could have reached its conclusion a lot quicker than the 116 minutes it took. But perhaps it’s just the newness of social media romances that we expect our characters to meet and climax earlier than they need to, or earlier than social media can let them get away without.

While it is kind of exasperating to see another broken boy reluctantly allow himself to be healed by a happy woman, the excellence of Geetanjali Thapa doesn’t make it so bad. In fact, her skill and charm makes it easy to feel that perhaps the movie pushed Alfaaz into a bare room because it was aware of the talent it had at its disposal with Thapa, and decided to use it to create a strong woman character I’d loved to have seen more of. I guess this is one of those stories where you don’t really care if the guy and girl get together in the end, as long as the girl is happy, which you have a feeling she will be because she at least has a personality.

The Ladies Finger (TLF) is a leading online women’s magazine delivering fresh and witty perspectives on politics, culture, health, sex, work and everything in between.

Padman, Aiyaary, Padmaavat box office collection: Bhansali’s film nears Rs 500 cr in global earnings

This week’s latest release Aiyaary, starring Sidharth Malhotra, Manoj Bajpayee and Rakul Preet Singh, had a rather underwhelming start at the box office with respect to the kind of hype the film had generated prior to its release.

Padmaavat, Aiyaary and Padman. Facebook

On the other side, already-released films like Padman and Padmaavat are growing steadily with every passing day in the theatres.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmaavat, starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, has emerged as one of the highest grossing films in Bollywood. The kind of nationwide attention that the film gathered — owing to the violent protests by various fringe groups belonging to the Rajput community — has only helped the film in the longer run. The film’s collection — both in India as well as abroad — has been mammoth.

According to a report by Box Office India, Bhansali’s film is nearing Rs 500 crore mark in global earnings. The film’s gross domestic earnings is reported to be around Rs 334 crore in India and Rs 165 crore overseas.

Zoom, in one of its reports, claims that Akshay Kumar-starrer Padman which was touted to be his biggest moneyspinner, has had a slow performance at the box office. The film has been able to mint Rs 68.12 crore in nine days of its release. As per trade pundits, the film’s overall earnings will come to a halt at around Rs 80 crore.

Film trade analyst Taran Adarsh posted on Twitter and revealed the collection of Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaary:

Malayalam filmmaker Jeethu Joseph to make Bollywood debut with horror film starring Rishi Kapoor, Emraan Hashmi

Mumbai: Critically acclaimed Malayalam filmmaker Jeethu Joseph, best known for helming Mohanlal-starrer Drishyam, is gearing up to make his Bollywood debut with a horror film starring actors Rishi Kapoor and Emraan Hashmi.

From left: Emraan Hashmi, Jeethu Joseph and RishiKapoor. Facebook

AZURE Entertainment and Viacom18 Motion Pictures announced a collaboration to produce Jeethu Joseph’s Hindi film debut on 19 February in a statement.

“Directing a Hindi feature film has been on the anvil for some time and I have been waiting for the right story. This crime mystery thriller with elements of horror has excited me tremendously and we have got perfect casting for the two protagonists in the film. I am looking forward to start the film at the earliest,” said Joseph.

The yet untitled film will be shot in a single schedule between May and July.

Emraan said that the project will be “a riveting, nail biting treat for fans of the genre and with Jeethu at the helm of things. I’m confident the film will be a game changer”.

Ajit Andhare, Chief Operating Officer, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, said, “Ever since we produced Drishyam, a Hindi remake of Jeethu Joseph’s original masterpiece, we have been looking for a subject to make with Jeethu in Hindi.”

Padman banned in Pakistan; Akshay Kumar-starrer under fire for its ‘tabboo’ subject

Akshay Kumar’s Padman, based on the life of social activist Arunachalam Muruganantham who introduced low-cost sanitary pads, has been banned in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Federal Censor Board refused to clear the Bollywood movie for its release in the country. According to the members, the film deals with ‘taboo’ subjects such as menstruation and, thus, cannot be allowed to screen in Pakistan.

Furthermore, the Federal Censor Board announced a ban on the film in all cinemas across the country. “We can’t allow our film distributors to import films which are against our traditions and culture,” FCB member Ishaq Ahmed was quoted as saying by PTI.

A still from Padman/Image from Twitter.

The members of Punjab Film Censor Board also refused to watch the film saying it is based on a “taboo subject” and rejected any clearance certificate to it. “We can’t allow the screening of films on taboo subjects in our cinemas as it is not in our culture, society or even religion,” a member said.

Syed Noor, a well-known Pakistani filmmaker, said that there was a need to speak to the local film distributors and exhibitors about the films they import from other countries. “Not only this film Padman, but I think even Padmaavat should not have been released in Pakistan as it portrays Muslims in a very negative light,” Noor said.

Directed by R Balki, the film also stars Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor in pivotal roles. The movie has opened to a good reception in India as it earned Rs 10.26 crore on its first day, and is expected to cross the Rs 50 crore mark during the weekend.