Category Archives: Bollynews

Rajkumar Hirani confirms third Munna Bhai film with Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi: I still have to write it

Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani is often considered one of the best in today’s crop of directors.

While his upcoming Sanjay Dutt biopic titled Sanju is slated for a 29 June release, the filmmaker revealed that the third installment of his successful film franchise Munna Bhai is in the pipeline, reports The Hindustan Times.

Still from Lage Raho Munna Bhai. Facebook

Priyanka Chopra on The Simpsons’ Apu controversy: ‘He was the bane of my life’

Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra is the latest celebrity to react on the controversial character Apu from The Simpsons, saying it “was the bane of my life” during her high school days in the US.

The Simpsons came under intense scrutiny after Hari Kondabolu’s documentary The Problem with Apu highlighted the stereotypical depiction of Indian immigrants in Hollywood.

“He was the bane of my life growing up. I was always asked when I was in high school like at 14, 15 why I didn’t speak like that or did I find gold in my rivers? Did we go to school on elephants. I always had questions like that,” the 35-year-old actor said on talk show The View.

“A lot of people are talking about, ‘Oh, the show was so successful for 30 years; why are we suddenly waking up and being offended by a character that everyone loved?’ People say that The Simpsons makes fun of every race”. While she agreed that’s true, she argued that Apu long served as the only Indian representation on American TV, and that much has changed since the show premiered in 1989.

Priyanka Chopra/Image from Twitter.

“What happened from that time to now, the population of Indian-Americans in America has tripled since that time. So the voice is louder, representation and the demand for representation for people of colour is louder. There is the internet and the media where people can have a conversation,” Priyanka said.

The Quantico actor added that the fact the show is “super successful… gives it more responsibility”.

The longest-running American animated sitcom, The Simpsons had recently addressed the criticism over Apu’s characterisation in the episode No Good Read Goes Unpunished.

The show, however, failed to pacify the viewers and was slammed on social media for its tone-deaf response to the controversy.

102 Not Out: Taapsee Pannu, Ishaan Khatter, Kartik Aaryan attend special screening

Taapsee Pannu, who starred alongside Amitabh Bachchan in the 2016 hit film Pink, attended the special screening of 102 Not Out


Divya Khosla Kumar arrives for the special screening of 102 Not Out.


Ishaan Khatter, who recently debuted with Majid Majidi’s Beyond The Clouds, attends the special screening


Kartik Aaryan, fresh off the success of sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, attended the event, too

Alia Bhatt has made pact with Katrina, Deepika to do films together: ‘I’m game for a good chick flick’

Alia Bhatt has over the years cemented her position as a formidable acting talent in Bollywood. With her incredible performances in films (Highway, Udta Punjab, Dear Zindagi, to name a few) and a major fan following, she is one of the most-sought after actresses in Hindi film industry today.

Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt and Deepika Padukone. Facebook

With A-listers like Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif as her BFFs, Bhatt says she’s all game for a “good chick flick” with the other two actresses.

According to a report by Deccan Chronicle, Bhatt has expressed her desire to work with Kaif and Padukone (individually) in films. In an interview, she is reported to have said that she has made a pact with the two actresses to do films together.

She particularly talked about the changing scenario for women in Indian films. She said, “It has become progressive for actresses today. But, there’s still a long way to go. The best thing is that now, they are standing by each other. For instance, imagine Dil Chahta Hai being remade with three girls today. It would be wonderful. I’m game for a good chick flick,” reports Deccan Chronicle.

Bhatt has been busy of late completing her shoot schedules for Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi along with Masaan actor Vicky Kaushal; Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy along with Ranveer Singh and then Ayan Mukerji’s magnum opus Brahmastra with Ranbir Kapoor.

Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika gets a new cast member in former Bigg Boss contestant Vivek Mishra

Former Bigg Boss contestant Vivek Mishra has joined the cast of Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, starring actress Kangana Ranaut.

“I’m really happy to star in the film. The film itself will help to educate the generation. It will teach the meaning of love for the nation. Queen of Jhansi was an inspiring figure,” Vivek Mishra said in a statement.

“I enjoy being a part of such movies. Earlier, I was a part of Aamir Khan’s Mangal Pandey: The Rising,” he added.

Kangana Ranaut in Manikarnika and Vivek Mishra/Image from Twitter.

On his role in the upcoming film, he said, “I am playing Sipahsalar. My role will be close to Jhalkari Bai, portrayed by actress Ankita Lokhande.”

Vivek finds Kangana “kind as we can imagine how Laksmi Bai was. She has a very pure and lovely soul. She is beautiful and amazingly talented”.

Sasural Simar Ka actress Dipika Kakar to make Bollywood debut with JP Dutta’s Paltan

Sasural Simar Ka actress Dipika Kakar is all set to make her Bollywood debut and join the cast of JP Dutta’s ensemble war film Paltan alongside Suniel Shetty, Sonu Sood, Rana Daggubati, Pulkit Samrat, Siddhanth Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Harshvardhan Rane and Gurmeet Choudhary.

Dipika Kakar. Image from Instagram/ms.dipika

Kakar took to her Instagram profile to share the news with her follower in a surprise announcement. She captioned the photograph of the film’s poster “What better could I ask for than being a part of a #JPDuttaFilm as my first one!! Such an honour to join the Paltan

Padmavati: Shashi Tharoor, Aparna Sen speak out in support of film at IFFK

Thiruvananthapuram: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said the controversy surrounding Hindi film Padmavati was “totally absurd” on 10 December.

Participating in an open forum on Freedom of Expression during the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) in Thiruvananthapuram, Tharoor said nobody should have the right to say what should go on in a movie or a book.

Deepika Padukone in a still from Padmavati.

“The whole controversy against Padmavati is totally absurd. We have reached a critical point where those who claim to be offended manage to get their way,” the former Union minister said.

“All you need to say is something has hurt your religious sentiment, let it be a book, a movie, an article or even a headline and it doesn’t matter even if it is accurate or truthful, but the law is in favour of them,” a release quoting Tharoor said.

An adaptation of Malik Muhammad Jayasis epic Padmavat, the film’s release had to be postponed from 1 December amid protests by various Rajput groups and fringe elements who have threatened physical harm to its director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and lead actress Deepika Padukone.

Bhansali has been accused of depicting a romantic dream sequence between Padmavati and Sultan Alauddin Khilji (played by Ranveer Singh), a claim repeatedly denied by the director.

Historians are divided on whether Padmavati actually existed.

Tharoor, Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram, claimed such issues escalate because the British wrote a law in the 1920s which says anything that offends the religious sentiment of a community is punishable by such and such.

“Sadly we haven’t removed this from the law and it has become the favourite tool of those who have a problem with the freedom of artists,” he said.

Participating in the discussion, noted filmmaker Aparna Sen said the idea of freedom was non-negotiable, especially for creative artists.

Noting that some people ask her why she was “protesting for a movie” when “thousands of farmers commit suicide” every day in the country, she said the protests were “not merely for a movie”.

“The protest was because the creative freedom and freedom of expression in the country is at stake,” she said.

“We are living in a time of fear and everyones freedom is challenged. This is how dictatorship begins,” she alleged.

Sen said everybody has the freedom to protest, write and express but that should not create a law and order situation.

“They can’t say a movie shouldn’t be screened or else its actress’ nose will be cut off,” she added.

Malayalam actor Sajitha Madathil said the idea of freedom of expression has always been related to gender.

She mentioned about the social media attack against three Muslim girls recently for participating in a flash mob dance performance in Malappuram, wearing Hijabs, on World Aids Day.

People who tried to support them were suppressed and silenced by fundamentalists, she claimed.

“All these incidents are creating a fear psychosis among those who usually respond to such things. There have always been violations of freedom”, she alleged.

Padmavati controversy: Juhi Chawla condemns protesters for giving death threats

Juhi Chawla, Aanand L Rai and Anurag Kashyap are the latest to speak in support of Padmavati, its director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, as well as its cast.

Deepika Padukone in Padmavati poster (left); Juhi Chawla (right). Images via Facebook

Juhi Chawla also opened up about the controversy in an interview to PTI. While she refrained from commenting on the film or the story line and did not get into the issue of the distortion of history, her prime concern remained the death threats that Deepika Padukone had received. She said that people should react to things with sensitivity and that tempers should not flare in this manner.

“I am not speaking for Padmavati the film but the threats were not right. You watch the same heroine in other films, go crazy for her, you love her so much, she has a tremendous fan following. Then, to threaten her like this, I didn’t feel was right,” she said.

“At the end of the day, films are made by directors, by the team [and] you’re playing a part. Just for that reason, I’d say a little sensitivity is [needed] and people should have patience. Not flare up and say things like that, that too to a woman,” she added.

In a recent interview to PTI, Aanand L Rai said that there is a sense of fear in the industry. “There is a lot of fear for all of us and not just makers,” he said.

Rai added that the trend of fighting threats is fading away, and that the courage filmmakers used to show before seems to be missing. “And that is missing because of the kind of fear you, me, all of us, even the makers and everyone is facing,” he added.

Also read on Firstpost: Anurag Kashyap on the Padmavati controversy, and resisting pressure of censorship

Julie 2 movie review: Pahlaj Nihalani presents the most sanskaari film ever, starring Raai Laxmi

It is indeed surprising to see the great Pahlaj Nihalani, the former Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairman and staunch protector of our sanskaar, ‘presenting’ Julie 2.

After all, it was Nihalani who once had a problem with kissing scenes in the James Bond movie Spectre and a bra being shown in Dum Laga Ke Haisha. It was he who opened our eyes to the wonderful truth that our real sanskaar lies in pretending no one has sex or sexual thoughts, and that expressions of lust/love are just the worst.

A still from Julie 2. Youtube screengrab

On the other hand, Julie 2 is a film full of scenes involving kissing (and much more), falling bras, and songs which call a woman ‘tandoor garam’. Just from watching the trailer of this movie, one may tend to think that Nihalani’s talk about sanskaar was nothing but a stinking pile of rubbish.

But Nihalani’s devotion to sanskaar goes much deeper.

Julie 2 was probably Nihalani’s way of punishing a large number of unsanskaari people by giving them permanent brain damage.

He probably knew that a sanskaari person would never, ever commit the unforgivable sin of thinking about sex and watch all the unsanskaari things shown in Julie 2.

Thus, in all likelihood, Nihalani’s genius plan was to gather all unsanskaari folks in a cinema hall and punish them by presenting a film so pathetic that it would take weeks of therapy to recover from the trauma caused by all the nonsense taking place in the name of cinema, thereby making the world a better place. Such is his greatness.

In Julie 2, South Indian actress Raai Laxmi makes her Bollywood debut by playing Julie – a naïve, innocent girl trying to make it big in the bad and dirty world of showbiz. As the film begins, we are shown a Julie who already has a successful career as an actress. But she is soon attacked by a bunch of armed henchmen in a jewelry shop. As CID’s senior inspector Abhijeet ACP Dev Dutt (played by Aditya Srivastava) investigates the mystery and discusses Julie’s life with her guardian Annie Aunty (played by Rati Agnihotri), we are shown Julie’s long struggle in flashbacks.

Raai Laxmi in a poster for Julie 2. Image courtesy Facebook/@Julie2Film

The first sign that Julie 2 is around two hours of torture is, well, that it’s called Julie 2. Its plot (or whatever little there is of it) has absolutely nothing to do with its supposed 2004 prequel Julie. The unoriginal name ‘Julie 2’ was obviously chosen by the filmmakers to market the movie by promising the same rubbish theme: Steamy sex scenes and raunchy item songs in the name of some shallow, half-baked message about hardships faced by women.

As for Raai Laxmi, one doesn’t know whether to feel bad for her or cringe at her poor performance. On one hand, Laxmi’s expression when Julie is talking about getting sexually assaulted as a teenager is the same as when her character is happy and smiling at another person. On the other hand, you feel bad for Laxmi when you realise the film shamelessly objectifies women, something its ‘message’ was supposed to be fighting against.

The film’s excuse of portraying women’s issues falls apart when instead of presenting the sexual objectification of Julie by men in a negative light, it actually glamourises it, thus encouraging such behaviour. The focus in the sex scenes and item songs is always on titillating the audience and presenting Julie as some sort of sex toy. This movie is about the casting couch mentality, except it is all about secretly sympathising with it.

The mess of a screenplay and horrible writing becomes obvious through some of the mind-boggling, absurd decisions taken by characters and the obvious, in-your-face loopholes. The shoddy writing and direction by Deepak Shivdasani also becomes clear when you realise that Julie’s idea of independence in the movie basically boils down to finding love and support from any man, even if she is fully aware that he is using her for sex. Because who needs real women empowerment, right?

The other characters are as shallow. Ravi Kishan’s depiction of a South Indian actor will convince you more than ever that he is not a South Indian. Srivastava desperately tries playing super-cop by saying dialogues like ‘Ye dhai kilo ka nahi, dhai feet ka haanth hai.’ And according to Rati Agnihotri’s Annie Aunty, the solution to every single problem in this world can be found in religion. The only tolerable performance comes from Pankaj Tripathi, who pays the politician Ashwini Asthana.

Julie 2 is one of those movies which makes the commercials against smoking, shown before a film in a theatre, look great.

But then again, maybe that was the whole point. By making us unsanskaari people go through such turmoil, Julie 2 actually becomes the most sanskaari film in the universe.

Nihalani, despite leaving CBFC, is still looking after our sanskaar with trash like Julie 2. Like a silent guardian. A watchful protector.