The upcoming film Batti Gul Meter Chalu, starring Shahid Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor in lead roles, has been in shallow waters for a while now. The movie was put on hold for a while after KriArj Entertainment walked out of the project due to monetary issues. Then Bhushan Kumar of T-Series came to the film’s rescue and is now bankrolling the project.
The trailer for Bollywood’s evergreen beauty Madhuri Dixit’s debut Marathi movie Bucket List was released on Friday.
The film’s trailer begins with Madhuri’s Madhura asking her daughter if she knows what a “bucket list” means. The young girl, in her millennial glory, replies, “Of course, bucket list is my identity. Without it, my life has no purpose.” We then see Madhura take up the task of checking off the wish-list of a teenaged heart donor named Sai. So, the rest of the film revolves around her journey of self-realisation as she partakes in various adventures-turned-misadventures.
The film, bankrolled by Dharma Productions, appears to have a lot of lighthearted humour blended into the narrative, especially in the exchanges between the mother and the daughter.
It also features Madhuri’s Hum Aapke Hain Koun co-star Renuka Shahane in an important role. But, in what is sure to delight the moviegoers, it also has a surprise but brief cameo from Ranbir Kapoor.
Madhuri was last seen on-screen in Gulaab Gang and in Vishal Bharadwaj’s Dedh Ishqiya with Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi in 2014.
Produced by DAR Motion Pictures, Dark Horse Cinemas and Blue Mustang Creations, Bucket List will be directed by Tejas Prabha Vijay Deoskar, who has also written the film script along with Devashree Shivadekar.
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.
“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.
Actors Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan, who made their film debuts in 2012’s Student Of The Year, will reportedly make cameo appearances in the sequel.
Filmfare reports that the two actors have confirmed their comeback but their roles have not been revealed yet.
Alia Bhatt, who also made her debut with Sidharth and Varun, hinted at a comeback in an earlier interview but has not confirmed if she will be joining the two actors.
Student Of The Year 2, the second installment of the franchise, stars Tiger Shroff and newcomers Ananya Pandey and Tara Sutaria.
Karan Johar is bankrolling the movie under his production banner Dharma Productions. With Student Of The Year, Karan gave Alia, Varun and Sidharth a great launchpad in Bollywood. They have since cemented their place in the film industry year after year with a slew of diverse projects.
Varun, who is the son of filmmaker David Dhawan, started his career as an assistant director to filmmaker Karan in My Name Is Khan. He has featured in films like Main Tera Hero, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Badlapur, Dilwale, Dishoom, Badrinath Ki Dulhania and, more recently, October. Siddharth has starred in movies like Hasee Toh Phasee, Ek Villain, Kapoor & Sons, Ittefaq, and more recently, Aiyaary.
The film is being directed by Punit Malhotra, and its shooting is underway.
Student Of The Year 2 will hit screens on 23 November.
Film stars such as Radhika Apte and Usha Jadhav have spoken out in a new documentary over their concerns about sexual harassment in the Indian film industry and fears that victims are too scared to come forward.
In a BBC World News report to be aired over this weekend, Apte and Jadhav are among those who have opened up about the culture of silence in Bollywood, mainly because its stars are so revered. “Some people are regarded as gods. They are so powerful that people just don’t think that my voice is going to matter, or people think that if I speak, probably my career is going to get ruined,” Apte tells BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan in Bollywood’s Dark Secret.
Asked what she thought about the #metoo campaign against harassment in Hollywood, the Pad Man star added: “The way the women, and the men of course, came together and decided that as a team we are not going to let this happen, I wish that could happen here.”
Vaidyanathan has also spoken to actresses who have faced unwanted advances as well as stars who believe a dark secret lies behind Bollywood’s glamour. Marathi award-winning actress Jadhav reveals that it is common for powerful men in the industry to demand sexual favours. Describing one conversation, she says that she was told she would need to give something in return for the opportunity she had been given.
I said something as in ‘what? I don’t have money’. He said no, no, no, no it’s not about money, it’s about that you need to sleep with, maybe it can be a producer, maybe it can be a director, it can be both too, she said.
The documentary also interviews a 25-year-old aspiring actress who left her small village to chase her Bollywood dream, but says she was molested on a number of occasions, including the first time she met a casting agent. “He started telling me that for an actress you should be happy to have sex as and when possible and embrace your sexuality,” she is quoted as saying in the documentary.
“He touched me wherever he wanted, he kissed me wherever he wanted and I was shocked. He put his hand inside my clothes so I asked him to stop and he said: Do you know what, if you really want to work in this industry I don’t think you’ve got the right attitude,” she added.
The documentary will be aired around the world on Saturday and Sunday.
Aditi Rao Hydari is living her dream. For a girl with absolutely no Bollywood connections, she’s made fabulous headway into the industry. Within a short span of six to seven years, she has already had legends like Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Mani Ratnam directing her. After last year’s Kaatru Veliyidai, she’s now also part of Ratnam’s upcoming Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, which she’s currently filming in Chennai.
“I want to work with Mani Sir again and again. If I had the choice I would do all the films made by Mani sir,” says Aditi.
She was about nine when her parents took her to watch Mani Ratnam’s 1995 classic Bombay. “I don’t really know how and why they took me to watch this film,” recalls Aditi, adding, “people around me were discussing the issues in the film vehemently but all I could see was Manisha Koirala dancing to ‘Kehna Hi Kya’. I just wanted to jump into the screen. I didn’t know too much about films then, but I just knew that I wanted to be doing that in future, and when I started working with Mani sir it was so surreal for me.”
“I was once again blown away by Manisha’s performance in Sanjay (Bhansali) sir’s, Khamoshi. Bombay, Khamoshi — these are the kind of films that have drawn me towards cinema,” she adds.
But one filmmaker who Aditi will forever remain grateful to is her mentor and National Award-winning filmmaker Sudhir Mishra. After a cameo in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Delhi 6 (2009), Aditi got her big break in Mishra’s gritty drama, Yeh Saali Zindagi (2011) which kind of cemented her position; and, yet again, Mishra has trusted her with a challenging role in his upcoming Daas Dev (releases on 27 April).
In Daas Dev, which is modern day adaption of legendary epic romantic drama Devdas set against the turbulent political backdrop of Uttar Pradesh, Aditi’s character plays a politician — the ones that walk around the corridors of power, fixing deals and manipulating.
“The core of my character, Chandni is very similar to Chandramukhi, she’s very pure and selfless, but then, she’s a fixer. She’s an MBA dropout who has got into politics. She’s constantly proving to herself and to the world that she is capable of every task. She’s also kind of mysterious and knows everybody’s secret. Also, she’s the narrator of the whole story and from her point you see these very twisted, dark, selfish, characters. The core is similar to Devdas, but the film deals with intoxication at different level. Of power, of greed, of substance, of love…the film is actually a political thriller of intoxication,” says Aditi.
Aditi says that like in Mishra’s previous film, she couldn’t relate to this character as well. “On the first day of the shoot I completely freaked out and told Sudhir sir that I just don’t know this girl and I am just following you. But sometimes it can be quite exciting when you don’t know something at all. You are like a sponge, you are soaking in everything,” says Aditi, furthering, “Sudhir sir trusted me with a difficult part when I was a newcomer and I had just come to Mumbai. I had faced the camera before that but I wasn’t a professional actor then and was just dabbling in it for fun. I was studying. So, I didn’t ask him any question when he came to me with Daas Dev. He said, ‘I want you to do it, and I was, like, absolutely’. With Sudhir sir, even if he had wanted to play a broomstick in his movie, I would have readily done it,” laughs Aditi.
She is all set to collaborate with Mishra for the third time in his film on the life of Renu Saluja, one of Bollywood’s top-notch editors of the ’80s and ’90s, who passed away 18 years back. She was Mishra’s live-in partner and he collaborated with Saluja on award-winning films like Dharavi (1993) and Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin (1996).
Aditi may not be able to tell whether her performance has gone several notches higher after working with these stalwarts, but she has got a lot of appreciation whenever she has worked with Mishra, Ratnam or Bhansali.
“It is an amazing feeling when you can explore and try different things. I am pretty spoilt by that way. I keep craving that experience again and again,” says Aditi, who also longs to work with Vishal Bhardwaj, Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, Anurag Kashyap, Anurag Basu and Sharad Kataria. “It is a great time for actors. I don’t look at films as commercial or arty, I just look at the story. If a film says a good story and the character is going to be memorable, I want to do it,” she says.
Aditi feels that she’s forever pushing and challenging herself which stems from her training in Bharatanatyam that has inculcated a certain discipline in her right from her childhood. In fact, her Tamil debut movie Sringaram (2007), in which she played Devdasi, beautifully portrayed her dancing skills.
When asked if this was the best phase of her career, she says, “It would be presumptuous to say that because as an artist I am greedy. The day I feel that I am doing my best work, I will never do any better. I am always inspired by people who keep pushing boundaries. But somewhere I am quite hard on myself. I have been learning dance since I was five, it is a difficult discipline because you are never allowed to be complacent, you are constantly pushed and challenged and when I am not being pushed I feel I am not working hard. I crave that experience.”
An aspect of this industry that annoys Aditi the most is “unnecessary controversies” as there have been numerous stories on the cold war between her and her Daas Dev co-star Richa Chadda, who portrays Paro. “I don’t know why in 2018 people still want to write about so called cat fights. It is sad. We are all hard working professionals supportive of each other. It is so derogatory for us women. Is this what people think about women’s behaviour? I don’t like to come out and speak about these things because why should I explain? Why explain? Whoever wants to write, it is their problem, it is all in their head and it shows their mentality. Neither Richa nor I have spoken about it,” says Aditi.
Although many might not have noticed the timing of Salman Khan sharing a picture of Bobby Deol as Yash, a character from their upcoming film Race 3, it was rather fortuitous. The star tweeted his co-star’s picture just a couple of days before the tenth anniversary of the release of the first film in the ‘Race series’, Race (2008).
With a major overhaul both in front and behind the camera with Salman Khan replacing Saif Ali Khan as the male lead and Remo D’Souza helming the project instead of Abbas-Mustan, the third film in the action-thriller franchise is all set to join the likes of Jolly LLB to get a reboot — where the film ages the stakes only get bigger.
Traditionally, the concept of sequels tends to lose a bit of sheen with the passage of time. Take the case of Charles Bronson’s Death Wish series, which became a barely noticed almost B-film by the time the fifth film released 22-years after the original that came out in 1974. And then there’s First Blood (1982), the debut of the Rambo series, which was made on a budget of $15 million USD but the third, First Blood III (1988) was mounted on a budget of over $60 million USD and even though the film made almost $200 million USD the idea had became jaded and it would be two-decades before the fourth film, Rambo (2008) hit the screens.
In the context of Hindi films, the sequel has come as god sent and the combination of a ‘sequel’ and a ‘reboot’ has only made things better for the stars. For Salman Khan, the Race franchise offers the slick urban thriller template that is a stark contrast to his other franchise, Dabangg, where it’s the Chulbul Pandey character that lends repeat value. There are talks about a third Dabangg rumored to be directed by Prabhudeva and chances of a fourth Race cannot be ruled out as it gives the producer, Tips Films, a go-to project every couple of years.
Similarly, for Ajay Devgn, the Golmaal series offers a template that could work as well with or without standard character (Gopal) while Singham gives him the character that he could play well into his sunset years, a la Clint Eastwood or Charles Bronson with Dirty Harry and Death Wish series. For Akshay Kumar, Jolly LLB offered a chance to go back to doing comic roles but with a tinge of social messaging, which has come to be seen as his forte.
For a Kangana Ranaut, and nearly most of the Tanu Weds Manu primary cast (R. Madhavan, Swara Bhaskar, Deepak Dobriyal, and Eijaz Khan) their characters in the series can be rekindled at any point in the future without much thought.
The is no question that the near-obsessive drive with which producers and production houses are investing in reboots and remakes is an indication of an abject lack of fresh ideas. In fact, it’s rather saddening to see how filmmakers, as opposed to paying homage to the greats from the previous generations, are choosing to rehash the past simply because frankly, they don’t give a damn (beyond making money, that is).
Some part of this nostalgia-driven reboot/ rejig drive is also an easy way out for many – after all, it’s all about the relationship between characters and the viewer, so why not revisit the tried and tested beloved characters rather than reinvent the wheel?
Salman Khan tweeted about Race 3 in the same week as the release of the film film, a decade ago. Race 3 also seems to be a subtle attempt to rekindle the memories of Salman Khan’s Wanted (2009); the pose that Khan is captured in on Race 3’s first poster is almost Wanted redux.
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.
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.