Category Archives: other news

Gold teaser: Reema Kagti’s sports drama starring Akshay Kumar, Mouni Roy is the perfect Independence Day release

The teaser for Reema Kagti’s upcoming film Gold, starring Akshay Kumar, was released on Monday.

Poster of Reema Kagti's Gold (left); Akshay Kumar's look in the film. Images via Facebook

The short clip reveals a protagonist, played by Kumar, who says he holds only two things dear — hockey and his country. Through voice-over narration, the character remarks that though India have three gold medals, they were all won under British rule. So, he promises to put together a team that will bring India glory with its first ever gold medal as a free nation in 1948 at the 14th Olympic Games at London. The teaser is filled with a mashup of dramatic moments, set to the kind of uplifting music that is bound to arouse your patriotic spirit.

The sports drama is directed by Reema Kagti and produced by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar under the banner Excel Entertainment. The film will mark the Bollywood debut of popular TV actress Mouni Roy and will feature Amit Sadh in a pivotal role.

The shooting for the film was completed in December and now is in its final edit stage.

The movie is set to release on Independence Day (15 August), 2018.

Ranveer Singh on Padmaavat: As an actor, I looked on Alauddin Khilji as a challenge

Mumbai: Bollywood star Ranveer Singh, who has registered his biggest opening day collection with Padmaavat, says most people had told him that a hero shouldn’t play the anti-hero.

Padmaavat, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, registered opening day collections of Rs 19 crore net, according to producers Bhansali Productions and Viacom18 Motion Pictures.

For Ranveer, whose previous best opening day records were for Gunday (Rs 16.12 crore net) and Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela (Rs 16 crore net), playing a merciless anti-hero Alauddin Khilji was a gamble.

Ranveer Singh in Padmaavat as Alauddin Khilji

Ranveer said in a statement to IANS: “It is extremely rare and overwhelming to get this kind of love from the audience. I’m grateful and touched that everyone has been so appreciative of my performance.”

While the critics have lauded Ranveer for giving Bollywood one of its best villains through his performance, the actor said: “I will be honest — when I was offered Padmaavat, most people were of the opinion that a hero should not play the anti-hero.”

“But I believed otherwise. I saw Khilji as a challenge for me, as an actor. And I wanted to take the challenge up. I went with the vision of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and my instinct of what I could achieve with Khilji.”

“I’m happy that the audiences are seeing and loving a character that both Sanjay sir and I have worked on tirelessly for over two years to bring to life.”

Thrilled about the response, he said: “I took a big risk with this character and it’s wonderful to see my gamble pay off. This kind of validation gives one the confidence to take bigger and bigger risks, challenge stereotypes and continue to push the envelope in the realm of mainstream Hindi cinema.”

“I feel very happy and very fulfilled today.”

The movie, based on 16th century poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s Padmavat, also stars Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor. It released on 25 January amid much brouhaha as the Shri Rajput Karni Sena protested over the alleged distortion of facts in the movie.

Akshay Kumar, Rajnath Singh unveil the official Bharat Ke Veer anthem, sang by Kailash Kher

As part of the Bharat Ke Veer initiative, which is a corpus fund to help the families of paramilitary troopers killed in the line of duty, an official anthem was launched hereon Saturday, 20 January.

The anthem, sung and composed by singer Kailash Kher, was launched at an event which was attended by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, his deputies Kiren Rijiju and Hansraj Ahir, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar.

During the event, an amount of Rs 12.93 crore was raised for the fund with the participation and contribution from celebrities like Akshay, Kailash and people from the corporate world.

The event was also attended by heads of all the Central Armed Police Forces.

“We have launched this anthem. I ask everyone who love music to download this anthem. Whatever money will come from this anthem’s downloads will be donated to this initiative,” said Kher.

Rijiju, who officially launched the anthem, said, “I knew that for a patriotic song the most suitable voice is Kailash Kher. His name came automatically in my mind. So I told him about it and he agreed to do his bit for this initiative. He wrote the song very fast and he shared it me. I felt very good by all this,” he added.

The Bharat Ke Veer initiative was launched by the home minister in April last year and seeks to help families of paramilitary personnel killed in combat operations.

As part of the initiative, a corpus fund was formed to raise money for the families of martyred soldiers.

Rajnath Singh and Akshay Kumar at the Bharat Ke Veer launch/Image from Twitter.

Speaking at the event, the home minister said, “Our soldiers risk their lives to maintain peace in the country, and we are not able to do much for their families. It is a fact that whatever we do for the families of our martyred will always be less. It can’t be said that it is enough. No matter how much money we give them, we can all agree that we cannot compare a man’s life in terms of money.”

Singh also lauded Akshay for the role he is playing in taking forward the initiative to help the soldiers’ families.

“I want all the families of martyred soldiers to get at least Rs 1 crore and that is the idea behind the launch of the website Bharat Ke Veer (through which people can contribute). I feel happy that people are contributing to this fund with all their heart,” he said.

The event, organised by Dalmia Bharat Group, also witnessed the launch of an Amar Chitra Katha graphic novel by Anurag Agarwal depicting the stories of CAPF’s soldiers.

A short film on soldiers and their families, directed by Adi Pocha, was also released at the event by Ahir.

Akshay, who is the brand ambassador of the Bharat Ke Veer initiative, said, “Like the minister said, we have to come to ask everybody’s help for this (initiative). With my folded hands, I ask everybody here plus all our countrymen to help this initiative in a very big way.”

He also appealed to the home minister to start a similar initiative for the soldiers who get disabled during combat missions.

Secret Superstar: Aamir Khan film’s two-day China collection eclipses its lifetime India revenue

The stupendous box-office performance of Secret Superstar in its first two-day run in PRC is yet another substantiation of Aamir Khan’s star power in the world’s second-largest movie market. In China, the cumulative gross of the film (Friday and Saturday) at $17.35 million (₹ 110.7 cr) has already eclipsed its lifetime revenue in India which stands at $12.5 million (Rs 80 cr approx).

Aamir Khan in Secret Superstar

The film has already set a benchmark on Friday by registering the highest-opening day figure for an Indian movie in the Middle Kingdom. Secret Superstar’s cume opening day gross of $6.86 million in China was more than twice the opening day number of Aamir Khan’s previous box-office hurricane Dangal which clocked $2.35 million on day one.

Dangal, hailed as China’s leggiest film ever, emerged as the highest-grossing non-Chinese, non-Hollywood movie with its nearly $200 million lifetime gross. Although it’s difficult to repeat the same box-office result with Secret Superstar, which is enjoying a highly favorable WOM on China’s movie ticketing and social networking sites such as Maoyan and Douban, the film has already broken several records with its flying start. With extremely positive WOM, Secret Superstar will undoubtedly have a great Sunday at the box-office, but the acid test will begin from Monday to see whether it will accomplish the lifetime total of $84 million (₹540 crore) mark that China’s largest online movie ticketing and fans rating portal projected.

To put things in perspective, the opening-day China gross of Secret Superstar, directed by Advait Chandan and produced by Aamir Khan, is more than the film’s shoe-string budget ($2.4 million). The film stars Zaira Wasim in the lead role and Aamir Khan in an extended cameo. But, that has not deterred the Chinese movie buffs from watching their most favorite Indian actor ‘Uncle Aamir’ on screen.

With an estimated total WW gross of more than ₹250 crores, Secret Superstar has now become the fifth highest-grossing Hindi film behind Baahubali: The Conclusion, Tiger Zinda Hai, Golmaal Again, and Raees. And, it has already overshadowed Salman Khan’s Tiger Zinda Hai ($20 million approx) to become the second-highest overseas grosser of 2017 with its total foreign box-office receipts amounting to nearly $25 million, including the China figures. Secret Superstar has also become Aamir Khan’s fifth film in his career to cross the $20 million mark in overseas after 3 Idiots, Dhoom 3, PK, and Dangal. He’s the only Indian actor to have achieved this feat.

Secret Superstar is also the first Indian film to have received a revenue-sharing slot in the Middle Kingdom. Earlier, Indian films in China were sold to local distributors for a flat fee. Despite collecting a humongous lifetime gross of nearly $200 million from Dangal, Aamir Khan earned a profit of only $25 million (12.5% of the total revenue, as he revealed in October 2017) because of the buy-out deal. Now, with the revenue-sharing agreement in place, Aamir Khan’s share of the Secret Superstar gross will be 25%. If PRC movie buffs shower their overwhelming love for ‘Uncle Aamir’ again as they have done in the past, he could earn his career’s biggest paycheck from Secret Superstar’s China run.

Aamir Khan is currently on a whirlwind of a promotional tour in China, where he has been visiting various cities and participating in press conferences and fans activities. He will spend four days from January 23 – 26 in China’s capital city Beijing and engage in several promotional campaigns. With PRC movie lovers’ renewed vigor for Aamir Khan’s films, it would be interesting to see how the Salman Khan-starring, Kabir Khan-directed Bajrangi Bhaijaan, which released in 2015, will fare at the Chinese box office when it hits screens on 2 March 2018.

Mukkabaaz shows how Bollywood’s successfully co-opted desi sports in its onscreen tales

Anurag Kashyap’s Mukkabaaz is about a boxer from Uttar Pradesh. The state is not particularly known for excelling in the sport. Yet, Kashyap, in signature form, adapts a love story to the all-pervasive caste politics, prejudice and power games that have become integral to the DNA of this state. In his film, boxing is a backdrop and a metaphor to tell the story of an underdog fighting for his love, while battling social prejudice.

Kashyap’s narrative technique is not uncommon to cinema. Sports films are basically about the triumph of the human spirit against all odds.

In Hollywood and Western cinema, films based on sports are an independent genre. The most memorable ones, with a universal connect and nostalgic appeal, tend to use a sport as a mirror reflection for a human story. Martin Scorcese admitted that he knew nothing about boxing before he made Raging Bull, a classic where the boxer, Jake LaMotta and his temper, reflect a common level of suffering for a section of Americans. The film is raw, brutal and unapologetic in the violence it attributes to boxing; yet it makes you want to find out what finally happens to its violent, flawed protagonist.

Chariots of Fire, the 1981 classic, underscores the tense balance of power that Europe lived out during the years in between two World Wars. Both its protagonists overcome identity politics, complexities of faith and the stiff British upper lip to win on the track and field in the 1924 Olympics. Likewise, Any Given Sunday draws from the unbridled energy and physical power of American football to narrate a tale of desperation — from its coach, to the team’s owner, to the team itself — are desperate to prove themselves at something.

Still from Anurag Kashyap's Mukkabaaz

Interestingly, recent Hindi films based on sport have adapted this template suitably. Sports films based on dominant sports are fewer. Films that draw from desi sports drive greater interest among writers and filmmakers. What’s more, they have connected with audiences. From a patriotic, unifying tenor, to batting for women’s’ empowerment, to simply making the self made regular person a national hero, sports films are finding a niche in a content-starved film industry.

The mainstream media does not cover local boxing in India elaborately. Celebrity bouts for heavy weight titles make news, as and when. But for Mukkabaaz, the connect lies in the physical punch an underdog can pack to change his fate and prove a point. It’s a sport that inspires emotional reaction, making for a clever narrative tool.  Similarly, hockey has been reduced to the sidelines of media reportage, except for the Commonwealth Games and Olympics. The national game has slipped out of the public discourse too, with fewer school kids opting to play hockey in cities today.

However, two Hindi films juxtapose inherent winner stories from Indian hockey this year: Daljit Dosanjh will play Sandeep Singh, in Shaad Ali’s Soorma. The film looks at this Arjuna Award winner’s return to glory after a life changing accident. Gold, starring Akshay Kumar looks at the 12 years before 1948, when the Indian hockey team won an Olympic medal. Directed by Reema Kagti, this film is big on budget and scale. Kagti’s film highlights the nearly insurmountable difficulties Indian players faced when the nation gained freedom — and yet emerged victorious. Hockey becomes a metaphor for the typical Indian story of struggle, ambition and achievement. Both films also serve the purpose of shining a light on a game we excel in, just like Chak De India did. It’s about winning against all odds, the Indian way.

That sport can connect with audiences at all levels is evident from Mary Kom — the story of a Manipuri female boxer from Manipur. While many in India would struggle to locate the North Eastern state on the map, her story of empowerment wooed audiences and reflected that an “outsider” earning glory for the country has universal appeal as cinematic content. The strongest examples of this earthy connect of competitive sports based films are Sultan and Dangal. One is an endearing story about a wrestler from Haryana who masters kushti and fights in an akhada. The second draws from a real life story to build resonance in favour of women’s empowerment through wrestling. Wrestling has rarely made national headlines in print. But in cinema, it has gone on to score many hundreds of crores and massive fan clubs. And it’s a desi game with a legacy in Indian history… just like boxing, and contact sports are for Manipuri youth — for once, a level playing field beyond regional prejudice.

It’s on oft-repeated lament — Indian governments and state governments don’t invest in sports. But neither does the Indian media, as it focuses on cricket, and celebrity-driven sport primarily. Achievements of local sportspersons and national level competitions are never brought into he public discourse, and rarely applauded. Lack of readership is cited as a reason. But here, Hindi cinema has picked up rooted stories, with universal resonance and patriotic fervour. In a film industry where original writing is infrequently seen, cinematically telling stories about desi sports is a smart choice. Inadvertently, it is also doing a greater service to the cause of Indian sport — for focusing on our achievements across different sports and games is a solid way of reminding the public of all that we can achieve, and are capable of, in the sporting field.

Kabir Khan directs 2018 #BeMyGuest Dubai Tourism campaign starring Shah Rukh Khan

Director Kabir Khan, who has helmed a campaign featuring Shah Rukh Khan, says he has always aspired to work with the superstar.

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) revealed the first short film of 2.0 #BeMyGuest campaign on Saturday. It is the first-ever collaboration between Shah Rukh Khan and Kabir Khan.

“I have always aspired to work with Shah Rukh, the charisma he brings to every shot is admirable, while Dubai has been one of my favourite cities to visit. In these films, we have done our best to capture the essence of Dubai, from its stunning locations to its welcoming hospitality,” Kabir Khan said in a statement.

The mini-series has been shot across iconic locations in the city, including LEGOLAND Dubai and Bollywood Parks Dubai.

Shah Rukh Khan and Kabir Khan.

“Last year I invited my fans around the world to Be My Guest while giving them a glimpse into my Dubai, as part of this exciting partnership with Dubai Tourism. This year, along with one of Bollywood’s most recognised directors, Kabir Khan, we are taking that partnership further to exploring new places and attractions but with the signature essence of Dubai that truly makes it a place where every visitor can feel like they belong to even greater heights,” said Shah Rukh Khan, who loves the “amazing city”.

Conceptualised with the aim to strengthen the connection and cultural links between Dubai and the subcontinent, the video underlines the importance of audiences from the subcontinent and the vast diaspora as the top source markets for inbound and repeat visitation to the emirate.

Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai’s Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said, “There is no one quite like him (Shah Rukh Khan) – with his charisma, global appeal, and most importantly because he truly considers Dubai to be his second home and shares so many similarities with what Dubai stands for. We are also very pleased to work with Kabir Khan for the first time, as he has brought to life Dubai’s extensive tourism proposition, while weaving in Shah Rukh’s unique relationship with the city.”

Jackky Bhagnani to star in social satire based on Rajesh Khanna’s Anand

Jackky Bhagnani, who debuted in the industry with F.A.L.T.U in 2011, had almost disappeared after his film with Arshad Warsi, Welcome to Karachi in 2015. The actor is finally said to be returning to the showbiz, that too with a take on the cult, Rajesh Khanna starrer Anand.

Jackky Bhagnani. YouTube

Anand, which had a storyline of strong friendship having the strongest of two actors from Bollywood till date, Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan, it would be really interesting to see if Jackky could match the expectations. The social satire has been titled Anandwaa

Mumbai Mirror reports that Jackky’s Anandwaa is being made as a comic satire where the characters will be fighting difficult life situations with much humor. The producer of the film, Prernaa Arora confirmed that their choice for the film is Jackky and the film will start rolling in February 2018. “Jackky was our first choice because we felt he would be able to portray the role of Anandwaa with sensitivity and the right comic timing. The project goes on the floors in February 2018,” Prerna said to Mumbai Mirror.

Director Abir Sengupta, who has been involved with Anandwaa since the beginning, also said to the same publication, “I have written this script as homage to the classic Anand but it’s in no way a remake. It’s about a man who learns to make the most of his life.”

Earlier, there were rumors of Abir approaching Rajkummar Rao for Jackky’s role. But then Jackky soon came into the scene as reports claimed that he would be producing the film as well. The Youngisthan actor has completely denied the claims of producing the project. Jackky also denied any prior information about Rajkumar Rao being offered the film.

“I had no clue that Rajkummar Rao was earlier doing the role. I have made a conscious decision not to act in my home productions,” Bollywood Hungama quotes Jackky as saying.


Sunny Leone formally denied permission for New Year’s concert by Bengaluru police

The Bengaluru police on 26 December formally denied permission for a show by actress Sunny Leone on 31 December, saying they are not in a position to give special attention to the event during New Year celebrations.

Sunny Leone. Photo courtesy Facebook/@sunnyleone

The decision comes after the Karnataka High Court’s recent direction to the police to pass an appropriate order by December 25 on the application filed by the organisers, seeking a direction to the authorities to allow the show.

“Since the police have to maintain law and order throughout the city, including for huge gatherings on Mahatma Gandhi and Brigade roads, special attention cannot be given to ‘Sunny Nights’ at Manyata Tech Park on December 31,” Bengaluru North East Deputy Commissioner of Police S Girish told PTI.

H S Bhavya, proprietor of The Time Creations, an event? management firm, had moved the high court as the government had on December 15, disallowed the show after protests by some Kannada outfits which claimed that it would be an “assault” on city’s culture.

In her petition, Bhavya had alleged that on December 16, police had orally refused permission, but did not give it in writing. After the police refusal, Leone had said she will not perform as police will not be able to ensure her safety and of those who would want to attend the event.

Giving further grounds, the senior police official said the organisers had not furnished clarifications on various issues, including permissions to be obtained from government departments and arrangements made for holding such an event. He also said though the organisers claimed to have sold only 8,000 tickets, intelligence inputs expect a much bigger crowd to assemble at the venue.

Karnataka Rakshana Vedike and other outfits had held protests against the event, taking out rallies and burning effigies of Leone.

Sobhita Dhulipala on Kaalakaandi: ‘I am able to do films that I would watch and wouldn’t mock’

An actor who decides to debut with a psychological thriller based on a real life serial killer, and for her second film, chooses to be part of a black comedy with a bag full of surprises. This clearly indicates a lot about the actor’s sensibilities. Former Miss India Earth, Sobhita Dhulipala, is one of the luckiest debutantes in Bollywood. She bagged a pivotal role in Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0 (alongside Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal) on her very first audition. The film premiered at Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes Film festival, 2016, where Sobhita was nominated for Critics’ Choice Best Supporting Performance.

Sobhita Dhulipala. Image from Twitter/@bollytweetz

And now, her opening line has you hooked. She says, “I don’t take cinema very seriously. Actors are overvalued. They are the monkeys and this industry is like a circus. It is like a mela. I don’t want to be part of something that I don’t believe in. I don’t want to sell out. I am not obsessed about the idea of fame or social power, so that really sets me free. I can do those films that I feel for without worrying, ‘Oh my god, if I do this then what about my graph, my image?’ I respect storytelling as a medium and choose in a responsible manner,” she adds.

Sobhita will be next seen in Saif Ali Khan-starrer, Akshat Verma’s Kaalakaandi. The film hits the screens on 12 January and is touted as a celebration of the spirit of Mumbai. “Not only it’s a fun film but it shows Mumbai’s diversity. There is one story about Saif’s character who is from Breach Candy, then there is another one about Tara(played by Dhulipala), a Bandra girl, who is conflicted and can’t seem to balance her relationship and ambition. Then, there is Deepak Dobriyal, who plays a gangster from Versova. All these characters are so real,” says the actress, who is paired opposite Kunaal Roy Kapur in the film.

It’s also working with an “assured” director like Akshat (who also wrote Delhi Belly) that attracted Sobhita to the project. “Akshat is so secure and he lets you feel that you can also participate in the process of creation. It’s like a collaboration and everyone feels empowered,” she says.

Sobhita, who belongs to a traditional South Indian family from Vishakhapatnam, shifted her base to Mumbai about seven years ago after her schooling. A literature buff and an Economics geek, Sobhita, until Raman Raghav 2.0 happened, had watched just 20 films of which eight were Harry Potter movies. “I had no influence of cinema in my life. I come from a family where focus is on academy. Entertainment industry was just like timepass,” says the actress, who firmly believes in cinema that reflects reality and truth. She is of the opinion that a film with poor content makes us regressive, but she is extremely happy about the choices she is making.

“First Raman Raghav and now Kaalakaandi, I feel my foundation is so strong. I am able to do films that I would watch. That I feel for and I believe in. I don’t want to do something that I would otherwise mock. If I do that then I am a hypocrite and don’t deserve to be called an artist. I am happy about my association with people who are real and passionate story tellers. If they have an opinion, they will say it as it is, they won’t try to please you, whether it’s Anurag or Nawaz. They value the opportunity they get. Even in Cannes, cinema was treated as the medium of empowering people which is why I can’t do stupid films even if I am getting crazy money, or due to that I will get 10 brands, 10 endorsements, or 10 million people will know me. That will not make me happy, I want to feel good about myself.” she says.

“But it is slightly changing now, it is getting better. When a smaller, or experimental films make money, or is appreciated, 10 more such films are green lit. Slowly, even the mainstream ones are getting a bit sensible. Of course, we have the ridiculous ones that make money, and every time a sh*t film becomes a success it breaks my heart because it takes us back by five years. They may have large impact on people’s minds. When I was a teenager, I would watch these films and feel, ‘Oh it is cool’, but people’s idea of cool has to change. If you want a change then you should be willing to be part of it,” she asserts. “There is so much falsity, the disparity is crazy. The reality of what people are and what they are projected in cinema? The need of the hour is honesty in terms of emotions. It is all very patriarchal; so judgmental with pseudo intellectuals and false feminists everywhere. Films should reflect reality and make you think,” Sobhita further adds.

Going forward, the actress is reaching out to directors who are churning out good stories, and she says that she’s refusing “nonsensical” films even with a big studio backing those. “There are a handful of good storytellers. Every time I watch a good film, no matter how small, I reach out to them because I respect them. Because they respect the opportunities they’re getting,” says Sobhita, and that is how she approached director-actress Geetu Mohandas whose first directorial venture Kelkkunnundo won recognition at several film festivals. Sobhita will be seen as a sex worker in Mohandas’ upcoming bilingual Moothon which will release next year in Malayalam and Hindi.

And Sobhita has a lot of clarity on the characters she wants to portray. “I want to celebrate anonymity. I want to be in the background and play characters that represent the ordinary. I want to play a housewife, or maybe, a tailor’s daughter, or a government school teacher… those parts that actually exist. I don’t want to be that girl casually walking on the streets in ridiculously expensive makeup and blow dried hair. That doesn’t represent the majority of my country. In a third world country you can’t be selling first world dreams. That is brutal, emotionally. If I want a change, I have to act on it. There are many who say that Bollywood doesn’t make good films, but how many of us act on it?” she says.

Sunny Leone NYE performance in Bengaluru: Now, city police deny permission for event

Bengaluru: On 16 December, Bengaluru Police Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar denied permission to a New Year bash in the city where Bollywood cine star Sunny Leone has been invited to perform, ostensibly to “maintain law and order” and prevent any “untoward incident”.

Sunny Leone. Photo courtesy Facebook/@sunnyleone

“We are denying permission for Sunny Leone’s musical show on 31 December night to maintain law and order and prevent any untoward incident in the city,” Kumar told reporters in Bengaluru.

Though the event organiser — Time Creations is yet to approach police for permission to host the gala show with Leone and DJ All OK musical group at Manyata Tech Park in the city suburbs, the city police chief said it would not be possible to provide enough security at the venue as its entire force would be on duty across the city on the same night.

“In view of a directive from the Karnataka Higt Court on 15 December to ensure peaceful New Year celebrations and prevent untoward incidents in the city, we will not be able to deploy enough force at one place at the risk of other areas,” he said.

City-based lawyer R. Mohan had moved the High Court seeking ban on sale of alcohol across the state on 31 December to prevent drunken driving and nuisance by New Year revellers after consuming liquor.

“As the Bollywood star is popular and has a huge following, as evident from a massive gathering at Kochi (in Kerala) on her recent visit (in August), we have decided not to permit her to perform in the city on the New Year eve,” said Kumar.

The decision against the 36-year-old former porn star also came a day after about 100 activists of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike had demonstrated on Friday at the venue against her presence in the show.

“It’s surprising how the event management is selling tickets online without applying for our permission to conduct the event with Leone,” said Kumar.

The Canadian-born Indian-American actress, model and singer, whose real name is Karenjit Kaur Vohra, entered Bollywood in 2012 and crooned item numbers in Hindi, Kannada and other Indian languages.