Monthly Archives: December 2017

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.


Tiger Zinda Hai, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, MCA box office collection – Salman starrer crosses 150 cr

This Christmas, theatres across the country saw an eclectic mix of films that spanned across genres, languages and stars. While Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif made their presence felt with Tiger Zinda Hai, Nani-Sai Pallavi won hearts with their film MCA. Akhil Akkineni and Kalyani Priyadarshan’s Hello has been slow on the uptake, but has been growing over this long weekend.

Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in Tiger Zinda Hai

And then, of course, there is the Star Wars franchise, which has emerged as a global cinematic phenomenon, ensuring the legacy of Lucas continues till the end of time. The recent release Star Wars: The Last Jedi has already minted above $745 million (as of Sunday 24 December) since its release,

reports Financial Express.

Hindustan Times, in one of its recent reports says, Tiger Zinda Hai crossed Rs 150 crore mark on Monday since its release on 22 December. It was reported earlier that the Ali Abbas Zafar’s directorial venture had already minted Rs 113 crore at the box-office.

Film trade analyst and critic Taran Adarsh took to Twitter and revealed the box office figures of MCA and Hello in the US market:

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.

Tiger Zinda Hai: FIR lodged against Salman Khan, Shilpa Shetty for hurting sentiments of Valmiki community

Right after Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif’s latest release Tiger Zinda Hai hit the screens yesterday on 22 December, there were reports of protests against Salman Khan and Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra for hurting sentiments of Valmiki community.


The ire was directed at the cinema theatres in Jaipur screening Salman’s film— Raj Mandir, Paras and Ankur — where members of the Valmiki community tore posters, burnt effigies and hurled slogans against the actor demanding an apology.

Now, it is reported a complaint has been filed against Salman and Shilpa at a police station in Andheri, Mumbai, reports The Hindustan Times. The complainant named Navin Lade, belonging to a certain political party called The Rojgar Aghari Republic Party of India alleged that both the actors “intentionally insulted and intimidated with intent to humiliate and abused” by using casteist comments on a TV show.

Earlier, there were reports that an FIR has been lodged against both the actors at Kotwali police station in Rajasthan’s Churu district, reports The Indian Express.

“An FIR has been lodged against Khan and Shetty under relevant sections of the SC/ST Act and section 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of IPC,” says Barhat Rahul Manhardan, Superintendent of Police, Churu. Earlier, a complaint has reportedly been filed at Nahargarh police station as well, adds the Express report.

Both these actors have been accused of using the word ‘bhangi’ in a disrespectful context. Salman had allegedly used ‘bhangi’ referring to his style of dancing in films on one of his appearances in a reality show. Shilpa, during an interaction with the media said that she is always dressed like a ‘bhangi’ at home. “I look like a bhangi doing this step,” said Salman in an old promotional video. Shilpa, when asked about her looks at home, said, “I look like a bhangi.”

According to a report by ZeeNews, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has even sought reply within seven days from the I&B Ministry and Police Commissioners of Delhi and Mumbai over the complaints lodged against bothKhan and Shetty.

Tiger Zinda Hai box office collection: Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer earns Rs 69.40 cr in two days

When it is said that there is an extraordinary connection between Salman Khan and his fans, it is after all not an exaggeration. So what if Tubelight didn’t fare well at the box-office early this year, Khan’s fans thronged to watch his latest offering, Tiger Zinda Hai.


Sequel to the 2012 film Ek Tha Tiger, Ali Abbas Zafar’s directorial venture, Tiger Zinda Hai brings back cross-border lovers-cum-spies back in action. Khan and Katrina Kaif’s film released worldwide yesterday on 22 December. Within the first two days of the release, the romance-action-drama has been able to mint Rs 69.40 crore.

It earned Rs 34.10 crore on its opening day and the collection rose marginally on Saturday as the film garnered Rs 35.30 crore on the second day. Going by the trend, trade pundits predict that Tiger Zinda Hai will become the quickest film to hit the Rs 100 crore mark on Sunday.

Tiger Zinda Hai movie review: Salman, Katrina deliver fun with equal parts swag, silliness and schmaltz

Yeh toh puri army lekar aa gaye hai,” a scared Indian nurse says at one point as she looks out of the window and sees ISIS troops landing up in droves at  a hospital in Iraq where she and her colleagues have been held captive.

Ghabrao mat,” says her companion, an Indian RAW agent, “abhi Tiger zinda hai.

Literally translated, those last three words — which are also this film’s title — simply mean that someone called Tiger is alive. But since this is conventional commercial Bollywood fare and the aforesaid Tiger is played by a certain Mister Salman Khan, they are also a metaphor for “all is well with the world kyunki (to borrow and adapt a signature phrase from the works of another iconic Khan) Salman hai naa“.

How foolish are the governments, policy analysts, intelligence agencies and academics of the world investing time and money in figuring out how to bring ISIS to its knees. They should have known that the solution lies in the muscular arms and golden heart of a character played by Salman.

Tiger Zinda Hai‘s strength is that it is unapologetic about its stupidity. And so, although it is for the most part simplistic in the socio-political statements it lays on thick, it is packed with so much action that it ends up being a fun, even if clichéd, Bollywood-and-Bond-style masala flick which, if you are looking closely enough, does make a subversive point or two.

Director Ali Abbas Zafar’s film is a sequel to Kabir Khan’s 2012 hit Ek Tha Tiger in which Salman played Indian espionage agent Avinash Singh Rathore a.k.a. Manish Chandra a.k.a. Tiger who, while on a mission, falls in love with a Pakistani spy called Zoya (Katrina Kaif). Tiger Zinda Hai continues where Ek Tha Tiger left off. Zoya and Avinash have quit their respective agencies and are now living in hiding along with their son Junior. Their calm life is interrupted when RAW seeks Tiger’s help to free a bunch of Indian nurses who have been taken as hostages in Iraq.

The opening text acknowledges that the film is inspired by true events. The reference here is to an episode in 2014 involving 46 Indian nurses who were held at a hospital in Tikrit, caught between ISIS and Iraqi government forces. This remarkable real life drama was chronicled beautifully by Mollywood earlier this year in Take Off Starring Parvathy, Kunchacko Boban and Fahadh Faasil. The Malayalam film though was told through the eyes of one of the nurses who was at the forefront of coordinating with the Indian Embassy in Iraq and ultimately helped get herself and her colleagues back to India. Bollywood’s take on this well-documented episode from our contemporary history sets this woman firmly aside (along with the embassy, the governments of India and Kerala) and puts a single man at the centre of the action instead.

If you have seen the sobre, credible, realistic yet supremely entertaining Take Off you may understand why Tiger Zindagi Hai feels so ridiculous in comparison and so shamefully male-centric. It took considerable strength of will this morning to put that film out of my mind while I watched Tiger take centre stage and make a meal of ISIS. (For the record, ISIS is called ISC here, and Tikrit is Ikrit.) I was rewarded for my efforts with humour — some intentional, some not — and intermittent adrenaline rushes.

Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in a still from Tiger Zinda Hai. YouTube

Both Salman and Katrina are limited actors, but they are charismatic and pleasing to the eyes here as always. Katrina is convincing enough in her action scenes to make you wonder why it has not occurred to any Bollywood director to cast her along with perhaps Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra in an all-out action flick centred around women. Salman has been heavy on his feet in recent years, but a combination of well-planned stunt choreography and clever camerawork ensures that we are not aware of that at any point in this film, unlike in Ek Tha Tiger in which he looked visibly tired.

Tiger Zinda Hai is a slick production (though the background score’s jarring resemblance to Don’s music is distracting) and the fisticuffs in it are enjoyable. It also clearly means well in most political matters even though it feels the need to underline its messaging repeatedly and plays to the gallery in an India that is increasingly demanding chest-thumping proof of patriotism from all its citizens and is openly suspicious of minority communities.

So, Tiger and the other characters stress and re-stress their love for India with lines such as this one from Zoya: “Sab log samajhte hai ki duniya mein sabse zyaada pyaar tum mujhse karte ho lekin mujhe pata hai ki tum mujhse bhi zyaada apne desh se pyaar karte ho” (everyone thinks that you love me the most in this world, but I know that you love your country even more than you love me). Tiger’s Muslim colleague gives triple evidence of his desh prem. And since the audience cannot be trusted to appreciate that theirs is a culturally disparate team, we are reminded of its Hindu-Muslim-Sikh composition in a pointed exchange between Tiger and his teammate (Angad Bedi) about what it means to be a sardar. We should have seen that coming considering that early on, in a scene in which Katrina’s Zoya bashes up a bunch of goons, the writer felt the need to throw in a character dispensing a line about this being an example of women’s empowerment. Does an audience that supports dumbed-down cinema lose the right to complain about spoonfeeding? Perhaps.

To be fair, Tiger Zinda Hai is not as tacky or loud as Gadar, a film it references with a mention of Sunny Deol’s infamous handpump-uprooting scene in which he scared off the entire Pakistan Army with a bellow.

Tiger inhabits a Bollywood that has evolved to a stage where Pakistanis can now be shown as allies in the face of a common enemy, and one character, when confronted over Pakistan’s wrongdoings in Kashmir, gets away with implying that India’s hands are not clean either. Considering the divisive times we live in, even this fleeting scene, sadly, is an act of courage that needs to be lauded, as does another contrived passage involving national flags that pushes the envelope up to a point (though without crossing a certain line). Even the ISC members we meet are not entirely satanic.

Tiger Zinda Hai’s supporting cast is a mixed bag. Kumud Mishra manages to be comical without allowing his comedy to become incongruous in this grim setting. Paresh Rawal, however, overdoes his villainous labour contractor. The handsome Angad Bedi is impressive in a small role that does not challenge him as much as last year’s Pink but still reminds us that this man is hero material.

Tiger Zinda Hai is not a film that is meant to be taken too seriously. I mean c’mon, Salman/Tiger takes off his shirt for no reason at all to give ISC/ISIS and us a generous view of his fabulously toned and oiled torso and arms in a scene that does not even bother to offer a logical excuse for his shirtlessness.

And after engineering the escape of those nurses, Tiger and Zoya dance to an item song playing along with the credits. I laughed through these two stereotypical scenes because by this point I had given up gasping with exasperation and had surrendered myself to the idiosyncrasies and ludicrousness of the genre (the genre being Bollywood masala). If you can see Tiger Zinda Hai for what it is, you too may not mind its unabashed blend of swag, silliness and schmaltz.

Tiger Zinda Hai: Protesters in Jaipur vandalise theatres screening Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif starrer

After the much-awaited Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer Tiger Zinda Hai released on 22 December, there is a surging protest against the film’s screening in Jaipur. Protesters gathered outside Jaipur’s cinema theatres — the iconic Raj Mandir, Paras and Ankur to name a few; created havoc and vandalised the premises, claim multiple TV reports.


It was reported earlier that Salman Khan and actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra have been accused of hurting the sentiments of Valmiki community by uttering the word ‘bhangi’ in a disrespectful context. Thus the community has filed a case against both the actors and are staging protests in various towns and cities of Uttar Pradesh like Agra and Moradabad, along with Rajasthan.

While Salman Khan allegedly used ‘bhangi’ referring to his style of dancing in films, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, during an interaction with the media said that she is always dressed like a ‘bhangi’ at home. “I look like a bhangi doing this step,” said Salman in an old promotional video. Shilpa, when asked about her looks at home, said, “I look like a bhangi,” reports Times Now.

Tiger Zinda Hai is a sequel to the 2012 blockbuster Ek Tha Tiger and brings back the love story of cross-border spies — Tiger (Khan)and Zoya (Kaif) — along with some kick-ass action while they rescue people from the clutches of a fearsome militant group. The film is directed by Sultan helmer Ali Abbas Zafar and produced by Yash Raj Films.

Tiger Zinda Hai review: Salman is in his element in this visually spectacular action blockbuster

With Tiger Zinda Hai, Salman Khan is back — as the central part of an engaging action film that has its emotions and patriotic sense in the right place.

Getting back together with Salman after the successful Sultan, Ali Abbas Zafar takes the plunge to concoct a rewarding blockbuster that treats it’s star as importantly as it’s script.

Also read: Tiger Zinda Hai movie review LIVE: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif pulls off action sequences with conviction

As a sequel to Ek Tha Tiger, Tiger Zinda Hai picks up where it left off, plot wise. RAW is forced to seek their superhero, as the situation at Iraq gets out of hand: 40 nurses (25 Indian and 15 Pakistani) get trapped in a hospital, and need immediate help. In comes Tiger (Salman) to rescue the innocent from the claws of an aggressive baddie.

While the rest of the story is fairly predictable, what makes one sit through the film comfortably is Zafar’s skillful binding of the core plot, a little bit of romance, longing emotions and a strong Indo-Pakistan angle. The action in Tiger Zinda Hai is spot on.

Salman Khan, undoubtedly, is the centrifugal force of the film, never losing a single opportunity to throw around his Hulk-like image and own the screen.

It’s his film totally, and he aces his part comfortably. On the other hand, Katrina Kaif, in a rather straight-faced role, doesn’t have much to do other than being a part of the proceedings. But it would be accurate to say she’s not in the scheme of things; she does turn in a surprise in the ‘Tera Noor’ number, one of the best moments in the film.

It’s also great to see Paresh Rawal back with Salman Khan on screen, and the rest of the supporting cast including Angad Bedi and Kumud Mishra — who have a scene to score each.

Tiger Zinda Hai boasts of hotshot technical wizardy, which is an added asset. As a must-have for a film of this magnitude, the cinematography, the cuts and the music have been meticulously worked on. Kudos to Julius Packiam’s background score, which helps in upping the ante during both the tense and the explosive parts of the film.

Though Tiger Zinda Hai is not as deep as Zafar’s earlier outing Sultan, in terms of it’s strong message, it does have a significant load of style coupled with a belligerent star in Salman Khan.

Go watch Tiger Zinda Hai if you’re a fan of large-scale action entertainers, with probably just the right amount of logic. Salman Khan has well and truly arrived (again) with a potential blockbuster that has enough to keep you pinned. Good fun while it lasts.

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.