Monthly Archives: January 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.

Today in Wait, What? Karni Sena announces a film on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s mother

Through its actions in the run-up to the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati Padmaavat, the Shri Rajput Karni Sena has consistently shown that they’re possibly the most juvenile determined fringe group in the business.

After attacking school buses and burning down cars belonging to members of their own group (which, when you think of it, is really considerate of them), the Karni Sena have now announced a move that makes clear just who is going to win in this show of one-upmanship against Bhansali.

The revolutionary vengeance cooked up by the Karni Sena is this: They will make a film, on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s mother. And they’re going to title it Leela Ki Leela. Whoever said ‘Yo mamma so fat’ jokes were passé?

Poster for Padmaavat that will serve as the reference point for Karni Sena-produced Leela Ki Leela

Here’s some information from a news report issued by IANS:

Addressing a press conference in Chittorgarh, Govind Singh Khangarot, the district president of Karni Sena, said the film would be directed by Arvind Vyas and its script writing process had already started.

In the next 15 days, a ‘muhurat’ marking the commencement of the film would be performed and it would be released in a year’s time. The movie will be shot across Rajasthan, Khangarot said.

“Bhansali has insulted our mother Padmavati, but we will ensure that he feels proud of the movie we will make,” he added (presumably in a loud, thundering tone). 

“As our country gives right to expression to everyone, we will ensure that this right is used to its fullest,” he said.

Take that, Bhansali!

But in the true spirit of tit-for-tat, we wonder if the Karni Sena will allow Bhansali to respond to their film in exactly the same way that they reacted to his.

Here’s a small list of the courtesies they could extend Bhansali, to ensure the situation truly mirrors the one they created when Padmaavat was being made:

1. Let Bhansali protest the historical inaccuracies of Leela Ki Leela, beginning with the shoot in Rajasthan. Bhansali, as is a matter of public record, grew up in a congested Mumbai chawl in Bhuleshwar. The chawls are an important part of Mumbai’s landscape and are closely linked to this city’s history. By shooting in Rajasthan, presumably on a constructed set, the Karni Sena is doing a disservice to the authentic portrayal of a Mumbai chawl. Mumbaikars must be allowed to protest this show of stark disrespect on the part of the Karni Sena.

2. The Karni Sena must allow Bhansali — once again, in the spirit of true reciprocity — to visit their sets in Rajasthan, a minimum of two times. On one of these occasions, he must be allowed to slap the director. On the other occasion, his henchmen must be allowed to burn down the sets for Leela Ki Leela.

3. The Karni Sena must promise to raise a sum of Rs 150 crores to make this film on Bhansali’s life. It seems only fair since he and his investors expended as much money in making a film about the Karni Sena’s ‘mother’.

4. The Karni Sena must promise that they will maintain the highest production values for Leela Ki Leela. Anything less than eye-wateringly-opulent will simply not make the cut.

5. They must get one of India’s best actresses to play the title role of Bhansali’s mom.

6. They must not protest if their entry into  Mumbai — the city where Bhansali’s mother raised him — is barred to them perpetuity, seeing as how they tried to do the same with the Chittorgarh Fort.

7. The Karni Sena will hold a special screening for Bhansali before the film’s release and wait for his approval before releasing the film.

8. The Karni Sena will make changes to their film as recommended by a panel of Bollywood enthusiasts appointed by the Central Board of Film Certification. They will at this point also agree to change the film’s title, preferably substituting one vowel for another.

9. The Karni Sena must prepare for the governments of at least four states to ban Leela Ki Leela — of course, the Supreme Court (yes, the same one they acted in contempt of) will possibly salvage their expression of creativity by upholding their right to screen the film.

10. Even after the Supreme Court’s clearance, the Karni Sena must allow for Bhansali and his supporters to: threaten theatre owners and distributors (until they fear showing Leela Ki Leela for the damage to their property that might ensue), riot in as many places as possible and generally create as great a ruckus as they can. They must also anticipate 16,000 women sending a signed petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to perform a mass ghoomar — if Leela Ki Leela is allowed to release.

Hate Story 4 trailer: This Urvashi Rautela starrer has least amount of acting, weird dialogues

Remember the Hate Story franchise?  The sexy action-crime-thriller series,  which might come off as a parody due to no fault of its own, is returning with its fourth installment, and this one is as weird.

Hate Story 4 stars models who want to be actors, like, Karan Wahi, Vivan Bhatena, Urvashi Rautela, and Ihana Dhillion.

In Hate Story 4, Urvashi Rautela plays Tasha; someone who wants to be ‘a star’, and poses in front of cameras in order to become a star. Karan Wahi plays her love interest Rajveer Khurana; a humble photographer who helps turn other people into stars. Then there’s Wahi’s elder brother Aryan Khurana, played by Bhatena, who is has a creepy obsession with his girlfriend’s lips (played by Dhillion).

A still from Hate Story 4 trailer/Image from YouTube.

Not only does the trailer have the least amount of acting, it also has some of the most ridiculous dialogues. Gulshan Grover, who plays a rich father of the two warring brothers, at one point says, “mera ek beta jis ladki se shaadi karna chahta hai, mere dusre bete ne uss ladki se pehle hi suhaag-raat mana liya.” That, again, has got to be the weirdest thing a father will ever say about his two sons.

Hate Story 4, just like its predecessors, tries to work on the same old factors: being ‘bold’ and oversexed, and features two actresses who merely play eye-candy. Hate Story 4 hits theaters on 9 March, 2018.

Padmaavat: Bhansali invites Karni Sena for screening, confirms fringe group after demanding Bharat Bandh on 25 January

Even after the Supreme Court stayed the ban by four states on the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat allowing it an all-India release, it seems like the film might not see the light of day in Rajasthan, the hotbed of a majority of protests, as there are no distributors for the movie yet.

Deepika Padukone in a still from Padmavati.

We have no distributor yet. The film has not been sold to anyone. All the rights lie with Bhansali alone. I don’t think the film will be released until the controversy is resolved within the state,” said film distributor Sunil Bansal, according to a DNA report.

State officials from INOX are also reportedly in touch with the local police to assess and evaluate the law and order situation in Rajasthan before finalising and deciding upon anything. “The distributor hasn’t been finalised yet. We generally don’t flout orders. So, we will go ahead with whatever the authorities decide. We are awaiting a police orders. Nothing can anyway be done until a distributor comes in,” said the official, according to the same DNA report.

Film exhibitors were relying heavily on the Akshay Kumar-Sonam Kapoor-Radhika Apte starrer Padman as an alternative for the loss in business that they might have incurred in case Padmaavat did not release in Rajasthan. However, after addressing a joint press conference on Friday, Akshay Kumar and Bhansali announced that the makers of Padman agreed to defer the release of their film on Bhansali’s request.

Owners of local theaters like Raj Mandir (which also doubles up as a tourist destination) however, have said that they will not release Padmaavat, regardless of whether Padman sees a release or not.

Recently, the Maharana of Mewar has also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a “ban on the film”. According to the prince’s letter, “If art misappropriates history then it is anti-national”.

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.

1921 movie review: Vikram Bhatt adds every horror trope to this ghastly film, but none of them work

1921 opens in 1927: Ayush is a celebrated piano maestro who is reluctant to come on stage. As he drowns his sorrows in alcohol, a single tear staining the make up on his face, the scene flashes back to 1921.

Ayush is a piano prodigy. Spotting his talent, his mentor Wadia (Vikram Bhatt) sponsors the young man’s studies in England with one caveat – that Ayush also take on the role of caretaker of Wadia’s stately home in York.

York circa 1921 is a gloomy, foggy place with barely any sunlight and lots of Indians dropping dead. The aspiring pianist Ayush (Karan Kundra), who travels from India to York to study music, discovers this in the most horrifying way. Part-time student, part-time caretaker of a vast mansion, who makes an additional living by conducting private piano recitals in the house, his finely balanced life is shattered by the presence of malevolent spirits.

It’s rather convenient that another student in the same town is a medium that communicates with the spirit world. Ayush seeks out Rose (Zareen Khan) and implores her to help him rid his house of this paranormal activity.

Rose is a fan of Ayush’s music, and readily agrees to help a man she has long adored from afar. During the course of their paranormal partnership, and between solving the mystery of the vagrant spirits, love blossoms between them. But as their intimacy increases, so does the malevolence of the hovering spirits.

The scares, with a dependence on smoke machines, sound effects and shadowy figures, that build the atmosphere and frights in the first hour are frittered away later. Writer-director Vikram Bhatt adds in every horror film trope and genre trick into a story that in the end has no top or bottom – much like some of its decapitated zombie characters. There are disquieted spirits, a reference to the Mongolian plague and a vengeance plot line.

Given that this is a template Bhatt film, there are quite a few songs, which are indistinguishable from one another. Their song picturisation is also bland.

Some effort to play piano might have gone so way in convincing us that Kundra might be a musician, leave alone portraying a maestro. Since that kind of attention to detail seems superfluous to Bhatt, there’s no point expecting Victorian era period correctness in the costumes and production design either. The storyline gets more and more twisted as we go along the 2 hours 24 minutes running time.

Khan and Kundra put on their most sincere faces and you genuinely believe they want to get out of this situation alive. But it’s hard for the audience to keep a straight face as Bhatt’s screenplay bumps along from ghostly to ghastly.

A fellow audience member described it best: It’s like an onion—you cry as you peel it and you can keep peeling it and keep crying, but you can also stop at any time.

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.

Padmaavat: Kshatriya women threaten to perform ‘jauhar’ if film’s release is not stopped

In a new twist to the ongoing controversy over release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie Padmaavat, female members of Kshatriya community in Chittorgarh on Saturday threatened to perform ‘jauhar‘ (self-immolation) if the screening of the film is not stopped by the government.

In a Sarvasamaj meeting held in Chittorgarh, the members decided to stage a phase-wise protest against the proposed release of film. The meeting was attended by around 500 people, out of which 100 females belonged to high-profile families of the city.

Speaking to IANS, spokesperson of Rajput Karni Sena Virendra Singh said on January 17, national highways and railway tracks across Chittorgarh would be blocked.

A still from Padmaavat/Image from YouTube.

The film, already cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) after five modifications and renamed from Padmavati to Padmavat and now titled Padmaavat, is scheduled to release on January 25 across India. The Rajasthan government has, however, decided against releasing it in the state.

On Sunday, a delegation of the Sena will meet Rajnath Singh, who is scheduled to visit Udaipur, requesting him to stop the screening of the movie across India.

According to Virendra Singh, a representative board will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 16, who is scheduled to visit Pachpadra village in Barmer district for laying the foundation stone for a refinery project.

“A request will be made to him as well to stop the screening of the film,” he said.

“But, if despite all these measures the film is released, the women of Kshatriya Samaj will perform jauhar on January 24 — the day when the queen performed jauhar — and at the same site,” said Virendra Singh.

Chhittaurgarh Jauhar Smriti Sansthan general secretary Bhanwar Singh said that preparations were also being made to close the gates of the historical Chittorgarh fort once again.

Earlier, the Sena had planned a protest on January 25 and 26, but in the wake of Republic Day celebrations, the protest was rescheduled to January 17, Virendra Singh added.

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.”