Monthly Archives: June 2018

From Rockstar to Sanju, how Ranbir Kapoor’s experiments as an actor also won over the box office

Often male actors are not lucky enough that their career-defining performances also end up becoming their biggest box office success. For a long time, Aamir Khan’s biggest money-spinner, Raja Hindustani, was not the performance that the actor would have ideally liked people to remember him by. Similarly, for Shah Rukh Khan a Happy New Year or a Chennai Express finding more box office success than a Chak De India or a Swades spoke of how the audiences loved him in a certain way. When it comes to Ranbir Kapoor, his most compelling performance — Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year — received a lukewarm response at the box office. However, films where his performances have been strongest — Rockstar and Barfi, for instance have also enjoyed commercial success. With Sanju opening to both critical acclaim (specifically for Kapoor) as well as brisk box office collections (the film has had the highest opening of 2018 thus far), the young star is poised to add yet another career-defining role that is also a commercial success to his repertoire.

(Clockwise from top) Ranbir Kapoor in Sanju; Barfi; Rockstar; Rocket Singh — Salesman of the Year

While Kapoor might not the most consistent contemporary male star in Bollywood when it comes to commercial success, there is little doubt about his unique position. For a long time, Kapoor has been considered the ‘great hope’ of commercial Hindi cinema and while one could ascribe it to his ‘Kapoor’ lineage, it’s not that he hasn’t proved he’s more than a famous surname. What does make Ranbir Kapoor unique among his peers is the manner in which he seems to be insulated from the box office fate of his films. Once again, a few might be quick to credit his pedigree for this ‘first in case of fire’ kind of love the industry showers on him, but there seems to be a genuine fondness for Kapoor in the viewer who is willing to forgive him for misfires like Roy, Besharam and Bombay Velvet.

One of the reasons why Kapoor gets — for want of a better expression — a slew of unending chances, is the earnestness that he displays as an actor.

Right from Saawariya (2007), which despite having Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s name attached to it was probably the worst debut a star child — and that too a ‘Kapoor’ — could have asked for, to Sanju where he ‘becomes’ Sanjay Dutt, there is rarely a moment from any of his films where Kapoor doesn’t seem to be working on his characters. Kapoor more than managed to get back on his feet post-Saawariya with Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008) — a typical new Bollywood production — but it was the three releases that he had the next year that probably ensured Kapoor’s status for not just the industry but also the audiences as well as critics. In a single year, 2009, Kapoor had a masala Hindi film (Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani), a pitch-perfect story for the upwardly mobile multiplex audience (Wake Up Sid) and a favourite of critics and the discerning Hindi film aficionado (Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year). The first was Kapoor’s maiden blockbuster, the second a hit that enjoyed a following in some territories and the last — in spite being a complete washout commercially — charmed just about anyone who saw it.

Kapoor is also one of the few new-age male stars in Hindi films who seem to steer clear of multi-starrers or two-hero projects. He is also a rare variety, who, even within the trappings of popular Hindi cinema, has managed to infuse a semblance of experimentation. His Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year, now seems like the ‘art-house’ foray that actors in the 1970s or 1980s would attempt — Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore in Avishkaar, Dimple Kapadia in Rudali, etc — and even Raajneeti (2010) seems like an attempt to push himself without going too far. Rockstar (2011) and Barfi (2012) fit the description of being same, same but different and both hit the sweet spot both in terms of commercial success as well as critical acclaim.

As someone who grew up in the midst of the film business, Ranbir (just like a Sunny Deol, Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgn, Karisma Kapoor or Sonam) could have a subconscious fear of spiralling out of orbit while attempting a particular kind of role. Who knows, this could be at the back of Ranbir’s mind when he agreed to do a Besharam, which was more of a ‘standard Hindi film’ than his other filmography. The last few releases might have seen Kapoor oscillate between success and abject failure — Bombay Velvet (2015), Tamasha (2015), Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016), Jagga Jasoos (2017). But when his enacting of the famous scene from Munnabhai MBBS (where he channels Sanjay Dutt’s character questioning if a patient should fill out paperwork before being admitted to a hospital even if he/she is on the verge of death) brings people in droves to the theatres — as is the case with Sanju — then you know that Ranbir Kapoor truly is living it up.

Manisha Koirala is ‘super thrilled’ to work with Sanjay Dutt in Prasthaanam: ‘He’s all heart’

Mumbai: Actress Manisha Koirala, who was last seen onscreen in the Netflix film Lust Stories, said she is super thrilled to work with Sanjay Dutt after a decade in the remake of Telugu drama Prasthaanam.

Manisha Koirala was interacting with media to promote her forthcoming film Sanju on 26 June in Mumbai.

Still from Sanju. Image from YouTube

Is Deepika Padukone being considered for the Hindi remake of a hit Sridevi film from the 70s?

In a career spanning five decades, Indian screen legend Sridevi delivered blockbusters across industries. Now, four months after her untimely demise, reports of one of her hit films being remade with Deepika Padukone in the lead role have surfaced.

According to a report by Times Now, the project in question was made almost four decades ago with a Bollywood director and South producer.

Deepika Padukone/Image from Instagram.

Race 3 makes opening day box-office record in Pakistan post ban, beating Avengers: Infinity War

Karachi: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s Race 3 has set a new opening day box office collection record in Pakistan despite being released a week after the Eid festival holidays.

According to the Box Office Details website, Race 3 did a business of Rs 2.25 crore approximately on its opening day on 23 June beating Avengers Infinity War and the top Pakistani release, 7 Din Mohabbat Kay.

Still from Race 3

The film, directed by Remo D’Souza, released eight days late in Pakistan after the government imposed a ban on the screening of Indian films two days before and one week after the Eid holiday period.

The ban was imposed so that four big banner Pakistani films and other smaller regional language releases on Eid do good business without competition from Bollywood movies.

Three of the four big banner films were not well received while the Mahira Khan-starrer 7 Din Mohabbat Kay had a respectable business, raking in Rs 8.65 crore approximately from its release on Eid day (16 June) to 22 June.

Eid holidays were celebrated in Pakistan from 15 to 18 June.

Javed Sheikh’s Wajood, another big star release on Eid, also managed a total collection of just 2.55 crore in a week’s time.

The Mahira Khan-starrer had collected just Rs 1.5 crore on its opening day despite the ban on Bollywood releases.

The website said Race 3 collections were the best for any Hindi film released this year in Pakistan, making it the third biggest single day collection for any Hindi film and the highest for 2018. The film minted Rs 2.62 crore by 23 June after it started screening with a few mid-night shows at some cineplexes in Karachi and Lahore on 22 June.

The website said Race 3 had made the collections despite having lesser shows than Avengers at some cineplexes.

(Also Read: Race 3 may be another Salman Khan hit but his best films are those where he’s surrendered to director’s vision)

Govinda’s wife accuses nephew Krushna Abhishek of ‘milking’ actor’s fame; comedian denies claims

One of Bollywood’s most distinguished comedians is feuding with TV’s favourite comedian, but the fight is not funny. Govinda and his wife Sunita Ahuja have accused their comedian nephew Krushna Abhishek and his wife Kashmera Shah of talking ill of them behind their backs, reports News18.

Sunita Ahuja and Govinda; Krushna Abhishek. Image from Twitter/@InfoShikharnews

On the topic of not attending the birthday bash, Sunita said while they couldn’t have attended as they were not in the country at the time, she mentioned that they weren’t invited and insisted wouldn’t have gone even if they were. She further added that they had cut all ties with Krushna’s family and that she would not initiate a patch up.

Responding to Sunita’s claim that Krushna had used his relation with Govinda to gain success, Krushna retorted “It’s appalling to see them even make such claims. Yes, there is no denying the fact that he has helped me on the personal front when I was young. But I have made a career through sheer hard work.”

Krushna also added that he was sad about how things had turned out yet would be “fine if things are not resolved now.”