All posts by jimmy

Mere Pyaare Prime Minister: Ahead of release on 15 March

As Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Mere Pyaare Prime Minister gears for its release on 15 March, early reviews have started kicking in which have unanimously lauded the slice-of-life drama. Some netizens have also opined that the film bore the potential to go for the Oscars, but was not selected.

Mere Pyaare Prime Minister: Ahead of release on 15 March, #AFilmThatDidntGoToOscars trends on Twitter

Following the 91st Academy Awards, which aired on 25 February, the hashtag #AFilmThatDidntGoToOscars started trending on Twitter, with Twitterati wondering how the social drama was overlooked for the Oscars.

Mere Pyaare Prime Minister narrates the story of an eight-year-old Mumbai slum dweller who wants to build a toilet for his single mother and makes an appeal to the prime minister. It is the only Asian film which was screened at the Rome Film Festival 2019.

Mere Pyaare Prime Minister was earlier slated to be released on Gandhi Jayanti since the film, the filmmaker had said, was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. “Gandhi is a recurring motif in the film… It comes many times….four times in the film,” Mehra had said to DNA.

As reported earlier, The film has been shot in real locations which were finalised after the recce of one month in Mumbai. Three years ago, Mehra had visited the Gandhi Ashram in Gandhinagar with an NGO which had decided to bring about change in the country after the release of Rang De Basanti. After seeing Mahatma’s model toilets, the filmmaker started an initiative to build washrooms in municipal schools.

Junglee Song Fakeera Ghar Aaja: Vidyut Jammwal wistfully recalls his childhood days in Jubin Nautiyal’s nostalgic number

The first song from Vidyut Jammwal-starrer Junglee, ‘Fakeera Ghar Aaja’, is a wistful homecoming song that reminds one of one’s roots. The much-awaited action adventure film is a unique tale about the relationship between one man and his herd of elephant friends.

Junglee Song Fakeera Ghar Aaja: Vidyut Jammwal wistfully recalls his childhood days in Jubin Nautiyals nostalgic number

‘Fakeera Ghar Aaja’ begins with Vidyut Jammwal rowing down a river to his picturesque childhood home, which he had left behind to pursue martial arts. From the thick foliage that skirt the hamlet to the damp soil, everything around him reeks of fond memories of his growing up years. His home is spruced up with marigold flowers and mango leaves to celebrate a wedding ceremony. In the midst of the laughter and merriment, there is a growing fondness between Jammwal and Pooja Sawant’s characters.

‘Fakeera Ghyar Aaja’ also sheds light on the relationship of the majestic tusker Bhola and his human friend.

The song has been composed by Sameer Uddin, sung by Jubin Nautiyal and penned by Anvita Dutt.

Directed by Chuck Russell, known for his popular films The Mask and The Scorpion King, and produced by Vineet Jain, Junglee is slated to release on 29 March.

Kalank: Teaser of Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan’s period drama to be out 12 March; film will release on 17 April

Abhishek Varman directed multi-starrer Kalank, which was slated for release on 19 April, will now hit the theatres on 17 April. According to trade analysts, this will give the film a five day long extended opening weekend. The trailer of the epic drama will be out on 12 March.

Recently, the makers had unveiled first look stills of all the characters in the film. Kalank stars Varun Dhawan as Zafar, Alia Bhatt as Roop, Sonakshi Sinha as Satya Chaudhry, Aditya Roy Kapur as Dev Chaudhry, Sanjay Dutt as Balraj Chaudhry and Madhuri Dixit as Begum Bahaar.

Karan Johar had on 6 March released a teaser and had in an Instagam post, recollected recollected how the film was actually conceptualised by his father, Yash, 15 years ago. It was the last film he worked on before he passed away. The filmmaker had called the film a ‘story of turbulent relationships and eternal love.’ Kalank will be set in 1940s, around unrest and turmoil faced by India and Pakistan.

The film is being produced by Karan, Sajid Nadiadwala, Hiroo Yash Johar and Apoorva Mehta. It has been co-produced by Fox Star Studios.

Kangana Ranaut responds to Krish, Sonu Sood, Apurva Asrani: Maybe they can get back at me by making a film together

Kangana Ranaut has not been one to shy away from controversies ever. She has taken on the media and her naysayers head-on and has on most occasions, come out victorious.

In a recent video interaction with the media, when the actress was asked about the various allegations against her which have been levied by her fellow Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi co-director Krish, Simran co-writer Apurva Asrani and actors Sonu Sood and Mishti Chakravarty, Kangana replied by saying that targeting her will not solve anything and that they need to prove her wrong through their works.

Still from Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi trailer. YouTube screengrab

“It is of no use if all of them hurl criticism at me. I have also become popular through hard work in the industry and brought myself to a position where I can take a creative call to edit scenes and ensure a good film like Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. Instead of blaming me for their misfortunes, they should take inspiration from me and bring themselves up to the position of power.”

The actress also mentions how she intends to make a better directorial than Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi with her next venture behind the cameras.

Kangana addressed the issue of Krish’s name being second on the list of credits in the film. “Krish should direct another film, which stars Sonu Sood and is scripted by Apurva Asrani. At least that way they can ensure that they get back at me,” quips the actress before signing off.

Ankita Lokhande, who made her Hindi film debut with the film, also defends Ranaut when she states that most of Jhalkari Bai’s (Ankita’s character in the film) have been shot by Kangana. In an article in News18, Ankita reiterates that she is not speaking up in support of Kangana just because the film has done well, it is because she truly feels Kangana did not go wrong anywhere, and much like Lakshmibai’s protector, Ankita feels protective towards Kangana and the barrage of criticism that is being channeled towards Kangana.

Ankita’s remarks come at a time when Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi actress Mishti Chakraborty alleged that Kangna had unfairly edited out portions of other actors.

Kriti Sanon on her special number in Kalank: The feel of the song is a mix of ‘Kajra Re’ and ‘Ghagra’

Kriti Sanon’s upcoming Dinesh Vijan production, Luka Chhupi, is about to hit the screens. But the actress also seems excited about something else. Sanon will be perform a special number in Abhishek Varman’s multi-starrer period drama Kalank, state reports.

Kriti Sanon. Facebook

The song will feature Kriti along with the two lead actors of the film, Varun Dhawan and Aditya Roy Kapur. The shooting of the song was reportedly done in June 2018.

Talking about the song, Kriti tells Mirror that the feel of the song is a combination of ‘Kajra Re’ (from Bunty Aur Babli) and ‘Ghagra’ (from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani). This will be Kriti’s second association with Varun after Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale, which featured Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol as the leads.

“Since Kalank is a period film, you will see me in a very different avatar. In fact, this is the first time that Manish Malhotra, who I have been telling since my modelling days to do a film with me, has styled me for a song,”
the actress says.

The other period drama that Kriti will be a part of is Ashutosh Gowariker’s historical drama Panipat, where the actress will be feature opposite Arjun Kapoor. The feature recently went on the floors. Kriti is also reportedly preparing for her second schedule of the film which begins next week in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Rajkummar Rao on being compared to Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor: Overwhelmed, but I don’t see them as competition

Mumbai: Rajkummar Rao says he feels overwhelmed that people are comparing him to Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh but the actor insists he never sees competition in any art form, especially acting.

Rajkummar has been on a career high with consecutive commercial hits and critically acclaimed films since 2017.

Rajkummar Rao

When asked about the perception that he is now in the league of Ranbir and Ranveer, Rajku

reporters, “I take it as a compliment. I’m a huge fan of both Ranbir and Ranveer, they are doing tremendously good. I’m looking forward to Gully Boy and Brahmastra.”

“It’s overwhelming, I take it with a lot of gratitude because you’re comparing me with two great actors,” he added.

The Stree actor, however, says he wants to grow with every film and not look at things with the lens of competition.

“I never see competition in any art form, specially acting as you are dealing with emotions. I can’t say I cry better then the other actor. You just have to grow with every film as an actor and let people decide what they want to say. I just want to grow and push myself with every film.”

He was speaking at a special event of his upcoming film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga on Monday night.

The film features Sonam Kapoor, Juhi Chawla and pairs him with Anil Kapoor for the second time.

Rajkummar says Anil has no ego when he is working and he believes that it is one of the best qualities of the veteran actor.

“He (Anil) works with a lot of passion and dedication. He doesn’t stop until he gets the perfect take. I used to feel very small when he used to ask me ‘Raj how was it, did I do okay?’ That’s his commitment towards his work.

“He has no ego when he’s working. He wants to do better every time. I’ve learnt a lot from him, that no matter how big a star you are, have been working for so long, every film is new, every film your first.”

Co-written by Gazal Dhaliwali and director Shelly Copra, the film is scheduled to release on 1 February.

Manikarnika: Kangana Ranaut says naysayers will ‘shut their mouths’ after watching her upcoming film

Kangana Ranaut’s historical drama Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi will release in theatres on 25 January, 2019. At a party hosted by designer Neeta Lulla, the actress spoke about how critics of her upcoming film will “shut their mouths” after they watch it.

Still from Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi trailer. YouTube screengrab

Kangana, who stars and is also the co-director of the film along with Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi, told IANS, “I feel people who are not saying good things about me or my film will have to shut their mouths after watching the film and people who are saying good things, their mouths can’t be shut by anyone, this is what I feel.”

She shared that she had enjoyed taking up directorial duties and felt it was the result of team work. She said that initially, she found it difficult but later felt that she could do justice as both an actor and director.

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi will focus on Rani Laxmibai’s fight against British colonisers for the rightful independence of her country and land. Jisshu Sengupta, Suresh Oberoi, Danny Denzongapa, Atul Kulkarni, Ankita Lokhande, Misti, Unnati Davera, Zeeshan Ayub, Rajeev Kacharo, Nihar Pandya, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Manish Wadhwa are part of the supporting cast.

Fraud Saiyyan song Chamma Chamma blatantly objectifies Elli Avram in Urmila Matondkar’s chartbuster remix

If you thought that you were done with remixes for the year, lo and behold! Another ’90s chartbuster, this time, Urmila Matonkar’s hit song ‘Chamma Chamma’ has been revamped by the makers of Fraud Saiyyan to give it an Elli Avram twist.

Elli Avram in Chamma Chamma. YouTube screengrab

Whether or not remixes are good, bad or ugly is a debate for a different occasion, but what is jarring about this number is not its overuse of led-bulbs or the drowning percussion. It is the blatant objectification of the former Bigg Boss contestant, whose dancing skills are not the focus of the song. AT ALL! From skimpy clothes to close-up camera shots that seem to hug her body at different obtuse angles, the makers have done it all to live up to the infamous ‘item number’ tag.

It is perhaps important to note that the only time the camera seems to zoom out of the different contours of Avram’s body is when Arshad Warsi is injected into the frame. Surely enough, no such treatment is given to Warsi.

Neha Kakkar, who has almost become synonymous with party numbers, has lent her voice to this ‘Chamma Chama’ version, along with Romi, Arun & Ikka. It has been recreated by Tanishk Bagchi.

Fraud Saiyyan is slated to release on 18 January.

The Accidental Prime Minister trailer: Anupam Kher accurately recreates Manmohan Singh’s mannerisms

The trailer of The Accidental Prime Minister that chronicles former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s tenure in office was released on 27 December.

Anupam Kher as Manmohan Singh in a still from The Accidental Prime Minister. YouTube screengrab

This film is based on the book The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh by Sanjay Baru, who was the former Prime Minister’s media advisor.

The trailer opens with Singh, played by Anupam Kher, being compared to Bhishma from Mahabharata. Baru, portrayed by Akshaye Khanna, observes that unlike the mythological figure, who had to deal with two warring families, the Pandavas and Kauravas, Singh only has to face one. The Accidental Prime Minister’s trailer gives a brief glimpse into the internal politics of the Congress party like the tense dynamic between Singh and former party president Sonia Gandhi (Suzanne Bernert), on issues of national importance. Her keenness to have son Rahul (Arjun Mathur) rise to the position of power is also an aspect shown in the trailer..

Kher, who revealed at the trailer launch how he had prepared for the role, has almost accurately recreated Singh’s mannerisms and body language for the film. “The biggest challenge for me was the voice. It is the most difficult role I have ever done because everyone knows Manmohan Singh very well,” the actor said at the trailer launch event, reports The Quint.

The film also stars Aahana Kumra as Priyanka Gandhi, Divya Seth Shah as Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur and Ram Avatar Bhardawaj as the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Directed by debutante Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, the film’s screenplay has been written by Mayank Tewari, Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, Karl Dunne and Aditya Sinha. The music of the film will be composed by Sudip Roy and Sadhu S Tiwari.

The film will release in cinemas on 11 January. Vicky Kaushal’s patriotic drama Uri: The Surgical Attack will also hit theatres on the same day.

With Zero, has Shah Rukh Khan bid goodbye to the quintessential lover boy for more eccentric characters?

When Shah Rukh Khan appeared on the big screen in Deewana, he was challenging a hegemony that was created nearly twenty years back.

He would become a ‘lover’ – arguably Hindi cinema’s most successful lover, breaking the formula of the ‘Angry Young Man’ created by Salim-Javed and Amitabh Bachchan in the early 1970s. All of 1980s and a big part of 1990s had heroes playing versions of Bachchan’s original act, the vigilante taking revenge for death and/or dishonour.

Shah Rukh Khan was the lover boy who turned the tide against the action hero. Of course, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan came before him but neither matched SRK’s early successes or his virtuosity in playing a wide range of lovers. And SRK’s career can be divided into segments where a certain kind of lover type has dominated, and each phase has brought him great success. Almost always.

Shah Rukh Khan as Raj from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Image from Facebook/@DilwaleDulhaniaLeJayenge

His opening act was that of a ‘cute and (sometimes) bumbling lover’ – with a disarming charm and a raw edge. The Deewana character was a Hindi film stereotype – rebelling against parents for a quasi-forbidden love – but Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman had a guy who knocked glasses off tables and stammered through his lines. Be it the less successful Chamatkar or the super-successful Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, the early SRK was tripping over himself and tumbling into women’s hearts. In Maya Memsaab, he was the charming youngster that older woman took on as a lover and the lovemaking had an energetic childishness.

Almost intertwined with the bumbling lover was his ‘crazed lover’ phase – a character not seen before or since. The trilogy of Baazigar, Darr and Anjaam catapulted him to stardom and audience reaction went from gasping surprise to starry-eyed adulation to eye-covering disgust. It is interesting how well SRK positioned these roles in his career to wrest the spotlight away from star sons and actors backed by bigger production houses. And that spotlight helped him get films with the biggest directors of Hindi cinema. Rakesh Roshan, Ramesh Sippy, Subhash Ghai and Mahesh Bhatt all worked with him in the year after these films.

This gave him the launchpad for his next phase – where he was the quintessential ‘lover boy’.

Shah Rukh Khan was the anti-hero in 'Baazigar'

The one known for his signature pose with extended arms and dimpled smile. This phase officially kicked off with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, an iconic film that married sanskar with subdued sexuality. He perfected this with Dil To Pagal Hai, Pardes and Dil Se, before hitting the partnership that would establish SRK as one of the greatest heroes of Hindi cinema. Karan Johar and SRK did Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Kal Ho Naa Ho in a five-year period, films which – along with Mohabbatein in the same period – made him the face of the modern romantic hero – in India and abroad.

Kal Ho Naa Ho was an interesting transition point because this is the point where SRK turned into his next persona – the ‘mature lover’.

File image of Shah Rukh Khan.

He was a lover and philosopher rolled into one, dispensing advice and murmuring sweet nothings simultaneously. Be it the older brother in Main Hoon Na or the suave scientist of Swades or the old convict of Veer Zaara, this was a character we continue to see even today. If we keep aside the two Don films and Ra.One, all his films from the mid-2000s have shown him with a mature or jaded side. Fan had the ageing superstar Aryan Khanna, nearly an SRK alter-ego. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’s ritzy Raj had a sedate Surinder while SRK declared himself to be 40+ in Chennai Express.

Which brings us to the observation that this phase of his has lasted way too long.

Still from Zero Eid teaser. YouTube screengrab

While the other phases – with very different characterisations – lasted less than five years each, we are seeing the ‘mature lover’ for more than a decade now. While there have been attempts to get in different shades, the SRK who pushed the envelope in characterisations is sorely missing. We were supposed to get a debauched older man in Jab Harry Met Sejal but the character turned out to be sweet and safe guy, befitting a superstar but not the edgy SRK we probably wanted.