All posts by jimmy

Zaira Wasim may play Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra’s daughter in Shonali Bose’s next film

Zaira Wasim has established herself as a young powerhouse performer with her slate of films. After winning numerous hearts and a National Award for Dangal, the actress delivered yet another memorable performance in Secret Superstar, for which she won the Critics’ Best Actress trophy at the Filmfare Awards 2018.

Read: Zaira Wasim on life after Dangal: ‘It’s a beautiful feeling, but it also makes me nervous’

Abhishek Bachchan, Zaira Wasim and Priyanka Chopra. Facebook

Amoli: Kamal Haasan, Vidya Balan, Rajkummar Rao lend voice to documentary on sexual exploitation

Actors Kamal Haasan, Vidya Balan, Rajkummar Rao, Puneeth Rajkumar and Jisshu Sengupta have lent their voice to Amoli: Priceless, a digital documentary on commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Produced by Culture Machine, the documentary on the deep-seated and well-organised criminal industry will release on Monday in seven languages on YouTube and Facebook. It spotlights different forms of exploitation and the constant need that feeds the demand for this business.

A promo for Amoli: Priceless. Image via Twitter

The film is narrated in four chapters — Mol (price), Maya (illusion), Manthan (internal conflict) and Mukti (liberation).

“Fundamentally, the objective is to dissuade men from buying sex from children,” Sameer Pitalwalla, CEO and Co-Founder, Culture Machine Media Pvt Ltd, said in a statement. “We believe that a combination of fear and stigma is what will deter men in the short-to-medium term. This can only materialise through unequivocal political commitment, proactive law enforcement and strict and swift justice. We want to magnify awareness about this issue through Amoli, and consequently, mobilise the general public to demand our police, judiciary and government to address the issue.”

The 30-minute film is directed by acclaimed documentary filmmakers and National Award winners Jasmine Kaur Roy and Avinash Roy, with music by Tajdar Junaid.

Though shot in Hindi, dubbed-versions of Amoli are available in Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, Kannada and English. It has been strung together through stories of survivors who have been through the horrors of commercial sexual exploitation.

102 Not Out box office collection: Amitabh Bachchan-Rishi Kapoor starrer earns Rs 16.65 cr on opening weekend

The weekend seemed to get better and better for the Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor starrer 102 Not Out, which recorded a total gross of Rs 16.65 crore in its opening weekend.

The film, directed by Umang Shukla of Oh My God! fame, refused to be bullied by Avengers: Infinity War even though the Marvel blockbuster continued to muscle rivals aside at the global box office.

Rishi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan in a still from 102 Not Out. YouTube

102 Not Out raked in Rs 3.52 cr on Friday, Rs 5.53 cr on Saturday and Rs 7.60 cr on Sunday, reports trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

Billed as the most unusual father-son story, 102 Not Out is based on playwright Saumya Joshi’s popular Gujarati play of the same name.

Also read: 102 Not Out highlights what Bollywood might lose out on, thanks to its obsession with youth

The film portrays the relationship between a 102-year-old man (Bachchan) and his 75-year-old son (Kapoor). Bachchan’s centenarian wants to break the world record of being the oldest man alive, which is held by a 118-year-old Chinese man. He plans to do it by putting his son in an old age home.

102 Not Out is produced by SPE Films India and Treetop Entertainment.

The actor duo, who have worked together in films such as Amar Akbar Anthony, Kabhi Kabhie, Naseeb and Coolie, reunite on screen after 26 years.

Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra to reportedly make cameos in Student of the Year 2

Actors Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan, who made their film debuts in 2012’s Student Of The Year, will reportedly make cameo appearances in the sequel.

Filmfare reports that the two actors have confirmed their comeback but their roles have not been revealed yet.

Alia Bhatt, who also made her debut with Sidharth and Varun, hinted at a comeback in an earlier interview but has not confirmed if she will be joining the two actors. However, Mumbai Mirror reports that Karan Johar has invited all three actors to make cameos in a song sequence.

Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra in Student of the Year. Image via Twitter

Student Of The Year 2, the second installment of the franchise, stars Tiger Shroff and newcomers Ananya Pandey and Tara Sutaria.

Karan Johar is bankrolling the movie under his production banner Dharma Productions. With Student Of The Year, Karan gave Alia, Varun and Sidharth a great launchpad in Bollywood. They have since cemented their place in the film industry year after year with a slew of diverse projects.

Varun, who is the son of filmmaker David Dhawan, started his career as an assistant director to filmmaker Karan in My Name Is Khan. He has featured in films like Main Tera Hero, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Badlapur, Dilwale, Dishoom, Badrinath Ki Dulhania and, more recently, October. Siddharth has starred in movies like Hasee Toh Phasee, Ek Villain, Kapoor & Sons, Ittefaq, and more recently, Aiyaary.

The film is being directed by Punit Malhotra, and its shooting is underway.

Student Of The Year 2 will hit screens on 23 November.

Raveena Tandon ropes in weavers from self-help groups across India to create clothing line

Raveena Tandon has been working on her own clothing line for quite some time and is all set to finally launch it towards the end of the year.

Raveena Tandon. Facebook

While her appearances at a number of fashion shows of eminent designers are much talked about, she is also being lauded for her newest endeavor as part of which she has been posting videos wherein she talks about her style and beauty regime. The celebrated yesteryear actress also gives various tips on general well being. DNA revealed that according to a close source, Raveena’s label is tentatively called Fashion Insider.

The label reportedly will have a huge collection of traditional clothes with embroideries and bead work. It is said the Raveena is getting jackets and tunics made from female weavers from various self-help groups across India.

“I found the right time to introduce a fashion collection. I hope to share tips on making smart wardrobe choices. Fashion is an expression of how one feels on any given day and if I can help people feel confident, nothing like it,” the actress was quoted as saying.

As Raveena’s video blogs got a great response from her fans she also told Tribune that she thinks it is a way reciprocate her love to her followers. “I’m grateful for all the love that fans have sent my way. I saw this as an opportunity to reciprocate their love. I will be addressing skin concerns and questions related to beauty that I get asked often. I share all the home remedies that have been passed on to me. The videos are conceptualised by me,” she was quoted as saying.

Sanjay Dutt biopic: Rajkumar Hirani says ‘I told Sanju we won’t glorify him and he was okay with it’

Rajkumar Hirani is gearing up for the release of one 2018’s most-anticipated films, the Dutt biopic, titled Sanju. As the film inches closer to its release, the excitement around it is steadily increasing, mainly because Sanjay Dutt has been the epitome of a ‘troubled star’.

In an interview with DNA, Hirani says that the anecdotes that Dutt had told him during an impromptu meeting stayed with him for a long time. He says that Sanjay’s life, which has been full of ups and terrifying lows, is like a “goldmine” for any filmmaker.

Ranbir Kapoor, Raju Hirani, Sonam Kapoor. Image from Twitter/@RajkumarHirani

After several meetings with Sanjay, Hirani decided that he was going to string the pieces of his life together — the death of his mother, rehab stint and his conviction in the 1993 bomb blasts case — and make a feature film. He maintains that he told Sanjay that he wouldn’t glorify him in the film and the actor was okay with it.

Although Hirani now confirms that Sanju is the title the makers are going with — there’s also a story to it. He tells the publication that the makers wanted to go with a neutral title. When they found out that Nargis (Sanjay’s mother) used to lovingly call him, ‘Sanju’, they went for it. “One of the titles was Aisa Hi Hoon. Anything you attach with a name in a biopic is like an adjective. Even if you say Aisa Hi Hoon or Sarphira, either you are glorifying him or attacking him. One thing all of us were clear about was that we wanted a neutral title. Dutt seemed a little harsh,” explains Hirani.

Although the film set was fiercely guarded, when Ranbir Kapoor’s photos from the sets of the film leaked online, everyone was taken aback. The young actor has no connections with Dutt, but he looked uncannily similar to the senior actor. Hirani says that although Ranbir was an unusual choice for the role, he was cast for his exceptional acting ability. Moreover, the film needed an actor who could seamlessly gel with the transformations in Sanjay’s life and for the makers, Ranbir fit the bill.

What’s also spectacular about Hirani’s journey is that most of his films have been blockbusters. His Munnabhai franchise cemented his foothold in the industry as a filmmaker who could churn out content-driven cinema while still being highly entertaining. However, for the filmmaker, just finishing the film and seeing it release was a high. He says he doesn’t take the title of ‘best writer’ seriously, an honour that has been associated with him informally for the longest time now. He works with his trusted writer Abhijat, who along with Boman Irani, attends his distress calls before every release. Although he is one of the most gifted filmmakers of his time, he claims he is a nervous mess before any release and people like Boman and Abhijat keep him sane during these times.

The filmmaker concludes by praising Sanjay for his courage and the will to talk about his life openly. He tells the publication that Sanjay has seen the teaser and was overwhelmed by it. He plans to watch the film only when it’s complete.

Sanju releases on 29 June, 2018.

Sanju teaser: Ranbir Kapoor transforms into Sanjay Dutt effortlessly in this typical Rajkumar Hirani story

The much-awaited teaser of the Rajkumar Hirani-directed Sanjay Dutt biopic Sanju is here.

In it, Ranbir Kapoor can be seen in six different looks of Dutt that depict six phases of his life. And then in typical Hirani fashion, and in a Munna Bhai accent, Ranbir introduces Dutt’s life.

The teaser then jumps into a montage of Sanjay Dutt’s life, from his onscreen journey to the multiple affairs to his AK-56 rifle case. The teaser underlines the many lives Dutt has lived within one lifetime: from luxury to captivity, from being loved to being punished.

From the first shot of the trailer itself, you will find yourself adjusting your eyes to make sure you’re watching Ranbir Kapoor, and not Sanjay Dutt, in the teaser. The similarities are uncanny, and full props to Ranbir Kapoor for carrying off the character so well.

We wish there were most glimpses of the supporting cast.

Ever since the film was announced, it has been in the news for several reasons — leaked pictures wherein Ranbir Kapoor looks like a carbon copy of Dutt, and the ensemble cast including Sonam Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Anushka Sharma, Vicky Kaushal and Manisha Koirala (among others).

The most important reason behind this surging enthusiasm is undoubtedly Sanjay Dutt. Recently, several fan clubs on Twitter shared the first look of the film as well:

In October, Varun Dhawan cements his credibility as a performer; it’s a role devoid of filmi

The compliment ‘career-best performance’ gets tossed around so much that it’s in danger of losing it’s meaning. But Varun Dhawan’s performance as the disinterested and surly understudy Danish ‘Dan’ Walia in Shoojit Sircar’s exquisite October is a career-defining work. Decades from now, when Varun’s movie career is being written about, this outing will definitely find a mention.

By now, Varun has already proved that he is a consummate Bollywood hero. There is no doubt that he can dance up a storm; take off his shirt and make girls swoon; beat up baddies, and indulge in tomfoolery to deliver laughs. Commercial successes like ABCD, Dhishoom, Judwaa 2 and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania have meant that his six years in the business has been smooth sailing.

In a bid to expand his repertoire, he first dipped his toe into the off-center film pool with Sriram Raghavan’s twisted revenge thriller, Badlapur. Having only played versions of the easy-breezy ‘hero’ until this point, Varun made everyone sit up with his performance as Raghu, the everyman-turned-vigilante, opposite the always-fantastic Nawazuddin Siddiqui. As the character ages, the transformation is not merely physical. Varun imbued the older Raghu with melancholy and sadness without losing the rage in his eyes. Although Badlapur had a mixed critical reception due to a weak final act, it was universally regarded as a win for Varun.

Varun Dhawan/Image from Twitter.

If Badlapur was a step in the right direction, his latest release October cements his credibility as a performer. When we first meet Dan, he is a disinterested, faceless hotel employee changing sheets, polishing silver and killing mosquitoes. He lives life on autopilot. He hates what he does but does it nevertheless because he has no other choice. He is a confusing mix of insolence and earnestness. When Dan slips up, his boss tells him to be more like Shiuli, a fellow trainee who he barely knows. Unlike Dan, she is the perfect employee – hardworking and focused. A freak accident renders her comatose and inextricably links their futures.

This is a story of love and loss that takes it’s time unfolding. Working from a script by Juhi Chaturvedi, a longtime collaborator of Shoojit, October is the kind of film you won’t be able to stop thinking about for a long time. Big shout-out also to Shantanu Moitra’s unflashy score and Avik Mukhopadhayay’s evocative cinematography. But it’s a never-better Varun, in a role that’s completely stripped of all filmi affectations, who gives the film a center of gravity.

Hunched over and shuffling, Dan is the most ‘regular’ character the actor has played till date. He is so ordinary that he goes unnoticed as he waits tables, chops vegetables and replenishes toiletries. There is a stillness in how Varun plays Dan that makes his outing as Raghu in Badlapur seem flashy. His coming of age is just as undramatic. There is no explanation for why Dan is overwhelmed by Shiuli’s accident and why he can’t tear himself away from her.

Even as her family rallies around, trying to make sense of the tragedy, Dan is just always around. Somewhere in the background, he is always present. One of the unwritten rules of being a Bollywood hero is to never get lost in the background. That Varun not only picked a character so understated this early in his career, but also delivered in spades is a reason to celebrate.

October box office collection: Varun Dhawan-starrer records substantial growth on day two, mints Rs 7 crore

Varun Dhawan’s October, which is also being touted as his best performance so far, had a slow opening. However, Shoojit Sircar’s film exhibited immense growth on the second day of its release. While on the first day, the film had made Rs 5.04 crore, it recorded a growth of 48.21 per cent and minted Rs 7.47 crore, according to trade analysts.

october 825

Analysts have linked the drastic growth of the movie at box office to increasing interest in metropolitan cities. Predictions about the film’s stability at the box office in the coming week have also been made.

Also starring Banita Sandhu, October is bittersweet tale of attachment. Dhawan and Sandhu play hotel management trainees in the film and work at the same hotel together. However, things take a drastic turn when Sandhu Shiuli meets with a horrific accident and is left in coma. The incident hits Dhawan’s Dan hard and he finds himself deeply attached to a wheelchair-confined Shiuli. The good-hearted Dan also finds himself perturbed about the fact that the people around are not as affected by Shiuli’s condition as he is.

The film was released on 13 April.

John Abraham reportedly opts out of espionage spy-thriller Romeo Akbar Walter; will film be shelved indefinitely?

Romeo Akbar Walter has been facing troubles ever since it was first announced. Sushant Singh Rajput was supposed to play the lead in the spy-thriller movie, but later opted out citing prior commitments as the reason. It was later announced that John Abraham will be playing the lead in Romeo Akbar Walter; the actor himself made an official announcement on his official Twitter channel.

But now, according to a report in DNA, John Abraham has also pulled out of the project. DNA quoted a source as saying, “John allegedly felt RAW’s storyline is similar to that of Alia Bhatt’s Raazi. When he watched the trailer of Meghna Gulzar’s film, which released a few days ago, he was convinced about it. It’s just that RAW is from a man’s perspective.” Raazi is the tale of an Indian woman who is married off to a Pakistani boy who hails from a family of army-men. The woman’s father asks his daughter to be the “eyes and ears of India” in the neighboring country.

John Abraham/Image from Twitter.

A different source is quoted saying that John Abraham’s movie is also about an Indian spy who joins the Pakistani armed forces to relay information to the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW). Even though the team wanted to alter the script a bit, the actor wasn’t convinced as the main storyline would still be the same. Hence, the source adds, John politely asked the makers to move on.

DNA quotes another source who provides a different story. According to the source, the movie’s rough budget without publicity and promotion came up to Rs 40-45 crore which is a big figure to recover with John in the lead. With John signing the deal for Rs 11 crore as his remuneration, the makers scrapped the idea for now. If they plan to make RAW sometime in the future, they will do it with a bigger star who can ensure a good return.