Monthly Archives: November 2018

2.0 director Shankar reveals Kamal Haasan was offered Akshay Kumar’s role as antagonist in Rajinikanth’s film

2.0, director Shankar’s magnum opus starring Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar, is set to hit theatres very soon. 2.0 has created headlines ever since the film went on the floors, especially as it’s being touted as the most expensive Indian film ever with a humongous budget of Rs 500 crore.

Poster for 2.0/Image from Twitter

Shankar’s wish to cast Hollywood action icon Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role of the main antagonist is familiar news. However, the director recently revealed that south star Kamal Haasan was also considered for the role now being played by Akshay Kumar, reports The Indian Express.

Recounting the deal with Arnold, Shankar said that it had been almost finalised adding that the Hollywood star was also pumped for the project but unfortunately, while drafting the contract, the makers were unable to reach a consensus on every detail. Post that, Shankar was keen on Haasan. “It was my desire to see Rajini sir and Kamal sir in the same movie. Jeyamohan (2.0 dialogue writer) and I met Kamal and discussed the role. But Kamal was more interested in doing Indian 2 and so we moved on,” said the director.

The report adds that though Rajinikanth and Kamal have had quite a number of films together, Hassan decided to not work with Rajini post 1979 film Ninaithale Inikkum so that he could get his own films.

The trailer is scheduled to be launched in an extravagant manner in Chennai on 3 November. 2.0 is due in cinemas on 29 November.

Zero trailer: Shah Rukh Khan takes a leap of faith for love in Aanand L Rai’s colourful film

The makers of Zero recently released the trailer of the much awaited film. The trailer was released on Shah Rukh Khan’s 53rd birthday.

Still from Zero trailer

The trailer depicts Anushka, who is wheelchair-bound, as Shah Rukh’s love interest. There are hilarious moments in the trailer, one being an altercation between Shah Rukh and his father, when Khan replies saying, “Guthka khaate rehte ho, sperm chhoti ho gayi hogi.”

Unfortunately, Anushka and his love story does not reach fruition and Khan moves on to Katrina, who is portrayed as a celebrity. Most of the Zero trailer revolves around the three main characters. Finally, the trailer takes us all by surprise with a sweeping shot of a rocket, with Khan’s voice over in the background, saying, “Kahaaniyon mein suna tha ke aashiq mohabbat mein chaand tak le aate hain, saale humne yeh baat seriously le liyi.” Zero may have Khan taking the leap of faith for his love.

Khan will reportedly not be the only one playing a special role in the film (he plays a vertically challenged man). Kaif will be playing an alcoholic in the film who struggles with her addiction, while Sharma plays a struggling scientist.

Director Aanand L Rai also shared a new poster of Zero featuring SRK on his birthday. The poster depicts Shah Rukh standing on what seems like a New York street amidst tall sky-scrapers with a garland of notes strung around his neck. Rai dedicated the poster to Khan’s dimples.

Recently, the first look posters of Zero were unveiled which saw Katrina and Anushka with SRK.

The teaser and title of the highly anticipated film was released on 1 January and it left the internet in a frenzy as Khan was seen as a “dwarf” for the first time by the audience. For SRK’s challenging look, the makers reportedly used advanced technology inspired from Hollywood films.

Badhaai Ho writers Shantanu Srivastava, Akshat Ghildial on film’s success and how it compares to Tevar

They met as students during their MBA programme in Delhi in 2001. By the end of the second year, Akshat Ghildial and Shantanu Srivastava had decided they wanted to work together. In 2018 they are reveling in the success of Badhaai Ho, their debut collaboration as screenwriters. The story draws on both of their life experiences as two boys who grew up in Meerut and Rohtak, respectively. Here Ghildial (story, screenplay, dialogues) and Srivastava (story) talk about the process that brought the Kaushik family to life.

Where did the idea of an older couple expecting a baby germinate?

Akshat: I discussed the idea with Shantanu. He loved it and thought it might make for a feature film. We toyed with how we could develop it. Shantanu already knew Amit (Sharma, director) from working together on Tevar and he suggested we take the idea to him.

Shantanu: When we moved to Mumbai after our MBA, we shared a tiny flat with some other batchmates. One batchmate who had lived in a spacious 3BHK in Powai would always hang out in our small flat. We wondered why and joked that maybe his mother was pregnant.

Shantanu Srivastava and Akshat Ghildial, the writers of Badhaai Ho

Shantanu: My mother was part of a kitty, which did paath for an hour and then played tambola. The room would quickly get redecorated from temple to casino and I would be enlisted to call the numbers! The Kaushik family was created in my home.

There are three writers credited on the film. How did the collaborative process work?

Shantanu: In mid 2015, when we wrote the synopsis of this film, we connected with Amit and he jumped on the idea. Once we had solidified the idea a bit more, we met Priti Shahani of Junglee Pictures and that’s when we discovered that they had a similar concept with them. So we incorporated the two ideas and Priti credited Jyoti Kapoor with story as she had worked on a parallel story for the production house.

Was there much improvisation to the script and dialogues? I especially noticed the use of silences and gestures in place of dialogue.

Akshat: A lot of what you see was already in the screenplay. Amit did make some additions and the actors also brought in their interpretation. Amit was insistent that we were a part of the readings with the actors and guided them on dialect and diction. It was a terrific collaboration. Because we were dealing with an awkward topic, it was clear to us that there would be awkward silences. It is a lot about embarrassment. When dadi (Surekha Sikri) is blasting both of them (Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao), there is not much they can say.

Was the class juxtaposition between Renee (Sanya Malhotra) and Nakul (Ayushmann Khurrana) consciously designed?

Shantanu: Absolutely. Class establishes differences in small ways – such as how Renee’s mother celebrates something compared to how the Kaushiks celebrate. The upper middle class whines about the pretentious middle class and how involved they are in each other’s lives. Through the mothers – who are of a similar age – we show one celebrating a 50th birthday and the other in an advanced stage of pregnancy. Both are loving mothers with opposing parenting methods – Renee’s mother is hands-off whereas Nakul’s mother is controlling.

Although a ‘taboo’ subject at its core, how did you fashion the story to appeal to a family audience?

Akshat: In order for it to be a family entertainer, the film could not be vulgar or lewd. So we wrote the story from the son’s point of view – his embarrassment. All the jokes about the pregnancy were always at the father’s expense. We also wanted to make a comment on how children put their mothers on a pedestal but they forget she is a wife and woman too. These thoughts defined the boundaries of the humour and the humour was borne out of the situations.

Shantanu, how does this feeling of success compare to the reactions to Tevar?

Shantanu: Amit and I gave our blood, sweat and tears to Tevar. We made some mistakes as first-timers, but the film will always be close to my heart. I ascribe the accolades for Badhaai Ho to the effort I have put in over the years, writing scripts for film and television and feel I have earned it. Writing a film is a tough job and watching a film being made and then succeeding is a humbling experience.

What are you working on next?

Akshat: Shantanu and I are working a series for Junglee. Besides that I am playing with my five-month old. I got so inspired by the story of Badhaai Ho, that I had my own baby.

Shantanu: Bhavani Iyer and I are writing a film on Field Marshall Sam Maneckshaw for Meghna Gulzar. I am also developing a script for another production house.

Shah Rukh on Salman Khan’s special cameo in Zero song: Very dignified and loving of him

Mumbai: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan who unveiled the trailer of his upcoming film Zero on the occasion of his birthday on Friday, 2 November, said that he was touched by the gesture of Salman Khan doing a cameo in the film.

Still from Zero Eid teaser. YouTube screengrab

During the trailer launch of the film when he was asked about how Salman came on board, Shah Rukh told the media: “Anand (L. Rai, Director) has spoken to Katrina (Kaif) regarding this film quite sometimes ago and that time Salman also heard the story.”

“Then Salman called and said that there was this story and hear it. The coincidence is that, when finally, I said yes to the film, after that he said that I will be a part of this film for sure, by doing a song. That was very dignified and loving of him.”

The film also features Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif. It is interesting to observe that after Yash Chopra’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan this trio is coming together all over again to execute Rai’s vision.

Talking about her journey Anushka said: “This year I am completing 10 years in Bollywood. I made my debut with Shah Rukh and now after 10 years, in 2018 I am doing another film with him, it is so special and this is how life has come in a full circle.”

In the film Shah Rukh is playing a character of a dwarf and Anushka and Katrina are playing a physically challenged person and an actress respectively.