Monthly Archives: December 2018

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.

Shefali Shah and Neeraj Kabi starrer Once Again to release in theatres on 8 December

Shefali Shah and Neeraj Kabi-starrer Once Again, an unusual love story, will have a limited theatrical release in metro cities on 8 December.

The movie, written and directed by Kanwal Sethi, was released via Netflix earlier.

Neeraj Kabi and Shefali Shah in a still from Once Again

Sethi said in a statement: “Once Again is a lyrical ode to the fundamental and basic human emotions including love. Besides focusing on aspects such as loneliness in the urban cities, it depicts a story that resonates with everyone.

“This has reflected through the responses received by the film so far. I am extremely happy about the film’s release through Vkaao and positive that theatrical audiences will also identify and relate with the film.”

The release through Vkaao, a joint venture of PVR and Book-My-Show for movies on demand, will begin with a special screening in Mumbai on 8 December in PVR Juhu, followed by a question-and-answer session with the cast.

The film tells a mature love story of Tara, a widowed mother who runs a small restaurant and one of her customers, a popular film actor Amar to whom she delivers his daily meals. Tara has never seen him – except on the big screen.

The film also features Rasika Dugal, Bhagwan Tiwari, Bidita Bag and Priyanshu Painyuli.

Shefali is delighted with the theatrical release of the film. She said: “The film has many nuances which are so delicate that they’re meant to be seen on a big screen to soak in all the flavours. So, go watch Once Again on the big screen.”

The Indo-German film is produced by Sanjay Gulati and Neufilm in collaboration with ZDF/ARTE.

Gulati is confident the movie will garner a positive response with its theatrical release.