Monthly Archives: January 2020

Tanhaji vs Chhapaak box office collection: Ajay Devgn film inches closer to Rs 200 cr mark; Deepika Padukone-starrer earns Rs 32.48 cr

Ajay Devgn’s historical drama Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior refuses to slow down at the box office. The film which opened Rs 15.10 crore on its opening day, managed to enter the Rs 100 crore club on the sixth day of its release. In its second week, Tanhaji has earned Rs 22.12 crore on Sunday, with a boost of Rs 8.17 crore on Monday, and Rs 7.72 crore on Tuesday, bringing its total collection to Rs 183.34 crore. Trade experts note that the epic drama will be Devgn’s second film to cross Rs 200 crore milestone after Golmaal Again.

Bollywood Hungama notes Tanhaji has surpassed the lifetime collection of Devgn’s previous films — De De Pyaar De (2019) and Raid (2018). For Saif Ali Khan, who plays antagonist Uday Bhan Singh, Tanhaji earnings are higher than his last commercial hit Race 2 (2013).

Featuring Ajay Devgn as Maratha warrior Subedar Tanaji Malusare, the Om Raut directorial charts the heroic character’s journey through the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670 AD.

The Uttar Pradesh government recently declared the film tax-free in the state. The announcement was made by the official Twitter account of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s office. The Maharashtra Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to make Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior tax-free in the state.

While Tanhaji continues to soar, its subsequent release Chhapaak has taken a beating at the office. Meghna Gulzar’s film based on the story of an acid-attack victim Laxmi Agarwal was widely appreciated by the viewers, but failed to create a dent at the box office.

According to Livemint, the film’s theatrical business remains underwhelming with the Deepika Padukone-starrer crashing further over its second weekend, having made Rs 29.25 crore at last count. Despite no major release around last week, the film’s total collection on Monday stood at Rs 32.48 crore.

Street Dancer 3D box office collection: Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor’s dance drama makes Rs 10.26 cr

Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor’s Street Dancer 3D performed well on the first day of its release. The movie, directed by choreographer-turned-director Remo D’Souza, has earned Rs 10.26 crore. It released alongside Kangana Ranaut’s film Panga, which has earned Rs 2.70 crore at the box office.

Trade analysts have said that film’s business has been affected in Mumbai because of Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’s dominance at the ticketing counters. The period drama, featuring Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan and Kajol in the lead, released on 10 January along with Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak and has since been trending at the box office. Tanhaji has now surpassed the Rs 200-crore mark.

Street Dancer 3D portrays Dhawan as an Indian dancer, and Shraddha Kapoor as a performer from Pakistan. Shakti Mohan, Aparkshakti Khurana, and Nora feature in supporting roles. Mohan will make her Bollywood debut with the film.

While Street Dancer 3D has been dubbed “India’s biggest dance film,” director Remo D’Souza had clarified the movie is unrelated to his other directorial, the ABCD franchise. He said to Mid-Day, “This is completely different from the earlier franchise. Although we are exploring different forms of dance, including jazz and contemporary, when these dance forms are incorporated on the street, they become completely different.”

Jai Mummy Di movie review: Pyaar Ka Punchnama’s team returns with a not regressive, not progressive, not anything film

If you are a fan of director Luv Ranjan’s brand of visceral misogyny in Pyaar Ka Punchnama 1 and 2 and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, and that is what you are hoping to get in Jai Mummy Di, then you will be disappointed. This new film, despite being co-produced by Ranjan, displays a surprising lack of animosity towards women.

If you saw the trailer of Jai Mummy Di, were intrigued by the hint of a long-buried lesbian romance and were hoping to see a film on this still taboo subject, then too you will be disappointed.

If the pace and sense of humour you spotted in the trailer left you expecting a couple of hours of light-hearted fun, again, disappointment awaits you.

That is the thing about director Navjot Gulati’s Jai Mummy Di. It is not regressive, not progressive, not anything.

Jai Mummy Di is the story of Pinky Bhalla (Poonam Dhillon) and Laali Khanna (Supriya Pathak Kapoor) who have been sworn enemies for decades. They are neighbours in a north Delhi locality and their mutual antagonism is so strong, that their children ⁠— Saanjh Bhalla (Sonnalli Seygall) and Puneet Khanna (Sunny Singh) ⁠— dare not reveal to the families that they have been in love since school. When the youngsters realise they cannot live without each other, they set out to find the root cause of the mothers’ hatred which, they are told, dates back to their college days. Back then, their common friend reveals, the two were so thick that they were even rumoured to be girlfriends.

The first half of Jai Mummy Di is certainly mildly funny, but the comedy and the film as a whole fizzle out as it gradually becomes clear that Gulati does not know where to take it. This was also the problem with that earlier film he wrote, 2017’s Running Shaadi starring Taapsee Pannu and Amit Sadh ⁠— there was the seed of a good idea there, but it got lost on a road to nowhere.

Once Jai Mummy Di starts going round and round in circles, it becomes limp and purposeless. Dialogues are left hanging, extra seconds hang loose and it begins to feel like an amateur stage production where the actors don’t understand poor timing.

Veterans Pathak Kapoor and Dhillon get to shout and grimace a lot, but for a film that is supposedly centred around their characters, Jai Mummy Di has precious little about them and gives them hardly any screen time in the second half. Sunny Singh and Sonnalli Seygall, both of whom are recognisable from Ranjan’s most famous films, look dapper and deliver competent even if not sparkling performances. Singh needs to work on his dialogue delivery though. In several places in the film I found myself straining my ears to figure out what he had just said because of his tendency to swallow words or shoot them out too fast.

Possibly because the Pyaar Ka Punchnamas gained notoriety for their misogyny, this screenplay tries to compensate with occasional moments of overt feminism. Saanjh demands to know why a woman must follow her husband wherever he goes after marriage, and Puneet does not disagree. When they hear of the possibility that their mothers were once romantically involved with each other, they respond with a complete lack of judgement. But these instances of pointed liberalism add up to nothing when actor Alok Nath surfaces intermittently in the narrative as a hanger on, and it appears that although the man has no particular role to play in this film, he has been placed there as an act of defiance against those who asked why he was cast in Ranjan’s last production De De Pyaar De despite the allegations of rape and harassment that were made against him during the Me Too movement in 2018, allegations he responded to with the most bizarre, apathetic non-denial.

His presence is a distracting irritant. What really kills this film though is the supposed big reveal in the end about Laali and Pinky’s intense enmity. It is so poorly conceived and so so ordinary, that you have to wonder why this plain film was ever made. Seriously, why?

What’s in a name? Love Aaj Kal borrows its title from the 2009 Imtiaz Ali film; Is it a sequel

The first look of an Imtiaz Ali film is always highly anticipated. In the case of his latest – Love Aaj Kal, more so because there has been a lot of online buzz over the past few weeks about what the film would be called.

The ‘original’ Love Aaj Kal had Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone essay the title roles, while this one has Kartik Aaryan and Sara Ali Khan. So why is everyone calling it a sequel? Maybe it is because our collective media dubbed it Love Aaj Kal 2 in the absence of an official title. For the longest time, I could not wrap my head around a sequel that did not feature the original actors —is a sequel not, after all, supposed to take a story forward? Unless this is one of those ‘saat janmon ka rishta’ thingamajigs, where Saif gets reborn with more hair. Well, who knows?

Now that the makers have settled on the same title as the 2009 film, one can confidently walk into a theatre knowing it is a reboot. Or is it? What if it is a reimagining? Or a remake?

Damn. All this Hollywood terminology is so confusing. Which is why we in Bollywood, use the word sequel to describe any and every film in a franchise. Take Dostana 2, for example. The upcoming film features Kartik Aaryan, Janhvi Kapoor, and Lakshya in the lead roles. Again, unless the characters played by John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Abhishek Bachchan had kids that have grown up to be 20-somethings in the last dozen years, it seems strange the studio would append a ‘2’ after the original title. But that is what they are calling it. Go figure.

This ambiguity creates an element of suspense Hollywood totally seems to have missed out on. I will be going to watch Dostana 2 knowing it has got something to do with the original, but will not know whether it is a case of new actors in a new story or new actors living in the same Miami apartment. Will they wear the same Manish Malhotra threads? And, more importantly, will they dance to a Tanishk Bagchi remix of ‘Desi Girl?’

As a true-blue believer in all things Bollywood though, I think, it is important to understand what I am dissing on the other side.

Hollywood reserves the word sequel for the continuation of a story. Studios add numbers like 2, 3, 4… to the original title in order to make it clear to people that what they are going to watch begins where they left off the last time. If you think about it, though, this shows an utter lack of imagination, and dumbs things down. Where is the fun in that?

Hollywood also loves a good prequel, where you dial back the story in time, and finish the new story where the old one begins. Sometimes, the prequels can have second and third parts, which are technically still prequels to the originals, but sequels to previously released prequels, as George Lucas (Star Wars) would tell you. And because they are spoilsports, they numbered the films with Episode numbers. A totally lost opportunity if you ask me. It would have been so much fun had they just announced every film saying it is a prequel/sequel, and let the audience figure which is which.

They also have spin-offs, which focus on aspects and characters that did not get much footage in the original story, but got uber-positive vibes from controlled audience tests conducted by their research teams. Take Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. When Harry Potter was done killing Voldemort, one would have thought that is the end of that cash cow. But Warner Bros and author JK Rowling were not ready to give up yet. They took a 12,000-word book, and announced a five-film series around it. See? Capitalism at work. However, they could have spiced things up a little bit more by calling it a sequel, and letting us imagine everything from Harry’s newfound interest in bestiality to the return of Voldemort as a dragon. No?

There are also remakes which essentially tell the same story, but with CGI. And then there are reimaginings, something Disney has built an empire around — take an old story, change one major thing, and you have got yourself a new Cinderella. So, what is a reboot then? This one is actually complicated. Here, the writers can either take an existing story and mess with the continuity, thereby creating a new status quo, or reconfigure the entire story. I am not sure I get it either, which is why I love Bollywood, and how it refuses to get caught up in semantics. Everything is a ‘sequel,’ deal with it. Even when none of the Housefull films have anything to do with each other.

Kartik Aaryan, who has earned himself the title of being the ‘king of sequels,’ is also in Bhool Bhullaiyaa 2, along with Kiara Advani. I am so excited about this particular sequel because it might actually be one in the classical sense. Manjulika might have moved on to terrorising millennials, and what could be better than that?

Jawaani Jaaneman makers unveil Alaya Furniturewallah’s first look from comedy, also starring Saif Ali Khan, Tabu

A week after releasing the first teaser from the film, the makers of Jawaani Jaaneman have unveiled the first look poster of Alaya Furniturewallah from the movie. Standing in front of a door with a pile of suitcases behind her and a backpack on her shoulders, Alaya is introduced as the “new star of the new decade.”

Alaya, who is Pooja Bedi’s daughter, will make her Bollywood debut with Jawaani Jaaneman, also starring Saif Ali Khan and Tabu.

jawani

Jawaani Jaaneman is helmed by Nitin Kakkar, who had previously directed Filmistaan and Mitron. It’s is touted as a fun, comic take on how a man confronts the harsh reality of his life. The film is produced by Jacky Bhagnani, Saif’s Black Knight Films and Jay Shewakramani’s Northern Lights Films.

The teaser, dropped on 27 December, 2019, saw Saif Ali Khan’s character partying at clubs, drinking himself silly, giving a clear picture of his irreverence right from when he is heard saying, “sher hu main sher. Jab tak akele rehta hai, woh raaj karta hai.” (I am a tiger. A tiger rules the roost till the time he is single.) It also saw him grooving to the revamped version of his iconic song ‘Ole Ole’ from the 1994 romantic drama Yeh Dillagi.

Producer Jay Shewakramani had earlier said the father-daughter bond between Saif and Alaya’s characters at the story’s core is both unique and relatable.

“A father-daughter relationship is universal. I don’t know about how different it is but the one depicted in Jawaani Jaaneman is definitely very unique, as well as new-age and contemporary,” the co-producer added.

Jawaani Jaaneman is set to hit theatres on 31 January.

Malang makers release character posters of Aditya Roy Kapur, Anil Kapoor, Disha Patani; trailer to release on 6 January

Malang-Poster

Aditya Roy Kapur and Disha Patani-starrer Malang is one of the most-anticipated films of 2020. Malang is a revenge drama, helmed by Aashiqui 2 director Mohit Suri, and produced by Bhushan Kumar, Luv Ranjan, Ankur, and Jay Shewakramani.

The makers released the first poster of Aditya Roy Kapur, Anil Kapoor, and Disha Patani’s character in the film. The actor also shared an image of it on social media. Sporting a pair of jeans, Kapur’s character is intense and screams into nothingness, almost as a sign of extreme anger. The poster is accompanied by a quote that says, “Unleash the madness,” which may well be a pointer to Kapur’s character arc in the film.

The backdrop of the film is mainly a thriller with a romantic angle that plays out between Aditya and Disha. The film also stars Kunal Kemmu in a pivotal role. A Mumbai Mirror report had previously stated Anil Kapoor’s character in the film will have shades of grey. In fact, a character poster of Kapoor was released a week ago on the seasoned actor’s birthday, where he sports rose-tinted glasses and a police officer’s uniform.

Malang marks the reunion of Aditya and Mohit after a period of six years, post Aashqiui 2. Meanwhile, Kunal comes on board Mohit’s film after having worked with him on Kalyug 14 years ago.

The film is slated to hit screens on 7 February. The trailer will be released on 6 January.