Arjun Reddy remake: Shahid Kapoor or Dhruv Vikram, who impressed you the most?

Telugu blockbuster hit Arjun Reddy is being remade in Tamil and BollywoodLife has had a glimpse of both the versions. While one has a seasoned actor playing the lead role, the other will mark the debut of a star-kid. In Hindi, Arjun Reddy remake is titled Kabir Singh and has Shahid Kapoor playing the titular role. In Tamil, Dhruv Vikram, son of actor Vikram, plays the part in the remake titled Adithya Varma and it will be his debut in films. Kabir Singh is slated to release on June 28 while the release date of Adithya Varma is yet to be confirmed. In the original, Vijay Deverakonda delivered a thumping performance and gained huge stardom post the release of the film. Fans have been going gaga about both these remakes and comparisons have already begun. And to gauge who will do a better performance, we are running a poll between Shahid Kapoor and Dhruv Vikram. Who impressed you the most – Shahid Kapoor or Dhruv Vikram? Vote now!

Kabir Singh is directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga who helmed the original. The film stars Kiara Advani as the leading lady and the actress looks pretty in her role. The trailer has left fans raving about it and are now eagerly looking forward to the film.

NGK movie review: Suriya is the mainstay in this political drama with a loosely knit plot

Before heading to see what NGK has to offer, let’s first look at the line-up of actors in the film. Suriya Sivakumar, Sai Pallavi, Rakul Preet Singh, Devaraj, Bala Singh and Ponvannan among many others. With such heavy load of stars, you can expect the experience of their coherent performance to be fireworks. But NGK is a complete letdown and feels like a wasted opportunity. Director Selvaraghavan’s focus on Suriya is more than any other element in the film including the narrative. NGK is a mashup of many political films from the past laced with thumping performance by the mainstay Suriya. But can Suriya carry the film single-handedly till the end?

What’s it about:

Nanda Gopalan Kumaran, played by Suriya, is a principled young man who wants to do his bit for the society and keep it clean. Kumaran gives up his lucrative job and takes up organic farming and encourages people around to adopt this method of farming. And in this process, Kumaran rubs shoulders with local MLA Pandian, played by Ilavarasu, who runs a business in conventional farming commodities. Pandian warns Kumaran of harsh consequences if he continues with his organic farming and beats up his associates. As situation demands, Kumaran is forced to join Pandian’s political party which makes him realise that politics isn’t what he always thought it to be. Kumaran’s wife Geetha, played by Sai Pallavi, is supportive of him in his perusal and encourages him to not give up. What happens when NGK aka Nanda Gopalan Kumaran fights all the odds and emerges as a winner forms the crux of the story.

What’s hot:

Suriya Sivakumar playing the titular role is all fireworks and delivers a whistle-worthy performance. From subtle to fierce, Suriya puts up a show which is a compilation of every emotion you could ask for. Selvaraghavan’s intense writing adds fuel to Suriya’s fire in the plot which takes a brisk walk in the first half. Sai Pallavi proves yet again why she is an actress par excellence and doesn’t bring any dull moment whenever she is on screen. Her presence itself lights up the frame in the film and keeps you hooked to the screen. Rakul Preet, playing Vanathi, comes up with a performance which no one would have expected. Besides Suriya, the other hero of NGK is music composer Yuvan Shankar Raja whose craft in the film is commendable. Besides the impressive album which is already a hit, the background score of NGK is like an anthem which keeps giving goosebumps moments.

What’s not:

While all the above mentioned elements light up NGK, it’s the lacklustre narrative which makes it a humdrum affair. Selvaraghavan, as a writer, has the habit of building drama gradually in an episode where the climax of episode is the only worthy moment. This has worked for him in the past successfully. But in NGK, it falls flat. Movie buffs may not cherish these moments with Suriya in the equation since a lot is expected from his film. Post the interval, the film takes more than anticipated time to get to the climax and is almost a drag. A forced song between Suriya and Rakul’s characters tests your patience and will make your wait harder for the end.

BL Verdict:

It may be too harsh to say NGK is a wasted opportunity since there is a lot of binge in the political drama. At times, it makes you wonder if it is way ahead of its time, but doesn’t waste a moment in making you realise that it is a loosely knit screenplay. We go ahead with a 2 for NGK.

Vijay Varma aka Moeen to have a cameo in Hrithik Roshan and Mrunal Thakur starrer Super 30

Vijay Varma, best known as Moeen from Gully Boy, has done memorable roles in films like Monsoon Shootout, Pink, Rangrezz, etc. The actor has created a niche for himself in the industry and audience is mighty impressed with his acting chops. A graduate from FTI, Vijay has now landed himself a cameo in Hrithik Roshan’s Super 30 and it is indeed a big deal for the actor. When the makers approached Vijay for a cameo in the film, he was more than excited and ecstatic to take up the part because Super 30 has supremely talented actors like Hrithik and Pankaj Tripathi aboard. Another reason for Vijay to do this project was that he has been an admirer of HR’s work for many years and now he was finally offered a movie with him.

The details of Vijay’s character are currently being kept under wraps but the actor has expressed his excitement to be part of Super 30 saying, “While I can’t say much about the part, what I can tell is that when I heard the story of Super 30 and about Anand sir who literally changed so many lives I knew I wanted to be a part of this story.”

Sushmita Sen opens up about the deadly disease that almost took her life

Sushmita Sen is a living and walking inspiration for all the girls out there and there are no two ways about that. Be it the way she has challenged society’s norms and standards by adopting two girls as a single parent or the way she has done it with all the dignity in the world, the former Miss Universe is grace personified. It is that’s one of the many awe-inspiring things about her and we are just glad we are here to see her do it with elan. In fact, the actress who is currently dating model Rohman Shawl has opened up about a deadly disease that had left her broke.

In an interview with Rajeev Masand, Sushmita Sen revealed that while we saw her strutting and sashaying at ramps, she fought a deadly ailment all by herself, amidst raising her daughters. It dates back to 2014; the actress said that she fell seriously sick and was rushed to hospital after fainting. Initially, the doctors could not figure what was wrong with her but after a gamut of tests, it came to the fore that her adrenal glands had stopped making a vital hormone, called cortisol. Reportedly, she had gone into an adrenal crisis, which usually ends in multiple organ failure but she barely survived.

Bharat trailer: Salman Khan teases his different looks in Ali Abbas Zafar’s upcoming patriotic drama

After teasing his various looks in a slew of posters from his upcoming Eid release Bharat, Salman Khan has unveiled the first official trailer from the movie on 22 April.

Bharat trailer: Salman Khan teases his different looks in Ali Abbas Zafars upcoming patriotic drama

As Jawaharlal Nehru’s Tryst with Destiny speech plays faintly in the background, Salman’s character is introduced. An old Bharat (Salman) reminiscences — through a voiceover — about his colourful journey, which began amid the violence and bloodshed of the partition. Initially a circus performer, Bharat is forced to seek a job at a government office as the country faces nationwide unemployment in the wake of Nehru’s death.

The actor also shared a collage of all the five previously-unveiled posters in a motion poster on 20 April. Beginning with 1964, where Salman is seen as a young circus performer, the posters take us to 2010, in which he can be seen as a 70-year-old.

Bharat will trace the journey of a man, spanning four decades. Earlier, the makers treated the audience with the teaser, that gives glimpses into the various phases of the film.

An official adaptation of 2014 South Korean film Ode To My Father, Bharat is produced by Atul Agnihotri’s Reel Life Production Pvt Ltd and Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series. It is slated to release on 5 June.

Sonakshi Sinha on Kalank’s box office failure: My bad luck that last couple of films did not work out

Sonakshi Sinha considers herself an instinctive performer and someone who looks forward to doing her best even in the face of failure.

Sonakshi Sinha on Kalanks box office failure: My bad luck that last couple of films did not work out

The actor says she does not worry about the aspects of films that are out of her control.

“Every film is important to me. I hope, wish and pray every film does well. It is bad luck that the last couple of films did not work out. But I don’t lose hope, I always look forward to do my best,” Sonakshi told Press Trust of India.

“I pick up films very instinctively. Box office is not in my control, as an actor I have control over my performance and acting. I don’t stress over what is not in my control.”

“Every film that I have done, irrespective of whether they have done well commercially or not, has taught me a lot. I will always cherish that experience,” she said.

The actor, whose last cinematic outing was multi-starrer Kalank, will next be seen in Mission Mangal alongside Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu and Akshay Kumar. She will also reprise her role in Dabangg 3 opposite Salman Khan.

“I have also signed Bhuj: The Pride of India. We will hopefully start work in June. It is a fabulous role,” Sonakshi said, adding she was approached for a film on the same story in the past.

Student of the Year 2

Student of the Year 2’s ‘The Jawaani Song’ recently dropped and has received mixed reactions from the audience. Many have expressed their displeasure at altering the original number ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ by Kishore Kumar and RD Burman from Randhir Kapoor and Jaya Bachchan’s Jawani Diwani. The composer duo Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani have reprised the song, which has been picturised on Tara Sutaria, Ananya Panday and Tiger Shroff.

Randhir Kapoor on Student of the Year 2s The Jawaani Song: Remixes are making old songs accessible to youth

Randhir has spoken in support of the new version. “I feel there is no harm in recreating songs. The original track came out four decades ago. Many youngsters were not aware of the song, but today, everyone knows it because of the remix. [After the redux version released], they all went back and searched for the original song on the Internet. I haven’t seen the song but I have heard it; it has a nice tune. Also, Karan [Johar] has officially bought the rights of the number. So, his intentions are honest,” the actor told Mid-Day

In February 2019, the remixed version of 70’s classic ‘Mungda’ from Total Dhamaal had received criticism from veterans in the music industry. After Rakesh Roshan expressed his displeasure with the new version, legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar and her sister Usha Mangeshkar reacted to the number and complained that no one seeks their consent before using the songs.

However, Randhir holds a different point of view and believes that remixes are making yesteryear songs accessible to the youth.

Kalank box office collection Day 2: Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan’s film sees 50 % drop, makes Rs 11.45 cr

On its opening day (17 April), Kalank earned Rs 21.60 crore, making it the biggest opener of 2019 so far. The holiday of Mahavir Jayanti and its release across 4,000 screens could have played a role in revenue generation. However, Kalank has witnessed almost a 50 percent drop on the second day of its release, minting Rs 11.45 crore.

The film is expected to see a jump in its day 3 collection, owing to the Good Friday holiday. The total collection of Kalank currently stands at Rs 33.05 crore.

Kalank box office collection Day 2: Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawans film sees 50 % drop, makes Rs 11.45 cr

Ishita Dutta on Ajay Devgn, Tanushree row over Alok Nath: ‘If not her, who will speak about it

Tanushree Dutta, who was the flag bearer of the #MeToo movement in India, raised her voice over the casting of Alok Nath in Ajay Devgn’s upcoming film De De Pyaar De. Tanushree and Kangana Ranaut’s sister Rangoli Chandel led the criticism against Devgn for Nath’s inclusion in the film despite knowing about the allegations of sexual assault against the veteran actor.

Ishita Dutta on Ajay Devgn, Tanushree row over Alok Nath: If not her, who will speak about it?

Ishita Dutta, Tanushree’s sister, has worked with Devgn in Drishyam, where she played his adopted daughter. Ishita revealed to Bombay Times that Tanushree’s comments will not affect her equation with the Singham actor. She claimed casting is a collective decision and Devgn is not solely responsible as he does not wear the producer’s hat.When asked to comment on the Alok Nath row, she mentioned though this dispute could land her in a precarious situation, all she knows is that her sister is supporting the truth. “My sister is totally justified. If not her, who will speak about it? I would have still supported her even if I wasn’t related to her. She has nothing to gain or lose. She isn’t even a part of the industry anymore. It takes a lot of guts to take a stand like this.”

On the work front, Ishita will be next seen in Blank, that also stars Sunny Deol and Karan Kapadia. It is slated to release on 3 May.

History be damned in Bollywood

In a recent column, renowned journalist-food critic, Vir Sanghvi, lamented the lack of original ingredients and the dulled palettes of Indians. He complained how most of the ice cream sold here wasn’t ice cream at all, for it contained neither milk fat nor egg yolk. Cheap vegetable oils and synthetic flavours are the options we are now used to.

The case is similar to how our taste in popular cinema has become dulled, and few genres reflect the fact as blatantly as the period film. We are impressed by the essence of ‘glossy packaging’ and we don’t bother to know whether the ‘ingredients’ are real or not.

History be damned in Bollywood

 

The notion crosses your mind watching Varun Dhawan shimmy with Kriti Sanon and Kiara Advani in what can only be classified as new-age item numbers, in producer Karan Johar’s just-released period melodrama Kalank. The Partition drama is Bollywood’s latest effort at courting history, packaged with trademark K.Jo plasticity. As Sanon and Advani heighten the glamour quotient in provocative choli-ghagra ensemble, their item dances almost seem like a free offer deal that comes with a bumper shopping spree. The audience cannot resist it even if they know they don’t need it.

Baaki sab first class hai, goes Dhawan’s lip-sync as he matches Advani’s moves. Clearly, sab first class nahi hai.

Johar’s new designer opus Kalank apparently rides a cool `80-crore budget. Honestly, the number of zeroes that go into the mighty budgets of such historical dramas as Kalank is mind-boggling, which is why the utter callousness towards history and becomes shocking.

The food metaphor works here again. We sit ‘chewing on’ a vanilla bean, while K.Jo laughs his way to the bank.

The two item numbers are only symptomatic of several liberties that Kalank takes. The designer costumes and sets that try to cross the standard requisites of a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film with Games Of Thrones grandeur, the Gen-Now body language of Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan or Aditya Roy Kapoor, and even the very contemporary-sounding title song seem to point at the same thing: History is an excuse, Johar merely wanted to set up formulaic melodrama against a ‘different’ backdrop — removed from the teenybopper vibes that often mark his love stories.

What is to not to like about a starry ensemble and Bhansali-esque set design, you ask? And then, what’s there to mind watching Madhuri dhak dhak Dixit returning in Kalank to do her jig on the dancefloor, looking gorgeous even after all these years? The opulent sets and Dhawan’s Baaki sab first class hai are designed to make us forget blatant communal politics, GDP and joblessness, after all.

Kalank, like every Bollywood period biggie, insists upon willing suspension of disbelief on the audience’s part as the excuse to set up its larger-than-life lack of authenticity. It was the same when Kangana Ranaut as Rani Lakshmibai breaks into a masala dance in Manikarnika, or Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai and Deepika Padukone as Mastani do a very Bollywoodised Pinga dance in Bajirao Mastani, or — in a filmi twist to history — Padukone as Rani Padmavati entering Alauddin Khilji’s Delhi lair to rescue her captured husband, Rawal Ratan Singh, in Padmaavat.

Paisa vasool is what matters, historicity be damned.

The counter argument offered is Bollywood cinema is fiction, and this is what the janta wants. Market logistics is vital, but giving up on facts to aim for the lowest common denominator cannot surely be the aspiration of filmmakers who comprise one of the biggest film industries in the world.

Maybe, if Bollywood paid their researchers at least half of what they pay their set and costume designers (and listened to them!), our period dramas wouldn’t leave such a fake flavour in the mouth.

We Indians like our history as long as it doesn’t come from textbooks. That is where Bollywood, along with Facebook and Whatsapp in recent times, is important. Our filmmakers must realise there is an overwhelming majority that considers what they show to be the absolute truth, especially when it comes to drama recreating history.

History mixed with patriotism does fabulously at the box-office, as Uri, Kesari and Manikarnika have proved lately. History and absurdity, on the other hand, don’t blend well — obvious from the failure of Thugs Of Hindostan or Mohenjo Daro. The common factor for both kinds of films, though, has been the fact that our filmmakers normally don’t try to be authentic either way. More often than not, period films are just an excuse for over-the-top costumes and sets. In trying to accommodate these excesses, logic is left behind. Even today, a vintage car here or a blonde character there is enough to set up the milieu for a pre-Independence drama. It works, milking our love for our often-imagined ‘glorious past’, especially now that we seem to be losing grip on the present.