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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.

Geetika Tyagi on Aamir Khan backing out of Mogul: ‘It’s always nice to get support, but I’ve been fighting my battles alone’

With Aamir Khan stepping away from producing Mogul, which was scheduled to be directed by Jolly LLB director Subhash Kapoor, media professional-turned-actor Geetika Tyagi says she is happy with the support she has recieved, especially since she wasn’t expecting any. Kapoor is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Tyagi, who has alleged that the director tried to molest her in 2012. “It is always nice to get support. But this is happening when I stopped looking, and I thank him (Aamir) for it. I never looked or asked for any support. I have been fighting my battles all alone,” said Tyagi in an exclusive chat with Firstpost.

As soon as Tyagi learnt about Aamir’s decision of walking out of the project, in the wake of India’s #MeToo gaining momentum, she tweeted about it.

Aamir and Kiran Rao also put out a statement regarding his decision stating that at Aamir Khan Productions, they have zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment.

Aamir Khan took this strong step after Geetika Tyagi tweeted to Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival (Kiran Rao is the chairperson), reminding them of the sexual harassment she faced by Mogul director, Subhash Kapoor.

Geetika asked Kiran if she remembers that Aamir Khan is working with Subhash Kapoor who she alleged had earlier sexually assaulted her. Tyagi’s tweet read, “Although @MumbaiFilmFest hs disassociated itslf frm directors&producer whose names have come out in #Metoo movement but I hope its chairperson #KiranRao remembers tht @aamir_khan her husband hmslf is working wth #subhashkapoor who’s being prosecuted for sexual assault&molestation” .

It may be recalled that Tyagi, who has acted in films like Aatma, What The Fish, One By Two and television series, Powder, had accused Kapoor of molesting her after a party and even trying to drag her into the bedroom.

Tyagi had further taken to her Twitter handle to share a 30-minute video in which she named Subhash Kapoor as her molester and had also captioned the video as “Subhash Kapoor’s true face”. The video, which was shot through a hidden camera, saw Kapoor, his wife Dimple Kharbanda and Tyagi discussing the ‘sexual misconduct’ of the director. A few minutes into the video, and Kapoor tells Tyagi, “I didn’t drag you inside”, to which the actress reacted by saying, “You pulled me, Subhash. You were holding my hand.” Further (in the video), Tyagi she tells Kapoor,  “I can’t trust any man. I don’t have a single friend aaj ki date mein jisey mai bolun let us have coffee together or go out, sit and talk. Maine bahut bahut suffer kiya hai, Subhash. I’m jittery, I’m always fu***ng jittery”.

The director of the Arjun Kapoor-starrer Aurangzeb, Atul Sabharwal, was also seen in the video speaking in support of Tyagi, who was further seen slapping Kapoor. Kapoor seemed to be apologising to her. While Tyagi’s seen crying hysterically in the video, the director’s wife is seen pleading to the actress to keep the matter under wraps as she was worried about her son’s future and didn’t want him to be affected by this.

Kapoor was working with Aamir Khan on Bhushan Kumar’s Moghul, but the actor has backed out of the film after the news of Kapoor’s ‘sexual misconduct’. After this, Bhushan Kumar also decided to drop him as the director of the film.

Speaking in response to the development, Kapoor posted a statement saying, “I understand and respect Aamir Khan’s and Kiran Rao’s decision. Since the matter is subjudice, I intend to prove my innocence in the court of law.”

Aamir Khan reveals he will never become a politician: I am scared of politics, want to entertain people

He maybe vocal about social issues like water conservation, but Aamir Khan said on 16 September that he has no plans to join politics. The 53-year-old Bollywood actor said he is “scared” of the idea and believes he can be a better influence through his films.

“I don’t want to be a politician. I am not meant for that. I am a communicator. I am not interested in politics… I am also scared of politics. Who isn’t? So, I stay away. I am a creative person. Politics is not my thing. I want to entertain people. I feel I will be able to do more as a creative person than as a politician,” Aamir said during a session at NDTV’s special youth conclave ‘YUVA’.

aamir

The actor has been extensively working towards water crisis for the past three years in Maharashtra through his Paani Foundation, which aims at imparting knowledge at the grassroots level in the state about water conservation and watershed management. Aamir said the issue of water scarcity can be countered only when the “people own the problem”.

“They have to be the solution. It has to be a people’s movement… Our approach has always been very inclusive. We want more and more people to join the cause,” he added. The actor believes it is the lifestyle of the people which is responsible for the degradation of the environment.

“We need to give up cellphones, TV sets, give up watching movies, computers etc… the lifestyle is such that we are using so many resources. To survive we need to re-devise our lifestyle.” Aamir said it is easy for the public to blame the government for its woes, but things cannot get better without the participation of the citizens.

“It’s easy for us to blame the government. Maharashtra government has made a lot of efforts to hit back the problem… As citizens, we should question our government. They are answerable to us. But change only happens when we become part of the solution,” he added. Aamir will next be seen in Thugs of Hindostan, which also features Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh.

Fanney Khan: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan may pay tribute to Lata Mangeshkar in upcoming musical

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, whose next film is Atul Manjrekar’s Fanney Khan, has been a huge admirer of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar. Moreover, the interesting part is in Fanney Khan, she will not only be seen as a singer but will also reportedly pay tribute to Mangeshkar as she plays her fan in the upcoming movie.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. YouTube

Nothing has been officially revealed yet about Aishwarya’s role but Deccan Chronicle reports that she plays a popular singer in the film and a fan of Lata.

The same report states that co-producer Prernaa Arora is looking to acquire the rights for some of Lata Mangeshkar’s famous melodies. “Apart from a few original tracks, Aishwarya will also recreate a few of Lata’s numbers. That is not the film’s only connection with Lata. Anil Kapoor’s daughter, who plays an aspiring singer, is named Lata.

News Nation quotes Mangeshkar’s reaction to Aishwarya’s onscreen tribute, “It is good to hear that she is fond of my singing. I think I sang for her for the first time in Mohabbatein. The song ‘Humko Humhi Se Chura Lo‘ was a hit. It’s a beautiful melody and Aishwarya looked lovely lip-syncing it.”

Fanney Khan will be co-produced by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, KriArj Entertainment and T-Series Films. Apart from Aishwarya, the musical comedy also stars Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Divya Dutta. It is slated to release on Eid, 15 June, along with Remo D’Souza’s action thriller Race 3.

Shah Rukh Khan, Ranveer Singh, Sushant Singh Rajput’s films may clash on Christmas 2018

December 2018 is going to be packed with big-ticket films. Two of Bollywood’s biggest stars — Shah Rukh Khan and Ranveer Singh, might have a box office clash in the coming year. According to a report by India Today, Aanand L Rai’s film which stars Shah Rukh Khan and Rohit Shetty’s remake of a popular Tamil action starring Ranveer might release on the same day in December 2018.

Untitled design (25)

However, another actor who joins the race is Sushant Singh Rajput, whose Kedarnath is releasing on 21 December 2018, too. Therefore, Bollywood buffs have a lot to look forward to during 2018’s Christmas weekend.

Although the release dates of Shetty and Rai’s films have not been confirmed yet, speculations about both the films hitting the screens in December next year are rife. This clash, if it occurs, will be a major one since Saif Ali Khan’s daughter Sara Ali Khan is also making her Bollywood debut with Kedarnath. Shah Rukh, too, is doing a highly experimental film after a while and the action flick will be Singh and Shetty’s first collaboration.

Shah Rukh and Singh’s films have previously clashed with each other only once. In 2015, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani and Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale had opened on the same day. Bhansali’s period drama surpassed Shetty’s rom-com in terms of box office collection.

Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan were Mukta Arts’ popular choice for Subhash Ghai’s Pardes

Filmmaker Subhash Ghai has revealed that he was under pressure to cast Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Shah Rukh Khan for his romantic drama Pardes.

Salman and Shah Rukh do the signature pose on Bigg Boss Weekend Ka Vaar

The 1997 film featured Shah Rukh along with newcomers Mahima Chaudhry and Apurva Agnihotri.

For the role of Ganga (played by Mahima) and NRI Rajiv (played by Apurva), Ghai said his production house wanted Madhuri and Salman respectively.

“After several hits, Trimurti was Mukta Arts’ first flop. When a film flops, the industry is quick to write you off. I decided to write a film in my own style. When the script was over, we were discussing the casting, which was a big problem. My production house thought Shah Rukh could be in the film along with Salman, playing an NRI, and Madhuri would play the central character.

“I had narrated ‘Ganga’s’ character to Madhuri during Khalnayak too. But I wanted newcomers paired with Shah Rukh. His Trimurti had flopped and DDLJ (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge) had worked, so I knew he was a great performer,” Ghai said.

Trimurti released in 1995, helmed by Mukul Anand, featured Shah Rukh along with Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff in the lead. The 72-year-old director said though people in his production house wanted the three superstars together, he was not convinced.

“My office wanted me to make the film with Salman, Madhuri and Shah Rukh because then it would be a big film and losses of Trimurti would be covered as well. They were right too. But the director in me wasn’t convinced that we need such a big star cast.

“I said three big stars won’t go well in the script that I have. I wanted someone who looked like he has come from foreign for the NRI part. It was a big challenge but I finally managed to get Mahima, Apurva and Shah Rukh,” he said.

The director was speaking at the special screening of the film, which completed 20 years in August. It was showcased at New Excelsior Cinema, which was recently acquired by Mukta A2 Cinema, a branch of Ghai’s Mukta Arts.

Ghai said another challenge for him once the cast was locked was to present Shah Rukh in a non-romantic role.

“Shah Rukh’s image had turned romantic after DDLJ but this role wasn’t romantic at all. The challenge was to tell Shah Rukh that he won’t be like a romantic hero in any shot.

Dabangg 3: Salman Khan starrer to kick off by middle of 2018, says Arbaaz Khan

Mumbai: National Award-winning filmmaker Arbaaz Khan, who produced the Salman Khan-starring, commercially successful Dabangg series, says that he has started scripting the new sequel of the franchise that will go on the floor in the middle of 2018.

“Yes, we have started scripting the film and I think we will start shooting Dabangg 3 by the middle of the next year,” the actor-filmmaker told the media at the trailer launch of his upcoming film Tera Intezaar.

As Sunny Leone, who is the co-star in the film, was also present, Arbaaz, asked if he is planning to cast her to do an item number like ‘Munni Badnaam’, said, “Yes, why not? And why would she be a Munni, we can cast her for something different, but for that, we have to finalize something.”

Salman Khan in Dabangg (left); Arbaaz Khan (right). Image courtesy: Facebook

Arbaaz has shared his screen space with Sunny for the first time Tera Intezaar and according to him, “one of the reasons I did the film, was to spend some time with Sunny. She is wonderful and we had a great time shooting in abroad”.

Asked about if he is planning to promote the film in Bigg Boss 11, which is hosted by his brother, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, Arbaaz said, “Well, I think that is the producer to decide. If we have the opportunity, and the Colors channel allows us to do so, why not.”

He added, “Though I do not watch Bigg Boss every day but I like watching the show. Earlier, few seasons, I followed; I watched all episodes when Sunny (Leone) was in the show.”

Bigg Boss 11: Judwaa 2 cast Varun, Taapsee and Jacqueline to join Salman Khan on opening episode

Salman Khan, who is set to host Bigg Boss 11, will have Judwaa 2 actors Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez and Taapsee Pannu as his guests during the opening episode of the upcoming show.

Varun Dhawan has stepped into the shoes of Salman, who played a double role in the 1997 film Judwaa, which was also directed by David Dhawan. It has Karishma Kapoor and Ramba in the female lead roles.

Interestingly, Salman was also present on the wrap-up day of Judwaa 2, which is a remake of Judwaa.

Now, the team of Judwaa 2 will visit the original Judwaa superstar on Bigg Boss season 11’s launch episode. The cast will be shooting with Salman on Friday, said the spokesperson of the film.

The show will premiere on October 1 on Colors.

Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and directed by David Dhawan, Judwaa 2 is presented by Fox Star Studios and Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment.

The film is slated to release on Friday, 29 September.

How Sara Ali Khan and Jhanvi Kapoor became Bollywood’s most hyped debutantes in recent history

After years of speculation, Amrita Singh and Saif Ali Khan’s eldest daughter Sara Ali Khan has started shooting for her first Bollywood film, Kedarnath. Directed by Abhishek Kapoor (Kai Po Che, Rock On!!), Kedarnath is described as a love story that unfolds during the course of a pilgrimage. Sara, along with her co-star Sushant Singh Rajput, visited the Kedarnath temple on the eve of the shoot.

Meanwhile, Sridevi and Boney Kapoor’s daughter Jhanvi Kapoor’s debut film, a remake of the Marathi blockbuster Sairat, will go on the floors this November. Her co-star, in this Dharma Productions film, is another star kid — Shahid Kapoor’s younger brother Ishaan. The Sairat-remake will be Ishaan’s second film. The 22-year-old will make his debut with Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi’s Beyond The Clouds.

These two newbies are probably the most hyped debutantes Bollywood has seen in recent times. Even Alia Bhatt, who debuted in Karan Johar’s Student of the Year five years ago, didn’t have the kind of pre-launch hype these girls do.

Let’s take a look at how Sara and Jhanvi’s debuts compare.

Sara Ali Khan with Karan Johar. File Photo

The Beginning

Bollywood first took notice of Sara in early 2012 when she posed, with her mother Amrita Singh, for the cover of Hello magazine. The then-16-year-old Science student looked elegant in an ivory-and-gold Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla creation. While it was obvious that the teen had her heart set on a career in Bollywood, her parents insisted that she complete her education. Weeks after the magazine hit stands, Amrita, in an interview, said, “Sara is good at academics. She even plans to go for further studies to Yale University. So we need to give her some time.”

Even while Sara was studying at Columbia University, speculations about the film she’d debut in continued to swirl. There was Dharma productions’ remake of the Hollywood film Fault in Our Stars opposite Shahid Kapoor’s brother Ishaan Khattar, a film opposite Hrithik Roshan which was to be directed by Karan Malhotra (Agneepath, Brothers) and the sequel to Student of the Year opposite Tiger Shroff. It was only earlier this summer that Kedarnath was confirmed by Amrita as Sara’s debut film.

Close on Sara’s heels, Jhanvi also first made her presence felt with a magazine cover. She was seen on the cover of People Magazine (Dec 2012), along with her mother Sridevi and young sister Khushi. Like Amrita, Sridevi also said that Jhanvi ‘was too young to sign a film’ but ‘she’s always wanted to act’. The 20-year-old finished her schooling at Dhirubhai Ambani School, Mumbai before completely focusing on getting Bollywood ready. While Amrita hesitated about Sara’s association with Dharma, Sridevi, it was said, didn’t even bother looking at any other opportunities for her daughter. After Karan Johar announced in 2015 that Dharma will launch Jhanvi, it was just a matter of finding the right film.

Jhanvi with her parents, Sridevi and Boney Kapoor, and younger sister Khushi on the IIFA green carpet a few years ago. File Photo

The Film

In June last year, Karan watched Sairat, the highest earning Marathi film of all-time, and he was bowled over. Directed by Nagraj Manjule, the film is a young love story juxtaposed against caste conflict. With Nagraj keen on focusing on his Hindi directorial debut (starring Amitabh Bachchan), the reins of the Hindi remake were handed to Shashank Khaitan whose previous two films — Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and Badrinath Ki Dulhania — were megahits.

What made Parshya and Archie’s love relatable was that Sairat was soaked in realism. From the naturalistic acting to the brutal violence, the semi-rural landscape and even Archie’s inexpensive sartorial sense helped make the film real. It would be interesting to see how Shashank will find the balance between realism and the trademark Dharma sensibilities. After all, Manish Malhotra has been roped in to dress Jhanvi for the remake.

Details about Sara’s film Kedarnath, on the other hand, have been hard to come by. Even the film’s ‘first look’ that was launched to coincide with the beginning of the shoot, gives away almost nothing about the storyline, which is credited to its director. According to early buzz, the Uttarakhand floods of 2013 form the backdrop of this story of human spirit that persists in the face of tragedy. Sushant’s character in the film is a pitthu, who carries pilgrims on their shoulders. The film will mostly be shot in Uttarakhand.

The Mothers

Like the “heroine’s mummyjis” of yore, both Amrita and Sridevi have been working meticulously behind-the-scenes to make sure that their daughters make the right moves. The Mom actress has come a long way from when she wasn’t keen on a career in showbiz for either of her daughters. In the early days when Jhanvi first started making headlines for her Instagram posts, her superstar mom even ordered her to stay off any kind of social media. Sridevi was instrumental in getting Karan to launch Jhanvi and now that the film’s shoot is just months away, it’s all hands on deck. One hears that she is even closely monitoring all the looks Malhotra is creating for her daughter.

While Sridevi was instrumental in her daughter getting a launch as a ‘Dharma heroine’, the buzz is that Amrita is the reason why Sara lost out on the opportunity. Apparently, the actress wasn’t keen on the three-film caveat that a Dharma launch film came with. By debuting with Kedarnath, not only is Sara not tied down to any production house, she is also free to choose managers and staff that she’s comfortable with instead of those ‘recommended’ by Karan. What also tipped the scales in favour of Kedarnath, for Amrita, was that her friend Ekta Kapoor is one of the film’s producers.

Kedarnath is slated for a summer 2018 release and if the untitled Sairat-remake doesn’t get pushed, it should also hit theatres next year. While trade pundits feel that Jhanvi might have an edge over Sara because she has Karan Johar as a mentor, only time will tell how the audience will receive these star daughters.

From Ranbir Kapoor in Jagga Jasoos, to Salman Khan in Tubelight, stars aren’t afraid to experiment

Editor’s note: With Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan and Salman Khan’s Tubelight not quite hitting the mark in terms of box office success, there are some crucial question we found ourselves thinking about. Is Bollywood’s male movie-star bound by his ‘image’? What happens when stars experiment, and give their fans something ‘new’? What happens when their experiments fail and how do the stars themselves react to this failure? This is part two of a three part analysis on this very idea — what is bigger, the star or the image of the star? 

Also read parts one and two of this series. 

In the just-released Jagga Jasoos, Ranbir Kapoor plays a Tintin-esque detective. The film itself is cast in the mould of a Broadway musical, not seen before in Bollywood, and includes 21 songs.

Ranbir’s played varied roles before — be it the coming-of-age Wake Up Sid or the everyman in Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year, and even Tamasha. Still, Jagga Jasoos is an ‘experiment’ for the actor.

What’s interesting that this ‘experimentation’ is being engaged in by actors across the spectrum in the Hindi film industry. Just a few weeks ago, we had Salman Khan playing a man with developmental difficulties in Tubelight. While that film flickered out at the box office, it was an attempt on Salman’s part to do a role different from his usual larger-than-life onscreen image. Meanwhile, his contemporary Shah Rukh Khan is also trying something different with Aanand L Rai’s next, in which he plays a dwarf; while Aamir Khan has — yet again — transformed himself entirely for his role in Thugs of Hindostan. Images of Aamir sporting long hair and a nosepin are already doing the rounds on social media.

A mere four years in the industry, and a Varun Dhawan can pull off a Badlapur, while a Sidharth Malhotra an work on an experimental thriller like Ittefaq.

Ranbir Kapor in Jagga Jasoos; Salman Khan in Tubelight. Images via Facebook, Twitter

Meanwhile, Ranveer Singh can charm viewers in an offbeat Lootera and play a rapper from the streets in Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boys. And an ‘outsider’ like Sushant Singh rajput can break into the Bollywood big league with unconventional films like Kai Po Che, Shuddh Desi Romance and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! 

Forty years ago, this would have been unimaginable. One could hardly conceive of an Amitabh Bachchan or Dharmendra — at the height of their superstardom — playing differently-abled characters in a film that had no romantic angle. There would always be a song-and-dance routine with a Rekha in Ghazab, or the metamorphosis of dim-witted Kallu into dashing Kaalia. They would, undoubtedly, give the greatest of performances, but in conventional vehicles like Deewar, Pratigyaa and Chupke Chupke.

But playing a differently-abled character in a realistic drama… well, that kind of experimentation was best left to a Sanjeev Kumar, as in the 1970 release Khilona. It was up to a Balraj Sahni to play a landless labourer in a stark drama like Do Bigha Zameen, while a Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor — as great as they were — displayed their histrionics in larger-than-life films like Mughal-E-Azam and Awara. Or Naseeruddin Shah, who played a visually impaired man in Sparsh, while Vinod Khanna or Jeetendra bashed up baddies and romanced heroines in their films. But today, if Randeep Hooda or Nawazuddin Siddiqui are experimenting with their roles, so are the big stars like Salman, Shah Rukh.

It is not at all a coincidence that Aamir’s Lagaan, a film where a major Bollywood star experimented with both form as well as content, came within a decade of economic liberalisation, exposure to satellite television and invasion of the internet, followed by the multiplex revolution. The audience was changing and the stars were quick to realise it. Aamir tried to follow the same experimental route with Mangal Pandey — and though it proved less successful, he continued down that route.

Shah Rukh made the attempt with Swades, although it was Chak De India that proved to be his first major ‘experimental’ success. He continued walking off the beaten path with Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan and more recently, Yash Raj Films’ Fan. Salman may have started late, but he seems to be making up for lost time with Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Sultan and Tubelight. And if an Ajay Devgn has a Drishyam in his kitty, then Bollywood’s ultimate khiladi, Akshay Kumar has made it a point to pick unique subjects with films like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Padman and Gold. 

These are definitely good times to be a Bollywood (film) viewer. We are fortunate to watch our favourite actors in unusual and experimental roles in an image-obsessed industry. As horizons have expanded, and tastes have evolved, it’s no longer a stretch for viewers to see their favourite stars go from playing the typical romantic/action hero to ageing wrestlers — or dwarves.