On October 6, the Supreme Court placed a ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and the surrounding cities, collectively known as Delhi-NCR. The historic judgment was praised by a section of the society as firecrackers are known to cause massive air pollution and also lead to injuries to humans and animals like. On the other hand, there were people who felt that such a ban infringes on their right to celebrate their festival. Some criticized the Supreme Court’s ruling for economic reasons – they felt that business is already down and the ban of crackers will prove to be a big blow for those involved in the fire cracker business.
Bollywood too hasn’t shied away from talking about this ban. Most of them came out in favour of the ruling and as expected, many of them got trolled as well. Yet, that hasn’t deterred Ajay Devgn from talking about it.
At an event held to promote his Diwali release Golmaal Again, Ajay Devgn was asked to comment on this issue. He stated that it’s a right decision although he is not sure if his perception of Supreme Court’s decision matches with the people. Also, he felt that the people will be able to comment better. He also said that he is aware that this decision will somewhat affect those who earn their bread and butter through the sale of crackers but at the same time, this decision was the need of the hour. He then added that the ban on firecrackers should be implemented in other cities also.
It remains to be seen if even Ajay Devgn is ridiculed for his comments supporting the cracker ban.
Ajay Devgn’s Diwali release Golmaal Again is the fourth film of the successful Golmaal franchise and also stars Parineeti Chopra, Tabu, Arshad Warsi, Tusshar Kapoor, Shreyas Talpade and Kunal Kemmu. It is directed by Rohit Shetty.
The festival of lights is just around the corner and everyone in the industry is getting their wardrobe ready to attend the numerous glittering parties this Diwali. However, veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan who usually has a customary Diwali party at his residence every year has decided to skip the same this year.
Apparently the reason behind the mega star deciding to forgo his customary Diwali party this year is to pay his respect to daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s late father, Krishnaraj Rai who passed away on March 18 this year. Commenting on the same a source close to the veteran actor added, "Yes, this year Bachchan sir has decided on skipping his Diwali party as a mark of respect for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's father. He feels that the passing away of Krishnaraj Rai is still pretty fresh and that it is too soon to be throwing a lavish party".
Back on the film front, Amitabh Bachchan who was last seen in the Ram Gopal Varma film Sarkar 3 is currently busy shooting for his next Thugs of Hindostan which also features Aamir Khan. Besides this the actor will also be seen sharing screen space with Rishi Kapoor in the film 102 Not Out.
Although we haven’t spotted the Apna Sapna Money Money actress Koena Mitra on the big screen for a while, the actress’ name seems to have resurfaced in a legal financial case. Koena Mitra’s alleged former close friend, Poonam Sethi moved the court last year in 2016 after post-dated cheques amounting to Rs. 22 lakhs given by the actress bounced.
In her complaint filed at the Oshiwara police station against Koena Mitra, Poonam Sethi has reportedly claimed that the actress owes her Rs.22 lakhs which were taken by her between 2012 and 2013 at varied intervals. In the said suit, Sethi had alleged that Mitra with whom she used to share a close bonding had asked her to help her with Rs. 10 lakhs during an extreme financial crisis in July 2012. Considering her own tough condition, Sethi however could help her with only Rs. 5 lakhs which were transferred to Mitra’s account after which Mitra even returned her a sum of Rs. 1 lakh in January.
Post that, Sethi continued to pay to help her friend out of her financial troubles, by lending her Rs. 6 lakh [through a bank transaction], Rs. 3 lakh in cash and later Rs. 9 lakh in May during intervals. Later, Koena Mitra issued four post-dated cheques to Sethi amounting to Rs. 22 lakhs [the entire amount that Mitra owed Sethi] but all the cheques bounced which prompted Sethi to take legal action against Koena.
In December 2013, Poonam Sethi had also asserted that despite repeated attempts, Koena had failed to pay her the entire lump-sum.
On the other hand, Koena Mitra hasn’t made an appearance in court despite repeated summons. Observing her lack of defence over the complaint registered against her, the City Civil Judge MH Shaikh, now taking Poonam’s word for it, has asked Koena Mitra to repay the sum of Rs. 22 lakhs that she owes her along with nine percent of interest since March 2016, when the complaint was registered against her.
This week, we see two releases in the form of the Aamir Khan starrer Secret Superstar and the Rohit Shetty directorial Golmaal Again. While the latter saw the trailer of the Sidharth Malhotra – Sonakshi Sinha starrer Ittefaq being attached to it, we now hear that the trailer of Irrfan Khan’s soon to release film Qarib Qarib Single will be attached to Secret Superstar.
As for the film itself, Qarib Qarib Single that features Irrfan Khan and Malayalam actress Parvathy, focusses on a mid-age love story of an online dating couple who embark on a journey of discovering love. Presented by Zee Studios, the film which is helmed by Tanuja Chandra and is all set to release on November 10.
Television actor Ram Kapoor who has also featured in some Bollywood film seems to have landed in a spot of trouble. In fact we hear that a Colaba based firm has filed a criminal complaint against the actor for non-payment of a loan that he had taken. As per reports, Ram Kapoor had borrowed a sum of Rs. 35 lakhs from Colaba based Mavi Business Ventures LLP, and export firm under the pretext that he required the amount urgently for personal reasons. However, months after taking the loan that was to be settled within a month, Kapoor seems to have ignored the matter.
Following this, Mavi LLP approached the Colaba police, who directed the firm to lodge a criminal complaint with the court and a criminal complaint against the actor was filed with the Esplanade court in September. If that wasn’t all, it is also learnt that earlier this year in May, Link Legal Services, that handles the legal issues for Mavi LLP had even sent Ram Kapoor a legal notice asking him to repay the loaned money at the earliest, failing which, the actor was told, criminal proceedings would be pursued against him.
If that wasn’t all, in the complaint filed at the Esplanade court, Mavi LLP also stated that the said sum was moved from its current account with HDFC's Colaba Branch to Kapoor's account in Standard Chartered Bank's Breach Candy Branch. Apart from this, the complaint also states the terms of the said loan and interest rate, while noting that when the firm tried to follow up with the actor, requesting him to sign the loan agreement documents with demand promissory notes to ensure payment of interest and repayment of the principal borrowed, he remained unavailable.
While Baaghi, the second film of Tiger Shroff turned out to be a hit entertainer, the makers are leaving no stones unturned for its sequel. With new names being added to the star cast almost every now and then, yet another actor who has joined the list is Randeep Hooda.
Although the prequel solely revolved around the trio of hero, heroine and villain, the second instalment seems to have several characters in play. Just a few days ago we had reported that Manoj Bajpayee will play a pivotal role in the film. Now, Randeep Hooda too has been signed for an important part of essaying the role of Tiger Shroff’s companion or rather friend.
Confirming the news, Randeep Hooda said, “Sajid [Nadiadwala] Bhai has always been a guiding light and a friend who genuinely cares for me and my art. Our previous two collaborations (Highway and Kick) have been landmarks in my career both commercially and critically. He always comes up with real gems and this one is special.”
A source close to the development revealed that this role will surprise the audience since Randeep is known for his powerful performances in critically acclaimed films like Sarbjit and Highway. “He is expected to get his earlobes pierced and will sport dreadlocks with a funky wardrobe. His character is called LSD,” added the source.
As for Baaghi 2, it features Tiger Shroff’s alleged girlfriend Disha Patani as the leading lady along with Prateik Babbar essaying the role of antagonist. The film that went on floors in Pune last month is currently being shot in Mumbai. Directed by Ahmed Khan, the film is also expected to have a major schedule in China. It is expected to hit the big screen on April 27, 2018, exactly two years after the first instalment was released.
From a 90s diva to a reality show judge to a dance teacher, Madhuri Dixit Nene has been venturing into varied projects. Now the actress is all set to enter the Indian regional film industry as she gears up for her first Marathi debut film.
While she was often referred to as the ‘Marathi mulgi’, Madhuri Dixit was rarely part of Marathi cinema and has now decided to experiment with the same. The film, which is yet to be titled, is said to be a slice of life film that revolves around self-realization journey of a women peppered with elements of humour in its narrative.
Talking about the subject, Madhuri said, "It is a story of every household yet it has a silver lining. It not only gives you hope and inspiration but also encourages you to live life in the true sense. The most fascinating factor for me to choose it is that it is going to carve a niche in everyone's heart."
As mentioned before, this is her first Marathi film and talking about the contemporary Marathi cinema, the actress is also praises for it. Madhuri Dixit added, "Marathi cinema is evolving so beautifully and seeing such incredible stories being told makes me beam with pride. I have received a number of scripts over the years since doing a Marathi film was always something I was open to. But the scripts didn't excite me as this one did. When I read this script, it stood out and with the amazing team behind it; I knew that this is what I wanted to be a part of."
To be directed by Tejas Prabha, it is written by Vijay Deoskar along with Devashree Shivadekar. The film is co-produced by Subhedar and Aarti Subhedar of Blue Mustang Creations along with Vivek Rangachari and Arun Rangachari of Dar Motion Pictures (producers of The Lunch Box). The untitled venture is in pre-production and is all set to go on floors by the end of this year.
Before you think that the actors are collaborating for a film, let us tell you that though they are coming together for cinema in general they are a part of two different films. Salman Khan’s Tiger Zinda Hai which is all set to release on the big screen during Christmas will have the trailer of Rani Mukerji’s next Hichki attached with it.
Considering that both of them come from the house of Yash Raj Films, Tiger Zinda Hai which is almost in the completion stage will be one of the final releases of 2017 whereas Rani Mukerji’s comeback venture post motherhood, Hichki is scheduled to hit the silver screen next year. While Tiger Zinda Hai is a sequel to the blockbuster Ek Tha Tiger, Hichki is an unconventional drama featuring the story of a woman who decides to use her weakness as strengths.
Directed by Siddharth Malhotra who last directed We Are Family with Kajol, Arjun Rampal and Kareena Kapoor Khan in the lead, Hichki is expected to release on February 28.
On the other hand, Tiger Zinda Hai that also stars Katrina Kaif, Angad Bedi, and Paresh Rawal in prominent roles is slated to release on December 22. The film has Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif essaying the role of spies who are on the run.
Tough challenges are a way of life for Amitabh Bachchan. The older he gets the tougher they get. For Nagaraj Manjule’s Jhund where he will play the renowned football coach Vijay Barse, the man behind the ‘Slum Soccer’ campaign bringing slum children on the field for a better life, Big B will be shown sharing field-space with real footballers.
And first-rate ones at that. Says a source close to the project, “A lot of the football that Mr Bachchan will be seen playing in Jhund will be with boys and men who are pros of the game. To look convincing with them on the field Mr Bachchan will sharpen his football skills; learn some really mean moves on the field.”
Abhishek Bachchan who is a football player has been roped in for help. But that isn’t all. Director Nagaraj Manjule will take the help of many real-life members of Vijay Barse’s ‘Slum Soccer’ organization. These hard-core footballers will play roles in Jhund and be seen on the field with Amitabh Bachchan. They will also advise Mr Bachchan on the intricacies of the game just in case he has forgotten them.
Mr Bachchan has played a lot of football during his young days in Kolkata. Says Nagaraj Manjule, “We start shooting for the film from November. All I can say at the moment is, nothing in the film will be haphazard or casual. We will treat the theme and the characters with the respect they deserve. I grew up idolizing Bachchan Saab’s ‘Vijay’ the Angry Young Man in Zanjeer, Deewaar and Trishul.”
It is no coincidence that Amitabh Bachchan is called Vijay in Jhund. The actor who turned 75 on October 11 will start preparing for his role in Jhund as soon as he returns from a family holiday next week.
For all the flak and adverse press the producer Firoz Nadiadwala has received over the years, here is an absolute and unquestionable antidote. For the past one year he has been looking after all the medical expenses of comatose filmmaker Neeraj Vora who fell ill and was given up for almost-dead by the doctors until Firoz stepped in.
Since that fateful day, Neeraj Vora occupies a special room in Firoz’s bungalow where the ailing writer-director is attended by a fleet of medical experts, nurses, dieticians and well-wishers.
Reluctant to talk about his astonishingly noble deed, Firoz says, “It will be one year on October 19 since I got Neeraj to my home in Mumbai from AIIMS in Delhi where the doctors had declared he would be dead in a few hours. Quite frankly, I don’t know what powers made me do what I did. I couldn’t leave him to die. He had nobody to look after him. Neeraj does have a brother. But he is financially incapable of shouldering the responsibility. I’ve known Neeraj for 12 years. We’ve worked together in several films and we’ve shared a close bonding. How could I leave him there to die? How would I’ve lived with myself if I had been so callous?”
Firoz still recalls that fateful day when he decided to step in and save his friend’s life. “As I said the doctors at AIMS had given up on him. I don’t know what got into me. I immediately hired an air ambulance to bring Neeraj from Delhi to Mumbai. I have to confess my heart was in my mouth. If Neeraj had passed away during that journey from Delhi to Mumbai, or even after landing I’d have been in serious legal and moral trouble. Luckily God was on my side. He willed that Neeraj live and I be the tool to save his life. I sincerely believe we are all instruments of God brought to earth to do HIS will.”
Neeraj Vora has been slowly recovering under Firoz’s care. “I’ve set aside a room in my house for him. That’s been his home for the past year. The room has pictures of his parents. His father used to play an instrument called the Veena. We have that music playing in his room. We have the Hanuman Chalisa recited for him…All that is familiar to Neeraj is there for him. Plus there are four attendants—two each for the day and night shifts—to look after him round the clock, a dietician, neuro-surgeons, a cook who lives close by and cooks all the special food that Neeraj has to be fed through his stomach (he can’t eat through his mouth yet)….Under all this care, Neeraj is slowly recovering. Inshallah, one day soon he will be fully recovered. We also have a Criticare hospital right next to my home for emergencies.”
Firoz wants to thank all those who have been inquiring about and visiting Neeraj. “Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ashutosh Gowariker and Neeraj’s friend Mandeep Desai have all been constant visitors during the past one year. Aamir and Akshay come regularly and place their hands on Neeraj’s head. Everyone’s prayer has worked. Neeraj is recovering. I want to thank all of them.”
Firoz feels no sense of greatness in doing what very few would do. “Arrey, what else could I have done? Left him to die? This is the only option I had. I’ve not done anything great. Anyone in my place would have done the same. You think not? Then I don’t know. It seems the right thing to do for me.”
As for his reputation for bounced cheques and other trespasses, Firoz says, “People have spoken about a few lakhs that I owed them. No one has spoken about the crores that are owed to me. People forget that money is of no use when your luck runs out. I want my fraternity to help build a fund for technicians and artistes who are in distress.”
For those keen to see Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani together for the first time in Baaghi 2, there is some startling disclaimer to deal with. The real-life couple won’t be seen as a pair in Baaghi 2.
According to sources, Disha Patani will be paired with Prateik Babbar in Baaghi 2. “Tiger and Disha play estranged lovers. So they’ve no romantic scenes together. The man she will share screen space with is Prateik,” informs a source.
Interestingly, Disha Patani and Tiger Shroff don’t seem to be destined to come together. They were cast together in Baaghi. But Disha was eventually dropped in favour of Shradha Kapoor. Now when they are finally together they are not a couple in Baaghi 2.
Being specially attached to his alma mater, Shatrughan Sinha is very keenly watching what Anupam Kher will do as the new chairperson of the Film & Television Institute Of India (FTII).
Says Sinha, “Anupam is eminently qualified for the job. He knows cinema. He is a capable actor. But would he be able to devote enough time to the workings of the FTII? Let us not pretend otherwise: Anupam has inherited a very complicated job? The politics on the FTII campus is complex and sensitive. As someone who has been observing its workings very closely for years I can only say, let’s keep our finger crossed.”
Shatrughan Sinha has been offered the job of the FTII chairperson on at least two occasions. He concedes the honour, “Yes indeed I have been offered the job. But I was unable to take up the responsibility because I sincerely believe that looking after the FTII is a full-time job. In fact on one occasion when I was offered the job I recommended the late Vinod Khanna’s name. Today when Anupam has taken up the challenge I am happy to say I feel enthused and encouraged.”
For Sinha the FTII is like home. “It is where I learnt everything that I know about acting. I never lost touch with the FTII. Even after all these years whenever I am in Pune I have to visit the Institute. To not visit it would be like going to Patna and not visiting my ancestral home. Fellow alumni like Paintal who have gone back to lecture at the Institute have come back jolted by the experience. A revamp and a reform are very much in order at the FTII. It is up to Anupam to do what he wishes to do. He has my complete and unconditional support to bring back to the FTII the glory that was once part of its heritage.”
Shilpa Shetty’s newly launched website that specializes in auction, ‘Aunty Boli Lagao Boli’, has been doing quite well and has become popular thanks to its name and unique idea. And now it is all set to get more limelight thanks to their unique campaign.
As part of this campaign, the bidders stand a chance to meet none other than Sunny Leone! A date with the very popular hottie is a part of the fundraising initiative by ‘Aunty Boli Lagao Boli’. The proceeds from the week-long bidding will go to The Shilpa Shetty Foundation that works for the upliftment of orphans. The winner and get a chance to meet Sunny Leone.
Raj Kundra, husband of Shilpa Shetty who also owns ‘Aunty Boli Lagao Boli’, said that Sunny Leone was game for this novel idea as soon as she learnt that it was for a good cause. He explained that meeting Sunny Leone is dream come true for many men in the country. He then added that Sunny Leone instantly agreed to be a part of it. Sunny Leone, currently in Los Angeles, opined that she was keen to do her bit for The Shilpa Shetty Foundation.
On the film front, Sunny Leone will be next seen in Tera Intezaar, co-starring Arbaaz Khan. It’s all set to release on November 24.
It’s over…Or did it ever begin, in the first place? Karan Johar’s friendship with Salman Khan seemed doomed from the start. Salman did make a guest appearance in Karan’s directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. But thereafter, as Karan’s proximity to Shah Rukh Khan became apparent to the entire world, Salman automatically gravitated away from all things ‘KJo’
For many years the two never crossed paths. But in recent years, Karan Johar was seen earnestly wooing Salman Khan. Two years ago Karan offered Salman the film Shuddhi on his (Salman’s) terms. While Karan crossed his fingers and waited for Salman’s yes to the project, the superstar simply procrastinated.
A friend of Salman Khan reveals, “Salman never had any intention of doing Shuddhi. He just kept Karan dangling on for God knows what reason. But when he was with us friends, he very clearly and not so politely told us he would never work with Karan Johar.”
Then came the announcement about Karan and Salman getting together with Akshay Kumar for a historical Battle Of Saragarhi. This time the prospects of Karan Johar getting Salman Khan on board seemed bright because Karan dangled that extra temptation of launching Salman Khan’s brother-in-law Aayush in a Dharma Production.
Then something went horribly wrong.
“We don’t know what happened. But Karan Johar backed out of his commitment to launch Aayush leaving Salman livid. He immediately opted out of Battle Of Saragarhi which will now be co-produced by Karan Johar and Akshay Kumar. The only reason Salman agreed to join hands with Karan Johar was Aayush’s launch. When Karan opted out of that commitment Salman saw no reason to stick to his commitment,” reveals a source in the know.
Aayush Sharma will now be launched by Salman Khan Films. This development leaves the Salman-Karan Johar equation where it had been abandoned. It is unlikely that Salman will ever work in a Dharma Production again.
Recently after collaborating with Omung Kumar for his comeback film Bhoomi, Sanjay Dutt has decided to walk out of the filmmaker’s next. The film in question is a period drama that was supposed to feature Sanjay Dutt in the lead role of Maharaja of Nawanagar, Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji tentatively titled The Good Maharaja.
The said film is based on the real life story of the honourable and noble king as it reveals the story of his valour wherein he saved the lives of several Polish refugees during the World War II by giving them shelter in one of his palaces. His noble deed also earned him a street named after him in Poland called the Good Maharaja Square. But now we hear that Sanjay Dutt will no longer be a part of the film in question where he was supposed to play the noble king.
Reports claim that the actor wasn’t very keen on doing another film with Omung Kumar after the disappointing response he received for Bhoomi. Furthermore, it is also being said that Sanjay Dutt wants to focus on another series of his films that are in the pipeline. While he has already started shooting for Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3 with the rest of the team in Rajasthan, the next film he would start work on would probably be his own production, a Hindi remake of the Malayalam film Prasthanam.
Besides these, Sanjay Dutt is also supposed to start shooting for Torbaaz in which he plays the role of an army officer as well as Bhatt’s Sadak 2 which will have him in the role of a reformed drug addict.
Lekh Tandon, popular filmmaker and actor, who has been a part of many esteemed films, passed away at his residence in Mumbai yesterday. Tandon was 88 years old and was bedridden for the past few months in his Powai residence. The demise took place at 5:38 PM.
Lekh Tandon was born on February 13, 1929 in Lahore, situated in present-day Pakistan. He started as Assistant Director in Hindi movie industry in 1950s. He turned director with Professor and went on to back many memorable films like Jhuk Gaya Aasman, Andolan, Agar Tum Na Hote etc. His 1962 film Amrapali is considered to be a classic. It was also selected as the Indian entry for the Best Foreign Language film at the 39th Academy Awards.
He directed his first television serial, ‘Dil Dariya’, in 1988 for Doordarshan. Through this serial, he was credited with discovering superstar Shah Rukh Khan.
Later, Lekh Tandon also got into acting. He worked in three Shah Rukh Khan starrers – Swades, Paheli and Chennai Express. He was also seen in a small role in Aamir Khan starrer Rang De Basanti. Besides, even in his late 70s, he directed a finite TV show named ‘Aisa Des Hai Mera’.
Members of Bollywood fraternity came out to pay respects to Lekh Tandon on Twitter. Ashutosh Gowariker, who directed him in Swades, shared a wonderful on the sets still featuring Tandon. Rishi Kapoor reminded everyone that he had worked on his father Raj Kapoor’s films. Lata Mangeshkar wrote a wonderful message. Shekhar Kapur and Shabana Azmi also tweeted about the demise of Lekh Tandon.
Lekh Tandon’s funeral will be held in Powai in the afternoon today.
— Ashutosh Gowariker (@AshGowariker) October 15, 2017
RIP Lekh Tandon ji, Directed “Prince”, “Dulhan Wohi Jo Piya Man Bahaye” etc.... was my fathers assistant.
— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) October 15, 2017
Abhineta aur film nirdeshak Lekh Tandon ji ka aaj swargwas hua.Ye sunke mujhe bahut dukh hua.Meri unko vinamra shraddhanjali.
— Lata Mangeshkar (@mangeshkarlata) October 15, 2017
goodbye #LekhTandon Extraordinary film maker/story teller of his times. Never ever refused an actor at his doorstep some warmth advice n tea
— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) October 15, 2017
I was lucky to do 2 beautiful films with #Lekh Tandon - Ek Baar Kaho and Doosri Dulhan a filmabout surrogacy way ahead of its time. Respect????
— Azmi Shabana (@AzmiShabana) October 15, 2017
Hema Malini turns 69 today and this birthday is going to be a special and memorable for her. After all, her much-awaited autobiography ‘Beyond The Dream Girl’ written by Ram Kamal Mukherjee is all set to be unveiled today in a grand event.
But what would make the video extra special is that 50 noted celebrities from Indian film and music industry will be coming together to wish Hema Malini a happy birthday and share their thoughts about her. The book will be launched by Deepika Padukone.
In the video, Amitabh Bachchan, who has been her co-star in several films since the 70s will share his experiences from their younger days. Veteran actor Vyjayanthimala will explain why she loves Hema Malini's dancing skills. Lata Mangeshkar will be revealing how her ‘younger sister’ surprised her with her exceptional singing talent when Hema gifted her recently-released music album. Vidya Balan would state that Hema Malini has set a high benchmark for actors like her. Arjun Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, Neeta Lulla and others will also feature in the video, which reportedly is an hour-long one.
Besides movies, Hema Malini is also active in politics. She is currently a BJP MP from Mathura. She is an expert dancer and recently, she recently released her eight-track devotional album called ‘Gopala Ko Samarpan’.
Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao’s intimate Diwali celebrations have just got bigger! This year is even more special for the couple and a double dhamaka for them, as, apart from his Diwali party (October 18), his film, Secret Superstar is releasing during the festival. But interestingly the party won’t be held at his Bandra apartment on Carter road this year but his nephew Imran Khan’s spacious bungalow on Pali Hill in Bandra as the Diwali party has just become too big!
Says a source, “Aamir and Kiran’s Diwali parties are known to be one of the best in B-town as the food (including delicious home-cooked kebabs), conversation and bonhomie just keep flowing till the wee hours of the night. They are known to be great hosts too. Last year so many B-Town celebs and stars attended their party including Shah Rukh Khan, Farhan Akhtar, Sonakshi Sinha, Tiger Shroff, Shraddha Kapoor, Sunny Leone and Daniel Weber, the Dangal girls, Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sheikh, Vidya Balan and her husband Sidharth Roy Kapur, Kabir Khan with wife Mini Mathur and Sanjay Dutt and his wife Manyata.”
The source adds, “Last year Aamir and Kiran had taken their residential apartment and their office space in Bandra for their Diwali party but this year that may fall short as their guest list is huge. As the list of guests has grown as compared to last year, the actor has shifted the party to Imran's suburban Bandra bungalow. The young actor is away on a holiday with his family so Aamir will have as much space as he wants to himself.”
The party list this time will also include the Bachchans (Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya), Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Raj Kumar Hirani, Vidhoo Vinod Chopra, Nitesh Tiwari, Secret Superstar director Advait Chandan, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Rani Mukerji and Aditya Chopra and others. The source says, “Naturally, as the release date collides with the most loved festival and therefore it also becomes a quasi-party for the entire film team. As Imran is out of town, Aamir has taken over the venue and also has started decorating the place - despite the fact that he has been caught up in a promotional spree for Secret Superstar. From the menu to the lights to diyas to the traditional Diwali party decor everything is in place. The guest list includes the who's who from the fraternity. The traditional card party is also on the schedule and the party is expected to go on until late evening. The actor is geared up for his Diwali extravaganza and Secret Superstar which releases on October 20.”
Akshay Kumar recently returned to the small screen with the reality show The Great Indian Laughter Challenge where he essays the role of super judge. While on a hunt to find the best comedians of the country, the show also has three mentors in the form of Mallika Dua, Zakir Khan and Hussain Dalal but now these popular stand-up comedians will be replaced by Sajid Khan and Hussain Dalal.
Filmmaker Sajid Khan and actor-director Shreyas Talpade will now join Akshay Kumar as the mentor-judges of the show. Mallika, Zakir and Hussain will remain judges until the 12 finalists are selected after which the Bollywood personas will take over their role. Interestingly, the trio, namely Akshay Kumar, Sajid Khan and Shreyas Talpade have collaborated for one of the most popular comic capers, Housefull 2.
From what we hear, the reason behind the sudden change in the judges was the lukewarm the show received. Apparently the makers believed that they needed to bring about the changes in the mentors and hence the decision of roping in Sajid Khan and Shreyas Talpade. While Sajid is well versed in the field of comedy, being a former comedian himself as well as directing movies like Heyy Baby, Shreyas recently turned focus into filmmaking with comedy films like Poster Boyz and he is also popular for his comic roles in films like the Golmaal franchise.
In fact, excited about the show, Sajid Khan revealed about how he is looking forward for the show. He also spoke about Akshay Kumar and Shreyas’ bond which he described as ‘brothers’ and how their bond would be quite evident on the show.
The Great Indian Laughter Challenge is currently being aired on Star Plus during the weekends at the prime slot of 8 pm.
Post the controversy with Hrithik Roshan, Kangana Ranaut is today in the news for wrong reasons but here is some good news for the actress to cheer for. After her historical film, Manikarnika - The Queen Of Jhansi, gets complete in January 2018, her next film will roll next year. But it is not her directorial debut, Teju but a thriller and speculation is that the film might be produced by Prerna Arora and Arjun N Kapoor of KriArj Entertainment.
Says a trade source, “Kangana is very excited about her next project after Manikarnika. Interestingly, it's not a woman-centric film which Kangana is known to do but a whodunit mystery thriller which will be helmed by a newbie director. The as-yet-untitled movie will also have a mainstream top hero opposite her. The script has been finalized and the casting for the film has already begun. While Teju was to be next after Manikarnika, right now this will be her next. Post Manikarnika, the actress will start prepping for this film as Teju has been postponed to mid-2018. Teju, revolving around the life of an 80-year-old-woman, is an expensive and challenging film full of VFX and will take some time to roll hence the actress decided to go ahead with the thriller first.”
Manikarnika - The Queen of Jhansi has already completed two schedules and will begin a third one from next month. It is a biographical film about the life of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi which is being directed by Krish and produced by Zee Studios in association with Kamal Jain and co-produced by Nishant Pitti. Kangana Ranaut plays the title role of Rani Laxmibai. The shooting will get over by January next year and the film is scheduled to release on April 2018.
Kangana Ranaut, on October 2, had announced that she’s brought a bungalow, measuring 3,075 sq feet, at Bandra’s upmarket Pali Hill locality. The spokesperson of the actress had confirmed that the actress, reportedly worth Rs. 20.7 crore, will be used as office space for Kangana’s production house called Manikarnika Films.
However, looks like Kangana Ranaut’s plans have hit a roadblock. The residents of the Pali Hill have objected to the commercial activity that will take place in this bungalow. Dr Amitav Shukla, chairman of the Pali Hill Residents' Association, said that for the last 25 years, they haven’t allowed any new commercial activity in the Pali Hill area and that rules won’t change for Kangana. They have told Chetak society, under which the bungalow is a part of, not to give their premises for commercial use.
After these objections, Kangana Ranaut sent a letter in which she contradicted her earlier claim that she’s opening a production house in the bungalow. Kangana wrote that the said property would be used as her ‘second home’ and that she would engage herself in script, reading, script finalizing, calling filmmakers and such other work. At the same time, her staff would be there in the bungalow, apart from her family, who would take care of her schedule, work commitments etc. from this property.
Pali Hill Residents' Association however were not pleased with this letter. They saw the contents of the letter as proof that she will be using this property for commercial commitments. They made it clear that they won’t allow it to happen.
Kangana Ranaut’s lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee however said that he was quite surprised with the adverse reaction to the actresses’ letter which was circulated for approval only after discussions with the management. He added that they would be following the laws at every stage and exercise their legal rights without creating any nuisance to others. He signed off by saying that he spoken to the secretary of Pali Hill Residents' Association and that everything seems to be absolutely positive.
On the film front, Kangana Ranaut was recently seen in Simran. Her next film is Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi that releases in April 2018.
There is a rather cruel joke that Kapil Sharma told me about his new film Firangi: “Everyone promoted their films on my show. But now where will I go?” Kapil who is back from rehabilitation and now in the pink of health was drawing attention to the fact that his super-popular show where stars made a beeline to promote their films has been temporarily closed down, thereby leaving no space for his own film’s promotion, at least none that Kapil would like to use.
One learns that Kapil’s new film Firangi won’t be promoted on the usual channels and shows. Apparently Kapil will do very selected publicity for Firangi. Rajiev Dhingra who directs Firangi and who is also Kapil’s best friend explains, “There is no need for Kapil to go from show to show. He is a household name on television. Firangi is not a comedy like his first feature film Kiss Kiss Ko Pyar Karoon was. It’s a light-hearted look at the pre-Freedom era, but not a comedy. We are opening on 24 November after the big Diwali releases have settled down.”
The focus of interest in Aamir Khan's new film Secret Superstar is not Aamir Khan. It is Zaira Wasim. Aamir enters the film halfway through the plot, just as he did in Taare Zameen Par, but according to preview audiences he has barely half an hour playing-time
A major film personality who saw the film at a special preview says Secret Superstar as another Taare ZameenPar. “Again Aamir plays a mentor guide and pupil. Last time he played saviour to a dyslexic boy. This time he’s saviour to an oppressed girl. Darsheel Safary wanted to be a painter. This girl wants to be a singer. In both Taare Zameen Par and Secret Superstar Aamir’s character is there to mentor the young protagonist.”
Earlier this year we heard about several films that Abhishek Bachchan had been roped in for. One amongst them was Priyadarshan's Bachchan Singh.
Now reports have confirmed that Abhishek Bachchan is indeed playing the lead in Bachchan Singh. The actor was last in news for quitting JP Dutta's Paltan, a multi-starrer war drama. The details of the forthcoming Priyadarshan directorial is yet to be revealed.
On the other hand, reportedly Abhishek Bachchan is also a part of few other projects which includes Prabhu Deva's film Lefty as well as Ronnie Screwvala's upcoming film. Besides these, Abhishek has always been active on the sports circuit where he will be a part of football matches as well as continue to encourage sports like kabaddi in the country.
A couple of weeks back, we had reported that Salman Khan was all set on launching his brother-in-law and sister Arpita Khan Sharma’s husband Aayush Sharma in a film that would be produced under the banner of Salman Khan Films. Well, now we hear that Cine 1 Studios and Ashwini Varde Productions will also be joining SKF in producing the film.
If that wasn’t all, we also hear that the said film will be a remake of the popular Punjabi film Jatt & Juliet that released back in 2012 that featured Diljit Dosanjh in the lead. Though the project is yet untitled, the Hindi version we hear will be directed by debutant Abhiraj Minawala, who had earlier assisted Ali Abbas Zafar.
While the industry has been busy congratulating Aayush on being cast in the film, it is learnt that the makers are currently on the lookout for the film’s leading lady which will in all likelihood be a new face being introduced. Slated to go on floors by February 2018, the film is being readied to hit screens later in 2018.
Jacqueline Fernandez is high on the success of the recent blockbuster Judwaa 2. Not only has the film managed to impress the audience with its potboiler content but it has also managed to break the dry spell of low earning films at the box office. Now, she is gearing up for her future ventures and yet another project has been added to the list of her forthcoming films. The actress will apparently star in the remake of The Girl On the Train.
Although there aren’t many details on the same, we hear that director Ribhu Dasgupta who last directed the Amitabh Bachchan, VidyaBalan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer TE3N, will be directing this thriller too. Based on the novel by the same name, The Girl On The Train revolves around the life of the divorced, alcoholic Rachel Watson who gets embroiled in a missing person’s case that later leads to an homicide. Her aimless trips to her former husband’s residence and his neighbourhood helps her create her own idea of a perfect marriage which eventually breaks when she discovers hidden secrets, conspiracies of the two couples who look happily married.
While Jacqueline Fernandez is apparently playing the role essayed by Emily Blunt in the Hollywood adaptation, it is yet to be seen who will play the other prominent characters in this psychological thriller.
Aamir Khan’s films are known for their unconventional nature and it is not surprising to see that Secret Superstar is no different. The story that traces the dream of a teenage girl who aspires to fly high as a singer, is already grabbing attention for its heart-warming nature. The film that is expected to release next week on the occasion of Diwali, will have a special screening planned by Aamir Khan for his family and friends.
However, Aamir Khan has special plans for the said screening. The actor has apparently asked his celebrity friends to bring their mother for the event. Talking about it, the director and former manager of Aamir Khan, Advait Chandan stated that since the film traces the beautiful bond between a mother and a daughter, he decided to invite the guests along with their mothers. Furthermore, he also asserted that not just him but even Aamir Khan will be watching the film with his own mother.
Also, voicing out similar thoughts was Aamir Khan. The superstar expressed his desire urging everyone to watch the film with their mothers because of its special story.
Secret Superstar marks the directorial debut of Advait Chandan and is produced by Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao. However, Aamir Khan is also playing a special role in the film, that of musician Shakti Kumar. While Dangal girl Zaira Wasim essays the role of the protagonist, the film also stars Meher Vij, Raj Arjun, Kabir Sheikh among others in prominent roles. It is slated to release on October 19.
Aditi Rao Hydari who was last seen in the powerful role of a rape survivor in Bhoomi, is gearing up for the grand Sanjay Leela Bhansali release Padmavati which features her in special appearance. The film has her in the role of Ranveer Singh’s wife in the film and now we hear that she has been roped in for another guest appearance in a John Abraham film.
John Abraham’s ambitious film Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran is all set to be in its completion stage. The makers were on a lookout for an actress who will be doing a special number for the film. While several reports claimed that Sunny Leone was in the lead for the dance number, we now hear that Aditi Rao Hydari has been finalized for the same. It is reportedly being said that the film will not have any raunchy style item numbers but will focus on classical numbers.
Readers may be aware that Parmanu is a serious drama that is based on India’s nuclear tests and hence the makers weren’t keen on adding any tracks that will disrupt the theme in any way. Hence they decided to add an Indian classical folk number which is also patriotic in nature and goes with the sensitive plot of the film. The makers were on a hunt for someone who has these skills and considering that Aditi is an exceptional dancer they decided to rope her in for the same.
It is being said that Aditi Rao Hydari will be shooting for the song next month in Rajasthan where Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran has extensively been shot.
Earlier last month, we had reported that Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor will be coming together for the first time in a Vidhu Vinod Chopra production. To be directed by Shelly Chopra, the film’s title has been locked and it is said to be Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga.
It is obvious that the title will make you nostalgic, as it takes you back to the song created by RD Burman for the film 1942: A Love Story . Interestingly, the said number was picturized on Anil Kapoor and was produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. As mentioned before, Shelly Chopra was supposed to make a film titled Marco Bau which revolved around a father-daughter relationship. This had further given rise to speculations that Shelly’s next would probably be similar when she announced about roping in Anil and Sonam for the film.
However the recently released title suggests that the film might probably be a love story. When questioned Anil Kapoor about it, he reportedly refused to divulge any details on his forthcoming film including if he plays Sonam Kapoor’s father.
On the other hand, he reminisced about how the title of the film, rather, the song ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ had convinced him to do the film 1942: A Love Story, two decades ago. Apparently, when Chopra had offered Anil Kapoor the film, the actor thought that he was too old to do a love story and wasn’t keen on it. To convince him, Chopra made him hear the songs created by the iconic RD Burman for the films, which were ‘Kuch Na Kaho’ and ‘Ek Ladki’. Impressed by Burman’s work, Anil immediately decided to go ahead with the film. It featured him opposite Manisha Koirala, along with Jackie Shroff, Anupam Kher playing prominent roles in this patriotic romantic drama.
Also expressing pride over Sonam Kapoor being a part of the film, Anil stated that she was approached by Vidhu Vinod Chopra without any recommendation. Apparently the producer, who worked with Sonam for the Sanjay Dutt biopic, asked her for the film when they were shooting for the same.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is expected to roll early next year. While Sonam Kapoor is currently busy with Veere Di Wedding, Anil Kapoor is gearing up for Fanney Khan along with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Rajkummar Rao.
The very accomplished Marathi filmmaker Nagraj Manjule has just made his full-fledged acting debut in the Marathi film The Silence. Shockingly enough, Nagraj plays a child rapist and a wife beater. He is not only shown brutally raping and beating his wife (played by the very accomplished Anjali Patil) his character also violates a little girl who happens to be his niece.
Now Nagraj is flooded with hate calls from all across Maharashtra. Says the shy reticent media-wary director, “Did I expect this kind of a backlash? I wouldn’t say I am surprised. Because ours is a predominantly emotional audience and it reacts not to the performance but to the character played by the actor.”
While accepting this heinous role Nagraj was aware he would be judged harshly. Actors like Farhan Akhtar have gone on record to say they would be loath to play rapists and serial killers, given the rise in crimes against children and women.
Argues Nagaraj, “That perception of keeping away from morally reprehensible characters is not to be judged by me. Actors who say they will stay away from negative characters are right in their own way, as they are seen as role models. Me? I have a different take on the issue of actors pre-judging their characters’ morality. Someone has to do the dirty job in order to bring out the morally correct viewpoint in a film. If I hadn’t played the evil sexually discrepant Maama (uncle) in The Silence the film’s strong statement on protecting our children and women from violence would have been diluted.”
About being seen as a villain by the audience Nagraj shrugs, “Isn’t that a compliment to my skills as an actor? The very distinguished Marathi actor Nilu Phule who was a fine human being in real life, spent most of his career playing evil characters, so much so that he was perceived as an undesirable human being. And he was proud of that.”
Nagaraj sees the sexual predator in The Silence as no ordinary villain. “He is that evil force within us lurking in so many middleclass homes. So often we hear of children being violated by trusted relatives. We all have evil and positivity within us. Which of the two sides in our personality is given predominance is determined by our own moral values. The uncle who rapes the little girl in The Silence could be anyone anywhere in any home. We need to be conscious of his presence. One way of doing so is by putting him on screen for all to see.”
Nagaraj sees a lot of reformist cinema such as The Silence and Nagaraj’s own historic Sairat happening in Marathi. “I suppose historically, West Bengal and Maharashtra were at the forefront of the reformist movement. Samaaj sudhar is an organic part of Marathi society and cinema. We need to make many more films on issues such as sexual violence and paedophilia.”
So is this the beginning of a parallel career for the National award winning filmmaker? “Not really. If you remember I’ve done bit parts and cameos earlier. I had one in my own film Fandry. But The Silence is my first full-length role. I’d love to explore more acting possibilities.”
In November Manjule Nagaraj begins shooting for his first Hindi film starring Amitabh Bachchan.
So would he have a role in that? “I will see if there is a chota-mota role for me .Who wouldn’t like to share screen space with Bachchan Saab? But when I am directing I’d rather not do a major role myself. I am not so skilled as to balance out two roles as a director and an actor in the same film. But when I am directed by someone else I’d like to be seen in bigger roles. The Marathi stalwart Dada Kondke could act and direct himself in film after film. I don’t have a multi-tasking skill.”