Feb 11

Aishwarya Rai reaches Punjab for ‘Sarabjit’ shooting

Chandigarh: Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who stars in “Sarbjit”, a biopic on Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh,  arrived in Punjab today (February 10) for the shooting of the film.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with Aaradhya Bachchan. PTI

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with Aaradhya Bachchan. PTI

In the Omung Kumar-directed “Sarbjit”, the 42-year-old actress plays the role of Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur, while actor Randeep Hooda will be seen in the titular role.

“Aishwarya Rai was accompanied by her mother-in-law Jaya Bachchan, film’s director and producer Sandeep Singh,” Dalbir told PTI over phone today.

The film is slated to release on May 20. It will also be shot in various cities of Punjab including Amritsar, Malerkotla and Patiala.

Dalbir said that she hopes the film captures the plight of prisoners lodged in various jails across the border.

“I hope the biopic will highlight the plight of Indian prisoners lodged in various jails in Pakistan,” said Dalbir Kaur, who struggled for years to get her brother out of the Pakistani prison.

Sarabjit died after a brutal attack by jail inmates in a Pakistani jail in 2013.

He was convicted of terrorism and spying by a Pakistani court and sentenced to death in 1991 but the government had stayed his execution for an indefinite
period in 2008.

His sister and family started a campaign for his release saying he was the victim of mistaken identity and had inadvertently strayed across the border in an inebriated state.

“When I was fighting to secure Sarabjit’s release, I wanted that a film should be made on him so that the issue gets the world’s attention and people and the government across the border also understands the facts as they stand,” she said.

About Aishwarya playing the role, Dalbir said, “She is the right choice. I came to know that while shooting a scene for the film earlier, she turned emotional.
“My only concern is that reality should be portrayed in the film, which I have been assured of. People should know about the issue and this film will show the kind of person Sarabjit was and what happened to him.”

Feb 11

Sonam Kapoor starrer ‘Neerja’ banned in Pakistan

Sonam Kapoor-starrer Neerja based on real incidents during the hijacking of the Pan Am Flight 73 at the Karachi airport in 1986, has been banned in Pakistan allegedly for showing the country in a poor light.

Sonam Kapoor. PTI

Sonam Kapoor. PTI

The film has been banned here without even being submitted to the censor boards.

The Ram Madhvani-directed movie revolves around Neerja Bhanot, a flight attendant on board a Pan Am Mumbai-New York flight shot dead by terrorists during the hijacking while trying to save the lives of passengers.

Advertisements of the movie in some newspapers had shown its release across Pakistan on February 19 but it has emerged that the Ministry of Commerce had initially authorised the import of the film but later changed its decision.

A Commerce Ministry official said that due to the objectionable nature of the content which portrayed Pakistan in poor light the certificate to import the film was revoked.

IMGC Executive Director Abid Rasheed admitted that there were certain anti-Pakistan elements in Neerja and it showed Muslims in a negative light.

Feb 11

Shah Rukh, Aamir should focus on their films, not tolerance levels

Aamir and Shah Rukh Khan may not be the best of friends in real life. But they keep running into each other in unexpected places.

Like Bhuj. Does Aamir remember the troubles he went through during the making of Lagaan? Now problems draped in saffron colours visited Shah Rukh when he reached Bhuj to shoot for Raees. Luckily the situation was brought under control. But the trouble was only to be expected. Shah Rukh’s comments on IT (InTolerance) continue to haunt him long after he blew out the last candle on his birthday cake on November 2.

Trade experts in the film industry say the box-office collections of his last release Dilwale definitely took a beating because of the backlash.

I say, rubbish. Dilwale collections suffered because it was a lousy film. It deserved the fate that it suffered. But it was still better than SRK’s previous release Happy New Year. And that strangely did very well at the box-office.

So here’s what’s changed since Happy New Year. The audiences’ level of tolerance. Nothing politically correct about that. A year or two years back they were willing to accept any old recycled –rehashed junk with the Khan superstars in the lead. The rules have changed. The audiences won’t tolerate intolerable films any more.

SRK_AK_AFP_380

Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan. AFP Image.

All three Khans have pulled up their socks in 2016. Shah Rukh plays a completely out of image character in Maneesh Sharma’s Fan and Rahul Dholakia’s Raees. Ditto Salman in Sultan and Aamir in Dangal.

But Aamir Khan is definitely feeling the heat. He is even willing to hug Sunny Leone to let the world know how liberal he is. Given the volatility of the situation Aamir Khan’s camp is biting their nails wondering if the ‘Boycott Dangal’ would be a movement that would gather momentum or lose steam by the time the film releases in December.

Well, they can relax. Exhale, Aamir. If Dangal is going to be the kind of premium product that you are known for in the last ten years (before that you did monster pieces like Love Love Love, Tum Mere Ho,Awwal Number, Toilet, sorry, Daulat Ki Jung) then nothing can stop it from being a blockbuster.

The audience tolerated the ouch-inducing religious swipes in PK, didn’t they?

If you still have doubts then there is always the next Makar Sankrati. Go, fly a kite in Gujarat. That’s the best thing Salman Khan did to himself.

Feb 10

Govinda apologises for slapping a fan seven years ago after SC advice

Mumbai: Bollywood star Govinda on Tuesday apologised for slapping a fan seven years ago, hours after the Supreme Court reminded him about its advice in the case where the judges had watched the video clip of the incident on a mobile phone.

Govinda. IBNLive

Govinda. IBNLive

Govinda’s lawyer earlier in the day informed the Supreme Court that the actor was ready to offer an unconditional apology and pay a compensation of Rs five lakh to the fan.

“I am sorry…I have been asked to say sorry and I am saying it. I have done everything what I have been asked by the judiciary to do,” Govinda said at a press conference in Mumbai.

“I hold no bitterness against the fan and had done everything to the satisfaction of the judiciary and the fan.”

Govinda said he has met the victim.

“He (the victim) wanted me to give him respect, an unconditional apology and compensation for all the monetary loss he has suffered all these years. I have done all this in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision. I have already met him and will meet him again,” the actor said.

The submission by Govinda’s lawyer on unconditional apology and compensation amount was made in the apex court before a bench of Justices V Gopala Gowda and Uday Umesh Lalit after the counsel appearing for the alleged victim said that his client was not approached by the actor directly.

Advocate Jatin Zaveri appearing for complainant Santosh Bateshwar Ray, alleged that Govinda did not apologise personally and tried to mediate through his lawyer.

When the bench sought Govinda’s response on this, his lawyer asked the court to grant two weeks time to which it agreed.

“What did we tell you on the last hearing. We had asked you to meet him and sort it out. Whatever you want to offer, tell him personally and don’t give it to us,” the bench said.

The apex court had in November last year advised the actor to apologise to the complainant.

Feb 10

‘This needs to stop’: Preity Zinta rubbishes rumours about her marriage

Mumbai: Preity Zinta is miffed with all the rumours surrounding her impending marriage plans. The actress says she is fed up of “manufactured news”, adding that there is no need for any speculation as she will make an announcement when she has to.

Preity Zinta. AFP

Preity Zinta. AFP

It seems the marriage gossip is not leaving Preity’s side. Last year, there were reports that the Soldier actress will be tying the knot with her rumoured American beau Gene Goodenough in January, and now there are rumours suggesting that the actress will be getting hitched on Valentine’s Day, which falls on February 14.

Feb 10

Bhuj ado about nothing: Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan should focus on their films, not tolerance levels

Aamir and Shah Rukh Khan may not be the best of friends in real life. But they keep running into each other in unexpected places.

Like Bhuj. Does Aamir remember the troubles he went through during the making of Lagaan? Now problems draped in saffron colours visited Shah Rukh when he reached Bhuj to shoot for Raees. Luckily the situation was brought under control. But the trouble was only to be expected. Shah Rukh’s comments on IT (InTolerance) continue to haunt him long after he blew out the last candle on his birthday cake on November 2.

Trade experts in the film industry say the box-office collections of his last release Dilwale definitely took a beating because of the backlash.

I say, rubbish. Dilwale collections suffered because it was a lousy film. It deserved the fate that it suffered. But it was still better than SRK’s previous release Happy New Year. And that strangely did very well at the box-office.

So here’s what’s changed since Happy New Year. The audiences’ level of tolerance. Nothing politically correct about that. A year or two years back they were willing to accept any old recycled –rehashed junk with the Khan superstars in the lead. The rules have changed. The audiences won’t tolerate intolerable films any more.

SRK_AK_AFP_380

Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan. AFP Image.

All three Khans have pulled up their socks in 2016. Shah Rukh plays a completely out of image character in Maneesh Sharma’s Fan and Rahul Dholakia’s Raees. Ditto Salman in Sultan and Aamir in Dangal.

But Aamir Khan is definitely feeling the heat. He is even willing to hug Sunny Leone to let the world know how liberal he is. Given the volatility of the situation Aamir Khan’s camp is biting their nails wondering if the ‘Boycott Dangal’ would be a movement that would gather momentum or lose steam by the time the film releases in December.

Well, they can relax. Exhale, Aamir. If Dangal is going to be the kind of premium product that you are known for in the last ten years (before that you did monster pieces like Love Love Love, Tum Mere Ho,Awwal Number, Toilet, sorry, Daulat Ki Jung) then nothing can stop it from being a blockbuster.

The audience tolerated the ouch-inducing religious swipes in PK, didn’t they?

If you still have doubts then there is always the next Makar Sankrati. Go, fly a kite in Gujarat. That’s the best thing Salman Khan did to himself.

Feb 10

Watch: Manoj Bajpayee in the short film ‘Taandav’ will make you smile

As I watched through the first few minutes of the short Taandav, starring Manoj Bajpai, I wondered what the makers thought, when they named a film that stars a constable. And then, it made sense; almost bringing a tiny little smile on my face. Yes, that’s the magic of the subtlety offered in this 11 minutes long short film.

Taandav_380 (1)

Manoj Bajpayee in Taandav. Image from Youtube.

Taandav has crossed over 100 thousand views on Youtube and continues to bring smiles on peoples faces. One of the reasons for this is that it has the most common problems a police constable would face, in the most usual setting of the world that we live in. It is this simplicity that adds to its slice of life like tone.

A track rehashed by Nucleya features in the movie and it’s quite aptly chosen, although the thrill caused in between the movie had me wondering if going to that edge to portray a character’s dilemma, was actually needed?

Nonetheless, I’m going to go back and replay the movie, to smile through its beautiful and simple screenplay and admire the brilliance that is called Manoj Bajpayee.

Taandav begins with montages of people dancing to Visarjan tracks, to what seems like a Ganpati Visarjan procession, while a constable looks on. The films then moves towards the constable, impeccably played by Manoj Bajpai, at a school, trying to assimilate the fact that he will have to pay a donation to get his daughter admitted. This is intercut with a Police’s find from a loot.

Now, the beauty of Taandav lies in its treatment and direction more than anything. Devashish Makhija is a gem, and his earlier short films like El’aychi and Agli bar are equally inspiring. Taandav, though, is Manoj Bajpayee’s win.

Feb 10

I don’t regret doing AIB roast, our intentions were good: Ranveer Singh

New Delhi: He courted trouble post his stint in AIB Roast last year, but Bollywood star Ranveer Singh, known for his brazen outspokenness, doesn’t repent being a part of the controversial show. He says “some people didn’t like it and it’s okay”.

Asked if he regrets being a part of the infamous show, Ranveer said, “No. Our intentions were good. We did that for charity. We introduced a new form of comedy in the ambit of entertainment and some people didn’t like it. So, it’s alright.”

The actor delved upon last year’s controversial episode at NDTV Indian Of The Year 2015 award ceremony here on Tuesday.

Ranveer Singh. AFP

Ranveer Singh. AFP

The Gunday star was announced as the Entertainer of the Year, and when he was asked about the AIB incident, he quipped that he will maintain a safe distance form ‘roasts’.

“When you are so eager to entertain like I am, you get strange requests. So, I met a really wealthy man at a function recently. He said, ‘Beta, you are great. Next time in Dubai, you come to my house and I will call all my guests. I want you to do ‘roast’ over there.’ I said you give me as many crores as you want, but I will not repeat the mistake,” he said.

The All India Bakchod (AIB) Knockout, which saw Ranveer and Arjun Kapoor being ‘roasted’ by ‘roast-master’ Karan Johar, was tough to digest for a section of society with its abuses and vulgar gestures. The live ticketed show, which was also aired online, received brickbats and an FIR against 14 people, including the celebrity trio was also lodged.

On the film front, after hitting the jackpot with Bajirao Mastani, Ranveer is prepping up for his next Befikre, which marks Aditya Chopra’s comeback as a director. He stars in it opposite Vaani Kapoor.

Feb 10

I take my work seriously, not myself, says Ranveer Singh

New Delhi: Ranveer Singh, known for being a livewire, says he takes his work seriously, but not himself.

RanveerSingh-AFP

Ranveer Singh. AFP Image.

Ranveer made his Bollywood debut in 2010 with the film Band Baaja Baaraat in the role of a Delhi boy, and he says that making a place in showbiz was no easy task.

The actor, who has also spoken about facing the casting couch while entering the industry, opened up about his struggle at an event here. The actor was in the national capital to pick up the Entertainer of the Year trophy at the NDTV Indian Of The Year 2015 award ceremony on Tuesday.

When asked about his journey, he said: “The hustle was too long, too many bitter pills to swallow. You have to swallow your pride and have to grovel a bit. Times, however, are changing. Things are getting more streamlined, there is much more straightforward approach, things are cleaning up.

“It isn’t too far-fetched an idea that someone who doesn’t come with lineage or legacy can get a foothold in the industry.”

His mantra for success, he said, is: “I take my work seriously, not myself seriously.”

With movies like Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, Lootera, Gunday, Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela and Bajirao Mastani, the actor has won over the masses as well as garnered rave reviews.

Feb 10

I will go broke, but won’t produce an adult comedy, says John Abraham

Mumbai: Actor-producer John Abraham, who is known for producing content-driven films, says he would go broke but will not produce an adult comedy through his production house, John Abraham Entertainment.

Actor John Abraham attends a news conference before the world premiere of Bollywood movie "Housefull 2: The Dirty Dozen" at the Resort World Sentosa in Singapore April 3, 2012. REUTERS/Tim Chong (SINGAPORE - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT HEADSHOT)

Actor John Abraham. Reuters image.

“There is a market for adult films, as they have the potential to do well. But as an actor I would definitely not do it. Not because it’s wrong, but I, as a person, will not do it. I don’t stand in a position to pass judgment saying this is right or wrong, but I am a very clear person and I want to maintain that,” John told IANS.

“Would I do a ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’? Maybe, but would I do whatever is coming out? Hell no! I will go broke, but I will not produce an adult comedy,” the Force actor added.

The Welcome Back actor has produced films like Vicky Donor, Madras Cafe among others under his production banner.

John mentioned that as an actor, he enjoys the comedy genre the most.

“I concentrate on content as an actor and prouder. The genre I enjoy the most is comedy. I love comedy and I have got a grasp of comic timing now. I can handle comedy with ease,” he added.

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