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Sanju presents media as the villain in Sanjay Dutt’s life. The film tries to clear Sanjay Dutt of many charges he has faced in his life.

Sanju, a biopic on controversial star Sanjay Dutt, suffers from a skewed viewpoint.

The film begins by comparing Dutt with Mahatama Gandhi and ends with the actor doing ‘gandhigiri’ inside Yerawada jail. In between, the so-called biopic blames everybody but the actor himself for all the wrongs that have happened in his life.

There are spoilers ahead, so proceed at your own will.

Some of claims made in the film are hilarious. For example, he is forced into drugs by a man called Zubin Mistry, played by Jim Sarbh. At one point, the film says that Mistry himself used glucose powder while giving hardcore drugs to Dutt.

In the same way, the actor boasts displays his womanising skills by sleeping with his best friend’s girlfriend. The reason he gives is outrageous: It was all to check the woman’s loyalty to his friend.

Then comes the AK56 chapter, which is not probed well in the film. Surprisingly, the film tries to portray this whole episode as an innocent bid by Dutt to save his family. Just remember – we are talking about banned and highly sophisticated weapons here. Getting them was never easy.

Hirani reveals his actual plan much later in the film. He portrays the “sensationalist media” as the real culprit for whatever happened to Dutt, as if it was the media and not our wayward hero who made the mistakes.

In today’s scenario, blaming the media is just convenient.

The media may be sensationalist, sure, but it cannot be held responsible for your misdeeds. Mistakes you made may be covered, but it also gives you the opportunity to be heard. It works both ways.

But this tactic doesn’t work because Hirani’s selective filmmaking and rage is really easy to call out. He has structured the film in such a way that the only option left for the audience is to cheer for the protagonist. Even the smallest attempt to cast Sanju under an objective light is absent.

Interestingly, there are no accounts from his daughter and previous wives – who were the ones who actually saw Dutt weather these turbulent times. The controversial audio tapes of 2000 are not touched upon either. In a 161-minute film that dedicates its entire first half to his struggle with drugs, it wouldn’t have been that difficult to incorporate one more sub-plot.

In the garb of a feel-good film about a controversial actor, Hirani has tried to whitewash Dutt’s image. And it’s not just in the context of his association with the underworld; most of his filmography is also absent from Sanju.

There is Rocky, and then there is Munnabhai, as if no other film mattered in his life. Not even Vaastav! Is it because the movie could have brought the focus back to his underworld connections?

Sanju’s sympathetic tone is easily understandable, and this prompts the audience to look at other aspects of the film. Once they notice the director’s cautious take on Dutt’s life, they stop seeing it as an honest biopic. And a fictional, carefully constructed story cannot do much to clean anybody’s image. Source : ht




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An ad film of a different kind

Written by Tuesday, 19 September 2017 09:55

A scenic rural location is chosen. A film team comes in from the city with their equipment. They shoot an ad film. They pack up. They go back to the city. But this is not all that happened.

With the majestic Narmada flowing on one side, Ramkula is an idyllic village near Barwah in Khargone district, Madhya Pradesh, very similar to lakhs of villages in India’s heartland. Ramkula would be the dream of any ad-film director who wants to capture rural India in all its glory: the scenery is picturesque and the typical slow village life of heartland India can be found in all the activities that the villagers undertake.

However, the tranquil scenery is not the only feature that Ramkula shares with other villages in India’s heartland. Ramkula exhibits symptoms of an issue that is typical of most parts in rural India – the lack of hygiene and sanitation. Many steps have been taken at Ramkula towards improving the infrastructure for sanitation thanks to the launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Toilets have been built in houses and facilities like hand wash stations and separate toilets for boys and girls in schools are now present in Ramkula and nearby villages. But the infrastructure alone has not resulted in marked improvements pertaining to hygiene and sanitation conditions.

At Ramkula, like the rest of the country, the attempt at creating a sanitation revolution had one missing element—behavioural change. Ramkula’s children still sometimes defecated in the open and didn’t understand the need to wash hands before eating. Their mothers, who believed that water from the local source was potable, chose not to boil or filter it before letting the children drink it. This was the situation when Ramkula was chosen to be the location of Hindustan Unilever’s Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat campaign film.

The Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat team got into action as soon as the film crew arrived at Ramkula. The team visited the four primary schools at Ramkula and the nearby villages of Lakhanpura and Barwaha, and more than 600 children were taught the meaning of ‘Haath, Munh, Bum’—the three hygiene habits of washing hands with soap at five critical occasions, drinking water from a water filter or after boiling, and using a toilet and keeping it clean. Along with the children, their parents were educated about the need to follow these habits. The children as well as the adults have pledged to stick to these practices in their daily lives.

It doesn’t end with the social transformation in hygiene and sanitation habits alone. The film crew came in to Ramkula only with their equipment and crew members but no actors. The kids who are members of Ramkula 11, Lalli’s cricket team featured in Hindustan Unilever’s Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat ad film, are from Ramkula itself! Yes, that’s right—the perfect show they put up completely belies the fact that they are not professional actors. Source : ht




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Amitabh Bachchan made his acting debut in 1969 with KA Abbas’ Saat Hindustani.

Amitabh Bachchan has never been one of the best looking actors in Bollywood. Much worse, around the time he first appeared in the world of movies (1968-1969), the tag - tall, dark and handsome - was unknown, ruled as all were by serial good lookers -- Shashi Kapoor, Dharmendra and the likes. Small wonder, Amitabh feels the way he does.

Sharing a picture of himself from his early days in Mumbai, the super star wrote on Instagram: “My application picture for a job in movies .. 1968.. no wonder I was rejected !!”

True, in the said picture Amitabh doesn’t exactly resembling Adonis, but he isn’t looking bad either. Amitabh, who has been active in Bollywood for nearly 50 years now, is a fine example of how to re-invent oneself to stay relevant in changing times.

Despite being in his mid seventies, he has several projects in his kitty and is always keen on more work. The actor often jokes about himself and is always asking for work. Funnily, he blended the two recently when he reacted to a news story about the dearth of tall actors for female stars such as Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif.

He tweeted: “T 2617 - Job Application : Name : Amitabh Bachchan DOB : 11.10.1942, Allahabad Age : 76 yrs Credentials : worked in films for 49 years , IN APPROX 200 FILMS Speaks ; Hindi, English, Punjabi, Bengali HEIGHT : 6’2’’ .. Available .. YOU SHALL NEVER HAVE HEIGHT PROBLEM !!!”

Earlier in March, Amitabh reportedly took ill while shooting for Thugs of Hindostan in Rajasthan. A team of doctors from Mumbai paid him a visit on the sets. As speculations flew, the actor and his wife, Jaya, clarified that he had back and shoulder pain.

As is his way, he had earlier written that doctors were “fiddling around with his body” to “set me up again”.

Currently Amitabh is also busy with another project -- 102 Not Out -- which also stars Rishi Kapoor. Source : ht

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Rajinikanth to leave to Himalayas on Saturday confirmed his publicist, Riaz Ahmed on Twitter.

Superstar Rajinikanth is set to leave to Himalayas on Saturday, his publicist confirmed via a tweet on Friday. For over a decade now, the 67-year-old star has been visiting the Dunagiri area near the Himalayas to meditate in the caves where Mahavatar Babaji, an ancient yogi who was believed to have an eternal body lived. Is this yet another spiritual trip for the Kaala actor or is he going to shoot his next project?

“Thalaivar is going to Himalayas. The news is confirmed,” Riaz Ahmed, Rajinikanth’s publicist tweeted on Friday. Last year, Rajinikanth along with his friends built a meditation house on the foothills of the Himalayas to celebrate the 100 years of the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS), founded by Paramahamsa Yogananda. On the career front, Rajinikanth currently awaits the release of Kaala. The film also stars Nana Patekar, Pankaj Tripathi, Anjali Patil, Huma Qureshi and Samuthirakani in pivotal roles.

According to director Ranjith, Kaala is about the diverse families that live in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum, which is filled with people from different culture and language. In a recent interview, Ranjith mentioned that the titular character in the film, played by Rajinikanth, is inspired from his grandfather. Rajinikanth plays a character called Karikaalan, and people call him Kaala.

Kaala, which translates to black in Hindi, is the colour of the working class people. Kaala is also a popular deity in Tirunelveli, said Ranjith, adding that the story focuses on many families that shifted from Tirunelveli and settled in Mumbai many years ago. The film will be about Rajinikanth, his family, four sons, grandchildren and his friends. Source : ht




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Abhishek Bachchan To Appear On KBC For Noble Cause

Written by Friday, 15 September 2017 06:00

Mumbai: Actor Abhishek Bachchan will be seen as a special guest on his father and megastar Amitabh Bachchan's show Kaun Banega Crorepati 9 to promote the social work done by Goonj Foundation.

Abhishek, along with founder of Goonj Foundation Anshu Gupta, will be seen on the Friday Special episode "Nai Chah Nai Rah".

"I'm a great admirer of the work done by Mr Anshu and his team towards the development of the villages across the nation. After listening to his story of dedication on 'KBC', many will be inspired and should come forward to support the cause. It was a pleasure to share the stage of KBC with him and help him in his endeavour," Abhishek said in a statement.

Kaun Banega Crorepati 9 is aired on Sony Entertainment Television.




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I do some films for bill, some for dil: Adil Hussain

Written by Thursday, 14 September 2017 06:14

Adil Hussain’s next stage project will be a one-man act narrating the gist of the Bhagavad Gita. He will play both Krishna and Arjuna in it.

This year Adil Hussain was seen playing a frustrated, overworked son to a father who is desperately seeking salvation in critically-acclaimed Mukti Bhawan.

Next he will be seen in a bunch of smaller roles in Rajinikanth’s much awaited 2.0 and Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaari and the 54-year-old actor says like any other artiste, he takes up some projects to pay his bills and some to satisfy his inner voice.

Hussain says, “Aiyaari and 2.0 are those small, tiny roles that I’m doing to pay my bills. Films like Mukti Bhawan don’t pay me. So I have to sort of balance it - some for bill, some for dil (heart).”

The actor, who won the National Award (Special Jury Mention) this year for the Shubhashish Bhutiani- directed movie, says after constantly working in films for over eight years, he is in a good headspace right now, ready to devote some time to his first passion -- theatre.

Hussain’s next stage project will be a one-man act narrating the gist of the Bhagavad Gita. He will play both Krishna and Arjuna with casting director Dilip Shankar, with whom the actor has earlier worked in films such as The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Life of Pi. The actor says, “I’m ready to take the plunge. But, hands down, it will be a big shift from being a lazy film actor on the sets to theatre. I’ll have to retrain myself to go back to the medium. But somehow I have managed to make myself comfortable with it. It’s my training that helps me switch on and switch off.”

He has been a sought-after name language films such as Assamese, Bengali, Tamil, Marathi and Malayalam. But it was only in 2012 when he shot for the Bengali film Sunrise that Hussain stopped worrying about being a good actor. “With each role I used to be really stressed till 2012.I felt I had to do good. So my teacher in Puducherry said, ‘I know you’re good but that’s not enough, is it?’ I answered in affirmative and asked him how to go beyond that.”

The actor said being true to the craft rather than being good at it helped him overcome his fear. “Why didn’t I attempt it before? It’s like you’re jumping from the cliff and there are just two possibilities - you die or you fly. So that has been happening since I did a play and the film ‘Sunrise’ - I had no idea. The burden of being good has left my shoulders only recently.”

Hussain will be seen in an intense film, Love, Soniya, which stars Lion child star Sunny Pawar and Freida Pinto. The actor also has Deb Medhekar’s directorial debut Bioscopewala, which is a modern adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Kabuliwala with veteran actor Danny Denzongpa in the title role. “I play Mini’s father in the film. It’s a character inspired by photographer Prabuddha Dasgupta,” he says. Source : HT




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Priyanka Chopra on Tuesday shared a video of a young Syrian refugee who despite living in a Jordanian camp for other displaced families like hers, remains a huge fan of Bollywood films, especially those starring Katrina Kaif.

Priyanka translated the girl’s message, and added, “This is a special shout out to one of India’s biggest movie stars. @katrinakaif this video is just for you, all the way from Za’atari Refugee camp in Jordan.”

“This is Wafaa, one of your biggest fans and her message roughly translated is ‘I love Katrina Kaif a lot and I am one of her fans. I have watched all her movies and never missed one, even if a movie is played more than once I watch it. I love you Katrina and love your beauty,’” she wrote.

Priyanka also said that she’d been told to convey messages of love “to these Massive Indian film superstars, who are favourites at Za’atari... SHAHRUKH KHAN, SALMAN KHAN, AKSHAY KUMAR, KAREENA KAPOOR and ANUSHKA SHARMA.”

Priyanka admitted that listening to what Wafaa had to say “was something I honestly did not expect...but it made my day.”

It left Priyanka with a sense of pride for her job. “Who would think that what we do as entertainers would give people a sense of hope, relief and escape in such dire circumstances,” she wrote.”This post is for all my colleagues in the Entertainment Business around the world... know what we do sometimes has such an (sic) deep impact on people’s lives and goes beyond just the mere entertainment people look at us for.”

Priyanka was visiting Jordan as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. “I think the world needs to understand that this is not just a Syrian refugee crisis, it’s a humanitarian crisis,” she told AP.




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After months of speculation whether Padmavati will release in 2017, it is now confirmed that Sanjay Leela Bhansali has decided to change the release date of his film starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor.

Waiting it out

The shooting of the film was delayed due to protests in Rajasthan, which is why the film is not ready. Even though they have finished shooting a major chunk, there is always a chance that some patchwork is needed. Plus, the post-production will take time, so SLB has decided to not rush it and come on a different date to allow better execution of the film.

Vacation time

Says a source, “SLB had an October 20 deadline, which is impossible to meet now. The workers’ strike took away a few important days. Meanwhile, two of the principal actors — Deepika and Shahid — also had free dates, so they took off on vacations. A lot of the shoot is still left. The major chunk may have been shot, but some big action sequences are still left. Ranveer’s portions as the young Alauddin Khilji, too, remain to be shot.”

An empty slot

Padmavati has now vacated the November 17 release date slot. Says a source, “The makers are planning to release it in February 2018. Apart from Anushka Sharma’s Pari (February 9, 2018), no other big film is slotted for February.”




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Here's how Akshay Kumar is marking his 'Gold'en jubilee

Written by Saturday, 09 September 2017 07:52


Akshay Kumar is ringing in his 50th birthday today and to mark his golden jubilee, he treated his fans to a new poster of his upcoming Bollywood movie 'Gold.'

The excited birthday boy took to his Twitter handle and shared the official poster of the film, captioning it as, "Every cloud has a silver lining bt with ur love my clouds got a lining of Gold!As my age #TurnsGold,here's the poster of a film close to my?"

The poster, which depicts an Olympic gold medal with a picture of the 'Rustom' actor on it, has a tagline that reads, "The dream that united a nation."

Mouni Roy, who is also a part of this film, took to her Instagram and also shared this new poster with a caption, "Here's presenting the first poster of Gold. So very Happy to be a part of this dreamteam & here's wishing Akshay Sir the happiest most prosperous journey ahead. Love & regards??#AkshayTurnsGold @akshaykumar"

The biopic, which is based on the life of hockey player Balbir Singh, who was on the team that won the first Olympic medal for India as a free nation in 1948, is all set to hit the theatres on August 15, 2018.




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Ask any actor of some worth. It is not easy to play a known living character. Audiences and the character that you are playing, plus their close associates, judge the performance with scrutinized harshness and normally find it wanting. Not this time. Not Arun Gawli. Not Arjun Rampal, who has shaped into one of Hindi cinema's most dependable actors who does his roles with such smooth efficiency and such noiseless excellence that we are liable to miss the point.

Don't make the mistake of confusing Arjun's laidback wisdom in portraying the gangster-philanthropist-parliamentarian-convict Arun Gawli as a Devgn-esque laziness. This is a power-packed implosive performance. Rampal plays Gawli as a time bomb waiting to explode. There are no extra toppings, fringe benefits, perks or bonuses to this performance.

Rampal plays it straight. Director Ashim Ahluwalia gives the actor no room to stretch out his character's inner world. Fleeting looks and fugitive gestures add up to making Rampal's Gawli one of the most comprehensive projections of guilty gangsterism in recent times.

Comparisons are not called-for. But I can't help compare Rampal's Gawli with Shah Rukh Khan's Raees. The two sagas of Robin Hoods with furious FIRs on their wanted heads, bear many similarities. Except that Shah Ruh could never enter his gangster character's world.

Arjun goes right in. He is the only recognizable face (provided his physical and emotional transformation leaves any room for recognition) in the vast cast of what I suspect to be several real-life anti-socials. Cannily, the director builds the quirks around killings and feuds of criminal clans through actors who surrender to their characters with a brutal velocity.

Watch out for Rajesh Shringapure as Gawli's accomplice Rama and Farhan Akhtar playing Dawood as so cool, you may confuse the jungle for the greenery. There is a brilliant conniving female character Rani (played with smouldering slyness by Shruti Bapna) who uses sex as an ATM machine. Rani tells part of Gawli's stories. Other people associated with his life tell the rest.

The editors piece together the saga with layered urgency. This is not an easy story to tell or for us to comprehend. There is no room here for any actor, least of all Rampal, to strut with guns and appear even remotely macho. If you are looking for a stylish take on gangsterism, look elsewhere.

Besides its technical excellence, the biggest achievement of Daddy is its portrayal of violence as swift, repugnant and utterly ugly. The shootouts and here I would like to commend action director Shyam Kaushal, are brutal, terse and to the point. The killers do their business with swift professionalism leaving no room for self-congratulatory paeans to violence that Tarantino, Coppola and nearer home, Mukul Anand and Mani Ratnam have specialized in.

In one notably savage attack, a petty gangster infiltrates a jail cell and pounds an inmate to a pulp after shooting him. What we see is the gut-churning fury of violence in all the graphic sequences of gangrenous gang wars where we hear every bone crunch with the wince-inducing impact of a blow delivered in our popcorn-munching faces.

For me, the real hero of Daddy, besides Rampal (and some, not all, of his co-actors) is the sound editor Sangik Basu followed by the cinematographer Jessica Lee Agne aided by Pankaj Kumar who bring to the frames a sinking feeling of an unwashed blood-soaked doom.




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