Tony DSouza still doesnt know what hit him when he was whisked away earlier this week for hurting religious sentiments. After 48 hours in custody in Jalandhar, the producer and director of Blue Boss and Azhar returned to his wife and son in Mumbai. I still dont know what happened. I was suddenly taken away. It took me a while to understand why I was being arrested. I wasnt even aware of the objectionable scene. Right now I am just relieved to be home, said Tony. But his troubles are far from over. As he prepares to release the film Behen Hogi Teri that caused such religious outrage, he also gets ready for a long expensive legal battle to prove he is not guilty of hurting anyone but himself. At the moment I am out on bail. And the less I speak the better it is, said Tony with the wisdom that comes to the wounded. Now for the scene that caused so much trouble for Tony. It shows Rajkummar Rao dressed as Lord Shiva riding a two-wheeler. Apparently the Gods cannot be shown doing anything human. Says CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani , We found the scene showing Rajkummar Rao dressed as Lord Shiva riding a two-wheeler to be objectionable. We knew it would cause trouble. We removed it before granting the film a censor certification. But the promos carried the scene and the damage was done, But didnt Akshay Kumar as Lord Krishna in Umesh Shuklas Oh My God ride on a mobike? And didnt Raj Kumar Hiranis PK feature an actor made-up as Lord Shiva in a lengthy chase sequence? Over to Pahlaj Nihalani, the chairperson of the Censor Board. Both the films and scenes you mention were passed before my tenure as the CBFCs chairperson started. There were lots of corrupt practises in earlier tenures that I dont wish to discuss. But Id say this in defence of Akshay Kumars scene in Oh My God , he was never dressed like a God. He dressed and behaved like a normal person although he played God. While I try to process the mindboggling logic behind the defence offered by the CBFC chief (could it mean this: Akshay Kumar is a star, Rajkummar Rao is not?) the CBFC boss says, But Id have never passed the scene in PK.We got a lot of complaints from many parts of India for that. We are very careful about not hurting religious sentiments. I am proud to say there have been no protest morchas by religious organizations in front of the CBFC office in recent times. In fact another film Mohalla Assi directed by Chandraprakash Diwedi which has insulting remarks on Lord Shiva has been refused certification.
In what must rank as a first even by the Indian censor boards fussy standards Ruchi Narains Hanuman Da Damdaar a cheeky revisionist take on the legend of Hanuman, has been granted a UA certificate with several verbal cuts. There is no history in Indian cinema of any animation film or mythological drama being ordered cuts by the censor board. Narains Hanuman Da Damdaar which has Salman Khan giving voice to Hanuman, is caught in a peculiar situation. So what gives, Mr Pahlaj Nihalani ? Says the censor chief, Normally animation films and that too one about a mythological theme would be passed without a hitch. But this film has lots of dialogue featuring children which may offend religious sentiments. What the censor chief sees as offensive is nothing but an attempt to make the mythological figure of Hanuman accessible to younger audiences. Reasons Nihalani, That may be so. But the trendy language applied to religious mythological characters need not be taken in the right spirit by everyone. We have to be very careful about religious content in cinema. Yes, weve cut quite a few of the dialogues. But better safe than sorry. As for Hanuman Da Damdaar being the first Indian animation film to get a UA Nihalani reasons, Children can come and watch the film with their parents. Problem kya hai ?
It is Kangna Ranaut versus Devika Bhise in two rival films based on the wars and conflicts of the Jhansi Ki Rani. There is some disheartening news for Kangna Ranaut, the new Queen of Jhansi in town. Her attempts to play the ultimate Warrior Queen in a film to be directed by Telugu cinemas ace-director Krish has now been pre-empted by a US-based producer Swati Bhise. Choreographer, danseuse, and producer Swati Bhise who served as Executive Producer in 2015s highly acclaimed biopic The Man Who Knew Infinity on the life of mathematical genius Ramanujan, has been secretly planning her bi-lingual Hindi-English Rani Of Jhansi at a mind-boggling budget. The Swati Bhise produced bio-pic on Jhansi Ki Rani will star her daughter the talented Indo-AmericanDevika Bhise who played Ramanujans wife in The Man Who Knew infinity.Devika, it is learnt from sources close to the project, has been training in horse riding and sword fighting for the last one year. The film to be directed by Mahesh Manjrekar stars shooting in Jhansi in September, and will be ready well ahead of Kangnas version of the Rani Of Jhansi story entitled Manikarnika The Queen Of Jhansi. The Manjrekar-helmed bio-pic is expected to be complete by year-end and will release in summer 2017. Says a source close to the project, Producer Swati Bhise intends to give her bio-pic an extensive world-wide release. The Kangna bio-pic will undoubtedly lose its global gloss once the world sees the story in another film.
So far Farhan Akhtar has played the lead in all the three directorial ventures of his sister Zoya. And very frankly, I cant imagine not being in her film. And I am sure she feels the same way, Farhan had mentioned to me in an unguarded moment during our lunch together. And now it seems his words have proved prophetic. Just when there was news that Zoya was all set to direct a film with Ranveer Singh and not her brother Farhan, the news has been qualified by a heartening rider. Farhan too has a role in Zoyas new film Gully Boy , though its not the lead. Ranveer Singh who played the lead in Zoyas last film Dil Dhadakne Do has been cast as the lead in Gully Boy.If you remember Farhan had an extended guest appearance in Dil Dhadakne Do.He came into the film mid-way in a very important role. His presence in Gully boys would be somewhat similar. Off-centre, and yet vital, says a source close to the Akhtars. With Farhan Akhtar joining the Gully Boy cast, the film now has three star-musicians in the lead. All the three actors in the film Ranveer, Farhan and Alia Bhatt can rap and sing. For those who came in late, Gully Boy is the story of street rappers. Zoyas directorial debut Luck By Chance starred Farhan as a Bollywood struggler. Her post-debut film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaara featured Farhan with Hrithik Roshan and Abhay Deol as three buddies on a road trip.
The bummy-chummy camaraderie we saw between ShahRukhKhan and his superstar guest Brad Pitt in Mumbaithis week was no random celeb-bonding. It seems ShahRukhKhan and Brad Pitt are all set to take their discernible kinship to the next level. Yes, sources very close to the development confirm that Mr Khan and Mr Pitt are planning to come together for a film project. From what weve gathered so far, they are definitely looking at collaborating over a film. It would be a joint production of ShahRukh Khanand Brad Pitt. Both ShahRukhand Brad are keen to produce out-of-the-box films, not necessarily starring in it. And the film they will co-produce will definitely not be typicalBollywoodnor mainstream Hollywood, says the source. Apparently Brad who is not too familiar with Indian cinema is keen to access his intellect into the workings of mainstreamBollywood. Brad told ShahRukh hes specially taken up with the singing and dancing, because he can neither sing nor dance. ShahRukh, on the other hand, told Brad he finds song-and-dance routine to be quite a nuisance and a speed breakerin theBollywoodnarrative. The idea to collaborate over a film came from this opposition of ideology regarding cinematic entertainment, says the source. Incidentally eyebrows were raised over ShahRukhhosting Brad during his brief visit toMumbaito promote his new film. Why notAmitabhBachchan,AamirKhan or Salman Khan? Apparently Brad asked specially for ShahRukhKhan. Says the source, India/ Mumbaiwas not even on Brads promotional map for the promotion of his new film War Machine.He decided to come toMumbaiat the last minute and only on condition that ShahRukhKhan play the unofficial host. It is another matter that the two superstars hit it off from the word go. Apparently Brad loved meeting Shah Rukh s family. Shah Rukhs kids are big Brad fans. They got along like a house on fire, says the source.
It is a dream come true for fans as Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan will be starring together for the very first time in Yash Raj Films Thugs Of Hindostan.With the casting come to a close, the film is all set to go on floors. The first schedule of the film will begin next week on June 5 in Europe. They will be exploring an island called Malta in Europe. Writer-director Vijay Krishna Acharya revealed that the film is set in a high-security water zone with restricted access. Two massive ships have been specially constructed and docked at the Maltese seaside. The writer revealed that both the ships were built in the early 18th-century style, complete with cannons and other weapons. Vijay Krishna Acharya said that an international crew was roped in to work on the massive ships. They worked hard to make them as elaborate as possible. According to him, high-octane action sequences will be shot on the ships. Directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya, Thugs Of Hindostan also stars Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh and will have 2018 release.
It was five years ago when Arjun Kapoor made his big debut with Ishaqzaade which got him appreciation from both the critics and the audience. At the time, Parineeti Chopra was just a one movie old in the industry and this film was her big break as the lead actress. Parineeti Chopra had even won a special mention for her role in the film at the 60th National Film Awards. Now, it has been learned that the Ishaqzaade couple, who had won audiences hearts with fiery chemistry, will be reuniting after 5 years. Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor will be starring in Dibakar Banerjees next film that will be an action-romance. According to a source, the film was in pipeline for over six months. Arjun Kapoor and Dibakar had a meeting for the first narration in the month of November in 2016. The source revealed that Arjun loved the script and gave his nod to the project. But, he had not signed the project yet as Dibakar was still penning down the final draft and wanted Parineeti Chopra on board as the lead actress. By January, both the actors gave their nod to the film. Speaking about the character, Arjun Kapoor, reportedly, will be playing a role of a Haryanvi police inspector in the film. Parineetis character has been kept under wraps. But, it has been learned that she wont have a girl next door image. She will begin prep for her character in the month of June. The film will have a dark and gritty plot set in North India. As Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor are buddies in real life too, it will be good see to them onscreen after a long time. The film is expected to roll out later this year.
Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar starrer Hindi Medium has received abundance of positive response from the audience. After being declared tax-free in the states of Gujarat and then Maharashtra, the movie has now become tax free in Madhya Pradesh. I am overwhelmed that the government of Madhya Pradesh and the Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan has helped us make the movie tax free in Madhya Pradesh. Hindi Medium has an important message and now it will be watched by more people as it has become tax free in Madhya Pradesh as well, says Producer Bhushan Kumar. When asked about his reaction, Producer Dinesh Vijan said, This is great news and I would like to thank the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan for making it tax free. The more people watch it the more the importance of speaking our national language, Hindi gets highlighted and comes into realisation. As for the film, Hindi Medium that released on May 19 has been enjoying a successful run at the box office with collections currently being pegged at Rs. 37.35 cr.
One can simply say that Akshay Kumar is on the roll. The actor has worked back to back in projects based on real life incidents. Last year, two of his films were inspired by real life incidents including Airlift and Rustom.This year, Akshay is working on another real-life story called Padman , has signed Gold based Indias first Olympic gold medal win since Independence and Mogul which a biopic on Gulshan Kumar. It seems like Akshay Kumar has been enjoying doing the kind of films based on real life events or characters. While Airlift and Rustom did well at the box office, his upcoming real life inspired films are most awaited ones. Now, we have learned that he has got rights for another such project. Akshay Kumar has acquired the rights to the story of the Raniganj Coalfield rescue mission (1989). For those who are unaware of the story, 65 miners were trapped below the ground. The hero of the rescue operation was Jaswant Singh Gill, Additional Chief Mining Engineer, who had risked his own life to save lives. He had gone down the borehole in the capsule and organized the orderly evacuation of the trapped miners. It had taken about 6 hours to bring up the 65 miners one-by-one. He was honoured with Indias highest civilian gallantry award Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak (SJRP) for saving the lives of 65 miners, by President of India. While it is unclear when Akshay Kumar plans to start this project, it will be very interesting how the story will unfold on big screen.