Salman Khan takes time out from hectic schedule to give the clap for Marathi film, Bonus

The superstar is known to have a great fascination for Marathi cinema, apart from  his long-standing friendship with director Mahesh Manjrekar

He has been busy with the shooting of his upcoming film, Race 3 but #SalmanKhan recently took time out of his hectic schedule to give the mahurat clap for a Marathi film, Bonus.  It is a known fact that Salman has a great fascination for Marathi cinema, apart from the fact that he shares a close association with his filmmaker friend, Mahesh Manjrekar. Salman had last rendered a song for Manjrekar’s FU-Friendship Unlimited and had also launched the music of Manjrekar’s film Rubik’s Cube, which starred Gashmeer Mahajani in the lead role.

Sources point out that Salman’s decision to give the clap for Bonus is an extension of the association he shared with Manjrekar and his team during the making of Rubik’s Cube. Gashmeer Mahajani who is the son of well-known Marathi actor, Ravindra Mahajani, is also a theatre actor and choreographer. Produced by Govind Ubhe, Rabish Patil, Sandesh Patil and M. Nitin, and written and directed by Saurabh Bhave, Bonus stars Gashmeer Mahajani and Pooja Sawant in the lead roles.  The film will be released in mid-2018.


Farah Khan choreographs Hindi version of Zingaat for Jhanvi-Ishaan starrer Dhadak

Remember the energetic number Zingaat in the Marathi blockbuster Sairat, which saw audiences swinging to the beats of the number in theatres?  The number had become such a rage after the release of the film that exhibitors screening Sairat faced a big challenge controlling young boys and girls who would gyrate to the beats of the number in front of the screen. Now producer Karan Johar and director Shashank Khaitan are said to have recreated the same number composed by Ajay-Atul for Dhadak-the much-talked about remake of Sairat.  Reportedly while the lyrics and the name of the song have been changed, the original score is very much the same. More interestingly the makers have roped in ace choreographer Farah Khan to take the song to another level. Farah is said to have finished picturising the song recently and sources reveal that it would be one of the big highlights of Dhadak.

It may be recalled that the remake of Sairat has been making headlines ever since its launch. The film has also been in the news for the sizzling chemistry between debutante star-kids Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khattar, who seem perfect for the intense romance. Dhadak is being lined for a 20th July 2018 release.


#AamirKhan was hooked on to the script of #RangDeBasanti the moment he read it, recalls writer Kamlesh Pandey

On the eve of 11 years of Rang De Basanti, famed writer Kamlesh Pandey reveals how the revolutionary film about modern-day patriotism had no takers, until #AamirKhan stepped on board 

By Manishaa R

The 2006 national-award winning film, Rang De Basanti, which redefined patriotism and inspired a whole generation towards a movement, would never have been made on the same scale had it not been for Aamir Khan. According to noted writer, Kamlesh Pandey, who conceptualized and wrote the story and screenplay, the subject initially had few takers with financiers and investors refusing to invest in the film, “Those were the days of candy floss romances like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. Moreover most of the producers we approached concluded that it was another story on Bhagat Singh though it was essentially a story on young India in the year 2000.  Prior to that six Bhagat Singh films had flopped miserably and they did not want to take risks,” Pandey recalled.

A few makers pointed out that the story did not have any commercial ingredients, “The script did not boast of big fat Punjabi weddings, great costumes and production values. There were apprehensions about whether anyone would be willing to see a bunch of patriots, who were inspired by their role models,” Pandey revealed.

“The script did not boast of big fat Punjabi weddings, great costumes and production values. There were apprehensions about whether anyone would be willing to see a bunch of patriots” 

Realising that the road ahead was tough, he and director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra decided to make the film on a small scale with the talented Manoj Bajpai playing the protagonist, “Manoj was a ghar ka actor and he was very gracious. We also managed to get some sponsorship from an independent UK based producer but he had issues because he wanted certain actors to play roles, which was inappropriate.”

It was a chance meeting with Aamir Khan that changed the entire graph of the film, when he mentioned the one line idea of ‘what if Bhagat Singh were alive today’, “He was curious to know more. He got hooked to the script the moment he read it. The next moment he gave his nod for the film, though Manoj Bajpai was very gracious to step down,” Pandey recalls.

Aamir then got celebrated music composer, Rahman on board for the film and suddenly the film was being sought after by makers, “After Lagaan, Rahman and Aamir were considered a devastating combination and their teaming up was considered a great bet. UTV which had rejected the film three times sent across a message expressing a desire to come on board,” Pandey recalled.

Pandey also revealed how Aamir had no problems about the fact that he was part of an ensemble cast, despite being a superstar in his own right, “He was well aware of the fact that it had an ensemble cast and was not a hero-centric film. He understood his role so well that he never tried to impose himself or make it appear as if he was the hero. On the contrary, he enacted his role so remarkably well that he calibrated his own performance to the level of the other boys, which made it look like he was part of the team and not the hero of the team. I would say that his was one of the most sensitized performances at that time,” he said.

Aamir Khan calibrated his own performance to the level of the other boys, which made it look like he was part of the team and not the hero of the team.

According to the legendary ad maker turned script writer who has also penned the scripts of successful films like Saudagar and Tezaab, Aamir is among the few actors in the industry who has got a deep understanding of stories and scripts, “That’s because he had assisted his uncle, Nasir Hussain for a long time, who was basically a writer. He had been assisting a writer for a very long time, so he understood writing very much.  The writers who have scripted his films know well how he understands and interprets them,” he said.

RDB eventually broke all records at the box-office with young audiences hailing the film and its very inspiring message. Pandey vividly recalls the little joke that Rakeysh Mehra and his wife Bharati would often share with him, “We used to define Rang DE Basanti as a Yash Chopra film gone wrong. When the film became a huge hit, Bharati called me and said, I think we must have done something right. We never anticipated that kind of success but somewhere within I had this feeling that the disillusionment I felt with the system would resonate among young Indians. He was also overwhelmed when Aamir officially signed a thanks on his copy of the Rang De Basanti script when it was released in a book format.

However Pandey’s biggest feeling of satisfaction came when he was invited to address a gathering of media students in a suburban college about building up awareness to social challenges, “There was a boy who escorted me to the hall and said thank you for giving me Rang De Basanti. I was happy and I felt job was done but soon after that the 200 odd boys and girls also shouted and thanked me for the film. They literally mobbed me. After that it became a routine at every place, young people would come to me and thank me for giving Rang De Basanti. That was more than anything I could ask for,” he smiled.





#UrvashiRautela spent a bomb for the black Belluccio gown she sported at the Filmfare awards night

The actress also boarded a specially chartered flight from Surat to Mumbai to make it in the nick of time for the awards ceremony

The bold and black Belluccio gown that Urvashi Rautela wore at the recent Filmfare awards night, which made her the cynosure of all eyes, is said to have cost her a steep $25,000. The glamorous event witnessed celebrities at their fashionable best but it was Urvashi who seemed to make a statement with the way she carried herself in the outfit. More interestingly, the Hate Story 4 actress kept her commitment for the awards night by boarding a chartered plane from Surat where she was present for a prestigious launch. Apparently the actress, who was recently roped in as the celebrity brand ambassador of the Grandeza club, was in a dilemma since both the events were scheduled on the same day. According to a source from Urvashi’s team, the actress wanted to make sure that she did not do injustice to either of the two events, “Urvashi is the second celebrity after Hrithik Roshan to be roped by Grandeza and her fans in Surat had assembled in full strength to watch her at the event. She did not want to disappoint them by leaving midway and held on till the event was wrapped up. On the other hand, she was well aware about her commitment for the Filmfare awards night knowing her long-term association with the Times group as part of Miss Universe India pageant. That’s when she took a chartered flight to Mumbai,” the source revealed.

Earlier in May 2017, Urvashi was heavily trolled on the social media for squandering money and booking a VVIP table worth Rs 5 lakhs for being part of a privileged audience at the Justin Bieber concert held in Mumbai. However the actress had strongly defended her decision, “A number of people condemned me for spending that kind of money for the Justin Bieber concert. They felt it would have been a better idea to donate it to the needy but I am surprised why the two things are being mixed up. Going to a concert of a celebrated performer, whom you adore and whose work inspires you and donating to the needy, are two entirely different things. I valued that concert beyond anything else and it was important for me. As for working for the needy, I also have a foundation where I do my bit for charity. That is something which I do without telling people,” she had said.


China distributor E Stars lines up massive release for #SalmanKhan starrer, Bajrangi Bhaijaan

We anticipate tremendous potential in this beautiful drama, says E Sstars CEO, Allen Liu of Bajrangi Bhaijaan which will be released in over 8000 screens in China in keeping with its huge anticipation

By Manishaa R

Will Salman Khan’s 2015 box-office hit, Bajrangi Bhaijaan make him the new Indian sensation at the China box-office? Going by the massive release plans for the film in China on March 2 in 8000 screens which is bigger than Aamir Khan’s Dangal (7000 screens) and his just released Secret Superstar (in 5000 screens), it appears that Chinese distributor E Stars, are leaving no stone unturned to make the Salman Khan starrer a grand success.

According to a report in quoting E Stars CEO, Allen Liu, there is tremendous anticipation surrounding the China release of Bajrangi Bhaijaan, which rides on emotions of courage and hope. “There is high expectation and curiosity for the film post the success of recent Indian releases in China and the positive word of mouth Bajrangi Bhaijaan enjoys.  We anticipate tremendous potential in this beautiful drama starring one of the most popular actors in Indian cinema in a film that speaks the language of emotions like courage and hope, which are universal,” Liu was quoted saying. It may be recalled that E Stars is one of the pioneering China distributors of Indian films, which also released the first installment of Baahubali.

“We anticipate tremendous potential in this beautiful drama starring one of the most popular actors in Indian cinema” – Allen Liu, CEO, E Stars, China distributor of Bajrangi Bhaijaan

As of now it is Aamir Khan’s Secret Superstar that has got the Chinese audiences hooked with an incredible debut weekend at Rs 173 cr (27million).  China entertainment consultant and producer, Robert Cain who has been closely tracking the box-office business of Secret Superstar earlier endorsed Aamir’s superstar status in China in a Forbes report, “There is actually a movie-going country that showers more love on Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan than does even his home country of India, where he has been making movies for 45 years,” he wrote, predicting the total business of Secret Superstar at a possible Rs 635 crore (100 million).  On the other hand, China’s popular movie-ticketing site Maoyan had last projected lifetime revenue of $84 milion (Rs 540 crore) for the film.

Meanwhile Eros International, which had produced the film in association with Salman Khan, is counting on the film to create a storm at the box-office especially in view of the fact that there are no international releases around the same period. Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO, Eros International said, “We are delighted to partner with E Stars to showcase our film to China. Our Indo-China co-productions are still in the making, which we are extremely excited about. Meanwhile, what better film than Bajrangi Bhaijaan, starring one of India’s most loved superstars that weaves the universal story of cross-border friendship, to release in a growing market like China. There are no international films releasing during that period in China so we hope to have a fantastic run at the box office in the world’s biggest film market.”


#SushantSinghRajput is a born star, says Kedarnath producer Prernaa Arora with special birthday wishes to talented actor

The enterprising producer clarifies rumours about a rift between her and the actor and talks about his immense talent

By Manishaa R

Most people would like to believe that Sushant Singh Rajput is not on the best of terms with his Kedarnath producer, Prernaa Arora, after recent reports that the actor was at loggerheads with her and the Kedarnath director Abhishek Kapoor over date hassles. But Prernaa is all praise for Sushant Singh and his immense talent, “He is an incredibly talented actor with a tremendous acting potential. He is a born star. I guess his talent was obvious from his very first film, Kai Po Che. He has also proved that talent overrides everything else in this industry. I am proud to have him on board for Kedarnath and I wish him a great year ahead on the eve of his birthday,” Prernaa said.

The enterprising producer who has a slate of releases in the weeks ahead also clarified that she never had differences with Sushant Singh at any point of time, “Those were all rumours. There were date issues to be resolved but Sushant and I were on the same page and so was Gattu (Abhishek Kapoor).  Both I and Gattu have full faith in him. His role in Kedarnath would be one to watch out for,” she said.

“I guess his talent was obvious from his very first film, Kai Po Che. His role in Kedarnath would be one to watch out for”- Prerna Arora, Producer of Kedarnath

Sushant Singh’s last film Raabta had not worked at the box-office but the actor has a formidable line-up of films in the year ahead including a film each with Udta Punjab director Abhishek Chaubey, Dangal director, Nitesh Tiwari and casting director Mukesh Chhabra’s directorial debut. Right now the actor is all geared up for his next big release Karan Johar’s Drive being directed by Tarun Mansukhani. In an earlier interview Sushant Singh had revealed why he was so kicked up about his role in the action comedy, “It is a very stylish and sleek film but the very interesting part is that the drive is very engaging. You will be waiting with bated breath for what happens next,” he said. He had also spoken about how he had connected with the audiences with the role of MS Dhoni, The Untold Story which won him a lot of adulation, “The biggest satisfaction one gets is when the audience connects with you as an actor and that’s where MS Dhoni made a difference. I would like want each of my roles to resonate with the audiences and that’s where the box-office comes into play,” the actor said.



With #Padmaavat heading for a solo release, exhibitors screening film demand security cover for theatres

Exhibitors who had earlier opted to screen Padman over Padmaavat considering it a safe bet, are now looking at screening Padmaavat but under strict security cover

By Manishaa R

Did Sanjay Leela Bhansali make a smart move by requesting Akshay Kumar to defer the release of Padman? According to sections in the trade, Bhansali decided that only a solo release for Padmaavat would ensure that the magnum opus would get its due at the box-office, especially since a majority of exhibitors had decided to opt for Padman, due to the increasing threats by the Karni Sena.  While the Supreme Court judgment had come as a shot in the arm for the Padmaavat makers, the bigger roadblock was anxious exhibitors who were skeptical about screening the film in the wake of latest incidents of a ticket counter being burnt in Faridabad and a cinema hall being vandalized in Bihar, besides threats to burn down theatres in Chhattisgarh. According to veteran Delhi exhibitor, Joginder Kumar Mahajan who owns three single-screen theatres in Delhi, a majority of single screen owners in Delhi had made up their mind about allotting screens to Akshay Kumar’s Padman, since none of them wanted to risk the security of their theatres, “Which exhibitor would like to take the risk of theatres being attacked and broken down? All of us considered Padman as a safe and viable box-office bet. There were only a couple of single screens who had chosen to play Padmaavat but they were undecided too due to the deteriorating law and order,” Mahajan revealed, adding that exhibitors were now in a difficult predicament with the release of Padman being postponed.

“The authorities made it clear that the police would be busy with security arrangements for Republic Day and it would be impossible to arrange security in cinemas”- Joginder Mahajan, Delhi Exhibitor

According to him, with the release of Padman being deferred, Padmaavat would be the only other option and the onus would now be on exhibitors to look into security arrangements themselves. More so because the Delhi administration bluntly refused to provide security cover for theatres due to Republic Day celebrations, “The authorities made it clear that the police would be busy with security arrangements for Republic Day and it would be impossible to arrange security in cinemas.” According to him, the producers Viacom should have decided to release the film on a day other than Republic Day, “They are aware that there is a security threat to theatres in releasing the film and the administration cannot provide increased security on that day,” he said

Meanwhile the other exhibitors are firmly planning to ask the Government to provide security measures. Bihar exhibitor, Vishek Chauhan, who controls a chain of eight theatres single screen theatres, said that it was imperative for the administration to provide security to theatres for the release of the film, “I learnt about the incident of a theatre being vandalized in Muzaffarpur. I believe the theatre was exhibiting the old poster of Padmavati. I also noticed that there is a lot of skepticism among exhibitors in Bihar. Some cinema owners are being persuaded at a local level not to release the film and morally being blackmailed too. Also if miscreants start breaking glass panes and tearing down seats in any cinema hall, it would result a threat to the security of the patrons. We will have to talk to our respective Zilla Parishads and release the film subject to their providing security cover,” Chauhan said.

“All these protests will stop once the film releases and word of mouth spreads that it is the best tribute to Rani Padmavati” – Bihar exhibitor Vishek Chauhan

However he added that the threats and protests would die down once Padmaavat settled in the theatres, “All these protests will stop once the film releases and word of mouth spreads that it is the best tribute to Rani Padmavati,” he said adding that the protesters had no justification anymore to continue with their anti-Padmavati tirade, “I am a Rajput myself who believes in respecting culture and tradition but I fail to understand what the protests are all about. First they said that Bhansali was distorting history. Now Bhansali has claimed it is fiction and not history, stating that the film is based on Padmavat- the poem and not Padmavati. When the makers come out with a front page ad in national news clarifying that this is a work of fiction, based on imagination and clearly claim that the movie is not part of history, what are the protests about?” he asked.

Meanwhile the COEAI (Cinematograph Owners and Exhibitors Association of India) which has member exhibitors from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka, has decided to write to the Government asking for security measures at all theatres where Padmaavat will be screened, “We are planning to write to the Home Ministry, Central and State Governments, that we need protection for those cinemas which choose to screen the film. Also the big question is whether the Government or the producers will compensate if the cinemas are damaged. More than anything else, the exhibitors are always worried about the safety of their patrons,” Nitin Datar, ex-President of COEAI revealed.

“We are planning to write to the Home Ministry, Central and State Governments, that we need protection for those cinemas which choose to screen the film” – Nitin Datar, Ex-President COEAI

As of now the battle lines are clearly drawn for the January 25th release of Padmaavat, until the Karni Sena members catch the film and conclude that their protests were all futile and the film only glorifies the valour of the Rajputs.


#ArbaazKhan will be seen speaking chaste Marathi dialogues in Nirdosh

Actor Arbaaz Khan will be seen voicing a series of dialogues in impeccable Marathi in his forthcoming film, Nirdosh.  The actor will be seen playing the role of Inspector Lokhande, an honest and upright Maharastrian cop who follows the rule book in the crime thriller. According to directors, Pradeep Rangwani and Subroto Paul, it took them three weeks to finalise the actor’s look for the film. While he has played the role of a cop previously, Arbaaz was so kicked up about the role that he rehearsed for weeks together to work on his character traits and get his Marathi accent right for the role. Pradeep recently spoke about how Arbaaz had perfected his character with the right body language and mannerisms, despite his initial reservations.

The actor was so excited about the way the film had shaped up that he recently organized a special screening for his family. In a recent interview Arbaaz said that he was most passionate about acting despite the fact that he got into production and direction. Produced by UV Films, Nirdosh also stars Manjari Fadnis, Ashmit Patel and Mahek Chahal, and is scheduled for release on January 19.


#UrvashiRautela regales audiences with her scintillating dance moves at Umang 2018

Actress and supermodel Urvashi Rautela who brought the stage down with her recent live-wire performance on New Year’s Eve at Kolkata, set the stage on fire once again this time at Umang 2018-the annual event held in celebration of the Mumbai police yesterday. The actress enthralled the audiences with her magical dance moves as she performed to a medley of songs from the recent Tiger Zinda Hai number Swag Se Swagat to Crazy Kiya Re,  A.R. Rahman’s memorable composition Urvashi Urvashi and her own iconic Kaabil number, Saara Zaamaa, with which she got the world grooving not so long ago. The interesting addition to her performance however was Justin Bieber’s version of the internationally famous track, Despacito, which topped the global charts last year. Urvashi had earlier admitted to be an ardent fan of Justin Bieber and was among the privileged few to get a personal audience with him during his India concert.

According to sources, the actress who prepares for each of her performances, rehearsed day and night for her Umang performance. Among the other personalities who performed at the event were Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and others. Urvashi will be seen next in Hate Story 4, where she will be playing the main protagonist. The movie is scheduled to hit the screens on March 9, 2018.