Category Archives: BollyWood News

Thappad box office collection: Anubhav Sinha, Taapsee Pannu’s film makes Rs 3.07 cr on opening day

Anubhav Sinha’s social drama Thappad had a slow start at the box office on Friday but the business gained momentum in the latter part of the day. The film has raked in Rs 3.07 crore on its opening day.

According to trade analysts, the Taapsee Pannu-starrer witnessed a healthy footfall in the metros, especially in Delhi. The movie is expected to multiply its business at least two-fold during the opening weekend.

In an earlier interview with Firstpost, Taapsee Pannu had spoken about what it means for her to be a star:

“By definition, a ‘star’ means someone who can ensure a certain consistent opening at the box office. When I meet the media, they make me feel like a star. But it’s their job to observe cinema. My first day figures grounds me, and prove that in the mind of an audience member, I’m still not a star. These people have a lot of work to do. The day they take time out for my film, I think that is the day I’ll call myself a star. I’m waiting desperately for that day.”

Thappad seems to investigate the nitty-gritties of systemic oppression in even a “seemingly normal” marriage. Pannu essays the role of an educated, upper-middle-class woman who is forced to evaluate her relationship after being slapped by her husband, played by Pavail Gulati. Thappad chronicles her struggle as she files for a divorce petition, and ventures on in her pursuit of justice.

The film also stars Ratna Pathak Shah, Manav Kaul, Dia Mirza, Geetika Vidya Ohlyan, Kumud Mishra, Tanvi Azmi, and Ram Kapoor in pivotal roles.

 

 

Bhoot — Part One: The Haunted Ship’s box office collection stands at Rs 5.10 cr on opening day

Vicky Kaushal-starrer Bhoot — Part One: The Haunted Ship had a promising opening day at the box office. The film, which released alongside Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendra Kumar’s Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan on 21 February, raked in Rs 5.10 crore.

Trade analysts say Bhoot’s performance benefited from the Mahashivratri holiday. However, they add that the film needs to display an increase in earnings during its weekend run, to accumulate a healthy total.

Bhoot is Vicky Kaushal’s third-highest opening film (excluding Sanju, where he played a supporting part), after Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019) and Raazi (2018).

The film is directed by Bhanu Pratap Singh and also stars Bhumi Pednekar and Ashutosh Rana in key roles. It has received mixed reviews from critics.

Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship, is produced by Karan Johar, Hiroo Johar, Shashank Khaitan and Apoorva Mehta. Previously, Khaitan had said that their main intention with this film was to develop it into a series (which might also include horror comedies).

The production house also approached Ram Gopal Varma to buy the rights of the title ‘Bhoot'; he made the 2003 horror film of the same name starring Urmila Matondkar. Johar thanked Varma in a statement, mentioning that with Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship, the makers at Dharma would “aspire to make sure the title is in the right hands of horror.

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer crosses a new frontier by Bollywood

From the pre-2000 decades when LGBT+ persons were almost always (almost, but not always) written purely as objects of either derision or comedy by Bollywood scriptwriters, to this week’s Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (SMZS); from an earlier era when comparatively sensitive Hindi filmmakers packed their works with subliminal messaging about same-sex love, to the post-2000 era’s intermittent open declarations; from the days when the homosexual relationships in My Brother Nikhil (2005) and I Am (2011) were assumed to be of niche interest by producers, distributors and exhibitors, to the present day when glamorous mainstream stars have been cast as same-sex lovers in films bearing all the trappings of mainstream commercial Bollywood such as Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (2019) and SMZS, it has been a long long time coming.

Bollywood in 2020 is far from being a jannat, orthodox masses still seem to need comedy as a package for a sensitive reality, and at a couple of places, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (Be Extra Wary of Marriage) does make apologetic noises to traditionalists. Still, from a time when audiences were conditioned to assume that songs like ‘Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge’ (We will not break this friendship) were about platonic male buddies, to today when SMZS is questioning those assumptions, Bollywood has come a long way, baby.

Ayushmann Khurrana stars in writer-director Hitesh Kewalya’s Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan as Kartik, a young man living in Delhi and in a committed relationship with Aman (Jitendra Kumar, listed for some reason as Jeetu in the closing credits here). The two are not out to their families. When they travel to Aman’s hometown, Allahabad, for a wedding, relatives go berserk on accidentally discovering that they are a couple in love. SMZS is devoted to how Kartik and Aman come to terms with this rejection and how the family comes to terms with their truth.

Kewalya’s film is an intelligently handled affair. It is hilarious, but it never mocks the two gay men at the centre of the story. Its laughter is reserved entirely for the prejudice they encounter and the straitjacketed existence of those around them who are determined to preserve their notion of “normal”, even if that “normal” has sucked the joy out of their own lives. SMZS’s sense of humour does occasionally slip up for other reasons (example: that really flat joke about Neil Nitin Mukesh), but at no point does its comedy turn homophobic.

With a word here and a touch there, through long conversations and fleeting references, Kewalya invites us into his questioning mind and shows a deeper understanding of human relations, gender, Hindu mythology and popular culture than most mainstream Hindi filmmakers. In 2014, when I was working on a feature about the history of LGBT+ portrayals in Bollywood, Ruth Vanita, co-editor with Salim Kidwai of the book Same-Sex Love In India, had told me that when she showed Hindi films featuring the old-style intense yaari-dosti between male leads to her students at the University of Montana, “all of them commented on the fact that the men are singing romantic songs to each other like ‘Diye jalte hai’ (from Namak Haram) and the songs from Dosti. If you played those songs without knowing that a man is singing to a man, it sounds like a man is singing to a woman…” (For more on that, click here.)

Like Vanita, Kewalya repeatedly asks us to step outside ourselves and consider the possibility of messaging, including coded messaging, featured in art works and mythological motifs we have long loved but seen with different eyes in the past.

Aman’s relatives, played by the phenomenal Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao, Sunita Rajwar, Manu Rishi Chadha and Maanvi Gagroo, perfectly capture various shades of bias and acceptance to be found in families that are weighed down by social conditioning and ignorance, not hate.

In the midst of this carefully chosen cast, Bhumi Pednekar appears incongruous, not for any fault of hers but because of what her brief appearance in the narrative signifies. The lovely Ms Pednekar was the heroine of the 2017 Bollywood hit Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (with dialogues and screenplay by Kewalya) in which she had a solid role alongside Khurrana. Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan has no plot connection to the previous film, the title merely cashes in on that one’s recall value. It is telling then that the producers felt comfortable revisiting the name while dispensing with the leading lady, instead of establishing a new brand. As it happens, this is customary in the world of Bollywood franchises and sequels. Obviously Pednekar’s cameo here is a bow to the success of Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, but her role is written almost like a spare tyre lying unused, it is embarrassingly insignificant (a cameo need not be) and forgettable, and it is an unfortunate reminder of the continuing dispensability of women stars in this male-star-obsessed industry.

Repeat: Bollywood is far from being a jannat of progressiveness. It is up to viewers to decide whether to see the glass as half full or half empty. There is a third option: we could celebrate forward movement and yet draw attention to missteps and steps yet to be taken.

SMZS falters during a scene in which Aman’s mother laments her husband’s unwillingness to fight for her son, but simultaneously criticises her son for — so she says — expecting his family to evolve overnight. This monologue is designed as an expression of empathy, so it has to be placed on the record that marginalised social groups do not owe it to dominant groups to break them in gently. Individuals may CHOOSE to do so for strategic reasons or out of love and affection, but no one has a right to demand it.

Whether this scene is a mark of the writer’s own sub-conscious conservatism or a safety net spread out with commercial compulsions in mind is hard to tell. It is troubling though, as is the odd emphasis on how homosexual relations ought to be private during a TV news announcement about the Supreme Court’s ruling on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that earlier criminalised same-sex relations. This moment in the film would perhaps pacify conservatives who seem to have this bizarre expectation that anyone who is not heterosexual wants nothing more than to have sex in public. Perhaps that is why it is there.

Hopefully these aberrations will find mention among the many conversations SMZS will spark off. That it will spark off conversations is a given. This is, after all, no ordinary film raising ordinary questions, as is evident early on when two characters dwell on how a father’s sole contribution to creating a child is his sperm. One of them adds that a child spends an entire lifetime repaying the debt of that single sperm. So you see, SMZS’s courage lies not just in its condemnation of homophobia, but also in its questioning of the very foundation of the Indian patriarchal family structure which rests on the belief that children owe parents a debt of gratitude for having made them us.

Love Aaj Kal box office collection: Sara Ali Khan, Kartik Aaryan’s romantic drama makes Rs 20.41 cr in two days

Kartik Aaryan and Sara Ali Khan’s Love Aaj Kal has now made Rs 20.41 crore at the domestic box office. The romantic drama, a Valentine’s Day release, opened with a decent Rs 12.40 crore, but witnessed a fall on Day 2 (Rs 8.01 crore).

Trade analysts note that the drop was witnessed in multiplexes and metropolitans, which is the film’s target audience. Love Aaj Kal has also performed dismally in tier-2 cities and other regions.

Business Today writes that 2009’s Love Aaj Kal, which starred Khan’s father Saif in the lead alongside Deepika Padukone had opened to Rs 8.02 crore. The film went on to make a total of Rs 66.56 crore. The Imitiaz Ali directorial is currently competing with Aditya Roy Kapur-Disha Patani-starrer Malang.

Love Aaj Kal has also become Aaryan’s highest opener now, followed by the comedies from last year, Pati Patni Aur Woh (Rs 9.10 crore) and Luka Chuppi (Rs 8.01 crore).

Much like the 2009 movie of the same name, this film also follows two parallel narratives “separated by decades” but find their common ground in romance. The trailer follows Aaryan as a young school boy and his crush played by newcomer Arushi Sharma. The modern day love story focuses on Khan’s Zoe and Aaryan’s Veer, who have a tumultuous yet passionate relationship. The film also stars Imtiaz’s Highway actor Randeep Hooda.

Angrezi Medium: Irrfan Khan, Radika Madan’s drama to release on 13 March instead of Dharma’s Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl

The makers of Angrezi Medium and Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl announced a change in their projects’ release dates on 17 February (Monday). According to the announcement, Irrfan Khan and Radika Madan’s drama will now be out on 13 March instead of 20 March.

Karan Johar, the producer of Gunjan Saxena said the drama will hit cinemas on 24 April, a date which was originally reserved for the horror comedy, Roohi Afzana.

Angrezi Medium, a slice-of-life comedy features Khan as a doting father and owner of a sweet shop, who bends over backwards to get his young daughter a foreign education. The trailer, which was unveiled on 13 February, shows Khan in a hilarious exchange with Tillotama Shome’s admission officer, where he realises that the admission will cost upto a crore.

Besides Khan and Madan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Pankaj Tripathi, Deepak Dobriyal, Ranvir Shorey, and Kiku Sharda are also part of the cast. Angrezi Medium is directed by Homi Adajania, who has earlier helmed films like Being Cyrus, Cocktail, and Finding Fanny.

Meanwhile, Gunjan Saxena is based on the story of Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena. The film will be a tribute to one of the first women Indian Air Force pilots who went to war. Tripathi will portray Kapoor’s onscreen father and Neena Gupta will play her mother. Angad Bedi will take on the role of the protagonist’s brother. Rajat Barmecha, Vijay Varma, Manu Rishi, and Harsh Chhaya will portray pivotal characters as well.

Malang box office collection: Aditya Roy Kapur, Disha Patani’s thriller makes Rs 47.67 cr by second weekend

Mohit Suri’s suspense thriller Malang is slowly and steadily inching towards the Rs 50 crore milestone. Starring Aditya Roy Kapur, Disha Patani, Anil Kapoor and Kunal Kemmu in pivotal roles, the film has earned Rs 47.67 crore so far.

In its second week of theatrical release, trade analysts mention that Malang has made Rs 2.25 crore on Friday, Rs 2.52 crore on Saturday, with a added boast of Rs 3.25 crore on Sunday. Trade experts also claim that the film may cross Rs. 50 crore mark during the week and might slow down after the new releases of Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan and Bhoot: The Haunted Ship this Friday.

However, trade analysts also note that the underwhelming performance of Kartik Aaryan, Sara Ali Khan’s fresh release Love Aaj Kal have benefitted Malang’s box office run.

Patani in an interview to Firstpost opened up on her prep for the film and said, “Aditya (Roy Kapur, her co-star) and I shot underwater for 12 hours, from 6 pm to 6 am, in the pitch dark. We also had to hold our breath at times. Swimming in a long dress was difficult, all that looks good in shots. The activities were very different and challenging because we had to learn everything in just a day or two, whereas, normally people take years of experience to learn underwater sports. But overall it was a lot of fun for me performing all those stunts because I really like sports.”

Malang has become Kapur’s highest-grossing film that features the actor in a solo lead over the opening weekend while Aashiqui 2 comes a close second with a collection of Rs 20.50 crore.

Anil Kapoor and Kunal Kemmu talk about Malang, working with Mohit Suri and playing offbeat characters

Kapoor will be next seen playing the role of an ‘eccentric and an angry cop frustrated with the system’ in Mohit Suri’s directorial, Malang (releases on 7 February). This isn’t the first time he has played a cop on screen. Earlier, he wore the khaki uniform in films like Ram Lakhan and Race. “I was worried how will I do it. I have played similar characters in my past films but not so dark that people hate you. My character has a lot of angst and violence inside him. He is angry towards the department, towards the system, he is also angry with his life. He wants to inflict pain on himself. He takes drugs. He goes crazy. But I wanted my character to be fun because after all it is for a commercial movie and people want to be entertained. So we played a lot with the look. The red glasses and tattoo was Mohit’s idea and we let the natural grey shine. He is 50 plus and he should look like one,” said Kapoor.

Kapoor’s prep has been exhaustive, as usual. He says he invests a lot of time on working on his character, and till the time he doesn’t get a grip on it, he is restless, cranky and irritable. “Also, here I was working with a team of young people – Mohit, Aditya (Roy Kapur) and Disha (Patani). You do get tense with young people around you. Their body is great. My motivation always is how do I add value to my character as well as the film and make the director happy so that he casts me again (laughs). Besides doing workshops and research, I watched films that were close to this film and my character. My son suggested that I watch Bad Lieutenant because it has a cop with slightly dark shades. Then, I also spoke to some cops and encounter specialists here in Mumbai. I prepped and practiced a lot at home and then called Mohit to tell him how I want to make the character little humorous and bring in a bit of madness to it without looking fake and unreal,” adds Kapoor, who will be next seen in Karan Johar helmed Takht. The film will mark his first appearance in a period drama.

Ajay Devgn’s first look from Maidaan sees him as former Indian football coach Syed Abdul Rahim

Makers of Maidaan have unveiled Ajay Devgn’s first look as a football coach in the sports drama set for a November release. The actor will essay the role of football coach Syed Abdul Rahim in the film who coached India to victory at the Asian Games in 1951 and in 1962. He also served as the manager of the Indian football team from 1950 till 1963.

Devgn shared his first look poster on social media, adding that the narrative of Maidaan charts the “golden years of football.

The film is being directed by Amit Ravindernath Sharma of Badhaai Ho! fame. National Award-winning actor Priyamani stars as the female lead opposite Devgn.

Keerthy Suresh, who was earlier supposed to star alongside Ajay, was replaced by Priyamani as the makers felt that she looked “too young” for the part.

“Keerthy shot for the film for a day. After the shoot the makers and Keerthy both felt that she looked too young as she had lost a lot of weight since being signed for the film to authentically portray the role of a mother as has been written in the script,” a statement from the makers read.

Keerthy and the producers then decided to part ways so as to stay true and authentic to the film’s story.

Priyamani most recently featured alongside Manoj Bajpayee in Amazon original The Family Man. She will next step into the shoes of Sasikala in the J Jayalalithaa biopic Thalaivi. Meanwhile, Ajay Devgn’s latest release Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, has been on a money-minting spree. Currently in its fourth week of release, the Om Raut directorial has made a total of Rs 228.96 crore.

Maidaan is produced by Zee Studios, Boney Kapoor, Akash Chawla and Arunava Joy Sengupta. Saiwyn Quadros and Ritesh Shah have been credited for screenplay and dialogues, respectively.
The film is scheduled to be released on 27 November.

Jawaani Jaaneman box office collection: Saif Ali Khan’s coming-of-age drama makes Rs 3.24 cr on opening day

Jawaani Jaaneman has had a satisfactory opening day at the box office. The film, starring Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, and Alaya, F made Rs 3.24 crore on the first day of its box office run.

Trade analysts have stated the film performed better many of Saif ‘s earlier solo movies. In fact, the multiplexes saw a spike in footfalls towards the evening.

However, it needs to pick its pace up during the weekend to secure a healthy weekend collection.

Saif’s other film this month, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, featuring Ajay Devgn in the lead, has been having a dream run at the ticketing counters. The film, as per latest reports, has Rs 240.64 crore currently in its kitty.

Jawani Janeman is directed by Nitin Kakkar, who had previously directed Filmistaan and Mitron. The film went on floors in London on 18 June, and features Saif as the middle-aged bloke Jazz, who shirks at the mention of responsibility. His life takes a dramatic turn when Alaya’s character Tia finds him in an alley, and tells him there is a possibility he is her father. Soon, Tabu’s character also finds her way into Saif’s house, and it comes to the fore Tabu is Tia’s mother.

Speaking to Firstpost about his expectations out of the commerce of this film, Kakkar said, “I have actually not given importance to box office till now. Maybe I should because that might change things in my filmmaking (laughs). I should make films that people want to watch.”

Saif has co-produced the film under his banner Black Knight Films, along with Jackky and Vasu Bhagnani’s Pooja Entertainment and Northern Lights Films.

Street Dancer 3D movie review: More dance, less gyaan would have made this Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor film better

Two underdog rival dance teams, South Asian in origin but born and brought up in London, relentlessly fight against each other to be declared the ultimate street dancing ensemble, only to realise their real rivals are the Britishers (Bollywood’s perennial antagonist).

And so, on the Republic Day weekend, here’s a film that pits Indians and Pakistanis against each other, only to ultimately make them realise that their strength lies in unity, against white supremacy. (No brownie points for guessing who wins.)

A keen observer could gather all this from Street Dancer 3D trailer. There’s no real need to watch this play out in a painfully formulaic manner on the big screen. But then you are pacified by seeing Prabhudeva do a Muqabala 2.0. Total paisa vasool, as they say. And even though the rest of this review may end up being snarky, the dancers and their hard work deserve a special mention. These kind of films are not easy to make.

Street Dancer 3D couldn’t be more predictable with its plot and messaging (this would be a good time to remind everyone that the director Remo D’Souza’s last film was Race 3); but in these politically turbulent times, it’s heartening to see a film that puts peace and harmony above xenophobia. But sadly, Street Dancer 3D has nothing new to offer — even the choreography and the dance sequences seem familiar if you’ve seen Indian reality shows. It’s a breezy film that goes by rather quickly, but don’t expect any nuance or depth in Street Dancer 3D. 

The film follows the same track as its predecessors, ABCD and ABCD 2 — however this time the cause at the heart of the film is illegal immigrants in the UK, and rehabilitating them. Sahej (Varun Dhawan) runs a dance centre where he and his fellows dancer friends compete with the rival Pakistani dance troupe, fronted by Inayat (Shraddha Kapoor). Some familiar faces can be found in these groups, including Salman Yusuff Khan, Dharmesh Yelande and Puneet Pathak among others, whose claim to fame have been Indian dance reality shows.

Prabhudeva or Anna (sigh) owns a cafe where these guys kill time (because nobody really has a job in these films okay?), and it is his brainchild to unite these two teams and fight off the reigning dance champions, The Royals (brute Britishers who won’t smile even if someone paid them). The money they win will help illegal immigrants in their area get back to their hometowns in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

There’s also an extremely sanitised track involving four Punjabi dholwaalas, led by Aparshakti Khurranna, who enter London illegally with the help of Sahej, and they become the moral centre of the film. Street Dancer 3D has its heart in the right place, one only wishes the music and the choreography had something new to offer. The 3D and some semi-cool visual effects only slightly distract you from a wafer-thin plot that is constantly on the verge of breaking.

The last two ABCD films boasted of decent music and great dance sequences (‘Bezubaan’ and ‘Ga Ga Ga Ganpati’ have a combined total of 500 million views on YouTube), but the same can’t be said about Street Dancer 3D. That said, the real tragedy is that the insanely talented Nora Fatehi gets the short end of the stick, with a forgettable role and having to share screen space dancing next to Varun Dhawan, who always manages to steal the spotlight.