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Singham to Sooryavanshi, cop films now are more than just catching the bad guy

What can be more masaledaar than a police wala gunda? The answer is, a police wala gunda standing up for a social cause.

there’s one thing that sets Bollywood apart from the rest, it is the masala factor. And what can be more masaledaar than a police wala gunda? The answer is, a police wala gunda standing up for a social cause.

Salman Khan-starrer Dabangg (2010) was an out and out entertainer. The film is known for its comedy, entertainment value and of course, songs. With those black Ray-Ban aviators and quirky dialogues, the masaledaar cop Chulbul Pandey did make us laugh. But he failed to make us think.

Then came Ajay Devgn playing the role of Bajirao Singham in Singham (2011). An honest cop, prioritising his duty above everything. The film had ample masala with cars blowing up in the air, catchy songs, glass windows shattering, fighting sequences and what not! But, at the heart of it was a message – any fight can be won by standing up together. In Singham, Bajirao united his police force against a corrupt politician and ensured that justice is served. “Hum police wale chahe na toh koi mandir ke bahar se ek chappal tak nahi chura sakta,” he says, echoing that the police has enough resources to act against those who dare to defy the law, all they need is unity.

Similarly, in the sequel, Singham Returns (2014), there is Baba Satyaraj Chandra, who brainwashes the public and gets away with heinous crimes such as rape and murder. All because he is being shielded by politician Prakash Rao and the blind faith of his followers. “Aam aadmi ki takleef dar paida karti hain, aur dar andhvishwaas ko aur andhvishwaas mujhe,” he says proudly.

Bajirao Singham, once again, unites the entire police force against the two and puts them behind bars. Apart from this, Singham Returns also focuses on the need of young people in politics. This is shown by Guruji (Anupam Kher) wanting to include more and more young people in his party. In a scene, Bajirao Singham says to some young men, “Garam khoon hai? Toh iska sahi jagah istamaal kyon nahi karte. Jaise hum duty karte hain, tum logo ki bhi kuch duties hain. Chhor raha hoon, kyunki jail ko nahi, is desh ko tumhari zaroorat hai.” On the surface, this is just a dialogue, but the message it delivers is self-explanatory.

Another thing that Singham and Singham Returns compel us to think about is how often we weave the entire story with half-information and call it the truth. In Singham, an honest police officer is blamed for taking a bribe, to the extent that he commits suicide out of shame. In Singham Returns, constable Mahesh is also believed to be the same when his dead body is found with a vehicle full of cash. The truth turns out to be way different in both cases.

Rohit Shetty’s third cop film, Simmba (2018), is different from the earlier two. Here we have a cop, Sangram Bhalerao (Ranveer Singh), who only took up the job to extort money and enjoy the ‘perks’ of being a policeman. It is only after a tragedy that he changes his ways and fights for justice. His transformation mirrors the sad reality that until something terrible happens to us or the ones we care about, we hardly bother doing something. And that this is wrong on so many levels and needs to change. We shouldn’t wait around for a tragedy to knock at our door to stand up for what is right.

Sardar Udham Singh: Vicky Kaushal film to release on January 15, 2021

The official handle of Rising Sun Films took to Twitter to announce that Vicky Kaushal’s upcoming film Sardar Udham Singh will now release on January 15 next year.

The release date of Vicky Kaushal’s biographical drama Sardar Udham Singh has been shifted to January 15, 2021, the producers of the film announced on Friday. The Shoojit Sircar film, which is being produced by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar, was earlier slated to hit the big screens on October 2, 2020.

The production company of the film – Rising Sun Films – made an official announcement on Twitter.

“On March 13th 1940, #SardarUdham singlehandedly assassinated Michael O’ Dwyer in London to honour the lives lost at the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. His story deserves justice onscreen too. Starring Vicky Kaushal, we will now see you in cinemas on 15th January 2021!” tweeted Rising Sun Film Production.

Sardar Udham Singh is the cinematic portrayal of the life of freedom fighter of the same name. Sardar Udham Singh is known for assassinating former Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, Michael O’ Dwyer in 1940.

The assassination was intended to avenge the brutal Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which took place in Amritsar on April 13, 1919. Vicky Kaushal, who was last in Karan Johar’s horror drama Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship, will be seen as Sardar Udham Singh in Shoojit Sircar film.

Sara Ali Khan on being an Imtiaz Ali heroine in Love Aaj Kal: Wanted to experience the full journey of love at young age

Sara Ali Khan has quickly risen to the ranks since she announced her arrival in Bollywood after two consecutive hits to her credit – Kedarnath and Simmba. Her next, Imtiaz Ali-directed romantic flick Love Aaj Kal (opposite Kartik Aryan) is just about to hit the screens (on 14 February).

The actress says she had a lot of fun discovering herself in this ‘journey of love.’ “Imtiaz sir says love is something that you can never understand completely. It is a journey in itself. As an actor, I am very new, and as a girl, I am very young, and hence, I don’t have much experience. Through the film, I am living this experience, and this is the reason why I wanted to become an actor because our life is limiting. We won’t be able to live all the experiences on our own so I want to live those by playing different characters,” says Sara.

Totally aware of the ‘burden’ of being a celebrity she carries, Sara is not one to shy away from speaking her mind, no matter how controversial what she thinks is. However, off-late, she has realised ‘shooting off her mouth’ could take away attention from her work. Earlier, she had admitted of having a crush on Kartik, and expressed her desire to date him on Koffee With Karan. Soon after, Imtiaz had roped in the two for the film. She has also spoken candidly of her parents’ divorce, her father’s second marriage, and talked at length about her problems with weight and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).

“The kind of girl that I am, if I talk then there will be dhamaka (explosion) every day so it is better for me to remain quiet (laughs). If I am left on streets, I will talk non-stop. This job is such that there is so much scrutiny, whether it is brands, or interviews, or magazine shoots, or whether it is going in and out of gym, though I am thankful for it because I got love and adulation even before the release of Kedarnath. But it can get distracting if it takes away from your work, especially if you are a high-spirited, confident girl with a voice and opinion. Then you are in a potentially dangerous situation, and you need to ensure that you allow your work to speak,” says Sara.

Sara had recently confessed she was a bit affected with the response to the trailer of Love Aaj Kal, which was panned online. She was ‘hurt’ when she was criticised by the Twitter for overacting while saying a particular dialogue. She had also said she did not care if people judged her for her weight or fashion choices but it did affect her when her acting skills were panned. Does she believe the pressure of living up to the expectations is only going to get bigger from here?

“Yes, of course, there is a sense of realisation and recognition that okay, there is pressure, there is expectation. People do expect me to perform. But there are two ways of looking at that. Either I can be disappointed that I have disappointed a handful of people in a certain shot of the trailer or I can take a step back, and tell myself that you are two films old, you have been here for like a minute, and people already have expectations from you, which means you have been doing something right. I have had the opportunity, and I hope I continue to get opportunities to work with different and learned filmmakers, and also to prove myself,” she says.

Love Aaj Kal releases on the Valentine’s Day. The film depicts two different love stories – one set in 1990, and the other set in 2019. It attempts to show how the meaning of love has changed over time. “We may be living in times of swipe-left and swipe-right, Tinder. But what is interesting is, whether it is comparing over time, whether comparing today versus five to 10 years ago, the only thing that changes is the language of expression of love. What really changes is the external stuff which this film is also talking about. The freedom with which you can express your love will change, the duration that you sit and talk sweet nothings with your loved ones will change. But the basic ethos of love, and the basic feeling that governs the emotion will stand the test of time, will stand the test of profession, test of distance. Idealistic as it might be, if it doesn’t then it is not love,” says the actress.

The duo, Sara and Kartik, may have never confirmed their relationship but their off-screen chemistry has been loved by their fans. Does it help them in translating it on screen? “No, it does not. It’s only because I know Kartik that I have more fun. But it hasn’t got anything to do with our chemistry off-screen. On screen, we are playing characters with a very strong director who has a very strong idea of what his characters want to be. So I don’t think knowing Kartik or not knowing him would have anything to do with Zoe and Veer’s character. Love is a journey, and so is filmmaking, and when those journeys coincide, Imtiaz is discovering Veer through Kartik and Zoe through me. When we were on set together, what really helped was doing workshops together, reading with him, understanding how he was processing and responding to his character. But yes, I was in a good mental space with Kartik as my co-star,” she says.

In the recent past, with films like Kabir Singh and Pati Patni Aur Woh among many others, there has been a lot of discussion on actors taking responsibility for the social impact of their movies. “Your public personality and your onscreen personality are completely different. What I stand for, on Instagram, or on social media, or as Sara Ali Khan, a human being, is not what I have to stand for as different actors. That is a director’s prerogative because filmmaking is the director’s medium, and that is a writer’s job. For me, I have to just go on set with complete conviction and full honesty, and portray the characters that are displayed. I am an entertainer. Now, whether it is the consumption of alcohol or pre-marital sex or bad language, whatever it is, all these things are the things that my character indulges in the film. Do I stand for these things? I don’t know, and I don’t think that is even the point. That’s not relevant. But the point is that my character Zoe does stand for these things, and that is Imtiaz sir’s prerogative. Zoe is his brainchild, not mine. I have to just go out there, and execute my character with conviction,” she concludes.

Vijay Varma Calls Baaghi 3 Co-star Tiger Shroff ‘Shaolin Master’ For Shooting Shirtless in Freezing Weather

Vijay Varma, of Gully Boy fame, is returning to the silver screen with Tiger Shroff-starrer Baaghi 3, releasing March 6. Verma, who is currently busy with the promotions of the upcoming film, spoke to Mumbai Mirror about his experience of working with Tiger.

Tiger’s perseverance is mystifying and maybe it is the reason that he is often touted as the most promising action star of the younger generation. The Rangrezz star spoke at length about his Baaghi 3 co-star’s ninja-like outlook while shooting in the cold-bitter temperatures of Serbia for the film.

The Hyderabad boy and FTII alumnus further revealed that Tiger would perform his action sequences shirtless while the rest of the team would be shielded in several layers of clothes and still be trembling. Vijay also hailed Tiger as ‘Shaolin Master’ who did not seek heaters or blankets for warmth on sets.

“While shooting in icy Serbia, we would be shivering even under multiple layers of clothes. But Tiger, like a Shaolin Master, was shirtless and doing stunts, not even seeking the warmth of heaters and blankets,” Vijay said.

Further, in the interview, Vijay stated that working with big stars can prove to be a boon on the sets. “They can take care of you. I did Pink primarily for that reason, and it was the best decision I’ve taken,” he added.

Baaghi 3 is the third film in the Baaghi franchise, releasing more than a year after its prequel, Baaghi 2. Riteish Deshmukh, Shraddha Kapoor, Ankita Lokhande and Jameel Khoury are set to join Tiger and Vijay Varma in the film. Baaghi 3 is directed by Ahmed Khan and produced under Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment.

Meanwhile, the 33-year-old will be next seen in Hurdang directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhatt. The film will also feature Sunny Kaushal and Nushrat Bharucha.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Street Dancer 3D box office collection: Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor’s dance drama makes Rs 10.26 cr on first day

Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor’s Street Dancer 3D performed well on the first day of its release. The movie, directed by choreographer-turned-director Remo D’Souza, has earned Rs 10.26 crore. It released alongside Kangana Ranaut’s film Panga, which has earned Rs 2.70 crore at the box office.

Trade analysts have said that film’s business has been affected in Mumbai because of Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’s dominance at the ticketing counters. The period drama, featuring Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan and Kajol in the lead, released on 10 January along with Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak and has since been trending at the box office. Tanhaji has now surpassed the Rs 200-crore mark.

Street Dancer 3D portrays Dhawan as an Indian dancer, and Shraddha Kapoor as a performer from Pakistan. Shakti Mohan, Aparkshakti Khurana, and Nora feature in supporting roles. Mohan will make her Bollywood debut with the film.

While Street Dancer 3D has been dubbed “India’s biggest dance film,” director Remo D’Souza had clarified the movie is unrelated to his other directorial, the ABCD franchise. He said to Mid-Day, “This is completely different from the earlier franchise. Although we are exploring different forms of dance, including jazz and contemporary, when these dance forms are incorporated on the street, they become completely different.”

The film is produced by Bhushan Kumar, Divya Khosla Kumar, Krishan Kumar, and Lizelle D’Souza.