Monthly Archives: April 2020

Fashion Friday: Priyanka Chopra’s Desi Girl avatar made saree the ultimate sexy outfit

Priyanka Chopra’s saree in the song, Desi Girl paved the way for experimentation and made it the ultimate sexy outfit.

Fashion and Bollywood go hand-in-hand. A character’s clothes play a major role in defining the mood of the film. Yet a saree, in particular, remains Bollywood’s favourite. From Mumtaz in a pre-pleated orange saree dancing away with Shammi Kapoor in Aaj Kal Tere Mere Pyaar Ke Charche from Bhramachari (1968) to Zeenat Aman in a white saree sans blouse under a waterfall in Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978), Mandakini in a similar avatar in Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1986) or Madhuri Dixit going Dhak Dhak in an orange saree in Beta (1992), the six-yard has given us many history-defining moments.

However, what Priyanka Chopra did when she teamed a bikini top with a Manish Malhotra metallic saree, was a revelation. The song that earned the title of ‘Desi Girl’ for Priyanka Chopra made the saree sexy and bold and portrayed it in a never seen before manner. Moreover, it cleared the misconception that sarees are not as sexy as any other evening outfit.

The Priyanka Chopra, John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan starrer Dostana released in 2008. The film was talked about for its storyline, the palpable chemistry between the three and the chic wardrobe of Priyanka Chopra’s character.

The song Desi Girl has Priyanka Chopra looking as elegant as ever in a simple saree. She manages to steal the spotlight in the ballroom crowded with people wearing stunning evening gowns in her humble six-yard. Priyanka’s metallic saree that had a sequinned border, teamed with a barely-there halter neck bikini blouse, made her stand out. Do not miss the tiny little bow at the back of the blouse and the bling on the straps that played a major role in defining the entire ensemble.

This masterstroke by Manish Malhotra became such a hit at the time, that it has been recreated again and again and it is still one of the hottest looks even after 12 years. A sequinned or a metallic saree with a sexy slinky barely-there blouse is still a favourite go-to for any Bollywood diva.

The song and the look paved a path for experimentation on how to make the saree look sensual.

In 2010, Sonam Kapoor recreated the look thrice in the film I Hate Love Stories. She wore white, red and blue sarees with matching bikini top blouses in the song Sadka.

Salman Khan promotes Lara Dutta’s web series Hundred, actress says Love You Partner

Salman Khan, who worked with Lara Dutta in Partner in 2007, promoted her upcoming web series Hundred on social media.

Do Khiladi Problem Bhaari!” says the tagline of Lara Dutta’s first web series, titled Hundred. Lara is making her digital debut with the upcoming show and this is the first time in her career that she is playing the role of a police officer. Hundred will starts streaming on Disney+Hotstar VIP from April 25.

While the actress is actively updating her fans about the web series on social media, she has her “Partner” Salman Khan right beside her through the promotions.

Salman, who shared screen space with Lara in the 2007-released Partner, has come forward to promote her web series Hundred on social media. In his post, the 54-year-old actor called his former co-star his “favourite heroine” and urged fans to watch the series.

The 42-year-old actress then took to her Instagram handle and reposted Salman’s post to express gratitude. Overwhelmed, Lara mentioned Salman in her caption as “coolest cop on screen” referring to Chulbul Pandey, his character in the Dabangg franchise.

Lara Dutta is essaying the role of ACP Saumya Shukla in Hundred. She has been cast opposite Marathi actress Rinku Rajguru, who is best known for her film, Sairat. Rinku is cast as Netra Patil.

Lara has been sharing pictures of her cop avatar on her Instagram handle.

Not just Lara, but Rinku is also making her digital debut with the upcoming web series. The trailer of Hundred was released on April 22 and it is an eight-episode series. The web series is co-directed by Ruchi Narain, Ashutosh Shah and Taher Shabbir.

Karan Wahi, Rajeev Siddhartha, Sudhanshu Pandey, Parmeet Sethi, Rohini Hattangadi, Arun Nalawde and Makarand Deshpande play pivotal roles in it.

Even if it is to promote Hundred, we’re glad we got to revisit Salman and Lara’s partnership, 13 years after the release of Partner. The film also starred Govinda and Katrina Kaif.

 

Why Ok Jaanu is not okay

Count how many times Shraddha Kapoor says Ok Jaanu. That is the only point of interest in this unnecessary love story.

Time and again, Bollywood gives us that one film which wasn’t needed at all. And just like that, in January 2017, Ok Jaanu released. Directed by Shaad Ali of Bunty Aur Babli fame, the film can be best described as a love story nobody cares about. If you have watched this ‘masterpiece’, we pity you. And if you haven’t, we envy you. On the glorious occasion of Wahiyat Wednesday, let us take a look at why the film was just not ok. Or needed.

Ok Jaanu is a remake of the Tamil film Ok Kanmani (O Kadhal Kanmani). Directed by Mani Ratnam, the 2015 film stars Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menen in the lead role and completes five years of release tomorrow. It was lauded for its refreshing vibe and the lead actors’ chemistry. However, the Bollywood remake fell flat on expectations and came across as unnecessary. The first question that comes to mind when we think of Ok Jaanu is what was the need of a remake just two years after the release of the original?

But then, Bollywood’s obsession with remakes isn’t new. Films like Bodyguard, Khatta Meetha, Force, Wanted and Kabir Singh didn’t really offer us much, but exist. And then, how can we forget the trend of rehashing and destroying cult-classic numbers. While Masakali 2.0 has been accused of destroying the original, the Humma Humma remake in Ok Jaanu didn’t do wonders either.

Coming to the story, the concept of live-in relationships was new for the Tamil audience in 2015. Hence, Ok Kanmani was a success as it focused on a topic that was considered to be a taboo. However, things are different when it comes to the Bollywood audience of 2017. We have had ample films where the concept of live-in relationships is explored. For example, Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta’s Salaam Namaste (2005), Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s Two States (2014), and Sushant Singh Rajput and Parineeti Chopra’s Shuddh Desi Romance (2013), to name a few.

Still, we could have tolerated Ok Jaanu if there was something to look forward to. The lead actors’ performances, maybe? But the film fails even there. For Instance, even when Tara (Shraddha Kapoor) talks about her estranged father, we hardly feel anything. Credit goes to Shraddha Kapoor here. Only if the actress could deliver that dialogue with a bit more intensity and change her expressions from time to time. And Aditya, well, we wish there was something more to cherish apart from the fact that he looked handsome throughout.

Coming to their chemistry, fans expected that the Aashiqui 2 on-screen lovers would be flawless together. But sparks couldn’t be seen on the silver screen. Not even with the overuse of the word ‘Jaanu’ and the forced ‘romantic’ moments.

In fact, there are ample times where we ask ourselves, what are we watching, and why?

There are various other elements that can certify Ok Jaanu to be just another typical Bollywood love story.

Time for a list:

  • Girl and guy meeting at a wedding.
  • Hero and heroine exploring the city on a bike.
  • The lead characters forced to choose between career and love.
  • A classic train scene where love blossoms.
  • Rain. Rain. And more rain.
  • A stalker boyfriend.
  • Dialogues like “Doobne ke liye tumhari aankhein bohot hain.”
  • A cult-classic song destroyed by the remake (Humma Humma in this case).

We could go on and on. But let’s just leave it at that. We don’t want to stretch this piece quite like the film was.

Another problem with Ok Jaanu is that it feels regressive at times. In the year 2017, you don’t expect the lead actress to say things like ‘Itni raat ko koi shareef ladki phone nahi karti kisi ladke ko’ or acting aloof as the guy pursues her. Women today are headstrong and don’t shy away when it comes to love. And it isn’t a big deal if a woman takes the first step in a relationship. But Tara is nothing like that. She initially acts pricey when Adi approaches her and often wonders ‘Ye jo hum kar rahe hain ye sahi hai na?’ Yep, roll your eyes. We don’t blame you.

An interesting fact is that both Ok Jaanu and Ok Kanmani are available on Amazon Prime. Between the two, save yourself the unnecessary headache and watch the original.

Paresh Rawal’s son Aditya on Anurag Kashyap’s Bamfaad: Glad to be part of the thrilling film

Veteran actor Paresh Rawal’s son Aditya is set to make his acting debut with ZEE5 original film Bamfaad. The movie, directed by debutant filmmaker Ranjan Chandel, will also mark the digital debut of Arjun Reddy star Shalini Pandey.

According to the official logline, the Hindi film, based in Allahabad, is set in a romantic volatile backdrop which will bring out an unusual yet raw and edgy love story on the screen.

Aditya, who is playing the male lead Nasir Jamal, said he is happy that he got the chance to enter the film industry with such a thrilling story.

“I am glad that I got the chance to be a part of such a thrilling film. Though the driving force of the film is the love story, it has many more layers to it. I want to make my own mark as an actor in the industry, and it feels great to begin my journey by playing Nasir Jamal, a character that fascinated me ever since I read the script,” the newcomer said in a statement.

I hope that people watch the film in huge numbers on Zee5, and I am eager to hear their feedback,” he added.

Shalini described her character Neelam as bold and strong but said it was her vulnerability that resonated with her strongly.

“As an artist, I look forward to projects that challenge me and this project really pushed me and I learned a lot while playing this part. Bamfaad has a phenomenal storyline and it is getting the perfect exposure with a massive video streaming platform like ZEE5,” she said.

Bamfaad is presented by Anurag Kashyap, who shared the film’s poster on his Instagram account.

“Jahaan dil lagaana nahin asaan wahan aashiqi hogi bamfaad! Introducing Aditya Rawal as Nasir Jamal and Shalini Pandey as Neelam, directed by Ranjan Chandel. Premieres 10th April on @zee5premium#ZEE5Original (sic),” Anurag wrote in the caption.

Coronavirus: Salman Khan’s Radhe likely to be postponed

Salman Khan-starrer Radhe, which was slated to release on May 22, is likely to get postponed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The release of Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai, featuring Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, is most likely to be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The film, which reunites Salman with his Bharat co-star Disha Patani, was scheduled to hit the screens on May 22.

This will be for the first time in over a decade that ardent Salman fans will not see a release on Eid, a festival date which has been synonymous with the actor.

Salman started shooting for Radhe last November.

However, due to the shutdown on all television and film production work due to the outbreak, the last leg of filming is yet to be complete.

“Radhe will be pushed ahead for sure. We have got two songs to shoot, there is some patch work left of about five days or so, we also have editing that is left. We don’t know when the situation will be normal and when we can shoot and finish our pending work,” a source close to the production told PTI.

Most of Salman’s Eid releases have turned out to be blockbusters such as Wanted (2009), Dabangg (2010), Bodyguard (2011), Ek Tha Tiger (2012), Kick (2014), Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015), Sultan (2016) and Bharat (2019), barring Tubelight (2017) and Race 3 (2018).

The insider further said as people might be sceptical about watching a movie in a theatre due to the COVID-19 scare, it would be unfair to release a film in such times.

“We are in the same boat as other big films that were scheduled to release. We are going into May soon, the film was to release on Eid, which is May 22. It is not that the virus will be eradicated completely within a few days or months. Who will want to go to theatres during such times? The fear of not venturing out of homes and going to theatres to enjoy a film is a lot more and we all will have to deal with it and overcome it,” the source added.

Radhe is directed by Prabhudheva and the film is the third collaboration between Salman and the director after Wanted and last year’s Dabangg 3.

The action film also features Randeep Hooda and Jackie Shroff in key roles.

It is produced by Sohail Khan and Reel Life Production Pvt Limited under the banner of Salman Khan Films.

Besides Radhe, Salman was also set to present a film titled Bulbul Marriage Hall featuring Pulkit Samrat in the lead.

The film was scheduled to go on floors from April 16, but the makers have decided to halt the production till further notice.

Neeraj Pandey on Ajay Devgn-starrer Chanakya: All I can say is that the script is locked

Neeraj Pandey says despite the 21-day lockdown in the country to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic, the team of his next, Chanakya is working on the Ajay Devgn-starrer while practising social distancing.

Director Neeraj Pandey says despite the 21-day lockdown in the country to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic, the team of his next, Chanakya is working on the Ajay Devgn-starrer while practising social distancing.

Ajay is set to play the eponymous role in Chanakya, a historical drama on the master economist and royal advisor to the first Mauryan emperor Chandragupta.

The movie will mark the first collaboration between Ajay and Neeraj, known for films such as A Wednesday, Baby and MS Dhoni: The Untold Story.

Neeraj said though the crew can’t have meetings for the time being, they are constantly having discussions about the project over the phone or mail.

“It is a work in progress. There is discussion on anything and everything. All the various heads of departments are regularly in touch from VFX, concept, costume, art, production design to location, etc.

“There are so many things that we have to discuss about how the script will be approached and the like. There is tons of work,” the filmmaker told PTI.

With all production activity currently suspended in Indian entertainment industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Neeraj said it is too early to suggest that the shoot of Chanakya will also be affected.

“It is very early to say. Let’s see how things pan out in the near future and then we will see. All I can say is that the script is locked,” he added.

Neeraj is currently promoting Hotstar Special series Special Ops, an action spy thriller which he has co-directed with Shivam Nair.

 

Salman Khan will always be our Sooryavanshi. Not Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar may be taking over Rohit Shetty’s cop universe soon with Sooryavanshi, but he is no match for the blonde-haired He-Man-looking Salman Khan, the original Suryavanshi.

Even with an inexhaustible collection of national and international shows and movies at our perusal, we found ourselves reaching for ‘Suryavanshi Salman Khan’ in the search bar – Salman’s was with a ‘U’ and not ‘OO’. Self-isolation and lockdown can affect you psychologically.

Salman Khan’s Suryavanshi (1992), co-starring a Rekha-inspired Amrita Singh and an expressionless I’d-rather-not-be-here-but-I-have-to-looking Sheeba, is essentially a story of punarjanam, a one-night stand Bollywood keeps repeating even though the morning after results in a walk of shame. Suryavanshi, not to be confused with Sooryavansham, the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer, was once a Set Max favourite, and therefore, many a childhood afternoon were spent watching and re-watching Salman Khan’s blonde hair glisten in the sun, or staring at his He-Man outfit.

The film had potential simply by virtue of an interesting story but was ruined because it failed to manage that story. We have an extremely strong, hotheaded woman, Amrita, as Rajkumari Suryalekha at the centre. She’s complemented by an equally strong, borderline douchebag Salman as Suryavanshi Vikram Singh (we’ll come to why we used these adjectives in a bit). These are characters of the past. In the present day, Vikram Singh is reincarnated as Vicky but he is completely unaware of any pichhle janam ki baatein. Born and raised in America, he lands in India for the first time, and thanks to his overenthusiastic dad JB (Saeed Jaffrey) and his friend DD (Ajit Vachani), almost lands straight into shaadi ka mandap. Sheeba as Sonia is the would-be bahu – a girl so perfect that Tulsi Virani would be jealous. He doesn’t want to get married, he wants to live his life, she is heartbroken, but destiny in the form of guilt – ki main apne papa ka dil nahi dukha sakta – binds them in matrimony.

DD is an archaeologist and is digging around the ruins of Sangramgarh, intrigued by an entire kingdom now completely buried underground, quite like Atlantis. The newlyweds and their respective fathers decide to check it out firsthand as the excavation continues. Somethings happen in the middle and they discover an old journal by Sangramgarh’s Rajguru and finally decode what went down.

The 2-hour-47-minute film has tones of bad make-up and hair and overacting, but we’re not getting into that. What stands out as particularly wahiyat, is the treatment of Suryalekha. She only asked for not to be forced into marriage for the sake of the rajvansh, until she found her match. If the process of mortal combat in swamvar seemed barbaric, all of world history should. Nonetheless, she found one in Suryavanshi, but our hero here simply wanted to show Suryalekha her place – something that could only be achieved by tricking her into a one-night stand, and leaving her ‘kalankit’. Serves you right, woman, this is a man’s world, after all.

Everything else that followed thereon, is a post-#MeToo world’s nightmare. From Suryalekha killing herself and coming back to haunt the whole kingdom (umm, not the haunting bit, of course) to Sonia shielding Vicky aka Vikram (yes, he remembers now) with her love and defeating the ‘evil other woman’, everything from the mid-point mark to the climax needed a hard swallow.

We’re not going to reveal the ending. If you do have the time – and by that, we mean at least three hours to spare from managing office and house chores – the original Suryavanshi is available on Hotstar. All things said and done, Bhaijaan is Bhaijaan, and Khiladi Kumar is no match. Sorry.