Monthly Archives: June 2016

My son looks exactly like me': Tusshar Kapoor on becoming a father

Tusshar Kapoor reveals that he has become a father to a son through in vitro fertilization procedure and says that his son Laksshya looks exactly like him.

“I wanted to be a father. I met Dr. Firuza Parikh and she suggested this procedure. I was in a hurry to become a father.. I am turning 40 in a few months, so I felt I was in the right stage to become a single parent and I went ahead with what was told to me.

“I am happy that I have taken the right decision. Our family is complete now, we are five now, grandparents, me, my sister and little Laksshya,” Tusshar said while addressing the media at his residence.

Tusshar didn’t reveal the date of birth of his son but said that he came home a week back and was sleeping during the course of the media interaction.

Courtesy: ibn live

“I wanted to be a single parent, my dream has come true. My son looks exactly like me, so it makes me very happy. I have no words to express how excited or joyous I feel right now.

“It’s just your paternal instinct when you feel mentally that you are ready to become a father… Lot of people adopt, but I didn’t want to adopt, I wanted to have my own child.”

Previously, both superstars Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan conceived their third child through the IVF and surrogacy procedure.

A conversation with Rajneeti director Prakash Jha, who has an adopted daughter, was one of the reasons behind Tusshar’s decision.

“I had visited Tirupati temple last year and while I was leaving after the darshan, I met Prakash Jha who was also in my flight. And in our conversation he said that ‘this (IVF) is also a way if you want to have a child, if you want to be a single parent’. He introduced me to a family who had followed the IVF and surrogacy procedure. So I felt very inspired and felt I was ready,” Tusshar said.

Actress Sushmita Sen is a single mother to two adopted daughters.

Gang-rape survivor seeks 10 cr in damages from Salman Khan for his comments

Chandigarh: A young woman who was gang-raped by 10 men in Haryana has sent a legal notice to actor Salman Khan asking him to apologize over his rape remark. She has sought Rs 10 crore in damages from Salman for belittling rape victims.

Salman Khan. AFP

The gang-rape victim, from Hisar district, sent the notice to the Bollywood superstar at his Galaxy Apartments address in Mumbai’s upscale Bandra area on Saturday. The notice was sent through her counsel.

The victim pointed out that Salman Khan had tried to joke about the plight of rape victims by comparing a tough action sequence to the status of a gang-raped woman.

The victim was kidnapped by 10 people and gang-raped in Hisar four years ago. The court sentenced the assaulters to life imprisonment. The victim is seeking death penalty for the accused.

The father of the rape victim committed suicide following the incident.

Asked how he felt doing the strenuous shooting of Sultan, where he plays a wrestler, Salman responded that he “felt like a raped woman… he could barely stand straight after the shoot”.

The statement invited sharp rebuke on social media. His father and writer Salim Khan apologized on behalf of his son and admitted the statement was in bad taste.

A case was registered in Kanpur and Lucknow courts on Thursday against the actor.

Salman Khan rape remark row: Amid growing controversy, no apology from actor yet

Here’s the latest on the Salman Khan rape remark row.

Amid the controversy regarding his comments, Maharashtra State Commission for Women has asked Salman to appear for a hearing on 7 July.

The actor — who had been issued a summons by the National Commission for Women for 29 June, and had been asked to apologise for making a derogatory comment — has now responded to the NCW via his legal representatives.

Salman's lawyers responded to the NCW's notice to the actor over his 'rape' remark

News reports said that the NCW is now assessing Salman’s reply — which, apparently, does not contain an apology for the remark, through his lawyers.

Several TV channels have claimed that Salman has said that he is a victim of his celebrity status, and his comments have been misinterpreted.

Salman had said that the physically exhausting shoot schedule for his upcoming wrestling drama Sultan left him “feeling like a raped woman”.

He made the remark to a group of mediapersons who were interviewing him regarding Sultan.

However, he had immediately retracted his statement, admitting, “I should not have (said that)…”

The actor’s comment, however, triggered national outrage as his flippant remark was seen as the insidiousness of rape culture in our society.

Several fans of the actor rushed to his defence, even as his father Salim Khan issued a public apology on Twitter.

Salman himself has stayed silent silent on the issue, and only made a passing allusion to it at the just-concluded IIFA awards in Madrid, where he said, “Knowing me, the lesser I speak the better”.

At the time of publishing this report, it is not clear exactly what was contained in the reply Salman’s lawyers have made to the NCW’s notice.

Salman Khan just can’t seem to say sorry for his rape remark

Maybe Salman Khan should realise that the solution to the current predicament he is facing involves doing something very simple: saying sorry.

On Wednesday, Khan responded to the National Commission for Women (NCW) via his legal representatives over the controversy created after he had earlier said that the physically exhausting shoot schedule for his upcoming wrestling drama Sultan left him “feeling like a raped woman”.

News reports have said that the NCW is now assessing Khan’s reply — which, apparently, does not contain an apology for the rape remark.

Salman Khan has to apologise for his remark, which used rape as an analogy to describe exhaustion. AFP

In fact, India Today TV reported that in his response, Khan has said that the “NCW should not have taken suo motu cognizance (of this issue).”

Yet again, Khan blew all our minds with his amazing Bhai logic.

Because of course, “the apex national level organisation of India with the mandate of protecting and promoting the interests of women” should take absolutely no interest when an actor with a huge fan following trivialises rape by comparing the trauma faced by a rape victim to the exhaustion felt after an intense shoot.

Reports have also said that the Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW) has also now summoned Khan for a hearing on the matter on 7 July.

Because of his stubborn refusal to apologise, Salman Khan is actually creating more troubles for himself. But despite all the media outrage, summons by a government body, an apology from his father and even Bollywood’s divided views on his rape remark, Salman Khan simply refuses to apologise.

This points out something very important: Either Khan actually believes that he did absolutely nothing wrong or he has such a big ego that an apology is simply not an option. Because after all, how can Bhai, the superstar, apologise?

Tubelight': Kabir Khan’s next with Salman Khan is a comedy with political backdrop

Filmmaker Kabir Khan’s next Tubelight starring superstar Salman Khan will have elements of comedy and drama with politics as its backdrop.

“It is about a personal issue. Can’t talk about what exactly right now. Needless to say, my films always have a political backdrop to them because that’s what excites me and I find real. So Tubelight also has a little political backdrop,” Kabir told PTI.

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Right from his debut Kabul Express, to New York and his last, Phantom, the filmmaker has helmed movies that have a strong political background.

Tubelight will mark the third collaboration between Kabir and the 50-year-old Dabangg star after blockbusters Ek Tha Tiger and Bajrangi Bhaijaan.

When asked if their upcoming film will follow the lines of Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Kabir said, “In terms of its emotional space it is similar to Bajrangi Bhaijaan. But story is very different. It is more of humour and emotional space that we (Salman and I) haven’t delved into.”

t was reported that Salman will be undertaking a journey of enlightenment from India to China in the film. The director said Tubelight will have a ‘China element in the story’ but he will be shooting the film in Ladakh.

Tubelight is scheduled to release on Eid next year.

Udta Punjab’ review: Uneven tone reduces drug addiction to a near-farce

Once you get past the shock value of hearing those words in more than one language repeatedly on screen – yes, even more than in numerous Bollywood gangster flicks of the past 10-15 years – you will realise that all this is nothing more than what a visitor to many parts of north India will hear in casual conversations. It is hard to understand why the Central Board of Film Certification a.k.a. the Censor Board would get so antsy about invectives that are used more often than the definite article in real life; or why these abuses, which are uttered without beeps by various characters, are inexplicably asterisked out in subtitles in this primarily Punjabi, partly Hindi film.

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Here is the actual objection that Punjab’s politicians and their Censor Board allies would have had: writer-director Abhishek Chaubey’s Udta Punjab minces no words about a fact that the state’s netas have been anxious to keep under wraps for years now. Punjab is facing a serious drug epidemic; common sense suggests it is impossible for so many addictive substances to be so easily available to so many people, without the cooperation of the police and the political class.

Now that we have got that out of the way, let us focus on the real problem with Udta Punjab. Sure it is great that Chaubey has chosen to highlight a pressing social calamity, but the erratic narrative style ultimately dilutes what should have been a hard-hitting, revelatory film, in the end reducing the tragedy of drugs and drug addiction to a farce.

“Ever since I saw her, I no longer feel the need to take cocaine. After a long time, a tune has begun playing in my head after I set eyes on her. I’ve got my mojo back.” – This, in a nutshell, is how Punjab-based musician Tommy Singh describes his reaction to a Bihari field worker.

Is this some kind of joke?

A self-destructive drug addict has been ‘cured’ of substance abuse because he saw a pretty face?

There is more in this film where that came from. The first half of Udta Punjab is consistently grim, deeply disturbing and, appropriately, almost docu-feature-like. The second half though is intermittently farcical and ultimately makes a mockery of the concerns it set out to raise.

Three threads play out simultaneously in Udta Punjab. One involves the artiste formerly known as Tejender Singh, now Tommy (Shahid Kapoor), whose talent and success are fuelled by his consumption of multiple drugs. The second revolves around the young sportswoman-turned-peasant (Alia Bhatt) who gets entrenched in the drug mafia when she tries to sell a stolen cache. The third is about Dr Preet Sahni (Kareena Kapoor Khan) who encounters assistant sub-inspector Sartaj Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) when his brother becomes her patient.

At first, Udta Punjab proves to be a well-researched, sharply observed, much-needed, no-holds-barred account of the extent to which the state is mired in drugs and drug-related corruption. Even if you think you know, it is shocking to see the extent of unscrupulousness of those willing to ruin an entire population and even their own families for financial gain.

The intricate web of powerful folk and minions involved in this conscienceless trade is gasp-inducing, to say the least. It is also unnerving to see the soul-shattering effect that drugs can have on individuals who might otherwise have been humans with dignity.

So far so good. Then though, as if another director or multiple directors have taken over, the film unravels. Udta Punjab’s Achilles heel proves to be an inexplicable compulsion to assign a romance to each major mainstream star in the cast. The acting too is surprisingly patchy.

In fact, this film might be a good case study to help students understand that fine acting is rarely possible without the right chemistry between an actor, a director and a script. This can be the only explanation for why Shahid – whose stupendous performance in Haider (2014) remains fresh in the memory – is convincing in the first half but goes all goggle-eyed and almost comical once he apparently gets over his love for coke and sets out to help a stranger; or why the usually dependable Kareena here seems not to know when to wipe the twinkle out of her eyes.

Besides, there is no spark at all between her and the man in whom she appears to develop a romantic interest. As a result, that entire blossoming ‘relationship’ is awkwardly handled and appears contrived. Their younger co-star, Alia Bhatt, comes off better for the most part.

Likewise, Amit Trivedi’s music is as pleasing to the ear as always – especially the foot-stomping title track – but every good song is not good enough to be stuffed into a film. Ikk kudi, for instance, is well sung by Shahid Mallya, nice as a standalone number but maudlin in this context and completely out of sync with Udta Punjab’s initial tone.

It is a mystery why this film was allowed to come undone despite the tremendously gifted individuals involved and the extreme poignancy plus conviction of the first half. To watch a woman drugged into sexual submission, to hear her captors assure a potential rapist that “she is well trained” and will therefore not attack him, to witness the depths to which drug-addled brains will fall in their desperation for a fix is chilling beyond description.

After all this, then, to have a character suggest that he has recovered from his addiction because he fell for a woman is infuriatingly irresponsible; to see the film switch between heartbreak and the male protagonist’s serio-comic behaviour is confusing.

It is hard to believe that this uneven treatment of a grave issue has come to us from the director who delivered Vidya Balan to us in all her electrifying glory in the otherwise mixed bag that was Ishqiya (2010), from the man who gave us the genteel Dedh Ishqiya (2014) starring Madhuri Dixit-Nene and Huma Qureshi.

Mamta Kulkarni now a co-accused in drug racket case: Thane police

Thane Police on Saturday said that former actress Mamta Kulkarni was now a co-accused in a drug racket case along with husband Vicky Goswami, according to new evidence obtained.

“Mamta Kulkarni’s husband Vicky Goswami is already an accused,” ANI quoted Paramveer Singh of Thane police as saying in a press conference. “We will send a request to Interpol for a red corner notice against Mamta Kulkarni through CBI,” he further said.

Mamta Kulkarni. CNN-News18

Singh also said that the police was verifying the Kulkarni’s bank accounts and investments in connection with the drug rackets case.

According to The Indian Express , the Thane police has so far arrested 10 people in connection with the case in which ephedrine for medicines was allegedly being diverted from the Solapur unit of Avon Lifesciences Ltd and used for making narcotics.

Police had also said that the main accused in the case was also in touch with Goswami who had planned to used the ephedrine to make meth at a factory in Tanzania.

Another report in The Times of India said that the Thane police had earlier also planned to issue a red corner notice against Goswami.

The report added that the police also mentioned that Manoj Jain, the main accused in the case, had met Goswami along with another accused Kishore Rathor in January.

This entire drug racket first came to light when Thane police arrested a Nigerian man in a drug case on 18 April when the police seized around 18.5 tonne of ephedrine after raiding the premises of Avon Lifesciences Ltd in Maharashtra’s Solapur district.

According to police, ephedrine, which is a controlled drug, was allegedly being diverted from the Solapur unit of Avon Lifesciences and sent abroad after processing.

Singh said police have information that Kulkarni and other members of the drug syndicate participated in a meeting held on 8 January, 2016 in Mombasa, Kenya where the logistics involved in transporting ephedrine were discussed. Another meeting was held on 8 April in Dubai where two persons from Morocco were present along with Goswami and Kulkarni, he said.

Avon, whose executives are among those arrested in the case so far, had 2 crore shares of which 11 lakh was to be alloted to Kulkarni. She was also to be inducted on the company’s board. Assets and bank accounts of Kulkarni in India, managed by Goswami and her sister, were being probed, he said.

After the case had come under the media scanner, a city-based builder, from whom Kulkarni had bought flats, had denied any link with Goswami, a drug racket prime accused, or with drug syndicate.

Shabbir Patel, who faced allegations of links with drug mafia, had written a letter to Thane Police Commissioner Parambir Singh rejecting the charge.

“I have no links with anyone by the name of Vicky Goswami. The assertion made is absolutely false and unfounded and it is an irresponsible statement made with wanton disregard that is both bad in facts and in law,” Patel, of Oscar Builders, had stated in his letter.

Watch: ‘Dishoom’ trailer is action-porn and John, Varun are the cherry on the cake

As soon as we were told that Dishoom stars John Abraham and Varun Dhawan play cops in the film, we already knew who would play the good one, and who would play the bad.

John, playing the stern cop, is like Jackie Chan in Rush Hour, or Sylvester Stallone in Tango and Cash, while Varun Dhawan is the funny/goofy copy a la Chris Tucker or Kurt Russell. It’s a trope that works well in action films, and Rohit Dhawan’s Dishoom maximises this trope to its full potential.

The Dishoom trailer gets straight to the point, and wastes no time. The film revolves around a missing cricketer, and it’s Kabir Shergill (John) and Javed Ansari (Varun)’s job to find him, before a final match. Enter Jacqueline Fernandes, who is also a special agent, but also the token hotness quotient in the film.

dishoom

To the film’s credit, John and Varun haven’t escaped the sexualisation (they show off their masculinity and bare abs at any chance they get), so kudos to the makers on not discriminating between genders.

Add a host of action sequences, punches and blows, cars flying that would put Rohit Shetty to shame, and much bravado, and you get the power-packed trailer of Dishoom.

Special mention to Varun Dhawan’s comic timing, that seems to be getting only better with time. In a scene, with Jacqueline, he appears upside and tells her, “I’ve been practising the Spiderman kiss for years. Let’s?” and even though the dialogue is quite appalling, you can’t help but smile.

While the film seems rather predictable, and has its share of all the masala elements to make it a commercial entertainer, there’s something about the film’s no-nonsense plot, which paced quite well, makes us curious to watch it.

Also, welcome back Akshaye Khanna. We’ve missed you dearly.

Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor are back! Actors to shoot a YRF web series

After Gunday and the controversial AIB roast, bros and co-stars Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh are coming back together on screen.

aib-roast-feb3

According to this DNA report, the web series is “a romantic-action-drama that will attempt to showcase the bromance between Ranveer and Arjun apart from some slick action sequences.” It will also star a female lead.

While many filmmakers have been trying to get the duo to star in a film together, they have given the nod to this series, to be directed by Y Films creative head, Ashish Patil.

The script, also written by him, is still at a very early stage and dates are yet to be figured out given both the actors have a busy year ahead.

Y Films has done two popular web series so far, Man’s World and Bang Baaja Baraat.

Pankaj Tripathi: ‘Modi is the traditional Hindustani hero, Kejriwal is the common man’

He had been around for several years in the Hindi film industry before he played the bloodthirsty Sultan Qureshi in the film that became his calling card, Anurag Kashyap’s violence-ridden Gangs of Wasseypur in 2012.

Variety is clearly Pankaj Tripathi’s glucose as an artiste.

Last year in the internationally lauded and awarded Masaan, he played a hesitant suitor to a feisty female colleague, his manner towards her a marked contrast to the aggressive wooing of women by so many commercial Hindi film heroes even today. He is currently basking in the universal praise he has received for his performance as an eccentric school principal with questionable though well-intentioned teaching methods in the sleeper hit Nil Battey Sannata, in which Swara Bhaskar plays the lead. Nil Battey is now entering its seventh week in theatres, which is unprecedented for such a low-key, low-budget venture.

In a conversation with contributing editor Anna M.M. Vetticad, Pankaj Tripathi discusses the meaning of ‘mardaangi’ in Bollywood’s dictionary and heroes who molest heroines in the guise of courtship. He also explains why the success of small Hindi films these days telling stories of Everywoman and Everyman are a sign of changing audience tastes and an evolving society. These are excerpts from the English translation of an interview that was conducted in Hindi:

There is a line you did not cross with your character’s quirks in Nil Battey Sannata. Did you deliberately control yourself? Were you aware that if you crossed a certain line, you would have made Srivastava Sir effeminate?

Yes I was absolutely aware of it.

A caricatured effeminate man is a character we are used to seeing in Hindi cinema. Why did you stop yourself?

When I first read the role, he was quite flat. What you see on screen is not entirely what the character was in the script. I felt that since this film makes such a serious and important point, since it is a serious story of a mother and daughter, and there is humour in only that one scene where the mother comes to get admission for herself in school, my task was to make my character interesting. But there was a line in my mind that I was very clear I would not cross.

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Generally, when actors are trying to make their characters entertaining, they end up crossing the very thin line that divides entertainment and buffoonery. I wanted him to be believable as a serious guy. He is a Maths teacher, the kind I would have been if I had become a teacher: he is serious but he makes sure he starts off by livening up the class, catching the attention of students whose minds are wandering, so that everyone is alert when he teaches his subject. While doing so, I was determined that none of this should come across as a caricature, buffoonery or mimicry.

Most actors in such roles end up mimicking an old actor, either consciously or sub-consciously. They’ll play the teacher as, say, Prem Chopra, Pran or Jeevan might have played him. My references don’t come from cinema. Most actors who join films are very inspired by cinema. I’m not. I’ve perhaps seen 40 films in my life, perhaps two or three films from Hollywood or world cinema. So my performances are drawn from reality, from the life I’ve lived, the people I’ve met.

There’s nothing wrong with a man being what people consider effeminate. Why does Hindi cinema choose to caricature such men?

You should watch my next film Anarkali Arawali which stars Swara Bhaskar. I play a dancer from a small town called Ara in Bihar who runs a song and dance troupe and performs with them on stage. He has some very feminine moves when he dances,

You will see that this performance too is one I’ve given with great care to ensure that it does not cross over into buffoonery and a caricature of the kind actors do when they’re playing gay men on screen. Actors usually play gay to draw laughs and they end up misrepresenting gay people.

There is such a thing as maatra, amount. An actor shoud be aware of the economics of his gestures and emotions. Is this too much or too little, if I go beyond this will it be a waste? I learnt this from my guru, Baba B.V. Karanth at the National School of Drama. He said, Pankaj, you should not waste your gestures, they should be measured with care. Many actors get carried away, they start enjoying their own performance on set especially when the crew starts reacting with laughter during the shoot. They begin to think they’re doing a great job.

I begin to get worried if people on set enjoy my performance too much, because we forget that what they are seeing in real life and what I can then re-watch on our 16-17 inch monitor will be watched by the audience on a screen of 30 feet. What may seem less while shooting could be too much on the big screen.

Besides, I’ve worked as a cook so I know the exact texture, thickness, look and smell of a dish even before I make it. My process while acting too is similar.

Would you like to play a conventional macho Hindi film hero like the guy in Singham who flies through the air and beats up 50 people single-handedly? You know the kind of hero who exemplifies the Hindi film fixation with ‘mardaangi’?

No, because I would not be convinced myself. Or if I do, I’d make him slightly sanki, slightly abnormal, because I don’t think such a man can be normal.

You know, our society has changed quite a bit and is turning its back on many conventions. For instance, earlier when I used to visit Bihar, I would perhaps spot one girl in every five villages who would ride a bicycle and she would be a subject of much discussion, but when I visited my village a few months back I saw dozens of girls riding cycles to schools. So certainly our society’s mentality towards women is changing, that whole notion of mardaangi would have been acceptable to most people but now in a small way it is being questioned. The male mindset is changing in a small way, largely because young people who have been exposed to the outside world and to world cinema through the Internet are questioning everything. They are much more aware than us, the older generation.

You mentioned the dramatic change in your village. Do you think the marginal changes we are seeing in the attitude towards this so-called ‘mardaangi’ is a result of society influencing Hindi cinema, or are our films being influenced by society?

This is always a tough question. In India I feel society is influenced by cinema, everyone is aping films. However, young people who are responsible for filling up halls on opening weekends, these youngsters are refusing to be constrained by society’s rules at least in our big cities. If they’re gay they want to be open about it, they don’t want to hide their sexual preferences. Urban Indian society has become more open-minded and since urban audiences contribute greatly to our film collections, we are seeing more characters who are not the routine macho type.

After Gangs of Wasseypur I kept getting offers to play raw characters who were goondas. I got sick of it. In Bihar there is a term, mahua, which is the complete opposite of macho. I decided I wanted to play a role like that. I’d had enough of the macho stuff.

Earlier actors had a great hunger for roles that were described as powerful, you hear actors giving interviews saying they want powerful roles, when what they’re talking about is the traditional macho role where the hero would beat up people, everyone would be scared of him and they would bow before him. These characters emerge from a feudal mindset. Most of our heroes were people with this mentality, but that old feudal system is gone and many of today’s real life heroes are people who would definitely not be seen as macho.