Tag Archives: khans

How Dilip Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan’s camaraderie goes way beyond photo opportunities

Shah Rukh Khan’s recent visit to check on the health of the 94-year old Dilip Kumar, upon the latter’s return after spending a few days in the hospital for some kidney related problem, brought to mind the sweet bond that the two have shared over the years.

The thespian and his wife, Saira Banu, have publicly expressed their love for Shah Rukh Khan on numerous occasions and in fact, have even said that SRK is the child that they would have loved to have.

Besides having a few things in common with the younger Khan — including the same number of Filmfare awards for the Best Actor, eight to be exact, and both playing Devdas at some point in their careers — Dilip sahab’s fondness for Shah Rukh Khan also mirrors the manner in which he has interacted with some of the superstars who followed him.

Dilip Kumar’s influence on Indian cinema is peerless and this influence extends beyond acting prowess. It was Dilip Kumar’s persona that inspired more than a few generation of actors such as Manoj Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan, and almost every single one of them famously modelled certain aspects of their craft on Dilip Kumar.

In Manoj Kumar’s case, he even took his screen name ‘Manoj’ after a character that Dilip Kumar portrayed in one of his films, Shabnam (1949). Dharmendra often mentions that even though he came to (then) Bombay to try his hand at acting, meeting Dilip Kumar was perhaps a bigger draw for him. During the shooting of one of his initial films in the late 1950s, Dharmendra met Dilip Kumar’s sister, and thanks to her ended up spending an evening at Dilip Kumar’s residence. Late in the night when Dharam ji was leaving, Dilip Kumar gave him a sweater as it had been raining, and to this day, the sweater is a prized possession for the former.

Later the emergence of Rajesh Khanna as the new superstar coincided with the period where Dilip Kumar had considerably reduced his output, but even then the public interaction between Dilip Kumar and other leading men, such as Khanna and later Amitabh Bachchan, was the same. It’s not just Hindi films where Dilip Kumar’s impact, both as an actor and an elder, was felt. His friendship with the iconic Sivaji Ganesan, and later his influence on a Kamal Haasan, is also well documented.

Now Kangana Ranaut writes an open letter: ‘If Saif Ali Khan’s point is true, I’d be a farmer’

In his open letter on Kangana Ranaut and nepotism, Saif Ali Khan mentioned how he is not on social media because it comes across as ‘fake’. Now, Ranaut has responded with an open letter of her own. Thus, open letters seem to be the tweet equivalent of those who have chosen to distance themselves from social media.

Saif Ali Khan and Kangana Ranaut in a still from Rangoon. Twitter

In her open letter, Ranaut clarifies that her response to Saif’s letter should not be  viewed as a clash of individuals but as a healthy exchange of ideas. Ranaut largely countered Saif on three arguments. Firstly, she explained how the nepotism is not a personal issue between both of them and in fact, addresses a much larger issue that concerns society as a whole. Therefore, she argued that Saif did owe an explanation to the public, and not just a personal apology to Ranaut.

“Nepotism is a practice where people tend to act upon temperamental human emotions, rather than intellectual tendencies. Businesses that are run by human emotions and not by great value-systems, might gain superficial profits. However, they cannot be truly productive and tap into the true potential of a nation of more than 1.3 billion people,” she said in her open letter.

Secondly, she contested Saif’s claim about genetics playing a role in children of film personalities inheriting their talents. She argued that artistic skills, hard-work, experience, concentration spans, enthusiasm, eagerness, discipline and love, which are prerequisites of making it large in the film industry, can not be inherited.

“If your point was true, I would be a farmer back home. I wonder which gene from my gene-pool gave me the keenness to observe my environment, and the dedication to interpret and pursue my interests,” she said, in her open letter.

She even challenged Saif’s allegation on the media for being a part of the vicious cycle of nepotism. She said that nepotism is a part of the human nature, not a crime. While she said there is no point in getting defensive about one’s choice, she also clarified that nepotism is not the way to go forward.

“In my opinion, that is an extremely pessimistic attitude for a Third World country, where many people don’t have access to food, shelter, clothing, and education. The world is not an ideal place, and it might never be. That is why we have the industry of arts. In a way, we are the flag-bearers of hope,” she signed off.

Raees box office collection: Shah Rukh Khan’s film has Rs 21 crore opening

Shah Rukh Khan has proved yet again, his penchant for making a solid opening at the box office with his latest release Raees.

Raees, directed by Rahul Dholakia and produced by Excel Entertainment and Red Chillies, was expected to take in anything between Rs 17-19 crores in box office collections when it opened on Wednesday, 25 January 2017.

The predictions seemed in line with SRK’s previous releases — Fan (which brought in Rs 19 crores on opening day) and Dilwale (which had a Rs 21 crore opening).

As per early reports, which have taken into consideration the screen count (approximately 2,600) and occupancy levels (reported to be around 60 percent through the day), the Day 1 box office collection has been estimated at Rs 21 crore.

Trade observer Ramesh Bala tweeted out the early figures: “Looking at the early day one numbers, Raees seems to have outdone Kaabil by a huge margin at the box office: Raees — Rs 21 crore; Kaabil — Rs 7.5 crore.

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1 figures for Raees at Rs. 20.5 crore, stating: “Considering the fact that Wednesday was a regular working day with the only advantage being the big holiday on Thursday (Republic Day), due to which evening and night shows were better than normal, Raees has clearly taken a very positive start at the box office.”

While official figures are still awaited, it is Day 2 figures for both Raees and Kaabil that will be keenly watched. It remains to be seen how much the public holiday will benefit the business of both films.

Animal activists protest against Salman Khan’s acquittal in poaching case

Bikaner: Scores of activists from the Bishnoi community have protested against the acquittal of Bollywood actor Salman Khan by the Rajasthan High Court in two cases related to poaching of Chinkaras in Jodhpur in 1998.

Salman Khan. PTI

Bishnoi community members, who are known for their love of wild animals especially chinkaras and deers, held protests and burnt posters of the actor yesterday.

“We protested against the acquittal of Salman Khan in the cases and burnt his posters,” Vijay Delu, district president of Akhil Bhartiya Jeev Raksha Vishnoi Mahasabha said.

Bab Lal Jaju of animal welfare organization ‘People for Animals’ said the decision of the high court has disappointed animal lovers.

“Yesterday was a black day for animal lovers. We are disappointed and urge the state government to challenge the order in the Supreme court,” Jaju said on Tuesday.

The court had held that the pellets recovered from the Chinkaras were not fired from Khan’s licensed gun.

Watch: The real star of ‘Sultan’ trailer is Salman Khan’s Haryanvi accent

There’s a dialogue in the much-awaited trailer of Salman Khan’s next film, Sultan, which goes something like this, “Asli pehlwaan ki pehchaan akhade mein nahin, zindagi mein hai (a fighter’s real identity is not found in the ring, but in life).”

This can be aptly said about Salman Khan’s life. In contrast to his larger-than-life, on-screen image is his personal life — full of controversies. Balancing between the two can be quite the fight. Ever since his legal battles have grabbed the country’s collective attention, we have seen Salman try to give us on-screen characters that are largely white in the black/white scale.

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However, after 25 years in the industry, it was finally with Bajrangi Bhaijaan that we saw something in Salman that we probably would not associate with him before: hard work. We saw a star who believed in his character and played it to a good degree of its potential.

In Yash Raj Films’ Sultan, Salman’s hardwork can be amply seen in the training he must have undergone to develop and maintain an impressive physique through the shooting of the film.

But that is Salman’s forte. What really takes you by surprise in the trailer is his Haryanvi accent. It’s not completely authentic, by any means, but it surprisingly works. It’s not the kind of accent you hear in a metro in Gurgaon, but it’s an accent that will remind you of a Haryanvi kushti player.

The trailer itself is quite telling of the sports drama that Sultan is going to be. It’s entertaining in places and holds your attention enough to let the goofy bits pass by.

Anushka Sharma, who has been breaking out of her bubbly girl phase with movies like Bombay Velvet and NH10, seems like a fitting co-actor for Salman. Her character of Aarfa, a female wrestler, is not the typical Hindi film heroine by a mile, but she retains the spark we have grown to love in her.

She’s our second favourite aspect about the Sultan trailer, after Salman’s accent. We love it because it finally shows us that he’s taking his movies seriously.

May the best Khan win: Shah Rukh Khan pits ‘Raees’ with Salman Khan’s ‘Sultan’ this Eid

The crash of 2015 won’t avert the clash of 2016. It seems Shah Rukh Khan has learnt no lessons from his demoniacal debacle last Christmas when he chose to release Dilwale with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani against all advice, including the Dilwale director Rohit Shetty’s apparent imploration against the head-on collision.

You’d think a wise man and a super entrepreneur like Shah Rukh Khan would have learnt his lesson. No such luck. Despite reports to the contrary SRK will go ahead with another boxoffice clash in 2016. This time he takes on an even more formidable adversary.

Meanwhile, Salman Khan’s makeover as at wrestler in Sultan already has the Salmaniacs drooling in anticipation.

And the date is Eid, which is Salman’s slot when the entire Muslim and Hindu population of India heads to the theatres to watch a his film. Into this insulated paradisaical passage that joins Salman to his fans, enters the other Khan superstar with a film that takes him away from his lover-boy image.

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I wonder what undisclosed reckless impulses has prompted Shah Rukh to take on Salman on the latter’s home territory! Could it be that stubborn defiant streak that we saw in him when he was told to apologize for his comments on Tolerant/Intolerant India? Shah Rukh never turns back even when the road ahead is strewn with broken glass.

Why Eid for Raees?  Diwali is when audiences welcome Shah Rukh Khan with open arms and emptied-out pockets. Give them anything for Diwali, and his fans will lap it up. But during Eid they look for Bhai on the silver screen as the moon peeps out of the clouds. It’s like offering gujiyas for Eid and saiwaiyyan for Diwali. The palate is incongruous.

In the film, Shah Rukh plays Raees Alam, a hooch don in prohibition-ridden Gujarat in the 1980s. From its theme to the choice of leading lady (Pakistan’s Mahira Khan) everything in Raees spells ‘controversy.’

It most certainly seems like a battle of unequals. So what makes Shah Rukh Khan so sure he can pull this off? Could ‘King’ Khan be over-estimating his own power at the box-office and underestimating Salman’s hold over the Eid slot? Or is Shah Rukh just cockily confident of his own space in spite of the underperformance of Dilwale last Christmas?

The last time and only time that Shah Rukh Khan took on Salman at the box-office was in 2006 when on October 20 Shah Rukh’s Don released alongside Salman’s Jann-e-Mann.

Jaan-e-Mann bombed, and Don was a blockbuster. To this day Salman jokes how he urged his fans to watch his colleague’s Don, and they took him too seriously.

It would be interesting to see if the two Khan superstars promote one another’s films this Eid. Or would they drop their lately-assumed postures of bonhomie and get cut-throat in their competitiveness?

This year’s Eid looks severely aggressive. May the best Khan win.

Salman Khan’s girlfriend Iulia Vantur sneaks into his house?

Salman Khan’s girlfriend Iulia Vantur sneaks into his house?

The Romanian beauty is on a roll in India!
Much has been said about Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s girlfriend Iulia Vantur. The Romanian television presenter has turned heads and raised eyebrows after getting caught time and again with Salman but has managed to fool the paparazzi in doing so.

However we have managed to get our hands on an eyewitness who tells us how Salman’s girlfriend sneaks into Galaxy apartments (where Salman resides) without anyone’s notice. “Iulia travels in a rickshaw to reach bhai’s apartment. This way she is hidden from the flashing cameras that follow Salman everywhere. Salman’s bodyguards are also kept at bay from her for the same reason. It is better this way for them to move in or around the city,” says the source.

Salman Khan’s girlfriend Iulia Vantur sneaks into his house?

Even after playing hide and seek with the media, the duo were caught red-handed a few days ago when Salman was spotted coming out of Varun Dhawan‘s Juhu home with a woman in the backseat of his car. And the woman was none other than Iulia. Well that’s something for a couple who is trying hard to keep their relationship under the wraps.

Now that Salman Khan is a free man after his many have started guessing the time of his marriage. While previously Sallu had a reason to rubbish the rumours, what will the actor do now when there’s no excuse?

Phantom review: Kabir Khan’s ‘thriller’ with Saif Ali Khan, Katrina Kaif is plain boring

There is only one explanation for Phantom: the cast and crew of the film really wanted a paid holiday. This in itself is not an objectionable aspiration. Who doesn’t want to be able to bounce around London, Beirut, Chicago and other beautiful parts of the world, and get paid to do so? However, when the cost of that bouncing around is approximately Rs 55 crores and those who foot that bill expect the movie-going public to recover that amount as box office collection, things may get a little more complicated.

As an idea, Phantom crackles with possibility. Humiliated and furious after the terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008, India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) decides to send an operative on a covert mission to teach those who plotted against India a lesson. He is a man who goes unnoticed in crowds and who has evaded Google’s all-seeing eye. He doesn’t care if his target has a human side or redeeming qualities — if you had any part to play in the Mumbai attacks, the phantom wants you dead.

In your head, you now see a desi super spy with Daniel Craig’s cool menace, Tom Cruise’s stunt-worthiness, Jason Statham’s punches. What you get in Phantom is Saif Ali Khan.

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As court-martialled soldier Daniyal, Khan takes the idea of a game face to a whole new level. For all of 147 minutes, he sports precisely one expression, give or take some make up and facial hair. He doesn’t move as much as lumber, he is thoroughly indiscreet and everywhere he goes, he sticks out like a sore thumb. If this was because of his good looks, we’d forgive it. But Khan spends the entire film looking both awkward and impassive, as though he’s got a hangover and is doing his best to block out the headache.

One can’t help but feel that there was hope and a prayer governing the decision to name Katrina Kaif’s character Nawaz in Phantom. Sadly, those prayers were not answered. Almost sharing a name with Nawazuddin Siddiqui doesn’t ensure the transference of his acting ability. Compared to Khan’s one expression, Kaif has none. Whether she’s crying over lives lost or reminiscing about having tea at the Taj Mahal Hotel, there’s not a hint of emotion to mar her perfect complexion and gorgeous features.

Smartly, director Kabir Khan decides to not rely upon his lead pair’s charisma and acting skills to woo the audience. Instead, he takes the audience globe trotting. We begin in Mumbai, move on to Kashmir, London, Chicago, Beirut, a recreated-in-Lebanon Syria and finally land up in Pakistan. In each place, people are killed and Daniyal wrinkles his brow, possibly because he’s trying to figure out how much of his beard he should trim since his facial hair changes as much as the landscape in Phantom.

When a film rests upon Khan and Kaif to hold the audience’s attention, the action better be explosive and the plot, tightly-wound. The stunts aren’t bad in Phantom, but they’re not memorable. Still, the sounds of explosions and bullets will at least keep you awake. For the plot, there is only one word: woeful. Phantom could have been a clever film. It borrows heavily from very dramatic, real incidents that are begging to be fictionalised. Only here, the characters are badly drawn, the dialogues are clumsy, the transitions are jumpy and the politics are horribly simplified — it’s as though the screenplay was written overnight. The film quickly starts feeling predictable and the strategies to kill the terrorists are not particularly gripping. It doesn’t help that one of the plans requires us to watch (and hear) Daniyal doing potty.

But well before art imitates life, you have to wonder about RAW’s judgement when we see Daniyal in action the first time around. With Nawaz, Daniyal is first supposed to identify a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative in a packed stadium and then, they’re to discreetly follow the suspect around London. Daniyal and Nawaz’s behaviour is so shifty and obviously suspicious — Daniyal’s midlife-crisis-signalling leather jacket really doesn’t help — that it’s a wonder they weren’t snapped up for questioning by the British security service.

Not only can he not blend in, Daniyal lets Nawaz (a civilian under contract with RAW) know he’s going around killing Lashkar operatives. This is not necessarily the best way to keep a top-secret plot, secret. Nawaz then proceeds to get deeply involved in Daniyal’s mission to avenge India. Why? Because her daddy used to take her to have tea and chocolate pastry at the Taj when she was a kid. If it’s the dessert-flavoured memory that’s fuelling her, it’s a good thing Nawaz hasn’t been back to Bombay and tasted Le 15’s chocolate and salted caramel tart.

Kabir Khan also tries the standard trick of casting good actors in key supporting roles, but Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Rajesh Tailang and Zeeshan Ayyub are all wasted on characters that have been badly written. Ayyub, for instance, plays Samit Mishra, a chap who appears in the RAW director’s office out of nowhere. We mean this literally. His introductory scene literally has him materialise in the middle of a meeting, on the couch in the RAW director’s office, as though he’s been beamed in place by Starship Enterprise. Most tragically, he doesn’t even get to have chai with Nawaz despite having ventured into enemy waters to save her life.

Things finally turn a little tense in the second half of the film, when Daniyal is in Pakistan and the ISI start closing their net around him. There are a few close calls and at one point, it seems like Daniyal just might get caught after all. Unfortunately, since Daniyal might be the most bland and uncharismatic hero we’ve seen on screen in years, no one cares if he lives or dies. The man spends 147 minutes killing bad guys — Pakistani bad guys, no less — and the only moment when he drew cheers from the crowd was when he told a baddie called Haaris Saeed that India wants “insaf“.

In case you haven’t guessed, Haaris Saeed is the stand-in name for Hafiz Saeed. Evidently, his name was changed to Haaris at the last moment since when speaking of him, all the characters’ lips say “Hafiz” but voices say “Haaris”. Sajid Mir, the Lashkar-e-Taiba commander, doesn’t enjoy that privilege. Even the photo that we’re shown of him is quite similar to the photos of Mir that are in circulation.

Considering how Phantom cheerfully borrows from real life and makes no bones about ISI being in cahoots with Lashkar-e-Taiba, it isn’t surprising that the film isn’t being shown in Pakistan. However, considering just how much of a bore Phantom is, for once the Pakistani courts may just have done our neighbours a favour.

Chronicling Aamir Khan’s tears from Satyamev Jayate to Katti Batti

Aamir Khan seems to be crying quite the river.

He was recently spotted walking out of the screening of Katti Batti and he reportedly shed tears during the film. This piece of news came after a series of instances where the actor was spotted crying.

It all started with a couple of tears, here and there, during his show on social issues Satyamev Jayate.