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Shah Rukh Khan, Ranveer Singh, Sushant Singh Rajput’s films may clash on Christmas 2018

December 2018 is going to be packed with big-ticket films. Two of Bollywood’s biggest stars — Shah Rukh Khan and Ranveer Singh, might have a box office clash in the coming year. According to a report by India Today, Aanand L Rai’s film which stars Shah Rukh Khan and Rohit Shetty’s remake of a popular Tamil action starring Ranveer might release on the same day in December 2018.

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However, another actor who joins the race is Sushant Singh Rajput, whose Kedarnath is releasing on 21 December 2018, too. Therefore, Bollywood buffs have a lot to look forward to during 2018’s Christmas weekend.

Although the release dates of Shetty and Rai’s films have not been confirmed yet, speculations about both the films hitting the screens in December next year are rife. This clash, if it occurs, will be a major one since Saif Ali Khan’s daughter Sara Ali Khan is also making her Bollywood debut with Kedarnath. Shah Rukh, too, is doing a highly experimental film after a while and the action flick will be Singh and Shetty’s first collaboration.

Shah Rukh and Singh’s films have previously clashed with each other only once. In 2015, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani and Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale had opened on the same day. Bhansali’s period drama surpassed Shetty’s rom-com in terms of box office collection.

Befikre quick movie review: Ranveer Singh, Vaani Kapoor shine in Aditya Chopra’s sweet rom-com

Befikre steers far away from a typical Yash Raj Films love story and deals with both the past and the present of its protagonists.

The past:

Dharam — played by an ebullient Ranveer Singh — is a stand-up comedian from Delhi. Dharam moves to Paris, the city of love and creativity and artistic endeavour, to perform at a bar that’s called Delhi Belly.

Shyra — the very photogenic Vaani Kapoor — works in Paris as a tourist guide. She was born to Indian parents, but her character is depicted as being very French.

Vaani Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in a still from 'Befikre'

Dharam meets Shyra at a party: He’s desperately trying to get a girl to go home with him for the night; she dares him to meet a challenge; he wins [cue Hindi song playing at a French nightclub] and they go home to enjoy a wild romp.

They clearly have the kind of chemistry that’s the stuff of romcom lore, but Shyra — in a reversal of the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am trope, tells Dharam that she’s not interested in getting serious with him since she’s just been through a break-up. Fine, sex with no-strings-attached it is then.

So far, so good.

Of course, once is not enough and we see Dharam and Shyra embark on a wildly uninhibited relationship. As a throwback to their first meeting, Shyra keeps setting Dharam new dares and challenges. He fulfills them, and their spicy, somewhat kinky relationship moves forward. Finally, they decide that to live in together.

Cut to a different time, and we see Dharam and Shyra have come some distance from those first heady, explosive days. Now they’re in the apartment they share, hurling abuses at each other — the argument takes an ugly turn and they decide to part ways.

The present:

Can two individuals who’ve shared a past navigate new ground as friends? This is what Dharam and Shyra must confront in their present.

That they get to do this against the scenic backdrop of Paris is a huge bonus. Aditya Chopra has chosen some breathtaking settings as the location for his latest film, and as an viewer, one is glad for that.

What about the actors though? Do they match up to Paris?

Ranveer Singh makes for a perfect Dharam. He’s the quintessential Delhi brat who adapts quickly to life in Paris, and proves yet again why he’s considered among the most versatile actors of his generation. Vaani has a job keeping up, but is able to deliver what the role requires. Most of the first half is given over to visuals of the couple making out. (We’re not complaining.)

It helps that Befikre keeps things breezy and light during the first half. Fun and humour are sprinkled liberally throughout the first half and you’re ensured a feel-good time.

But does it also feel — well, frivolous?

Is there more to this film than its good looks?

Ranveer plays Dharam, while Vaani Kapoor is Shyra in Befikre'

***

Post-interval, we’re back in our seats, and ready to watch more of Dharam and Shyra’s adventures unfold. And boy! do they not disappoint.

Now far too many films of late have fallen prey to ‘the curse of the second half’. Everything’s hunky dory in the first, but after the interval, boom! the film loses its plot.

Surprise, surprise — Befikre does not suffer from this fate.

In fact, its second act lifts Befikre to a more beautiful level.

What do Dharam and Shyra get up to in the second half? We left them, dealing with a break-up, and trying to be ‘just friends’. The plot thickens when each of them gets into new romantic relationships. We can’t give more away other than saying, the duo has a lot to deal with.

[Spoiler alert] There’s an exceptional scene, set on a yacht where Ranveer Singh goes completely ‘befikre‘ and bares his derriere. And we’ll only say this: It is a sight to behold.

Does Befikre have a conventional happy ending? You’ll have to see the film to find out.

Does it any point seem clichéd? Yes, Dharam and Shyra’s journey, while fun, is hardly groundbreaking. But perhaps what works for Befikre, is that it does not try to be groundbreaking. Aditya Chopra’s first directorial venture in eight years plays to its strengths: It’s entertaining, beautiful and light.

When the Befikre trailer released, there were doubts over whether or not the film had more to it than seen in these promos. To be honest, there’s isn’t much else to the story beyond what’s seen in those trailers. But that’s not disappointing at all.

At a little over two hours, Befikre is short, sweet and a bonafide Bollywood rom-com.

Ranveer Singh on working with Shahid in Padmavati: ‘Excited to collaborate with him’

After starring as the lead protagonist in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela (2013) and Bajirao Mastani (2015), Ranveer Singh is all set to play the antagonist Alauddin Khilji in Bhansali’s next period drama Padmavati.

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Bhansali’s Padmavati has just recently gone on floors and stars Deepika Padukone in the titular role as the beautiful queen of Chittor who plays a pivotal role in a battle.

While Ranveer Singh was already slotted to star in the film opposite his alleged real life girlfriend; the news of Shahid Kapoor joining the cast as Raja Ratan Rawal Singh — Rani Padmini’s husband also sparked rumours about a rivalry brewing between the leading men on sets.

While the shoot of Padmavati has just taken off; Ranveer Singh took time out to clarify a few things about his alleged rivalry with his costar in an exclusive interview with HT Cafe.

He told the daily that when he found out that the script required a third hero, he spoke to Bhansali that they “should get the best possible actor to play this part.” And I am very excited about Shahid [coming on board]. I think he’s a brilliant actor and an amazing inclusion to our team. He will add immense value.”

He also added the reports of any friction between the actors was not true since he and Shahid share a warm and affectionate equation with each other and also work out at the same gym. “I have tremendous amount of respect and admiration for his work and him as an actor. I have been watching his films even before I got into the industry. I am excited to be collaborating with him.” Singh elaborated in the interview.

This is not the only point of controversy surrounding Padmavati though. Reports had suggested that Sanjay Leela Bhansali had been asked to portray the historical drama with historical accuracy by a political organisation, or he wouldn’t be allowed in Gujarat.

Shatrugan Sinha thinks Ranveer Singh would do a good job starring in his biopic

Mumbai: Actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha, who recently launched his biography here, says if a film on his life is made, he would like Bajirao Mastani actor Ranveer Singh to star in it.

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan launched his biography Anything But Khamosh: The Shatrughan Sinha Biography on February 19.

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“I feel it would be a good story and it will be great as it’s a very inspirational story. There is romance, entertainment and everything in it. If a Hindi film is made on my biography, then Ranveer Singh can do a good job or my sons Luv and Kush who resemble me. I myself would like to do something,” Shatrughan told IANS.

The 338-page book has been written by renowned columnist, critic and author Bharathi S Pradhan. Seven years of research, 37 interviews and over 200 hours of taped conversations with photographs from the Sinha family’s private archives have gone into the writing and making of the biography.

He said: “It’s a very gripping book. Once you start reading, you don’t feel like leaving it in between. Most of my friends who have started reading this, told me that they can’t stop by reading just two or three pages.”

Ranveer Singh bares it all and opens up about his experience with casting couch

The film industry is often thought to be sexist towards women, constantly idealising their bodies and specific parts in general and dissing their brains. Stories about the ‘casting couch’ (promise of film offers/career growth for sex) have done their fair share of rounds in the media. However, we often work under the assumption that it is only women who are faced with the ‘casting couch’. In a candid interview for NDTV, Ranveer Singh opened up about his own experiences with the film industry evil.

Ranveer Singh. AFP

Ranveer Singh recalled how he met with a “sleazy gentleman” in the Andheri suburbs of Mumbai on the pretext that the person in question would go through his portfolio. Ranveer spoke of how it was apparent that he was not interested in the portfolio. “He didn’t even look at it,” said Ranveer. He told Ranveer that to succeed one must be “smart and sexy and be able to take and touch” and said, “Jo smart hai aur sexy hai woh aage nikal jaata hai (the one who is smart and sexy will move forward)”

Ranveer said that he said, “Kal main tumhe yeh office mein bhejunga, woh office mein bhejunga, tab tum kahoge take and touch (tomorrow I will send you to various offices and you will come and say, here take and touch). It was not enough for Ranveer to say no, when the person in question tried to negotiate and asked to touch it (penis), even if Ranveer did not want to do anything and then said if he could at least show it.

Ranveer mentioned how this is not a unique thing that happened to him and the ‘casting couch’ is a problem faced by many male struggling actors and not just an issue specific to women.

Meet the male lead of Aditya Chopra’s next film ‘Befikre': Ranveer Singh

Trust Yash Raj Films to take making official announcements to the next level.

Aditya Chopra, Yash Raj’s head honcho, is a quiet man, with very rare public appearances. The last we heard, he was working on his next film titled Befikre and was compulsively searching for a suitable cast.

Chopra calls this film his “happiest, youngest and riskiest” one to date, and had been planning to make an announcement on the cast on Tuesday morning.

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So here it is: Ranveer Singh will play the male lead in Befikre. 

In a candid, emotional video uploaded on YRF’s youtube channel, Ranveer revealed this news, taking us all down memory lane.

The three minute video shot on the fourth floor of Yash Raj Films in Andheri, Mumbai, has Singh revealing that no less than five years ago he was at the same place, having been offered the biggest role of his life (his debut role in Band Baaja Baraat).

Sporting his Bajirao Mastani look, a nostalgic Ranveer tells us how, five years later, Aditya Chopra himself came out of his office to find Ranveer crying in happiness on being cast in Befikre, only to tell him, “Tu kar lega (you’ll do it)”

Watch the announcement video here:

Khiladi on fire: Watch Akshay Kumar nearly escape an accident on the sets of ‘Singh is Bling’

Akshay Kumar is known to pull off his own action stunts in films, no matter how dangerous they may be. On the sets of Singh is Bling recently, Kumar survived a fire accident just in time.

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While shooting for the song ‘Tung Tung Baaje‘ from the film, Kumar had to jump through a ring of fire. In the film, he plays a Sardar who prides himself on being a daredevil.

In a video released by the film’s production house Grazing Goat films, Kumar is seen rehearsing with his stuntmen many times before jumping through the circle fire. In one such jump, he misses the mark and the flaming circle falls onto him.

Fortunately, with help on time, Kumar survived the accident unharmed.

He tweeted about the accident on Tuesday evening:

Irrfan Khan feels he is not talented enough to play Gabbar Singh.

His talent is something the industry and the audience vouch for. Irrfan has time and again proved how he can play the most challenging roles with such ease and finesse. The way he played Paan Singh Tomar in a biopic titled by the same name will remain in the history for decades to come.

So recently, at a popular chat show hosted by Anupam Kher, when Irrfan was asked which character he would love to portray if given an opportunity to be a part of the Sholay remake, he, instead of saying Gabbar Singh, said that he would prefer to play Jai that was played by Amitabh Bachchan in the 1975 classic.

It comes as a big surprise because firstly, every actor in the original wanted to play the dreaded dacoit and secondly because, Gabbar Singh happens to be one of Irrfan’s most favourite on-screen characters. When asked why he wouldn’t want to reprise Gabbar Singh’s role in the remake, pat came the reply, “I am not talented enough to play that role. I would love to play Jai that Amitji had played in the original.” That coming from such an incredible actor only proves that even though Irrfan has an image and reputation of an arrogant guy, he is one of the humblest actors around.

When further asked who he misses the most in his life today, a visibly emotional Irrfan took his father’s name and said he will never forget the way his father used to move his hand over his head with unparalleled love, care and affection. That is something he will cherish for this lifetime. No wonder, Irrfan has achieved such great heights of success even in international cinema.  After all, his father’s blessings and prayers seems to have been answered.