Shoojit Sircar, whose last film Madras Cafe got him worldwide critical acclaim, is now all set to be back with a great gala offering in the form of Piku.
The film, which is expected to begin in July this year, deals with a different take on the relationship of a father and daughter. Sircar has signed the legendary Amitabh Bachchan to play the father, while Deepika Padukone will be playing his daughter. Besides them, the film will also star Irrfan Khan in a very important role.
Shah Rukh Khan has always been a self-confessed fan of Rajinikanth. So much so that he had the legendary actor feature in a cameo in Ra.One and also paid a tribute to him in Chennai Express with a special song dedicated to him.
And now, the stars will be seen together yet again at a special event. The news is that, tomorrow, SRK will now be flying in a charter plane to Chennai to attend the trailer and music launch of Kochadaiiyaan, a film which stars Rajinikanth as well as his Chennai Express co-star Deepika Padukone. In the charter plane, SRK will be joined by Deepika Padukone, AR Rahman and others. Talking about the development, the film's director Soundarya Rajinikanth Ashwin said that they are delighted with Shah Rukh Khan attending the function. She added that SRK, who always has been vocal about his support towards Rajinikanth's work, has now gone out of his way to be a part of the launch.
It's been quite a while since Shiney Ahuja was last seen on the silver screen, with his last release being Ghost. His career came crashing down after he was accused of raping his maid.
Just as one thought that all was over for Shiney, help came (very unexpectedly) in the form of Anees Bazmee, who has now signed him for a funny but an important role in his multi-starrer film Welcome Back.
Speaking about Shiney, Bazmee said that he has signed Shiney for Welcome Back for a very funny role and that they we are kicked about teaming up with him. He said that he is not worried about anything as his schedules will be wrapped up really soon and that the film will be up for release in December 2014. He also wondered as to why the Bhatts dropped him (Shiney) as their production house was like a second home to him. Meanwhile, a visibly excited Shiney said it was indeed a privilege to work with Anees, who, he terms as a director with an unusual combo of positive energy and wisdom of a veteran. He added that he was really happy to be a part of the Welcome Back team.
11 months after his last hit Chashme Baddoor, Ali Zafar is back on the big screen with Total Siyapaa. While the David Dhawan directed comedy was as 'filmy' as it gets, Total Siyapaa is on the lines of other concept based films like Tere Bin Laden and London Paris New York that Ali has been a part of.
"Mostly, what I look for in my films is the content of the script. Also, it works when such films are made on a tight budget. Like for example Total Siyapaa was shot in 28 days flat. We could afford to do that as the script was water tight and we didn't have to invent things on the sets. I could pretty much sense that the shooting would be smooth once Neeraj Pandey shared the script with me. It sounded very direct and balanced. Now that was a feat in itself because the very subject of an Indian girl falling for a Pakistani girl could have been a little sensitive. My director E. Niwas balanced it out in a humorous way," says Ali.
A remake of Only Human, which was a comedy of errors featuring a Palestinian boy and a Jewish girl, Total Siyapaa has been suitably Indianised.
"Yes," says Ali, "While the core plot is just the same, the dialogues are very original. With the Indo-Pak angle coming in, there is an added fun element brought in."
What also brings in added fun is Kirron Kher's performance in the film. Apparently, Ali shares quite a lot of screen space with the veteran actress who has a flair for comedy.
"Her presence in the film creates a fair balance. She is required to go over top and that is helpful as it gives me a chance to be subdued. In a way, our characters complement each other," smiles Ali, "Moreover, Neeraj was quite convinced about how he wanted to present our combination to the audience. I really had a lot of faith in his intellect. In future too, I would like to work with people like him again."
Meanwhile, he also liked working with Yaami Gautam who is his fifth new female co-star.
"What really distinguishes Yaami is that, she is a very real person. There are no airs that she carries about herself. She is always on time, is very punctual, humble and a wonderful co-star to work with. When you co-star is so nice, it is a delight to be on the sets. Also, the chemistry comes out very well. Yaami has been an absolutely no-nonsense girl," smiles Ali before signing off.
The title of the film Youngistaan which recently ran into trouble after Pepsi Co. filed a lawsuit against them for copyright infringement, now gets to retain the title but on the condition of displaying a disclaimer along with it.
Pepsi Co. was upset when MSM Motion Pictures and Pooja Entertainment's film was titled Youngistaan considering the fact that they had run a campaign with the same name. Hence they had filed a case against the producers as they had the trademark for 'Youngistaan'.
However, now, the two parties have settled amicably where Pepsi Co's rights on the word have been acknowledged and the title of the film too will not undergo any change. However, the filmmakers have been asked to carry a disclaimer on the title credits of the movie, theatrical trailers and end slate in all their official digital media communications. Thrilled over the change of events, Vashu Bhagnani of Pooja Entertainment also revealed that he is happy about the settlement and wanted the title as it aptly depicts the spirit of the film.
Youngistaan stars Jackky Bhagnani, Neha Sharma, Farooq Sheikh, Boman Irani in prominent roles and is slated to release on March 28, 2014.
Not so long ago Vidyut Jamwal had stepped in to play a role ear-marked for Irrfan Khan in Bullett Raja. Now director Tigmanshu Dhulia will cast them together in the same film.
But Irrfan and Vidyut wouldn't be seen together in the same frame as they will be cast as the younger and older versions of the same character.
Explains Tigmanshu, "My next film is Bichde Sabhi Baari Baari. It's the story of two friends and their relationship over a period of 35 years. Manoj Bajpayee and Irrfan Khan have been cast as the older avatars of the buddies whereas Amit Sadh and Vidyut Jamwal would play the younger versions of the same characters."
But surely Manoj and Irrfan are accomplished enough as actors to pull off the age span?
Tigmanshu avers, "I don't think so. Irrfan and Manoj can't look 25. That's the age when the two protagonists become friends. I can't have Irrfan and Manoj playing 25-year olds. Woh zamana kuch aur tha jab Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz college students play karte the. Today's audience won't accept Irrfan or Manoj as 25-year olds, just as they won't accept Vidyut and Amit Sadh as a 50-year old or a 60-year old. So I need two sets of actors."
Vidyut and Amit would now have to spend some time with Irrfan and Manoj to get a hang of their body language.
Interestingly, one of the reasons why Sudhir Mishra's Pehle Aap Janaab is stuck is the inability to find actors to play younger versions of the Big B Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor.
The latest move on that front is to get Abhishek Bachchan and Ranbir Kapoor to step in to play younger versions of their fathers in Mishra's film.
The Yami Gautam-Ali Zafar Indo-Pak story Total Siyapaa scheduled for release this Friday can breathe a sigh of relief.
The Indian censor board has passed the film with a UA certificate and asked for only one line of dialogue referring to Pakistan to be changed and a love-making sequence to be removed.
The dialogue that the Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) wanted changed went, 'Hum Pakistan Ko Lete Rehte hain'.
Says director E Niwas, "They wanted us to beep out the word 'lete' . Instead I chose to change the entire line. The character now says, 'Hum Pakistan se ladte rehte hain.'
Other cuts included visuals and sounds of love-making on the soundtrack.
Says Niwas, "They asked us to remove a suggested sex scene in a work-place and some sounds of pleasure during love-making. 'Why do you want to spoil the fun mood with suggestive stuff?' I had no objection to making the modifications."
Niwas says he's relieved by the censor's easy going attitude. "We expected a lot more objection. But the censor board saw that we were not doing a serious take on Indo-Pak relations. It's a very light take on the relations between the two countries. The message is there. But this isn't Henna, Veera Zara kind of intense romance across the border. It is not a film with a political agenda behind the love story. We adapted a Spanish film Seres Queridos into an Indo-Pak format for the comic conflict. I am glad the censors have a sense of humour."
Now the film has to sail through the Pakistani censor board before it releases there.
Just yesterday, we had reported that the Delhi High Court had issued a stay order on the release of the film Gulaab Gang. In the ruling the HC had stated that the film would not release in any format until May 8. This ruling came after a petition was filed by Sampat Pal, the leader of the real life Gulaab Gang, who claimed that the makers of the film had not acquired the necessary permissions from her before commencing the film.
Now we hear that yesterday's ruling of the High Court has been lifted. With this new ruling by the High Court, the film will release on March 7, as planned. Gulaab Gang that features Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla in lead roles will now release as per schedule across the country.