Ayushmann starts shooting for Dream Girl, SRK’s take on video quality in India, Saif is proud of sister Soha and other Bollywood updates

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Bollywood updates

MUMBAI: Here are the new and fresh happenings from the world of Bollywood 

Koffee with Devgn-Kajol was more than just frivolous fun

Kajol and Karan Johar are besties and Devgn wanted to be no part of his wife's friends circle. Kajol was fine with that.

This was one of the 'true confessions' that emerged from the hour-long tete-a-tete with the couple in this week's episode of Koffee With Karan..Kajol, God bless her ebullient soul, threatened to take over the conversation. But Devgn held his own. We now know for sure who wears the pants in the Devgn residence.

Married for 19 years the couple demonstrated a certain casual comfort and lack of affectation in each other's company where, as they said, couples don't necessarily have to keep talking to one another to prove they are compatible.

Lest we forget, Karan Johar's talk show is about talking. And he spoke a lot, as usual.

He apologised to Kajol for the very public fall-out that they had recently. I was wrong, he said. You were wrong, Kajol seemed to agree. While Kajol and Karan made amends, Devgn looked as though he couldn't care less.

I suppose the secret of their long-lasting togetherness was revealed on that couch with Karan Johar. Kajol talks. And Ajay Devgn DOESN'T listen. But the bantering apart, I could see a whole lot of mutual respect in this marriage in the way Devgn praised his wife for being a good daughter-in-law, in the bemused admiration he expressed while ostensibly teasing her about cheap shopping online, in the pride in his voice when he spoke about his two children, and in the sporting way he ribbed her about her obsession with selfies during her budhapa (old age).

So are Karan Johar and Ajay Devgn friends finally? I don't think so. They inhabit different world, and that's what makes their marriage work. This doesn't mean Devgn will keep that promise of coming to dinner at Karan's place.

Don't raise your hopes too high, Karan. Ajay Devgn came on your show because his wife dragged him along. This is just not his scene.

My next film is with Kamal Haasan, confirms Kajal Aggarwal

Actress Kajal Aggarwal has confirmed that she will join hands with actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan for the first time in his next project, which is going to be the sequel to his 1996 blockbuster "Indian".

At the audio launch of her forthcoming Telugu film "Kavacham", Kajal confirmed signing a film with Kamal.

In "Kavacham", Kajal has been paired with Bellamkonda Sai Srinivas. Speaking at the event, she confirmed signing another film with him.

"I'm doing one more film with Sai. I also have a film with Kamal Haasan sir. I'm looking forward to both these projects," Kajal said.

On Kamal's 64th birthday, Lyca Productions officially announced "Indian 2", which will mark the reunion of Shankar and Kamal after two decades.

If the industry grapevine is anything to go by, the shoot of the project will commence from December 14.

While promoting his latest outing "2.0", Shankar revealed that he recently did a photo-shoot with Kamal for "Indian 2".

Shankar said he was thrilled to see Kamal sporting the look of the popular octogenarian character Senapathy, a freedom fighter-turned-vigilante bent on rooting out corruption.

"Indian 2" will have music by Anirudh Ravichander. The rest of the cast and crew are yet to be revealed.

Taapsee wraps up shooting for 'Game Over'

 Actress Taapsee Pannu has concluded shooting for her upcoming Tamil-Telugu bilingual film titled "Game Over" here.

Taapsee on Monday morning shared a string of photographs with the film's cast and crew. She captioned it: "A long tiring but enriching experience of shooting this gem of a script comes to an end. Taking back some beautiful memories be it the wheelchair and fracture I never had, to getting the whole unit addicted to Ludo."

The 31-year-old actress says "Game Over" will have a lasting impact on all. 

The film is directed by Ashwin Saravanan, who has previously worked with actor Nayanthara in Maya and also directed "IravaaKaalam" starring SJ Suryah and Wamiqa Gabbi.

Taapsee, who was last seen on screen in "Manmarziyaan", has two more Bollywood films in her kitty -- "Tadka" and "Badla".

Ayushmann starts shooting for 'Dream Girl' in Mathura

 Actor Ayushmann Khurrana has started shooting for his upcoming movie "Dream Girl" in Mathura.

Ayushmann on Sunday took to his Instagram stories where he shared a few photographs of a few sages from Gokul Dham here. The "Vicky Donor" star then shared a video while walking around the alleys of Mathura.

The first poster of the film was unveiled, where Ayushmann is seen sitting on a scooter wearing a sari and bangles. 

He captioned it: "As whacky as it can get! Here's the first glimpse of my look in and as 'Dream Girl'".

"Dream Girl" also stars Nushrat Bharucha. The two will be seen sharing screen space for the first time.

The upcoming comedy drama film is directed by Raaj Shaandilyaa and is co-produced by Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor under their banner Balaji Motion Pictures. 

Content is crucial in today's Indian cinema: Meghna Gulzar

 Gone are the days when films used to be hit solely on star value. Now the Indian cinema audience wants star as well as story, says "Raazi" filmmaker Meghna Gulzar.

According to her, good content plays a major role for the success of films in today's time.

In the session 'Changing Trends Of Hindi Cinema' at Times LitFest Delhi 2018 on Sunday, Meghna said: "In Indian cinema, earlier a lot of emphasis was given to heroes and heroines, but now things are not the same. Now, people are giving due importance not only to actors but also to the content... Content is becoming crucial element in Inian cinema."

Lyricist Prasoon Joshi, who was also a part of the panel, agreed. He said there has been an evolution.

"Now people are hungry for content...things have changed. People who earlier used to go to theatres just to watch their favourite stars on the big screen did not care much about the story, and they are the same people who now want to know what the story is about. They read reviews of the film and then will go to theatre to watch a particular movie."

Joshi, the censor board chairman, said there is a rise of "informed cinema" in India.

"Instead of knowing what are the songs in the films, now a person is keen to know what is the story of a film. People have become informed. They think twice before spending their precious 2-3 hours on any movie now," added the multi-faceted Joshi, who has written lyrics for songs from hit movies like "Rang De Basanti" and "Taare Zameen Par".

The session also saw "Udaan" director Vikramaditya Motwane in conversation.

 I'm getting wonderful scripts, but there's no time: Pankaj Tripathi

 "Baap re baap, ab itne log jaanne lag gaye hain," actor Pankaj Tripathi exclaims in acknowledgement of the love and praise he has received for his versatile roles across films and web series over the years. He says he is swarmed with good scripts, but doesn't have enough time to devote to all.

"People have really liked 'Mirzapur'. The public is giving a lot of love. Two years ago, I used to feel I have done so many films... who knows me. Now I wonder... Baap re baap, ab itne log jaanne lag gaye hain (so many people have started recognising me). I don't know what's happening. I am only doing my work with sincerity. Rest, I don't know what is happening," Pankaj told IANS here in his distinctive style.

From playing Sultan Qureshi in "Gangs of Wasseypur" to leading the cast of the film "Gurgaon" to playing pivotal roles in web series like "Sacred Games" and "Mirzapur" -- Pankaj's growth trajectory is a shining example of how character artistes are coming into their own with the changing landscape of Indian showbiz.

It is convenient to say he has almost become synonymous with gangster characters, but one cannot miss his roles in films like "Newton", "Bareilly Ki Barfi" and "Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain".

"I feel people want to watch crime stories and explore the genre, but honestly, I don't like a lot of 'khoon kharaba (bloodshed)'. Even in 'Mirzapur', I am not seen indulging in any bloodshed. Even in 'Gangs of Wasseypur', my character was brutal, but he was seen in shooting once or twice.

"Personally, I am not fond of brutal bloodshed scenes. I like simple, ordinary tales, but I think youth is liking such crime stories and so they are made," said Pankaj, who will be seen in "Sacred Games 2".

He will be seen in comedy and satirical films like "Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai" and "Luka Chhupi".

"There are so many offers, but I am booked till August. I'm getting some wonderful scripts in the independent cinema space, but there's no time.

"Either I am telling the filmmakers to wait for me...but nobody will wait for me till next year. Still, I am taking out time in between everything and managing what I can," the National School of Drama alumnus told leading publication  on the sidelines of the recently concluded International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

A National Award winner, Pankaj, who comes from Bihar, will also be seen as a flamboyant south Indian film star in Indrajit Lankesh's "Shakeela" and as a farmer in Satish Kaushik's "Kaagaz".

"There's not even a slap in the whole film 'Kaagaz'. It's a simple, ordinary tale and I like simplicity. I don't understand crime, but in that also if I get some interesting role with a layered character, then I get interested."

Citing the example of his "Mirzapur" character Kaleen Bhaiya, Pankaj said: "He creates a fear in your mind, but he doesn't do anything. He keeps sitting on a chair without saying much. In fact, he comes across as a caring father, a good husband and a son... So I enjoy doing such characters."

There is a lot that Pankaj adds to his roles, taking it beyond the written character.

"I do some writing in all my roles. There are small things that I improvise on. I read a lot, and travel a lot, so there is a reflection of that when I talk," he explained, adding that while improvisation is important tool for an actor to immerse himself or herself in a role, it is not something that all actors can do.

"If you have experience, if you are widely read and have lived life, then you can do it. Otherwise, for improvisation, your basics need to be very strong."

All in all, he says it is a "good phase" for him.

"I feel responsible and in every performance -- be it independent cinema or commercial cinema -- whatever kind of storytelling it may be, I try and engage the audience so that whoever is coming to watch the content, they are entertained.

"I try to entertain, but not with anything over-the-top... I believe I should bring a smile to people's face, and that's what I always attempt. That's why whether I work in the indie space or commercial cinema, the audience doesn't get disappointed as they find me entertaining. But my work is not just to entertain... It is also to say what the director and writer want to convey."

 Want to explore different things till I'm 70, says Kareena

 From doing films as different as chalk and cheese to redefining professionalism for working mothers to trying her hands at a radio show, top actress Kareena Kapoor Khan does not want to stop there and says she would like to keep exploring "different things" till she is 70 years old.

Kareena made her acting debut in 2000 with "Refugee". She was later seen in films like "Ajnabee", "Asoka", "Chameli", "Yuva", "Omkara", "Jab We Met", "Heroine", "Satyagraha", "Ki&Ka" and "Udta Punjab". She launched her radio show titled "What Women Want with Kareena Kapoor Khan" on Ishq 104.8 FM last month.

Asked if she aspires to do something more, Kareena told IANS here: "The idea today is only about content -- and being a part of good content, whether it is the web, cinema, stage or radio. I think today artists and actors are all about supporting content. I am just happy that I have got to try my hand... It's the first time for me. So, lets see... I would like to try different things till probably I am 70."

The 38-year-old actress, who hails from Indian cinema's first film family, redefined professionalism by returning to work soon after delivering her first son named Taimur in 2016. 

Kareena, who married actor Saif Ali Khan in 2012, also praised digital platforms and added: "I am glad all this is opening up for us." She added: "The content in cinema and different platforms is changing. There are so many options to do what you want in today's time and I think it's the best time to be an actor." 

The "Veere Di Wedding" actress has lent her voice to the character of the hypnotic python Kaa in the Hindi version of actor-filmmaker Andy Serkis' forthcoming film "Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle", which is slated to have a global release on the streaming site Netflix on December 7.

Kareena, who is excited to be a part of the eternal classic originally written as "The Jungle Book" by author Rudyard Kipling, says: "Mowgli was one of the closest characters to my heart because his journey has been very interesting.... The journey of (his) self-discovery is something every young adult gets attracted to."

Is she excited to share the film with her two-year-old son, when he grows up?

"When he turns 13, he will be there watching it with me... But that is why I couldn't say no."

She said being offered to lend her voice to Kaa is an absolute honour.

Talking about Kaa, she said: "She (Kaa) is quite a seductress. Dubbing for it was quite unique... She had to sound hypnotic... I have not played a character like that. In most of the movies, you have seen me playing a girl-next-door or a homemaker, but to play this seductress of the jungle was super fun."

We need to have video literacy in India: Shah Rukh Khan

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has said that we need to have video literacy in our country.

Shah Rukh Khan was addressing the media at the "Mumbai 2.0" event here on Saturday. It was organised by the Government of Maharashtra along with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Shah Rukh said that he wants to work towards growing video literacy in India, he said, "Now I have got the opportunity to do something at least in my field from which our younger generation can learn something. I think with social media, media itself has become a larger platform than it was just with television and films whether it was Indian films or even international television,"

"Social media is making everybody media savvy and I feel we still don't have video literacy in our country. Cinema is an audio-visual medium and our culture is mainly based on talking. We are the people who listen to music and we talk a lot in our country but we don't give importance to visual medium. We have poets, writers and singers but visual medium is growing so fast all over the world."

Shah Rukh added that one has to learn to differentiate between good and bad content, he said, "When we earlier used to listen to 'Twinkle twinkle little stars' poem then we used to imagine stars in front of our eyes but now everything is available on internet so, one has to learn to differentiate between good and bad content and for that, we need to have video literacy."

Shah Rukh said it is important to make sure the younger generation is aware about the glorious culture of the country. 

"I believe in archival and I feel things should be archived. We have film division in Mumbai so, I know that people are making their effort on that front but I wanted to establish an archival centre and that archival centre can develop digital content for children also."

On work front, Shah Rukh will be seen in Anand L. Rai's "Zero" followed by Mahesh Mathai's "Saare Jahaan Se Achha" playing role of an Indian astronaut Rakesh Sharma.

 Tigmanshu Dhulia to act in 'Rangbaaz'

Filmmaker-actor Tigmanshu Dhulia will play the role of Ram Shankar Tiwari, who has an intimidating personality and is a politician, in the upcoming show "Rangbaaz".

Tigmanshu has joined actors Saqib Saleem, Ranvir Shorey, Aahana Kumra and Ravi Kishan in "Rangbaaz", which is set against the rustic background of Uttar Pradesh of the 90s. 

"'Rangbaaz' has a great narrative and the team working on it is excellent. I am excited to be a part of this project. I was attracted to my character Ram Shankar Tiwari - he is a sharp and relatable politician with power," Tigmanshu said in a statement.

The story revolves around a man engaging in the dark and dirty world of crime.

Manish Aggarwal, Business Head, ZEE5 India, said: "'Rangbaaz', with a promising storyline and a creative bunch of actors will surely create excitement in the minds of viewers. It is not your regular gangster-cop drama. It is a story inspired by real-life events. 

"With a veteran creative mind like Tigmanshu Dhulia joining the show, this time as an actor, it adds to the overall expectation from the audience."

Produced by JAR Pictures with creative director Nishikant Kamat and directed by Bhav Dhulia, written by RJ Siddharth (Siddharth Mishra), "Rangbaaz" will premiere on ZEE5 later this month.

Ali Zafar's first Pakistani film can now be viewed by Indian audience

Pakistani singing sensation and actor Ali Zafar's first Pakistani film "Teefa In Trouble" can now be viewed by his Indian fans as it will be available on the streaming platform Netflix from Saturday.

"Me and my team are more than delighted to announce that 'Teefa in Trouble', which went on to become the biggest non-holiday blockbuster of all time and is running in its fourth month in Pakistan, will now be available to audiences in India and all over the world on Netflix to watch and enjoy," Ali told leading publication.

"I can never let go of the love and admiration I have always received from fans and audiences in India and I am overjoyed that I could reconnect with them once again through 'Teefa...'. I hope they enjoy it as much as people did in cinemas," he added.

Ali has served as an actor, a producer, singer and writer of the romantic action comedy film, which hit the screens in about 25 countries in July.

He had joined hands with India's popular banner Yash Raj Films for the international theatrical distribution of his home production.

Earlier in an interview with leading publication, Ali had said: "I hope that it ('Teefa...') gets screened over there (in India) and makes a mark." 

After making a promising acting debut in India with the Bollywood film "Tere Bin Laden" in 2010, Ali featured in Hindi movies like "Mere Brother Ki Dulhan", "London, Paris, New York" and "Dear Zindagi".

Reality show contestants pay tribute to Kumar Sanu

 "Indian Idol 10" contestants will be seen paying tribute to popular singer Kumar Sanu on the reality show by singing a medley of his 50 chartbusters.

This weekend, the Top 6 contestants of the show will be seen crooning along with Sanu, who made a reappearance as a special guest for the ‘Return of Kumar Sanu' episode of "Indian Idol 10", read a statement.

Sanu, known for songs like "Mera dil bhi kitna pagal hai" and "Humko sirf tumse pyaar hai", said: "It feels really nice to be back on 'Indian Idol 10'. It's incredible the way all the contestants performed the medley of my songs in one go."

Saif really proud of his little sister

Actor Saif Ali Khan says he is proud of his little sister Soha Ali Khan for getting nominated for her book.

Soha has been nominated in the best biography category at the Crossword Book Award for her book "The Perils of Being Moderately Famous".

Saif said in a statement: "I'm really proud of my little sister for being nominated for the Crossword Book Awards."

The awards ceremony will take place on December 20 here.

Soha, also an actress, had won the Book Award for Excellence in Writing on Cinema at the Jio MAMI 20th Mumbai Film Festival with Star for "The Perils of Being Moderately Famous'.

Soha had said: "It's an incredible honour to receive this award. I've been part of the industry for about 12-13 years as an actor. But it's great to be recognised for my writing."

Helen was a true style diva: Shatrughan

 Actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha says veteran actress Helen, who has just turned 80, was a true style diva in the 1960s and 1970s and excelled with her clean dance moves in her famous cabaret numbers.

"Loving and warm birthday wishes Helen, wife of legendary script writer Salim Khan. During 1960s-1970s she was the most popular and loved dancer. She excelled with her graceful, elegant and clean dance moves in her famous cabaret and item numbers. She was a true style diva for her innovative wigs and fabulous costumes," Shatrughan tweeted on Friday.

Helen turned on 80 on November 21. Shatrughan, who has worked with the actress in films like "Parwana" and "Dostana", said that her songs "Yeh mera dil pyaar ka diwana", "Piya tu ab toh aaja", "Aao na gale lagao na" are hummed and remain favourites even today. 

"Starting out as a chorus dancer her rise to the top was both painful and appreciable. She performed on the international stage also," he added.

Aamir pitches in for TN cyclone Gaja survivors

 Superstar Aamir Khan is saddened knowing about the devastation Cyclone Gaja wrought on Tamil Nadu and has urged his fans and followers to contribute generously to alleviate their suffering.

"I'm very saddened to hear of the devastation caused by Cyclone Gaja in Tamil Nadu. Let us all come together to help our brothers and sisters there who are suffering. Let us try and contribute in any way that we can," the Bollywood actor tweeted on Friday. 

Tamil superstar-politician Kamal Haasan, who has visited the cyclone-ravaged areas of the state, thanked him for the gesture. 

"Thank you so much Aamir Khanji. In many ways people like you make us feel it is truly 'One Country'," Kamal wrote back.

Cyclonic storm Gaja crossed Tamil Nadu coast on November 16 leaving over 50 people and thousands of livestock dead and damaging properties, standing crops, coconut groves, banana plantations and power distribution infrastructure in several districts.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought the central's assistance of Rs 15,000 crore for 12 districts hit by the cyclone.

( Source : IANS)

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