Bollywood Briefs: Arjun Singh Shekhawat, Shahid Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut, Madhur Bhandarkar, Hema Malini, Arjun Kanungo, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, Tamannaah Bhatia, Mahmood Farooqui

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Tamannaah Bhatia

Arjun Singh Shekhawat enters “Half Marriage”

Mumbai–Actor Arjun Singh Shekhawat, who featured in “Nagarjuna-Ek Yoddha”, has been roped in to play Mannu Chaurasiya in the show “Half Marriage”.

“He is a typical guy from Kanpur who speaks in a ‘desi’ way with a funny tone. He is not very educated and always wears colourful clothes. He walks in a funny way too. His father runs a ‘paan’ shop, but he has no interest in it,” Arjun said in a statement.

“My role is mostly funny, but also helpful. I play a neighbour and a friend to the lead character,” he added.

Tracing the lives of Arjun (Tarun Mahilani) and Chandini (Priyanka Purohit), “Half Marriage” explores an unusual marital bond born out of political influence and cultural beliefs.

Shahid joins Kangana as Reebok India ambassador

Bengaluru–Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor was on Monday announced brand ambassador of Reebok India at an event here. He is joining Bollywood’s “Queen” Kangana Ranaut — his co-star from “Rangoon” — to endorse it.

Shahid, along with Silvia Tallon, Senior Marketing Director, Reebok India, inaugurated a new store of the brand at Brigade Road here.

“Bangalore (Bengaluru) has a great electrifying vibe and it is always amazing to be back here. I am thrilled to associate with Reebok India as their brand ambassador and join them here today for the launch of their flagship store,” Shahid said in a statement.

“I think my synergies with Reebok match as we both understand and endorse the need to be fit — physically, socially and mentally. I can tell you all from my experience that that fitness is not a one-time thing, it’s a lifelong commitment to yourself and your body,” he added.

The actor captivated audiences through his performance, which consisted of high energy fitness routines and some engagement with the crowd present.

Madhur Bhandarkar, Hema Malini to be felicitated in Russia

Mumbai–National Award-winning filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar and veteran actress Hema Malini will be felicitated at the 4th Indian Film Festival of Russia, for their contribution to Indian cinema.

Bhandarkar’s latest film “Indu Sarkar” will also be screened at the festival following the opening ceremony.

They will be honoured by Indian Ambassador to Russia Pankaj Saran, and Russian Deputy Culture Minister Sergei Obrivalin.

Bhandarkar said in a statement: “I am humbled that ‘Indu Sarkar’ is getting associated with such prestigious platforms and I am happy that people are appreciating the film.”

“Indu Sarkar”, starring Kirti Kulhari, Tota Roy Choudhary, Anupam Kher and Neil Nitin Mukesh, was also screened at the Bollywood Festival Norway as the opening film.

My pulse similar to audience’s: Arjun Kanungo

Mumbai– Arjun Kanungo, who has sung tracks like “Baaki baatein peene baad”, “Fursat”, “Khoon choos le” and “Ek dafaa”, believes he has a pulse similar to that of his listeners.

Celebrating the second anniversary of his hit track “Baaki baatein peene baad”, which was also his debut single, Kanungo said in a statement on Monday: “I actually like the music I create, and I think my pulse is similar to the audience’s. Therefore, if I like what I am creating, I am sure my fans will too”.

“‘Baaki baatein…’ was a rage within hours of its release. I didn’t expect so much love and it just kept growing. There were multiple versions created for the song and every live show I did or still do, I have to begin and end with it.

“After ‘Baaki baatein…’ my second single ‘Fursat’ was again loved by all. The video and the rhythm stayed with listeners long after they were done listening to it. The third groovy single ‘Ek dafaa’ is still on charts. I am just humbled.”

Suchitra’s autobiographical play to debut in Delhi in October

Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

New Delhi–Singer-actress Suchitra Krishnamoorthi’s autobiographical play “Drama Queen” will be staged here for the first time on October 6.

Starring Suchitra, and directed by Inaayat Ali Sami, “Drama Queen” is presented by theatre production company AGP World. It draws inspiration from her autobiography.

“Suchitra is a flawless actor and it has taken us nearly a year to be fully prepared for this theatrical public showcase. We are confident we can do full justice to the theatrical interpretation of her novel and bring to the fore Suchitra in totality, not as the world knows her but as what she really is,” Sami said in a statement.

“Drama Queen” touches upon her life five years after marriage and divorce, fame and everything that a girl from a ‘decent’ Indian family would want.

Tamannaah Bhatia

Always motivated by roles that alleviate women: Tamannaah Bhatia

Mumbai– Actress Tamannaah Bhatia, who has been roped in for the Telugu remake of the Kangana Ranaut starrer “Queen”, says roles that put the spotlight on women empowerment motivate her.

“‘Queen’ is an interesting film and I have always been motivated by roles that help alleviate women empowerment in some form. I am very excited to be helming the Telugu version and can’t wait to start shooting next month. This is the first time I’m working with Neelakanta Reddy and I’m sure together we will create magic on the 70 mm screen,” Tamannaah said in a statement.

The Hindi movie, which was directed by Vikas Bahl, is being remade in Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam apart from Telugu.

The Telugu film will be produced by Manu Kumaran under the banner of Mediente Films with the National award winning G. Neelakanta Reddy in the director’s chair.

The remake is scheduled to go on the floors on October 25. It will release mid-2018.

Delhi HC acquits ‘Peepli Live’ director Farooqui in rape case

New Delhi–The Delhi High Court on Monday acquitted Mahmood Farooqui, co-director of acclaimed 2010 Hindi film “Peepli Live”, who was accused of raping an American woman.

Justice Ashutosh Kumar set aside the trial court order convicting Farooqui and sentencing him to seven years jail in August last year.

Farooqui had challenged the trial court order in the High Court claiming his innocence.

Farooqui was accused of raping a 35-year-old woman from Columbia University who was in India for research on her doctoral thesis.

The woman, who moved to Delhi in June 2014, was looking for contacts for her work in Gorakhpur and came in contact with Farooqui through a common friend.

The alleged incident occurred on March 28, 2015 when Farooqui invited her for dinner at his house.

According to the police chargesheet, the woman, who reached his house at 9 p.m., found Farooqui was very intoxicated, and he asked her to go to the other room which was his office.

After 20 minutes, she left the office room to smoke in the porch when he told her to come in and sit down, it said. After talking with her for a while, he suddenly kissed her and forced himself on her, the prosecution said, adding that the woman was scared after the incident.

During the trial, the American researcher stood by her complaint and alleged that Farooqui had raped her, while he denied the allegations, and claimed he was falsely implicated.

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