Bollywood Roundup: Malavika Mohanan, Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan, and more…

Malavika Mohanan (Photo: IMDb)
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Majid Majidi is a genius: Malavika Mohanan

Mumbai– Malavika Mohanan, who will be making her film debut with Majid Majidi’s maiden India-set project “Beyond The Clouds”, says the Iranian filmmaker is a genius when it comes to storytelling and capturing the nuances of human emotions.

Malavika Mohanan (Photo: IMDb)

“Mr Majidi is a genius when it comes to storytelling and capturing the nuances of human emotions. There maybe a handful of makers around the world, who showcase women and children as beautifully as he does,” Malavika said in a statement.

Malavika says she is humbled to be essaying “a beautifully written female character” in “Beyond The Clouds”.

“His female characters all have one common thread — they are all really layered yet strong women whose strength lies in the awareness of their vulnerability. The combination strength with that vulnerability is what makes these characters so special,” added Malavika, who is the daughter of cinematographer KU Mohanan.

“Beyond The Clouds” narrates a heart-warming tale of a brother and sister, and how they find happiness in separation and turbulent times. The film celebrates the triumph and adoration of life against a Mumbai backdrop.

Produced by Zee Studios and Namah Pictures, the film is set to release worldwide on April 20.

The film will also introduce Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor’s younger brother Ishaan Khatter to the world.

In the film, Malavika will seen essaying role of Tara — elder sister of Ishaan’s character Amir.

Asked about Majidi’s vision for their on screen equation, she said: “Mr Majidi was very clear about the fact that Tara was the wind beneath Amir’s wings — his guiding force as it were. She probably was the only thing that made sense to him amidst all of the world’s nonsense.

“I’m so humbled to be essaying such a beautifully written female character in Majidi’s film. It’s a dream come true in every way.”

Rich time for me as a creative person: Ranveer

Mumbai– Actor Ranveer Singh says it is a “rich” time in his career as he gets to be part of challenging and stimulating work with the biggest names of Bollywood.

Ranveer Singh

On his upcoming films on the sidelines of Hello Hall of Fame Awards here on Sunday, Ranveer said: “I am feeling very blessed that I have the opportunity to work with best filmmakers in the business, such as Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Zoya Akhtar, Rohit Shetty and Kabir Khan.

“It is a very rich time for me as a creative person. I am getting to do loads of different things, keeping myself stimulated and challenged. I am very excited about my upcoming films.”

The actor also opened up on details about “Simmba”, his upcoming movie with Shetty.

“Sangram Bhale Rao aka Simmba… He is a cop in the film. I am really very excited about collaborating with Rohit Shetty, more than anyone else.

“He is the king of masala films, which are loved more than any other films. So this is something I believe I was born to do and I am looking forward to it.”

In Akhtar’s “Gully Boy”, Ranveer is paired with Alia Bhatt. The film is based on rappers in Mumbai and their struggles.

On its progress, Ranveer said: “More than half of ‘Gully Boy’ shooting is complete. I will complete it in April or May, and I will immediately dive into ‘Simmba’.

Varun Dhawan helping Banita Sandhu for her first film

Mumbai– Actor Varun Dhawan is looking forward to introduce his “October” co-star Banita Sandhu to everyone and is helping her get ready for her journey in Bollywood.

Varun Dhawan

The actor has been very protective about Banita and has been giving her all kind of tips for the trailer launch on Monday.

“Banita is just 20 years old and does not know much about how the media functions here,” Varun said in a statement.

“She doesn’t have a manger so Shoojit dada and I just want to make sure she gets the best and is comfortable cause meeting the massive media and paparazzi can be very overwhelming,” he added.

Co-produced by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar, “October” is directed by Shoojit Sircar. The film celebrates love, nature and the autumn season.

In the film, Varun will be seen playing role of a sweet yet mischievous boy who is trying to get into the hospitality industry.

Needed film like ‘October’ at this point in career: Varun

Mumbai– Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan says his upcoming film “October” came as a much-needed opportunity in his film career.

Jacqueline Fernandes and Varun Dhawan and TOIFA Press Conference in Dubai

At the film’s trailer launch here on Monday, Varun said: “I was the last person cast in the film after meeting Shoojit Sircar. I think casting should happen that way… Not because one actor is doing good in films. When I heard the story, I was so moved by it that I felt the need of doing the film.

“I need the film more than anyone else in the room at this point of time in my career.”

“October” promises a unique love story.

“When I sign a film, I look at the script more than anything, and how much the maker is putting in the film. In ‘October’ Shoojitda, writer Juhi Chaturvedi and every one of our crew members put their heart and soul in it. I had to be a part of this film. They signed me for the film even before ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ and ‘Judwaa 2’,” Varun said.

Besides being an emotional journey for him, the film turned out to be a learning experience for Varun.

Agrawal’s comments on Jaya improper: Sushma

New Delhi– External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took strong objection to Naresh Agrawal, who joined the BJP on Monday, for his comments about actor Jaya Bachhan.

“Naresh Agrawal has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. He is welcome. However, his comments regarding Jaya Bachhanji are improper and unacceptable,” Sushma Swaraj tweeted.

Agrawal said he was quitting the Samajwadi Party because dancers and film actors were preferred over him for the nominations to the upper house of Parliament.

Concentrating on acting right now: Divya Khosla Kumar

New Delhi– An actress and director, Divya Khosla Kumar is a rare combination of both talents rolled into one in Bollywood. She says “good” acting offers are coming her way and she wants to concentrate on facing the camera as of now.

Divya Khola Kumar (Photo: Twitter)

Divya, who debuted as an actress with “Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo”, has directed “Yaariyan” and “Sanam Re”. She faced the cameras last for a short film titled “Bulbul”.

“After ‘Bulbul’ released, I’ve been getting very good acting offers. I am reading some of the scripts. Currently, I am open to acting, and I am just going to finalise what I am going to take up next,” Divya told IANS.

What about her next directorial project?

“I will do it, but right now I have given it a break. I am concentrating on acting since I have got a few good scripts. So I think that’s going to be the next thing,” added Divya, who is married to T-Series head honcho Bhushan Kumar and is a mother of one.

Knowing the nuances of filmmaking, does she look into the finer details when she is acting for a project?

“I think I do, because I am a perfectionist. Direction has taught me everything, even acting, as when you’re on the field, on the practical grounds, you do everything… It’s not easy to make a film… It’s very tough to make sure that the vision which starts from your mind comes alive on the screen, and to get people connected to what is there in your mind.

‘Omerta’ exposes state-sponsored terrorism: Hansal Mehta

Mumbai– Filmmaker Hansal Mehta says “Omerta”, starring Rajkummar Rao, will expose state-sponsored terrorism and how it manipulates young minds.

“‘Omerta’ exposes state-sponsored terrorism and how it manipulates young minds into believing a sordid interpretation of Jihad. Terror is all about power,” Mehta said in a statement.

“Packed screenings at film festivals around the world were met with shocked silence and often anger. I am expecting similar reactions from the audience to this shocking tale,” he added.

“Omerta” is based on the real life story of British terrorist of Pakistani descent Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh.

The film has won several accolades and was featured at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was also screened at the Jio MAMI Film Festival.

The first poster of the film was released on Monday. It shows Rajkummar praying under the target sign.

“Omerta” marks the return of the formidable actor-director team of Mehta and Rajkummar, who have worked together in films like “Aligarh”, “CityLights” and “Shahid”.

Rajkummar, who sports a bespectacled and heavily bearded look in the film, had earlier described the movie as: “It shows you the dark reality of a dangerous world.”

On Monday, he said his role in the film is “easily the toughest” he has played till date.

Produced by Swiss Entertainment in association with Karma Media, the film is slated to release on April 20.

Luv Ranjan excited about project with Ajay, Tabu

New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) Filmmaker Luv Ranjan hopes the audience will enjoy a different side of actor Ajay Devgn in his next venture — an urban romantic comedy.

The film will be shot extensively in Himachal Pradesh and London.

“It is too early to talk about the film. It is a film which releases in October. I don’t know what to share about it. All I can say, is that it is a rom-com,” Ranjan told IANS.

“It is a space which Ajay has not done for a long time. We have either seen him in romedies or masala action entertainers or thrillers. Urban rom-com space is something which he hasn’t done for a long time. So, I hope people will enjoy that side of him,” he added.

After the success of “Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety”, T-Series’ Bhushan Kumar and Luv Films’ Ranjan have pledged to make their association stronger by collaborating on multiple films in the days to come.

The first film under the union is with Ajay and Tabu. It will be directed by film editor Akiv Ali. The story promises to be a fresh take on urban relationships.

Ranjan says he likes to talk about his project once the trailer is out.

“I am not someone who likes to talk about the film in the terms what the film is about till the trailer is out. With ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’ also, I didn’t open the film in the trailer because it takes away the surprise of going to the theatre.

“I will be in a better position to talk about it, lets say three months before the release,” he said.

Ranjan said that they started shooting the film in January.

“We shot in Mumbai. Now, we will be shooting in Himachal Pradesh and London. It will be shot extensively from April to July.”

Films with original stories take longer than biopics: Juhi Chaturvedi

Mumbai– National Award winning screenplay writer Juhi Chaturvedi says making a film on an original story is tougher than making a biopic.

At the trailer launch of Shoojit Sircar’s upcoming film “October”, which she has penned, Chaturvedi was asked if she wants to write a biopic rather than an original story.

She said: “I think a biopic should be made on stories that could create an impact on the society once the film is out. This is true that making a film with an original story takes more hard work and time. It takes more time to write a story and people do not have the patience to wait. They just want to make a film as fast as possible.

“I took around two-and-a-half years for writing the story of the film ‘October’. And I think this much time is needed for writing. I am thankful that Shoojit and Ronnie (producer Ronnie Lahiri) waited for me to write the story,” she said.

“I think nowadays people will sign a newborn thinking if they become somebody, they will make a biopic in future,” quipped the writer, who has earlier penned the stories of films like “Vicky Donor”, “Madras Cafe” and “Piku”.

Chaturvedi was present at the “October” trailer launch with Sircar, Lahiri and the film’s lead actors Varun Dhawan and Banita Sandhu. The film will release on April 13.

Ajay Devgn to launch his own chain of gyms

 (16:19)  Mumbai, March 12 (IANS) Actor Ajay Devgn will soon be launching two Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) gyms here.

“Yes it has been my yearning to spread awareness on the power and profundity of MMA all over our country. I will be committed to launching MMA studios across Maharashtra,” Ajay said in a statement.

Ajay is launching the gym as part of the second season of the ongoing “MTV Super Fight League”.

“The youth is the future of our country and I want to make a difference if I can with this initiative. The kids of today need a lot of self discipline and I am confident that Super Fight League will create a vibrant sporting ecosystem in India enabling the youth across the nation to aspire,” Ajay added.

Bill Dosanjh, founder and promoter of the Super Fight League, also shared: “We already have fully functional MMA gyms in New Delhi and Bengaluru and going forward we want greater celebrity involvement in the management of these gyms for brand recall. Most of our celebrity co-owners are quite enthused by the idea of grassroot penetration and cultivation of the sport. Our next pit stop is Mumbai.”

Super Fight League, a mixed martial arts tournament, promoted by Dosanjh and British professional boxer Amir Khan, has seen celebrity support from co-owners like Ajay, Randeep Hooda, Jacqueline Fernandez, Arbaaz Khan and Tiger Shroff. (IANS)



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