Bollywood Roundup: Swara Bhasker, Shahid Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap, and more…

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Swara Bhasker wraps up her multiple-role film ‘Mrs Falani’

Mumbai– Actress Swara Bhasker, who recently tied the knot with political activist Fahad Ahmad, wrapped up shooting for her upcoming film ‘Mrs Falani’ in which she essays multiple characters.

The film is based on 8 different stories and will see the actress pulling off 8 different characters belonging from different regions, speaking different dialects, sporting different attires in one single movie.

Talking about the film, Swara said: “‘Mrs Falani’ is a really special film because it’s the first time I got to essay multiple characters in one project. It was a real challenge to build 8 distinct female characters that were distinguishable and unique in their own identity but also united in their woman-hood and their experiences. It was the first time I was shooting in Chhattisgarh which was an eye opener in its beauty and diversity. Collaboration with Manish Kishore Ji and his team was a happy and fulfilling experience and I am proud to be part of this film and play various Mrs Falanis.”

In the film, Swara will be seen in the role of a home-maker representing different states such as Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab and others. Reportedly, going the extra mile, Swara also got her nose pierced for the film.

Manish Kishore, director of the project, said in a statement: “It is a very compelling story, in fact it’s a collection of stories from various geographies in the country defying the odds by being themselves. These stories shall inspire other women to go after what they love to do. It is rare for a director to direct 8 different stories all in a single film and am grateful for the opportunity. Special thanks to the entire cast and crew for their unwavering support. Swara’s portrayals are iconically amazing. Can’t wait to bring our film to the audiences.

The film has been produced by ‘Three Arrows’ and ‘Sita Films’, and the makers will soon announce the release date of the film.

‘Doing an out-an-out action film is something I wanted to do,’ says Shahid Kapoor

Mumbai– Actor Shahid Kapoor’s upcoming film ‘Bloody Daddy’ is set to release on OTT on June 9. He said that doing an out-an-out action film was something he had been wanting to do.

Speaking about his unconventional role, Shahid said: “Doing an out-an-out action film was something I have been wanting to do but I was waiting for the right one to come my way. When Ali came to me with this project, I knew this was it! It’s high octane, its action packed, it’s thrilling, it’s intense, created especially for a digital first audience.”

“Ali is a true master when it comes to this style of films, and it’s been very enriching for me to partner with him on this. We really love what we have created together and are bloody excited to see the audience reaction now.”

The film will exclusively stream on JioCinema. The platform unveiled the action-packed trailer of the Ali Abbas Zafar-directorial at a grand event in Mumbai, in the presence of Shahid Kapoor and the director ahead of its release.

Ali Abbas Zafar said: “We see a lot of dark crime thrillers in the west, but hardly any in India that are made at that level and intensity. ‘Bloody Daddy’ breaks all stereotypes right from Shahid’s transformation into a ‘killing machine’ to being one of the first direct to OTT films to be created at this grand scale! ‘Bloody Daddy’ is a hard-hitting out and out dark action thriller that promises raw and real action.”

Produced by Jyoti Deshpande, Sunir Kheterpal, Gaurav Bose, Himanshu Kishan Mehra, and Ali Abbas Zafar, the Bloody avatar of Shahid will be accompanied by an equally talented cast of Diana Penty, Sanjay Kapoor, Ronit Roy, and Rajeev Khandelwal in pivotal roles.

Bloody Daddy unravels the story of Sumair (played by Shahid Kapoor) as he faces off against Gurugram’s white-collar drug lords, deceitful friends, a ruthless crime boss, murderous narcs, and both corrupt and honest cops – all during one fateful night. In the midst of a post-COVID party apocalypse, this embattled man embraces a precarious new normal and will stop at nothing to save the one relationship that truly matters to him.

The action-packed extravaganza is a Jio Studios, AAZ Films & Offside Entertainment production in association with Vermilion World and written by Ali Abbas Zafar and Aditya Basu.

Anurag Kashyap was ‘very adamant’ on getting Sunny’s laugh right in ‘Kennedy’

Mumbai– Actress Sunny Leone is making her Cannes debut with Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Kennedy’. The film follows the story of an insomniac former cop, Kennedy (essayed by Rahul Bhat), who has been presumed dead for years.

He continues to work for a corrupt system while seeking redemption. Leone plays a pivotal character named Charlie, reports Variety.

Talking about her character, the actress said: “She’s a little bit of a complex character and she hides behind some of her motions. And one of the things she hides behind the most is this laugh. And I believe she’s a woman who’s caught in two different worlds – one is the one that she wants to live in and one is the one she has been caught up in. I really enjoyed playing this character. And I think she is someone who’s trying her very best to be as strong as possible at every moment of the day.”

Leone’s laugh in the film is distinctive and the actor said that Kashyap was “very adamant” that she got it right.

She told Variety: “It’s not something that’s a part of who I am. So I had to practise and when I mean practice, I practised in the car, I practised in front of my family, my kids, my husband, my friends, on set, in the middle of shooting a song or shooting something, I would practise laughing like Charlie.”

“That way, when I got on set, it was out of my system, wasn’t something that I felt odd about, it was just part of the character,” she added.

Manoj Bajpayee on ‘Bandaa,’ ‘Despatch,’ ‘Joram’ and ‘Family Man 3’

Mumbai– Acclaimed actor Manoj Bajpayee has notched up another triumph with his upcoming film ‘Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai,’ a courtroom drama based on the real-life case of a once-revered and powerful Indian religious leader who is currently serving a life sentence for the rape of an underage girl.

In the Apoorv Singh Karki directed film, Manoj plays a prosecuting lawyer who is pitted against a slew of celebrity lawyers, reports ‘Variety’.

“Usually what happens is that you spend some time with the real person. Somewhere, I realised it’s a two-hour film, you have to have your own preparation away from the real guy, who is somebody who’s not even known to the world. And he’s achieved a feat in five years of continuous court hearings that is remarkable,” Bajpayee told ‘Variety’.

“Instead of just creating or imitating a real person, let’s have the essence of him – the relentlessness and the courage and somebody who is stubborn about what he’s doing, completely focused, and he’s a good son, good father. I wanted to take all of it and make a character of my own and take a little bit of his physicality when I got to meet him before the shoot – I think it worked.”

What Bajpayee found the most strenuous was understanding the legal jargon and then interpreting it in a way that a lay audience would understand.

“To make the character work, he has to be consistent, it should not leave realism at all. It cannot at any cost, just because it’s a two-hour drama film, it has to be real. And as a character, and even if he’s arguing in the court, it should be very real and should have that kind of an edge when people are watching it,” Bajpayee said.

Another challenge was a seven-page monologue that the director wanted to shoot in a single take. Bajpayee says that after the 150th time he read the pages, he stopped counting and once he’d memorised it, he’d catch hold of anyone and begin practising the monologue on that person.

“By God’s grace, the first shot, first take, it was okay. You can achieve all of these things, if you really put your mind into it, put your focus into it.”

On the underlying themes of ‘Bandaa,’ the actor said: “You can’t trust your child even with your brother in a room where there is no monitoring happening, and there’s no female member there.”

“So, we are talking about all of that, we are talking about child safety, we’re talking about how a family is also responsible for all of this because in 95 per cent of cases, most of the predators were known to the family. So that means as parents we failed, we took it for granted.”

“It is an eye opener that way and our focus is mostly on the security and safety and protection of the child, which is an issue which is very close to my heart – always been,” Bajpayee added.

Bajpayee has won several acting awards, including best actor at the Asia Pacific Screen awards for ‘Aligarh’ and ‘Bhonsle’.

The latter film, for which he also won best actor at India’s national film awards, is directed by Devashish Makhija, with whom he reunited on ‘Joram,’ which bowed at Rotterdam this year and will next be at Sydney.

“It’s a world that people have not experienced before. It’s a conflict that people don’t talk about anymore, a socio-environmental conflict,” Bajpayee said about ‘Joram’. And he’s (Makhija)weaved the story so well. Really proud of him. He’s been remarkable with all the things that I have done with him.”

The busy actor is having a stellar year, having starred in Disney + Hotstar film ‘Gulmohar’ earlier this year. He has Abhishek Chaubey’s Netflix comedy-drama-thriller series ‘Soup’ that is due in September or October and ‘Pahadon Mein,’ the sophomore feature from Raam Reddy, who debuted with Locarno, Shanghai and Palm Springs winner ‘Thithi’.

Bajpayee is also the lead in journalism thriller “‘Despatch’ by Kanu Behl who’s previous film ‘Agra’ premieres at Cannes this year. ‘Despatch’ has been a great experience in many ways. Kanu is one of a kind – he’s not for the weak-hearted. He’s a taskmaster,” Bajpayee said.

“He doesn’t get bothered by anything that is happening on the set. This is what I loved about him and the learnings that I’ve had from the workshops or through the shooting process. Yes, it was strenuous, excruciatingly hard. But, when I saw a few of the shots, I was completely dazed. He only warms up after 15 takes. So, you can imagine the grind that I’ve gone through. But in the end, when you respect and trust a director of that caliber, everything becomes easy. In the end, we managed to make a very good, fascinating, intriguing film. And this is going to be a totally different cinematic experience for the viewers.”

And, as for what is Bajpayee’s arguably most popular work to date, Prime Video’s spy thriller “The Family Man,” a third season will commence production imminently.

“All the commitments and understandings are in place. And now we are waiting for the contracts to start going to and fro. We are hoping that we’ll start shooting November onwards,” he said. (IANS)


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