Sidharth set to shine again and more

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Sidharth Malhotra

Sidharth set to shine again

Relative newcomer Sidharth Malhotra made his Bollywood debut with Student of the Year, and did a commendable job. Now, gearing up for his second release Hasee Toh Phasee, the 29-year-old feels that he has improved as an actor.

But he did feel a lot of pressure when doing the new film, following the success of his first movie.

“There is definitely pressure from the business point of view. After Student of the Year I have become more responsible, more aware about what is happening around. I guess I have improved as an actor, both in terms of quality and quantity, in terms of performance”, said Sidharth recently.

The actor revealed a bit more about his latest movie saying, “Hasee Toh Phasee is completely different from a typical Karan Johar film. We had a restricted budget, there was nothing like luxurious cars or anything. We used to pack up early, there were restrictions. I realised how spoilt I was in Student of the Year, but it was quite exciting!”

Talking about his character in the movie, Sidharth said, “He is lost, not successful and sentimental. He is not a typical hero kind of character. He is under pressure and is the most stressed out character of the movie”.

Filmmaker Anurag Kahsyap is impressed with Sidharth’s acting skills.

“Sidharth is fabulous in the film and the kind of restraint and focus he has shown is impressive,” Kashyap said in a statement.

According to a source, the Gangs of Wasseypur director is actually writing a film keeping Sidharth in mind.

It looks like Hasee toh Phasee will be the platform that will establish Sidharth as an actor. And with Vinil Mathew directing the film and Parineeti Chopra in the lead role, the actor is sure to enjoy success. Good luck,  Sid!


Ekta’s into passionate love

Perhaps in keeping with the mood leading to Valentine’s Day, producer Ekta Kapoor plans to hit the small screen with a new TV show called Kumkum Bhagya.

Ekta, whose TV soaps like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, were highly popular, revealed that the new show, a “passionate story of love”, will replace the current one, Pavitra Rishta.
Kumkum Bhagya is loosely based on the novel Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. The show will be an Indian interpretation of the novel, following the life of a mother who runs a marriage hall and lives with the hope of seeing her two daughters wed.

“All I can say is that it’s a very passionate story of love…” Ekta said in a statement about the new show. Talking about Pavitra Rishta that is going off air soon, the 38-year-old says that after Kyunki… it was the most special show for her.

Pavitra Rishta has been on air for over four years now and the journey has been most gratifying for me as a maker. After Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, if there is any other show which is close to my heart then it is Pavitra Rishta“, she said. “The characters of Manav, Archana, Arjun, Purvi and now Ankita-Naren have endeared themselves to the audience, so much so that they are an inseparable part of their lives. But the new show Kumkum Bhagya will draw maximum eyeballs”. The new serial will star actor-turned-producer Shabbir Ahluwalia paired up with Sriti Jha. Seems like success is in Ekta’s bhagya!

Chitchat on the Chopras

These days, Bollywood’s buzzing about Priyanka and Parineeti, the Chopra cousins. While Priyanka gets ready for the release of Gunday, Parineeti’s perked up about forthcoming flick Hasee Toh Phasee.

Parineeti, who is seen grooving to the beats of Drama queen in the movie, says that she takes the word very positively.

“The word ‘drama queen’ is very positive for me, because I am like that. I am very outspoken, I talk loudly, I am always happy and smiling…I do a lot of dramas and I don’t think it’s a bad thing”, Parineeti said recently.

She didn’t seem to mind that the film was a medium budget one either.

“For me, to play the character was a challenge, but coming to the sets of Hasee Toh Phasee was not new because I have always done medium budget films. You know, I have always done movies with restricted budget, so shooting was fine with me but the character was a challenge,” she said.

Parineeti, who made her Bollywood debut with Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, says she had a lot of personal pressure while filming.

“I wanted to do something different. The role is not like Ishaqzaade or Shuddh Desi Romance because in those two I played very Indian characters. This was completely different, I am off (mentally) in the movie and because of that I really had to do a lot of work”, she said, admitting that she would be essaying the role of a mad scientist. “The character that I am playing is very quirky. It is different from the ones I have played before. Usually in movies, either an actress plays a normal girl or a mentally challenged one, but my character in the movie is between the two. It was physically very exhausting for me to play it”, she said.

The young actress also admitted that she was waiting to watch Priyanka’s Gunday, but also insisted, as we’ve heard before, that “there is no competition with Priyanka”. Both films release within the gap of a week.
Priyanka, on the other hand, is her usual assured self when it comes to Gunday. And everything else! She had to slip into several outfits like corsets, fishnet stockings, and train with French cabaret dancers for the song Asalaam e Ishqum from the film, and admits that it was difficult to do the track.

“It was a really tough song for me to do and I’m glad it’s being appreciated”, Priyanka said in a statement.

The video is inspired by the chic burlesque acts of the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret of Paris. Priyanka also had a tough time shooting for the song as her father (Ashok Chopra) passed away a few days before the shoot, in the summer of 2013.

The costumes too, had to be created overnight.

“I really admire Priyanka for the courage and determination that she displayed during the shooting of the song. She put in all her pain and converted it into an intense energy, which has reflected in Asalaam e Ishqum”, said director Ali Abbas Zafar.

The talented actresses will give us a treat of a performance, but which film succeeds is anyone’s guess right now. At least there’s ‘no competition’!


Selling via Sunny

In what purists will view as a radical marketing ploy, the theatrical trailer of Indo-Canadian adult film star-turned-actress Sunny Leone’s latest offering Ragini MMS 2 can also be accessed worldwide across adult websites.

“Sunny enjoys a huge viewership on adult websites, so yes, we are launching the trailer on these websites,” said Tanuj Garg, CEO of Balaji films, in a statement.

The film, directed by Bhushan Patel, is a mix of horror and sex.

“Nothing spells super sexy and super scary as well as the RMMS 2 promo does,” said Sunny. “This is something my fans and lovers haven’t seen before! It’s a treat that I don’t want them to miss”.

Does anyone really care about the scare when they can see sexy Sunny? What do you think?


Ahana Deol weds businessman

Veteran actors Hema Malini and Dharmendra’s younger daughter Ahana Deol married Delhi-based businessman Vaibhav Vora in Mumbai recently, with big names from the fraternity like Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan and politicians like Narendra Modi and Raj Thackeray on the privileged guest list.

The wedding, a mix of Punjabi and traditional south Indian customs, were similar to that of elder sister Eisha’s wedding in 2012. Ahana’s wedding clothes were created by Jodha Akbar fame fashion designer Neeta Lulla.

The pheras and reception were hosted at the ITC Maratha, with another reception at the groom’s farmhouse in New Delhi at a later date.

Ahana met Vaibhav at her sister Esha Deol’s wedding to Mumbai-based businessman Bharat Takhtani in 2012. They were engaged in June 2013.

Ahana’s half-brothers, Sunny and Bobby, reportedly did not attend the wedding, but a source said that they would bless the couple at the reception in the capital.

“Neither Dharamji nor Hemaji would want to hurt Prakashji (Sunny and Bobby’s mother). The family has decided it’s better if Sunny and Bobby stay away”, a source said.

“Sorry to disappoint the gossipmongers, but there is no ill-will or bitterness about the Deol brothers’ absence from Ahana’s wedding”, added the source unnecessarily. “Sunny and Bobby love both Esha and Ahana like they love their own sisters”.

Well, as long as they add their best wishes to ours for the newly married couple!

Mixed genre films coming soon

With both Jai Ho and One By Two having received a mixed response at the box-office, the upcoming potpourri of films in different genres may fare better or worse, say industry watchdogs. Films soon to release include romantic comedy Hasee Toh Phasee, medical thriller Heartless, youthful love story Babloo Happy Hai and Ya Rab, a film on terrorism.

Hasee Toh Phasee promises to be much more than a regular rom-com, with Siddharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra in the lead roles. The film revolves around a stressed out guy who meets a completely different girl, so it may take up the fancy of the audience. It’s a medium budget film, made with approximately Rs.25-28 crore.

Actor Shekhar Suman’s directorial debut Heartless is another interesting option. The medical thriller features Shekhar’s son Adhyayan Suman along with Deepti Naval and Om Puri in lead roles. Shekhar has gone all out to make the film a success, spending Rs.1 crore for the movie’s title track that has been sung by Sonu Nigam. Made at an approximate budget of Rs.12-13 crore, the film is about an emotional journey of a young man from falling ill to healing. It will be shown in approximately 600-800 screens pan India.

Babloo Happy Hai has been directed by Nila Madhab Panda, who won a national award for his film I Am Kalam. The film features Sahil Anand, Erica Fernandes, Sumit Suri, Amol Parashar and Preet Kamal.

Ya Rab is a film revolving around the concept of terrorism. Directed by Hasnain Hyderabadwala, it features Ajaz Khan, who was last seen in Bigg Boss Saath-7, along with Arjumman Mughal, Raju Kher, Vikram Singh and Imran Hasnee.
Both Babloo Happy Hai as well as Ya Rab have been made on budgets of Rs.10 crore each and will be shown in about 200-300 screens across India.

So there you go, pay your money and take your pick!


None by two

In what must be a disappointment, actor Abhay Deol’s debut production One By Two failed to excite the Indian audience due to the unusual content, less buzz and lack of exciting promos, say trade analysts. Directed by Devika Bhagat, the film was made on a budget of about Rs.15 crore and hit 1,000-1,200 screens all over India.

“The film has not done well. The opening weekend has made between Rs.1.25 crore and Rs.1.5 crore. The concept was very different and didn’t get accepted. The hero and heroine meet only at the end of the film, which is something that the traditional audience will not accept”, stated a trade analyst.

Starring Abhay and his real-life lady love Preeti Desai, the movie didn’t create the necessary hype that tend to influence the audience these days.

“There was less buzz, promos were not exciting and music was not well promoted. It’s done pretty bad”, said another analyst. “The content was not catchy”.

It’s a blow to the talented Abhay, but let’s hope he continues to follow his star and chase his dream.


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