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A fresh comic caper for Akshay

 Akshay Kumar’s return to action, with Rowdy Rathore, was an undeniable success — the film witnessed a roaring success and raked in profit at the box office. His jodi with Sonakshi Sinha, who returned to her ethnic-attire roots, was also
a source of much excitement.

Next, the actor promises an entertaining and jazzy performance in his upcoming flick, ‘Joker’.

The film is a slightly surreal tale with plenty of entertainment — it tells the story of a forgotten little village called Paglapur. And as the name of this imaginary town suggests, things here are far from normal — providing the perfect setting for a rib-tickling comedy with plenty of laughter-inducing dialogues.

The film, which repeats the hit-jodi of Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha, also stars Shreyas Talpade and Minisha Lamba. In 1947, when the maps of India and Pakistan were being drawn, an oversight ensured that the village of Paglapur didn’t find a place in either country.

The village had the distinction of housing the largest mental asylum in the region and in the melee that ensued during partition, the asylum inmates broke loose, drove away the villagers and established their own republic in Paglapur. And this is exactly how the little village stayed for the next 60 years. While the world outside changed, Paglapur
remained stubbornly isolated, with no electricity, television or sanity. And its residents lived for six decades in a world of their own, refusing to come into contact with any sort of reality.

Now, decades after the world forgot this village, a NASA scientist of Indian origin, Agastya and his beautiful wife find themselves on the road to Paglapur.
Agastya is working on a top-secret project that aims to create a device to communicate with aliens.

So why is he in a village whose colourful inhabitants include a man who speaks in gibberish, another who thinks he is a lamp post and everyone else who think Mahatma Gandhi is still around, fighting for independence?

And more importantly, what are they going to do that will soon turn the universe’s spotlight on this forgotten village? ‘Joker’ – India’s first extra-terrestrial comedy — hits the big screen on August 31. 

Just right for the youth

Debutant director Manish Manikpuri is very optimist about his first Bollywood venture, the
musical movie Aalaap. The movie promises to be a one-of-its-kind experience, being based on the issue of Naxalism in Chhattisgarh.

The cast includes Amit Purohit, Pitobash Tripathy, Abhimanyu Singh, Murali Sharma, Vijay Raaz, Rituparna Sengupta Gamya Wijayadasa, Raghubeer Yadav, Onkardas Manikpuri, Ruhi Chaturvedi, Harsh Rajput and Aabid Shamim.

The story of Aalaap revolves around three aimless youngsters, Subhash, Prashant and Brijesh, who share one common passion — music. They chance upon meeting Rahul, another music enthusiast, and the four form a rock band together.

They gradually become famous, and get awarded. Soon, however, they realise that there are greater problems that need to be tackled in Chattisgarh, which is infested by Naxalism.

The film also sees Abhimanyu Singh as the fearless policeman, out to destroy the weeds of Naxalism, while Murali Shrama shines in an exciting role as well.

“Because I am a debutant, I don’t think I should go for a ‘love story’ or a ‘comedy’. I wouldn’t like to execute the subjects for which I don’t have a feel. See, I am born and brought up in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh. I know very well what is happening in the state, why it is happening and what could be the probable solution. I can relate myself to the subject of the film,” says Manish. The movie also stars Ruhi Chaturvedi and Gamya.


Old is certainly not gold for Bollywood

Actor-cum-director Anant Mahadevan says he fails to understand why Bollywood is reluctant to cast 50-plus actors in lead roles. The filmmaker has cast 55-year-old actor Jackie Shroff in the lead in his upcoming film ‘Life Is Good’, which is set to hit theatres in September.

“The Indian film industry has strange ways. Here, if an actors crosses the 50 age mark, he is not cast in lead roles. I do not understand why,” he complains.
“In Hollywood, the scenario is completely different. We can still see Al Pacino and others being cast in the lead in major films. This is the shortcoming of our industry,” adds Mahadevan.

‘Life Is Good’ is based on a story sourced from a detailed diary left by Saaransh writer Sujit Sen, who died in 2005. Mahadevan, who has directed films on serious issues like ‘Red Alert: The War Within’, as well as soft romantic comedies like Dil Maange More and Dil Vil Pyar Vyar, explains that his upcoming film is different from his previous ones.

He describes, “The film is all about a relationship between a father and daughter. What happens when a little child, named Mishti, comes out of the blue into the life of a man who wants to end his life? Jackie is playing the 40-year-old father, while child artiste Sanya Anklesaria appears as his daughter.”

Mahadevan is also working on Gaur Hari Dastaan, which is based on the life of Gour Hari Das, who fought for four years to free the country from the British rule and 32 years in liberated India to prove he had done so for a freedom fighter’s certificate. The film stars Konkona Sen Sharma, Ranvir Shorey, Vinay Pathak and Tannishtha Chatterjee.

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