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A prized role for Saif

Saif Ali Khan will play the main lead in Bhushan Kumar and Milan Luthria’s next, as yet untitled, film project. The leading lady of the film is still under wraps but the makers promise it is a very strong and challenging role and that she will be one of the top five heroines of the industry. For Bhushan Kumar, this will be his next big outing after the 2011 Salman Khan-Asin starrer ‘Ready’. The film will be a character-driven story and an interesting mix of comedy, action, drama and romance creating larger-than-life cinema for movie lovers.

Milan, who is riding high after two back to back super hits, is too excited about the film.  
“There are many superhero films out there but this isn’t one of them. Saif was shooting in Istanbul, while I was in Prague. We spoke to each other over the phone when he reminded me again of doing another film — which is when I narrated a plot to him, whose character fits him to the ‘T’ and he agreed to be part of my film. My company has already produced ‘The Dirty Picture’. It will our second project after Kachche Dhaage, which released 13 years ago, but will be working together as producer and actor for the first time.”

Good response to the movie

Pyaar Ka Punchnama, which turned out to be the biggest rom-com of 2011 owing to its comic appeal and youth-centric content with a fresh new star cast, was the highlight of this year’s Indian Film Festival held in Berlin. The festival, which kickstarted on August 15 with powerful youth-driven films, had numerous eminent personalities from the Bollywood film industry present as well.

Among the many films screened, Pyaar Ka Punchnama, which was screened on the August 16, was well appreciated by the audiences present there.

Abhishek Pathak, the film’s producer, was present with one of the film’s leading ladies Sonalli Sehgall and was overwhelmed with the response they received from the people of Berlin.

A source present at the festival said, “Abhishek was extremely happy with the response he received for his film, and it has definitely motivated him to make more films on the lines of Pyaar Ka Punchnama.”

In fond memory 

Together they created magic with their voices and now, a year after Jagjit Singh’s death, wife Chitra is paying him a musical tribute by bringing out an album of his unreleased songs this October.

Chitra stopped singing and quit the limelight for a quieter life following the death of their son Vivek in 1990. But she says Singh’s music never really left her. “I remember him every moment, there is not one thing that I can’t think of. His ghazals run through my veins,” Chitra says nostalgically.

The album ‘The Master and His Magic’ is being released on Singh’s first death anniversary on October 10.

The album contains eight original, unreleased compositions by Singh.  Chitra says the recordings came to her through an admirer.

“We have this friend of ours in Ahmedabad who has been a fan of Jagjit ji for a very long time. He had a collection of Jagjit’s unreleased songs from various performances lying with him and he handed them over to me. None of them were studio recordings, so I had to work on restoring and re-mastering these recordings,” says Chitra.

“This album is a tribute from me to Jagjit ji and a gift to millions of his fans. These songs were sung at different time periods during Jagjitji’s live performances between,
say, the late 80s and mid 90s,” she says.

“To give his fans something new, Jagjit ji used to present new compositions every time,” she adds.

Taking after his grandpa

Remember Raj Kapoor’s legendary roles as a happy-go-lucky tramp in Awara (1951) and Shree 420 (1955)? He had apparently taken inspiration from Hollywood great, Charlie Chaplin, to play these characters, sporting the now famous ill-fitting trousers and floppy hat. And now, 57 years later, his grandson Ranbir Kapoor has taken pointers from his late grandfather for his next film. Ranbir’s look in his upcoming film Barfi! is an instant reminder of late Kapoor’s Chaplin-esque avatar, complete with a thin moustache, umbrella and hat.

In the movie Barfi!, Ranbir plays a simpleton, who is deaf and mute and always has a prank up his sleeve. When Anurag was designing Barfi!’s look, he wanted a very innocent and loveable appearance. He instantly thought of Raj Kapoor in Awara and Shree 420 and his look was also believed to be a take on Chaplin’s. Also, Ranbir’s familial connection with Raj Kapoor made it all the more special.

Anurag Basu confirms, “Ranbir plays a loveable character, someone you adore and who leaves a lasting impression on your mind and heart. I can say his character is like that of Raj Kapoor, Charlie Chaplin and Roberto Benigni. The shades are similar to the lovable tramp, much like you have seen these actors portray with ease. They mesmerised audiences with their charm and simplicity.”

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