Filmi Fundas

Filmi Fundas

‘Kamal Hassan is right’

Sheetal Talwar, who produced Dharm, has not only come forward to defend Kamal Hassan against accusations of religious fundamentalism but also offered to release Vishwaroop, the Hindi version of his controversial multilingual film, if required.

The Tamil and Telugu versions of the film have been banned after some Muslim groups alleged that the international espionage thriller is anti-Muslim and can hurt the sentiments of the community.

Later, it was banned in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka. “Why are film-makers in Mumbai not speaking up for Kamal Hassan? Just because he is from the South? Don’t they realise that this can happen to any of us? I condemn the attack on a film that I am sure redefines popular entertainment, as Kamal’s films always do,” says Sheetal, who is keen to watch Vishwaroop.

He says that Dharm, a hard-hitting film on religious fundamentalism directed by his wife Bhavna, faced the same crisis in 2007. “My wife Bhavna Talwar’s film Dharm was put through a similar ordeal when, in fact, Dharm was about communal amity. I am sure Kamal Hassan’s film doesn’t derogate any community. He is too responsible an artiste to fool around with any community’s sentiments,” adds Sheetal.

While applauding Rajnikanth for coming forward to support his colleague, Sheetal also wants to see more film-makers and actors come forward in support of Vishwaroopam. “Kamal Hassan is right. This is cultural terrorism. And the fact that the Tamil Nadu government is endorsing it by banning the film makes it even worse. I am with Kamal Hassan all the way. If he needs, I’m willing to release the film in Mumbai and other centres. All he has to do is ask,” says Sheetal.

Soha’s over the moon

Soha Ali Khan is one actress who knows what she wants and is determined to get it.

In fact, Soha frankly admits that she always knew she wanted to be a part of Deepa Mehta’s ‘Midnight’s Children’. She had read the book and was interested in it but didn’t know, initially, that Deepa would offer her a role in the film — that too, the character of Jamila, who happens to be Soha’s favourite in the book.

Soha divulges that she would have been happy playing any character in the film. But when she found out she’d got this particular role, she was over the moon.

“I had made up my mind that I wanted to be a part of ‘Midnight’s Children’ in any capacity — even when I didn’t know what Deepa would offer me. I was quite happy that I got to play a part that I really liked. I was very happy; I thought, ‘Oh that’s great’ because she is young and she’s beautiful! Then, of course, she singsand dances a lot.”

What makes this project even more special to Soha is the fact that ‘Midnight’s Children’ just happens to be one of her favourite books.

Talking about the book, Soha says, “It’s been one of my all-time favourite books. I have always found ‘Midnight’s Children’ very intriguing. There is a backdrop of the India-Pakistan conflict, the fragmentation of the country and the problems within the ruling party of the time. It’s a clever book and the parallels drawn between Saleem’s life and the state of the country are brilliant.”

It’s all about being bad

It seems like Bollywood has had its fill of righteous cop heroes, who ruled the marquee last year and the year before that. This year, being bad is good — most of the A-listers are ditching their good guy image to play anti-heroes. Right from gangsters to conmen and out-and-out evil characters, these heroes will be unveiling their mean streak on screen.

Aamir Khan, for instance, plays the baddie in Dhoom 3 while John Abraham is one in ‘Race 2’. Akshay Kumar, too, plays a conman in his upcoming ‘Special 26’ and Vivek Oberoi plays the evil villain in Krissh 3. There’s no dearth of gangster roles either. After his grey character in Abbas-Mustan’s action thriller, John will play gangster Manya Surve in ‘Shootout At Wadala’, in which Tusshar Kapoor too plays a negative role.

Maharaja Features

Sanjay and Aamir share screen space

The star cast for Rajkumar Hirani’s Peekay is beginning to resemble the ever-changing Indian cricket team lineup — while a few names have remained constant, others have been in and out of the list.
Now, the latest news is that the director (and chief selector) Rajkumar Hirani has roped in a trusted star — Sanjay Dutt.

The director and actor have, of course, had a lot of success working together in the Munnabhai films.

Sanjay is the latest addition to a cast comprising Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma and Sushant Singh Rajput.

“Sanjay has been finalised. He will play the part of a rustic Rajasthani. He will have quite a few sequences with Aamir’s character in the film,” says an insider close to the project.

 It will also be the first time Sanjay will act with Aamir.

Another project in the pipeline

Bollywood actor Tusshar Kapoor is looking forward to the shooting of director Shashant Shah’s next film. “There is a film by Shashant Shah, who made Chalo Dilli last year, and we will start shooting for that soon,” he says, when asked about his upcoming projects.

“It’s a revenge comedy and is slightly realistic as well. The entire film is based in Delhi,” he adds. Produced by Eros, the film also stars Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, Ravi Kishan and Dolly Ahluwalia. “If we are able to complete shooting in a few months, then we will release it this year for sure,” Tusshar states.

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