(Crisp) Movie Review: SKYSCRAPER by FENIL SETA

Skyscraper is quite a fun, massy entertainer with some paisa vasool scenes and moments. The plot of the film reminds one of The Towering Inferno and Die Hard while some of the scenes give a strong déjà vu of Fast & Furious, Mission Impossible films etc. One crucial sequence is quite similar to Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, believe it or not! But the manner in which the story unfolds and the manner in which the skyscraper has been designed and presented makes for a nice watch. And the action scenes are too good, with some sequences bound to take your breath away! Dwayne Johnson is the soul of the film and single handedly carries the film to success. The rest of the actors - Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller and Byron Mann – are decent. Hannah Quinlivan gets to play a badass character and is quite nice. Recommended!

My rating - *** ½ out of 5!

Soorma collects 20.40 cr in Week 1; Ant Man And The Wasp collects 27.10 cr

Image result for soorma ant man and the wasp
Box Office India Trade Network

SOORMA had a low first week of 20.50 crore nett apprx though Delhi NCR and East Punjab have done decent business. The film can still get a decent total but it will have to hold up very strongly on day eight. The weekdays remained pretty steady but on low levels so it remains to be seen what happens on the crucial eighth day. The first week collections of SOORMA till date are as follows.

The collections of SOORMA till date are as follows.
Friday - 3,25,00,000 apprx
Saturday - 4,75,00,000 apprx
Sunday - 5,25,00,000 apprx
Monday - 2,00,00,000 apprx
Tuesday - 1,85,00,000 apprx
Wednesday - 1,70,00,000 apprx
Thursday - 1,60,00,000 apprx
TOTAL - 20,40,00,000 apprx

ANT MAN AND THE WASP has had a respectable first week of 27 crore nett but it dropped on the weekdays. Like SOORMA, the problem for the film will be the second Friday as it could drop to low levels. Still the film should comfortably cross the 30 crore nett mark.

The collection of ANT MAN AND THE WASP are as follows.
Friday - 5,25,00,000 apprx
Saturday - 7,00,00,000 apprx
Sunday - 6,75,00,000 apprx
Monday - 2,50,00,000 apprx
Tuesday - 2,00,00,000 apprx
Wednesday - 1,90,00,000
Thursday - 1,70,00,000
TOTAL - 27,10,00,000 apprx

Sanju collects 318.78 cr in 3 weeks

Sanju Box Office Collection Day 20: 'संजू' की रफ्तार अभी भी तेज, बना डाले कई बड़े रिकॉर्ड्स
Box Office India Trade Network

Sanju had another strong week as it collected 29 crore nett apprx and took its three week total to 319 crore nett. It is now the fifth highest NETT grosser ever after BAAHUBALI 2: THE CONCLUSION, DANGAL, TIGER ZINDA HAI and PK. The GROSS numbers are still less than films like BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN and SULTAN.

The drop in the third week is 67% and if this drop is repeated in the fourth week then the film will struggle to reach the numbers of PK and TIGER ZINDA HAI and go higher than fifth in the all time list. But this is the holiday factor in play and the open run that films get in the Xmas/New Year period. The film is close to 99 crore nett in Mumbai and will hit 100 crore nett over the weekend in the circuit.

The collections of SANJU till date are as follows
Friday - 34,19,00,000
Saturday - 38,41,00,000 
Sunday - 46,73,00,000
Monday - 25,25,00,000 apprx
Tuesday - 21,75,00,000 apprx
Wednesday - 18,25,00,000 apprx
Thursday - 15,50,00,000 apprx
Week One - 2,00,08,00,000 apprx
Friday - 12,50,00,000 apprx
Saturday - 21,25,00,000 apprx
Sunday - 27,50,00,000 apprx
Monday - 9,00,00,000 apprx
Tuesday - 7,50,00,000 apprx
Wednesday - 6,25,00,000 apprx
Thursday - 5,50,00,000 apprx
Week Two - 89,75,00,000 apprx
Friday - 4,25,00,000 apprx
Saturday - 7,25,00,000 apprx
Sunday - 8,50,00,000 apprx
Monday - 2,50,00,000 apprx
Tuesday - 2,25,00,000 apprx
Wednesday 2,20,00,000 apprx
Thursday - 2,00,00,000 apprx
Third Week - 28,95,00,000 apprx
TOTAL - 3,18,78,00,000 apprx

Why is Ram Gopal Varma bringing up the past again?-Namrata Dutt

As Ramu announces a warts-and-all biopic on Sanjay, sister Namrata Dutt on why the family should not have to relive their disturbing episodes, time and again
Upala KBR (MID-DAY; July 21, 2018)

Hours after it was reported that Ram Gopal Varma has set into motion a biopic on Sanjay Dutt — one that critically appraises the actor and his run-ins with the law — sister Namrata Dutt says she doesn’t understand the need to put the spotlight on episodes that Sanjay has put behind him.

Namrata tells mid- day, “Doesn’t Varma need Sanjay’s approval to make it? If Sanjay gives a go-ahead, we are nobody to say no to him.”

Despite it being a runaway hit, Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju has been accused of glossing over the actor’s laid on his strained relationship with father Sunil Dutt. In sharp contrast, Varma’s biopic, tentatively titled Sanju: The Real Story, will focus on Sanjay’s arrest for possessing an AK-56 rifle in connection with the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.

Stating that it was “painful to watch” the Hirani-directed venture as it brought back the dark days that the family had been through, she says that another cinematic outing would only affect them further. “We have been through every phase of what Sanjay has gone through. When he became a drug addict, we at least knew that we could help him out of it by sending him to rehab. But we had no control over the other incident [going to jail]. It was painful as we helplessly watched him suffer,” she recollects, adding that Sanjay has strived to emerge stronger from his past incidents. “It was an unfortunate episode in Sanjay’s life. He has moved past it. Why is Varma bringing up the past again?”

Though Varma and Sanjay have collaborated on two films, Namrata states that she doesn’t trust the director’s gritty style of filmmaking. “His movies are dark. Why do you want to go on and on about Sanjay’s life? Why is he putting us through so much pain again?”

Rumours suggest that husband Kumar Gaurav hasn’t watched Sanju yet as he’s hurt that despite being thick friends for decades, his character didn’t find a place in the movie. “Bunty is not upset. He wasn’t well during the screening. He will watch it soon.”

She adds that she would have liked if Sanjay’s former wife Richa and daughter Trishala were depicted in the biopic. “I missed watching their characters. But I haven’t mentioned it to Sanjay.”

BREAKING: Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika to clash with Hrithik Roshan’s Super 30 on Republic Day 2019

Rachana Dubey (BOMBAY TIMES; July 21, 2018)

On January 25, 2019, the audience can expect fireworks at the box office. BT has it that Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika - The Queen Of Jhansi will clash with Hrithik Roshan’s Super 30.

Manikarnika, which will see Kangana as the warrior queen Rani Laxmibai, was initially slated to release on April 27, 2018. The makers then toyed with the idea of releasing it on August 15 this year. But finally, they have now decided on a Republic Day weekend release, next year.

When we reached out to the studio backing the period drama, the spokesperson confirmed the development. Preparations are on in full swing to bring out a teaser over the next few days to announce the date of release.

Interestingly, earlier this year, trade pundits had announced that Hrithik Roshan’s biopic on mathematician Anand Kumar, would release on the Republic Day weekend, 2019. It will be interesting to see how these two will battle it out at the box office in the coming year.

It's Shah Rukh Khan versus James Cameron this Christmas

Top left: A still from Alita: Battle Angel; James Cameron (above left)
The actor’s sci-fi romance drama will clash with the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s next this Christmas
Avinash Lohana (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 21, 2018)

After the US schedule of his upcoming sci-fi romance drama Zero, which was followed by a brief family vacation, Shah Rukh Khan dived straight into the Mumbai schedule of the Aanand L Rai directorial. The fi lm’s team is racing towards wrap-up to keep its December 21 date with the box-office. It will be up against Academy Award-winning Hollywood fi mmaker James Cameron and Jon Landau’s upcoming production, Alita: Battle Angel, which has snagged the same date for its worldwide release.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez, the cyberpunk action film features Canadian-American actress Rosa Salazar as a young cyborg Alita who goes on a journey of self-discovery. Vijay Singh, CEO of Fox Star Studios, who is distributing the film in India, says, “We are releasing Alita: Battle Angel during the Christmas holidays this year. It is the perfect holiday film conceived by James Cameron almost a decade ago and like Avatar, is set in an entirely new and unique world. With some high-end special effects and stunning action sequences, we are sure the film will create ripples at the box-office around the world.” Anupam Kher recently revealed that his biographical political-drama The Accidental Prime Minister, also opens on December 21.

If somebody zooms in the camera on my chest or butt, even that is exploitation-Richa Chadha

A no-holds-barred interview with 90s South adult film star Shakeela and Richa Chadha, who will portray Shakeela in her upcoming biopic...
Renuka Vyavahare (BOMBAY TIMES; July 21, 2018)

Actress Richa Chadha will portray the role of the popular 90s South adult actor Shakeela, in her upcoming Bollywood biopic, to be directed by Indrajit Lankesh. The film hopes to showcase the tumultuous life of the 41-year-old siren, who was among the highest paid actresses in the South film industry, at one point. Known for her work in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada films, her biopic intends to explore her world beyond her stardom and erotic image.BT caught up with Richa and Shakeela in Bengaluru to capture their first interaction, as Richa gears up to take on this challenging role. Well-versed in several languages, including Urdu and English, Shakeela exudes childlike innocence and candour while sharing her controversial past and what lies ahead for her. In a heartfelt conversation, the two actresses share their views on topics like exploitation of women, politics in cinema and the film industry’s tendency of taming biopics. Excerpts...

Shakeela, you come across as shy and reserved. It’s generally hard for people to believe that someone who has had a bold image on screen, can be an introvert.
I am very shy. What I did (adult films) was my job. I don’t even like to step out without my dupatta or wear cleavage-revealing dresses. Shooting ke time, when the camera rolled, I would drop my pallu and right after the scene was shot, I would pin it up.

Richa, have you seen Shakeela’s films? Were you taken aback by the contrast between her reel persona and real self?
That’s the persona. Michael Jackson was also a shy person. Sridevi was also a tad reserved and soft-spoken in person, but she transformed on screen. Even I am socially awkward, but I am comfortable on camera, which is why people feel that I am bold. That’s our alternate personality I guess.

Tell us a bit about your family, Shakeela.
We belonged to a lower middle-class family. I was born in Chennai and had seven siblings. At 23, my father passed away. He cared for me and was a simple guy, who didn’t know what I did in films. Today, I am on talking terms only with my brother Salim. I don’t talk to my elder sister (Noorjahan) anymore. The rest of them are no more.

In your autobiography, you have written about your tragic past. The sexual exploitation that you faced and how your mother allowed all of it to happen. You didn’t choose the life you led and yet you don’t have any regrets. That’s rare.
Shakeela: What else could I have done? I didn’t have a choice so I wasn’t bothered about people judging me. I took life as it came. Jo kaam mila, main karti gayi. My mom lived with me till the time she died. Why did she make me do the things I did? She said that she had many kids. ‘Sabko paal posna hai. Maine socha tu kardegi’. When you say (mummy ne) push kiya, push kiya…, ek hi cheez mein toh push kiya (her book reveals that her mother pushed her into prostitution before entering films for the sake of money). At 17 I did what you mentioned without my knowledge, but getting into films was my own interest. Mummy didn’t push me into doing adult films. She just told me, ‘You can’t reject every movie coming your way’. So, I accepted movies. I was 18, when I worked with Silk Smitha in Play Girls (1995) and then did Kinnara Thumbikal (2000) that turned out to be a huge hit.

Speaking of adult films, were there huge discrepancies in what was shot and what was eventually shown on screen?
Shakeela: That was the problem. They used to narrate the story to me, jisme ek fantasy scene (one love scene) hota hai. Rest of the film was like a normal shoot jahan pe glycerine aur rona dhona hota tha. What happens eventually is yeh rone dhone ka scene nikal jata hai, sirf fantasy scene rakhte hai, because that scene eventually becomes popular. Mujhe maloom bhi nahi tha ki body double (actors who filled in for stars unwilling to go completely nude) use ho raha hai. After six months, I got to know that another woman has been used as my body double. I spent most of my time in Chennai and the movie theaters were so crowded there that I couldn’t go and watch my movies. I didn’t even know what was being shown in the theaters. All I knew was that filmmakers wanted my facial expressions. I didn’t have a say in what they eventually showed or to what extent they showed it.

Didn’t you feel exploited at that point?
Richa (cuts in): But then everything is exploitation. If I am doing a big Hindi film and somebody zooms in the camera on my chest or butt, even that is exploitation.

People feel no shame in watching adult films, but adult film actors are often slut-shamed or labelled by society at large. That clearly shows hypocrisy.
Shakeela: Agar log humari films nahi dekhte, toh hum star kaise bantey? But yes, stereotyping happens. I played a nun in a film and it’s been stuck for 15 years as people won’t let it release. How can Shakeela be a nun? My image was an issue. Initially, I told the producer not to take the risk of casting me, but he went ahead with it. The film has still not released.
Richa: That is the hypocrisy of our society. You take something that’s beautiful and innocent, use it, objectify it, exploit it and then judge it. What does that say about you?

Shakeela, you’ve written in your book that for most people you were nothing more than an object of desire. Nobody cared to explore the actress in you or understand you as a person. Given your image, were filmmakers apprehensive to cast you in roles that catered to a family audience?
Shakeela: There was a time when I didn’t get work for two-three years. I was told if we cast you in our films, then it will become a blue film. I heard this for a while, and then finally Teja sir (filmmaker) called me for Jayam, (a mainstream Telugu film in 2002) which opened doors for me in the Kannada film industry once again. I played supporting roles in many mainstream films.

Richa Chadha will be playing your role in your biopic. Did you have any reservations about how you will be portrayed?
Shakeela: Humari soch kaafi similar hai. I am not talking about physical similarities, but our way of thinking. Richa is equally courageous and a free-thinking person. She has the ability to understand the layers in the script. Also, maine koi restrictions nahi daala hai. In fact, I have shared everything that has happened in my life with them. Whatever needs to be told should be told. Reality ko chupake, biopic banaane ka kya matlab hai?
Richa: I am not going to put on weight to play Shakeela, as I feel that aspect is quite superficial. The film is about one woman standing up for herself in a male-dominated society and being targeted for being successful. It doesn’t really dwell upon her films per se but the ups and downs in her life. I wanted to meet her because I wanted her to trust me. When an actor plays a real person, there’s a huge responsibility, as we represent that person. Also, Shakeela never did porn films. She did adult films which were censored and passed with an ‘A’ certificate. She didn’t indulge in nudity, there was always a body double. People were so crazy about her, that inke close-ups pe hi films chal jaati thi.

Shakeela, has the thought of marriage crossed your mind?
There was a time when I wanted to get married and have children, but my mother didn’t want that for me. I was busy working and she feared that the source of income would stop, so she rejected every guy that I brought home. The men I dated trusted me and believed in me. I don’t want to get married now. I have always been in a relationship since I was 14 or 15, so now I want to enjoy my single life.

Your mother dissuaded you from settling down. Didn’t you hold that against her?
Richa: Shakeela is an angel, especially for her family. She supported her parents, siblings. Who does all this today? People disown their parents. Sadak pe chodd dete hai. She took care of her siblings’ education in whatever capacity that she could. It’s a very selfless thing to do. Her perspective in life has always been... ke let me sacrifice my happiness for them. That’s the kind of compassion I want to bring across on screen, and also show the viewers that somewhere, she is very spiritual. She knows ke maine kuch galat nahi kiya hai, so God is with me.

Shakeela, there was a time when your films were unofficially banned in theaters as they were labelled as indecent and inappropriate. At one point, you were also one of the highest paid actors in the South film industry.
On record, I was told that my films were not getting censor clearance, so they were stuck. However, I knew the real reason. Big projects which released along with my films were not doing well, so they banned my films, citing these censor excuses. Every Friday it was getting tough for (mainstream) filmmakers to get a theater for their movies, while my films did well. I knew this. Banning my films was more of a business decision, than a moral one.

Looking back, do you feel that you could have done more mainstream films, if you had the opportunity?
Shakeela: Sabko yeh bedroom fantasy scenes karna nahi aata. You have to think about how you will climax and show it on camera, without feeling inhibited. Not everybody can do it or come up with the right expressions. Doing fantasy scenes differently in over 100 movies is not easy for an actor.

What has been your life’s biggest learning and what is that one dream that you hope to fulfill?
Shakeela: My whole life has been a challenge but I have learnt one thing — not to trust anyone, even your family. What’s my dream as an actor? I hope I get to work with Kamal Haasan sir someday. I look up to him as he’s my favourite actor.

Did you ever try to make a foray into Hindi cinema?
I didn’t but I was offered Chennai Express (2013). I never met Rohit Shetty or Shah Rukh Khan but I was told that I will be paid Rs 20,000 a day. They wanted me to play one of the Tamil characters alongside Sathyaraj (who played Deepika Padukone’s dad in the film). They even asked me to come for an audition, saying that even Sathyaraj will be there. They came home to offer me the role, but itna bada film banaate hai aur bees hazaar din ka dete hai? Mujhe bura laga so I didn’t do it.

Having worked in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada films for over two decades, do you consciously stay away from the limelight now?
Shakeela: I am an open book. I speak from my heart. I stay away from the limelight because I need to do something to talk about myself. Why would people want to know about how I woke up, what I had for breakfast and all that sh**? I prefer to spend my time on gaming consoles or playing games on my mobile. I also like watching Hollywood creature films.

Sonam Kapoor has always been perfect and flawless in my eyes-Anil Kapoor

Anil Kapoor on the agony of watching one’s children grapple with body image issues which is also addressed in his upcoming musical drama
Roshmila Bhattacharya (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 21, 2018)

In a recent interview to Mirror (July 16), Pihu Sand, the 20-year-old Mumbai girl who plays Anil Kapoor and Divya Dutta’s daughter, Lata, in the upcoming musical drama, Fanney Khan, had revealed that she added 20 kg to tip the scales at 98 kg, the heaviest she’s ever been, for her acting debut. The news comes as a surprise to Anil who was bowled over by Pihu’s confidence and histrionics during their first workshop at his residence. “Having seen the original Belgian film, Everybody’s Famous!, I knew this was a tricky bit of casting but after meeting Pihu I knew instantly that she was our Lata. When I see talent, everything else pales into insignificance, including someone’s physicality,” says the actor.

While chasing Lata’s dream, the film touches on weight issues and the culture of body-shaming, concerns which are not new to Anil whose actress-daughter, Sonam, a style icon today, weighed 86 kg in her teens. He attributes this to the pangs of being parted from her parents when she went to Singapore to study. “Those 3-4 years were traumatic for her and when she returned home, I was shocked. The way she walked, the agony of climbing stairs, the misery on her face, broke my heart,” he recalls.

Being from the film industry, Anil knew his children, Sonam, Rhea and Harshvardhan, would be subjected to scrutiny and criticism growing up and so always told them they are beautiful in their own unique way and nothing should change that. “To be honest, I could not have imagined Sonam’s deep concerns with her appearance, because to me she has always been flawless,” he avers, admitting the full extent of what his daughter had gone through since the age of 13 only hit him recently when he read an interview of hers in which she confessed to spending hours in front of the mirror scrutinizing her appearance and coming up short.

Sonam had no plans to become an actress when she started assisting Sanjay Leela Bhansali. “She was still on the heavier side and seemingly unconcerned during the shooting of Black but perhaps Sanjay saw the beautiful girl beneath that ungainly body and offered to launch her in Saawariya,” reminisces Anil.

She went on a strict diet and fitness routine for a whole year and lost 35 kg, but the insecurity remained. She continued to experiment with every diet, from Atkins to South Beach, and every fitness routine, from spinning to power yoga, a single uncomplimentary remark making her go off food. Stardom didn’t make it any easier. The slightest blemish would be highlighted in photographs and articles which mercilessly sliced through her wavering self esteem. “Body-shaming is a curse and really hurts our kids,” points out Anil, informing that according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders at least 30 million of all ages and genders in the US suffer from eating disorders, resulting in at least one death every 62 seconds. “Sonam has always been perfect and flawless in my eyes and I couldn’t be happier that she is healthy and content with herself today. When it comes to beauty, we need to shift the focus from physicality to personality. Women who are smart, intelligent, empathetic, determined and accomplished are beautiful. And that is the kind of beautiful Sonam is.”

Fortunately Sonam had a friend, Namrata Soni, and her sister, Rhea, who boosted her self-esteem and made her comfortable in her skin. Anil describes Rhea as a firebrand and asserts that he has never met anyone more confident and self-assured. “She knows who she is and is always true to herself. I’ve never seen her falter. She is the best kind of beautiful and she knows that,” he beams.

He also never had to tell Harsh what to do or how to do it as his son has always followed his heart and instincts. “Harsh is an old soul. He is my youngest son but in some ways he’s the wisest,” he states.

Arjun, who like his other nieces and nephews is one of his kids too, had a problem with his weight till he got in shape. “The credit for that goes to Salman (Khan). When his dad (brother Boney) showed me his new pictures, I was pleasantly surprised and so proud,” Anil flashbacks, adding it is important not to push kids into anything, recalling how Sonam had quietly sought out his trainer Sherveer. “The voice has to come from within,” he says wisely, narrating how Sherveer helped him look good for a suhaag raat scene in Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain with a years younger Kajol after shooting through the night for Pukar.

Air-brushing and photo-shopping are alien concepts that Anil has managed to evade so far by staying healthy and disciplined. “When we were shooting 'Badan Pe Sitare Lapate Hue' recently, a special effects team was kept ready to clean up the frames which eventually wasn’t necessary and we saved a lot of money,” he says, pointing out that last year, France implemented a new law whereby it’s become mandatory to label media images that are digitally altered for commercial purposes to make models look thinner as a ‘retouched photo’. “The time has come to redefine the popular concept of beauty and end body shaming. My film addresses this and that makes it special. My kids are strong, confident, independent people with minds of their own. That will always be my biggest legacy,” he says.

Don’t love or hate me for being someone’s child-Janhvi Kapoor

Janhvi Kapoor and (right) ...with mom Sridevi
Nayandeep Rakshit (DNA; July 21, 2018)

Janhvi comes across as a confident and talkative girl. She often speaks candidly and then reflects, “I shouldn’t have said that, no?” The newcomer, whose debut film Dhadak released yesterday, knows that she can’t escape comparisons with her mother, late actress Sridevi. But she doesn’t want those thoughts to “put pressure on me”. In a no-holds-barred interview, the 21-year-old talks about her relationship with her late mother, why she wants to prove herself before working in a home production with dad Boney Kapoor and the much-debated topic of nepotism. Over to her.

You said you were a filmy kid...
Absolutely. My mom and dad used to call me ‘full drama’. Mom had many videos of me as a kid where I was doing some dance moves, and suddenly the next moment, I was on the floor (laughs). I still have many of those videos!

You have been launched by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. That’s probably a dream debut for any newcomer.
Definitely. As a production house, they are so well-equipped and know so much about the business. But more than that, I’m grateful for the amount of love that everyone on this team has shown me. Karan, especially, gets very invested. It’s like a personal thing for him. You feel taken care of, but again, if you are doing something wrong, they will call you out as well.

A lot of has been said about nepotism. What’s your take on it?
Honestly, I understand people’s opinion on it. But it’s important to understand that it exists in every industry and it’s a bad thing if the person who has been given an opportunity is complacent or takes it for granted. People shouldn’t think that something is their birthright. They need to prove themselves. Look at Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor. Their films have done well and they have entertained so many people. I’m not putting myself in their category, but what I’m asking is for people to not love or hate me because I’m someone’s child. Give me a chance to prove myself because there’s nothing that I love more than acting. I feel a sense of responsibility towards anyone who feels that I don’t deserve to be here as there are so many others struggling to get into films. I recognise that this opportunity has come to me a little easier than it would otherwise have. But I’ll work that much harder to prove that I am worthy of it.

Do you feel the pressure of expectations and comparisons?
Yes, definitely. Earlier, that was something my mom would worry about. She had once said, ‘I hope you’re not compared to me because I have done 300 films and this is your first’. I, somehow, never thought about it. I feel the pressure more now than I did when I was shooting Dhadak. I hope that since my family, especially my mom, has got so much love I don’t disappoint the fans. I am trying to create my own identity, too.

At home, do you discuss films with your family?
Organically, this is the only thing I know because when we spend time together as a family, we watch movies. All our discussions are about films and work that we are doing or want to do, or what we have recently seen and liked. Mom was a very creative and artistic person and papa is a producer. I’ve grown up in an extremely colourful environment at home and I haven’t been exposed to anything else.

Your mom had seen a few rushes of the film. What was her reaction?
She was very honest. The thing with her was that she never gave compliments easily. She loved me a lot, but I had to accomplish something to get a compliment from her. She would always tell me that her mom never told her when she had acted well or praised her for a good shot. Maybe, she was reserving her comments for the film’s release. But yes, after seeing the rushes, she was very happy and said a lot of sweet things. She was definitely proud.

Arjun Kapoor (your step-brother) has always maintained that he didn’t want to be launched under his home banner. Do you think alike?
Yes, I feel the same way. For Dhadak, I went through a bit of a process with the readings and all. Papa would have done anything to launch me. But I want to earn as much credibility as I can before working with him.

Now that Dhadak has released, is there another project on the horizon?
I wanted Dhadak to come out first. I don’t want to force myself down people’s throats. I want them to know me as this character and then let them decide whether I’m worthy of another opportunity.

Akshay Kumar to Hrithik Roshan: Bollywood bats for Sonali Bendre

(From L-R) Sonali Bendre Behl with husband Goldie Behl; Akshay Kumar; and Hrithik Roshan
DNA (July 21, 2018)

Sonali Bendre Behl, who threw a shocker at Bollywood and her fans when she went on to inform the world through social media that she was diagnosed with ‘high-grade cancer that has metastasized’, is currently undergoing treatment in New York.

The actress, who has been a picture of bravery and dignity while sharing her ordeal through regular posts, has also been getting a lot of support from the film fraternity. A while ago, Akshay Kumar paid Sonali and her filmmaker husband Goldie Behl a visit. Twinkle Khanna continues to motivate her through her Twitter handle. And, sources say that more recently another Bollywood superstar, Hrithik Roshan, also flew to the Big Apple to spend time with the Behls.

One hears from an insider that Manisha Koirala and Tabu have also been in touch with Sonali. A source indicates that Tabu had plans to visit her, too. The two of them worked together in Sooraj Barjatya’s Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999) and also stood vindicated when the court dismissed charges against them in the Jodhpur blackbuck case in which they were incriminated along with Saif Ali Khan, Neelam Kothari Soni and Salman Khan. Sonali and Goldie are likely to stay in New York for a while longer.

However, it’s heartening to know that she is not alone in her ordeal because back home, everyone has their fingers crossed hoping she will emerge victorious.