Beyond The Clouds is an entertaining and touching saga that is bound to move and touch viewers. The first half shockingly is shaky at many places and director Majid Majidi doesn’t seem to be in control of his content. But it has some great sequences that set a balance and in the second half, the film gets much, much better. Majid Majidi’s direction has some glitches but overall it’s simple and heartening and once again, he manages to extract some great performances from his child actors. But the actor who steals the show is undoubtedly Ishaan Khatter. He has the ‘aam aadmi look’ and hence suits the character to the T, look wise. And talking about his performance, he’s confident and first-rate. Also check out his dance moves which come up unexpectedly in a crucial scene. This guy is a star and if he has done so well here, one can’t help but expect a lot from Dhadak, which will be a true-blue commercial Hindi film. Malavika Mohanan gets a bit overboard in an initial scene but later on, she gives a fine performance. G V Sharada (Jhumpa) is marvelous and moreover, she has such sad eyes that one can’t help but sympathize with her. Dhwani Rajesh (Tanisha) also does well. A R Rahman’s music is subtle though this won’t be counted as one of his memorable works. Anil Mehta’s cinematography is terrific, as always. Do give Beyond The Clouds a chance and you’ll surely won’t be disappointed!

My rating - *** ½ out of 5!

Fenil's Bollywood Talk # 513


It will be the lull before the storm this Friday. 2 films will hit theatres tomorrow and both of them are going to face a very tough time. There were 3 more films that were going to hit screens tomorrow – High Jack, DaasDev and Omerta. Better sense prevailed and all 3 of them have been pushed forward, although High Jack could have had a release. My views on the films releasing tomorrow:

BEYOND THE CLOUDS: It is directed by acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi and it’s the launch vehicle of Shahid Kapoor’s half-brother Ishaan Khatter. He’s going to probably rock the show in a few months with Dhadak, a Karan Johar production. Beyond The Clouds also stars Malavika Mohanan, daughter of acclaimed cinematographer K U Mohanan and has music by A R Rahman. The film looks real and gritty and has got noticed due to Ishaan’s presence and the fact that Majid Majidi has made it. The opening would still be poor but it would have the best opening of all the films releasing tomorrow. Also, it has the most chances of exceling in the weekend, provided reports are positive.

NANU KI JAANU: It stars Abhay Deol, Patralekhaa and Manu Rishi Chadha and is a horror comedy. The trailer starts off very well and the horror bit is nicely shown. But then the promo begins to show Abhay as a rowdy gangster kind of a person and it takes away the charm of the film. The buzz for the film is just not there, though Patralekhaa’s interview with Rajeev Masand on the struggles in Bollywood got a lot of respect and appreciation. But the opening will be very low and if the film has adequate humour and horror, then only it has a chance.


October collects 23.90 cr in 5 days

October Box Office Collections Day 5: Varun Dhawan's Film Is 'Steady', Makes 25 Crores
Box Office India Trade Network

OCTOBER has sustained well on Tuesday with hardly any drop from Monday as it collected just a little under 2.50 crore nett. The total collection of the film is nearly 24 crore nett and looks set for a first week of 28 crore nett.

If the film can maintain on Wednesday like it has on Monday and Tuesday that will put the film in pretty good shape as far as the weekday business is concerned. Its still dependent on that crucial second Friday but with films with names like NANU KI JAANU and BEYOND THE CLOUDS being the competition there is a huge possibility that OCTOBER can continue to dominate the box office and get decent numbers in week two.

The first weekend business of OCTOBER is as follows.
Friday - 4,50,00,000 apprx
Saturday - 7,00,00,000 apprx
Sunday - 7,50,00,000 apprx
First Weekend - 19,00,00,000 apprx
Monday - 2,50,00,000 apprx
Tuesday - 2,40,00,000 apprx
TOTAL - 23,90,00,000 apprx

The very limited market is a problem as this sort of cinema which is very art house may also consume much its audience in week one. There are other urban films which also have a similar treatment which keeps them to the five metros but the ones which go on to do higher numbers tend to be a little lighter or have a stronger plot so have wider audience in these five metros.

Baaghi 2 collects 152.40 cr in 19 days

Image result for Baaghi 2 ndtv
Box Office India Trade Network

BAAGHI 2 is heading for a solid third week total of around 10.50 crore nett as it grosses 8.75 crore nett plus over five days in its third week. The total so far for the film is 152.50 crore nett and after three weeks it will be 154 crore nett plus.

There will be another week to add business before AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR hits the theaters so the lifetime of the film looks to be settling at around 158 crore nett with an outside chance of 160 crore nett. Considering the first BAAGHI film did 76 crore nett, a 100 crore nett plus total was there for the taking with BAAGHI 2 but this film has probably surpassed the most optimistic expectations.

The business of Baaghi 2 till date is as follows.
Week One- 1,10,81,00,000
Second Week - 32,74,00,000
Friday - 1,50,00,000 apprx
Saturday - 2,25,00,000 apprx
Sunday - 3,00,00,000 apprx
Monday - 1,10,00,000 apprx
Tuesday - 1,00,00,000 apprx
Third Week - 8,85,00,000 apprx (5 Days)
TOTAL - 1,52,40,00,000 apprx

Sanjay Dutt, Rajkumar Hirani, Ranbir Kapoor to make T20 debut for Sanju teaser launch?

Sanjay Dutt and Ranbir Kapoor
In novel move, biopic makers to launch teaser at the Wankhede on April 24, with Dutt, Hirani and Kapoor chatting about the movie for 30 minutes
Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; April 19, 2018)

Since last week, rumours have been rife that the teaser of Sanju, the Rajkumar Hirani-directed biopic on Bollywood's 'bad boy' Sanjay Dutt, would be launched on April 24. Considering the Ranbir Kapoor starrer is one of the most anticipated releases of the year, the makers are understandably going beyond the norm of launching the first look at a theatre in the presence of the press.

Ranbir in Sanjay Dutt's characterIn a country that celebrates films and cricket to the point of feverish obsession, Hirani plans to combine the two forces for his next - the team is aiming to release the first glimpse at the T20 match on Tuesday, in the run-up to the scheduled game between Mumbai and Hyderabad.

Fox Star Studios, the producers of the biopic, have pretty much inked the deal to launch the teaser on Cricket Live, the pre-T20 show, on Star Sports. The source adds the filmmakers are also eyeing the possibility of the trio launching the teaser at the Wankhede Stadium, the venue of the match, amidst spectators. A formal approval is on its way.

If all works out as planned, the talk show will see Kapoor, Dutt and Hirani speak at length about their labour of love. "The 30-minute chat will be moderated by Hirani. While Ranbir will talk about slipping into the character and the challenges they faced while shooting, Sanjay will speak about how he was surprised to see Ranbir's transformation. Hirani will also shed light on how difficult it was to pen an engrossing script, especially since Sanjay's life has been widely covered by the press. The officials at Fox Star have already started a dialogue with the channel for this. The idea is to ensure that the teaser reaches as many people across the country as possible, which explains the launch on the cricket pitch as well," says the source.

After its digital release on April 24, the sneak peek will also be attached to the Hollywood big-ticket, Avengers: Infinity War that hits theatres on April 27, owing to the merger of 21st Century Fox and Disney.

Besides the teaser, the next few weeks will apparently also see the makers release a series of video snippets as a run-up to the final trailer launch. Also featuring Anushka Sharma, Sonam Kapoor, Dia Mirza, Karishma Tanna, Manisha Koirala and Paresh Rawal, the biopic is scheduled to hit theatres on June 29.

Rajkumar Hirani

Image: Karan Johar becomes Bollywood’s first filmmaker at Madame Tussauds

Karan Johar
Hiren Kotwani (DNA; April 19, 2018)

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in London is one of the most preferred global tourist attractions. It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors through the year and is home to the wax works of famous celebrities from various walks of life. While many Bollywood stars have a pride of place there, Madame Tussauds has now selected Karan Johar as the first-ever Bollywood filmmaker to enter the list.

That KJo’s talent and career go beyond just cinema makes him an exciting personality to add to the many other iconic international wax figures at the museum. Interestingly, the filmmaker has been such a popular name that fans and visitors have often enquired about why they had not added his statue earlier.

Taking a cue from public demand, the authorities have decided to ‘wax’ Karan. And the first step began on his recent trip to the UK, with his sittings with Madame Tussauds’ creative directors and the Merlin Studios in London last Thursday (April 12).

Incidentally, 2018 is a special year for the filmmaker as it marks the 20th anniversary of his directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, which starred Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukerji. The 15th season of his famous chat show Koffee With Karan will go on air this October. While the exact date of his wax figure’s unveiling is yet to be announced, everyone’s looking forward to it.

It will be unveiled in one city, and will then head out on a tour across Asia, so that his many fans get a chance to see it. Moreover, given that Karan is a multi-talented personality, his fans will get exciting interactive opportunities where they can get up, close and personal with him.

More details will be unveiled as the production of this special wax figure is undergoing a complicated combination of traditional sculpting with modern-day technology. It will take about six months to present Karan’s wax work at Madame Tussauds.

I think I need some me time and need to recuperate-Kapil Sharma

Kapil Sharma
MID-DAY (April 19, 2018)

Kapil Sharma has had a turbulent fortnight, that began with his fracas with a scribe, followed by him accusing the journalist and former girlfriend Preeti Simoes of extortion.

Close on the heels of these events, the comedian skipped the shoot of his show, Family Time With Kapil Sharma, forcing the makers to air old episodes of his previous show, The Kapil Sharma Show. In the latest development, the actor-comedian confirmed that his show, which was launched on March 25, is going off air.

“I think I need some me time and need to recuperate. I’ve been working too hard for too long. There are new exciting projects, which I will talk about soon. I promise that I will be entertaining everyone again,” said Sharma when asked about the reason behind the abrupt end to the comedy series.

While Family Time With Kapil Sharma was launched amid much fanfare, two episodes into the show, reports surfaced of the comedian skipping shoots. It was then that Simoes commented on his “deteriorated mental health”. Sharma said, “What is most hurtful is when comments are made by those people whom you consider your friends and well wishers.”

Winter is coming in Pune for Batti Gul Meter Chalu

Natasha Coutinho (MUMBAI MIRROR; April 19, 2018)

Mirror had earlier reported (April 10) that Shree Narayan Singh’s social drama Batti Gul Meter Chalu had run into trouble over payment issues during the shoot in Tehri, Uttarakhand, and ground to a stop. But the director informs that they are all set to resume shooting in a Mumbai studio from April 27.

“Shahid (Kapoor) and Shraddha (Kapoor) were shooting in Tehri and 70 percent of the film is complete. But Yami (Gautam) is yet to begin and she will start next month. I need a cold location as it will be uncomfortable for the actors to be dressed in winter clothing in May in Mumbai, so I’m checking out other locations that will be convenient for all of us. This is our last schedule and we want to make it the best one. We may be heading to Pune,” the director informs.

He left us wondering the last time Pune had turned conveniently cold in May. On Wednesday the temperature in the city was bordering on sultry at 31 degrees Celsius.

Arjun, Anshula, Janhvi, Khushi and Boney Kapoor unite for a family vacation in London in June

Arjun, along with sisters Anshula, Janhvi and Khushi and father Boney, off for some downtime in London in June
Natasha Coutinho (MUMBAI MIRROR; April 19, 2018)

It’s vacation time for Janhvi Kapoor, who wrapped up her launch vehicle, the Shashank Khaitan directed Sairat remake Dhadak opposite Ishaan Khatter, earlier this week. Boney and Sridevi’s 21-year-old daughter is now headed to London with her father and siblings Khushi, Arjun and Anshula for a family holiday in June.

For Arjun, who is headed to the Queen’s City to shoot for Vipul Shah’s Namaste England with Parineeti Chopra, it will be a workation. The trip comes as a short break for the Kapoors.

“Yes, I will be in London with my children for two weeks. The idea is to have a family holiday and spend time together. We will decide the places we want to see when we leave on June 3. We are back in Mumbai on June 17,” Boney informed Mirror.

Soon after the trip, Janhvi is scheduled to kick off promotions for her debut film, which is set to hit the marquee on July 20 as opposed to the initial release date of July 6.

Alia Bhatt said yes when Raazi script wasn’t ready-Meghna Gulzar

Meghna Gulzar on Raazi set with Alia Bhatt
Admiring Alia Bhatt's spontaneity as an actor, director Meghna Gulzar says her improvisations added to Raazi's appeal
Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; April 18, 2018)

Known to be forthright, Meghna Gulzar asks me right at the start of the interview, "Can you think of anyone better than Alia for the part?" The director reveals that she, along with writer Bhavani Iyer, had Bhatt in mind while giving shape to Sehmat, the protagonist of Raazi. "Even before we had put down a single word on paper, we knew it was her. This is also the first time in her career that Alia agreed to do a film where the script wasn't ready. I gave her a 10-minute narration of the premise. At that time, all I wanted was an assurance from her that I could write the story with her in mind," she says.

As Bhatt slipped into the role of a Kashmiri entrusted with the responsibility of being a spy for India, Gulzar seamlessly found herself taking on a new role — that of a mentor to the youngster. And she is quick to add that the actor was a worthy student. "Alia brought her instinct as an actor, she instinctively reacted to scenes and dialogues. She offered precious suggestions; her improvisations added to the scenes. Everyone believes she is a method actor, but Alia works with spontaneity. She puts her gut feeling to good use," lauds the filmmaker.

The director says that Bhatt had to train in diction and body language to stay authentic to the milieu of the spy thriller. "Language was a huge part of her preparation. We no longer speak the way we did back then [in the '70s] — there was a certain amount of thehrav [gravitas] in the way people communicated. Speaking refined Hindi and Hindustani was essential for the part. I gave her movies and short films to watch, for reference."

Gulzar jokes that Alia Bhatt found it difficult to channel her femininity given her "tomboyish" nature. "Her body language was another thing we had to work on. She is tomboyish, almost to the point of being clumsy where she would stumble frequently. In the film, she was supposed to play this woman who is feminine and dressed in flowy fabrics, yet do the things she was supposed to do which aren't feminine [in the conventional sense]."