Tag Archives: Karan Johar

Karan Johar to speak at World Economic Forum

Bollywood royalty Karan Johar has been invited as a cultural leader to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
 
This year, Karan will be participating in a session titled ‘The Weaponization of Culture’ on January 23, alongside names such as Alice Bah Kuhnke, the Swedish Minister of Culture and Democracy, and Arlie Russell Hochschild, a professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. The session will be moderated by television anchor, Ali Velshi.
 
Karan Johar was invited last year as well where he was in a one on one session with Pakistani activist and filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
 
Karan Johar says, “It’s an honour to be invited as cultural leader to Davos at the WEF. Davos is a spectacular meeting ground for some of the most prolific men and women from across the globe. It’s inspiring and motivating to be amongst them.”

This year, the WEF’s opening plenary will be delivered by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on January 23. US president Donald Trump will deliver a keynote address before the close of the meeting on January 26.

 

Exclusive: Karan Johar, Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor spotted in London

Bollywood director Karan Johar is currently in London for his upcoming directorial venture, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. The film stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma in lead roles.

BollyNewsUK spotted Karan Johar along with the CEO of his production house, Apoorva Mehta, meeting Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor on a London street.

Katrina had just arrived from Glasgow where the 32-year-old actress was filming for Nitya Mehra’s Baar Baar Dekho with Sidharth Malhotra, also co-produced by Kara Johar. ‘Shaandar’ and ‘Queen’ director Vikas Bahl also bumped into the group on the street where they were chatting away about all things Bollywood. 

Check out some exclusive photos here and stay tuned to BollyNewsUK.com for more gossip about Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

Karan Johar, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif in London - Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (1)

Karan Johar, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif in London - Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2)

Karan Johar, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif in London - Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (3)

Karan Johar, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif in London - Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (4)

Karan Johar, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif in London - Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (5)

Interview: Jacqueline Fernandez talks about ‘Brothers’

Jacqueline Fernandez in London -BollyNewsUK (3)Bollywood beauty Jacqueline Fernandez stars in the much-awaited sports drama, Brothers, an official remake of Hollywood film Warrior.

Released by Fox Star Studios worldwide, the high-octane family drama also stars international icon Akshay Kumar along with Sidharth Malhotra (Ek Villain), and Jackie Shroff (Dhoom 3) in pivotal roles.

Directed by trailblazer Karan Malhotra (Agneepath), known for extracting inspiring performances from his actors and sending his audiences on an emotional, cathartic journey, Brothers has been produced by renowned filmmaker Karan Johar, under his Dharma Productions banner, along with Lionsgate Films and Endemol India

Brothers is the story of a broken family, set in the world of mixed martial arts and underground street fighting. Akshay Kumar plays the role of Sidharth Malhotra’s elder brother; both siblings are martial arts fighters locked in a fierce rivalry for victory in the ring.

Speaking to Bollywood reporter Sunny Malik, Fernandez talked about the film, her movie choices and playing a mother on-screen for the first time.

Your career changed drastically after starring in Kick last year. How has it been?
It has been great. Last time we spoke, I had just finished Kick and was starting Bangistan. I also finished Roy with Ranbir Kapoor and Brothers. I have also started Rohit Dhawan’s movie with John Abraham and Varun Dhawan. I will also be filming Remo’s next directorial also starring Tiger Shroff. I will now be starting Housefull 3 shortly.

Jacqueline Fernandez in LondonSo you will be filming in London for Housefull 3 again…
Yes, it’s very exciting and I can’t wait.

Everyone wants to work with Dharma Productions. How did you feel when you were offered Brothers?
I was ecstatic. I have always wanted to work with Dharma Productions. This film and my role is a bit unconventional for me because I have been previously only seen on-screen in glamorous roles. This was different and I was honestly surprised that I was even offered such a film. I am so glad that I did do the film because I was in very good hands.

Were you slightly conscious that you will not be seen in make-up on-screen?
Yes, I was but it was also a relief. In films like Dishoom which I am working with John and Varun, I know that I have to look my best. In Brothers it wasn’t about that at all.  It was purely about my performance. It was a relief that I didn’t have to worry about how I was looking, my make-up, clothes or my styling. It was a completely new experience for me.

Do you think not having to worry about these factors brought out a better performance?
I don’t think that styling, clothes and make-up should come in the way of your performance. You should be able to look your best and yet give your best performance. Sadly, what happens is that you get so involved in these things for some roles that they become your priority more than your performance. This time it was different and a little bit weird for me. I wanted to look at myself first before some takes and I was told to not worry and just give the shot (laughs). It was amazing because I felt myself that I was giving a real performance and nothing else mattered.

Who offered you the film? Karan Johar or Karan Malhotra?
It was Karan Johar who came to me with Brothers.

Were you worried that playing an on-screen mother would not go well with your image?
I was very aware of it. I even contemplated not doing the film. I didn’t know whether I wanted to play a Mom at this stage in my career. Even when I started the movie, I was still a little bit apprehensive and not sure. But then it was all about how convincing the audience that I can also be a mother on-screen. I don’t know how that can go against me. When I go and start my movie with Tiger Shroff next, I should still be as convincing in whatever I portray in that film.

Brothers is the first film to release by 20th Century Fox through the Fox Star India and Dharma Productions partnership. Do you feel this film can reach a wide international audience because it’s a Hollywood remake?
I hope so. The story of the film can connect with people from any nationality, region or religion. Everyone can relate to the storyline. I do hope that people come and see it because I don’t think what they will see in Brothers is something that they would expect from a Hindi audience per say.

Brothers is now playing in cinemas nationwide.

Interview: Sidharth Malhotra talks about ‘Brothers’

Sidharth Malhotra Brothers AnthemBollywood chocolate boy Sidharth Malhotra made a stunning debut with Karan Johar’s ‘Student of the Year’ in 2012. The 30-yea-old actor has since played a number of diverse roles. His second movie, ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’, saw him playing a lover boy in a very quirky rom-com. Sidharth then surprised audiences worldwide with his critically acclaimed portrayal of a gangster in ‘Ek Villain’.

‘Brothers’ marks his fourth feature film as an actor where he plays a loner and an alcoholic. Sidharth plays the role of Monty who struggles hard with his complex existence. He shies away from crowds and he does not have any friends. He is active in the world of underground street-fighting, but he lacks a winner’s attitude. He strongly yearns for the acceptance and love of his family. This yearning for approval and respect leads him to find the needed focus and determination to make it big in the street fighting circuit. When the ‘Right to Fight’ competition is announced, he makes it his life’s mission to win it to earn respect and to find his rightful place in the world.

Speaking to Bollywood Reporter Sunny Malik, Sidharth opened up about the film and much more…

‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ was an interesting rom-com and ‘Ek Villain’ completely transformed you. How has the journey in Bollywood been so far?
The journey has been interesting. I learnt a lot of things and there were quite a few ups and downs.  People typecast you once you do a romantic movie and if you do an action flick, they put you in that space. I have attempted to do all genres.  Even though Ek Villain and Brothers have action in them, you can see that they are diametrically very different. I feel now there is far less anxiousness from my part when I interact with people from the film industry as well. When I entered the movies business, I had a lot of general and work pressure as well as performance anxiety. That has reduced. The feedback I got helped me and also when a film was successful at the box office.  That gave me a confidence boost that there is an audience that is excited to see my movies and will pay money to watch them at cinemas. I also feel a bit responsible that I need to give out better content and not let that go. What I don’t like is that everybody starts typecasting you instantly. What  I want to do is to adapt to both; a  romantic film and also a hard-hitting action film.

Sidharth Malhotra in Brothers Fox Star DharmaYou have been choosy and not been signing films left, right and centre. Why is that?
Yes, I have been a bit choosy. If a film demands it, like Brothers did, I take off time. I was preparing for about six months. I needed to be convincing for the role hence, I needed to eat and gain a lot of weight. It was also a different role for me as people wouldn’t imagine me playing such a role. If I can choose from the material that I am offered then it needs to be something new, it should have an X factor for me and get me excited. I get bored if it gets monotonous. Of course, the script and screenplay has to work. For me, my character also needs to have a journey from the beginning till the end. The director is also quite important for me. When I meet a director, the vibe and their passion should show. Then they can push your limits. I knew Karan Malhotra even before Brothers. I knew that he doesn’t settle for anything short than a great or perfect take. That makes it easier for me as an actor because you know someone is pushing you for the right reasons. The combination of trying something new, a great script and a good director are probably the things that I will look for in my next projects. I also think it’s great that actors take out time from their schedule to work on a character. I can assure you that I haven’t looked like this in my other films and neither do I look like that right now. It was all for a particular project and to make it look convincing. I did get a vibe from some people who thought it’s too early for me in my career to take off time to work on my character. I thought and still think that it’s best for the film and if it will pay off, then that is what actors should do.

Sidharth Malhotra in Brothers

Was it weird looking at yourself in the mirror after your physical transformation for Brothers?
Oh yes, it took me a while to get used to my beard. I have never had such a big beard ever in my life. Neither did I ever have such short hair. I also gained about ten kgs in four months. It took me a while to get used to it and my clothes stopped fitting me. I had to get a new wardrobe. Some people think keeping short hair is very macho and very easy but it takes more time to maintain it. It was definitely more effort for me to keep it short and get it trimmed every second day. I had to spend more time in my van to get ready and I hate that. I love to just come in, get ready quickly and be on the set. It took me a while to get used to my look but I also knew that it will make the film and my character look more convincing.  That was my main goal. Hats off to Karan Malhotra, the director, as he showed me an image of a 6 foot 4 inch tall bald wrestler. I got scared thinking that I have to shave off all my hair for the film and I was just freaked out because that guy was too big (laughs). He told me that he wants me to look that way. He told me that I need to physically look very broad and massive. I promised him that I’ll do whatever the best I can and that’s when I decided to not to do anything else and just prepare myself for this film.

You have known Karan Johar, the producer, and Karan Malhotra, the director for many years. Who approached you to star in the film?
It was Karan Malhotra himself when it came to offering me the role. He was about to start another film, Shuddhi perhaps and I was supposed to do another project post Ek Villain. It was quite interesting how Brothers fell into place for all of us. Endomol had been trying to make this film with various production houses in India for a few years and it never really worked out. I remember that one night he was meeting Karan Johar and Reshma (head of a talent management agency), and on top of his head Karan Malhotra told them that a film he really wants to make is Warrior. Reshma said that she knows the people who have been trying to make this film in India. They then had a meeting with Endomol after two days of that conversation and Karan was asked to adapt the script and wrote the Hindi script in about a 40-50 days. He considered me because of Ek Villain and also because he knew me personally. I was excited because he had great standards of filmmaking and a lot of conviction more than anything else. When you come on set, you just know that Karan had thought about every little detail from how to shut a door and what kind of look the actor needs to give for a scene. He was very clear about these things and that’s why as an actor you don’t need to do a lot of homework. The film has a lot of drama but it’s very subtle, which is today’s flavour. The audience will get the impact but were not really performing for drama.

Sidharth Malhotra in The Villain

You must have been thrilled when Akshay Kumar came on board too…
Even Akshay Sir was supposed to do another film instead. It’s really amazing how everything fell into place.  We all changed dates and pushed films ahead to do Brothers. We all were destined to play roles in the film. When I came on set, I realised that all four of us, Karan Malhotra, Jackie Shroff Sir, Akshay Sir and I were very similar in personalities. We all come from very basic and non-film backgrounds. We are all about doing the right thing. Hence, we got along really well. I also don’t have a female heroine in the film and all I did was hang out with Akshay Sir and Jackie Sir which was refreshing. I think, the male energy that audiences will see on-screen hasn’t been seen in Hindi cinema for a while.

The trailer doesn’t reveal whether your character is truly negative or positive. Can you shed some light on this?
Well, it will be difficult to predict who is negative and who is positive in the film. The only difference between the two brothers is that Akshay Sir’s character has a very personal and correct reason to fight the competition while my character has an internal motivation to fight the competition. My character is not doing it for money but only to prove a point to my friends and family that I’m worth something. That’s why the character comes across as more aggressive but isn’t really negative. Akshay Sir plays the family guy and is doing it for his family. The film is not really about who wins the fight. It’s more about the conflict the two brothers have been living with; their abusive father, their angst, their mother who died when they were young and all that is bottled up till the climax. It makes my character and Akshay’s character, being the older and mature one, handles it differently. I think it’s not a negative character. It’s just different.

Directed by Karan Malhotra, ‘Brothers’ is produced by Karan Johar and released by 20th Century Fox.  The film is out now nationwide. 

Motion Poster: ‘Bombay Velvet’

Fox Star India has released the motion poster of their upcoming film, Bombay Velvet starring superstar Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Karan Johar. 

Synopsis:  Set against the backdrop of ambition, love, greed, and jazz – Bombay Velvet is the story of one ordinary man who goes against all odds and forges his destiny to become a ‘Big Shot’. Jazz clubs, a passionate love story, a growing metropolis and a phenomenal hunger for a good life. Welcome to the City of Dreams. Welcome to Bombay Velvet.

The lights, the glamour, the charm, men in dapper suits and women with puffed up hairdos, the retro look of 60’s and 70’s has been brought to life beautifully by the actors and the man with great vision Anurag Kashyap.

For the first time Producer-Director Karan Johar will be playing a negative role.  Also, this is the first time that Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma will be seen sharing space onscreen.

The movie, directed by Anurag Kashypa, is set to release in UK cinemas through 20th Century Fox on 15th May 2015.

Anushka Sharma

Spotted: Shah Rukh Khan shoots at Blenheim Palace for ‘FAN’

Shah Rukh Khan - FAN in Oxford - Mark Hemsworth
Copyright: Mark Hemsworth

The UK schedule of Yash Raj Films’ FAN kicked off in Oxford, England yesterday. Superstar Shah Rukh Khan filmed scenes for the movie at Blenheim Palace with a crew of 300 people including several extras from the UK. 

Blenheim Palace and its stunning gardens and parkland have been used as a location for many exciting feature films and television documentaries over the years.

Acclaimed film-maker and Visit Britain brand ambassador Karan Johar also shot with Khan at Blenheim Palace for UK blockbuster Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham almost fifteen-years ago. 

According the The Oxford Times, various scenes were shot around the palace. One such scene featured a red carpet rolled out in the main courtyard. 

BollyNewsUK can confirm that Shah Rukh Khan is now filming for FAN in London. 

FAN is directed by Maneesh Sharma and produced by Aditya Chopra. The film is set to release in UK cinemas later this year through Yash Raj Films.

Shah Rukh Khan at Bleinheim Palace for FAN Shah Rukh Khan at Bleinheim Palace for FAN Shah Rukh Khan at Bleinheim Palace for FAN Shah Rukh Khan at Bleinheim Palace for FAN Shah Rukh Khan at Bleinheim Palace for FAN Shah Rukh Khan at Bleinheim Palace for FAN Shah Rukh Khan at Bleinheim Palace for FAN

Shah Rukh Khan - FAN in Oxford - Red Carpet- Mark Hemsworth
Copyright: Mark Hemsworth

Anushka Sharma is ‘excited to shoot for Ae Dil Hai Mushkil in London’

Photo: Prasad Naik
Photo: Prasad Naik

Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma has said that she is excited for the UK schedule of Karan Johar’s next directorial, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

The NH10 actress spoke to Bollywood reporter Sunny Malik for BollyNewsUK and said that she can’t wait to get back to acting after promotional activities for her latest movies.

Speaking about filming Dharma Productions’ Ae Dil Hai Mushkil in the English capital, Sharma said, “I am very excited as I love the energy in the UK. I feel like I am at home when I am in the UK for some reason. I have been promoting my film non-stop and I will be promoting Bombay Velvet next. I can’t wait to get back to my real job and that is acting.”

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is directed by Karan Johar and stars Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma.

 

Fox Star Studios release ‘Bombay Velvet’ Trailer

Bombay Velvet UK CinemasFox Star Studios and Phantom Films have released the hotly anticipated trailer for award-winning director Anurag Kashyap’s upcoming epic saga Bombay Velvet.

Ranbir Kapoor heads up the cast of this glamorous film set during the Golden Age of Bollywood cinema and is joined by Anushka Sharma as well as Karan Johar who takes on a sinister role. 

The film is the story of an ordinary man who goes against all odds and forges his destiny to become a ‘Big Shot’. It’s the story of how one man’s Dream becomes every man’s nightmare.

20th Century Fox will release Bombay Velvet across UK cinemas on 15th May 2015. 

Watch the trailer with English subtitles here:

 Bombay Velvet UK Release (2)

 

 

 

Alia makes it large with Samjhawaan

IMG_3510Actress Alia Bhatt left her fans stunned when she made her singing debut with Samjhawaan for Karan Johar’s Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania.

She also received tremendous applaud for the same. Having had a passion for singing, recording the song meant a lot to her and a recent award for the same has made her happier than ever.

At the Radio Mirchi Music Award held recently, Alia won the Make it Large Award . This comes as no surprise as Alia’s Samjhawaan has not only touched souls but has also left a mass impact on the audience.

Alia is elated with her recent victory and says, “I am really happy to get this awards it means a lot. Thank you Mirchi for the award.”

Way to go girl!​

20th Century Fox 2015 Bollywood releases confirmed

20th Century Fox has confirmed Bollywood films due to release in 2015 for the UK territory.

The studio will be releasing films in UK cinemas acquired and/or produced by Fox Star India, a joint venture between 20th Century Fox and Star India.

The first 20th Century Fox Bollywood release here is Mr.X (3D) produced by Vishesh Films, under a three film deal with Fox Star Studios. The film is directed by Vikram Bhatt and stars Emraan Hashmi and Amyra Dastur. Mr. X (3D) will be released in UK cinemas on 17th April 2015.

15th May 2015 will see the release of the much-awaited Ranbir Kapoor-Anushka Sharma starrer Bombay Velvet, directed by Anurag Kashyap. The film is a co-production between Phantom Films and Fox Star Studios. Bombay Velvet will also see director-producer Karan Johar play the antagonist in the film and Raveena Tandon is set to make a special appearance. 

Bombay Velvet UK

The last of the three film deal with Vishesh Films, Hamari Adhoori Kahaani starring Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan will hit UK cinemas on 12th June 2015.  Based on the love story of Mahesh Bhatt’s parents Nanabhai Bhatt, Shirin Mohammad Ali and his stepmother, the film is directed by Mohit Suri (Aashiqui 2, Ek Villain). 

First Look: Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi in Humari Adhoori Kahaani
First Look: Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi in Humari Adhoori Kahaani


Superstar Salman Khan is set to break records at UK cinemas again this year with Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. The 49-year-old actor will reunite with fashion diva Sonam Kapoor after Saawariya in the Sooraj R Barjatya directorial.  The film, produced by Rajshri Productions, will be released in UK cinemas on 13th November 2015.

Commenting on the same last year, Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios, India, said “Rajshri Productions have an amazing lineage and have made India’s most memorable family films. They represent the best of Indian values and have a unique understanding of Indian audiences as a result of which their cinema cuts across all audiences. Sooraj ji is one of those rare, gifted storytellers and with this partnership, we have the extraordinary opportunity to combine the unique expertise of Rajshri Productions along with the worldwide marketing and distribution muscle of Fox Star Studios. We can’t wait to commence this exciting journey together!” 

In January this year, Fox Star Studios joined hands with Inspired Entertainment to produce M.S.Dhoni – The untold story, starring Sushant Singh Rajput. The film is the official bio-pic on the Indian cricket captain and will be seen by fans in UK cinemas from 23rd October 2015.

Sushant Singh Rajput in M.S. Dhoni - The untold story
Sushant Singh Rajput in M.S. Dhoni – The untold story

 

Q&A: Emraan Hashmi talks about ‘Ungli’

EmraanEmraan Hashmi is gearing up for the release of his next, Ungli, produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. 

Perfectly capturing the current mood in India of curbing corruption, bribery and intimidation in the upper echelons of power and authority, Ungli is a beautifully acted and directed narrative that conveys in an effective and humorous manner how five ordinary citizens can make a difference in a city blighted by dark forces, as they literally give the proverbial ‘finger’ to the corrupt and dishonest.

In this Q&A, the actor talks about his role in the film and more…

What attracted you to the role of Nikhil?
He isn’t your classic hero; I like characters that have a little bit of a dark side. I think in Hindi Cinema today, people want more than just your typical hero; they now enjoy relating to the villain as much as they do the hero. I think by adding a bit of attitude to the hero, it makes them far more relatable. It has to be said as well, Nikhil is a bit of a bad ass.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your character?
Nikhil is just your everyday guy who decides one day to take a stand against corruption. Along with his group of five friends they become vigilantes and start to fight back and try to expose all those who are crooked in the city.

Did you enjoy working with Kangana?
She is a fantastic actress. I have seen her previous films and I have worked with her before and it has always been enjoyable. We had a real blast working together and everyone says we have great onscreen chemistry so that always helps! Because the films involves lots of stunts we started going to the gym together, she is really dedicated to being the best she can be.

It’s very rare to see you dance in your films. I heard a rumor you’re going to dance in Ungli?
Yes! I think it is well known that dancing isn’t something I normally enjoy doing, however I actually had a really good time doing it for Ungli. I have a scene with Shraddha Kapoor in a nightclub where we perform a song. I was quite nervous before we started because Shraddha is such an exceptional dancer, but it was actually really fun! It is a really eye catching song and I think people are going to enjoy it.

The trailer shows you locking lips with a very attractive young lady, you have gotten quite a reputation for yourself as a ‘serial kisser’, does this bother you?
There are worse things to be known as (laughs). In all seriousness though, I would rather people talk about my acting rather than who I happen to kiss within a film. I think people often think that I choose to kiss people within films; in reality I am simply following the script!

UNGLI releases on 28th November 2014 through Reliance Entertainment in UK cinemas

Q&A: Kangana Ranaut speaks about ‘Ungli’

Kangana RanautThe stage is set for this year’s explosive black comedy-drama, as five vigilantes take justice into their own hands in the dark and witty urban tale Ungli (Finger), which releases on 28th November 2014 through Reliance Entertainment in UK cinemas.

Produced by Dharma Productions, the film company helmed by supremo director and producer Karan Johar, the edgy film, with a noir comic twist, is set in a sprawling metropolis, where corruption, intimidation and violence are a way of life. A city that never sleeps, the underworld is at full force, led by a sinister mob that demands obedience and respect.

Enter five rebels, who decide that they have had enough of the corruption that has blighted their city, and so decide to unite and expose the corrupt through whatever means necessary. The only thing that stands in their path is a tenacious police officer named ‘Kale’, portrayed by veteran actor Sanjay Dutt.

Here Kangana Ranaut opens up about the film and more…

The film follows a group of five friends on their quest to stand up to corruption, how was it acting with Emraan, Randeep, Neil and Angad?
It was hilarious; they are a funny group of guys. After filming with them for a few weeks it started to feel like we had known each other all our lives.


This is your third film with Emraan Hashmi, how was it working with him again?

Emraan is a great guy; he is really down to earth and is a very diverse actor. We get on really well outside of work and having worked together in three films now we have become very comfortable around each other. It’s always fun to work with Emraan and I think our friendship in real life comes across in this film; it isn’t hard to act like friends when you actually are!


People have been praising your character as the heroine of the story, why do you think everyone loves your character so much?
With this type of film, men have always been at the forefront of fighting crime and standing up to corruption. I think by having a girl in the group it shows how times are changing, and that women can kick ass as well (laughs).


‘Ungli’ has attracted a lot of attention, why do you think people are so interested in this film?

I think ‘Ungli’ has a great team working on it, everyone is really focused on making this film the best it can be. It has everything that a great film needs; Rensil has done a fantastic job of combing humor and actually a really interesting message. People have been waiting for this film for years now and many didn’t think it would ever actually get released so now that a release date has been set, I think everyone is really excited to see the outcome.

UNGLI releases on 28th November 2014 through Reliance Entertainment in UK cinemas

Q&A: Rensil D’Silva opens up about ‘Ungli’

Rensil D'SilvaKaran Johar’s upcoming production, Ungli, is directed by avant-garde filmmaker and scriptwriter Rensil D’Silva, who is responsible for some of Indian cinemas most thought-provoking screen hits, including Kurbaan, Rang De Basanti, Student Of The Year and the Indian version of award-winning US TV show 24.

Here the director opens up about the film and more…

How would you describe ‘Ungli’?
It is a story about friendship and is a very character-driven film. It’s about what happens when a gang of friends decide to take justice into their own hands. The film itself has a lot of really humorous moments, which adds to the already good storyline.

How did you cope with the delays? 
The delays frustrated the hell out of me. I think the worst thing that can happen to a director is for his lead actor to go to jail and for him to face the possibility of an incomplete film. It is something that I have no control over; the only option I could think of was to reshoot it. That is a lot of money and time and the mental stress it puts you under is unparalleled.

Were there any positives that came from the delays?
The music! Had I released Ungli last year, I wouldn’t have gotten these songs. Music is becoming extremely crucial for the success of a film and I think the album is fantastic.

How did you deal with Sanjay Dutt’s legal issues during the filming of ‘Ungli’?
I changed the venue of the shoot from Byculla to Carter Road. The media was chasing him everywhere; they had positioned themselves outside his apartment complex. I felt Carter Road would be easier for him as it is closer to his Pali Hill residence. In some particular scenes I cut out some of his lines, it was the least I could do as a director. I felt that I shouldn’t give him too many lines to remember during that traumatic period.

Did you have any plans if Sanjay Dutt couldn’t have come back to filming?
I didn’t have any back up plan at all. Whether I would reshoot or not would have been Karan’s [Johar] decision because it involves lots of money. However, if I had to reshoot, I would go to Anil Kapoor, with whom I have worked with on ‘24’ and would have told him to please do the film as it is safe to say, I was in deep trouble.

What was it like filming with Sanjay Dutt when he knew he was facing incarceration?
The mood was very sober on the sets when Sanjay was around. The last scene he filmed was a very dramatic scene, at the end of it he got very emotional. We hugged him but Sanjay didn’t say anything. He went aside to do a brief photo-shoot and then didn’t return, he just drove off. Imagine what he must have undergone that day! I was asking so much from a man who was going through hell.

 

Ungli releases in UK cinemas on 28th November 2014. 

 

‘UNGLI’ releases in UK cinemas on 28th Nov

UngliThe stage is set for this year’s explosive black comedy-drama, as five vigilantes take justice into their own hands in the dark and witty urban tale Ungli (Finger), which releases on 28th November 2014 through Reliance Entertainment in UK cinemas.

Produced by Dharma Productions, the film company helmed by supremo director and producer Karan Johar, the edgy film, with a noir comic twist, is set in a sprawling metropolis, where corruption, intimidation and violence are a way of life. A city that never sleeps, the underworld is at full force, led by a sinister mob that demands obedience and respect. Enter five rebels, who decide that they have had enough of the corruption that has blighted their city, and so decide to unite and expose the corrupt through whatever means necessary. The only thing that stands in their path is a tenacious police officer named ‘Kale’, portrayed by veteran actor Sanjay Dutt.

The ensemble cast put on admirable performances, with Emraan Hashmi (The Dirty Picture, Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai) taking the helm as the rebel leader ‘Nikhil’.  Other star turns come from award-winning actress Kangana Ranaut (Fashion, Queen) as the spirited ‘Maya’ and Randeep Hooda (Highway, Kick), who shines as cheeky rebel ‘Abhay’. The film also boasts a terrific supporting cast comprising of Neil Bhoopalam (No One Killed Jessica, Shaitan), Angad Bedi (F.A.L.T.U), Neha Dupia (Heyy Babyy), and Arunoday Singh (Main Tera Hero, Jism 2). Stunning actressShraddha Kapoor (Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, Haider) makes a special appearance in an item number not to be missed.

Ungli is directed by avant-garde filmmaker and scriptwriter Rensil D’Silva, who is responsible for some of Indian cinemas most thought-provoking screen hits, including Kurbaan, Rang De Basanti, Student Of The Year and the Indian version of award-winning US TV show 24.

Perfectly capturing the current mood in India of curbing corruption, bribery and intimidation in the upper echelons of power and authority, Ungli is a beautifully acted and directed narrative that conveys in an effective and humorous manner how five ordinary citizens can make a difference in a city blighted by dark forces, as they literally give the proverbial ‘finger’ to the corrupt and dishonest.

Ungli releases on 28th November 2014 through Reliance Entertainment in UK cinemas. 

Watch the song promos of Ungli here:

Watch: ‘Ungli’ Trailer

Dharma Productions has released the theatrical trailer of the much-awaited comedy-drama Ungli 

The film stars Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut, Randeep Hooda, Sanjay Dutt, Neil Bhoopalam and Angad Bedi. Directed by Rensil D’Silva, the multi-starrer is produced by Hiroo Yash Johar and Karan Johar.

Ungli will be out in UK cinemas on 28th November, 2014.

UNGLI Poster

Dharma Productions to remake ‘Ram Lakhan’

RamLakhanAnil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff and Madhuri Dixit starrer- Ram Lakhan is being remade by none other than Rohit Shetty and Karan Johar, in association with Mukta Arts.

The mix of Rohit Shetty – who is famous for his action filled masala films, and Karan Johar – known for making romantic drama films will most definitely make for an interesting remake of Subhash Ghai’s classic.

There are rumors that Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff are not too happy about the classic hit being remade. Speculations are on that Arjun Kapoor might play Anil Kapoor’s naughty role of Lakhan and that Tiger Shroff was offered the role of Ram originally played by his father Jackie Shroff.

Subhash Ghai’s take on this “Ram Lakhan is being remade by Dharma in association with Mukta Arts: “It is entirely the director’s call whom he would wish to cast today. Even I am curious to know who will accept to come on board as lead actors. It’s an interesting guess for everyone. Karan can rope in any star. Let’s wait and watch.”

Q&A: Alia Bhatt talks about ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’

Bollywood sweetheart, Alia Bhatt, who also made her big-screen debut in the Karan Johar production Student of the Year and received widespread critical acclaim for her role in Highway and 2 States, convincingly plays the main female protagonist, sealing her position as one of Bollywood’s most sought after leading ladies. 

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is directed by debutant director Shashank Khaitan and is produced by award-winning film-maker Karan Johar, whose banner Dharma Productions recently brought you such hit films as 2 States and Hasee Toh Phasee.

How would you describe ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’?
Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is the quintessential romantic story. No matter how unromantic you may be in your personal life, it’s a film that we can all relate to. Everyone always wants their love story to be a ‘story’. I would call it a tribute to the typical filmy love story.

How would you describe your character in the film?
Kavya Pratap Singh is a simple girl, and doesn’t have many wants or needs in life. She definitely clashes with the title character, ‘Humpty’, because she’s a lot more practical and no nonsense, even though she sometimes likes to dream big.


Alia Bhatt - HSDKYour character in the film is a huge fan of Kareena Kapoor. You have often been compared to her in real life, so would you consider yourself a fan?
Like my character, I am a huge fan of Kareena [Kapoor] and I definitely consider her one of my biggest inspirations. I find the comparisons very flattering, but not at all true. There is only one Kareena Kapoor out there, and I think it’s very important to carve out my own niche in the industry.

She also mentions how she wants to wear Kareena Kapoor’s wedding dress. Are these things you think about regularly in your personal life?
I think every girl dreams of their ideal wedding, and would like to get married in the grandest way possible. When we see our favourite actresses in these beautiful gowns, it is only natural that we start thinking about our own wedding and what we’ll wear on our special day.


Is it true that you were the inspiration behind the posters of the film?
Yes, that’s actually something I’m quite proud of. During filming, we were constantly saying that we needed to do something innovative for the posters, and I was very fond of taking selfies at the time, so I suggested we implement that. At first, people weren’t fond of the idea but as time went on, they definitely warmed to the idea. I think everyone was delighted with the end result, and it made for a fun and fresh poster.


Your career has had a very interesting trajectory, with every film being different from the other. How do you choose your roles?
When it comes to the roles I choose, I am not very calculating. It’s important for me to stay versatile and not be typecast into any particular role.  I hope with Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, people continue to see a different side of me.


Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania – A Reliance Entertainment release in the overseas markets, in cinemas 11thJuly 2014.

Interview: Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor talk about ‘2 States’

Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor were in London recently to promote their upcoming movie, 2 States.

Bollywood Reporter Sunny Malik caught up with the duo and spoke about the film, an adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name by Chetan Bhagat.

UTV Motion Picture releases the Dharma Productions and Nadiawala Grandson production in UK cinemas on 18th April 2014.

This is the first time you are promoting a film in the UK. How is it going?
Arjun: I am just meeting people one by one in the room here just like I do when I promote my films in India. It doesn’t feel like I am in London and I am going to take it up with my distributors as to why they didn’t make the interviews happen out in the open (smiles). But it feels really nice to come here as an actor for the first time. I have travelled to London many times in the past as an assistant director or pleasure as I have many friends here.

You both are meeting fans at Cineworld Feltham later. Did you tell Arjun of what he should expect?
Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor in London (1)
Alia: I have been there once before my first film, Student Of The Year, released and nobody really knew us. But the fans were very warm people (laughs).

Arjun, you don’t seem impressed…
Arjun: It’s not that I am not impressed. I just find it very surreal that people will take out the time to come and meet me. I have seen it happen with stars like Salman Khan. I have seen him not able to take one step forward because of huge crowds who were there to see him. That is true stardom and I find it surreal when something like that happens to me.

Arjun, the co-producer of the film, Karan Johar, said that Sajid Nadiawala was taken aback by his suggestion to cast you in the film. How did everything fall into place?
Arjun: Sajid Nadiwala was always passionate about making 2 States into a movie. A lot of A-list actors and directors showed interest but nothing ever materialised. When my debut film, Ishaqzaade, released Karan Johar loved it and so did the director of 2 States, Abhishek Varman. I was called into the Dharma Productions office and I read the script. I loved it and I was on board from that day. Sajid Nadiwala has seen me growing up and hanging around at Salman Khan’s house. We have taken holidays together and know each other well. I think, he was just taken aback that “Oh the time has come when Arjun is going to act in a film produced by Nadiawala Grandson.” More than anything, it was an overwhelming feeling for him that this boy he has seen growing up, will be starring in his production. I am really happy that both producers, Karan Johar and Sajid Nadiwala, showed faith in me.

Alia, were you always the first choice for the film?
Alia: I am sure I wasn’t (laughs). I was still filming for Student Of The Year and I was very young at that time. I was called in for a look test for 2 States and I really thank Abhishek Varman, the director, for having that faith in me. When I read the book, I never thought that I will be playing this character on-screen eventually. It’s his faith in me as an artist and performer that got me onto this film.

Alia, were you bothered that people were criticising Karan Johar’s decision to cast you in the film? Many fans felt that you don’t look Tamilian…
Alia: No, it didn’t bother me at all. People can be sceptical or think it’s great. At the end of the day, when I am in front of the camera, I am not Alia Bhatt, I am Ananya. I try as much as possible to be her and stay true to her. Also, being a fan of the original book, I never took it granted even for a minute that this role came to me. It was up to me to deliver my best and now when the film releases, it is up to the audience whether they accept me or not.

Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor in London (3)Arjun, fans usually get disappointed when their favourite book is turned into a movie. How do you think this film will come across to the die-hard fans of 2 States and to people who have not read the book?
Arjun: Our director, Abhishek Varman knows that there is a huge fan following of the book and he kept the script very close to the source. He himself loved the book a lot. There is an old saying, ‘If it aint broke, don’t fix it’. He pretty much followed the flow that Chetan Bahagat wrote. Also for people who have not read the book, like me, you have to find a correlation so that people relate to these characters. He has balanced that really well and intelligently. He made it for a universal audience. 2 States is eventually a love story about two families. Two people can be in love but in our culture it is very important to be accepted by your families. The film is very relatable for someone who has not read the book and also for someone who has.

Alia, you get really irritated when people ask you about the kissing scenes shown in the trailer. Why is it such a big deal if you are kissing?
Alia: The minute you are candid and honest about how it doesn’t matter that suddenly becomes the centre of attention. They say it’s refreshing for you to be honest and not say ‘I did it because it was a part of the script’. But now every newspaper is only writing about the kiss. It is annoying because 2 States is not just about the kiss. It’s a family film and not about these two people constantly making out. We have to show the kiss in the film because it’s important in the book. Also, when people live together they kiss. How prudish can you be if you are living together but you don’t kiss?
Arjun: When two people are in love, they kiss. It’s really normal. The fact that we treat it so normally, is absurd for people.
Alia: There were rumours about us dating and journalists want to confirm the rumour by writing that they enjoy kissing each other which means they are a couple. I mean, if we were dating why would we say something like that?
Arjun: If we had said, we hated kissing each other, even that would be the headline. Eventually, when you use the word kiss, it will make it to the headline. It doesn’t matter if I have given 17 other answers as the kiss question will be the focus of the interview.

Alia meeting fansDon’t you both feel that when the press is focused so much about the kiss and the trailer shows intimate scenes, it can put off family audiences, especially here in the UK?
Alia: The families are on the poster and the film is not just about two people. The film is whole different world altogether and not about just about intimacy.
Arjun: Any sensible viewer, who watches the trailer, will know that the film is not just about kissing for three hours. It’s an aspect that comes and goes in the film. Trust me, all that you see in the film, is already out there in the trailer. I don’t think our audiences are so naive to believe the headlines that are being written about the film being all about kissing scenes. I trust our audience.

How do you feel this film will do at the UK Box Office now that films with newcomers are releasing more frequently here and some do well like ‘Highway’?
Alia: Highway was trending in the UK on Twitter on the day of release. I was very happy. I hope 2 States does well and I hope that book fans add to our audience.
Arjun: The UK has always been a very family oriented audience. This film truly represents that audience base. It is made for that audience. For me, Gunday was my big international release. I think, there is hope now that people are coming to cinemas to watch new faces now. With films like Highway, Hasee Toh Phasee or Gunday doing well here. It is a very star driven industry anyways and you need to keep working to change the audiences’ mind set to come and watch it. I am very hopeful that people will come out of the suburbs of England to the cinemas to watch the film.

This interview first published in Asian Sunday Newspaper (13th April 2014)

‘2 States’ songs are young and energetic

The makers of 2 States, starring Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor, recently launched the song Mast Magan from the original motion picture soundtrack of the film.

The song has been shot in real locations in Tamil Nadu,a temple at Mylapore and a pier at Ennore beach.

Producer Karan Johar says, “The idea was to create a romantic album that not only has soul, but also young energy. These kind of songs have a longer shelf life.They’re not item-based or seasonal.”

Director Abhishek Varman was keen on Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy copmposing the soundtrack. The trio has composed many hit albums for both production houses producing the film, Dharma Productions and Sajid Nadiawala Productions.

Sajid Nadiadwala adds, “SEL have given great music in my films Housefull and Heyy Babyy. Mast Magan is my favourite track in the 2 States album and I think it will grow.”

While praising the singer Arjit Singh, Sajid says, “His voice has a haunting quality and makes the song stay with you/”

Karan mentions for lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya, “He is a strong talent in music. Amitabh’s words tend to have a colloquial nature, but they also have a tremendous amount of soul.”

2 States releases in UK cinemas on 18th April 2014.

Synopsis: ‘2 States’

There is excitement all around as 2 States produced by Karan Johar and Sajid Nadiawala is set to release in UK cinemas on 18th April 2014.

2 States, the movie is based on Chetan Bhagat’s real life love story and on his best-selling novel 2 States: The Story of My Marriage.

The rom-com is directed by Abhishek Varman and stars Dharma favourite Alia Bhatt and Gunday star Arjun Kapoor in lead roles.

2 States UKSynopsis: Love marriages around the world are simple. Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy. They get married. In India, there are few more steps…

Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy. Girl’s family has to love the boy. Boy’s family has to love the girl. Girl’s family has to love the boy’s family. Boy’s family has to love the girl’s family.

And if the boy and girl still love each other, they get married.

2 States is a story about a journey of one such couple, Krish Malhotra and Ananya Swaminathan. They meet at the IIM-Ahmedabad and during the course they fall in love. Complications arise after the course comes to an end and they decide to get married.

Krish and Ananya belong to two different states of India. Krish, a North Indian Punjabi boy from Delhi, and Ananya, a Tamilian Brahmin from Chennai. They take a conscious decision; till their parents don’t agree they won’t get married. Everything goes down hill when the parents meet. There is a cultural clash and the parents oppose the wedding.

To convert their love story into a love marriage, the couple faces a tough battle in front of them. For its easy to fight and rebel, but much harder to convince.

Will Krish and Ananya’s love for each other sustain the battles? Will they manage to convince their parents and make it to their wedding? The film thus is a humorous take on inter community marriages in India.

 Disney UTV will release the film in UK cinemas on 18th April.