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A.R. Rahman gets encore on Tamil song in New York

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New York, July 15: It was an encore all the way for A.R. Rahman as he performed the original Tamil version of his “Urvasi Urvasi” chartbuster for the IIFA Rocks audience here as he celebrated his 25-year journey in the Indian film industry with a two-hour concert.

The scenario at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey was far removed from his July 8 London concert where fans reportedly walked away complaining that his performance was dominated by Tamil instead of Hindi songs.

“Once more, once more,” shouted out the fans at the MetLife Stadium, even as the clock struck 2 a.m. here on Saturday morning.

“It’s too late right…,” commented Rahman, but broke into the rocking “Humma humma” nevertheless.

The audience joined in as an ensemble of singers including Hariharan, Kailash Kher, Jonita Gandhi, Benny Dayal, Mika Singh and Neeti Mohan jammed it up with the music maestro on stage.

With a list of songs largely dominated by Hindi tracks, Rahman also sang around three to four numbers in his mother tongue, and the audience wasn’t complaining.

“Rahman’s performance was every bit worth it. We had no problems that he sang in Tamil because we believe one should preserve their culture,” Rajan Panda, who has been staying in New York for 30 years, told IANS here.

A Nepalese couple that has been staying here for the last 15 years also said language can never be a barrier in music.

“We enjoyed the show very much. We came for Rahman. It’s music, it’s universal… It doesn’t matter what language it is in,” Arjun Awaley, a software engineer, told IANS after the show.

Rahman kept saying “I love you friends” and “Love you too” to the crowd that swayed to, clapped to and even danced to his tracks.

Even the rain which came pouring down right before Rahman took the stage — and mid-performance too — didn’t make fans go away here.

In a silver sequinned jacket, the Mozart of Madras, who started his film career with “Roja” back in 1992, took over the stage.

His set started with instrumental renditions of his popular songs, and then came “”Dil se re”, “Nadaan parindey”, “Jo bhi main”, “Dil hai chhota sa”, “Kinna sona”, “Mangal ho”, “Agar tum saath ho”, “Tu hi re”, “Nahi saamne”, “Aye hairathe”, “Tere bina”, “Kaise mujhe tum mil gayi”, “Heer toh badi sad hai”, “Maiyya maiyya”, “Tanha tanha”, “Yaayi re” and “Sachin” — tracks either sung and/or composed by him.

The crescendo came with “Jai ho”, which had won Rahman an Oscar for the Best Original Song in 2009.

In the prelude to the culminating performance by Rahman, singers Kamaal Khan and Diljit Dosanjh took the stage to belt out popular numbers and got the audience grooving.

IIFA Rocks host Riteish Deshmukh and Manish Paul were quite a damp squib with tongue in cheek comments, toilet humour, some jokes around Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaigns and some audience engagement involving stars like Salman Khan, Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif and Varun Dhawan.

All in all, IIFA Rocks rocked with the music, but more so once Rahman was on stage.

The event was a part of the ongoing Bollywood extravaganza — the 18th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards — which will end with the final awards ceremony at the MetLife Stadium on Saturday evening.

IANS

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Amitabh Bachchan meets Twitter officials

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Amitabh bachchan twitter team

Mumbai, Feb 19: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who threatened to quit Twitter after losing followers earlier this month, met some officials from the micro-blogging site to understand the digital platform.

He says the working on the micro-blogging platform is very apparent.

“The Twitter team came from across the seas to visit me at work and to explain to me how Twitter works… Thank you,” Big B tweeted late on Sunday.

“The truth of the working is so apparent,” he added.

On February 1, the cine icon threatened to quit Twitter, accusing the micro-blogging website of reducing his followers. That time, the fan following of Big B quickly dropped from 33 million to 32.9 million.

Also Read: Amitabh Bachchan decides to leave Twitter as SRK scores 32.9 Mn followers

At present, his following is 33.1 million.

On the film front, the actor will be seen in “102 Not Out”, “Thugs of Hindostan” and “Brahmastra”.

IANS

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Emraan Hashmi, Rishi Kapoor to unite for Jeethu Joseph’s horror thriller

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Rishi kapoor emraan hashmi

New Delhi, Feb 19: Malayalam filmmaker Jeethu Joseph, known for directing the super hit thriller Drishyam, starring Mohanlal, is making his Bollywood debut. The director will be making a horror thriller, which will star Emraan Hashmi and Rishi Kapoor in the lead.

AZURE Entertainment and Viacom18 Motion Pictures announced a collaboration to produce Jeethu Joseph’s Hindi film debut on Monday in a statement.

“Directing a Hindi feature film has been on the anvil for some time and I have been waiting for the right story.

“This crime mystery thriller with elements of horror has excited me tremendously and we have got perfect casting for the two protagonists in the film. I am looking forward to start the film at the earliest,” said Joseph.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh also tweeted about the film saying, “Acclaimed filmmaker Jeethu Joseph, who has directed a number of top grossing Malayalam films, including the Mohanlal starrer #Drishyam, will direct his first Hindi film… A crime thriller with elements of horror… Stars Rishi Kapoor and Emraan Hashmi…contd. The Rishi Kapoor – Emraan Hashmi starrer directed by Jeethu Joseph is not titled yet.. Will be presented by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and produced by Sunir Kheterpal… The film will be shot in a single schedule between May and July this year..”

The yet untitled film will be shot in a single schedule between May and July.

Emraan said that the project will be “a riveting, nail biting treat for fans of the genre and with Jeethu at the helm of things. I’m confident the film will be a game changer”.

Ajit Andhare, Chief Operating Officer, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, said: “Ever since we produced ‘Drishyam’, a Hindi remake of Jeethu Joseph’s original masterpiece, we have been looking for a subject to make with Jeethu in Hindi.”

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Ahead of ‘Baaghi 2’ Trailer, makers announce ‘Baaghi 3’

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Baaghi 3

Mumbai, Feb 19: While everyone is eagerly waiting for the trailer of Tiger Shroff-Disha Patani starrer Baaghi 2, which releases two days later on February 21, the makers of the film have officially announced the release of the third film, Baaghi 3 which will again star Tiger Shroff and will be helmed by choreographer-turned-director Ahmed Khan. The name of the leading lady has not been revealed. 

The “Baaghi 3” announcement was made on Monday through official Nadiadwala Grandson Twitter handle.

The post read: “Our excitement level has just tripled! We are thrilled to share the third instalment of Sajid Nadiadwala’s ‘Baaghi’ franchise, starring Tiger Shroff directed by Ahmed Khan.”

Tiger will start shooting for the third instalment of “Baaghi” in China in December. Later the film’s team will head to Japan.

This is Tiger’s fourth collaboration with Sajid after his debut film “Heropanti”, “Baaghi” and “Baaghi 2”.

Talking about the movie, Sajid said: “‘Baaghi 2’ has been a fruitful journey and a beautiful experience for all of us.

“Tiger is a talented and dedicated actor. Ditto Ahmed Khan, who has helmed the film. Together, we have a great story to tell in ‘Baaghi 3’. I am happy to announce this film even before the trailer of ‘Baaghi 2’ is out.”

Meanwhile, Baaghi 2 is slated to release on March 30. The film is produced by Sajid Nadiadwala under the banner Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment and presented by Fox Star Studios.

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The trailer of “Baaghi 2”, which also features Disha Patani, will be out on Wednesday(February 21).

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