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Interview: Imtiaz Ali reminds me of Yash Chopra: Shah Rukh Khan

“It is a throwback to that. The film is not like that at all. ‘When Harry Met Sally’ is perhaps one of the most revered love-stories… But this (‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’) is an unabashed love story.

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New Delhi, June 10: Imtiaz Ali’s knack of telling love stories, his affinity for travel and his penchant for adding a touch of Punjab to his films is reminiscent of the late filmmaker Yash Chopra, says superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who has worked with the “Jab We Met” director for the first time in “Jab Harry Met Sejal”.

The upcoming romantic drama, which will release on August 4, will see Shah Rukh with his “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” and “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” heroine Anushka Sharma. The film has been widely shot in Prague, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Budapest.

“The film travels a lot… But it is not on travel. It’s about a tourist guide, but it’s a love story… Two people meet somehow, and somewhere down the line as they are moving around, they kind of fall in love,” Shah Rukh told IANS, giving an insight into what the movie is about.

“It was really nice because of two things, one — Imtiaz knows Europe very well. So, we have shot the film in Budapest, Amsterdam, Prague and then Punjab… In a certain way, he reminds me of Mr. Yash Chopra because he writes love stories, which travel all over India too and have a Punjab taste. His writing is fantastic,” the Bollywood Badshah said over phone from Mumbai.

Additionally, the 51-year-old actor found shooting for the film very easy as he finds Imtiaz as “a very gentle person”.

“I guess that part shows in the film,” he added.

The film’s title was being speculated on for a long time in the Bollywood circuit, until it was finally revealed on Thursday night. To many, it’s a throwback to the 1989 film “When Harry Met Sally”, but Shah Rukh says the resemblance ends there.

“It is a throwback to that. The film is not like that at all. ‘When Harry Met Sally‘ is perhaps one of the most revered love-stories… But this (‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’) is an unabashed love story.

“It is a happy film as the poster suggests… And the character’s names are Harinder ‘Harry’ Singh and Sejal. It is kind of the Punjabi, Gujarati combination,” he told IANS.

Shah Rukh, who is also presenting the film, has just averted a box office clash with Akshay Kumar’s “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” by shifting the release date to August 4 from August 11. He feels it’s best to avoid clashes in Bollywood as far as possible.

“I think whenever you can, it’s nicer for both films. If you can’t, then you have to release on the same date because when you are looking for alternate dates so that two films don’t come on the same day, you request and talk to each other.

“And mostly what we do on the big ticket films is that since our films are expensive and big, my logic has always been that if it (date change) can be done, it’s nice.”

A successful film producer who owns the Red Chillies Entertainment banner, the star added: “Our films are also capacity films…I think they have the capacity to take on 4,000 screens and fill them up.

“If we come with another film, unfortunately we don’t have the capacity to fill in… So we are running at half capacity… We haven’t been able to exploit what our market gives us.”

Shah Rukh is confident “Jab Harry Met Sejal” will have a long run and hopes the long weekend courtesy Raksha Bandhan on August 7 (Monday) will help.

“I think we will be able to garner some advantage of the holiday of August 15 and I think our film has that scope, added the “Fan” actor.

IANS

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Sanjay Dutt begins ‘Torbaaz’ shoot in Kyrgyzstan

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Mumbai, Dec 17: Actor Sanjay Dutt on Sunday began the shoot of his new film “Torbaaz” in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

“New day, new film. ‘Torbaaz’,” Sanjay tweeted along with two photographs.

In one, he is seen praying with folded hands in front of a picture of Lord Ganesha, and in another image, Sanjay is seen doing ‘aarti’ with some incense sticks.

He is surrounded by the crew members of the movie, said to be an action-thriller set in Afghanistan. It is being directed by Girish Malik.

The film’s producer Rahul Mittra is excited, and tweeted that he is “enjoying minus 10 degrees in the beautiful city of Bishkek”.

IANS

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Shilpa Shetty wins PETA’s ‘Hero To Animals’ Award

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Mumbai, Dec 17: Actress-entrepreneur Shilpa Shetty Kundra has been honoured with a ‘Hero to Animals’ Award by animal rights organisation PETA for speaking out against the cruelty of circuses; signing a petition asking the government to uphold the ban on jallikattu, bull races, and bullfights; and adopting a stray kitten.

Shilpa’s compassion towards animals was recognised here on Saturday night by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

“Shilpa is beautiful inside and out and has a golden heart that beats for animals. We thank her for standing up for animals through her work and other actions,” Sachin Bangera, PETA Associate Director of Celebrity and Public Relations, said in a statement.

Other recipients of PETA’s Hero to Animals Award have included Zareen Khan, for rescuing a cat from the streets; Cyrus Broacha, for refusing to perform a stunt that involved riding a bull; Rani Mukerji, for helping a dog in distress on her film set; Asin, for saving a dog hit by a car; Imran Khan, for stopping a dog trainer who was smacking a dog on a film set; Sadha Sayed, for helping a puppy who just missed being hit by a car during a rainstorm; and Dia Mirza’s production house, Born Free Entertainment, for showing that homeless animals make wonderful additions to families.

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‘India’s Next Top Model’ picks Ahmedabad’s Riya as winner

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Mumbai, Dec 17: Riya Subodh, who hails from Ahmedabad, has been chosen as the winner of the third season of “Indias Next Top Model”.

Sabita Karki and Shweta Raj emerged as the first and second runners-up respectively.

With the theme of “Fashion gets tough”, this season not only transformed the lives of many young girls but also provided them with the confidence to own the world.

This season saw actress-model Malaika Arora as the host and head judge, actor Milind Soman joining photographer Dabboo Ratnani on the judging panel, and actress Anusha Dandekar and grooming expert Neeraj Gaba reprising their roles as mentors.

“‘India’s Next Top Model’ is a lifetime experience for me. I am saying this because from all the contestants, I was the only one who had no experience of the big fashion world in big cities like Mumbai,” Riya said in a statement.

“The biggest highlight for me was the photoshoot with Milind Sir and Malaika Ma’am. When I decided to take part in ‘India’s Next Top Model’, I knew that this show is going to change my life forever so when judges announced my name as the winner I had all the memories coming back.

“As I look back, I must say that this wouldn’t have been possible without my parent’s support, and a special thanks to the makers of the show who gave me the new identity of a model,” she added.

Before the ultimate battle of fashion, the show’s top three faces — Riya, Shweta and Sabita, got the chance to shoot for OPPO 2018 calendar.

After the photoshoot, Anusha and Gaba surprised the finalists by getting their family members and friends.

The season’s last photoshoot was a family portrait.

While Shweta and Riya’s family members were present for the shoot, Sabita’s parents couldn’t make it. Gaba and Anusha stepped in and posed with her as her family.

Singer Monica Dogra also performed live.

The episode was aired on MTV on Saturday.

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