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Salman sings ‘Happy Birthday’ for Katrina at IIFA

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New York, July 14: Bollywood Dabangg Salman Khan surprise Katrina Kaif when he sang the “Happy Birthday” song on her birthday on Sunday.

At the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards, Katrina and Salman shared the stage for a press conference.

In the event Salman said “I am very bad with dates… The only date I remember is Katrina’s birthday.”

He paused and said it is Katrina’s birthday on July 16 and started singing “Happy Birthday to you… Happy Birthday dear Katrina”, before moving forward to give her a side hug and a peck on the cheek.

Salman asked about his plan on katrina’s birthday, he said: “It’s not a national event….”

Salman then promptly quipped: “India mein toh chhutti hai… Ab US mein bhi ho jaayega.”

When Katrina was asked about the memorable thing she did when she was 18, she said: “I met Salman.”

Wefornews Bureau

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Moving ‘Pad Man’ for ‘Padmaavat’ was least we could do: R. Balki

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Mumbai, Jan 24: When Sanjay Leela Bhansali approached the “Pad Man” team requesting to shift their release date to give a clear release window to his “Padmaavat”, he looked shaken and troubled, says director R. Balki.

Balki, who has directed “Pad Man”, said agreeing to Bhansali’s request was the least they could have done for a fellow fraternity member, who has gone through a tumultous time to release his movie.

“Pad Man” actor Akshay Kumar held a press conference last week with Bhansali, announcing the decision to move “Pad Man” for a February 9 release rather than a January 25 clash with “Padmaavat”.

“It was a decision taken almost instantaneously by all of us in the ‘Pad Man’ team when Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Viacom 18, the producers of ‘Padmaavat’, approached us with the request that we move. It didn’t take us a minute to agree to their request.

“It’s the least we could do for a project that has gone through so much. ‘Padmaavat’ needs the Republic Day slot more than us. We don’t mind moving ahead by two weeks because we know whenever we come, we have a winning project on hand,” Balki said.

He added: “Sanjay Bhansali looked so shaken and troubled. My heart reached out to him. Isn’t it about time we in the film industry stopped projecting an impression of a house divided? At the end of the day, all of us filmmakers belong to same fraternity.

“Of course, we have to be selfish about our own film. But not at the expense of someone else’s film. We can’t say, ‘Usski film gayi bhaad mein (to hell with their film)”. Because if someone else’s film gets into trouble, we must remind ourself that the trouble could befall our film also.”

Balki is confident about his film’s release date.

“‘Pad Man’ is meant to start a debate on menstrual hygiene. Akshay Kumar’s last release ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ had carried forward an important debate on toilet amenities. But in our case, the debate on menstrual hygiene will be started with ‘Pad Man’. No one talks about menstrual matters.

“We didn’t want that debate to be caught in the crossfire of controversies. We would rather come a little later than clash with a film which desperately needs to be released.”

“‘Padmaavat’ was destined come solo. I hope it stands tall and I wish it glorious success.”

IANS

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Ali Fazal, Anupam Kher’s films land Oscar nominations

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Los Angeles, Jan 24: Indian actor Ali Fazal-starrer “Victoria & Abdul” has two nominations and Anupam Kher starrer “The Big Sick” stands a chance to win in one category at the 90th Academy Awards, where fantasy drama “The Shape of Water” has a maximum of 13 nods.

“Victoria & Abdul”, a movie about a unique bond between Queen Victoria and her Indian Muslim servant Abdul Karim, stands a chance to win in the Best Costume Design and Make-up and Hairstyling categories. In the film, Ali plays Abdul, with Hollywood veteran Judi Dench as Queen Victoria.

As for Anupam’s “The Big Sick”, it is nominated for the Writing (Original Screenplay) honour for Pakistan-origin Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon.

“The Shape of Water” – a love story between a mute woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962 Baltimore and a misunderstood aquatic monster — is in the race to win an award in Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay categories along with Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer and Richard Jenkins in contention for the statuette in Lead Actress, Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor categories respectively.

It is also contending in technical categories like Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Music – Original Score, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Writing (Original Screenplay).

“The Shape of Water” is the tenth film in Oscar history to earn thirteen nominations, with the current record of fourteen nominations held by “All about Eve” (1950), “Titanic” (1997) and “La La Land” (2016).

Actress-comedian Tiffany Haddish and actor-director Andy Serkis, joined by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President John Bailey, announced the nominations on Tuesday via a global live stream. Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra was one of the celebrities who participated in pre-taped category introductions.

“Newton”, India’s official entry for the Foreign Language Film category, had failed to make the cut to the shortlist early in the selection process. Films from Sweden, Chile, Lebanon, Russia and Hungary have made it to the final list.

This year, “Dunkirk” has eight nominations, followed by “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” with seven nods, “Darkest Hour” and “Phantom Thread” tying at six, “Blade Runner 2049” and “Lady Bird” registering five nods, and “Call Me by Your Name”, “Get Out”, “Mudbound” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” contending in four categories.

“Baby Driver” and “I, Tonya” stand a chance to win in three categories, while films with nominations each include “Beauty and the Beast”, “Coco” and “The Post” apart from “Victoria & Abdul”.

Veteran actress Meryl Streep has registered her 21st nomination with a spot in the Actress in a Leading Role for “The Post”, distributed in India by Anil Ambani-backed Reliance Entertainment. She will be competing with Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”), Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”) and Hawkins.

In the Actor in a Leading Role, the nominees are: Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Phantom Thread”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”), Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) and Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”).

At 88 years old, Christopher Plummer has become the oldest acting nominee to date. He is nominated for the Actor in a Supporting Role honour for “All the Money in the World”, in which he replaced Kevin Spacey who was ousted over sexual misconduct claims.

Christopher Nolan has scored his first-ever Oscar nomination for Best Director for his war film “Dunkirk”. Competing with him are; Jordan Peele for “Get Out”, Greta Gerwig for “Lady Bird”, Paul Thomas Anderson for “Phantom Thread” and Guillermo del Toro for “The Shape of Water”.

The 90th Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be held on March 4 at the Dolby Theatre here. It will be aired in India live on Star Movies and Star Movies Select on March 5.

IANS

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‘Padmaavat’ Review: A breathtaking homage to valour of Rajputs

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Padmaavat

New Delhi, Jan 24: Padmaavat: Starring, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Aditi Rao, Jim Sarbh: Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Rating: *****(5 stars)

For my money there is no contemporary filmmaker with the vision and velocity of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The man makes every frame in his cinema seem like a wondrous timeless work of art.

As in all his films there are visuals in Padmaavat that will be remembered for all times to come. And this is as opportune a time as any to salute Bhansali’s cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee who is a magician, visionary par excellence who can put on screen images that poets and painters put into their creations when at the acme of inspiration.

Almost every moment in the story that Bhansali tells of the royal Queen Padmavati and the Islamic invader who lusts after her, is pure magic.

The mesmerizing mise en scene hooks you from the word go when in a spellbinding introduction, the Queen on a hunting trip manages to wound Raja Ratan Singh, in more than one.

Love-stuck and besotted Shahid Kapoor’s Ratan Singh makes it very clear that he would do anything in his power to protect the beauty and sanctity of the woman he falls in love with and marries.

Palace intrigue is always a high-point in Bhansali’s operatic dramas. In Bajirao Mastani we saw Deepika Padukone as the royal queen who ends up being the second wife of a neighbouring empire. A similar fate awaits Deepika in Padmaavat.

While the conflict between the two wives in Bajirao Mastani was conspicuously contoured, in Padmaavat Deepika’s Padmaavati barely manages to interact with her husband’s first wife (played by Anupriya Goenka).

It is Padmaavati’s conflict with her invader and intended violator Allauddin Khilji which occupies centerstage in this rigorous drama of resonant historicity.

On many occasions the historical facts are tampered with for the sake of edifying the essential conflict between the Queen and her invader.

Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh bring an exquisite operatic duet-like feeling to their parts. Though they sing the same song from different scales,they are like the earth and sky never destined to meet.

Bhansali imparts a portentous potency to their conflict. Without coming face-to-face the two actors convey an almost-unbearable dramatic tension.

The climax with all of the Rani’s female entourage fighting off the advances of Khilji by hurling hot coal bricks on him, is a reverberant homage to Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala.

Remember Naseruddin Shah’s moustache-twirling subedaar in Mehta’s film lusting after the feisty Sonbai (Smita Patil)? Bhansali’s Padmavati echores Sonbai with heartening whoops of joy. Indeed this is a film that pays a homage to the greatest filmmakers of the country Raj Kapoor and K. Asif and succeeds in going beyond the vision of these two filmmakers.

The sequences at the end of the film featuring Deepika Padukone and a bevy of women all wearing flaming-red, will stay with you for a very long time. I am afraid Shahid Kapoor as Padmavati’s husband seems a little shaky in his attempts to counter Ranveer’s psychotic Khilji with regal restraint.

Shahid internalizes his character’s struggles to an extent where he looks bored at times.

But there is no dearth of bravura acting in Padmaavat. While Ranveer and Deepika as antagonists rip the screen part, two other actors Jim Serbh and Aditi Rao shine in smaller roles bringing to their part as Khilji’s manipulative toy-boy and idealistc wife, a strong sense of a back-history that belies the length of their roles.

Padmaavat is a work of illimitable splendor. The 3D format seems quite an unnecessary grandeur-enhancement device. When we already have so much to savour and imbibe why hanker for more? This is a film so inured in irradiance and so steeped in splendor you will come away from the experience exhilarated and satiated.

This is a movie so epic in proportion it stands tall among the great films of all time about love and war. In Bhansali we have our own David Lean. Padmaavat proves it.

IANS

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