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Sanjay Mishra’s Interview: Films now made from mind, not just money

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Sanjay Mishra, Photo Credit Twitter

New Delhi, Nov 9: Today’s “clever” audience is driving filmmakers to use more of their minds rather than merely money to bring out unique stories, says veteran actor Sanjay Mishra who has balanced his roles in mainstream and off-beat cinema in his over 25-year career.

After getting praised for his work in “Golmaal Again”, Sanjay is now gearing up for the release of “Kadvi Hawa”, a movie on climate change, featuring him in the lead role of a 70-year-old visually challenged man.

“Nowadays, the budget of a film hardly matters. You spend Rs 200 crore or Rs 2 crore, moviegoers are not interested in that. They are demanding meaningful cinema. Love stories have become old now as people know that life doesn’t end after 25 — just like these films,” Sanjay told IANS here.

“‘Ankhon Dekhi’ proved this. I am really thankful to Amitabh Bachchan for playing lead roles of his age. A film today is made from mind, not just money. Whether you are Kapoor, Khan or Chopra, if the story is not able to strike the right chord in viewers’ mind, your film won’t work,” he added.

Sanjay says being an actor, he likes to enjoy both mainstream and offbeat cinema.

“In multi-starrer films, the story is based upon various characters. However, in ‘Kadvi Hawa’, I am the protagonist and it’s on my shoulders to take the film forward. This is the only difference. In two hours, you have to tell a story that the audience will feel is worth watching. So, the hero has a lot to do and there is pressure on him.

“Luckily, audiences are praising my work in both mainstream and offbeat films. I also like working in both. But, mainstream films are like a T20 match for me. And offbeat films are like a test match where I have to stay on the pitch for three days,” he quipped.

Sanjay, known for portraying a mix bag of characters in films like “Dil Se..”, “Zameen”, “Golmaal”, “Welcome”, “Masaan” and “Baadshaho”, says after reaching on the set of a particular film, he tries to behave like the character that he has been signed on to portray.

“When I reach the set of a film on the first day, I forget that I am Sanjay and try my best to behave like the character that I am playing — here in ‘Kadvi Hawa’, it’s a 70-year-old blind man. As an actor, I have to feel like what I would have done if I was that same person in real life,” he said.

“I proudly say that I don’t read scripts. I have never done that. I get dependent on my director. When I am told about the character I have to play, I personally ask about the character of the film. If you ask why I don’t read the script, I will say that if I will do that, I won’t be able to show the director’s vision on screen.”

On “Kadvi Hawa”, directed by Nila Madhab Panda, he said climate change is a very pertinent subject to make a film on.

“I have always kept myself aware about climate change. Wherever I live, I try to plant trees nearby. My upbringing has been such that I always have food on the floor. There is a place in Shirdi where I plant trees in the name of people close to me.

“This was never taught to us during school days. This was a natural thing for us. Now we live behind four walls in a cemented house. I really miss my childhood that way,” he added.

“Kadvi Hawa”, releasing on November 24, also features Ranvir Shorey and Tillotama Shome. It has already been to several film festivals and has been lauded.

IANS

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Teaser of Rajinikanth’s ‘Petta’ released on his Birthday

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Petta teaser

Chennai, Dec 12: The teaser of upcoming Tamil action-drama “Petta” was unveiled on Wednesday on the occasion of megastar Rajinikanth’s 68th birthday.

The teaser gives us a glimpse of Rajinikanth in two avatars, sporting a handlebar moustache and a bearded look.

Going by the visuals, the teaser is a nostalgic throwback to the Rajinikanth of the 1990s.

“Petta” marks the first-time collaboration of Rajinikanth and Karthik Subbaraj.

At the audio launch of “Petta”, Rajinikanth said that Karthik directed him like a hardcore Rajinikanth fan.

“Karthik has a very different style of storytelling. He directed this film like a true Rajinikanth fan. ‘Petta’ is an entertaining throwback to the kind of films I did in 1990s. Karthik has extracted from me the kind of work I used to perform three to four decades ago,” he said.

Rajinikanth went on to describe “Petta” as a “beautiful film” best suited for a festival release.

The film marks the southern debut of Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a pivotal role. He plays a character called Singaar Singh in “Petta”.

Gearing up for Pongal 2019 release, the film also stars Vijay Sethupathi, Trisha, Simran, Megha Akash, Malavika Mohanan and Sasikumar in key roles.

In “Petta”, which has been produced by Sun Pictures, Rajinikanth is rumoured to be playing a professor with a violent past.

IANS

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Priya Prakash Varrier most searched personality on Google in 2018

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New Delhi, Dec 12: Malayalam actress Priya Prakash Varrier, who shot to fame following her ‘wink song’ ‘Manikya Malaraya Poovi…’ from the film ‘Oru Addar Love’ has become the most searched personality of the year, Google India said on Wednesday.

Praiya Prakash

The Malayalam actress was followed by Priyanka Chopra’s spouse Nick Jonas in the list of most searched personalities. Priyanka herself was the fourth most searched personality on Google.

Priyanka Nick

The second and fifth positions went to dance performer Sapna Choudhary and actor Sonam Kapoor’s husband Anand Ahuja respectively.

The interest in royal weddings spiked as American actor turned Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle also figured in the list of most-searched-for personalities from India, Google revealed in its “Year in Search” results.

prince harry Meghan Markle

The top five search terms centred around “How to..” were – how to send stickers on Whatsapp, how to link Aadhaar with mobile number, how to make rangoli, how to port mobile number and how to invest in bitcoin.

Some of the interesting search terms centred around “What is…” were – what is section 377, what is happening in Syria, what is kiki challenge, what is me too campaign, what is ball tampering.

This year, sports and entertainment dominated the top trending charts with queries around FIFA World Cup 2018 leading the pack followed by the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Interestingly, football swept cricket in the overall search listing, with queries around the Football World Cup topping those around the cricketing action during the IPL season.

During the Karnataka polls, queries around the Karnataka state elections soared to mark its presence among the top trending queries, while Big Boss turned out to be the top choice when it came to entertainment this year, surpassing queries related to the Rajinikanth/Akshay blockbuster ‘Robot 2.0’.

On the cinema front, the Bollywood blockbusters overshadowed Hollywood in the search lists, with ‘Robot 2.0’ taking the top spot, followed by ‘Baaghi 2’ and ‘Race 3’.

The three Hollywood entries in the list happened to be from Marvel Studios: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Deadpool 2’.

The songs that ruled the roost included Neha Kakkar’s ‘Dilbar Dilbar’, Arijit Singh’s ‘Tera Fitoor’ and Atif Aslam’s ‘Dekhte Dekhte’ from Bollywood.

Interestingly, the lone English entrant was the ever popular Latin hit song ‘Despacito’, which also happened to make it to the ‘Year in Search’ list last year.

Celebrity weddings made big waves this year as fans scoured the web in search of the latest buzz on their favourite celeb marriages.

The three weddings that figured prominently included Priyanka Chopra/Nick Jonas, Deepika Padukone/Ranveer Singh and Sonam Kapoor/Anand Ahuja.

Other news events that grabbed attention included queries around the world’s largest statue, the Statue of Unity, unveiled in Gujarat earlier this year.

Rounding off the list was a span of news topics including the striking down of Section 377, the union budget, bitcoin, as well as the Nipah virus.

IANS

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MeToo: Sajid Khan faces one-year suspension from IFTDA

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Sajid Khan (File Photo)

Mumbai, Dec 12: Bollywood filmmaker Sajid Khan who was accused of sexually harassing multiple women, has been suspended for a year by the Indian Film and Television Directors Association (IFTDA), it was announced on Wednesday.

Sajid was being accused of sexual harassment by Saloni Chopra, Rachel White, Simran Suri and journalist Karishma Upadhyay. The three opened up about their heart-wrenching ordeals on their respective social media handles.

Read More: #MeToo: Sajid Khan accused of sexual harassment by three women

Bipasha Basu, Dia Mirza and Lara Dutta also came down heavily on the director.

Following the PoSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) Investigation Closure Report of December 7, 2018 – IFTDA – following the Internal Complaints Committee’s (ICC) recommendation, has suspended Sajid’s membership for a period of one year with immediate effect. A copy of the letter was sent to Sajid on Tuesday evening.

His membership will be reviewed after a year.

Shrabani Deodhar, a filmmaker and IFTDA member, said in a statement: “IFTDA’s ICC had marathon meetings and have come to the conclusion of cancelling Sajid Khan’s membership for one year, which will be revived after the completion of that period.”

Advocate Mrunalini Deshmukh said: “We cannot recommend that someone’s right to livelihood be snatched away for life. It was not a legal trial and neither were we led by evidence or witnesses like it is in the court of law. This was a redressal committee set up by the association of directors.

“We spoke to both the parties involved and tried to get prima facie understanding of the matter. The outcome should be seen as a deterrent for those riding a high horse, living in ivory towers and thinking that they can get away with any wrongful behaviour because they enjoy a position of power.”

Deshmukh said the action is also to say that any movement for the larger good has to be carried out responsibly and seriously.

“In this scenario, women cannot be permitted to make the #MeTooIndia movement frivolous by doing things to settle scores or to gain five minutes of fame. A larger responsibility lies on them to lead this movement correctly. The act, law, principle and the movement are good but for sustaining them well, women have to also act responsibly,” she added.

Copies of the letter suspending Sajid have been shared with the Federation of Western India Cine Employees, the parent body of all the crafts involved in filmmaking, for their consideration and perusal.

After the allegations, Sajid stepped down as Housefull 4 director and was replaced by Farhad Samji. Also, actors Akshay Kumar and Farhan Akhtar stood by the victims and did not support Sajid.

This came after the #MeToo movement gained momentum in India starting with actor Tanushree Dutta accusing Nana Patekar of harassing her. Since then, incidents of harassment and sexual misconduct have come out in the open, with allegations being levelled against many personalities in the media and entertainment industry, including Subhash Ghai, Vikas Bahl, Alok Nath and Rajat Kapoor.

Sajid was in the middle of the shooting of his film “Housefull 4” when the allegation of sexual harassment came into the picture and as the matter took a serious turn, he stepped down from being the film’s director. He was replaced by Farhad Samji. Also, actors Akshay Kumar and Farhan Akhtar stood by the victims and did not support Sajid.

This came after the #MeToo movement gained momentum in India starting with actor Tanushree Dutta accusing Nana Patekar of harassing her. Since then, incidents of harassment and sexual misconduct have come out in the open, with allegations being levelled against many personalities in the media and entertainment industry, including Subhash Ghai, Vikas Bahl, Alok Nath and Rajat Kapoor.

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