May 152018
 

Rajkummar Rao is on a well-deserved break with alleged ladylove Patralkekha

Rajkummar Rao and Patralekha
Rajkummar Rao and Patralekha. Picture courtesy: Instagram/rajkummar_rao

Rajkummar Rao’s latest release, Hansal Mehta’s Omerta has certainly won him huge critical acclaim for his stupendous performance as terrorist Omar Saeed Sheikh.

The versatile actor, who has been living out of his suitcase for the last two years shooting for several projects simultaneously, sometimes stretching his work hours to 20 hours a day, has worked a way to unwind. Doing so, Rajkummar has flown to the USA for a well-deserved break.

The actor is holidaying with rumoured girlfriend Patralekha in Los Angeles. He posted a picture of the two doing a romantic dance and captioned it as, “Roll sound.. Roll Camera.. Action .. Muskurane Ki Vajah tum Hoooo.. #LAdiaries @patralekhaa (sic).”

The last two years have proved quite successful for the actor, what with most of his films including Trapped, Behen Hogi Teri, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, and Newton have performed well at the box office.

Rajkummar Rao informs, “The last few months have been pretty hectic and I have been running from pillar to post fulfilling my commitments. This break has come at a perfect time for me. I’m quite excited.”

Also Read: Taapsee Pannu To Feature With Rajkummar Rao On Koffee With Karan?

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May 032018
 

It’s a shame really that Omerta lacks depth, never giving an insight into Omar’s criminal designs

Omerta
Rajkummar Rao in a still from Omerta

Omerta
U/A, Drama
Director: Hansal Mehta
Starring: Rajkummar Rao
Rating: Ratings

In a scene in the final act, Hansal Mehta laid open the pivotal reason why he attempted a movie on Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh. A bunch of Pakistani officers who have to arrest Omar for killing Wall Street Journal scribe Daniel Pearl, put it perfectly – You have the making of leader; you are an educated man who can command respect unlike scores of illiterate Jihadis. Which I believe would have been the trigger point for Mehta to consider making a movie on the man. Tracing the journey of this London School of Economics graduate, Mehta walks us through the incidents that could as the highlights of his eventful life – Bosnian genocide, his arrest in India after a failed attempt at kidnapping foreign tourists, his involvement in Kandahar attack, 9/11 and eventually the brutal execution of Pearl. It would have been dreadful if Mehta staged it as a cautionary tale; understandably he didn’t want to glorify Omar. But it isn’t the best thing that at the end of the film, you don’t quite know who Omar is. A large part of the problem lies in the fact that Mehta or his writer Mukul Dev never delve into how a seemingly well-raised, educated man turned to fundamentalism. But skimming through incidents is how Mehta approaches the character. Omar’s ideals are never elucidated; his involvement in 9/11 and Kandahar are conveyed in background narration, sans dialogues, and his marriage to a trophy girl from the creme de le creme of Pak circles is gratuitous. Mehta makes no effort to analyse the psyche of this dreaded criminal. In a folly, I even assumed that Omar was smitten by the rush of power when he tells his Abba (father), how much people respect him.

A fair share of work is, thus, on the shoulders of Rajkummar Rao. You buy into how earnestly committed he is to his part. Never rising above the script, but filling large loopholes of the screenplay with his nuanced act. He demands one to remain invested in the film. The turn of the character from a naive boy consumed by hatred, indoctrinated into Jihad by training to an icy, cold terrorist is reflected in Rao’s demeanor. Of course, he nails it in the scene where he murders Pearl. With a cannibalistic thirst, Rao thrusts the body with a shovel, eventually beheading the scribe and holding up his cut head with a visible satisfaction, will make chills run down your spine.

It’s a shame really that Omerta lacks depth, never giving an insight into Omar’s criminal designs. As a thriller, it’s pacy and yet, distinctly half-baked and stiff. I assure you, this movie could be about one of most dreaded men of our times but this film tells us nothing about the man that a quick google search wouldn’t. As for Rao, a friend rightly puts it – He was good even in Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana; what’s special about this then?

View gallery: Rakul Preet Singh, Saiyami Kher, Bhumi Pednekar watch Omerta

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Apr 302018
 

Rajkummar Rao is one of the most underrated actors in the country, but that hasn’t stopped the man from carving his own niche in the industry. Working with the quiet brilliance of an underdog, Rajkummar has found himself in the league of class actors like Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. While ‘Aligarh’ and ‘Shahid’ established him as a brilliant actor, movies like ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ proved he could pull off commercial roles with as much ease.

At a time when the industry is full of stars and newcomers are pulling off lead roles in big budget films, how does an actor as brilliant as Rajkummar Rao deal with everyday disappointment and rejection – something that is always a part of an artist’s life, no matter how big they are.

Rajkummar Rao's Advice On How To Deal With Rejection Is The Secret To Being Brilliant © Instagram/Rajkummar Rao

While speaking to Bombay Times, the actor said,

“I love what I do. For me, a film set is the best place to be in. As long as I am acting, it doesn’t matter whether I have faced rejection. I don’t even think of it or talk about it, because I don’t carry my past as a baggage. Neither am I futuristic; I don’t think about where I will be five years from now. This is life. Yahaan sab kuch hota hai. Rejection is also a part of it.”

Rejection is something we all have to deal with, no matter who we are. One could be a successful CEO, one could be an iconic Bollywood star – rejection knocks on everybody’s door. And when it does, we have two options. We can either let it overpower us and all our decisions or we can choose to forget about it till it stops making a difference. Most of us do the former; and it’s only human.

But the day rejection and failure stop mattering to us is the day we truly begin our journey towards brilliance in whatever we do. The shadow of impending failure never lets you truly give your best to something you do. Likewise, the weight of past failures prevents us from going out there and taking life by the horns.

If there is one thing that will distract us from the fear of rejection, it is work itself. When you work without the fear of failure and the lure of success, you focus only on the thing that matters the most – your work. This is not just the secret to being brilliant, it’s also the secret being happy. For failures cease to deject you; they are merely statistics of what did not work for you. 

As Rao says, “This is life. Yahaan sab kuch hota hai.” 

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Apr 242018
 

After CBFC demanded several cuts, Omerta director Hansal Mehta glad with the reviewed decision

Rajkummar Rao in Omerta
Rajkummar Rao in Omerta

After the Central Board of Film Certification demanded “a series of cuts” in Rajkummar Rao’s Omerta – which is based on British terrorist of Pakistani descent Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh’s life – director Hansal Mehta was forced to knock on the door of the Revising Committee.

“I had gone to the Board asking for an A certificate, but the Examining Committee demanded a series of cuts. I even lost track of the number. The Revising Committee was understanding. They only asked for two edits,” says Mehta. He reveals that one of the demanded cuts involves a scene showcasing full frontal nudity. “It’s a violent sex sequence which they found too rough for general viewing. The scene is not about sex, but aims at depicting the mental state of my protagonist.”

Hansal Mehta
Hansal Mehta

The second sequence, he adds, is one that showcases the protagonist urinating in prison while the national anthem plays in the background. “That, apparently, is nconstitutional. So we had to let it go,” says Mehta, adding that the cuts don’t hamper the narrative.

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Mar 152018
 

This episode of BFFs with Vogue will see Bollywood besties Radhika Apte and Rajkummar Rao in an interrogative session with host Neha Dhupia

Radhika Apte
Radhika Apte 

The upcoming episode of Neha Dhupia’s BFFs with Vogue will see Bollywood besties Rajkummar Rao and Radhika Apte making some sensational revelations on the show to host Neha Dhupia. The promo of the episode got was released on the Instagram handle of Colors Infinity channel.

When Neha Dhupia asked Radhika Apte about her perception in the industry on the upcoming episode of Colors Infinity’s BFFs with Vogue, the PadMan actress had an interesting anecdote to share. She told that people in the industry often look at her as a girl next door and traditional woman which she isn’t much happy about. She has strived to change that image by doing diverse films such as Padman, Bazaar, Bombay Talkies, Netflix in the past year. And she really hopes people’s outlook towards her changes.

Radhika Apte and Rajkummar Rao
Radhika Apte and Rajkummar Rao on the set of BFFs with Vogue.

The entire episode will go on air on Friday at 8 pm.

In an earlier interview with mid-day, speaking about her upcoming projects, Radhika Apte had said, “I have seven projects coming out and I have done completely different roles in all of them. In PadMan I play a village girl. In Baazaar, I play a girl, who is an extremely successful businesswoman–young, bright and independent. In Sacred Games, I play a RAW agent and in Anurag’s film (international project), I play a young teacher in a metro city. In Sriram Raghavan’s film with Ayushmann Khurrana, I play a very young, cool-vibe girl and in Ghoul (English film) I’ve played a military officer. In Bombairiya I have played a PR agent and all these characters have nothing in common with each other.”

Also Read: Radhika Apte On Being Trolled: Do You Expect Me To Wear A Saree On The Beach?

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Mar 082018
 

Kangana Ranaut says next will tackle stigma attached to being individualistic, Raj eager to reunite with Queen star

Kangana Ranaut in Mental Hai Kya post
Kangana Ranaut in Mental Hai Kya post

“Ain’t I getting fishnet stockings back in fashion,” laughs Kangana Ranaut, referring to her zany look in Mental Hai Kya. Ahead of the film rolling, producer Ekta Kapoor has piqued the audience interest by sharing quirky looks of Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao from the promotional photo shoot. “The film deals with mental illness and hallucinations, but Ekta decided to take this route.”

Besides the incentive of reuniting with his Queen co-star, Rajkummar Rao says the “unique script” floored him. “I chose this part because I’ve never heard of such a character. I get a kick from challenges. Comfort zones are boring.” For Kangana Ranaut though, the choice was driven by a personal reason. “The way my life unfolded in the past few years, I realised there was so much stigma attached to being different. ‘Mental’ or ‘psycho’ were the terms used to shame me, but these can’t be used casually as swear words. When this script came along, I knew I had to do it to break the stigma around it. High time we made individuality aspirational.”

Rajkummar Rao in Mental Hai Kya posters
Rajkummar Rao in Mental Hai Kya posters

Ask her how will she walk the tightrope of depicting mental illness and she assures, “We won’t show people as pitiable, sympathy-seeking characters. We’ll portray the issue with sensitivity. The film takes a stand against equating individuality with madness.” Though they’ve worked with Kapoor on separate projects before, this marks the trio’s first collaboration together. Quiz them if they are worried about creative differences and Rao says, “We are all friends. Movies are more about teamwork than egos.”

With three bright minds on board, Ranaut says they’ll have a fair share of creative differences. “We are like-minded people who know it’s not going to be hunky-dory. I am not a sulkpot. That’s how Raj and I have come this far in life. Strong opinions don’t mean either of us is going to act like we know it all.”

Also Read: Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao are killing it quite literally in ‘Mental Hai Kya’ poster

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Mar 072018
 

Producer Ekta Kapoor talks about why she reunited Queen actors, Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao for the thriller Mental Hai Kya

Kangana Ranaut in in Mental Hai Kya
Kangana Ranaut in Mental Hai Kya

mid-day had earlier reported how Kangana Ranaut had requested Salman Khan to part with the title Mental since she was keen on naming her next so. Though that didn’t work out, producer Ekta Kapoor devised a way to get another title that she says is “more fitting” for the Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao-starrer – Mental Hai Kya.

Rajkummar Rao in Mental Hai Kya
Rajkummar Rao in Mental Hai Kya

Kapoor says that she wants to give a facelift to the thriller genre with this project. “This is one of my favourite scripts. We’ve tried to bend the genre by adding dollops of black humour to it. With the crazy looks, the aim is to redefine thrillers.”

Ekta Kapoor
Ekta Kapoor

The Prakash Kovelamudi-directed film sees Kapoor scoring a hat-trick with Kangana Ranaut and Rao. “I have worked with both of them before. Raj and Kangana teaming up together after Queen further adds to the excitement. They have always taken the road less travelled, and played characters that have been emotionally and physically challenging. As artistes, they are hungry for something different and I identify with this drive.”

Also read: Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao are killing it quite literally in ‘Mental Hai Kya’ poster

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Feb 102018
 

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta drama film “Omerta”, starring Rajkummar Rao, has been locked for release on April 20. The release date was announced by the producers via a statement on Saturday

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta drama film “Omerta”, starring Rajkummar Rao, has been locked for release on April 20. The release date was announced by the producers via a statement on Saturday.

After #Shahid, #CityLights#Aligarh & #Bose, we are back together with #Omertà releasing on 20th April,2018. @mehtahansal@ShaileshRSingh. pic.twitter.com/T8AuXS7KSI

— Rajkummar Rao (@RajkummarRao)
February 10, 2018

“Omerta” is based on the real life story of British terrorist of Pakistani descent Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh. Rajkummar, who sports a bespectacled and heavily bearded look in the film, had earlier described the movie as: “It shows you the dark reality of a dangerous world.”

“Omerta” marks the return of the formidable actor-director team of Hansal Mehta and Rajkummar, who have worked together in films like “Aligarh”, “CityLights” and “Shahid”.

The film has won several accolades and was featured at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was also screened at the Jio MAMI Film Festival. It is produced by Nahid Khan and presented by Swiss Entertainment.

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Jan 312018
 

Rajkummar Rao has wrapped up the first schedule of his upcoming horror-comedy Stree and says it was fun

Rajkummar Rao
Rajkummar Rao

Rajkummar Rao has wrapped up the first schedule of his upcoming horror-comedy Stree, and says it was fun. Rajkummar was shooting in Chanderi, Bhopal. “Finished the first schedule of ‘Stree’ in this beautiful town. Chanderi. Had so much fun, with the most amazing team Shraddha Kapoor, Amar Kaushik, Raj & DK, Maddock Films, Dinoo. Can’t wait for you guys to watch it soon,” Rajkummar tweeted.

Finished the first schedule of #Stree in this beautiful town. #Chanderi. Had so much fun, with the most amazing team @ShraddhaKapoor@amarkaushik@rajndk#Dinoo@MaddockFilms@rajnidimoru. Can’t wait for u guys to watch it soon. pic.twitter.com/n7fZvXlgZH

— Rajkummar Rao (@RajkummarRao)
January 30, 2018

Helmed by Amar Kaushik, ‘Stree’ is being backed by Maddock Films, jointly produced by Dinesh Vijan and Raj and DK. The film is based on an urban legend set in a small village named Chanderi in Bhopal. Music-composer duo Sachin-Jigar have scored its album. Meanwhile, veteran actor Anil Kapoor, who has worked with Rajkummar in Fanne Khan, is all praise for him.

As Rajkummar went for jogging on Tuesday for the first time in three months after his ankle injury, Anil tweeted: “You went for a run without me? Rajkummar Rao, always pushing through every hurdle and coming out a rock star! So happy to see you recover and doing what you love!”

Catch up on all the latest entertainment news and gossip here.

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Dec 272017
 

What would happen when Akshay Kumar, Irrfan Khan, Rajkummar Rao, Varun Dhawan and Ayushmann Khurana sat together for a discussion? The image of these five powerhouses sharing a space and talking about their films and craft is enough to intrigue anyone’s attention. Rajeev Masand’s pick for this year’s ‘The Actors Roundtable’ was indeed an interesting one.

Here are the few interesting things we learned about the aforesaid actors, and the developments that transpired will blow you away.

Akshay Kumar’s Wit & Humour Is Spot On

There is no one in the industry who can be as entertaining as Akshay Kumar. The man is a charmer and he is the only one who can steal the spotlight with his bang on wit and humour. From slandering a director to talking about his plan B, the actor’s revelations were too much fun!

The Actors Roundtable Video Featuring Akshay Kumar, Irrfan Khan, Varun Dhawan, Rajkummar Rao And Ayushmann Khurrana

Varun Dhawan Has WAY Too Many Opinions

Everyone has an opinion, but Varun is 100 steps ahead. Be it Rajkummar speaking or Irrfan Khan talking, Varun couldn’t help himself from diving into every conversation. It was like he just had to jabber away and almost get killed in the process!

The Actors Roundtable Video Featuring Akshay Kumar, Irrfan Khan, Varun Dhawan, Rajkummar Rao And Ayushmann Khurrana

Irrfan Khan Is Flawless

The Actors Roundtable Video Featuring Akshay Kumar, Irrfan Khan, Varun Dhawan, Rajkummar Rao And Ayushmann Khurrana© YouTube

It goes without saying that Irrfan Khan is one of the most versatile actors we have and there is no one who can say otherwise. Talking about his work, we got to know that things come naturally to him.  “It’s compulsory to make writer’s line your own. If the lines remain foreign to you, you will never be able to deliver with conviction,” he said during the discussion.

Akshay Kumar Loved Travelling Abroad For Free

The Actors Roundtable Video Featuring Akshay Kumar, Irrfan Khan, Varun Dhawan, Rajkummar Rao And Ayushmann Khurrana© Twitter

“Before marriage, mujhe bahar jaane ka baada shauk tha. I have always done films which were shooting abroad…London, Canada, Mauritius. Koi kahaani sunane aata tha ki sir aap Mysore mein hai…..beta chal bahar jaa, isko leke jao bahar. Aree kya mein Mysore mein rahunga? Nahi sir aap interval mein puchenge Malaysia. And I would say, ‘theek hai jab aana’.” He is just so funny!

Rajkummar Rao Is Happy In His Space

This has been Rajkummar Rao’s year. The actor has not only ruled the box office with his commendable performances but his debut in the web-series as the young Subhash Chandra Bose has been the talk of the town as well. While speaking about his success and work, he simply said, “I don’t think about success and failure, they are the by-products but I am happy. There are directors who want to make bigger movies with me and producers who would back it.”

The Make Or Break Moment Of A Film

Rajkummar went into details about a scene he shot for ‘Shahid’ and said, “There is a four-second scene where Shahid has to hug his mother after being released from the jail. I took time to imagine that I haven’t met my own mother.”

But Varun HAD to turn things in his direction. What he said next left our jaws on the floor. “Something similar happened to me when I thought that Vaidehi and Badri should make out but the director thought otherwise.”

WOW! Just WOW! What an idea sirji!

The Actors Roundtable Video Featuring Akshay Kumar, Irrfan Khan, Varun Dhawan, Rajkummar Rao And Ayushmann Khurrana

Nepotism Isn’t In Akshay’s Dictionary

Akki clearly mentioned that if his son wants to do a film, he will have to make his way. He won’t produce a film for him. “I am not going to help him. You need the hit and need to fall down very hard to reach a point.”

The Actors Roundtable Video Featuring Akshay Kumar, Irrfan Khan, Varun Dhawan, Rajkummar Rao And Ayushmann Khurrana

Rajeev Couldn’t Talk About Nepotism, So Let’s Talk About Lineage

Nepotism was a touchy topic because there was a by-product sitting at the roundtable. Actors were asked to give their views. Akshay kept it real and said, “I don’t care about it. For me it’s important I work every day. People will forget everything.” Ayushmann agreed and added, “The industry lives in present.”

Rajkummar chimed in saying how he doesn’t take it seriously and 50 years down the line he would want to be proud and happy with his work.

Irrfan’s Point Blank View On Legacy

Irrfan gave a reply that was too accurate to miss, “I don’t think about legacy. I am not a Khan, I am just Irrfan. I don’t have a lineage nor do I want to think how I will be remembered. I am in love with Dilip Kumar and the truth is people forgot him. Legacy is a useless thought!” Thank heavens Varun was smart enough to keep quiet during this particular discussion.

The Audience Won’t Settle For Less

While some movies did perform well at the box office, many big ones failed. Talking about it, Irrfan said how the Hindi audience is getting mature and intelligent and that they won’t settle for less. “The audience wants an emotional experience. They are forcing you to up your game,” he added.

Check out the video here and we bet you just can’t get enough of Khiladi Kumar!

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