Feb 192018
 

Padmaavat makers hire ocean liner to celebrate the success of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus while it heads towards Rs 300-crore mark at box office

The Ark Deck Bar where the party will be held. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
The Ark Deck Bar where the party will be held. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar 

After the trouble the makers went through to ensure Padmaavat reaches the audience, it is time for Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone to pop the bubbly. With the magnum opus racing past the Rs 275-crore mark at the box office, mid-day has learnt that the makers have planned a grand bash for the weekend to celebrate the success. The team has zeroed in on February 24 since it also marks Bhansali’s 56th birthday. Given the director’s love for everything grand, the bash too will be just as special – it will be held aboard an ocean liner.

Deepika Padukone, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Ranveer Singh
Deepika Padukone, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Ranveer Singh

Says a source from the production team, “The team did not want a run-of-the-mill party at a five star. So they zeroed in on the Ark Deck Bar, the floating restaurant that has an open-air bar deck, a sit-down restaurant and private dining areas. It not only offers stunning view as it sails off the coast into the sea, but will also give the stars privacy from the paparazzi.” He adds that the do was initially scheduled for February 21 but was later pushed to Saturday to coincide with the auteur’s birthday.

Shahid Kapoor
Shahid Kapoor

While Bhansali, Singh and Padukone will celebrate their third consecutive success, Maharawal Ratan Singh aka Shahid Kapoor will be conspicuous by his absence. “Shahid won’t be present as he’s shooting in Tehri for Batti Gul Meter Chalu. A guest list of about 150 people has been drawn up that includes other Bollywood stars as well. The Ark is just a boat ride away from the Sea Link jetty. Everyone including Deepika and Ranveer will be ferried across.” The source adds that an extensive menu comprising European, Indian, Italian and pan-Asian cuisine will be laid out. When contacted, Bhansali’s team refused to comment.

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Feb 022018
 

Shahid on doing ‘Padmaavat’ despite not having strong role like co-stars

Shahid Kapoor
Shahid Kapoor

After making the cumbersome journey to its release, did the protests over ‘Padmaavat’ kill the joy of watching it?
We are overjoyed that despite a huge handicap, ‘Padmaavat’ has made the numbers that it has. For us, the positive word of mouth was essential [for the film’s success].

Why did you decide to do this role when you knew yours was not an author-backed one?
I agreed to do it even before hearing the script. It wasn’t about the character I was playing. I did it because Sanjay Leela Bhansali said he can’t do this film without me. He couldn’t helm the movie on such a big scale if an actor of my calibre wasn’t on board. Doing a film in which the parallel characters are author-backed is like an enticing roller coaster ride. I didn’t mind it because I am a secure actor today. I had recently wrapped up ‘Udta Punjab’ (2015) and ‘Haider’ (2014). So, I was confident.

Also read – Shahid Kapoor on Padmaavat row: We had to be politically correct

Did you feel envious?
I am not jealous. I had to focus on my role. If I was bothered [with the attention given to other characters], my energy would have dissipated. There are many who, despite having the best roles, are insecure. No one put a gun to my head. If I am doing the film, I will with dignity. You don’t become stronger when things are served to you on a platter. You have to earn the tag.

It appears the success of your professional gambles has given you this confidence.
I was not this secure four years ago. But now, I do it [offbeat roles] to keep boredom at bay. I am not a newcomer who is merely excited about being in the industry. Of course, the movies is my magical space, but being part of Bollywood is not a driving force. Something [film] needs to sweep me off my feet to convince me to do it. In Udta Punjab, I got the drive from the fact that my character had to be high [under the influence] to the point of being abusive. I’ve never been high. That kept me on the edge. In ‘Haider’, it was the monologue I had to deliver. In ‘Padmaavat’, it was the sheer fact that I found myself scouting for my lines while reading the script. I had a line or two, here and there. But there’s a kick in being able to pull that off.

Playing safe doesn’t guarantee success anymore. Does it?
Nothing succeeds like success. Success and quality aren’t the same. Actors must chase quality, the by-product of which is success. I want to be that actor whose repertoire has a plethora of roles to show, not a couple of stray performances.

Did the debacle of ‘Rangoon’ bother you?
Vishal sir [Bhardwaj, ‘Rangoon’ director] and I make a great pair, but we didn’t make a great film. A lot of things went wrong with ‘Rangoon’. It was made on a large budget, but failed to connect with the audience. He is a great filmmaker, one who helped me redefine myself and search for [good] characters. It’s not easy for a filmmaker to hear criticism. It’s like commenting on his/her baby. It’s better to have that conversation a few years later, when they’re able to see the faults.

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Feb 022018
 

With ‘Padmaavat’ garnering tremendous acclaim from all quarters and being a roaring success at the box office, National award-winning makeup, hair and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh is ecstatic

Ranveer Singh
Preetisheel Singh working on Ranveer Singh’s ‘Padmaavat’ look

National award-winning makeup, hair and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh was so perturbed by all the controversies and protests surrounding Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’, she chose not to say anything about her work for it till its release. “It broke my heart witnessing all the turmoil the film was going through. So I had decided, I will only speak about it when the labour of love met success,” remarks Preetisheel who designed the looks for all the top artists including Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh.

“I cannot even imagine how Bhansali Sir would have coped up with the storm. My admiration for him has increased manifold,” she adds.

Ranveer Singh
Ranveer Singh was lauded for his role as Alauddin Khilji in ‘Padmaavat’ and Preetisheel Singh’s styling certainly helped

Ranveer Singh
(Clockwise from left) Ranveer Singh’s transformation as Alauddin Khilji

The best in her business, Preetisheel knows her job inside-out, but admits that her work for ‘Padmaavat’ was extremely challenging. “When working with Bhansali Sir, one has to be ready to always put in that extra bit as he has such a keen eye for aesthetics and detail. I read the script and understood the characters — how they dealt with people. I visualised the environment they would have grown up in, their likes and dislikes, their personality etcetera,” she explains.

“There’s a lot of study that went into getting under the skin of every character. Post this, I went through my look-references and finally came up with something that would equally excite the director and the actors. I was thrilled when Bhansali Sir finalised the looks.”

Ranveer Singh

With the movie garnering tremendous acclaim from all quarters and being a roaring success at the box office, Preetisheel is “super happy and relieved that everyone’s efforts have finally borne fruit.”

Shahid Kapoor
Preetisheel Singh styling Shahid Kapoor for ‘Padmaavat’

Shahid Kapoor
Shahid Kapoor essayed Maharawal Ratan Singh in ‘Padmaavat’

It can be noted here that she has also received accolades earlier for her work with actors in more than a dozen films including ‘Bajirao Mastani’, ‘Rangoon’, ‘Brothers’, ‘Mom’, ‘Haider’, ‘Parched’, ‘Hawaizaada’, ‘Shivaay’, ‘Talwar’, ‘Housefull 3’, ‘Ghayal Once Again’, ‘Finding Fanny’, the Tamil film ’24’ as well as the pre-Mughal historical epic ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’ for which she won the ‘National Film Award for Best Makeup’.

Coming up next are movies like the Amitabh Bachchan-Rishi Kapoor starrer ‘102 Not Out’, Vikramaditya Motwane’s ‘Bhavesh Joshi’, Sunny Deol’s son Karan Deol’s debut film ‘Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas’ and the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer ‘Thackeray’ to name a few.

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Feb 022018
 

deepika_shahidShahid Kapoor plays the royal king – Rawal Ratan Singh (Husband of Padmavati played by Deepika Padukone). But, despite having Ranveer Singh and Deepika playing famous and central characters in the film Shahid has been receiving many accolades for his role as a king and for his chemistry with the actress.

However, it is was for the first time that Shahid was paired up with Deepika in a film, when we asked him, how was it working with Deepika Padukone as your chemistry with her has come out well in the film even after working with each other for the first time, he replied, “I was going from romance to drama between Ranveer ((Singh) and Deepika (Padukone).” (Laughs)

Surprisingly, talking further on it he stated that from the time Deepika has been in this industry there were few offers that were offered to both of them but, the duo couldn’t make for it due to some of the other reason.

“For 10 years or so, because I have been here for longer than her… as long she has been here we have had kind of offers which has come and gone. Somehow, we have never ended up saying yes to a film together and when this film happened and sir told me to do it. I said yes and it was like after 10 years we were finally doing a film. This is a film worthy enough for those 10 years to have happened. It’s really that we have done this film together,” said Shahid.

Not just that, but, the actor somewhere gives a hint that the filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali would like to see them in another film. “In fact, I remember Sanjay (Leela Bhansali) sir saw the film and the minute he got up he looked back and he said, “I want you and Deepika to do another film together.” You know because this film did not have that much time for the romance to (come out). It was all very hushed up, things are moving and too much is happening (in the film). I think we made a great pair and I am sure we will do something more together in the future and there is more that can be juiced than what “Padmaavat” had of course.”

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Jan 252018
 

Shahid Kapoor was asked to comment on the unrest which is going on across the country due to Padmaavat’s release

Shahid Kapoor
Shahid Kapoor

Actor Shahid Kapoor, who is happy for the release of his film Padmaavat across the country on Thursday, says that the film stands for the entire industry right now. Shahid attended the HT Most Stylish Awards 2018, along with his wife Mira Rajput on Wednesday, where he was asked to comment on the unrest which is going on across the country due to the film’s release.

He said, “From the beginning, we have been saying that at least allow us to show our film and don’t have preconceived notions. Now Supreme Court has also given the judgment that the film must be released everywhere. Not just for ‘Padmaavat’ but for every film, Supreme Court in their judgment has said that ban shouldn’t be imposed on films. So, I think ‘Padmaavat’ stands for the entire film industry right now because there should be freedom of creativity and there should be sense of liberation when you are expressing yourself.”

“No one is forced to watch a certain film but no one should be forced not to watch it too, and I feel that’s what a democracy is,” he added.

Shahid, who essays the role of Maharaja Ratan Singh in the film, also expressed that no better glorification of Rajputs could have been done than that presented in the film. “We are really happy and we are finding it difficult to express our self. We have made this film by giving our blood and sweat. This film presents Rajput community’s valour and we have honoured them in our movie by glorifying them,” he said.

Also Read: Deepika Padukone: Box-office numbers of Padmaavat will be earth-shattering

“Yesterday, for the first time I saw the film and I don’t think more glorification than this is possible and in my understanding it can not be put on better pedestal than this,” he added. Praising her husband in the film and being a Rajput herself, Mira shared her feeling on Padmaavat, “I think the film is a homage to Rajput culture and tradition.”

“First and foremost, I am extremely proud to see Shahid essay that role and do so much justice to it. Watching him onscreen has been such a visual treat, I really feel without any biases that he is the best thing in the film,” he said. The film is based on the epic poem by Malik Muhammad Jayasi and narrates the story of Padmavati, a Rajput queen, who committed jauhar to protect herself from Sultan Alauddin Khilji.

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Jan 182018
 

As first reported in mid-day, Padmaavat makers cite Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan as precedent to overturn state governments’ ban

Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor in a still from Padmaavat
Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor in a still from Padmaavat

It was a victory of freedom of expression as the Supreme Court yesterday cleared Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat for release, by staying the ban imposed by the governments of several states including Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, the bench said it is the duty of states to maintain law and order and that the creative content is an inseparable aspect of Article 19 (1), freedom of speech and expression.

Hansal Mehta
Hansal Mehta

As told to mid-day (January 18 edition), the producers’ counsel cited the example of Prakash Jha’s caste-reservation drama Aarakshan (2011), which was banned in certain states until the SC overturned the decision. Using that as precedent, the legal team argued that once the Censor Board has certified a movie, no state can ban it. It also argued that the makers had complied with the changes recommended by the Censor Board.

For an industry that largely shied away from commenting on the Padmaavat issue through Bhansali’s months-long battle, it welcomed the SC decision with open arms. Shabana Azmi, one of the few actors to initiate a petition asking PM Narendra Modi to offer protection to Deepika Padukone, said, “I welcome the decision. But there remains the unresolved matter of no action being taken against those who placed a bounty on Deepika’s head. Immediate action needs to be taken against these criminal elements so as to send out a clear signal to the country that the dignity of women is supreme and neither abusive language nor violent threats will go unpunished.”

Shabana Azmi
Shabana Azmi

Director Hansal Mehta reiterated how the banning of a film that has been cleared by the CBFC in the first place, is unconstitutional. “It’s a good sign that the Supreme Court has upheld the decision. The entire team of Padmaavat can heave a sigh of relief.”

Raza Murad, who plays Jalaluddin Khilji in the magnum opus, described it as a “victory of democracy.” “I think true change can be brought about when the government deals with people who create nuisance with an iron hand.”

With inputs from Bharati Dubey

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Jan 072018
 

Padman’s makers have said the film’s January 25 release date will not change amid speculation that Padmavati may hit theatres the same day

Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor in Padmavati
Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor in Padmavati

Putting all speculations to rest, the makers of Padman have said the film’s January 25 release date will not change. Speculations were rife that Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed Padmavati may hit theatres the same day. B-town is abuzz that Padmavati, which has been making headlines due to its plot line, is set to release on January 25 – the same day as the Akshay Kumar-starrer Padman. The producers of the film, however, said they have no clue about Padmavati release or the possible box-office clash between the two films.

“I am clueless what is happening… with clash. I have no idea about it. Even we have heard about it. All we know is Padman is releasing on January 25. Akshay announced it officially. Padmavati is a very important film. It’s a beautiful film and it should release soon. I am also looking forward to seeing it. It depends on Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions to decide on the date,” Prerna Arora, one of the producers of Padman, told PTI.

Asked if the makers will push the release date of Padman to avoid any potential box-office clash with the big-budget period drama, Prerna said, “We are coming on January 25.” Sources close to the team of Padman said no one from the team of Padmavati has had any talks about the possible clash. Some reports even suggest that Padmavati might come out on February 9.

Sonam Kapoor and Akshay Kumar in Padman
Sonam Kapoor and Akshay Kumar in Padman

Anushka Sharma’s next home production venture Pari and director Luv Ranjan’s Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, starring Kartik Aaryan, are slated to release on February 9. “I see no sense in clashing with a big film like ‘Padmavati’ and harming the best release my film can get. If ‘Padmavati’ comes on February 9 I will change the release date of my film,” Luv Ranjan told PTI.

“We are coming on February 9, we are waiting for the official announcement on ‘Padmavati’ release date, so till then we cannot comment,” said Prerna. Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions remained unavailable for comment regarding the speculation over the release date of Padmavati. The film, which was earlier scheduled to hit cinema houses on December 1, features Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone in the lead.

Recently, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) decided to give the film a U/A certification along with some modifications and suggested change of the film’s title to ‘Padmavat’.

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Jan 022018
 

On the show aired on the New Year’s Eve, Sunday, December 31, there was a special category introduced to bestow Kriti and Shahid Kapoor. Both of them were introduced to the category ‘Nothing to Hide’ award

Kriti Sanon
Kriti Sanon thanked the audience for her popularity.

Kriti Sanon and Shahid Kapoor were bestowed with a unique- ‘Nothing to Hide’ award at a popular award function held recently. On the show aired on the New Year’s Eve, Sunday, December 31, there was a special category introduced to bestow Kriti and Shahid Kapoor. Both of them were introduced to the category ‘Nothing to Hide’ award. And Twitter is going bonkers stressing on the aspect that the award category was forcefully created and is rather hilarious. In fact, singer Benny Dayal also took a dig at the awards show and tweeted, “Nothing to hide that this award was named and planned that very moment.”

Shahid Kapoor
Shahid Kapoor couldn’t make it to the award show but accepted the award via a video call.

Many of the users asked assistance in guiding them the award category. A user wrote, “So what exactly is a ‘nothing to hide’ award?” The ‘Udta Punjab’ actor wasn’t physically present at the ceremony but joined the audience virtually with his acceptance speech. Kriti Sanon, who was in attendance at the do, thanked her fans and audience for her popularity. Knowing the ruthless and sarcastic Tweeple, they took a dig at Kriti, “Many congratulations to Kriti Sanon for this achievement, now please tell the audience what does it even mean (sic).”

The channel of the show aired on congratulated both the actors and soon after, the Internet was flooded with jokes around this topic.

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Dec 282017
 

Katrina Kaif has opted out of the Shahid Kapoor-starrer Batti Gul Meter Chalu due to paucity of time to prep for the role due to her choc a bloc schedule

Katrina Kaif has opted out of the Shahid Kapoor-starrer Batti Gul Meter Chalu due to paucity of time to prep for the role. Blame it on her busy schedule as she is shooting back-to-back for Aanand L Rai’s untitled next with Shah Rukh Khan and Vijay Krishna Acharya’s Thugs Of Hindostan, which stars Aamir Khan.

Katrina Kaif
Katrina Kaif

Says a source from the creative team, “The director [Shree Narayan Singh] had given her a script narration. She loved the story and asked her team to work out further details.”

As Kapoor plays the protagonist — a lawyer — the makers were looking for a top A-list female actor opposite him. The source adds. “She has an equally strong role as she plays his friend, philosopher and guide. Kaif seemed to fit the bill. Also, this was the first time Shahid and she would be working together.” But things appeared to fall apart after the narration.

The source continues, “It’s a challenging role and the character mouths dialogues in a particular style as the film is set in Uttarakhand. Kaif would not just have to look the desi character, but also learn the diction, which would be tough given the time constraints, hence she thought it would be better to say no right at the outset. She was keen on being part of the project, but there was no way she could juggle the dates. She tried to work out the schedule, but it looked tough to fit in the prep along with the shooting of the two films.”

Singh, who is on a recce in Uttarakhand, remained unavalibale for comment. Producer Prernaa Arora says, “We approached Katrina as she was our first choice. She loved the subject and the character. We were ready to work together, but there was a clash of dates. There were workshops she couldn’t attend as she’s shooting continuously for Aanand L Rai’s film and Thugs Of Hindostan till March next year.”

Arora further adds, “Batti Gul Meter Chalu needs to be shot in cold climes on outdoor locations in January and February. The story demands a winter backdrop. As Katrina will not be free till March, we couldn’t wait for Katrina.”

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