Jun 142018

Kareena Kapoor Khan is determined to give as much attention to her 1-year old son Taimur as possible. Hence after Veere Di Wedding for which she received outstanding notices, Kareena is pulling away voluntarily from any immediate assignments to focus on her real-life role of a mother.

For this reason, Kareena has said no to a number of offers that have come her way in recent times. The most recent no that Kareena had to say was to Ashutosh Gowariker who wanted to remake the Marathi hit Apla Manus with Kareena in the lead.

Says a source close to Kareena, “Bebo (Kareena) is very clear in her priorities. Her son Taimur comes first. He needs her at the moment. And Kareena will only do one film at the most per year until Taimur’s dependency on his mother lessens.”

Apr 252018

Panipat will release on December 6 next year

Neeta Lulla
Neeta Lulla

Acclaimed designer Neeta Lulla will lend her creativity and expertise to the detailed costumes for Ashutosh Gowariker’s period drama Panipat. In the past, the two creative minds collaborated for “Jodhaa Akbar” and “Mohenjo Daro”. Lulla had even won the National Film Award for Best Costume Design for the former movie.

For Panipat, which comprises an ensemble cast and is based on the third battle of Panipat, Lulla is excited to explore the costumes worn at the time of the Maratha Empire.

Lulla said in a statement: “Peshwa’s historical and traditional lineage will reflect in the costumes of the film. Ashutosh Gowariker is a visionary and working with him is always a treat.

“We will create magic through our costumes and give fluidity to the narrative through our well-researched styling. The battle of Panipat is one of the most important chapters of our history and I am honoured to be a part of this project.”

Gowariker is confident about Lulla’s attention to detail.

“It has been wonderful working with Neeta, especially on the Rajput and Mughal dressing, followed by the Gujarati and Bengali styles. Her range is fantastic.

“And now, I am looking forward to working with her on the Maharashtrian dressing and more in ‘Panipat’,” he said.

His wife Sunita, who is producing the movie under their AGPPL Films home banner, said: “Neeta is amazing at helping the director achieve his vision and is a producer’s delight. She is a dream to work with and a true friend. Looking forward to the new journey of ‘Panipat’.”

The film includes Arjun Kapoor, Kriti Sanon and Sanjay Dutt in pivotal roles.

Art director Nitin Desai is already working closely with Gowariker for the film and is recreating the Shaniwar Wada set for the film at N.D. Studios.

Panipat will release on December 6 next year.

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Feb 152018

Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker says it is an exhilarating feeling that “Jodhaa Akbar”, which clocked 10 years of its release on Thursday, is still appealing to the audience

Ashutosh Gowariker
Ashutosh Gowariker

Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker says it is an exhilarating feeling that Jodhaa Akbar, which clocked 10 years of its release on Thursday, is still appealing to the audience. Gowariker tweeted an unreleased poster of the Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan starrer historical romance.

“It’s truly an exhilarating feeling that Jodhaa Akbar is still appealing to audiences today. Not only in India but internationally too! And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for giving it so much love. Sharing with you an unreleased poster! Ten years of ‘Jodhaa Akbar’,” he captioned the poster.

The film revolves around Jodhaa, a Rajput princess who is obliged to marry Mughal emperor Akbar for political reasons. Eventually, mutual respect and admiration between the two leads to love between them.

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Jul 172017

While Bollywood is known for its unique masala flicks aka commercial cinema, it does manage to produce some films which leave a deep impact on the society and leave people wondering that is Bollywood really adept at making such films? While we have item numbers and cheap humour on one side, we also have films which carry a social message and leave everyone with a question about their lives and act as the inspiration we all need in our lives.

So, for those times when you feel low in life and do not understand what to do, we have just the perfect answer for you. Turn to these Bollywood flicks and we are sure that you won’t be disappointed.

1. Anand

Released in 1971 and starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna, this movie was all about how a dying man wanted to live the last moments of his life happily and without any fear of death. He leaves a deep imprint on the life on his friend, and teaches him the real meaning of life.

2. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar

Who can forget this film that starred Mr Perfectionist Aamir Khan in the titular role of a careless boy who doesn’t have a care in the world and takes his family and friends for granted? Well, this film is an inspiration for all those people who take everything for granted in their lives and the fact that life is unpredictable and anything can happen at any time and we should be prepared for it. Directed by Mansoor Khan, this film released in 1992 and till date is remembered for its song, Pehla Nasha and Pooja Bedi’s Marilyn Monroe moment.

Bollywood Movies To Watch When You Are Low On Inspiration© Nasir Husain

3. Lagaan

Another one of Aamir Khan’s masterpiece is about how a villager, fed up with the Britishers imposing heavy taxes in pre-Independent India, takes on a challenge to defeat them in their game of Cricket. The villagers with all their courage and determination not only form a team, but also practise hard and defeat the Britishers. This film taught us the meaning of hard work, conviction in our skills and to not bow down to any adversity that life may throw at us. This film, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, released in 2001 and was even nominated for the Academy Awards.

4. Swades

Starring Shah Rukh Khan and Gayatri Joshi and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, this film left its imprint on the lives of so many NRIs. A scientist working with NASA returns to India to find and care for his nanny in a village and in the process rediscovers his roots. He falls in love with his country and decides to come back and uplift India and make it reach new heights. This film is a must-watch for when you feel that your country has nothing to offer to you and you are better off in foreign lands.

Bollywood Movies To Watch When You Are Low On Inspiration© UTV Motion Pictures

5. A Wednesday

Starring some of the finest names of the Indian film industry such as Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher, this film was truly a one of its kind film ever made in Bollywood. It released in 2008 and was directed by Neeraj Pandey. This film chronicled how a ‘common man’ made sure that justice was served and the perpetrators of a deadly terrorist attack were brought to their justifiable end. For times when you feel that “iss desh ka kuchh nahi ho sakta”, this film sure is a dose of inspiration.

6. Chak de! India

This film was a real story based on the life of former hockey player of India Mir Ranjan Negi. Starring Shah Rukh Khan, this movie popularised the sport of Hockey, which is the national sport of India, and was released in 2007 under the Yash Raj Films banner. How did Kabir Khan, despite all odds, take the Women’s Hockey Team to the World Championship and manage to win it is the crux of the film. This film was a huge slap on the face of those who felt that there was no hope for women in sports and they had to remain confined in the traditional roles assigned to them.

7. Queen

One of Kangana Ranaut’s best films till date, ‘Queen’ spoke about independence for women and how they do not need a man to support themselves. When she is left by her fiancé a day before her wedding, instead of spiralling into depression, Rani decides to go on her honeymoon alone and discover the world on her own. This film highlighted several important relationships that a woman has in her life, like that with her parents, female friends and most importantly, with herself. When her fiancé tries to come back in her life, she refuses to accept him and leads her life on her own terms. Directed by Vikas Behl, this iconic film released in March 2014 and became a super-hit with a huge fan following.

Bollywood Movies To Watch When You Are Low On Inspiration© Viacom18 Motion Pictures

8. Neerja

Based on the life of air hostess Neerja Bhanot, who lost her life at the age of 21 in a plane hijack, this film starring Sonam Kapoor in the main lead went on to teach all girls a very important lesson –  to not be scared of anything and always do the correct thing when faced with danger. Sonam Kapoor as Neerja did a commendable job and it also won her a National Award this year. Directed by Ram Madhvani and released under Fox Star Studio Productions, this film released in 2016 and went on to teach young women and men alike to face their fears and live for others and not back down in case of an emergency.

Bollywood Movies To Watch When You Are Low On Inspiration© Fox Star Studios

9. Manjhi- The Mountain Man

How many of us have the courage to take on a task and finish it, even when we are constantly ridiculed and told it is an impossible task? Well, Manjhi was the same guy who did not stop for 22 years and went on to make a road using just a hammer and chisel from his village to the nearest town when his request for the same fell on deaf ears in the Government. Starring the extremely talented Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte, this 2015 movie went on to show the struggles of Dashrath Manjhi who built a road after his wife passed away due to lack of roads from his village to the nearest town. This film teaches us the values of perseverance and courage and also shows us the true meaning of ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’.

10. Rang De Basanti

Starring a motley of actors like Aamir Khan, Kunal Kapoor, R Madhavan, Soha Ali Khan, Waheeda Rehman, this film went on to redefine the meaning of youth. Released in 2006 and directed by Raykesh Omprakash Mehra, this film gave the youth the power to be fearless and brave. It gave them the confidence to stand up against corruption and take matters in their own hands if the situation demanded it. When 4 carefree college boys are asked to portray various freedom fighters in a movie, it brings out their patriotism and they are awakened towards their love for the country.

Bollywood Movies To Watch When You Are Low On Inspiration© UTV Motion Pictures

Dec 152012

Rohit Shetty has shot all three films of his Golmaal franchise in Goa. Shetty considers Goa lucky for the series. But how ‘lucky’ is Goa considering Ashutosh Gowariker’s Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey was an unmitigated disaster? Still, there’s something about Goa that attracts Bollywood’s filmmakers like a magnet.

Dil Chahta Hai, GoaUnique character: Think Goa on celluloid and one is bound to remember its portrayal in Dil Chahta Hai

Gowariker says he would happily shoot his next film in Goa if the script demanded it. “I love Goa as a shooting destination. As an actor, I have shot several films in Goa including the late Jalal Agha’s Goonj, Kundan Shah’s Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na and Saeed Mirza’s Circus.

Ajay Devgn, Golmaal series, GoaLook ma, no hands! Ajay Devgn gets an unusual bike ride at a beach in Goa for the first film in his Golmaal series

I have the fondest memories of the place.” For him, Goa is about much more than beaches and the sea. “It has got various types of hidden landscapes just waiting to be explored. When I wanted to shoot the location of Chittagong (which is part of Bangladesh) in Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, I chose Sawantwadi which is on the border of Goa. If my next film demands it, I’d most certainly return to Goa. It has some advantages over most locations along the Konkan coast in Maharashtra, the most important being the connectivity by road, rail and air. Hence Goa will continue to be a favourite spot for filmmakers.”

Dum Maaro Dum, GOaNothing to ‘rave’ about: Rohan Sippy and his film Dum Maaro Dum came under fire from Goans for focusing extensively on the drug scene in the state

However, to find new places in Goa to shoot films is becoming a near-impossibility. Sanjay Leela Bhansali who shot his last film Guzaarish in Goa, spent months trying to find virgin spots in the beautiful sea town. “Every inch of Goa has been shot already. And we needed a fresh look,” says Bhansali.

 Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma, GoaSunny times: Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma’s Ladies vs Ricky Bahl was shot almost entirely in Goa

David Dhawan now faces the dilemma of selecting under-exposed spots in Goa for his new-age version of Sai Paranjpe’s Chashme Buddoor. He has finally zeroed in on the location where he’s now shooting with Rishi Kapoor. “We’re shooting in old Goa. The rest of Goa is over-exposed. We have found an old Portuguese café which we’ve hired for the shooting.”

Guzaarish Tranquil surroundings: Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish was set in Goa

Virgin, no moreAnanth Mahadevan, who shot his Shahid Kapoor rom-com Dil Maange More in Goa, says it would be difficult to find virgin locations in the state. “Now if I were to shoot there it would have to be old Goa and its classic structures. Not the familiar beaches and hotels. Goa with its beaches, churches and old-world charm has been a perennial haven for filmmakers. Besides Goa’s proximity to Mumbai and Chennai, the government too has some promotional schemes now. But it is a case of milking the location. Unless one visualises the place differently, Goa would appear déjà vu.”

Sawantwadi Palace in GoaGlory be forever: Ashutosh Gowariker restored the Sawantwadi Palace in Goa to take the place of a monument in Chittagong, Bangladesh, for his film Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey

Director Sujoy Ghosh, whose film Kahaani was shot entirely on the streets of Kolkata, has a theory as to why filmmakers choose Goa. “Filmmakers like to go to Goa to write their films. So they develop an attachment to that place which pulls them into shooting the film in Goa. I, too, will only shoot in a location where I’ve spent ample time writing.”

Addictive and charmingShooting in Goa has become truly addictive for Hindi filmmakers. Rohan Sippy, who faced a lot of flak from the Goan government for depicting the place as a den of drugs in Dum Maaro Dum, is game for another shot at filming in Goa. Says Sippy, “I loved shooting in Goa. Great locations. Very shooting-friendly atmosphere. With the right script, it would be a brilliant location to return to.” He suggests that the Goan government should create better infrastructure for film shooting. “If they could provide studios and equipment, Goa can become a major centre for film shooting.”

Aanand Rai, who shot his Tanu Weds Manu in North India, feels Goa should be used only when it is an integral part of the script. “It is not just a location. Goa has a very strong character and a fantastic attitude. Whenever it is used just to make a film pretty, the effort will backfire. Goa should be cast as the right actor in a film.” Kunal Deshmukh (of Jannat 2 fame) feels Goa still has a lot more to offer. “I don’t believe Goa has lost its charm. It depends on how you see and use Goa. If you only see the beaches and trance parties, then that is all you will get.” He feels Goa is a viable alternative to Mumbai. “Shooting in Mumbai is so difficult and expensive. I haven’t shot a film in Goa yet. But I’d love to if and when the subject demands it. No point in shooting in Goa just for the heck of it.”

Rahul Dholakia, whose film Lamhaa was shot under extremely trying circumstances in Kashmir, thinks Goa is an easy option. “It is inexpensive. It is also close to Mumbai and film units feel relaxed there. I would definitely shoot there if my film were set in Goa. But I would not shoot in Goa just for the heck of it. It’s got a very unusual flavour. Goa has to be a character in the film.”

Interestingly, Kabir Sadanand, who has shot a film in Thailand, feels Goa has become too expensive for shooting. “Off late, it has become difficult to shoot in Goa. I preferred to have a hassle-free shooting schedule in Thailand. The local administration in Goa needs to sort out their revenue structure regarding shooting crews from Bollywood. Only then can one shoot in peace in Goa. Otherwise, Thailand or Vietnam would be better options.”

Hi-jinx, cool dude attitude and easy atmosphere, the stars fall in love with Goa for different reasonsAyushmann Khurrana: Goa is in India but it seems as if it belongs to the world. I never get tired of going to Goa. Every time I go, it’s a new and different experience. I think it must be the most sought-after holiday destination in India. I make it a point to go to Goa at least twice a year. You get everything in Goa, from film festivals to vacations.

Pooja Bhatt: Goa is always exciting because there are many Goas within Goa to revel in. I don’t go there during the party season because it’s full of people you truly want to avoid. The monsoon is the season when to me, Goa is at its best. I have a home there. For me, it is more than a holiday destination. I got married in Goa.

Jackie Shroff: Being a Mumbai guy, I find Goa to be how Mumbai must have been before it became a concrete jungle.

Shabana Azmi: I never go to Goa for a holiday. I live by the beach in Mumbai and it doesn’t make sense for me to go to another seaside venue. I much prefer the mountains. But the kids love it. Zoya, Farhan and Adhuna (Javed Akhtar’s daughter, son and daughter-in-law) adore Goa.

Kabir Bedi: I always say Goa is more than a beautiful place. It is a state of mind. When the wind ruffles your hair, in the embrace of the palms, your cares seem a continent away. That’s the essence of a great holiday spot. Every time I go to Goa, I ask myself why can’t I be there more often? It’s never enough, no matter how often I go.

Raveena Tandon: It is easy and convenient to go to Goa even if it’s just for a weekend. My children love Goa too. I love going to Goa.

Pooja Bedi: I go to Goa at least four times a year. I love the spirit of openness and the fact that I can frolic on the beach in a bikini with my kids without being harassed. I love the water sports, the restaurants and the international feel.

Sonu Sood: Goa is my favourite holiday spot. I go there every year. I think it’s the liveliest place in the world. Everyone is in party mode. You forget all your worries. Also, after having shot two films there, I can swear there can be no better place to shoot.

Chitrangda Singh: Goa is the Indian Europe. Great energy and feel!

Raima Sen: I love Goa. I go at least four times a year. I love the seafood, beaches and shacks. I love the chilled-out life there and the friendly vibe of the place. I can let my hair down comfortably there.

Minissha Lamba: Goa is amongst the most easily accessible holiday spots and one of those places where one can swim in the sea.

Arbaaz Khan: Goa is definitely my favourite holiday spot. It’s chilled out, there is not too much hustle-bustle. I love the place, people, food and eating places. Being close to Mumbai, it is an ideal vacation spot.

Rohit Roy: Goa has been my favourite Indian holiday destination from the time I was in college. My affair with Goa started as a fling and now it’s a full-fledged romance. Earlier, I would go with a bunch of friends. But now it has become a hotspot for family holidays. My wife Manasi and baby girl Kiara are as much beach persons as I am! We go to Goa once or twice a year. I absolutely adore the place’s chilled-out pace. It’s a great de-stresser after Mumbai which leaves me breathless. I love Goan food, prawn curry and rice being my favourites.

Malaika Arora: I don’t think there’s any better place to holiday than Goa. 

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