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Friday,30-July-2021

Bollywood

Bhumi Pednekar is working on post-Covid stamina

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Actress Bhumi Pednekar is working on her stamina after recuperating from Covid-19.

Bhumi flaunts post-workout glow in a picture on Instagram, where she is seen wearing a sports bra and yoga pants.

“Post Covid stamina building is tough but I love it! #happy #grateful #strong,” Bhumi captioned the image.

The actress recently announced she would be star alongside Akshay Kumar in the upcoming film, “Raksha Bandhan”.

She also has “Badhaai Do” with Rajkummar Rao and “Mr Lele” with Vicky Kaushal lined up for release.

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‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’ director Abhishek Dhudhaiya gives an insight into film’s research

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Bhuj

Director Abhishek Dhudhaiya, whose next film “Bhuj: The Pride of India” is based on the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, is also the co-writer of the project. The film tells the story of how 300 women from a village worked hard to build the Bhuj runway, contributing majorly to India’s win.

Abhishek, who earlier directed many television shows, brings forth the story of IAF Squadron Leader Vijay Karnic (played by Ajay Devgn) and the women from the village of Madhapar.

“My grandmother had also contributed in the making of this runway. So, I had this is mind that the first time when I make a film, it will he on this subject,” says Abhishek, as he recalls how the conception of the story happened.

He goes on to further elaborate with a hint of nostalgia in his voice.

“In 2017 when I took a break from television, the first thing I did was meet Vijay Karnic. So, my nani’s (maternal grandmother) friends who are still alive were part of that 300 women’s group. So, I went and met them and understood the events which had taken place.”

The sentiment of patriotism is crucial for the film. So, when Abhishek took the project forward, he knew his heart had to be in the right place.

“To begin with, I am an Indian and I am proud of that. For me, my country is first and even for my nani the country is before anything else. So, when I wrote the dialogue, I conveyed what I think and what I wanted others to act. That energy reflects in people around you,” he says.

“For instance when Vijay Karnic was reading the story, the only face in my mind was that of Ajay Devgn. When I finished my story and I asked him, who does he feel is best for this role, he also said, Ajay Devgn. So, when you want to bring that connect, you have to feel strongly.”

The next big step in the making of the film was casting of 300 women. Instead of taking the regular approach of hiring junior artists, Abhishek knew that this would be an important factor in establishing the strength of the film.

“We had to cast 300 women. Now, if you hire junior artists, they are free to leave in two -three days for some other project but that breaks the flow. So, we cast 300 women and for the first 15 days taught them how to play the dhol. We got their costumes made because at that time dressing style was difference and clothes affect body language a lot. So, we customised costumes for these women and made them wear it, so that they get comfortable in it,” he says.

Currently, in the village of Madhapar, there are 60 people, who were part of the iconic movement. All aged between 70-80.

The government of India has also paid tribute to them by making their statues at the entrance of the village.

A landmark movement, the women when making the runway, decided to break their homes to get the bricks and stones for runaway once they ran out of the material.

“When they needed bricks and stones to make the runway and material could not reach them, these people decided that they will break their houses to use that material. My nani had told me this but when these people also told me, I had tears in my eyes,” recalls Abhishek.

“For a woman, her house is her dream and there what happens is the men leave for work to other states and countries. So, mostly women, children and old people live there. So, for the women their, the houses and farming is everything. They sacrificed their homes for the country. This incident and the challenge of Vijay Karnic to make the runway for the county was the most important driving force for me.”

The director, whose film will release on Disney+Hotstar on August 13, feels that this kind of inspiration is rare.

“This is a kind of inspiration that you don’t find easily. The defence personals who are protect us are trained but these villagers were not trained people. Being prompt in such a situation didn’t come naturally to them. They still did it and it’s their biggest achievement,” he signs off.

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Akshay Kumar’s ‘Bell Bottom’ to release on Aug 19

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BELL-BOTTOM

The Akshay Kumar-starrer spy thriller “Bell Bottom” will now have a theatrical release on August 19.

The film’s release was pushed from April 2021 to July 27 due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

Akshay shared the news on Twitter, along with a motion poster of the film featuring the entire cast of the film.

“Mission: To Entertain you on the BIG SCREEN Date: August 19, 2021 Announcing the arrival of #BellBottom! #BellBottomInCinemasAug19 @vashubhagnani @humasqureshi @LaraDutta @ranjit_tiwari @jackkybhagnani @honeybhagnani @monishaadvani @madhubhojwani @nikkhiladvani @EmmayEntertain,” Akshay tweeted.

“Bell Bottom” is an espionage thriller set in the 1980s. The film was largely shot in Glasgow, Scotland, amid lockdown. Ranjit M. Tewari’s directorial also stars Vaani Kapoor, Lara Dutta Bhupathi and Huma Qureshi.

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OTT experiments with politically correct content

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Politics and Bollywood are a phenomenon in India. Its growing influence on the minds of the people is manifold. The portrayal of political inspired dramas in web series has been the recent flavour on the OTT platforms. As the digital space takes a grip over content, makers are now not shy about approaching the topic as going political on screen is getting a welcome with open arms.

India is a land of politics and Indians lap up political news everytime — seeing that as an added advantage, content makers over the last few months have come out with successful and talked about stories such as “Tandav”, “City Of Dreams” and “Madam Chief Minister”, “Maharani” to name a few.

Actress Richa Chadha, who played the title role in the film “Madam Chief Minister” agrees the genre is intriguing and said that it is because everyone is affected by politics.

Richa told IANS: “Why people generally find political dramas intriguing somewhere or another is because we are all affected by politics, we are affected by which party has won the state elections, who improves the condition of living among the people.”

The actress shared that when her film released that’s when people realised the movie was not based on former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati.

She said: “News comes to us in various forms and the news is not just limited like a murder or gossip of a celebrity. It’s news, national news that really affects everything and that is what makes political dramas so popular. When Madam Chief Minister was released only once when people saw the film that they realised its not really based on Mayawati.”

“There was a lot of speculation because they can identify and recognise famous political figures from newer times over the past 10-20 years so, I guess that’s why political dramas are so popular,” added the 34-year-old actress, who considers former Minister of Law and Justice of India B.R. Ambedkar as her icon.

Social scientist Ankit Sharma explained the emergence of political fictional dramas. He said: “We notice a social engagement in fantasy art form of combat, power and justice when a society in reality is suppressed from expressing these instincts fully. A similar thing happened with eroticism in Hindi cinema during the 2000s, which has become a norm now.”

Popular actor Sachin Pilgaonkar, who plays Chief Minister Jagdish Gourav in “City of Dreams”, cited “struggle” as the reason behind the genre’s popularity.

Sachin told IANS: “It’s the struggle saga that makes a political drama so popular. Anything that will have a struggle will have drama in it and therefore it will be intriguing and hence people will watch it. Otherwise after watching 2 episodes only people give their verdict that they will continue watching it or not.”

The 63-year-old actor stressed that it is important to make such content that leaves an impact.

“Politics is one such subject which is very impactful. On the other hand there is so much crime based content on the web that there was a requirement of doing something different. Maybe that’s why people are enthusiastic to see political dramas,” he said.

Actor Pankaj Tripathi, who is the uncrowned king of the OTT space, in an interview to IANS in 2019 had talked about how he wanted to pursue politics, he still has time before he pursues it.

The 44-year-old actor reasons why politics makes an interesting watchable genre.

“I think political dramas show politics and that it plays an important role in modern days and democracy. Our life in some or the other way in democratic country is linked with politics. This can be the reason,” Pankaj told IANS.

Actor Eijaz Khan, who will be seen sharing screen space with Sachin in the second season of “City Of Dreams”, feels everyone is “political” and that strikes a chord.

Eijaz told IANS: “How much ever we may say we speak from a space from a privilege that we can be apolitical…I think all of us are political. We have an opinion. We see political dramas unfolding in front of us day in and day out which makes this even more interesting.”

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