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Saturday,13-August-2022

Bollywood

SSR’s death ‘mystery’ unsolved after a year, like unending soap

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Almost like an unending daily soap, the so-called ‘mystery over the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput continues, as it remains unsolved a year after he was found dead in his Mumbai home.

On June 14, 2020, at the height of pandemic induced lockdown, Sushant, 34, the man who moved audiences with movies like “M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story” (2016), “Kedarnath” (2018) and “Chhichhore” (2019), was allegedly discovered hanging from a ceiling fan at his rented home in Mont Blanc Apartments, triggering one of the biggest controversies in Bollywood in recent years.

Soon, it erupted into a political dogfight involving the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra, plus the then poll-bound Bihar regime and the Centre.

Multiple probe agencies like Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), jumped into the cauldron that reeked of a riveting Bollywood potboiler — intrigues, oodles of love, girlfriends, ‘dhokha’ (deceit), drugs, hints of lesbianism, alleged big money scam, nefarious links, et al.

A year later, the social media is overflowing with fan memories, obits, tributes and demands for justice, as the ruling MVA allies Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress leaders slam the CBI and the Centre.

Shiv Sena Spokesperson and MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said the Sushant episode was not about a probe into what went wrong, but was more about “hounding the (MVA) government, casting aspersions, launching a smear campaign” as a lot of stories have turned out to be fake.

NCP National Spokespserson and Minister Nawab Malik termed it as “a conspiracy hatched” to discredit the Maharashtra government, and demanded that if Sushant did not commit suicide, then the CBI should reveal who is his killer.

“It has been 310 days since the CBI started probing and 250 days since an AIIMS panel ruled out murder. When will the agency declare the final conclusion? Why has CBI kept the lid on it? CBI is under immense pressure from its political bosses,” said Congress State Spokesperson Sachin Sawant.

“After a year, nobody knows what happened to the CBI probe. This was not for justice to Sushant, but to target the government on an issue which was clearly an open-and-shut case,” said Chaturvedi sharply.

“The Mumbai Police was investigating Sushant’s suicide case, but for political reasons, the Bihar government lodged the case and handed it over to the CBI. Now, the CBI should reveal who killed him,” Malik said.

Sawant added: “The BJP government at the Centre is using CBI, ED, NIA as political weapons to target and defame the MVA, these agencies are no more independent — but truth always prevails.”

The Bandra police had lodged an accidental death report in the case, but after the first information report registered by Sushant’s father, Krishna Kishore Singh in Patna, the Bihar government sought a CBI probe, which was ordered by the Supreme Court.

On August 19, 2020, the CBI formally took over the case investigation, then the ED entered to probe the financial angles, followed by the NCB to unravel the drugs angle.

Sushant’s family squarely blamed his live-in partner and actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik and other friends or aides, leading to the arrest of around 33 persons by the NCB.

As the CBI-ED probes seem to have faded in the background, the NCB marched on relentlessly, ostensibly to “uproot the drugs citadel” in Mumbai, especially Bollywood and many of its high-profile players.

The CBI recorded statements of Sushant’s family members and other witnesses, while Rhea contended that the late actor used to take drugs and was being treated for certain mental health issues.

Revelling in the fresh exposes virtually daily, like a TV soap, the BJP state leaders spared no opportunity to take jabs at Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son and Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray.

Later, in the Bihar elections, Sushant’s death proved to be a political windfall and AIIMS, New Delhi, ruled out any foul play, concurring that he died by hanging.

Now, the ball is in the CBI court to draw the curtains for the final word on Sushant’s end.

Bollywood

Danny Boyle saw Anil Kapoor’s ‘Taal’, offered him ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

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Actor Anil Kapoor revealed that Danny Boyle saw his film ‘Taal’ and his performance in it that made the Hollywood filmmaker offer him the hugely successful film ‘Slumgod Millionaire’.

Anil also shared that he was destined to do this film as it was first offered to actor Govinda and then it came to him.

As the film, which also stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Akshaye Khanna, completes 23 years of its release on Saturday, Anil took to social media to share some pictures from the shoot and pen a note.

“23 years of Taal! I will forever be grateful to have been a part of this iconic movie. In many ways, I was destined to do it, as my role was first offered to Govinda but ultimately came to me.”

“It was Taal that Danny Boyle saw and my performance in it that made him offer me Slumdog Millionaire, I thank my lucky stars for the love and support of the phenomenally talented showman @subhashghai1 saab and for 4 hugely successful milestone films with him!”

‘Taal’ released in 1999. The musical romantic drama is directed by Subhash Gahi. It was also dubbed in Tamil as ‘Thaalam’.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ was nominated for ten Academy Awards in 2009 and won eight, the most for any film in 2008.

The British drama film is loosely adapted from the novel ‘Q & A’ by Indian author Vikas Swarup, telling the story of 18-year-old Jamal Malik from the Juhu slums of Mumbai. Starring Dev Patel as Jamal, and filmed in India, it also stars Freida Pinto.

As a contestant on ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, Jamal surprises everyone by being able to answer every question correctly, winning 20 million. Accused of cheating, Jamal recounts his life story to the police, illustrating how he is able to answer each question correctly.

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Kareena opens up on her iconic character Poo having her own movie

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 Kareena Kapoor Khan’s over-the-top Poo from ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ is one of the most memorable and loved roles from the actress’s career. The Bollywood diva herself finds it unbelievable that even after 21 years of the film’s release the character is still relevant amongst all age-groups.

Kareena’s character Poo is not only known for her taste in fashion but also one liners such as “Kaun hai yeh jisne dobara mudke mujhe nahi dekha”, ‘P.H.A.T – Pretty, Hot And Tempting’ and “Tumhe koi haq nahi banta ki tum itni khoobsurat lago. Not fair” among many others.

Asked if she feels that Poo deserves a movie to herself, Kareena, in conversation with IANS, said: “Oh God! Like I think now this character is so relevant with this generation more than it was then.”

Kareena talks about what makes the character, which comes from Chandni Chowk in New Delhi and then moves to London with her sister essayed by Kajol and brother-in-law played by Shah Rukh Khan, have such a massive fan following.

“I think for the way she is, the way she talks, the kind of millennial Gen-Z kinda words that she uses connect somehow.”

The 41-year-old actress added: “So, I think it is because of that more than anything else. Let’s see a film someday, who knows.”

Kareena’s latest release is ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ starring Aamir Khan. The film is an adaptation of Tom Hanks’ iconic movie ‘Forest Gump’. It also stars Mona Singh and Naga Chaitanya.

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Jubin Nautiyal: Rarely do we get the opportunity to sing for a young college album

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Singer Jubin Nautiyal is all pepped up as his song ‘Naya Pyaar Naya Ehsaas’ from the film ‘Middle Class Love’ is out.

Jubin Nautiyal says: “Rarely do we get the opportunity of singing for a young college album. The film revives the genre for Hindi movies. I had such a great time working on the track Naya Pyaar Naya Ehsaas. It’s bound to take everyone back to their memories of first love. The innocence and warmth of the song will bring a smile to your face.”

Director Ratnaa Sinha recreates it for her upcoming ‘Middle Class Love’. The first song of the film’s album is titled ‘Naya Pyaar Naya Ehsaas’.

The song is written and scored by Himesh Reshammiya, and is sung by Jubin Nautiyal and Palak Mucchal. The song brings back the nostalgic vibe of first love, the first brush with romance and the joyous emotions it evokes.

Talking about the track, Himesh Reshammiya says: “This song will remind everyone of their first love. The song speaks about the feelings that one experiences when in love and how first love will always have a special place in your heart.”

“I have channelled my personal experiences with the music and I hope it touches everyone’s hearts.”

Palak Muchhal adds: “The melody of the song will touch the right chord with the audiences as it brings back the feeling of first love. It’s always a pleasure singing for Himesh Sir and I had such a great experience working with him and Jubin on this song. I hope this song makes everyone relish their fond memories of love!”

Director Ratnaa Sinha adds that Himesh has delivered a very wholesome album to me which is in sync with the film’s theme.

‘Middle Class Love’ stars Prit Kamani, Eisha Singh, Kavya Thapar and is directed by Ratnaa Sinha. The film is jointly produced by Anubhav Sinha’s Benaras Media Works and Zee Studios.

‘Middle Class Love’ is all set to release on September 16.

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