Fenil's Bollywood Talk # 478


Finally the industry has some reason to cheer. Akshay Kumar’s recent release Toilet – Ek Prem Katha has turned out to be a huge hit. It didn’t have a great opening as such but it picked up dramatically from Day 2. Sunday was even better. But it was Monday collections which remained strong that ensured that the film is a ‘lambi race ka ghoda’. Tuesday obviously was great due to Independence Day holiday. Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is expected to do better in Week 2 as well, as there’s sadly not much of competition. Two films are about to release this Friday and while both seem interesting, the buzz is limited. My views:

BAREILLY KI BARFI: It stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Kriti Sanon and Rajkummar Rao and is directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, who charmed us all with Nil Battey Sannata. As the name suggests, the film is based in a small town and from the trailers, it looks interesting and quirky. Music hasn’t worked and also, the excitement is very limited for the film. The film is expected to have a poor opening but can pick up if word of mouth is positive. 2 ½ years ago, Dum Laga Ke Haisha similarly picked up after a disastrous opening. Bareilly Ki Barfi can also go the same way if public response is encouraging.

VIP 2 LALKAR: This is the sequel to the hit Tamil film Velaiilla Pattadhari. The sequel is also in Tamil and it’s Hindi dubbed version is called VIP 2 Lalkar. It’s releasing in Hindi after the dubbed Baahubali 2 did extraordinary business. Also, Dhanush and Kajol are in the leading role and both are reputed as Bollywood actors as well. But the buzz for the dubbed Hindi version is just not there. Its opening will be even less than Bareilly Ki Barfi and it won’t remain in theatres for a long time. Yet, cost-wise, the makers won’t be in the red as the film’s cost is limited and they have made a huge profit from its Tamil version that released a week ago.


Toilet - Ek Prem Katha collects 81.50 cr in 5 days

Toilet:Ek Prem Katha, akshay kumar, bhumi pednekar, Toilet:Ek Prem Katha stills, Toilet:Ek Prem Katha pics 
Box Office India Trade Network

TOILET - EK PREM KATHA had growth of around 60% on the holiday for Independence Day and it grossed around 19.50 crore nett apprx. This has taken the business of the film too 81.50 crore nett in five days and this has happened when the first day was just a little more than 11.50 crore nett.

It has had an extraordinary run from the second day onward. The way the film is going it looks like it will cross the business of the other Akshay Kumar release JOLLY LLB 2 in nine days flat. The film has a strong trend though the first noticeable drop will come today but still the collections will be good for a Wednesday and the film is set for a solid run over the next 3-4 weeks. The five day collections of TOILET - EK PREM KATHA are as follows.
Friday - 11,71,00,000
Saturday - 17,00,00,000 apprx
Sunday - 21,25,00,000 apprx
Monday - 12,00,00,000 apprx
Tuesday - 19,50,00,000 apprx
TOTAL - 81,50,00,00,000

The business on the holiday for Independence day was excellent in UP, Bihar and Maharashtra as many cities in these states recorded better collections than Sunday. The film has tax exemption in UP and it is expected to get exemptions in Maharashtra and Gujarat also which could boost business further though these exemptions have to come into play soon as if its in the third or fourth week. Then business is at lower levels and tax exemptions have a limited affect.

If Dilip Kumar & I had a son, he might have looked like Shah Rukh Khan-Saira Banu

Saira Banu recounts details from SRK's visit on Tuesday with daughter Suhana; says other two Khans, Aamir and Salman, also regularly check on ailing actor
Roshmila Bhattacharya (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 17, 2017)

On August 15, at around 6.45 pm, Shah Rukh Khan dropped by Dilip Kumar's Bandra residence to visit the ailing legend. Saira Banu informs Mirror that the actor had called earlier, when Dilip saab was hospitalised, apologising for not being there as he was travelling for the promotions of his upcoming film, Jab Harry Met Sejal. “On Tuesday, he called to say that he wanted to see saab and since he's like family, I told him he was welcome to come by anytime. He came with his daughter Suhana who I had seen as a child and who has grown into a tall and beautiful young girl,“ she says affectionately.

She recalls her first meeting with SRK decades ago, at a star-studded event, in Dubai. The actor was new to the industry then and had been signed by Hema Malini for her directorial debut, Dil Aashna Hai. “We went for the muhurat of the film too. Dilip saab gave the ceremonial clap which was picturised on Shah Rukh,“ Saira reminisces. “I have always said that if we had a son, he might have looked like Shah Rukh. Both he and saab are a lot alike and have similar hair, which is why I like to run my fingers through Shah Rukh's when we meet. This time he asked me, 'Aaj aap mere baalon ko haath nahin laga rahi hain?' I was happy to,“ she says.

So, what did they discuss over coffee, you wonder. She won't share details but admits that they did talk about films, in particular Devdas. “Shah Rukh pointed out that in one particular scene in his Devdas, he looked very much like Dilip saab. We haven't seen his last three-four films because we have been going through some tough times these last few years. When I told him this, Shah Rukh told me to tell him when we wanted to see the films and he would organise a screening for us at his private theatre in his bungalow, Mannat. I've never been there before but years ago, he had taken saab's autograph on a life-size poster of Madhubala as Anarkali holding her Salim tightly after Badshah Akbar catches them romancing in the garden. I'm told that he has had that mounted in his screening theatre,“ she says, raving about how down-to-earth the actor is despite his phenomenal stardom and how he was really concerned and enquiring about Dilip saab's treatment.

Admitting that Dilip saab was drowsy from all the medicines that evening, she smiles over how Shah Rukh sat close to him, hugged him gently and kissed him on the forehead. “I even saw him chanting a dua under his breath and blowing it on saab's face. He was there for saab's 89th birthday too and sat close to us, holding his hand and mine,“ she says, remembering a Filmfare shoot a few years ago, commemorating 100 years of Indian cinema, with Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh on the terrace of their bungalow. “It was beautiful seeing the legends from three generations in action and interaction. It was a moment of history caught in a frame and all those present had tears in their eyes.“

It's not just Shah Rukh. Saira has fond words for the other two Khans - Aamir and Salman - as well. She points out that Aamir is always just a call away in case of an emergency or even a request from some member of the family to a meeting. “He goes out of his way to comply with such requests and is constantly in touch. So is family friend Salim Khan and his son Salman. They often drop by, on festivals and occasions like saab's birthday. Shah Rukh was the one who was difficult to reach over the last two-three years. When I pointed this out to him, he admitted that he has been out of the country on shoots a lot but promised to be more connected now. Saab's taught me that it's important to be accessible to senior actors when they are old and ailing,“ says Saira, recalling visits with Dilip saab to Raj Kapoor, Om Prakash and Ashok Kumar when they were unwell. “These youngsters are good boys, God bless them!“

Theatre owners will be severely hit due to video streaming services-Shah Rukh Khan

Sonil Dedhia (MID-DAY; August 17, 2017)

Navigating through previous trends that defined history, it’s hardly difficult to judge that video-streaming platforms will alter content consumption, and eventually the business of cinema in the near future. A few weeks before reports of Salman Khan striking a deal with Amazon Prime, which gave the streaming giant exclusive screening rights to all his films even before they hit television, it was Shah Rukh Khan who brought attention to the trend by striking a similar deal with Netflix.

Addressing the imminent growth of the platform, Khan says, “There is a possibility that theatre owners will be severely hit.” The actor cites that content on demand services makes films available to cinephiles at their convenience, a luxury that will soon be synonymous to our lifestyle. “In the future, an individual’s lifestyle will not depend on how much money is available in the bank, but on the freedom of doing whatever he wants to do and wherever he wants to do it.”

Yet, synonymous to a shopping portal’s inability to replicate the experience of personally purchasing goods, video-streaming platforms will fail at providing the ambience that cinemas do, says Khan. “I don’t think the business will fade into oblivion. There will be films that people would want to watch in theatres. In fact, the atmosphere in cinema halls has changed. I recently caught a film in a theatre which had recliner seats, blankets and a butler service. So, people are going to be enticed by the luxury.”

Not Akshay Kumar but Hrithik Roshan is in talks for the biopic on Anand Kumar

DNA (August 17, 2017)

Bihar’s Math wizard Anand Kumar visited Hrithik Roshan at his home last week for the proposed biopic to be directed by Vikas Bahl. While he was there, he dropped in to meet Akshay Kumar who resides in the same building. The dual visit began speculation on the matter of who will play Anand on screen: Hrithik or Akshay?

But Anand puts all speculation to rest, saying, “I had gone to meet Hrithikji for the role. Then I got to know Akshayji lives in the same building. I am a big admirer of the work he’s doing, so I decided to drop in to say a quick namaskaar to Akshayji. He was grace personified. There is nothing more to my brief meeting with him.” Hope that puts all speculation to rest.

With Katrina Kaif and me, things are quite transparent and real-Anushka Sharma

Nayandeep Rakshit (DNA; August 17, 2017)

More often than not, whenever two actors work together, there are always differences — over ego, ideology and even star power. Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif will share screen space for the second time in Aanand L Rai’s movie with Shah Rukh Khan, after working well together in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. The fact that they get along with each other off screen helps with the on-screen chemistry. The actresses reveal why they are happy co-stars...

Katrina Kaif
I think the working environment should be pleasant for everybody. The less stress, the better it is. If there’s any conflict between two people, it doesn’t make for a nice environment for anyone. But it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. Everyone has become really, really professional when it comes to work. We come, we work, and we go home. Aanand’s film has a really good script and I’m happy that Anushka is in the film. She is a very simple, chilled out person to work with and that’s great.

Anushka Sharma
Whether I get along with someone or don’t, doesn’t matter. I don’t need to get along with everybody around me. It’s just the vibe thing. Sometimes, you feel the vibe and connect with someone, sometimes you don’t. How you are in a place and how the other person is, that’s what matters. They can’t be pretentious. It can’t be that they are being normal and you are not being normal or the other way round. All these things do play a role. I’m happy that with Katrina and me, things are quite transparent and real!

Ranbir Kapoor-Ayan Mukerji's next is the most ambitious film we’ve worked on-Karan Johar

Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; August 17, 2017)

Otherwise restrained when discussing his forthcoming ventures, Karan Johar was uninhibited while addressing the press on his production house's superhero venture, tentatively titled Dragon. “It will be a trilogy and is the most ambitious film we’ve worked on,” Johar said, as he heaped praise on his leading man, Ranbir Kapoor. “Ranbir is a big part of Dharma. We have had a great innings with him so far and are looking forward to the next one.”

Addressing the media at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, Johar said the unit will commence shooting on the currently-untitled film in October or November. “The title will be decided within a month. We have spent a lot of time on the script.”

Even though he is among the most celebrated names in the industry, with hits like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai ( 9 > > = ) , Kal Ho Naa Ho ( : 8 8 9 ) and Dostana ( : 8 8 ; ) to his credit, Johar feels his contribution to cinema has been limited. The producer-filmmaker says he’s yet to taste the success that those who helmed the likes of Rang De Basanti ( : 8 8 < ) and Lagaan ( : 8 8 9 ) did. With his hopes pinned on this Ayan Mukerji- directed film, we hear Johar even requested that the former rework the script to make Kapoor’s character stronger. “I am willing to take the risk of making this film because I’m craving to make my mark in Indian cinema. Dangal ( : 8 9 < ) has opened the doors for actors, who are now willing to get out of their comfort zone. Cinema needs a new order. We need to break the system and build it such that we only offer a hefty paycheck to actors if the script is given the same amount of importance. We should spend the money on building the film and writing the content instead of paying exorbitant fees to stars.”

I would not wait to say yes if a mad comedy comes my way-Kajol

Nayandeep Rakshit (DNA; August 17, 2017)

Most ’90s heroines are opting to star in rather dark, gritty dramas, with a social message. Whether it’s Raveena Tandon Thadani in Maatr or Sridevi in Mom, the 40-something divas aren’t picking happy films.

However, Kajol wants to be different. There was some comedy in Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale, but she is waiting for a mad comedy, she admits. “I would love to do something like Ishq again. It was mad, funny and extremely entertaining. I’m hoping someone approaches me for a film like that.” She adds, “I think in the ’90s, we really made some great entertaining films. Although nobody has offered me a comedy like that now, I would not wait to say yes if something comes my way.” Filmmakers, take note.

My daughters don’t gossip at all-Arjun Rampal

Arjun Rampal
Nayandeep Rakshit (DNA; August 17, 2017)

Arjun Rampal’s upcoming film Daddy is a biopic on Arun Gawli, in which the actor plays the title role. In reality, Arjun is an extremely protective father. Dad to daughters Mahikaa (15) and Myra (12), Arjun is an easy-going father. He admittedly doesn’t have any ground rules for his daughters. He allows them the freedom in the hope that they don’t choose to rebel at some point. Over a cup of coffee, Arjun opens up on life as a dad. Read on...

You have transformed your look completely for Daddy. How did your daughters react?
They were like, ‘No, no, not again’. I remember last time they really freaked out was when I shaved my head for Ra.One. And then when I did this for Daddy, they asked me why I always do this. But again, I think they know by now that their father does this kind of stuff and they also admire that. They are getting old enough to understand that I go to this level and they like it.

As a father, did you restrict them from watching your films?
No. Whatever they want to watch, they will watch. Even today, if they don’t like any film of mine, they won’t watch it. It’s entirely their decision. I can’t be a parent who forces things on my kids. My children are my friends. You should not instill fear in them because that creates a gap in relationships. And that has become an easy thing to do today because there are so many other distractions in the form of WhatsApp, social media and what not. It takes up half your day and I see people spending so much time looking down at their phones that their necks have bent. It’s just ridiculous. The best that we can do is to not give them any fear, don’t make rules and spend time with them as friends so that they can feel secure and share everything with you.

How do you make sure that they remain unaffected by whatever is written about you?
Social media is a part of your life right now. If people want to talk about things, they do. I don’t care. People who are close to you — your kids, you wife, your family — they just know the truth. I just read a few days ago that I’m going to meet Al Capone’s family (laughs). So what do you do? You take it with a pinch of salt and move on. It doesn’t influence anyone forever. Today, you are the news, tomorrow someone else will take up that space. We all are moving targets. News is sensationalised, but now sensationalism is also boring for the audience. You cannot think children today are stupid. They are very smart, they know everything that’s happening around. My kids don’t gossip at all. In fact, this new generation, I feel, hates gossip and that’s what I love about them. They are very, very positive and into their own scene, whatever it may be. They are into sports, games, reading or just information.

How protective are you as a father?
That’s a natural instinct. Any parent is protective of their kids. Obviously I am, too. When you have kids, you will be protective about your children just like your parents are protective about you. I just met Suhana and Aryan (Shah Rukh Khan’s children) on a flight recently. They have both grown up and are so beautiful. They have wonderful manners and are so polite. That shows your upbringing. That reflects how your parents are. These things that come and go, shouldn’t bother them. Which is why, like I said, you need to talk to them as a friend and make them feel secure. So that they feel solid and it doesn't affect their personalities.

Have you kept that space open where you can talk to them about their personal life?
Of course! That’s what I mean when I say that we are friends. There has to be space where they can talk to me about anything and everything. If you make rules or say that don't talk to boys, no guys at home, come home by this time, do this, don’t do that and so on, you will create a rebel there. The whole idea is that you also know that when someone said no to something, you wanted it the most. That’s human psyche. That's how kids, or young adults behave. It’s very difficult for people to digest a no. So I’m like, ‘Go try it. Find out for yourself.’

Anil Kapoor had said that his daughters’ friends become closer to him once they meet him. What about you — are you friends with Mahikaa and Myra's buddies?
Right now, they are really small. So, I will look like a giant to them (laughs). I think, slowly, as they get older, I will have a lot more interaction with their friends. And I would love to meet them, get to know them better. It’s always good to have that. It’s healthy.

Are they your personal critics?
They are not critics at all. I don’t remember them not liking any films of mine in the last two three years. They have watched most of my films that came.

Between you and Mehr, who says yes more often?
We both have our share of it. There are certain things, which they know I don’t like. I hate it when they sit with their phones and iPads at the dining table when the family is about to eat together. Mehr doesn't care about that and she does that with them. There are different things like that. But she’s definitely more hands-on than I am. I’m out most of the times because of my work.

If your daughters want to act in films, how would you react?
I would be totally comfortable with whatever they decide to do. I think Bollywood is a great industry and it’s a great profession. It requires a lot of dedication, hard work, education, study, self-discipline and you need to have all these qualities when you want to be part of an industry where you will be creating a body of work that you will leave eventually.

Have they ever expressed their desire to do films?
They are again, too young. But the elder one (Mahikaa) is into theatre. She likes it a lot. And the younger one (Myra) is a full-on drama queen. I’m sure she will join the industry. It is also because when you see your parents doing something ever since you are born, you certainly have an inclination towards their profession. But even if they choose to do something else, Mehr and I will support them.

Priyanka Chopra back in Mumbai to look for leading man in Gustaakhiyaan?

Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; August 17, 2017)

Having completed her Hollywood film Isn’t It Romantic?, it’s Bollywood calling for Priyanka Chopra, who returns to the bay today.

While her customary brand assignments will take up some of her time over the two-week-long stay, sources suggest that the primary reason for her Mumbai trip is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gustaakhiyaan. The actor, along with Bhansali, hopes to zero in on a leading man for the project. She is taking keen interest in the love saga as it will be her first Hindi release post her switch to Hollywood films.

Our source informs, “The film’s leading man has to be finalised within this month. Though Bhansali is neck deep in work with Padmavati, he wants to start this film by mid-2018.”

While Irrfan and Abhishek Bachchan were tipped to play the role, the period drama finds itself without a male lead even after months of scouting at Bhansali’s end. Adds the source, “The film’s pre-production has to be completed latest by March next year. So working backwards, the lead cast has to be decided before the pre-production begins.”

In an earlier interview in July, the actor’s mother, Madhu Chopra had told us, “Everything about Gustaakhiyaan is Sanjay sir’s call. Priyanka is happy to be guided entirely by his vision. She would’ve wanted to co-produce the movie but the discussion on that is yet to happen. This film goes completely with her sensibilities — it’s lyrical and romantic.”

Over the next 15 days, besides locking the cast of her next, Chopra will also chalk out the promotional strategy for Pahuna, her Sikkimese production, which is slated for a world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival next month. “She is extremely passionate about the project and wants to chalk out a great promotional strategy. Since the film is up at TIFF, she wants the finished product to be perfect and will be overseeing work on the film’s final edit,” adds the source.