Padmavati private screenings: Industry experts debate the merits and demerits

Chaya Unnikrishnan (DNA; November 24, 2017)

In the face of the numerous controversies the unreleased film has got itself into, the makers of Padmavati decided to have a private screening of their yet-to-be-cleared by the Indian censor board film for people who they “felt” were important. This move was slammed by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief, Prasoon Joshi. Former CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani and trade analyst Amod Mehra give their point of view on this.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmavati has been under the scanner for more reasons than one. There are protests against the film, which is based on Chittorgarh’s Rani Padmini, for distortion of history while the CBFC has sent the film back citing technical reasons. Consequently, the release of the film, which was to hit the screens on December 1, has been deferred.

In the meantime, the makers organised select private screenings for the media, which hasn’t gone down well with the CBFC chief Joshi. “(It’s) disappointing that Padmavati is being screened for media and getting reviewed on national channels without CBFC having seen or certified the film,” he said in an interview. He added that the makers were doing this “to subvert the existing norm of film certification”.

However, Nihalani, producer and former CBFC chief, says that a filmmaker can show his film to anybody he wants to without a censor certificate. “But it’s wrong for people to comment on the film publicly. You cannot influence people or give your opinion,” he says. Trade analyst Mehra agrees with Nihalani saying, there is no written rule that one cannot show the film before it is certified.

“However, the unwritten law is that it can be shown only to those people who are concerned with the film like financiers and artistes. In the earlier days, the film used to be shown to the exhibitors from a business point of view. It was an unmarried print, with no background music, the sound was not good, mixing wasn’t done. These were ‘rushes’ shown for correction and consultancy, as they were trying to sell the film to distributors. But if you call somebody who will act on your behalf and do propaganda, it’s unethical,” he says.

Another hot debate that is going on is whether it is right for the makers to send their films abroad for an international release without a censor certificate from India. Most films release simultaneously in India and abroad, and since one doesn’t need prints anymore, it is done digitally. However, Nihalani says that without a censor certificate, films cannot be exported. “But because of the digital era, makers are taking advantage of the format, especially the corporate companies. Without an Indian censor certificate, films cannot be exported because of the Customs Rule. When I was the chairperson, I had noted that, raised objection, and taken affidavit from the people who had exported their films,” he says. Even when it comes to films that are sent to film festivals abroad, he says that a new policy has been passed, according to which movies cannot be sent to international festivals without a censor certificate!

Interestingly, that’s exactly what the makers of Padmavati have done as they have already got a censor certificate from Britain. This, according to Mehra, is illegal. “One can’t send films abroad without a censor certificate from India, so how can they get a certificate from there?” he questions

UK Censor Board clears Padmavati; Karni Sena says will stall show abroad

THE TIMES OF INDIA (November 24, 2017)

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has cleared Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmavati’ without any cuts there, prompting the Sri Rajput Karni Sena (SRKS) to declare, on Thursday, that its members would visit the UK to contest the controversial film’s release.

This came even as makers of Padmavati said they would wait for certification by India’s Central Board of Film Certification before screening the film in any part of the World. Viacom’s clarification followed a clearance, without cuts, to Padmavati, awarded to the film by the BBFC on Thursday. Britain’s film certification body has given Padmavati a 12A rating, which means the film must only be viewed by children above the age of 12, or if they are accompanied by an adult.

Viacom sources said they planned not to release the film anywhere in the world without the requisite clearance from the CBFC. “As the film was suppose to release on December 1, there are over 50 countries where this process (of certification) is on,” a source said. According to a PTI report, the BBFC describes the film as a “Hindi language epic drama in which a Sultan leads an invasion to capture a Rajput Queen” with a release date specified as December 1, 2017.

Speaking to TOI on phone, Sri Rajput Karni Sena (SRKS) patron Lokendra Singh Kalvi said if required, he would go to England to seek the support of various Hindu groups and NRI organizations and contest the movie’s release. He urged NRIs across the world to boycott ‘Padmavati’ and added that a team of SRKS activists would be present in England before the film’s release.

Kalvi said in Hyderabad he had written to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, urging her to use “India’s good diplomatic ties with England in this matter”. “The Indian government cannot pass orders to the British government, but to maintain good relations with India, I hope the British government will honour the sentiments of the people,” he said.

The Rajput Samaj of UK, which has already launched a boycott against ‘Padmavati’, said on Thursday it had written to the BBFC to revoke its certification.

Fatima Sana Shaikh and Daisy Shah have the constant attention of their Khan mentors?

Aamir Khan and Salman Khan
DNA (November 24, 2017)

In the past, it was filmmakers who obsessed over their muses, proteges, wards, discoveries — address them in any which way. However, now it is fast becoming the business of superstars, who along with their own careers are also supervising that of their wards.

Aamir Khan feels personally responsible for the career of Fatima Sana Shaikh, who played his daughter Geeta Phogat in the biggest Bollywood blockbuster of all times, Dangal (2016). Sources say that Aamir was instrumental in getting Fatima her next big break in Thugs of Hindostan. And, of course, in keeping with the demands of the role, the superstar-actor-filmmaker is taking a keen interest in everything she does. Whether it is her diet or exercise regime or even her costume choices for her film, Aamir evinces an interest in all of it.

Likewise Salman Khan, who gave Daisy Shah her big Bollywood break with Jai Ho (2014), continues to support her.

Daisy did break out for a bit on her own and try her hand at films, but nothing really came of it. Now, the tall actress, who towers above many on a film set, and is also a proficient dancer plays the second but essential lead in Salman’s upcoming thriller Race 3.

The actor with a large heart also continues to keep tabs on Daisy’s other professional requirements. Be it her wardrobe, her publicity, or her overall well-being on a film set, Salman asks to be kept informed. If Daisy has any complaints, she knows who to take them to.

Priyanka Chopra to party with Murder On The Orient Express actors Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz

Sanyukta Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 24, 2017)

Los Angeles-based filmmaker Aditya Sood, who is co-producing the British mystery drama Murder On The Orient Express, an eponymous screen adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel, is set to host an intimate bash for the cast and crew of the film, along with other stars, including Priyanka Chopra, at his residence. Also on the guest list are Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley and co-producer Ridley Scott.

“The dress code is Indian and the menu will feature biryani, tandoori chicken and kebabs. An Indian playlist is also being put together for the party, which will take place over the weekend,” a source close to the development told Mirror. Sood, whose repertoire boasts of films like The Martian, Deadpool 1 and 2, Designated Survivor and Artemis, has coproduced the film alongside British actor-filmmaker Kenneth Branagh (who is also directing the film), Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg, Mark Gordon, Michael Schaefer and Judy Hofflund.

Ahead of the film’s release, the makers have announced a sequel, titled Death On The Nile, another Agatha Christie adaptation. “The bash doubles up as a celebration of the film’s upcoming Indian release, as well as plans for the sequel,” the source adds. The film released internationally on November 10 and premiered in India at the 48th International Film Festival if India in Goa on Tuesday. For the sequel, Branagh is expected to return as the director and also reprise his role as Christie’s famed Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. According to the source, all concerned parties are yet to sign on the dotted line. The sequel follows Poirot’s Egyptian vacation, where he discovers a murder on the banks of the Nile and a love triangle gone bad.

Ayushmann Khurrana bags Junglee Pictures' Badhaai Ho; to be directed by Amit Sharma

Actor is collaborating with Junglee Pictures for a family entertainer which rolls early next year
Roshmila Bhattacharya (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 24, 2017)

Three months after the hit romcom, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Ayushmann Khurrana is reuniting with Junglee Pictures for another comedy which rolls at the end of January in Delhi. Badhaai Ho is a coming-of-age story of a family as it grapples with some unexpected news. The film follows the impact of the news on the family and how the members deal with it in their own way. It will be directed by Amit Sharma, who has helmed over a 1000 ad films, including the one on Google Reunion and a short film for Kashmir tourism, and made his feature film debut with the Arjun Kapoor-Sonakshi Sinha-starrer Tevar in 2015.

Confirming the news, Ayushmann says, "I had a fantastic experience collaborating with Junglee Pictures for Bareilly Ki Barfi and working with them on Badhaai Ho is going to be exciting. The story that Amit tells is typically Indian with dollops of quirky humour. I look forward to a family film that is innovative and entertaining."

Amit has been working on the script for the last two-and-a-half years with his writers, Akshat Ghildial and Shantanu Srivastava, since the former came up with a one-line story idea. While he refuses to divulge details for fear of giving away the plot twist, he admits that he fell in love with it instantly. "It's very real and easy to relate to. What is funny for others is a matter of concern for the family," Amit informs, revealing that coincidentally co-producer Priti Shahani had been working on a similar concept but after reading each other's scripts, they agreed that his was better and decided to collaborate.

Priti says, "Our release for this year, Bareilly Ki Barfi, received much love from the audience. It has been fantastic working with Ayushmann and we are now looking forward to collaborate with him again on Badhaai Ho. Amit is an exceptional director as is evident from his body of work. We couldn't have asked for a better team coming together to tell this story."

On his choice of the hero, Amit reasons that Ayushmann who has brought taboo subjects like sperm donation, body-shaming and erectile dysfunction to the screen, is a likeable and relatable actor.

On the catchy title he adds that Badhaai Ho was the working title from day one, and while he had intended to change it along the way, he quickly realised that it's simple, apt, quirky and a part of many people's everyday lingo. "I hope one day soon people will tell me 'Badhai Ho' too," he signs off with a laugh.

Pakistan doesn't value its artistes-Adnan Sami

Two years after he procured his Indian citizenship, Adnan Sami reflects on what prompted him to switch nationalities; singer to perform live in India for the first time
Sonil Dedhia (MID-DAY; November 24, 2017)

Former Pakistani national Adnan Sami seems unperturbed while chronicling the struggles he faced from the neighbouring country, even confessing to being bullied by social media users online. As he celebrates three years since he procured Indian citizenship in December 2015, the singer tells mid-day how Pakistan gave him little hope as an artiste.

"Pakistan doesn't value its artistes. I will get trolled for what I have said, but, that is the reality. It is unfortunate. Pakistan never valued Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan saab until English songwriter Peter Gabriel started collaborating with him. After that, the country suddenly realised that it has an amazing talent. This is the story of a lot of artistes there."

Following a decade-long struggle to receive an Indian passport, Sami was denied Pakistani citizenship a month before he became an Indian national. The move has left the singer with bitter memories. "The way the Pakistani government treated me is only testimony to the ill-treatment meted out to artistes. There was outrage against me. People were amazed that I had applied for citizenship in India. I don't give a damn about getting trolled. I have earned immense respect and love in India," says Sami, who is gearing up for his first live performance in the country.

That the neighbouring country has also failed to condemn terror attacks perpetrated against India has also irked the singer. He points out that while Pakistani artistes have condemned the attacks in Orlando (2016) and Munich, few spoke against the September 2016 Uri attacks in India. "When Indians have loved and embraced Pakistani artistes, why can't the latter come out in their support when injustice has been meted out to the people? No one wants these artistes to wage a war against their government. People didn't demand that they condemn their own country. They just expected them to say something for the sake of humanity," Sami says, as he recalls Mahesh Bhatt pleading Pakistani artistes "with folded hands" to condemn the attacks.

Sami is looking forward to performing at the charitable event, World's Biggest Guestlist Festival, which will educate one lakh underprivileged kids. "It is surprising that I have never performed live here. I am happy that with one performance, I will be able to educate so many kids. I will always be proud of this."

Sami first grew to fame with the chart-topper, Lift Kara De (2000) with Govinda. Ever since, he has collaborated with several Bollywood artistes, including Rani Mukerji, Ameesha Patel and Dia Mirza.

I injured my foot so I am on a break from badminton-Shraddha Kapoor

Shraddha Kapoor on training for Amole Gupte's Saina biopic and the Prabhas-starrer trilingual for which she is learning Telugu
Sanyukta Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 24, 2017)

Over 4000 Goans queued up to catch a glimpse of Shraddha Kapoor, who was hard to miss at the sea-facing Bioscope Village in Panjim. The 30-year-old actress, accompanied by aunt Padmini Kolhapure, was to meet Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and inaugurate a mobile theatre at an Entertainment Society of Goa event. Also present at the event were filmmaker Subhash Ghai.

During the three-hour visit to the state, Shraddha crooned "Galliyaan" for her fans and binged on Goan delicacies with her actress-aunt. "This reminds me of the time we filmed Aashiqui 2 here," she gushed. Her schedule may have been choc-o-bloc but Shraddha reveals to Mirror that she is on a month-long break from Amole Gupte's biopic on badminton ace Saina Nehwal, for which she had been undergoing rigorous training till recently. "The sport is just amazing. It makes me feel energised, alive and also de-stressed. But recently, I injured my foot so I am on a break from badminton. I will resume practice as soon as I get the all-clear from the doctor," she adds.

Then, there's the Prabhas-starrer, the Tamil-Telugu-Hindi trilingual Saaho, which is being shot simultaneously in all the three languages with Shraddha dubbing for her own dialogue in Telugu. "I am enjoying the process of delivering my own lines in a different language. I find it easier because I speak Marathi, thanks to my mom (Shivangi Kapoor) and aunts. Also, growing up in a bit of a cocktail set-up of Punjabis (father Shakti Kapoor's side) and Maharashtrians, one tends to pick up words from different languages. I am ready to dub in the other South Indian languages too. If my director (Sujeeth) asks me, I'm up for it," Shraddha asserts.

The actress shoots down reports that suggested she had reservations about the film before coming on board. "Not at all," she is quick on the uptake, adding, "I said 'yes' immediately and was thrilled with the narration. It's a fabulous script."

Her last four releases — Rock On 2, OK Jaanu, Haseena Parker and Half Girlfriend — were lavishly-mounted productions that failed to live up to expectations at the box-office. Quite uncharacteristically for an actress, Shraddha doesn't avoid the topic. "My initial films — Aashiqui 2, EK Villain, and, even a year ago Baaghi — did phenomenally well. So anything that does not match up to those numbers gets viewed as a project that fell short," she reasons, subsequently recalling how she was ready to walk away from Bollywood after her debut film, Teen Patti, tanked. "But I stuck it out and worked really hard. Regardless how my films fared, the love I have received is priceless. Ups and down are a part of life but I just hope I keep making everyone proud," she signs off with a smile.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vishal Bhardwaj part ways post their fallout?

Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vishal Bhardwaj
Nayandeep Rakshit (DNA; November 24, 2017)

Recently, there was news that Vishal Bhardwaj is producing a film that would feature Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Aditi Rao Hydari in lead roles. However, it looks like the project won’t materialize.

Vishal and Nawaz were happy to associate with each other, but things fell apart soon after. A source tells us, “Vishal and Nawaz are not on talking terms anymore. They had a huge fallout after they had creative differences on the film. They had issues regarding the story and the narrative. So, they decided to part ways before the project went any further.” Vishal’s venture was a romcom — a space that Nawaz has not been seen in for the last few years.

Although none of Nawazuddin’s last few solo releases have hit the jackpot, the source says that the actor’s demands have only been increasing. “He was acting pricey as well. Nawaz’s attitude left everyone involved on the film extremely miffed,” adds our khabri.

After Nawaz backed out of the film, Vishal has moved on, too. Our source reveals, “Vishal is not thinking of a replacement now. He has pushed ahead this film indefinitely. Meanwhile, Vishal plans to produce another film along with the Honey Trehan film, that stars Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan.”

Adhyayan Suman is dating a Delhi speech therapist

Upala KBR (MID-DAY; November 24, 2017)

After hitting headlines last year following his allegations against former flame Kangana Ranaut, Adhyayan Suman appears to have moved on to find love elsewhere. Losing his heart to a Delhi-based clinical audiology and speech therapist, Shekhar Suman's son has expressed his emotions via melody. He has composed the Punjabi-Hindi single, Main Saare Nu Chadiya, inspired by his lady love, and is set to release the song next month.

Suman tells mid-day about the Harshit Chouhan-composition, "The title implies, I have left everyone for you. Harshit has written the lyrics as well, but, the emotions behind them reflect how I feel. An artiste must find inspiration. Mine is love; it's something that I have always believed in."

Suman says a common friend introduced him to his love interest. She supports him through his struggles, he says. "We fell in love a few months ago. She was the first person to hear the song. She loved it."

Shooting for the track recently concluded in Goa. While Suman hasn't been formally trained, he finds music "therapeutic", something that "he is passionate about". He has already kicked-off work on his second track, Manjaa Ve, also about love. "I have moved on from my past relationship."

Padmavati postponed; Firangi and Tera Intezaar to now release on Dec 1

Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; November 24, 2027)

With the deferral of Padmavati leaving windows open for fresh releases over the December 1 weekend, Bollywood filmmakers have been revising their respective releases. mid-day has learnt that Kapil Sharma’s second Bollywood outing, Firangi, will now clash with Sunny Leone’s Tera Intezaar, also featuring Arbaaz Khan, on the first weekend next month. Both the films were set to hit screens this month.

With the Sharma-starrer yet to procure the CBFC’s nod, the filmmakers have decided to postpone the release. Highlighting the reason behind the December date being profitable, a source says, “By then Vidya Balan’s Tumhari Sulu will be old. The film is amassing viewers due to positive word of mouth, thus, any other release next week will suffer.”