Rani Mukerji to play cop in Mardaani
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Rani Mukerji will play the role of a cop in Mardaani, her first release post marriage to Aditya Chopra.
The Yash Raj Film, out on August 22, is directed by Pradeep Sarkar, who last directed Rani in the 2007 film Laaga Chunari Mein Daag.
Rani plays Shivani Shivaji Roy, an astute cop working in a Mumbai Crime Branch unit, who stumbles into the kidnapping case of a teenage girl.
Shivani embarks on an obsessive hunt for the girl and what follows is a cat and mouse game between a fearless cop and a ruthless mafia kingpin.
Rani will play the role of a cop for the first time in her career in the movie, which is also a distinct departure for Sarkar, formerly known for his films like Parineeta and Lafangey Parindey.
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Image: Rani Mukerji on the poster of Mardaani
Rahman to perform live for Raj Kapoor's grandson
Music maestro AR Rahman has composed music for Lekar Hum Deewana Dil, the debut film of Bollywood 'showman' Raj Kapoor's younger grandson Armaan Jain, and will perform at a live concert, scheduled next month in Mumbai.
Rahman had also performed live at an unplugged concert for Imtiaz Ali's Rockstar starring Ranbir Kapoor.
'Having composed all the songs, the makers of the movie revealed that Rahman has taken his unique music-making-process to a new level and has created something radically different from his previous compositions,' producers said in a statement.
The groovy party number Khalifa from the film will take centre stage at the performance on June 12.
Lekar Hum Deewana Dil is directed by Imtiaz Ali's younger brother Arif and is scheduled to release on July 4.
Image: AR Rahman
Photographs: Stringer India /Reuters
Malayalam blockbuster Idukki Gold to be remade in Hindi
Malayalam blockbuster Idukki Gold, directed by Aashiq Abu, is all set to be remade in Hindi. The shooting is likely to begin next year.
"Talks are on to make the Hindi version of the film and I will most probably be directing it," Abu said.
Idukki Gold, released last year, is about a trip down memory lane for five friends in their 50s. The senior characters in the movie were played by Pratap Pothen, Raveendran (a popular actor in Malayalam and Tamil movies in the late 1970s and 1980s), Maniyanpillai Raju, Vijayaraghavan and Babu Antony.
Abu had made his debut with Mammootty starrer Daddy Cool in 2009.
The Tamil, Telugu and Hindi remake rights of his hit film Salt N Pepper has been acquired by actor-director Prakash Raj.
"I guess shooting for all versions has been completed, and it will be released soon," he says.
The 2012 film 22 Female Kottayam, starring Rima Kallingal and Fahad Fazil was a benchmark in his career as the strong woman-centric movie skyrocketed Abu into the top bracket of directors and fetched him a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Director.
However, its remake in Tamil Malini 22 Palayamkottai with Nithya Menen reprising Kallingal's role was not successful.
"The concept was bought but then others express it in their own way, they have their own perspective. To tell you the truth, I have not seen it," he adds.
Abu's next project is with Prithviraj and the movie is titled Valathuvasathe Kallan (Thief on the right side).
"Jesus was crucified between two thieves, and the story is that the thief on the right side was a good thief, but the film has nothing to do with Christ. It is kind of a satire. We are scouting for new faces for the movie," he said.
Image: A scene from Idukki Gold
Hansal Mehta: I only know realistic cinema
National-award-winning director Hansal Mehta, who has made the upcoming film City Lights, says he only understands the grammar of realistic cinema and aims at telling true stories.
City Lights, releasing this Friday, stars actor Rajkummar Rao and debutante Patralekha. It is a story of migrant workers from Rajasthan, who come to Mumbai in search of a better living.
"I don't understand anything other than real cinema. I try to keep the stories as true as they can be," the director said.
Mehta's last film Shahid was based on the life of lawyer Shahid Azmi, who was assassinated in Mumbai in 2010.
The director said City Lights is a story of human emotions and the journey of the film was emotional for him.
"It is a special film and I take great pride in it. The film affected me so much that I don't know what I will do after it is released," he told reporters in Mumbai.
Producer Mahesh Bhatt said that City Lights brings back the kind of cinema he directed in 1990s and 1980s.
"Hansal Mehta helped me revive the cinema of Zakhm and Saaransh... We will now kickstart that stream which ran dry. Hence the success of City Lights is very important for us," said Bhatt.
Mehta's film is an official adaptation of British-Filipino movie Metro Manila but there are differences between the two movies as the director has not watched the 2013 film. It had been Britain's entry to the Oscars.
"Rajkummar and I have not watched the movie so there are bound to be some differences. For instance, the scene where Rajkummar is drunk was conceptualised on the spot," he said.
Image: Hansal Mehta
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar
Lara Dutta: I am focusing on doing films now
Lara Dutta, who had taken a sabbatical post the birth of her baby, says she is focusing on movies now and will be shooting for a film this year.
Lara married Indian tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi in 2010 and in January 2012, she delivered a baby girl.
"Right now, I am focusing only on doing films. I am definitely going to be back in films, you will see me soon. I am shooting this year, the release is not in my hands. I can't talk about which films I am doing," Lara said at a media interaction.
"Everyone knows that we are doing a sequel to Chalo Delhi, that is in pre-production stage. I am quite excited about it. Besides this, there are films that I am doing outside my production house," she said.
Chalo Dilli (2011), directed by Shashant Shah, had Lara and Vinay Pathak in the lead and Akshay Kumar in a guest appearance. Now, Lara is getting ready to roll a sequel, reportedly titled Chalo China.
"There is a lot happening this year with my production house Bheegi Basanti Entertainment. We are producing films and TV shows," she said.
Though Bollywood actors are seen on the small screen, Lara is clear she won't be coming on television.
Image: Lara Dutta
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar