Neetu Chandra debut in a Greek movie

Panaji: After being part of Bhojpuri, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu films, Neetu Chandra has made her debut in a Greek movie in which she plays an Indian Goddess of Love.

Titled ‘Block 12′, the film directed by Kyriacos Tofarides, has been included in the Cinema of the World section of IFFI this year.

“This script was written five years back. This is my first international film and I play an Indian goddess in the film. It’s a beautiful love story,” Chandra said.

‘Block 12′ is based on the issue of how big powers manipulate the resources and people of the country. The film is a political, allegorical comedy with plenty of surrealism, social satire and magical realism.

When asked about the difference she found in filmmaking in India and Greece, the 29-year-old actress said, “Every industry has its own ups and downs but people over there are much disciplined. They start their shoot on time. But the film industry in India is much richer than the Greeks.”

Tofaridez said that he chose Chandra after recommendations from his Indian co-producers.

“My co-producers are in India they suggested me some actress and then I ended up selecting Neetu,” he said.

Tofarides also said that India has a great history in cinema and was impressed by the Hindi movie ‘Mother India’ and others which depict deep values of Indian society. The Cyprus-born director said that in comparison to Greek films, India produces many films on diversified issues.


Sharmila Tagore still ruling Bollywood

New Delhi: Sharmila Tagore feels that male actors are still dominating the film industry and scripts are especially written for them.

The 68-year-old National-award winner said actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah are still ruling Bollywood but their female counterparts are lost somewhere as there are no films for these ageing actresses.

“It is not uncommon to see heroes in their late forties romancing women just out of their teens, but the opposite is rarely the case. Scripts are specially written for an Amitabh Bachchan or even an Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah but the same is not true for an ageing actress,” said Tagore, who was a part of an event to discuss on ‘Representation of Women in Indian Cinema and beyond’ at the 19th Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture.

The ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ star feels that in today’s time portrayal of women in mainstream films is merely cosmetic.

“Films continue to brandish an image of women which is largely decorative and secondary. Of course, there are expectations as parallel cinema and some regional cinema present women in an entirely different, more equal and realistic light.

“But the mainstream Hindi cinema, which is the dominant film industry in the country, changes are merely cosmetic,” she added.

Having started her career as a child actress in Satyajit Ray’s 1959 Bengali film ‘Apur Sansar’, Tagore recalled that she was asked by her principal to leave the school as would be a bad influence to other girls.

“No women from any strata of society was prepared to work in such a lowly profession,” she said.

But she feels that her marriage to the legendary cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan changed the perception of media and society towards her.

“My marriage exercised the imagination of the media and the public to a great extent. They had obviously brought into the arguments our films prescribed, namely that marriage and career were not compatible. Yet, in my case, the combination of marriage, motherhood and film career did not cause any friction,” Tagore said.

The actress feels that women are still not on par with their male counterparts irrespective of the fact that ‘women empowerment’ is one of the main slogans of every political party.

“Today, women’s empowerment is a government slogan, it is a feature of every party manifesto. Yet in the second decade of 21st century, Indian women seemingly protected by law…,” she added.


Deepika Padukone is in no mood to rest

New Delhi: She has scored a hat-trick of hits on the Bollywood pitch, with each film offering a different flavour of her versatile talent, but Deepika Padukone is in no mood to rest. She is raring to go with more multifarious roles and says she will continue to give them all her 100 percent.

Her first big hit of the year, ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ saw her impress the audience as nerdy Naina, and she followed up its success with her South Indian act as Meenamma in the box office record-breaking ‘Chennai Express’.

Deepika’s latest release ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’, in which she plays a Gujarati girl, has also made its way to the Rs.100 crore club.

“It is magical,” the 27-year-old told us on phone as she shared her sentiment post the film’s success, but she was quick to add that “nothing has changed”.

Her debut in Hindi films was like a fairytale – she entered with Shah Rukh Khan in 2007 blockbuster ‘Om Shanti Om’ and the reincarnation drama turned out to be a perfect springboard for the success and popularity that she continues to revel in even today. In fact, she is enjoying much more.

However, a career graph can’t be “planned”, says the tall and dusky beauty, who made a natural transition from the modelling world to the big screen.

“I’ve always believed that everyone has one’s own pattern, the only thing that I can do is to work with the best of my ability, to work honestly and whole-heartedly and to know that I’m giving your 100 percent. I think the results follow eventually,” said Deepika, who is the daughter of Ujjala and former badminton star Prakash Padukone, who was one of the world’s best badminton players in his time.

She is also ready to take on more new kinds of films. Independent films?

She drove the conversation to her first 2014 release – Homi Adajania’s ‘Finding Fanny Fernandes’, an English language film produced by Saif Ali Khan’s Illuminati Films.

“I’ll call it alternate, because it will be pitched differently and it will look slightly different from some of the other films that I have done in the past,” explained Deepika, who finds it “strange” to dissect her films into mainstream commercial and alternate cinema.

“I think it is convenient from the audience’s point of view to categorise films, but for an actor, what I bring to a film is the same. The only thing probably different in ‘Finding Fanny’ is that it’s an English language film. That was the first time for me, but in terms of my approach to a film, in terms of what I bring to a film or character, that doesn’t change with the type of film I do.

“It doesn’t matter if I am doing a ‘Chennai Express’, I’m less or more committed. My enthusiasm for every film will be the same, irrespective of the budget of the film or the way the film looks.”

How about her experience of playing such different characters and yet getting the act right each time?

“I think in my case, it’s just that the films are doing well commercially, that people are sitting up and noticing that each of my films is different from the other in terms of characters.

“But if you step back a bit, you will realise that even in between 2009 and 2011, the films I did didn’t do well commercially, whether it was ‘Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey’, where I played a freedom fighter, to ‘Break Ke Baad’ to ‘Karthik Calling Karthik’…

“I am including my first film ‘Om Shanti Om’, where I played a heroine from the 1980s… So, from the start of my career, I have had the opportunity to play various characters. I am glad that I haven’t been slotted as doing just one kind of character or just being stuck to doing one kind of cinema.”

Varinder Chawla

Aditi Rao playing an urban girl role

Mumbai: Aditi Rao Hydari is excited about playing a small town girl in Manish Jha’s new film, but she is guarded about other details of her role.

The “fun” film will “start” soon, she said.

“I won’t say much about it and would want to wait for an announcement. It’s the kind of role I haven’t done before,” the 26-year-old said.

“I had played a somewhat similar girl in ‘Yeh Saali Zindagi’, a desi girl, and now after playing an urban girl in lot of films, I am playing a girl from small town. I am looking forward to it,” she added.

Manish Jha is known for his films ‘Matrubhoomi’ and ‘Anwar’.

Aditi, who has featured in films like ‘Rockstar’, ‘London, Paris, New York’ and ‘Murder 3′, was recently seen in Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘Boss’.

Varinder Chawla

Kal Ho Naa Ho completes a decade

Mumbai: It has been a decade since Karan Johar’s hit romantic drama ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ released. The filmmaker says he has “indelible” memories attached with the movie, while its lead actor Shah Rukh Khan missed the film’s producer, late Yash Johar on the occasion.

The movie, which featured Shah Rukh, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta and Jaya Bachchan in key roles, released on November 28, 2003.

“‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ completes a decade… Har pal yahaan jee bhar jeeyo, jo hai samaa, kal ho naa ho…indelible memories,” Karan posted on Twitter.

The film marked the directorial debut of Nikhil Advani, who posted: “‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ is 10 years old…Thanks to Karan Johar, Shah Rukh Khan and Yash (Johar) uncle. They were the ones who gave me the chance. Everything else came later.”

Shah Rukh, who played the endearing character of Aman Mathur in the film, thanked “the whole team” of the film, especially “Yash Johar (Tom uncle)…you were most special. Miss you.”

‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ was Yash Johar’s last production venture before he died June 29, 2004.



Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More