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Musings and music
Not many people might know this, but Shraddha Kapoor likes to write. She doesna��t scribble away in a notebook, but types her thoughts and poems on her mobile phones. Shea��s even hoping to convert some of these musings into lyrics for songs she plans to record some day, music being an intrinsic part of her gene and talent pool. Farhan Akhtar famously sang all his own songs in Rock On and does the same in the sequel, Rock On 2. Kapoor has been working with composers Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy to ensure she can match her co-star note for note. With music for Rock On 2 and basketball for Half Girlfriend, one wonders what skill Kapoor has to pick up for her gangster drama based on Haseena Parkar.

From the heart
The trailer of Karan Johara��s angstful romantic drama, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, has got audiences really excited. The reasons are many: the beautiful actors kitted out in designer clothes, singing, romancing and being heartbroken in exotic locations, the return of Ranbir Kapoor who desperately needs a win and the fleeting sight of Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan. There was a time when romance was Bollywooda��s calling card, but over the last five years this genre has taken a severe beating. Action, comedy and slice-of-life films have seen greater success. Even the flag bearer for romance, Shah Rukh Khan, has struggled to capture the imagination of the soppy audiences with his last few efforts, moving to a dark space with Fan being one of the reasons. So it seems the field is wide open for a new romantic hero, and while Fawad Khan has a readymade fan base thanks to his popularity as a tele-serial star, homegrown talent Kapoor seems ready to rule that space. Fingers crossed, for his sake. As for Fawad Khan, he will switch from Kapoor to the other half of the fated couple, Katrina Kaif, for a love story titled Raat Baaki.

Back with a bang
Last we heard of Kunal Kapoor, he had married Abhishek Bachchana��s cousin Naina. We also saw him in Kaun Kitne Paani Main. But besides that, the actor has been rather out of the limelight. One reason is that he was in deep preparation for his role in National Award-winning director Jayaraj Naira��s Veeram, which recently opened at the BRICS film festival in New Delhi. Fans can rejoice because he will soon be seen in Gauri Shindea��s Dear Zindagi as well. Growing his hair and building a strong and muscular body were requirements for Veeram, a period drama. The 38-year-old plays a warrior in Naira��s adaptation of William Shakespearea��s Macbeth, which is set in 13th century Kerala. Broadly similar to the rise and fall of Macbeth, it follows Chandu (Kapoor), a kalaripayattu warrior, who becomes the tragic victim of a grand betrayal. Veeram has been shot in three languagesa��Hindi, English and Malayalama��with celebrated Hollywood technicians reportedly having worked on the action choreography, makeup and music.

Lucky guess
Of the two films releasing today, while Baar Baar Dekho might have the glamorous cast and glossy locations, I am curious about the quirky comedy Freaky Ali. With Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing a thug who becomes an unlikely golfing sensation, teaming up with Amy Jackson and Arbaaz Khan, this Sohail Khan-directed family entertainer might just be a cult hit. I say this based on Siddiquia��s track record of picking meaty scripts, even if this one has obvious similarities to the 1996 Hollywood film, Happy Gilmore, starring Adam Sandler. Sohail Khan, who has tried his hand at everythinga��from acting to producing and directinga�� with unimpressive results, had previously directed Jai Ho and Hello Brother. His brother Arbaaz Khan, who has similarly flirted with all aspects of film and saw his greatest success as director of Dabbang 2, is also set to produce another offbeat comedy titled Lorry Wala, the story of a lorry walaa��s days on the road, besides acting in Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai.

-Udita Jhunjhunwala



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