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    Back in the game
    Just as the response to Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is polarised, so are reactions to Ranbir Kapoor’s performance as the lovelorn Ayan. Indeed it is nowhere close to Kapoor’s best work, perhaps because it shows shades of characters he has played before (mostly in Imtiaz Ali’s films), but it certainly restores his box office position—something that was suffering after Tamasha and Bombay Velvet. His next release is likely to be the beleaguered Jagga Jasoos with Katrina Kaif. The film is so delayed that one wonders how it will survive the vagaries of time, break-ups and going over-budget. He’s also got the potential blockbuster biopic of Sanjay Dutt on his plate, which is being directed by Rajkumar Hirani, followed by Ayan Mukherji’s superhero style movie, Dragon, with Alia Bhatt. While these projects will keep him busy till 2018 at least, let’s hope Kapoor finds a script-director match that can truly explore his
    latent talent.

    Lipstick love
    Director Alankrita Shrivastava’s second
    feature film, Lipstick Under My Burkha, was one of the hottest tickets at the 2016 edition of the Mumbai Film Festival (MFF). The multi-story narrative features interconnected stories of four women in small town India and their small dreams. Shrivastava took her time developing the script, and after four years her sophomore effort had its world premiere in Tokyo and Mumbai on the same day. Starring Ratna Pathak Shah, Konkona Sen Sharma, Aahana Kumra, Plabita Borthakur, Sushant Singh, Vikrant Massey and Shashank Arora, the film won the Oxfam Award For Best Film on Gender Equality at MFF. Shrivastava is hoping to get an India release early next year before working on her next feature film—a legal drama with a strong female protagonist.

    Wedding bells
    In spite the controversy and mixed reviews, one actor who has clearly benefitted from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is Lisa Haydon. The model-turned-actress has so far been window dressing in films such as The Shaukeens and Housefull 3. Prior to playing Ranbir Kapoor’s gold-digger girlfriend in ADHM (her scenes where she talks about vaatavaran are hilarious), her most notable part was as Vijaylaxmi in Queen. But one wonders whether she will hang up her acting boots now that she has married a jet-setting businessman. Haydon got hitched on the weekend in an intimate wedding held in Thailand. She had come close to getting hitched before, so it’s heartening that this time things seem to have worked out for her. As to a future in Bollywood? It’s hardly likely to matter to either her or the industry if she retires from the arc lights.

    Taking it slow
    Actor and producer Sohum Shah is a man in no hurry. He made his debut in Baabarr (2009) and since then has only been seen in Ship of Theseus and Talvar. He’s also been patiently producing films, including the fantasy epic Tumbad, in which he also acts. So when Shah recently shared a picture of himself with director Hansal Mehta, it made Shah’s followers sit up and take notice. The picture was taken in the United States of America on the sets of Mehta’s latest feature, Simran. Shah features alongside Kangana Ranaut in the film, which is currently shooting in North America. Speculation is rife as to whether Shah has landed the plum part of Ranaut’s love interest in this comic-action-drama. In between the selective acting work, he continues to back edgy content, including documentary films.

    -Udita Jhunjhunwala

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