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    The ultimate face off
    By now we all know that young Jai Hemant ‘Tiger’ Shroff made a tepid debut with Heropanti. While his efforts were indeed sincere and his action skills commendable, they could not compensate for his patchy acting skills. However, watching him leap across buildings and scale walls, do back flips and swing off a range of equipment, a thought crossed my mind: it would be quite a treat to watch Shroff face off with the other self-styled hero, Vidyut Jamval, in a high octane action drama. Hope some smart producer out there has the same thought.

    ST-2-Making a mark
    National Award winning director Hansal Mehta’s Citylights hits screens today. Besides being a showcase for Rajkummar Rao and his girlfriend, newcomer Patralekha, the film also presents another powerhouse performer. Manav Kaul, who made quite an impact as the right wing political uncle in Kai Po Che, pitches in with another memorable role as Vishnu. Kaul plays Rao’s friend, colleague and confidante—a grey character that Kaul enjoyed wrapping himself around. After Kai Po Che, he got many offers similar to that role. “So I had to make a decision, to do Kai Po Che three or four more times or not at all. I decided to take my time and direct my play Colour Blind. Then Citylights came along,” he says. A former national level swimmer, Kaul left Bhopal and moved to Mumbai in 1999 to make it as an actor. Theatre was and continues to be the bedrock of his creativity, with his latest play, Colour Blind, featuring Kalki Koechlin, beginning a tour of the country soon. But for now, Kaul is focussing on Bollywood and has two other films already in his kitty.

    Fresh faces fight ugly
    I only recently figured out what the film title Fugly is an abbreviation for. Contrary to what I knew it to be a reference to (unprintable), it seems Fugly means ‘fighting ugly’. And with boxer Vijender Singh as one of the leads, fighting must surely be endemic to the script. Directed by Kabir Sadanand, Fugly has been shot extensively in Delhi, Haryana and Ladakh. It is a story of four friends who get caught in a fugly incident, which “sucks them slowly into the big bad world of corruption and politics”. Besides world champion boxer Singh, the film also stars Mohit Marwah, Kiara Advani, Arfi Lamba, Jimmy Sheirgill and Athiya Shetty.

    A maybe for marriage
    Sushmita Sen recently celebrated 20 years of being crowned Miss Universe. It’s been quite a ride for the beauty queen turned actor turned entrepreneur turned mother of two. But being a single parent to two daughters is not easy, especially if the nature of your profession demands long absences from home. “It takes a lot of planning,” says the 38-year-old mum of Renee and Alisah. “The equation with my girls is that we do not cling to each other and say ‘I will miss you’ and ‘I can’t be without you’. Mentally we are all very geared up to do what I do and where I might need to be, but on a practical level it requires a lot of preparation. When I do take something up I have to beg, borrow and steal time from grandparents, uncles, aunties, friends, etc.” Interestingly, marriage is not completely off the table. She hopes to one day feel ready to make that kind of commitment – not to the man, but to herself. And when she does, like most things in her life that she’s pretty sure of, she knows she will be a “fantastic wife”. Now there’s the infectious chutzpah associated with Sen.

    -Udita Jhunjhunwala

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