After Bobby, it’s Sonali for Ali
After Bobby Jasoos, actor Ali Fazal has acquired quite a fan following. The lanky actor, last seen in Fukrey, plays Bobby’s (Vidya Balan) reluctant fiancé in last week’s release. After romancing Bobby Jasoos, Fazal will next be seen romancing co-star Rhea Chakraborty in Sonali Cable in the Rohan Sippy produced film of the same name. Lucknow-born and Doon School educated Fazal, 27, made headlines last year for landing a cameo in the Hollywood film franchise Fast & Furious 7 and recently was back in the news for being considered for a small part in Homeland. This is not Fazal’s first tryst with Hollywood having previously appeared in The Other End of the Line and Bollywood Hero. Locally, the next film he is shooting is Khamoshiyan directed by debutante Karan Dara and produced by Mukesh Bhatt.
Sherlock to deduce in Hindi?
On the subject of detective films, while it remains to be seen if producers Dia Mirza and Sahil Sangha will announce a sequel to Bobby Jasoos— and there is potential for one if the script is better than the original’s was — buzz is that an Indian TV production house has acquired the official remake rights for Sherlock. The hit British TV series portrays Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr Watson as they use the power of deduction to solve complex crimes. The recent series, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, has been a hit in the West as well as in India. A desi version to finally oust Karamchand might just be a treat, though I wonder how they will translate ‘Elementary, my dear Watson’ into Hindi!
Bollywood gets a taste for Hyderabad
Continuing to take a lead from Bobby Jasoos, Hyderabad certainly seems to be the flavour of the season. While the city was captured affectionately in Samar Shaikh’s film, the accents of the actors were criticised for simply paying ‘lip service’ rather than capturing its nuances accurately. Next up is Habib Faisal’s Daawat-E-Ishq, starring Aditya Roy Kapur and Parineeti Chopra. Apparently, the producers hired dialect coaches to train the lead actors in the Hyderabadi accent and to deliver the Urdu shayaari with the correct pronunciations and emphasis. Chopra plays shoe sales girl Gulrez from Hyderabad while Roy Kapur plays cook Tariq from Lucknow in a tasty love story. She is fed up with ‘dowry expecting’ marriage proposals and he knows his biriyani and kebabs can melt the hardest of hearts in this clash of cultures film.
Bollywood half-year audit
Astounding as it is, 2014 is half a year old. And that makes it an opportune milestone to do a quick audit of Bollywood’s hits and misses of the year so far. It’s the smaller, independent in spirit films that have been the biggest winners of the year so far — both commercially and critically. The big budget blockbusters have continued to battle it out for the `100 crore marker — some (shockingly bad ones) hitting the bull’s-eye while others have missed by a long shot. For me, personally, the must-see films are the delightful Queen with an award-worthy performance by Kangana Ranaut; Imtiaz Ali’s Highway for Alia Bhatt’s coming of age act as a kidnapped teenager; Hasee Toh Phasee for Sidharth Malhotra proving that he has graduated from being Student of the Year; Citylights for capturing the life of the migrant with subtle sensitivity and for the electric performances by Rajkummar Yadav and Manav Kaul; and Miss Lovely for artistically capturing the C-grade film industry. If you haven’t seen these, please do so soon.