New twist to an old tale
Filmmakers never seem to tire of revisiting certain texts and representing them with their own perspective, fresh interpretation or renewed technical style. If Shakespeare plays and Jane Austen’s novels are among those filmmakers worldwide keep revisiting, in India one of the most adapted texts has to be Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Devdas. After Bimal Roy (1955), Sanjay Leela Bhansali (2002) and Anurag Kashyap (Dev.D, 2009), now Sudhir Mishra has found a new angle to the story of the weak, flawed, heartbroken alcoholic ‘hero’. Mishra’s film, titled Aur Devdas, stars Rahul Bhatt (Ugly) as Devdas, Richa Chadha as Paro and Aditi Rao Hydari as Chandramukhi. Interestingly Mishra has added a unique spin: Paro gets a lover, played by Vineet Kumar Singh, an actor of note who impressed in Gangs of Wasseypur and Bombay Talkies.
A new angle to Ali Fazal’s career
Television actors have rarely made successful transitions from the small to the big Bollywood screen. Shah Rukh Khan is an oft-quoted exception. Today is a litmus test for another aspirant hoping to break the jinx: Gurmeet Choudhary, of Punar Vivah fame, is being launched in Mahesh Bhatt-produced Khamoshiyan. The film also sees the debut of Sapna Pabbi who appeared in Hindi TV series 24. Directed by Karan Darra, the supernatural, erotic love triangle has been written by Vikram Bhatt. This film seems like an aberration in the career of Ali Fazal who plays the third edge of this love triangle, considering his debut in 3 Idiots followed by films including Fukrey, Bobby Jasoos and appearances in international films Furious 7
(the seventh installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise)
and For Here Or To Go?
After powerful and award-winning films like Shahid and Citylights, director Hansal Mehta began shooting his latest venture. Starring Manoj Bajpayee as a senior professor persecuted for his sexual preferences and Rajkummar Rao as a young journalist, this combination of talents is surely one to watch out for. Rao is another actor whose filmography keeps you guessing: from Gangs of Wasseypur to Shahid; from Queen to last week’s release Dolly Ki Doli; from Kai Po Che to Ramesh Sippy’s Simla Mirch, where he is romanced by Hema Malini; from Humari Adhuri Kahaani, with Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan, to this upcoming biopic, Rao seems open for every genre and every challenge. “I usually pick films where the story moves me and then I look at the director… You need to be careful what you choose because typecasting happens very quickly in our industry,” he once said. Bajpayee is another actor who also seems to believe this.
Flight of fancy
Debutant director, Vibhu Puri’s ambitious period film Hawaizaada opened today in cinemas. The story of famed Marathi scientist, Shivkar Bapuji Talpade who is believed to have crafted the first unmanned plane, way before the Wright brothers did so. Starring Ayushmann Khurrana as the scientist along with Pallavi Sharda and Mithun Chakraborty, Hawaizaada is set in 1895. Puri’s vision is to ensure that while the film might be old in its setting, its styling makes it seem young and new. “I don’t know what that world was like then, but this is how I could like to imagine it should be,” says Puri. While the film is set against the backdrop of real events, the director has taken real life markers but the journey between those events is imagined and fictionalized. “We have filled in the blanks about his love life, relationship with his guru, etc to make it a more human, audience-friendly film,” says Puri.