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    Gulshan goes hunting
    From theatre to film, Gulshan Devaiah’s journey is not unusual. He made a mark in That Girl in Yellow Boots and Shaitan, then added commercial films to his independent leanings. Parts in Hate Story and Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela followed. In fact, his career has taken short but interesting strides. Now he is the headlining act in today’s release, Hunterrr. This coming-of-age film is written and directed by Harshavardhan Kulkarni and features Devaiah as Mandar Ponkshe, who is being positioned as a more crass desi version of the suave Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey. Devaiah’s Ponkshe is a simple middle-class boy with a voracious sexual appetite who seduces three women: Trupti (Radhika Apte), Jyotsna (Sai Tamhankar) and Parul (Veera Saxena). Besides Hunterrr, Devaiah will also make a guest appearance in Junooniyat and has starring roles in Cabaret with Richa Chadha and Soni Razdan’s Love Affair, opposite Kalki Koechlin.

    Three shades of blue
    I have been enjoying the unconventional promotion strategy adopted by the producers of Dharam Sankat Mein. It showcases Naseeruddin Shah as an over-the-top, self-styled new age guru called Neelanand Baba with a devoted following for his Neel Dharma. The promotional song, Neelanand, a tacky satire, features Shah and ‘item’ girls Sophie Chaudhary and Hazel Keech. Directed by Fuwad Khan, and co-starring Paresh Rawal and Annu Kapoor, Dharam Sankat Mein is the official remake of British satire, The Infidel. Rawal’s character, Dharam Pal, faces an identity crisis when he discovers he was adopted into a Hindu family, but was actually born in a Muslim family.

    Time to de-stress
    Her film roles do not reflect Jacqueline Fernandez’s smarts. The beauty queen-turned- Bollywood star certainly has her head firmly on her shoulders and her feet steady on the ground. Rumours and link-ups don’t phase her and for those wondering about her alleged closeness to co-star Salman Khan, Fernandez vehemently says she is single. Yet time management is a challenge with the hectic demands of shoots and promotions. She’s working hard at finding a work-life balance, but finds little time for hobbies. In her spare time, she focusses on exercise, Hindi classes and catching up on personal admin. Her one de-stress activity is cooking and baking. Not only does she bake her own bread, she also makes healthy banana and walnut muffins, jams, salads, pastas and some choice Sri Lankan dishes like a cashewnut curry. After her last release, Roy, Fernandez will
    next be seen in Brothers with Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra.

    Next in line1
    So it seems after keeping directors and her fans guessing, Vidya Balan has
    finally zeroed in on her next project, after Humari Adhuri Kahaani. Suffering a setback after the disastrous performance of Ghanchakkar and the tepid reactions to Shaadi Ke Side Effects and Bobby Jasoos, Balan decided to pause and reflect. It was a bump in the road for an actress who had just before delivered back-to-back successes like The Dirty Picture and Kahaani. She bowed out of Sujoy Ghosh’s Durga Rani Singh and took her time reading scripts that came her way, many of which were biopics. And now, she’s finally agreed to take on the part of yesteryear actress, Suchitra Sen, renowned for her work in Hindi and Bengali cinema. Mother to actress Moon Moon Sen, she died in 2013. It will be interesting to see what aspects of Sen’s life the makers will focus on and how they make it universally appealing. This will be the second time Balan will represent a former filmstar in a film. Her character in The Dirty Picture is believed to be based on the life of Silk Smitha.

    Udita Jhunjhunwala

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