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    In this day and age, when a star’s PR machinery can sometimes be on overdrive and stop at nothing to make headlines, you wonder about the timing of Asin’s announcement of her relationship and expected nuptials. With a movie release after a break of three years, Asin, who made her Bollywood debut with Ghajini (2008), will be seen in today’s release, All Is Well, with Abhishek Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor and Supriya Pathak. The 30-year-old has spoken up about how theKhiladi 786 co-star and friend, Kumar, introduced her to entrepreneur Rahul Sharma and, after four years of dating, the couple is set to marry soon. And the news was shared in time with promotions for All Is Well, suddenly making Asin the stuff of headlines and the darling of Bollywood gossip columns. After a successful career primarily in the Tamil film industry, Asin saw a modicum of popularity in Bollywood with films like Ghajini, Housefull 2 and Bol Bachchan. Here’s wishing her all the best in the next chapter of her life.

    between-the-battlesBetween battles

    Filmmaker Ketan Mehta’s latest film, Manjhi the Mountain Man, is a biopic on the unique and inspiring life of Dashrath Manjhi, who singlehandedly took on the challenge of carving a road through a mountain. Released today, the uber talented Nawazuddin Siddiqui stars as Manjhi, with Radhika Apte playing his wife. The mountain is the same one that the real-life Manjhi battled against for more than two decades. Mehta’s last film was Rang Rasiya, the story of the celebrated painter Raja Ravi Varma. Before that he made Mangal Pandey: The Rising. Neither of these films matched the impact of his earlier works such as Mirch Masala and Bhavni Bhavai. However, Mehta is hopeful that Manjhi will restore that balance and provide the momentum for his next ambitious project—a film on Rani Lakshmi Bai, also known as the freedom fighter Rani of Jhansi. Kangana Ranaut has been signed on for the part of the iconic brave warrior and leader. “She is one of the most fascinating characters in Indian history,” says Mehta.

    odd-couplesOdd couples

    Traditionally, pairings in Bollywood have meant man-woman jodis for example Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, Govinda and Karisma Kapoor or, more recently, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. But these hit on-screen pairs have also included two heroes such as Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff, Salman Khan and Govinda, and Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor. More recently, this has expanded to straddle generations with Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi being a hit duo that filmmakers are keen to repeat. So after Ishqiya and Dedh Ishqiya, the two actors are being cast together in another film, this time set in Punjab
    and directed by a debutante duo, Nishant and Aparna.

    toastoflacarnoToast of Locarno

    Raam Reddy from Bengaluru is the newest Indian filmmaker to be lauded on an international stage. His first film, Thithi, bagged two awards at the Locarno International Film Festival – the Golden Leopard, Filmmakers of the Present Competition and Swatch First Feature Award for the best first feature. Shot in Karnataka, the Kannada language film is set in a small village and is a comedy about how three generations react to the death of their grandfather, Century Gowda, a locally renowned 101-year old man. Thithi is written by Ere Gowda, who was born and brought up in the same village (Node Kopallu) where the film was shot. Thithi’s cast comprises non-professional actors and is the 25-year-old Reddy’s first.

    Udita Jhunjhunwala

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