Of late, Bollywood filmmakers seem to be fascinated by mountaineering and the achievements of those that battle adversity to scale peaks. Last year, there were rumours that Kangana Ranaut was to star in the biopic of an Everest summiteer, to be directed by Hansal Mehta. But that turned out to be a non-starter. Then Rahul Bose discreetly went to the North East and shot a film on Malavath Poorna, who was only 13 when she scaled Mount Everest. Bose has both acted in and directed the biopic. Now we hear that Amit Sadh is set to fasten his crampons as he takes on the role of a physically-challenged boy who also climbed the highest peak in the world. Sadh will engage in intense training for his starring role in Chhalang, directed by Shivam Nair. Last year’s Hollywood film, Everest, will no doubt be a great reference point for the actor.
Now that we have seen the trailer of Udta Punjab, Abhishek Chaubey’s spotlight on the drug menace in Punjab, we have also caught a glimpse of Diljit Dosanjh. One of the biggest stars of Punjabi cinema, Dosanjh makes his Bollywood debut as a tough cop in this edgy drama co-starring Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Alia Bhatt. The actor is not waiting for reactions to Udta Punjab—he has already begun work on his next Hindi film, Phillauri. Produced by Anushka Sharma and her brother Karnesh, it is a romcom set around a Punjabi wedding. Anushka also stars in this along with Suraj Sharma. Directed by first-timer Anshai Lal, the film, set in Phillaur (Punjab), explores an old love story that comes to fruition during
a crazy Punjabi wedding.
Out of the shadow
Swara Bhaskar has become identifiable as Sonam Kapoor’s ‘friend’, from her appearances as the sidekick in Raanjhana and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. She has apparently also been roped in to act in another upcoming Kapoor-starring chick flick. So her central and pivotal role in Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s Nil Battey Sannata is naturally a big deal for the Delhi born and raised actor. Bhaskar plays mother to a teenage daughter in the film, which also stars Ratna Pathak Shah, Pankaj Tripathi and Ria Shukla. Tiwari, a former advertising professional, makes her debut with this touching story, which has also been remade in Tamil as Amma Kanakku. Releasing today, Nil Battey Sannata, which means good for nothing, is about the dreams of a hardworking, low-income single parent and her child. Even before the release of her debut feature, Tiwari has been signed on to direct the troubled Manmarziyan, after the original director had to be replaced. The film is a love story starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar and Vicky Kaushal.
Richa Chaddha is going places, and not just on to a dance floor (Cabaret) or across the border in search of her missing husband (Sarbjit). Chaddha has landed a plum assignment in a Hollywood film on sex trafficking. Starting shoot next week, Love Sonia is being directed by Mumbai born-Los Angeles-based producer, Tabrez Noorani. It is a drama based on
real events and traces the story of a brave young Indian
village girl whose world is shattered when she is ensnared in the sex trade. The cast includes Freida Pinto, Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher, Rajkummar Rao, Chaddha and debutante Mrunal Thakur as Sonia. Among Noorani’s credits as line producer are Slumdog Millionaire, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Life of Pi and, most recently, Gurinder Chadha’s Viceroy’s House.
– Udita Jhunjhunwala