Randeep for Kajal
After making a mark in Tamil and Telugu films, Kajal Aggarwal tried to gain a foothold in the Hindi film industry with Singham and Special 26. Both films were successful but Aggarwal has taken her time signing her next Bollywood project. The film has now been announced and it’s Deepak Tijori’s musical love story Do Lafzon Ki Kahaani co-starring Randeep Hooda. In the meanwhile, when not playing Polo, Hooda is awaiting the release of his biopic Main Aur Charles (March), in which he plays the international criminal Charles Sobhraj.
Anoop Singh’s Qissa — The Tale of a Lonely Ghost, which won the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere at the 38th Toronto International Film Festival in 2013, finally releases today. The Punjabi language Partition-time drama stars Irrfan Khan, Rasika Dugal and Tillotama Shome. Dugal has been a long time waiting for this film to release and showcase her talents, especially as she made her debut in the independent Kshay followed by Ram Gopal Varma’s Agyaat (2009), which she says gave her “perverse pleasure”.
She also had a small part in Arjun Kapoor-starrer Aurangzeb. But it’s the Indo-European production Qissa, in which she plays a tribal Punjabi girl that truly challenged Rasika, taking on a complex role in a deeply complex film. “There’s often no choice – whether independent or commercial films. I am willing to do any work that comes my way,” she said soon after completing Qissa. But maybe life will be different for her after February 20.
Filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor’s career trajectory is interesting indeed. The original ‘independent’ filmmaker who made his debut with the genre-defining Hyderabad Blues smelled fame and success after his highly acclaimed Iqbal and critically acclaimed Dor. Then came a string of disappointments, including Bombay to Bangkok, 8×10 Tasveer and Mod. Kukunoor then paused, reflected and came back to work with the hard-hitting, actor (and not star)-driven Lakshmi. The film won Indian and international accolades. He stuck to this path and wrote and directed Dhanak (‘Rainbow’), the story of two siblings – one of whom is visually impaired. Dhanak, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival bagged The Grand Prix of the Generation KPlus and a special mention in the same section. The citation for the Grand Prix said, “This dynamically-directed film delivers joy and heartbreak in equal measure.”
Children select the audience awards while an international jury presents the Generation KPlus prize. This is the same section in which Avinash Arun’s beautiful Killa won the Silver Bear last year.