Juhi Chawla and Shabana Azmi have been united in the
under-production Chalk n Duster, which is slated to release
on Teacher’s Day this year. As the title suggests, it is based on the lives of teachers – their trials and tribulations, what it takes to work in an ever-changing education system and the insecurities therein. The film also stars Zarina Wahab, Divya Dutta, Richa Chadha, Anupam Kher and Jackie Shroff, among others. One of the things the writers have done is to incorporate some of the actors’ talents into the script. For instance, Chawla will be seen impersonating yesteryear actors such as Rajesh Khanna and Shatrughan Sinha. Chawla plays a quirky teacher in Chalk n Duster, who is a fan of these actors and it seems she brought the house down with her impressions. Chawla was last seen in The Hundred Foot Journey and in Gulaab Gang. Now that her children and more grown up and her IPL team is
going great guns, Chawla has more time to focus on her work.
ABCD of success
Varun Dhawan is on a roll. After the intense and critically -acclaimed Badlapur, he put on his dancing shoes and hip-hopped his way into the hearts of his teen fans (amassed during his debut Student of the Year) with ABCD2. Dhawan plays Suresh, the leader of a dance troupe with their sights set on a hip hop dance challenge contest in Las Vegas. The Remo D’Souza -directed sequel plays out like a series of clips from a dance reality show, punctuated with terrible acting and strung together by a thin plot. And while Dhawan surely pitches in with energetic dance moves and enthusiasm, the same cannot be said for Shraddha Kapoor, who brings neither commendable acting nor dancing talents to the film. One wonders why, for instance, Farhan Akhtar things she is a worthy addition to the Rock On cast for the sequel to that musical. One might recall her last release, Haider, in which she was also one of the weakest performances. It’s interesting how long an actor can capitalize on one hit. In Kapoor’s case that game-changer being Aashiqui 2.
Another journalist changes tracks and heads Bollywood-wards with this week’s Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho. Vinod Kapri has been fending off death threats for his debut feature film based on a news story about a boy being sentenced to five years in jail for raping a buffalo. The political satire follows a man who has been wrongly accused of the crime by a village strongman. The strongman prevails on the local ‘Khap panchayat’ to sentence the man to marrying the victim, a buffalo called Miss Tanakpur. Kapri has won a National Award for best film on social issues for his documentary Can’t Take This Shit Anymore. Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho stars Annu Kapoor, Om Puri, Sanjay Mishra, Rahul Bagga and Hrishitaa Bhatt who had all but disappeared from the spotlight with her last few B-grade movies. Bagga, last seen in Mastram, plays the lead of the hapless ‘accused’.