It’s coming up to that time of year when the Indian indies ramp up their bid to impress audiences, financiers, producers and distributors. The bidding began with the international film festival circuit where movies like Talvar, Angry Indian Goddesses, Parched, Aligarh and Zubaan have been making waves. Soon it will be the Mumbai Film Festival followed by the International Film Festival of India in Goa. The sidebar event, Film Bazaar, has become a solid and astute incubator of projects that have then been catapulted to the world stage to garner acclaim. Some of these films include The Lunch Box, Masaan, Thithi, Court and Ship of Theseus. So as titles are announced for this year’s Bazaar and its various sections, there is indeed interest to predict which one might be the next toast of world cinema. Some of the salient entries are actor-director Nandita Das’ Manto, Geetanjali Rao’s Bombay Rose, Kanu Behl’s Agra, Amit Masurkar’s Newton and Jahnu Barua’s Unread Pages.
Kapoor returns with 24
Priyanka Chopra might be stealing the thunder and accolades from her Bollywood counterparts who have dabbled with Hollywood, but there is no arguing that her headlining act in Quantico is a path-breaking achievement. Anil Kapoor did appear in one season of 24, as a character that was written in and out, and his pioneering effort was to get the rights to remake the hit show in India. After a successful first season, Kapoor and his team are ready to start work on the second season in Hindi. While the first season had actors like Shabana Azmi, Mandira Bedi and Tisca Chopra in the cast, the next is likely to be bigger and more star-studded, with names like Tabu and Akshaye Khanna reportedly attached to the show. Rensil D’Silva and Abhinay Deo will be directing the next chapter headlining Kapoor as Jai Singh Rathore, a role originally played by Kiefer Sutherland. As American adaptations for Indian TV take off (Everybody Loves Raymond is currently on air as Sumit Sambhal Lega), Kapoor is said to be looking forward to also adapting hit comedy, Modern Family, for Indian viewers.
Packing a punch
Pyar Ka Punchnama, a teen romantic comedy with newcomers, became a sleeper hit in 2011. Four years later, some of the original cast teams up with a few new co-stars for the sequel. Kartik Aaryan’s five-minute monologue about ‘Every Girl in the World’ became a cult hit with college-goers and now he will be seen delivering an 18-minute monologue on relationships, in today’s release. In Pyar Ka Punchnama 2 (PKP2), Aaryan will be seen as a confident young man and boyfriend, unlike the ‘pretty boy’ image his character Rajat had in the first movie. In the ensuing four years, Aaryan (25) has also appeared in director Luv Ranjan’s Akaash Vani and Subhash Ghai’s Kaanchi: the Unbreakable. Another cast member of PKP2 has an interesting career graph. Omkar Kapoor was a child artist in films like Masoom, Mela, Judaai and Judwaa, in which he played the young Salman Khan. Now grown up, he makes his adult acting debut with PKP2. And here’s a third bit of cast-related trivia. Former Miss India International, Sonnalli Seygall—and one of the lead actresses in PKP—has two films releasing on the same Friday. Not only is she in PKP2, but she is also a part of Wedding Pullav, both of which release today. PKP2 also stars Sunny Singh, Nushrat Bharucha and Ishita Sharma.