Making us think
There are few Hindi films that garner a unanimous reaction and leave the audience as affected as Talvar has. Meghna Gulzar’s film, based on Vishal Bhardwaj’s script about the Aarushi Talwar murder case, has enjoyed tremendous support from critics and a strong word-of-mouth. It’s interesting that the film’s English title is Guilty because that is what many viewers have said they felt when they left the cinema, questioning how quick they too were to adjudge the Talwar couple guilty of killing their own daughter. What works in the film’s favour is the portrayal of the key characters as part of the investigation and without any spotlight on their backstory or time outside of the context of the investigation. Besides the screenplay, one of the other aspects being acknowledged is the casting, among them the actor playing Talwar’s Nepali Man Friday. Sumit Gulati was previously seen in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Phantom, and will be seen in Kanu Behl’s Titli releasing later this month.
Brand new act
It’s been a while since we heard of her, so here’s an update on Chitrangada Singh who was last seen in a sizzling item number in Gabbar is Back. Besides her acting jobs in films such as Babumoshai Bandookbaaz with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Band of Maharajas—in which she plays a pop star on a crazy musical journey from Punjab to Pakistan—Singh is also turning producer. She is believed to have a couple of projects on the anvil, including one on hockey player Sandeep Singh.
Juggling time zones and projects on two continents and in two languages can make anyone dizzy, but not Priyanka Chopra. The current toast of American television is balancing both sets of commitments with poise and professionalism. While she admits that she misses the “sights and sounds of Mumbai” when she is shooting Quantico in Canada, she is lucky to be surrounded by family and friends in Montreal who “feed me ghar ka khaana and make sure I don’t miss home per se”. Besides the drama series, in which she plays FBI agent Alex Parrish, Chopra has just completed shooting Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani (which releases on December 18) and Prakash Jha’s Jai Gangaajal (which releases on March 4 next year). She admits that she is finalising two other projects at the moment and will begin work on her next music album. What remains to be seen is whether her next projects include something international.
Kapur’s family album
The biggest Bollywood wedding is finally being unveiled today and director Vikas Bahl’s latest film, Shaandaar, is certainly primed for success. The youthful love story, aimed at the smart phone and Instagram generation, focusses on two characters, Alia (Alia Bhatt) and Jagjinder Joginder (Shahid Kapoor). Alia’s father Bipin (Pankaj Kapur) is the thorn in the side of their fledgling romance as, like many doting dads, he believes no man is good enough for his daughter. Besides father and son, Pankaj and Shahid, Shaandaar includes a third Kapur, Shahid’s sister Sanah. Sanah plays second lead in her debut, as Alia’s sister. It seems the Bollywood bug bit Sanah early but she chose to earn her stripes her way, rather than get a boost through her family’s connections. In the glamour-driven Bollywood world, where almost every newbie actress boasts of her painstaking regime from fat to fit, Sanah took a different way—she took a leaf from Bhumi Pednekar (Dum Laga Ke Haisha) and added 15 kilos to her frame to play Esha, more popularly known as Gulabo, in Shaandaar. Of course, once the shoot was over, Sanah got to work getting back to her pre-Gulabo shape.