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Akshara Haasan Teams Up With Usha Uthup For Amazon’s Tamil Dramedy

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Prime Video is all set to premiere the Tamil coming-of-age dramedy, Amazon Original Movie Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu (The Myth of The Good Girl). Starring Akshara Haasan in the lead role, the film also stars Usha Uthup, Anjana Jayaprakash, Malgudi Subha, Janaki Sabesh, and Suresh Chandra Menon in pivotal roles.

 Produced by Trend Loud and written and directed by Raja Ramamurthy, the film has been recognised at various prestigious international film festivals such as HBO’s South Asian International Film Festival, Caleidoscope Indian Film Festival at Boston, Chicago South Asian Film Festival, Atlanta Indian Film Festival, Tasveer South Asian Film Festival at Seattle and the Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival in Canada. Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu will premiere on the streaming service starting 25th March.

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According to the popular adage, Achcham (Fear), Madam (Innocence), Naanam (Coyness), Payirppu (Chastity) are the four ‘ideal’ qualities that every good Tamil girl must possess. The film Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu revolves around Pavithra, a 19-year old, who comes from a conservative background. She is in that awkward stage between being a curious teenager and a smart woman and struggles to strike a balance between societal expectations and personal desires.

  Writer-director  Raja  Ramamurthy  can barely  contain his  excitement. “My excitement level is at an all time high. I am thrilled that my directorial debut Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu will be premiering on Amazon Prime Video. It is a very relatable story, narrated from a young girl’s point of view, which has never been attempted before in Tamil cinema. I worked with a predominantly female cast and crew, and their inputs helped bring to life the female perspective brilliantly. It was an absolute pleasure directing the young and highly versatile Akshara and a seasoned veteran like Usha Uthup and I am honoured to work with them in my very first film.  I am confident that viewers across the country will enjoy our labour of love.”

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  Adds Akshara, “When Raja narrated the story to me, I instantly knew I wanted to be a part of this film. Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu is a slice-of-life, light hearted watch. It’s a coming-of-age drama where a young girl struggles to find a balance between her desires and family pressures. I believe that every young adult will relate to my character in the film.I am absolutely elated with the love and appreciation the film has received at several international film festivals and I am certain that Prime Video viewers across the country will enjoy this film.”

 Singer   Usha Uthup who makes a  comeback to  acting after  Vishal Bhardwaj’s  7 Khoon  Maaf  in  2011 is super-charged   by her  sparring in her starring  role. “Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu is truly special for me, as it marks my return to Tamil cinema after a decade.I am playing the role of Akshara’s grandmother in the film who is also a veteran Carnatic singer so I got to do some singing as well. I am quite thrilled with the way the film has turned out. Not only is it an entertaining watch, but also has a very important message for the audience- to be honest with yourself and your feelings. I am so happy and excited that Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu will be streaming on Amazon Prime Video.”

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Shabana Azmi Breaks Her Wrist, Flies To  Budapest For Spielberg

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Shabana Azmi

Shabana Azmi’s commitment to  getting it right, no matter what it takes, is  by now beyond legendary. She  is known to go to extreme lengths for her  characters, the   quick-reference what-Shabana-can-do-for-a-role film being Shyam Benegal’s  Mandi where she had put on 30 kgs to look like  a  ‘Madame’ and  convey her message  in  a  brothel.

 Now , Shabana  flies to Budapest on the  night  of 8 February  in spite  of having broken her wrist.

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“What  to  do, I have to.I’ve to shoot another schedule  of my second season of  Halo(the series  produced by  Steven Spielberg) . There is no way I can postpone  it. I am very upset with myself. It  was such an  unnecessary accident. I was in Jindal . I took a jump and landed with a  fractured wrist, ”  says Shabana  angrily.

This is not  the first fracture that Shabana has suffered in recent times. Before  the wrist  that’s broken now, she  had broken the other wrist. And  prior to that she  had broken her shoulder.

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“I’m supposed to be  shooting till the 28th  of February. And  it’s all very tough physically rigorous  scenes. I don’t know  how I’m going to do it. I am  really annoyed  with  myself for  being careless.” Shabana sighed  before signing  off.

Knowing her the way I do,I can only say, nothing is impossible for Shabana Azmi.

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Shobita Dhulipala On Her Close Aquatic Connection To Her Character In The Night Manager

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Shobita Dhulipala

Sobhita Dhulipala has constantly tried to  make an  impression  with her intriguing performances and roles. In The Night Manager she  slips into the mysterious role of Kaveri.

Talking about her character, Sobhita Dhulipala says , “There’s a certain intrigue to Kaveri. On better days, you feel like you get a sense of who she is, but you could never be too sure of what she is.”

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   Being a  water  person  Sobhita  enjoyed her character’s aqueous antecedents, “There is a very visible parallel that’s drawn between Kaveri and water throughout the show.They both can be so gentle, so nourishing, but also very tumultuous and deep. Kaveri seems like that. She has this tenderness as well as a current within her.”

Sobhita comes from an aquatic  family and  feels  a deep affinity  to  water. “I have in the past been compared with water’s energy and I thought it was a tremendous compliment. So, to be able to give form to that feeling, that connection I feel with it..it’s great. My father is a sailor. And I spent many of my younger years at sea, also the home I grow up in was by the shore. I also love the name Kaveri and I always thought when I have my own child, I’d name him/her by a river! So, I think there’s, resonance, all of it really comes together for me.”

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The Romantics Adi Chopra’s Show All The Way

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The Romantics 

Netflix’s The Romantics profiling the legend Yash Chopra in four episodes , happened only because Netflix  gave complete creative control to  Yash Chopra’s son Aditya Chopra,  the scion of the Yash  Raj family.

A  source very close to  the project reveals, “If it wasn’t for Adi’s nod, the project  wouldn’t have happened. He not only greenlighted the project, he also personally supervised every aspect of the project. Smriti Mundhra is  on board as the director of The Romantics.  But it is  Adi who decided what  goes, and what  not.”

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Apparently  the  thirty-five interviewees speaking on  Yash Chopra in The  Romantics  were all  personally approved  by Adi Chopra who  also agreed to do his  first video interview ever for the docu-pic on his distinguished dad.

Adi Chopra’s one  and  only print interview was with  film critic/editor  Khalid Mohamed.

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The Romantics starts streaming on Netflix on Valentine’s Day  February 14.

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I’m very excited to be doing my OTT debut: Shahid Kapoor

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Shahid  Kapoor

As Shahid  Kapoor Gets Ready To Make  His Digital Debut, He Takes Time  Off  For A Q & A With  Subhash K Jha

Farzi is your first foray into the OTT space. How would you describe the experience? Is it any different from doing the films for the big screen?

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 I’m very excited to be doing my OTT debut, as everybody calls it. I think I did it because I love  the directors Raj and DK and their work, and I actually really really liked the idea and the concept behind Farzi, the world of counterfeiting . I felt Sunny was a character that was as challenging as some of my most challenging characters as I’ve done yet. So I immediately wanted to do it.

And was it any different  shooting for an OTT series?

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Of course, it’s different because you’re watching the character over five to six hours as opposed to maybe two to two and a half hours. So it’s a deeper, wider opportunity to bring a character to life, that’s it.

 Farzi gave you the opportunity to work with the great Vijay Sethupathi and also the creators Raj and DK. So what was that experience like?

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With Raj and DK, I’ve loved Family Man very much and we’ve met over time and always wanted to collaborate. So I was really looking forward to it. In fact, I asked them if they have a show because they were calling me for a movie because they didn’t really expect… they didn’t think after Kabir Singh,  I’d like to do something like that , or whatever. But I actually asked them for it and probed  for it, and then they actually told me about this concept which we had discussed as a movie earlier.

So why  was the feature   film converted  into a digital series?

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It was just too elaborate to turn into a movie, to fit into a movie. It was only extremely sensible of them to turn it into a show because it deserves that much screen time.

What  was it like working with Vijay Sethupathi?

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With Vijay sir, it’s been a pleasure. And I want to see how people receive the show. He’s a fantastic actor who has always rediscovered himself and given people completely different experiences when he has come on the big screen. So it’s a privilege to have him on the show. And I had a blast working with him.

Shahid, it’s been twenty years since you started as a leading man. How do you look back on your career so far?

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I feel very fortunate to still be here. And I feel grateful that people find my work relevant. I feel there’s a lot more that I would like to do. And I think I am as charged as I was at the age of 21, giving my first shot, as I am today. And I think that’s the best part of the entire journey, that I still am as excited and as curious to get on that film floor and give my next shot. I think that’s what drives any artist.

Tell me about your forthcoming projects?

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I’ve got Farzi coming out on  10 Feb. And then there’s a movie with Ali Abbas  Zafar, which is an action thriller, a  slick action fun film, which will come out in the middle of this year. And then there’s a high-concept quirky love story that I’m doing with Maddock Films, which is directed by a new director. His name is Amit Joshi. It has me and Kriti Sanon in it, and Dharam ji and Dimple ma’am and various other very talented people.

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