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Anil Kapoor Celebrates The Huge Ovation for 24

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Ever since the first episode of Season 2 of  24 was aired this weekend Anil Kapoor’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing.

“It’s amazing how much enthusiasm Season 2 of 24 has generated! We wanted to do the second season only when all of us were sure we had the time and energy to do it uninterrupted. Even before Season 2 had begun airing we had already completed shooting of 18 episodes, with 6 more to go.”

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Anil was determined to go about this the right way. “We did everything in style. We Indianized the original a bit. But only enough so that fans of the original do not feel betrayed.Luckily the feedback is tremendous.The thing is we never treated 24 like a television  serial.We shot it like a feature film and even held a premiere show of the first episode where I invited all my colleagues from the film industry.”

The premiere episode of 24 had to go through the full censor process. “Since we were screening it like a feature film we had to get it censored. This is the first time that a television product is being treated like  a feature film.I must say Pahlaji (censor chief Nihalani)was very sweet about it, considering the censor board had never  censored a television serial. ”

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Anil says he never discriminated against 24 . “For me there’s no difference between shooting for a feature film and 24. I’ve again set aside all my film assignments until I complete all the shooting for Season 2. This is the only way to work on television. You can’t treat the medium as a space filler.”

This time 24 is darker and more brooding in mood.

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Anil thinks it’s just being true to the spirit of the original. “This is not a light-hearted soap or stitcom. 24 is a political thriller. My character is shown to be in a relationship  with a woman(Surveen Chawla).”

Their kiss in  24 between  Anil and Surveen Chawla was largely reported, though Anil can’t see what the fuss is about. “I’ve kissed in my films when there has been a need to. In 24 a liplock was needed.So we went ahead and did it. About time we stopped making a  fuss about these things.The content in 24 is not juvenile.We are looking at a series which has certain international standards to uphold.”

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The timing for 24 has been changed from 10 pm in Season 1 to 9 pm in Season 2. Anil says it’s for the better. “During the last season those who watched it on Sunday nights said it was too late as they had to leave home earlyon Monday.9 pm is super-primetime and just perfect for our show.”

Anil is hopeful that Season 2 of 24 would have an even larger impact than the first time. “See, this time we’ve made some alterations. Characters who were not there in the original have been added. New plot twists are now introduced. In this way we not only get viewers who are diehard fans of the original, but also new viewers.”

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Until the shooting of 24 is over Anil won’t start work on any feature film. “Isn’ it obvious that I won’t get time to  do anything while I shoot 24? Though I did a lot of films earlier I never let my work overlap. In that sense I am  not doing anything different.”

 

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Jamuna Had A Love-Hate Relationship With  Bollywood

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Jamuna

Veteran  Telugu  actress  Jamuna who passed away on Friday, shared an uneasy relationship with  the Hindi film industry.She did eleven Hindi films including the iconic Milan in  1967 where Jamuna  agreed to play the  second lead, or the  supporting role if you will, to Nutan.

 Jamuna as Gauri was the Other Woman who craved for the hero Sunil Dutt’s attention whereas  he had  eyes and devotion  only for Nutan. In later  years  Aruna Irani played a similar  role in  Caravan.

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 In Milan Jamuna  was not keen to  do a supporting role. Producer L V Prasad tempted her with three chartbusting songs. Besides, Jamuna had played the same role in Mooga Manasulu, the  Telugu original  of  Milan. But it  was the songs composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal  which convinced  Jamuna to  take up the second lead in Milan.

 While  Nutan had no solo songs  in Milan, she did have the chartbuster duet  Sawan  ka mahina . Jamuna on the  other hand,  had two  splendid Lata Mangeshkar solos: Tohey saawariya naahin khabariya  and   the magnificent Ghazal Aaj dil pe koi  zor chalta nahin.Not only  these, Jamuna  also had a  hit duet  with Mukesh  based on her character  Gauri:  Bol Gauri  bol tera kaun piya.

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But  then, fate  intervened. After the film released  one of Jamuna’s solos, the poignant and memorable  Aaj dil pe koi zor chalta nahin was  snipped  out of the film.

Here is what  happened:  the  Ghazal , one of Lataji’s all-time greats, was very much a part of Milan when  it released on 17 March 1967. But then  it was seen to hamper the  flow of the  film and  edited  out. The  beautiful song occurred right after intermission. Producer  Prasad, a shrewd  filmmaker, got to know that audiences prolonged their  loo breaks as there was  a song after the break. Hence the sacrifice  of  a seriously  sonorous melody.

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Jamuna hardly did  Hindi films after Milan. Her last  Bollywood appearance  was in  Raj Kumar  Kohli’s Raj Tilak  where she  was lost in a multistarrer as  the royal  queen.

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Karan Johar Moves Alia Song From Switzerland To Kashmir

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Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani

The  romantic duet in  Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani  which was to be  shot in Switzerland and which was  delayed  due to the film’s leading lady Alia Bhatt’s motherhood, is now being relocated to  Kashmir.

Purely out of  the  love for  new mom Alia.

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Says a source in the know, “Karan loves Alia  like his own daughter. He would do anything for her. He postponed  the  release of Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani as the love duet could not be shot before Alia’s maternity leave. Karan had decided to shoot the song in Switzerland  after Alia’s maternity love. But now he has relocated the song to Kashmir  as Alia doesn’t want to leave her  baby girl behind for  long stretches.”

And as Karan Johar argued, snow is  snow. How does it matter whether it is  Switzerland or Kashmir?

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This  song would be Karan Johar’s tribute to  his  idol Yash Chopra. Alia would be dressed in chiffon sarees while  Ranveer, for  a change, would be seen in  formals.

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Bobby Deol’s Switchover To Villainous Roles

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Bobby Deol

After  Prakash Jha’s webseries Ashram where Bobby  played a sleazy  godman, and Love Hostel  where  he was a ruthless assassin,   he is playing the villain to Ranbir Kapoor in  Sandeep Vanga’s  Animal.

Bobby says it is not conscious career decision to play negative characters  but a conscious  decision to play interesting characters. “ I don’t look at  characters as positive or negative.When I watch  films there is always  one character  that stays  with you. I want to play that  character.”

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Prakash Jha’s Ashram proved a gamechanger for Bobby.  He admits finding  challenging roles is tough.  “I am trying. I  am doing Sandeep Vanga’s Animal with Ranbir  Kapoor , Parineeti Chopra. Then I am doing the family film Apne  2 which I am  very excited  about.”

 In an  earlier  interview with  this writer Bobby spoke  about his   long absence  from screen  before Prakash Jha’s Ashram.  “My fans   would ask why I wasn’t being seen on the screen.And I couldn’t tell them it was  because  I wasn’t getting good roles. But my fans  stood by me. They gave me  the strength  to  keep looking for the right roles. Thankfully I found the roles I liked. My new  films have given  me  some new fans. I am  thankful  I am still here. Yeah , I am in a good space right now.”

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Undekhi A Dark Compelling  Thriller Set In The Heartland

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Undekhi A Dark Compelling  Thriller Set In The Heartland 4

Undekhi  the  forthcoming webseries  from Applause Entertainment  and Sony LIV which  starts  streaming from July 10,   looks  like  the  kind  of   thriller  that  won’t let  us rest  easy until we see  the last episode. It is mounted  with  a  stress on growing pressure.

One  promo shows  a rotund  cop investigating  a gruesome  murder  in  a dense tribal area.The other promo  shows a politician gunning  down a dancer on stage  in front of  the public and  the  press.

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Wild  West  comes to the North. Undekhi is a thriller set in Manali, Himachal created for Applause by Siddharth Sengupta. It’s a gripping story that sees Harsh Chhaya making an  impressive comeback as a drunk Papaji in a super-rich amoral Punjabi  family. And Surya Sharma (Prince from Hostages) really shines as Rinku ,  the main bad guy and Papaji’s nephew. It’s got a terrific cast of other characters, many of whom we  all  recognize as names .

The talented  Harsh Chhaya  makes a debut of sorts  on the  digital medium  with Undekhi.

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Says Harsh, “I  have never played anything so wild and mad. I am looking forward to Undekhi, hope it works for the audience too.This is a debut in a sense that this is the first one I shot for the OTT  platform.But the other two I shot for after this was  streamed   before this one Out Of Love and  Rangbaaz, Phir Se.

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