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“At this stage of my life I want to give time to my  daughter,”  Tamil-Malayalam-Hindi actress Revathi

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Revathy has regaled us  with  her sterling performances  in  multiple languages for  40 years.  She  is  now  being seen in the  intriguing  psycho-horror  Malayalam feature   film Bhoothakalam  streaming on   SonyLIV.

She  is  happy with another  accomplished  performance. “Though categorized  as horror there’s  a lot more going on in there. There are so many layers. The emotional turmoil  and the turmoil  in the world outside my  character are not easy to come by for  actresses in our cinema.”

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She admits  it is   becoming increasingly difficult to get roles that still inspire  her. “Oh  yes, very difficult.When the  director of Bhoothakalam (Rahul Sadasivan)came to  me with this   character  more than a year ago—he came to me  even before the  production  was  put together  and  I was practically his first  choice—I was completely taken up. It was only after he spoke to me that he  got the production in place.”

We veer  towards  discussing  the  renaissance happening  in  Malayalam cinema and how  much the OTT  explosion  helped that  renaissance.  “In-between somewhere  Malayalam  cinema lost its way when it became   hero-oriented and  male-centric.I think  Malayalam cinema has returned to its roots created by Adoor Gopalkrishnan and G  Aravindan.But   I don’t think the  format matters. It is  the content. It  can be anywhere. What really happened to restore Malayalam cinema  to its roots is  the new generation of directors who began making simple sincere  films. That really helped. S. Bharathan made one of his classics in  just 18 days. After  that it became  a norm  to make films in a limited  time  and budget which were not star-based.”

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So is  Revathi  comfortable  doing Malayalam and Telugu film only?   “I did  one Malayalam film Molly Aunty Rocks in  2012  .Then I  did  Virus  in  2019 Now  Bhoothakalam. So it’s  three Malayalam films in  ten years which isn’t that much.In Tamil  I’ve done only one film Power Pandi in ten years, and two comedy films with Prabhu Deva  and Jyotika.”

She enjoys   doing comedy as  it  gives her  a  chance to escape her serious  image.  “ I enjoyed  doing comedy in Jackpot  and Gulaebaghavali   thoroughly. But these two were totally slapstick. In future  if  I do  comedy I’d like it to be  slightly more relevant,  like Meryl Streep’s Mama Mia .Way back in 1992 I had done  a  comedy with Priyadarshan called Muskurahat  which  I really enjoyed.”

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Speaking about her role in the recent Netflix  anthology Navarasa Revathi  says, “Oh, that  was  a fabulous experience . It was  just three days’ work. But the homework had to be watertight. I had  so many discussion with  my director  Bejoy Nambiar.”

Going back ,we still remember Revathi   as Maggie in Salman Khan’s film  Love.While Salman is  still romancing heroines who are  of the age that Revathi was  when  she  did Love with him, she has   moved on to mother’s roles.

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Revathi is okay with that. “Each actor handles the  career in  different ways. Whether we  like it or not  male actors  don’t age on screen.Women  do age.  There’s  just  a handful of roles for a few actresses.When  I meet other actresses my age they say the same thing.  No roles! Meryl  Streep   does one film in four years. She  too complains  about the lack of content  for women. By the way,  she too is tired of  her serious image and wants to do fun roles.”

Revathi  is content  with the  volume of work she is doing.  “At this  stage  of  my life I want to  give time to my  family , my daughter who is 9.When I am shooting  my parents   look after her. I am quite happy   with the volume of work, though I’d have like to get better-written  roles. But  I am happy with the work I am doing.”

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What happened  to  the  remake  of  Mahesh Bhatt’s Arththat Revathi  was supposed  to direct?  “That project did not fall into place with the right actors. I’ve postponed it  for now. We are actually doing a take on the  subject , an  idea that remained unexplored in the original.I didn’t want  to  do a faithful remake.I wanted to take the  characters into a different  direction.By the way I  played Shabana’s role  in Balu Mahendra’s Marapudiyam ,  the Tamil  version of Arth.”

Coming  up next  is the  biopic on Sandeep Unnikrishnan where Revathi plays  the martyr’s mother. “It’s very tough to play a real-life character. . Here  the amazing thing was, the director  did not want  me to  meet  the real  character. But director Sashi Kiran Tikka knew exactly what he wanted  me to do. Major is my next release.I am also doing a 8-episode  series  with Netflix called Tooth Pari.And before you ask  I don’t play the title role.”

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Aamir Khan’s Sister Plays Shah Rukh’s Mother In Pathaan

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Aamir Khan’s Sister Plays Shah Rukh’s Mother

Ever  since Pathaan released on Wednesday, audiences  have been  curious to know who  is the woman who plays Shah Rukh Khan’s adoptive mother in Afghanistan. The stately lady  with  royal looks is none  other than the late producer  Tahir Hussain’s daughter and  Aamir Khan’s elder  sister Nikhat Khan.

 Nikhat has been  closely  associated with the  film industry  and has helped her father in the production of his  films like Dulha Bikta Hai and  Tum Mere  Ho.

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Nikhat has  acted earlier in the Akshay Kumar starrer Mission Mangal ,  Ajay Devgan’s Tanhaji and  in Sandh Ki Aankh(as a Maharani).

For Pathaan, it was Shah Rukh Khan who suggested Nikhat Khan should play his foster-mother in  Afghanistan who names him ‘Pathaan’. It proved to be  an inspired  piece of casting, as  audience have  loved Nikhat  Khan’s cameo.

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It is  heartwarming that  all three Khan superstars  are  associated with Pathaan in one  way  or the other.

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Anurag Kashyap’s New Film Is About Love Jihad

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Love Jihad, whatever  that means, is  the theme  of  Anurag Kashyap’s new film Almost Pyaar  With D  J Mohabbat.

Debutant Karan  Mehta plays a Muslim boy  in an intense relationship with  Alaya F who plays  a Hindu  girl.Kashyap has spared the  audience none of the ugliness that  such a relationship generates  among  social-media  bouncers, the self-styled  guardian of morality .

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In the hardhitting powerful and pertinent film  a  bigot is heard commenting snidely, “These people first talk about Mohabbat. Then  they talk about Mohammed.”

Happily and  surprisingly,  the Central Board Of Film Certification gave the  film a ‘UA’ certificate  with no  cuts: a  rare non-‘A’ film of Kashyap.

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So far  Kashyap and his  team have kept the Love Jihad part  of  the plot  out of all media interaction.

But the  cat is  now  out of the bag.

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Samantha Ruth Prabhu to Star Alongside Varun Dhawan in Prime Video’s Indian Original Series , Samantha Speaks

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Samantha Ruth Prabhu

Samantha Ruth Prabhu will be starring alongside Varun Dhawan in the Indian installment of the Citadel universe, the global-event series from Prime Video and the Russo Brothers’ AGBO. The untitled Citadel series based out of India is being helmed by renowned creator duo Raj & DK (Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK), who are the showrunners and directors.

 The local installment is written by Sita R. Menon, along with Raj & DK. The streaming service also confirmed that the production is currently underway in Mumbai. After this, the unit will head  to North India and then onwards to international locales like Serbia and South Africa.

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  Richard Madden (Bodyguard) and Priyanka Chopra Jonas will star in the first-to-launch series within the Citadel universe, which comes from the Russo Brothers’ AGBO along with David Weil (Hunters) and is set to premiere in 2023. Alongside Madden and Chopra Jonas, the first-to-launch Citadel series will also feature Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games saga). Additional local-language Citadel productions are also in the works, including an Italian Original series starring Matilda De Angelis (The Undoing).

  Speaking on  her participation in  The Citadel  franchise for  the  first time,Samantha says, “When Prime Video and Raj & DK approached me with this project, I decided to take it up in a heartbeat! After working with this team on The Family Man, it is homecoming for me.The Citadel universe, the interconnected storylines between the productions across the globe, and most importantly, the script of the Indian installment really excited me.”

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   Samantha  says she is  looking forward  to working with Varun Dhawan  .  “I am thrilled to be a part of this brilliant universe conceptualised by the Russo Brothers. I am also looking forward to be working with Varun for the first time, on this project. He is someone who is full of life and cheer when you’re around him.”

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Bollywood’s Achche Din Have Come

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 Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar

All you doomsday  prophets, the  booms-day  profits  are here.  Pathaan  has  opened the floodgates again for Bollywood’s  bumper  bonanza at the  boxoffice.And now there is  only the achche din ahead  for  Hindi  cinema.

In the  next   two months there are  three sureshot  blockbusters coming up, beginning with Shehzada.  An astute devilishly impish  adaptation  of  Allu Arjun’s  2020 Telugu   blockbuster  Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo.The super-popular Kartik  Aaryan gives  his own  spin to the  character. This  performance will take   Kartik to the  next level of stardom. Kartik’s version of  Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is  radically different  from  its Telugu  version. Shehzada  takes  the core idea of  the Telugu original  and turns it into a  something  completely different. Kartik’s  co-star in Shehzada  is  Kriti  Sanon with whom he earlier shared superhit space in Lukka Chuppi.

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 Then there  is Luv Ranjan’s ravishing rom-com   Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar. The director’s   male viewpoint on the chaos  of love relationships  crests to a comic  high in his latest. Ranjan  for  the first time, collaborates with Ranbir Kapoor for the  first time  collaborates with Shraddha  Kapoor  who badly needs a hit.This film should do the  trick. The winsome  lead pair tries  to do one  another  in a  game of Luv This is Luv Ranjan’s Hum…Aapke Hain Con. Ranjan  has in the past used  the romcom  space to  entertain his audience  to the hilt, he  says this  time the stakes are different. It is  not something we’ve seen before.

 Finally  it is   Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.  Karan  Johar’s first directorial in six years(not counting the one segment each  in Ghost Stories and  Lust Stories). This time he has assembled a dream star-cast  of Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Ranveer Singh and  the  boxoffice darling(s) Alia Bhatt.  But trust me, this one is  not about assembling stars  into a complacent plot. The writing in this  zany Romeo & Juliet is so crisp  and engrossing, the experience  is  likely to be   the visual version of a multi-flavour icrecream cone. Colour, choler and karma collide in this tragic-comic love story . Let the  box office dhamaka  begin  from the house  of Dharma.

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