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“We Had To Be Very Careful With Child Abuse,”  Says Sujoy

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Sujoy Ghosh who has shocked audiences with his stark brutal believable and sensitive depiction of child abuse in Kahaani 2 ,has seen victims of child abuse from very close quarters.

“My mother is a psychiatrist . My wife is a counsellor.At my mother’s  clinic in Kolkata I’d see so many different kinds of psychological problems .They stayed with me. It took me years to sort out the one incident that has gone into Kahaani 2. I was plagued tormented and traumatized  by it. But I didn’t know how to  put it into cinema,” confesses Sujoy.

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He was sure he didn’t want to preach down on audiences about child abuse or wag a disapproving finger at them. “My job as a filmmaker is to tell a story which is engrossing. I didn’t want to lose my audience in pursuit  of the terrible burden that I  carried on my conscience . I had to tell the abused child Mini’s story. But how? I did not want to make a documentary out of my film. I had to keep the audience involved till the end, without  for a minute sensationalizing the subject. God forbid!”

Sujoy says he had to wait for a long time to get the right tone for the narrative. “It took me 2 ½ years to write Kahaani . I finally got it out of my system. The most scary thing about victims of child abuse is that they don’t know they’re being abused. They feel what is happening to them is normal, because they don’t know any better.By the time they realize the horrific wrong done to them it’s too late. Vidya herself plays a victim of abuse. Her character keeps herself from looking attractive .She is deliberately dowdy because she is afraid of the male gaze, the sexual touch.”

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Sujoy is thankful  to his actors for making the very difficult and sensitive subject relatively less complicated to put across. “This film couldn’t be made without Vidya and the child actor Naisha  Khanna.Jugal Hansraj(who plays the child abuser) was someone I’ve known for years. He was supposed to do my directorial debut JhankarBeats…the role that Shayan Munshi eventually played. I’d see him  jogging in Pali Hill. He was my first and only choice for the part. Thankfully he rose to the occasion. Someone had to do the dirty job. Or this film could not have been made.”

Sujoy remains undaunted by the relatively tame  opening of Kahaani 2. “Considering the circumstances , demonetization , we are not doing badly at all. The important this is, those who are seeing the film appreciate what we’ve tried to say . No one recoils with horror at the theme of child abuse in  my film. That to me, is a big relief. I was really scared about how audiences would react. I didn’t want them to ask, ‘Why is he showing this? We don’t want to see this.’ Luckily audiences have understood how important it is to address the issue of our children’s safety.We live in an environment of absolute distrust because we can’t bring ourselves to trust our children with even our closest friends.”

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Why On  Earth Is Sushmita Sen Smoking A Cigar In Aarya’s First  Look?

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Aarya

Season 3  of Aarya is being shot as  you read this, and naturally Sushmita Sen is  super-kicked about it, so kicked that she has put  out a  video where she is seen  in the  best Lady Boss version of herself.

Alarmingly, she is seen puffing away at a  cigar, to  complete her Badass Lady Boss image.

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 There was a  time when women smoking  cigarettes  in Hindi cinema signaled vampishness. If a female actor was  shown smoking it meant she had evil designs  over the  hero, and life in general.

 Sushmita being Sushmita, a cigarette won’t do. A  cigar it is, to go with her formidable image. The last Bollywood actor I saw smoking a cigar  on screen was Premnath in the 1970s. Back then so  many  people didn’t die of cancer  by smoking.

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 These are  different far more dangerous  and deadly times.

Sushmita is an iconic  actor.She  needs to be more careful about the image  she projects . Smoking  a  cigar doesn’t  enhance a woman’s(or a  man’s) muscle power. Nor does it make her look cool.

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About shooting for the third season of Aarya  Sushmita says, “Aarya is synonymous with my name.  I have lived as Aarya for two whole seasons and the love received by the audiences has only encouraged me to do more. Walking on the sets of Aarya Season 3 makes me feel at home and gives me  a sense of empowerment. I’m grateful to the entire team at Disney+ Hotstar, Ram Madhvani Films and Endemol Shine India for the vision of creating Aarya and taking it to newer heights with every season.”

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Shah Rukh, Deepika, John Will Meet The Media  On Monday At 4 pm(But There’s  A Catch)

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Pathaan

Pathaan has effectually discredited the  efficacy  of media interactions to promote  a  film. The  film’s lead actors Shah Rukh  Khan, Deepika Padukone  and John Abraham did not conduct any  press or portal interviews  to  promote the  film.

And  yet Pathaan  is  a blockbuster.

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 This  weekend  the Pathaan producer Aditya  Chopra  of  Yash Raj Films  took a call on behalf  of  the Pathaan team  to do one media  meet at the Taj Land’s End in Mumbai  on Monday January 30 at 4 pm.

The  three principal actors  and  director Siddharth Malhotra  will address  the  media.

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 But  here’s the catch: the media will not be allowed to ask any questions. There will be no  Q& A s or  one-on-one  interactions.This  basically means that the  Pathaan  team will  have an opportunity to  say what it wants  to the media. But the  media will have no say.

Make what  you will of this  one-way traffic.

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A  source close  to Yash Raj informs  me that this is  the   pattern  regarding the media that  Yash Raj will follow for  future  releases: no  press meets  no promotional  engagements.

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Fake Projects of Pathaan Director Being Planted In Media

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Pathaan

Siddharth Anand Denies Considering  Any Project With  Deepak Mukut

A  word of caution to those marketing and publicity wizkids  who think  it’s okay to  plant fake stories  on (fake) projects  with the Pathaan director.

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 It is  not.

Such baseless announcements  are meant only to  raise  the equity  of the  producers  with whom Siddharth   Anand’s name is  linked. One  such  producer whose name  has cropped up after the  spectacular success of  Pathaan is  Deepak Mukut.

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There were  reports  everywhere that Siddharth Anand’s next would  be with Mukut.

Turned out to be a false rumour.

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A  source in the  know informs, “Siddharth now has to complete Fighter  starring Hrithik Roshan and  Deepika Padukone  for Yash Raj.Then  he  is   committed to direct the sequel to War 2 for  Yash Raj films.  They will then start  work on the  next film in the Pathaan  franchise. There is no scope  or  room for any outside  projects  for Siddharth Anand. So every announcement  that  you read of a  new film  to be  directed by Siddharth Anand  for an  outside  producer is likely to  be  a hundred  percent fake.”

When I asked Siddharth Anand  about the  supposed project  with  producer Deepak Mukut he promptly replied,  “NOT AT ALL.”

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Pink Director’s Next  Featuring Yami As A Crime Reporter To Stream From February 16

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Yami

Anniruddha Roy  Chowdhury whose  Pink  featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu was one of  the  most important  films of  2016, is all set to  release his  next  Hindi film.

Entitled LostAnniruddha’s film , based on true  events, will see Yami Gautam Dhar(that’s  what the actress calls herself after her marriage)  as a crime journalist. LOST is an emotional social thriller that represents a higher quest, a search for lost values of empathy and integrity.

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Inspired by true events, Lost is a story of a bright young woman crime reporter in her relentless search for the truth behind the sudden disappearance of a young theatre activist.

Lost

Lost

Says Aniruddha  “The shoot of LOST has been an incredible journey. I have been eager for the release of our hard-worked venture. The film is a realistic highlight of media in a social context and I am sure that it will give the audience a compelling watch. I am curious about its release and see the responses it shall get. I hope they will welcome it with open hearts.”

Yami Gautam Dhar  who plays  the lead  of  the  crime reporter  says,   “I can’t be happier and more proud of the film’s selection for the opening night at CSAFF. I feel like its one that the people will connect to and will be the one that you cannot miss, especially in the current age and time. I have loved playing this role because it was such a special experience, it allowed me to explore so many layers of emotions as an actor and the entire team has worked really hard on it. I genuinely cannot wait for the film’s release, especially to see the reactions of the audience to it.”

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The crime investigation  drama boasts a stellar cast. Along with Yami, the film will feature Pankaj Kapur, Rahul Khanna, and an ensemble of younger talent, including Neil Bhoopalam, Pia Bajpai, and Tushar Pandey, in pivotal roles.

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