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Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui: Tolerance, Acceptance  Love Masti  Sharaarat

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Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui

Starring  Ayushmann Khurrana, Vaani Kapoor

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Directed  by Abhishek Kapoor

Rating: **** ½

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The  most modest  praise for this  wonderful film would be that it is by far the best post-Covid Hindi release.Which is not saying much, considering the abysmal  near-unpalatable  fare that  Bollywood  has been shamelessly shelling out since  the Pandemic.

Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui is quite simply the film everyone must see. It tell us  about tolerance, and  acceptance  without getting preachy and screechy. Director Abhishek  Kapoor manages the near-miraculous feat  of keeping the tone blithe  and buoyant even when the going between the  couple  gets  really  rough.

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There is a  disarmingly  fine-tuned  moment of pathos  running into  humour without  collision when the film’s  lead pair  has  a showdown on  the  street of  Chandigarh. Two  cops, concerned about ‘Bahenji’ stop to inquire.

You have to see   the rest  of the sequence  to  know what  fluent screenwriting is all about.

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Director Abhishek Kapoor has  in  the past shown  us his brilliant side in  fits  and starts  in Rock On(the  film that introduced  Farhan Akhtar as an actor and singer) , Kai Po Che(the one that made Sushant Singh Rajput a movie  star) and in  Kedarnath( a smart  ingenious  idea felled by a clumsy climax).

In the horribly mistitled  Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui the writing(by Supratik Sen, Tushar Paranjpe) is clearly on  the  roll. It flows freely and fluently  making space  for chuckles and sobs without seeming to be doing anyone  a favour.

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It is  no  coincidence  that  the  film’s hero is  a  beefy brawny Big Moose,Manu  a gym instructor  who doesn’t think twice before making a fool  of himself  in public.  Manu’s  relationship with  Maanvi  begins  with a fart. It cannot go anywhere  but up from there. The  dizzying  romance is filled with  clasps  cuddles kisses and  fucks…And oh yes,  the songs which are  not particularly  likeable. But then who is listening? We have eyes and ears  only for  the work in  progress.

Director Kapoor  captures the rhapsodic turmoil  of  the electrically attracted  couple with a purpose.When Maanvi’s big revelation about her gender comes, we know this clunky oafish walking-talking muscle  machine  will take time to  come around.

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The aching sweetness and the numbing wait for  the apology acceptance and reunion  are  filmed with a  furious  fluency. Except for  a  few  overdone sequences  of  Manu’s two nosy sisters prying into his love life, the  narration’s momentum never flags.

I  have always  believed that a film with a strong social message  can only  work when the tools  of  storytelling are well oiled  and  fully alert and alive  to  the  job on hand.Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui  seldom falters  in  telling it like it is.

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Life is often cruel specially to those who are physically and emotionally constructed differently from the mainstream .And  in real life, it may not be  as easy to  get the Manus of  the world to  accept the  Manvis.  But hell, at least a film such as this offers hope  of an more inclusive society.And it does so with  an infectious  vivacity.

Using the language of  conventional storytelling director  Abhishek Kapoor  tells us all about accepting the unconventional.

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And what a pair of  committed lead  actors Kapoor has! Ayushmann Khurrana is  Manu in  body and spirit, a boorish  beefy no-brainer  who learns  the lessons  of love and acceptance the  hard way.Khurrana again  proves  himself  one of  our finest  most committed  actors.As for Vani Kapoor,  she is a  revelation. Sinking into her  meaty character  of a  woman with a gender disorder Ms Kapoor makes Maanvi vulnerable yet strong. Beautiful yet confused. Vani’s Maanvi is heartbreaking.

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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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