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Dear Arjun and Mohit Suri, Stop Stereotyping Biharis

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As a proud Bihari I am appalled by actors Arjun Kapoor and Vikrant Massey’s ‘Bihari’ accents in the trailer ofMohit Suri’s Hamari Adhuri Gilrfriend, sorry, Half Girlfriend. For those who haven’t read Chetan Bhagat’s trite novel—unfortunately, I have—Arjun plays Madhav Jha and Massey(an exceptionally talented actor otherwise, here reduced to hamming in Mr Kapoor’s inspiring company) plays his best friend Shailesh.

At several high-points in the hysterical trailer Massey  is seen warning and reprimanding Madhav for being led up the garden path by  the love of his life Riya, played with leggy  authoritativeness by Shradha Kapoor who badly needs a hit after superbombs like Rock On 2 and Ok Jaanu….Yes, that was the name of her last film…OkJaanu.

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If you think that’s corny what about Half Girlfriend? It sounds like  a cruel joke on someone who’s just suffered a serious case of coitus interruptus. Every character in the trailer seems to love the title, though. They keep saying ‘Half Girlfriend’ so many times I wondered if they were hoping to multiply the halves into something complete.

But the trailer of Half  Girlfriend remained halfbaked till the  end. The accents and performances  matched the mood and intention of the film’s  producer Ekta Kapoor’s soap operas. Even Seema Biswas who plays Madhav  ‘Arjun’ Jha’s mother did not remain unaffected by the looming mood of exaggerated bravado that fills the rancid air of this Mohit Suri(Hamari Adhuri Kahaani) film about a boy from Bihar who chases  the girl of his dreams all the way from Patna to New York

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The plot shamelessly advocates stalking at a time when social protesters like Maneka Gnadhi have gone on-record to  blame Hindi films for promoting eveteasing and unwanted courtship.

The  thing about Chetan Bhagat’s Bihari hero  is that he has only one agenda in life. How to get his ‘HalfGilrfriend’ to say yes. Director Mohit Suri seems to have made no effort to explore the inner world of Madhav’s obsessive  attachment to the idea of love. Is he a repressed Romeo or psychotic Lothario? Arjun Kapoor doesn’t seem to care. He is so busy holding on to his ‘Bihari’ accent that the character’s compunctions beyond the spoken words seem to slither into a sphere of sullen incompetence.

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Going by its awful trailer Half Girlfriend seems so faithful to the its adaptive source that one could  almost read between the lines.Except that there is nothing to read. This is an imbecile’s guide to how to win your hi-figirlfriend even if she says no in every possible language.

Pink, anyone?

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Trailer Rating: **(2 stars)

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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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