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Kashmir Files Dominates Boxoffice, Threatens RRR

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The new Akshay Kumar starrer Bachchan Pandey has been received with a shocking lack of  enthusiasm  by audiences.

And the film’s  team  has only itself to blame  for the cold reception. Apparently  after  Vivek Agnihotri’s  The Kashmir Files  continued to grow massively at  the  boxoffice  even post the weekend  of release,  the  producers  of  Bachchan Pandey   had been  advised  to postpone their March 18 release .

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But they  did not relent. Arrogantly confident that an Akshay Kumar starrer can take  on the  non-star  Kashmir Files  they pushed along with their release plans.With near-disastrous consequences.

It remains  to be seen how much damage The Kashmir Files inflicts  on  RRR which opens today.

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Personnel from three different  multiplex  chains  inform me that the  advance booking for The Kashmir Files in the second  week is at least  150  percent  stronger than Bachchan Pandey’s opening-day  collections.

Suman Sinha a respected  single-theatre  exhibitor in Patna  says he has never seen anything  like The Kashmir Files in his entire  experience  of  40 years as  an exhibitor.

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“We  did not release The Kashmir Files on March  11  in my  theatre. It  was  a mistake that a lot of us  exhibitors made . We didn’t realize what a Tsunami  The Kashmir Files was  going to be. We instead  released  Radhe  Shyam which was a disaster while Kashmir  Files grew from strength  to strength  with every passing  day.We  have now released  The Kashmir Files  , dictated  by  the  terms  and conditions of  its distributor  during our negotiations, from the week beginning March 28,” says  Sinha.

 He says  the ‘Tsunami’ will effect not only Bachchan Pandey but also  Rajamouli’s  long awaited RRR that follows  next Friday on March 25.

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Speaking  on  the  spectacular  success  of  The Kashmir  Files trade guru  Taran Adarsh says, “The Kashmir Files has found immense love and appreciation from the paying public. The housefull boards across the country are proof enough that the film has worked big time at the BO. From East to West and from North to South, the film has gone from strength to strength with each passing show and day.The film had a very limited release on Friday, but, gradually, the word of mouth caught up and the screen count as well as the BO collections started zooming upwards.The super success of The Kashmir Files clearly indicates that the audience wants to watch a good film in cinemas. Mind you, this film had to face a mighty opponent in Radhe Shyam, yet it overtook Radhe Shyam on Day 2 itself. That says it all.”

 Adds  trade analyst and producer Girish Johar,  “The Kashmir Files has from its very first day  had a very strrrrrrrong undercurrent. The film is very hard hitting and gut wrenching which was bound to hit the audiences hard. And it did precisely that. Happy that the audiences took it very positively and has accepted the film with open arms. Also, from trade perspective it destroys all the present talks of star power, that  OTT only giving good content and niche films won’t work at BO. It’s honestly  a very heartening development  will give huge confidence to small and   medium content -driven cinema.”

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  Trade analyst  Atul Mohan feels The Kashmir Files has gone much beyond a  film. “It has become a movement now! After long we have a film that projects nothing but truth. I won’t call The  Kashmir Files  a film but an important chapter from history which we all should watch. It makes you think about Kashmiri Pandits and their pain. Now that our PM has also endorsed it there will be no stopping it.”

Maharashtra’s exhibitor Akshay Rathi adds, “What’s happening with The  Kashmir  Files is the  best thing that could happen to our  pandemic-paralyzed entertainment industry for a while. Everyone had started  thinking that  smaller films with no star-value  are only apt for the OTT platform. That myth has been busted and crushed to dust by  The   Kashmir Files . Vivek Agnihotri  understands the pulse and politics of the nation. This is  a huge  victory for content-driven cinema  and  I hope  more films   up the ante  when it comes to respecting the audiences’ time  money and intelligence. I am extremely happy to see The Kashmir Files  marching ahead so confidently. I wish them many many weeks of success.”

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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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