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Old Conversation With Manoj Kumar Who turned 84 On July 24

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Subhash K Jha In An Old Conversation With Manoj Kumar Who turned 84 On July 24

Why haven’t you directed a film for so long?
I haven’t been able to make any film because of my back problem.
Do you miss working with likeminded actors?
 Sadly I don’t have the comfort of working with Manoj Kumar the actor anymore. He is capable of telling home truths in the most understated manner. So I’ve to select from the stars today.
Akshay Kumar is a big fan and many see him a  the Bharat that you played ?
He has great respect for me. In his film with Katrina Kaif Namaste London he said, ‘If you want to know what India is all about take a look at a dvd of Purab Aur Pachchim, and you’ll know. In fact Purab Aur Pachchim the mother of many subsequent films.

In your best films you worked with some of the greatest talents?
I have an eye for talent. Do you know in Shor when Sharmila Tagore ditched me(she was supposed to play my wife’s role that Nanda finally played) I had offered that role to Smita Patil. She politely told me she was not interested in acting at that point of time.God has given me honest eyes and pure ears.”

How did Manoj Kumar the Star become a director?
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I never intended to be a director in the first place. I became one by default when during Shaheed I had to direct the film unofficially. Then Lal Bahadur Shastri raised the slogan of Jai Jawan Jai Kisan. That’s how I made Upkar. I give credit for my success to my parents.

Your parents must have been very proud of your achievements?
 My father was a poet philosopher. I came to Mumbai with two targets .One was to be a hero, the other was to make 3 lakh rupees,1 lakh each for my two parents and 1 lakh for my siblings.When I had left home in Delhi in 1956 to come to Mumbai to become a hero my father gave me a letter . In that letter he said, ‘My blood can never commit blunders, only mistakes’. I made mistakes in my career. But not blunders.
Why haven’t you acted or directed for so many years?
I am not a greedy film person even as an actor. While my contemporaries Dharmendra and Shashi Kapoor acted in nearly 300 films each I’ve done hardly 35 films in my entire career. 
What went wrong with your last directorial venture?
According to me Kalyug Aur Ramayan was my best script. But because it went through a lot of changes it lost its sheen. My characters were called Ram and Sita. There was a song in the film Kalyug ki sita milne judge ko chali/Sau chuhe khake billi haj kochali…The moral police took offence. Some people in our society specialize in stopping creative people from doing what they do. The censor board threatened to ban the picture. I changed the title from Kalyug Ki Ramayan to Kalyug Aur Ramayan. The film was not the same any longer.
You’ve directed masterpieces like Upkar, Shor, Purab Aur Paschchim and Roti Kapada Aur Makaan.Which is your favourite among your films?

Shor  in 1972 .It was about a man and his son.I remember I had gone to sign Jaya Bhaduriji after seeing her in Guddi. I told her , Shor is about a father and son. The son can’t speak and the father pines to hear him. But the day that the son speaks the father can’t hear any more.’ No Indian film had been made on a such a thin storyline.And that is the only film I directed in which I was not named Bharat.

Shor’s message  on noise pollution was way ahead of its times?
Do you know they took one sequence from Shor and made an Iranian film in 1987 called The Cyclist which won numerous awards. Shor was the first film that I edited myself. The great Hrishikesh Mukherjee who was the chairperson of editors’ jury gave me the Filmfare award for best editor. Coming from such a skilled technician that was a special challenge for me.
Do you feel isolated from today’s cinema?
I am not brooding about it. But when I read the interviews of actors whom I gave major breaks to and they don’t even mention me, dukh to hota hai.”
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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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