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Naseeruddin Shah’s 5 Greatest  Performances

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It is  as hard to pick the best performances  of  Naseeruddin Shah as it is to pick  a cluster  of  stars  from the sky as  the “best”. What I can tell you is  that if you’ve missed the  5 performances  below then  your existence as  as  movie lover is  incomplete.

  1. Sparsh(1979):  Many  have  played blind. But none as  the one  who can see right through human hypocrisy. Naseeruddin Shah  as  the the self-respecting , self-sufficient  visually impaired Annirudh Parmar  is the best portrayal  I’ve seen  of  a  blind  man in cinema  from any  part  of  the world in any language. This incredible performance  has  become  a reference point for  all  actors playing blind. Stumbling over furniture  to look blind went out of fashion after Naseer’s Sparsh.
  2. Albert Pinto Ko Gussa  Kyon Aata Hai(1979):  I  love watching  Naseer do accents. Because he doesn’t “do” them . He  embraces accents  like long-lost brothers. As the angry Albert Pinto, Naseer was spot-on with the Catholic colloquialism.  Like   Meryl Streep, Naseeruddin Shah   never  loses  hold  of an accent.  The  language doesn’t  betray the character  for even a second. But  why is  Pinto so  angry? Look around you.The  issues that angered him  are more relevant today than ever.
  3. Masoom(1982):  It isn’t easy  making  the father  of  an illegitimate child look  sympathetic. But  DK’s anguished outburst when he tells his rightly  unforgiving wife, “Kya karun? Should I  kill myself?” reverberates across the  frames of  this sublime lyrical  take on infidelity and  forgiveness.  Not often  does Naseer get a chance  to play an urban upperclass gentleman with problems that Pinto  or Parmar wouldn’t entertain  if they can help it. Naseeruddin Shah ’s scenes with his  screen-son  Jugal Hansraj reminded many years later  found an echo in  Liam Neeson and his little son in  Curtis Hanson’s  Love Actually.
  4. Paar(1983): It’s  a pig’s life for  the  economically backward Naurangia  in this powerful   parable  on poverty .Naseer and Shabana  both won richly deserved National awards  for portaying a desperately poor couple herding pigs through a dangerous  river. For Naseer this  was  the first part in his career that required  him to make physical preparation. Bare-chested and defiant he rages against the  river currents like a penniless King Lear raging against the winds.
  5. Pestonjee(1988): The  best Parsi accent  I’ve heard, better than even Boman Irani’s  genealogically bequeathed Parsi accent. Naseer was  Piroj Shah,  the fumbling loser who watches the love of his life marry his best friend. It’s a  sad droopy listless character, surrounded by an aura  of doom. Naseer plays Piroj with an air of tragic inevitability, as if he knows this man won’t be happy in  life. But Piroj  is capable of  unexpected courage under  pressure. Naseeruddin Shah  could, and did,  bring layers  of  character to his  personality.

As  I read the above list I suddenly realize that  Naseeruddin Shah ’s co-star in  all  of them was  Shabana Azmi. They are indeed the First  Couple  of  neo-realism in India,  though in real life they  are not 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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