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Phone Bhoot Propagates Primitivism,  Fanaticism  &  Dimwittedness

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Phone Bhoot

Rating: *  1/2

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There is too  little  of everything in Phone Bhoot  except the two bratty boys  Siddhant Chaturvedi  and  Ishaan(he has dropped the ‘Khattar’ in his name)  who are  all over the place  like two bad viruses. For  long patches Katrina Kaif  vanishes: she has every right to since she  plays a   bhoot. Must be the most chic ghost in town . We  only have  to see poor Sheeba Chadha’s makeup and scruffy  look to know  why Katrina  did  this  film.

She  just wanted to show  the world  how pretty   a ghost can be. Thank  you for that.

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And  there  ends my sarcasm laden  praise for this  eerie  abomination…eerie  and funny is  what  it aims at. Dreary and  phony is  what  we get in Phone Bhoot, a film so devoid  of any merit  that you wonder why  it was made in the  first film. Born out of  a desperate  sense  of   urgency to score a  win,  the  film tries to be a Stree on   speed. Instead it  ends up being a  witchcraft tale  with  no head or tail

Jokes include  a headless  head  of  security of Jackie Shroff’s  staff . Shroff plays  Atmarama  a dreaded  satanic  presence who  is  more  farcical than fearsome.The  jokes are  so  labored that they are  repeated  twice  so  we get  it. The whole  film is  joke, though not in the way  it was  intended  to be.

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I wish I could say   there  is more chemistry  between the  two boys Chaturvedi  and  Ishaan then  there  is among the  boys  and Katrina. That  would  be untrue. The two boys  excel only at  showing  us  who can  make  more faces  on   camera. Chaturvedi wins hands down. It is tragic to  see  the  once-promising  Gully Boy reduced  to  this insufferable ham  .

Ishaan(sans Khattar) is  more  subdued  and  controlled.  But we can see the  struggle to remain sober  is constantly  thwarted  by  the  loud screechy bhoot-pret-atma  nonsense  that unfurls  in front  of   Khattar. As  for Katrina,if this  is  all  the  film industry  has to offer the pretty actress, just  check out.

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Phone  Bhoot  thinks  it is the meta screen provider  for generations that have  NOT grown up on  Chanda Mama and  Amar Chitra Katha stories.  The idea is to give  a groovy  cool  spin to  grandma’s tales. But it doesn’t work. The  endeavour is not only insincere  but blissfully blind to propagating  blind faith.

From  primitivism  to  paganism  to heretic  mumbo jumbo, where is  Hindi  cinema  heading  in pursuit  of that elusive success?This is  the same production house which  has given us milestones  like Dil Chahta Hai  and  Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara? Is  success  so  vital that  you sell your  soul to the  devil?

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Interestingly I  saw  Sourabh Shukla’s  name in  the credit titles for   associate  director  or  something.  I guess the  mess was   foreseen.

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Karan Johar Moves Alia Song From Switzerland To Kashmir

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Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani

The  romantic duet in  Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani  which was to be  shot in Switzerland and which was  delayed  due to the film’s leading lady Alia Bhatt’s motherhood, is now being relocated to  Kashmir.

Purely out of  the  love for  new mom Alia.

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Says a source in the know, “Karan loves Alia  like his own daughter. He would do anything for her. He postponed  the  release of Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani as the love duet could not be shot before Alia’s maternity leave. Karan had decided to shoot the song in Switzerland  after Alia’s maternity love. But now he has relocated the song to Kashmir  as Alia doesn’t want to leave her  baby girl behind for  long stretches.”

And as Karan Johar argued, snow is  snow. How does it matter whether it is  Switzerland or Kashmir?

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This  song would be Karan Johar’s tribute to  his  idol Yash Chopra. Alia would be dressed in chiffon sarees while  Ranveer, for  a change, would be seen in  formals.

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Bobby Deol’s Switchover To Villainous Roles

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Bobby Deol

After  Prakash Jha’s webseries Ashram where Bobby  played a sleazy  godman, and Love Hostel  where  he was a ruthless assassin,   he is playing the villain to Ranbir Kapoor in  Sandeep Vanga’s  Animal.

Bobby says it is not conscious career decision to play negative characters  but a conscious  decision to play interesting characters. “ I don’t look at  characters as positive or negative.When I watch  films there is always  one character  that stays  with you. I want to play that  character.”

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Prakash Jha’s Ashram proved a gamechanger for Bobby.  He admits finding  challenging roles is tough.  “I am trying. I  am doing Sandeep Vanga’s Animal with Ranbir  Kapoor , Parineeti Chopra. Then I am doing the family film Apne  2 which I am  very excited  about.”

 In an  earlier  interview with  this writer Bobby spoke  about his   long absence  from screen  before Prakash Jha’s Ashram.  “My fans   would ask why I wasn’t being seen on the screen.And I couldn’t tell them it was  because  I wasn’t getting good roles. But my fans  stood by me. They gave me  the strength  to  keep looking for the right roles. Thankfully I found the roles I liked. My new  films have given  me  some new fans. I am  thankful  I am still here. Yeah , I am in a good space right now.”

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Pathaan Collects 55 crore nett in India On Day 1

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Pathaan

YRF’s Pathaan has apparently wiped out all previous records as it collected 55 crore nett in India and recorded the biggest ever Day 1 for a Hindi film. The total collections of Pathaan on Day One is 57 crore nett (Hindi – 55 crore and dubbed versions 2 crore).

It is the widest Hindi release of  all  time in India and also the highest grossing 1st Day for a   Hindi film.It is  also the  highest grosser  on the  first first for a  non-holiday release. Pathhan is  also the highest  opener for Shah Rukh Khan.

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Akshaye Widhani, CEO of Yash Raj Films, says, “It is a historic day for Indian cinema and we are humbled to see the love and appreciation that is flowing for Pathaan globally. For Pathaan to shatter records in this fashion on a non holiday, just proves that the theatrical business is here to stay, provided we make films that entice people to come to the cinemas to witness a never seen before experience that entertains them thoroughly.“

He adds, “We, at YRF, are thrilled with the start that the film has got across India and we are hopeful that Pathaan brings joy to cine-goers globally in the days to come! Pathaan is the fourth film of our YRF Spy Universe and we are thrilled that we have been able to elevate the cinematic experience of audiences with each film from this franchise. We humbly share this moment with all the stake-holders of the film who have given their blood, sweat and tears to give people a movie-going experience like never before.”

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“Professionally, What  A Year It Has Been For Me,” Raveena Tandon On Her Padma Shri

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Raveena Tandon

Raveena Tandon  feels  she is in a dream. “I woke  up  today to the  news that  I have been awarded the Padma Shri by  my Government. I felt all my years  of hard work  has  finally come to  fruition.I can’t wait to get  back to Mumbai.”

Raveena  is  in Bhopal attending a  wedding.  “I woke  up  on Thursday morning to the good news. My husband(film distributor Anil Thadani) who is in Mumbai had no clue about it. I had to inform him that his wife is now Padma Sri Raveena,” she laughs heartily.

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She then grows  melancholic. “The past one year has been a whirlwind  for me. Professionally, it couldn’t get any better. My webseries Aranyak on Netflix  and  then the bigscreen  blockbuster KGF 2 where I played one of the protagonists , became huge  successes.Sadly,it  was  also the year that  I lost my father(well-known producer-director Ravi Tandon). It was  the severest blow of my life.I am still processing the loss. The Padma Shri would have made  my Dad so proud.”

Remind her  she is  still young and already a Padma winner and Raveena expresses  her  happiness. “I guess I am lucky to have received the honour at the  midpoint of my life and career. I am also very happy that M M  Keeravani Sir has  also received the Padma Shri.His Naatu naatu has  the  world dancing to his tune. But even  before Naatu naatu he has done such exemplary work.”

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Getting nostalgic Raveena  says, “I started working when I was 17.I have done every kind of  cinema, balancing out a Chote Miyan  Bade Miya  with  a Shool, a Rakshak with a  Ghulam-e-Mustafa,  a Bulundi and a Khauff with a Daman and an Aks. It’s  always been  my endeavour to be be seen in escapism and  real cinema. Some people think dancing around trees  and  doing the masala  stuff is easy.  It is  not!  In fact  being real on screen is far easier.”

Raveena feels the  good days  are  back in the entertainment  industry. “I saw Pathaan and  I whistled  and clapped the loudest. It is  an out-and-out mass entertainer and bound to revive the  sagging fortunes  of  our industry.  While the Padma Shri is a personal triumph,  the success of Pathaan  is  a happy occasion for the entire industry.So yeah, I am on top of  the world,”

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Raveena’s fans  would like to know her khubsoorati  ka raaz.

She  laughs, “It’s nothing more than sleeping and eating right. I  try to eat  correctly. I have only  organic  food. More  importantly,I am happy and secure in life. If you are content within it is  bound show on your face.”

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