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Yeh Dosti: Filmland Friendships Are Real

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Friendships on Friendships Day: Rivalry be  damned, actors  today are far too secure in their space to look anxiously over their  shoulder at what  the other actors are doing.

Friendships  in Bollywood: There  was a time when the A-listers could  never be friends, not really, not unless there  was  a  photographer around  to catch them smiling together.

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Otherwise it  was as impossible for the  yesteryears’ superstars  to be friends as it  was  for them  to work together. Hence Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and  Dev Anand, the reigning superstars  of  the 1950s had their own mutually  exclusive fan clubs and fans . Raj and Dilip did come together  for one  film Andaz  in 1949. But thereafter they refuse to work together again. So there was no Friendships

Raj  invited  Dilip Kumar  to  play the  other hero in the  film.Dilip refused. The  role went to Rajendra Kumar who was  known as  the poor man’s Dilip Kumar.

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In the  1960s it  was  no better. The top stars Rajendra KumarSunil DuttManoj KumarBiswajeet,  Raj KumarDharmendra  hardly ever met let alone socialized together. Still no Friendships

Recalls Dharmendra,  “We were cordial to one another but not friends as such.All of us  would pack up our respective shootings and rush home  to be with the family. There was  no non-stop partying back then. We met at  film premieres, and  that  too rarely.”

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With the  iconic actresses  of the 1960s it  was  different.Waheeda RehmanSadhana,  VyjanthimalaAsha Parekh and Nanda were  close friends and some of them remain  close to this days. So real Friendships start to develop in Bollywood

Recalls Asha, “There  was no  rivalry  or competition among us.None  of us  was replaceable. If a producer wanted Waheeda he went to her only. There was  no Plan B. If they wanted me  they came to me. We were all happy doing our own thing.”
The atmosphere  changed drastically in  the  1970s when  Rajesh  Khanna’s superstardom decimated all competition.

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One  of  the  other  leading actors  of the 1970s told me, “Rajesh Khanna took over the market completely. All of us were struggling for  survival.  It was Rajesh Khanna all the way. There was no question of being friends with our colleagues. We  were all  strugglers  fighting to get roles rejected by Kaka(Rajesh Khanna).”

Rajesh Khanna  not only made  sure he had no competition he also ensured  the  top heroines were at loggerheads.Sharmila  Tagore  and Mumtaz  were  vying to  be cast opposite KhannaHema Malini and Zeenat Aman were vastly removed  from one another in their screen image and the mutual friends that they had.And then  came Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit. There was no love lost between the  two divas.

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When Amitabh Bachchan took over  from Rajesh Khanna the atmosphere  scarcely  lightened.  The fierce  BachchanShatrughan Sinha  rilavry is well –known.

Laughs  Shatruji, “We were  rivals, competitors. And when we worked together in Kala Patthar and Dostana I  got more praise. Naturally, I  was  not considered a friend.”

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The Khan superstars Shah RukhSalman and Aamir blow hot and blow cold about their relationship. But they never really felt comfortable amongst  themselves.

All  that has changed now. The new generation of actors and actresses are very comfortable in their own space.Kareena  Kapoor is  everyone’s favourite. Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor  hang out together. So  does Varun Dhawan and  Arjun.Parineeti is  too  much in awe  of  her cousin Priyanka Chopra to  see her as a rival. Katrina Kaif adores Alia Bhatt and Sonam Kapoor-Jacqueline Fernandez have been friends for some years now. Deepika  is  very  comfortable with Priyanka. And Ranbir  fears no competition.

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“We all hang out together and we don’t  worry about who’s doing which movie. All of us  have enough work,” says Alia Bhatt happily. So know real Friendships blossom in Bollywood 

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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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