After much setbacks, Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaary starring Sidharth Malhotra and Manoj Bajpayee released today. The film had been pushed twice before it could release today. With this film, Neeraj pandey returns once again into political thrillers, but this time he has teamed up with Sidharth Malhotra and is back with Manoj Bajpaye, Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah.The audience has a lot of expectations from the film, especially the die-hard Neeraj Pandey fans. Has the film been able to live upto their expectations? Will Sidharth Malhotra prove to be a credible star with the film? Or will the film stir more controversy?Well, we have got that all covered in this review of Aiyaary, sans any spoiler. Check it out:1. Sidharth Malhotra as Major Jai BakshiHe was the Major who had, according to his own words, gone a little too far while investigating at his work. He has some information and he is also the treat of exposing the cover op he was working under. He plays a smart soldier in the film who is passionate about his work and his country!2. Manoj Bajpayee as Colonel Abhay SinghHe is the man who heads the cover op team that Jai is a part of. He has the responsibility to keep his team's existence a secret. He is not just intelligent but is also calm and calculative. Manoj Bajpayee plays the character to perfection!3. The DisappointmentsWhen a Neeraj Pandey film releases, we have quite high expectations from it. Needless to say, we too had high hopes. But the film turned disappointing, not just for once but in many aspects. Here's a few one:4. The overall rating of the film5. The Rating for the Performances of Each ActorThe film is a waste of a lot of talented actors. Actors like Adil Hussain, Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher. There are a lot of other actors too in various roles. Here's how there performance was:The film has got 2.4 out of 5 stars on Desimartini. If you have watched the film, don't forget to rate and review ithere:
February 16, 2018 07:43 IST
After much adieu Neeraj Pandey’s thrillerAiyaarystarringSidharth Malhotra,Manoj BajpayeeandRakul Preet Singhhas released in in theatres today. Aiyaary is the story of two army officers who have fallout and cease to see eye to eye based on the backdrop of an arms deal scam. Manoj Bajpayee who plays Colonel Abhay Singh has full faith in the system while Sidharth Malhotra plays Major Jai Bakshi thinks the contrary.The film is getting a big thumbs up from celebs in Bollywood.Karan Johartweeted “#Aiyaary is such a solid smart and poignant thriller!! It makes you think and keeps you on your toes right through! So proud of you @S1dharthM for all the varied choices you make and have excelled in every one of them!! Congratulations to the team! Must watch”. But the real critics of the film, the audiences finally get to voice their opinions today. Here’s the audience review of the film.Planning to watch Aiyaary this weekend? Tell us what you think.
February 16, 2018 11:40 IST
The name Manoj Bajpayee carries certain weight behind it. While he has been an integral part of the industry for over a couple of decades, the kind of films that he is doing is making heads turn for sure. One such film is Aiyaary which is arriving on 9th February. A thriller which features him along with Sidharth Malhotra in an unusual pairing, Aiyaary promises to be an intriguing tale with numerous twists and turns that would keep the audience engaged. Meanwhile, Manoj Bajpayee is quite charged up too as he gears up for his first release of the year.Aiyaary - The very title sounds quite different and interesting.'Aiyaar' means the person who keeps changing his face to trick people; in Hindi we call them 'behrupia'. The act of disguising is called 'aiyaary'. Its significance in the film is that the two protagonists i.e. Sidharth and I are masters in 'aiyaary'; entire film is based on this. I can't reveal much of course. We have seen films about armies fighting the battles with the outside forces; the forces which are beyond the border. Here in Aiyaary the army is fighting the battle inside. It turns out to be a cat and mouse game which brings in the thrilling element. The drama is of high quotient too which makes Aiyaary an interesting topic.Neeraj Pandey is the director of the film and your relationship with him goes a long way.I remember making a call to him after watching A Wednesday. When I realized what a great film he had made, I wanted him to know that I would like to work with him. He is the only director amongst all the newcomers whom I called, who responded so warmly and took the relationship further by meeting me frequently. He made an attempt to try and understand me as an actor. He offered me the role of a lifetime in Special 26 and then made sure that I am a part of his production house. This means that even if I am not facing the camera, I at least pass on my opinion on the script.After working in Special 26 and Naam Shabana, you would have been assured that in Aiyaary you would be utilized really well.Yes, we were shooting for Naam Shabana when he offered me Aiyaary. I immediately said yes and booked the months for this film; that's the kind of relationship that we have. I know that he won't waste me and that he would give full justice to the role that he is offering to me. I too know that I would come in with believability, conviction and professionalism. He is someone who doesn't like to socialize much and still he chose to sit and make friends with me. With him, it is a great mix of personal and professional relationship.Looking at the film, it comes like a good mix of solid content and commercial ingredients.Aiyaary is a mainstream film with heavy content; this is very Neeraj Pandey kind of film with thrills, drama and pace. There are certain events based on a true story. It has relationship, friendship and mentor-protégé angle to it with trust and betrayal. That's what you expect from a Neeraj Pandey film. Without succumbing to the formula, he is making middle of the road commercial mainstream films.What next?Another commercial film that I am doing is Baaghi 2. There is a hero and then a whole lot of villains. Too much fun!
February 15, 2018 05:59 IST
(This article was first published in August, 2017. We have modified the data and graphs as per the need.)Akshay Kumar is all set to prove his hold on the Indian box office with PadMan that’s releasing on February 9. The film, which was earlier scheduled to clash with Padmaavat, was shifted at the request of Sanjay Leela Bhansali.If the pre-release buzz is anything to go by, PadMan is expected to open to packed houses.Definitely underrated, especially in terms of box office numbers, Akshay Kumar has managed to stand upto the Khans’ commercial draw in the past and continues to do so. He has been a constant on the Forbes’ highest paid actors’ list in the world and that is no fluke.It was probably around 2007 when Akshay Kumar started breaking into the big league of Bollywood stars. At that time, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Hrithik Roshan were jostling to get past each other in order to challenge the Khan trio. He started getting closer to the numero uno spot and after 11 fruitful years – starting 2007 -- he is at a stage where he can rise past the competition.So, when we decided to analyse his career, we took 2007 as the base year as that was the beginning of the brand Akshay Kumar. Also, it gave us a bandwidth of 11 years that eventually made us see certain patterns easily. We haven’t included the films in which he did a cameo or a voiceover. He wasn’t directly responsible for their BO performances.He has done 38 films, out of which 16 are multi-starrers, in the given period. Here’s a graph that will tell you exactly how much his films have earned in these years. With 2012 being the game-changing year for Akshay Kumar, he went from strength to strength after this.But what about the multi-starrers? He was the most popular face of all the ensemble films he has done. From John Abraham and Sanjay Dutt to Riteish Deshmukh and Anil Kapoor, he worked with some talented actors, but the onus was mostly on him to achieve commercial success.Out of 16 multi-starrers, six are hits and three are moderately successful, so that takes his success percentage to 56.25%. Here’s a graph that will explain it for you.His overall success percentage is better than multi-starrers. Out of 38 films, 24 of his solo films have either managed to break even or have made profits. That shows why he is one of the most bankable actors to play the solo lead.Akshay Kumar has moulded himself as a comic actor who is also good at drama and action. It’s a great transition from just being an action star in the ‘90s. Forty-six per cent of his films fall in comedy or romantic comedy genre, while 30% come under drama category. Rest 24% are actioners or thrillers.But what happens when his films release with other big stars or well publicised films? He lost the battle in 2009 and 2010, but since then he hasn’t lost a single box office fight. Now, even the biggest of Bollywood stars would think twice before choosing the same release date for their films.Now, when he is ready to take his game one notch higher with PadMan, we hope this graph would look even better in some weeks.Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha
February 08, 2018 12:59 IST
Salman Khan has made a name for himself for dropping cryptic tweets every now and then, but this new one is a very intriguing for a lot of reasons. If you do not understand what we mean by cryptic tweets take this one for an example.“Mujhetoh lagta hai ,I feel that the earth is round n flat likeroti . Haina ?Bolo bolo”Mujhe toh lagta hai , I feel that the earth is round n flat like roti . Haina ? Bolo bolo— Salman Khan (@BeingSalmanKhan)April 28, 2012But this time he has tweeted about a mystery woman and we are dying to know what he means. The Dabangg actor Tweeted “Mujhe ladki mil gayi” and that for many fans does sound like a very good news. But what does Salman mean by this very vague announcement?Mujhe ladki mil gayi— Salman Khan (@BeingSalmanKhan)February 6, 2018Here’s what comes to our mind when we hear “Mujhe ladki mil gayi” from Salman.Is Salman getting married?Apart from his cases in court and the box office of his movie another unending question that has been chasing Salman is about his marriage. So has Salman finally decided to settle down?? Whereas that is highly unlikely, we hope and pray that Salman has found a girl to marry.Did Salman Khan finalize an actress for his next film Bharat?Salman Khan is all to collaborate for the third time with Ali Abbas Zafar and the film is going on floors in April. But we haven’t heard of a leading lady being finalized yet! So does it mean that he has finally found an actress to star opposite him in Bharat?Did his account just get hacked??Cause this would be the perfect thing to post if you’re posting as Salman Khan!Or is Salman Khan planning to be a father?In 2016, Salman Khan announced that he may not get married but he will definitely have 2 to 3 kids. So have he finally decided to tread in that direction. That could be an incredible news for the fans!Or has Salman found a girl to star opposite his brother in law Ayush Sharma?Salman is launching his brother in law Ayush Sharma in the movies and we are also waiting to hear who would he be romancing in the film. So has he finally found a girl for that film.Could you just spill the beans Salman? We’re really impatient to know!
February 06, 2018 02:16 IST
Not to mention, I am appalled by the way the other community has been portrayed in the film.Given the fact that I work for a Bollywood website, the week has been pretty busy for all of us. Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus,Padmaavat, finally saw the light of the day and this was big enough. I have personally churned stories after stories and our newsroom became kind of a battlefield too with some unable to stop praising the film and some finding it a"magnum disappointment". Also, thanks to the kind of environment I work in, I almost knew the entire story of Padmaavat and yet wanted to watch the film, so as know for myself what the film was all about.Meanwhile,Swara Bhaskar's open letter to the director created quite some noise. Not only did it divide the industry into those who agreed with her and those who did not, but it also made the startling revelation of how, even today, people cannot take a woman's opinion and would come forward to spread such negativity about a human being.Yes, I watched the film just yesterday, and I cannot help but agree with Swara Bhaskar.I mean, agreed that the language that she had used was quite strong and might have shaken many out of their cocooned shell, but I am totally in agreement to the fact that there was a huge glorification of Jauhar in the film.Again, let me clear this out. I did not go to grab a popcorn when the disclaimer was being shown at the start of the film. I was there and saw the words through a 3D glass. But if a 15-minute speech on why Jauhar is the call of the hour and then a 20-minute scene on how the women prepare to embrace the burning pyre in non-glorification of Jauhar, I am not sure how glorification would look like. A background music that would imply that this was an act of bravery just made it worse. Making an entire bunch of women think that there was no better way out there for a group of women than to jump into fire itself, I believe, is glorification enough.So you wanted the women to be captured, raped and turned to sex slaves?To this, I have a question. If the Maharaja would have thought of jumping into the fire because he knew he would be killed, would you have called this same act brave? Yes, the scenarios could have been different. I am presuming the Raja would not have been raped. But is the fear of getting raped the end of the world. A pregnant lady walking to the fire with a small kid? Seriously? That way, do you imply that we, the women, should sit tight in our house, because hey even an 8-month-old is not safe. What is the difference in the mentality then with those who say that rape happened because the women went out late at night or simply victim shame the women who are survivors of this crime?Rape is a brutal crime, and yes I am a woman, so I know the amount of pain it can inflict. But getting raped is not the end of the world. Swara Bhaskar had been right to bring up this point.Jauhar was a reality in the era the film portrayed, so why don't you take a chill pill?Just FYI, the reality also suggested that Khalji wasn't someone like he has been portrayed in the film. He cannot be called a monster. In fact, I have a huge issue in how there has been a constant comparison drawn to portray Raja Ratan Rawal Singh as angelic and Khilji as a personification of evil. Definitely, I would not say that Jauhar was not a reality of the times Bhansali showed. But why "glorify" it with such grand speeches, such artsy camera movements and a background music that will show that act as one of valor and pride. Why make so many out here in 21st century feel that Jauhar was the only way out?In conclusion, I will say that no doubt the film was grand and magnificent and I would love to congratulate the director that the film has finally released. But then again I cannot help but agree that Swara Bhaskar was right in pointing out that the film did glorify Jauhar.Also read:Dear Swara Bhaskar, Dramatization Is Not Necessarily Glorification Of Jauhar InPadmaavat
February 05, 2018 04:15 IST
The Union Budget for the financial year 2018-19 was announced yesterday. There has been a lot of discussions about the new Budget that was raised by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, but somehow Taimur Ali Khn stole the show.Well, if you are baffled, let us help you out.For some strange reason, Taimur Ali Khan had been trending for the last few days. In fact, some media and entertainment portals have been covering in and every minute movement of Kareena and Saif's little baby boy. So naturally, Twitteratti was more interested to know how would little Taimur Ali Khan feel about the budget.Bizzare right? Well, wait till you see the tweets below:When all Twiterattis wanted to know was Taimur's reaction on the budget.It did not just stop there:A dig on Taimur's gym membership was also made:And these funny tweets about how the budget will affect Taimur:Well, we hope that the madness over Taimur will subside soon? What did you feel about the Union Budget? Let us know in the comments below.
February 02, 2018 12:00 IST
Dear Swara Bhaskar,I will not start this letter with admiring your work because you always came across a woman who is fierce, sensible and confident enough to take a response to your opinion without taking it personally. Nobody is more aware of the strength and presence you bring to the table every time you come on screen than you are. Even in your public and press interactions I can’t help but admire the basic yet nuanced understanding of things your view on things, especially related to women empowerment is something I have not only always agreed upon but often used them in arguments as well, and often won. You are one of the very few in Bollywood who is not scared to death to be associated with the ‘F’ word, you know feminist, something that is so refreshing coming from someone who belongs to the make belief and detached world of Bollywood.But in the recent open letter of yours that you wrote to Sanjay Leela Bhansali after Padmavat, honestly made so little sense to me that I am baffled that you of all people had such a reaction. Apart from an actor, you are also an avid consumer of Bollywood and Bhansali’s brand of cinema as you have elaborated in your letter, then how can you not give the director a fair chance.Padmaavat, essentially is an epic and needs to be treated like one. The director has left no stone unturned to transport you back to that era and if his attempts were successful then try to see the movie from the perspective of that era. Having the sensibility to argue for women’s right to live is the hallmark of a global 21st-centurycitizen, but if you let the millennial sitting in the chair of a multiplex judge the moralities of 13th-centuryqueens and princesses, are you really being fair to them? And would those having the sensibilities as yours be in sync with a period appeal of the film?There is also probably a need to give the Rajput women some credits for their decision. When a beast who you know will reduce you to a mere sex slave is at the door, is jauhar not an understandable decision, even if not popular? Like one has the right to live a life after rape, it is also within the realm of their rights to not get raped and to choose their fate. Think of it like the modern day debate about euthanasia.Also, you need to understand that whether it is a historical narrative or a literary adaption, there are just certain fundamental points that you have stick to. Would it be fitting if a movie based on the legend ofPadmaavati didn’t end with a Jauhar? Even with such a glorifying and somewhat accurate portrayal of the character of Padmaavati, saying it was difficult to release the movie would be an understatement, imagine what would have happened if he changed the climax. The only possible solution then is to perhaps not touch the story at all, and if you harbor those opinions, (which I am sure you do not) you enter the Karni Sena zone. Additionally, the climax, superbly dramatic and cinematically very powerful, can also be seen as a metaphor of the burning rage for the tormentor that ultimately consumes you. I know it sounds extremely far-fetched, but to me, so does your take away from the scene.The fact that you yourself mentioned and I totally agree, about being uncomfortable while watching the scene, goes to show that simply because it’s a beautifully shot sequence with oodles of dramatic cinematic charm, is not necessarily glorification. Sanjay Leela Bhansali doing any less for a scene as dramatic as that would just not be Bhansali enough. He is an auteur and should be given the space to be one, else why bother.Coming to being reduced to a vagina comment of yours, if I try very hard to understand where you are coming from I kinda get it, but what do you think is more empowering? A very nuanced and critical analysis of a flaw that is somewhat manufactured or a movie that is wholeheartedly dedicated to the bravery and courage of what perhaps is one of the very few historical/fictional female characters of that era whose exceptional beauty is not all that defines her.I happen to call myself a proud feminist and I am surely not writing this with a burning desire to defend Padmaavat as a movie or Bhansali as a director neither is my purpose to undermine your voice and concern. However, I cannot help but notice a certain trend that bothers me. I do not advertise the opinion the film is a flawless masterpiece; in fact, the film is far from that. Personal preferences aside, I can’t help but cringe at the way Aditi Rao Hyadri’s character suffered the humiliation and beastly treatment. In fact, it is probably the most disturbing aspect of the film according to me. For somebody with your sensibilities, it amazes me that you would pick on the ‘Jauhar’ bit, which is actually how things happened and was necessary for the narrative of the film and do not even devote a line to call out the disturbing treatment of Aditi Rao Hyadri’s character. Is it a subtle reflection of watching the movie with a pre-judged notion. I do not attempt to accuse of having personal biases, but your opinion is just a reflection of this trend that I have started pointing in general.Liking Padmaavat or not is a creative or aesthetic choice that no one can be or should be deprived of and healthy and informed criticism of the film is something I firmly believe would enrich Indian cinema in general. But, writing off a film as misogynist or sexist when the intention of the film was exactly the opposite would probably deter other filmmakers from choosing subjects of the same genre and then we would be back in the dark ages where the only quality to be associated with women of yore was their beauty. Let not the ongoing feminist debate in the country drown the well-meaning efforts on the part of filmmakers simply because of over-analysis because God knows we are in dire need of those and there aren’t many.
January 29, 2018 06:15 IST
Numerology has its share of sceptics, but Bollywood swears by it. The latest instance is Padmaavat, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. That the film’s title had to be changed from the earlier Padmavati — as per the Censor Board’s suggestion, following Rajput protests — is common knowledge, but what left everyone puzzled was the extra ‘a’. The puzzle is answered by one word: numerology.Bollywood is big on numerology. Titles of films such as Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Judwaa 2, and Golmaal Again, were subjected to what we might call ‘numerologic’, as in ‘numbers + logic’. As for Padmaavat, even its release date has been decided by numerology — while the full-scale commercial release is on January 25, the paid previews are taking place on January 24.Numerologist Sanjay B Jumaani reveals that it was his suggestion to the film’s creative team. “Earlier, Padmavati totalled to 30, and number 3 is for Jupiter. The director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, was born on the 24th (February), which is 6, [for] Venus. Changing the title to Padmavat, after removing the ‘i’, [the word] totalled an inauspicious number, 29, which indicates treachery and unexpected danger. I suggested that they could add a ‘d’ to bring it to 3 or 6. Bollywood’s longest-running film, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge (DDLJ) added up to 6.”Jumaani says, referring to the first Bollywood film for which he was consulted, “Our first title, Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai had two ‘a’s, and the last film, Golmaal Again, added up to the same number. Padmaavat’s team took my second option. The two ‘a’s add up to 30, which is better.” However, in Baahubali’s case, an extra ‘a’ was removed, and the poster used a symbol to indicate the long vowel in the character’s name.Also, the fact that the film is technically releasing on the 24th is numerologically correct, because “24 adds up to 6, which is a luckier date”, says Jumaani.Judging by the success of these films, numerology will continue to find takers.Aanand L Rai, the producer of films such as Shubh Mangal Saavdhan and presenter of Newton (whose original release date was September 22, 2017, but was advanced to September 21 for paid previews), says, “Honestly, once you start believing in something, it’s only faith that moves you. It happened with me when I got an extra ‘a’ added to my name. When you start showing faith, somewhere, psychologically, it starts working for you. It’s more of that than anything else.”Trade expert Atul Mohan reasons, “Producers always want that the title should justify the film. They resort to numerology agar koi vehem daal de (if someone instills some doubt in them) ki ‘yeh title nahi hona chahiye’. This happens, too, because they want that no sort of negativity should be there.”The upcoming film, Fanne Khan, which stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, and Rajkummar Rao, removed the ‘y’ from the earlier title, Fanney Khan. The producer, Prernaa Arora, says, “My mom is a big believer in this.” Asked if this belief in numbers is valid in today’s age of reason, she says, “No idea. For example, I believe in the number 8, which brings me good luck. Mentally khush rehne ke liye bhi (to be happy) you follow it. I wouldn’t want to change even a chair or handkerchief if things are working for me!”Prernaa’s co-production, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, had highlighted ‘Toilet’ and wrote the rest in Hindi. Yes, numerology, you guessed it right.However, Jumaani himself says, “Success is a blend of good fortune and hard work. It doesn’t mean, for example, that Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai mein do ‘a’ laga diye toh picture hit ho gayi (that adding two ‘a’s made the film a hit). The makers and actors have to work hard, too.”Interact with Rishabh Suri at Twitter/@RishabhSuri02
January 24, 2018 10:34 IST
After much hue and cry, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat is finally releasing in theatres on January 25, with a few limited paid previews of the evening of January 24. However, the film that was initially slated to release on December 1, 2017, has now caused major changes in the Bollywood calendar of 2018. At least eight films have shifted their release dates over the past two months, surrounding the developments around the Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor-starrer film.Originally titled Padmavati, the film is based on Mohammad Jayasi’s poem Padmavat and traces the story of Rajput queen Rani Padmini and invader Alauddin Khilji.In November, a delay in certification from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) forced Padmaavat makers to announce that the film will not release on December 1. This resulted in three films shifting their release dates - Kapil Sharma’s Firangi was shifted from November 24 to December 1 andFukrey Returnsthat was scheduled to hit theatres on December 15 was moved to December 8. Sunny Leone, Arbaaz Khan-starrer Tera Intezaar, which was initially slated to hit theatres on November 23, also shifted its release date to December 1.After Padmaavat got a final release date earlier this month, Neeraj Pandey was the first one to move his film Aiyaary from January 25 to February 9. The Sidharth Malhotra-Manoj Bajpayee-starrer was initially set for a box office clash with Akshay Kumar’s Padman.Luv Ranjan, of Pyaar Ka Punchnaama fame, originally planned to release his next filmSonu Ke Titu Ki Sweetyon February 9. The film will now hit theatres on February 23.On Saturday, Akshay Kumar announced he has decided to shift the release of Padman from January 25 to February 9. Bhansali, Deepika and Ranveer thanked Akshay for his kind gesture. The filmmaker had approached Kumar and asked for the shifting of his film starring Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte.John Abraham’s Parmanu, which was initially set for a theatrical release on February 23, will now release on March 2 alongside Anushka Sharma's Pari which was earlier scheduled to release on 9th February.
January 23, 2018 12:43 IST