Mahesh Bhatt Claims The Sheena-Indrani Case Is Similar To His Next Film!


You’re sure to have heard all about the Sheena Bora and Indrani Mukerjea case by now, and that comes as no surprise: with all the various theories, rumours and allegations doing the rounds, this has turned out to be quite the saga. In fact, when discussing the case in the office yesterday, we even commented that we were sure that some Bollywood director would step up soon to announce that he/she would be making a film based on the entire situation. And would you look at that – it’s (kinda) true!

Mahesh Bhatt has now revealed that his next film, for which he’s already written the script, is weirdly similar to this case. The film, titled Ab Raat Guzarnewali Hai, was apparently written in May of this year, which is why Bhatt is rather surprised to see so many similarities between it and the Sheena-Indrani case. Here’s what he said:

“I empathize with the living hell Peter is going through and this is not a pathetic attempt to ride on his unspeakable tragedy. But bizarre as it may sound, fact is that this is a case of life imitating fiction rather than fiction imitating life.”

The director won’t say much about his script, but his team reveals that the “story is of crime and passion, drenched in blood, revolving around a mother and daughter.” Bhatt further went on to say:

“The story grew out of my imagination. I never imagined that it could be unfolding for real in a highrise in our backyard where the rich and powerful reside. The coincidence between a pure work of fiction and real life staggers me, it makes me shudder.”

However, he’s also clear that he’s not going to add any more to the script based on the real life events of Sheena and Indrani. “My work is done,  I only wrote this story for my protege. The film should roll in December. I never imagined that it would explode for real as the mother of all crime stories.”

Well, this should be interesting!

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Aamir Khan’s Wife in Dangal Has Finally Been Cast. It’s Not Mallika Sherawat


The hunt for Aamir Khan’s missus in his next film Dangal has finally ended and the actress cast as Mrs Mahavir Phogat is TV star Sakshi Tanwar, say sources.

Dangal is a sports biopic in which Aamir plays real life wrestler Mahavir Phogat, father of celebrated female wrestlers Geeta and Babita.

At 42, Sakshi, is 50-year-old Aamir’s first age-appropriate heroine (he was last seen in PK with the twentysomething Anushka Sharma). Sakshi Tanwar is best-known as Parvati from Balaji soap Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii and also appears opposite Sunny Deol in the long-delayed Mohalla Assi later this year.

Sakshi’s is practically the last character to have been cast, with several actresses including Mallika Sherawat being auditioned. The four actresses playing the younger and older versions of Mahavir’s daughters – Fatima Shaikh and Zaira Wasim as Geeta, Sanya Malhotra and Suhani Bhatnagar as Babita – are already training hard for their roles. They are reportedly living in Aamir’s former Bandra home and the actor is believed to join them in the training sessions as well as for meals.

Also in the cast are Heropanti actor Vikram Singh as the antagonist and Rajkummar Rao.

Meanwhile, Aamir Khan has majorly bulked up to play Mahavir Phogat and is tipping the scales at over 90 kilos. He’s also going to have to lose the extra poundage to shoot scenes of Mr Phogat as a young man.

The Nitesh Tiwari-directed Dangal is expected in screens next year, possibly in December which is the month generally reserved for an Aamir Khan release – usually an annual event with this year being the exception. In the absence of a 2015 film, Dangal will be Aamir’s first film after 2014’s record-shattering PK.

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Kunal Khemu back as lover boy with ‘Bhaag Johnny’


Actor Kunal Khemu is back on screen with action-thriller Bhaag Johnny directed by Shivam Nair. The 32-year-old actor, who was last seen in 2013 film “Go Goa Gone”, is playing a casanova in the film.

Kunal took to social networking site Twitter to share the trailer of the film. “Here it is. The official trailer of #BhaagJohnny…” he wrote.

The actor is playing the lead role of Janardhan Arora, a lover boy who unknowingly gets stuck in a plan and is forced two lead two lives.

The story is based on a series of events which happen in the duration of 72 hours. The film also stars Zoa Morani, Mandana Karimi, Manasi Scott and Mukul Dev in pivotal roles. Produced by Super Cassettes Ind Pvt Ltd, the film is slated to release on September 25.

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Mani Ratnam wins Icon award at London Indian Film Festival


Acclaimed Indian film director Mani Ratnam, known for his films like “Roja”, “Bombay” and “Dil Se”, has won the Icon award at the Bagri Foundation London Film Festival for his outstanding contribution to cinema.

Receiving the award at the closing night of the festival here last night, Ratnam said “I am honoured and humbled to receive this icon award. I think that Indian cinema is at the threshold of a new era, and the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival is a showcase of this next generation.

“I am sure that future awards will be won by some of the bright young talent that is coming up.”

Ratnam also gave a rare Screen Talk masterclass at the BFI Southbank, with Peter Webber (‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’), was part of the festival.

Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala won the Spirit of Inspiration award from Sun Mark Ltd?for her outstanding work in supporting the earthquake appeal in Nepal.

“We admire Manisha’s work in cinema where she was known for taking on difficult roles and her support for social causes and for those who have no voice and whose message needs to be spread,” the Foundation said.

Delhi-born actor Suraj Sharma, whose lead role in film “Umrika” helmed the festival, was the recipient of the festival’s Outstanding Young Talent award.

“The festival has been so kind, awarding me it’s first outstanding young actor award and opening the festival with our film ‘Umrika’! The response for our film has been better than we could ever imagine. My gratitude goes out to the festival for doing such a great job!” said Sharma.

Satyajit Ray Short Film Award in association with the Bagri Foundation went to “Khargosh” (Rabbit), while Lebara Play Audience award went to “Nachom-la Kumpasar”.

The Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival’s Lebara Play audience award was a very close race this year, with Fox’s Indian National Award winning feature “Kaakkaa Muttai” (The Crow’s Egg) by M Manikandan pipped to the post by sleeper festival super-hit “Nachom-ia Kumpasar” (Let’s Dance to the Rhythm), directed by Bardroy Barretto, a film about Goan Jazz and its impact on Hindi film music.

The film was so popular with audiences that additional screenings had to be added at Cineworld cinemas during the festival, to cope with demand.

Bardroy Barretto, director of “Nachom-ia Kumpasar”, said, “I am grateful for this award and to the team that made this happen. It goes to show that every region, every culture has its own authentic stories, that today’s global audience is willing to celebrate, but when it stays true to its local audience. This film was our tribute to the music and musicians of Goa, and this award reiterates the need to keep it alive in every way possible. I thank Goa for the music.”

Aditya Thakur, CEO of sponsor Lebara Play, said, “The Audience Award is unique because it’s voted for by the viewers, so congratulations to ‘Nachom-ia Kumpasar’. We’re particularly proud to sponsor this award because our new entertainment service, Lebara Play, is all about meeting the needs of an undeserved audience, so they can enjoy thousands of movies they miss and love including the films of ICON Award winner Mani Ratnam anytime, anywhere.”

The festival also celebrated the 20th anniversary of all time Indian classic “Bombay”, directed by Ratnam, and starring Nepal-born actress Manisha Koirala, with both talents present for a special charity screening of the film, with a gala event at Grange Hotels St Paul’s, to raise much needed funds to rebuild homes in earthquake torn Nepal.

Manisha herself has been in the thick of this, working tirelessly to help, where the critical challenge is to shelter the homeless before the winter. This charity event raised funds for UK registered charity Indian Ocean Disaster Relief Fund (IODR), who are working in Nepal.

The director of The Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival, Cary Sawhney stated, “We are really pleased that this year, the festival has expanded in stature and that we can highlight through our new awards just some of the many achievements of filmmakers and actors from India who may otherwise go unsung by the broader world film community.”


First look: Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur, the regal couple of Airlift


The first look of Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur starrer Airlift presents the duo in a regal avatar. The movie presents Nimrat in an avatar completely opposite of what we have seen so far- all scarlet and satin.

Akshay reportedly plays owner of a business conglomerate and Nimrat plays his wife, hence the royal and opulent look.

The plot of the movie reportedly traces the life of a Kuwaiti businessman of Indian origin, who helped the government in the the evacuation of Indians trapped in the Gulf-nation during the war in the early 90s.