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Rajkumar Hirani accused of sexual harassment, denies allegations

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Prominent Indian filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani has been accused of sexually harassing a woman who worked with him on his 2018 movie Sanju.

In an interview with Huffington Post India, the woman alleged that Hirani allegedly sexually assaulted her in the period between March and September 2018.

According to the Huff Post India’s report, the allegations were made via an email dated November 3, 2018, and addressed to Hirani’s regular collaborator Vidhu Vinod Chopra, film critic and Chopra’s wife Anupama Chopra, sister Shelly Chopra Dhar and co-writer Abhijat Joshi.

The woman claimed that Hirani made a first sexually suggestive remark on April 9, 2018, and then assaulted her at his home office.

In the email, the woman said, “I remember forming these words on my lips – Sir. This is wrong. Because of this power structure. You being the absolute power and me being a mere assistant, a nobody — I will never be able to express myself to you.”

“My mind, body and heart were grossly violated that night and for the next 6 months,” the HuffPost report quotes the woman as saying in her email to Chopra,” the email continued.

Speaking to HuffPost, the woman says, “It was unbearable but the reason I endured it all, until I couldn’t, was because I didn’t want my job to be taken away from me, and work to be questioned. Ever.”

Following the allegations, Hirani responded to them, terming the allegations as “false, malicious and mischievous”.

In his statement, Hirani said, “I was completely shocked when these allegations were brought to my notice about two months ago. I had suggested immediately that it is essential to take this matter to any committee or legal body. The complainant has chosen to go to the media instead. I want to very strongly state that this is a false malicious and mischievous story being spread with the sole intention of destroying my reputation.”

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‘Mom’ to release in China on March 22

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Sridevi’s last theatrical outing Mom is set to hit the theatres in China on March 22, 2019. The announcement comes barely two days after the late actor’s first death anniversary.

Sridevi’s husband, producer Boney Kapoor made the announcement Tuesday and said they wanted to showcase the actor’s “most remembered last film” in the neighbouring country.

“Mom is a film that has connected with both, mothers and audiences, from every region. This is Sri’s last film and our aim is to tell this beautiful story and showcase her most remembered last film to as many people as possible.

“Zee Studios International has been a part of Mom’s success since day one and I am glad to see them take this film to heights even two years after its release,” Kapoor said in a statement.

The Ravi Udyawar-directed revenge thriller follows a mother (Sridevi) who avenges a crime committed against her stepdaughter.

Sridevi was honoured posthumously with a Best Actress National Film Award for her performance in the 2017 film.

The film marked the 300th screen appearance for the veteran actor, who passed away on February 24, 2018, due to accidental drowning at a Dubai hotel. Mom has already been released in Poland, Czech, Russia, UAE, UK, USA, and Singapore.

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Role in Takht will be remembered because it’s socially relevant: Kareena Kapoor

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Actor Kareena Kapoor will undergo dialect training for her historical period drama Takht, which is based in the Mughal era and chronicles the story of two warring brothers.

The 38-year-old actor says her character in the Karan Johar-directed film is “socially relevant.”

“It’s a different film because I’ve not really done a period film like this. There will be a certain amount of dialect preparation, look tests that will happen. I’m also working with Karan after a very long time so I’m very excited,” Kareena told PTI.

The actor said Karan has evolved as a director and even she has “completely changed as an artiste” since they last worked together in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001).

“Hopefully it’ll be a part which will be remembered because it’s socially relevant. It’s a strong character. The best part is it’ll be completely different than what I did in ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ as Poo,” she added. The historical drama also features Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar, Janhvi Kapoor, and Anil Kapoor. The film will reportedly go on floors later this year.

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Gully Boy: Ranveer & Aalia deliver heart winning performances

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Start Rating 4.5 out of 5.0

Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy is a story of a young man living in sub slums, that also highlights India’s emerging hip-hop subculture. Gully Boy is inspired from the life journey of two street rappers Vivian Fernandes aka Divine and Naved Shaikh aka Naezy.

With fascinating writing, excellent texture this world is a revelation, I would say this is the first great Bollywood film of current year.

The basic storyline of the Gully Boy is simple and typical Bollywood movie. You must have heard several stories about a boy who has nothing and ends up gaining fame. A nobody that has no one to look up to, facing several hurdles, have to work hard to get basics in life, family issues, flawed love life etc. We know that the Rap music has always been a music that belonged to underprivileged, marginalized young adults. However, the powerful screenplay, astounding cinematography, real life dialogues makes it something to stand tall among all. Every scene of this film is carefully crafted to near perfection.

Ranveer Singh as Murad is battling to survive with a tough life. Murad is not a kind of a hero who has all the confidence in the world. He is shy, and is afraid of several things in life. He is a commoner roaming the streets. Ranveer has set high standard for himself, in the next movie he will have to match this performance in order to compete. The journey he took from his struggling phase to his celebrity status phase reveals his potential.

Aalia Bhatt electrifying performance outshines everyone in every single frame she was in. She portrayed Safeena with utmost zeal, her hothead character demands somethings extra, and she delivers like a duck to water. Unlike Murad, Safeena was very clear from the very beginning what she actually wants to do with her life. She is fearless, determined, passionate, daring, and ready to go to any length for her goals. This is a very unconventional character of sub-slum area Muslim girl and perhaps no one can play it better than Aalia Bhatt.

Kalki Koechlin character was more like a cameo though very important. She added the much-needed brake from the slum life lead characters are living and handles different shades of it with class.

For me, the biggest surprise was the character of MC Sher aka Siddhant Chaturvedi. It was difficult to believe that it was his first film. He has done a marvellous job. He didn’t look like a new comer. He graces every scene he was in with commitment and enthusiasm.

Vijay Raaz played as Ranveer’s father matches his talent. It appeared as if this role is made for him.

Murad’s drug dealer friend Vijay Varma has a role that also has several layers. He always looked compassionate.

Murad’s mother played by Amruta Subash owned every emotional situation with a style and did have a huge impact.

Zoya Akhtar has achieved something in Gully Boy. The film starts and ends with the bang. It makes the audience listen to the sounds and voices that you cannot ignore. Gully Boy is a rare film, it is near perfect in almost every department. This is not limited to rap music, it is about humans and humanity. It is time to take a bow to this cinematic marvel of Bollywood.

The only regret would be 3 missing kiss scenes that our CBFC chopped out for the sake of moral policing.

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