Actress Rashmika Mandanna, who has had a series of blockbusters in the Telugu industry, recently entered the Hindi entertainment scene with the music video of "Top tucker", sung by Uchana Amit, Jonita Gandhi, Yuvan Shankar Raja and Badshah. Even before her Bollywood debut "Mission Majnu" has released, she has signed her second Hindi film, "Goodbye", with Amitabh Bachchan.
Rashmika says she is always curious to know how the audience reacts, and that is what drives her towards diversity.
"Since I am just a beginner in the field of acting, as a person I am curious how it is going to pan out when I do different things. For me, every film I choose, I do a different character because, for me, I wouldn't want to watch myself do the same content twice. Be it 'Geetha Govindam', 'Dear Comrade', 'Mission Majnu' or 'Goodbye', each is so different," says the actress.
She adds: "I like to keep surprising myself -- 'am I really doing this?' It's wonderful when you can surprise yourself. I am grateful. People are seeing me in different characters and it is not easy but I am doing it," says the actress, who made her acting debut with Kannada film "Kirik Party" in 2016.
The actress, who is called "National Crush" by her fans, is aware that people around the country have watched her work through dubbed films. It makes her feel more confident about the fact that film lovers are watching content across the country, irrespective of language barrier.
"For me, the films which I have done so far, people have watched them with subtitles. I recently got to know that 'Dear Comrade' with subtitles was hitting 100 million views and I was like, 'this is crazy and this is big'! People here (Mumbai) still call me by (names of) the characters from the South and that is how I know that barriers are breaking," she says.
She adds: "People are watching good content and not just national cinema anymore. I am craving to do better work in any language and it's not that I am from South, so I should be doing only South Indian films or if I am doing Bollywood, then I would do only Bollywood films. Now the barriers are breaking and I just want to be part of good films. People loving me came with the films I chose, and I hope that a lot more people love me with the work I do."
The actress has almost finished the shoot of "Mission Majnu", co-starring Sidharth Malhotra, and has started shooting with Amitabh Bachchan for "Goodbye." Her Telugu film "Pushpa" with Allu Arjun is under production. She will also be seen in the Telugu film "Aadavaallu Meeku Johaarlu".
Singer Mika Singh has 'proposed' to singer Bhoomi Trivedi, that too on national television!
In an upcoming episode of the music reality show "Indian Pro Music League" (IPML), the Punjab Lions trio of Mika Singh, Asees Kaur and Rupali Jagga perform Sajid-Wajid's popular title song of the film "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi". During the act, Mika left everyone surprised by walking over to Bhoomi and leading her to the stage even as he continued singing the song. At one point he asked Bhoomi: "Mujhse shaadi karogi (will you marry me)?"
Following this, host Karan Wahi asked Bhoomi and Mika to dance together, and that's when Mika went down on his knees and asked her the question once again!
"Bhoomi, ab toh bata do, mujhse shaadi karogi? Sab log Bhoomi se jude hain, maine socha main bhi Bhoomi se jud jaaoon (Bhoomi tell me now, will you marry me? Everyone is connected to Bhoomi, I thought I should, too). What do you guys think about Bhoomi Singh?" Mika said.
Bhoomi replied: "What do you think about Mika Trivedi? But to be honest, I have come here to find a bride for you, it would be injustice to them."
The episode airs on Zee TV on Saturday evening.
Recently on the show, Mika Singh had declared that he would get married only after Bollywood's "most eligible bachelor" Salman Khan ties the knot.
He became a pan-India sensation almost overnight, with his portrayal of Harshad Mehta in last year's popular series "Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story", and has now planted his feet in Bollywood. With the spotlight firmly on him, actor Pratik Gandhi says he does not believe in competition among contemporaries.
"There can't be competition between actors. Had it been products, there would have been competition. If I was a biscuit or a soap, there would be competition," Pratik told IANS.
He added: "I am a human being. How can two people, looking so different and having distinct types of acting, be compared? I don't take the pressure that your next thing has to be bigger than the previous one.
Gujarati actor Pratik first made his mark on stage and his name was included in "Limca Book Of Records" for a monologue he performed in three languages, in the play "Mohan No Masalo". He would tell you the "Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story" success has been a progression of his steady rise as an actor, and it has opened up opportunities.
"I would convert this as excitement where people are giving me different opportunities now. They are open to work with me in different subjects -- which is very exciting for me as an actor, and I am just looking forward to playing another character. So yeah, I don't think that much. My theatre background is helping me here," Pratik said.
He insists fame and success are peripheral products. "I don't think about all these things (fame and success) because they are peripheral byproducts. I am getting much love from the audience all across, and across all age groups. I don't think about it much. It is the character that worked for them," he said, about his "Scam 1992" success.
Before starring in the OTT show, Pratik was also seen in the Hindi film "Loveyatri", but he admits Hansal Mehta's web series was a game changer for him.
"It is an absolute gamechanger. It changed a lot of things for me personally and professionally. More so, it has changed the way people look at me now," he said.
He finds all the love coming his way satisfying and describes it as "a very overwhelming feeling".
"It has something that I have been waiting for, over the last 16 years," he concluded.
The Big Bull; Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Sohum Shah, Ileana D'Cruz, Nikita Dutta, Saurabh Shukla, Mahesh Manjrekar, Ram Kapoor; Director: Kookie Gulati; Direction: Kookie Gulati; Rating: * * (two stars)
Forget comparisons. Even if you willingly dismiss the idea of sizing up "The Big Bull" against "Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story", Abhishek Bachchan's new film is a washout from the word go.
The comparison crops up because this film, like Hansal Mehta's impeccable series "Scam 1992", borrows plot inspiration from the securities scam of 1992 and the life of late tainted stockbroker Harshad Mehta. However, while Hansal Mehta's series crafted a smart, well-documented thriller out of an intriguing tale of true crime, Kookie Gulati's "The Big Bull" seems interested in little else beyond setting up standard Bollywood melodrama.
The problem could be the compulsion of staying within mainstream format, for the sake of the film's tone and commercial cast. It could be that casting Abhishek Bachchan as Hemant Shah (based on Harshad Mehta) was all about trying to create a new-generation antihero of sorts -- the slant at trying to understand the mind of a criminal, and also the circumstances that may give rise to the criminal mindset, is all too apparent here. It seems almost as if Gulati was out to create a Dalal Street version of the fictional "Deewar" antihero from all those decades ago.
It doesn't work because the idea of portraying the lawbreaker as a common man beaten down by circumstances doesn't sound romantic enough anymore. In any case, Gulati and co-writer Arjun Dhawan are no Yash Chopra.
"The Big Bull" tries to cover in a runtime of around two and half hours what "Scam 1992" did over 10 episodes, and that is definitely a drawback. The narrative of the film has to speed past a lot of familiar incidents without creating impact. Highlight moments of the story lose significance owing to such storytelling approach.
You know the gist. Gulati and Dhawan's story retains the familiar nineties set-up, although names of all players have been changed. Hemant and his brother Viren Shah (Sohum Shah) go about manipulating loopholes in the banking system to rake in the cash, even as journalist Meera Rao (Ileana D'Cruz), based on Sucheta Dalal, sets out to uncover the truth.
The film does not acknowledge any specific source material for the script. Rather, the story makes many departures from what is conventionally accepted as truth in this particular case, beyond the broad outline that the protagonist here was a stockbroker who engaged in financial scams over a period 10 years, in the eighties and the early nineties.
This is a work of fiction, they would perhaps tell you in defence. A commentative subtext the film tries highlighting -- about India's development in the first four decades since Independence - would also seem like a part of the fictional narrative. Anyway, "The Big Bull" would hardly seem like a film whose socio-political commentary you'd want to take seriously.
If the film suffers from weak characterisation and storytelling, the effect is only worsened by tacky dialogues (Ritesh Shah) and erratic editing (Dharmendra Sharma). A random love song thrown in doesn't help.
The screenplay was obviously meant to give Abhishek Bachchan an authorbacked platform to excel in. and the actor's otherwise adequate performance is marred by a needless character quirk the writers chose to give him -- Abhishek is done in by the trademark manic laugh that irks more than leave a sinister impact.
The normally bankable Sohum Shah as well as Ileana D'Cruz and Nikita Dutta (as Hemant's wife Priya) never really stand a chance, given their half-baked characters at hand. A credible prop cast -- notably Mahesh Manjrekar, Saurabh Shukla and Ram Kapoor -- lacks ample screen footage to prove their worth.
You wouldn't expect otherwise, of course, from a film that turns an intriguing slice of reality into a big load of bull and little else.
Actor Arshad Warsi on Friday got vaccinated for Covid-19 prevention at a hospital in Vile Parle and shared the news on social media.
Posting photographs on Twitter and Instagram, the 52-year-old actor wrote: "Vaccine lagao immunity badhao...And it is done... more vaccinated people, equals to less coronavirus."
Arshad will next be seen alongside Akshay Kumar and Kriti Sanon in the upcoming film "Bachchan Pandey".
In the Farhad Samji directorial, Akshay plays a gangster who aspires to be an actor while Arshad plays his friend. Kriti will essay the role of a journalist who wishes to be a director.
Arshad's "Bachchan Pandey" co-star Akshay Kumar is currently hospitalised with Covid.
Akshay had shared the news with a social media post on Monday."I am doing fine, but as a precautionary measure under medical advice, I have been hospitalised. I hope to be back home soon," Akshay wrote.
The country's financial capital reeled under a massive shortage of the Covid-19 vaccines, with several government and private inoculation centres downing shutters temporarily, here on Friday.
The city's biggest centre at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) had barely 150 doses left by this afternoon and that was being administered to the people as per the rules, frontline workers and those above 45 years, said an official.
Among the estimated two-dozen plus centres that have already discontinued vaccination for the time being is the BKC jumbo facility, NESCO in Goregaon, besides many others run by private hospitals.
Printed or hand-scrawled notices have been pasted outside many centres in the city and the state announcing that owing to shortage of doses, the vaccination process has been discontinued temporarily.
A worried Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar assured that some stocks are expected later this evening (April 9) from the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune.
"Many vaccination centres in Mumbai have come down to zero doses now and inoculations have been stopped there. We understand that between 75,000-1,00,000 doses may be received this evening and await official confirmation," Pednekar told mediapersons.
Pednekar, Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh, state Congress President Nana Patole, Nationalist Congress Party President and Minister Jayant Patil besides Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray have appealed for an end to politicizing the critical issue of providing vaccines and urged that all must join hands to mitigate the peoples' sufferings.
The scarcity situation was similar in several other districts, major cities or towns with vaccine stocks expected to be exhausted by this evening, as per reports trickling in.
In view of the high population and the highest number of Covid cases and fatalities in Maharashtra, top state leaders have urged the Centre to provide the maximum number of doses to help control the pandemic.
Meanwhile, serpentine queues of anxious people were witnessed outside the BKC and NESCO centres where people thronged with prior appointments from distant places in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) since this morning for their life-saving jab.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has informed the Maharashtra government that it is not at all advisable to use a lower cycle threshold (CT) parameter in RT-PCR tests as it will lead to missing several infectious persons and increase disease transmission.
Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR, in a letter to Pradeep Vyas, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Maharashtra, said: "Implementing a Ct cut off value of 24 is not at all advisable as this will lead to missing of several infectious persons and increased disease transmission."
Bhargava was replying to a letter by Vyas on the subject.
He said the globally accepted cut off for CT value for Covid-19 ranges from 35-40 depending upon individual restrictions laid down by individual manufacturers.
However, the ICMR has taken inputs from different virology laboratories across the country to arrive at a single CT value cut off based on individual laboratory experiences.
The ICMR said as per uniform consensus, a single cut off of 35 with good sigmoidal real time RT-PCR curve is acceptable.
All patients with a CT value of less than or equal to 35 may be considered positive while those with more than 35 may be considered negative.
All samples of CT value of less than or equal to 35 with poor sigmoidal curve should be essentially retested, Bhargava said in the letter.
He is known for his comic timing in films such as "Dangal", "Lukka Chuppi", "Stree" and "Bala", but Aparshakti Khurana surprises you when he says he does not have a great sense of humour.
If comedy has dominated his filmography so far -- although he impressed with the odd emotional act in "Street Dancer 3D" -- the actor says it was not a conscious decision to play the funnyman all along.
"It just happened. I think in real life I don't have a great sense of humour. I used to have PJs... all bad jokes. Thankfully, I have some really good lines in my films to add a good sense of humour in the films, but otherwise my sense of humour is very word play," he tells IANS.
"Talking about why comedy (is) more (in his filmograpohy), it was not a conscious effort. Let's be honest, beggars can't be choosers. I started my journey with whatever I got on my plate. I took it with arms wide open. Even today, I don't think an actor in my space has a lot of choices to make. Whatever comes your way you do it," he says.
Aparshakti feels that his role in "Street Dancer 3D" helped him move out of the comic zone.
"Having said that 'Street Dancer' is something that helped me to come out of the comedy zone and I could strike an emotional chord. People did relate to that character and had a sentimental moment. So, that makes me believe that I am not here only for comedy. I can also do serious stuff as well," he says.
The actor says there has been a shift in the way the audience watches films.
"There has been such a paradigm shift in the way we watch films or talk about our actors. There is nothing called a villain anymore," he says.
Aparshakti is all geared up for "Helmet", his first film as a solo lead. The film is a satire on the ground reality in the country, where people feel awkward while buying and talking about condoms. The film tries to highlight the message in a funny manner without being preachy.
Does Bollywood have a herd mentality, considering the recent surge in socially relevant films? "It (a socially-relevant theme) just makes your script a little more relevant. That's about it. Otherwise there is no math that you need this particular element (refers to social message). At the end of the day it will always be about good storytelling, tight script. You can have fun, if it's funny. You can get creeped out if it is a suspense thriller or a horror film. If you have that you are home. Of course, if the film has a social element it is just a cherry on the cake. People can go home with a little message," he says.
"It is more important to have a nice narrative, script, and an apt form of storytelling. It does not matter if it has a social message or not," he concludes.
In a new daily high, Telangana on Friday reported 2,478 new Covid-19 cases during the last 24 hours as the surge continues across the state.
The new infection climbed to 2,478 from 2,055 the previous day. The fresh cases pushed the state's cumulative tally to 3,21,182.
Five more persons succumbed to the virus during the last 24 hours that ended 8 p.m. Thursday, taking the death toll to 1,746. According to the director of public health and family welfare, the fatality rate remains at 0.54 per cent against the national average of 1.30 per cent.
The number of active cases jumped to 15,472 from 13,362 the previous day. They include 9,674 who are in home/institutional isolation.
A total of 363 people recovered from the pandemic during the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative recoveries to 3,03,964. The recovery rate has slipped further to 94.63 per cent but still above the national average of 91.2 per cent.
Greater Hyderabad crossed 400-mark to report 402 cases while districts bordering it continue to witness a surge. Medchal Malkajgiri and Rangareddy districts reported 208 and 162 cases respectively.
Nizamabad district bordering Maharashtra became the third worst affected district with 176 new cases. Nirmal registered 111 new cases followed by Jagtiyal (105), Kamareddy (98), Mahaboobnagar (96), Nalgonda (88), Karimnagar (87), Mancherial (85), Warangal Urban (82), Sangareddy (79), and Adilabad (72).
The admissions into hospitals treating Covid cases have also gone up to 5,798 from 5,099 the previous day.
According to director of public health, 4,219 patients were undergoing treatment in 244 private hospitals while 1,579 beds were occupied in 61 government hospitals.
For the first time since the pandemic broke out, the authorities conducted over one lakh tests in a single day. Of the total 1,01,986 tests conducted during last 24 hours, 89,645 samples were tested in government laboratories and 12,341 in private labs. With this, the number of tests conducted in the state so far climbed to 1,07,61,939. Samples tested per million population rose to 2,89,143.
The health condition of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his predecessor senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy, who had both tested Covid positive, was stable, said health officials on Friday.
Both tested Covid positive on Thursday and were admitted in two different hospitals,.
While Vijayan admitted at the Kozhikode Medical College is being monitored by a seven-member medical team, Chandy is admitted at a private hospital in the state capital.
A source told that Chandy was cheerful, reading newspapers and watching TV in his room with his son giving him company.
While Vijayan was at his home turf in Kannur, when his daughter and son-in-law first turned positive, he after tested positive on Thursday and got himself admitted to the state-run Medical College hospital at Kozhikode.
In Chandy's case, though he was down with fever for the past two days and was under observation at his home here, it was late Thursday night after the district medical officer came home and recommended that he be moved to a hospital, he was admitted to a private hospital.
While Vijayan had taken the first dose of the vaccine jab, Chandy had not gone for it.
Singers Darshan Raval teams up with Tulsi Kumar again for a new romantic single, "Is qadar'. This is their second track after "Tere naal". The song, released on Thursday, is composed by Sachet-Parampara on lyrics by Sayeed Qadri.
"Is Qadar has everything that makes it a perfect love song. The soulful music by Sachet-Parampara and soothing words by Quadri sahab -- it was what made this song a perfect one for Tulsi and my collaboration. Shooting for the video was fun and the off-screen fun and ease has been beautifully captured on screen," said Darshan, about the music video, shot in Shimla by Arvindr Khaira.
"Is qadar is a beautiful melody that will resonate with people. I was really happy to collaborate with Darshan again after Tere naal. This beautiful melody by my favourite Sachet and Parampara was an apt choice to come together. Quadri sahab has written such heart-touching lyrics. The shoot experience was a lot of fun where you will see varied emotions and beautiful frames as we shot in beautiful locales of Shimla," said Tulsi.