Bollywood makes its dramatic entry into the cricket-underworld-bookie nexus with the arrest of Vindu Dara Singh, as cops probe his close ties with film personalities. Cops say the duo — now under scrutiny — met the Bigg Boss season 3 winner in a five-star hotel, where he was allegedly used as a go-between to place wagers on IPL matches
Vinay Dalvi and Akela (MID-DAY; May 22, 2013)
Season 6 of Indian Premier League is in its climactic stages. But it’s safe to say that the onfield action has few takers now, as every day new exposés in the spot-fixing scandal make headlines.
With the arrest of actor Vindu Dara Singh, the scrutiny of investigators is likely to focus more prominently on Bollywood. Property Cell of Mumbai Crime Branch apprehended the Bigg Boss season 3 winner yesterday after he was found to be in touch with some bookies. His call details, retrieved by cops, reveal that the actor knew a lot of cricketers, bookmakers and Bollywood personalities.
“We are investigating to determine whether he has played any role in the spot- fixing controversy. Also, we have a few leads on Vindu’s meetings with a superstar and an actor-turned-producer in a five-star hotel, where he was allegedly used as a mediator to place bets on IPL matches,” said a Crime Branch officer requesting anonymity.
The inquest has also revealed that Vindu had ‘invested’ Rs 20 lakh from his own pockets. There is no account of how much cash other film personalities had supplied for betting and fixing. We More >
Asira Tarannum (MID-DAY; May 22, 2013)
It was a zip, zap, zoom session from the operating theatre and back for Ranbir Kapoor recently. The actor apparently got a cyst removed from his chest. He was in the hospital for a few hours only and was back to work the next day.
A source says that RK went under the knife on May 12 and is currently sporting a bandage around his chest. However, it has not deterred the star from promoting his upcoming film Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani with Deepika Padukone around town.
An insider says, “Ranbir is also nursing a back injury these days. Ranbir was working till late evening on the previous day and was on leave only for a day. Post the surgery, he has also been doing city tours and visiting show sets to promote his film. It was a minor operation and the actor is now fit and fine to resume his work.” Looks like it was not the first time that RK was inside an OT. The actor also underwent a minor surgery while he was shooting for Anurag Basu’s Barfi!. While Ranbir was unavailable for comment, the actor’s manager confirmed the surgery, without revealing further details.
Shooting had come to a halt, courtesy the impasse between them and their Mumbai counterparts
Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 22, 2013)
The Lavasa shoot of Salman Khan-starrer Mental, which had come to a grinding halt last month, will finally resume next week, all thanks to Salman.
Filming at the hill city had come to a standstill because of the impasse between action artistes from Mumbai and those from Chennai and Hyderabad over what the southern fighters perceived as inadequate representation and pay vis-à-vis their Bollywood counterparts. The disgruntled artistes had approached FEFSI (Film Employees’ Federation of South India) but even that hadn’t helped, and they had returned to Chennai, abandoning the action schedule mid-way.
While Salman and producer, brother Sohail, lost around 12 days of shooting and incurred losses to the tune of Rs 25 crore in the interim, Salman has now decided not to work with the southern fighters at all.
A friend of the actor told Mirror: “Salman has decided to cancel their contracts. It is doubtful they will be given credits as they have hardly done any work on the film.”
The gripe of the south-based fighters had been that there were only three of them for every seven from Mumbai, and that they were being paid 50 per cent less than their Bollywood peers.
However, FWICE (Federation of Western India Cine Employees) President, Dharmesh Tiwari came out in support of Salman’s decision saying: “As per the All India Film Employees More >
Shakti Shetty (MID-DAY; May 22, 2013)
It might have started with Sharmila Tagore back in the ’60s but everyone from Bipasha Basu to Priyanka Chopra to Kareena Kapoor has donned one in their recent films. Yes, we’re talking about bikinis here! Surprisingly, it seems like newcomers aren’t very comfortable with the whole idea of showing off some skin.
Turns out Puja Gupta is already fed up of this skimpy attire and says she’d rather prefer not to be seen in risqué clothing in her forthcoming films. For the record, the Bollywood starlet has done three films so far — F.A.L.T.U., Go Goa Gone and the upcoming Shortcut Romeo — and she has appeared in two- piece in all of them. But seems like we won’t be seeing anymore of her in such avatar anytime soon, as she has now taken an oath to stay away from scripts that has a repeat factor in them.
Not only the clothing but also the film’s locations seems to be of immediate concern to her. “I have decided that I’m not going to wear a bikini in my films again. I have also decided not to shoot in Goa and Mauritius anymore. I want to explore new places and new characters,” chuckles the 24- year- old.
Hiren Kotwani (BOMBAY TIMES; May 22, 2013)
Come July, Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma will start shooting for Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet. However, the film will not be shot in Mumbai, but in Sri Lanka. Reason being that the skyline of the island city has changed over the decades and the upcoming monsoon could affect the shoot. Apparently, it’s going to cost the producers approximately `22 crore to recreate the Bombay of the 1950s through ’70s, the period in which the story is set.
Says a source, “Unlike Mumbai, which has monsoon from mid-June to mid-September, the weather is comparatively dry in Sri Lanka during that time. Four acres have been marked off near Colombo, where art director Sonal Sawant will put up sets to recreate old Bombay.” Explaining why Kashyap couldn’t do the same in Mumbai since they’re building rain-proof sets, our source says, “It’s more expensive to build the sets here. We’ll need extensive permissions as it will take about a month and a half only to get the sets built. Plus, managing the municipal corporation, police and other organisations will also add to the costs. We might as well spend the extra amount on travel and accommodation in Lanka.”
We tried to get in touch with Anurag and his co-producer Vikas Bahl, but they were unavailable for comment.
Sunayana Suresh (BOMBAY TIMES; May 22, 2013)
Actress Surveen Chawla, who was once romantically linked with Sreesanth after pairing with him on a dance reality show, says that she is shocked by the cricketer’s alleged involvement in the spot fixing scandal. “The lure of money can make the sanest people go astray. I wouldn’t be lying if I say that I am sad and disappointed with what Sreesanth did. I’m not going to mince words here, had it been a good friend or an acquaintance, my stand on this issue will be the same,” says Surveen. She adds, “While we are friends, I have not been in touch with him recently. I’ve always seen him as a person who has inspired people from Kerala to take up cricket. I was in Cannes when learned about his arrest; it was shocking.”
Mehul S Thakkar (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 22, 2013)
It’s not every day that the cast of two different films chill out together. But that’s exactly what happened in Panchgani when the team of Prabhu Dheva’s Rambo Rajkumar met the cast of Gunday. Sonu Sood, who was shooting for Rambo ran into Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh who are also in Wai shooting for their film.
So what did the three hot-bodied actors talk about? Contrary to perception, it wasn’t women that the men were discussing. An eyewitness told Mirror, “Sonu and Arjun were exchanging fitness tips and they decided to work out together in the gym.”
Added the eye-witness, “Both the shoots wrapped up 7 pm and all of them gathered in the gym. Although the actors have different workout routines, they seemed to be having fun exchanging fitness notes. As usual, Ranveer was the most laidback and kept cracking jokes all the time.” The gym is out of bounds for the public when the stars head there to work out. As for Sonakshi, we believe, she joined the actors too, but only for a chat.
Bollywood may have its inhibitions, but Indian audiences have proved time and again that they are open to films ending on a tragic note
Bharati Dubey (BOMBAY TIMES; May 22, 2013)
When rockstar Rahul Jaykar jumps to his death in the climax of Aashiqui 2, not many were sure if a sad ending would work for the love story. But shattering all myths about sad endings’ fate at the box office, the film became a runaway hit.
A trade source says, “Actually, such excuses (tragic ending) crop up when a movie sinks at the box office and the concerned filmmaker looks for justifications to save face.” Says Shagufta Rafique, the writer of Aashiqui 2, “We did not think of any other end. The film is about a man who ends his life so that his lover can live on; we never worried if the ending will affect BO performance. I won’t call it a risk, it was about being true to the story.”
But despite the success of tragic love stories — Ranbir Kapoor’s Rockstar (2011) is another recent example — not many filmmakers are ready to take the risk. For example, the original storyline of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Delhi 6 (2009) had Abhishek Bachchan’s character dying. But after pressure from the studio, the director changed it. Both endings were shot and there were reports that the film would be re-released with its original climax.
This trend is not new. Twenty-five years ago, Mansoor Khan had also shot two climaxes for Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988). A trivia on the film states that while the older More >
Subhash K Jha (DNA; May 22, 2013)
Want a role in a Pooja Bhatt production? She will hold a public bidding for a role in two of her forthcoming productions. The proceeds would be used for endeavours to curb violence against women. Pooja’s role-auction, to be held on March 23, has been organised by the Scottish Circle, a charitable organisation in Scotland incepted by rock legend Annie Lennox. Pooja says this is her homage to her Scottish heritage, her mom being partly Scottish.
Says Pooja, “Films must contribute to society as much as profit from it. Besides, I feel strongly about domestic abuse and violence against women. My first film Tamanna which was made at a modest budget of Rs1.2 crore had helped raise close to Rs 80 lakh in charity prior to its release. If any and every film can genuinely contribute back then I consider my existence to be more valid.” The winner of the auction bid has the chance to get cast in one of Pooja’s productions, either Prawaal Raman’s Charles Sobhraj bio-pic Bad or Kaustav Narayan Niyogi’s Cabaret.
Mehul S Thakkar (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 22, 2013)
Currently in Cannes as a jury member and part of the Indian contingent at the 66th Film Festival, Vidya Balan has decided extend her trip to one more week in a bid to mix business with pleasure.
It is learnt her husband, Siddharth Roy Kapur, plans to leave Mumbai in a few days to join her there.
A source told Mirror: Siddharth and Vidya had already chalked out a week-long trip post the fest. Siddharth will wrap up his work and leave in the next three to four days.”
Several French destinations are on the couple’s itinerary before they return to the city by end of this month.