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Striking the Right Chord

admin   August 18, 2020

Janhvi Kapoor in and as Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl in Netflix biopic is the talk of the town today By Poornima Bajwa Sharma

In the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic, people across the world have been left with no other choice but to adapt to the ‘new normal’.Like many other sectors,the film industry too is trying to findnew avenuesto survive and flourish by showcasing engaging stories and new talent, and keeping the masses entertained and spirited in these uncertain times.

So, while watching movies on big screens seems to be a distant dream for cine lovers for now, the rise of OTT platforms has saved the day. All the biggies, which were slated to hit the cinemas this year, are now being streamed on digital platforms. One such flick is Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, starring Janhvi Kapoor. The film was released on Netflix on August 12. The movie has opened to rave reviews with fans and industry people going gaga over the film’s plot, acting and strong direction.

Janhvi plays the part of Gunjan Saxena, who is one of the first female pilots to fly in a combat situation, and played an important role in rescuing injured soldiers during the Kargil War of 1999. She was awarded the gallantry Shaurya Vir Award for displaying courage during the war.

The actress is being lauded for her acting prowess and doing justice to the strong character that she played. While Anurag Kashyap hailed debutant director Sharan Sharma movie for not adhering to “fake patriotism and jingoism”, Tahira Kashyap shed “tears of pride” on watching the film.

Anurag Kashyap took to Twitter to praise the film, especially Sharan. “It’s so amazing and refreshing to see a “coming of age of the Indian armed forces” disguised as a war movie. No fake patriotism, no unnecessary jingoism … well done team #GunjanSaxenaTheKargilGirl. Super performances, writing but what a brilliant new director #SharanSharma,” he tweeted.

Another notable filmmaker and writer Tahira Kashyap watched the film on the day of its release and wrote on Twitter: “What a beautiful film.Tears of pride. #GunjanSaxena #JanhviKapoor is so endearing @Imangadbedichhagaye @TripathiiPankajkamaal ho aap! Such lovely performances! Congratulations #SharanSharma loved every bit of the film especially Janhvi.”

Emerging Victorious in Testing Times

At a time when there has been a nationwide debate simmering over nepotism in Bollywood and ‘starkids’ getting priority over ‘outsiders’ who dreamto make it big in the industry, Janhvi and her film had a huge battle to win before they could win the hearts of viewers. And the film has managed to do so by riding on the back of quality content and Janhvi’s excellent acting skills.

This is Janhvi’s second project since she made her debut in Bollywood with the film Dhadak in 2018. Directed by Shashank Khaitan and produced by Dharma Productions, the film was a remake of Marathi blockbuster Sairat and also starred Ishan Khattar. Janhvi grabbed eyeballs and bagged Zee Cine Award for Best Female Debut.

By setting the cash registers ringing, Dhadak set the stage right for Janhvi with directors taking notice of her talent.

What does the future hold?

After Gunjan Saxena, Janhvi will next be seen in projects like Roohi Afzana, Dostana 2 and Takhat.

The actress has already started the shooting of Dostana 2in Amritsar, where she will be working opposite Kartik Aryan.

Besides promising Hindi films in hand, Janhvi is also making her mark in the ad world and fashion magazines. The actress is also upbeat about regional cinema and is looking forward to do some great work down south too.

“I feel that a lot of regional work in general, that is not necessarily mainstream, is churning out so much amazing work and performances because I don’t think they have the pressure of commercials as much (as Bollywood),” she says.

She also said that it’s her dream to work in a South film. “My playlist on my phone is just music from the South. It’s a dream of mine to star in a Mani Ratnam film with no make-up, donning a white choli and dancing in the waterfall to an AR Rahman track.”

Dealing with competition and contemporaries

Janhvi, who is very close to her actor-cousin Arjun Kapoor, entered the industry at a time when there was a very strong competition from starkids and young girls like Saara Ali Khan, Ananya Pandey, Suhana Khan and Tara Sutaria. However, Janhvi is all praises for the girls and feels no competition from them.”I think all these girls are really beautiful and they all have their own individuality. They must be having lots of positives which other people might not have so, we should celebrate that,” she says.

In fact, she wants every girl to chase their dreams and believe in oneself. “I think they should do exactly that. Every woman has a different journey and they should be proud of their own journey. They don’t need to follow anyone because no two things can ever be the same,” she says.

Besides films, Janhvi has always hogged the limelight for her fashion sense and style statements. The young lady has been the favourite of paparazzi, and has been clicked flaunting stylish gym, airport and casual avatars. The actress has also made heads turn with stunning party looks as well.


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Ishaan Khatter looking ‘beyond clouds’ with promising upcoming projects

admin   August 18, 2020

Leaving his fans asking for more after his last film ‘Dhadak’, actor Ishaan Khatter is now gearing up for his next release ‘A Suitable Boy’, this time on the OTT platform. Directed by Mira Nair and based on Vikram Seth’s sweeping tale of four families set in the post-Partition era, the film will be streamed on Netflix.

Ishaan plays playsMaan, a politician’s son (Kapoor), smitten by a courtesan Saeeda Bai (Tabu). “‘A Suitable Boy’ has been an enriching experience and I’m ever so excited for people to see it. Maan is one of the most interesting characters I’ve read and portraying him on screen has been a delight,” Ishaan said in a statement.

Described as a panoramic tale charting the fortunes of four large families, the story is set in the North India of 1951, the same time the country was carving out its own identity as an independent nation and was about to go to the polls for its first democratic general election.

A Suitable Boy is among the 17 new films and series teased by Netlfix in their latest sizzle reel.

Other than A Suitable Boy, Khatter has romantic action thriller KhaaliPeeli with Ananya Pandey. After debuting with Majid Majidi’s Beyond The Clouds, Ishaan made a mainstream foray with Dhadak. He has got another film in the pipeline, PhoneBhoot with Katrina Kaif and Siddhant Chaturvedi.

Besides, Ishaan is excited about another biggie in the kitty. Khatter is all set to play Brigadier Balaram Singh Mehta, who played an important part in the 1971 war against Pakistan that eventually led to the creation of Bangladesh. Titled Pippa, the upcoming movie is being produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Sidharth Roy Kapur while Raja Krishna Menon will don the director’s hat for the film based on Brigadier Mehta’s book, The Burning Chaffees.

Talking about the project, Ishaan tweeted, “I’m exhilarated to be a part of a film of such magnitude and importance, and getting a chance to play the role of the suave and spirited tank commander, Brig Mehta is a true privilege. I’m honoured by the faith shown in me by Ronnie sir, Siddharth sir and Raja sir and I’m looking forward to the exciting experience of Pippa.”

The two-film-old actor recently talked about being labelled as Shahid’s brother despite making a place for himself in the audience’s hearts. In an interview, he said that he understands the entire discourse but he doesn’t mind ‘being recognised as his (Shahid’s) brother.’

Ishaan added that he has got to learn a lot from his brother and he feels that he’s fortunate he could always have someone to share his experiences with and guide him in the industry. “I do not feel irked by the fact that I am often recognised as his brother. I came into the public eye at a young age of 15 and have been associated with him since then. That image has lived longer than the independent actor that I am now,” he said.

Talking about the film, Siddharth Roy Kapur said: “While the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 is widely documented, one of its less-known chapters is the covert operation that became the Battle of Garibpur, which played a significant part in India’s eventual victory. This is the war that is often heralded as the only ‘just war’ in history because it was fought to save human lives and free a nation.”

To this, Ronnie Screwvala added: “The story of the 45th Squadron led by Captain Balram Mehta is one that needs to be told to this generation. This film is a visual celebration of not only India’s valour but also the sharp strategy shown by us in 1971 along with our alliance with Bangladesh, all seen through the eyes of the Mehta family and their stirring internal and external conflicts.”