Tag: Neeraj Nanda

SAT EXCLUSIVE: Brightness of Kaabil overcomes darkness: Hrithik Roshan



By Neeraj Nanda

Hrithik Roshan’s latest movie ‘Kaabil’ is making waves on the box office. Directed by Sanjay Gupta, it has Yami Gautam as the leading lady with music by his father Rajesh Roshan. The 150 minutes’ movie in Hindi has English subtitles.

The blind leading pair fall in love, get married and a terrible tragedy strikes. Then the fire of vengeance is unstoppable. I caught up from Melbourne with Hrithik Roshan from Mumbai on the What’s App and he answered my questions about Kaabil, which he calls his best reviewed film.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: How was it playing a blind hero. Was it challenging?

A: Challenging, yes. It has a beautiful challenging script which leads to passion making it easy to act in the movie.

Q: Hrithik, while shooting actually the eyes can see but you posed as if they can’t. How did you manage that?

A: It was difficult. I practiced at home. I Blind folded myself and walked in the house. I did it every day.

Q: So, when you were practicing did you also fall down?

A: Yes, I did. Those who fall, learn to get up.

Q: Despite being a blind character, you gave a confident positive message, but Yami taking her own life gives a rather negative message. What do you say?

A: No, once you see the film you realise that our weakness can sometimes overcome us. We are all quite fragile. Adversity becomes tough. Yami comes from a small town and what happens is the reality. Rohan (Hrithik) then gives the message that the situation can be overcome. That is the brightness of Kaabil.

Q: How was it working with Yami?

A: The best co-star, I have worked in my life. She is simple and does not focus on herself. Instead, her focus is the entire movie.

Q: What is the message for blind couples who cannot see the movie?

A: In fact, the message is from the blind to all of us – don’t be afraid of darkness in your life. We all have some kind of darkness and the blind show us we can have the same potential as they have to fight darkness.

Q: In one scene you speak in Amitabh Bachchan’s voice. How could you manage it?

A: Practice led to that. Dubbing people say if you control your vocal cord muscle then you can utter anyone’s voice. I was able to do it.

Q: ‘Andha’ and ‘Andhi’ words used in the film. Aren’t they rude words?

A: These are labels. If I am blind and have lost my wife also blind, then I have to say I am ‘Andha’ and my wife is ‘Andhi’. There are no substitute words.

Q: Do you agree despite the love-rape-revenge theme this is a message film?

A: No, it is not. This is a beautiful entertaining movie. A unique concept film. In the cinema hall there was so much clapping after every dialogue. I enjoyed every bit of this film after my first movie ‘Kaho Na Pyaar Hi”. This is my life’s big success and the best reviewed film.

Vidya Balan praises IFFM for moving beyond movies

Photo: SAT/NN.

By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 19 August: IFFM-2016 Brand Ambassador Vidya Balan is impressed with the iconic festival taking up issues beyond films. Speaking today at a function at the Victorian Parliament she said, “I am grateful and honoured to be at the Parliament of Victoria promoting the film festival’s core values of the diversity and inclusiveness.”

Praising the festival director Mitu Bhowmick Lange’s initiative of moving beyond films, Vidya Balan said, “breaking down walls and boundaries with the La Trobe University’s project of students taking part in a new effort to help children with special needs in India and the good work being done by the Royal Children’s Hospital is basically breaking barriers in the minds of the people.”

“People do not know how to handle children with special needs and the need of the hour was to treat people as people,” she said.

“The La Trobe University’s initiative was an icing on the cake,” she commented.


About her being the Brand Ambassador of the film festival, Vidya Balan says, “The journey of the past five years has been so wonderful. I come back here year after year and go back with memories cherished for ever.”

“When Mitu first asked me to be the Brand Ambassador of the festival, I thought it will be a one off, but next year again she came to me and then continued to ask me to remain in the position year after year and that kicked off my love affair with Melbourne,” she nostalgically says.


The Bollywood legend was honoured by Hon. Luke Donnellan, Minister for Roads, Roads Safety and Ports, the IFFM Gold Medal for her contributions to cinema and interest in social issues.

A large number of festival organisers, parliament MPs and officials, Indian Consul in Melbourne Manika Jain, Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick and others were present at the function.

- SAT News Service.

Feel good movies do not make the world a better place: Anurag Kashyap


Photo: SAT

By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 14 August: Controversial Indian filmmaker, Anurag Kashyap has said social media is manipulated and controlled by those who control our lives. Anurag was speaking during a master class with the media and film buffs during the ongoing International Film Festival of Melbourne 2016 (IFFM-2016).

The veteran and vocal filmmaker, whose ‘Udta Punjab’ recently faced the wrath of the Indian film censors, was candid and answered questions in a local café near the popular St. Kilda beach on a variety of subjects affecting the Indian film industry, religious fundamentalism, and new technologies.

Anurag Kashyap, who is famous for making new wave cinema in Bollywood, like Dev D (2009), Udaan (2010), Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1 (2012) and The Lunchbox (2013), says “Feel good movies do not make the world a better place.”

Anurag’s Udta Punjab which quickly found its way to the internet once he won the case against the Indian censors, remains one of the most downloaded movies in recent times despite it doing well at the box office.

“It was a different type of case as the censor people called us and wanted to cut so and so scenes, dialogues, names etc. but gave nothing in written so as to avoid a challenge.

“It was because of the coming elections in Punjab, the censor was playing a game with us,” he said.

The director who also acts in a coming movie ‘Akira’, feels concerned about religious intolerance. “There is so much religious insecurity in the country and fundamentalism has spread all over the world,” he said.

About himself as a filmmaker, he says, “I am not good at anything else. I write my scripts by hand while traveling.”

Answering to a question on piracy and new technologies by SAT, Anurag said, “People in the film industry download movies themselves and complain about piracy. They download 60-70 percent of the movies. How can they fight piracy?”.

Anurag disclosed he was ready to start shooting a horror movie with Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Gangs of Wasseypur Part 1 and Part 2) and Radhika Apte (Parched).

- SAT News Service.

“Might take break from films”, says Gurpreet Ghughi

Media conf
Photo: Kulbir CAM

By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 29 July: Popular Punjabi film star, TV actor and singer, Gurpreet Ghuggi is all set for his political role in Punjab, after recently joining the Aam Admi Party (AAP). The veteran of many Punjabi TV shows and movies is confident he will work for the ‘happiness of Punjab’ in his new role, where state elections are due next year.

“I will fulfil the urges of the Punjab people but will not leave films”, he said answering to a question at the Thornbury Theatre during a media interaction. He also disclosed he might take a break from show business but will do a few movies as and when necessary.

Accompanied by Punjabi actor Gippy Grewal, the actor turned politician is in Melbourne to do a stage show “Desi Rockstar”.

“ Sakun mil raha hai (feel mentally peaceful) after joining politics and now want to give maximum to Punjab which has given me so much,” Ghuggi said.

On a question by SAT, Ghuggi agreed that acting in cinema and being in politics is helpful and at times they are complimentary.

“My goal in politics will be to make Punjab move ahead”, he said.

Gippy Grewal talked about his forthcoming movie ‘Lock’ which he co-stars with Gurpreet Ghuggi. “This will be a new type of Punjabi film with few actors and songs”, he said.

Both the actors agreed that the social media and You Tube have made people more conscious and movies are more scrutinised and commented by viewers.

- SAT News Service.

M. Preneet Kaur slams Akali-BJP govt. for Punjab’s decline

Pub cong final
Photo: SAT.

From Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 5 April: Punjab is in crisis and its future can only come with “good governance”, said Congress leader taking a dig at the Badal led Akali-BJP government facing a massive anti-incumbency wave in the Punjab.

“The state needs to be debt and drug-free, she said addressing a big group of supporters here at the Thornbury Theatre. M. Preneet Kaur, MLA from Patiala is the wife of Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh, MP who is leading the Congress Party in Punjab.

Commenting on what is being seen as a watershed election in a year, M. Preneet Kaur in an indirect reference to the rising stakes of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) said, “we need a tried and tested good governance party to rule Punjab “.

She said, “ In the last two terms the Badal-led Akali-BJP coalition had brought down Punjab from the first state to the 19th spot” and “ criticized the Modi-led central government for dismantling the Planning Commission.

“All good steps the Capt. Amarinder Singh-led Congress government (2002 to 2007) took have been dismantled with industry having abandoned the state, agriculture and education in a mess”, she said.

The Congress leader refused to comment on the political scenario and the Congress party’s plans after the Punjab elections, saying it is too early to predict the outcome of the 2017 elections.

Earlier, Alok Kumar and Aakash Kumar of Thornbury Theatre welcomed the Congress leader among others. M. Preneet Kaur then mixed with the local Punjabi community facing many questions. The crowd seemed to enjoy a slice of Punjab politics far away from home.

- SAT News Service.