Here are the top stories of the week!
When Akarsh Khurana and the crew of his upcoming film Karwaan rode their ocean-blue Volkswagen minivan to South India, they were little prepared to witness how big a star their lead actor Dulquer Salmaan is.
“One day, we were shooting on a newly-opened bypass. There were just a few houses on that stretch. By the time we started shooting, word spread and a huge crowd had gathered near the location, delighted to see Dulquer,” Akarsh recalls. “I heard they now call the bridge on which we were shooting ‘DQ Bridge’!”
Long before realistic stories were the norm, filmmakers took inspiration from the epics, sometimes not even in their entirety; mere chapters were enough to be fleshed into a full-length feature. Remember the hilarious Maya Bazaar (featuring NTR, Ranga Rao and Savitri, based on the Mahabharatha), the intense Karnan (again from the Mahabharatha, with the soulful number ‘Ullathil Nalla Ullam’ that speaks of Karnan’s greatness) or the bilingual Lava Kusa (from the Ramayana)?
Here are four films with an epic touch that won critical and commercial acclaim.
This year, with big-ticket releases such as Bharat Ane Nenu, Mahanati, Ragasthalam and Naa Peru Surya, Naa Illu India, one would expect that the Telugu film industry has been making big bucks. But, the reality is startlingly different. Of the 95 Telugu films (including the dubbed ones) that released till June 30, 66 were Tollywood productions. For an industry that churns out a large number of films annually, this number is quite small and the results are not encouraging. The success rate has been a just a little over 10 per cent.
Here’s a half-yearly report of the Telugu films that released this year.
Fighting words, and why not? Ramya Nambessan is known to stand her ground, even if it means giving up on movie opportunities. She’s had long gaps between projects, but has never let that affect her. Little surprise, then, that she was among the first four actresses to resign from AMMA (Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes), following the reinstatement of actor Dileep, an accused in the abduction of an actress in Kerala last year.
Read full interview: ‘If They Won’t Allow You Space, You Have To Create Your Own’: Ramya Nambessan
Every time a burning issue concerning society is in the news, actors are usually found wanting when it comes to expressing anger or angst. But some voices have always risen against injustice of any kind, be it within the industry or outside of it. Not surprisingly, these voices invariably have their origins in the South, primarily in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Bollywood has almost stayed silent on most issues, especially the deeply political.
Read full story: Speaking Up: When Reel Stars Are Also Real Heroes
As protests erupt from various quarters against AMMA (Association Of Malayalam Movie Actors) and its decision to reinstate Malayalam actor Dileep, a few old interviews (television and print) of late actor Thilakan, where he scathingly criticises AMMA and its leadership, have gone viral. In the interviews, an enraged Thilakan condemns the film unions for denying several artistes their means of livelihood, and alleges that some ‘superstars’ and filmmakers made sure that his film career was finished abruptly.
Considering Tik Tik Tik’s budget and the technical challenges associated with a space movie, credit must go to the VFX creators, Ajax Media Tech for being able to elicit the right reaction from the audience. The behind-the-scenes shots after the end credits give an inkling of the work the teams involved have put in.
Read full story: Tik Tik Tik: Meet The Team That Took Tamil Cinema To Space
The Malayalam film industry is passing through an unprecedented moral and ethical crisis, and at the center of it are a bunch of women who stood up to the powerful leadership of AMMA (Association Of Malayalam Movie Actors). The dirt that the industry had been sweeping under the carpet became public in February last year, when a young actress was allegedly waylaid and sexually abused by a man who claimed to be an aide of a male superstar.
Read full story: Dileep Reinstated To AMMA: Here’s A Brief Timeline Of The Case