Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia’s crime-drama feature Yaara, starring Vidyut Jammwal and Amit Sadh, is all set to have a direct-to-digital release on ZEE5. The film, which also stars Shruti Haasan, Vijay Varma and Sanjay Mishra, chronicles the friendship between four criminals.
Dhulia said the film is a “homage” to friendship and is a “riveting take” on crime narrative. “I think another highlight of the film is the casting. It is a unique, talented mix of actors who have done a phenomenal job on each of their characters.
“All of them have their own indigenous style to express their lines and emotions. It is great that the film will premiere on ZEE5, a platform that always backs meaningful content,” the 52-year-old director said in a statement.
Set in the backdrop of North India, the film traces the rise and fall of four friends’ rustling operations across the Nepal-India border. Produced by AZURE Entertainment, Yaara is a remake of 2011 French crime-drama Gang Story.
Amit Sadh will soon be seen in the second season of Breathe, reprising his role of a cop investing yet another case.
Another film of Vidyut Jammwal, Khuda Haafiz, will be releasing straight on OTT. The announcement was made recently, which led to controversy as the actor was among those not invited to the virtual press conference.
Monday saw the grand announcement by Disney+ Hotstar that the streaming platform will be premiering seven major Bollywood films over the next few months and, within hours, the Carnival Cinemas group has come out to express “disappointment” with the trend of digital release of Bollywood films.
Without taking names, Carnival Cinemas CEO Mohan Umrotkar said in a statement: “We stand by our previous statement. It is very disappointing that the filmmakers are opting digital first route when we are just steps away from the theatrical releases with the reopening of cinema halls across the country with all the necessary precautions.”
“The economy is reopening and malls have already opened. They just need to have some more faith and patience to hold the content for the big screens, that is what it was made for.”
“During the lockdown we have participated in many surveys to realize that the audience is waiting for cinemas to reopen. For the entertainment industry to flourish everyone needs to stand by each other. And if films made for theaters release directly on streaming platforms it may hamper the overall growth of the ecosystem.”
Last month, Carnival Cinemas had issued a statement that said: “Though we are disappointed with the move of filmmakers to go straight to digital, we understand the financial burden/compulsion that one may have in these times…The situation is such that you cannot blame anyone. In this time of uncertainty some producers have decided to release their content directly on OTT. It is within their rights to decide but we will not release those movies in our theatres.”
On Monday afternoon it was announced that seven Bollywood movies will be releasing directly on an OTT platform. These are the Akshay Kumar-starrer “Laxmmi Bomb”, Ajay Devgn’s “Bhuj: The Pride Of India”, “Sadak 2” starring Alia Bhatt, Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film “Dil Bechara”, “The Big Bull” starring Abhishek Bachchan, Vidyut Jammwal-starrer “Khuda Haafiz” and “Lootcase” featuring Kunal Kemmu.
Javed Hyder, who has worked in films like Baabarr (2009) and Aamir Khan-Rani Mukherji’s Ghulam (1998) and TV series Jeannie Aur Juju (2012) is having a difficult time to make ends meet. He has resorted to selling vegetables. The clip of him selling vegetables has been shared by Dolly Bindra on Twitter.
Abhay Deol sparked controversy recently when he slammed B-town for shamelessly lobbying against him and Farhan Akhtar, while promoting Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif as the main lead of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. While Abhay mentioned that he had problems with being termed as the ‘supporting actor’, Farhan was fine with it. In an answer to his post, Farhan at India Today e-Conclave Inspiration said that all he cared about was putting in hard work.
Vidyut Jammwal and Kunal Kemmu have reacted to the fact that they were not invited to a virtual press conference to announce the release of their upcoming films on an OTT platform. Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan and Alia Bhatt were called to talk about their film, but Vidyut and Kunal weren’t.
Shah Rukh Khan recently shared a monochrome picture of himself, alongside elaborating on how he survived the film industry for 28 long years. Soon after, actor Arshad Warsi retweeted Shah Rukh’s post and heaped praise on the superstar’s dashing looks. He wrote, “this pic would make any man turn gay,” followed by a smiley.
Yash is spending quality time with his wife, Radhika Pandit and their kids. Yash shared a social media post where he said how his better-half is helping him being sane and safe. In a hilarious post, Yash revealed that the new lockdown rules for him have less to do with the Karnataka Government and more to do with his wife.
On Monday, Disney+ Hotstar announced a bouquet of new films starring some of the established names like Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn. Actor Varun Dhawan was anchoring the event even though there was another person for the compering.
This virtual press conference was to formally release the names of the seven big ticket films that are directly releasing on the streaming app. These films were Laxmmi Bomb, Bhuj, The Big Bull, Sadak 2, Dil Bechara, Khuda Haafiz and Loot Case.
While the first four films are headlined by Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan and Alia Bhatt, the fifth features the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput in the lead role. The last two have Vidyut Jammwal and Kunal Kemmu in the prominent roles.
While the first four actors were invited for the virtual press conference, the last three didn’t have any representation. Out of the later three films, Dil Bechara’s direct release on OTT was announced a few days back, but no such official news was released about Khuda Haafiz and Loot Case. And on top of that, these three films were not represented by anyone on the virtual press conference panel.
Probably that was the trigger point for Jammwal to tweet this: “A BIG announcement for sure!!
7 films scheduled for release but only 5 are deemed worthy of representation. 2 films, receive no invitation or intimation. It’s a long road ahead. THE CYCLE CONTINUES.”
He did that while quoting film trade analyst Taran Adarsh’s tweet consisting the invitation poster of the ‘big’ event.
It’s indeed a big event for the Indian OTT scenario, which has never seen such barrage of big budget films available at the tip of their fingers, but was it not big enough to include the two relatively younger and newer actors.
In fact, Kemmu sounded dejected in his tweet, probably put out in protest. He said: “Izzat aur pyaar maanga nahi kamaya jaata hai. Koi na de toh usse hum chhote nahi hote. Bas maidaan khelne ke liye barabar de do chhalaang hum bhi oonchi laga sakte hai.”
Kemmu’s tweet screams of the pain of the actors who are weighed down under the Bollywood hierarchy, and how only some of the faces can call shots. Even if they’re headlining projects, it’s not a guarantee of the ‘level playing field’, leave aside an equal place on the discussion table.
Both, Jammwal and Kemmu, have earned their place in the Hindi film industry after years of struggle, and even that didn’t secure them a place at the panel, leave aside the newcomer outsiders. We have seen how star-kids are given more space during a film promotion than the ‘outsiders’ featuring with them. It’s a great strategy in favour of the star-kids. Even if the film fails, there would an endorsement market ready for the star-kids, thanks to their ‘cultivated’ face value before the film’s release.
There might be limited space or other constraints, but they should have told to the actors—Jammwal and Kemmu- at least. When Jammwal writes—the cycle continues—it’s a clear indication of what outsiders or rather less connected go through in the showbiz.