News Round-Up: Padmavat and Other Upcoming Movies

Let’s see if I have time to write this before I have to leave for work!  But there are enough exciting things happening, I want to get it up and out there.

Padmavat Will Release, Padman Will Not

Two news stories came out, one on the heels of the other.  First, the Supreme Court ordered states not to ban Padmavat but rather to provide the protection needed to ensure its smooth release.  Partly because it has now received a censor certificate, thereby indicating that there is no public safety or morals or any other reason not to show it.  Essentially, the Supreme Court is upholding the powers of the censor board to determine what should or should not play, rather than the power of mob rule terrifying the forces of law and order into banning it.  This is all great and, once again, upholds my feeling that in this case the censor board has been the solution, not the problem.  This is not always true, but in this one instance, the clear and careful censorship process has been the films best defense.

And then shortly after this was announced, the Padman team announced they were moving to February 9.  No one is connecting the two stories, I assume because the connection is so obvious.  With all the state bans, on the one hand it seemed like Padmavat might get delayed again, and on the other hand, even if it did come out, Padman would release without competition in soooooooooooooo many states.  But now Padmavat will definitely release on the 25th, and release everywhere, so Padman had to stop waiting to make their decision and just move.

Generally, I think we can all agree, this is not a great development.  For one thing, it means that Padmavat will be the only film to release in January.  For comparison, last January we had OK Jaanu, Wazir, and Running Shaadi all coming out before Republic Day.  They weren’t huge films, but they were mainstream Hindi films playing in most theaters.  This year, Kaalakaandi barely got a release (and not at all overseas), and then there was 1921, the horror film, Mukkabaaz which also barely came out especially overseas, and this week Vodka Diaries.  Nothing really mainstream, nothing for families to watch, nothing with a big name star (excepting Kaalakaandi which, again, didn’t get a release).  And now, after theaters somehow struggling through with nothing to show for weeks and weeks, everything is riding on this one, very troubled, movie.  Alllllllllll the way through to February 9th.

(I will use any excuse to post this song)

Plus it throws of Padman‘s release! Which was the perfect Republic Day release, patriotic in an easily digestible way, and a nice solid small film, not one that you want to release when the whole family will be together, or when people will have several days off work, but a nice solid film to watch on your day off and maybe come back to see in the evenings the next week.  And it had a nice perfect carefully coordinated promotion campaign that was peaking this week.  Now they need to keep people talking somehow for another 2 weeks, release without the patriotic fervor driving it, and lose the advantage of a day off work.

It’s just a very selfish and slipshod way to do things.  Releasing in a way that practically begs for controversy, and then forcing everyone else to move around to make room for you, against their own interests.


Non-Padmavat Upcoming movie news


Salman in Prosthetics

Tiger is still in theaters and the promotion campaign is already in gear for Salman’s next, Bharat.  Once again he is working with Ali Abbas Zafar, to which I say BOOOOOO.  I think Ali is a solid competent director, but I don’t think he has shown himself to be able to pull a truly brilliant acting performance from Salman, and I am wanting another actual acting performance from him

The film is called “Bharat” and supposed Salman is playing a character who ages from 17-64.  I’m delighted by the 64 part of that, but I hope the 17 part is very short.  I’m much more interested in seeing Salman play a mature type than a young boy.  The new news today is confirmation that he will be playing that young boy, despite the requirements of make up.  Because of his nerve condition, wearing stuff on his face can be painful and medically dangerous for him, so he usually tries to avoid it, but he is making an exception in this case.  Let us hope that his difficulties with prosthetic keep this section of the film short and sweet.

Image result for ode to my father

(It’s apparently a remake of a South Korean movie following a man who was separated from his father and sister during Korea’s partition as he goes through all the changes that happened in Korea over 50 years.  I assume they change it to India’s partition and India’s 50 years of history, and keep the idea of the separated family)


Mahabharata in Hindi

Aamir’s Mahabharata keeps chugging along!  There were vague questions about Rajamouli maybe planning his own Mahabharata, but Rajamouli had this very sane and reasonable response (from bollywoodhungama):

I don’t think I will be getting into the Mahabharat for a while, not right away anyway. It requires a whole lot of planning. I need to know which parts of the Mahabharat I want to film. It’s not something I can get into right away. If Aamir Khan is doing it I am sure a great deal of planning must have gone into it. I am sure he will do full justice to it…In Telugu cinema there have been some very successful big-screen adaptations of the Mahabharat. In Hindi, I am not aware of any significant adaptation of this Epic…The conflicts in the Mahabharat are more relevant today than ever before. It is the ultimate epic challenge for any filmmaker. I am looking forward to it.

Excellent points, all around.  Aamir clearly already has an idea of what he wants to do, if he has reached the point of announcing it, so no reason for him to hold back and wait on Rajamouli.  And really no reason for Rajamouli try to rush his process and ruin his film.

I also appreciate Rajamouli’s point that a Hindi Mahabharat is a totally different prospect than a Telugu one, seeing as it is bringing the Hindi audience a story that they have not seen on the big screen before and challenging the industry to tell a kind of story they are not used to.  It’s a reminder that the two industries are truly not the same, and the audience is not the same, and they should not be set up as competitors in this way.


Arjun Reddy in Hindi

Speaking of industries being different, the rights for an Arjun Reddy remake were sold to Murad Khetani and Ashwin Varde of Cine1.  Which is probably a bad idea for a lot of reasons.

First, again, Telugu films are not the same as Hindi, don’t have the same audience, and so on and so on.  Arjun Reddy in Hindi was different a little because of the drugs and sex and so on, but fit within a dynamic of more realistic filming and characters that was a carry over from Tamil films, and had in a lowkey way been always there in Telugu as well.

Meanwhile, in Hindi, Arjun Reddy was no more shocking than Dev D, Delhi Belly, other movies that have had slightly smaller releases but still found an audience.  But the kind of realistic filming style, that might be different.  If it carries over to the remake.  There are rumors they may bring in the same director, but I am keeping my hopes low, because of who is producing.

This group has previously produced Mickey Virus, The Shaukeens, Mubarakan, Boss, and Ragini MMS.  Which aren’t exactly bad movies, but they also aren’t artistic breakthroughs.  They were more kind of rethinking of successful formulas, Mickey Virus=Vicky Donar, The Shaukeens=Housefull, Mubarakan=Welcome, Boss=Khiladi, Ragini MMS=RGV/Bhatt horror.  Which makes me think that what they want from an Arjun Reddy remake is taking a successful idea and watering it down a bit and releasing it to a new audience.

The only thing I find really exciting in this story is the rumor that Ranveer Singh or Arjun Kapoor are being considered as the lead.  I think either of those actors would be FANTASTIC in the role, and it could be a total game changer for their career if they pull it off.  But then, that’s a big “if”.

Image result for arjun kapoor

(Arjun Kapoor in the role is particularly exciting, the right kind of troubled and dark for his face)

21 thoughts on “News Round-Up: Padmavat and Other Upcoming Movies

  1. Of course, I’m super excited about the prospect of Arjun Kapoor in Arjun Reddy. It could be the perfect role for him, BUT he could also fall into some not so good traps. Arjun Reddy’s lead is an obsessive guy who honestly is stalking a very innocent young woman in the first part of that film and Arjun Kapoor couldn’t pull that off in Half-Girlfriend (though I almost entirely blame the awful script, direction and Shraddha). I think he would be absolutely perfect, otherwise. I keep thinking of his Ishaqzaade and Augranzeb performances (probably his two best, imho). Would be really great to see a less romanticized version of substance abuse and sexual promiscuity hiding deep emotional turmoil/longing (like we saw in Aashiqui 2 and JHMS). Ranveer could also be interesting in the role, of course. I even was musing about Varun Dhawan since his name was mentioned, too, in the buzz. I might like him better in a role like that.


    • Also, that has got to be one of my favorite photos of Arjun Kapoor. He can be so insanely attractive sometimes. If I had to pick the most objectively handsome men in Hindi cinema he’d be at the top of the list.


    • I think I like Arjun best out of Ranveer or Varun, partly because he can be so off-putting. I don’t want a charming and handsome and smooth hero for Arjun Reddy, I want a kind of rough and unpleasant one. I also want someone like Arjun who doesn’t seem quite so image focused, I could imagine Varun being nervous about losing his lover hero vibe if he went too dark, and therefore not being true to the character.

      On Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 8:46 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. Two points:
    1. With the Feb. 9 release date, the film will have one (partial?) holiday during the first week, as well as Valentine’s Day. I can see a really creative marketing person spin the theme of the movie into a Valentine’s Day present. 🙂

    2. Most south Indian films get watered down when remade in Hindi, especially the edgy ones. When you expect all other aspects of the film to be watered down, why do you think the lead character will remain the same? He, too, will be watered down.

    (I think you meant to say “Arjun Reddy in Telugu was different because of the drugs, …”, not HIndi.)


    • The pity is, if they knew they were doing Valentine’s Day all along, they could have made that part of the spin start to finish. But instead they did this very subtle patriotic kind of message to fit with Republic Day, talking about taxes and innovation and making it kind of a national issue. You’re right, they could do something really clever, but now any clever ideas they may have won’t really have enough time to land. Emphasizing the Twinkle-Akshay package and their romance, clever taglines like “this Valentine’s Day, give her what she really needs”, a message of “true romance is helping a woman however she needs help”, etc. etc.

      I think my hope is, if the cast the right person, the actor can force the character to remain faithful. So much of the character was in the performance, the aggressively distasteful way he was played, more than the details of the narrative. If they change everything else, but cast someone strong enough to keep that bitter flavor to the lead, at least the most important part of the film will remain.

      On Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 8:56 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy (belated) New Year!

    Between vacation, holidays and school starting again, I feel so out of the loop. I’ve got to go back through some of the posts I missed to catch up.

    I wasn’t super into Arjun Reddy so the remake is more interesting in theory to me. I am curious about the cast and general approach but I’ll probably skip it. They announced the Tamil remake of it a while ago and it’s set to be Vikram’s son’s (Dhruv) first film. He’s Vikram’s clone!

    I’m more excited about the star kid launch than the movie itself.


    • Happy New Year!

      I am fascinated that they are remaking it in Tamil. I would have assumed that the original was enough of a crossover hit at least in the south that a remake would not be profitable. Especially since, watching it, I kept thinking how “Tamil” it felt in every way. Unlike a potential Hindi remake, where at least it would be a unique storyline for the market. But maybe that is why it is the star launch, if it fails everyone can blame it on the remake problem instead of on the kid, and he can have an easy launch by trying to fit an established role instead of inventing something new.

      On Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 9:32 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  4. I fear that we’ll get a very watered down politically correct version of Mahabharata.This is the wrong time to make the epic.In the original Mahabharata all the characters are shown to be mortal and fallible.Some make choices according to their whims and fancies, while some others have their backs to the wall and make wrong choices.None of the Pandavas are meant to be put on a pedestal.Yet what are the odds that this version will show the differences of opinion and the ugly fights between the Pandava brothers?Draupadi’s angry harangues will be toned down and her being gambled will be seen as getting her just desserts for daring to say “No’ to Karna.


    • On the other hand, a Mahabharata film will take literally years to complete. So might as well start it now, you have to start it some time. And assume a 2020 release date.

      On Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 12:24 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      • Aamir’s age has to be a factor here too. He’s 52. If he wants to complete the epic he has to start now.

        Did you see the China box office results for Secret Superstar? I know they inflate their numbers but it still seems like a far bigger hit there than in India. Also, based on my twitter feed Aamir inspires a lot more adoration from his Chinese fans than his Indian fans. So interesting!


        • I’m still not totally confident about the Chinese information, just because there is the news in Hollywood about how those numbers are soft and unreliable, but he does seem to be a big hit there.

          My sister’s friend who is Chinese was saying that her parents and everyone were talking about this Indian wrestling movie last year, so I guess Dangal really did make an impression!

          Oh, and yes, definitely Aamir’s age. He’s been talking about this Mahabharata movie almost as long as I can remember, he must be realizing that it is now or never.


  5. Am I the only not thrilled with Arjun as Arjun Reddy? I felt Vijay Devarokanda was the only reason the movie worked. Mani Ratnam tried to get Karthi to do something similar in Kaatru veliyidai and that didn’t work. I just feel that Arjun Kapoor is a smart actor mostly but sometimes come across as too animated. He was just awful in Half Girlfriend – didn’t have the body language or mannerisms of a basketball player and the Bihari accent was just superficial. I feel Aditya Roy Kapoor would be a better choice perhaps?
    If they keep the medical part of the original (and the director), it could work. DevD was too trippy for my taste so there might be a section of audience who’d like something more realistic. But Hindi movies often feel the need to dumb down science so I think they will end up placing this movie in some St. Teresa’s type of college (from SOTY) and there by ruining it.


    • Oooo, Aditya Roy Kapoor could be really interesting! He was phenomenal in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani as an addict who the script didn’t explicitly say was an addict. And he has the right kind of looming powerful presence, you want someone who really feels big and overwhelms the heroine.

      On Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 3:18 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  6. I saw a tweet today about Padman moving to February, saying how nice of Akshay to move his movie because poor Padmavat had so many problems and it deserves more respect from industry. I rarely answer to random people on twitter, but today I just had to and I wrote: poor Padmavat? It’s just a bully who forced others to move.

    And now my stupid question concerning Arjun Reddy:
    Why people in India just can’t watch the original movie instead of remaking it?
    Ok, some movies are very rooted in their tradition, and can be remade, especially if one has an idea how to it, but usually it’s just watering the original script.
    I think this is the aspect of indian cinema I will never be able to understand. Because if I, being from Poland and knowing nothing about customs, religion and life in India can watch and really enjoy e.g telugu film, why a folk wrom Delhi can’t?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, one thing I have to keep reminding myself of is that the literacy rate in India is only 74%. So without at least dialogue dubbing, 26% of the audience cannot understand films unless the spoken words are in their native language. And even within that literacy rate, there is also the issue of language remaining. Both that you may not know the language a film is in, or the language it is subtitled in, and that the subtitles might be written in a script that is different from the one you know even if you are literate.

      Dubbed films are getting more and more common, which bugs me because I hate dubbing, but I understand the issue with language. And I guess remakes make sense for that reason to, although I think I would prefer dubbed originals as a solution.

      On Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 4:29 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      > Respond to this comment by replying above this line > New comment on dontcallitbollywood > > * Angie commented on News Round-Up: Padmavat and Other Upcoming Movies > > * > > Let’s see if I have time to write this before I have to leave for work! > But there are enough exciting things happening, I … > > I saw a tweet today about Padman moving to February, saying how nice of > Akshay to move his movie because poor Padmavat had so many problems and it > deserves more respect from industry. I rarely answer to random people

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was thinking that it’s so much easier to dubb a movie, that made a new one. And in Arjun Reddy case, I don’t think somebody who can’t read will go to see it. It’s more young, educated people genre I guess.
        I have seen that there are a lot of hindi dubbed southern movies on youtube (usually with ridiculous titles) and a lot of people watch them.


      • Now interestingly, quite a few South Indian films are releasing in the North, with subtitles! But I think they are in English.

        Funny tidbit that might shed light on this language issue. When Kites was released in India, it created a huge uproar, because, of course, much of the film had Spanish dialogue, since the heroine character was from Mexico in the film. So all the single screen theaters and some of the multiplex theaters complained loudly, saying, “We were promised a Hindi film, but instead we got an English film!” That’s an actual quote, by the way. To them all foreign languages were “English.” They released it in some multiplexes with Hindi subtitles, and in some with English subtitles, and in some other (maybe single screen) theaters, with the Spanish dialogue dubbed into Hindi. Now there was a Bollywood forum that I used to visit regularly at that time, where the members had high-falutin’ discussions about “cinema” and such, all in English, of course. Well, many of these people went to see Kites, and complained bitterly, because the English speaking people couldn’t read Hindi! And also they didn’t want to read the English subtitles because they found them too fatiguing. In fact, the reason Hollywood films started being dubbed into Indian languages was that, even the Indian people who were very fluent in English complained that they couldn’t understand the actors’ American accents, and so preferred to see the Hindi dubbed version.

        In North America people really look down on dubbed films as being “cheap,” while in Europe, from what I understand, dubbing is the norm, since there are so many films which are dubbed from one European language to another. Also, I don’t know if this is still the case, but usually the cast were from different countries, each speaking their own language during the shooting, with their lines dubbed in post production to the local language.

        In India different language groups have different levels of pride in their language. Tamil and Bengali people have the most pride, though Bengalis seem to be reducing that somewhat these days. So Tamil films are dubbed regularly into Telugu, and the major Tamil stars are just as popular in the Telugu states. But, Tamilians don’t go for dubbing as much, as they prefer to remake films. Thus big Telugu stars are not as popular in Tamil Nadu as the Tamil ones are in AP and Telangana. When Bahubali 2 reduced here, most of the Malayalis went to the Tamil version, because they were more used to that language (than Telugu), and were used to seeing Tamil films, anyway. So when our local distributor also brought in the Malayalam dubbed version, there was a rave reaction from the Malayali audience, because they could watch it in their own language, even if it was dubbed. Generally Indian audiences don’t seem to mind dubbing much, especially nowadays, when all films are dubbed in post, anyway, and many of the big stars in a particular region (I am speaking now mainly of South Indian films) can’t speak the language, anyway.

        Liked by 2 people

        • On the subtitles bit, if you need to read it you cannot watch it and that detracts from the movie experience. Also subtitles usually are pathetic. They miss the nuances.
          As for dubbed well again it depends on how well the dubbing artist captures the emotion and tenor of voice to match the character. Case in point for amarendra baahubali I blundered through the Telugu version because the Tamil version just did not measure up. However his voicing in Hindi by sharad kelkar I liked.
          Overall it detracts from the movie experience.
          Plus as someone said remakes mean more jobs all around.


      • I’ll second everything Moimeme said and add that there’s also a business element involved. The Kannada industry had (maybe still has?) a ban on dubbed films.The theory being that the comparatively smaller Kannada industry can’t compete with dubbed films (the big budget ones at any rate) and it would kill the local industry. Remaking other language films would also mean more jobs for people in the film industry compared to just dubbing the films thereby protecting more jobs.

        I’m not sure the actual impact of this though. Anecdotally, it just seems like people are watching the other language films in the original language.

        Liked by 1 person

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