There was a time when an exotic language was used as a surprise element to bamboozle the character and the audience. Now by showing the character having command over multiple languages, directors try to convince the audience that this is a small world. It also helps the film to cross over regional boundaries. Recently, in American Hustle Robert De Niro played a mafia from Miami who could converse in Arabic. In The Newsroom a segment was created where Olivia Munn was shown conversing in Japanese. Closer home, Parineeti Chopra, who will next be seen in Hasee Toh Phasee alongside Sidharth Malhotra studied Mandarin extensively for a scene in the film. The scene in question sees Parineeti answer an interview held by an Asian organisation.

Director Vinil Mathew says, “We wanted the scene to be as authentic as possible and so, we decided that instead of making Parineeti talk gibberish and present it as Mandarin, we should make Parineeti learn some Mandarin for the scene.” Two Malaysian actors Cynthia and Mayjune patiently helped Parineeti learn the phrases needed for the scene and Parineeti was quite excited about getting to learn a new language for the film.

Finding NaMo

Films on political figures are a rarity in India. Filmmakers are wary of capturing the highs and lows in the careers of political leaders because of possible backlash. But with Narendra Modi things are different. After a number of hagiographies hitting the bookshelves, it seems his marketing team has decided to take him to the masses through celluloid. After a string of speculation, finally NaMo is going on floors this February. The producers have hired director Rupesh Paul to direct the biopic. Paul is in news for making Kamastura 3D and perhaps his familiarity with the format has got him the project. NaMo is going to be shot in 4D format and this means that the audience might be able to smell any of the beverages that the protagonist will offer! The 4D effect also simulates the feel of rain, wind, lightning and vibration. The director promises that the movie will not be like any other dry political drama. “It would be a treated as a political thriller like The Day Of The Jackal, JFK or The Manchurian Candidate.” Associate producer Mitesh Patel has said that the consent of Modi has been taken. “I can assure that the movie is not a part of the public relations exercise of Modi. Though it won’t glorify Modi, it will definitely underline the importance of Modi as a powerful and influential person in present political scenario.” The cast has not been finalised yet but it is learnt that Paresh Rawal and Victor Banerjee have been approached for the title role.

Berlin bound

Marathi feature film Killa will have its world premiere at the upcoming prestigious film festival, Berlinale to be held from February 6. Directorial debut of Avinash Arun, Killa is the only Indian film in the Generation Kplus competition category among the 12 films selected from across the world. It is the third Marathi film to receive a premiere at Berlin and competing. The other two films were Jabbar Patel’s Samna in 1975 and Umesh Kulkarni’s Vihir in 2010.

Starring Amruta Subhash, Archit Deodhar, Parth Bhalerao and Shrikant Yadav, Killa deals with the universal conflict of migration and how it impacts the lives of people, especially children. The story revolves around a young boy Chinu who finds it difficult to adjust to his new surroundings where he has migrated to, after his father’s death. But gradually he makes new friends and gains more confidence. Avinash, who has also shot the film says, “I am enthralled. It’s a very good news and for the Marathi as well as regional filmmakers in India. I will be able to represent my culture and my people on international platform.”

Sense and censor

After Anurag Kashyap taking the cudgels against CBFC for anti-smoking disclaimer, his friend Hansal Mehta has accused the CBFC of discrimination. Through an RTI he has asked why his film Shahid was rated A while big films like Ram-Leela and Madras Café were given U/A certificate despite having scenes of kissing and violence. Mehta says he has nothing against the two films but he feels that his film was discriminated against and wants to know how the films are censored because A certificate impacted the business of his film. Mehta says it seems the CBFC is sympathetic towards big films.

Meanwhile, Anurag is not releasing his film Ugly, till the Bombay High Court decides on his petition against the use of anti-smoking disclaimer. He feels that it takes away the impact of certain scenes. Director Tigmanshu Dhulia agrees that the disclaimer and anti-smoking video have a depressing effect on the audience. “That’s why I didn’t create any character who smokes in Bullett Raja. However, when the film went to CBFC they asked me to show he video before the film because in a song sequence a sadhu was seen smoking in the background. I edited it out. The policy amounts to nitpicking.”