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Saaho director Sujeeth ends silence on criticism of film: ‘I am being treated as if I committed a crime’

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Director Sujeeth cannot understand why he is being targeted for the critical failure of his film, Saaho. The director has moved in with his mother, who is taking care of him as he recovers from dengue and public attacks.

He told Deccan Chronicle in an interview, “I made the film that Prabhas sir, my producers, and I believed in. The audiences came in large numbers to watch it, but still, I am being treated as harshly as if I have committed a crime.”

Saaho, starring Prabhas and Shraddha Kapoor, and made on a budget of around Rs 350 crore, has made around Rs 400 crore at the box office, with over Rs 100 crore coming from its Hindi release. It was earlier reported that the film would need to make over Rs 600 crore worldwide to break even.

The 28-year-old filmmaker continued, “I don’t know why all these reports targeting me are being published. I last gave interviews one day after the release of Saaho. Even when I say ‘no comments’, it is turned into an interview. And those quotes are now being used against me.”

Asked about an alleged statement he made where he claimed fans in Bihar want to erect a temple in his honour, he countered, “Please show me where I’ve said this. I never said this. One guy who has nothing to do with the film made this statement on YouTube. I would never make these kinds of statements. I know how ridiculous it sounds.”

He said that he isn’t one to speak pompously. “My mother would kill me if I became pompous,” he said. “They build temples for people like Rajinikanth sir and Mammootty sir. I can only be a devotee at the temple of great actors and great cinema. I am not into bragging. I am just staying away from the media and public appearances because of all the negativity being thrown at the movie. Love or hate the film. But why target me?”

He said that while he should be celebrating the film’s success, he has been stuck in bed. “Fortunately for me,” he added, “Prabhas sir and the producers are supporting me. That’s the only good thing happening in my life right now. Seeing all the criticism, I decided to keep quiet and still, all these negative things are being said about me.”

Saaho has received harsh criticism for its thin script and over-the-top plot. It was touted as one of the biggest action films of India. Sujeeth on social media had even urged fans to watch the film a second time, and had thanked them for their support.

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With just one hit in half-a-decade, a look at Kangana Ranaut’s box office track record ahead of Panga

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Since her 2014 hit, Queen, Kangana Ranaut has firmly established herself as one of the industry’s top stars. Several reports pegged her salary to be approximately Rs 11 crore per film, making her one of Bollywood’s highest-paid actors. By her own admission, she became “bigger than” her movies, according to an interview to critic Anupama Chopra.

But her box office track record tells a different story altogether.

Kangana has appeared in nine films since Queen, which can safely be called a turning point for her. Prior to that, she’d mostly appeared in small films, and attracted a fair amount of acclaim for her performances (Fashion, Tanu Weds Manu, Life in a… Metro). Just prior to Queen making over a Rs 100 crore at the BO, she’d appeared in Rajjo, which could only manage Rs 2 crore.

While Queen’s success should ideally have paved the way for more blockbusters for Kangana, the performance of her films post 2014 have been more along the lines of Rajjo – with the sole exception of Tanu Weds Manu Returns. Even with controversies surrounding the release of several of her recent films, especially Manikarnika and Simran, she has failed to draw significant audiences to the theatres.

With her latest film, Panga around the corner, here’s a list of her films, and their worldwide BO hauls:

Revolver Rani (2014)

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Made on a budget of Rs 27 crore, Revolver Rani didn’t click with the audiences and made just over Rs 11 crore, but critics appreciated Kangana’s performance.

Hindustantimes

Ungli was produced on a budget of Rs 39 crore, by Dharma Productions, but managed to make just about Rs 25 crore. Kangana was a part of an ensemble cast led by Emraan Hashmi. In 2017, she accused Dharma chief Karan Johar of nepotism, sparking off a heated debate.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015)

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With a total of Rs 243 crore, Tanu Weds Manu: Returns is Kangana’s biggest hit yet. Made on a budget of Rs 39 crore, the film more than quadrupled the box office takings of the first Tanu Weds Manu movie, which crossed Rs 50 crore on a budget of Rs 17.5 crore in 2011.

I Love NY (2015)

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The film began production in 2011, and was originally slated for release in 2013. But behind-the-scenes troubles forced the release date to be delayed several times. In the end, the film was released hot on the heels of Tanu Weds Manu Returns, and Kangana publicly acknowledged that she wasn’t approached to promote it in any way. It made Rs 2.5 crore.

Katti Batti (2015)

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The film failed to recuperate its Rs 34 crore budget, ending its run with just Rs 25 crore. Some reviews mentioned that Kangana didn’t have as much to do in the film as she should have. It is also Imran Khan’s last release.

Rangoon (2017)

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Made on a budget of Rs 80 crore, director Vishal Bhardwaj’s film was released amid a slew of controversies – Kangana’s on-set relationship with her co-star, Shahid Kapoor, wasn’t pleasant, and her appearance on Karan Johar’s Koffee With Karan sparked off the nepotism controversy. It made a little over half its budget.

Simran (2017)

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Released once again amid a wave of controversies – Kangana frequently brought up her feud with Hrithik Roshan during the promotions, and writer Apurva Asrani alleged that she’d hijacked the film from director Hansal Mehta. Simran made Rs 26 crore against its reported budget of Rs 17 crore.

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019)

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Kangana’s big-budget directorial debut might have generated a profit, especially taking into account all the ancillary earnings, it made a Rs 132 crore haul on a budget that many outlets reported ballooned to over Rs 100 crore. Kangana’s sister Rangoli had claimed, “Manikarnika investments and returns, Budget- 79cr, Print+Marketing- 22cr, Digital rights sold- 40cr, Satellite rights sold- 20cr, Distribution rights- 61cr, India business – 100.05cr still counting, Worldwide – 152cr and still counting…”

Judgementall Hai Kya (2019)

Hindustantimes

Even with new controversies to rely on, Judgementall Hai Kya proved to be too niche in its sensibilities to become a mainstream hit. It made Rs 44 crore on a budget of that some reports suggest could be as high as Rs 50 crore, while others quote a more reasonable Rs 29 crore budget.

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Ritu Nanda, Raj Kapoor’s daughter and Shweta Bachchan’s mother-in-law, dies of cancer

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Raj Kapoor’s daughter and Shweta Bachchan’s mother-in-law Ritu Nanda died at the age of 71; she was suffering from cancer. Amitabh Bachchan and Ranbir’s sister Riddhima Kapoor Sahni confirmed the news on social media.

Amitabh, who shares daily updates for his followers on his blog, wrote, “My ‘samdhan’ Ritu Nanda, Shweta’s Mother in Law passed away suddenly at 1.15 Am .. cannot communicate .. travelling.”

Riddhima posted a picture of Ritu on Instagram and wrote, “To the kindest most gentle person I‘ve ever met – They don’t make them like you anymore – RIP bua #missyoualways.” Several Bollywood celebrities shared their condolences in response to the post. Producer Ekta Kapoor wrote, “Hear felt condolences.” Shamita Shetty wrote, “May her soul rest in peace.” Riddhima also shared a family picture of Ritu Nanda with the Kapoors on her Instagram stories.

Her mother Neetu Kapoor also posted her condolences. She wrote, “My dearest may your soul Rest In Peace.” Sonali Bendre and Sanjay Kapoor’s wife Maheep Kapoor also expressed grief over her death in the comments section.

Married to Escorts group Chairman Rajan Nanda, who died in 2018, Ritu was an entrepreneur associated with the life insurance business. She reportedly holds the record for selling 17000 pension policies in a day.

Ritu Nanda is the sister of actors Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor, and daughter of superstar Raj Kapoor. She was an insurance agent and is survived by son Nikhil Nanda. She is the grandmother of Shweta’s kids Navya Naveli Nanda and Agastya Nanda. She was also the aunt of actors Ranbir Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Karisma Kapoor.

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Shahid Kapoor injured while shooting for Jersey, receives 13 stitches; Mira Rajput rushes to Mohali

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Shahid Kapoor has been hurt on the sets of his upcoming film Jersey. The actor was shooting a scene at the Mohali Stadium on Friday when he was hit by a ball on his mouth.

“Shahid was playing perfectly fine and rehearsing before the shot, when the ball unexpectedly came and hit him on the lower lip and cut open a wide gash where blood started gushing out. He was immediately taken for treatment and a doctor was rushed to see him. To close the wound, stitches were sutured by the doctor,” a source close to the makers told PTI.

According to a report in Pinkvilla, his wife Mira Rajput has left for Chandigarh to be by his side. “He is fine now. But the injury was a deep cut so he had to get 13 stitches. Mira has rushed to Chandigarh now on hearing the news. There’s nothing to worry anymore,” a report told the website.

The actor will take a break for the next few days as he has a heavily bruised lower lip. He will resume filming after the swelling subsides and the wound is healed, the PTI source added.

Jersey chronicles the story of a talented but failed cricketer, who decides to return to the field in his late thirties driven by the desire to represent the Indian cricket team and fulfil his son’s wish for a jersey as a gift.

The Hindi version of the sports-drama is being directed by Gowtam Tinnanauri, who also helmed the original 2019 Telugu film, starring Nani in the lead. Jersey, which also features Mrunal Thakur and Pankaj Kapoor, will release in August this year.

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