In August, Sanjay Dutt announced that he was taking time off from work for medical treatment. Neither the actor nor his family revealed details of his condition, but in the days following the announcement, Bollywood sources began to confirm that the 61-year-old actor had been diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer. Subsequently, his wife Maanayata appealed to fans and the media not to speculate about his health.
Not long after, it was reported that while Dutt had begun treatment in Mumbai, he would also complete shooting his pending scenes for both the Ranbir Kapoor dacoit saga Shamshera and the Akshay Kumar-starring Prithviraj Chauhan film.
On October 24th, the actor took to social media to announce that he had beaten the ailment. ‘The last few weeks were very difficult time for my family and me. But like they say, God gives the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. And today, on the occasion of my kids’ birthday, I am happy to come out victorious from this battle and be able to give them the best gift I can—the health and well-being of our family.’
He further went on to thank his family, his fans and the medical team at Kokilaben Ambani Hospital. Never once mentioning the original diagnosis, Dutt was only sending out the message that the worst was possibly over.
Amidst speculation that ambitious plans to shoot overseas may have grounded a few productions, Sultan director Ali Abbas Zafar has revealed that he still intends to film his superhero project with Katrina Kaif across foreign and Indian locations. The filmmaker revealed that he’s already locked locations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and that he is heading on a recce to Poland and Georgia to identify a few more potential shooting sites. He will also film portions in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi. However, the film doesn’t go into production for at least another year by when it might be safer to roll cameras without the fear of the coronavirus looming over their heads.
War director Siddharth Anand’s rumoured film with Shah Rukh Khan was also meant to be a globetrotting actioner, but sources say the film’s shoot has been pushed till it is safe to travel and roll cameras on overseas shores again. Meanwhile, Vidya Balan resumed shooting her film Sherni with Newton director Amit Masurkar in Madhya Pradesh earlier this week, and Mirzapur director Gurmeet Singh is in pre-production on Phone Bhoot which he is expected to start shooting soon, in India, with Katrina, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Ishaan Khatter.
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Let’s take a moment to appreciate the understated charm and talent of Rasika Dugal, who this weekend pops up in two anticipated streaming shows. In the second season of Mirzapur, she will return as Bina Tripathi, the sexually dissatisfied wife of Pankaj Tripathi’s mob boss character Akhanda Tripathi, who was put through the wringer in the finale of the first season. In a shocking twist that no one saw coming, Bina was sexually abused by her wheelchair-bound father-in-law (played by Kulbhushan Kharbanda) and then ordered to ‘Bobbit’ her lover Raja, the domestic help who she’d been sleeping with under the family’s nose.
Meanwhile, in Mira Nair’s adaptation of Vikram Seth’s classic novel A Suitable Boy, Rasika plays Savita Kapoor, the amiable elder sister of the protagonist Lata Mehra (played by newbie Tanya Maniktala), whose marriage opens the six-part Netflix mini series. Unlike her rebellious, romantically confused sibling, Savita dutifully weds the man her mother has chosen for her, gives him a healthy baby within a year of her marriage, and blends nicely into his family. The two characters, and shows, couldn’t be more dissimilar, but Rasika adapts to both worlds comfortably.