What do we really know about celebrity agents and managers? The closest we recently saw was Shah Rukh Khan’s manager Pooja Dadlani, who seems to have shot into the public eye and become as famous as her superstar client and his son. There were stories of her shedding tears in court on seeing Aryan Khan and for being a rock for the superstar and his wife during their trying days. Not to forget that she has been dragged into a high-profile pay-off deal as well!
So, to give a glimpse into the dangerous and exciting lives of these managers and agents of film stars, Bollywood has helpfully made an adaptation (they cannot think of an original of course) of the French cult series, ‘Dix Pour Cent’ (Ten Percent), which will start streaming on Netflix on October 29 titled, ‘Call My Agent-Bollywood’.
The French show traced the lives of its key agents and their assistants, whose clientele included some of the biggest names in French cinema. They inhabit a dog-eat-dog world, where these agents lead lives which make them to be compassionate and conniving at the same time, or maternal and manipulative another time, depending on the need of the hour. They work hard and will do anything to get things done or stop them from happening.
The desi version is set in Bollywood and it is not directed by Karan Johar but by Shaad Ali (who made ‘Saathiya’, ‘Soorma’, ‘Bunty aur Babli’) and the series stars Rajat Kapoor, Aahana Kumra, Soni Razdan and Ayush Mehra as principal characters, with many famous Bollywood stars like Ali Fazal, Richa Chadha, Lara Dutta, Jackie Shroff, Dia Mirza and director Farah Khan and many more are slated to make a special appearance in the series.
‘Call My Agent: Bollywood’ will shed light on what a manager or agent for film stars and celebrities do, says an official statement. For director Shaad Ali, it is a satirical world of showbiz. It was a “huge responsibility” for him to keep the successful original screenplay in mind and yet give it his “own stamp”. But it will have oodles of glamour and glitz and those who enjoyed the voyeuristic documentary-cum-reality outing of ‘The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood wives’, may just lap up this fictional ‘quirky, emotional roller-coaster ride into the world of showbiz.
Another offering from Bollywood is ‘Hum do, Hamare Do’, a film about a young couple who ”adopt” parents played by Paresh Rawal and Ratna Pathak Shah. The film stars the sprightly and sexy Kriti Sanon, who has done ten Bollywood films in her eight-year-old career after making her debut with Jackie Shroff’s son, Tiger Shroff. Sanon’s career has been on an upward trajectory where she was almost helming a film playing a surrogate mother in ‘Mimi’. She’s also part of south star Prabhas’ much-talked about film, ‘Adipurush’ playing the role of Sita.
Rajkummar Rao, who has carved a niche for himself in Bollywood, with films like ‘Newton’, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ (Part 2), ‘Shahid’, ‘Aligarh’, and ‘Omerta’ and ‘The White Tiger’, plays the guy who will do anything to win his lady love in this comedy drama.
Rajkummar (Dhruv) and Kriti (Anya) are in love and want to get married. But the big challenge that lies before the hero is that he has no family and Kriti’s only condition is to go to a household that’s complete with elders and a pet dog. In the quest, Rajkummar, along with his friend Aparshakti Khurana, go out to ‘hire’ parents. Turns out, the adopted mother-father (Paresh Rawal and Ratna Pathak Shah) have their own personal history. This comedy lands on Disney+Hotstar.
Horror films for Halloween
‘Dybbuk- The Curse is Real’ is a remake of Malayalam horror film ‘Ezra’, starring Prithviraj and Priya Anand, which was a huge success. Titled ‘Dybbuk- The Curse is Real’, this film stars Emraan Hashmi, who admits to enjoying working on this genre. For the unlettered, dybbuk means a malevolent wandering spirit that enters and possesses the body of a living person until exorcised.
All set to release on Amazon Prime on October 29, ‘Dybbuk’ is directed by Jay K (the director of ‘Ezra’ ) along with Nikita Dutta and Manav Kaul playing key roles. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Mauritius, the film chronicles the horrifying incidents that take place on the cursed island. A couple on vacation get entangled with a spirit out to kill when the wife (Nikita Dutta) brings home an antique Jewish Box, that turns out to be a Dybbuk box!
Hashmi warns in an official statement that there are quite a few “jump-scares” in the film. “We are bringing this film to our audiences at a time when the scarefest will be in full swing owing to Halloween,” says Hashmi, while the director calls it is a “pure-play horror film”. At the heart of the film is the Jewish mythology and culture the film is designed keeping in mind the authenticity of the culture and the genre. Check it out for some Halloween chills.
Army of Thieves on Netflix
Intended as a prequel to Zack Snyder’s 2021 zombie flick, ‘Army of the Dead’ (remember it had Bollywood actor Huma Qureshi in it), this movie is set six years before the deadly mission in Los Angeles and follows the adventures of German safe-cracking expert, Ludwig Dieter. During the early days of the zombie outbreak, Dieter, who works as a bank teller, is recruited by an enigmatic woman (Nathalie Emmanuel) to join a gang of Interpol’s most-wanted criminals. The group then sets out on a legendary mission, breaking into supposedly uncrackable safes across Europe.
According to an India Today report, the film had a virtual premiere and it was reportedly leaked on torrent sites and piracy websites.
Fans are however loving the film, while many have praised the performances of the actors, others have called the storyline ‘amazing’, says the report.
So #ArmyOfThieves is a great heist film I had a lot of fun with this one. The mythology and world building is so neat and great performances all around. Can’t wait to watch this again
— Rachael ミ☆ (@Gagasfilm) October 28, 2021
Just watched #ArmyOfThieves and what a fun ride it was. Thanks to @ZackSnyder for co-writing such an awesome heist movie with a lot of comedy from @MSchweighoefer who also directed it(Didn’t know that 🤐). pic.twitter.com/EBUN85vbau
— Arjun Sharma™ (@ArjunSh32168678) October 28, 2021
A strange curse
‘Aafat-e-Ishq’, which starts streaming on Zee5, is a remake of the 2015 Hungarian film ‘Liza, the Fox-Fairy’. The film is about the ill-fated 30-year-old Lallo (Neha Sharma), who wants to find true love and takes her friend’s advice to join a dating app. She starts going out with potential partners but every suitor she meets ends up dead under mysterious circumstances. Worried that she may be convicted for one of these deaths, Lallo tries to decipher the sinister truth behind this strange curse.