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'Munjya' a gamechanger, a hauntingly entertaining blend of horror and comedy

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In ‘Munjya’, director Aditya Sarpotdar takes the audience on a supernatural journey filled with love, loss and spine-chilling horror, blending it with an unexpectedly delightful comedic touch. With a story conceived and written by Yogesh Chandekar, the film is a fabulous take on a legend rarely spoken about in films.

Yogesh and fellow screenwriter Niren Bhatt bring to life a story that transcends the typical boundaries of the horror-comedy genre, offering something refreshingly unique and exciting to watch.

The film opens in 1952, portraying a young Brahmin boy deeply in love with a girl named Munni, a relationship vehemently disapproved by his family. The boy’s enraged mother subjects him to harsh punishment and a forced sacred thread ceremony.

The boy’s undying love for Munni drives him to an extreme ritual in the jungle, intending to sacrifice his sister to secure his marriage to Munni. The ritual goes horribly wrong, resulting in the boy’s tragic death and his family’s subsequent burial of his remains under the same tree where the ritual took place.

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Fast forward to modern-day Pune. Bittu (Abhay Verma) is a shy, handsome cosmetology student living with his mother Pammi (Mona Singh) and grandmother (Suhas Joshi). Bittu’s timid nature conceals his deep affection for Bella (Sharvari), though he lacks the courage to express it.

Haunted by visions and whispers from the past, Bittu’s life takes a drastic turn when a family wedding in his ancestral village stirs up old secrets.

Bittu’s uncle reveals a chilling family secret: that the grandmother is the girl who inadvertently caused her brother’s transformation into the malevolent spirit named Munjya. The revelation leads Bittu to confront the sinister force head-on.

Pammi’s reluctance to accept the face and the grandmother’s hidden fears come to light as family tensions rise over the fate of the ‘chetuk baari’ (Munjya’s place of origin).

Possessed by Munjya, Bittu faces a supernatural struggle that ultimately leads to his grandmother’s death. With the malevolent spirit now threatening Bella, Bittu must find a way to appease Munjya by locating Munni, who turns out to be Bella’s grandmother. The spirit’s obsession with Bella forces Bittu to seek the help of an exorcist (Sathyaraj), culminating in an exhilarating and intense showdown.

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‘Munjya’ stands out in the horror-comedy genre as a game-changer, with its innovative plot and seamless blend of thrills and laughs. The film’s background score and music elevate the suspense, making the viewer’s hearts race in sync with the unfolding drama.

The direction, screenplay and cinematography are meticulously crafted, offering a visually stunning and narratively compelling experience. The performances are top-notch, with Abhay Verma and Mona Singh delivering particularly notable performances.

Sharvari shines as the love interest caught in the supernatural web and Sathyaraj brings a formidable presence to the film as the knowledgeable exorcist.

Produced by Dinesh Vijan and Amar Kaushik, this Maddock Films production is a must-watch, providing a rare combination of horror, comedy and heartwarming moments. It is the perfect family entertainer that keeps you on the edge of your seat while delivering laughs and chills in equal measure.

Film: Munjya Duration: 123 Minutes

Director: Aditya Sarpotdar Cast: Sharvari, Mona Singh, Abhay Verma, Sathyaraj

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IANS Rating: ****

–IANS

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Karan Johar says if content is the king, writers are the emperors

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Mumbai, June 12 (IANS) Filmmaker-producer Karan Johar, who is gearing up for his upcoming venture ‘Kill’, has called writers the soul of a film.

After attending the trailer launch of ‘Kill’ along with co-producer Guneet Monga, and actors Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, and Raghav Juyal on Wednesday, Karan Johar said, “If content is the king, writers are the emperors.

“The film industry functions because a writer pens a script and takes it to the makers. If the writer is the director of the film that he or she has written, it’s a glorious combination. The foundation of any movie is the story… A story has to work for all departments to function properly.”

‘Kill’ is dubbed as the most violent film from India, taking over the reins from Anurag Kashyap, who is known for his use of gut-squirming violence in his films.

Incidentally, the film is co-produced by Oscar-winning producer Guneet, a frequent collaborator of Kashyap.

‘Kill’ marks the reunion of Guneet and Karan after 11 years with their last co-production being the critically-acclaimed Cannes return, ‘The Lunchbox’.

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Karan said violence in cinema demands to be looked upon as an art form, adding that films that use violence as a tool belong to a specific genre and have a very niche audience with a palette for such content.

He also spoke about the huge cost incurred by the producers because of the superstars in the industry.

“Trust me, entourage costs are the least of the worries for the producers. The real trouble is the cost of a superstar. Sometimes a producer caves into their demands just because he or she wants to make that film.

“But many times it becomes practically impossible to accommodate that cost. There can be a break up of sorts on the cost of actors or they can take profits in slabs as per the performance of the film, but many stars need to reconsider their costs because a lot of them are not in touch with reality,” Karan told the media.

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–IANS

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Pilates allows 'foodie' Sherleen Dutt to stay fit and eat what she loves

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Mumbai, June 12 (IANS) Actress Sherleen Dutt is a self-confessed foodie, but she doesn’t let that get in her way in maintaining her physique.

Sherleen, who is making her Bollywood debut with ‘Koi Jaaye Toh Le Aaye’, said: “As a big-time foodie, I don’t believe in restrictive diets. Instead, I focus on a balanced approach. I enjoy all my favorite foods but in moderation. And I ensure my meals are rich in proteins, healthy fats, and fibers, and include plenty of vegetables and fruits.”

“Balancing my love for food with a commitment to fitness, both physical and mental, has been essential for my well-being. Pilates has been a wonderful addition to my routine, allowing me to stay fit while enjoying the food I love,” said Sherleen, who has been a part of projects like ‘KINK’, ‘Honey Trap Squad’, and others.

For Sherleen, mental fitness is also equally important.

“It’s the foundation of overall health. To maintain mental fitness, I meditate for at least 10 minutes once a day to stay calm and centred,” she said.

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To unwind, Sherleen spends time with family and friends — “Cooking, eating my favourite foods, and watching my favourite films help me unwind and stay happy”.

Talking about fitness and diet tips, Sherleen said: “Two tips that have really helped me are — drinking plenty of water throughout the day keeps me energised and aids digestion. And consistency is the key. Even on busy days, I make sure to fit in some form of physical activity, whether it’s a short Pilates session or a brisk walk.”

–IANS

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Rani Chatterjee reveals her biggest inspiration and why she has a high-protein diet

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Mumbai, June 12 (IANS) Bhojpuri actress Rani Chatterjee on Wednesday conducted an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session with her fans on Instagram and opened up on her biggest inspiration, diet routine, and her debut in Bollywood.

Known for her work in ‘Dulaara’, ‘Sasura Bada Paisawala’, ‘Devra Bada Satawela’, took to Instagram, and interacted with her fandom of 1.9 million followers.

A user asked Rani about her biggest inspiration, to which she replied: “There was a time when I got demotivated in 2018. There were some of my friends, who were full of negative energy. I met with an accident on the shoot of my project and broke my leg. Because of this, my weight had increased, and for the nine months I didn’t do any work.”

“At that time the negative energies were telling me that my time is over. My family supported me a lot and I started working out. One thing that gives me superpower is that when you love yourself then nature and money are automatically attracted towards you,” she said.

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Another fan asked the ‘Chhotki Dulhin’ fame actress: “When are you making your entry into Bollywood?”

Rani replied to this saying: “TV to kar hi rahi hu filmo me ache kirdar ke sath mauka milega to zarur karungi”. (I am already doing TV, if I get a chance to portray a good character in films, I will definitely do it.)

The ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi 10’ contestant further shared that she always remains on a ‘high protein diet’.

Rani also revealed about her favourite Korean film.

She said: “I love Korean drama… my favourite ‘The Golden Spoon’, ‘King the Land’ and ‘Celebrity’… must watch.”

On the work front, Rani recently featured in the show ‘Beti Hamari Anmol’, which features Juhi Aslam and Pratham Kunwar in the lead.

She next has ‘A Bad Man Babu’, ‘Pariwar Ke Babu’, ‘Bhabhi Maa’, ‘Naache Dulha Gali Gali’, and ‘Mera Pati Mera Devta Hai’ in the pipeline.

–IANS

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‘Sisterhood’ reminds Nitya Mathur of her own school life & being in a close-knit girls' group

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Mumbai, June 12 (IANS) Actress Nitya Mathur, who is awaiting the release of her upcoming show ‘Sisterhood’, has shared that the show closely resembles her school life.

Quite similar to the show’s narrative, Nitya too had a close-knit group of girls in her school, and their antics occasionally landed them into trouble.

For her, it was an enjoyable experience to portray the character of Nikita Waghmare in the show. She said that her character embodies mischief, both deliberate and incidental.

The actress said: “Nikita is a troublemaker, with a playful and rebellious streak, yet fiercely loyal to her friends. Bringing her to life was a delightful experience. Interestingly, my own school days were reminiscent of Nikita’s world. I was part of a tight-knit group of five girls, inseparable and constantly immersed in giggling and laughter. While I tended to be obedient and calm most of the time, our collective antics occasionally landed us in trouble.”

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The journey down memory lane added an extra layer of authenticity to the role, making it all the more rewarding for her.

She further mentioned that keeping the character in mind, she had to let go of all forms of conventional femininity and etiquette that women are often conditioned to carry. She described the process as “quite liberating”.

Giving insights about ‘Sisterhood’ and what makes it unique, she said: “It’s about friendships and the rollercoaster of emotions you go through in one, especially when we’re in school. We spend so much time with our friends, figuring out the world and ourselves, together. Sometimes it’s a smooth ride, and sometimes it becomes rocky. But when a friendship is so deep that it grows into a sisterhood, you know it’s a special one.”

“Considering the world we live in, what makes ‘Sisterhood’ unique, I think, is the purity and innocence in the show. There’s a certain beautiful naivety when you’re in school, which I think the show has captured very well. But also, whether currently in school or not, everyone will relate to the core of the show, which is friendship,” she added.

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Meanwhile, she also has the Bhuvan Bam-starrer ‘Taaza Khabar 2’ and the mockumentary ‘Shanti Bhavan’ in the pipeline.

–IANS

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To become 'Commander Karan Saxena', Gurmeet Choudhary shunned processed foods

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New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) Actor Gurmeet Choudhary, who is all geared up for his upcoming series ‘Commander Karan Saxena’ shared about the dietary restrictions that he has followed for the titular role, saying he eliminated processed foods, and sugary snacks, and junk food from his diet, and instead focused on lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats to fuel his body.

Gurmeet, who is known for his work in ‘Ramayan’, and ‘Geet-Hui Sabse Parayi’ told IANS: “Fitness and diet go together when it comes to physical training for any character. To play a commander role, I needed to be muscular, athletic, agile, and fast. To achieve this, I followed a strict diet that supported my intense training.”

“I eliminated processed foods, sugary snacks, and junk food from my diet. Instead, I focused on lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats to fuel my body. Hydration was also crucial, so I ensured I drank plenty of water throughout the day. This disciplined approach was essential in helping me reach peak physical condition,” he said.

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Gurmeet also took to his Instagram account and shared a behind-the-scenes (BTS) video from the shoot of the show.

He captioned it: “Thrilled to share that I got selected for the national sprinting competition. While preparing for ‘Commander Karan Saxena’, I worked so hard, training morning, afternoon, and evening. Seeing the teaser on air now makes me feel proud of myself. It’s all about hard work, dedication, and consistency. There’s some magic in the word”commander” itself. Nevertheless, I’m off to nationals wish me luck! Jai Hind.”

“A heartfelt thank you to @disneyplushotstar, my Producer @keylightindia Rajeshwar Nair Krishnana sir, and my Director @jatinwagle1(sir love you) for giving me this incredible opportunity. Your unwavering support and belief in me have made this journey possible. I am truly grateful and excited for what’s ahead! Thank you so much@sadashivathcoach sir for motivating,” the post added.

Gurmeet told IANS: “Getting selected for the National Sprinting Competition is a dream come true. While preparing for ‘Commander Karan Saxena’, I trained so hard that I was able to compete with top sprinters.”

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“My training was intense, with sessions morning, afternoon, and evening, focusing on endurance runs, speed drills, and strength training. The hard work and dedication have paid off, and I’m excited for this next chapter,” he added.

Under the banner of Keylight Productions, ‘Commander Karan Saxena’ is produced by Rajeshwar Nair and Krishnan Iyer.

It also stars Iqbal Khan, and Hruta Durgule.

The show will be streaming from July 8 on Disney+ Hotstar.

–IANS

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