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Worst film: SRK recalls how he felt about 'Chak De! India' on its 15th anniversary

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The Shimit Amin directorial sports drama Chak De! India celebrates fifteen years of its success, reminding everyone of its timeless story of sportsmanship, courage, and patriotism. The film, starring Shah Rukh Khan as the coach of the Indian women’s hockey team striving to win the Hockey World Cup, was a box office hit. For that reason, it comes as a surprise when it's revealed that Khan once called it the “worst film we ever made.”

During an interactive session with students at the University of Edinburgh, Khan revealed behind-the-scenes tidbits of the making of the film, including the fear of failure that loomed over the cast and crew prior to the film’s release. “We had some of the brightest minds making the film like Aditya Chopra, Jaideep Sahni, Shimit Amin. We had young girls who learnt how to play hockey. We had Yash Chopra backing it. But when I saw the film at its first screening, we all looked at it and felt it was the worst film we had ever made in our lives,” the Jab Tak Hai Jaan actor recalled.

“The [Chak De! India] girls didn’t know this because for them, seeing themselves on screen for the first time was a big thing. So they were irritatingly screaming and dancing while the four of us were sitting there and crying. We had reached that stage of failure where you start telling people ‘Listen, we did what we wanted to. This is what we set out to make and success and failure are transient and we will come back.’ It was really really sad,” the actor continued.

As the release date came closer, the anticipation of public approval and the potential for box office failure grew stronger for Khan and the filmmakers. Khan revealed the sad state of affairs they experienced after the initial screening of the film. “After the screening, Shimit ran away to America, I came to England and all of us dispersed. I switched off my phone and went to sleep. I woke up at 4:00 in the evening after drinking a lot of alcohol as I was very depressed because we thought the film was good and it didn’t turn out as nice,” Khan said.

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However, no one from the cast and crew could have anticipated Chak De! India would become an award-winning hit. “So I woke up at 4:00 and it was 9:00 in the morning in India. And by then everybody, the whole country, had loved the film and it was such a huge success that we actually couldn’t believe it,” Khan claimed.

While Khan and the filmmakers were initially sceptical about the film’s success, Chak De! India became a sports classic, garnering rave reviews and a ‘super hit’ declaration from the Indian Box Office.

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Life & Style

Mahira, Frieha among others condemn Sara Bibi’s brutal murder

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Senior journalist Ayaz Amir’s daughter-in-law, Sara Bibi, was allegedly murdered in Islamabad’s Chak Shehzad suburb, police said on Friday. The 37-year-old was living at a farmhouse in the area where she was found dead Friday morning. Reportedly, she was murdered with a dumbbell and her husband, Shah Nawaz, is the prime suspect in the case.

The news shook celebrities and Twitter to the core, where many expressed shock and anger. “How long before we get any sort of justice for any woman who has been killed at the hands of rage and privilege. Another hashtag. Another long wait for justice. Justice delayed is justice denied,” Mahira Khan tweeted. 

“No country for women!” PR mogul Frieha Altaf wrote. “Another daughter-in-law, another Noor. The cases that are high profile make it to Twitter trends. The 12-year-old raped/hung just gets a column on page 5 and yet the horror of domestic abuse, misogynistic behaviour and harassment doesn’t stop.”

Zunaira Inam Khan commented, “Another day, another woman lost to senseless violence. Such a terrible shame. When will be able to stop having to change the name at the end of the “justice for…” hashtag? Also, please stop sharing the pictures of the murder victim. Let her have dignity in death.”

Twitter users, too, condemned Sara’s brutal murder. 

Police and investigation teams reached the crime scene and the journalist’s son was arrested after earlier fleeing from the crime scene. However, the police have said that the FIR will be registered after an investigation has been conducted. “The incident is being investigated,” a police spokesperson said while reserving further comments.

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Emraan Hashmi can’t wait for Humaima Malick’s performance as Daro

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Actor Humaima Malick recently shared her fiery look from the upcoming Fawad Khan-starrer, The Legend of Maula Jatt, scheduled for release on October 13, 2022.

The Bol star can be seen clad in black shalwar kameez, with a red dupatta draped over her shoulder and dark kohl eyes. Her bold look is accentuated by the knife in her hand. Humaima garnered massive praise for her unique look in the Bilal Lashari directorial. And from of course across the border too!

Indian actor Emraan Hashmi, who has previously worked with the star in the 2014 Bollywood film Raja Natwarlal, praised her look on Instagram. “Love the look Humaima. Looking forward to your stellar performance,” he commented on her post, alongside a thumbs-up emoji.

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Earlier, Mahira Khan, who also stars in The Legend of Maula Jatt, received ample love for the film’s poster she revealed of herself on Instagram. The likes of Asim Raza, Sohai Ali Abro, Sanam Saeed, Sanam Jung, Ayesha Omar, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Nabeel Qureshi and Imran Abbas among others took to social media and commented on her post.  

However, there was one comment that caught everyone’s attention and it was from Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan. The War star took to Mahira’s Instagram post and penned, “Love this.”

Humaima has long faced criticism regarding her choice of agreeing to bold characters and intimate scenes, particularly referring to her Bollywood stint. Addressing the hatred earlier, she said, “I made myself strong with the thought that ‘talent has no religion’. It was just a role.” While the Akbari Asghari star understands how kissing on-screen hurt her fans’ sentiments, she does not appreciate the harsh comments hurled at her for essaying the role of a bar dancer in Raja Natwarlal. 

“There was a lot of hatred for me when I performed the role of a bar dancer. I did a lot of hard work to play this role as this culture is not there in Pakistan. My director took me to various bars and I observed the body language of those dancers. It’s a very tough job they are doing and I have immense respect for them,” she said, explaining the efforts that went behind the role.

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Ahsan on artists being criticised for ‘not helping flood victims’

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Actor Ahsan Khan has something to say about the ongoing criticism on actors flying out of the country for an award show in time of a national emergency. 

“It goes without saying that all efforts in personal and professional capacity have been ongoing and shall continue towards the flood relief drive. A percentage of my hosting here will also go towards the same flood relief,” the Udaari star shared in a statement. 

He added, “However, I want to clearly state that we need to understand and start treating people’s professions with the same respect that is bestowed upon other industries. We aren’t questioning why a textile person or any other segment is going to work during the tragic situation in our country, yet actors are being asked why they are attending the event. Think about that for a second. Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Previously, several artists including Ushna Shah addressed the matter. “It’s quite disconcerting to read the criticism for those of us who have come to Toronto to attend the award show. It is imperative that those affected by the floods know that they are not forgotten and we are working on the channels to raise funds through our industry,” the Habs actor wrote in a descriptive note. 

She added, “I can speak for myself and I am sure many other artists when I say that we have contributed to the relief funds (privately) and continue to do so. We are also partaking in auctions and fundraisers here for the victims, tickets for which have been sold out. We are trying to do our best we can with the platforms we have. I look forward to returning to Pakistan and to continue my part, as the rehabilitation of our fellow citizens after their horrific disaster is our collective responsibility.”

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