By Chaitanya Padukone
Veteran Bollywood producer Pahlaj Nihalani’s seemed delighted while sharing with me that his latest movie ‘Anari Is Back’ (2022) is cleared by the Censor Board (CBFC) with a ‘U’ certificate. It may be recalled that the release of his previous Govinda-starrer movie ‘Rangeela Raja’ (2019) was stalled and entangled in legal-battle controversy as the Censor Board had recommended multiple cuts. Eventually, the same ‘Rangeela…’ movie was cleared by the (FCAT) Film Certification Appellate Tribunal with just ‘three cuts’.
Film-maker Pahlaj who shares his birthday (January 10th) with that of superstar Hrithik Roshan, also informed me that his latest maverick Hindi movie ‘Anari Is Back’ is ready for release but will be delayed this time . That’s because all cinema-theatres are closed due to the corona pandemic ‘third wave’ restrictions. Dynamic film-maker Pahlaj who has either launched or given a big-break to several top Bollywood stars including Govinda, Chunky Pandey, Neelam Kothari, Divya Bharti etc., disclosed to me that his latest movie is a dramatic musical thriller with a social message.
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Informed Pahlaj, “Our ‘Anari Is Back’ movie, has the relevant topical ‘corona pandemic’ as its back-drop, with ‘lucky-mascot-star-actor’ Shakti Kapoor playing a pharmaceutical company director. The plot has honest-screen-characters dealing with adverse circumstances. We have introduced promising star-material hero Nawab Khan and opposite vivacious heroine Mishika Chourasia, while senior artistes Mithun Chakraborty and Anita Raj are also in the main cast.
The versatile Mithun-da plays a supportive ‘father-figure’ to the young hero, while Anita is cast as the heroine’s mother,” revealed Pahlaj who is looking forward for the cinema-theatres to re-open. “Our film is made mainly for the big-screen, so I will wait till things get back to normal,” shrugs Nihalani.
Famous for his popular milestone movies in the past, like ‘Haathkadi’, ‘’Ilzaam’, Aag Hi Aag,’, ’Aandhiyan’, First Love Letter’, ‘Shola Aur Shabnam’, ‘Aankhen’, Paap Ki Duniya,’Julie-2’ (as distributor) etc, former Censor Board (CBFC) Chairman and movie producer-maker-distributor Pahlaj Nihalani is confident that ‘Anari Is Back’ will connect with and fully entertain the theatre-audiences.