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Bhediya: Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon hail VFX and drop sequel hint too

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Kumar Shyam

Varun Dhawan literally has taken a big jump out of his skin for a role in his next film Bhediya and is looking at Bollywood fans in the UAE for the first feedback signs.

A Dubai regular, Dhawan and Bhediya co-star Kriti Sanon were candid enough in an open address through the media almost immediately after the pair sat down at a Reel Cinemas theatre hall in Dubai Mall to promote the film in the UAE for FunAsia Network.

Produced by Jio Studios and Maddock Films, Bhediya means werewolf in Hindi and will release in 2D & 3D on November 24 in UAE cinemas. Dhawan turns into a werewolf after being bitten by one and, according to the well-received trailer, the film deals with his travails.

VFX is the film’s silent hero

“We put in a lot of hard work on this,” Dhawan said as he reels out credits generously. “We have done something special on the VFX, which has not been talked about much. The music by Sachin-Jigar has been done a bit differently with a nice mix of electronic beats. They bought new devices. They even went to some place in Europe (Budapest, on prompt from producer Dinesh Vijan who also was in attendance) to record one song’s music. They have taken risks even in the BGM (background music).

“Our cameraman (DOP) Jihnu Bhattacharjee has been amazing capturing the darkness in the night shots. And even the comedy scenes. The editor (Sanyukta Kaza) is one who did Tumbbad, one of my favourites. We have broken new ground. The craft is the biggest trump card.”

What he humbly left out and did not emerge from the questions also was his own hard work and effort to look the character. Apart from growing a beard, he had to shed weight so his body looked “flexible” for the part when the werewolf spirit takes over him. He also said in another interview in Ahmedabad, a day before flying into Dubai, that he had to grow hair naturally, although the why wasn’t clear considering the VFX still played a part.

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Apart from the VFX and the topic, Vijan prides on how there is an Indian twist to this film, just like others in their production line. “In Arunachal (where the film is shot) history, there exists this legend called Yapum. It is completely non-aspirational and home grown. The VFX is not supposed to look like VFX… like in Jungle Book, you don’t feel the VFX. And it is the same team … MPC behind Jungle Book, Lion King and the Planet of the Apes, who have done it for us.”

Darkness doesn’t matter today

The OTT boom and the maturing of all types of content in recent years has meant that era when actors in the mainstream cinema hesitated to do roles that could go sideways is long gone past. On the other hand, western cinema has done quite a few films on the werewolf in scary movies. Yet, Indian films on the topic are rare with something like Jaani Dushman coming close to it and made in 1979.

While Maddock Films has made movies on sensitive topics in a funny way, such as Stree, Roohi and Bala, it is still a fine line to balance. Was it a problem to get Dhawan on board? Not at all, says Vijayan.

“We started our journey from Badlapur, so I don’t think we are worried about dark. It was not even a consideration. I think the audience has moved and ready to accept ‘good’ films. As long as they are entertaining. The challenge with Bhediya, unlike Badlapur, was the physical one as well. For four months, Varun did animal flow … how to behave like an animal … and there is a beautiful three-minute scene in the film as a result.”

“My first brief was that I will not do comedy,” Dhawan said, “Yes, there is comedy happening around me, but not to me. Honestly, I had to believe that this is all happening to me. And it also left a residue in me as well which I think will take a few months to wear off.

Sequel on the cards?

An inane question on the costumes for Dhawan also saw a hint being dropped on a possible sequel. “The plot is such that we are stuck in Arunachal so there is limited range of clothes. There is a sweater that I will not return (addressing to Vijan), sorry Dinu. And yes there is the blue boxer shorts which is also part of the trailer, which I will hold on to. If all goes well, it will stay with me for some more time.”

The confidence in a brand being built also manifested in releasing the trailer on Burj Khalifa, which the cast also shared on their socials, before flying out back after a whirlwind day tour.

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T10 League: hosts Abu Dhabi, American pair and Deccan in knockout stage

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Kieron Pollard smashed 26 runs from seven balls when the team needed 46 runs from 18 balls. Supplied

Staff report

The final four teams for the knockout stages in the T10 Abu Dhabi League have been spotted after the final round-robin match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Friday. Interestingly, the freshest two teams in the league and boasting owners from the United States took the top perches on debut.

Table-toppers New York Strikers and Morrisville Samp Army, led by England T20 vice-captain Moeen Ali, are in the mix for the trophy hunt in the sixth season of the tournament. Moeen was yesterday named captain of Sharjah Warriors for the inaugural season of UAE’s own league, the International League T20, which starts January 13 to February 12.

Team Abu Dhabi and Deccan Gladiators make up the top four. On the final day of the round-robin stage, three matches were played out.

Match Day 9

1) New York captain Kieron Pollard and Azam Khan helped pull off an exciting seven-wicket win over Delhi Bulls with two balls to spare on the ninth day of the tournament in Abu Dhabi. Needing a massive 46 runs from 18 balls in chasing Delhi’s total of 112-6, Pollard (26 from 7 balls) and Azam (37, 22b) sealed a thriller in front of a large holiday crowd. Read more about the match here.

2) Team Abu Dhabi spinners Adil Rashid and Fabian Allen restricted Bangla Tigers to 74 for 5 and helped their team register an emphatic eight wicket win.
Chris Lynn cracking an unbeaten 33 off just 17 balls with four boundaries and six, well backed by James Vince’s 29 off 17 balls with four boundaries and a six, to steer Team Abu Dhabi to the target in just seven overs. (Match report)

3) Morrisville Samp Army marched into the play-off stage through a well-fought win by 19 runs over Deccan Gladiators. Samp Army posted 126 for 2 in 10 overs through opener Johnson Charles’ unbeaten 58 and David Miller’s unbeaten 35. Chasing the target, Deccan Gladiators could muster only 107 for 5 in 10 overs. Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s unbeaten knock of 41 runs went in vain. Report

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Food

Jaffer Bhai’s goes ‘glocal’ with its newest branch in DIFC

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Jaffer Bhai’s, the Biryani King of Bombay, inaugurated their newest outlet in Dubai on Tuesday, November 29, ahead of UAE’s 51st National Day celebrations.
The over-the-counter Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) concept in the South Market food court at the Gate Avenue of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Is the four-decades-old legacy group’s third establishment in the UAE after their oldest and flagship restaurant in Karama, and a second one in Al Barsha. “This is also by far our most significant step forward considering the concept of the kitchen and the pan-Asian, pan-European/American clientele it will serve, So this is our first truly global restaurant with a very localised outlook making us a glocal outfit,” said Moin Jaffer Mansuri, the second-generation owner of the chain that first began operations in 1973 in Mumbai before coming to the shores of Dubai in UAE in the nineties. “We have consistently been voted one of Dubai’s best restaurants for biryani but there’s more to us than our dum-cooked rice and meat legacy and our specialist team at DIFC outlet can’t wait to showcase it by catering to everyone, including the resident upmarket executive foodies with a more refined palate and everyone else that loves a hearty workday lunch.”

According to Mansuri, Jaffer Bhai’s DIFC will be mostly targeting customers looking to grab a quick bite on the go, in between work and meetings. “And so, the kitchen here will be serving daily specials including biryanis, kebabs and choicest of desserts. But one thing that we are also introducing here is our own version of the world’s best kathi rolls, something we expect our patrons to absolutely fall in love with,” he added. “This is truly a landmark moment for us. It is always a great sign when we can expand and serve new customers in a completely new market.”
Besides the new additions, guests here can expect Jaffer Bhai’s other wildly popular dishes like the 1952 Gosht Biriyani, Murgh-e-Nargis and all of their famous kebabs.
About Jaffer Bhai’s Restaurants
Since the inception of Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar in Mumbai, India in 1986, it has been the spot synonymous with an unparalleled mouth-watering pot of Indian dum biryani. With a passion in his heart and hands, Moin ‘Jaffer Bhai’ Mansuri, today leads a team of select chefs to serve what has been consistently rated by media, influencers and foodies as one of Dubai’s best biryanis. Jaffer Bhai imbibed the philosophy of pursuing perfection in the biriyani making process from start to the end from his father. He believes in identifying the right ingredients for a quality product and adding a distinct Mughlai flavour from India’s financial capital of Mumbai to create a biryani that has so far wowed more than 50 million customers over five decades of being in business.

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Fashion

BeingSHE Universe 2022 pageant announced in Dubai

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The much-awaited BeingShe Universe 2022 grand finale was held at Orange Chameleon – Palm Jumeirah on Saturday. The event attracted local and international media, celebrities, fashion designers, influencers, and respectable names in the fashion industry.

This year’s edition, powered by Mai Dubai, was held under the theme ‘Beauty and Fitness in Perfect Balance’.
“This season we were mainly focused on physical fitness,” said Aparna Bajpai, founder of BeingShe organisation, “where the participants were invited for a four-day boot camp which served as the preliminary competition to determine subtitle winners.”

Participants were trained on body posture, personal development, communication, and public speaking in preparation for the Grand Finale night. More than a dozen countries — from the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, and Nigeria to Tunisia, Ghana, Argentina, Kenya, Algeria, Ukraine, Iran, and Lebanon — were represented this season.

Media personality Wassim Mandil hosted the show. A total of five contestants won subtitles based on their performance during the training sessions. Anna Barisova from Russia won the Woman of Substance, Daphine Najjuma from Uganda was named the Most Fit Personality, Tima Shaaban from Lebanon was the Most Empowered, while Najeh Thider won Best Social Media. Subsequently, award-winning pianist and singer Violetta Dikarieva from Argentina/Ukraine won the most beautiful singer title.

During the show, participants competed in three categories which included bridal couture and evening wear as they showcased designs from international fashion designer Walid Atallah and Evin while wearing exquisite jewellery from Mozafarian Jewellers. For the final round, the top 10 contestants took part in an in-depth Q&A session by the jury.

Shania Rosario from Portugal took home the 2022 BeingShe Universe title while Tima Shaaban from Lebanon was crowned BeingShe Universe 2022 ambassador. Outgoing title winner Pooja Kathuria crowned her successor during the ceremony.

[Supplied Partner Content]

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