Posts Tagged ‘9/11’
Although My Name Is Khan will premiere at the 60th Berlin Film Festival, distributor Fox Star Studios, has prevented it from competing with other films in the Competition section
With the good news comes the bad news as well. The good news is that Fox Star Studios, international partners on My Name Is Khan, has decided to premiere the film at the 60th Berlin Film Festival in February 2010, in the most prestigious Competition section. However, the bad news is that they have not allowed the film to compete with other films in the section. The reason for the same is unknown.
Karan doesn’t deny the news but pooh-poohs the belief that the global corporates are trying to bully him into submission. He says, “Yes, the decision to place our film in the Competition section without competing was taken entirely by Fox Star. Shah Rukh and I are completely one with it. We are just happy to be in the same section as the new films by Martin Scorsese and Roman Polanski. Fox Star has been on the same page as me from the start. Shah Rukh, Kajol and I are getting ready for Berlin. It will be the first full-fledged screening of our film. We are anxious to see how the global audience at Berlin reacts to it.”
According to sources, Fox Star has grown progressively wary of the 9/11 angle in cinema and has asked Karan to tone it down as far as possible. Apparently, the filmmaker was asked to change the trailer for the premiere of My Name Is Khan (unveiled last week) so that overt references to terrorism are done away with. Karan was also asked to stress on the fact that the film is not about 9/11 and terrorism. Karan dismisses the news. He says, “Fox Star knew exactly what My Name Is Khan is about. It’s a fact that the film is not about terrorism. Yes, 9/11 does form a background to the tale, but the film is a love story and a story of humanism under pressure.”
|(L): My Name Is Khan, (R) :Karan Johar|
Apparently, there is also a fear that Shah Rukh Khan’s smaller-than-life role as an autistic Muslim, fighting injustice in the US may not go down well with his fans. Karan laughs at the rumours. He says, “That is such an erroneous interpretation of Shah Rukh’s character. He plays a man with a disability who can see the world around him far more clearly than the so-called normal people. He is a superman with a soul pure enough to fly. No, I don’t think his fans would be disappointed just because he isn’t larger-than-life in Khan. Shah Rukh’s fans all over the world want to see him in roles that connect the reality of cinema with the reality of the world outside the theatre.”
Vijay Singh, CEO, Star Fox Studios, also insists that the film is not about terrorism. He says, “My Name Is Khan is a love story and Shah Rukh Khan’s character’s journey to win back his love. It has nothing to do with terrorism.”
By Taran Adarsh, November 19, 2009 – 15:14 IST
Post 9/11, there’s anger, distrust, suspicion, uneasiness all around. Not a day passes when you don’t hear of terrorists killing civilians in the name of religion.
Many storytellers have, in the past, narrated stories about terrorists and their nefarious and despicable plans. But let me state one thing categorically. You haven’t watched a more profound, a more thought-provoking, a more dramatic story on this subject before KURBAAN. It’s not just the most powerful film to come out of Dharma Productions, it’s the most powerful film to come out of the Hindi film industry this year, thus far.
|BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM
KURBAAN tries to penetrate into the psyche of not just the terrorist, but also someone who has been a helpless spectator all this while. This film is sure to spark off discussions and debates, although it must also be noted that it doesn’t take sides or gets preachy.
Rensil D’Silva has chosen a burning issue for his directorial debut, which is a complete departure from Karan Johar’s earlier films. For some inexplicable reasons, parallels are being drawn with FANAA [Aamir Khan, Kajol] and NEW YORK [John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Katrina Kaif], but the fact remains that barring the backdrop of terrorism, there’s no similarity with those films.
I’ve often felt that certain films are beyond box-office. Movies are not meant to merely entertain, but enlighten and educate as well. They need to prick your conscience and in the process, make an attempt to make this world a better place. KURBAAN does just that and for this very reason, it deserves a double thumbs up.
Final word? Drop everything else you’re doing to watch KURBAAN. Movies like these need to be made, encouraged and lauded.
Avantika [Kareena Kapoor] is a teacher at a university in Delhi. She has come back from New York where she teaches, because her father [Aakash Khurana] has suffered a heart attack. During this period, she meets a Professor called Ehsaan Khan [Saif Ali Khan]. Soon, they begin seeing each other and love blossoms.
A few months later, Avantika receives a call from her university in New York, asking her to come back. Avantika breaks the news to Ehsaan. He, in turn, tells her he doesn’t mind coming to the States with her. But first they need to get married.
Soon after the marriage, they leave to start a new life in New York. They buy a house in an Indian neighbourhood and move in. Just as they are setting up home, their conservative Muslim neighbours invite them over for dinner. The next morning, Salma [Nauheed Cyrusi], one of the women Avantika met the night before at the dinner, visits her under the pretext of gifting her sweets.
When Avantika invites her in, Salma tells her that she is in grave danger. Nothing is what it seems. Salma pleads with Avantika to help her. What follows next is a series of incidents that sucks Avantika into a vortex of danger and intrigue. As her life spirals out of control, Avantika realizes that she is a pawn in a huge game.
KURBAAN has two stories running concurrently – the love story between Saif and Kareena and the story of Islamic terrorists. Rensil sets the stage in the initial 15 minutes itself, after which there’s a twist in the tale every 15-20 minutes, which catches you completely unaware. Rensil doesn’t borrow from the past, which makes the proceedings thoroughly captivating.
The highpoint is the 35-minute climax, which leaves you spellbound. The culmination to the story shakes you completely, largely because it’s pragmatic and has been executed most logically as well. In fact, filming the climax at the various underground tube stations must’ve been the toughest challenge for the director.
On the flip side, KURBAAN caters more to the intelligentsia or the thinking viewer and might not be lapped up whole-heartedly by those who survive on the staple diet of hardcore masala fares.
Some of the finest technicians in the business are associated with KURBAAN. Hemant Chaturvedi’s cinematography is super. The film bears an international look all through. Salim-Sulaiman’s music is well integrated in the narrative. At least two tracks merit a mention – ‘Shukran Allah’ and ‘Ali Maula’. Anurag Kashyap and Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogue are superb. The lines enhance the impact of several sequences. Thrills are, again, in sync with the mood of the film.
KURBAAN is embellished with superlative performances. Saif is extra-ordinary in a role that only proves his versatility once again. If he won your heart with a winning performance in LOVE AAJ KAL a few months ago, you need to watch this supremely talented actor underplay his part so beautifully in KURBAAN. As for Kareena, KURBAAN reiterates one fact yet again: She’s the best in the business. No two opinions on that! Watch her get those emotional sequences right, it’s incredible. Here’s a performance that truly merits the highest praise and admiration, besides fetching her awards and accolades.
Vivek Oberoi is fantastic. Matching Saif and Kareena at every step, KURBAAN should be the turning point in Vivek’s career. It’s a difficult role to portray and only an actor with a wide range could’ve portrayed this part so effectively. Om Puri is top notch and so is Kirron Kher. Kirron is marvellous, especially in the penultimate scene. Dia Mirza, Nauheed Cyrusi and Kulbhushan Kharbanda lend credibility to their brief roles.
On the whole, KURBAAN is the most powerful film to come out of the Hindi film industry in 2009, so far. The film has a captivating plot, gripping screenplay, super performances and a climax that shakes you up completely. Watching this movie should be on top of your agenda this week.
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BEING A KHAN IS NOT A CRIME!
Deepa Ravi (leap 24) was right when she replied to my comment on her New York review that “It (9/11) hurt America below the belt and hit them hard. They are still recovering from it!” The Americans took a stew of measures to see to it that something like WTC Attack doesn’t repeat again on their soil. However, many of their steps have at times hurt the religious sentiments of the people. The SRK incident last Saturday confirms this.
Many are criticizing Shah Rukh Khan for ‘over-reacting’. Some say that he did this for promoting his film My Name Is Khan (MNIK). Why would SRK do something like that? He has been in the industry since around two decades. We haven’t seen him before doing such cheap marketing gimmicks for his films, have we? And MNIK is some 7-8 months away-why would he arouse a cheap controversy to market his film which has such a long time to release? And 12 days back, he had already made enough publicity for MNIK when he held a press conference, announcing the tie-up with Fox Studios.
What infuriated about this incident that the officials doubted SRK and his star-status and that they took 2 hours (which is really a long time) to question him. Kabir Khan (Director, New York) is right when he said about this incident, “How much time does it take to find out who Shah Rukh Khan is? A Google search would give more hits than Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise put together”. This clearly shows that it is possible that Shah Rukh Khan was subjected to secondary inspection because of his Muslim identity.
Not only SRK, many others Khans of Bollywood are of the same opinion that they have been subjected to secondary inspection because of their last name. Zayed Khan also agrees and says that when he’s on a tour, he is the only one from his team who gets detained while others are cleared in no time at all. And if the officials are questioned, they say it’s a random checking. At this, Zayed rightly says, “Tell me, how can there be random checks on 5 US airports one after another and in all of them only yours truly gets detained for additional checking?” A valid point, indeed!
New York director Kabir Khan’s ordeal is much bigger. He has spoken about this but unfortunately, it never made it to the headlines. Before New York, Kabir Khan had shot 6 times in US. At that point of time, FBI came up with 29 South Asian names and they ordered that anyone having those names should not be allowed to enter US at all. Unfortunately, one of the 29 names was Kabir Khan! He must have had a tough time explaining the officials.
So the point is-people have faced discrimination because of their religion which is completely unjustified. And how come SRK is wrong if he made his unsatisfying experience public? Amidst all this, Amar Singh enters taking full advantage to blast SRK. He says that even Big B was subjected to security checks and further says “There are two types of people in society—one, who make an issue out of an incident and another, who cooperates with procedures”. Very funny, esp when Amar Singh says something like this since he’s famous for making issues. He made an issue during the 2007 Filmfare Awards and this year, during the Sajid-Ashutosh feud in Star Screen Awards, he was the only one who took sides. Double Standards!
READY FOR SHADOW?
Two films are going to release in two weeks-one is intentionally a spoof and the other is a spoof, unintentionally! The former is Quick Gun Murugan and the latter is Shadow which releases tomorrow! I am sure everyone must have seen the promos of Shadow, which proudly proclaims as to how its lead actor Naseer Khan is actually a blind man and yet, does so many stunts in the film. Although kudos to Naseer Khan for achieving this considerable feat, his dialogue delivery and his dancing style has become the laughing stock! And the makers intentionally show the unintentionally funny scenes of the film in the promos! It is difficult to say how the film will turn out to be but one thing is for sure. Naseer Khan is getting the same response as Kamaal Rashid Khan (of Deshdrohi, remember?) had received!
This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/bbhfolooo/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk62
Now that Kabir Khan’s New York, which is about terrorism and the Islamic individual, has made quite an impact, what will happen to Rensil D’Silva’s film, Qurbaan, which has an identical concept? It is surprising that two reputed banners like Yash Raj Films and Dharma Productions, whose scions Aditya Chopra and Karan Johar are known to be close friends, ended up making films on the same subject.
According to a source, Karan had shared the idea of Qurbaan with Aditya. Meanwhile, Kabir Khan had already approached Aditya with the idea for New York. The source said, “Karan and Aditya were aware that their films will be similar. But they trusted their directors to interpret the jehaadi theme in a unique manner.”
Director Rensil D’Silva, who watched New York last week, agreed there are similarities between New York and Qurbaan but said that he will not re-shoot his film. He said, “I saw New York. But the two films have a different interpretation of the theme (of terrorism). While New York is about the aftermath of 9/11, the characters in Qurbaan have moved on. According to me, 9/11 is no more the clinching point of global terrorism. Look at what is happening to Pakistan vis-à-vis the Taliban. Global terrorism has gone much beyond 9/11. Qurbaan is more about the impact of extremism. The twin towers of the World Trade Centre were attacked in 2001. Today, the reality of terrorism has changed. Qurbaan will reflect that reality.”
Also, in New York, John Abraham plays the unsuspected terrorist whose pretty wife Katrina chances upon the horrific truth about her husband, in Karan Johar’s Qurbaan it is Kareena Kapoor, who one day figures out what her husband Saif Ali Khan is really up to.
Both films, in essence, represent the wife’s point of view vis-à-vis her closet-terrorist husband’s dark, undisclosed life as a jehaadi.When asked about the similar theme of a wife discovering her husband’s secret life as a terrorist, Rensil said after a long silence, “Watch the film and then decide. We’re aiming for a Diwali release.”