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.”
Although Yash Raj Films is considered by many as a production house churning out only romantic and goody-goody films, the fact is that they too have taken the less-trodden path and came up with fantastic and meaningful hatke films (Kabul Express and Chak De! India are the classic examples). Their new offering, New York, too is another hatke flick from this production house. What is impressive about New York is its narrative-it deals with serious topics like terrorism and post-9/11 scenario but at the same time, its impact doesn’t limit itself only to niche audiences. It’s a meaningful film, which caters to all kinds of audiences. And that’s its biggest achievement!
The story of the movie: Omar (Neil Mukesh) arrives at New York to pursue a Master’s Degree at New York State University. Here he meets Sameer aka Sam (John Abraham) and Maya (Katrina Kaif) who become his best buddies. Time flies fast and it was soon time for college to get over. At this point of time, the 9/11 attack occurs which forever changes the lives of these three friends. How this incident affects them adversely and what steps they take to resurrect is what the film is about.
New York strikes a fine balance-it is dealt with maturity and yet manages to strike a chord with audiences of all ages. It is not at all formulaic and the story is narrated in a not-so-usual and interesting style. Also the film doesn’t waste time at all-the story begins from the first scene itself. There are no unnecessary songs, no unwanted scenes-the focus is just on the three main characters.
There are several scenes in the film that would remain etched in one’s mind. The most unforgettable sequence of the film is undoubtedly John Abraham’s flashback. This wonderfully shot and enacted scene will astonish everyone for sure. Even globally acclaimed Khuda Kay Liye failed to give such an outstanding description of the torture cells.
The only flaw was that the film, particularly in the 2nd half, got a little bit confusing at places but still this can be overlooked. However, the film succeeds in giving a powerful message and also an excellent insight about the chaotic situation post 9/11 created by the Bush administration. It also raises a question about the terrorists who were responsible for the 9/11 attacks-what did they achieve by those cowardly attacks which they considered as great? In the name of jihad, they ended up devastating the lives of so many people in US who were detained as terrorist suspects.
The climax of the film may seem unacceptable to many. However, the final scene of the film is very impressive.
All the four main actors of the film manage to give one of the best performances of their respective careers! No matter how hard John Abraham tried to give a brilliant performance in the past, he always ended up receiving appreciation for his fab body. This was evident especially during Dostana. However for New York, he would surely be liked by everyone for his brilliant performance only! He rocks the screen from the first scene itself and manages to give a praiseworthy performance. Watch out for him in the torture scenes and in the climax. Keep rocking, John!
As expected, Neil Mukesh gives yet another outstanding performance after Johnny Gaddaar! In fact, it was Neil who dominates the first half and does a great job. Like John, he too impresses a lot in the climax. Katrina Kaif surprises! She was always accused of not being to able to act and speak in Hindi. Post-New York, she would be considered not only as a glam-doll but also as a wonderful actor.
Irrfan Khan as FBI Agent Roshan as usual comes up with an outstanding performance. He also provides some comic moments in between! Nowaz, who played Shahana Goswami’s husband in Firaaq, has a small but an important role in the film and he does a fine job.
Pritam’s music is good, but not as great as his other works. Two songs stand out-Hai Junoon and Mere Sang. In addition, the film also has two instrumentals composed by Julius Packiam which are intriguing and haunting. Mere Sang is probably one of the best picturised songs of the year. Watch out for the scene in the song when John is walking down the street and a group of protestors pass by carrying textual posters of ‘Buck Fush’!
Aseem Mishra’s cinematography was perfect. The lensman performs better in the detention scenes. Rameshwar Bhagat’s editing was flawless.
Aditya Chopra surprises as the writer of the film. It’s great to see a person like him coming up with such out-of-the-box stories. Sandeep Shrivastava, who earlier wrote the screenplay of Ab Tak Chappan, excels through his screenplay and dialogues. Screenplay was unique since the film doesn’t pace ahead in the typical way.
Kabir Khan had already proved himself with his first feature film, Kabul Express. However, the film failed to do a terrific job at the BO since it was more of a docu-drama. However, in New York, he manages to come up with a sensitive, intelligent film that caters to a large audience.
Some of the best scenes of the film:
1. Omar detained by Roshan
2. Sam’s entry
3. The 9/11 attack
4. The intermission point
5. Sam’s flashback
6. The song ‘Mere Sang’
7. All scenes of Nowaz
8. The last 20 minutes of the film
On the whole, New York is a brilliant film to say the least. It not only gives a message, but throws a light on the wrong-doings of the Bush administration which devastated the lives of many. At the same time, it raises many questions. Brilliantly executed, wonderfully performed, New York will surely be remembered for a long time!
My rating-**** out of 5!
By Taran Adarsh, June 26, 2009 – 15:58 IST
Myth: NEW YORK is about 9/11.
Fact: It’s not. But it reflects the mood that’s prevalent across the globe, post 9/11. The world is divided today. No two opinions on that!
Myth: NEW YORK bears a striking similarity to KHUDA KAY LIYE.
Fact: Nope. KHUDA KAY LIYE and NEW YORK may belong to the same family, of an innocent person being picked up for questioning after the WTC catastrophe, but the similarities end there. In fact, KHUDA KAY LIYE and NEW YORK are as diverse as chalk and cheese.
|Write your own movie review of New York|
NEW YORK, helmed by Kabir Khan, attempts to be as real as possible. A tale of friendship, with terrorism as the wallpaper, NEW YORK hits you like a ton of bricks at several points in the narrative. In fact, there was a possibility that NEW YORK may turn out to be a dry experience, a documentary perhaps, but the drama is so well structured and so gripping that you get sucked into the world of Sam, Omar and Maya from its inception.
NEW YORK is a triumph for Kabir Khan, who deserves distinction marks for handling the subject with remarkable maturity. Also, this film should be a turning point for John, Katrina and Neil. More on that later...
The verdict? NEW YORK is, without doubt, one of the finest films produced by this premier production house, Yash Raj. Grab a ticket today!
Omar [Neil Nitin Mukesh] has gone abroad for the first time in his life and soon enough, he begins to see and love America through the eyes of his American friends, Sam [John Abraham] and Maya [Katrina Kaif]. But an incident changes the world round them.
At this point enters Agent Roshan [Irrfan], an FBI agent, who sets the ball rolling for a series of tumultuous events that turn the lives of these friends upside down.
NEW YORK affects you like no other Hindi film has done so far [on 9/11]. In fact, there are portions that give you goose bumps, especially towards the second half of the film, when John recounts his past.
One of the reasons why NEW YORK works is because not once does Kabir Khan borrow from the past or tilt towards predictable stuff. You just can’t guess what and where the story is headed and what the culmination would be. The director and his team of writers establish the plot and characters beautifully, but the real action is reserved for the second half. The nightmarish experience that John undergoes is disturbing, but lifts the film several notches up.
But NEW YORK has its share of loose ends. The film dips in the second hour. It tends to gets lengthy before it reaches a powerful, brilliantly executed climax. Also, a few sequences only add to the length of the film, which could’ve been curtailed in the writing stage itself.
Director Kabir Khan picks up a real incident — innocent civilians being suspected as terrorists, soon after 9/11 — and weaves a brilliant tale around it. The screenplay is its biggest star, without a doubt. Given the fact that NEW YORK isn’t one of those routine masala fares, Kabir has injected songs only when required. Cinematography is striking.
Now here’s another surprise. John, Katrina and Neil, all actors, deliver their career-best performance. If the first half belongs to Neil, John takes over the second hour completely. John is superb when he recalls the past. You can feel his pain, that effective is his performance. Also, note his expressions towards the end. This is a different John, for sure. Just one word for his performance — fabulous!
Neil was remarkable in JOHNNY GADDAAR, but disappointed in AA DEKHEN ZARA. Fortunately, he’s in top form this time around. Katrina gives you the biggest surprise. Known for her glamour roles, Katrina proves that she can deliver if the director and writer offer her a role of substance. She’s outstanding. In fact, people will see a new, different Katrina this time. Irrfan is, as always, first-rate.
On the whole, NEW YORK is amongst the finest films produced by Yash Raj. At the box office, there’s no stopping this one. Go for it now
QASAB HANGED (IN REEL LIFE!)
Any disaster or catastrophe, whether natural or man-made, is enough to trigger off the imagination of a film writer. That’s why, in a year, there are at least 3 films churned out which are based on real-life events. Last year’s Mumbai Meri Jaan was based on the Mumbai serial train blasts. Firaaq, released in March, threw light on the post-Gujarat riots scenario. Hollywood has produced so many films on 9/11 attacks that I have lost count (in Bollywood, Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota and Madhoshi are the films I remember which were based on these attacks).
The recent 26/11 attack is also going to be used as plots in many upcoming films. In fact, 26/11, Terror in Taj, CST and lots of such titles are already registered! Although all such films are still in the scripting stage, one of them is already ready. Titled Total Ten, it’s a B-grade film in which the actors in the film play the real characters. Rajan Verma plays Ajmal Qasab, the lone terrorist captured in these attacks. The names of other actors and their characters are as follows:
1. Homi Wadia-Hemant Karkare
2. Sudesh Berry-Vijay Salaskar
3. Ashish Vidyarthi-Tukaram Ombale
4. Ashok Kulkarni-Ashok Kamte
5. Aroon Bakshi-Maulana Masood Azhar (founder of Jaish-e-Mohammad)
Besides, a lot of small-time actors play the role of the other 9 terrorists who entered into Mumbai on the fateful day. However, there’s no information yet regarding who plays the role of R R Patil and Shivraj Patil. The shooting of the film commenced in about 2-3 months after the attacks and the film is now almost ready. It’s made on a meager Rs. 3 crores. The film is mostly shot in Mumbai and that too in real locations like CST, outside Taj Hotel, Oberoi-Trident etc. According to Rajan Verma, who plays Qasab, the makers of the film have tried to make the film as realistic as possible. The film shows the journey of terrorists to India by boat, how they survived in sea on dry-fruits, how they carried their operations etc. And interestingly, the films end with Qasab getting hanged!
The film also had its share of problems. It was reported in Feb that Rajan Verma was assaulted by 2 unindentified men after they learnt that he is playing Qasab’s role. Also, the film is criticized by various people who feel that 26/11 episode should not be touched by any filmmaker. Both these incidents don’t make any sense. Talking about first one, what is the justification behind attack on Verma? He’s just an actor doing his job. Even if Verma had dropped out of the film after that incident, the makers would have replaced him with another actor. Then were those two fools going to attack this new actor too?
Also, how can making a film on 26/11 be morally wrong when movies on similar real life events are already made. So many films are based on the two World Wars in which millions of lives were lost. In India too, there’s a film churned out on every incident from Partition to 1962/65/71/99 Wars, Kashmir issue, emergency, Bombay Riots, 1993 Blasts, Godhra riots, 2006 Train Blasts etc. Many of such films are hugely acclaimed. Then why not one be allowed to make a film on 26/11 too?
Coming back to Total Ten, the film has aroused curiosity. Its promotion and release date will now decide its fate at the BO. And I noticed an interesting thing about it- one of the film’s producer is Hariom Sharma who runs RAMGOPAL Productions!! Coincidence?!
AAMIR’S RAAKH TO RE-RELEASE
One of Aamir Khan’s oldest films, Raakh, released 20 years back is all set to re-release on June 12 with 200 prints. Co-incidentally, I reviewed this film just 3 weeks back. Back in 1989, it was released in just 3 cities with 6 prints. This time, though, the film has better chances to fare at the BO, also because it’s widely acclaimed. And fortunately, the entire film is re-mastered and most of the scenes of the film which weren’t visible properly before due to bad light are quite visible now! So, all the Aamir Khan fans who have missed the film earlier can now watch it on the big screen. June 12-don’t forget! And below is the exclusive video from this ‘rare’ film (Video Source: BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM)!
This article first appeared on MouthShut.com:http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/hhcjrltrn/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk49