Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘bad news

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

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 25, 2009)


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.”

LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK: Bollywood hit producer Boney Kapoor prepares for his next blockbuster,
Milenge Milenge, starring Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor

Boney Kapoor is buoyed by the success of Wanted and the future prospects of the last Kareena-Shahid film together

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 9, 2009)

Boney Kapoor is maha excited. Not over Wanted, his September blockbuster that got close to Rs 40 crore billing, but by his January release Milenge Milenge — which is the last time you will see Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor romantically paired on screen. I don’t have to tell you the film’s been in the making for a while, but Boney is confident it will be successful. “I can feel it in my bones,” he said emphatically, “why should it not work, it’s a good love story, it’s got fantastic music.” But what about the chemistry between Kareena and Shahid, I asked. “That’s there,” Boney declared, “besides, once the lights are off in the theatre, you forget whether they are a couple or not, and they become characters.”
He’s been a major player in Bollywood for 33 years now, and has always been big on ideas, and bigger on executing them. Which accounts for some 30 successes over the 80s, 90s and so far into the 2000s. Now he rattled off their names to me not in any order but as they came to mind. “There was Judaai in 1997 with Anil Kapoor and Sridevi which was a major hit but not a blockbuster,” he began, “Company, Pukar in 2000 — that won the National Award, and Loafer which was very successful, also Run in 2004… Abhishek Bachchan’s cleansing began with this film, and Sirf Tum in which Sushmita Sen had the superhit song Dilbar… then No Entry, the biggest commercial success of 2005, and Wanted now, which I would rate as one of the Top 10 films of all time. It’s still running! And it’s a case study to the business that has evolved now. When people talk of a film raking in Rs 200 crore… that’s a western concept to lure eyeballs. What you get in hand is what matters. I gave you the Indian boxoffice figures for Wanted. The overseas, satellite, home video/audio, branding rights are separate.”
He’s had some lemons at the box office as well, films like Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja in 1993 that I wasn’t reminding him about. However, Boney said on his own, “I’m a complete hands-on filmmaker, I’ve been through it all, I’ve done so many films, and several for my brothers Anil and Sanjay too, that I’ve got to know the complete and detailed aspects of filmmaking and distribution. With today’s invasion of corporates, the role of the producer is not underlined, there’s just a mad rush to put the package together. That’s why you’ve seen so many packages falling like nine pins! The control of the project is the engine… and it’s important to have a producer driving it with passion. Yes, the corporates brought in discipline where the business of filmmaking is concerned, and they streamlined the revenue mode, but they took away the passion.” That Boney has passion, there is no doubt. “I’ve been through the highs and lows, I’ve had a fractured financial status, but even then… if I can still churn out a blockbuster, what magic might I have done with a complete back-up,” he asked. The answer to that, perhaps, is in the films his production house BSK Network and Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. is making. I’ve already told you about Milenge Milenge. Then there’s the Anees Bazmee directed It’s My Life with Genelia, Harman Baweja and Nana Patekar, a remake of the successful South Indian film Bombraillu in Telugu and Santosh Subramaniam in Tamil. Isn’t Hurman bad news in Bollywood, I asked. “Wasn’t Amitabh bad news until Zanjeer,” Boney shot back. And he’s got three more films in mind for which Boney Kapoor can already hear the cash tills at the box office ringing. They are all sequels. “I’m starting Mr. India 2 — Be Positive,
there’s a strong possibility of Anil and Sridevi being the
lead pair, plus a new, young couple, and somebody big playing the major and unusual role of the villain. Then I’ve got a fix for No Entry 2. And somebody suggested a good idea for Most Wanted. Everything depends on the viability of the projects and availability of the main crew. I’m a strong believer in the need for a good support system. My cast is always according to the need of the film. What works is not a package, but the product.”


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