Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘cape town

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Any kind of calamity, whether natural or man-made, is immediately picked up by the film fraternity to capture the event in celluloid. The 26 July 2005 Mumbai deluge was one of the biggest natural disasters in India in this decade and surprisingly, no film, comprising A-listers was based on it yet. Finally, Tum Mile takes the initiative. It’s a love story and the floods serve as a backdrop. Unfortunately, the ‘flood’ connection wasn’t utilized well and hence, the film fails to impress fully.

The story of the movie: Akshay (Emraan Hashmi) and Sanjana (Soha Ali Khan) become friends when they both were based in Cape Town. Although Akshay was struggling painter and Sanjana was a creative writer cum environmentalist and a daughter of a rich billionaire (Sachin Khedekar), they both hit off well and fall in love. They decide to move in. Unfortunately, both face problems, more so because of Akshay’s financial insecurity. Finally, both have to break up. Six years later, they meet each other once again in a London-Mumbai flight. Things have drastically changed for both Akshay and Sanjana now. However, once they land in Mumbai, they have to go through a roller coaster ride as heavy rains have crippled the entire city. The date was July 26, 2005. They have no choice but to be together in this dark time.

Let’s get one thing straight-although Tum Mile was promoted as a film based on floods, it is actually not. 70% of the film is Emraan-Soha’s flashback in Cape Town. The remaining 30% focuses on the deluge. However, the story wonderfully moves from the present to flashback and back and that’s why the film works a bit.

The first scene of the film is in fact the best one! Weather dept officials who were more interested in playing cards than looking at the warning they received about a downpour just a day before July 26 is a rocking scene! It gives an indication that how the careless attitude of these officials led to a disaster.

The first half of the film has no glitches. The flashback portion begins wonderfully and goes ahead nicely too. Also the scene inside the flight were well executed. The intermission point was scary. However, problems start in the second hour. The flashback scenes quite dragged. Director Kunal Deshmukh could and should have had a crisp narrative. The problems faced by the couple in the floods were engrossing but the climax disappointed. The way both Emraan and Soha accept each other in the climax (after the rains stopped) seemed little indigestible, because their interactions with each other was very limited during the time of crisis. But then it is said, “When you bond during a crisis, the bonding goes deep”. So maybe only the very limited bonding was more than enough for the characters!

The visual effects in the film at some places were tacky and could have been better. The film also exhibits some of the actual footage depicting the horrors of 26/7. But that doesn’t work. Also, factual errors can be noticed-the lead actors are shown wading through chest-deep water in Lower Parel area of Mumbai. However, nothing of that sort had happened there on that day.. In fact, it was in the suburban areas like Juhu, Kalina etc where water had arisen till the first floors. However, some of the horrors of that day were wonderfully captured. Most notable is how the central locking system caused the death of many inside the car after their car’s doors and windows failed to open.

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Emraan Hashmi and Soha Ali Khan carry the film on their shoulders wonderfully. Emraan delivers a sparkling performance and proves that he’s one of the best performers around. He looked charming, esp in the flashback portions. However, his bespectacled look in the present track is not as great as the similar one he had in Gangster. But still, he manages to do a great job. Watch out for him when he’s high-tempered and in the scene where he enthusiastically paints Soha. A fine actor indeed!

Soha Ali Khan too comes up with a brilliant performance-one of the best of her careers after RDB and Khoya Khoya Chand. She appears confident and it’s great to see that she slipped into her role so easily. Actually, she wasn’t the original choice-Esha Deol was offered the role initially. After she refused due to some reason, Soha was approached!

Mantra, who plays Emraan’s pal, also gives a confident performance. Sachin Khedekar was impressive. Others were good.

Pritam’s music was one of the USPs of the film. The 3 songs which completely rock are the title song, Tu Hi Haqeeqat and Dil Ibaadat. Watch out for Dil Ibaadat-it was just brilliantly executed!

Prakash Kutty’s cinematography was flawless. So was the design.

There was nothing wrong in the story; it was the screenplay that failed at places. Ideally, equal emphasis should have been there for both the tracks. The flood portions were underutilized. Although Kunal Deshmukh’s first venture Jannat was fantastic, Tum Mile isn’t, unfortunately.

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       The first scene
2.       Akshay restructures Sanjana’s cake
3.       The title song and Dil Ibaadat
4.       Akshay’s confrontation with the curator
5.       Sachin Khedekar’s only scene
6.       Akshay and Sanjana’s argument the next day
7.       The intermission point
8.       Akshay and Sanjana in the bus and in cracked building

On the whole, Tum Mile unfortunately doesn’t work in totality. Performances and music were brilliant but the film was too dragged for no reason. But the film doesn’t bore even for a moment and the first half was great. Watch it if you are an Emraan/Bhatt fan!

My rating-** ½ out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Tum_Mile-179553-1.html

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ACTION PACKED: (Above) Fardeen Khan and Dia Mirza; (below) Irrfan Khan

That’s what the total entertainer releasing tomorrow is going to be

SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 8, 2009)


According to Sanjay Gupta, his film Acid Factory that’s releasing nationwide on October 9, is not just an outand-out action thriller — it’s a total entertainer. “When we held a screening, we were surprised to see people laugh. The film’s got black humour which I had not realised earlier and the music is simply superb,” said the filmmaker, who is presenting the film along with Mumbai Mantra, which has entered the big league of B’wood studios with Acid Factory.
“All six actors — Irrfan Khan, Dia Mirza, Fardeen Khan, Aftab Shivdasani, Manoj Bajpayee, Dino Morea and Danny Denzongpa, have added a clear definition to their roles,” said Mumbai Mantra CEO Andrey Purushottam, adding, “Bollywood action has come of age and this film proves just that.”

The one person who had the time of his life working inside this “factory” was director Suparn Verma. “If
the cast and crew, while shooting the scenes, thought that they could have probably died, then let me tell you… they could have! The scenes were dangerous,” said Suparn. There’s not a single place in Cape Town where they’ve not blown a car or had a helicopter chase. “By the time we had completed shooting, the place looked like a war zone,” laughed Suparn, giving all the credit to action director Tinu Verma.

Dia Mirza, who has surprised all with her daredevil acts, said, “I
insisted on doing the stunts myself. I’ve proved that I can kick some butt too!” she said. Irrfan had other reasons for signing the film. He said, “I asked the director, ‘You think this will work, the critics will like the film?’ He said, ‘NO’. So I said, ‘Hell, man, let’s do it’.”

Fardeen is confident that the film will keep audiences at the edge of their seats. “The plot is such that you don’t know what the other person is going to do next,” said the actor.

Gupta summed up his film by saying, “Acid Factory moves at two speeds — fast… and faster!”
sharin.wader@timesgroup.com

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A month and a half back, I had mentioned in my Kambakkht Ishq review as to how it’s disgusting to see so many shoddy entertainers being released this year. But then a week late came the entertaining Sankat City which brought a respite. And Life Partner, released a week back, also manages to entertain and bring a smile, thankfully. This sweet-n-simple film also teaches some lessons on love and marriage. More about it later!

The story of the movie: Karan (Fardeen Khan), Bhavesh (Tusshar Kapoor) and Jeet (Govinda) are three friends based in Cape Town. Karan works in bank and is in love with the ‘untalented’ Sanjana (Genelia D’Souza), a spoilt daughter of a rich man (Anupam Kher). Bhavesh, on the other hand, doesn’t feel the need to date and believes in arranged marriage. He is an obedient son of a disciplinarian (Darshan Jariwala) and has reserved all his romance for his wife. He finally meets the women of his dreams, Prachi (Prachi Desai), daughter of a multi-millionaire (Vikram Gokhale). And Jeet is a divorce lawyer who can convince anyone to get divorced within minutes! In short, he was world’s best divorce lawyer! He doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage at all. He feels that ‘divorce ki sabse badi wajah hai shaadi’! He persuades Karan and Bhavesh and advices them not to fall into the trap of marriage. But they don’t pay any heed and get married to their women. The later part of the film is all about the problems the newly-wedded couples have to face.

Life Partner is executed in a simple manner. The director doesn’t waste time at all in the beginning and comes right to the point. By exploring the lives of Karan and Bhavesh and their marriage, the director throws light on the plusses and minuses of both love marriage and arranged marriage. The film also gives a wonderful insight on the joint family system, headed and controlled by a patriarch. But the film doesn’t turn melodramatic or preachy at a single place. There are also lots of funny moments throughout the film, which help maintain the light mood of the film. Also, the humour content is not slapstick-it manages to raise quite a many laughs!

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The first half is completely funny and has many hilarious sequences. The sequence where Tusshar with his family and Fardeen and Genelia visit Prachi’s palatial residence in India was excellent. The intermission point provides a shock! The second half is all about the problems the couples face. Although Fardeen-Genelia’s look a bit illogical, the scenes of Tusshar and Prachi seemed quite real. As for the climax, well, it was nonsensical but at the same time, it helped to give a film a justified finale. Most importantly, the viewer comes out of the theatre with a smile!

Every actor performs wonderfully. The best part is, Fardeen-Genelia and Tusshar-Prachi look excellent together and share a great chemistry. Fardeen Khan was terrific. He has already proved that he can carry off well in comic capers and his performance in Life Partner confirms it. He wasn’t seen in a single film last year. Before Life Partner this year, he starred in Jai Veeru which failed miserably. He still has three more releases this year-Acid Factory, Dulha Mil Gaya and All The Best and it seems Fardeen’s popularity will once again soar with Life Partner and the forthcoming films!

Genelia D’Souza rocks! Her role required her to be loud and she does it convincingly. She looks stunning throughout the film too, esp in the songs. Tusshar Kapoor got into the skin of the character and performed perfectly. Watch out his amazing expressions and acting in the scene where Prachi agrees to marry him! Prachi Desai, who impressed one and all in ‘Rock On!!’, does a fine job. She gets maximum scope in the 2nd half and does quite well in some of the important scenes.

Darshan Jariwala was excellent as the staunch patriarch. Same goes for Vikram Gokhale. Anupam Kher was okay. Jagdeep was hilarious, even though he was there for just a scene. Himani Shivpuri also provides laugh in just a single scene. Shoma Anand was a perfect mismatch for her role. The film also has Amrita Rao in a special appearance.

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And finally, Govinda is the scene-stealer of the film, although his was a supporting role. The screen brightens as soon as he comes in! He looked cool, uttering his theory on marriage. A great job indeed!

Pritam’s music was good, but not as great as his accomplished works. Songs come at regular intervals but doesn’t hamper the pace of the film. ‘Koyal Kuke’, ‘Aage Aage’, ‘Teri Meri Yeh Zindagi’ and ‘Goonje Angna Mein’ are nicely composed numbers. The Amrita Rao track doesn’t quite work.

Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues were perfect for such a film. The funny one-liners were too good. Yunus Sejawal’s screenplay was just perfect.

Finally, Rumy Jaffrey, the director and writer, manages to come up with a fine film. He doesn’t go overboard in a single scene and none of the sequences in the film (except the climax) looked nonsensical. However, it’s unfortunate to see such a nice film not getting enough audience. The film released simultaneously with Kaminey and got overshadowed by it. Coincidentally, Rumy Jaffrey’s debut film last year, God Tussi Great Ho, was also released in the Independence Day weekend. And it also got overshadowed and flopped as it was released with Bachna Ae Haseeno. Let’s hope Life Partner doesn’t fail commercially too.

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Karan racing with an aeroplane
2.   The song ‘Koyal Kuke’, ‘Aage Aagee’, ‘Teri Meri Yeh’ and ‘Goonje Angna Mein’
3.   Karan making fun of Sanjana behind her back
4.   Bhavesh at Prachi’s residence in India
5.   The intermission point
6.   Bhavesh persuading Prachi to apologize to his father
7.   The washing machine sequence
8.   Bhavesh and Prachi’s honeymoon
9.   Prachi’s father at Bhavesh’s house

On the whole, Life Partner is a sweet and simple film with lots of funny and lovely moments. It also gives some lessons on love and marriage without getting preachy. If you have already seen Kaminey or if you aren’t interested in it, then go and watch Life Partner. And go with your entire family!

My rating-*** ½

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Life_Partner-173420-1.html

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Sanjay Dutt to play a neta in a hard-hitting political expose; hopes it will revamp his image as a politician
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 21, 2009)

Kangna Ranaut

Sanjay Dutt

In all these decades in the industry, Sanjay Dutt has never done a hardcore political thriller. But now that he’s had a taste of netagiri, Dutt is ready for the challenge. This may just work wonders for Sanjay’s career.

Sanjay, who returned to Mumbai after two months of shooting in Cape Town, has set aside all his assignments to act in a new film that promises to revamp his political image.

The untitled thriller, set in real time, will have no songs and frills and only has three main characters who never come face to face.

The  film which will be directed by the Hyderabad-based Mani Shankar (whose last espionage film Mukbiir was critically acclaimed) is about siphoning and laundering of trillions of dollars from India and being placed in unknown locations the world over.

Sanjay Dutt and Irrfan Khan play two government agents from different walks of life who come together to raise Rs 32,000 crore in two hours.

The two-hour thriller will unfold in real time from 11 am to 1 pm.

Even more interestingly, Kangna Ranaut, who teams up with Dutt for the first time, never meets Dutt in the film.

The film, to be produced by Sohail Makhlai, brings back Mani Shankar to Mumbai to team up with Sanjay Dutt with whom he had last done the disastrous Rudra.

Mani, reluctant to reveal anything, says, “I’m under a confidentiality clause. But the film is partly based on what I saw and heard when I was on the staff in the Prime Minister’s office between 1994-1995. As part of his advisory team during my travels all over the world with the PM, I heard things that never left my mind. I knew some day I’d make a film about what I knew from the whispers in the corridors of power.”

The expose, when put on screen, promises to blow the lid off many international financial scandals where India has been involved.

Dutt, of course, is rejoicing. He gets to play a man who takes on the politicians from the inside.

A man threw himself at Neetu Chandra’s car in a drunken stupor in Cape Town on Sunday. Co-stars Sanjay Dutt and Sunil Shetty rushed to help
By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 19, 2009)

Neetu Chandra

Currently in Cape Town, South Africa, for a shoot, Neetu Chandra was in for a terrible shock on Sunday night as a drunk threw himself at her car, injuring himself gravely. Sanjay Dutt and Sunil Shetty, her co-stars in the film, No Problem, rushed to the spot to sort out the matter and soothe Neetu’s frayed nerves.

Our source from the unit of No Problem said, “Neetu was on her way back from the sets to her hotel room on Sunday night when suddenly this drunk lunged in front of her speeding car, crashing against the windscreen.

He was severely injured. Neetu and her driver were in a complete state of shock and she didn’t know what to do. As a crowd started gathering, a crying Neetu called Sanjay to handle the chaos. Sanjay rushed to the spot with Sunil in tow and took stock of the situation. They spoke to the cops and had the injured man sent to the hospital.”

Sunil Shetty and Sanjay Dutt

Anees Bazmee, the director of No Problem confirmed that the accident took place, while Neetu said, “Sunil and Sanjay handled the situation well. I am really thankful to the two. If it were not for them, I wonder what would’ve happened to me. I was so scared on Sunday, that recalling the incident still gives me goose bumps.”

The injured man is currently recuperating in the hospital in Cape Town.

Prachi Desai plays the demure bahu in real life, refuses to shoot a honeymoon scene in a bathtub without a shawl
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 07, 2009)

Prachi Desai

Prachi Desai may be done with the K-serials, but the hangover of the good, coy bahu stays with her. In keeping with her shy, gharelu persona, Prachi was scandalised when asked to shoot a bathtub scene with Tusshar Kapoor for a song in Life Partner in Cape Town. To protect her modesty, she came up with creative suggestions like wearing a shawl (in the bathtub!) and shooting with the bathtub in the background, while she dances in front of it. This could start a whole new trend: fashionable wear for bathing beauties or inspirational uses for bathtubs as never thought of before.

The demure damsel simply put her foot down and refused to shoot unless she was allowed to wear a shawl. An outraged Prachi was cajoled by director Rumi Jaffrey and choreographer Bosco, but she remained defiant.

Rumi Jaffrey says, “We had put up a very exotic set in the open. She is on her honeymoon with Tusshar in that particular scene. So it was natural for me to show that the husband and the wife are enjoying themselves.”

Believers of the method acting school may be amused by the idea of a honeymooning couple shying away from an intimate scene. The drama continued on the sets as Prachi came up with bizarre suggestions. Rumi said, “Prachi said, ‘let’s shoot the song with the bathtub in the background, let’s dance in front of the bathtub.”

Tusshar Kapoor

As for the shawl, Rumi explained, “We gave her a shawl when she was out of the tub. I don’t think she demanded a shawl for herself in the tub, maybe she mentioned it to Bosco. But yes, Prachi Desai was uncomfortable shooting the song, but eventually we managed to shoot it with her in a slightly different version from what we had planned.”

Bet he’s breathing a sigh of relief.

ON A ROLL: Sanjay Dutt
Sanjay Dutt talks to BT from Cape Town on his birthday yesterday

AAKANKSHA NAVAL-SHETYE Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; July 30, 2009)


A quiet and sombre Sanjay Dutt brought in his 50th birthday yesterday at Cape Town in South Africa with wife Maanyata and fellow actors on the sets of Anees Bazmee’s film No Problem. Missing was the family — daughter Trishala and sisters Priya and Namrata, and close friend and Samajwadi Party boss Amar Singh, who is recuperating in Singapore from a kidney transplant. But Suniel Shetty, Akshaye Khanna, Anil Kapoor and Paresh Rawal made up for it with a surprise party. Inundated with calls and messages from friends, fans and well-wishers back home, Dutt told BT from there, “Life has come a full circle for me at 50. I just feel lucky to be celebrating this day with my loved ones.”


At this milestone year in his life, the actor has no intention of slowing down. Apart from the recently released Luck, he has a string of releases due that see him take a break from the usual macho gangster act. From the fantasy flick Aladin — in which he
plays a villainous character — to the underwater treasure adventure Blue. And from the comic caper Chatursingh 2 Star to the intense drama Lamha. Reflecting on the rollercoaster ride his journey has been — right from battling drug addiction to being embroiled in the 1993 bomb blasts case — the actor said, “It’s been a long and tiring journey, but I have no complaints. I have lost and found many amazing people along the way. Each brought their own joys and pain. But each experience has taught me a valuable lesson in life. Not in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined life would turn out to be the way it has. But then that’s what life is all about — unpredictable and enough twists on it’s own.” As for turning 50, Dutt said, “There are times when I don’t feel my age at all, but there are also times when I feel like I have lived and seen more than just these 50 years. But at heart, I’ll always be my mum’s Baba.”


Now, he’s looking forward to his next release, the Amitabh Bachchan-Riteish Deshmukh starrer Aladin. Dutt said, “My character’s called the Ringmaster and it’s a very sinister kind of character.” He’s sung yet again for this film. And, keeping in mind his passion for vrooming mean machines, director Sujoy Ghosh even got Dutt his own batmobile kind of bike. Babes and bike — Sanju’s forever love. “I love bikes, always will. As for babes, I am happy with the only one in my life right now,” laughed the deadly Dutt.

Sanjay Dutt had a great 50th birthday bash in Cape Town, complete with belly dancers, friends in high spirits and emotional speeches
By Ashwini Deshmukh (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 30, 2009)
Although Sanjay Dutt was reluctant to celebrate his 50th birthday as close friend and mentor Amar Singh was not back on his feet after his surgery, his friends across the globe brought his birthday in with a bang. The celebration on Tuesday night was nothing less than a grand affair in Cape Town, South Africa, where the actor is shooting for No Problem.

Naturally, Maanyata played a perfect host, by welcoming the guests and making sure that everybody was comfortable. A source present at the bash said, “It was an extremely private affair with select invitees. Dutt’s close friends like Imran from South Africa, Paresh from Chicago, Mac from LA, Sudesh of Wizcraft and cricketer Graham Smith were present. Among the filmi crowd were Akshaye Khanna and Paresh Rawal, who were shooting in Durban and flew down for the party.”

According to the source, the bash was organised by Sanjay’s friends from Cape Town. The source added, “Everybody was welcomed by a local band after which, they drove down in a black limousine from the hotel to one of the most beautiful lounges, Karma, at Camps Bay.”

Apparently, Akshaye Khanna, was in high spirits after a few drinks and kept hugging Sanjay.

“Apart from dancing to typical Bollywood songs, there were belly dancers too to entertain the guests. Alcohol flowed in plenty while the select menu included a choice of sea food specialties and Sushi. At midnight, Sanjay cut the cake and they partied till Wednesday morning.”

Everyone, including Maanyata, gave a speech in Dutt’s honour.



  • shaziya: Vidhu Vinod Chopra remained unavailable for comment. But we wonder, has he forgotten his Munnabhai Gandhigiri lesson?
  • shaziya: The team of Eros International’s Veer has been looking forward to this day with great anticipation as the mega project finally hits the big screens
  • hitesh patel: glad came to know that we indians have developed something amaging.I urge the govt to take step in making people study who are not financially capable
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