Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘crisis

IT’S TIME TO REJOICE!

Although 2009 is considered as a black year for Bollywood, the last 3 ½ months have proved to be profitable not only for producers, distributors and exhibitors but also for viewers. There were at least half a dozen commercially successful films like Wanted, Wake Up Sid, All The Best, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, De Dana Dan and Paa. Also, flops like Dil Bole Hadippa, What’s Your Raashee?, Do Knot Disturb, Blue, London Dreams, Tum Mile, Kurbaan etc did manage to bring audiences to theatres in its first 3 days of release. Also, we got two Hollywood blockbusters, 2012 and Avatar. And tomorrow’s release 3 Idiots is expected to be the biggest hit of 2009. This Aamir Khan flick is been given one of the widest releases. If all turns out to be well, 3 Idiots may become the biggest blockbuster ever, breaking even Ghajini’s record (which at present is the biggest Bollywood hit).

People are coming to theatres. So many movies are running successfully. Unfortunately, no is celebrating it and no trade analyst is coming forward to discuss about it. Ironically, during bad times, every producers, distributor and trade pundits will come forward and state as to ‘how our industry is going through a crisis’. Somehow, we have become more negative in our approach. We love to live in bad times! Come on guys, pop the champagne and enjoy the good time!

TICKET RATES INCREASED FOR 3 IDIOTS


Watching 3 Idiots shall turn out to be an expensive affair. Knowing that people are going to come for sure to watch this Aamir Khan flick, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and the distributors of the film have urged multiplexes and single screens across the country to increase the ticket rates for 3 Idiots. Even morning shows which had a meager price of Rs 60 or 80 is now sold for 160 or 180 and even 200 bucks. A prominent multiplex in South Mumbai (Inox, Nariman Point) takes away the cake by charging Rs 290 for the 11:30 am show! And for the evening and night shows, the least said, the better!

Surprisingly, hardly any Bollywood intellectuals have spoken against this unfair practice. All of them are concerned only with the problem of piracy. Why? Because it concerns them-they face huge losses because of pirated DVDs. And they don’t need to care for the inflated ticket prices since they can either afford it or they get to see films free of cost in preview screenings!

But all of them have failed to see the point that one of the biggest reasons for piracy is the expensive ticket rates. Reducing the ticket prices will automatically reduce piracy to a certain extent. But instead of applying this idea, ticket rates are increasing, thus giving a boost to piracy. Producers and distributors are only concerned with extracting maximum profits. And when viewers shun theatres due to high prices, they will again come up with ‘industry going through crisis’ stuff when the fact is that they only created the situation in the first place! Very very sad!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/chfdltslp/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk80

By Taran Adarsh, December 18, 2009 – 16:18 IST

Indians are passionate about cricket. Am also sure you must’ve encountered a number of cricket fanatics over the years. Most film-makers dread to release their films during crucial matches, fearing that a sizable chunk of moviegoers would prefer to watch a match than a movie.

This year, we’ve had VICTORY [Harman Baweja, Amrita Rao] and DIL BOLE HADIPPA [Rani Mukherji, Shahid Kapoor] focusing on this popular sport. Prior to that LAGAAN, IQBAL and JANNAT. Now WORLD CUPP 2011. Unfortunately, WORLD CUPP 2011 neither excites you as a cinematic experience, nor does it whip up those passions.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Ravi Kapoor essays the captain of the Indian cricket team, who tanks a match with the help of his team-mates against arch rivals Pakistan in World Cup. They are banned for four years when exposed by the media. His girl-friend Soha [Manisha Chatterjee] dumps him and his family disowns him.

Cut to 2011. Ravi is given one more chance to prove his patriotism by the coach [Suresh Oberoi]. Ravi is again approached by the same bookie [Zakir Hussain] to repeat the same performance once again, but this time he turns the offer down. His girl-friend is kidnapped. Ravi goes through a crisis before he wins the World Cup trophy.

WORLD CUPP 2011 falls flat due to a weak script. The film tries to explore the unholy nexus between cricketers-bookies-underworld, besides the rise-fall-rise of a cricketer, but the writing is so amateurish that it doesn’t hold your attention. Perhaps the intentions were right, but not the final output.

Debutante writer-director Ravi Kapoor may’ve borrowed from real-life, but several portions seem unpalatable. Like, for instance, the ease with which the captain of the Indian cricket team and even the umpire interact with underworld dons while the final match is in progress seems bizarre.

Talking of acting, Ravi Kapoor has screen presence, but needs to work on his acting skills. Prem Chopra, Suresh Oberoi and Zakir Hussain are passable.

On the whole, WORLD CUPP 2011 is a weak fare.

BOLLYWOOD CALLING: Loveleen Tandon
Slumdog Millionaire’s Loveleen Tandon, who’s set to direct a film

ROSHNI K OLIVERA (BOMBAY TIMES; November 24, 2009)

It wasn’t just Anil Kapoor or the cute couple Dev Patel and Freida Pinto who catapulted to international fame with Slumdog Millionaire. It was also a pretty face that emerged from behind-the-scenes. That’s Loveleen Tandon, who co-directed the movie with Danny Boyle. But she has kept a low-profile for a while now. “Yes, I have literally been hibernating in Delhi,” smiled Loveleen, who was in Mumbai recently. “I have been busy with my film script. That’s a full time job.” The only time she took a break was when she was invited to meet the Queen and the Duke to the Buckingham Palace last month. And the Mumbai trip for Eve Ensler and Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal’s play I am an Emotional Creature, where she read the epilogue. “It’s a great co-incidence that Eve’s play is quite similar to my script, the story of a young girl, her desires, emotions and the pressures on her,” says Loveleen, who plans to start her movie next year. Getting good actors shouldn’t be difficult, she believes because “script is the queen.” As she puts it, “People are always on the lookout for a good script. Whether it’s actors or producers, nobody says no to a good script.” All credit for Slumdog’s apt casting goes to Loveleen, but she wasn’t just the casting director for the film, as some initially thought. “That wasn’t the only thing I was doing. Casting is a part of the bigger scene, part of the larger vision,” she says.


Matching Slumdog’s heights is not going to be easy and comparisons are bound to be there, but that isn’t putting any pressure on her. “I’m someone who thrives on pressure. I thrive on tension, crisis, less time and deadlines. It brings out the best in me,” counters the pretty filmmaker. One question Loveleen’s often asked is, if her film is going to be an international venture, and this baffles her. “You just make a film. Whether it becomes a hit in a city or a country, two countries or five is beyond you. Crossover, international, mainstream, commercial, art… are just tags.”

Refer to Mira Nair, who Loveleen assisted on Monsoon Wedding, and she points out, “She lives abroad. She comes from a different space. I live in India. This is my speciality. I can’t relate to the NRI experience. May be some day in the future, but at the moment, mine is the Indian experience. It’s unique; there’s a strong element of traditional and modern ethos… perfect material for movie making.”

What about criticism regarding Slumdog highlighting only poverty in India? “Films are stories, they are not documentaries meant to highlight any aspect of society. You can only tell a story and tell it well. If it’s a boy from the slums, you have to tell it from that perspective. You can’t glamourise or glorify it.”

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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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While London Dreams was planned on a lavish scale, recession forced director Vipul Shah to reconsider costs. His leading stars Salman and Ajay opted for a 25 per cent pay cut, instead of compromising on the film

By Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 13, 2009)

When Vipul Shah took over London Dreams from Raj Kumar Santoshi at the behest of Salman Khan, the film was hot property because these two actors were coming together after a gap of 10 years. They were last seen in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Also, the Bollywood market was booming.

In fact, Vipul had an offer of Rs 120 crore from a film corporation for the worldwide rights even before he had finished shooting. However, the deal fell through because a few days after Vipul had negotiated this deal, the global economy turned shaky.

It is said that Vipul (thanks to three hits – Ankhein, Waqt and Namastey London) was to get a director’s fee that was to the tune of Rs 10 crore plus. Both his leading men Ajay Devgan and Salman Khan were also to get big money.

Now news has it that both Salman and Ajay have voluntarily agreed to take a 25 per cent fee cut; and Vipul has waived his complete fee.

When asked to confirm this report, Vipul says, “Yes, this happened sometime at the end of 2008. When the global economy crashed, all of us on board London Dreams – that is Salman, Ajay, my senior technicians and staff sat down and said, ‘We have a choice to either go ahead and shoot the film on the lavish scale that we had envisioned it; and take a pay cut ourselves. Or we had to cut corners.'”

Vipul explains that with the shooting planned in Paris, London and Punjab, the expense was very high. However, both his leading men immediately agreed to take a pay cut. He says, “They told me to go ahead and make the film on the scale that I had envisioned, and they would be willing let go of a part of their fees.”

Vipul adds, “I guess that night we bonded best. There is a saying that when you bond during a crisis, the bonding goes deep. That is what happened with Salman, Ajay and me.”

Incidentally, Raj Kumar Santoshi shot for just one day of London Dreams with Salman Khan at the Golden Temple, Amritsar, before Vipul took over and made it into an altogether new film.

And Santoshi allegedly spent a large sum on that one day’s shoot, which has now been scrapped.

That should give an indication of the scale on which this film was planned.


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