Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘love story

By Nikhil Ramsubramaniam, December 24, 2009 – 18:27 IST

Chetan Bhagat Very few authors have managed to reach out to such a wide audience as Chetan Bhagat. The writer of international bestsellers like ‘5 Point Someone’, ‘One Night @ Call Centre’, ‘3 Mistakes of My Life’ and ‘2 States’ have been widely read and now he is all set to see yet another of his book being made into a film. On the eve of 3 Idiots release, Chetan Bhagat speaks to Bollywood Hungama and talks about why 3 Idiots is a special film, his next big project and lots more.

After ‘One Night @ the Call Centre’, yet another book of yours ‘5 Point Someone’ is all set to be seen in its celluloid version (3 Idiots). How does it feel?
It feels great. This time it’s a far bigger film, the buzz about 3 Idiots is enormous. We have done the right thing by putting the film ahead of us. It’s an incredible feeling to be able to reach out to so many people through the medium of cinema.

Initially I did sit down with Raju and Abhijat while they were deciding to make a film based on ‘5 Point Someone‘. I even went to IIT with Abhijat a couple of times.

The screenplay has been written by Raju Hirani and Abhijat Joshi…Would you have liked to be a part of the screenplay writing process?
Initially I did sit down with Raju and Abhijat while they were deciding to make a film based on ‘5 Point Someone’. I even went to IIT with Abhijat a couple of times. But it was just not possible for me to be involved at every stage of the screenplay writing process since I was in Hong Kong at that time, working full time and busy writing other books. Moreover, Abhijat is based in USA, Raju was in the US for quite a while working on the screenplay but it was not practical for me to do that.

3 Idiots is different from the book but at the same time it does borrow many things from the book. The core theme and message of the film is coming from the book itself.

The question on everyone’s mind is how similar the film is to the book? Raju Hirani says that the film is just 10% of the book….your comments.
I don’t think Raju must have said something like that. In fact I just met him a few days ago and we spoke at length about the film etc. See…’5 Point Someone’ has over the years achieved cult status and has its own loyal fans. I am sure they would like to see each and every moment of the book on the big screen but that is not how the process works. Adapting a book and making it into a film is a relatively new thing in India. The film retains the soul of the book. 3 Idiots is different from the book but at the same time it does borrow many things from the book. The core theme and message of the film is coming from the book itself. And that’s why the makers have officially credited the film as ‘Based on a novel by Chetan Bhagat’

You are but obviously not directly involved with the film and its promotional strategies…does it upset you?
Not at all…at the end of the day I want the film to be a good film and I am happy that a film whose base is generated from my book has generated so much response and is the talk of the town.

Aamir recently was on an innovative promotional spree travelling the length and breadth of the country…what do you think about this marketing strategy?
Chetan Bhagat When you have Aamir Khan, I don’t think anybody else needs to be involved in marketing of the film. Aamir is known for his innovative style of marketing. He will never directly say, ‘Please come and watch my film’ but he will do something that will grab your attention and make you go and watch the film. I am really inspired by his marketing. In fact there is a lesson for a lot of Indian marketing companies on the way Aamir does the marketing of his films.

Moving on from 3 Idiots, how is work coming along on the film based on your book ‘3 Mistakes of My Life’ being made by Excel Entertainment?

I am really inspired by Aamir’s marketing. In fact there is a lesson for a lot of Indian marketing companies on the way Aamir does the marketing of his films.

Abhishek Kapoor (the director) is very conscious of the comparisons that will come between the book and the film and hence we (Abhijit, Pubali Chaudhari and I) are taking great care in writing the screenplay of the film. In fact even today as we speak, I am working on the screenplay of the film based on ‘3 Mistakes Of My life’. We are aware that after Rock On and 3 Idiots, there will be a lot of expectations from people and hence we are working very hard on getting the screenplay right. I think we should be able to finalise it soon and begin casting in a month or so.

Your most recent novel ‘2 States’ was launched a couple of months ago…how has been the response so far?
‘2 States’ has had a fantastic response… easily the best of all the 4 books, that’s because it’s a very universal love story with a good dose of humour. It’s a very good book for a lot of people to relate and enjoy. It also carries a nice message. Especially in the South, the book has done extraordinarily well. I think I have been able to meet my fans expectations which is the ultimate dream for any writer.

2 States‘ has had a fantastic response… easily the best of all the 4 books, that’s because it’s a very universal love story with a good dose of humour.

That book would make for an interesting Bollywood potboiler…any plans to adapt that book into a film too?
There have been many offers but I know that my fans would like me to be involved with only A-grade Bollywood. I don’t want to sell the rights to any filmmaker just for the heck of it. It should go into the right hands so that it emerges as one of the best films of the year

What else are you busy with these days apart from tweeting….the buzz is that you are scripting a film?
Twitter is a great way to stay connected with my fans. Yes…I do want to script a romantic comedy. Abhishek Kapoor has taught me a lot about screenplay writing. The best part about working with Abhishek is that he has shown me how the screenplay language works and also how to use restraint. Rock On was such a film that expressed so much more in spite of being subtle. My books tend to be quite filmy sometimes (laughs). It’s ironical that a filmmaker is telling me to be less filmy but I am forever indebted to Abhishek for teaching me these things about screenplay writing. Now I am hoping that I can do a better job.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

ANY LESSONS LEARNT FROM 2009 MISTAKES?

Overall 2009 was a disappointing period for Bollywood. As what Ak_India mentioned in his DP that only 8% of films succeeded in this year which is very shocking. Many films got a nice opening and were well received by audiences as well as critics. Still, the films were hailed as Flop or Average due to their high costs. And that was one of the biggest reasons behind the debacle of many films. Films like Billu, Delhi-6, Kambakkht Ishq, Kaminey, Wake Up Sid, All The Best, London Dreams, De Dana Dan etc could had been super hits were they not produced and sold for such high prices. The problem of sky-high costs was accelerated by the wrong release time. Due to the producer-multiplex feud, no movies were released in the lucrative April and May period. As a result, as soon as strike ended, films after films started pouring every Friday. Obviously, common man cannot be expected to watch all films that release and thus, many films failed or did low business. For instance, All The Best could had been successful if it had not released with Blue. Aladin would have fared better had it not clashed with London Dreams. Jail would have got lots of audience if it had not released with the super hit Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani.

Unfortunately, there is no concrete solution for the 2nd problem. Due to the strike, there is still a huge backlog that needs to be cleared and hence, in 2010 too, one might find multiple releases on lots of Fridays. But the cost of the film can definitely be cut down and the best solution is that the actors slash their prices. Why do superstars like Akshay Kumar charge 20+ crores? And why do producers agree to pay them? Biggie actors should not be given more than 8 or 9 crores. And if this upsets them, then they should be paid more but only if their film succeeds at the box office. This kind of arrangement would benefit all. Movies that are made for 40-50 crores at present would be finished in less than 30 crores. Thus, such film will have high chances of recovering their costs too.

Sadly, no one is thinking of enforcing such an alternative. And as the chapter of 2009 closes, we could see multiple releases even in the last week. Today (i.e. last day of 2009), 3 small films are slated to release-Raat Gayi Baat Gayi (RGBG), Accident On Hill Road (AOHR) and Bolo Raam (BR). It is obvious that all 3 of these films are going to flop. If only one film had hit the screens today, it would have chances of profiting. But no film will profit in this rat race. Not to forget, the 3 Idiots craze is still going on. Hence, all these films have dug their own graves by releasing today. RGBG looks like a complete entertainer; AOHR may work if it has a well-written climax. BR may be hard hitting but it will surely have lowest collections. When will these people learn?
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MOVIES THAT WILL ROCK IN 2010-PART 1

The following are the films that have big stars and have highest chances of succeeding at the box office. 2 of them are listed below and the rest will be discussed next week [lack of space :( ]:



MY NAME IS KHAN: A winner for sure! Although the film looks serious, it has managed to arouse curiosity. And anyways, the name of Shah Rukh Khan is enough to make almost everyone sit up and take notice. Kajol being paired opp SRK is like an icing on the cake. Also it has talented actors like Jimmy Shergill which, I don’t think, will be revealed in promos till the flick releases on Feb 12. The first look of the film made people assume that it’s based on terrorism. However, it’s not! To quote SRK, “It’s a love story with an epic feel(Bombay Times). MNIK is thus expected to work not only in India but overseas too.

RAAVAN/RAVANA: Mark my words; this one would rock big big time! Unfortunately, when Bolly websites are discussing 2010 biggies, they aren’t mentioning this flick. There are many reasons as to why this film is special. Firstly, it is directed by talented-creative Mani Ratnam who never goes wrong. Secondly, it’s a present day version of Ramayana. And thirdly and the best part, the star cast and the characters that they play are just out of this world! Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays Sita but Abhishek Bachchan isnt playing Rama! Instead, he’s Raavan in the film, i.e. the villain! Southern actor Vikram is Rama! Guess who plays Hanuman? None other than apna Govinda! Just imagine-Govinda in Mani’s film! Cool isnt it? Nikhil Dwivedi and Southern beauty Priyamani completes the main cast. The film is bi-lingual-it was shot in Tamil too but with slight change of cast. Vikram who plays Rama in Hindi version is Raavan in the Tamil version (hats off!). Prithviraj Sukumaran instead is Rama in Tamil version! Aishwariya Rai is acting in both the versions! The film is expected to release in May. Make sure you don’t miss it at any cost!

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY!

(AND WISHING EVERYONE A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!)

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/hdbhmtlmp/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk81

WHO AM I? Shah Rukh Khan as Rizwan Khan


Shah Rukh Khan speaks exclusively to BT about his role in the biggest film of his career

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 29, 2009)

Shah Rukh Khan, the pains and failures of 2009 behind him if not entirely forgotten, is looking forward to the New Year because it brings with it the imminent release and promise of the biggest film of his career (his words, not mine) – Karan Johar’s My Name Is Khan. He’s had a bad year starting with the shoulder injury and surgery, then the uninspiring box-office returns for Billu – his only release in 2009, and finally the humiliating decimation of his IPL team in South Africa. But, as the poet T. S. Eliot famously wrote, “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice”… and SRK, suspect, is secretly hoping that the next voice cinema audiences will listen to is going to be his in 2010. Or rather Rizwan Khan’s, the autistic character he plays in My Name Is Khan, which is slated for a grand bi-lingual worldwide release in February. Actually, the character in this ambitious film suffers from asperger’s syndrome, an autistic disorder whose main symptom is a difficulty in social interaction. It is a role that Shah Rukh, who is notoriously among Bollywood’s least social people, must have slipped into with consummate ease. Over a glass of tea in his vanity van one night late at Mehboob Studios, I asked him whether audiences were ready for another challenged hero after Bachchan with progeria in Paa and, before that, Aamir with dyslexia in Taare Zameen Par. Shah Rukh replied, “Audiences understand what you tell them. People like a good story. And this is a joyous film with a new romantic thought, the journey of an ordinary man. It is a love story with an epic feel. All love stories have obstacles, but the obstacle in My Name Is Khan is real, it happens in everyday life. For me, the film was an opportunity to play a challenged character… bahut maaza aaya!” What he was saying was contrary to public belief that the film is based on terrorism. Shah Rukh scowled. “I don’t know where you got that idea,” he said in exasperation, “yes, it is set in the aftermath of 9/11, and it is heroic without the fighting and screaming, but My Name Is Khan is a heartening and even funny film… even though we didn’t try to make a funny film! I am excited about it as I am about all my films. But this one I’m very proud of. Mainly because I’ve co-produced it with Karan. Also because Kajol and I are acting together after eight years.” He’s not seen a trial of the film as yet to voice an opinion on how well it will do at the box-office. That Shah Rukh never does. Not for his own films nor anybody else’s. In fact, he said he’s hardly seen any of his films completely. “Trials mean analysis,” he explained, “but trial reactions are different from theatre reactions. I don’t make a film for myself, I make it for the story. Besides, I’m shy of myself on screen, I’m not vain, it’s just that I’m not fond of my face or physique. Maybe that’s why I’m an actor – so that I can play someone else.”
Perhaps, he was still in character for the film. Or, maybe, interacting with people is as much a problem for Shah Rukh Khan in real life as it is for Rizwan Khan in reel. “I’m not antisocial,” he protested, “I’m a quiet person, strangely reclusive, I’m not as confident as you think I am. I have issues. I’m thankful to Allah… to be not so gifted and have all this. It may sound pompous, but I’m great enough to be humble, I’m very happy when people say ‘SRK’s the best’… there is a sense of achievement, I’m happy by what I’ve done, but humble enough to know it’s not because of me. Yet put me on stage, say, at Salt Lake Stadium before a million people and I will comfortably entertain you for an hour. As long as I’m an entertainer, I have no problems. It’s when I’m Shah Rukh Khan that the problems arise. I’m a fun guy… yet my kids enjoy their mother’s company more.”

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.”

The music of My Name is Khan releases today. Karan Johar tells us five things that everyone wants to know about the film

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 16, 2009)



• How long do you plan to work only with Shah Rukh Khan considering that actors have a limited shelf life, unlike directors?

I have never worked without him and I have no clue what the experience will be like. I do my best work when Shah Rukh is on the sets as there is this tremendous sense of comfort when he is around and I feel that everything will be fine and fun on the sets. I think I will be working with him for the rest of my life as we have this special connection not only personally but also professionally. We understand each other very well, he is a member of my family and vice versa.

• Don’t you think that right now the audience wants to watch entertaining films while yours is a serious film?

Well, I don’t know as I never calculate anything as far as creativity goes. I know that I have made a film with my heart, soul and a lot of passion. My entire team- SRK, Kajol, Ravi Chandran, Shibani, Deepa, Sharmistha and everybody else- has really toiled to make it a soulful venture. I firmly believe that emotions are universal and I know that when they connect with the audience, it works. There is no such thing as an entertaining or a serious film; there are good films and bad films. Good films will always find a vast audience.

• Your last film Kurbaan had a terrorism backdrop and was promoted as a love story, which clearly did not work. Do you plan to have a different strategy for the promotion of My Name is Khan?

There is nothing about terrorism in Khan. It is a soulful emotional journey about a man who is all for love and that’s exactly how we are promoting the film. I certainly have no idea why the rumours about terrorism in Khan are doing the rounds.

• My Name is Khan releases on February 12. Do you think it’s the ideal release date considering its Valentine’s Day week and youngsters would want to see a romantic film?

Absolutely! Khan’s core content is a love story. The entire journey is the love story between Rizwan and Mandira, my protagonists. What better time than the Valentine’s Day week for the release of this love story about two people who go through so much in life for love.

• My Name is Khan will have the biggest release till date, even overseas. Do you think it’s the right strategy?

We have a great partnership with Fox Searchlight and it is their strategy to have a platform release, which is what they call such a release. They believe that My Name is Khan has a market way beyond what’s expected and it is their strategy to break certain boundaries of exhibition for this film. They have full faith in the film and I hope their faith pays off. The real work for any filmmaker stars after he finishes directing a film. I spent two years making the film but most of my efforts for the next two months will go in the promotion, marketing and connecting with the audience.

Premiere league

My Name is Khan will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on February 12. It is expected to be screened at one of Berlin’s most important locations, Potsdamer Platz. Incidentally, it is the first Indian film to be premiered in Berlin.

MOVIE TALK: Kareena Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor and (inset) Boney Kapoor.
If Boney Kapoor’s plans and wishes come true…

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 12, 2009)

Call it a cruel twist of fate. Call it a publicity gimmick. Call it what you will. But listen to this. Producer Boney Kapoor has a plan. He is contemplating the release of his Kareena Kapoor-Shahid Kapoor film Milenge Milenge on Valentine’s Day next year. According to a trade source who has been consulting with Boney on the release plans, “Boney, his director Satish Kaushik and other top executives clearly feel that no date is more suited to this film than Valentine’s. Even some distributors are in agreement.”

Meanwhile, Shahid and Kareena have clearly moved on. It is not even known whether they will come together for the promotion of Milenge Milenge or whether they will promote it individually. But it is true, on Valentine’s Day youngsters flock to see a love story and Milenge Milenge is reportedly a beautiful screen love story.
There is more. Trade circles believe that Jab We Met worked because Shahid and Kareena had split before the actual release of the film. “There is more magic to a screen couple that is not romantically involved in real life,” says the source. “So Milenge Milenge stands a good chance.” Boney confirmed he is releasing his film in February. “I’m hoping for a mid-Feb release,” said the jovial filmmaker. “However, I’m not involved in all these release strategies that people are talking about. I have a team working on the release pattern. If it coincides with Valentine’s Day, then so be it.” He’s also hoping that Kareena and Shahid being professional actors, will do their best to honour whatever commitment is expected of them. May St. Valentine make his wish come true for him.

LOOKING AHEAD: Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in the film
Karan Johar is unperturbed by mixed reactions to his recent film

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 28, 2009)

Dharma Productions’ Kurbaan with Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in the lead definitely got people across the globe to sit up and take notice of it. Rensil D’Silva’s cross-genre flick that is a love story set against the backdrop of terrorism came in for a mixed view from its audience. However, Karan Johar is not shaken. “I know exactly what I’m doing,” says Bollywood’s prolific and progressive producer. He admits that his banner has in the past been associated with candy floss cinema. But from the start of 2009, Dharma is emerging as a formidable force, and has been making dramatic departures from its safe zone. Says Karan, “With Kurbaan, we did make a complete departure from what we have earlier been doing. Whether it was Dostana or Wake Up Sid, we’ve been dabbling in different genres.” He says that even those films were closer in texture to what he has been doing in the past — like a Kabhie Khushie Kabhi Gham or a Kal Ho Na Ho. “But,” adds Karan, “in the case of Kurbaan, we moved away completely to address a serious issue. And, when we did that, we were well aware that we were treading on a new path. Reactions to the film may be mixed. However, it is my endeavour to raise the bar with each film that I undertake. And, to also make globally relevant cinema.” Of the firm view that the West is watching not only our economic progress but also taking interest in our cinema, Karan feels that, “Sometimes such cinema may not exactly get the box office that one hopes for, but that certainly doesn’t shake my faith in this genre of film.” KJo also feels that the synergy between him and UTV Movies with whom he associated for Wake Up Sid and Kurbaan is truly gratifying in that both production houses are invading a similar cinema space. And have a similar thought process. “UTV produced some of the most amazing films in the last couple of years,” says Karan. “From a Mumbai Meri Jaan, Aamir, A Wednesday, Jodhaa Akbar, Wake Up Sid, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and now Kurbaan — it has consistently backed progressive and meaningful cinema.” And while he will delve into relevant issues like terrorism and autism next (in My Name Is Khan), Karan will keep up the quintessential date movie like I Hate Luv Stories, a fun caper like Dostana-2 and the remake of the Hollywood flick Step Mom. No matter what, Dharma is a banner on a mission. They will never veer away from good cinematic content — be it realistic or pure fantasy. meena.iyer@timesgroup.com

The most-awaited film this year, Kurbaan has turned out to be a turkey. We speak to trade analysts and industry insiders to gauge what went wrong with the film
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 24, 2009)


2009 has been a very bad year for UTV. After three films — What’s Your Rashee?, Main Aur Mrs Khanna and Kaminey — failed to set the cash registers ringing, they were heavily banking on Karan Johar’s Kurbaan, directed by Rensil D’Silva.

But their hopes of having a hit were dashed with Kurbaan proving to be a turkey at the box-office.UTV had bought the film from Karan for about Rs 50 crore and released it across 1,700 screens.

One could understand if the audience gave it a thumbs down after watching it. However, the shocker is that the film didn’t even get a good opening when it released on November 20. Despite being a solo release, it barely managed 35 per cent occupancy on the first day. The box-office collections thereafter have been far from encouraging, flattering reviews from film critics notwithstanding.

Endorsing the fact that the film did not register more than 40 per cent collections in its first three days, trade analyst Amod Mehra says, “Shockingly, the collections on Sunday were even less than that on Friday and Saturday. The film is a big blow to Dharma Productions and UTV. “

Mehra adds, “People are not interested in seeing terrorism any longer. New York did fairly well but that’s because it wasn’t publicised as a film based on terrorism. It looked like a very youthful film with fun elements by John and Katrina. The entire publicity of Kurbaan was wrong. If the heroine of Kurbaan doesn’t want her mother to see her steamy scenes with her boyfriend, how can one go with family members to see such a film?”

Distributor Ramesh Sippy says cautiously, “I don’t want to make any assessment. But yes, Kurbaan has not lived up to its expectations.”

We also spoke to some of the theatre officials. Manoj Desai (of Maratha Mandir, Gaiety-Galaxy) says, “I registered 80 per cent collections on the first three days whereas it did not go beyond 40 per cent in other theatres. However, the collections have nosedived since yesterday. Koi picture dekhne ke liye tayyar hi nahin hai. The overall feeling is that it’s a very serious and cruel film.”

An official from Cinemax, Andheri, says, “We had expected that this film would rake in around 85-90 per cent collections. But from day one, we knew that it wouldn’t be a hit. First day, we registered only 40-45 per cent collections. People have not related to the film, it has no repeat value. On Saturday and Sunday, we recorded only 50 per cent ticket sales.”

Vikram Varma, Fun Republic, communications manager, says, “We recorded 35 per cent in the first three days. But today (Monday), we only have 15-20 per cent occupancy. I think that too many films were released in the past few weeks and this has adversely affected Kurbaan.”

We then spoke to the public to find out why they haven’t gone kurbaan over Kurbaan. 23-year old Eka Lakhani from Lokhandwala says, “I was dying to see Kurbaan as I had heard a lot about it. The film started very well, but soon I realised that there was neither any love story nor any terrorism track. Kareena and Saif got lost in the second half and I had to look for their scenes together. The terrorism part wasn’t explained well either.”

34-year-old Menka Chandiramani from Seven Bungalows says, “I was quite impressed by Kareena and Vivek’s acting but the film hasn’t stayed with me. It had nothing new to offer. Moreover, I wonder why there was so much brouhaha about Kareena and Saif’s sex scenes. We have seen much more than this in Hindi films.”

The director of Kurbaan, Rensil D’Silva, put up a brave front. He says that people are trying to bring down his film. “That happens with every new film. But you know, I am getting a lot of calls and text messages from people whom I don’t even know saying that they have enjoyed my film. I am basically a creative guy. The best people to talk about this will be the distributors of Kurbaan (UTV).” However, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, CEO of UTV remained unavailable for comment.

Karan’s first film with UTV, Wake Up Sid raked in average returns but failed to be a profit-making proposition. And the audience’s thanda response to Kurbaan has only made things worse for Dharma and UTV.

TM

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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By Taran Adarsh, November 13, 2009 – 11:17 IST

In TUM MILE, a couple faces two storms. The storm within, when they come face to face after their breakup. The storm outside, when a natural calamity strikes Mumbai on 26th July, 2005 [unprecedented rainfall devastated Mumbai on this date].

After JANNAT, director Kunal Deshmukh [KD] chooses a love story yet again. It’s about an estranged couple, but the wallpaper in TUM MILE is the Mumbai floods. Naturally then, the expectations from TUM MILE are colossal, given the fact that TUM MILE is the first film that attempts to chronicle the natural calamity on celluloid, with seriousness.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Had KD limited himself to narrating the ups and downs in a live-in relationship, TUM MILE may’ve struck a chord. But if you’re attempting a disaster movie [its promotions send out strong signals], you’d be eager to know how KD recreates the horrors of 26th July on celluloid. Let’s not forget, the catastrophe is still etched in our memory and has tremendous recall-value.

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While KD succeeds in depicting the tiffs between the lovers, it’s the disaster aspect that doesn’t make much of an impact. That’s because you strongly feel that the infamous Mumbai floods should’ve been given more prominence, instead of using it as a tool to take the story forward.

26th July, 2005 rang an ominous bell for most, but amidst all the chaos and the tragedy, it re-united two star-crossed ex-lovers.

Two people [Emraan Hashmi, Soha Ali Khan] meet after a hiatus of six years. What starts off as a seemingly innocuous encounter on the same flight back to Mumbai, ends up as a rollercoaster ride through some of the darkest hours of Mumbai, as they see the city get swamped with disaster and loss… and are forced to stick together in this time of crisis.

26th July, 2005 remains etched in your memory and I’m sure, every Mumbaikar would’ve a story to tell vis-à-vis what transpired with them or their beloved/relatives/friends/acquaintances on that fateful day. TUM MILE also highlights the dilemma of a couple, who once shared a beautiful relationship, but have moved on in life after they split, till they meet again on 26th July.

Opposites attract and so do Emraan and Soha in TUM MILE. Although their story goes back and forth several times, the narrative doesn’t confuse the viewer one bit. So far, so good.

But the problem lies in integrating the natural calamity with the love story. Even if you’re a non-Mumbaikar, you’d vividly recall the images that were flashed on news channels continuously or perhaps, you may’ve watched the footage on internet. But in TUM MILE, the nature’s fury doesn’t come across strongly or effectively. In a few scenes, yes, you do draw parallels with real life, but the impact it ought to make is just not there. Something is amiss!

KD has handled the love story very well. The tiffs between Emraan and Soha are so identifiable. The ‘Dil Ibaadat’ song in particular completely moves you. But how one wishes the film would’ve focussed more on the characters’ attempts to escape or cope with the disaster or its aftermath.

Pritam’s music is melodious to the core. The cinematography does justice to the beauty of South Africa [romantic portions] and also during the flood sequences. But the usage of stock footage, at places, doesn’t work. The computer graphics could’ve been better and more effective.

Emraan takes giant strides as an actor. He continues to surprise in film after film. Grossly under-rated despite having delivered competent performances in the past, here’s hoping that people wake up to this talented actor after TUM MILE. Like Emraan, Soha too has evolved into a truly fine actor and TUM MILE proves it. The best part is, Soha is extremely natural and that’s what makes her sequences so believable.

Sachin Khedekar is there for just one sequence. Mantra, as Emraan’s friend, is confident.

On the whole, TUM MILE caters to the youth mainly. At the box-office, the Vishesh Films – Emraan Hashmi combo has cultivated a strong fan-base over the years and coupled with good music, which is also very popular, the film should find itself in the comfortable zone. However, the super-strong opposition in 2012 [also highlighting a disaster on celluloid and which has had a wide release in India] might eat into its business at places.



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