Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘mahesh bhatt

S Balakrishnan | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; December 8, 2009)

Mumbai: Film producer Ravi Kapoor has received a threat from gangster Ravi Pujari for ‘allegedly’ showing his wife in an objectionable manner in his forthcoming film.


Kapoor has produced a film—World Cupp 2011—which seeks to expose cricket matchfixing and the role of the underworld. One of the scenes shows Pujari’s wife consuming liquor and laying bets on a match. Kapoor said he received a call from the elusive Pujari who abused and threatened him. He wanted all references to his wife to be deleted from the movie, failing which he threatened to eliminate Kapoor.


“My maiden movie is based on real-life incidents and it is shocking that the underworld is now censoring Hindi movies,’’ Kapoor said on Monday. “Luckily, I recorded the telephone conversation so I have proof of the threat. I have complained to the crime branch,’’ he added. Pujari is based in an undisclosed foreign location from where he is conducting his operations, said sources. He was earlier with Chhota Rajan, but is on his own now. He has, in the past, targeted director Mahesh Bhatt and noted criminal lawyer Majid Memon.


The film uses the original names of gangsters like Dawood Ibrahim, Chhota Rajan, Ravi Pujari, Chhota Shakeel et al. It also deals with Pujari’s attempt on the life of Bhatt.


“I will reveal the real reason for Ravi Pujari’s boys opening fire on Bhatt. I will also show why Chhota Rajan had attacked drug dealer Amjad Quereshi. I have openly taken the names of underworld figures who are implicated in match-fixing rackets because I want people to know the truth about cricket’’ Kapoor said. Kapoor said he has directed the film himself “as no other director was ready to take up this assignment.’’ He has also referred to big bookies like Shobhan Mehta, Laxmi Thane et al by their original names in the film, which is due for release on December 18.

STILL WAITING: Shabana Azmi and Benazir Bhutto
Asif Ali Zardari wants to personally supervise Indo-Pak co-production

SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 30, 2009)

Is the Benazir Bhutto film with our Shabana Azmi playing the assassinated Pakistan premier called off ? It appears to be after Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir’s husband, called a halt to the Indo-Pak production helmed by Mahesh Bhatt for British-Pakistani author Tariq Ali. Apparently, the reason being given is that Zardari and family want to personally supervise the Benazir bio-pic. Though, politics between India and Pakistan appears to be the case.

Bhatt, who was chosen to produce and direct the film because of his close cultural links with Pakistan, and after making Awarapan in the neighbouring nation, said, “Zardari stepped in to say we must not make the film until we get their nod. We’ve stepped back for now.” However, preparations continue quietly. Shabana, who bears a cultural and physical resemblance to Benazir, and who is working with Bhatt for the first time since Arth, added, “I’d love to do the part. But the project is at a very nascent stage.”
Despite the probe into Mahesh Bhatt’s son’s alleged links with a terror suspect, Basu plans to revive Rahul Bhatt’s acting debut film, Suicide Bomber

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 20, 2009)

The National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) probe on Mahesh Bhatt’s son, Rahul’s alleged links with terror suspect David Coleman Headley have not deterred filmmaker Anurag Basu’s plans.

He is set to revive Rahul’s Bollywood launch, Suicide Bomber.

Confirming the news, Basu said, “I have been missing Bhatt saab and his production house Vishesh Films. I did two films with them, Murder and Gangster, which put me on the filmmaking map. Rahul is a good boy and I owe him a good break in Bollywood.”

Basu was supposed to launch Rahul in Suicide Bomber two years ago. This was long before Basu got busy with Rakesh Roshan’s Kites. “In fact, I was supposed to make Suicide Bomber with Rahul before Life In A Metro for UTV. However, at that point of time, the script about global terrorism seemed premature. However, in the last two years there have been so many films on the subject including New York and Kurbaan. So, reviving Suicide Bomber seems right,” added Basu.

 

Anurag Basu Rahul Bhatt

Besides being fond of Rahul, Basu has another reason to return to the Bhatt camp. He elaborated, “Suicide Bomber is the only film that I co-wrote with Mahesh Bhatt saab. Otherwise, all my scripts have been written solely by me. I certainly want to make the film and that too only with Rahul.”

Some time ago, when asked about his son’s launch, Mahesh Bhatt had also made it clear that he wanted to launch his son with no other film but Suicide Bomber. He had said: “Suicide Bomber is my idea and our company has registered the title. My son has made it clear that if and when he gets into the world of acting it will be with Suicide Bomber. I only want to make Suicide Bomber if the world is ready to hear the so-called enemy’s point of view. If we want to stop the bloodshed we’ll have to hear their voice. My son’s film doesn’t have a happy ending.”

The film is expected to start next year.

WHY PEOPLE DOWNLOAD SONGS?

The current scenario for the music industry is bad. Almost everyone is interested in downloading songs from the internet rather than buying audio CDs. A person may be having a strong word against piracy of movies but not against that of songs available on the internet. And there are various reasons for these-a pirated print of a movie may be of bad quality but pirated versions of songs are always perfect. In fact, there’s hardly any difference in quality in the downloaded version and CD version of a song. Secondly, one has to shell out 160 bucks to buy an audio CD but songs on the net are available for free of cost! Also, the songs are on the net are available on the very day that it is released in the market. Thus, this kind of piracy is thriving and people of all classes are downloading songs and stuffing them in their PCs or their phones and iPods.

TM

The reason why I am talking about this is because of Tum Mile, the film which is releasing tomorrow. The wonderful songs of this film were out some 3-4 days before its official release in the market! Websites like songs.pk proudly mentioned on the home page that ‘Tum Mile-Exclusive’! The news spread like wild fire and its songs got the maximum number of downloads. This, of course, infuriated the director (Kunal Deshmukh), the producer (Mahesh Bhatt) and the music director (Pritam) who felt that this would hit the music sales. Mahesh Bhatt, on the other hand, saw a positive side to this tragedy. In his words, “Pirates have declared Tum Mile music a hit. I guess they know more than everyone else. They got to the consumer even before we opened sales. This pretty much speaks volumes about the kind of excitement that the product has generated over the months. The black-waala’s word is always more reliable than that of the critic!

Notwithstanding the anger and positive side to this incident, no one bothered to ask as to how the songs got leaked to the internet in the first place. Some insider was involved, without doubt. Also, why no step is taken to stop piracy of songs? I feel the biggest reason as to why people download songs is because of the price of the audio CD which costs 160 bucks. Ironically, a VCD of a film nowadays is available at as low as Rs. 40! Then why the hell is audio CD priced so much? It’s high time that the prices are reduced to 50 or 60 bucks and I am sure that this will curb illegal downloading by almost 40-50%. Unfortunately, no one wants to do it.

Talking about the film, it stars Emraan Hashmi and Soha Ali Khan and is based on the July 26 Mumbai floods. It is directed by Kunal Deshmukh, whose first film Jannat took a surprisingly huge opening and became one of the big hits of 2008. Tum Mile is also expected to open huge. But like everytime, it will be the content that would decide whether or not the film would sustain in the following days. Anything that comes from Bhatt stable is always interesting so let’s hope Tum Mile rocks!

P.S.: An interesting joke is being circulated on the net since 3 days. Keeping in mind the sudden showers in Mumbai since Tuesday, the SMS reads, “Now the Bhatts have made it rain to promote Tum Mile!
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AWKWHO WILL WATCH AAO WISH KAREIN?

The other release tomorrow is Aao Wish Karein (AWK), which marks Aftab’s debut as a producer. He has also acted in the film along with Aamna Sharif. It seems more like a kiddie film but unfortunately, like most Hindi films, no attempt was made to publicize AWK well. The film is not on the ‘movies to watch’ list on kids and thus, this would be yet another flop of 2009.
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AJAB PREM-4TH BIGGEST OPENER OF ALL TIMES!

Last Friday’s release Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani has thrown a surprise. No one expected it to open so huge. It is on the no 4 slot of biggest openers of all times after collecting Rs 24.5 crores in 3 days! The first week collections are expected to close at around 41 crores. It may also cross Love Aaj Kal’s first week collect of Rs 42.87 crs which are the highest first week collections of 2009. Kudos to the entire team of this film!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/jgdiortto/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk74

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 07, 2009)

 

Tum Mile

Mahesh Bhatt, who saw Tum Mile earlier this week, was unhappy that it focused more on the disaster than the love story. So, he chopped off 10 minutes of flood scenes. The film is based on July 2005 Mumbai deluge. Bhatt says, “The film did not turn out the way Kunal had visualised it.

The film is not about the disaster, but the love story. I just toned down the disaster scenes to make it more viewer-friendly.”Commenting on the editing that Bhatt did, director Kunal Deshmukh says, “I was dead against cutting some portions of the flood scenes because I thought that they really stood out. Bhattsaab wanted to play up the love angle and I understood his point of view when I saw the film after 10 minutes had been chopped off. I loved the flow.”

Producer Mahesh Bhatt has suggested that director Kunal Deshmukh change the title of Tum Mile just a month before its release

By Ruhail Amin (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 15, 2009)

Tum Mile

Tum Mile is just a month away from its release date, November 13, but that has not stopped producer Mahesh Bhatt from wanting to change the title of his film.

Bhatt feels that the current title makes it sound like a romantic film, which it is not. The film has Mumbai’s July 2005 deluge as its backdrop.

He has suggested Aandhi, Toofan or Rain as the possible options. However, director Kunal Deshmukh is keen on the original title and is trying his best to retain it.

Mahesh Bhatt

Mahesh Bhatt says, “I made a suggestion to Kunal to change the title of the film. The new title should have mass appeal so that more people can relate to the film.

Kunal has his own arguments about Tum Mile being apt, but we will sort out the issue soon.”

The film stars Emraan Hashmi and Soha Ali Khan.

Bharati Dubey & S Ahmed Ali I TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; September 24, 2009)


Mumbai: UTV software and communications, producers of the film What’s Your Raashee? has demanded a compensation of Rs 50 crore each from Adlabs Films Limited and UFO moviez for ‘abetting piracy and infringement of copyright’. Both the parties have been asked to pay up within 7 days.


The masterprint of Ashutosh Gowariker’s yet to be released What’s Your Raashee? was stolen from Adlabs on Monday evening. UTV
in its notice to Adlabs mentioned that in violation of the agreement, the masterprint of the film had been illegally copied on the Adlabs premises and sold to persons engaged in piracy, causing huge damage. The notice also alleged that the illegal activity was possible because of some highly-placed persons employed by Adlabs who gained access to the prints and made copies of it.


In its notice to UFO moviez, the producers alleged that UFO employee Rajesh Chowdhry arrested in the case has also confessed to piracy of the film Aage Se Right. “It is apparent that the entire illegal piracy racket has been able to continue unchecked on UFO premises and that their security system does not provide adequate protection,’’ the notice said. UFO has sacked Chowdhry but officials said that Aage Se Right was not released on the UFO platform.


UTV has also written to all producers and distributors’ bodies to send showcause notices to Adlabs and UFO moviez. Also, a film delegation including producer Mahesh Bhatt, senior vice-president of AMPTPP Vikas Mohan, Yash Chopra, Ratan Jain and Mukesh Bhatt will be meeting joint commissioner Rakesh Maria on Thursday.


Meanwhile, two more officials of two private companies, Neerav Shah (30), the manager of Reliance Big Pictures (overseas distributions) and Nagda Kalapi (29), the head
of the overseas distribution of Shemaroo pictures, were arrested in the case. Kalapi and Shah get a ‘benefit’ of Rs 35,000 to 50,000 per film, said senior inspector Ansar Peerzade. A video-piracy racket was busted on Sunday. Ashraf Hussain alias Afsar, Feroz Khan and Aman Tanzeem Sayyed were arrested in the case. Their interrogation helped the police arrest Durgadas Bhakta, manager, business development of Adlabs and Chowdhry.

An Adlabs spokesperson said, “The incident in connection with What’s Your Raashee is not attributable to us in any manner. The film prints are recorded under the best possible security measures.’’ A UFO spokesperson Charu Sacham said that the company has communicated separately with the producers’ fraternity and assured them that their business interests and intellectual property are of paramount importance.

Pakistani singer Nouman Javaid passed off one of Pritam’s songs in Tum Mile as his creation
By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 21, 2009)

A grab from the music video

Music director Pritam Chakraborty, Mahesh Bhatt and the entire unit of Tum Mile were in for a rude shock when they realised that the film’s unreleased song O Meri jaan sung by Kay Kay is already being marketed as Pakistani singer-music director Nouman Javaid’s song on all prominent music websites. The song also has a music video featuring Nouman. Another shocker was that instead of Pritam getting credit, it was Nouman Javaid who had taken all the credit by speaking at length about ‘his’ song in several interviews.

The story goes that Mahesh Bhatt, who is often known to bring talent from Pakistan, had discovered Nouman who had sung a couple of tracks in Bhatt’s film Jashn. While working on the O meri jaan song, Mahesh suggested that Nouman could be a strong contender to sing the song. The music was sent to Nouman to see if he fits the bill. However, the Bhatts did not find his voice appropriate and recorded the song with singer Kay Kay.

All was okay till a couple of days ago when they heard that just four weeks before the release of the film, the song was doing the rounds on the net. To their shock, they saw the music video on several sites. Mahesh Bhatt immediately called Nouman to give him a piece of his mind and asked him to clearly admit publicly that it is not his song.

Mahesh said, “This is unfortunate for Pritam who had given us an exceptional track for Tum Mile. Nouman has put me in an uncomfortable spot due to his reckless behavior. I would like to say that the music of Tum Mile is 100 per cent Pritam’s.”

“I have always gone out of my way and taken brickbats from people who do not believe in bringing talent from Pakistan. Nouman was exceptional in Jashn and is very talented. But he has disappointed me by jumping the gun too soon. Presenting a video on the net and claiming that it’s yours is not fair. He apologised and said that someone else had made a video and put it online. But when I saw his interviews, I knew that he was not telling me the truth. He assured me that he would go on record to say that the song is not his. I believe he is doing that on his Facebook account.”

Pritam

Nouman Javaid said, “It is a situation which just got out of hand. I want to say on record that the O meri jaan song from Tum Mile is not mine. I have neither sung it nor have I given the music. My relations with Vishesh Films and Pritam are very important to me and I respect them as they are like my family. I had just done the cover version, which is now on the net, for a friend. I have never taken credit for it. It was a fun thing which got leaked on the net and I regret that. Kay Kay is a fantastic singer and I also spoke with Bhatt saab. I repeat that it is not my song.”

Anupam Kher writes from London on his experience of working with Woody Allen on his new film
Posted On August 27, 2009 (MUMBAI MIRROR)

A few months ago, my agent in London, Ruth Young, told me that Woody Allen had cast me in his untitled film as Freida Pinto’s father. That news came to me on May 24, as I was hosting the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the release of my first film Saaransh. No award that I had received in my quarter century in cinema could have made me happier than this bit of news.

Buried as I was with work, the excitement abated only to resurface on August 23, when I was set to go to London for the shoot. It suddenly hit me that I was going to work with someone I had adored and almost worshipped for decades. Then, a strange nervousness gripped me; just like it did during the first day’s shoot of Saaransh. But that was understandable when I was a rookie being directed by Mahesh Bhatt. Now I had acted in almost 400 films. Yet I was nervous.

To understand this reaction, I spoke to my mentor Mahesh Bhatt and asked him how I should behave when I would be on Woody Allen’s sets. Nervous, confident or important? Mahesh said, “Just be the way you are: inquisitive, nervous, and, be yourself.”

I reached London the next morning and was taken for a ‘costume and look’ trial. I was told that Woody Allen would see me the next day as he only meets actors directly on the sets on the day of the shoot. But I pleaded and they reluctantly took me to a holding area near the location. The scene that was being shot was the exterior of a restaurant on a busy street in Notting Hill.

I was introduced to Freida who was warm and turned out to be a great admirer of my work. She introduced me to her co-star, Josh Brolin and I told him that he was brilliant in Milk. I then went out on the crowded street and some Bangladeshis waved to me. But there was an overpowering silence. I was searching for the man who I had seen only in films and whose books I had read and who was my icon. And suddenly I saw him. He was in his trademark beige trousers, light blue shirt and brown shoes. His specs were black. His hair had gone whiter and strangely, he looked taller and larger.

I had never seen anyone in my life who was as focussed as him. For him, the world did not exist, the crowds did not exist. There were no security guards around him. All that mattered was the frame of his shot. Even the crowd sensed his concentration. In respect, passersby moved in silence.

The executive producer was apprehensive, knowing Woody’s reluctance to meet actors in advance. On seeing the waving Bangladeshis, she knew I was as famous in the sub-continent as I had been made out to be and that made her apologetic as well.

There was a gap in the shoot; Woody had turned to his iPhone and was listening with great concentration to some music. The costume girl then walked up to him and showed him my pictures with the ‘look’ and told him that I was on location. I was wondering what his reaction would be.  My tongue was swollen and my mouth was dry.

He turned around and tried to match the face with the picture he had seen. And then, he spotted me and smiled. I tried to portray the confident look of Anupam Kher the veteran of almost 400 films and the winner of many awards. But all I managed was the anxious look that I had when I had watched my first shooting as a 16-year-old in Shimla. That was Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore and Rakhee in Yash Chopra’s Daag.

I wondered if Woody’s smile was out of politeness. But there was warmth in his eyes. I felt as if it took me a year to cover the five feet that separated us and I can vividly remember each step. His grip was firm and before I could say anything, he said, “It is a pleasure meeting you.” I heard myself saying, “I can’t believe it!” Woody insisted and repeated, “I am really am happy to see you!”

I told him I had seen all his movies, and he kept nodding, as he had heard such comments many times in his career. Then he looked at me as if to say, “Can I go back to my work…”

The next day I did my scenes with him and I realised that all what I had experienced as an actor in the decades was not of much use as one could not depend on any one school of acting. In my eye flashed scenes from Annie Hall, Manhattan, Sleeper, Crimes and Misdemeanors…

Suddenly the sun got brighter and the shooting stopped. I asked an assistant the reason and was told that Woody does not shoot in bright light. Imagine, everyone loves to shoot in bright light, save Woody Allen!

I discovered that I had left my camera in Mumbai and decided that it would be a pity to shoot pictures of the occasion on my cell. And as the day ended, Woody was more vocal. I told him that Indian cinema was changing and how we were making the kind of movies we always wanted. His cogent response was that it could only happen when the audience changes. He spoke of his early years in New York when he would watch films by Satyajit Ray and Kurosawa. “But now, it is the time of $200 million blockbusters,” he said.

Later that evening, I bought a camera and clicked some pictures. I also got some books for Woody to autograph and gifted him copies of the Ramayana and the Gita. One of the vintage memories of that day I will carry is when Woody was shooting a scene with lots of people and he wanted, in his typical style, for the camera to move from one speaking person to another. At the end of it, he told his cameraman, “You were a little lost…but I liked the chaos.”

Indeed, working three days with Woody Allen has been my most memorable experience in cinema. And I wish to thank Indian cinema for making all this happen. As I have said in my one-man play, “Kuchh bhi ho sakta hai…” Or, as my grandmother would say, “Allah meherban to gadheda pahelwan!”

Mahesh Bhatt was recently in Pakistan to further the cause to free Sarabjit Singh.
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 14, 2009)

Sarabjit Singh’s daughter holding his photograph

Last week, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt went to Pakistan to meet some prominent social activists, who are fighting against Sarabjit Singh’s death sentence.

Mahesh said, “I was in Karachi for two days. I met a lot of people related to this cause. Sarabjit has already served over 19 years in jail. I think the death sentence should be waived.”

Mahesh recently met Sarabjeet’s sister, Dalbir Kaur, at the Dadar Gurudwara. “When I met Dalbir Kaur, she tied a rakhi on my wrist. She asked me for help, which I gladly want to offer. In Karachi, I met many human rights activists.

I hope my presence in Pakistan helps Sarabjit and his family. Now, I am in Amritsar to meet Sarabjit’s lawyer Owif Sheikh from Pakistan. Dalbir, Owif and I will think about what has to be done regarding this issue,” said Mahesh.

Dalbir Kaur and Mahesh Bhatt at the Dadar Gurudwara

Sarabjit was arrested near the Kasur border in Pakistan in August 1990. He is now in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail.


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