Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Rakta Charitra

The actor is getting appreciated for his role in Kurbaan

By TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; November 30, 2009)


A few days back, Vivek Oberoi was woken up at 6 in the morning with an SMS. It was a text message from his Kurbaan co-star Saif Ali Khan, praising Vivek Oberoi him for his work in the film.

“I’ve craved for this kind of appreciation,” admits Vivek candidly, “I wanted people to see me for my work and not have a coloured perspective because of whatever’s transpired in the past.”

The actor’s gone through his share of trouble, both personally and professionally. “One thing I’ve learnt is that it’s easier to deal with failure than to deal with success. If you don’t know what to do with success, then you lose the plot. Success had gone to my head. I was surrounded by people who kept pushing me in the wrong direction and I kept going there, and when it finally hit me, I was like, how did this happen?

Vivek Oberoi

Those four-five years were just a blur, then to understand and recover from that took time,” he says, wisened from the experience.

But yes, there were times when he was completely down in the dumps too. “There was a time when I felt that everything I did was going to backfire. It was difficult to keep my sense of reason or humour at a time like that. One day, I was really upset and my mom asked me what’s wrong. I said I just feel completely lost — there was so much professional and personal upheaval. Then she pulled out a copy of one of my first interviews during Company and said ‘start here’. I read that and realised this is what I was,” he recounts.

The journey to recover started with Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara and life seems to have taken a turn for the better since then. His performance in Kurbaan has been appreciated and the actor’s looking forward to Prince — It’s Showtime, where he plays a slick, stylish thief and his mentor Ram Gopal Varma’s Rakta Charitra.

Vivek realises he has been given a second lease in his career. “I think in my seven years, something I have realised pretty late is the value of opportunity. What stands between me and a lot of talented actors is a platform that Mr Varma gave me, and the second time around, I got it with Kurbaan. Then I’ve got Kumar Taurani backing me with a big film and it’s a dream to be working with my mentor Ramu again,” he says.

The smile on his face says it all when he adds, “I’ve realised the whole idea of carrying grudges, negativity, anger, hatred and enmity just bogs you down. I’m at peace now. When I started out, it was more of a high, right now, I’m humbled.” So Vivek’s finally grown up? He’s quick to answer, “I’ve a better understanding of who I am now.” That’s more than what most would say.

Vivek Oberoi on love, life and a fresh innings in Bollywood

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 27, 2009)


• You have got some good reviews for your role in Kurbaan.

Yes. I have not stopped smiling since the film’s release. At one of the trials, Bebo (Kareena Kapoor) and Saif (Ali Khan) did tell me that I was good in the film. Then Karan (Johar) and Rensil (D’Silva)also told me the same thing. I had not seen the film till then as I was shooting in Hyderabad. It was a nice feeling when Karan told me ‘finally you make me proud.’ I saw the film just a day before its release and I had knots in my stomach. I was very nervous but I was with people who have always been kind to me. There were Shah Rukh and Gauri, Imran and his fiancée Avantika, Yash uncle, Davidji (Dhawan). They all hugged me and said I was good.

• Why have you not done a romantic film after Saathiya?

Honestly, I really don’t know. Kurbaan has got a romantic track but Mission Istanbul and Shootout At Lokhandwala had zero romance. I have not done an out-and-out romantic film and I am really looking forward to doing one.

• People are saying that you have changed and that you want to leave the controversies behind and concentrate only on your work.

I wanted this for a really long time. However, after Shootout… things did not fall in place. Almost four years ago, when I did Omkara, I saw Saif getting under the skin of the character Langda Tyagi. I loved the work ethics. That’s when I thought that I should stop doing what I was doing, but I had a backlog to finish. Then my close friend Amit Chandra sat me down and helped me streamline my life so that I could practically achieve what I was trying to. Now, I have learnt not to take anything for granted.

• How did Ramu and you patch up?

I don’t think patch up is the right word as we were never at loggerheads. I will never have the audacity to say anything against Ramu and as an artiste, I will always be indebted to him for giving me Company. But when he called me and told me ‘I will never work with you again’, I was shocked. Now, when he called me and said that he had something for me, I was so happy. When I met him, he said that he could see the same passion in my eyes again and gave me Rakta Charitra. I felt exactly the same on the first day of Rakta Charitra that I felt on the first day on the sets of Company. Ramu made me feel so comfortable.

• You have done some amazing stunts in Prince, something which you are not known for.

Yes. Kookie Gulati is quite a whiz kid. I did so many things that I cannot possibly explain — right from learning how to skateboard, doing parkour, learning cable work, to action training. I had to put so many things into my system that after the training session, things became easier.

• You have said that you are done with apologising to people.

I made a mistake and it is human to make mistakes. Personally, I think it’s humbling and it’s also building character to stand up and say I made a mistake and please forgive me. It is always an ego-based thing to say that why should I apologise. It is a real man who can say ‘I am sorry’ and that too in public. I have said sorry to the assistant director whom I was rude to, I have said sorry to the movie star whom I had a fight with and I even said sorry to the director I snapped at.

In the process of eliminating handful of terrorists, we end up creating many more-this best describes the policies of Western developed powers who are hell bent on making the world more democratic but adopt inhuman ways to achieve the end point. Kurbaan throws light on this sensitive topic and thankfully treats it well. The flick throws a spate of questions and forces you to think, discuss and debate. But it doesn’t get preachy and hence it’s not like one of the several films on terrorism that are made for a niche audience. The film is thrilling, has some wonderful twist-n-turns and includes some moments of love and passion too. All this make Kurbaan one of the finest films of the year-one that can’t be missed!

The story of the movie: Ehsaan Khan (Saif Ali Khan) takes the job of a teacher in a university in Delhi where he comes across a psychology teacher, Avantika (Kareena Kapoor). He instantly falls in love and she also ends up liking him. But unfortunately, she’s called back to New York where she originally belongs. Realizing that it would be wrong to have a long-distance relationship, Ehsaan also moves to NYC with Avantika. But before that, they marry. After moving to New York, they buy a new house in a neighborhood full of Asians, conservative Muslims to be precise. The neighbours invite Ehsaan and Avantika for dinner so that they can get familiar with each other. Soon, Avantika realizes that things are not fine in the neighbourhood as they seem and finally, realization dawns upon her-she has been as used as a pawn in a dangerous game.

The beginning 20-25 minutes focuses on Saif-Kareena’s courtship and may not impress. It was the weakest part of the film and wasn’t treated well. But thinks take a good turn with the song Shukran Allah and when the couple shifts to New York. The film engrosses from the scene where the neighbours invite them for dinner. From this sequence, the film turns into a roller coaster ride with lots of unpredictable turns. The entry of Riyaaz (Vivek Oberoi) in the narrative adds to the icing on the cake.

The intermission point was brilliant and fortunately, unlike other films, Kurbaan doesn’t fall or gets slow in the post-interval portions. In fact, the 2nd half also keeps you hooked onto your seat. A number of sequences are memorable in this hour. Kirron Kher sharing the tragic story astonishes you and Kher’s mind blowing performance only enhances the impact. Same goes for the scene where Saif is nursing the wound with little help from Kareena after getting hit by a bullet. The way the blood tickles down and the way Saif screams-man, it gives goosebumps!

The last 30 minutes of the film is undoubtedly the best portion of the film. The tension that is created in the climax and the engrossing and captivating direction is truly appreciable. The film ends on an acceptable note.

Regarding the flaws, as mentioned before, the first 20 mins doesn’t work. Also, the film is full of violent and gory scenes which might not be liked by some sections. And the editing wasn’t upto the mark. More about it later!

Kurbaan is a rare film where the cast and most of the crew have worked exceptionally well in all respects. Saif Ali Khan was outstanding in his role. He looked dapper in his new look and performance wise, doesn’t provide even a miniscule chance of complain! Thus, Kurbaan can safely be added to the list of ‘finest performances of Saif’. This year has been particularly lucky for Saif with his home production Love Aaj Kal being a super hit and now even Kurbaan has been appreciated. His next Agent Vinod with Kareena is also expected to rock! Way to go Saif!

Kareena Kapoor has exposed as minimal as possible and still managed to look stunning. She’s always been delivering fine performances and in Kurbaan too, she does a perfect job. Watch out for the scenes where she discovers that she has been used and in the climax. She proves once again as to why she’s one of the top actresses today! Great going!

Vivek Oberoi steals the show with his wonderful act. In fact, his acts impact more than Saif-Kareena at several points in the film. Audiences as well filmmakers would surely sit up and take notice of this highly talented actor who was neglected in the past due to many reasons. He is expected to shine in his next films, Prince and Rakta Charitra too!

Kirron Kher, like Vivek, leaves a mark in several scenes. For a change, it was good to see her in a different kind of role than her usual stereotypical ones. Om Puri performs with ease. Dia Mirza looked charming and impresses with her special appearance. Nauheed Cyrusi does a fabulous job. Asheesh Kapur, who plays her husband, was great. Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Aakash Khurana and others were good.

Salim-Sulaiman’s music was haunting and songs suited the film well. Shukran Allah, Ali Maula and Kurbaan Hua are the three best songs. Ali Maula leaves a mark. The duo’s background score was electrifying and they may bag the Best Background Score award this year.

Anurag Kashyap and Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues were sharp and top notch. Best dialogue of the film was, “Ek minute ke liye bhi ye mat sochna ki ye allah ka kaam hai!Parvez Feroze’ gory action enhanced the reality of the film. Asif Ali Shaikh’s editing wasn’t upto the mark. One can notice that desperate attempts were made to haphazardly cut down mini portions of scenes to reduce the duration of the film as much as possible. Not good!

Rensil D’Silva, the screenwriter-director scores in his dream debut. Although the direction wasn’t perfect, the film managed to make an impact and give out a strong message. The screenplay was undoubtedly intriguing.

And finally, kudos to Karan Johar for writing the film and also for producing such a hard hitting flick. KJo was criticized for making lovey-dovey films only. But with his last two films and Kurbaan, he has proved that he’s here not only to rake in moolah but also to provide fresh and interesting flicks! Hats off!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       The songs Shukran Allah and Ali Maula
2.       Ehsaan and Avantika at the dinner in the neighbour’s house
3.       Avantika meets Dia
4.       The plane bombing sequence
5.       The intermission point
6.       Riyaaz at the Saif’s lecture
7.       Riyaaz’ quick conversation with Avantika at the mall
8.       The scene at the sandwich parlour
9.       The coffee scene
10.     The climax

On the whole, Kurbaan is an engaging and thrilling film that impresses and engrosses thoroughly! Go for it and have 160 minutes of captivating and thrilling time!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Kurbaan-180014-1.html


We present exclusive pictures of Ram Gopal Varma’s daughter, Revathy

By Kunal M Shah / Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 14, 2009)

Ram Gopal Varma

Ram Gopal Varma has always maintained that he does not believe in the institution of marriage and the only thing that keeps him going is churning out film after film.

Although there is news about him having a family in Hyderabad, the filmmaker has always been tight-lipped about it.

We stumbled upon pictures of his daughter, Revathy, and were surprised to know that Ramu has a daughter who is in her early 20s and studying medicine.

Revathy Varma

She dreams of becoming a surgeon and is in touch with her father. We present pictures clicked during the wedding of Ramu’s sister, Jyoti’s son, Suman.

Ramu who is shooting in Hyderabad for Rakta Charitra met with his family last week at the wedding.

Also present in the wedding were Ramu’s ex-wife Ratnashree and mother Suryavati.


Meanwhile…

Show me the money

Rupa Ganguly turned down the role of Vivek Oberoi’s mother in Rakta Charitra as she was offered a low remuneration

It is a well-known fact that Ram Gopal Varma doesn’t pay his actors well, but not everyone is willing to work for peanuts. Last week, Varma approached Rupa Ganguly to play the role of Vivek Oberoi’s mother in Rakta Charitra, but she turned it down as she was offered only Rs 2.5 lakh.

Rupa Ganguly

The story goes that an official from Varma’s office called up Rupa and offered her the role of Vivek’s mother in the Hindi version of the bilingual, Rakta Charitra. Rupa was thrilled to bits. However, her hopes were dashed when she heard that she will be paid only Rs 2.5 lakh.

A source says, “The 16-day schedule in Hyderabad was broken into three trips. Rupa felt that she deserved more than just Rs 2.5 lakh.”

Confirming the story, Rupa says, “I am honoured that Varma thought of casting me. I have seen quite a few of his films and think very highly of him as a filmmaker. But I would have preferred some decent money for the same. It was simply not a viable proposition.”

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 09, 2009)

Almost overnight, Vivek Oberoi who’s doing Ram Gopal Varma’s two-part marathon bio-pic Rakta Charitra, has slipped into the Telugu version of the film as well. Earlier, Vivek was slated to do only the Hindi version, while a new Telugu actor Aadhi was supposed to act in the Telugu version with veteran Mohan Babu as NT Rama Rao. But then Ram Gopal Varma did a look test with Vivek Oberoi.

A source close to Vivek says, “When Ramu did a look test, he immediately decided that Vivek was the right actor to play the role in both the versions. The only problem was, Vivek didn’t know how to speak Telugu… Or so Ramu thought. Actually, Vivek knows better Telugu than Ramu, although the latter is from Andhra Pradesh.” Vivek’s father Suresh Oberoi is from Andhra Pradesh and Vivek is familiar, though not fluent, in Telugu. The source adds, “Vivek has now employed a Telugu tutor in Hyderabad who is teaching the actor the nuances of the language. Fortunately, Vivek is a fast learner. He also insists on talking only in Telugu to everyone in Hyderabad, including his director who can barely speak his mother tongue.”

Vivek Oberoi

Ram Gopal Varma

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 24, 2009)

Shatrughan Sinha will play NT Rama Rao, Telugu Desam party’s chief, in Ram Gopal Varma’s Rakta Charitra. The bio-pic is based on the alleged outlaw Paritala Ravindra, who was wanted for several serious cases, but he contested and won elections on a Telugu Desam ticket. The film will go on the floors in Hyderabad shortly.

Shatrughan Sinha

Ram Gopal Varma confirmed and said, “I chose Shatruji because he has a larger-than-life personality, which is required to play NT Rama Rao. NTR played a very important part in the life and political career of Paritala Ravi.” Talking about the film, Shatrughan Sinha said, “Rakta Charita is more like the Mahabharata in spirit than the Ramayana. The film’s tone is similar to that of The Godfather.” The film will be made in Hindi and Telugu and veteran actor Mohan Babu will play the role of NT Rama Rao in the Telugu version.

Ram Gopal Varma threatened by locals of politician and alleged criminal Paritala Ravindra’s constituency at Ananthapur, where he’s doing research on Paritala’s life
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 16, 2009)

Ram Gopal Varma

Often one to court trouble, Ram Gopal Varma found himself dealing with much more than what he had bargained for, on Friday and Saturday when he landed in Ananthapur, Hyderabad. He is there to research the life of the controversial politician and alleged criminal Paritala Ravindra who is wanted in over 50 murder cases, as his next film Rakta Charitra is based of Paritala’s life. Little did Ramu suspect to be caught in the middle of violent protests in Paritala’s constituency, where his wife, Sunitha now lives.

Our source reveals, “The minute Sunitha saw Ramu, she made it very clear to him that she won’t allow anyone to make a film on her husband. She claimed that she won’t let anyone portray her husband as a criminal, whereas in reality he’s revered and worshipped in his constituency. But Ramu being Ramu just nodded, pretending to get her point, while actually, he couldn’t really follow her fluent Telugu. He left her with a smile and then continued meeting Paritala’s friends and other family members. And soon, word spread that Ramu would be going ahead with the film despite being asked not to.

Paritala Ravindra

Hundreds of people gathered outside the place where he was staying and threatened to stop him from leaving Ananthapur.”

Ramu, still stranded in Ananthapur admits that he was seriously threatened, but is in no mood to submit in to the demands of shelving the film. He says, “When have I ever been stopped by threats? And yes, what you have heard is true. I have been meeting all the people closely associated to Paritala. And let me tell you, some of them are wanted by the police for as many as 100 to 200 murder cases. They’re amazingly dangerous people. And if they think that I am trying to make mischief here about Paritala, they will bump me off without a second thought. One of Paritala’s close associates told me that he’s a nice man, only, he can’t stop the murdering when he is drunk. I wonder why he can’t stop drinking. The people who kill others live by a peculiar logic. The picture I have formed is incredible and I’m only more determined to make this film than before,” Ramu says.

Ramu also met Paritala’s arch enemy, Suri. “Suri’s in jail. I met him there. I’m shocked by how much he still hates Paritala,” Ramu admits. “I am trying to convince the people here in Ananthapur that I am only looking to portray Paritala like he really was, and not a villain. But they aren’t convinced. I’m now being threatened and my mother is worrying. But what can I do? I do have heavy security with me. But if I have a job to do, I have to do it, right?

In fact, far from fleeing Ananthapur as soon as his research is done, Ramu is planning to shoot the film there, right on location. He intends to return to Ananthapur next month with actor Vivek Oberoi who plays Paritala in the film.

Vivek Oberoi in Rakta Charitra

Vivek Oberoi in Rakta Charitra

By Joginder Tuteja, April 28, 2009 – 15:03 IST

Ram Gopal Varma Now this one has turned out to be the mother of all casting decisions. Seven years after launching Vivek Oberoi in the role of Chandu in Company [2002], Ram Gopal Varma has showed his faith in the actor again. He has cast him in the role of the lead protagonist Paritala Ravi in his ambitious venture Rakta Charitra which would be made as a two part film.

Says Ram Gopal Varma who has almost finished the shoot of Agyaat and is busy wrapping up India 24/7, “After thinking hard on every actor both known and unknown, I have finally zeroed in on Vivek Oberoi as the most ideal choice to play Paritala Ravi.”

On being asked if with Rakta Charitra he would be taking over the mantle of re-launching Vivek Oberoi, Ramu says, “That would be a wrong statement to make actually. The way I look at it, Rakta Charitra is a film which would be re-launching Vivek as well as me. This is going to be an defining film for both of us.”

This is understandable for someone like Vivek who is currently facing rough weather in the industry. But why does he say this for himself when he has been doing quite good for himself?

“Well, the subject matter along with the research done on the film are the reasons that make me say that”, reasons Ramu, “For me, Vivek is the perfect choice for the role. Also, I know for sure that no way can Vivek get a better role than that of Paritala Ravi and no ways can I get a better story than Rakta Charitra to be told. This is why the film would be re-launching both of us.”

Narrating the reason behind his choice of Vivek, he goes on to add, “He has remarkable intensity in his eyes which I noticed in the making of Company. He has a voice which commands attention, there is an arrogance in his demeanour and an enormous power in his stance. Moreover, there is also a certain vulnerability which makes one instantly warm up to him, which is what is needed to fit in a role of Paritala Ravi’s profile.”

Apparently there was a rough look-test done for the film before Vivek was zeroed in. “After this test was done, I saw the approximation of how Vivek could look like in different phases of Ravi’s life. From being a rebel in the jungles to a political strong-arm man, he was just so perfect. There and then, I was absolutely convinced and my search ended”, reveals Ramu. The story of Rakta Charitra will span 12-15 years during which Vivek would be seen in different looks.

As per Ramu, Rakta Charitra is the story of a man’s (Paritala Ravi) phenomenal rise to power and a story of the most intense blood curdling conflict ever heard of between two individuals. A prime accused in quite a few murder cases, Paritala Ravi wasn’t a rebel in his initial days but the force of circumstances made him become one. He was a soft-spoken shy guy who retreated into the jungles and then became a rebel. He wanted to avenge the death of his father and brother and even went on to become a minister in N.T. Ramarao’s Cabinet before being assassinated in January 2005.

To be produced by Madhu Mantena, the film would be shot in one stretch beginning 1st August once Ramu is through with the shooting of Rann. Rakta Charitra will release on two parts in the months of January and April 2010 respectively.

Bollywood Hungama.com



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