Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Ram Gopal Verma

By Subhash K. Jha, December 19, 2009 – 10:51 IST

Veer, Rann This Republic Day audiences were all set to be treated to two big-budget films featuring the mega-stars Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan, respectively. Ram Gopal Varma’s Rann and Anil Sharma’s Veer were scheduled for release on 22 January.

But now comes the news that Ram Gopal Varma’s Rann has dropped out of the race.

Apparently, Anil Sharma called up the Rann co-producer Sheetal Talwar explaining why and how a clash between the two films must be averted.

Says Talwar, “I saw reason in what Anil Sharma said. There’s no sense in creating a no-win situation for two films. See, when Gadar and Lagaan came together, things were different. But now audiences are in no mood to buy tickets for two big films in the same week.”

It was supposed to be a clash of patriotic passion somewhat like Anil Sharma’s Gadar and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan which were released on June 15, 2001. Both proved to be historic blockbusters.

Both in their own ways were highly patriotic films.

Veer, like Anil Sharma’s Gadar, is set in Colonial India. Sharma with considerable creative assistance from his leading man Salman Khan has created what he thinks is patriotic period film.

Varma’s Rann set in the modern world of media manipulation was perceived by its makers as a comment on our times and hence patriotic.

The people behind both films were adamant on a Jan 22 release. But now Talwar says, “There’s no point in creating an ego issue by insisting we release Rann on the same day as Veer. One or the other film is bound to suffer at the box-office. Why not release a week later when we get a relatively free Friday?”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Big B, SRK among several who catch Avatar premiere in Mumbai…

TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; December 18, 2009)

A lot of films try to lay claim to the old ‘most anticipated film of the year’ tag, but on Tuesday night, it was clear that Avatar was indeed the biggest Hollywood film of the year amongst Bollywood’s celebrity film buffs; it brought the Bachchans and the Khans onto the same blue carpet in a premiere rivalling the big Bollywood premieres. After 14 years of incubating in director James Cameron’s brain, Avatar, the once-ultrasecret project known as ‘Project 800’, finally premiered to an enraptured and appreciative Bollywood crowd. But before the 160-minute-long saga of 10-foot-tall blue aliens on a distant moon called Pandora began, the blue carpet was walked by larger than life superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Yash Chopra, Gurinder Chadha, Harman Baweja, Vivek Oberoi, Ram Gopal Verma, Rohan Sippy, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani, Anthony D’Souza, Rohit Shetty, Shirish Kunder, Tisca Chopra to name a few.

At the end of the film, as the news channels spoke to the guests leaving, some admitted to tears, many felt it would be difficult to watch “normal movies again” and most were ready to take another trip to Pandora right then and there. Networking sites were instantly flooded with more gushing praise.

Aryan had his school exams and couldn’t make it, but Shah Rukh Khan was so amazed by the experience that arranged a screening for his family and friends over the weekend. … Hrithik, who was stuck at the shooting of Guzaarish and couldn’t make it in time to the venue, is also looking to have a private screening of the film. Amitabh Bachchan told the media “It was a fabulous film, a wonderful experience!” Abhishek, who was not scheduled to come as he had to walk the ramp the same evening in the suburbs, rushed just in time to catch the film. He posted his views on a site soon after “It’s not a film. It’s an experience! James Cameron is Hollywood’s answer to my favourite director, Manmohan Desai! He could pull off anything. Avatar too is a Hindi film at heart. It’s definitely a ‘must watch’ for the experience.”

Rohan Sippy, who had seen a trade show just the previous day, loved the film so much he came to see a second screening and plans to see the film over the weekend, again. He said, “With Avatar, James Cameron has redefined what we can dream. It is a film of breathtaking scale and impossibly meticulous detail. But I think his real triumph is that he has used his total mastery over technology to make us really feel what it is to be alive and human…” Ajay Devgn and Kajol have also requested for a screening of the film for their family and close friends after hearing the premiere buzz from others. While Vivek Oberoi said, “It’s really amazing that the west can come up with films like this. I would’ve loved an Indian director to make a film like Avatar. It’s simply astounding!” “I saw Avatar in 3D. To say the least, it made me feel pre-historic in every way,” says Varma. Director Ken Ghosh, Fardeen Khan and Zayed Khan have also planned to block an evening entire show at a suburban multiplex for a private screening for friends and family. Looks like the general public might not get tickets for the film after all, looking at the number of private screenings and shows being blocked by the Bollywood fraternity itself. The premiere was hosted by Vijay Singh, CEO 20th Century Fox India and Big Cinemas.

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, December 5, 2009 – 00:00 IST

RGV returns with Phoonk 2

Maverick filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma is ready with the sequel of Phoonk, titled Phoonk 2. The film has been directed by Milind Gadagkar, who had written the original version.

Launching the first look of the film, RGV Said, “When Milind Gadagkar the writer of Phoonk came up with the idea of Phoonk 2, the opening sequence itself made me jump up in my seat. The moment I read the entire script I was convinced that he should direct the film as I was amazed at the clarity he had in detailing of the story.”

Comparisons between the two films are inevitable, to which he replies, “In spite of Phoonk’s hit status quite a few people say that it’s not a scary film and there is a reason for that. Scare can be of two kinds, where one is of a kind which scares you due to a completely helpless situation you catch yourself in, and the other which just plain scares your senses. Bhoot falls in the 2nd category whereas Phoonk falls in the 1st one. Phoonk 2 also falls in the 2nd category where its intention is as plain and simple – to just scare the audience’s pants off.”

On choosing the horror genre for his first film, debutante director Milind Gadagkar says, “Ever since I can remember, I have always been a huge fan of the horror genre and the psychosis of fear. Fear is such a strong emotion that it defies all logic. As small children we are scared of entering a dark room; somewhere further in life, we rather try and avoid isolated roads with no street lights.”

“It is not just ghosts that we are scared of but there are times in our lives when a strange and inexplicable incident also scares the hell out of us. Studying this phenomenon of fear has always intrigued me. All said and done, I am really thrilled that inspite of me not having liked Phoonk, Ramu liked Phoonk 2,” Milind concludes.

When asked if he was satisfied with Milind’s treatment of the film, RGV said, “When I saw the 1st cut of what Milind showed me of the film, I told him that it’s not only far better than Phoonk but I think it is the scariest film Bollywood has ever made and it is miles above all my so-called scary films like Bhoot, etc and I mean every word of it from my spine onwards….. Chilling!”

RGV even lets out a bit of the story, “If the entire Phoonk story was about how this evil woman who practices black magic was bent upon torturing and killing a little girl in order to make her father suffer and how the father after desperately trying every measure manages to get a tantrik who kills the evil woman, Phoonk-2 starts off with the spirit of the evil woman coming back from the dead and brutally murdering the tantrik.”

The film has been made in three languages, Hindi, Tamil (Bommai-2) and Telugu (Aavaham). Looks like audiences can await one chilly ride with Phoonk 2.

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.

WHAT A MATCH: Priyanka Chopra and Mohanlal

TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; November 11, 2009)

How would Malayalam cinema’s God-like superstar Mohanlal Vishwanathan Nair look as Priyanka Chopra’s husband on screen? He’s 50, big, roly-poly and as Malayali as aapam and ishtew; she’s 27, super-sexy and essentially a Bollywood hottie. But filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj, India’s Quentin Tarantino, in his wisdom has cased the two of them together in his ambitious film Seven.
That Priyanka will have seven husbands in Seven, is known, but news of Mohanlal being one of them comes as a surprise.
A source from Vishal’s office admitted that the Bollywood filmmaker had cast the Malayalam actor in such a role. And, to do so, Vishal had to spend two days in Kerala chasing Mohanlal whose fan following there is legion. The Southie heavyweight, who was seen in Bollywood in Ram Gopal Varma’s Company and Aag, finally approved of Vishal’s script. Now the filmmaker is left with the task of casting six more heroes all of who will be wedded in his film to the gorgeous Priyanka. But, after signing on Mohanlal — a four-time National Award winner — that should be easy for Vishal.
-Meena Iyer
Ram Gopal Varma finally settled for Neeru Bajwa, when Mallika Sherawat failed to respond to his offer to star in Phoonk 2

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 03, 2009)

 

Neeru Bajwa Mallika Sherawat

Ram Gopal Varma has quietly begun shooting for the sequel to Phoonk, titled Phoonk 2. However, his dream of casting Mallika Sherawat hasn’t materialised. Punjabi actress Neeru Bajwa has stepped into Mallika’s shoes. Milind Gadagkar, who was an associate with Ramu in Phoonk, is directing the film.

Neeru was Ramu’s third choice. Before Neeru came into the picture, Ramu had cast a newcomer, Adin.

A source says, “Adin , who shot for two days, threw a lot of tantrums, angering Ramu in the bargain.”

Neeru confirmed the news. She says, “Yes, I am doing Phoonk 2. However, I cannot divulge what role I play in the film. Phoonk 2 is a thriller and I have been strictly told not to reveal anything about the story.”

We wonder if Vivek Oberoi, who is reported to be close to her (Mumbai Mirror, Oct 14), has anything to do with Neeru doing Ramu’s film? After all Vivek is currently Ramu’s blue-eyed boy. Ask her that and she retorts, “Gosh! Tomorrow, you’ll say that Vivek recommended me to Dharma Productions because he is doing Karan Johar’s Kurbaan.”

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on her birthday… and the 15th anniversary of her Miss World crown

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 1, 2009)


ashFifteen years after she won the Miss World beauty pageant, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan continues to be the most celebrated Bollywood brand ever. With her waist-length hair cascading down high cheek bones, and striking green-grey eyes, with bodyguards keeping vigilance, she looks every inch the diva she is. And we ask…


How’s it feel to be the most beautiful face in Bollywood 15 years after you won your crown?

• I’m not very good at handling compliments but I accept it with grace. I’m grateful to God, my audiences and my filmmakers —be it Mani Ratnam (Iruvar, Guru, Raavan), Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, Guzaarish), Mansoor Khan (Josh), Ashutosh Gowarikar (Jodhaa Akbar), Ram Gopal Varma (Sarkar Raj), Raj Kumar Santoshi (Khakee), Aditya Chopra (Mohabbatein, Dhoom II) and others who never used just my beauty as the fulcrum. Instead, they kept the beauty and the aesthetics going at the same time in each of the film characters I played.


Life has come a full circle. Even after marriage, you still have the best makers backing you.

• These are the same filmmakers I have worked with in the beginning of my career. I got married in the middle of shooting Jodhaa Akbar and when I reported back on his set, Ashu told me that nothing has changed. It just meant so much more hard work for me because when I come to the work front, I don’t want anyone to think of me as being any less professional than I was when I was single. It was important for me to strike the right balance between home and work. All the film-makers I’m working with are super passionate about their work. Thanks to them, I still feel the same adrenaline rush that I always feel when I’m on set.


Earlier this year, you were awarded the Padmashree…

• It has been a memorable year, every other month there has been some honour. I have much to thank God for.


Abhishek and you have tickled audiences with that recent soap commercial.

• It is ten years of my association with the brand. So they suggested that it would be nice to bring Abhishek on board. Honestly, how time flies.


Amitabh Bachchan said it is for you and Abhishek to make him a grandpa whenever…

• Well, if you ask him a question like that, what can he say? It is an apt answer for a parent to give. When I was on the Oprah Winfrey show, I told her that every time there is even a bump, it is assumed that I’m with child. Being pregnant is not something one can conceal. When I am pregnant, the world will know.
meena.iyer@timesgroup.com

 

IN THE WORLD OF FANTASIES: Riteish Deshmukh
Riteish Deshmukh is excited about his magical caper releasing today

 

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 30, 2009)

 

 

The first thing you notice about Riteish Deshmukh is that he is wearing a t-shirt with a prominent ‘a’ on it. Clearly the actor is going out of his way to endorse his release today — Aladin directed by Sujoy Ghosh. Making no bones about the fact that he is thrilled to bits about this magic caper which is all heart, the leading man of the film, says, “Sujoy has clearly surpassed my expectations. All of us knew from the start that Aladin would have a magical quality. But, I can tell you that the film may be a fantasy… yet it is truly believable. The SFX are the best ever on Indian screen so far.”
This is the first time he has come out and spoken about a film before the reviews have appeared. The actor believes that it is not only children who will love this part fantasy-part fiction film, it should also appeal to the child in everyone of us. “It has the spirit of a Mr India and it transports you into another world on screen,’’ says Riteish.
Describing Amitabh Bachchan as his most versatile co-star, Riteish says, “When I did Darna Zaroori Hai with him, I told myself, ‘Today I have arrived. I have worked with Indian cinema’s biggest legend.’ Then I got greedy — and as luck would have it, I got the chance to work with Amitji in Aladin. And, if that wasn’t enough, Ram Gopal Varma also gave me the opportunity to work with him in Rann. Just sharing screen space with a man of Amitji’s stature is an indescribable feeling.’’
About his other coactor, the lovely Miss Sri Lanka Jacqueline Fernandez, the actor says, “Jackie is a freshfaced, talented girl who will go places in Bollywood. The two of us have already worked on another mystical romance called Jane Kahaan Se Aayi Hai that is slated for release in 2010. I will be returning back to romantic films with this one.’’
And while he may shed some light on his screen romance, he refuses to lift the veil of mystery surrounding his relationship with actress Genelia. When told that the gossip mills are constantly buzzing about them, he diplomatically replies, “There is so much said about it. The questions haven’t changed nor have my answers. There is nothing to my relationship with Genelia.’’

MM

DDLJ ENTERS ITS 15 YEAR; STILL RUNNING SUCCESSFULLY IN MUMBAI!

One of the best Bollywood films of all time, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) has been running since its release in 1995 at the Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai! Very surprisingly, the solo 11:30 am show of DDLJ still gets viewers and during weekends, it is easily 70-100% full! It was released on October 20, 1995 and this Tuesday, it entered into its 15th year!

However, a lot of doubts have been raised as to how such an old film still manages to get audience. Some say that Yash Raj Films, the producers of DDLJ, are forcefully running the movie at Maratha Mandir to create a record. But none of this is true and I can vouch for that as I myself have gone to see DDLJ couple of time there. Some of the reasons for DDLJ’s successful running:

1. OUTSTANDING ENTERTAINER: DDLJ is a sweet well-made feel good film that has its heart at the right place. It was a cult film at that time as it managed to place something interesting before the audience and at the same time, didn’t trudge a different path. And SRK’s mind-blowing performance created frenzy among the females. You can find many (males too) who have seen the film more than 30/40/50/100 times and are ready to watch it again! Thus, it’s a film which almost any moviegoer can watch it anytime!
2. SHAH RUKH KHAN’S CRAZE: Shah Rukh Khan has one of the biggest fans following. So many fans from other cities/countries that are on a visit to Mumbai make it a point to watch DDLJ at Maratha Mandir!
3. TICKET PRICING: The rates of DDLJ’s show are damn cheap. Balcony tickets cost Rs 22, Dress Circle tickets are priced at Rs 20 while stall tickets are available for Rs 18. With such low rates, it becomes damn affordable for anyone, even for the poorer sections living nearby, to watch DDLJ many times!
4. LOCATION OF MARATHA MANDIR: The theatre is situated opposite Mumbai Central Railway Station, the southernmost terminus in Mumbai on Western Railway. Many travelers who reach the station in the morning but have a late afternoon train to catch decide to watch the film in order to pass their time! Even though Apsara, Novelty, Minerva theatres aren’t very far from the station, travelers still prefer watching DDLJ. Also, the hawkers, vendors and other poor people working/dwelling near Maratha Mandir go for it as for them it’s the ultimate entertainment. Other single screens nearby have closed and they can’t afford multiplex tickets. So they prefer watching DDLJ due to cheap ticket rates and also because the film never bores!
5. CURIOSITY: I know many who stay far away in the suburbs of Mumbai but have gone to watch DDLJ out of curiosity and amusement that the film is still running!

Some 6-7 years back, even I found it difficult to believe that the film managed to get audience in each show. But then, DDLJ is a magical film. Also, when I had gone to see DDLJ in its 500th week, I was surprised to see that people who were there in the show (it was housefull) were so engrossingly watching the film. They knew the film perfectly as they had seen it many times and they could have cracked jokes and passed stupid comments in emotional scenes, as masses generally do. But they didn’t and were shanti se seeing it! DDLJ, indeed, is much more than magical, I guess! Whatever it is, it rocks and I hope it keeps running forever!
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MAMKACCEPT THAT YOU GUYS MADE A BAD FILM!

Blue and All The Best have done a great job at the BO but the 3rd Diwali release, Main Aurr Mrs Khanna (MAMK) have failed miserably. The film could neither impress the critics nor the audiences. Director Prem Soni gave two reasons for film’s debacle-first, the producers made a mistake for going easy on the film’s publicity and second, there was a general resentment against the film and attempt was made to sabotage it! Producer Sohail Khan, on the other hand, blames the co-producer of the film, UTV, for releasing the film during Diwali with Blue and All The Best. According to him, MAMK wasn’t perfect Diwali stuff and that people want to watch comic films in the festive time (Ironically, Prem Soni a month ago was heard saying that Diwali is the perfect time for MAMK!). He wanted the film to release next year during Valentine’s Day.

Both Sohail and Prem are giving different and contradictory reasons but none of them are ready to accept that they made a bad film. Even if the publicity was low-key, the film had made its presence felt. And regarding the point that attempt was made to flop the film; I don’t buy it at all. Go and ask viewers who saw the film-they all were disappointed. So, the word-of-mouth wasn’t good and that’s why the film failed. Sohail’s reasoning also isn’t justified. A bad film is going to flop whether it’s released in Diwali or on Valentine’s Day or during any other fest. Also, during 2004 Diwali, Veer-Zaara and Aitraaz had occupied almost all shows in theatres and also the headlines. Yet, Mughal-E-Azam, released simultaneously with these two films with very less prints, managed to grow and do a great job at the BO.

At such times, my respect for Ram Gopal Verma increases! He’s the only one who accepts that his film wasn’t upto the mark. He went to the point to say that those who liked his Sholay-remake Aag are mental patients! Kudos to RGV!



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