Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘school

Shah Rukh Khan arranges a weekend screening of James Cameron’s Avatar for his children

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


Last evening Shah Rukh Khan was the special guest at the screening of James Cameron’s, Avatar at a suburban multiplex.
Shah Rukh was so enamoured after watching half the film, that he came out of hall and went up to the studio officials and requested them to organise a special screening for his two children and family members. The officials of the studio immediately assured him that they will do the needful.

A source said, “SRK has always been quite fond of science fiction and superhero films. Even as a child, he would always watch similar kind of films.This is why he immediately agreed to attend the special screening of Avatar.

He was also keen to attend the screening of Avatar at the suburban multiplex as the first theatrical promo of his new film My Name is Khan was scheduled to release during the screening. Everybody knows about SRK’s love for superhero films so much so that he is right now in the process of making Ra.One, which will be directed by Anubhav Sinha. SRK loved Avatar, which is why he also wants his kids to watch it.”

Earlier this month, SRK’s children couldn’t wait to watch Paa and Amitabh Bachchan had sent some extra passes for them on SRK’s request. “Aryan and Suhana love films and they would love to watch Avatar. The kids could not watch it last evening with SRK as they were busy with their school and studies,” added the source.


Vijay Singh, Indian CEO of the company which produced Avatar, confirmed the news and said, “Shah Rukh was very excited about Avatar and the scale on which it was made. He requested another screening on Saturday so that he could watch the film again with his family. We will definitely and will decide on the venue and time today.”

(pic: manav manglani)

Bollywood is coming out with creative, out of the box films and the year 2009 is a witness to it. Paa is one such film that can also be safely termed as ‘most unique film of 2009’. Of course, the USP is undoubtedly Amitabh Bachchan’s wonderful portrayal as a 12/13 year old kid. But that alone isn’t the only thing that makes the flick special. The execution by R Balki is marvelous and the film would have surely fallen like a pack of cards if the treatment wasn’t appropriate. Paa, thus, works well and is definitely a must watch!

The story of the movie: Auro (Amitabh Bachchan) is a 12 year old suffering from a rare genetic disease, progeria which results in accelerated ageing. So although he’s just 12, his body age is 5 times more. But Auro is witty, mischievous and intelligent and just like any other school going student of his age. He lives with his mother, Vidya (Vidya Balan), a gynecologist and Vidya’s mom (Arundhati Nag). All three are living happily but one day their world turns upside down when Auro comes to face to face with his own father, MP Amol Atre (Abhishek Bachchan). But both Auro and Amol are unaware of each other’s ‘connection’.

Paa is simply made and the film grips you from the first scene itself. Auro and Amol’s entry in the narrative is highly impressive. The innovative projects made by the students and Amol’s beautiful speech in the school instantly put a smile on your face. Also note how very less time is reserved for the flashback portions and the focus of the story is entirely on the star of the film-Auro and his paa!

However, the film deviates from the main plot in the first half in the slum redevelopment track. But trust me, it was damn interesting and you’ll silently wish if the politicians of our country were such visionaries and witty.

However, the second half won’t give any reason to complain. Auro’s reaction after finding out the truth and the time he spends with his paa in Delhi is supremely rocking! The pre-climax, when one of the main characters finds out the truth could have been more impactful. But the final 10 minutes which is beautifully directed and leaves the strongest mark, compensates for it.

Although the film is titled Paa, the film doesn’t only focus on the father-son relationship. It wonderfully showcases the child’s relations with his mom, grandmom and also with his classmates, the latter being the cutest! Also, the film isn’t made to only evoke sympathy on progeric patients. Throughout the film, Auro is being treated as any other normal child by everyone around him and this also works a lot in the favour of the film.

There is not a drop of doubt about Amitabh Bachchan’s performance. He was marvelous and outstanding-even this doesn’t justify his well performed job! One forgets that one is actually watching Amitabh Bachchan on screen. The way he speaks like an adolescent and also behaves like one is just amazing and leaves you in awe and shock. And the look given to him is actually quite cute! However, the performance wouldn’t have worked solely with great work by make-up artistes. It was Amitabh’s great work that makes the character believable and lovable. Kudos to Big B-keep shining, keep rocking!

The characterization of Big B as Auro is so strong that you even forget all the past performances of other actors. Abhishek Bachchan simply rocks as the young cool politician and builds up a strong position to himself throughout the film. After Guru and Dostana, this is yet another memorable performance of Abhishek. Watch out for him in another rocking performance in his next, Raavana!

Vidya Balan is a relevation. She gives a brilliant performance, of the same level that she delivered in Parineeta. Watch her in Paa and you’ll forget all about her disastrous period that she faced 2 years back. She is expected to please everyone in her next Ishqiya too!

Arundhati Nag was perfect. Paresh Rawal was fine in his miniscule role. Pratik, who plays Auro’s buddy Vishnu, was excellent and provides laughter in some scenes. Taruni Sachdev, the girl who terrified Auro throughout the film was amazing! Also, Kiran Shah, who played the 5 year old Auro did a great job in his one scene. Kudos to Vidya for lifting this 53 kg old on his shoulder in one of the scenes!

Ilaiyaraja’s music was soulful and melodious. Songs are there in the film but doesn’t hamper the pace of the film-the story moves during the film too. Mudi Mudi is the best song of the lot. Mere Paa, sung by Big B deserved to get a better focus in the film. Background score was cute and mischievous, just like Auro!

P C Sreeram’s cinematography was top notch. Christien Tinsley and Domini Till, the makeup artistes, deserve the highest praise for transforming a 66 year old actor into a 12 year old child! Hats off!

Finally, R Balki deserves the highest praise for coming up with such a wonderful film and making complete use of the opportunity provided to him. As a director he was perfect and it was nice to see the quick editing done in certain scenes so that the film doesn’t drag at any moment. But as a writer, he could have done a better job, especially in the flashback portions of Abhishek and Vidya. But he impresses most as the dialogue writer. Dialogues and wittiest one-liners are the best part of the enterprise! Also, the toilet jokes which are a complete put-off at times are hugely funny in the film!

There were reports that Paa is a copy of The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and a section of moviegoers even believed this. By now, the truth is out Paa is miles away from the Hollywood flick. But it’s really sad to see our media and some moviegoers are always waiting for an opportunity to thrash Bollywood and its films. Our industry churns pathetic films at times but it also comes up with sweet films like Paa. Let’s not always act and think so negatively about Bollywood. And now there are reports that Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai’s next, Action Replay, is Benjamin Button’s rip off without even knowing a single line of the plot of the film. Alas, some people don’t want to grow up ever!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1. Amol at the school, looking at the projects and delivering a speech
2. Auro orders pickle from grandmom
3. Amol’s slum redevelopment track
4. Amol and Auro’s video chat
5. Auro all set to go to Delhi (you really feel sad for the poor kid here)
6. The intermission point
7. Vidya’s Hichki-ous justification
8. Amol and Auro’s trip to Delhi
9. The last 30 minutes

On the whole, Paa is a beautiful film, written wonderfully and performed outstandingly! Undoubtedly, it’s a must watch! Go for it, if you haven’t seen it yet!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Paa-181639-1.html

FLYING HIGH: Ranbir Kapoor, Jaideep Sahni and Shimit Amin at the Radio Mirchi studios

Ranbir Kapoor rocks Radio Mirchi studios in cheeky broadcast for 98.3 FM

NIMISHA TIWARI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 10, 2009)

Look who’s flying rockets at the Radio Mirchi studios in Lower Parel…Ranbir Kapoor aka Rocket Singh, the sexiest Surd in town. Though he was clean shaven for this appearance, the hot new kid on Bollywood’s block said, “I look sexy even with a beard, you gotta check me out in Rocket Singh!” That toh the actors fans are bound to do when the Yashraj Films’ release hits the screens on Friday, but before that, you can catch the high-octane interaction Ranbir had at Radio Mirchi by tuning in to 98.3 FM and also listen to songs from the new film and win attractive merchandise.

With him were Rocket Singh director Shimit Amin (of Chak De! India fame) and Jaideep Sahni who wrote the screenplay of the film. The actor spoke about his character in the film which is all about toppers in life — not necessarily toppers in school or college — even while making paper rockets and sending them darting all about the place. He joked with two female listeners of the radio station who were invited to meet him. One complimented him on his debut flick Saawariya. And the other asked him to adopt her “as maa, baap anything”. Both, Rocket Singh and Ranbir Kapoor blushed!

Delighted that he had set up two close friends, the matchmaking actor played host at their wedding yesterday

By Kunal M Shah / Keshav Hindelkar (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 08, 2009)


Neil Nitin Mukesh

Neil Nitin Mukesh is happy playing another role – that of cupid. Six months ago, he introduced two of his friends at a night club and the happy couple got married yesterday. Sourabh Mahajan and Dipti Kapoor will be heading to New Zealand for their honeymoon.

Our source said, “Neil and Saurabh have been friends since kindergarten and lived in the same area at Napean Sea Road. They have also been in touch since school. Neil introduced Saurabh to Dipti six months ago and the rest, as they say, is history. They were married yesterday and will honeymoon in New Zealand. Neil threw a bachelor party and took care of the wedding details like inviting people, taking care of the music and caterers.”

Neil admitted that he has played the matchmaker with delight. He said, “Saurabh has been my childhood friend and so when he flew in six months ago from the US, I introduced him to my college friend Dipti at one of the clubs.

I told Saurabh that Dipti is the perfect bride and his search ends here. It has been six months and now they are married. We have been friends for 27 years and he is like my brother. I think they are made for each other and I loved doing everything for him. In fact, all my childhood friends have come down from different parts of the world and we are together for these three days.

Sourabh Mahajan and Dipti Kapoor (Pic: Keshav Hindelkar)

Prasanna has come down from Australia, Jeetu has come from Ghana and Bhavik from America and the entire gang is here to have loads of fun and to wish them.”

Neil finally said, “We had also arranged a bachelor’s party for him and I am so glad that I could play cupid.”

FAMILY TIME: Abhishek Bachchan and Vidya Balan
Vidya Balan on the joys of bringing up her special child

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 4, 2009)

Vidya Balan admits that Reliance BIG Entertainment’s Paa that is releasing today, is her personal favourite. “I have waited anxiously to showcase my son Auro’s film. I want to see how the world reacts to him,” said Vidya, who can’t help but smile everytime someone mentions his name. Auro has a rare disease — Progeria. “There are many things he can’t do that normal children can. He knows he is different from the others, yet he is such a happy child,” said Vidya and added, “each morning when I drop him off to school, he tugs at my heartstrings. Being away from him is difficult.”

She admitted that between her and Abhishek (who plays Paa), she is the stricter parent. “I don’t let Auro eat pickle because pungent food makes him restless. Yet, sometimes he gets adamant and insists on being served pickles,” said the concerned mom. But her child’s special she said and he proves that when he takes the pickle and puts it in her plate instead.
“Honestly, I don’t think I want a child other than Auro. He completes me. He is just such a bundle of joy; and though there are moments when I feel slightly defeated, I never ask why Auro happened to me? Instead, I maintain that he’s a special gift that I have received,” said Vidya.

And about her relationship with Auro’s Paa, she said, “Like most couples, we have our differences. But the reason why we bond is because we both love Auro.”
WHAT AN ACT: Amitabh Bachchan as Auro
Auro shares a few of his well-kept secrets…


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


VENUE: Amitabh Bachchan’s office, Janak. The place is swarming with print and television journalists. Reason: Auro, the kid from AB Corps and Reliance BIG Pictures’ Paa, a film that is releasing worldwide on December 4, is around giving interviews. Auro is a very shy kid; but he’s up to a few pranks and interviews today…

Hi Auro, how are you today?
I’m a little tired because many people are coming to talk to me. Sometimes I get tired when so many people talk to me. Do you get tired when people talk to you? I am happy that you came to talk to me.

How is your Paa?
My Paa he is a very important man. He is what they call, something po…yes politician. Yes, I remembered he is an MP. He is very nice to me. He took me to see Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. I went for a walk in the park with him. And, when I got tired he carried me on his back.

Do you like your Paa more or your mother?
I like both of them. Mom is a gynaecologist. She makes babies. She doesn’t give me khichdi to eat. I love khichdi. I want to put mirchi (chillies) in the khichdi. And she doesn’t allow it. Because I will fall ill. She gives me chocolates and milk shake. I love chocolate flavour.

Do you have girls in your school?
Ya, but I do not like them. Because one girl, she is always looking at me. I run away from her. I have a gang of six boys. They always tease me about this girl.

What is her name?
I don’t want to tell.

How is Uncle Balki who made this film Paa with you?
He used to get annoyed with me. If I didn’t do things properly he would tell me to do it again. It is tough to do the same thing again and again. I don’t know why Uncle Balki did like that. But I like him.

Are you holding a special screening for your schoolmates?
I want all the children to come and see my film Paa. It is going to release on December 4. You please come and see it also.
Presenting the dichotomy kid… Ranbir kapoor

By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 05, 2009)

 

How much of the real Ranbir do we know?

 

Probably 30 per cent. And that too from the films I do because it’s only then that I actually give something of myself to the character. But when I am doing interviews, there is a certain amount of a façade. If you are an introvert or shy like me, you need to exude some confidence, some belief in what you are doing. But honestly, I am scared. I am not that confident an actor to believe and think that everything I do will be a success.

I believe, the remaining 70 per cent will eventually come through when I reach a point where I can really surrender to a character. I hope that role turns up some day. As I keep saying, I am very ambitious. I have lots of directors to work with, lots of roles to play. I hope to be a working actor everyday of my life, to be able to go on a set. I really don’t know what to do with my time when I am not on set.

// When you are not on your Segway that is…

(laughs) I do that every night. It’s my way of letting go. I know it sounds weird and stupid but it’s kind of spiritual. I do it at 2-2.30 in the night. The roads are empty, the weather is great and you just drive through.

A girl who has worked with you, describes you as a mixture of the three Khans. A bad boy like Salman, charmer like Shah Rukh and focused like Aamir.

That girl might be drunk or on some drug because I am not even close to any of these characteristics. The three Khans are living legends for me. Even using my name in the same sentence as theirs is an insult to them.

So you are saying that you are not a bad boy, charming or focused?

(blushing wildly) Actually I am. But I guess to a much milder degree.

So what is your charm?

I am just a happy person, I like talking to people who interest me. You just have to listen to people, I guess that’s what charm is. It’s not about corny lines, it’s not about the looks that you give somebody. It’s only about the attitude to and the conversations that you have with somebody.

Which Kapoor do you resemble as an actor?

As an actor, nobody. My grandfather, Raj Kapoor, was a stylised actor. I have always preferred him more as a director than an actor. Of course, though he was an amazing actor, his directorial abilities blew me away. Shammi Kapoor again had his own style. Shashi Kapoor had his own style. My father has always been a natural actor. So thankfully, I was never compared because you cannot compare natural acting. I would like to believe I have my own style and I am a natural too. I have my own good and bad qualities and I hope it remains like this. I anyway have the baggage of a lineage. If my acting reminded people of actors who they have worshipped earlier, I don’t think anybody would want to see me at all.

But you do want to direct at some point of time?

Yes, I do but it’s an immature dream. It is something I aspire to do one day. I am extremely passionate about movies, but right now I need to solidify my career as an actor. I need some bonafide blockbusters, I need people to have faith in me so that banks can give me money to make movies.

For a 27-year-old boy, you keep an extremely neat room. How come?

I am basically neat. I don’t like chaos, I can’t work like that. I like silence, I like loneliness. I like everything which is soft. I think because of my docile nature, it reflects in the environment I live in.

Even in your work?

Yes, of course, it just causes less confusion. But where my acting process is concerned, I am not bothered. I could be doing a scene in front of ten thousand people on the road, they could be loud and passing remarks, but it wouldn’t affect me. But I guess when the camera is rolling, you just change as a person.

Do you seek characters that are different from you as a person?

Not at all. An actor can only wish that these roles come to him. You can’t seek them. If I am not excited by a character, I can say no, irrespective of who the director or production house is. I need to connect with the characters I am playing.

One hears you were often beaten up by the principal in school?

My principal used to beat me up because I was very naughty in school. I used to do things which I should not have done as a student. I didn’t do it because I was somebody’s son. It was pure masti.

You were shy and naughty? That’s a strange combination.

I think I am just a confused soul. Confused, complicated and a bit complex. I am often told that. I think I am an amalgamation of everything.

And docile too?

That’s what I believe and that’s what my mother believes. I am just a calm soul.

Have you ever rebelled?

Not majorly, but I do believe that I have a rebel in me. I really don’t like to be told what to do.

You are most written about for your affairs…

It really hurts me that my affairs are being written about. I am suddenly acquiring this new image. It is not me. I have been in very few relationships in my life. Few have worked, few haven’t. And I am extremely sad about the ones which haven’t worked. I am not this lover boy, people think I am. The character I did in Bachna Ae Haseeno is not me. I am quite a romantic at heart, but at the same time, being in a relationship or being with a girl is not my priority. I do believe there are great things in store for me. I need to believe that if I need to move ahead. Women are lovely. I love and respect them, but that’s not my true calling in life. My true calling is cinema and acting.

Five films I can see again and againnd again:

1. Shree 420

2. Kaagaz Ke Phool

3. Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge

4. Sanjay Bhansali’s Devdas

5. Andaaz Apna Apna

Six books that I can read again:

1. Songs That My Mother taught me by Marlon Brando

2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon

3. Dreams from My Father – A story of race and inheritance by Barack Obama

4. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

5. Ingrid Bergman’s autobiography

6. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It is cinematic in its writing. I could actually smell the kebabs in Afghanistan.

Six people whose lives I want to see chronicled in pictures:

1. Charlie Chaplin

2. Raj Kapoor

3. Michael Jackson

4. Amitabh Bachchan

5. Sachin Tendulkar

6. Lata Mangeshkar

Five songs always on my Ipod:

I can think of just one… Kisi ki muskuraahaton pe ho nisaar

//

slumMohammed Ismail, left, holds the hand of his son, Azhar, 10 – a star of Slumdog Millionaire – and his wife Shamim in the flat bought for them by the filmmakers. The picture was taken the day before his death Photograph: Gethin Chamberlain

The father of Slumdog Millionaire child star Azhar Ismail has died of tuberculosis at the family’s home in Mumbai.

Mohammed Ismail’s premature death will inevitably fuel the controversy surrounding the fate of the slum children who appeared in the movie, which has grossed more than £86m worldwide since its release.

He died today in the new flat bought for the family by the trust set up by director Danny Boyle. Azhar, 10, was at school at the time and did not learn of the death until he returned home in the early evening.

In the movie Azhar played the part of Salim, the brother of the film’s lead character. In February he travelled to Los Angeles for the Oscars ceremony, where the film picked up eight awards, and on his return to the slum with co-star Rubina Ali he was greeted by cheering crowds.

But the failure of the children to subsequently escape the slum life has been the subject of controversy both within India and abroad.

Ismail found himself at the centre of a media storm after he was photographed slapping Azhar for refusing to talk to journalists shortly after the Oscar ceremony.

Azhar later said that the image portrayed of his father was undeserved. “I was being naughty and he slapped me like any father would. I was the one who was wrong,” he said.

Ismail refused to abandon his dependence on alcohol – something he shared with a large number of men in the slum – despite the media spotlight on his life. But he was clearly very proud of his son’s success. “The fact that a poor man’s child has made such a name for himself, that’s what makes me most happy,” he told journalists.

Until two months ago the whole family still lived in the illegal Garib Nagar slum in the Bandra area of the city. A makeshift shelter that was their home until the film propelled them into the public eye was replaced by a slightly more substantial tin sheet structure built with the help of neighbours, but that was later torn down by the city council.

Ismail had been ill for some time and had twice been admitted to a tuberculosis hospital in Mumbai after being turned away by another hospital in the city, which refused to admit him in case he infected other patients.

His wife said he had been unhappy with the treatment he received in the hospital and had discharged himself.

Tuberculosis is now rare in the UK but remains a major killer in India, where about 1,000 people die of the disease every day. Most of the £1,725 Azhar earned for appearing in the movie was spent on treating his father’s illness.

When The Guardian visited the family in the flat yesterday, it was clear that Ismail’s situation was critical. He lay on the floor of the one-bedroom flat, wrapped in a bundle of blankets, his body wasted, no longer even able to stand up. Asked what would become of him, he said it was in the hands of Allah.

Dinesh Dubey, a family friend who witnessed his death, said it was peaceful.

“He was waiting for me to arrive, I think,” he said. “When I got there his clothes were still moving and his hands were shaking and, after a couple of minutes, there was no more movement.”

Until a few days ago Ismail had still been living in the slum where Azhar was born and brought up. He had stayed on when his wife and son moved into the new flat a short distance away from the slum, because he said that he needed to be there to continue his business selling scrap wood and he was reluctant to move away from his friends.

Unable to understand why the family had not been immediately rehoused when the film became a box-office success, he had regularly criticised Celador films, which made the movie, for abandoning them to their fate.

But the company maintained that it was doing everything it could to help the families of the child stars and had set up the Jai Ho Trust to take care of their welfare and to find them new accommodation.

The new apartment will be transferred into Azhar’s name when he reaches 18 and he is expected to stay on there with his mother. They share the flat with Azhar’s older brother and his wife.

GUARDIAN.CO.UK (September 4, 2009)



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