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By Taran Adarsh, January 1, 2010 – 12:31 IST

Surprise, surprise, surprise! Sometimes, the expectations from a movie are zilch, but what unfolds on screen is beyond expectations. It surprises you, to put it simply.

On face-value, BOLO RAAM looks like it’s straight out of 1970s cinema. A movie with predictability written all over it. A movie that carries zero hype and matches it with zero content. But BOLO RAAM isn’t archaic, isn’t the usual masala, isn’t zero content.

A remake of the Tamil film RAAM [2005; starring Jeeva, Saranya, Rehman, Murali], BOLO RAAM has an interesting plot with an engaging screenplay that compels you to look at the screen for most parts of the movie. But, of course, there’re hiccups. A few non-actors and a done to death climax could’ve been avoided.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Raam [Rishi Bhutani] is charged with the murder of his mother Archana [Padmini Kolhapure]. Raam falls into a state of shock, brief psychotic disorder, after his mother’s death and becomes silent, refusing to talk or react in any manner.

The investigating officer, Indrajeet Singh Rathi [Om Puri] is puzzled and unable to make Raam speak. He consults a psychiatrist, Dr. Negi [Naseeruddin Shah], to determine the cause of Raam’s state of mind and the reason for his silence.

Rathi interrogates various personalities for the case, questioning Raam. Every possible motive that Raam might have for murdering his mother is explored. Furthermore, Raam’s neighbours, Sub-Inspector Sajid Khan’s [Govind Namdev] daughter Juhi [Disha Pandey] and son Sameer [Krishan Khatra], are summoned by Rathi for interrogation. Will his silence solve the puzzle?

Without wasting any time, BOLO RAAM takes off from its opening titles itself. The story goes back and forth, several new characters are introduced, but the narrative stays faithful to the main plot. The best is reserved for the second half. Layer after layer is peeled with expertise. The viewer is keen to know the identity of the killer and that’s when the film fumbles and tumbles.

The culprit’s track is sloppy and a major put off. In fact, the circumstances that lead to the murder are quite amateurish and look far from convincing. Surely, the writer could’ve thought of a better culmination. Also, the one-sided love affair is functional.

Debutante director Rakesh Chaturvedi ‘Om’ makes a confident debut, although he should’ve cast some better actors for key roles. There’s not much scope for music [Sachin Gupta] in the film and hence, just one song merits mention – ‘Maa Tere Jaisa’. The background score [Sanjay Chowdhury] deserves special mention.

Newcomer Rishi Bhutani does a commendable job. He oozes confidence, despite sharing the same frame with accomplished actors. Om Puri gets into the skin of his character and is impressive, while Padmini Kolhapure is a pleasure to watch after a long gap. She is beautifully restrained. Naseeruddin Shah has a brief role and the veteran does it well. Govind Namdev is very good.

Rajpal Yadav is wasted. Both Disha Pandey and Krishan Khatra are non-actors. Manoj Pahwa does his usual act.

On the whole, BOLO RAAM has decent merits [hence those 2 stars], but the problem is its wrong release timing. It won’t stand a chance in front of a hurricane called 3 IDIOTS.

ANY LESSONS LEARNT FROM 2009 MISTAKES?

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

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

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

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



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

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

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY!

(AND WISHING EVERYONE A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!)

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

After closing the year with films such as PAA and 3 IDIOTS, the year 2010 sure looks bigger and brighter for Reliance BIG Pictures with a mixed bag of films ranging from mainstream and masala to regional and art house.

With maverick directors such as Shyam Benegal, Mani Ratnam, Anurag Basu, Shaji N Karun, Rituparno Ghosh and Buddhadeb Dasgupta bringing the best out of Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Mamootty, Boman Irani, Jishu Sengupta, Indraneil Sengupta, Kangana Ranaut amongst many others the Reliance BIG Pictures slate is sure to watch out for!

Have a sneak peek into Reliance BIG Pictures’ slate of films for the year 2010:

view KITES movie stills
KITES

KITES:

A truly international film KITES tells the story of a young con-man who lives ‘life’ in Las Vegas, always ready to make fast money in any way possible, always looking for the big score. Directed by Anurag Basu and produced by Rakesh Roshan the film stars Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori, Kangana Ranaut and Kabir Bedi. It is shot in Mumbai, New Mexico, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. The film will have and Indian and international version which will release simultaneously. Brett Ratner, best known for the RUSH HOUR series, FAMILY MAN starring Nicholas Cage and X-MEN THE LAST STAND is currently at work on the English version of KITES and tailoring it to appeal it to an international audience.

view WELL DONE ABBA movie stills
WELL DONE ABBA

WELL DONE ABBA:

WELL DONE ABBA is the story of Armaan Ali, a driver working in Mumbai. He takes leave for a month to find a husband for his teenage daughter, who lives in a small locality close to Hyderabad. Armaan Ali returns to work only after 3 months. His young employer wants to sack him but is persuaded to listen to the reason why Armaan got so delayed.

Directed by Shyam Benegal stars Boman Irani, Minissha Lamba, Sammir Dattani, Ila Arun, Sonali Kulkarni, Ravi Kishen, Rajit Kapur, Ravi Jhankal and Yashpal Sharma.

RAAVAN:

Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan come on screen together in Mani Ratnam’s RAAVAN – a modern day adaption of the epic Ramayan, being readied in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

MIRCH:

Directed by Vinay Shukla MIRCH revolves around the protagonist Maanav, a committed struggling filmmaker whose girlfriend Ruchi, a successful film editor, arranges for him to meet film producer Nitin, who is not very convinced about Maanav’s script. Maanav then suggests four stories on infidelity, woven together by a common story.

The film stars Konkana Sen Sharma, Raima Sen, Shahana Goswami, Shreyas Talpade, Rajpal Yadav, Boman Irani, Sushant Singh, Arunoday Singh and Prem Chopra with special appearances by Saurabh Shukla & Tisca Chopra.

view CHALOO MOVIE movie stills
CHALOO MOVIE

CHALOO MOVIE:

The police raid a theatre where movie tickets of a very successful film are being sold in black. When Police Inspector Sher Khan interrogates Khoji, a man in his 20s, he claims that he is the director of the very film whose tickets he is selling in black. The cynical Sher Khan puts Khoji behind bars after which he receives two phone calls – one from the Police Commissioner and another from the dreaded don ‘WC’, both of whom support Khoji’s detention. A hilarious turn of events reveal who Khoji is, whether he is really the film’s director, why is he selling his film’s tickets in black and what do the Police Commissioner and don ‘WC’ want from Khoji.

Starring Rajpal Yadav, Shekhar Suman, Divya Dutta, Hrishta Bhatt and Sayali Bhagat, CHALOO MOVIE is directed by Vinod Pande.

Reliance BIG Pictures, the most committed motion picture company producing regional films in 8 Indian languages is working persistently towards taking them beyond the conventional Diaspora

The slate of films includes:

KUTTY SRANK: Shaji Karun’s Malayalam film KUTTY SRANK starring Mamooty, Kamilini Mukherjee, Padmapriya and Meenakumari brings out three distinct personalities of a dead boat-man from the perspective of three women each of whom claims to be his wife.

ABOHOMAAN
ABOHOMAAN

ABOHOMAAN: Rituparno Ghosh’s Bengali film ABOHOMAAN starring Dipankar De, Mamata Shankar, Ananya Chatterjee, Jishu Sengupta and Ria Sen brings to the screen a sensational relationship between a film-director, a young actress and a wife who swears to ruin her husband’s life and career and a son who gets caught in the cross-fire in this extravagant drama.

JANALA: Buddhabed Dasgupta’s Bengali film JANALA starring Tapas Paul, Swastika Mukherjee and Indraneil Sengupta is the journey of a solitary man against the wrath of circumstances when he decides to pursue his little impulsive dream.

IJJODU: by the maestro M S Sathyu is a film about a photo journalist who finds an interesting girl who has been exploited on the name of religion. He succeeds in breaking her blind belief but fails to accept her to give her an alternative life. This Kannada flick stars Meera Jasmine and Anirudh.

GLAMSHAM.COM

Abhay Deol to learn Tamil for Dibakar Banerjee’s next film

By Sonal Chawla (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 24, 2009)


After Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye (2008), the successful combination of director Dibakar Banerjee and Abhay Deol will be seen again. The untitled film is a political thriller involving an assassination. Abhay will play one of the protagonists.

Confirming the news, Dibakar says, “The film is based on a European novel published in the mid-1960s. We are still negotiating for the rights of the book. Ever since I read the book, I wanted to convert it into a film. Of course, I will adapt it to Indian sensibilities. The film deals with three principal characters. Abhay plays a South Indian judge, while the other characters are a journalist who sells soft porn to magazines and an expat social worker, who will be female.”

Abhay Deol Dibakar Banerjee

Currently Dibakar is talking to a few heroines who will star with Abhay. He says, “I need one girl. She will be finalised in the next few days. But the biggest challenge in this film is that Abhay Deol will have to learn Tamil. He plays a Tamilian and has to speak several lines in Tamil throughout the film. For that, he will be first learning the language,” Dibakar added.

The director will take a short break after the release of Love, Sex Aur Dhoka (LSD). He adds, “This movie has completely drained me emotionally and I need to give sometime to myself.  The script is already written and ready and will only go on floors by the end of next year. Unconventional subjects are my forte, but this film will not be bolder than LSD. Trust me, you will not have seen a bolder film than LSD in your life.”

Is this a Balaji production roo? That’s the buzz, we told him. He says, “There are no producers as such on board yet.”

By Subhash K. Jha, December 17, 2009 – 12:26 IST

Sameera Reddy What would’ve been a routine birthday bash for Sameera Reddy on Sunday night turned out to be a very special occasion when Priyadarshan, who has just given the actress her first hit since Race in De Dana Dan, turned around and said, “You’re in my next film.”

Sameera who has become very close to Priyan and his wife Lizzie and in fact spends all her free time during her frequent visits to Chennai in their house is still reeling in pleasure. “I couldn’t have got a better birthday gift. Firstly it turned out to be Priyan and Lizzie’s marriage anniversary. So we had my birthday and their anniversary party at Shristi Behl’s residence. All three of us Lizzie, Priyan and I cut a cake.”

The icing on the cake was Priyan’s impulsive offer. “I don’t need to ask him what it is or in which film. I trust him completely. He gave me a role in De Dana Dan that did justice to my presence. This, at a time when I was desperately trying to shed my sexy image.”

Not many people know this but Sameera has a secret special appearance in the Bihar based film that Priyan is shooting with Ajay Devgn, Akshaye Khanna and Bipasha Basu.

“How do you know about this?” Sameera demands to know. “So that makes it three films with Priyan. I’m really lucky to have Priyan and his wife as friends. Now when I go to Chennai is like a second home to me thanks to the work that I do. In fact my latest Tamil hit was mixed in Priyan’s studio in Chennai, so the bond thickens.”

Her prestigious film Nagesh Kukunoor’s Yeh Husla remains stuck.

Says Sameera softly, “That’s because the producers Percept have bungled. They’re in a real financial mess. They owe almost everyone associated with them quite a lot of money.”

Sameera herself remains solitary in Mumbai. “My sister Meghna is now married to a Greek and settled on the most exotic Greek island. My brother-in-law spoils me silly. They both love me because I convinced our conservative dad about the unlikely marital alliance.”

Especially after her sister’s marriage Sameera really misses a man in her life. “It gets really lonely. And I know I’m looking my best these days. Thanks to yoga, I’ve lost oodles of flesh. But what’s the point of looking good when you’ve no one to admire you?”

Age may be just a number. But in Bollywood, Sameera knows her time is numbered. “At the party at Shristi Behl’s, I just kept staring at Twinkle Khanna. She was glowing. She just keeps getting better with the years. I hope I look as radiant when I reach that age.”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

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.

Just when movie enthusiasts across the globe are eagerly awaiting the release of James Cameron’s magnum opus ‘Avatar’ on Dec 18, multiplexes across India are gearing up to encash on the extraordinary buzz around its release.

Made with a fusion camera developed by Cameron himself, ‘Avatar’ is expected to revolutionize the film-watching experience and multiplexes are investing huge sums in upgrading their infrastructure to bring this extravaganza to moviegoers.

While Avatar will be released in 2D as well as 3D formats, theatre owners are particularly expecting a huge demand for the 3D version.

In the past, 3D Hollywood films like ‘Ice Age 3’, ‘& ‘Final Destination’ have done good business in India.

From the time producers Fox Star Studios screened 20 mins footage of Cameron’s film in August this year, the number of 3D screens in India has increased from around 12 to 40, and 60-70 screens by 18th December.

This covers cities across India including major markets like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai & Hyderabad as well as smaller centers like Coimbatore, Amritsar, Kerala, Jaipur and Ahmedabad (which is considered a small market for Hollywood films).

Aditya Shroff, AVP – Distribution, Programming and Corporate Sales for Fame Cinemas reaffirms, “I believe that the 3D version of Avatar is going to be the revolutionary movie for this generation & hence Fame is trying to go as wide as possible with the 3D release. Avatar will do to 3D what Reliance did to mobile phone usage in India.

While most multiplexes in Pune and Bangalore are going 3D, single screens like ‘Central Plaza’ in Mumbai and ‘Urvasi’ in Bangalore are also going 3D before the release of release Avatar.

Interestingly, Avatar will be released in 3D in Hindi also.

Cinemax in Andheri (Mumbai) has updated its biggest auditorium that has the capacity of 377 with 3D facility for AVATAR.

Inox will have 3D screens in Pune, Baroda, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Nagpur, Raipur, Rajasthan, Indore, and Kolkata before the release of AVATAR.

Commenting on the hype around ‘Avatar’, Mr. Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios India says; “There is an incredible buzz building up for Avatar across the India media, our theatrical partners and the core audiences. The dramatic increase in the no. of 3D screens, as well as the strong interest that we are getting from the Hindi, Tamil and Telegu language markets reaffirms the strong buzz for the film.”

Ranjit Thakur, CEO of Scrabble Entertainment says “The demand for 2K Digital & 3D Systems is from all corners of the county. Even the single screen exhibitors want to capitalize on the opportunity of screening Avatar in 3D. “

Thakur adds “The demand for the film has created a worldwide shortage of digital equipment and even silver screens for 3D are hard to get”.

‘Avatar’ is an epic action adventure film made on a whopping budget of Rs 1200 crores. It is the story of a wounded ex-marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an exotic planet rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival.

Avatar releases worldwide on Dec 18 in 2D & 3D. In India, the film will also be dubbed in Hindi, Tamil & Telugu.

BOXOFFICEINDIA.COM



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