Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘terrorism

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?
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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

WHO AM I? Shah Rukh Khan as Rizwan Khan


Shah Rukh Khan speaks exclusively to BT about his role in the biggest film of his career

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 29, 2009)

Shah Rukh Khan, the pains and failures of 2009 behind him if not entirely forgotten, is looking forward to the New Year because it brings with it the imminent release and promise of the biggest film of his career (his words, not mine) – Karan Johar’s My Name Is Khan. He’s had a bad year starting with the shoulder injury and surgery, then the uninspiring box-office returns for Billu – his only release in 2009, and finally the humiliating decimation of his IPL team in South Africa. But, as the poet T. S. Eliot famously wrote, “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice”… and SRK, suspect, is secretly hoping that the next voice cinema audiences will listen to is going to be his in 2010. Or rather Rizwan Khan’s, the autistic character he plays in My Name Is Khan, which is slated for a grand bi-lingual worldwide release in February. Actually, the character in this ambitious film suffers from asperger’s syndrome, an autistic disorder whose main symptom is a difficulty in social interaction. It is a role that Shah Rukh, who is notoriously among Bollywood’s least social people, must have slipped into with consummate ease. Over a glass of tea in his vanity van one night late at Mehboob Studios, I asked him whether audiences were ready for another challenged hero after Bachchan with progeria in Paa and, before that, Aamir with dyslexia in Taare Zameen Par. Shah Rukh replied, “Audiences understand what you tell them. People like a good story. And this is a joyous film with a new romantic thought, the journey of an ordinary man. It is a love story with an epic feel. All love stories have obstacles, but the obstacle in My Name Is Khan is real, it happens in everyday life. For me, the film was an opportunity to play a challenged character… bahut maaza aaya!” What he was saying was contrary to public belief that the film is based on terrorism. Shah Rukh scowled. “I don’t know where you got that idea,” he said in exasperation, “yes, it is set in the aftermath of 9/11, and it is heroic without the fighting and screaming, but My Name Is Khan is a heartening and even funny film… even though we didn’t try to make a funny film! I am excited about it as I am about all my films. But this one I’m very proud of. Mainly because I’ve co-produced it with Karan. Also because Kajol and I are acting together after eight years.” He’s not seen a trial of the film as yet to voice an opinion on how well it will do at the box-office. That Shah Rukh never does. Not for his own films nor anybody else’s. In fact, he said he’s hardly seen any of his films completely. “Trials mean analysis,” he explained, “but trial reactions are different from theatre reactions. I don’t make a film for myself, I make it for the story. Besides, I’m shy of myself on screen, I’m not vain, it’s just that I’m not fond of my face or physique. Maybe that’s why I’m an actor – so that I can play someone else.”
Perhaps, he was still in character for the film. Or, maybe, interacting with people is as much a problem for Shah Rukh Khan in real life as it is for Rizwan Khan in reel. “I’m not antisocial,” he protested, “I’m a quiet person, strangely reclusive, I’m not as confident as you think I am. I have issues. I’m thankful to Allah… to be not so gifted and have all this. It may sound pompous, but I’m great enough to be humble, I’m very happy when people say ‘SRK’s the best’… there is a sense of achievement, I’m happy by what I’ve done, but humble enough to know it’s not because of me. Yet put me on stage, say, at Salt Lake Stadium before a million people and I will comfortably entertain you for an hour. As long as I’m an entertainer, I have no problems. It’s when I’m Shah Rukh Khan that the problems arise. I’m a fun guy… yet my kids enjoy their mother’s company more.”

Although My Name Is Khan will premiere at the 60th Berlin Film Festival, distributor Fox Star Studios, has prevented it from competing with other films in the Competition section

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 25, 2009)


With the good news comes the bad news as well. The good news is that Fox Star Studios, international partners on My Name Is Khan, has decided to premiere the film at the 60th Berlin Film Festival in February 2010, in the most prestigious Competition section. However, the bad news is that they have not allowed the film to compete with other films in the section. The reason for the same is unknown.

Karan doesn’t deny the news but pooh-poohs the belief that the global corporates are trying to bully him into submission. He says, “Yes, the decision to place our film in the Competition section without competing was taken entirely by Fox Star. Shah Rukh and I are completely one with it. We are just happy to be in the same section as the new films by Martin Scorsese and Roman Polanski. Fox Star has been on the same page as me from the start. Shah Rukh, Kajol and I are getting ready for Berlin. It will be the first full-fledged screening of our film. We are anxious to see how the global audience at Berlin reacts to it.”

According to sources, Fox Star has grown progressively wary of the 9/11 angle in cinema and has asked Karan to tone it down as far as possible. Apparently, the filmmaker was asked to change the trailer for the premiere of My Name Is Khan (unveiled last week) so that overt references to terrorism are done away with. Karan was also asked to stress on the fact that the film is not about 9/11 and terrorism. Karan dismisses the news. He says, “Fox Star knew exactly what My Name Is Khan is about. It’s a fact that the film is not about terrorism. Yes, 9/11 does form a background to the tale, but the film is a love story and a story of humanism under pressure.”

(L): My Name Is Khan, (R) :Karan Johar

Apparently, there is also a fear that Shah Rukh Khan’s smaller-than-life role as an autistic Muslim, fighting injustice in the US may not go down well with his fans. Karan laughs at the rumours. He says, “That is such an erroneous interpretation of Shah Rukh’s character. He plays a man with a disability who can see the world around him far more clearly than the so-called normal people. He is a superman with a soul pure enough to fly. No, I don’t think his fans would be disappointed just because he isn’t larger-than-life in Khan. Shah Rukh’s fans all over the world want to see him in roles that connect the reality of cinema with the reality of the world outside the theatre.”

Vijay Singh, CEO, Star Fox Studios, also insists that the film is not about terrorism. He says, “My Name Is Khan is a love story and Shah Rukh Khan’s character’s journey to win back his love. It has nothing to do with terrorism.”

CHECK OUT THE PROMO OF MY NAME IS KHAN HERE!

By Faridoon Shahryar, December 16, 2009 – 23:10 IST

Click above for more event stills

My Name Is Khan and I am not a terrorist…this line from the First Look promo of Shahrukh-Kajol propelled ‘My Name Is Khan‘ hits you with an incredible force that sends shivers of goose pimples within. Obviously the paramount question is that whether the SRK-Kajol chemistry works magic again. Yes, it does…Big Time. It seems the duo are meant to fall in love and transmit that love-electricity on celluloid to millions of people across the world.

MNIK promo successfully opens a window to what the basic story is, whips up an engaging drama and leaves you panting for more. Rizwan’s (Shahrukh) disability is blanketed by Mandira’s (Kajol) overwhelmingly deep affection. How 9/11 changes lives forever and for some strange innocent reason Rizwan wants to meet up with the President Of America. There’s a strong resistance and guns blaze on the roads of suspicion.

There are two significant lines that stay with you when the promo is over. First one is: He believed that if you do good deeds…good things will happen to you. And the second is: We are stronger than our fears. It seems that the Writing will be the strong point of ‘My Name Is Khan‘ and undoubtedly Karan Johar is treading a territory that in all probability will enrich the Indian film industry.

The production design looks top notch, cinematography is world class and the look of both Shahrukh and Kajol is different from what we’ve seen them in before. There’s a small section of a song ‘Noor-e-Khuda’ which comes at the beginning of the promo and it seems Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have redeemed themselves after an average ‘London Dreams’. The background score sounds very attractive too.

Kajol’s breakdown scene sends chills down your spine. What a volcano of a talent she is. Shahrukh’s intense sincerity binds your attention from the first frame of the promo till its last. This may be the turning point in the career of Shahrukh Khan, the fantastic actor, who amazed earlier with magnificence in ‘Chak De India’.

It goes without saying that the First Look promo of ‘My Name Is Khan‘ whets your appetite for the real thing. One of the finest First Look promos in recent times.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

The music of My Name is Khan releases today. Karan Johar tells us five things that everyone wants to know about the film

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



• How long do you plan to work only with Shah Rukh Khan considering that actors have a limited shelf life, unlike directors?

I have never worked without him and I have no clue what the experience will be like. I do my best work when Shah Rukh is on the sets as there is this tremendous sense of comfort when he is around and I feel that everything will be fine and fun on the sets. I think I will be working with him for the rest of my life as we have this special connection not only personally but also professionally. We understand each other very well, he is a member of my family and vice versa.

• Don’t you think that right now the audience wants to watch entertaining films while yours is a serious film?

Well, I don’t know as I never calculate anything as far as creativity goes. I know that I have made a film with my heart, soul and a lot of passion. My entire team- SRK, Kajol, Ravi Chandran, Shibani, Deepa, Sharmistha and everybody else- has really toiled to make it a soulful venture. I firmly believe that emotions are universal and I know that when they connect with the audience, it works. There is no such thing as an entertaining or a serious film; there are good films and bad films. Good films will always find a vast audience.

• Your last film Kurbaan had a terrorism backdrop and was promoted as a love story, which clearly did not work. Do you plan to have a different strategy for the promotion of My Name is Khan?

There is nothing about terrorism in Khan. It is a soulful emotional journey about a man who is all for love and that’s exactly how we are promoting the film. I certainly have no idea why the rumours about terrorism in Khan are doing the rounds.

• My Name is Khan releases on February 12. Do you think it’s the ideal release date considering its Valentine’s Day week and youngsters would want to see a romantic film?

Absolutely! Khan’s core content is a love story. The entire journey is the love story between Rizwan and Mandira, my protagonists. What better time than the Valentine’s Day week for the release of this love story about two people who go through so much in life for love.

• My Name is Khan will have the biggest release till date, even overseas. Do you think it’s the right strategy?

We have a great partnership with Fox Searchlight and it is their strategy to have a platform release, which is what they call such a release. They believe that My Name is Khan has a market way beyond what’s expected and it is their strategy to break certain boundaries of exhibition for this film. They have full faith in the film and I hope their faith pays off. The real work for any filmmaker stars after he finishes directing a film. I spent two years making the film but most of my efforts for the next two months will go in the promotion, marketing and connecting with the audience.

Premiere league

My Name is Khan will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on February 12. It is expected to be screened at one of Berlin’s most important locations, Potsdamer Platz. Incidentally, it is the first Indian film to be premiered in Berlin.

LOOKING AHEAD: Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in the film
Karan Johar is unperturbed by mixed reactions to his recent film

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 28, 2009)

Dharma Productions’ Kurbaan with Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in the lead definitely got people across the globe to sit up and take notice of it. Rensil D’Silva’s cross-genre flick that is a love story set against the backdrop of terrorism came in for a mixed view from its audience. However, Karan Johar is not shaken. “I know exactly what I’m doing,” says Bollywood’s prolific and progressive producer. He admits that his banner has in the past been associated with candy floss cinema. But from the start of 2009, Dharma is emerging as a formidable force, and has been making dramatic departures from its safe zone. Says Karan, “With Kurbaan, we did make a complete departure from what we have earlier been doing. Whether it was Dostana or Wake Up Sid, we’ve been dabbling in different genres.” He says that even those films were closer in texture to what he has been doing in the past — like a Kabhie Khushie Kabhi Gham or a Kal Ho Na Ho. “But,” adds Karan, “in the case of Kurbaan, we moved away completely to address a serious issue. And, when we did that, we were well aware that we were treading on a new path. Reactions to the film may be mixed. However, it is my endeavour to raise the bar with each film that I undertake. And, to also make globally relevant cinema.” Of the firm view that the West is watching not only our economic progress but also taking interest in our cinema, Karan feels that, “Sometimes such cinema may not exactly get the box office that one hopes for, but that certainly doesn’t shake my faith in this genre of film.” KJo also feels that the synergy between him and UTV Movies with whom he associated for Wake Up Sid and Kurbaan is truly gratifying in that both production houses are invading a similar cinema space. And have a similar thought process. “UTV produced some of the most amazing films in the last couple of years,” says Karan. “From a Mumbai Meri Jaan, Aamir, A Wednesday, Jodhaa Akbar, Wake Up Sid, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and now Kurbaan — it has consistently backed progressive and meaningful cinema.” And while he will delve into relevant issues like terrorism and autism next (in My Name Is Khan), Karan will keep up the quintessential date movie like I Hate Luv Stories, a fun caper like Dostana-2 and the remake of the Hollywood flick Step Mom. No matter what, Dharma is a banner on a mission. They will never veer away from good cinematic content — be it realistic or pure fantasy. meena.iyer@timesgroup.com

HARD TALK: Mira Nair

SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 27, 2009)

After the mixed response to her latest Hollywood bigbudget film Amelia, Mira Nair is all set to plunge into a far more contemporary and headline-screaming work. It’s going to be a thriller called The Reluctant Fundamentalist and will be set in Lahore, Chile and New York.

Mira had been angling for the filming rights of Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid’s novel by this name for some time now. The deal has finally come through. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is about the impact 9/11 had on the life of a young Pakistani Muslim in New York and requires an intense Muslim actor to play the protagonist, Changez, who can express bitterness, rage and acceptance within the same scriptzone.

The buzz is that Mira has decided on her old favourite Irrfan Khan with whom she did The Namesake and Kosher Vegetarian. However, there is pressure from the American studios to cast a Hollywood actor in the main role so that the international bestselling novel would get the audience it demands and deserves. Global terrorism is not just a theme that fascinates the international film fraternity. Bollywood has produced at least three talked-about films on it this year. Mira is keen to watch her good friend Karan Johar’s Kurbaan and Kabir Khan’s New York to get a look at another filmmaker’s perspective on how 9/11 changed the world-view for Muslims.


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