Fenil and Bollywood

Archive for October 2009

By Shaheen Parkar (MID-DAY; October 30, 2009)

Rajkumar Hiran

Tied up with the post-production of 3 Idiots, Rajkumar Hirani is juggling several tasks in his quest to make that perfect film with lots of help from the cast. It is the Munnabhai series director’s third project and he is aware that comparisons are inevitable. He remains unfazed as he believes that any film he makes should satisfy himself and the audience should love it. As Hirani prepares to unveil a new set of promos of 3 Idiots we ask him…

There are some unique buttock chairs for the 3 Idiots in the new promos?
I had them specially made. Several years ago, I had seen a snapshot of similar looking stuff and it remained etched in my memory. Now I felt it went well with the 3 Idiots of the film. This sequence is part of the song. We will be keeping these chairs at select cinema halls as well the chairs of the Idiots!

Why have you stuck to the same production house (Vidhu Vinod Chopra Productions) for all your projects?
You don’t go casting production houses. Moreover the colour of the money is the same everywhere, isn’it?

How easy or difficult was it to make 3 Idiots compared to Munnabhai?
This was the easiest film for me to make. Everyone in the unit was so eager and co-operative. We rehearsed before the shoot. I like to work that way.

On dealing with Aamir the Mr Perfectionist and Mr Interfering.
Thank God for that! There can all be kinds of buzz about Aamir but it is a delight to work with people who go beyond. I have always encouraged opinions from the cast and crew.

You have Aamir Khan as a college student?
The movie moves in two time spans. The fact that I was going to show Aamir Khan, Madhavan and Sharman Joshi as college students was the least of my worries. In the movie, Aamir looks the youngest; he has the ability to get into the character. Seeing is believing. My bigger worry was how to make everyone love the film.

R Madhavan, Aamir Khan and Sharman Joshi in 3 Idiots


Were you part of the feedback trials that Aamir held for friends and family?

Yes. Everyone desires to make the perfect film. So it is all for the betterment of the film. I love to hear feedbacks and then we go by the majority voice even if it involves making changes.

You made Kareena gain weight for the film?
My brief to the actors was to lose as much weight as possible while to the actress it was to gain the kilos. That is my style of working. Most would work the other way round. Aamir, Madhavan and Sharman had to lose it, while Kareena had to pile it on. She has a deglam, simple look in the film.

Was Kajol initially to feature in the film?
I don’t know where that buzz started from.

So finally, is 3 Idiots Five Point Someone or not at all?
Chetan Bhagat had sent across his book Five Point Someone to me. I guess he had it in his mind that it could be made into a movie. After going through it I called him up and told him that it was possible. A book is anecdotal but when you make a film it needs a plot. When I started working on the script, lots of thoughts cropped up. Yes, the movie is completely different from the book. But then if Chetan had not sent the book, I would not have made 3 Idiots. He has seen the script but not the film yet.

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SPORTY! Deepika Padukone

RACHEL FERNANDES Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 31, 2009)

Guess where Deepika Padukone is going be this weekend? In Abu Dhabi, that’s where. Not shooting for some Arabian adventure film in the capital city of the UAE, but, well, watching the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live on Sunday.
This is the first Grand Prix at Abu Dhabi and marks the climax of the 2009 F1 World Championship. The venue is the Yas Marina Race Circuit off the coast of Abu Dhabi where a 500-bed, five-star hotel straddles the race track. And where F1 fans can walk upto the paddocks from the hotel itself. Deepika, an F1 fan apparently, will be Vijay Mallya’s luck mascot for his racing team. The King of Good Times had the dimpled Bollywood beauty specially flown down after he heard that she cherished the desire to catch an F1 race live. As his special guest, Deepika will watch the season finale race from Mallya’s VVIP box.
The liquor baron, incidentally, has always had Bollywood stars as his guests at Grand Prix events. Earlier, it was the Sen sisters Raima and Riya. Don’t know whether her presence tomorrow at Abu Dhabi will spur Mallya’s F1 drivers to step on the gas and aim for a podium finish, but with all the rumours doing the rounds on Deepika’s breakup with beau Ranbir Kapoor, this mini holiday may in fact be that much needed breather for the actress.

 

CANDID CHAT: Katrina Kaif
Katrina Kaif wants to put controversies aside

 

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 31, 2009)

 

 

Don’t shoot the postman for bringing in bad news is something Bollywood hasn’t heard of. Ever since Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan had their historic squabble at Katrina Kaif’s birthday party last year, the girl has carried the cross of the untoward incident. And every time she even bumps into SRK accidentally, the media has a field day putting their meeting under a microscope. Katrina isn’t complaining about this. But it is a matter of consternation for her.
In the last week, she bumped into the Badshah of Bollywood on two occasions — at Subhash Ghai’s wedding anniversary and
Sussanne Khan’s birthday party, on October 24 and 25 respectively. And media reports that followed both events only spoke of her interaction with SRK, almost making it seem like an aberration. “I fail to understand why people must constantly focus on just one aspect of an event,’’ says Kat. “I’m not complaining because I know that if you are in the eye of the media, it only means that you are important enough to them. However, my bumping into Shah Rukh or spending time with him at an event is just a regular thing. I think people should stop trying to look for controversy in every nook and cranny. All of us are here to work. And we have common functions to attend. Naturally, when we’re under the same roof, we will interact. Why make a fuss? Who wouldn’t want to associate with Shah Rukh or Karan Johar?’’
She is aware that controversies don’t carry a star through. “After four years in the industry, I know fully well that if your work doesn’t speak for you, everything else is inconsequential,” admitted Katrina. “Believe me, I’m not excited about being in the paper everyday, or on TV, unless there is something in my career worth talking about. Media hype and publicity can’t sustain a star for long. It’s like an air balloon that can be pricked anytime… and will go phut.’’
Wanting to take her career to the next level, Katrina is keen to associate with makers like Karan Johar. Once again she isn’t looking for any smart-alec remarks on how she is switching camps. “Karan thinks out of the box. On the one hand, he makes a Dostana and then a path-breaking film like Wake Up Sid. Naturally, I’d like to do a film for his banner. Likewise, working with Adi is a pleasure. He has a young unit and they work with clockwork precision. Doing a film for them is being on a school camp, but completely result oriented.’’
Having said that, Katrina still knows that she has achieved just 20 per cent of what actresses like Kareena Kapoor have. “Honestly, I have no illusions about where I’m positioned,’’ said the pragmatic girl. “I’m nobody’s fool and for the moment, all I want is to do is some good work.’’
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is playing the good bahu to the hilt; she is taking charge of the marketing strategy to aggressively promote her father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan’s production, Paa

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 31, 2009)

Amitabh Bachchan has a new ally. He can now count on his bahu Aishwarya Rai’s savvy to help him resurrect ABCL (now AB Corp). She is determined to see that Balki’s Paa is a success and has involved herself in many aspects of promoting the film, including laying down the marketing strategy.

 

Since she returned from Malshej Ghat after completing her schedule of Mani Ratnam’s Raavana, Paa has become her priority. After all, it stars her beloved Pa and husband Abhishek Bachchan.

A source said, “This is perhaps the first time that Aishwarya is involved in the marketing strategy of a film. Aishwarya wants Paa to be a big box-office success. She is leaving no stone unturned to see that it works with the audience.”

So what exactly is Aishwarya doing for Paa? Our source revealed, “She is taking almost all the marketing decisions related to the film and laying down various strategies on how to promote it. For this, she is spending hours with the creative and the marketing teams.”

The Bachchan men consider her inputs very valuable and most of her suggestions are being implemented in a big way. Director Balki said, “Paa is an AB Corp production. So, I am sure that Aishwarya is involved with the film in different ways.”

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

When asked to elaborate, Balki said, “Today, a film in not just restricted to promos and trailers in terms of promotion. A lot of events and onground activity also form a part of the promotional strategy. Aishwarya has many wonderful suggestions about the same.”

Paa has an unconventional storyline where Amitabh plays Abhishek’s son. Going all out to make it a commercially viable product, Aishwarya has engineered the holding of certain events. Balki added, “Aishwarya has ideated some thematic events which will add to the excitement of the film. We will be holding those events nearer to the release of the film. Those events will help us reach out to a lot more people. I can’t divulge the theme at this point of time. Paa’s release is still a month away.”

Kareena Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan are mutually ready to forgive and forget; to star together in Abbas Mustan’s

By Sonal Chawla (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 31, 2009)

 

Over the years, Abhishek Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor have been quite vociferous about not wanting to work together after his marriage to Karisma Kapoor was called off. Now things seem to be looking up as Kareena and Abhishek are in the mood to move on and have agreed to star together in a film after six years. Buzz is that the two have been signed for Abbas Mustan’s untitled film, a remake of the Hollywood film, Italian Job.  The movie will also star Katrina Kaif and Neil Nitin Mukesh in lead roles.

 

A source says, “Initially talks were on with Saif Ali Khan but he did not have dates and Abhishek Bachchan replaced him. Although Saif and Kareena’s chemistry would have sizzled onscreen, it will be nice to watch Abhishek and Kareena after Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, which was their last film together in 2003. Both actors made their acting debut together in Refugee and have been in the industry for years but have only starred together in two films till date.”

While Kareena’s manager Zahid denies that she has signed the film, a source close to Abbas Mustan says, “The directors always had Kareena in mind and now they have managed to get Katrina on board too. The film will go on the floors in April and like every Abbas Mustan film, this too will also be shot on a lavish budget at international locations. The directors are clear about who they want to cast in the film.”

The Italian Job (2003) rights are with Studio 18. CEO Sandeep Bhargava of Studio 18 says, “We have the rights of Italian Job. Abbas Mustan are working on the script and will also direct the film. The movie will go on the floors sometime next year.”

When asked about the star cast, Bhargava says, “We can’t approach any actors till the script is ready.”

Despite several attempts, Abbas Mustan remained unavailable for comment.

Abhishek Bachchan Neil Nitin Mukesh
Katrina Kaif Kareena Kapoor

 

By Taran Adarsh, October 30, 2009 – 08:28 IST

Most stories sound interesting on paper or when narrated in 10/15 minutes flat. But when you watch the full-blown cinematic version, you realize why most Hindi films fall flat on their face.

Sujoy Ghosh’s ALADIN promises the moon, but what you get is a mere flicker. This fantasy had the trappings to transport you to fantasyland, but… Seriously, Sujoy could’ve run his imagination wild and come up with a film that would’ve made the child in you jump, scream and clap with glee. But 15/20 minutes into the film and you realize that ALADIN is merely a visual spectacle. A film that lacks soul!

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

After having watched ALADIN, I too desire three wishes…

  • Wish 1: Henceforth, actors shouldn’t ask for scripts before they sign on the dotted line;
  • Wish 2: Producers should act more responsibly. They shouldn’t be mere moneybags, but have creative control too;
  • Wish 3: Directors and writers should stop taking the intelligent viewer for granted.

Will a genie appear and fulfil my wishes? I doubt!

// <![CDATA[//

Aladin Chatterjee [Riteish Deshmukh] lives in the city of Khwaish, an orphan who has been bullied since childhood by Kasim [Sahil Khan] and his gang. But his life changes when Jasmine [Jacqueline Fernandez] gives him a magic lamp because it lets loose the genie Genius [Amitabh Bachchan].

Desperate to grant him three wishes and seek the end of his contract with the Magic Lamp, Genius makes Aladin’s life difficult until the real threat looms on the horizon: the ex-genie Ringmaster [Sanjay Dutt]. Why does Ringmaster want to kill Aladin? What is the dark secret about Aladin’s past that Genius is carrying?

Let’s give the credit where it’s due. ALADIN starts with a bang, with the initial portions holding a lot of promise. But no sooner does the genie appears, he breaks into a song and you realize that ALADIN is no different from those mundane films churned out week after week. Sadly, ALADIN only slides downwards after this point. Sure, there’re some interesting moments, but you can actually count those sequences.

The problem is not with the story, but the screenplay [also penned by Sujoy Ghosh]. It rests on absurdities. Okay, one expects absurdities in a fantasy, you can be pardoned for it, but at least they should have the power to keep you hooked. In this case, they don’t!

You can’t overlook two major flaws in the writing…

  • One, Amitabh refrains from revealing the past to Riteish, till Sanjay Dutt arrives on the scene and spills the beans.
  • Two, the flashback portion – which resulted in Riteish’s parents losing their lives – is haphazard. It’s not easy to comprehend.

Also, the entire track, when Amitabh loses his powers and becomes an ordinary mortal, looks gimmicky. At the same time, it looks weird when Amitabh fights an entire army of Sanju’s henchmen in the end. It gets very formulaic at this point. Not just that, even the climax is ridiculous.

Sujoy Ghosh’s screenplay is bad, to put it bluntly. Given the kind of stars and budget at his disposal, the director should’ve come up with a slick entertainer, but ALADIN comes across as a feeble clone of a poor Hollywood film. Like his last outing HOME DELIVERY, this one too is high on gloss, but low on content.

The visual effects are excellent at places, but tacky at times. Vishal-Shekhar’s music is strictly okay. However, too many songs in the initial reels act as roadblocks. The cinematography is top notch.

ALADIN belongs to Riteish, who’s easy on the eyes. The best part is, he looks the character and enacts it without going overboard. He’s at his natural best here. Surprisingly, Amitabh Bachchan is over the top this time, which puts you off after a point. Sanjay Dutt has two standard expressions from start to end. Jacqueline Fernandez gets no scope, but she looks gorgeous nonetheless.

Ratna Pathak Shah is wasted. Ditto for Victor Banerjee. And what is a wonderful actor like Mita Vashisht doing in this film? Saahil Khan and Arif Zakaria are okay.

On the whole, ALADIN is a terrible waste of a terrific opportunity. Hugely disappointing!

By Taran Adarsh, October 30, 2009 – 08:26 IST

In real life, if you feel your colleague is far more superior to you in intelligence, talent, charisma, efficiency, chances are you might feel the heat. Jealousy, generally, stems from there. In the process, the best of relations get strained. LONDON DREAMS, directed by Vipul Shah, talks of two musicians, thick pals actually, and how jealousy drives a wedge in their friendship.

Let’s clear a few myths before discussing the positive and negative factors of this film. LONDON DREAMS is not BAIJU BAWRA. LONDON DREAMS is not ROCK ON!!, ABHIMAAN, YAARANA or SAAJAN either [a section of the industry wants us to believe that]. The truth is, LONDON DREAMS borrows from Milos Forman’s brilliant film AMADEUS [1984], which was based on Salieri and Mozart’s life. In fact, Suneel Darshan too had made a film based on AMADEUS called SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM [2007; Bobby Deol, Upen Patel].

BY BOLLYWWOD HUNGAMA.COM

LONDON DREAMS is a complete departure from Vipul Shah’s earlier outings, AANKHEN, WAQT, NAMASTEY LONDON and SINGH IS KINNG [produced by Vipul, directed by Anees Bazmee]. This film is about relationships and tends to get very real and intense, in the post-interval portions specifically. The scale of LONDON DREAMS is gigantic and the execution of concerts [it’s about a band] sweeps you off your feet.

//

In terms of execution, it wouldn’t be erroneous to state that LONDON DREAMS is amongst Vipul Shah’s most accomplished works to date. Also, it boasts of incredible performances by Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn. But there are hiccups too and it’s these deficiencies that bog the film down!

They were childhood friends. But they had little in common except their family’s connection with music. While Arjun’s [Ajay Devgn] life was consumed by a passionate drive to get on stage and realize his grandfather’s unfulfilled dream, Mannu [Salman Khan] was content with remaining a child at heart with no higher ambition than enjoying the good things in life.

As Arjun forges a band with Zoheb [Rannvijay Singh], Wasim [Aditya Roy Kapur] and Priya [Asin], a music enthusiast from a conservative South Indian family, far away in Punjab, music becomes a survival tool for Mannu, who takes to playing in wedding bands in his village.

Arjun gets Mannu to London and makes him a part of the band, but soon realizes he’s created the biggest threat and obstacle to his own ambitions.

Mannu, with his inherent musical gift, becomes an instant darling of the crowds. Arjun’s unbearable pangs of jealousy and insecurity only worsen when Mannu also unwittingly woos and wins his secret love, Priya. As he battles his inner demons, Arjun slowly devises a sinister plan to destroy his best friend.

It takes time to get into Ajay’s world [its Ajay who’s narrating the story here]. The film moves back and forth and it’s only when the two buddies, now adults, meet that you realize where the story is headed. The first hour depicts the two extreme characters – Ajay, who’s an introvert and who cannot think of anything but his goal and Salman, a happy-go-lucky guy, laidback and fun-loving, least focused.

The narrative has some interesting moments in the first hour, but the actual story unravels only towards the second half. The first half, frankly, only sets things up for the explosive drama that is to follow. The wheels start moving when Ajay plays a vicious game and hatches a conspiracy to ruin his buddy’s career.

It’s the second hour that does the trick. You can’t help but carry several sequences in your heart, even after you’ve made an exit from the auditorium…

  • Note the scene when Salman makes four different tunes from the original tune created by Ajay.
  • Note the scene when Ajay meets an inebriated Salman and professes revenge, while Salman is completely clueless about Ajay’s sinister plans.
  • Note the scene when the band arrives in London after a 3-city concert and they’re received by aggressive mediapersons.

But there’re roadblocks too. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is a downer. LONDON DREAMS is about a rock band, about music, about concerts and the music had to be the soul of the film. Unfortunately, it’s not! The songs have been filmed in the most energetic fashion, but how one wishes the music was one of the strengths of the film.

Also, the film could’ve concluded when the two friends re-unite at the station. Adding one more song thereafter only dilutes the impact of the emotionally correct sequence that has just been witnessed. Besides, the song in question hasn’t been promoted either, so it only comes across as an aberration.

Prior to that, Ajay’s outburst at the end of the concert is far from convincing. The film has a real feel, real characters and real situations, but the outburst looks unreal and is one of the drawbacks, from the writing point of view. It’s just not convincing!

Besides, Ajay’s childhood character is shown fleeing from the airport and making it big in a foreign land [London], without any support whatsoever. It’s unpalatable!

Vipul Shah has handled this intricate subject well, but the writing could’ve been tighter. Sejal Shah’s cinematography is super. Brownie points for capturing the concerts brilliantly. Salim-Sulaiman’s background score matches international standards.

Both Salman and Ajay vie for top honours. Salman has a role that the junta would take to instantly and the actor too endears himself to the viewers. He’s stupendous. When it comes to displaying intensity on screen, very few can live up to the standards set by Ajay. To state that he packs in a power-packed performance would be an understatement. They, in fact, compliment each other wonderfully well.

Asin is admirable and pairs off very well with Salman. She is sure to have a new name after this film – Chennai Express [that’s how Salman addresses her affectionately, all through the film]. Om Puri has a brief role. Aditya Roy Kapur is very good and registers an impact. Rannvijay Singh doesn’t get much to do, except throw nasty looks at Salman. Manoj Pahwa provides some funny moments. Brinda Parekh is okay.

On the whole, LONDON DREAMS has superb performances from its principal cast and several emotionally-charged sequences as its two trump cards. But its biggest drawback is its climax and also the music, which is the weakest link of the movie. At the box-office, the film should appeal more to the multiplex audience than the masses. Business at big centres, especially at metros, should be better, but mini-metros and towns will be a contrast.