Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘26/11

Karan Johar gives his new year plans a miss; will remain in Mumbai to complete the last leg of My Name is Khan. SRK follows suit; will spend time with family at Mannat

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 31, 2009)

Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan are not just the co-producers of My Name is Khan, they plan and cancel their holidays in tandem too. While Karan will stay in town to work on the editing and soundwork of My Name is Khan; SRK will have a lazy time with family at his residence in Bandra, Mannat.

Karan had initially planned to go abroad to bring in the New Year and SRK was supposed to stay at his Dubai villa. However, SRK will return from Dubai to spend a quiet new year at his house.

Our source said, “Karan had cancelled his new year plans last year, because of the 26/11 attacks. He has been visiting Goa for the new year for the past three to four years. This time, he was really looking forward to visiting either LA or New York. He was forced to cancel his trip as he is busy with the editing and some final technical work in the sound department.

Shah Rukh Khan Karan Johar

SRK had planned to spend the New Year at his Dubai villa with family. But he has also changed his mind and is now returning to Mumbai in the afternoon.”

Karan Johar could not be reached as he is busy editing his film and SRK remained unavailable for comment.

BONDING AT WORK: Gurinder Chadha

Gurinder Chadha on movies and being back in Mumbai

MEENA IYER (BOMBAY TIMES; December 15, 2009)

Gurinder Chadha, the NRI film-maker, who tells delectable stories of Punjabi families living in Southhall, UK—i.e. Bend it like Beckham (2002), Bride and Prejudice (2004); is back with her latest offering It’s a Wonderful After Life.
The film has an obese Shabana Azmi (yeah, she piled on 20 pounds for the lead character); with other popular names like Sendhil Ramamurthy (from the popular television series Lost), Sally Hawkins (Golden Globe winner), Chris Wilson and Jimi Mistry. The film itself is scheduled for a summer 2010 release, but the internationally feted filmmaker was in Mumbai with her twins, on a whirlwind trip to bond with some of Bollywood’s best.

Says Gurinder, “I’m a bit more sensitive to Mumbai after the 26/11 terror attacks.” She says her son Ronak loves it here and every time he smells the ‘stench’ in the air around the sea, he keeps saying, “Mommy someone is frying fish.”

For Gurinder however, even making a trip to the five-star hotels that were under siege, was a onerous task because “it will break my heart to go in there and pretend all is well.’’ About her completing a ‘trilogy’ of sorts with It’s a Wonderful After Life, she says, “It’s a funny film with a heart. It talks of what would happen if women ruled the world.’’

About Shabana who is the protagonist, Gurinder says, “Shabana who had to pile on pounds for the film had a field day eating parathas and cake.’’ She guffaws as she adds, “She also wore the cheapest cardigans and flowery salwar-kurtas with kothis (jackets) to look the part. And she perfected her Brit-Punjabi accent by attending a baby shower of one of my relatives.’’ Gurinder adds, “Shabana is a legend in India and working with her was indeed a pleasure.’’

And guess what, thedrawn-to-India-forever-film-maker will return to Kerala for her next film that revolves around two children. “I’m in talks with Santosh Sivan,’’ she

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, November 26, 2009 – 15:18 IST Shahrukh Khan, Shaina NC
Even as the tinsel town wakes up to the anniversary of the 26/11 terrorist attacks on Mumbai, film stars and the industry make the right noises in the media, the King Khan dedicates himself to the Nation in a unique way.

Shah Rukh Khan and BJP spokesperson Shaina N C painted a wall at Marine Lines at midnight to pay tribute to the heroes and victims of 26/11. Mumbaikars joined them in large numbers.

Shahrukh Khan
Here’s saluting those who fought against the terrorists on those fateful three days. Jai Hind!


Filmmakers known for fairytale romances are now making movies with terrorism as the backdrop, finds Harshada Rege

It could be a reaction post the 26/11 terror attacks or just the fact that terrorism is a global phenomena, but filmmakers have never before been so keen to highlight this evil on the big screen. And the emphasis on this is laid by the fact that two production houses known for their romantic films, have taken a huge leap and have made movies on this topic. We are talking about Yash Chopra’s production house that’s known for movies like Chandni, Lamhe and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge; and Karan Johar who has made feel-good movies like
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham to the more recent Dostana and Wake Up Sid. Yash Chopra’s banner has already brought out its offering on terrorism in the form of New York that was directed by Kabir Khan and starred John Abraham, Katrina Kaif and Neil Nitin Mukesh. Karan on the other hand produced the recently released and highly-acclaimed Kurbaan that stars Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Vivek Oberoi. While the movie is what Karan calls a “love story” it was a subject that Karan couldn’t stop thinking about. He asked Rensil D’Silva to write and develop it for him. He later asked Rensil to direct the project. “The story addresses this evil that has become a global phenomena,” he says.
But it was director Kunal Kohli, who surprised everyone with Fanaa in 2005. Easily one of the most successful films that had terrorism as the backdrop, Fanaa handled the issue very well. “Movies that are relevant to that particular time always click with the audience. Like Naya Daur or Namak Haraam that the audience remembers for those particular eras,” points Kunal, who has also directed Hum Tum, Mujhse Dosti Karoge! and Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic. Speaking about Fanaa he says that the movie worked because it was a Hindi ‘picture’. “It had the right elements put together. It’s is very important to make your film entertaining. If you feel socially responsible and want to give a message you have to make it entertaining and not sound preachy,” he says. He feels that people liked the movie because the common man was the protagonist. “People found Rehan (Aamir Khan’s character) like any other man. He was a guide and a very mard character. He wasn’t just a boy, but a man,” says Kunal.
A trade pundit says, “As long as the director doesn’t get confused between making a love story or a film on terrorism it’s fine. In the end the audience has to feel for the characters.” Managing the commercial aspect and sending out a social message can be difficult. “Yes, it is very difficult. But that’s what the audience expects from you,” says Kunal.

BOMBAY TIMES (November 26, 2009)

WE CARE: Ranbir Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Mugdha Godse and Neil Nitin Mukesh
Bollywood stars join Mumbaiites in 26/11 music video

NICOLE DASTUR Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 23, 2009)

Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar, Ranbir Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, Yash Chopra, Boman Irani, Nandana Sen, Neha Dhupia, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Mugdha Godse, Ramesh Taurani, Gul Panag — just a couple of Bollywood log who will be part of a special song-cum-music video dedicated to the 26/11 terror attacks. The video, conceptualised and produced by Viraf Patel, directed by Arjun Sablok and composed by Monty Sharma, will go on air on the 26th itself and will also feature the aam junta — Mumbaiites from all stratas of society and all walks of life — besides the Bollywood brigade.

“The song will be interspersed with the stars and the people giving out their own personal, heartfelt messages, the crux of which will be ‘I am Indian’, ‘Main Hindustani Hoon’, ‘Main Bharatiya Hoon’… the variations of the same statement is a deliberate attempt to reflect the diversity and unity of India. Although the terrorists struck Mumbai, every Indian was affected. The aftermath was pan-Indian. The idea of the single is to stir the emotions of every Indian,” says Viraf of the music video which will be aired on all television channels.

ON AIR: Kareena at the Radio Mirchi Studios. Tune into 98.3FM for the songs from Kurbaan and Kareena’s interview

Kareena Kapoor talks to Radio Mirchi’s listeners about the initiative and her new film

REAGAN GAVIN RASQUINHA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 16, 2009)

While last year’s terror attacks during 26/11 left us dazed and confused, stories about acts of outstanding bravery, kindness and generosity also abound. Acts that make us proud to be from this city. Highlights in a cloud of grey, that let us know that humanity shines through no matter what. Mumbai will never forget the bravery displayed by the NSG, the policemen or the firemen.

To honour these heroes, Radio Mirchi has organised a special screening of the film Kurbaan. Kareena Kapoor was recently on Radio Mirchi’s Sunset Samosa with RJ Suren to talk about this initiative and her upcoming film. Visiting the Radio Mirchi studio after a gap of six years, the stunning actress spoke about her role in the film. She said, “I think this is one of my best roles after Jab We Met, so I am very excited about it. Karan came up with ‘Some love stories have blood on them’ because the film is very intense; blood here refers to the pain.”

Produced by Dharma productions and directed by debutant director Rensil D’Silva, Kurbaan stars Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Vivek Oberoi, Kirron Kher and Om Puri. Salim-Suleiman who are the music directors have given a fantastic score for the film which can be heard on Radio Mirchi. Suleiman’s favourite here is a song called “Rasiya, as it is has dark undertones and really sets the mood for the images it accompanies in the film.” On her part, Kareena continues, “The lyrics of all the songs are beautiful. Ali Maula is a very gripping song; the film comes to life in this song.” The popular Shukran Allah is already climbing the charts.

Pleased with the special initiative take by Mirchi, Kareena asked Radio Mirchi listeners to nominate those people they know who helped out during 26/11. The nominees will be able to attend the special screening of Kurbaan where the lead star Saif Ali Khan will also be present.

Eesha Koppikhar says the date has been fixed for 29th

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

The bridal glow on her face is already visible. And Eesha Koppikhar, who is shipshape, makes no attempts to camouflage her ecstasy. The actress is marrying the sought after restaurateur Timmy Narang on November 29, in what will be a traditional Mangalorean-style wedding followed by a reception at the Narang House.
“Timmy is in Bangkok for his bachelor’s parts says Eesha. “H actually had so business there and he decided combine it with his bachelor’s party. So he andhis group of boys flew to Thailand few days ago.”
Eesha herself in huge demand with her relatives who have been inviting her for round of pre-wedding lunches and dinners. “I’m excited about the wedding,” she confesses. As if on cue, her beau calls and excusing herself for some private conversation with Timmy, Eesha returns to add, “I have three films —Hello Darling, Right Ya Wrong and Shabari — coming back-to-back in 2010, but I decided to marry because both Timmy and I want this more than anything else.”
The actress says that the pundit came up with November 26 as the auspicious date…but she couldn’t get herself to agree because 26/11 is a  black day in Mumbai history. “So we froze on November 29 instead”, she says. Three prominent designers are making her wedding trousseau and bridal outfits. However, she is not at liberty to discuss any of that at the moment.
“I’m fortunate that Timmy is broadminded. He has no issues about me continuing with my acting assignments… and though he knows precious little about films, he is my support system,” she says.
Eesha is currently hosting a television show on fitness. And it is fitness that drew Timmy and her together.”And of course, our love and mutual respect for one another made us want to seal our relationship with marriage. I also want to have kids and I decided to marry now because I want my kids to grow up and be friends with me when I can still enjoy raising a family,” says Eesha.

The honeymoon will be on the beaches of California or on Gold Coast but Eesha wants many aspects of her marriage and honeymoon kept under wraps.
Bothh Timmy and I want a quiet but traditional wedding” she says. However, since the Narangs are a big business family and Eesha herself has many friends in Bollywood, both of them agreed on having a reception for their well-wishers at the Narang House in Mumbai.


Dan Brown-the name is enough to arouse curiosity! While the film adaptation of Brown’s The Da Vinci Code (TDVC) was above average, Angels And Demons succeeds in being better than the former. More about it later!

The story of the movie: Under the leadership of Father Silvano (Carmen Argenziano), scientists at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva succeed in getting hold of three vials of antimatter. But soon, someone breaks into Silvano’s lab, kills him and runs away with one vial of antimatter. Dr Vittoria (Ayelet Zurer) is the first one to find Silvano’s dead body. On the other hand, the Vatican is mourning the death of the Pope. It starts preparing for the Conclave of the Cardinals, which will decide who the next Pope will be. Until then, the Carmerlengo Patrick (Ewan McGregor) assumes the day-to-day control of the Vatican. But all hell breaks loose when the Illuminati, a 400-year-old underground rival society, becomes active and kidnaps the preferratti (i.e. the four most likely candidates to become the next Pope). The Illuminati even threatens to kill the candidates every hour starting at 8pm and then destroy the Vatican at midnight. It soon becomes clear that it was this kidnapper who stole the antimatter and he’s all set to explode the Vatican at 12 using it. The Vatican summons Dr Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and Dr Vittoria to help them find and rescue the preferratti, and search for the antimatter before midnight. An expert that Dr Langdon is, he soon finds a clue that should lead him to his goal. Will he be able to race against time and save the Vatican’s glory?

I had not read the book so I had no clue what would happen the next moment. And thankfully, the film will not confuse those who haven’t read the book before and that is surely one of its big plus point. There is enough happening in the film to keep the viewers engrossed. Robert Langdon giving lessons on history to explain the situation better was a treat to watch.


Undoubtedly, the best scene was when Langdon rescues the fourth candidate. The climax was well-shot. However, just when you feel everything is over, the film still goes on and on. It was at this point that the film turns a little dull. But then comes a big jatkedaar moment which was very impressive!

However, there are some glaring flaws in the film. Knowing that there is just an hour to save the 2nd candidate, still Dr Langdon, the Swiss Guards and the Vatican police are doing their job at a snail’s pace. They would pace up only when 10 minutes are remaining. Same happened when they were searching for 3rd candidate. It instantly reminded of the Mumbai police reaction of 26/11!

Performance wise, each actor was perfect. Tom Hanks was brilliant and much better than in TDVC. Of course, it was his wonderful dialogue delivery that impresses maximum. And watch out for his entry scene. Ayelet Zurer was wonderful and makes an impact from the first scene itself. Ewan McGregor’s performance was at par with Tom Hank’s. He was at its best in the second half wherein he gets more screen time. Nikolaj Lie Kaas as the assassin/kidnapper was marvelous. Watch out for his cold-blooded looks! From the supporting cast, Pierfrancesco Favino, Victor Alferi and Armin Mueller-Stahl leave a mark.

Salvatore Tontino’s cinematography was superb, instantly reminding of TDVC. The lensman was its best esp in those scenes which were shot in the interiors of the Vatican buildings (Sistine Chapel particularly).

Screenplay by Akiva Goldsman (who also wrote TDVC) and David Koepp (who has written some of my fav films-Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, War of the Worlds, Spider-Man, Jurassic Park and Mission Impossible) was near perfect. Of course, adapting a book into a film is no easy work and both these talented guys deserve the appreciation for their nice work.

Finally, Ron Howard shines as the director this time. I haven’t seen any of his films, except TDVC. In case of TDVC, the film fell in several places and emerged as an okay product. Angels and Demons, however, keeps one on the edge of the seat right from the beginning and with all its flaws notwithstanding, it still emerges as an entertaining product.

Before the release of the film in India, the Catholic Bishop Conference of India called for its ban saying that it would hurt the religious sentiments of the people. But after a private screening for Catholic groups, the ban was lifted. However, they requested to add a disclaimer in the film stating it is completely a work of fiction. However, they were so cautious of this that the disclaimer is flashed twice in the movie-one in the beginning and the other as soon as the film ends and before the titles roll!

Some of the best scenes:
1.   Antimatter captured at the CERN
2.   Langdon at the Swiss Guards headquarters
3.   Langdon and Vittoria at the Vatican archives (funny scene!)
4.   The scene at the Raphael’s chapel
5.   The intermission point
6.   Langdon being confronted by the assassin at the 3rd alter
7.   Langdon at the 4th alter
8.   The final 20 minutes

On the whole, Angels And Demons is a nice entertaining product that will appeal to the audiences. It has some goofs but still succeeds in impressing. With no other interesting film releasing, watching this film during the weekend will be a nice option!

Note: The film has released in India in single screens only!

My rating-**** out of 5!


Total Ten


Any disaster or catastrophe, whether natural or man-made, is enough to trigger off the imagination of a film writer. That’s why, in a year, there are at least 3 films churned out which are based on real-life events. Last year’s Mumbai Meri Jaan was based on the Mumbai serial train blasts. Firaaq, released in March, threw light on the post-Gujarat riots scenario. Hollywood has produced so many films on 9/11 attacks that I have lost count (in Bollywood, Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota and Madhoshi are the films I remember which were based on these attacks).

The recent 26/11 attack is also going to be used as plots in many upcoming films. In fact, 26/11, Terror in Taj, CST and lots of such titles are already registered! Although all such films are still in the scripting stage, one of them is already ready. Titled Total Ten, it’s a B-grade film in which the actors in the film play the real characters. Rajan Verma plays Ajmal Qasab, the lone terrorist captured in these attacks. The names of other actors and their characters are as follows:
1.   Homi WadiaHemant Karkare
2.   Sudesh BerryVijay Salaskar
3.   Ashish VidyarthiTukaram Ombale
4.   Ashok KulkarniAshok Kamte
5.   Aroon BakshiMaulana Masood Azhar (founder of Jaish-e-Mohammad)


Besides, a lot of small-time actors play the role of the other 9 terrorists who entered into Mumbai on the fateful day. However, there’s no information yet regarding who plays the role of R R Patil and Shivraj Patil. The shooting of the film commenced in about 2-3 months after the attacks and the film is now almost ready. It’s made on a meager Rs. 3 crores. The film is mostly shot in Mumbai and that too in real locations like CST, outside Taj Hotel, Oberoi-Trident etc. According to Rajan Verma, who plays Qasab, the makers of the film have tried to make the film as realistic as possible. The film shows the journey of terrorists to India by boat, how they survived in sea on dry-fruits, how they carried their operations etc. And interestingly, the films end with Qasab getting hanged!

The film also had its share of problems. It was reported in Feb that Rajan Verma was assaulted by 2 unindentified men after they learnt that he is playing Qasab’s role. Also, the film is criticized by various people who feel that 26/11 episode should not be touched by any filmmaker. Both these incidents don’t make any sense. Talking about first one, what is the justification behind attack on Verma? He’s just an actor doing his job. Even if Verma had dropped out of the film after that incident, the makers would have replaced him with another actor. Then were those two fools going to attack this new actor too?

Also, how can making a film on 26/11 be morally wrong when movies on similar real life events are already made. So many films are based on the two World Wars in which millions of lives were lost. In India too, there’s a film churned out on every incident from Partition to 1962/65/71/99 Wars, Kashmir issue, emergency, Bombay Riots, 1993 Blasts, Godhra riots, 2006 Train Blasts etc. Many of such films are hugely acclaimed. Then why not one be allowed to make a film on 26/11 too?

Coming back to Total Ten, the film has aroused curiosity. Its promotion and release date will now decide its fate at the BO. And I noticed an interesting thing about it- one of the film’s producer is Hariom Sharma who runs RAMGOPAL Productions!! Coincidence?!

One of Aamir Khan’s oldest films, Raakh, released 20 years back is all set to re-release on June 12 with 200 prints. Co-incidentally, I reviewed this film just 3 weeks back. Back in 1989, it was released in just 3 cities with 6 prints. This time, though, the film has better chances to fare at the BO, also because it’s widely acclaimed. And fortunately, the entire film is re-mastered and most of the scenes of the film which weren’t visible properly before due to bad light are quite visible now! So, all the Aamir Khan fans who have missed the film earlier can now watch it on the big screen. June 12-don’t forget! And below is the exclusive video from this ‘rare’ film (Video Source: BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM)!

This article first appeared on MouthShut.com:http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/hhcjrltrn/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk49

Bollywood’s B-grade movie makers swing into action and pronounce verdict in Total Ten, a film based on 26/11
By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; April 22, 2009)

Rajan Verma plays Ajamal Qasab

While Mohammad Ajmal Qasab’s trial is underway in Mumbai, our speed-driven Bollywood has already raced ahead with the verdict. In Surender Suri’s next film, titled Total Ten, Ajmal Qasab has already reached his end, one that Mumbai is eager to see, promises its producer. “We have had Qasab hanged at the end,” said Rajan Verma who plays Qasab.

The film, budgeted at a meagre Rs 3 crore, shows the ‘journey’ of Qasab and has all the characters in question. Sudesh Berry plays Vijay Salaskar, Homi Wadia plays Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kulkarni plays Ashok Kamte and Ashish Vidyarthi plays Tukaram Ombale.

The film also has a host of small-time actors playing Qasab’s Pakistani handlers while Aroon Bakshi plays Maulana Masood Azhar.

“Every real-life detail has been followed in the film, beginning with their entering Mumbai by boat, surviving on dry fruits, carrying out their operations, etc,” says Verma.

The film has been shot in Mumbai and Pune, and outside the Taj Mahal hotel too. Much of it has been shot on actual locations, following the trail of disaster of 26/11.

Verma said that initially he was scared to play Qasab, but was convinced by director Suri who told him the film gives out a strong  message against terrorism.

While Total Ten is likely to be the first film to be released on the terror attack, it’s not the only one. Bollywood’s hyper B-grade movie industry is in the throes of churning out at least 15 films on the subject. As for the mainstream, most directors have stayed away after Ram Gopal Varma’s Taj visit fiasco which led to the ouster of then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Ashish Vidyarthi
Tukaram Ombale

Homi Wadia
Hemant Karkare

Sudesh Berry
Vijay Salaskar

Ashok Kulkarni
Ashok Kamte

Aroon Bakshi
Maulana Masood Azhar