Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘A wednesday

After the success of Paa, the Bachchans are planning a film featuring Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 23, 2009)


Producer-cum-actor Abhishek Bachchan says the experience of producing Paa has made him grow up. He says, “High time it did so. People keep asking me what we are producing next. At the moment I don’t want to leave Paa behind. I’m completely engrossed with Paa and how to take it forward, including the DVD release.”

Abhishek says Paa had recovered its costs only two days after its release but he chooses to be cautious in his exuberance. He says, “My very dear friend Aditya Chopra told me, ‘It’s very rare when the audience decides to love you and when they do you must be very thankful for that. I feel no sense of vindication. I didn’t make Paa to prove any point to everyone. I just wanted to make an A-grade product with a cast to match within a given reasonable budget and without compromise.”

Now there are plans to make a film with the Bachchan parivaar — Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan together, to be produced by AB Corp Ltd. Confirming the news, Abhishek says, “Most definitely, we are coming together. All four of us are completely for it. We need to sort out certain variables. The scripts that we had been given didn’t justify our collective presence.”

Apparently one or other Bachchan has not liked the scripts offered so far. “Each individual of the family has to be willing to be part of the film. All four of us are unique actors. It’s very difficult for any script to please collectively.”

Meanwhile, Abhishek is planning to produce a film that will cast Amitabh and Abhishek together again after Paa. He says, “Everyone wants to know what’s next with the two of us? I think a comedy is ideal. So that’s what we would do together.”

The year 2009 has been eventful for Abhishek as he worked in his most challenging role to date, for Mani Ratnam’s Raavana. Talking about his experience, Abhishek says, “It has been a gruelling year, but no complaints. Most of the year was taken up by Raavana. Unfortunately, at the start of the year, Mani fell ill after the first schedule. We had to push the second schedule ahead by a few months to give him the time to recover. In the interim, I finished Paa… Raavana has been the most challenging experience of my life, both physically and emotionally. It has sapped me every which way. I was really anxious about Raavana. Mani, Aishwarya and I had to go beyond Guru, which is one of my favourite films. I knew Raavana could do it. It is now going to be released in summer. Mani has completed the editing. We will start dubbing soon.”

Abhishek looks back on the year with much gratitude. “It has been a fantastic 2009. I started with Delhi 6 and ended with Paa. I have no reason to complain. I continue to get the opportunity to work with fantastic directors. I love working with new directors. I like to challenge myself as an actor. It would be terribly boring to be doing the same roles again. Now I am raring to take on the challenges in 2010.”

He has almost wrapped up Ashutosh Gowariker’s Khelenge Hum Jee Jaan Se. Commenting on his busy schedule for the forthcoming year, he says, “I am almost done. We shot it in Goa at a stretch. I start 2010 with a film produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, but it’s not called Crooked. It has no title. After that I go into Rohan Sippy’s film, then Dostana 2, followed by Abbas-Mastan’s film, which is the official remake of The Italian Job. Finally, at the end of 2010, I’ll go into Neeraj Pandey Special Chabbis. I saw Neeraj’s A Wednesday and loved it. He’s a very no-nonsense director. He doesn’t believe in frills. What he has written for me is very exciting. Is that a lot? No I have always had 4-5 releases per year. All my years have been packed. Only Raavana required more time because of Mani’s illness.”

Abhishek admits he’s worried by his father’s workload. He says, “Any son would be worried. I am no different. Having said that, as his fan and co-actor, I am glad I get to see him quite often in movies. But at the same time I think he’s just starting. After doing five films with him, I can say with some authority that what we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg.”

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ROCKET SINGH GOES THE ‘THE HANGOVER’ WAY!

I always believe that promotion is of utmost importance for a film to succeed. It helps to create hype and arouse curiosity which in turn helps the film get a good opening. But some producers don’t stress too much on promotion, presumably for two reasons:

-> The producer doesn’t have enough money to publicize his product. Or maybe, the budget of the film went so high that the producer couldn’t afford to spend additional 2-3 crores on promotion

-> The producer is supremely confident of his product. He is confident that he has come up with a winner and come what may, it will attract audiences and do a great job commercially.

The second reason seems applicable as to why Rocket Singh-Salesman Of The Year, releasing tomorrow, isn’t promoted much.  Obviously, YRF aren’t short on funds so first reason can be ruled out. And going by Ranbir Kapoor’s confident declaration that Rocket Singh is his best film till date, it seems that the film will turn out to be a great entertainer. In his words, “I can proudly say that Rocket Singh… is not just my greatest film till date but also one of the greatest films made in the recent times. Believe me, it belongs to a different world altogether”.

Maybe, Ranbir did this as a personal publicity campaign on his part; after all, actors always do this, isn’t it? But it’s a fact that whenever the Chopras adopt a negligible promotional strategy for their film, then that film works wonders. ‘Chak De! India’ was also badly promoted and many trade pundits had predicted that it’ll fail. It even took an average opening. But the response was extremely positive and from the 2nd day, the film began attracting audiences in large numbers. It later turned out to be one of the biggest blockbusters of that year, 2007. Similarly, last year, Chopras went slow in promoting Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi which was very successful at the BO.

Another classic example is the case of The Hangover. How many of were aware of this film or had planned to see it when it released? The film had no famous stars and it also wasn’t promoted well across the world. In India, it released with a Hindi biggie, New York and Hollywood biggie, Terminator Salvation. The first day collections were pathetic. But the critics’ positive response and equally satisfying response of junta compelled moviegoers to catch this flick. In big cities, it ran for as many as 6-7 weeks (a rarity for Hollywood films) and was running with 70%+ occupancy even in weekdays!

So the point is-promotion is most vital but when your product is top-class and you are confident about its success, it’s okay to not promote the product much. Even ‘A Wednesday!’ and Mumbai Meri Jaan weren’t marketed well but later turned out to be two of the most loved films of 2008.

Coming back to Rocket Singh, the other reason why its promotion is low is because of Ranbir Kapoor’s presence in the film. He has received immense appreciation from his last 2 films, Wake Up Sid and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and is already on his way to become superstar. So maybe, YRF is of the opinion that Ranbir’s presence is now enough to get people to theatres. Also the title of the film, title song and the fact that it’s directed by Shimit Amin (director of Chak De and Ab Tak Chappan) has created some curiosity. If the film really turns out to be exciting as Ranbir has said, then he would be immediately crowned as the superstar for sure! Let’s hope for the best!
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CELINA’S AWARD WINNING FLICK NOT RELEASING IN INDIA

Many moviegoers and even those in industry were shocked to hear that Celina Jaitly got the Best Female Actor award for her New Zealand flick Love Has No Language at the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF)! A popular Bollywood screenwriter’s status on Facebook read, “Celina has won the Best Actor Award at CIFF. I’m trying to find out whether Stevie Wonder, Ravindra Jain and Nasser Khan (of Shadow fame) were the judges”! Such reactions were expected as Celina was never considered as an ‘actor’ anytime by majority. So this news came as 440 volt ka jakta!

Talking about the film, it has released in several countries but it still hasn’t got a release here in India and now Celina has confessed that the film won’t see a theatrical release here-it would come directly on DVDs. It pains to see inferior treatment being meted out to India so many times. The lead actress in the film is from India, she has even bagged a prestigious award and yet the film won’t release here-doesn’t sound fair, does it? Even Slumdog Millionaire got a very late release in India and it didn’t do a great job as people had already seen the film by downloading from the internet. Somewhere, this should stop!

CHECK OUT THE PROMO OF LOVE HAS NO LANGUAGE HERE

(Ranbir and Celina’s quotes taken from Bollywood Hungama.com)

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/chidprllp/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk78

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

Neeraj Pandey refuses to take credit for a small-budget film he wrote before directing the critically acclaimed, A Wednesday

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 18, 2009)



The Jimmy Shergill-Kim Sharma starrer Khaffa, which has been lying in the cans for over five years will tentatively release on November 27 with a new title, Marega Saala.

After his newfound success as a prominent director with A Wednesday, the film’s scriptwriter Neeraj Pandey refuses to be associated with it because the producers tampered with the original script. When the filmmakers added Neeraj’s name to the credits as the scriptwriter he firmly turned them down.

A source said, “Marega Saala was Neeraj’s first film and he was entirely involved in the direction process. The film was shot in Mumbai and Neeraj was always there as the creative director but he had major differences with the producers. He moved on after the success of A Wednesday.”

Devang Dholakia will now be credited as the director of the film. However, Devang denied any such altercation and said, “Neeraj is a friend and we have been associated for seven to eight years. He had written the story, screenplay and dialogue, for which he has been given credit. There is no issue between us.”

 

Neeraj Pandey

Neeraj though had a completely different story to tell. “God knows what changes the film has gone through in all these years. When I had written this film, it was called Fanaa. The makers changed it to Khaffa and now it is called something else. Now, I am not associated with the film at all as the producers and the director have made several changes. I moved on as I could not adjust. I don’t like to work where I have no creative control. I have not even seen the film,” said Neeraj.

The film’s lead actor Jimmy Shergill said, “I have no issues with anyone associated with the film. Neeraj had initially offered creative help but then he got involved in the making of A Wednesday. I have no clue what went wrong between them.”

Abhishek Bachchan to play kingpin Mohan Singh in Neeraj Pandey’s Special Chabbis, based on the 1987 TBZ jewellery heist

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 09, 2009)

A Wednesday director Neeraj Pandey who is making Special Chabbis based on the notorious 1987 heist at Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri jewellery store at Opera House, has signed Abhishek Bachchan to play the lead role. Abhishek will play the man who booked a room in a posh Mumbai hotel as Mohan Singh and proceeded to commit the most daring daylight robbery in the city.

Singh recruited 26 conmen, who posed as income tax officers, and raided the Opera House branch of TBZ and walked away with jewellery worth lakhs.

According to sources, Neeraj finalised Abhishek for the role because he is from Uttar Pradesh. Although no one knows if Mohan Singh was the main conman’s real name, he apparently hailed from UP and was in his mid-30s. Abhishek was an obvious choice as he too has a UP lineage and belongs to the same age group. Abhishek loved Neeraj’s A Wednesday and was happy to be part of Special Chabbis.

Since the role is based on a real life character, Abhishek needs to prepare for his role in terms of speech and body language.

(L): Abhishek Bachchan (R): Neeraj Pandey

Neeraj confirmed the news and said, “I can’t deny that Abhishek is on board but I want to get some other key members of the cast in place before I make a formal announcement. The film requires 26 actors and I want to make sure all of them are just right for their part. I will start the project in mid-2010. Before that I am producing a film titled 3 Large 1 Small under my banner Friday Filmworks. It’s the story of a somewhat young man who looks back on his life. I’m currently hunting for a director and a main lead.”

Meanwhile, there’s bad news for those waiting for Neeraj to start the prequel to A Wednesday. After the Tamil remake of A Wednesday (Unnaipol Oruvan), Neeraj has decided to shelve the earlier planned prequel.

“I’ve to admit the remake (Unnaipol Oruvan) makes my plans to make a prequel to A Wednesday redundant now. I think we need to move on from A Wednesday. That’s what Special Chabbis gives me a chance to do,” said Neeraj.

A WINNER ALREADY: A still from the film
… and this time, it’s a Marathi film that’s taking India global

TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; October 22, 2009)


Marathi writer-director Paresh Mokashi, is one happy man. And why not, his debut film, Harishchandrachi Factory
is India’s official selection for the 82nd Academy Awards. It’s an honour of course, for which Paresh has UTV, Paprika Media and Mayasabha Productions to thank for. UTV whose Rang De Basanti got nominated for the BAFTAs and Taare Zameen Par for the Oscars, will see that this film too, gains global recognition. They have kicked off an aggressive campaign, will target the international media and have extensive screenings in Los Angeles in October and November.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO of UTV Motion Pictures, said, “The Academy recognises films with unusual themes. A little over 90 minutes, HCF has the ability to reach out to international audiences in a grammar of film-making they are conversant with.”


His thoughts are echoed by Vikas Bahl, Chief Creative Officer, UTV Motion Pictures. “We are proud to be bringing worldwide audience a film that tells the story of the birth of film-making in India — the world’s most prolific film producing nation,” he said.


Paresh, who through HCF presented the incredible journey of Dadasaheb Phalke to make India’s very first motion picture,

Raja Harishchandra, said, “What better than to have
one’s debut film about the making of India’s debut film! My search for the subject of my film was over when I first read the adventures of Dadasaheb Phalke. Selection to the Oscars is a very sweet surprise and now I’m hoping for the best.”


According to Smiti Kanodia, Founder & Chairperson of Paprika Media Pvt. Ltd., they were gung-ho about co-producing the film after hearing Paresh’s narration. “It captures the essence of Dadasaheb’s character and showcases fine performances by the actors, music composer and those behind the camera.”


No one in recent years has won more awards than UTV — from Rang De Basanti to Jodhaa Akbar, from Fashion
to Life in a Metro, from Khosla ka Ghosla to A Wednesday, from Mumbai Meri Jaan to Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and from Welcome to Sajjanpur to Dev. D. And now, they have yet another winner on their hands.

By Subhash K. Jha, September 19, 2009 – 11:53 IST

Om Puri Naseeruddin Shah ostensibly played a terror mastermind in Neeraj Pandey’s A Wednesday. But finally it turned out to be the role of messiah on a mission to ‘cleanse the society’. Now, Naseer’s arch-rival Om Puri has taken on the role of an unapologetic hardcore terrorist in Rensil D’Silva’s Kurbaan.

Bollywood characters derived from headlines specially ones that are taken from extremist news reports, are now being seen as tricky territory.

In Rensil D’Silva’s hushed and much talked-about Kurbaan, Om Puri plays a hardcore terrorist who masterminds a massive terror attack in the US. Surely a politically-incorrect role for an actor, if ever there was one! In fact, Irrfan Khan had said no to play a global terrorist in Kurbaan.

Playing a terrorist automatically puts the actor in the suspicious list on the international airports. And so what if it’s just a part?

But Om is fearless. “I’m aware of the repercussions. I’m also aware others actors turn down parts of terrorists. But I’ve no such reservations. A role is a role. We cannot be moral and judgmental about the characters we play. In Kurbaan I play the terror mastermind, a fully committed jehaadi who is ready to sacrifice everything including his wife (Kirron Kher) for the cause.”

It’s a role with deep reverberations. But Om is prepared for the backlash. “I played a radical mullah mouthing rabid dialogues in Jagmohan Mundhra’s Shoot On Sight. It was just a role. I think our audiences are mature enough to understand this.”

However the audiences’ level of maturity seems to have gone for a toss. Om has apparently started receiving warnings from fundamentalist organizations about playing an extremist.

Om says he won’t be deterred. “I played a Pakistani in Charlie Wilson’s War and East Is East. And now, in October, I go into the sequel West Is West with the same cast. This time, Vijay Raaz and Ila Arun have been added. Is it dangerous to experiment with morality in your actors? Let it be. In my new release Baabarr, I played a corrupt colourful cop who doesn’t think tweaking the law is a big deal. It’s good to enter the hearts and minds of people who live by their own weird morality.”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM


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