Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘ADITYA CHOPRA

SMALL IS BIG: YRF TV and Sony Entertainment Television bring fresh content with five new shows from January 1, every Friday to Sunday, 8-10 pm. Seen here are Yash Chopra with Karan Johar and actors from the shows — Shruti Seth, Kavi Shastri, Manish Chaudhary, Geetika Tyagi, Rahul Bagga, Pankaj Tripathi. Raqesh Vashist, Pushtie and Shama Sikander
Bollywood movie mogul launching 5 new TV shows from Jan 1

ROSHNI K OLIVERA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 28, 2009)

YRF TV is set to give telly programming a twist! Come January 1, and it will launch five shows on Sony Entertainment Television. Producer Yash Chopra is excited about his company’s foray in tellyland. “TV is getting bigger and bigger by the day,” remarks Chopra, who’s given the Indian film industry some of its biggest hits over the past many decades.

His busy schedule may not permit him the time to watch TVserials, but his wife Pammi gets her daily dose of entertainment from the small screen. “There are some serials that she likes and ardently watches every day,” he says. The Chopras had been planning to get into television for the past couple of years. “It was my son Aditya’s idea. After the release of his film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, he started concentrating on TV. This whole year he has been focussing on this; he has put in a lot of effort,” reveals Chopra Sr.

Talking about their television foray, he says, “YRF TV is an initiative to engage and entertain the entire family through content which combines high-quality production values with contemporary story-telling. The characters, language and environment in our shows are the kind that today’s Indian families can relate to. We are happy that Sony has shown the commitment to back our content.”

This collaboration marks another milestone in the long standing relationship between the two companies, says NP Singh, COO of Sony Entertainment Television. “Yash Raj Films has been making feature films for almost four decades. Television is the biggest mass medium in India and this collaboration will bring the very best in TV entertainment,” adds Singh.

The shows, scheduled over the weekends, promise to be distinct in their look with fresh, contemporary and engaging storylines that reflect the dreams, aspirations and passion of today’s young India. This brand new line-up of five shows, one non-fiction and four fiction, will air every Friday to Sunday between 8 and 10 pm. Here’s a little brief on each of the shows…

Lift Kara De: Touted as the mother of all reality shows on Indian television, 20 of India’s biggest super-stars will be on one platform. Each week will feature one super-star and his biggest fan. The show is hosted by Karan Johar.
Seven: This is a sci-fi drama series, where mythology is revisited in the modern day context. The show will see seven ordinary people, with extra-ordinary powers, fight the ultimate battle of Good vs Evil.
Mahi Way: A contemporary representation of a young girl on Indian television. Real, relatable, imaginative, unapologetic, happy in her skin.
Rishta.Com: Today’s take on the most traditional institution of marriage. Isha and Rohan have formed a company to find perfect matches for people.
Powder: This is about two men on two different sides of the law who take a fight all the way to the end. This fast-paced, high octane drama moves from murky by-lanes to glitzy high rises.
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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.”

Stills from movies (from top) Love Aaj Kal, Paa, New York, Wanted, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and All The Best

…only 4 hits in 2009’s 240-plus films!

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 23, 2009)

Christmas is round the corner. And Bollywood is sincerely hoping Santa Claus will come to its rescue. Around 240 odd films (including the dubbed titles) have released so far in 2009. But barely four are certified hits. For the No. 1 slot, it is a photofinish between Saif Ali Khan’s Love Aaj Kal and Ramesh Taurani’s Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. A trade source said, “Love Aaj Kal collected around Rs 60 crore but it was also sold at a higher price. While APKGK was sold at Rs 44 crore with print and publicity and will make a neat profit of at least Rs 10 crore for its producers. So, in a way, it is hard to tell which is the clear No.1.’’ Aditya Chopra’s New York is the second biggest hit, followed closely by Boney Kapoor’s Wanted. There is a mixed view on Amitabh Bachchan’s Paa and Ajay Devgn’s All the Best being in the fourth place. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh feels because AB Corp has curtailed the film’s budget to Rs. 16 crore and Paa is still running in multiplexes, it is a profitable film.
According to reliable market sources, lead actors Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan, and director R Balki, didn’t charge their market price. “It is reported that the Bachchans will get to keep the satellite rights of the film (valued at around Rs 10 crore) against their remuneration,’’ said a trade source. While film editor Komal Nahta feels All the Best has also romped home.
Taran said, “This has been the most unfortunate year for Bollywood. The box-office was crippled by the multiplex strike, swine flu and three four big movies clashing each week after that.’’ Distributor Amod Mehra added, “Many films were liked by the audience… but their price failed them. Raaz, Wake Up Sid and De Dana Dan got a fair share of audience — but the price at which they sold was astronomical, ensuring these films were a loss-making proposition for the main buyer.’’
As far as the critics are concerned, they have had to carry the carcass of the films they praised. Whether it was Kurbaan or Rocket Singh. Filmmaker N R Pachisia said, “Ranbir Kapoor is the future of this industry, Saif Ali Khan did himself a good turn with LAK, but the only man who deserves true praise this year is Amitabh Bachchan who with Paa raised the bar of our cinema to an international level.’’
P.S. The one film that everyone is unanimous about is the dubbed version of 2012 that has done as good business as the biggest Bollywood hit this year.

Box Office hits this year!
Love Aaj Kal
Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
New York
Wanted
All the Best
Paa

The Pyaar Impossible promos will focus on Priyanka Chopra’s campus bomb avatar rather than Uday Chopra’s nerdy act, after the box-office failure of Rocket Singh…

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 18, 2009)


The failure of Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year is making producers YRF rethink the strategy of their next release, Pyaar Impossible. With Ranbir Kapoor’s nerd act in Rocket Singh… not going down well with the audience, there is a huge question mark regarding the success of Pyaar Impossible.

The film has Yash Raj scion Uday Chopra playing the consummate geek who adores the campus beauty, Priyanka Chopra from far.

With the release just a few weeks away (January 8), there’s an air of panic at the production house. One of their regular actors says, “Pyaar Impossible was designed as a vehicle for Uday. However, with nerdy heroes not doing well, everyone feels that the timid act needs to be toned down, but now it’s too late.”

Yash Raj, who had earlier thought of weaving the promos around Uday’s nerd act, has decided that it is safer to play up Priyanka’s sexy avatar instead. They are now deflecting the marketing attention from his nerd act to focus on Priyanka’s campus bomb act. Even then there’s a problem because What’s Your Raashee? proved Priyanka can’t carry a film on her shoulders.”

Pyaar Impossible

Incidentally, last year, Yash Raj’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, where Shah Rukh Khan played a nerd was a huge box-office success. Aditya Chopra was so inspired by the film’s success that the brief he gave at Yash Raj for 2009 was to go full-throttle with the saga of the underdog.

A source adds, “Pyaar Impossible is a litmus test for YRF. It was designed as a comeback vehicle for Uday. But then Rani Mukerji’s nerdy act in men’s clothes in Dil Bole Hadippa bombed. However, it was the box-office outcome of Rocket Singh where Ranbir plays the nerd with relish that has stunned YRF the most.”

When questioned about the non-viability of the underdog, Pyaar Impossible director Jugal Hansraj says that he is sure that the failure of nerdy heroes in 2009 will not adversely affect his film. “We have approached the character of the nerd in Pyaar Impossible realistically. Uday’s character has been depicted as a brilliant student at University who is socially challenged and has no friends. He plays a nerd in a subtle manner even though this is a light-hearted romantic film.”

After Kurbaan was dismissed by the audience, Dharma Productions has decided to shoot Tarun Mansukhani’s Dostana 2 first, pushing back Nishikant Kamat’s next with John Abraham

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 16, 2009)


Karan Johar’s production house Dharma now feels the need to pull up its socks especially after its biggest turkey in years, Kurbaan. Dostana director Tarun Mansukhani has been asked to complete the script for Dostana 2  immediately.

Tarun says, “We will start shooting the sequel in April 2010. I’m just about locking in the script. We want to give the film a nice summery look in London. So far, Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham are the only cast members who are confirmed.”

In this rush to release a comedy which may prove to be more commercially viable, Nishikant Kamat’s (director of  Mumbai Meri Jaan) film with John which was to start early 2010, has now been pushed to July 2010. Confirming this, the reclusive director says, “I think John has one other film to finish before he comes to my project. So I have more time to work on my script. I’ve been locked away in my native village most of this year writing the film.”

Kamat continues to tell us about the project, “I love the cinema of Karan Johar, Aditya Chopra and Sooraj Barjatya and that’s the kind of mass entertainment we’re attempting. John and I have been friends for a long time. We sat and discussed what kind of a film to make. We both thought an adventure-action-romance was a far bigger challenge than a topical subject.”

His film with John will be produced by UTV. And it’s likely that UTV would also be on board for Dostana 2. So a shuffle seems very much on the cards.

After the heavy losses Kurbaan incurred, UTV’s Siddharth Kapoor cautiously says, “We’re in a long-term association with Dharma. So the intention is to collaborate closely with them on their future productions. But nothing has been formalised for Dostana 2.”

By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 04, 2009)


Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year star Ranbir Kapoor, director Shimit Amin and writer Jaideep Sahni get together to answer a rapid fire round related to sales and marketing.

Before Indu Mirani and Namrata Bhawnani test their sales IQ, they emphatically state that Ranbir’s role of a Sardar is not an ‘item’ in the film and it is not because playing a Sardar is the in thing. Ranbir adds that though the year has been exceptionally kind to him, this is the one film he is really proud of.

l-r: Jaideep Sahni, Ranbir Kapoor and Shimit Amin
(pic: rana chakraborty)


Name one person who has the best assets

Ranbir- Yash Chopra and Adi Chopra have YRF which is the best asset. It’s a great endeavour, great body of work.

Jaideep- I can’t really judge.

Shimit- Actually I am pretty much clueless about these things.

One person who has the best marketing skills

Ranbir- Shah Rukh Khan

Jaideep- ummmm… yeah pretty much, Shah Rukh Khan

Shimit- Shah Rukh Khan

One person in the industry who needs marketing tips

Ranbir- Shimit (laughs)

Jaideep- Shimit

Shimit- Yeah, me I guess. (All three laugh)

One of the best marketed films in recent times?

Ranbir- Rocket Singh- Salesman of the year

Jaideep- I think Ghajini and Om Shanti Om

Shimit- Paranormal

One of the worst marketed films in recent times?

Ranbir- Can I also say Rocket Singh – Salesman of the year (laughs)

Jaideep- Yeah, Rocket Singh – Salesman of the year

Shimit- Rocket Singh – Salesman of the year (laughs)

A sales tip to convince the ladies

Ranbir- I don’t think you need sales tips to make it work with the ladies. It’s basically about howmuch of your honesty comes through when you sell the product. You woo a woman with honesty and truth.

Jaideep- More empathy, less smartness.

Shimit- No clue.

One line to describe your USP

Ranbir- I really really love the movies and I love the fact that I am a part of the industry.

Jaideep- I guess I want to learn.

Shimit- Love working with people who are more talented than I am.

One partnership that sells really well

Ranbir- Shimit and Jaideep

Jaideep- Salim Javed

Shimit- Salim Javed works really well for me.

One defective piece in the industry

Ranbir- I don’t mean to belittle anyone but I think it’s sometimes the stories in a film. Sometimes they take the audience for granted. When I go to a film, I expect something. When that is missing it is a big defect.

Jaideep- I think investment in writing and writers. That’s coming from the same thing that Ranbir pointed out.

Shimit- Yeah, I think writing.

One person who deserves to be returned to the shelf

Ranbir- That’s really mean. No one should be returned to the shelf especially in the field of art. Age has nothing to do with it. It depends upon the timing and the kind of work one is doing. Depends upon the kind of opportunities one gets. So I don’t think anyone is defective. It’s the work  they did that was defective but they as artistes are not defective.

Jaideep- I agree. I think artistes are not defective. Actually if you trace back opportunities they get or circumstances they are in that is what is defective. No artiste deserves to be put on the shelf.

Shimit- I think this whole system of rating actors is a little inhumane. People have their times and we all know that.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on her birthday… and the 15th anniversary of her Miss World crown

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 1, 2009)


ashFifteen years after she won the Miss World beauty pageant, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan continues to be the most celebrated Bollywood brand ever. With her waist-length hair cascading down high cheek bones, and striking green-grey eyes, with bodyguards keeping vigilance, she looks every inch the diva she is. And we ask…


How’s it feel to be the most beautiful face in Bollywood 15 years after you won your crown?

• I’m not very good at handling compliments but I accept it with grace. I’m grateful to God, my audiences and my filmmakers —be it Mani Ratnam (Iruvar, Guru, Raavan), Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, Guzaarish), Mansoor Khan (Josh), Ashutosh Gowarikar (Jodhaa Akbar), Ram Gopal Varma (Sarkar Raj), Raj Kumar Santoshi (Khakee), Aditya Chopra (Mohabbatein, Dhoom II) and others who never used just my beauty as the fulcrum. Instead, they kept the beauty and the aesthetics going at the same time in each of the film characters I played.


Life has come a full circle. Even after marriage, you still have the best makers backing you.

• These are the same filmmakers I have worked with in the beginning of my career. I got married in the middle of shooting Jodhaa Akbar and when I reported back on his set, Ashu told me that nothing has changed. It just meant so much more hard work for me because when I come to the work front, I don’t want anyone to think of me as being any less professional than I was when I was single. It was important for me to strike the right balance between home and work. All the film-makers I’m working with are super passionate about their work. Thanks to them, I still feel the same adrenaline rush that I always feel when I’m on set.


Earlier this year, you were awarded the Padmashree…

• It has been a memorable year, every other month there has been some honour. I have much to thank God for.


Abhishek and you have tickled audiences with that recent soap commercial.

• It is ten years of my association with the brand. So they suggested that it would be nice to bring Abhishek on board. Honestly, how time flies.


Amitabh Bachchan said it is for you and Abhishek to make him a grandpa whenever…

• Well, if you ask him a question like that, what can he say? It is an apt answer for a parent to give. When I was on the Oprah Winfrey show, I told her that every time there is even a bump, it is assumed that I’m with child. Being pregnant is not something one can conceal. When I am pregnant, the world will know.
meena.iyer@timesgroup.com


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