Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Aftab Shivdasani

A DREAM COME TRUE: Aftab Shivdasani and Aamna Sharif in the film

… in which dreams turn into wishes and wishes come true!


After experimenting with everything from the dark and dangerous to the edgy and cool this year, Bollywood is ready with a cute film, Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd’s Aao Wish Karein. The film, starring Aftab Shivdasani and Aamna Sharif, promises the kind of entertainment that kids, teenagers and parents are bound to enjoy. It is a bit of a fairytale in which a boy’s life gets transformed when he makes a wish to be grown-up and his wish comes true. Not quite Tom Hanks in Big, but still, this one has all of Aftab’s wildest fantasies come true — he achieves success and finds true love but the film has an intriguing twist at the end and some really soulful melodic music in between.

Andrey Purushottam, CEO, Mumbai Mantra, is of the opinion that all of us as kids have had fantasies on the lines of ‘main bada hoke yeh karoonga, woh karoonga!’ “Equally, don’t all of us adults want to rediscover the child in us,” he asks. “If you are part of this everybody… voila! This film is for you.”
Aftab, actor and coproducer (Rising Sun Entertainment), says “Aao Wish Karein is an honest effort and that makes it endearing to anyone who’s been a part of this journey. It’s simple, sweet, funny and has exceptionally soulful music. This is the kind of film that would appeal to kids and teenagers, mamas and papas, grandpas and grannies too.” While his co-star, the vivacious Aamna, adds, “Every girl wants to be part of a fairy tale… I got to live mine through this film as it has everything that a girl’s dreams are made up of ! I believed in it so I became a part of it…”



One can’t deny the fact that White Feather Films (WFF), Sanjay Gupta’s production house, has churned one of the best dark thrillers in the past. In fact, every film of WFF right from Kaante to the recent Woodstock Villa has been very dark but still managed to impress audiences. Their new flick, Acid Factory, too follows the WWF tradition! It’s dark, it has black humour and most importantly, it has surprises. However, the second hour spoils the show. More details later!

The story of the movie: A guy somewhere in his mid-20s (Fardeen Khan) wakes up and finds himself trapped in a dilapidated factory. He has no memory as to how he got there inside. He doesn’t even remember his own name! A phone rings somewhere and he picks up. The caller (Irrfan Khan) seemed like a boss, who gives some orders. Later, the man discovers four more people in the factory (Aftab Shivdasani, Manoj Bajpayee, Dino Morea and Danny Denzongpa) and they all are in a similar state of mind. One of them is tied to a chair and one is handcuffed. All doors are locked and the windows had iron grills and so there was no chance of escaping. Also, the factory was located at a remote place so there was no possibility of even shouting and getting attention of someone from outside. The guys later discover that it is an acid factory and that some of them were criminals. To find out as to how they lose their memory and what happen next, watch the film.

Acid Factory’s first hour is power-packed. The film holds your attention wonderfully right from the first scene. The characters in the factory waking up, bewildered, one by one and their talking, shouting and cracking jokes with one another sets the mood. Two more tracks run simultaneously-one, the flashback portions of Fardeen and the other, the kidnapping heist. Yet, the film doesn’t turn confusing and for this, full marks should be given to director Suparn Verma.

The characters later learn that two of them are kidnapped. But again, with no memory, they have no idea as to who are the kidnappers and who are the hostages! This really makes the situation weird but interesting!

But things slid down in the 2nd half. They should have been more thrilling moments and drama but instead, a lot of action scenes are thrown in. No doubt that it was a treat watching those scenes but after a point of time, it became too much. Also, the climax wasn’t impressive, although it was engrossing. And the glaring flaws at this point are shocking. But due to a bad 2nd half, one gets out of the theatre disappointed. If the film had an equally powerful 2nd half, Acid Factory would have been a coming of the age film.

Every actor was perfect. Fardeen Khan had more screen presence than the rest and like everytime, he gave a fantastic performance. He still has two films this year (Dulha Mil Gaya and All The Best). Let’s hope he gets appreciation which he rightfully deserves. Aftab Shivdasani rocks as the angry young man. Dino Morea surprises with a brilliant performance. Manoj Bajpayee acts well and succeeds in making the viewers laugh.

Danny Denzongpa, like everytime, was flawless. Irrfan Khan impresses. A lot of hype was created about Dia Mirza’s presence in the film as she’s the only female actor in the main cast. However, she enters only in the second hour and didn’t have much to do. But she performs well, though. Gulshan Grover and Neha were alright.

The film has couple of songs (including an item number) which wasn’t needed at all. The song ‘Ye Jism Hai’ looked totally out of place in the film. Sahil Kapoor’s cinematography was topnotch. Actor Saurabh Shukla and Sanjay Gupta have written the dialogues which were excellent. Tinu Verma’s action was top-class and kudos to him and his team! Hemal Kothari’s editing was slick. Milind Gadagkar’s story was great but he can’t be given the credit as the film seems inspired from the Hollywood flick, Unknown.

Suparn Verma and Sanjay Gupta’s screenplay was outstanding in the beginning portions but deteriorated in the 2nd hour, esp towards the climax. Suparn Verma, overall, impresses a lot as the director. This film will be a commercial flop but Suparn’s efforts will surely be noticed and would be appreciated for sure.

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Fardeen picking up Irrfan’s first call
2.   The chase sequence in the beginning
3.   Fardeen’s first meeting with Danny
4.   Fardeen, Dino and Aftab interrogating Danny
5.   Irrfan taking away the ransom (wonderful scene)
6.   The intermission point
7.   Dia Mirza’s entry
8.   Fardeen, Dino, Aftab and Danny calling for help from outside (another fabulous scene)

On the whole, Acid Factory is a fast, intriguing film that falls in the 2nd half. The film was badly promoted and that’s why it failed to have a good opening. With three BIG releases next Friday, Acid Factory will vanish from the theatres for sure. But all those interested, it would be no harm catching this 120 minute dark thriller on VCD/DVD later!

My rating-*** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Acid_Factory-177028-1.html


By Taran Adarsh, October 9, 2009 – 09:32 IST

Besides Abbas-Mustan, Sanjay Gupta has attempted interesting thrillers in the past. His new outing, ACID FACTORY, directed by Suparn Verma, is a cat-n-mouse chase that will have you on edge of the seat as it unfolds.

Inspired by Hollywood film UNKNOWN, ACID FACTORY is engaging in most parts. Also, it’s well adapted to suit Indian sensibilities. It starts off strong enough and keeps the momentum going till the end, though, of course, it goes back and forth at times and that could get a bit confusing.


ACID FACTORY demands your attention from the very start. The viewer ought to stay alert and watch the goings-on carefully. Even if you blink, chances are you may miss a vital link and the subsequent portions may not work for you since there’s something happening every minute.


At the same time, ACID FACTORY has its share of loose ends. The climax, for instance, could’ve been more impactful. Also, the concept is too urbane and holds appeal for the urban youth, who’ve a penchant for slick thrillers.

Final word? ACID FACTORY is a well-crafted, well executed film with the ensemble cast pitching in competent performances.

A man [Fardeen Khan] wakes up in a deserted factory surrounded by several other seemingly dead men. He has absolutely no memory of who he is or how he got there and he is unable to get out. Before too long, the others [Aftab Shivdasani, Dino Morea, Manoj Bajpayee, Danny Denzongpa, Dia Mirza] wake up and they all have amnesia too.

All they know is that some of them have been shot, one is tied to a chair, a third is hanging by his wrist, which is handcuffed to a railing… It is eventually discovered that they have lost their memory because of gas leaked from a container.

Much later, they figure out that two of them have been kidnapped by the other three. Who are the kidnappers and who are their victims? Meanwhile, the police are tracking a sinister man [Irrfan Khan], while a worried wife [Neha] desperately searches for her husband.

ACID FACTORY has enough going for it, thanks to its premise which is intriguing. But the plot is such that it takes time to come to the point. There’s not much happening in the first hour, except the fact that everyone’s clueless about their identity and how they seem trapped in a dilapidated factory.

But the answers start flowing in the second hour. The answers come quick and the reasons why they are trapped are also justified. But, as mentioned earlier, the conclusion could’ve been as realistic like the rest of the proceedings. Also, the track of the harried wife trying to trace her husband isn’t too convincing.

This is Suparn Verma’s second film as a director and midway through the film, you realise that Suparn has grown as a storyteller. The film bears a slick look and also, the narrative holds your attention for most parts. Cinematography is top notch. So is the sound design. Tinu Verma’s stunts and chase sequences deserve distinction marks.

Every actor pitches in an effortless performance. They aren’t putting on an act. The film has an assorted mix of experienced and accomplished actors [Danny Denzongpa, Manoj Bajpayee and Irrfan Khan] and yet-to-reach-there actors [Fardeen Khan, Aftab Shivdasani, Dino Morea and Dia Mirza] and each display confidence in their respective parts. Neha doesn’t get scope, while Gulshan Grover is as usual.

On the whole, ACID FACTORY is a slick thriller that has an interesting premise and also super stunts and chase sequences as its trump cards. The film is targeted at the urban youth, especially those who relish thrillers. Of course, the film will have to storm the dull pre-Diwali period which might curtail its prospects to an extent despite decent merits and also, the three biggies that arrive next Friday.

ACTION PACKED: (Above) Fardeen Khan and Dia Mirza; (below) Irrfan Khan

That’s what the total entertainer releasing tomorrow is going to be

SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 8, 2009)

According to Sanjay Gupta, his film Acid Factory that’s releasing nationwide on October 9, is not just an outand-out action thriller — it’s a total entertainer. “When we held a screening, we were surprised to see people laugh. The film’s got black humour which I had not realised earlier and the music is simply superb,” said the filmmaker, who is presenting the film along with Mumbai Mantra, which has entered the big league of B’wood studios with Acid Factory.
“All six actors — Irrfan Khan, Dia Mirza, Fardeen Khan, Aftab Shivdasani, Manoj Bajpayee, Dino Morea and Danny Denzongpa, have added a clear definition to their roles,” said Mumbai Mantra CEO Andrey Purushottam, adding, “Bollywood action has come of age and this film proves just that.”

The one person who had the time of his life working inside this “factory” was director Suparn Verma. “If
the cast and crew, while shooting the scenes, thought that they could have probably died, then let me tell you… they could have! The scenes were dangerous,” said Suparn. There’s not a single place in Cape Town where they’ve not blown a car or had a helicopter chase. “By the time we had completed shooting, the place looked like a war zone,” laughed Suparn, giving all the credit to action director Tinu Verma.

Dia Mirza, who has surprised all with her daredevil acts, said, “I
insisted on doing the stunts myself. I’ve proved that I can kick some butt too!” she said. Irrfan had other reasons for signing the film. He said, “I asked the director, ‘You think this will work, the critics will like the film?’ He said, ‘NO’. So I said, ‘Hell, man, let’s do it’.”

Fardeen is confident that the film will keep audiences at the edge of their seats. “The plot is such that you don’t know what the other person is going to do next,” said the actor.

Gupta summed up his film by saying, “Acid Factory moves at two speeds — fast… and faster!”
Rituparno Ghosh speaks about playing a bi-sexual filmmaker in Just Another Love Story; scoffs at rumours of undergoing a sex change operation

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 02, 2009)

First things first, Rituparno Ghosh’s sexual orientation has got nothing to do with the role of the homosexual filmmaker he is playing in Kaushik Ganguly’s Just Another Love Story.

Ritu says, “There’s so much interest in this film because I’m playing a gay filmmaker but everyone has assumed I’m playing a real character. The film is not about me. Why are journalists trying to find scandal in an actor’s life through the character he plays? The subject matter on sexual orientation is far more important than the strange connections that are being made between the film and my life. I find it distinctly distasteful that the actor’s sexual orientation is being extended into the character he’s playing. At least I’m courageous enough to confront my own sexuality. I don’t need to engage in an art form to address my sexuality. It’s indecent and humiliating.”

Rituparno Ghosh

Ritu plays a double role in Just Another Love Story. One is that of Abhiroop Sen, a gay documentary filmmaker from Delhi, whose bisexual lover is the DOP of the film in the film. They visit Kolkata to make a documentary on the life of the real-life legendary Jatra actor Chapal Bhaduri. Ritu also essays the role of Chapal in his youth.

Ritu was initially apprehensive about the role but was convinced of the director’s motives after watching his telefilm on a lesbian couple. “To play two parts, that of the director Abhiroop Sen and Chapal in his youth wasn’t easy. Abhiroop is neither a man nor a woman, he belongs to the third sex. As for Chapal, he always felt that he was a woman trapped in a man’s body. These two different concepts of androgyny and sexual identity had to be brought out. There’s no external factor of femininity in Chapalda. Only when he speaks do we hear a woman’s voice. I loved the two roles because they challenge the stereotypical image of gay men,” says Ritu.

Ritu insists that he doesn’t want to play gay roles any more. “I liked the process of acting but I’ve the fear of being typecast in homosexual characters. One reason why I did this role is because I knew any other actor would make a spoof of it. You can’t play gay if you have no empathy for homosexuality. Indraneil Sengupta and I have played the gay couple with such ease. Those looking for tantalization will be disappointed. They’ll find us disappointingly normal,” says Ritu.

Ritu had to undergo extensive preparation for the role. “I had to look very delicate for the role for which I lost 14 kgs. I had to undergo an abdominal plasty because after losing weight, my stomach sagged. The waistline had to be proper because I was playing a man 10 years younger than I am. The surgery wasn’t easy with my blood sugar problem. I also had to learn to smoke, which was horrifying,” says Ritu.

Rituparno thinks that Indian actors shy away from gay roles. “I think actors who refuse homosexual roles are homophobic and probably latent homosexuals. They aren’t afraid to play rapists but they’re scared of playing gays. When I offered Aftab Shivdasani and Kunal Kapoor a gay role, they freaked out.”

On the day that Rituparno first got into women’s clothes to play Chapal it was Ritu’s birthday. He says, “I went to my father to take his blessings. He looked at me and said I looked exactly like Ira (my mother) when she was young.”

Chapal Bhaduri, now 75, plays himself in the film. “I play his young avatar and I also play the filmmaker who’s come to do a candid interview with the 75-year-old Chapal. So it’s a film within a film. Women were not allowed to take part in Jatra. Men played women’s parts” says Ritu. That’s where Rituparno’s feminine look comes in.

“The film makes us realise that taboos about sexuality haven’t changed that much. This film will lead to a very important cultural conversation. One can’t sit complacently and wait for a change in society,” adds Ritu.

“There’s a very important line in the film, ‘What is more important? The way we want to live our lives, or the way we actually live our lives?’ I want my role to reflect my beliefs and ideologies. Thank God, producers Cinemawala had the right intentions.”

The film is expected to release at the end of this year.

Dino Morea was shocked to discover that his credit card was stolen and misused while he was on a flight to Delhi
By Ruhail Amin (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 23, 2009)

Dino Morea

Recently, Dino Morea was left dumbstruck when he discovered that two transactions had been made on his credit card for a shopping spree. The incident happened at 11 am yesterday when Dino, along with the director of his forthcoming film, Acid Factory, Suparn Verma and co-star Aftab Shivdasani, was on his way to Delhi to watch a football match.

Our source revealed, “As soon as Dino landed in Delhi he got a message from the credit card company citing the usage of his credit card, much to the actor’s surprise, who was on the flight when the transaction took place. Dino called up the bank and got his card blocked but not before he had incurred a loss of Rs 18,000.”

Confirming the news, Dino added, “I got a message about two transactions that I did not make. I have no idea about what exactly has been billed to my credit card. I’m trying to resolve it. Hope I will get the details soon.”

Believe it or not, Sanjay Gupta was forced to walk the ramp instead of Dia Mirza when she ditched him at the last minute

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 15, 2009)

Dia Mirza

She might be still trying to find a strong foothold in the film industry even after being in the business for almost nine years now. But Dia Mirza couldn’t care less about making the right noises even if it means offending the director of her forthcoming film, Acid Factory. Instead she chose to honour her commitment to designers Shantanu-Nikhil to whom she is contractually bound. On Saturday, she refused to turn up at an event to showcase Sanjay Gupta’s Acid Factory despite having promised him that she’d walk the ramp for their film saying that she wouldn’t walk for fashion designer Samant Chauhan. “I am loyally bound to Shantanu-Nikhil and I will walk only for them,” she told Sanjay Gupta.

Dia ditched Sanjay Gupta minutes before she was scheduled to walk the ramp for Acid Factory at the Delhi fashion week on Saturday. Although Dia went all the way to Delhi, she simply refused to turn up at the venue at the last minute leaving Gupta in a lurch.

Initially, Gupta felt that she was playing a prank on him. As the hour to walk the ramp drew near, Gautam Kohli, marketing in-charge for Sanjay Gupta, called up Dia only to get a rude shock. Dia refused to relent despite Kohli trying desperately to make her see reason. “However, all his attempts to make her understand failed,” said a source.

Confirming that Dia ditched them, Gupta said, “There was some complication. Dia said that it would be ethically wrong to walk the ramp for anybody other than Shantanu-Nikhil. I think she is contractually bound to them.”

Naturally, there was chaos backstage. While Dia’s Acid Factory co-actors, Dino Morea and Aftab Shivdasani waited hoping that Dia would eventually turn up, a nervous Samant went up to Gupta asking him to walk the ramp instead of Dia.

Sanjay Gupta

“I somehow did the job. Samant designs men clothes too,” Gupta laughed and added, “And it’s not the first time that have I walked the ramp.”

Despite repeated attempts, Dia remained unavailable for comment.

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