Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘ANUPAM KHER

By Subhash K. Jha, December 29, 2009 – 12:57 IST

Anupam Kher He has the singular honour of directing the only documentary on the making of a yet to be released feature film. And now, after making Chale Chalo on the making of Lagaan, the reticent (not by choice) young director Satyajit Bhatkal is ready with Zokkomon, the first Indian feature film to be produced by Walt Disney Pictures.

Satyajit has been strictly forbidden from talking about Zokkomon. All he’ll say reluctantly is that it will be a film unlike any other. “The script was one of many that I wrote. To my luck, it was almost immediately approved by Disney. But before that I did a number of one-hour series entitled Bombay Lawyers for NDTV. These were based on my own experiences as a lawyer.”

Bhatkal was a practising lawyer before movie-making beckoned. “When I made Chale Chalo based on behind-the-scenes experiences of those involved with Lagaan, I made sure there wasn’t a single shot of Lagaan in my documentary.”

But that docu-film did not get Bhatkal the chance to direct a film for Disney.

“They liked the script, I think,” says the directly shyly. Zokkomon stars Anupam Kher and Darsheel Safary. This would be Darsheel’s first release since Taare Zameen Par.As for Anupam, Satyajit has become the actor’s life-long fan after he made his dream come true.

Recalls Satyajit, “When Anupam told me he was going to Israel this month and might meet Topol, I requested him to get me Topol’s autograph since I’m a life-long fan. To my surprise Anupam called me from Israel, handed the phone to Topol, and made him speak to me. It was a gesture not many would make.”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

YEH DOSTI…(From left) Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan. For more pictures of the stars, visit, http://photogallery.indiatimes.com
Foes turn into friends, stars bonding big time now…

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 13, 2009)

Raj Kapoor’s famous ditty Dost Dost Na Raha can ring true for so many in Bollywood. Akshay Kumar and Bobby Deol, Anil Kapoor and Anupam Kher are some recent examples of friendships that have gone sour. The quest for name, fame and money has driven a wedge between friends. Down the years, one has seen many close relationships fall by the wayside like dry leaves, bereft of emotion. But an interesting phenomenon is now on the rise. Having watched countless friends turn foes, what is interesting now is to watch the reverse. Foes turning into friends.

When Hrithik Roshan blazed into Bollywood with Kaho Na Pyaar Hai in 2000, he almost wrested the reigning Badshah Shah Rukh Khan’s throne. With the paparazzi adding to their woes SRK and Duggu started out on a wrong foot. And SRK, who was hanging mid-air at a Filmfare Awards’ night event, joked saying, “Come Hrithik… come and pull me down.” However, that was another day. Today both Duggu and SRK are bonding big time. Sources say, “Every other night, the King and the Prince are dining together.’’ What makes their friendship more special is the fact that the girls, Gauri Khan and Sussanne Roshan, are also thick.

Aamir Khan admits that he didn’t approve of Salman Khan’s cavalier attitude to his work when they were filming Andaz Apna Apna. Said Aamir, “I even ticked Salman, Raveena Tandon and Paresh Rawal off during AAA because they had issues to resolve with the producer. And, they were treating the project badly.’’ Today Salman and Aamir are very good friends. Salman’s sketches on the Ghajini superstar are the piece de resistance at Aamir’s residence, and the boys often bond over a drink when AK’s wife Kiran Rao is out on her work assignment. Aamir even said, “That confrontation we had years ago has actually strengthened our bond.’’

Akshay Kumar admits that Suniel Shetty and he shared a hatelove relationship when they started out and now they have a love-love relationship which was in full force during the shoot of De Dhana Dan. Suniel said, “We were immature, yaar, now we’re men in our 40s. Where is the question of us fighting? It all seems so silly. Akki and I are not the best of friends but we do enjoy a camaraderie that is there for everyone to see.’’ If the Bollywood men are bonding big time, the women too have left their previous grievances aside and become friends. Kareena Kapoor and Bipasha Basu who argued like cats during Ajnabi are now friends. And so are Bebo and Preity Zinta. Guess when the boys and the girls realise that they aren’t hunting the same game, they let their guard down.

By Taran Adarsh, October 2, 2009 – 11:02 IST

Recall those years when partying hard was the only agenda on your list. Recall those years when staying awake at nights, chatting away with friends became a habit. Recall those years when bunking college and sneaking into movie halls was more exciting than books. Recall those years when you were completely clueless and aimless about the vocation you wanted to pursue once you graduated… That indecisive phase when you were hesitant to take that first big step in life can never be erased from your memory.

WAKE UP SID, directed by debutante Ayan Mukerji, is like revisiting those years that lay at some remote corner of your mind, after you moved on in life.

Actually, WAKE UP SID is a slice of life film. It’s not merely real in concept, but has also been told most realistically, so much so that you can’t help but draw parallels with your life or with someone you know. But what really makes WAKE UP SID most believable is Ranbir Kapoor, who’s mastered the craft at such a young age.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Verdict? WAKE UP SID mirrors those years with flourish. This one’s a simple story that strikes a chord instantly. Strongly recommended!

WAKE UP SID tells the story of Siddharth aka Sid [Ranbir Kapoor], a lazy, unmotivated slacker from Mumbai whose life undergoes a series of changes after taking his final year college exams. Sid’s world is breezy, carefree and without any true responsibilities.

Sid thrives around his two best friends, Rishi [Namit Das] and Laxmi [Shikha Talsania], very rarely communicates with his mother Sarita [Supriya Pathak] and takes his father Ram Mehra [Anupam Kher] and all his hard-earned wealth for granted. Despite all these traits, Sid is an honest boy; sweet, funny and above all, a good friend.

Aisha Bannerjee [Konkona Sen Sharma], an aspiring writer from Kolkata, learns this soon enough when her path crosses with Sid’s on her first day in Mumbai. Ambitious, well-read and driven, Aisha has come to Mumbai to realize her dreams as a writer. Despite their contrasting personalities, Sid becomes Aisha’s first friend in the city.

As Aisha sets up her life in Mumbai, with the help of Sid and his gang, Sid allows for time to fly by over long drives, parties that stretch well into dawn, and endless hours doing absolutely nothing. But a series of circumstances and events compel him to take stock of his life and take a hard look at himself.

Let’s not compare WAKE UP SID with anything you’ve watched before. Not DIL CHAHTA HAI. Not LAKSHYA either. Debutante director Ayan Mukerji narrates a story that you can relate to instantly and treats it with utmost care. A few moments linger in your memory and evoke bitter-sweet memories.

// <![CDATA[//

The first hour, right till the intermission, sweeps you off your feet. You get drawn into Sid’s world instantaneously; you react to everything he does. But the post-interval portions slackens, courtesy the writing. The Rahul Khanna track, for instance, looks half-baked. Also, the story stagnates after a point and hence, the pacing gets very slow. It’s only towards the finale that things perk up. Ideally, the film could’ve done with some trimming in this hour.

Ayan Mukerji packs in a solid punch in most parts of the film. The emotional moments especially gets you all moist-eyed. The humour too is well integrated in the sequences. Even the confrontation between the father and son is superb. Prior to that Konkona’s birthday sequence is amongst the finest sequences of the film. Music [Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy] is melodious. Anil Mehta’s cinematography is top notch. Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues are just right.

There’s no denying that Ranbir Kapoor is a supremely talented actor, but in WAKE UP SID, he proves that he’s amongst the best in the business today. No one could’ve portrayed Sid as effectively as Ranbir has enacted, that’s for sure. This is an award-worthy performance.

Konkona is natural to the core and the best part is, she’s so effortless. Here’s another winning performance from this incredible performer. Anupam Kher is wonderful. Ditto for Supriya Pathak. Both shine in their respective parts. Namit Das and Shikha Talsania are perfect. Rahul Khanna doesn’t get any scope.

On the whole, WAKE UP SID is a well-made film that should strike a chord with the youth mainly. A metro-centric film, the film should attract its target audience and should also prove to be the first choice of the elite/urban audience this Friday. Its distributors [UTV] have very rightly released the film at plexes of metros and mini-metros [instead of flooding the market with physical and digital prints], which in turn should only make this small film talked-about in days to come. Thumbs Up!

WUS

We all, in our childhood, had made a list of careers that we want to pursue when we grow up. But once we enter college, there comes a change in our mindset. We suddenly don’t feel like growing up. We shudder to think of our future when we would only be working with very little time for leisure and friends/family (I am passing through this phrase currently!). Some may claim that they never had such a feeling and that they were ambitious right from the beginning. But the truth is, everyone had gone or will go through this anxiety and even fear at some point of their academic life. Wake Up Sid deals with such similar issues. Although the protagonist is projected as highly lazy, almost everyone will be able to identify with him. This and the wonderful execution by debutant Ayan Mukerji makes Wake Up Sid one of the finest films to come out this year!

The story of the movie: Sidharth Mehra aka Sid (Ranbir Kapoor) is a lazy and non-ambitious youth who has just attempted his final year college exams. His life revolves around his friends, Rishi (Namit Das) and Laxmi (Shikha Talsania) and he loves hanging out with them. Sid’s mother (Supriya Pathak) loves him a lot but he doesn’t reciprocate. His dad (Anupam Kher) manages a big business and wants his son to take some responsibilities on his head. He tries but his efforts are futile. At this point, Sid comes across Aisha (Konkona Sen Sharma), an aspiring writer from Kolkata. Sid and Aisha are as different as chalk and cheese (Ayesha is even older than Sid) but still both of them become good friends. Sid even gives Aisha the much needed help in settling in Mumbai. Soon, Sid’s final year exam results come out and his world turns upside down.

Wake Up Sid is very different and that is evident at several points. The film is completely original and tries to be interesting as well as not to fall into any stereotype. For instance, our Hindi films have got a habit of projecting ‘aamir baap ka bigda beta’ as lazy, irresponsible, arrogant and hot-tempered. But, Sid in Wake Up Sid is shown only as lazy and careless. He is not arrogant; in fact, he’s well-mannered and very sweet and cute!

One gets hooked to the film from the first frame. Note the scene where Sid is in the exam hall, dazed and confused, and his imagination goes wild! Ayan Mukerji’s creativity is exposed fully in that very scene! The wonderful entry of Konkona Sen Sharma and her first interaction with Ranbir takes the film to dizzying heights. The best scene of the film-Konkona’s birthday, will surely bring a smile on everyone’s faces!

The intermission point was explosive. The 2nd half tends to get a little slow but frankly speaking, one doesn’t mind as one enjoys the goings-on thoroughly. You get so involved in Sid’s gradual transformation from a good for nothing guy to a responsible youth that you care a damn about the duration! Also, Ranbir-Konkona’s relationship is very cute and will be loved by everyone! Who says Ranbir-Konkona pairing is a mismatch?

Wake Up Sid4

Most importantly, one learns a lot of lessons from the film. The best teaching from the film-let one decide which path he/she wants to choose. Everyone has different capabilities and likes. Many just hate the 9 to 5 job. In such times, one should be allowed to flourish and grow as he/she likes.

The film gets dragging in the last 15 minutes but again, one doesn’t mind as it’s very well executed. One comes out of the theatre feeling refreshed and satisfied!

The film rests on the rock-solid performance of Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma. Ranbir was outstanding in my opinion in Bachna Ae Haseeno and in Wake Up Sid, he comes up with another amazing performance. He has put a lot of effort in the film and it is evident at several points in the film. Here’s an actor who deserves to be a superstar as soon as possible! He’s expected to give equally fabulous performances in the forthcoming Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and Rajneeti! Watch out!

As expected, Konkona Sen Sharma does a splendid job. She was absolutely natural and completely in character. Also, she looked stunning throughout the film. It’s really great to see such an effortless actress being showered with awards, accolades and acclaim! She completely deserves it, after all! Keep rocking Konkona!

Surpriya Pathak was funny at times but overall impresses a lot. Anupam Kher was consistent. Namit Das and Shikha Talsania were wonderful in their respective parts. Rahul Khanna, like everytime, was charming but why did he played two similar roles in two films? In Love Aaj Kal, Deepika worked under him and she got floored by him. In Wake Up Sid, a similar situation arises between him and Konkona. Actors like Rahul Khanna deserve to get better roles! Kashmera Shah didn’t have much to do. The girl who played Tanya also was wasted. Others were good.

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music was brilliant and their every song impresses. The title song and ‘Kya Karoon’ were rocking compositions. Amit Trivedi has composed the song ‘Iktara’ which is the best song of the lot. You’ll love the song more after watching the film! Trivedi’s background score was in sync with the light mood of the film.

Anil Mehta’s cinematography was superb. Notice how the scenes turn shaky during confronting scenes! Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues were casual and something which we hear or speak in our day to day lives.

Amrita Mahal Nakai’s production designs was highly impressive. The sets were just outstanding. Konkona’s workplace was so cool and uber. Man, work would be so much fun if offices had such rocking interiors! Even Konkona’s house seemed so cute, even though it wasn’t huge. Great job by Amrita!

Special mention should be made of Karan Johar, who understood the importance of this film and decided to produce it. Really nice of him to give a chance to promising youngsters and guiding them! Great job!

Ayan Mukerji comes out as a winner! He wrote the story, screenplay and also directed the film and excelled in all three! The film is extremely simple and doesn’t turn out to be full of rona-dhona or melodramatic. Most importantly, Ayan keeps the mood of the film realistic. The characters in the film are believable and straight out of life and the situations they face seem totally real. In short, a brilliant job by Ayan, who is just 26 years old! Simply fantastic!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Sid in exam hall
2.   The song ‘Kya Karoon’, ‘Aaj Kal Zindagi’ and ‘Iktara’
3.   Sid and Aisha meeting for the 1st time
4.   Sid helping Aisha to decorate her house
5.   Sid in his dad’s office
6.   Sid with Aisha on her birthday (best scene of the film!)
7.   The intermission point
8.   Sid clicking pics of everything under the sun
9.   Sid and her mom looking at his childhood pics
10. The last 20 minutes of the film

On the whole, Wake Up Sid is simply a well-made film in all respects. It is simple, sweet and extremely relatable with great direction, extra ordinary performances and melodious music. A must for all youngsters and for all those who crave for good cinema! Go for it!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Wake_Up_Sid-176496-1.html

Wake Up Sid3

DBH3

Post-Lagaan, there has been multitude of films on cricket out of which only two succeeded-Jannat and Iqbal. The rest of the badly executed cricket films failed. ‘Dil Bole Hadippa!’ falls in between the two categories. The film in interesting and has its share of wonderful moments. But the film lacked depth and the director and screenwriter could have worked wonders with the kind of script they had in their hand. Thus, ‘Dil Bole Hadippa!’ is just a one-time watch.

The story of the movie: Veera (Rani Mukherjee) is a charming and bubbly girl who lives in a small town in Punjab. She is a great cricketer and is passionate about the sport. Every year, Aman Cup is held between India and Pakistan during the independence day of these countries and Indian team had lost the match 8 times in a row. Frustrated, the owner of the Indian team, Vikram Kapoor (Anupam Kher) calls his son Rohan (Shahid Kapoor), an accomplished county player to be the captain of his team. Rohan gets rid of the existing team which he felt wasn’t upto the mark and holds a selection. Veera wishes to be a part of the team but knowing that women won’t be allowed in the team, she disguises herself as a Sikh guy and goes for the selection. She tells her name as Veer Pratap Singh and gets selected in the team. To find out what happens next, watch the film.

The beginning of ‘Dil Bole Hadippa!’ is fabulous and sets the mood of the film. However, the film gets into the flawed mode with the entry of Anupam Kher and Dalip Tahil. Both of them are shown as childhood buddies who got separated after the Partition. But both of them looked too young to be born 10 years before the Partition!

Notwithstanding such goofs, the film maintains its pace and doesn’t get slow or dragging or melodramatic at a single point. There is lots of things happening throughout the film and although the film gets predictable, it stills manages to engross. If the screenwriters and the directors were more careful, the film could have been flawless product. The biggest glitch of the film is Veera turns into Veer and succeeds in looking like a guy but doesn’t alter her feminine voice, thus giving a clear giveaway that Veer is a girl in disguise. Still, no one gets a slightest hint about it and this is slightly hard to digest. This may result in a comparison with Shahrukh Khan’s double act in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. However, in RNBDJ, SRK had not guised himself as a member of the opposite sex and had wonderfully changed the tone of his voice, appearance, mannerisms etc in such a way that when Anushka Sharma failed to recognize him, it looked believable to a great extent.

Coming back to ‘Dil Bole Hadippa!’, the romantic track between Shahid and Rani was refreshing. The final cricket match was nail-biting although we all knew what will be its outcome. Rani’s dialogue in the climax was well executed and the film ends with a good message.

DBH2

Dil Bole Hadippa!’ belongs completely to Rani Mukherjee. The film rests on her shoulders and she does a stupendous job. Even as Veer, she was mind-blowing, notwithstanding her voice. It was funny to see Shahid making Veer do the exercises. Watch out for the scene where Veer is daydreaming on the cricket ground! In short, it was just incredible on the part of Rani. Let’s hope she gets more meaningful roles. She deserves to stay in Bollywood.

Shahid Kapoor, as usual, was perfect as the tough captain. And he has an important role to play in the film and doesn’t have lesser screen presence, as mentioned in many reviews. He shines in the scene where he tells Veer about his feelings for Veera. In fact, both Shahid and Rani were at their best in this particular scene.

Anupam Kher and Dalip Tahil were consistent. Sherlyn Chopra is a good actor and will be taken seriously, provided she stops exposing. Rakhi Sawant, Poonam Dhillon, Vrajesh Hirjee and Vallabh Vyas didn’t have much to do in the film. Shonali Nagrani looked charming.

Pritam’s music wasn’t in complete form but nevertheless, gives couple of good songs. Hadippa, its remix version and Ishq Hi Hai Rab were the best songs. Julius Packiam’s background score was fantastic! Several scenes turned exciting, thanks to the energetic background score. Same goes for the brilliant cinematography by acclaimed cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee.

Jaya-Aparajita wrote the story, screenplay and dialogues. The screenplay was perfect in some scenes but could have been better. Dialogues were excellent.

Anurag Singh, the director of the film, overall did a good job but he failed to treat some scenes exceptionally which was really needed. Overall, it was a great directorial debut. There’s another director by the same name who had made Raqeeb, starring Rahul Khanna, Tanushree Dutta, Sharman Joshi and Jimmy Shergill. Coincidentally, it also starred Sherlyn Chopra!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   The first scene
2.   The Aman Cup held in India
3.   Rohan and Veera’s first meeting
4.   Veera denied entry for the selection
5.   Veer and Rohan meeting for the ‘first time’
6.   The intermission point
7.   Rohan asking Veer about Veera
8.   Rohan and Veera’s date
9.   The final 30 minutes

On the whole, ‘Dil Bole Hadippa!’ is a good film with a message. The film could have been outstanding if the writers had taken care of the flaws. Rani performs wonderfully and it’s a must watch for all her fans!

My rating-*** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Dil_Bole_Hadippa-176045-1.html

DBH

Veteran actress Kirron Kher speaks to Mumbai Mirror Online about her frustration with stereotypical roles, her son Sikandar’s career and what she’s looking forward to as an actress
By Debarati Sen (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 22, 2009)

Kirron Kher

Bollywood tends to have this fixation with certain character artistes and they tend to get recast in similar roles endlessly. The doting, loud and aggressive Punjabi mother which has been played oh-so-well by Kirron Kher has been accepted and applauded by Indian audiences. She has gone on to become a favourite in films like Hum Tum, Rang de Basanti, Om Shanti Om, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and in Dostana.

Fans have loved the spirited, loud, over-the-top at times, yet ever-affectionate and loving mother played by Kirron Kher. We have actually come to a point when we can only think of her when it comes to the Bollywood Punjabi mother.

However, Kirron is not very happy with this. “I’m really fed up of the Punjabi mother roles I have been playing,” says this National Award winning actress who would love to do something more, something different.

Her screen sons have included the likes of Saif Ali Khan, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, and even a Sunny Deol. Ask her who among them is her favourite son and she promptly replies, “I do not have any favourites. Everyone is a professional, and they are all good colleagues. I have even played mother to actors who are just a few years younger to me, but then that is how the Hindi film industry works.”

While she may reserve her comments on playing ‘mommy’ to heroes in her age group, Kirron does have her wish list of heroes that she would like to play mom to. “I don’t mind playing to mom to the younger lot. Like Ranbir, whom I’ve seen as a child,” she says.

Kirron’s favourite roles have been the ones she played in Bariwali and Khamosh Paani – which won National and International awards, and received critical acclaim across the world. But she has her favourites in popular cinema too. “My role in Devdas and Rang De Basanti are amongst my favourites in commercial cinema,” says the gifted actress.

Her son Sikandar’s career has still to take off as he’s yet to get a hit to his credit. But his talented parents are making sure to leave no stone unturned to make sure he makes a niche for himself in the industry. “We (Anupam and I) are planning to produce a film with him in the lead,” she shares.

She’s also excited about a film she’s doing with Homi Adjania (who directed Being Cyrus). Her eyes sparkle when she gushes, “I have high hopes from the film. I have always wanted to do films laced with black humour.No one has offered something like this to me before.”

Her other forthcoming releases include much-talked-about films like Kurbaan with Dharma Productions and Action Replay with Vipul Shah.

By Taran Adarsh, September 18, 2009 – 17:54 IST

Cricket, like Bollywood, is an addiction for a wide majority of Indians. DIL BOLE HADIPPA tries to capture the spirit of the game and the aspirations of a sportsperson, who’s keen to play for her pind. On paper, the concept, which bears an uncanny resemblance to SHE’S THE MAN, sounds interesting, but the problem is its writing, which is tame and mediocre.

Let’s elaborate. The plusses, first…
It’s mandatory for cricket-based films like LAGAAN and VICTORY, which conclude with a cricket match, to have a thrilling finish. DIL BOLE HADIPPA too has a awe-inspiring end.
Also, the story of an ordinary girl who aspires to play cricket for the national team is motivating, with Rani Mukherji handling her part with complete understanding.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

But there’s a flipside too. The romantic moments between Rani and Shahid Kapoor lack fizz. Even the assorted characters in the film, like Sherlyn Chopra, Vrajesh Hirjee and Rakhi Sawant, contribute nothing to the film. They’re mere props.

Final word? You expect DIL BOLE HADIPPA to score a century, like several films churned out by Yash Raj. But it settles down in the half-century range. Strictly average!

//

Veera [Rani Mukherji] is a fire-cracker of a girl who lives in a small village, but chases big dreams. She works in a local theatre group, but dreams of playing cricket in the big league. Yes, believe it or not, she wants to play with Tendulkar and Dhoni for India.

While Veera dreams on in India, Rohan [Shahid Kapoor] is an accomplished captain of a county cricket team in England. Rohan returns to India to captain his father’s cricket team, which has been losing consecutively for the last 8 years.

In a village where girls don’t play cricket, Veera has to put on a turban and beard and become a man to fulfil her dreams. Her brilliance on the field earns her a place in Rohan’s team and Veera Kaur becomes Veer Pratap Singh. But what happens when the secret is out?

DIL BOLE HADIPPA has a patchy script. It’s interesting initially, but takes the beaten path later. Rani’s obsession for cricket is well established at the outset. So is the friendship between Anupam Kher and Dalip Tahil [who heads the Pakistani team]. Also, the initial scenes between Anupam and Shahid are well integrated in the story.

The film shows promise when Rani transforms from Veera to Veer. All this happens in the initial 20-25 minutes, but the story comes to a screeching halt thereafter.

Problem begins… Shahid loses his heart to Rani and the film suddenly turns into a love story. Sherlyn surfaces in between to spice up the proceedings, but nothing happens. The conflict during the finale – when Shahid learns the truth – doesn’t make the desired impact either. Even the re-emergence of the mother [Poonam Dhillon] in the story looks like a complete compromise from the writing point of view.

However, the match between the Indian and Pakistani teams in the climax is well executed and though the viewer is well aware what the ending would be, it keeps you hooked nonetheless. Unfortunately, the final speech by Rani [after the match is won] is outright predictable. The film would’ve benefitted with an innovative end.

Anurag Singh shows sparks of brilliance at times, but how one wishes the debutante director and his writers would’ve come up with a solid script. Pritam’s music doesn’t help either. Barring the title track, the balance songs are plain average. Cinematography is nice.

DIL BOLE HADIPPA belongs to Rani and as always, she delivers a sparkling performance as Veera as well as Veer, carrying both the roles effortlessly. Shahid plays second fiddle to Rani, which is very surprising. Nevertheless, he enacts his part well. Anupam Kher and Dalip Tahil lend decent support. Poonam Dhillon has nothing to do. Rakhi Sawant and Sherlyn Chopra are wasted. Vrajesh Hirjee is passable. Shri Vallabh Vyas does well.

On the whole, DIL BOLE HADIPPA is an ordinary fare. At the box-office, the film has some chances in North mainly thanks to the Punjabi flavour. The holidays ahead may help its prospects at plexes essentially, but the single screens will be dull.

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, September 14, 2009 – 16:13 IST

Dil Bole Hadippa! A young, super-excited fan of Bollywood Hungama.com, Anita couldn’t help sharing her review of Dil Bole Hadippa with us after she caught a sneak peek of the highly anticipated film at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Read on to find out if the movie lived up to her expectations.

For all of you who have been waiting to see Dil Bole Hadippa (DBH) and Rani Mukherjee’s triumphant return, you will not be disappointed. DBH was what Ta Ra Rum Pum and Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic should have been, a light-hearted Indian-flavoured family entertainer from Yash Raj Films. It’s good to see that both Rani and YRF have returned to the formula that we all know and love.

The film starts out with Veera Kaur (Rani Mukherjee), a hardcore typical Punjabi kudi who is completely obsessed with cricket. She’s so confident of her abilities that she boldly claims that she can hit six sixes in a row, even when a pro pitcher takes her up on the bet. Veera also works alongside Shanno (Rakhi Sawant) and others in a dance troupe that performs regularly. Of course, while they perform, she’s backstage playing cricket with the kids, which is extremely endearing.

Enter into the story Rohan Kapoor (Shahid Kapoor) and his father Vikram Kapoor (Anupam Kher). Rohan is an accomplished cricket player in England who has lived there for many many years. Vikram somehow convinces Rohan to come to India and be by his side.

Dil Bole Hadippa! Vikram’s close childhood friend, Liyaqat Ali Khan (Dilip Tahil) is from Lahore, Pakistan. To foster peace between the two nations, the friends have set up an annual Peace Cup. Vikram asks Rohan to captain the Amritsar team and lead them to victory.

When Rohan comes across Veera for the first time, her adorably bad English and her defensive patriotism catch him completely off guard. She’s most definitely like no one he’s met before. Veera finds out that the Amritsar cricket team is holding tryouts for selection. She gets extremely excited and runs off to become the town’s new batting star. Unfortunately, when she goes to the tryout, the security guards and the rest of the men in line scoff at the notion that a woman could play cricket with them. Rani is heartbroken.

Rani realizes that she can dress up as a man and possibly fool the cricketers into letting her onto the team! Rani freaks out when she sees that the same foreign jerk who annoyed her, Rohan, is the captain. She stumbles and lies and tells him her name is Veer Pratap Singh. Veer succeeds in impressing Rohan and is accepted into the team.

After a lot of fun-filled moments between Rohan, Veera and Veer Pratap Singh, its time for the final cricket match.

Dil Bole Hadippa! Overall, I would definitely recommend Dil Bole Hadippa. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie that doesn’t take itself so seriously. I really liked that aspect of DBH. Plus, if you’re a Rani fan, this is most definitely the movie for you. She is beyond amazing and she is back like she’s never been before. Shahid is pretty much the most adorable thing ever and also a good reason to check out the film.

Anita can be reached at http://wasabi-girl1.livejournal.com/233500.html

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the blogger, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bollywood Hungama. Bollywood Hungama accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.

By Taran Adarsh, August 28, 2009 – 09:33 IST

Certain issues continue to make waves and hit headlines. Issues like the influx of people from the Northern states to Mumbai, or the one where, allegedly, residential societies don’t seem too keen to allot flats to members of a particular community…

N. Chandra encompasses all this and more in YEH MERA INDIA. The style of narrating the stories is akin to CRASH, while the storytelling is similar to Chandra’s accomplished works ANKUSH and PRATIGHAAT – two films that made him an iconic figure then.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

YEH MERA INDIA is sharp as a blade and yes, it does re-open old wounds. The film works in most parts because you identify with most stories, but how one wishes Chandra would’ve kept the length of the movie in check.

//

Final word? YEH MERA INDIA has its heart in the right place. Here’s a film that pricks your conscience and makes you think. Recommended!

YEH MERA INDIA is an attempt to explore the real stories behind the headlines. These stories deal with racial bias, communal bias, caste bias, class bias, gender bias, lingual bias and immigrant bias that plague the society. It is a story of one day in the life of 12 people from different strata of Mumbai city, which is a melting pot of cultures.

N. Chandra goes back to his roots – topical, hard-hitting themes – and picks up stories that the common man would relate to. These stories are connected to one another and some of them are disturbing, which only goes to prove that the storyteller has succeeded in drawing your attention to the problems.

But what dilutes the impact is the way some of these stories are culminated in the concluding reels. In real life, not all stories have a happy end, but in this case, they do. Also, since Chandra has chosen to raise too many issues, it’s sure to take a toll on the length of the film, with each story demanding a justifiable ending and that only makes the goings-on lengthy.

Chandra is best remembered for his first two films [also TEZAAB] and in YEH MERA INDIA, the N. Chandra of yore is visible in several sequences. One only wishes the production values would’ve been superior.

The film has an ensemble cast and the actors infuse life in their characters. In fact, every actor in YEH MERA INDIA leaves a mark, but the ones who stand out are Anupam Kher, Parvin Dabas, Vijay Raaz, Atul Kulkarni, Seema Biswas, Rajpal Yadav and Smilie Suri.

On the whole, YEH MERA INDIA is a film that grows on you. It’s a film that the aam aadmi would connect with. At the box-office, this film should show an escalation thanks to a strong word of mouth.

Anupam Kher writes from London on his experience of working with Woody Allen on his new film
Posted On August 27, 2009 (MUMBAI MIRROR)

A few months ago, my agent in London, Ruth Young, told me that Woody Allen had cast me in his untitled film as Freida Pinto’s father. That news came to me on May 24, as I was hosting the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the release of my first film Saaransh. No award that I had received in my quarter century in cinema could have made me happier than this bit of news.

Buried as I was with work, the excitement abated only to resurface on August 23, when I was set to go to London for the shoot. It suddenly hit me that I was going to work with someone I had adored and almost worshipped for decades. Then, a strange nervousness gripped me; just like it did during the first day’s shoot of Saaransh. But that was understandable when I was a rookie being directed by Mahesh Bhatt. Now I had acted in almost 400 films. Yet I was nervous.

To understand this reaction, I spoke to my mentor Mahesh Bhatt and asked him how I should behave when I would be on Woody Allen’s sets. Nervous, confident or important? Mahesh said, “Just be the way you are: inquisitive, nervous, and, be yourself.”

I reached London the next morning and was taken for a ‘costume and look’ trial. I was told that Woody Allen would see me the next day as he only meets actors directly on the sets on the day of the shoot. But I pleaded and they reluctantly took me to a holding area near the location. The scene that was being shot was the exterior of a restaurant on a busy street in Notting Hill.

I was introduced to Freida who was warm and turned out to be a great admirer of my work. She introduced me to her co-star, Josh Brolin and I told him that he was brilliant in Milk. I then went out on the crowded street and some Bangladeshis waved to me. But there was an overpowering silence. I was searching for the man who I had seen only in films and whose books I had read and who was my icon. And suddenly I saw him. He was in his trademark beige trousers, light blue shirt and brown shoes. His specs were black. His hair had gone whiter and strangely, he looked taller and larger.

I had never seen anyone in my life who was as focussed as him. For him, the world did not exist, the crowds did not exist. There were no security guards around him. All that mattered was the frame of his shot. Even the crowd sensed his concentration. In respect, passersby moved in silence.

The executive producer was apprehensive, knowing Woody’s reluctance to meet actors in advance. On seeing the waving Bangladeshis, she knew I was as famous in the sub-continent as I had been made out to be and that made her apologetic as well.

There was a gap in the shoot; Woody had turned to his iPhone and was listening with great concentration to some music. The costume girl then walked up to him and showed him my pictures with the ‘look’ and told him that I was on location. I was wondering what his reaction would be.  My tongue was swollen and my mouth was dry.

He turned around and tried to match the face with the picture he had seen. And then, he spotted me and smiled. I tried to portray the confident look of Anupam Kher the veteran of almost 400 films and the winner of many awards. But all I managed was the anxious look that I had when I had watched my first shooting as a 16-year-old in Shimla. That was Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore and Rakhee in Yash Chopra’s Daag.

I wondered if Woody’s smile was out of politeness. But there was warmth in his eyes. I felt as if it took me a year to cover the five feet that separated us and I can vividly remember each step. His grip was firm and before I could say anything, he said, “It is a pleasure meeting you.” I heard myself saying, “I can’t believe it!” Woody insisted and repeated, “I am really am happy to see you!”

I told him I had seen all his movies, and he kept nodding, as he had heard such comments many times in his career. Then he looked at me as if to say, “Can I go back to my work…”

The next day I did my scenes with him and I realised that all what I had experienced as an actor in the decades was not of much use as one could not depend on any one school of acting. In my eye flashed scenes from Annie Hall, Manhattan, Sleeper, Crimes and Misdemeanors…

Suddenly the sun got brighter and the shooting stopped. I asked an assistant the reason and was told that Woody does not shoot in bright light. Imagine, everyone loves to shoot in bright light, save Woody Allen!

I discovered that I had left my camera in Mumbai and decided that it would be a pity to shoot pictures of the occasion on my cell. And as the day ended, Woody was more vocal. I told him that Indian cinema was changing and how we were making the kind of movies we always wanted. His cogent response was that it could only happen when the audience changes. He spoke of his early years in New York when he would watch films by Satyajit Ray and Kurosawa. “But now, it is the time of $200 million blockbusters,” he said.

Later that evening, I bought a camera and clicked some pictures. I also got some books for Woody to autograph and gifted him copies of the Ramayana and the Gita. One of the vintage memories of that day I will carry is when Woody was shooting a scene with lots of people and he wanted, in his typical style, for the camera to move from one speaking person to another. At the end of it, he told his cameraman, “You were a little lost…but I liked the chaos.”

Indeed, working three days with Woody Allen has been my most memorable experience in cinema. And I wish to thank Indian cinema for making all this happen. As I have said in my one-man play, “Kuchh bhi ho sakta hai…” Or, as my grandmother would say, “Allah meherban to gadheda pahelwan!”