Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘audiences

After playing an ideal mother in ‘Paa’, Vidya Balan says she is ready to surprise audiences with a completely different avatar in forthcoming movie ‘Ishqiya’. She will be seen as a conniving, scheming woman in Vishal Bharadwaj’s dark drama.

My character in 'Ishqiya' oozes sensuality: Vidya Balan

“For the first time I’ll be playing a woman who is conniving, scheming and in whom there is a sexual aggression,” Vidya told us in an interview.

“She is an aggressive person. She is someone who is unapologetic about her own choices. Bold is the word I’ll use for the lack of a better word. In the Indian context, she would be Rambha, Durga or Kali. She is someone who is dressed from top to toe but oozes sensuality,” the actress said.

Set in eastern Uttar Pradesh, ‘Ishqiya’ is a tale of romance between individuals caught in a web of crime, suspense, passion and deceit. Made by first time director Abhishek Chaubey and produced by Bharadwaj, the film also stars Arshad Warsi and Naseeruddin Shah in pivotal roles.

In the film, Vidya sports a deglamourised look and mouths expletives.

Asked if Bharadwaj was the reason she signed ‘Ishqiya’, she said: “It’s always very reassuring when the producer is an established guy because when you take a film, you want to know that no compromises will be made while making the film and even after it gets released.

“Of course Vishal comes with a certain brand and credibility…but more importantly I loved the role offered to me. I wouldn’t have given it up. Along with that I loved Abhishek’s passion and sensibility. So it was a combination of all these things when I made my decision.”

The 31-year-old is also looking forward to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Chenaab Gandhi’ in which she plays Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter.

After receiving flak for doing glamorous roles, Vidya has moved to author-backed characters in ‘Paa’, ‘Chenaab Gandhi’ and ‘Ishqiya’. But she says her choice of roles is not a conscious effort to change her image.

“It’s not a conscious decision to try and stay away from a particular kind of roles. There is no effort for an image change. It’s just that I’m just being offered a lot of exciting work and I’ve tried to pick and choose different things to keep it very exciting for me,” she said.

“Of course, candyfloss is still welcome if it comes with substance, but the very fact that it’s candyfloss takes away the substance. So I don’t do that much candyfloss because it compromises on substance,” added the actress.

Vidya has earlier been seen in films like ‘Parineeta’, ‘Heyy Babyy’, ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’ and ‘Kismat Konnection’.

Source: IANS

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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

LAUGH OUT LOUD: Ajay Devgn, Bipasha Basu and Sanjay Dutt pose with fans who have loved watching their film

Audiences, Bollywood stars and trade analysts, say Ajay Devgn gave them ‘best’ gift of all for Diwali

TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; October 23, 2009)


Ajay Devgn kept his promise. His film All the Best — Fun Begins… directed by Rohit Shetty, is as fine a Diwali gift to cinegoers as it may get. Slowly, it has picked up steam at the box office and is now laughing its way to the bank. Literally!

“The film didn’t open big on Friday but on Sunday and Monday, it jumped by leaps and bounds — from 30 per cent to 95 per cent,” said trade analyst Amod Mehra. Indeed, because audiences everywhere are having a blast watching the comic timings of Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu, Mugdha Godse, Fardeen Khan and Ajay. “It’s very refreshing. No number of stars given by critics can change the opinion of cinegoers. Once the public says a film’s a hit, then it’s a hit. This film picked up because of word-of-mouth publicity,” added trade analyst Komal Nahta.

Multiplexes are enjoying the post-Diwali ticket sales that this Ajay Devgn Ffilms’ release is fetching them. “On Tuesday, the film did better business than it did
on Sunday and Monday. The audience, just like me, was laughing its guts out,” said Ashish Saxena from Reliance BIG Pictures. Devang Sampat from Cinemax attributes the success to Ajay having picked the right script for the festive season. “It’s been a trend where people look for total entertainment during Diwali. They just want to have a good time… I’m expecting this film to do even better in the coming days,” he said.

Not strangely, film critics
have given good ratings to this one too. Even Bollywood stars, keeping their own films aside, have been entertained by this comedy. “It’s an honest entertainer and I laughed throughout. I felt happy after watching it,” said hunk John Abraham. Ditto was the reaction of the producer’s wife and beautiful actress Kajol. “I laughed, my daughter Nysa laughed and the whole theatre laughed. And that’s when Diwali started!” she said.
— SWB

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BLUE WILL GIVES YOU BLUES!!

No matter how grand a film is, how wonderfully it has been promoted or which big names associated are with it, if its content is bad, then nothing can save the film. Blue comes in this category. The film was so nicely publicized, the promos looked rocking, Akki-Sanju pairing seemed electrifying and Lara Dutta’s bikini scenes had sent the youth in frenzy. Unfortunately, the film’s story is pathetic and thus, the film disappoints…big time!

The story of the movie: Sagar (Sanjay Dutt) is an honest guy staying in Bahamas and has a girlfriend, Mona (Lara Dutta). His best friend is Aarav (Akshay Kumar), a rich and over ambitious businessman. One fine morning, Sagar’s younger brother, Sameer aka Sam (Zayed Khan) arrives at Sagar’s place after staying in Bangkok for 5 years. Sam hasn’t come there just to meet his folks for a few days-he had ran away from Bangkok after taking panga with a gangster Gulshan (Rahul Dev) there. On the other hand, there is a treasure lying deep under the sea, somewhere near Bahamas, and Aarav persuades Sagar to join him in finding the treasure. But Sagar has reservations about it which is connected to his past.

In just 15 minutes, you get a hint that the director is unfit and doesn’t know his job well. The opening credits scene was brilliant. But the following scenes and also the boxing sequence hold attention initially but the interest soon wears off. The movie then focuses on Zayed Khan which was the best part of the first hour. But the story hardly moves once Zayed comes to Bahamas and joins Sanju and his team and this happens till the intermission point. In between, there two songs are thrown in, ‘Chiggy Wiggy’ and Blue Theme, which serve no purpose to the main storyline.

The actual treasure hunting begins in the last 30 minutes and you expect fireworks right till the climax. But alas…it was plain lackluster. The director could have included added more thrills or at least some twists and surprises. Sure, there is a twist in the end but that doesn’t work big time. Also the climax was so lame!

Talking about flaws, there are plenty. What is striking is-the treasure is part of India’s wealth and was coming to India in a ship in 1949. But when the ship sank, no effort was made by the Indian Govt or for that matter, any adventurer to get hold of it. Although there were stories that the captain of the ship took away the treasure, still no one tried even investigating this case and that too for 5 decades! Very hard to digest!

However, the film scores at a few places. The bike race and the following chase scene involving Zayed Khan rocks! Another bike scene post-interval, which also involved a train, was also well-shot. And the best scene of the film was when the goons attack Sanjay’s place. Simply outstanding! So you can see, only the action sequences hold attention. And the film, overall, is a damp squib!

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It’s a treat to see Sanjay Dutt in every film and in Blue too, he does a great job. Although he looked a bit fat places, overall, he gives a smashing performance. Akshay Kumar steals the show. He also raises a few laughs in between and was perfect for this role. However, it’s really disappointing to see Akshay Kumar in pathetic films lately. Let’s hope De Dana Dan (his next with Priyadarshan) works. Zayed Khan looked dashing and charming. The world may denounce him but I feel that he has the potential and can reach the top, if given an opportunity.

I really feel bad for Lara Dutta. When she signed Blue, she didn’t know swimming and she dedicatedly learnt how to swim in just three months and became a pro. However, she hardly has any contribution to the main plot of the film. In fact, one can argue that there was no need for her character in the film at all! Really very unfortunate! Rahul Dev was okay and Kabir Bedi doesn’t have a single dialogue in the film. Katrina Kaif is stunning while Kylie Minogue oozes oomph!

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A R Rahman’s music was good, but nothing special. The Blue Theme, Chiggy Wiggy and Aaj Dil are the best songs of the lot. Rahman’s background score sounded modern and fresh.

Laxman Utekar’s cinematography was eye-catching. The underwater cinematography by Pete Zuccarini was outstanding and the underwater scenes really looked stunning. Oscar winner Resul Pookutty strikes a sixer with his marvelous sound designing. Fantastic job! The locales (Bahamas) are excellent.

Some of the dialogues (Mayur Puri) stand out. While the crew did their job wonderfully, the story and the script (Anthony D’Souza and Jasmine D’Souza) spoil and ruin the show. Same goes for direction by Anthony. He had everything-a producer who was ready to invest large amounts of money, top actors of the current period, an excellent crew (including some from Hollywood) and what not. But alas! Did Anthony feel that people are going to praise his film just by showing them some wonderful underwater scenes and handful of action sequences? The producer, Dhilin Mehta, is equally to blame. What was he thinking when he invested 90 crs+ on such a flawed script and on a debutant director? My blood boils to see huge amounts of money going waste, which could had been utilized in a better way. We are a pro when it comes to lifting/copying/inspiring from Hollywood flicks. Then why can’t we have a Hollywood-like terrific direction and screenplay? Really very very disappointing!

Some of the best scenes in the film:
1. Sam in Bangkok
2. Sagar and Aarav having a drink at the edge
3. Sam being chased in Bahamas
4. Gulshan’s attack on Sagar
5. Sam, Sagar and Aarav searching for treasure
6. The final scene

On the whole, Blue is a big time disappointment. The film’s cast and crew have done a brilliant job but the film fails to impress because of its faulty script. Blue should fail (and it will, for sure, keeping in mind its high cost) at the Box office so that it gives a lesson to all producers in Bollywood that investing large amounts of money on faulty scripts and taking audiences for granted will result in big losses and disaster.

My rating-** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Blue-177340-1.html

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