Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘avantika

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 24, 2009)


The much-hyped premiere of 3 Idiots promised what seemed impossible – bringing all the three Khans under one roof. Well, turns out that it actually is impossible. For while Salman Khan made a gamely appearance, Shah Rukh did not complete the picture of the happy Khan-daan. It was left up to an unchaperoned Karan Johar to pass on the good wishes for both of them.

Amitabh Bachchan was missing in action as well, taking some of the sheen away from the big premiere. Of course, other stars showed up but many of them are associated with the film or with director Rajkumar Hirani’s earlier Munnabhai series.

From (Left): Kareena kapoor and Saif Ali Khan, Kiran Rao and Aamir Khan, Imran Khan and Avantika, Rajkumar Hirani and Vinod Chopra

Aamir Khan, always the professional, played the courteous host despite the fact that he was running a high temperature. His doctor had visited him twice yesterday and his fever had hit a raging 103 degrees. Dressed in a Sabyasachi suit, he received the guests with the cast and the crew of 3 Idiots at a multiplex at Wadala, while his wife Kiran Rao stationed herself on the first floor near the screens. She was seen discussing the film with Chetan Bhagat. Bet he was trying to figure out which bits from his book finally made it to the film.

Salman caused quit a stir when he appeared and had to be whisked away and he entered the venue from a different route. Kareena Kapoor, looking stunning in a saree, came in with a dapper-looking Saif Ali Khan. Mona Singh, who makes her debut with the film, was seen in a quiet corner with her father, keeping a low profile. Bhushan Kumar was heard saying that he had cancelled his family vacation for the premiere. Touching.

Mansoor Khan was the self-appointed babysitter as he was seen loading up on the popcorn for Aamir’s kids Junaid and Ira. Reema, Aamir’s ex-wife, was also present.

Sanjay Dutt came without his devoted wife Manyata, while a bearded Sonu Nigam decided it was better not to leave his better half at home.

Sanjay dutt Sharman joshi Salman khan
Vivek Oberoi on love, life and a fresh innings in Bollywood

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 27, 2009)


• You have got some good reviews for your role in Kurbaan.

Yes. I have not stopped smiling since the film’s release. At one of the trials, Bebo (Kareena Kapoor) and Saif (Ali Khan) did tell me that I was good in the film. Then Karan (Johar) and Rensil (D’Silva)also told me the same thing. I had not seen the film till then as I was shooting in Hyderabad. It was a nice feeling when Karan told me ‘finally you make me proud.’ I saw the film just a day before its release and I had knots in my stomach. I was very nervous but I was with people who have always been kind to me. There were Shah Rukh and Gauri, Imran and his fiancée Avantika, Yash uncle, Davidji (Dhawan). They all hugged me and said I was good.

• Why have you not done a romantic film after Saathiya?

Honestly, I really don’t know. Kurbaan has got a romantic track but Mission Istanbul and Shootout At Lokhandwala had zero romance. I have not done an out-and-out romantic film and I am really looking forward to doing one.

• People are saying that you have changed and that you want to leave the controversies behind and concentrate only on your work.

I wanted this for a really long time. However, after Shootout… things did not fall in place. Almost four years ago, when I did Omkara, I saw Saif getting under the skin of the character Langda Tyagi. I loved the work ethics. That’s when I thought that I should stop doing what I was doing, but I had a backlog to finish. Then my close friend Amit Chandra sat me down and helped me streamline my life so that I could practically achieve what I was trying to. Now, I have learnt not to take anything for granted.

• How did Ramu and you patch up?

I don’t think patch up is the right word as we were never at loggerheads. I will never have the audacity to say anything against Ramu and as an artiste, I will always be indebted to him for giving me Company. But when he called me and told me ‘I will never work with you again’, I was shocked. Now, when he called me and said that he had something for me, I was so happy. When I met him, he said that he could see the same passion in my eyes again and gave me Rakta Charitra. I felt exactly the same on the first day of Rakta Charitra that I felt on the first day on the sets of Company. Ramu made me feel so comfortable.

• You have done some amazing stunts in Prince, something which you are not known for.

Yes. Kookie Gulati is quite a whiz kid. I did so many things that I cannot possibly explain — right from learning how to skateboard, doing parkour, learning cable work, to action training. I had to put so many things into my system that after the training session, things became easier.

• You have said that you are done with apologising to people.

I made a mistake and it is human to make mistakes. Personally, I think it’s humbling and it’s also building character to stand up and say I made a mistake and please forgive me. It is always an ego-based thing to say that why should I apologise. It is a real man who can say ‘I am sorry’ and that too in public. I have said sorry to the assistant director whom I was rude to, I have said sorry to the movie star whom I had a fight with and I even said sorry to the director I snapped at.

In the process of eliminating handful of terrorists, we end up creating many more-this best describes the policies of Western developed powers who are hell bent on making the world more democratic but adopt inhuman ways to achieve the end point. Kurbaan throws light on this sensitive topic and thankfully treats it well. The flick throws a spate of questions and forces you to think, discuss and debate. But it doesn’t get preachy and hence it’s not like one of the several films on terrorism that are made for a niche audience. The film is thrilling, has some wonderful twist-n-turns and includes some moments of love and passion too. All this make Kurbaan one of the finest films of the year-one that can’t be missed!

The story of the movie: Ehsaan Khan (Saif Ali Khan) takes the job of a teacher in a university in Delhi where he comes across a psychology teacher, Avantika (Kareena Kapoor). He instantly falls in love and she also ends up liking him. But unfortunately, she’s called back to New York where she originally belongs. Realizing that it would be wrong to have a long-distance relationship, Ehsaan also moves to NYC with Avantika. But before that, they marry. After moving to New York, they buy a new house in a neighborhood full of Asians, conservative Muslims to be precise. The neighbours invite Ehsaan and Avantika for dinner so that they can get familiar with each other. Soon, Avantika realizes that things are not fine in the neighbourhood as they seem and finally, realization dawns upon her-she has been as used as a pawn in a dangerous game.

The beginning 20-25 minutes focuses on Saif-Kareena’s courtship and may not impress. It was the weakest part of the film and wasn’t treated well. But thinks take a good turn with the song Shukran Allah and when the couple shifts to New York. The film engrosses from the scene where the neighbours invite them for dinner. From this sequence, the film turns into a roller coaster ride with lots of unpredictable turns. The entry of Riyaaz (Vivek Oberoi) in the narrative adds to the icing on the cake.

The intermission point was brilliant and fortunately, unlike other films, Kurbaan doesn’t fall or gets slow in the post-interval portions. In fact, the 2nd half also keeps you hooked onto your seat. A number of sequences are memorable in this hour. Kirron Kher sharing the tragic story astonishes you and Kher’s mind blowing performance only enhances the impact. Same goes for the scene where Saif is nursing the wound with little help from Kareena after getting hit by a bullet. The way the blood tickles down and the way Saif screams-man, it gives goosebumps!

The last 30 minutes of the film is undoubtedly the best portion of the film. The tension that is created in the climax and the engrossing and captivating direction is truly appreciable. The film ends on an acceptable note.

Regarding the flaws, as mentioned before, the first 20 mins doesn’t work. Also, the film is full of violent and gory scenes which might not be liked by some sections. And the editing wasn’t upto the mark. More about it later!

Kurbaan is a rare film where the cast and most of the crew have worked exceptionally well in all respects. Saif Ali Khan was outstanding in his role. He looked dapper in his new look and performance wise, doesn’t provide even a miniscule chance of complain! Thus, Kurbaan can safely be added to the list of ‘finest performances of Saif’. This year has been particularly lucky for Saif with his home production Love Aaj Kal being a super hit and now even Kurbaan has been appreciated. His next Agent Vinod with Kareena is also expected to rock! Way to go Saif!

Kareena Kapoor has exposed as minimal as possible and still managed to look stunning. She’s always been delivering fine performances and in Kurbaan too, she does a perfect job. Watch out for the scenes where she discovers that she has been used and in the climax. She proves once again as to why she’s one of the top actresses today! Great going!

Vivek Oberoi steals the show with his wonderful act. In fact, his acts impact more than Saif-Kareena at several points in the film. Audiences as well filmmakers would surely sit up and take notice of this highly talented actor who was neglected in the past due to many reasons. He is expected to shine in his next films, Prince and Rakta Charitra too!

Kirron Kher, like Vivek, leaves a mark in several scenes. For a change, it was good to see her in a different kind of role than her usual stereotypical ones. Om Puri performs with ease. Dia Mirza looked charming and impresses with her special appearance. Nauheed Cyrusi does a fabulous job. Asheesh Kapur, who plays her husband, was great. Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Aakash Khurana and others were good.

Salim-Sulaiman’s music was haunting and songs suited the film well. Shukran Allah, Ali Maula and Kurbaan Hua are the three best songs. Ali Maula leaves a mark. The duo’s background score was electrifying and they may bag the Best Background Score award this year.

Anurag Kashyap and Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues were sharp and top notch. Best dialogue of the film was, “Ek minute ke liye bhi ye mat sochna ki ye allah ka kaam hai!Parvez Feroze’ gory action enhanced the reality of the film. Asif Ali Shaikh’s editing wasn’t upto the mark. One can notice that desperate attempts were made to haphazardly cut down mini portions of scenes to reduce the duration of the film as much as possible. Not good!

Rensil D’Silva, the screenwriter-director scores in his dream debut. Although the direction wasn’t perfect, the film managed to make an impact and give out a strong message. The screenplay was undoubtedly intriguing.

And finally, kudos to Karan Johar for writing the film and also for producing such a hard hitting flick. KJo was criticized for making lovey-dovey films only. But with his last two films and Kurbaan, he has proved that he’s here not only to rake in moolah but also to provide fresh and interesting flicks! Hats off!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       The songs Shukran Allah and Ali Maula
2.       Ehsaan and Avantika at the dinner in the neighbour’s house
3.       Avantika meets Dia
4.       The plane bombing sequence
5.       The intermission point
6.       Riyaaz at the Saif’s lecture
7.       Riyaaz’ quick conversation with Avantika at the mall
8.       The scene at the sandwich parlour
9.       The coffee scene
10.     The climax

On the whole, Kurbaan is an engaging and thrilling film that impresses and engrosses thoroughly! Go for it and have 160 minutes of captivating and thrilling time!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Kurbaan-180014-1.html


By Taran Adarsh, November 19, 2009 – 15:14 IST

Post 9/11, there’s anger, distrust, suspicion, uneasiness all around. Not a day passes when you don’t hear of terrorists killing civilians in the name of religion.

Many storytellers have, in the past, narrated stories about terrorists and their nefarious and despicable plans. But let me state one thing categorically. You haven’t watched a more profound, a more thought-provoking, a more dramatic story on this subject before KURBAAN. It’s not just the most powerful film to come out of Dharma Productions, it’s the most powerful film to come out of the Hindi film industry this year, thus far.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

KURBAAN tries to penetrate into the psyche of not just the terrorist, but also someone who has been a helpless spectator all this while. This film is sure to spark off discussions and debates, although it must also be noted that it doesn’t take sides or gets preachy.

Rensil D’Silva has chosen a burning issue for his directorial debut, which is a complete departure from Karan Johar’s earlier films. For some inexplicable reasons, parallels are being drawn with FANAA [Aamir Khan, Kajol] and NEW YORK [John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Katrina Kaif], but the fact remains that barring the backdrop of terrorism, there’s no similarity with those films.

I’ve often felt that certain films are beyond box-office. Movies are not meant to merely entertain, but enlighten and educate as well. They need to prick your conscience and in the process, make an attempt to make this world a better place. KURBAAN does just that and for this very reason, it deserves a double thumbs up.

Final word? Drop everything else you’re doing to watch KURBAAN. Movies like these need to be made, encouraged and lauded.

Avantika [Kareena Kapoor] is a teacher at a university in Delhi. She has come back from New York where she teaches, because her father [Aakash Khurana] has suffered a heart attack. During this period, she meets a Professor called Ehsaan Khan [Saif Ali Khan]. Soon, they begin seeing each other and love blossoms.

A few months later, Avantika receives a call from her university in New York, asking her to come back. Avantika breaks the news to Ehsaan. He, in turn, tells her he doesn’t mind coming to the States with her. But first they need to get married.

Soon after the marriage, they leave to start a new life in New York. They buy a house in an Indian neighbourhood and move in. Just as they are setting up home, their conservative Muslim neighbours invite them over for dinner. The next morning, Salma [Nauheed Cyrusi], one of the women Avantika met the night before at the dinner, visits her under the pretext of gifting her sweets.

When Avantika invites her in, Salma tells her that she is in grave danger. Nothing is what it seems. Salma pleads with Avantika to help her. What follows next is a series of incidents that sucks Avantika into a vortex of danger and intrigue. As her life spirals out of control, Avantika realizes that she is a pawn in a huge game.

KURBAAN has two stories running concurrently – the love story between Saif and Kareena and the story of Islamic terrorists. Rensil sets the stage in the initial 15 minutes itself, after which there’s a twist in the tale every 15-20 minutes, which catches you completely unaware. Rensil doesn’t borrow from the past, which makes the proceedings thoroughly captivating.

The highpoint is the 35-minute climax, which leaves you spellbound. The culmination to the story shakes you completely, largely because it’s pragmatic and has been executed most logically as well. In fact, filming the climax at the various underground tube stations must’ve been the toughest challenge for the director.

On the flip side, KURBAAN caters more to the intelligentsia or the thinking viewer and might not be lapped up whole-heartedly by those who survive on the staple diet of hardcore masala fares.

Some of the finest technicians in the business are associated with KURBAAN. Hemant Chaturvedi’s cinematography is super. The film bears an international look all through. Salim-Sulaiman’s music is well integrated in the narrative. At least two tracks merit a mention – ‘Shukran Allah’ and ‘Ali Maula’. Anurag Kashyap and Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogue are superb. The lines enhance the impact of several sequences. Thrills are, again, in sync with the mood of the film.

KURBAAN is embellished with superlative performances. Saif is extra-ordinary in a role that only proves his versatility once again. If he won your heart with a winning performance in LOVE AAJ KAL a few months ago, you need to watch this supremely talented actor underplay his part so beautifully in KURBAAN. As for Kareena, KURBAAN reiterates one fact yet again: She’s the best in the business. No two opinions on that! Watch her get those emotional sequences right, it’s incredible. Here’s a performance that truly merits the highest praise and admiration, besides fetching her awards and accolades.

Vivek Oberoi is fantastic. Matching Saif and Kareena at every step, KURBAAN should be the turning point in Vivek’s career. It’s a difficult role to portray and only an actor with a wide range could’ve portrayed this part so effectively. Om Puri is top notch and so is Kirron Kher. Kirron is marvellous, especially in the penultimate scene. Dia Mirza, Nauheed Cyrusi and Kulbhushan Kharbanda lend credibility to their brief roles.

On the whole, KURBAAN is the most powerful film to come out of the Hindi film industry in 2009, so far. The film has a captivating plot, gripping screenplay, super performances and a climax that shakes you up completely. Watching this movie should be on top of your agenda this week.

Imran Khan to throw an engagement bash in January; his father’s presence will make the occasion special

By Sonal Chawla (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 14, 2009)

Imran Khan has many reasons to be elated about his grand engagement ceremony that will take place in January 2010. He is also looking forward to the fact that his biological father, Anil Pal will be flying down from the US to be part of the celebration.


This will be the first time that Imran’s father will be part of one of the most important events of his life. Imran will be officially exchanging rings with his girlfriend Avantika Malik in the third week of January.

 

Imran Khan and Avantika Malik

A source close to Imran reveals, “Imran exchanged rings with Avantika a few months ago. It was a close family affair, but his father was not present then. Imran is now hosting a grand celebration in January and his father features prominently on the guest-list. He is currently abroad, and this is will be his first presence at Imran’s celebrations.”

“Imran has been very close to his father and they are in constant touch. He had moved to California to live with his father and studied there till he finished high school. Whenever his father visits India,he makes it a point to stay with Imran and his mother (ex-wife Nuzhat Khan). Anil shares a healthy relationship with Nuzhat and would want to be a part of his son’s celebration. He is very fond of Avantika,” the source adds.

Imran’s spokesperson says, “Yes, Imran’s father is coming for the engagement.”

ACTORS FIRST: Kareena Kapoor with Saif Ali Khan in a still from the film that is releasing on November 20.
Kareena Kapoor writes exclusively and personally for BT on working with beau Saif Ali Khan for Karan Johar’s new romantic thriller

KAREENA KAPOOR Times News Netowrk (BOMBAY TIMES; November 12, 2009)

The questions I am most frequently asked today are how was it working with Saif Ali Khan in Kurbaan and doing those intimate and intense love-making scenes with him… I think those scenes, and our pairing, have been blown out of proportion by people who can only think of us as an off-screen couple. When the audience sees Kurbaan, I want people to forget Saif and Kareena Kapoor and see the film for Ehsaan and Avantika, because on screen we only do what our characters demand. We’re serious actors… creative artistes, cinema is our business, we’re passionate about our careers, our work, we have individual takes on cinema and that is what makes us push ourselves to do films like this one where the roles are powerful. Really, this is not some candy floss mini skirt love story… it is a love story, yes, but intense and complicated, and beautifully woven with terrorism to be a thriller.

Of course, Saif and I are happy to come together in this film, but it’s not as if Dharma Productions had us in mind from the start. I remember Karan Johar spoke to us individually. He chose us separately as actors, because Avantika’s role was so apt for me, and Ehsaan’s was almost written for Saif. It’s great if directors like Karan, and Shriram Raghavan of Agent Vinod, pair us together as actors because they believe we can sink our teeth into meaty roles… and not just because Saif looks hot and I look beautiful, as a jodi. We’re not selling ourselves as a pair, you know.

But, yes, Kurbaan was a great journey because of Karan… and a special one because of Saif. Karan is not just a professional filmmaker with whom I discuss cinema, he’s a friend and philosopher on whom I rely upon when taking the most personal decisions. He’s truly a superlative person, multitasking all the time, making films, but always available for family and friends. There was also director Rensil D’Silva, who is edgy in personal life, so he brought a fresh take to the film that was real and slightly borderline… but it being a Karan Johar film, Kurbaan is also commercial, so there’s a wonderful balance.

As for Saif… what can I say, he is truly one of the best actors in the country today. So versatile. And, like with Aamir Khan opposite whom I am also cast in my next film, there’s also so much to learn from Saif. They keep me on my toes. Aamir is a method actor, Saif is both — method and spontaneous, you cannot take one Saif Ali Khan film and put it into another… you cannot compare an Omkara with a Love Aaj Kal. And while I enjoy different schools of acting, I rely on spontaneity, so I could glide through my role in Kurbaan as a result.

It’s different working with Saif because we know each other so well and there’s the need to switch off and go into character. That’s why we chose a real and serious kind of film instead of some romantic comedy that had flippant roles. It was easier to perform because the scenes were raw and edge of the seat. Switching off Saif and Kareena and switching of Ehsaan and Avantika was complicated, difficult, but in the end, that is what made us select this film. The roles. And that’s what I want you to see it for.

IT’S MY CHOICE: Imran Khan For more pictures of the actor visit http://photogallery.indiatimes.com

Imran Khan opens up to BT about work and women…

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; June 19, 2009)

Imran Khan hasn’t shot for a single day since February. And is he worried about that? On the contrary, he is extra chilled out.

Currently preoccupied with building muscle for a new film (like Maamu Aamir, he’ll sport eight packs, perhaps!), pilates and pushups aside, Imran’s nose is buried deep in a pile of scripts. But he hasn’t been in front of the camera by choice.

He doesn’t subscribe to the view that out of sight is out of mind. “If you’re a good actor, even if you’re missing for years on end, your audience still remembers you. There is a standard wisdom that you need to be in the public eye constantly. You need to keep working. Otherwise the public will forget you. That is such b……t! No one can accept that I wish to take it slow,” he says.

The euphoria following Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na hasn’t died down, and though temptation knocks on his bungalow gates every day, the lighteyed, blue-blooded Khan has greenlighted just three films: Aamir Khan’s Delhi Belly (English); Sanjay Gadhvi’s 7 Days in Paris; and, Karan Johar’s untitled film with Sonam Kapoor. The rest of the reports are all speculation — that he is doing a film with Ranbir Kapoor directed by Tarun Mansukhani, that he is work
ing with Deepa Mehta, blah-blah. “Most of these announcements are made in the media factory and denied by them. I read the paper each morning to find out what is next,’’ he says.

One of Bollywood’s big hopes currently, Imran explains, “Tarun and I gravitate towards one another at parties because we’re both slightly shy. However, after that election video that we did, he hasn’t even called me. He hasn’t spoken about doing any film with Ranbir and me.’’ As for Deepa’s Midnight’s Children, once again the actor says, “Only the media called me about this film, Deepa didn’t.’’

Imran believes that the entire hype around superstardom is very surreal. “I’m reluctant to buy the hype,’’ says the 20-something actor. “I still go to my old eating joints, I don’t wear designer stuff — so many of my friends are better dressed than I am. And I keep a low profile.’’ Also — he is uncomfortable romancing his heroines.
“I’m uncomfortable romancing any girl other than my girlfriend Avantika,’’ he clarifies. As an actor even if he is required to light up the screen with a bevy of beauties, his personal stance still remains that “it’s only my girl and no one else for me.”