Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Big B

Here’s what we suggest you bring out the popcorn for
MUMBAI MIRROR; January 01, 2010

Karthik Calling Karthik

Farhan Akhtar’s next film is a story of a lovable loser whose chance meeting with his namesake changes his life forever. Karthik Calling Karthik has a star-studded credit list which includes Deepika Padukone, Javed Akhtar and Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy. Considering Farhan acts in the movies he either directs or produces, it seems like he is bent on wanting to typecast himself as the underdog. Weird but true!


My name is Khan

Bollywood’s biology lessons continue with My Name Is Khan. With 9/11 as the backdrop, the movie follows Rizwan Khan (SRK) who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. This is an autistic disease that makes the victim devoid of empathy. This, of course will give rise to many comical situations, just like Paa did. The film brings together the electrifying pair of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol back on the silver screen. Add Karan Johar to the mix and you have a surefire hit. But come on, what is the film industry going to explore next, the common cold?


Raajneeti

A modern-day political rendition of the Mahabharata, Raajneeti boasts of an A-list star cast – Ajay Devgan, Arjun Rampal, Ranbir Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Vivek Oberoi, Manoj Bajpai and Katrina Kaif. The movie will use the dilemmas the characters in the book went through, and draw parallels with it in reel life. Katrina Kaif is reportedly playing the role of Sonia Gandhi in the movie. After all both of them are quite similar: accent – check; powerful woman – check; foreign descent – check; relationship with Salman Khan – no one really knows.


Kites

Kites follows the story of Hrithik Roshan, a salsa dancer who falls in love with his student. Language barriers don’t matter here, love conquers almost all. But ‘something’ happens and it’s up to another student Kangna Ranaut to save the day. Maybe Sussanne walks into the movie or some other terrifying event occurs, we don’t know yet. But we hope the movie does better than Hrithik’s personal life.


Raavana

A modern day rendition of the mythological text, Raavana will get Aishwariya and Abhishek on the silver screen together for the first time after getting hitched. The movie has been plagued with problems – floods, elephants stomping around the set, maybe a higher power is sending a message through all of this. We won’t say anything, let the box-office decide.


Action replay

In Action Replay, a man ages backwards… Hmm, let’s see where have we heard this story before? A clear rip-off of the Hollywood hit, Benjamin Button, the film will feature Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai. Director Vipul Shah is back with Akshay Kumar and hopes his dream run will continue.


Teen Patti

As much as producer Ambika Hinduja denies it, Teen Patti’s plot seems like a rip-off of the Hollywood blockbuster 21. The film features three ace actors, Ben Kingsley (supposedly not doing a cameo), Big B and Madhavan. With the help of a unique algorithm, Amitabh who plays a mathematical genius leads a team of college students to make a lot of money. Does Amitabh hold the algorithm for the movie’s success or will this be just another failed spin-off?


Houseful

Akshay Kumar has a slew of releases lined up next year and Houseful, the laugh-riot is one of them. The story follows Akshay who is very unlucky in life and is trying to find true love. The women helping him achieve this goal are Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta and Jiah Khan. In real life, however, we think it’s the other way around. Akshay will end up teaching Deepika more than two expressions, Lara how to sign movies and Jiah Khan how not to be dropped from the one-odd film she has signed.


No Problem

Anees Bazmee has three mega comedy films lined up next year. One of them is No Problem which has quite a star cast – Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Akshaye Khanna, Sushmita Sen, Kangna Ranaut, Paresh Rawal and Sunil Shetty. The film is a love story of impossible proportions. Another impossible proposition is Kangna actually makes people laugh after making them weep all these years.


Well Done Abba

Shyam Benegal has been travelling the world with his latest film, Well Done Abba. The satirical movie sees Boman Irani play two roles. Fitting two Bomans in one shot is a feat in itself and a testament to Benegal’s directorial skills. The movie follows the journey of Armaan Ali, a driver from Mumbai, who is out to find his daughter’s (Minissha Lamba) beau. Minissha, who has been alternating between commercial and semi-art house cinema, is reportedly playing a strong role in the film.


Guzaarish

The film that is loosely based on Whose Life is it Anyway? has Hrithik playing a paraplegic radio jockey.  The film seems like a cry-till-your-tearbuds-dry-out movie – it explores the dilemma of euthanasia. Hrithik who believes in challenging himself till the cows come home, reportedly, spent hours in the wheelchair when not required to shoot, to get into the head of the character. Hrithik and Aishwarya reunite after Dhoom 2, and with Sanjay Leela Bhansali directing, it becomes one of the most awaited films in 2010, never mind Saawariya.


Road, Movie

Indian cinema has been through many fascinating twists and turns but none quite as romantic as touring cinemas.  Essentially this means that the owner of one mounts the film projector on the back of a truck and the projectionist travels the length and breadth of a state with the truck, stops wherever there is a pilgrimage or a mela and projects the films he is carrying onto a white curtain which is then viewed by the locals sitting on both sides of the screen. Dev Benegal has made Road, Movie about one such projectionist (Satish Kaushik) and the young owner (Abhay Deol) and the adventures they have as they show their movies. The film has been very well received on the festival circuit.


Anjaana Anjaani

After playing twelve characters in What’s Your Raashee?, we’re sure Priyanka Chopra has become a stranger to herself, especially after the film tanked. Siddharth Anand, director of Ta Ra Rum Pum and Salaam Namaste, tries a romcom with Anjaana Anjaani. Starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka, the film shows two strangers who fall in love and the journey they take together.


Aisha

Abhay Deol’s love for Delhi continues with his Bollywood release, Aisha where he plays another spoilt, rich Delhi brat. His character is modelled on Mr Knightly from Jane Austen’s novel, Emma. The movie is a romantic comedy that explores horrible mismatches. It also has a strong female role that has been bagged by Sonam Kapoor.  Whether Sonam is strong enough for the film after two failed films (read: Saawariya and    Delhi-6) is another matter.


Khelein hum jee jaan sey

Ashutosh Gowariker is no stranger to large canvasses (think Lagaan, Swades, Jodhaa Akbar) so it’s no surprise that he is now filming another humongous project, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, which revolves around the Chittagong Uprising in the pre Independence days. After What’s Your Raashee?, this is another film adapted from a book, Do and Die by Manini Chatterjee. Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone lead the star cast and Nitin Chandrakant Desai leads the crew. Hopefully Ashutosh’s version of history will not be challenged,  the way Jodhaa Akbar was.


Knock out

Inspired’ from the Hollywood masterpiece Phone Booth, Mani Shankar will look to re-create the magic in Bollywood. A man is trapped inside a phone booth, not because the door is stuck, but an assassin has a sniper rifle trained on him.  Kangna plays the role of a journalist, Irrfan plays a cop and Sanjay Dutt the assassin.


I Hate Luv Storys

A true-blue rom-com, I Hate Luv Storys brings together the very glamourous Sonam Kapoor and the man with the melting eyes, Imran Khan. Described as a love story not meant to happen but which does happen, it is the story of a man who does not believe in love and a girl who does. They meet on a film set; a milieu the director Punit Malhotra is very familiar with, having cut his teeth on Karan Johar’s sets as an assistant director; and sparks fly.


1-800-Love

When you have a tag line that says, ‘From the makers of Ghajini and Jaane Tu…’ you know you’re in for a commercial roller-coaster. Abbas Tyrewala dons the director’s hat for 1-800-LOVE again and the music score is Rahman’s handiwork. A telephone call connects two people – one who wants to die, the other who is searching for meaning in life. They meet, fall in love, yada yada… If you are watching the movie and you get bored of John Abraham’s three expression repertoire, close your eyes and maybe the music will do the trick for you.


Tees Maar Khan

Tees Maar Khan has gotten more publicity that it ever dreamed of just because Shah Rukh Khan is not playing a role in Farah Khan’s film. But it does seem like SRK has rubbed off on the new lead actor, Akshay Kumar. Kumar plays a ‘stylish’ (metrosexual) conman in the film. He will be joined by Akshaye Khanna, but the female lead has not yet been confirmed.


Hook Ya Crook

Finally, Bollywood gets a movie that shows hope in combining two things that Indians love best – cinema and cricket. Viraj Pradhan (John Abraham) dreams of being a cricketer but is a repeat offender who gets thrown into a maximum security prison. The jail is a haven for cricket players, but Viraj wants much more, he wants to be part of the men in blue. The film has reportedly roped in Indian cricketers for the movie but going by the ads on TV, the word ‘acting talent’ isn’t part of the Indian cricket team’s vocabulary.


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The biggest hits of their career were NEVER meant to be theirs

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 2, 2010)

You talk to any film director and he’ll give you gyaan on how such and such actor is in the film because he/she fit the casting to the ‘t’.

Yet, the reality of the matter is something else. It is usually who is available; and sometimes who is more saleable.

Take the latest: Aamir Khan was never meant to be playing the idiot in his latest film. It was to be Shah Rukh Khan. Since SRK and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra had a difference of opinion, the Bollywood Badshah was replaced by Aamir. And while the rest is history, there are innumerable such examples in the film industry.

History knows that Amitabh Bachchan was not Prakash Mehra’s first choice for Zanjeer. It was meant to be Dev Anand or Raaj Kumar. When both actors said no, the Big B stepped in. Jaya Bachchan even thanked Dev saab for refusing the Zanjeer role. The film gave her — her real life husband and it gave Bollywood one of its most revered screen couples.

Today you wonder how Dev saab would ever have fit into the angry young man mould. But that’s an after-thought.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee wanted Raj Kapoor to play Anand. When he couldn’t, Hrishida sent for Shashi Kapoor but Rajesh Khanna wormed his way in. And till today Anand is synonymous with the 70s phenomenon.

Shatrughan Singh continues to smart that it was he who was to be Jai in the Jai-Veeru jodi of Sholay but because he was riding a crest of super-success then, he didn’t want to do a twohero film. Amitabh Bachchan got the role instead.
Aamir had been pencilled in for Yash Chopra’s Darr but at that point he ‘accused’ Yash of playing games. And SRK made a permanent place for himself in the YRF camp.
Ajay Devgn was to play Karan in Rakesh Roshan’s Karan Arjun. But he was ousted by politics and next thing you know is that Salman Khan was in. Till today Karan Arjun remains one of the biggest hits of Bollywood and Salman’s career. And it may become film history because he and bete noire are unlikely to star in a movie again.

Saif Ali Khan had qualms about playing a pansy in Dostana so John Abraham was brought in. John got male and female temperatures rising with this fun flick and is now a part of its sequel.

Kareena Kapoor asked for too much money for Kal Ho Na Ho; result — Preity Zinta landed this memorable film. Shah Rukh was meant to be playing Munnabhai but since he walked out after some miscommunication, Sanjay Dutt became Munna. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was in Chalte Chalte till Salman dropped in as an uninvited guest forcing SRK to call Rani Mukerji to replace her… and Rekha and Jaya would never have had their screen face-off in Silsila had Parveen Babi and Smita Patil done their roles.

Unlike real history, reel history is often made by default.
On television, it has to be the Bachchan family, who may yet establish a monopoly on reality shows in 2010. Ash too has been made an incredible offer

By Subhash K Jha and Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 30, 2009)


Barely has the Big B concluded hosting Bigg Boss 3, we hear that he has been roped in for the next season, apparently at a much heftier fee than the reported Rs 1.5 crore he was paid per episode. The show begins in the second-half of 2010, after Abhishek’s game show Bingo plays itself out.

Amitabh Bachchan says, “There are some other television offers. I’m considering them. It wouldn’t be prudent to mention their names at this point. Yes, the channel has expressed a desire to continue the relationship.”

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Amitabh Bachchan Abhishek Bachchan

They are also going all out to woo Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, apparently to host a chat show. Convincing Aishwarya at this stage of her career when her calendar is full is proving to be problematic.

But as a senior person from the channel says, “We’re on the job. We never planned to get both, Mr Bachchan and Abhishek. But now that they’re on, we’re getting ambitious.” Apparently they plan to rope in the entire Bachchan parivar in one capacity or another.

Meanwhile, Abhishek is gearing up for his debut as a TV host on the show National Bingo Night. He says, “I have been getting quite a few offers in the recent past for television. I loved the show as it has a special connect with the viewers. They can participate, play the game and win sitting at home. I loved the uniqueness of the theme.”

Talking about competing with his father who has just finished hosting Bigg Boss 3, he says, “I don’t think about these things or I will lose focus. Once I am in front of the camera, I am going to be myself. I have always maintained that it is a great honour to be compared to the best. I will do what I have to do which is to go out there, play the game with the contestants and have fun on the show.”

The Bollywood superstar is gambling with roles again…

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 29, 2009)

It is the season for the Big B. One day he steals hearts as the adorable Auro. Then he makes you sit up and notice him as the head honcho of a television channel in Rann. And if that’s not enough, the Bollywood superstar plunges straight into playing a Math professor with a quirk in Ambika Hinduja’s Teen Patti.
Here he is in the first look of the 2010 release. Sources say that Bachchan had a field day shooting in locations like the Mumbai docks, the Asiatic Library and the streets of Ballard Pier. “The locations made him nostalgic,’’ says an assistant director. Incidentally, Teen Patti has Bachchan teaming up with Sir Ben Kingsley, and the unit is all women. Talking often of being bullied, in jest, the actor would invariably say he is surrounded by ‘Hitlers’. Producer Ambika says, “Mr Bachchan is a paragon of professionalism. His acting genius is matched his profound moral conscience.” She adds, “I have never met an actor like Sir Ben, so unerringly prepared for his role. He lights up the stage with such formidable presence and
humility. It is my great joy to serve the story of Teen Patti with the best acting and technical talent. I have pulled every card out of the producer’s deck to make it a visual force of story telling.’’

Big B, SRK among several who catch Avatar premiere in Mumbai…

TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; December 18, 2009)

A lot of films try to lay claim to the old ‘most anticipated film of the year’ tag, but on Tuesday night, it was clear that Avatar was indeed the biggest Hollywood film of the year amongst Bollywood’s celebrity film buffs; it brought the Bachchans and the Khans onto the same blue carpet in a premiere rivalling the big Bollywood premieres. After 14 years of incubating in director James Cameron’s brain, Avatar, the once-ultrasecret project known as ‘Project 800’, finally premiered to an enraptured and appreciative Bollywood crowd. But before the 160-minute-long saga of 10-foot-tall blue aliens on a distant moon called Pandora began, the blue carpet was walked by larger than life superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Yash Chopra, Gurinder Chadha, Harman Baweja, Vivek Oberoi, Ram Gopal Verma, Rohan Sippy, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani, Anthony D’Souza, Rohit Shetty, Shirish Kunder, Tisca Chopra to name a few.

At the end of the film, as the news channels spoke to the guests leaving, some admitted to tears, many felt it would be difficult to watch “normal movies again” and most were ready to take another trip to Pandora right then and there. Networking sites were instantly flooded with more gushing praise.

Aryan had his school exams and couldn’t make it, but Shah Rukh Khan was so amazed by the experience that arranged a screening for his family and friends over the weekend. … Hrithik, who was stuck at the shooting of Guzaarish and couldn’t make it in time to the venue, is also looking to have a private screening of the film. Amitabh Bachchan told the media “It was a fabulous film, a wonderful experience!” Abhishek, who was not scheduled to come as he had to walk the ramp the same evening in the suburbs, rushed just in time to catch the film. He posted his views on a site soon after “It’s not a film. It’s an experience! James Cameron is Hollywood’s answer to my favourite director, Manmohan Desai! He could pull off anything. Avatar too is a Hindi film at heart. It’s definitely a ‘must watch’ for the experience.”

Rohan Sippy, who had seen a trade show just the previous day, loved the film so much he came to see a second screening and plans to see the film over the weekend, again. He said, “With Avatar, James Cameron has redefined what we can dream. It is a film of breathtaking scale and impossibly meticulous detail. But I think his real triumph is that he has used his total mastery over technology to make us really feel what it is to be alive and human…” Ajay Devgn and Kajol have also requested for a screening of the film for their family and close friends after hearing the premiere buzz from others. While Vivek Oberoi said, “It’s really amazing that the west can come up with films like this. I would’ve loved an Indian director to make a film like Avatar. It’s simply astounding!” “I saw Avatar in 3D. To say the least, it made me feel pre-historic in every way,” says Varma. Director Ken Ghosh, Fardeen Khan and Zayed Khan have also planned to block an evening entire show at a suburban multiplex for a private screening for friends and family. Looks like the general public might not get tickets for the film after all, looking at the number of private screenings and shows being blocked by the Bollywood fraternity itself. The premiere was hosted by Vijay Singh, CEO 20th Century Fox India and Big Cinemas.

By Devansh Patel, December 10, 2009 – 08:21 IST

Abhishek Bachchan Indian cinema’s finest premiere comes to an end. People all over the world are doing the monkey dance. Such is the hysteria. Facebook status of various friends read that all those who’ve watched Paa proclaim it to be one of the biggest hits of it’s time. It’s strange, but it’s true, a newly wed couple decided to watch Paa and postponed their honeymoon for a day. Is Paa becoming a revolution in itself? UK’s Harrow Observer columnist and Bollywood Hungama’s London correspondent Devansh Patel asked a few rapid fires to the Paa himself, Abhishek Bachchan, on the feedback he’s been receiving or has received so far. “The kind of reactions that I have been getting be it on facebook or twitter or via SMS or via email has been overwhelming. Overwhelming because I still haven’t managed to answer all of them, there have been so many of them! And without trying to sound very pompous I think 99% of it is all very very positive. The response has been fantastic, I don’t think I have ever received response to any of my films like the way we have received for Paa“, answers Bachchan junior. We recall the day when Big B was all tears after watching Abhishek perform in Guru and so we asked the multi-talented Abhishek, “Did that happen to you while you were watching Amitabh Bachchan as Auro?” Surprisingly, he replied, “Yes”, and after a long pause, said, “No too, because every time I got sucked into the film and tried to react to it emotionally, the producer in me would wake up and try and find ways that I could have done certain things better. So for me, it was like balancing – being an actor and a producer, and a lot of times the producer in me would not allow me to be the actor whole heartedly. So although I do think its Pa’s best performance till date, I still feel that as a producer I could have performed a lot better.”

For the two days after the film was released, all the social networking sites were flooded with comments, suggestions and some interesting and thought provoking reasons to go and watch Paa. One such interesting suggestion read – Don’t you feel that a film like Paa should be doing the rounds of the international film festivals and should be screened especially for the BAFTA members? To which Abhishek comments, “I think that’s being a bit presumptuous, I am more than happy that our Indian audience and the Indian diaspora is watching the film – I think film festivals and BAFTA and all are although very prestigious, are things that the international jury will decide. If that is the fate of the film, I am happy. What I am most excited about is that our audience is currently enjoying the film.” Getting Abhishek Bachchan over the phone these days is like making a call to the White House. AB is a busy man and an even busier producer. All the running around has boiled down to many one liners – Paa is a hit! Paa is a super success and Paa is inspirational. One last question to the busy man, “How content is the producer today?” we ask. The answer was filled with content. Abhishek replies, “I am very content, it’s been just a few days since the release and my film is already in overflow which means it has covered its costs, I am in profits. So as a producer, economically speaking, I am very happy!”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

RARING TO GO! Madhavan
Madhavan about his link-up with Kangna Ranaut and more in a chat with Deepali Dhingra

Sitting in his plush apartment on the 27th floor of the residential complex he stays in, Madhavan is a picture of restlessness. He directs the photographer on how to capture his moods, takes us for a walk around his house where he shows us airplanes he’s designed and the visit includes even a trip to the garage, where he keeps his prized posession, his bike! The actor vrooms around, for the photographer’s benefit before settling down with an amused expression on being enquired about the buzz between him and Kangna Ranaut, his co-star from Tanu Weds Manu. “Is there a rumour?” he enquires, “Well, then what do I say? I lead a very boring life. Either that or I’m too smart!” he laughs, when we make the observation that one hasn’t heard of too many link-ups when it comes to him. So what’s the scene between him and Kangna actually? “She’s an amazing professional. On the sets, she, her sister, her dog and I were a gang. That’s about it!” he says firmly. Okay point noted. Madhavan would rather talk about his other films 3 Idiots and Teen Patti, where he gets to be in the esteemed company of Amitabh Bachchan and Sir Ben Kingsley. “In 3 Idiots, I’m back again with Aamir Khan and Sharman Joshi after Rang De Basanti, so there was added pressure of living upto the expectations of the audience,” he says. And no, he wasn’t apprehensive about playing a college student at this age. “We’re not horrible old men with pot-bellies and sagging skin!” he exclaims, “It was about getting the lingo and body language correct.” As for Teen Patti, he just can’t get over having Big B all to himself, even if is for a few scenes. “We played golf in between shots and I have to say, they were the greatest singular most important moments of my life,” he smiles.


Working with Sir Ben Kingsley on the other hand, Madhavan can only attribute to karma. “I’d not thought of acting till I saw him in Gandhi, so I guess there has to be something like karma for me to be acting alongside him,” he adds.

Maddy, as he’s fondly called, wants to do what he calls masti films now. “I’m tired of doing meaningful films!” the actor chuckles, “The kind of cinema I did, I was doing to satisfy my ego. Now I don’t want to play the nice guy anymore — I want to catch the bull by the horns!” And by that, he means doing light-hearted roles, including romance and comedy. “I want to do some roles now that are closer to me in real life. God has made some creations who are made to enjoy life, I’m one of them!” he smiles. And he couldn’t have said it better.
BOMBAY TIMES (December 8, 2009)

BOLLYWOOD CALLING: Sir Ben Kingsley
Looking like Gandhi, eager to be Shah Jehan, but happy to discuss his role in Ambika Hinduja’s film with Big B

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 3, 2009)

Sir Ben Kingsley is in town, still looking like Attenborough’s Gandhi of a quarter century ago, though now with a natty little French beard that’s taken away the Mahatma’s air of benevolence and given him a hawk-like, quizzical expression. This, I think, is his look of Teen Patti, young Ambika Hinduja’s February 2010 release in which Sir Ben plays Perci Trachtenberg, the world’s greatest living mathematician, opposite Amitabh Bachchan. He was in Goa earlier this week, the star guest at the International Film Festival of India in Panaji, from where he air-dashed to Delhi and then to Mumbai. But because his publicist in LA could not get him to meet me here, Sir Ben made a phone call from Goa.

“I love India,” said Sir Ben who’s been here quite a few times since Gandhi, “it’s always been a happy experience for me. But this time I’m not here as a tourist, I’ve come as an actor, to work, and it feels tremendously good to be given the kind of lovely welcome I was…” He’s thrilled that people here still identify him with Gandhi. “Isn’t it unusual to be recognised and appreciated by a whole sub-continent,” he asked. “It puts a responsibility on me, it’s a humbling and steadying experience, and I believe this is unique for any actor.” But, yes, along with that, is Sir Ben now concerned how Indian audiences will react to his new character in Teen Patti? “I’m afraid I’ll be booed off screen,” he laughed, pleased at his own joke. Whether he likes it or not, people talk to him about
Gandhi, they ask him if this was his best role. “I was privileged to play Gandhi,” Sir Ben admitted, “but I’ve done 60 films since then, and I’m equally proud of all of them. I understand people here have seen about five of my films, and if they like Gandhi best — fair enough, but that’s not all my work. I’ve also done films like Sexy Beast, Fifty Dead Men Walking and Elegy in which I play extremely different people. The range I’ve been offered in my films is extraordinary, the variety is my joy, my new dream now is to play Emperor Shah Jehan in Taj Mahal, a film which I see as a struggle for love… rather than a straightforward love story. I hope to raise finance for it and begin shooting in autumn 2010.”

He talked about Teen Patti, a film he was excited about even when he read the script, and for which he shot in a private casino in London and at the St. John’s College, Cambridge University. The film is described as being an emotionally-rivetting and razor-sharp thriller about greed, deception and giant feelings of imagination. “It was a sweet ride,” Sir Ben explained, “of a storyteller, a listener, a forgiver… I’m not quite an outsider in the film, more like an observer. I’ve used my screen time skillfully to act as a constant thread through the film.” He has no Hindi dialogue in the film, which is fortunate, because Sir Ben knows no Hindi. But he knew of Amitabh Bachchan even before he met the great actor.

“He’s very hard working, charming, and a lovely actor,” Sir Ben said of Bachchan, “but what I liked best is that he’s vulnerable… I mean vulnerable in a good way, he’s not closed off, he doesn’t live within the walls of his own ego.” Ambika Hinduja, who is industrialist Ashok Hinduja’s filmmaking daughter, described Sir Ben as being very friendly and down-toearth. “He was patient and calm, a nice person, absolutely professional, and he thought our Indian crew worked four times as hard as any Hollywood crew,” revealed Ambika. “On the sets, everybody addressed him as Sir Ben, including Mr. Bachchan. But in the credits of the film, he wanted to be known simply as Ben Kingsley.”

RADIO v/s PAA

This weekend will see the release of two diverse films, Paa and Radio. The best thing about both films is its cost-both films are made at a reasonable cost and should not find it difficult to recover it. My take on these films:

PAA:
Undoubtedly, Paa will be the first choice of moviegoers. Directed by Balki (Cheeni Kum) and music composed by Illaiyaraja, Paa has aroused a lot of curiosity. By now, it’s a very common knowledge that Amitabh Bachchan plays the role of a 12 year old suffering from progeria in the film. He looks unique and completely unrecognizable in his new look. Big B has even altered his voice to suit his 12 year old character and it rocks completely. He has even sung the title song of the film in that changed voice which is a treat to hear! To hear Auro (name of BigB in Paa) speak click here.

Besides the chance to see Amitabh in a never before seen avatar, the other USP of the film is Abhishek Bachchan playing Amitabh’s father! The film also stars Vidya Balan and Paresh Rawal as Auro’s mother and grandfather respectively. The film is being promoted innovatively. 2 days back, Amitabh Bachchan and Vidya Balan were on Radio Mirchi FM and spoke as the characters of the film. Listeners were asking questions to Auro (i.e. Amitabh) about his life and he answered wonderfully! It was just brilliant!

Without a shred of doubt, the film will be lauded with appreciation, especially for the performance of Amitabh, Abhishek and Vidya. However, the film has also got some negative reactions from a section of audiences who feel that Big B’s look is horrible and they can’t bear watching him as ‘an ugly child’ for 2 ½ hours. Also, the film should get a good response to sustain in theatres. And if that happens, then there would be no stopping for this film! In fact, I am expecting a Taare Zameen Par-type craze for Paa. Let’s hope for the best!

RADIO:
In an interview, 2 days back to Bollywood Hungama, Himesh Reshammiya shared how he wanted his previous disastrous film, Karzzzz to release on another date. That’s because the producers planned its release on October 17, 2008. 17 equals to 8 (1+7=8) which is Himesh’s unlucky number. But the producers didn’t listen to him and released it on 17th. And then Karzzzz flopped in spite of adding 3 extra ‘z’ in the title for ‘numerlogical reasons’. I really laughed reading this part. Is Himesh trying to say that Karzzzz would have succeeded if it had released on another date? The film was a disaster in all respects and would have flopped even if it had released on some other date or if 100 more ‘z’ was added in the title! Besides having a faulty script and direction, it had a very high cost (reported to be around Rs 40 crores). It was obvious that it would have been impossible to recover this amount. And as expected, the film barely recovered about half of its cost!

But Radio, that releases today, is a safer bet. The film is made at a reasonable cost-6 crores. The film has already recovered this amount from other sources. But to get the prestige of being hailed as a hit, the film’s theatrical collections should exceed 6 crores. It’s difficult to say whether this can happen as Radio has a terrific competition in the form of Paa. Also, the film is an urban love story and is targeted at the multiplex junta, who don’t ‘worship’ Himesh like the masses do! So as of now, nothing can be said about the fate of Radio.

But Himesh is confident because the film is releasing on Thursday 3rd as 3 is his lucky number! He has more faith in numbers than the script of the film. Last time, when Karzzzz bombed inspite of all numerological precautions, he blamed the producer and the wrong release date. Let’s see who he will blame this time, in case Radio flops! But I hope it works and all the best to its entire team!

WHICH FILM ARE YOU MOST INTERESTED IN? DO LET ME KNOW!
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E-PIRATES MOURN AT MININOVA’S CLEAN UP ACT

E-pirates are a disgruntled lot ever since Mininova went on a Clean-up act. Mininova is the most popular website when it comes to downloading movies, songs, games and other stuff. Every new film used to be available on the site a day after the release or at times, on the day itself. Further, all downloads were safe and didn’t carry any virus. Hence, it was the most preferable website for millions of net users.

Needless to mention, downloading stuff on Mininova were illegal and last week after they lost a civil dispute, the website announced that it’ll share only those movies that are uploaded through Content Distribution Service. Thus, they deleted all illegal stuff which was there in their database. This has proved as a setback for all those who never used to venture in theatres but instead used to watch films on their PC through Mininova.

It is difficult to say whether this step will prove beneficial for our producers and distributors. No one can can say for sure whether these e-pirates would start frequenting cineplexes to watch movies. There were many factors why these people chose Mininova instead of theatres and these factors still exist, the biggest one being the inflated ticket prices. No effort has been done to slash ticket rates and in fact, the prices are increasing. Also, there are many other websites like Mininova (though not safe) from where one can still download films! So unfortunately, piracy will continue to thrive even in the absence of Mininova.

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/ccbhuqsuo/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk77

SPEAK OUT: Shahid Kapoor
Those who’ve seen the Amitabh Bachchan-Amjad Khan film Yaarana will recall that Big B goes through an entire sequence saying ‘kaccha papad pakka papad’ much to the chagrin of his costar Neetu Singh. Now, Shahid Kapoor will be seen mouthing the same line in his next film Chance Pe Dance where he plays a struggler wanting to make it big in Bollywood. It’s a well known acting technique where actors mouth tongue twisters to get their pronunciation right. It’s believed that Shahid religiously does these exercises every morning. It’s surprising though, to learn that he still needs to do these recitation each day, considering that in his last film there were more than enough tongue twisters thanks to the “Sa ko Fa” bit of Kaminey. Here’s more power to the perfectionist Fahid!
BOMBAY TIMES (November 25, 2009)