Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Big B

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)
Abhishek Bachchan’s dedicated involvement as the producer of Paa impresses director Balki

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 15, 2009)

Paa

As the Bachchans are preparing to release their first home production after a gap of four years (Viruddh in 2005 was the last AB Corporation Ltd release), they plan to host a grand event in the next two weeks where Big B’s look in Paa will be unveiled by the producer of the film, Abhishek Bachchan, who plays Amitabh’s father in Paa.

Abhishek seems to have swept the director, Balki, off his feet. Revealing the plans for the event, Balki says, “We will have a life-size hoarding of Amitji as Auro, the 12-year-old character he plays in Paa which Abhishek will formally reveal.” Even though the look has already leaked out, Balki is unfazed, “What has been revealed so far is nothing. I challenge anyone to recognize Amitji as Paa if they already don’t know who he is.”

The unveiling ceremony will take place after Diwali, the details of which are being taken care of by Abhishek. Indeed, Paa has seen the coming of age of Abhishek as a producer. Balki tells us, “If Paa disclosed an unexplored side of Amitji on screen; it has also revealed Abhishek’s skills as a behind-the-scene administrator.

Balki

Everything from the locations to the costumes and food were supervised by Abhishek. It seems that Abhishek is ready to shoulder the responsibility as a co-owner of AB Corp Ltd, which is well equipped to bounce back with Paa.

“As far as I am concerned, Abhishek was our producer in Paa,” Balki concludes. The scion of the Bachchan family has been keeping accounts making sure the film stays within budget.

THE NUMBER GAME: Amitabh Bachchan


Numerologist Sanjay B Jumaani seems to suggest so on the Big B’s 67th birthday

TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; October 11, 2009)


There is good news likely in store for Amitabh Bachchan who celebrates his 67th birthday today. And Sanjay B Jumaani, celeb numerologist to stars, cricketers, socialities and politicians, seems to think that the Big B’s fortunes in his coming year are linked to bahu Aishwarya.

If Jumaani is to be believed — last year he warned Big B about stomach ailments and, right enough, he landed in hospital — the Paa actor may become a Grandpa in 2010. Ash, who is a primary No 1 (born 1/11/1973), enters her 37th year — and 3+7=10 which is 1, and this is eventful in numerology. Jumaani says the same about Ranbir Kapoor, a primary No 1 (29/9/1982) entering his 28th year — where 2+8=10 = 1 again.
Ranbir did start his 28th year with a bang through Wake Up Sid. Ditto Priyanka Chopra and Sonia Gandhi, both primary No 9s, who rocked in their 27th (2+7=9) and 63rd (6+3=9) years respectively. And primary No 7 Katrina Kaif (born 16/10/84) who came into her own in her 25th (2+5=7) year with Singh Is King. More lately, primary No 4 US President Barrack Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize in his 49th (4+9=13; 1+3=4) year Born on 11/10/1942, Bachchan’s destiny number is 1 (11+10+1942=1) which represents the powerful Sun which also represents leadership. In fact, 90 per cent of his films with primary No 1 Rekha were super hits! Bahu Ash is a primary No 1, too. So, the Paa and bahu seem linked by numerology. However, the Big B enters his 68th year, and 6+8=5, which is Mercury, known to be the planet of speed and communication. The flip side of Mercury is that it makes a person live on nerves and causes over-anxiety which leads to diabetes, stomach related problems and blood pressure. Jumaani advises Bachchan to take it easy and not let his imagination go astray. “Yoga and meditation should do the trick,” says the numerologist.

Chak De India3

RESULTS ONLY OF FEATURE FILMS
Best Feature film–Kanchivaram (Tamil) [Director-Priyadarshan]

Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director–Frozen (Hindi) [Director-Shivajee Chandrabhushan]

Best Popular Film provising wholesome Entertainment– Chak De! India (Hindi) [Director-Shimit Amin]

Nargis Dutt Award for Best feature Film on National Integration–Dharm (Hindi) [Director-Bhavna Talwar]

Best Film on Family Welfare–Taare Zameen Par (Hindi) [Director-Aamir Khan]

Best Film on Social issues–Antardwandwa (Hindi) [Director-Sushil Rajpal]

Best Children’s Film-Foto (Hindi) [Director-Virendra Saini]

Best Animation Film–Inimey Naangathaan (Tamil) [Director-S. Venky Baboo]

Best Director–Adoor Gopalakrishnan (Naalu Pennungal [Malayalam])

Best Actor–Prakash Raj (Kanchivaram [Tamil])

Best Actress–Umashree (Gulabi Talkies [Kannada])

Best Supporting Actor-Darshan Jariwala (Gandhi My Father [Hindi/English])

Best Supporting Actress-Shefali Shah (The Last Lear [English])

Best Child Artist–Sharad Goekar (Tingya [Marathi])

Best Male Playback Singer-Shankar Mahadevan (Maa…Taare Zameen Par [Hindi])

Best Female playback Singer–Shreya Ghoshal (Yeh Ishq Hai…Jab We Met [Hindi])

Best Cinematography-Shanker Raman (Frozen [Hindi])

Best Screenplay–Feroz Abbas Khan (Gandhi My Father [Hindi/English])

Best Audiography–Kunal Sharma (1971 [Hindi])

Best Editing–B. Ajith Kumar (Naalu Pennungal [Malayalam])

Best Art Director-Sabu Cyril (Om Shanti Om [Hindi])

Best Costume Designer–Ruma Sengupta (Krishnakanter Will [Bengali])

Best Make-up Artist–Pattnam Rasheed (Paradesi [Malayalam])

Best Music–Ouseppachan (Ore Kadal [Malayalam])

Best Lyrics-Prasoon Joshi (Taare Zameen Par [Hindi])

Special Jury Award-Gandhi My Father (Hindi/English) [Producer-Anil Kapoor]

Best Special Effects-M/s Indian Artists, Chennai (Sivaji [Tamil])

Best Choreography-Yeh Ishq Hai (Jab We Met [Hindi])

Best Feature Film in Each Language:
· Hindi-1971
· English-The Last Lear
· Bengali-Ballygunge Court
· Kannada-Gulab Talkies
· Malayalam-Ore Kadal
· Marathi-Nirop
· Tamil-Periyar

SOURCE: Directorate of Film Festivals (www.dff.nic.in)

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, September 8, 2009 – 12:28 IST

Gandhi My Father, Taare Zameen Par The results of the 55th National Awards for the year 2007 were announced yesterday and like always there were quite a few surprises in store. It was the cinema of South India that bagged all the top four honours with the Priyadarshan directed Tamil film Kanchivaram bagging the award for Best Feature Film and also fetching Prakash Raj the Best Actor Award. Veteran filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan won the Best Director award for the Malayalam film Nallu Pennungal while Umashree was adjudged Best Actress for her portrayal in the Kannada film Gulabi Talkies.

While Bollywood failed to bag the top four honours, it did quite make up in the other categories. Leading the pack was Anil Kapoor’s maiden production Gandhi My Father which bagged three awards for Best Screenplay (Feroz Abbas Khan), Best Supporting Actor (Darshan Jariwala) and even won the Special Jury award. Even Aamir Khan’s directorial debut Taare Zameen Par was not one to be left behind. The film won awards for Shankar Mahadevan (Best Male Playback Singer) and Prasoon Joshi (Best Lyrics) for the soul-stirring song ‘Maa‘, besides also bagging the Best Film on Family Welfare award.

King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan too had reasons to smile as two of his films Chak De India and Om Shanti Om bagged one National Award each. While Chak De India deservingly won the award for Best Film providing Overall Entertainment, Om Shanti Om bagged the award for Best Art Direction (Sabu Cyril).

Rituparno Ghosh’s Big B- Arjun Rampal starrer The Last Lear bagged two awards winning the Best Feature Film in English and also fetching Shefali Shah the Best Supporting Actress award while the Shahid- Kareena smash-hit Jab We Met also bagged two awards for Best Choreography and Best Female Playback Singer (Shreya Ghoshal).

The Indira Gandhi award for the Best First Film of a Director went to Frozen while the Nargis Dutt award for Best Film on National Integration went to the Pankaj Kapoor starrer Dharm. Even Indian Films – Studio 18’s war film 1971 won the award for Best Hindi film award in the regional films category.

All in all, the National Awards has surely given our B-town guys yet another reason to celebrate.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM