Fenil and Bollywood

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Bollywood lets its hair down as 2009 comes to an end and raises its hopes for 2010

TEAM BT Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 31, 2009)

AMITABH BACHCHAN: In the New Year, the entire family is hoping to do the kind of work that would please the audience and carry the company forward. Our New Year wishes? May 2010 bring peace and well-being. May it fill us with pride as a nation. May our glory spread further. May we progress in all walks of life. And may the year keep me alive to witness the country, the film industry and my family prosper and progress. I look forward to the coming year passing peacefully.
KATRINA KAIF: I couldn’t hope for a better New Year’s day. I’m in London with my sisters and brother having the time of my life. We have lots of fun when we all are together. After I started working I have hardly seen my siblings. So meeting them is always special and a festival to mark our meeting, is the cherry on the cake. My mother forced me to leave my cell phone behind in Mumbai, so I’m almost cut off from Bollywood. What hopes for 2010? Lots of hard work and hopefully hits.


SHAH RUKH KHAN: I will be at home (Mannat) with Gauri, Aryan, Suhana and a couple of close friends like Karan Johar. Being with close family is the one thing I truly cherish.


AKSHAY KUMAR: Tina, Aarav and I are in Goa. I normally take a vacation from December 29 to January 2 because it includes a double celebration. Tina’s birthday on December 29, and then the New Year’s eve party. Honestly what can be better than spending time with your loved ones? This is a commitment I have made to my family.


DEEPIKA PADUKONE: I will be home in Bangalore with my parents and my sister. Then I go to Goa to wrap up the last fortnight on Ashutosh Gowarikar’s film. Every year I hope that the following year is as exciting as the previous year and I’m very happy with the way my professional life is going. Hope 2010 is the same.


RANBIR KAPOOR: I start shooting for Siddharth Anand’s film in the US from January 2. Since I didn’t wish to be in an aircraft on New Year’s eve, I left India on December 27. My entire family is in Dubai as tomorrow is my paternal grandmother’s birthday and the family is treating her to a one-week holiday there. I wish I could join them!


KAREENA KAPOOR: Saif and I are in England. We are catching up with Saif ’s Oxford batchmates and their spouses. I’m dying to wear my fur coat and sniff the English chill… looking and feeling every inch a diva. We work hard all the year around to make this happen, so let me enjoy myself.

BIPASHA BASU: I’m performing tonight. Then there will be a small get-together with friends. I always like to keep my New Year’s plans uncluttered. Home is the best place to be on any special occasion. And New Year will be a nonfilmy evening at home. Beyond that my only resolution for 2010 is, love yourself.

VIDYA BALAN: I bring in 2010 with my birthday tomorrow… no one can forget it! What hopes do I have for 2010? Oh plenty! After watching Mr Bachchan at work in Paa, I realised being focussed on your work to the point of shutting out everything else is not something I need feel guilty about. Now I’m all set to be seen as this full-blown, seductive, sexually-charged woman in Ishqiya. It brings an entirely new perspective to my personality for the audience. That’s what I’m hoping for in 2010… to find new aspects to my personality through the roles I play.

AJAY DEVGN: Kajol, Nysa, my parents, cousins, sister and her family and I will all be at our Karjat farm house. We’re planning an extended holiday. I start work only from January 2, so does Kajol. So in the meantime it is going to be a huge, long party.


AMRITA RAO: I wonder what 2010 has in store for me… Resolutions sound nice to the ears but adhering to them is a matter of destiny!


AMISHA PATEL: I have a show in Dubai. I will be working and then I will take a holiday. I always like working on New Year’s day because I feel you will then be working throughout!

RITESH DESHMUKH: Friends and I are contemplating how to ring in the New Year. It’s not compulsory to indulge in anything fancy, even a quiet time with good friends does the trick!


ARSHAD WARSI: I am looking forward to three releases in 2010. Will start Raju’s film next year so it’s going to be an eventful year. I haven’t a plan for New Year as yet. I’ll be with family and friends.


ANUSHKA SHARMA: I don’t do much for the New Year. Actually I do nothing. I just wish my family and go to bed.


SHABANA AZMI: As usual I’ll be with my family and a few close friends for the New Year.


IRRFAN KHAN: On every festive occasion I try to visit my mother in Jaipur. But for the New Year I made plans to be home. Beyond the New Year I’ve made no plans. I’ve noticed every time I’ve chalked out a plan for myself, life has humbled me. I leave all my plans to God.


MUGHDA GODSE: I am dancing at a live performance in Delhi tonight and will spend New Year with family and close friends. I’ve a horror film tentatively titled Help coming up for release. My co-star Bobby Deol is such a sweetheart. I hope to find a guy like him this year. Where are all the gentlemen?”


HEMA MALINI: I won’t be doing anything much for New Year. I’ll be with my family and rehearsing for my dance show which is on January 2.


POOJA BEDI: I’m having a small get-together on the terrace of my beachfront penthouse with flowers, candles and an incredible view of the entire city, with my father, my children and a few loved ones.

SUSHMITA SEN: I normally travel overseas. However, Alisah, my younger daughter, can’t travel abroad yet because she doesn’t have a passport. Hence it will have to be a beach resort in India.

ASIN: For me it will be a quiet New Year with family. I wanted to make it for Christmas itself, however I will ring in the New Year at my family home in Kerala.

By Taran Adarsh, October 30, 2009 – 08:26 IST

In real life, if you feel your colleague is far more superior to you in intelligence, talent, charisma, efficiency, chances are you might feel the heat. Jealousy, generally, stems from there. In the process, the best of relations get strained. LONDON DREAMS, directed by Vipul Shah, talks of two musicians, thick pals actually, and how jealousy drives a wedge in their friendship.

Let’s clear a few myths before discussing the positive and negative factors of this film. LONDON DREAMS is not BAIJU BAWRA. LONDON DREAMS is not ROCK ON!!, ABHIMAAN, YAARANA or SAAJAN either [a section of the industry wants us to believe that]. The truth is, LONDON DREAMS borrows from Milos Forman’s brilliant film AMADEUS [1984], which was based on Salieri and Mozart’s life. In fact, Suneel Darshan too had made a film based on AMADEUS called SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM [2007; Bobby Deol, Upen Patel].

BY BOLLYWWOD HUNGAMA.COM

LONDON DREAMS is a complete departure from Vipul Shah’s earlier outings, AANKHEN, WAQT, NAMASTEY LONDON and SINGH IS KINNG [produced by Vipul, directed by Anees Bazmee]. This film is about relationships and tends to get very real and intense, in the post-interval portions specifically. The scale of LONDON DREAMS is gigantic and the execution of concerts [it’s about a band] sweeps you off your feet.

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In terms of execution, it wouldn’t be erroneous to state that LONDON DREAMS is amongst Vipul Shah’s most accomplished works to date. Also, it boasts of incredible performances by Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn. But there are hiccups too and it’s these deficiencies that bog the film down!

They were childhood friends. But they had little in common except their family’s connection with music. While Arjun’s [Ajay Devgn] life was consumed by a passionate drive to get on stage and realize his grandfather’s unfulfilled dream, Mannu [Salman Khan] was content with remaining a child at heart with no higher ambition than enjoying the good things in life.

As Arjun forges a band with Zoheb [Rannvijay Singh], Wasim [Aditya Roy Kapur] and Priya [Asin], a music enthusiast from a conservative South Indian family, far away in Punjab, music becomes a survival tool for Mannu, who takes to playing in wedding bands in his village.

Arjun gets Mannu to London and makes him a part of the band, but soon realizes he’s created the biggest threat and obstacle to his own ambitions.

Mannu, with his inherent musical gift, becomes an instant darling of the crowds. Arjun’s unbearable pangs of jealousy and insecurity only worsen when Mannu also unwittingly woos and wins his secret love, Priya. As he battles his inner demons, Arjun slowly devises a sinister plan to destroy his best friend.

It takes time to get into Ajay’s world [its Ajay who’s narrating the story here]. The film moves back and forth and it’s only when the two buddies, now adults, meet that you realize where the story is headed. The first hour depicts the two extreme characters – Ajay, who’s an introvert and who cannot think of anything but his goal and Salman, a happy-go-lucky guy, laidback and fun-loving, least focused.

The narrative has some interesting moments in the first hour, but the actual story unravels only towards the second half. The first half, frankly, only sets things up for the explosive drama that is to follow. The wheels start moving when Ajay plays a vicious game and hatches a conspiracy to ruin his buddy’s career.

It’s the second hour that does the trick. You can’t help but carry several sequences in your heart, even after you’ve made an exit from the auditorium…

  • Note the scene when Salman makes four different tunes from the original tune created by Ajay.
  • Note the scene when Ajay meets an inebriated Salman and professes revenge, while Salman is completely clueless about Ajay’s sinister plans.
  • Note the scene when the band arrives in London after a 3-city concert and they’re received by aggressive mediapersons.

But there’re roadblocks too. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is a downer. LONDON DREAMS is about a rock band, about music, about concerts and the music had to be the soul of the film. Unfortunately, it’s not! The songs have been filmed in the most energetic fashion, but how one wishes the music was one of the strengths of the film.

Also, the film could’ve concluded when the two friends re-unite at the station. Adding one more song thereafter only dilutes the impact of the emotionally correct sequence that has just been witnessed. Besides, the song in question hasn’t been promoted either, so it only comes across as an aberration.

Prior to that, Ajay’s outburst at the end of the concert is far from convincing. The film has a real feel, real characters and real situations, but the outburst looks unreal and is one of the drawbacks, from the writing point of view. It’s just not convincing!

Besides, Ajay’s childhood character is shown fleeing from the airport and making it big in a foreign land [London], without any support whatsoever. It’s unpalatable!

Vipul Shah has handled this intricate subject well, but the writing could’ve been tighter. Sejal Shah’s cinematography is super. Brownie points for capturing the concerts brilliantly. Salim-Sulaiman’s background score matches international standards.

Both Salman and Ajay vie for top honours. Salman has a role that the junta would take to instantly and the actor too endears himself to the viewers. He’s stupendous. When it comes to displaying intensity on screen, very few can live up to the standards set by Ajay. To state that he packs in a power-packed performance would be an understatement. They, in fact, compliment each other wonderfully well.

Asin is admirable and pairs off very well with Salman. She is sure to have a new name after this film – Chennai Express [that’s how Salman addresses her affectionately, all through the film]. Om Puri has a brief role. Aditya Roy Kapur is very good and registers an impact. Rannvijay Singh doesn’t get much to do, except throw nasty looks at Salman. Manoj Pahwa provides some funny moments. Brinda Parekh is okay.

On the whole, LONDON DREAMS has superb performances from its principal cast and several emotionally-charged sequences as its two trump cards. But its biggest drawback is its climax and also the music, which is the weakest link of the movie. At the box-office, the film should appeal more to the multiplex audience than the masses. Business at big centres, especially at metros, should be better, but mini-metros and towns will be a contrast.

By Taran Adarsh, September 11, 2009 – 14:00 IST

Samir Karnik completes his trilogy. NANHE JAISALMER was about dreams, HEROES was about pride and VAADA RAHA is about hope. The commonality in all three films, besides Bobby Deol and child star Dwij Yadav, is the emotional quotient.

VAADA RAHA, inspired by a Russian fable, is about the bond between two patients – a grown up man and a kid, respectively. An interesting thought, nonetheless. But there’s a hitch. The writing isn’t too convincing and what actually dilutes the effort is that it tends to stagnate at places. More on that later!

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

What does stand tall in VAADA RAHA is Bobby Deol’s super performance. This is his most accomplished work to date!

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Duke’s [Bobby Deol] life can be called gratifying. Professionally, he is a successful doctor, personally an ardent lover and parent to a doting dog. Duke loves Nalini [Kangna Ranaut] and they plan to marry soon.

A sudden turn of fate ends Duke’s perfect world. He is paralyzed neck down, after an accident. Nalini leaves him. He becomes bitter and angry at himself. Duke hates his conditions so much that he wishes he had died instead of living in a condition which is worse. He loses hope.

Roshan [Dwij Yadav], a young boy, enters his life. Duke hates Roshan in the first few meetings, but Roshan wins over his heart. Roshan boosts his morale and motivates him. In time, Duke gains sensation first in his hands and then in his legs. One fine day, the doctor tries to make him walk with the help of crutches. But a shock awaits him.

Samir Karnik’s forte has been emotions and VAADA RAHA displays his prowess yet again, but the writing bogs him down. For instance, Kangna walks out of Bobby – in fact deserts him – soon after he meets with an accident. Forget standing by him, she decides against visiting him in the hospital, which appears very, very strange. That seems hard to believe!

Another weird aspect is the culmination to the story, when Bobby is back on his toes and he’s shown married to Kangna. Ideally, Bobby should’ve dumped Kangna for discarding him when he needed her the most.

Also, Dwij gives hope to Bobby all through, but the lines/dialogues he’s asked to deliver look weird when a kid mouths them. For, Dwij talks like a wise old man who has seen the world.

Despite the faulty script, Samir Karnik’s handling of a few sequences is commendable. Binod Pradhan’s cinematography is top notch. Music is a letdown.

VAADA RAHA belongs to Bobby Deol. He’s excellent. Kangna Ranaut is wasted. Dwij does very well. Mohnish Bahl is alright. Sharat Saxena and Vivek Shauq are wasted. Prateeksha Lonkar acts well.

On the whole, VAADA RAHA stands on a faulty script. Besides, the lack of hype will make the effort go unnoticed.

CHECK OUT THE RESULTS OF THE 55TH NATIONAL AWARDS HERE. DARSHEEL SAFARY IS NOT AWARED. SHOCKING!
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SEEMA BISWAS BEATS SHABANA AGAIN!

Last week, I shared about my meeting with Ashutosh Rana and this week, I am reminded of when I saw Shabana Azmi. Me and my parents had gone to watch Shyam Benegal’s Karishma Kapoor-starrer Zubeidaa and at Gaiety, one of the most popular cinema theatres of Mumbai and she was present in the same show. The incident happened way back in Jan 2001, a time when there were no multiplexes and celebs used to frequent single screens to watch films. That was also a time when Shabana Azmi had shaved her head completely for Deepa Mehta’s film Water. Unfortunately, the film couldn’t start after it triggered a protest. The film was then shot in 2004. But Shabana Azmi, unfortunately, couldn’t be a part of the movie then. Her role was then played by Seema Biswas.

shabana

Coincidentally, Seema Biswas had to again step into Shabana’s shoes after she refused to play a part in an upcoming film Cooking With Stella (CWS). While Water was directed by Deepa Mehta, CWS is directed by Deepa’s brother, Dilip Mehta! Too much of a co-incidence, isn’t it?!

CWS is a story about a Canadian diplomat (Lisa Ray) and her chef-husband Michael (played by Canadian actor-director-filmmaker Don McKeller) who get posted in Delhi. The cook in her household is a charming lady Stella (Seema Biswas) who teaches Michael the best culinary secrets of India. The film, along with being light comedy, is also an issue-driven film.

arthAlthough there’s no doubt that Seema would have done a great job in CWS, I still feel it would have been great if Shabana had essayed the role. She looks stunning even at this age and has already proved to be one of the finest actresses of Indian cinema. Shabana refused CWS as she is not a good cook. This reason bewildered many and Subhash K Jha rightly said, “If Amitabh Bachchan, who notoriously cannot even boil an egg, played a famous London chef in Cheeni Kum, why could not Shabana be Stella!”

Moreover, Shabana also lost another plump role and that of SRK’s mother in Karan Johar’s My Name Is Khan. She initially signed the film but then backed off after the filming got postponed, thanks to Shah Rukh Khan’s shoulder surgery. Just imagine-it would have been so very interesting to see SRK and Shabana Azmi together! And now Shabana is replaced by Kirron Kher. Now she’ll play SRK’s mom (Not again!).

Meanwhile, Shabana will be seen in Gurinder Chadha’s next flick, It’s A Wonderful Afterlife. For this film, she has put on 25 kgs! Whether it is shaving off her head or putting on weight, Shabana Azmi will go to any length for a film without any hesitation! Kudos to this wonderful actress!

(Some info and the CWS pic derived from Bombay Times)
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VAADA RAHA FINALLY RELEASING!

vaada raha2

Bobby Deol-Kangna Ranaut starrer Vaada Raha is finally releasing tomorrow. The film is directed by Samir Karnik, who had made the acclaimed film Heroes. The film was ready since a long time and initially it was named Roshan. The promos of the film indicate that Kangna’s voice is dubbed in the film. The movie seems a family entertainer and gives a social message too that one should never lose hope. The film may turn out to be nice but it doesn’t seem that it would attract audiences due to bad promotion.

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/ccdcqpspo/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk65

The Naqaab beauty is back…


MEENA IYER (BOMBAY TIMES; August 11, 2009)



Urvashi Sharma who shared screen space with Bobby Deol and Akshaye Khanna in Abbas Mustan’s disastrous Naqaab went into oblivion immediately after. Tough times followed for the Delhi beauty who was made to sit on the periphery of films doing precious nothing. All because she was under a contract with her mentors — Kumar and Ramesh Taurani. “My contract didn’t forbid me from accepting films from other banners,” clarifies Urvashi. However, producers were unwilling to approach the Tauranis to ask if they could cast her.

So Urvashi continued to do commercials and wait for the elusive film offer. D-day is here. She has just bagged a couple of meaningful films. One is Baabarr where she plays a Muslim girl from Kanpur. And there is Chashni where she will be seen alongside talents like Jaya Bachchan, Raveena Tandon and Ayesha Takia Azmi. “I’m really happy that I will be doing two to three good films soon,” says the Naqaab heroine.

She admits life in Mumbai has been tough, especially for a newbie like her who has had no friends in maximum city. “I just learnt to keep my head above the tide and keep swimming,” she says. Enrolling in a gym; doing power yoga and whathave-you, Urvashi managed to sit the tough times out and she is glad that she is headstrong enough to swing things in her favour finally. “I’m neither insecure nor unhappy,” says the 20-something, “I’m sure everyone has a period in life where they just have to sit it out and wait for the tide to turn. Isn’t this what they call destiny?”

Love Aaj Kal4

BOLLYWOOD HAS NEVER BEEN SO PREDICTABLE!

I still can’t believe this! The predictions which I made 8 weeks back have proved to be almost true! In my talk no. 53, I had made a prediction of 8 yet-to-be-released Hindi films and guess what, 7 of them have proved to be completely right!

According to my predictions, New York, Kambakkht Ishq and Love Aaj Kal would be successful at the BO. Barring Kambakkht Ishq, New York became a hit while Love Aaj Kal (released last Friday) took a fabulous opening and may soon become the biggest hit of 2009 so far! Then, I had guessed that Paying Guests, Let’s Dance, Runway and Short Kut would flop commercially and all these film did indeed bit the dust! Adhyayan Suman starrer Jashnn would be disastrous, according to my guess, and the same happened!

The only film for which my prediction didn’t hit the mark was Kambakkht Ishq (KI). I had a feeling that the film would turn out to be great as it has come from the stable of producer Sajid Nadiadwala, who has given some of the best entertainers in the past. His films have been entertaining, interesting and have suited the taste of the moviegoers in general. However, KI failed to entertain many. Even though it took a great opening, the mixed response (mostly negative) took a toll in its collections. It has managed to be above-average. So I get 7 on 8 right which is not bad, I guess!
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SAIF-NEXT SUPERSTAR?

Talking about Love Aaj Kal, the huge opening is an indication that the film may be hugely successful overall. If that is so, then it may turn out to be Saif’s biggest hit so far! Not to forget, this may be the biggest hit by any debut producer-actor ever (Saif Ali Khan is also producer of the film)!

Normally, it is the general tendency to remember an actor’s failures more than his hits. But with Saif, it’s happening reverse-people have forgotten that he delivered three duds last year (Tashan, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic and Roadside Romeo). He’s already in the line of upcoming superstars. If Saif’s upcoming flicks, Agent Vinod (also starring Kareena) and Kurbaan (again Kareena and also Vivek Oberoi) prove to be hits, Saif ki nikal padegi!

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Wanted2

8 PROMOS UNVEILED LAST WEEK!

The week gone by was fabulous due to Love Aaj Kal’s release and also because the promos of as many as 8 upcoming films were unveiled before the audiences! Never before have so many promos of different films have come out in such a short time. These 8 films were Aladin (Ritesh, BigB, Sanju), Acid Factory (Fardeen, Dia, Irrfan Khan, Aftab, Manoj Bajpayee, Danny), Wanted (Salman and Ayesha), ‘What’s Your Raashee?’ (Priyanka in 12 roles and also Harman), Do Knot Disturb (Govinda, Ritesh, Sush, Lara, Sohail, Ranvir Shorey), Accident On Hill Road (Celina and Abhimanyu Singh), Vaada Raha (Bobby and Kangna) and Fox (Sunny Deol, Arjun Rampal, Udita Goswami, Sagarika Ghatke)! Whew! The teasers of Wanted, ‘What’s Your Raashee?’, Do Knot Disturb and Fox have already begun on TV. I feel the best promo out of all was that of Acid Factory. I have uploaded it below-do check! You’ll feel like watching it again and again!

Shahid Kapoor’s impersonator on Twitter claims to do his publicist’s job and refuses to give up the actor’s identity
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 01, 2009)
Shahid Kapoor’s impersonator on Twitter is giving the star and his publicist  sleepless nights.

The person is not just using Shahid’s name as his ID, he’s also posting news about Shahid. He recently announced the release date of Shahid’s forthcoming film Kaminey and also posted a thank-you note on the site when he was voted as the sexiest vegetarian in Asia. As a result, a lot of people are connecting with him believing him to the star. The person is using the ID – shahid.kapoor@gmail.com.

When Shahid’s publicist got wind of the fact, she mailed him on Twitter and asked him to stop pretending to be the actor. She wrote to the impersonator, “Pretending to be Shahid is not correct. You could give me the ID that belongs to him and end the matter immediately.”

However, the impersonator refused to give up the identity  He wrote, “I am doing nothing to harm Shahid’s image. In fact, I promote all the good things that he does. I am doing the task that you are expected and paid to do and you in turn, are threatening me. Instead you should focus on this emerging online media and start your own promotional activities.”

The publicist was taken aback that he had her gmail id.

The turn of events has distressed Shahid so much that he has asked his publicist to tackle this matter seriously. Shekhawat said, “People are following Shahid’s fake Twitter ID thinking it is the real Shahid. Tomorrow if this impersonator says something inappropriate, it could spoil Shahid’s reputation. We cannot allow this to continue.  Impersonating another person is a cyber crime. We have complained to Twitter and are hoping to get a reaction in a week’s time. If that doesn’t happen, we will be filing a complaint with Cyber Crime cell.”

Shahid Kapoor said, “I would like to clarify that I am not on Twitter and my management has complained about this impersonation to the site.”


Stars who have been impersonated

Mahima Chaudhary, Hrithik Roshan, Celina Jaitley, Amitabh Bachchan, Kajol, Sushmita Sen, Raju Hirani, Bobby Deol, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan have been impersonated on social networking sites.

In November 2008, a person impersonating Katrina Kaif had been sending e-mails to producers, directors, co-ordinators, journalists and Hollywood agents on behalf of the actress.

In July 2008, Mahesh Bhatt and Paresh Rawal had asked the police to take action against impostors who are misusing their names on Facebook. After Bhatt learnt of the mischief from a dentist friend, he approached JCP (crime) Rakesh Maria for help.

Director Vikram Bhatt received mail from somebody impersonating as Sushmita Sen (his ex-girlfriend), asking for Salman Khan’s number.