Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘challenge

Anurag Kashyap finds an unusual hero to play a serial killer for the second film of the Mumbai trilogy – Nawazuddin aka Patna Presley of Emosonal Attyachaar

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 05, 2010)


Anurag Kashyap’s much talked-about Mumbai trilogy has found its third and final hero. While Aamir Khan stars in the first film, John Abraham will play the lead in the third. Now, the little-known but talented Nawazuddin who gave sterling cameo performances in 2009 in Nandita Das’s Firaaq, Kabir Khan’s New York, Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D (one of the two Patna Presleys singing Emosonal Attyachaar) and Black Friday, has been pencilled in as the lead in Kashyap’s second film in the Mumbai trilogy. It’s a huge leap for an actor from a village near Delhi.

More startling than his casting is the character that Nawazuddin plays. He plays Raman Raghav, India’s most brutal serial killer. In 1968, Raghav bludgeoned a number of pavement dwellers to death before he was caught and diagnosed with schizophrenia. (Sriram Raghavan has, in fact, made a documentary on the serial killer.)

Nawazuddin has been secretly reading up on Raman Raghav and looking at footage of the killer. When we spoke to him, Nawazuddin was taken aback. He said, “Anurag has asked me to keep it absolutely quiet. Yes, I’m playing the serial killer Raman Raghav in Anurag Kashyap’s film. It’s the biggest challenge of my career especially since superstars like Aamir and John feature in the other two films of the series.”

Nawazuddin, who has been trying to make a mark as an actor in Bollywood since 1996, has played the lead in Aamir Khan’s Peepli Live and Mangesh’s Dekh Circus too. Says the actor emotionally, “I’ve waited very long for this. I’ve struggled hard to get out of playing the cameo to the lead. Mumbai trilogy is my greatest challenge.”

Anurag Kashyap Nawazuddin
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By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 04, 2010)

Nana Patekar, the 58-year-old actor, who is currently shooting for the Kannada film Yaksha, has learnt the language to dub his lines.

However, learning a South Indian language for the Marathi-Hindi speaking actor is not a cakewalk. Nana says, “It is a challenge to learn a new language. But what is life if you don’t create new challenges for yourself? I have always done what I wanted to do in life. When I agreed to do my first South Indian film, I decided I will speak my own lines. Why should I allow some other person to speak for me? I have been working hard, getting the accent right. It’s a complicated process. However, one is never too old or too young to learn something new.”

Although Nana is tight-lipped about his role in the film, according to sources, Nana plays a messiah of the down-trodden, the kind of character that he played in Mehul Kumar’s Krantiveer (1994).

Rani Mukerji to work with filmmaker Deepa Mehta in the screen adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 04, 2010)


Last month, Rani Mukerji had a secret, productive and extremely encouraging meeting with author Salman Rushdie and director Deepa Mehta in Toronto. Rushdie and Mehta are coming together for a screen adaptation of the former’s celebrated Booker-winning novel Midnight’s Children. According to reliable sources, Rani met the author and the filmmaker for a good two hours and is now part of the screen adaptation. The buzz is Rushdie took a great fancy to her.

Rani Mukerji

Deepa is evasive about confirming Rani’s presence in Midnight’s Children. She says, “Yes, Salman Rushdie and I met her informally in Toronto, but nothing has been finalised.”

However, reliable sources insist Rani is part of the coveted project which already has Shabana Azmi, Seema Biswas and Nandita Das in its cast.

Hinting at the possibility of working with Rani, Deepa says, “I don’t know about Rani’s current box-office status but I have always wanted to work with her. I saw her work in Hey Ram, Black, Bunty Aur Babli and Veer-Zaara and loved it. She is among the best talent in India today. Whether it is Preity Zinta (Heaven On Earth), Shabana Azmi (Fire) or Seema Biswas (Water), I have always enjoyed working with strong, female actors.”

Rani too is on the lookout for a challenge that will take her beyond the roles she has done in Hindi cinema so far. Interestingly, she has never worked with a female director in her entire career. She came close to working with Mira Nair in The Namesake. She lost the prized role to Tabu because she didn’t want to play Abhishek Bachchan’s mother. Later, Abhishek too opted out of the project.

Deepa Mehta Salman Rushdie
Nothing can ever mellow Vidhu Vinod Chopra (53) completely but he is certainly more tolerant and accommodating than ever before. In keeping with his wife’s directive to not praise himself or belittle others, he stays within accepted social barriers all through our chat, restricting all caustic comments and pithy observations for when the mike is switched off

By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 05, 2009)


• You don’t have too many friends? Why?
I value friendship. For me friendship is not a loose word. If I call myself a friend, I am ready to give my life and if need be the friend should do the same.That Bambaiya friendship where people call you a friend on your face and as soon as you turn around they call you a bi*** or a swine is not friendship. I told Karan Johar, ‘I want friends like you; I want to throw a party.’ He said, ‘I can make you social,’ he tried and then he gave up.

He told me nicely, ‘You are happy where you are.’ I have only four friends now, I started with two. Rakesh Maria, Rajesh Parekh (and Firoza Parekh) and slowly I acquired the third friend, Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, but now, I am not sure, I am perhaps acquiring a fourth, which is Aamir. So my house is full now. I mean if I have four friends in this city, I am the luckiest. I now get invited to social dos. We get wedding invitations, we get party invitations. We are invited to places we have never been invited to before.

What do you expect the audience will take away from 3 Idiots?
I could be wrong, but I personally believe that 3 Idiots is a step ahead of Lage Raho Munna Bhai. The other day there was a story in the paper of a kid who had jumped off the 19th floor when her mother was in another room and I told my wife that if this kid had seen 3 Idiots, she wouldn’t have jumped. I genuinely feel that if I had released this film a month ago, I could have saved that one life. I think 3 Idiots will save lives.

• Between Aamir Khan, you and Raju Hirani, if there is a clash of opinion, who wins?
We are very clear about this. Raju is head of creatives. At the moment, Aamir is head of marketing. There is no clash. But as head of the family I believe I have a veto and if I really want to use it, I can. I think the three of us are really the perfect 3 Idiots. I had heard horror stories about Aamir and he had heard the same about me but Aamir is the most unbelievable guy I have met in my life unless I am a fool, and he is performing all the time.  I have only nice things to say about Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Sanjay Dutt and Saif Ali Khan but Aamir is something else. His level of commitment, his level of dedication, his level of affection, his level of seeking excellence is exceptional.

• Have you forgiven Shah Rukh Khan for trying to woo away Raju Hirani?
Oh totally. I called him yesterday to invite him for my premiere and we chatted for half an hour. Life is too short for all this s**t! Khalil Gibran has said, ‘I use hate as a weapon to defend myself.’ To me hate and love are both very strong emotions. I love my wife and if I have the same degree of negative feeling for anybody, then I am giving that person the same importance as I am giving to the woman I love the most in my life. How ridiculous is that?


• You famously said your films reflect the mood you are in. Given the comedies your production house is bringing out like the Munnabhai series, do we conclude you are in a good mood?
Yes, I am in a very happy mood. I sing songs all the time. I think life is really kind to me and I am just very grateful. My little daughter writes poetry which I don’t understand and my son plays cricket with Sachin Tendulkar’s son. God has given me a movie like 3 Idiots, friends and two families, one in cinema and the other at home. I came to this city to make one Hindi movie. If I had died after making one feature film after coming from the village that I came from, I would have died happily.

• Are there any actors you can’t conceive of working with for any reason?
The list is long but to tell you honestly it isn’t about individual actors. It is about attitude. I will not work with actors who have the wrong attitude at this given moment. On the other hand if there is an attitude change, I would willingly work with them.

• What is delaying Munna Bhai Chale Amrika?
If after Lage Raho Munna Bhai we had churned out a Munna Bhai film a year, it would have made Rs 200-250 crores and even if they had been s**t, people would go and see them. But we didn’t and won’t till we are happy with the script. Now we are happy with what we have written and so hopefully we will do it next year.

• Is it tougher to write an original screenplay or adapt a book?
To tell you the truth, I haven’t read Five Point Someone on which 3 Idiots is based. The only person in the team who read it was Raju. But I believe our film is very different. Having said that, the starting point was Raju reading the book.

• If you were given the choice to remake a film with the intention of improving it, which film would that be?
Ram Aur Shyam with Aamir Khan. I love that film and now that I am an admirer of Aamir, I would love to make that film with him. I don’t think he can do it better than Dilip Kumar, who was absolutely superb, but it would be a challenge for Aamir and me.

Manisha Koirala to play a negative role as Jaya Bachchan’s shrewd bahu in Revathy Varma’s Aap Ke Liye Hum

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 12, 2009)


 

Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala, who has been missing in action for a while now, is back with a bang. She is set to play her first negative role as Jaya Bachchan’s shrewd daughter-in-law in Revathy Varma’s Aap Ke Liye Hum.

Confirming the news, director and co-producer, Revathy says that Manisha loved the role because of the challenge of playing somebody so negative. She adds, “It’s the role of Ranvir Shorey’s wife. This woman is so wicked that she doesn’t think twice about turning to her angelic mother-in-law and saying, ‘Why did you produce only one son and expect him to look after you? If you had a couple more we wouldn’t be burdened’. It’s the daughter-in-law who sends Jayaji to the old woman’s home. That beautiful angelic face saying such horrible ugly things to a frail, old woman would be the biggest challenge of Manisha’s career.”

The closest Manisha has come to playing a negative character was in Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se where she played a terrorist. The actress is expected to join the cast and crew when the shooting resumes in January.

Incidentally, this is the same role that Urvashi Sharma had earlier agreed to do, but backed out later because of non-payment of her remuneration.

Revathy laughs uncomfortably, “Well, yes. It’s the same role. But Manisha doing the role makes all the difference. And of course her remuneration too makes all the difference. Besides, Manisha loved the thought of sharing screen space with Jayaji. We start shooting right after Jayaji’s winter parliamentary session gets over.”

shadow

A blind man as a hero…that’s something really novel and interesting! And this blind hero dances, does daring stunts and doesn’t look visually impaired at all. Unfortunately, in order to exhibit blind actor Nasser Khan’s greatness, the director and the screenwriters paid no attention to other factors and came up with a pathetic product, which due to some reason is titled Shadow. The loopholes in the narrative are big enough to drive a tanker through! Seriously, what were the writers thinking while scripting this film? Even kindergarten kids could have come up with a better film!

The story of the movie: Arjun Sherawat (Nasser Khan) is a serial sharp shooter who since few months is giving the Mumbai Police sleepless nights. He kills his victims and doesn’t leave any clues at all. Inspector Sanjana (Sonali Kulkarni) who is entrusted this case tries hard but fails to get any information or whereabouts regarding Arjun Sherawat. In real, Sherawat is a jovial car mechanic called Raju who has the ability to impress any girl by mouthing some crap dialogues in the most pathetic manner! Coming back to Sanjana, she gets clues that point that reporters Sheetal (Hrishitaa Bhatt) and Rahul (Milind Soman) (the latter who’s hell bent on criticizing Sanjana and Mumbai Police) may be Arjun Sherawat’s allies. But Sanjana is proved wrong when Sheetal informs her about Sherawat’s next victim. Sheetal couldn’t save Sherawat’s target but she’s able to kill him. Intermission time! Now we all know that picture abhi baaki hai and that Arjun Sherawat must be alive and that he’s not going to die just halfway. And as expected, he is indeed alive! He sends an audio clip, challenging Police that he’ll kidnap Builder Habib Faizal (Mushtaq Khan) on September 1-rok sake to rok le! If you want to know what happens next, you’ll have to commit an act of bravery, i.e. see this film!

The film could have been an engrossing fare, never mind the glitches, but even that doesn’t happen as songs are placed just anywhere in the film which badly hampers the pace of the film. There’s a scene where Sherawat aka Raju the mechanic fixes a screw in the car of a hottie (Sonia Mehra) who in turns gets floored and offers him 1000 bucks. Raju and his two colleagues feel that this is a reason to celeberate and so they visit a pub and break into the song ‘Yaariyan’! All this had no connection with the main plot and yet, director Rohit Nayyar happily wastes time on such stupid scenes!

The police are shown as utter fools while Arjun Sherawat is projected as an intelligent ‘sexy’ criminal who can escape from the cops right under their noses. And even characters were not well sketched. Even after the film ends, one doesn’t understand Hrisihita Bhatt’s connection with Nasser Khan. Milind Soman in the initial portions is shown as a reporter but later, we learn that he’s actually a senior cop of Delhi Crime Branch who was working on Sherawat’s case. Again, no explanation provided as to what Milind gained by pretending to be a reporter. Maybe, the director felt revealing Milind Soman’s true identity would give viewers the biggest shock of their lives!

Then there’s Sonali Kulkarni’s father (Vishwajeet Pradhan) who is the police commissioner and whom Sonali hates. This track served no purpose other than increasing the film’s duration. Post-interval, Sonali Kulkarni does a stupid item number (it was the most terrible sight I have seen in recent times) and then falls in love with Nasser Khan. Again, there was no need of this romantic angle in the plot. And how can I forget Home Minister Shiv Shankar (Sachin Khedekar) who used to pass his spare time raping young girls and killing them every week! Undoubtedly, Shadow was Nonsense No.1!

The climax of the film seemed little rushed-maybe the director felt that he has wasted enough time showing Nasser dancing and romancing and should finish the film ASAP. Surprisingly, the film has some good points-background score, music and Sameer Aftab’s performance. He was the only one who looked like a good actor in the film!

Nasser Khan, as we all know, is a bad actor with negligible dancing skills and pathetic dialogue delivery. But I’ll like to appreciate him for his efforts. It was next to impossible for a blind person doing such stunts, acting and even dubbing (the latter requires one to see). And he has also co-produced the film. If only he had improved the story and direction, then maybe Shadow would have been appreciated, notwithstanding his performance.

The film has lots of fine actors and it’s shocking to see them in such a film. Sonali Kulkarni impressed in the role of the cop initially but disappointed later with the item number and the pre-climax scenes. Milind Soman’s role was laughable and so his performance also got affected. Sachin Khedekar as the villainous serial rapist cum Home Minister gives a good performance. I hope he never ever signs such films! Samir Aftab, who played Khedekar’s PA, looked charming and he was the only one in the film who didn’t underperform or overact at all. Hrishitaa Bhatt, Vishwajeet Pradhan and Mushtaq Khan were fairly okay. Sonia Mehra was terrible.

Anand Raj Anand’s music was alright. ‘Khumariyan’ was the only good song of the lot. Raju Singh’s background score was the only thing that rocked in the film. Cinematographers Jalees Oberoi and Raju Badiger could have done a better job in the action scenes.

Rohit Nayyar failed as the director. He managed to showcase Nasser Khan but failed to come up with a well-made film. Mostly, action flicks manage to work in rural areas. But Shadow did a shoddy job even in rural places! In fact, after watching Shadow, I realize that Kamaal Rashid Khan’s Deshdrohi was so much better!

On the whole, Shadow was undoubtedly the worst film I have seen in my life. Stay miles away from this film. It’s worth recommending to your foes!

My rating-* out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Shadow-174799-1.html


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