Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Cheeni Kum

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

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By Joginder Tuteja, November 30, 2009 – 12:17 IST

Vidya Balan

Ever since she made her debut with Parineeta, Vidya Balan has worked with many a veteran filmmakers like Vidhu Vinod Chopra (Eklavya – The Royal Guard), Mani Ratnam (Guru), Priyadarshan (Bhool Bhulaiyaa), Raj Kumar Santoshi (Halla Bol) and Aziz Mirza (Kismat Konnection). Meanwhile, she has also worked with first time directors like Pradeep Sarkar (Parineeta) and Sajid Khan (Heyy Babyy) as well as one film old Raj Kumar Hirani (Lagey Raho Munnabhai) or Nikhil Advani (Salaam E Ishq).

This is why, when she interacted with someone like Balki (who only has a Cheeni Kum behind him), what sort of change in approach did she see in them?

“The best part about him is that he is just fantastic when it comes to multitasking”, Vidya begins talking about the filmmaker, “Even during the making of the film, he would be managing his ad agency meetings. While having lunch with us, he would be having round table conversations. Meanwhile, he would interact with all of us quite normally on the sets.”

She is also impressed with the fact that in spite of a hectic schedule, Balki kept himself abreast with all that was being churned out in Bollywood.

“He would always catch a Friday movie release without fail. That’s not all; he is someone who goes for all the concerts and plays. Can you believe that? He has time for everything and anything. He manages his time so well”, she gushes.

Time management is not the only factor that has impressed Vidya. She believes that Balki is also an ace when it comes to people management.

Vidya Balan “Temperamentally he is just so cool”, she smiles, “He is just so easy to work with. I have seen him interacting with his assistants. His people management is fantastic because whether it is Mr. Amitabh Bachchan or any junior most crew member on the sets, he knows how to get that comfort feel rolling. He gives and gets respects all around.”

However, the story goes that to begin with Vidya wasn’t too sure about working with Balki.

“I have a personal anecdote to share”, she divulges, “My sister and brother-in-law, whom I hold in great regard, have worked with Balki for years on the ads that he has made. I used to interact with a lot of their mutual friends and they always used to speak about him. This set me wondering that what was so great about him.”

She got the answer when Cheeni Kum released and Balki’s cinematic sensibilities were on display for one and all.

“I loved the film and didn’t forget the kind of wonderful experience that Balki had created. Now when I have worked with him, I know what makes some of his qualities so distinct. Both Cheeni Kum and Paa have been based on subjects hitherto unexplored and all of that has been possible due to one single factor – sheer conviction. Once Balki is sure about the story he wants to tell, there is no looking back”, she comments.

It is this conviction factor that attracted Vidya towards Paa.

“I was having a constant pull and push internally before I decided to do Paa. However, Balki didn’t flinch even for a microsecond. This is what that set me on path to do Paa. I had certain doubts but they were quashed by this guy’s conviction. It is simply admirable and we all just followed the line”, she adds.

Vidya Balan While Amitabh Bachchan, Tabu and Paresh Rawal were senior heavyweights in Cheeni Kum, same wasn’t the case in Paa which featured her along with Abhishek Bachchan.

“There is this mutual sense of respect that Balki encourages”, says Vidya, “Like, I really enjoyed the way he used to interact with Mr. Bachchan. Similarly with me and Abhishek, he had his own way of conveying a point. Of course all of us we used to make suggestions and he was open to them as well. He would never dismiss our suggestions.”

And how much did these suggestions actually get incorporated in the final filming?

“Hardly any”, Vidya comes up with a laugh here, “Invariably he would go with what he felt was right. He believed in the principal of listen to all and do what you feel strongest about. But yes, this entire exercise used to be quite helpful since I would ask him quite a few pertinent questions and I would always get the right answers.”

This is the reason why she was quite convinced when in the early days Balki explained to her the entire idea about the film, its background (Progeria) and how it was not meant to evoke sympathy or pity.

“I was wondering if Paa would turn out to be a serious film but Balki was quite clear that this was not going to be the case. He promised that it would be a heart warming film and that’s the way it has turned out to be. The entire disease thing is just the background of the film. The idea is to project the story with all the sensitivity but not make it a sympathetic affair”, she concludes.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

ROLE REVERSAL: Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan in a still from their film that’s releasing on December 4

Abhishek Bachchan plays his father’s father in R Balki’s new film

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 14, 2009)

On the occasion of Children’s Day, BT managed a peek into the world of 13-year-old Auro, a very special child who will visit cinema theatres this December 4. Who would’ve thought that Abhishek Bachchan would actually play a father to Bollywood’s biggest legend Amitabh Bachchan someday?
The near impossible has happened. In Big Pictures’ Paa, the iconic Amitabh and son Abhishek come together to create a never-before-seen magic. Says R Balki, the director of this ambitious venture that is the current talking point with astute cineastes, “The idea came when I walked into Amitji’s office one day and found Abhishek there in a very mature mould. I was completely fascinated seeing a sombre Abhishek and a playful Amitji who was lounging around. The scene I saw made it seem like Abhishek was the elder and Amitji was the son.’’

Fascinated with this role reversal, Balki who won several accolades for his Cheeni Kum with the Big B, decided that he should capture this father-son equation on screen. He decided to cast Abhishek as an understated politician with a special child. “On the net I came across the disease Progeria,’’ says the filmmaker. “I read extensively about it and learned that there are only 40-odd cases of children across the world who are afflicted with this disease. It matched the concept I had in mind. So in a way I found the concept first and then went looking for a disease to match it. Not the other way around.’’

This film will mark the return of AB Corp to Hindi cinema after a hiatus. When asked how he felt playing his father’s father on screen, AB Junior says, “Paa was an unique experience, in fact the unique nature of this role was the reason I chose to do the film. The film gave me the opportunity to see how real life role reversal works. When Balki first spoke to me about the film and the concept he had in mind, I told him immediately, ‘I am on!’ It is not every day that you get to play your father’s father. It was great working together and he was a good son!”

Balki adds, “The film’s USP is that it will be the only time when you get to see a son playing his dad’s dad and also the one time when you get to see a father playing his son’s son.’’
Balki is particularly pleased that being professional actors — both the Bachchans have pitched their performances right.
Guess Balki couldn’t have asked for anything better for his second outing at the movies.
meena.iyer@timesgroup.com

jail

TWO DIVERSE FILMS THIS WEEKEND!

8 Fridays left before the year 2009 comes to an end. Out of these 8, 7 Fridays are marked with the release of some very big and significant films. Tomorrow, Fri Nov 6, will see the release of two extremely diverse films-Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (APKGK) and Jail. While the former is an adorable romantic comedy, the latter is an intense realistic film.

Without doubt, APKGK has an edge over Jail. The Ranbir-Katrina starrer will surely open huge thanks to its lead pair, songs, wonderful promotion and its director (Rajkumar Santoshi) who is back to comic genre after Andaz Apna Apna. Also I feel even the title of the film is damn impressive. What makes it unique is that it’s a long one! Nowadays, we hardly have film titles consisting of 5 words. We mostly find one or two word titles. The very few recent long titled films which I can recollect is Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam, Money Hai To Honey Hai, Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na etc. Coming back to the film, it also seems like a clean entertainer and thus, a perfect family film as well. However, again, the big names associated with the film and wonderful promos don’t guarantee that the film would rock (recently, there have been many such films). So, I am gonna watch this film but like everytime, with less expectations!

Jail, on the other hand, have more chances of being impressive than APKGK. Director Madhur Bhandarkar has always projected realism wonderfully and Jail also looks like another winner from his side. The true picture inside prisons that the film is going to place before the audience is a major reason for watching this film. Neil Mukesh, like everytime, has gone into the skin of his character and is expected to deliver a smashing performance. The film should grow big time with a positive word-of-mouth.

In the end, it will be the content and the audience verdict that will matter. So which film are you planning to watch? Do let me know!
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PAA’S FIRST CUT IS OUT!

paa

The first cut of the most unique film of the year, Paa, is out! The USP of the film as we all know by now is Amitabh Bachchan portraying a 12 year old child suffering from Progeria with Abhishek Bachchan and Vidya Balan as its parents. The film is directed by Cheeni Kum director R Balki. On the eve of the promo release, I was mightily excited with so many questions running in my mind! Will Amitabh Bachchan look convincing as the child? How has he altered his voice, posture, mannerisms etc in order to suit his character? Will Abhishek Bachchan look convincing as Amitabh’s dad? And what about Vidya Balan? Will she be sidelined in this film or does she have an important role as Big B’s mom? So many questions but not all got a satisfying reply. The first teaser exposes Big B’s looks but doesn’t project his dialogue-delivery. But I am sure it’ll manage to create hype with each passing day!

Ideally, the promotional campaign of the film should have kick-started last month on Oct 11 i.e. on Amitabh Bachchan’s birthday. It would have been the best day for the launch. But instead, the makers just gave a full page ad of the film in newspapers with no pic of its lead actors and just a write-up ‘Amitabh turns 13 today’! Now, the film is just a month away (it’s releasing on Dec 4) and the maker may not get much time to publicize now.

TO WATCH THE PROMO OF PAA CLICK HERE

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/cacdloqto/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk73

Amitabh Bachchan and Tabu will be the showstoppers for designers Abu-Sandeep at the forthcoming couture week


By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 06, 2009)

Amitabh Bachchan

Tabu

Amitabh Bachchan is everywhere, be it films, playing the pop philosopher in a reality show, ads or fashion shows. The actor has agreed to be the showstopper for close friends Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla at their fashion show on October 11, which is also Amitabh’s birthday. Accompanying him on the ramp will be his Cheeni Kum co-star Tabu.

Amitabh confirmed and said, “Yes, I’m walking the ramp for Abu-Sandeep.”

Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla

Sandeep said, “Mr Bachchan has been wearing our clothes for a long time now and we wanted someone who knows our clothes well. And of course, it never gets bigger than Amitabh Bachchan. Besides Mr Bachchan, Tabu is someone who has been wearing our clothes for long too.

We were keen to have both of them together on our show after Cheeni Kum.” And was it difficult to convince them to do that? “Not at all,” Sandeep said. “Both Amitabh and Tabu immediately agreed.”

//

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

By Subhash K. Jha, September 4, 2009 – 14:23 IST

Paa
Click above for more movie stills

The highly-rated Cheeni Kum director Balki is releasing his extremely unusual role-reversal drama Paa on November 13, as a tribute to Children’s Day. “It’s a film about the child within the man and the man within the child. And I can’t think of a better tribute to the child than Children’s Day,” says Balki, who completed the shooting of the film in England recently.

After shooting his two feature films Cheeni Kum and now Paa in England, Balki wants to return to the country again. “We shot Paa in my favourite location England. Throughout the stint in Cambridge, we were at sea, never on land. I love shooting in London. I shot my first two films there. If I had my way, I’d shoot all my films there.” Balki took up the challenge of projecting the Big B like never before. “In Cheeni Kum, I really didn’t have to do anything. I made him play himself. Here in Paa, I had to bring out that child within him, which has always been there. We tapped that part of him. It wasn’t easy for Amitji to play a child at heart. Fortunately, Abhishek and Vidya Balan too are extremely intelligent actors. She has played such a charming mom. Throughout the film, they behave as if Amitji is their son. For Abhishek, this was his chance to get even with his dad.”

Any regrets about not casting Tabu again? “After what she did with Amitji in Cheeni Kum it wasn’t possible to cast her in Vidya’s role.” Balki is not bothered with how the audience will accept the two actors in reversed roles. “There’s no point in making a film if it doesn’t push envelopes. I won’t do a film that doesn’t challenge me and my actors.”

Another ongoing leitmotif in Balki’s cinema is the music of Ilaiyaraja. “He’s God. He has been a major source of inspiration. I don’t think that India has known a better music composer than him. Sadly, one-half of India has not heard him enough.”

For Cheeni Kum, Balki specifically asked Ilaiyaraja for tunes from his Tamil films. “I wanted Hindi moviegoers to hear those times. Even in Paa, I’ve transposed some of his South Indian tunes into Hindi. It’s not that important to be original. It’s more important to do what you believe in.”

Balki is miffed that the Big B’s Progeria look has been leaked out. “Fortunately, that’s only a part of his look. No one came on the set to see how he looks on camera. The makeup person was given a computer-generated picture of Amitji. He improvised a lot on that and added traits from real Progeria patients.”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM


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