Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘childhood

Aamir on ‘Mission Varanasi’ to buy back mother’s house…

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

Like Amitabh Bachchan or Vijay Dinanath Chauhan said in Agneepath — Maa ko uska gaon lautana hai, Aamir Khan who is promoting his latest film landed up in Varanasi incognito to try and buy Khwaja Manzil, the building where his mother Zeenat spent her childhood. Reports have it that the building now belongs to a Sikh gentleman and the Bollywood superstar would have to do some hardcore negotiating to try and buy back a property that he is so keen on.
Aamir disguised himself as a Banarasi Babu and visited Tiliya Nala, the locality his mother had spend her child hood in. He left his security behind, took a boat ride in the Ganges,
and stayed at derelict hotels because he didn’t want media attention at least till such time as he actually left the city.
The actor who is very close to his mother, admitted, “I’m very much a momma’s boy” and said it was an emotional journey for him. He also visited Dasaswamedh Ghat where his mother went for boat rides when she stayed in Varanasi.

WUS

We all, in our childhood, had made a list of careers that we want to pursue when we grow up. But once we enter college, there comes a change in our mindset. We suddenly don’t feel like growing up. We shudder to think of our future when we would only be working with very little time for leisure and friends/family (I am passing through this phrase currently!). Some may claim that they never had such a feeling and that they were ambitious right from the beginning. But the truth is, everyone had gone or will go through this anxiety and even fear at some point of their academic life. Wake Up Sid deals with such similar issues. Although the protagonist is projected as highly lazy, almost everyone will be able to identify with him. This and the wonderful execution by debutant Ayan Mukerji makes Wake Up Sid one of the finest films to come out this year!

The story of the movie: Sidharth Mehra aka Sid (Ranbir Kapoor) is a lazy and non-ambitious youth who has just attempted his final year college exams. His life revolves around his friends, Rishi (Namit Das) and Laxmi (Shikha Talsania) and he loves hanging out with them. Sid’s mother (Supriya Pathak) loves him a lot but he doesn’t reciprocate. His dad (Anupam Kher) manages a big business and wants his son to take some responsibilities on his head. He tries but his efforts are futile. At this point, Sid comes across Aisha (Konkona Sen Sharma), an aspiring writer from Kolkata. Sid and Aisha are as different as chalk and cheese (Ayesha is even older than Sid) but still both of them become good friends. Sid even gives Aisha the much needed help in settling in Mumbai. Soon, Sid’s final year exam results come out and his world turns upside down.

Wake Up Sid is very different and that is evident at several points. The film is completely original and tries to be interesting as well as not to fall into any stereotype. For instance, our Hindi films have got a habit of projecting ‘aamir baap ka bigda beta’ as lazy, irresponsible, arrogant and hot-tempered. But, Sid in Wake Up Sid is shown only as lazy and careless. He is not arrogant; in fact, he’s well-mannered and very sweet and cute!

One gets hooked to the film from the first frame. Note the scene where Sid is in the exam hall, dazed and confused, and his imagination goes wild! Ayan Mukerji’s creativity is exposed fully in that very scene! The wonderful entry of Konkona Sen Sharma and her first interaction with Ranbir takes the film to dizzying heights. The best scene of the film-Konkona’s birthday, will surely bring a smile on everyone’s faces!

The intermission point was explosive. The 2nd half tends to get a little slow but frankly speaking, one doesn’t mind as one enjoys the goings-on thoroughly. You get so involved in Sid’s gradual transformation from a good for nothing guy to a responsible youth that you care a damn about the duration! Also, Ranbir-Konkona’s relationship is very cute and will be loved by everyone! Who says Ranbir-Konkona pairing is a mismatch?

Wake Up Sid4

Most importantly, one learns a lot of lessons from the film. The best teaching from the film-let one decide which path he/she wants to choose. Everyone has different capabilities and likes. Many just hate the 9 to 5 job. In such times, one should be allowed to flourish and grow as he/she likes.

The film gets dragging in the last 15 minutes but again, one doesn’t mind as it’s very well executed. One comes out of the theatre feeling refreshed and satisfied!

The film rests on the rock-solid performance of Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma. Ranbir was outstanding in my opinion in Bachna Ae Haseeno and in Wake Up Sid, he comes up with another amazing performance. He has put a lot of effort in the film and it is evident at several points in the film. Here’s an actor who deserves to be a superstar as soon as possible! He’s expected to give equally fabulous performances in the forthcoming Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and Rajneeti! Watch out!

As expected, Konkona Sen Sharma does a splendid job. She was absolutely natural and completely in character. Also, she looked stunning throughout the film. It’s really great to see such an effortless actress being showered with awards, accolades and acclaim! She completely deserves it, after all! Keep rocking Konkona!

Surpriya Pathak was funny at times but overall impresses a lot. Anupam Kher was consistent. Namit Das and Shikha Talsania were wonderful in their respective parts. Rahul Khanna, like everytime, was charming but why did he played two similar roles in two films? In Love Aaj Kal, Deepika worked under him and she got floored by him. In Wake Up Sid, a similar situation arises between him and Konkona. Actors like Rahul Khanna deserve to get better roles! Kashmera Shah didn’t have much to do. The girl who played Tanya also was wasted. Others were good.

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music was brilliant and their every song impresses. The title song and ‘Kya Karoon’ were rocking compositions. Amit Trivedi has composed the song ‘Iktara’ which is the best song of the lot. You’ll love the song more after watching the film! Trivedi’s background score was in sync with the light mood of the film.

Anil Mehta’s cinematography was superb. Notice how the scenes turn shaky during confronting scenes! Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues were casual and something which we hear or speak in our day to day lives.

Amrita Mahal Nakai’s production designs was highly impressive. The sets were just outstanding. Konkona’s workplace was so cool and uber. Man, work would be so much fun if offices had such rocking interiors! Even Konkona’s house seemed so cute, even though it wasn’t huge. Great job by Amrita!

Special mention should be made of Karan Johar, who understood the importance of this film and decided to produce it. Really nice of him to give a chance to promising youngsters and guiding them! Great job!

Ayan Mukerji comes out as a winner! He wrote the story, screenplay and also directed the film and excelled in all three! The film is extremely simple and doesn’t turn out to be full of rona-dhona or melodramatic. Most importantly, Ayan keeps the mood of the film realistic. The characters in the film are believable and straight out of life and the situations they face seem totally real. In short, a brilliant job by Ayan, who is just 26 years old! Simply fantastic!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Sid in exam hall
2.   The song ‘Kya Karoon’, ‘Aaj Kal Zindagi’ and ‘Iktara’
3.   Sid and Aisha meeting for the 1st time
4.   Sid helping Aisha to decorate her house
5.   Sid in his dad’s office
6.   Sid with Aisha on her birthday (best scene of the film!)
7.   The intermission point
8.   Sid clicking pics of everything under the sun
9.   Sid and her mom looking at his childhood pics
10. The last 20 minutes of the film

On the whole, Wake Up Sid is simply a well-made film in all respects. It is simple, sweet and extremely relatable with great direction, extra ordinary performances and melodious music. A must for all youngsters and for all those who crave for good cinema! Go for it!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Wake_Up_Sid-176496-1.html

Wake Up Sid3

WAKE UP SID OR DO KNOT DISTURB THIS WEEKEND?

I had stated in my talk no 22 as to how youth-oriented films have a great chance of succeeding at the BO since the young constitute almost 60-70% of the moviegoing audience. Thus, there are loads of expectations from Wake Up Sid (WUS), that is all set to release tomorrow. It seems Ranbir Kapoor had made an unintentional norm to release his films on public holidays! WUS releases on Gandhi Jayanti while Ranbir’s previous films, Saawariya (2007) and Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008) were released on the day of Diwali and Independece Day respectively!

WUSA lot of ‘firsts’ are associated with WUS, produced by Karan Johar. It is the first time that a KJo produced film is shot entirely in Mumbai. All the rest of KJo films were shot abroad (except Kaal but it wasn’t filmed in the city). This is the first film of Karan Johar that would be distributed by UTV Motion Pictures and not by Yash Raj Films (had stated this point in talk no 51). The music isn’t larger than life and the film is made on a low budget, unlike other Johar’s grand films!

The promos of this film are rocking and indicate perfectly as to what the film is all about. The plus point of WUS is its plot which is very relevant and the character of Sid is extremely relatable. In short, half of the battle is won! That’s because characters where almost everyone can identify with manages to strike a chord with the audiences. Taare Zameen Par, for instance, worked big time as it wonderfully executed the separation anxiety faced by a child when separated from his parents for a brief period of time. Everyone must have faced such a situation at least once during their childhood and hence, the film was loved a lot. Similarly, WUS also has high chances of impressing the audience.
The Ranbir Kapoor-Konkona Sen Sharma pairing, though unconventional, manages to rock! In fact, both are top performers and look wonderful together. I am dying to see them as a pair as I appreciate both of them a lot! Couple of months back, somebody on a social networking website had wrongly stated that WUS is a love story of a younger handsome hunk and an older not-so-beautiful woman. Unfortunately, the rumour spread far and wide and director Ayan Mukherjee had to give his word about the rumour. He also made a clapworthy dialogue, “Who says Konkona is not beautiful?” I agree with him completely. Konkona looks stunning and has given wonderful performances, for which she has also won many awards and accolades. Mark my words-Konkona will pitch in an excellent performance in WUS!

With such a strong buzz about the film, it is definitely going to take a good opening in the metros. However, it may not find many takers in the small centres. Let’s hope WUS works, provided it’s a well-made film!

Do Knot DisturbDo Knot Disturb (DKD), on the other hand, may see a better opening than WUS. The Govinda-David Dhawan combo has worked well in the past and there are tremendous expectations from DKD. Which film are you interested in? Do let me know!
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WHY ISNT SANJAY GUPTA PROMOTING ACID FACTORY?

Marketing and publicizing a film is very important, especially in the current scenario, where so many films are releasing week after week. But still, some filmmakers don’t care and ultimately, their movie flops due to no hype. I fear that something similar can happen with Acid Factory, produced by Sanjay Gupta and directed by Suparn Verma. There has been very little promotion of the film and I can hardly see its promos on TV. With just 8 days to go for the film (its releasing next Friday, October 9), Gupta and his team should be aggressively promoting their film.

Most of the promos are just released on the net, which is not a good thing to do as majority of people have a better access to television then to the internet. The new theatrical trailer of the film is fabulous and it really looks like an excellent stylish thriller. I have uploaded the promo below-do not miss it! And let’s hope better sense prevails and that we can see and hear more of Acid Factory in the coming days!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/ddidnsrro/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk68

By Sunandan Lele (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 28, 2009)

Lata Mangeshkar, who turns 80 today, tells Subhash K Jha about her journey

•     How do you define the journey?

I feel God has sent me to earth to sing. I started singing when I was five, but I don’t think I’ve worked as hard as many other people.

•     Why do  you say you that?

After 1947 when I started playback singing, the work never stopped. Before that it wasn’t easy. I  used to travel by train from Grant Road to Malad and then  save money by walking instead of taking a tonga to the recording studios. I thereby saved 50  paise to Re 1 which I used to buy vegetables for my family. I was the sole bread-earner after our father passed away.

•     That must have been really tough on an adolescent girl.

I missed out on my childhood. I had to work hard, but I was immediately given a place in playback. One of the earliest composers to support me was Master Ghulam Haider. When he was told that my voice wouldn’t suit the heroine in a Dilip Kumar saab starrer Shaheed, he gave me songs in Majboor. Then other composers like Anil Biswasji, Khemchand Prakashji and Naushad saab came forward to sign me. From 1947 onwards there was no looking back.

•     There has never been a rough patch in your 65-year-long career?

I’m blessed. Nowadays I’ve almost stopped singing film songs but I enjoy singing and I continue to do the work I’m comfortable with like the recent Hamuman Chalisa and my forthcoming project with my brother. When I look back I see nothing I’d like to change.

•     What about your infamous rift with Mohd Rafi?

I’ll tell you what happened. We had a Musicians’ Association in the 1960s . Mukesh bhaiyya, Talat Mehmood saab had started a  campaign for artistes to get royalty so that they would have a comfortable old age. Main to leti thi royalty but I also wanted other artistes to get it. Rafi saab was instigated into opposing my  campaign. In a meeting among musicians he  said, ‘We get money for what we sing from producers and that’s the end of what we get.’ When he was asked his opinion Rafi saab turned to Mukesh bhaiyya and said, ‘I guess this  Maharani here will say whatever has to be said.’

•     He meant you?

Yes. I said, ‘Of course I am a Maharani. But  why are you calling me that?’ He said in front of everyone at the meeting that he won’t sing with me. I turned around and said, ‘Yeh kasht aap kyon kar rahe hain? Main hi nahin gaaongi aapke saath.’ I stormed  out of the meeting and  called  up every music director to inform them that I would thereafter not sing with Rafi saab. We didn’t sing together for almost three years.

•     What about the alleged differences between you and your sister Asha Bhosle?

We’re sisters. The fights were because of her husband who was against me.

•     Composers gave all the heroines’ songs to you and all the supporting actresses’ songs to Ashaji…

Not always. What about so many films where only Asha sang all the songs?  In fact OP Nayyarji worked only with her.  Even some of Burman dada’s scores had only Asha’s vocals.

•     That’s because you and SD Burman had a fight.

I didn’t sing for him for 14 years. Someone had caused mischief. Burman dada said, “I won’t have Lata sing my songs.’ I said, ‘I won’t  sing for you.’ Asha sang all the songs for Burman dada during that period, even for Waheeda Rehman who insisted on me singing for her. Then one day out of the blue, Burman dada phoned me and said he wanted me to sing Mora gora rang lai le and Jogi jab se aaya tu aaya mere dware in Bandini. It was his son RD who  brought us together. I remember Burman dada   specifically told me that Mora gora rang was written by a promising new poet, Gulzar.

•     Who was your favourite composer?

I liked singing for Salilda (Salil Chowdhury) because his compositions were very challenging. I also loved singing for Sajjad Husain saab, then definitely SD Burman dada and  RD. But  in my opinion the biggest achievement was by Shankar-Jaikishan. With Raj  Kapoor’s Barsaat they changed the way we looked at playback singing.

•     At one time you were accused of indulging in a melodious monopoly?

Once I was even asked if I tampered with the equipment during other singers’ recordings. Bataiye main kyon aisa karun? I never bothered with what other singers were doing. When Runa Laila came to India for the first time, I went to her first recording and everybody said I was just indulging in dikhawa, that in fact I had gone to see how she sang. Runa Laila met me with lots of affection. Later she too was poisoned against me. Even some male singers accused me of trying to stop them from singing.

•     Which heroines did you enjoy singing for?

Nargis, Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Nutan. I’d modulate my voice according to their personality.

•     Among today’s actresses for whom do you enjoy singing for?

I like Rani Mukerji and Kajol but I miss the camaraderie that I shared with the earlier heroines. I miss that mahaul. I really miss Kishore Kumar, also Rafi saab, Mukesh bhaiyya, Shankar-Jaikishan and Madan bhaiyya who fought with me when I couldn’t be with him  for raksha bandhan. That sense of apnapan is gone.

•     Any unfulfilled dreams?

I wish I had  given more  time to learning classical singing. Lekin jo hua woh bahut hi achcha hua. What I want is that future generations of Mangeshkars keep my father’s legacy alive. My niece Radha and nephew Baijanth are singing well. I wish they make a name for themselves.

•     Do you miss having your own children?

Not at all. My siblings’ children are mine.

Sunil Gavaskar on Lata Mangeshkar

Sunil Gavaskar says, “All of us know that Lata didi is a cricket fan. In the same way cricketers adore Lata Mangeshkar. That is why when a major cricket tournament is happening here in South Africa I would like to wish her happy birthday. I have had many opportunities to meet her. I admire her so much that once I told her, ‘Lata didi, we as a batsman go through a bad patch. We get out on zero too. But in your case you are so perfect that you always score a century and double century in each and every song. You never face a bad patch like us. That is why we respect you so much’. And she was embarrassed to hear that.”

Sunil relates another anecdote. “In 1982, at the end of our Pakistan tour, our team manager Maharaja Fateh Singh Gaekwad decided to organise a thanksgiving party in Lahore. Maharaj and yours truly were there at the gate to welcome guests and dignitaries. When Lataji walked in, Maharaj introduced me to Lataji by saying, “Aayiye… aayiye inko to aap jante hoge, ye hamare kaptan saab hai…’ To that Lataji replied in jest, ‘Nahi jee hum to sirf Imran Khan aur Zaheer Abbas ko jante hai…’ Then I was formally introduced to Lataji as the Indian team captain.

Then Maharaj turned to me and said, ‘I hope there is no need to introduce Malika-e-Tarannum Noorjahan to you’, that’s when I immediately retorted, ‘Nahi jee… hum to sirf Lata Mangeshkar ko jante hai’,” recalls Sunil with a chuckle.