Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘coffee

The dusky actor has made Mumbai her home – and Subodh Maskara her husband

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


There aren’t very many Delhi-based Bollywood actors, but Nandita Das certainly figured high on the list. Even Aamir Khan – her co-star in 1947 Earth – had tried to convince her to move from Delhi to Mumbai to pursue her acting career, but she held strong. Now, Nandita has finally made Mumbai her home, post her recent marriage to environment entrepreneur Subodh Maskara.

Confirming the news, she sighs, “What I resisted doing for 13 long years has finally been done. I couldn’t imagine shifting to Mumbai for my career, but love did it.”

Nandita Das and Subodh Maskara

Subodh was introduced to Nandita by her friend Shahana Goswami (whom she directed last year in Firaq) and her boyfriend Milind Soman. “Milind and Shahana kept urging me to meet Subodh. But I’m the last person to believe in blind dates. But look at destiny, now I completely believe in instant love. When I was hesitant about meeting him, Subodh sent me a lovely e-mail. And I said, ‘Why not? Just have coffee with him?’ So we met. And immediately I knew this was it. Within five months of meeting him, I knew I wanted to marry him. We became soul mates seamlessly,” she recalls.

Nandita and Subodh got married according to Ashram Vidhi rites on January 2 at Subodh’s residence in Worli, which is now their marital home. “Only our parents – his parents and brother, my parents and my brother were there for the marriage. And of course, Shahana and Milind, who brought us together. We couldn’t possibly get married without them,” adds Nandita.

Meanwhile, friends like Paresh Rawal have been urging Nandita to direct another film. However, at the moment, she is content playing Mrs Nandita Maskara at her new home in Mumbai. So does she cook for her husband? Nandita gasps, “That would really be going too far, even further than my move from Delhi to Mumbai.”

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In the process of eliminating handful of terrorists, we end up creating many more-this best describes the policies of Western developed powers who are hell bent on making the world more democratic but adopt inhuman ways to achieve the end point. Kurbaan throws light on this sensitive topic and thankfully treats it well. The flick throws a spate of questions and forces you to think, discuss and debate. But it doesn’t get preachy and hence it’s not like one of the several films on terrorism that are made for a niche audience. The film is thrilling, has some wonderful twist-n-turns and includes some moments of love and passion too. All this make Kurbaan one of the finest films of the year-one that can’t be missed!

The story of the movie: Ehsaan Khan (Saif Ali Khan) takes the job of a teacher in a university in Delhi where he comes across a psychology teacher, Avantika (Kareena Kapoor). He instantly falls in love and she also ends up liking him. But unfortunately, she’s called back to New York where she originally belongs. Realizing that it would be wrong to have a long-distance relationship, Ehsaan also moves to NYC with Avantika. But before that, they marry. After moving to New York, they buy a new house in a neighborhood full of Asians, conservative Muslims to be precise. The neighbours invite Ehsaan and Avantika for dinner so that they can get familiar with each other. Soon, Avantika realizes that things are not fine in the neighbourhood as they seem and finally, realization dawns upon her-she has been as used as a pawn in a dangerous game.

The beginning 20-25 minutes focuses on Saif-Kareena’s courtship and may not impress. It was the weakest part of the film and wasn’t treated well. But thinks take a good turn with the song Shukran Allah and when the couple shifts to New York. The film engrosses from the scene where the neighbours invite them for dinner. From this sequence, the film turns into a roller coaster ride with lots of unpredictable turns. The entry of Riyaaz (Vivek Oberoi) in the narrative adds to the icing on the cake.

The intermission point was brilliant and fortunately, unlike other films, Kurbaan doesn’t fall or gets slow in the post-interval portions. In fact, the 2nd half also keeps you hooked onto your seat. A number of sequences are memorable in this hour. Kirron Kher sharing the tragic story astonishes you and Kher’s mind blowing performance only enhances the impact. Same goes for the scene where Saif is nursing the wound with little help from Kareena after getting hit by a bullet. The way the blood tickles down and the way Saif screams-man, it gives goosebumps!

The last 30 minutes of the film is undoubtedly the best portion of the film. The tension that is created in the climax and the engrossing and captivating direction is truly appreciable. The film ends on an acceptable note.

Regarding the flaws, as mentioned before, the first 20 mins doesn’t work. Also, the film is full of violent and gory scenes which might not be liked by some sections. And the editing wasn’t upto the mark. More about it later!

Kurbaan is a rare film where the cast and most of the crew have worked exceptionally well in all respects. Saif Ali Khan was outstanding in his role. He looked dapper in his new look and performance wise, doesn’t provide even a miniscule chance of complain! Thus, Kurbaan can safely be added to the list of ‘finest performances of Saif’. This year has been particularly lucky for Saif with his home production Love Aaj Kal being a super hit and now even Kurbaan has been appreciated. His next Agent Vinod with Kareena is also expected to rock! Way to go Saif!

Kareena Kapoor has exposed as minimal as possible and still managed to look stunning. She’s always been delivering fine performances and in Kurbaan too, she does a perfect job. Watch out for the scenes where she discovers that she has been used and in the climax. She proves once again as to why she’s one of the top actresses today! Great going!

Vivek Oberoi steals the show with his wonderful act. In fact, his acts impact more than Saif-Kareena at several points in the film. Audiences as well filmmakers would surely sit up and take notice of this highly talented actor who was neglected in the past due to many reasons. He is expected to shine in his next films, Prince and Rakta Charitra too!

Kirron Kher, like Vivek, leaves a mark in several scenes. For a change, it was good to see her in a different kind of role than her usual stereotypical ones. Om Puri performs with ease. Dia Mirza looked charming and impresses with her special appearance. Nauheed Cyrusi does a fabulous job. Asheesh Kapur, who plays her husband, was great. Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Aakash Khurana and others were good.

Salim-Sulaiman’s music was haunting and songs suited the film well. Shukran Allah, Ali Maula and Kurbaan Hua are the three best songs. Ali Maula leaves a mark. The duo’s background score was electrifying and they may bag the Best Background Score award this year.

Anurag Kashyap and Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues were sharp and top notch. Best dialogue of the film was, “Ek minute ke liye bhi ye mat sochna ki ye allah ka kaam hai!Parvez Feroze’ gory action enhanced the reality of the film. Asif Ali Shaikh’s editing wasn’t upto the mark. One can notice that desperate attempts were made to haphazardly cut down mini portions of scenes to reduce the duration of the film as much as possible. Not good!

Rensil D’Silva, the screenwriter-director scores in his dream debut. Although the direction wasn’t perfect, the film managed to make an impact and give out a strong message. The screenplay was undoubtedly intriguing.

And finally, kudos to Karan Johar for writing the film and also for producing such a hard hitting flick. KJo was criticized for making lovey-dovey films only. But with his last two films and Kurbaan, he has proved that he’s here not only to rake in moolah but also to provide fresh and interesting flicks! Hats off!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       The songs Shukran Allah and Ali Maula
2.       Ehsaan and Avantika at the dinner in the neighbour’s house
3.       Avantika meets Dia
4.       The plane bombing sequence
5.       The intermission point
6.       Riyaaz at the Saif’s lecture
7.       Riyaaz’ quick conversation with Avantika at the mall
8.       The scene at the sandwich parlour
9.       The coffee scene
10.     The climax

On the whole, Kurbaan is an engaging and thrilling film that impresses and engrosses thoroughly! Go for it and have 160 minutes of captivating and thrilling time!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Kurbaan-180014-1.html


SPEAKING UP: Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor with Karan Johar

TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; November 13, 2009)


Karan Johar is back to doing what he’s best at! Grilling stars over coffee. And guess who he’s got in on the barbequecouch in front of him? India’s hottest pairings, Saif and Kareena. The king of coffeeconversation had the real-life jodi squirming in a special tête-à-tête for ZOOM. And from coffee to conversational chemistry, KJo rocked it along with Saifeena for this exclusive Date With Kurbaan, Excerpts from the conversation:


KARAN: Everyone is talking about your steamy scenes in Kurbaan. Would you guys have been able to do it with any other actor?

KAREENA: I’m a professional but since I have seen the scenes, I realise it may not quite have turned out this way with anyone else.

Saif: I would’ve done it, but then there would have to be more accountability and I would’ve had to explain to myself that this was a part of my job. Since it was Bebo, there was no accountability and it was done more intimately and with abandon.


KARAN: Does your past come up between you two?

SAIF: It can and it should come up. I think the most important thing to remember is every part of your past has brought you to your present. Instead of worrying about it, you should thank it for bringing you to where you are.

KAREENA: I felt the need to know everything about Saif first, considering the Casanova he was! I was petrified that I was getting into a relationship with him… but today, I can say, he’s a changed man.


KARAN: What about marriage?

SAIF: Some days she asks me, “Are you going to do that ever?” And I say “In time”. Marriage does impact an Indian acting woman’s career. Kareena has always worked; and very few want a focussed career as badly as she does. Sachin Tendulkar wanted to play cricket as badly as Kareena wants a career, that’s a fact! Emotionally we’re growing and we’re in love. Marriage is not a way to tie somebody down.

BAAP RE BAAP: Amartya Sen and daughter Nandana

Nobel Laureate Prof. Amartya Sen discusses cinema exclusively for BT with actress daughter Nandana Sen in Mumbai

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 25, 2009)


It’s funny, with a daughter like the lovely international actress Nandana Sen, you would have thought Nobel Prize economist Prof. Amartya Sen would be well informed about cinema. But he’s not. He knows just about five people connected with filmmaking. And these he counted for me with much difficulty and some prompting from Nandana. “I knew Satyajit Ray extremely well,” he began, “he and I studied at Santiniketan. I had huge admiration for him. And I know Mira Nair, Shyam Benegal, and, and… what’s his name, Mrinal Sen! I do know Nandita Das and like her films, also. And I met… what’s the name of the guy who acted with you in Rang Rasiya… I shook his hand? Randeep Hooda? Yes, I met him. I also met Amitabh Bachchan, whom I don’t know, and Shabana Azmi, who’s an old friend. I used to like her father’s poetry and now, I like her husband’s. And Salman Khan…”


He was in Mumbai to deliver a keynote lecture for the Indian Philosophy Congress yesterday and I was meeting the distinguished father and sexy daughter at his suite in the Taj. I was drinking coffee. The professor ordered a pot of Darjeeling tea. When it came, he was appalled. “This tea is too strong for Darjeeling,” he grumbled, “it’s got the strength of Assam.” Then to
Nandana, who was busy eating pistachios noisily, he said, “Chuck it in the sink!” He is unintentionally humorous, he speaks in a deep, rumbling voice, and he chooses his words carefully — as if aware that when Prof. Amartya Sen speaks, people hang onto his words even if he isn’t talking welfare economics. That’s his hobby horse. And he travels around the world at 76 on his Nobel Prize ticket, astonishing scientists and academicians with his philosophy on poverty, gender inequality and political liberalism. But I had got him onto cinema. And Prof. Sen was struggling.


“You’re wasting your time, I’m not knowledgeable about
films,” he said trying to discourage me. “You asking me who I like is like asking me a cooking recipe. I’m happy to tell you. But my recipe won’t alleviate the culinary world much!” Nandana, fortunately, was not having any of it. “Baba, you like Sharmila Tagore, isn’t she one of your favourites,” she chided him. “Yes,” Prof. Sen admitted. “And Katherine Hepburn… what a fantastic actress, so sharp and intelligent.” Then he surprised me by saying, “Jane Fonda, I know. I’ve had a couple of dinners with her. Her husband, Ted Turner, started the UN Foundation and was a trustee. So is my wife, Emma Rothschild. And the dinners where spouses gather, are quite impressive. There’s also Nelson Mandela.” But to come back to cinema, he doesn’t see too many films, though he thinks he’s seen all of Nandana’s. Rang Rasiya, in which she plays Raja Ravi Varma’s muse and appears topless in one breathtaking scene, Prof. Amartya saw at the London Film Festival and actually liked. “It’s not been released and nobody seems to know why,” he said querulously. “Has it been made for the archives? It would have been a great success in Europe and the US after receiving favourable notice in London.”


He hardly visits Mumbai. His work brings him to Delhi. And his
heart takes him to Kolkata. Now Prof. Amartya Sen looked out of the window at the Gateway and said, “I’ve not been here since the November disaster, but I have various memories here. The best one is of defeating the Australian cricket team! I was in the health club, exercising on the bike and watching a news channel, when they came in. They wanted the bike and to change the channel. I objected. They were a little assertive and gave me the democratic argument that there were more of them. But I was here first, I told them. Then their captain, Steve Waugh, came. He conceded that I had a point. I thought, no matter how poorly India did in cricket against Australia, I had done reasonably well!”

Playboy Vivek Oberoi finds love on the sets of Prince. It’s his co-star Neeru Bajwa

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 14, 2009)

Vivek Oberoi, who has been single after his relationship with Aishwarya Rai ended on a bitter note in mid-2005, is fast gaining the reputation of being an incorrigible flirt. The single and ready to mingle Vivek has found a new agony aunt and is taking her advice seriously. Apparently, Kareena Kapoor had advised him to get a steady partner (on the sets of Karan Johar’s Kurbaan), and it’s hard for Vivek to ignore such wise counsel.

After his reported link-ups with Vidya Balan, Minissha Lamba and Sonam Kapoor in the recent past, the latest on his list is the pretty TV actress Neeru Bajwa, who is his co-star in Kumar Taurani’s forthcoming film Prince — It’s Showtime. And this bonding was not restricted to just lunch, coffee and dinner.

Our source revealed, “Thankfully, Vivek and Kookie did not fight over Neeru, or it might have disrupted the shoot. Soon, Neeru’s ‘friendship’ with Vivek and Kookie became the hot topic of conversation on the set.”

Naturally, Neeru stood to benefit from her ‘dosti’ with Vivek and Kookie — and she did. “Originally, she was supposed to do a very small role. But soon, her role increased and kept increasing with each passing day. First, Kookie added a song which was picturised on her, subsequently he added a few extra scenes which featured her,” our source revealed.

After Neeru made an impression in a few Punjabi movies, she starred in Shrishti Arya’s TV show Guns and Roses, shook a leg in Nach Baliye 2 with her live-in boyfriend Amit Sadh (Fear Factor, Bigg Boss 1). There were rumours that she and Amit had tied the knot. Thereafter, she virtually disappeared.

She made a public appearance only at director Arif Sheikh’s wedding on January 26 this year, where she hung around with Vivek Oberoi who also attended the wedding. Then she was seen at Kumar Taurani’s 50th birthday party on July 11, where Vivek was again present.

When we called Neeru, she laughed and said, “I hope Vivek is still enamoured by my beauty. He is a great co-star. I don’t know if there was any attraction, but I was very nervous because I was doing my first Hindi film. Vivek, Kookie and I are good friends, we hung out and got along awesomely.”

Neetu admitted that she and Amit are not a couple anymore. “Amit and I parted ways long ago. We hadn’t married,” she said.

As for her role being increased in Prince, Neeru said, “Hmm… not really. Yes, I have a big role. There was a little mystery about a song as to who will do it. Eventually, I did it.”

Kookie Gulati, who was an associate director for Ken Ghosh’s Ishq Vishk and Fida, did not deny that he and Neeru hang out together. He added, “Neeru and I are good friends. That’s it. Nothing more. I have not increased her role. The film is still being edited by a very professional editor in France. And I have no clue if she was close to Vivek. That’s between them.”

COFFEE & CONVERSATION: Anil Kapoor. For more pictures of the actor, visit http://photogallery.indiatimes.com

Anil Kapoor, one of the best-known Indian faces on the planet, talks to BT about work in LA

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; July 28, 2009)

I don’t know how Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar are going to like this, but Hollywood seems to think that Slumdog Millionaire’s question master Anil Kapoor has become one of the best-known Indian faces on the planet. Anil himself is modest about the recognition. “Obviously, Slumdog changed my life,” he admitted, “but then it changed the lives of everybody connected with the film, including Danny Boyle.” This new global positioning has plucked him out of Bollywood and stationed him in LA, where his talents are being put to use on the Emmy and Golden Globes-winning American TV series 24. “It is an espionage and political thriller,” he explained, “it catches the highest eyeballs in the world. What Friends is for comedy, 24 is for drama and action.” He plays a Middle East President who is in the US for a peace treaty in the UN with the American President. “I won’t mention which Middle East nation,” Anil said apologetically, “but the series is contemporary and about what’s happening in the world… you will know.” This is the eighth season of the show, and perhaps its last, with our Anil having canned six episodes already. He’s about to start the seventh and eight, but the launch of his film Ayesha, which he is producing for daughter Sonam, brought him back to Mumbai for two days. I caught up with the old Bollywood war horse over breakfast on one morning.

He sprinted up two flights of stairs like a spirited young colt to scrambled eggs and multi-grain toast, yelling at me over his shoulder, “When your hands are full, you don’t need to work on fitness.” Then, over coffee, he talked about the Hollywood press’ glowing reports on his success. “This is… what… I… the whole thing is like getting an opportunity to learn so much… I feel like a newcomer, like I’m just
beginning. My daughter said, ‘You have a family, you have money, you have fame and the back-up of work at home, and here’s the opportunity to be there, to work with big players on a global stage. What more could anybody want?’ It is true. I was also offered a few studio roles in Hollywood. But I said no. I don’t need the money and I have enough work at home. My hands are full.” That is also true. He is launching Ayesha on August 2, and he’s already got No Problem, another film he is producing, happening in South Africa since July 11. As for being among the best-known Indian faces on the planet, Anil muttered uncomfortably, “I’m humbled by it. But better I be modest, down to earth and rooted, let my work speak… yet, in my own small way I feel I was a stepping stone, I’m convinced there will be another Slumdog, and there will be many Indians actors who will be ten times bigger than me… but I feel proud, I’m one of the first mainstream actors to do a film like this out of the box.”

He’s busy juggling two careers now (“let’s see where it takes me”), last week he travelled three continents, from LA to Durban and then Mumbai, taking advantage of one night in transit to meet film
makers in London for future international projects. “I love my work passionately,” Anil said. “Saturdays and Sundays in LA, I get restless, because everything shuts down. I just learned what a weekend is. In Bollywood, we work 24/7. There it’s bad manners to call up anyone for work on the weekend. Duniya ulti-seedhi ho jaye, but they remain shut. So I go hiking!” But his heart is still in India. “I’m doing a film for Anees Bamzee, there’s Ayesha, No Problem,
and if there’s something else that’s exciting, I’ll do it here,” he said, undeterred by the failure of his recent film Short Kut at the box office. “I’m ready to fail, I love it when people make fun of me, it makes me feel superior,” he said. “It means I’m up there. I get upset if people ignore me.” People, meanwhile, were not ignoring him at our breakfast table. They were looking at him curiously from afar, giving him space. Anil Kapoor, despite the burnished copper hair, spectacles, and tracksuit, still looks and behaves like a film star. “Being recognised anywhere in the world, that’s the most exciting part,” he told me. “Earlier, when I travelled, it was only the Air-India crew that knew me. Now on any airline, even in China, they come for autographs and pictures. I like that!”
Actors today are not only conscious of their own health but also of the journalists who they interact with
By Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 13, 2009)

Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor

In a long career as a film scribe one has eaten one too many meals with the stars.

Yesteryear actors took feeding the film scribe part a tad too seriously and many of them often believed that the way to a journalist’s article was through the meal they served.

Now it’s a different ball game. If you visit Kareena Kapoor, of the size-zero craze for an interview, she will feed you slimming cheese and cappuccino with a sugar free supplement.

Her closest contender Katrina Kaif offers you just green tea at her home. Katrina, who can go without a meal for six to eight hours, is fitness conscious and wants her guests to be the same.

Ajay Devgan smirks if he spots you with a packet of potato chips and will insist you have a baked continental dish with him.

Imran Khan is happy to give you water because that is his poison.

Deepika Padukone loves her rasam-rice but doesn’t insist that the interviewer warm up to it. “You can have coffee and cookies,” she says with a warm smile.

Asin will offer you walnuts, cashews, chocolates, lime water and if you beg to differ, her maid will give you amazing South Indian coffee.

Akshay Kumar, who eats lunch at 12 noon (come hell or high water) welcomes you to join him for palak paneer, an oil-free sabzi and rotis. No parathas for this Punjab ka munda and likewise for the journalists interviewing him.

At Aamir’s home, if you are a solo guest the sandwiches come from his kitchen and if there is an unusually large contingent then the sandwiches come from outside.

Katrina Kaif

Deepika Padukone

Ekta and Shobha Kapoor insist on offering scribes low cal brown bread sandwiches with salmon/tomato, but if you have a sweet tooth they’re okay with offering you a brownie. Jeetendra insists you only eat a fruit platter because he does just that.

Shahid Kapoor will order you the best Chinese meal from either of his two favourite suburban restaurants… and will even supervise whether you’re eating well.

And, of course, Priyanka Chopra, who is currently on a mom-supervised-home-cooked-meal trip, takes the bakery. She insists journalists eat everything from paneer/naan/fish curry rice to curd rice because she has a healthy appetite. And she gets self-conscious eating alone.


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