Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘comedy

FINGERS CROSSED: A R Rehman
A R Rahman has got two nominations for Slumdog Millionaire

SUBHASH K JHA Times News Newtwork (BOMBAY TIMES; January 2, 2010)

A R Rahman, the most talked about Indian of last year, is counting down to the 52nd Grammy Awards. They’re being held on January 31, at LA, and the Oscar-winning music composer has won two nominations for his soundtrack from Slumdog Millionaire. The song Jai Ho – which fetched Rahman two Academy awards and a Golden Globe – has been nominated for ‘Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media’ and also for ‘Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media’. Rahman, naturally, is pleased. While he’s aware the Oscar Awards for Slumdog Millionaire required a whole lot of lobbying, the Grammy needs no such push. “All I’ve to do is wait and watch what happens. The Grammy is as exciting as the Oscar. It’s the ultimate music award, isn’t it? Although it’s a nomination for a film song, the Grammy is still another shot in the arm for Jai Ho. Any recognition is welcome. Jai Ho is an important song.” Not strangely, he feels a huge sense of responsibility. “I hope I never let down my country, my people, my music, my family and myself,” said the music genius who has just returned home after being in his “other base” — Los Angeles.

Rahman, meanwhile, is unhappy with the outcome of his first Hollywood soundtrack. “The music of Couples Retreat got a good response. But I feel my music was not used properly. It was a comedy. I guess you can’t expect music to have much of a place in a comedy. They were more into laughter than music,” he complained, adding, “The music has all been used. But not the way my fans would expect. I was prepared for the outcome when I entered this project.” So he’s not really disappointed by his first foray into Hollywood. “If I had waited for the perfect Hollywood vehicle, I might have had to wait endlessly. It’s not easy for an Asian to enter into Hollywood camps. It’s a new beginning for me. I got great reviews.”

He’s got a lot of offers but also has a tough schedule this year to be able to give any more time to new commitments. And, contrary to rumours, acting is not one of Rahman’s forthcoming commitments. “That’s completely false news,” he said shocked. “I am not going into acting. I’m going to be speaking in a documentary on my friend, the musician P. J. Mortan. We’ve known each other for some time. He collaborated with me for a track in Couples Retreat. That’s it. It’s not a feature film. I’ve no aspirations to go into acting. God has given me one skill and I’m very happy with it.”
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BIRTHDAY CHEERS: Remo, Jackky and Vashu Bhagnani
The 25-year-old gets his second big break

TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; December 26, 2009)

Yesterday was Jackky Bhagnani’s 25th birthday. And, to mark the momentous occasion, his filmmaker father Vashu Bhagnani doubled up as Santa Claus and gave him his second film. Tentatively called Production No 21, the film to be directed choreographer Remo D’Souza has elements of comedy, drama, action, youth and exuberance. And Jackky is in an upbeat mood. Candidly he admits that his debut flick Kal Kissne Dekha was a dud. “However, I’m happy that my work in the film was appreciated,’’ says the youngster.

This time over, his father waited for the right moment to make an announcement. “Dad just felt it would be appropriate to announce my second film on my birthday,’’ says Jackky. He explains that Remo and he had actually zeroed down on this project even as KKD was being made. Jackky truly believes that one must let leave past mistakes behind and move on. “Today I know more about acting that I did when I made by debut,’’ he says. “I’m sure my second film will be a more fulfilling experience in that sense.’’

Remo, who is Jackky’s friend, steps in to add, “I had this subject worked out and when Vashuji heard it, he immediately volunteered to make this film under his banner.’’ Remo feels he is fortunate that a producer of Vashu’s stature agreed to fund his film. “Now my film will be mounted on the scale that I originally visualised it as,’’ he says.

He has also directed a film in Bengali and he is happy that his Bollywood debut has Jackky in it. He feels the boy has the ‘fire’ in him and given the right platform he will deliver. Both the actor and the director are now on a hunt for a female lead, and the appropriate title for this film that will be shot in quick, continuous schedules starting January. This could well be Jackky’s coming of age moment.
After the success of Paa, the Bachchans are planning a film featuring Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 23, 2009)


Producer-cum-actor Abhishek Bachchan says the experience of producing Paa has made him grow up. He says, “High time it did so. People keep asking me what we are producing next. At the moment I don’t want to leave Paa behind. I’m completely engrossed with Paa and how to take it forward, including the DVD release.”

Abhishek says Paa had recovered its costs only two days after its release but he chooses to be cautious in his exuberance. He says, “My very dear friend Aditya Chopra told me, ‘It’s very rare when the audience decides to love you and when they do you must be very thankful for that. I feel no sense of vindication. I didn’t make Paa to prove any point to everyone. I just wanted to make an A-grade product with a cast to match within a given reasonable budget and without compromise.”

Now there are plans to make a film with the Bachchan parivaar — Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan together, to be produced by AB Corp Ltd. Confirming the news, Abhishek says, “Most definitely, we are coming together. All four of us are completely for it. We need to sort out certain variables. The scripts that we had been given didn’t justify our collective presence.”

Apparently one or other Bachchan has not liked the scripts offered so far. “Each individual of the family has to be willing to be part of the film. All four of us are unique actors. It’s very difficult for any script to please collectively.”

Meanwhile, Abhishek is planning to produce a film that will cast Amitabh and Abhishek together again after Paa. He says, “Everyone wants to know what’s next with the two of us? I think a comedy is ideal. So that’s what we would do together.”

The year 2009 has been eventful for Abhishek as he worked in his most challenging role to date, for Mani Ratnam’s Raavana. Talking about his experience, Abhishek says, “It has been a gruelling year, but no complaints. Most of the year was taken up by Raavana. Unfortunately, at the start of the year, Mani fell ill after the first schedule. We had to push the second schedule ahead by a few months to give him the time to recover. In the interim, I finished Paa… Raavana has been the most challenging experience of my life, both physically and emotionally. It has sapped me every which way. I was really anxious about Raavana. Mani, Aishwarya and I had to go beyond Guru, which is one of my favourite films. I knew Raavana could do it. It is now going to be released in summer. Mani has completed the editing. We will start dubbing soon.”

Abhishek looks back on the year with much gratitude. “It has been a fantastic 2009. I started with Delhi 6 and ended with Paa. I have no reason to complain. I continue to get the opportunity to work with fantastic directors. I love working with new directors. I like to challenge myself as an actor. It would be terribly boring to be doing the same roles again. Now I am raring to take on the challenges in 2010.”

He has almost wrapped up Ashutosh Gowariker’s Khelenge Hum Jee Jaan Se. Commenting on his busy schedule for the forthcoming year, he says, “I am almost done. We shot it in Goa at a stretch. I start 2010 with a film produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, but it’s not called Crooked. It has no title. After that I go into Rohan Sippy’s film, then Dostana 2, followed by Abbas-Mastan’s film, which is the official remake of The Italian Job. Finally, at the end of 2010, I’ll go into Neeraj Pandey Special Chabbis. I saw Neeraj’s A Wednesday and loved it. He’s a very no-nonsense director. He doesn’t believe in frills. What he has written for me is very exciting. Is that a lot? No I have always had 4-5 releases per year. All my years have been packed. Only Raavana required more time because of Mani’s illness.”

Abhishek admits he’s worried by his father’s workload. He says, “Any son would be worried. I am no different. Having said that, as his fan and co-actor, I am glad I get to see him quite often in movies. But at the same time I think he’s just starting. After doing five films with him, I can say with some authority that what we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg.”

By TUSHAR JOSHI (Mid-Day; December 18, 2009)

Koena Mitra was in for a rude shock when someone informed her she was attending an event in Pune on December 19. The actress was puzzled to find her name prominently featured in a Pune newspaper announcing her presence at an event called Toss.

Not approached or in talks
A friend close to the actress says, “Koena was shocked to see an ad in the Pune newspaper and also on some websites announcing her presence at an event named Toss. She was neither approached, nor was in talks with anyone for such a show. After making a few phone calls, it was evident that a local person named Priya Kakre had used her name to make easy money.”

A thousand victims already
The actress found out that the organiser already sold around 1000 passes costing 500 bucks each.  “By using her name, the organisers fooled people into believing that she was performing at the show. They made a quick buck on her name. When we tried to get in touch with Priya she kept giving weird excuses saying she was conned into this by someone else.”

Strong reactions
Reacting to the incident Koena says, “I am shocked and surprised how people can even think about even making a quick buck like this. Cheating people out of their hard earned money is disgusting. I urge people to be wary of such con artists during this festive season.”

The ad, which Koena Mitra insists is for a fake event, featured in a Pune newspaper

Tanushree Dutta’s name is also featured in the ad. She reacts, “I am not a part of this event, neither was I approached for it. This definitely sounds like a scam or an easy way to fool people and make money. I think its sad that someone’s name is used to get publicity and con people who will look forward to watch you perform.”

Sayali Bhagat’s name features in the ad as well. When asked for her reaction, she says, “This is a scam. I heard about it from someone and was shocked that my name is mentioned in the ad. I have been shooting a film for the last three months and no-one else has my dates. Also, if it is an event, I should have been paid and I haven’t been paid.”

BIRTHDAY BOY: BT caught Dharmendra in a relaxed mood at home
Dharmendra on his 75th birthday and start of a new innings in Bollywood

ROSHNI K OLIVERA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 8, 2009)

Yoga, 30 minutes of cycling, and some free form exercises… that’s how Bollywood’s original he-man and endearing actor Dharmendra will start his day today. It’s not just another day. It’s Garam Dharam’s 75th birthday, and while his family and well-wishers are excited, for the man himself it’s only another “beautiful day” that he might spend at his farmhouse in Lonavala.

Life, as a whole, is a celebration for Dharmendra. ‘Be happy and spread cheer all around you’ has always been his mantra. “I am a very emotional person. I love people. I want to see genuine warmth in human beings where there is no artificiality, only true care and concern. There should be harmony all around,” is his birthday wish.

Talking about celebrations, he says it’s a personal choice not to celebrate his birthday. “I stopped doing so after my mother passed away in 1985. She used to be very excited about my birthday… bahut chahel pahel machati thi,” he fondly recounts. But, wishes from across the globe are going to pour in today, as they have over the years. He’s just received a beautiful t-shirt from a girl in New Zealand and a call from a group of 80 boys from Gwalior, who will be donating blood in his name today. Overwhelmed by the affection, Dharmendra says, “It’s this love from my well-wishers that keeps me going. In fact, recently after I appeared on Dus Ka Dum, I received so many letters from people asking me to do more films and make more appearances on TV.” Audiences’ response to Apne, Johnny Gaddar and Life in a Metro has given him tremendous motivation and he’s all set, looking forward to his next innings. “I want to do more films and do good films. I like to see myself on posters. Who doesn’t?” he smiles. A career spanning 50 years in Bollywood (this is his 50th year) and with a number of hit films to his credit, Dharmendra’s seen it all. He’s played the diehard romantic, action hero, and also done comedy. But ask him about his favourite genre and he says he loves every form of acting. He was born to be an actor and will continue to pursue his passion with as much gusto.

On his birthday, as he goes into flashback mode, when he first came to this city of dreams, when he signed his first film and faced the camera for the first time, one can see the same excitement and charm that he may have exuded then. Nothing’s changed… he’s as fit and handsome, his face radiating the same exhilaration even today when it’s ‘lights, camera, action’ time.

RARING TO GO: Pratik

Smita Patil’s son Pratik, who turns 23 today, opens his heart to BT

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 28, 2009)

Pratik who shot to fame with Aamir Khan’s Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na last year, has been signed by filmmakers Sanjay Leela Bhansali for a comedy and Rohan Sippy for a thriller respectively. Clearly Raj Babbar and Smita Patil’s son is now in the A-league. For the boy who is described “as a natural born actor” by Rohan, there was a sense of deja vu when he signed on the Sippys’s film. “It was only after I met Ramesh Sippy (Rohan’s dad) did I know that he had directed my mother and Amitabh Bachchan in Shakti. I just watched Shakti and I must say, not only was it a brilliant film, the chemistry between Mom and Mr Bachchan was amazing.” While Rohan adds that his coming together with Pratik is a small moment in film history because as Gen-Now both he and Pratik have the responsibility of a legacy to carry forward.
Pratik says, “My filmmakers be it Sanjay Leela or Rohan will do all the talking about their films. I’m under a contract and unable to say much.”

The star son, however, clears the air about a controversy that said he kept Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan waiting on the sets of Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat because he was holidaying in Goa. “I haven’t been to Goa in five years,” says Pratik. “I may be young, restless and even stupid but I would never keep a senior actor like Aamir waiting.” Brickbats be damned, then. It will rain bouquets in Pratik’s backyard on his birthday, today!

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