Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘commercial

Amitabh Bachchan looks back on the hits and misses in his life over 2009

SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 14, 2009)

When Amitabh Bachchan was asked to describe what 2009 meant to him, the great actor said, “Gosh, what a year this has been — a few ups, and a few downs… more downs really! Years, months, days… they rush through at such speed, it’s impossible to keep an account of them.” He’s right, he’s had ups and down all right, but what’s there to complain about? If his Aladin was a disaster, then look at what a thumping success Paa has become; these are the only two films the Big B has had in 2009. He wrapped up work on Johnny Mastana, Rann and Teen Patti by June because he wanted to be by the side of his ailing friend Amar Singh. Now all these films await delayed releases because of the multiplex strike earlier. It’s been six months since Bachchan took on any new film or faced the camera. But he kept himself busy with television, with the Bachchan Sandhya on the occasion of his father’s 102nd birth anniversary, with the promotions of Paa. Here the Big B reflects back on 2009…
Aladin was a disaster, Paa a success…
• Aladin failed and Paa moves in a direction that looks to be one of success, both critical and commercial. Modesty prevents me from disclosing what reactions we are getting. But no amount of prudence prevents me from admitting that Auro has been embraced in a manner that I have never seen before. The other noticeable factor has been the will of the people. They want Auro and this film to succeed. No amount of sophisticated marketing will ever stand in the way of the choice and demands of the masses and this is why all traditional assumptions on the business trends for Paa are falling short. Auro is dictating an unique box office attitude all by himself and the so-called pundits are wrapping up their janam patris and shifting base.
You’re back on television, a new experience…
• It is different from KBC and gets more intricate as we move along. The medium and those that are attached to it, work diligently round the clock, and it is a marvel to see the amount of thinking and labour that goes on behind the scenes to create something like this. I feel very saddened when I have to announce the person who has been voted out and then later to spend time with them after their eviction. It’s much like what I used to feel when on KBC I had to inform the participant that his answer was wrong. You’d think KBC was harder because that was my first time on television. But no. Every time I do anything new and that means starting a new film too, I get butterflies in my stomach.
The year zipped by for you…
• I really have no recollection of what went by. I know what I am doing now. Age does have this adverse effect on one and I am no different from any other. It may seem power packed for you but for me, it is just another day, another job. I endeavour to do what is assigned to me to the best of my ability.
You’re 67 and still going superstrong…
• I don’t know if I am still going strong, but yes, I am alive and I exist. I have never wished for any fancy recognition or accolade. I am grateful for the jobs that I get and am thankful that I am given opportunity for work.
Your thoughts on the world around…
• I wish for there to be peace and harmony. For humans to understand that we are all one and that we all have common characteristics. To understand that all faiths need to be respected, for none of them are different in their beliefs. That we are one nation, united by our independence and our sovereignty. That this world we live in belongs to all of us and we need to protect it for its survival. That a kind word and a smile never did harm anyone.
The most significant occurrence in your life this year…
• That I am still alive!

BOLLYWOOD CALLING: Loveleen Tandon
Slumdog Millionaire’s Loveleen Tandon, who’s set to direct a film

ROSHNI K OLIVERA (BOMBAY TIMES; November 24, 2009)

It wasn’t just Anil Kapoor or the cute couple Dev Patel and Freida Pinto who catapulted to international fame with Slumdog Millionaire. It was also a pretty face that emerged from behind-the-scenes. That’s Loveleen Tandon, who co-directed the movie with Danny Boyle. But she has kept a low-profile for a while now. “Yes, I have literally been hibernating in Delhi,” smiled Loveleen, who was in Mumbai recently. “I have been busy with my film script. That’s a full time job.” The only time she took a break was when she was invited to meet the Queen and the Duke to the Buckingham Palace last month. And the Mumbai trip for Eve Ensler and Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal’s play I am an Emotional Creature, where she read the epilogue. “It’s a great co-incidence that Eve’s play is quite similar to my script, the story of a young girl, her desires, emotions and the pressures on her,” says Loveleen, who plans to start her movie next year. Getting good actors shouldn’t be difficult, she believes because “script is the queen.” As she puts it, “People are always on the lookout for a good script. Whether it’s actors or producers, nobody says no to a good script.” All credit for Slumdog’s apt casting goes to Loveleen, but she wasn’t just the casting director for the film, as some initially thought. “That wasn’t the only thing I was doing. Casting is a part of the bigger scene, part of the larger vision,” she says.


Matching Slumdog’s heights is not going to be easy and comparisons are bound to be there, but that isn’t putting any pressure on her. “I’m someone who thrives on pressure. I thrive on tension, crisis, less time and deadlines. It brings out the best in me,” counters the pretty filmmaker. One question Loveleen’s often asked is, if her film is going to be an international venture, and this baffles her. “You just make a film. Whether it becomes a hit in a city or a country, two countries or five is beyond you. Crossover, international, mainstream, commercial, art… are just tags.”

Refer to Mira Nair, who Loveleen assisted on Monsoon Wedding, and she points out, “She lives abroad. She comes from a different space. I live in India. This is my speciality. I can’t relate to the NRI experience. May be some day in the future, but at the moment, mine is the Indian experience. It’s unique; there’s a strong element of traditional and modern ethos… perfect material for movie making.”

What about criticism regarding Slumdog highlighting only poverty in India? “Films are stories, they are not documentaries meant to highlight any aspect of society. You can only tell a story and tell it well. If it’s a boy from the slums, you have to tell it from that perspective. You can’t glamourise or glorify it.”

srkBy Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 21, 2009)

Shazahn Padamsee who will be making her Bollywood debut opposite Ranbir Kapoor in YRF’s Rocket Singh recently met Shah Rukh Khan while shooting for a commercial with him. The young actress instantly got along with SRK and they were seen having an animated discussion about director Shimit Amin.

A source said, “One of SRK’s biggest hits was Chak De! India which was directed by Shimit Amin and now Shazahn is making her acting debut in Shimit’s Rocket Singh. Shazahn is a huge fan of SRK who spoke about several interesting incidents while shooting Chak De! India.”

spCommenting on her meeting with SRK, Shazahn said, “It was a dream-come-true for me. Shah Rukh is so humble and I have seen Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge at least 25 times and when I told him that, he gave me a bear hug and my day was made. We had a long discussion about how Shimit is always calm on the sets. We had a good laugh and I told SRK to watch my film and give me feedback about my performance.”

“I am so lucky that before I have turned 22, I have already shot with Ranbir Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan,” she added.