Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘common man

SMILES AHEAD: BT shot Akshay Kumar exclusively on the sets of Khatta Meetha

Akshay Kumar in his avatar as the Common Man

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 1, 2010)

The last decade in Bollywood has primarily been dominated by three Khans (Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman) and one Kumar (Akshay). And even as his brand equity is at an all-time high, Akshay Kumar’s business plan in the new year is to take his banner Hari Om Production (HOP) to greater heights.

The banner which is a late bloomer, swung into action with Waqt — The Race Against Time in 2005, but has already notched up hits like Namastey London, Singh is Kinng, the entertaining grosser De Dana Dan, and is now ready for its next three productions — Priyadarshan’s Khatta Meetha, Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan and Nikhil Advani’s Patiala House.

Says Priyan, a close associate of Akshay and the HOP, “Khatta Meetha is a satire on the system. It is about the road-mafia which is prevalent all over but more so in Bihar and eastern UP. The main plot line is inspired by R K Laxman’s famous common man. Based on a true incident, this film unveils the travesty of the common man. I have made this film in Malayalam earlier and it was wonderfully received. I’m sure it will be a winner in Hindi too.’’ Both Hari Om Productions and Akshay will move by leaps and bounds in 2010. While the banner will have two releases in Khatta Meetha and Tees Maar Khan, the actor will also be seen in Sajid Nadiadwala’s Houseful and Vipul Shah’s Action Replayy. Of course, it is not all work and no play for this superstar. He is currently on vacation in Goa with his family. Asked what was uppermost on his mind when the clock struck 12, he says, “I sincerely want 2010 to be a year of peace and harmony. I wish BT readers a Happy New Year.’’

Rewinding to his recent Canada trip where he represented India at the Winter Olympics, the superstar says, “I can’t tell you what a proud moment it was when I was handed the Olympic Torch in Canada. It was very moving. In my opinion films and sports are the two passions that can bind any nation.’’ Having talked about his moment of glory on foreign soil, Akki adds, “I’m proud that New Delhi is the chosen destination for the Commonwealth Games. I pray for peace because I want this sporting event to go off really smooth. I want the world to know that India is safe and capable of hosting an event of this magnitude. As a true sports lover this is something uppermost on my mind.’’

Filmmakers known for fairytale romances are now making movies with terrorism as the backdrop, finds Harshada Rege

It could be a reaction post the 26/11 terror attacks or just the fact that terrorism is a global phenomena, but filmmakers have never before been so keen to highlight this evil on the big screen. And the emphasis on this is laid by the fact that two production houses known for their romantic films, have taken a huge leap and have made movies on this topic. We are talking about Yash Chopra’s production house that’s known for movies like Chandni, Lamhe and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge; and Karan Johar who has made feel-good movies like
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham to the more recent Dostana and Wake Up Sid. Yash Chopra’s banner has already brought out its offering on terrorism in the form of New York that was directed by Kabir Khan and starred John Abraham, Katrina Kaif and Neil Nitin Mukesh. Karan on the other hand produced the recently released and highly-acclaimed Kurbaan that stars Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Vivek Oberoi. While the movie is what Karan calls a “love story” it was a subject that Karan couldn’t stop thinking about. He asked Rensil D’Silva to write and develop it for him. He later asked Rensil to direct the project. “The story addresses this evil that has become a global phenomena,” he says.
But it was director Kunal Kohli, who surprised everyone with Fanaa in 2005. Easily one of the most successful films that had terrorism as the backdrop, Fanaa handled the issue very well. “Movies that are relevant to that particular time always click with the audience. Like Naya Daur or Namak Haraam that the audience remembers for those particular eras,” points Kunal, who has also directed Hum Tum, Mujhse Dosti Karoge! and Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic. Speaking about Fanaa he says that the movie worked because it was a Hindi ‘picture’. “It had the right elements put together. It’s is very important to make your film entertaining. If you feel socially responsible and want to give a message you have to make it entertaining and not sound preachy,” he says. He feels that people liked the movie because the common man was the protagonist. “People found Rehan (Aamir Khan’s character) like any other man. He was a guide and a very mard character. He wasn’t just a boy, but a man,” says Kunal.
A trade pundit says, “As long as the director doesn’t get confused between making a love story or a film on terrorism it’s fine. In the end the audience has to feel for the characters.” Managing the commercial aspect and sending out a social message can be difficult. “Yes, it is very difficult. But that’s what the audience expects from you,” says Kunal.

BOMBAY TIMES (November 26, 2009)

After Divya Dutta, now Rajpal Yadav makes a bid for the Kanpur T-10 gully cricket team
By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 11, 2009)

Divya Dutta

Rajpal Yadav

After the super success of the Indian Premier League, now another form of cricket, T-10 gully cricket, is fast gaining popularity among Bollywood actors. In this form of cricket each innings will last for 90 minutes and have the usual 11 players per team.

It started with Ritesh Deshmukh becoming the brand ambassador of T-10 gully cricket. Now Divya Dutta has hopped onto the bandwagon by becoming the proud owner of the Ludhiana team. Rajpal Yadav is now set to follow suit by buying the Kanpur team.

A source says, “All the matches will be telecast on Doordarshan. It is the game where common people will play at the national level and become stars. The show format is the brainchild of Anup Wadhwa.”

Ritesh Deshmukh

CEO of Shree Narang Godavari Entertainment Pvt. Ltd (Rajpal Yadav’s company), Goldie says, “We are in advanced talks for buying the Kanpur team. We have met Anupji and others. It is an interesting format and everything has been spoken about but we are in the process of making everything formal.”

On the other hand, Divya Dutta has already taken over the Ludhiana team. The season 2 of the format will start in October, while the call entries will be held in 16 cities from September 19-22. The first season was conducted last year.

… says Farah Khan, who’s just had a blast shooting for her upcoming chat show with a host of stars and common people


Shah Rukh Khan is a henpecked husband. Salman Khan’s a mamma’s boy. And Hrithik Roshan had speech problems as a kid. These are revelations by the stars themselves to their buddy and new host on the block, Farah Khan. The actor-turned-choreographer is set to host a chat show on TV for the first time. The show Tere Mere Beach Mein on Star Plus produced by Farah’s production house gives viewers a glimpse into the ‘real’ life of a celebrity. Set on a backdrop inspired by the beaches of Goa, it instantly sets a mood of informal, uninhibited chats with the stars. Farah gets candid with celebrities from various walks of life to discuss what they have in similar with the common man! “The show is not about a celebrity’s stardom, but about life away from the arc lights. They are not on my show to plug their movie or talk about controversies. We take up one interesting theme or issue and talk about that. There are also non-celebs who come on the show and share their
thoughts on the same topic,” explains Farah.

This seven week series comprises 14 episodes and the first celebrity on the show is Salman Khan with his mother Salma Khan, who’s always been media-shy. “It was so nice to have her on the show and she was absolutely candid,” says Farah. Brothers Irfan and Yusuf Pathan speak on sibling rivalry. “Yusuf was an eye opener, he was so funny,” reveals Farah. Karan Johar and Sonam Kapoor on the show talk about their journey from fat to thin and Shahid Kapoor and Genelia on second chances in life. “You see a different side of the celeb. From aspirational, it becomes more inspirational for the audience,” she points out. The show is her baby, right from conceptualising it
to the implementation. “For every episode there’s a lot of research that has been done,” she adds.
Farah may have directed people, been a judge on shows, but playing a host is another ball game altogether. “I was very nervous initially,” she reveals. “We first shot the episode with John Abraham and Yuvraj Singh and the topic was male eye candy, how men are suddenly shedding clothes like never before! As a host you have to be alert, spontaneous and quick with your responses. Here, I realised being a judge on TV was a cakewalk!”

Tere Mere Beach Mein will be aired every Saturday and Sunday at 9 pm on Star Plus
Satish Kaushik is set to reveal some startling truths with Teree Sang, which deals with teenage pregnancy
By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 31, 2009)

On the sets of Teree Sang

•    You have been more known for melodrama. What made you take up an issue like teenage pregnancy in Teree Sang?

Every filmmaker needs a change. While surfing the net, I came across a website called standupgirl.com. where I read many stories about teenage pregnancies and the problems it can create. I realised that this subject could be dramatised very well.

•    What makes your film different from others on the subject?

In our society, this problem is suppressed a lot, our culture doesn’t allow us to speak too much about it. In our country, there are so many laws that we are unaware of. While making the film, I read that 95 per cent of children and 90 per cent of parents don’t know that there is a law called ‘Age of consent’.  Teree Sang will actually tell you that the age of consent is 16 and not 18 as most people believe. The law says that if consensual sex is practised before this age then, it is punishable. Ironically, nobody knows this.

•    It’s not 18?

No, the minimum age to marry is 18. There is some confusion because the ‘Age of consent’ law was made by the British and the ‘Age of Marriage’ was made by our traditional Republic of India. So, one can have pre-marital sex at the age of 16 but marriage can only happen after 18 years of age. In Manipur, the age of consent is 14 years and if the boy is ready to marry then it is 13 years. This is the first time that I am making a film that is so well researched. My story revolves around this girl who is 15 years of age, she enters into a sexual relationship and becomes pregnant. Now it is her decision to abort the child or keep it and she decides not to kill a life. Though she is very young, herself a baby in fact, she is what today’s teenager’s are, capable of taking her own decisions. The youth is no more what it used to be in our times, they are mature individuals.

•    Wouldn’t the film have more of an impact if you had taken known names instead of newcomers?

No, because this film required fresh, young actors. In my film the girl is 15 years old and the boy is 17 years old. If I would have taken a well established face, then his or her image would have overpowered the character. I needed a baby-face girl to carry a baby. So Sheena (Shahabadi) was the apt choice for it. She has a very sweet face. Ruslaan (Mumtaz), though technically not a newcomer since he has had a release, looked like the character of the boy.

•    Is there any other social cause that excites you, that you would like to make a film about?

Yes, it is about this dead man Lalbihari ‘Mritak’. It happens in UP, that to grab a part of your property, your relatives show you dead on paper. It a story of a man who applies for a loan and then comes to know that he is dead on paper. He is told that his uncles have proven him dead. He is surprised and tells the person that he is alive sitting in front of him. Isn’t he a bigger truth than the paper? Then it takes him 18 years to prove that he is alive. He loses his youth, his money, his relationships, his love but fighting for his identity makes him a man, a social worker and a lawyer. An illiterate like him becomes a known entity and he gains a lot of knowledge on many subjects. He thanks God that he faced all this because this is what made him alive. So, he ads ‘Mritak’ to his name which means dead.

It will be made in Hindi but I intend to take it international. I am in talks with some studios. I may even play the lead role; most people tell me I look exactly like a common man and so would be suitable for it. But, for me, it’s first Teree Sang.



The last couple of months were spent by the moviegoer cursing the producer v/s multiplex dispute and complaining about lack of films in theatres. The next 3 months are going to be spent by this same moviegoer hopping from one film to another during the weekend and deciding which film to leave out and which movie to see!

The season of films have begun! From June 19 (tomorrow) to August 21, a big chunk of interesting films of diverse genres are going to hit the screens every week. Of course, it’s good news but will it give rise to a favourable situation? Trade analyst Taran Adarsh has rightly said number of times, “Does the common man have the time, money and inclination to see so many movies?” There might not have been a problem if one film released per week. But there are going to be multiple releases on a number of Fridays. Many of these films are not being properly promoted and will flop.

Besides, till July 24, one Hollywood biggie every Friday is going to hit the screens (see pic), which is certainly going to attract large number of audience. This would have a considerable effect on the box office collections of Bollywood movies!

In this mad race for releasing films week after week, I feel that only three films will strike gold at the BO-New York, Kambakkht Ishq and Love Aaj Kal. These films can safely do a great job at the BO, provided it turns out to be good. New York has a fresh cast, nice music and its single promo has created a tremendous impact. An above-average opening and good reports would be enough for the film to get the ‘Hit’ status. Kambakkht Ishq, on the other hand, is a sure-shot blockbuster. The film has created waves ever since its first promo was out. Songs are excellent and the film looks cool and stylish. It is bound to take an earth-shattering opening and would easily sustain in theatres for a lots of weeks. And finally, Love Aaj Kal also has the ability to strike gold at the BO. Although the promo has received mixed responses, it has certainly made everyone curious.

The rest of the films will have a difficult time at the BO. Tomorrow’s release, Paying Guest looks like a total entertainer but has failed to arouse curiosity. If the film turns out good, it would manage to be verdicted as ‘Average’ but becoming ‘Hit’ seems almost impossible. Let’s Dance also looks interesting but its prospects of failure are more. Runway’s promos and its song (Khuda Ke Liye) are very impressive but its not-so-happening star cast and its competitor (New York) will result in its failure at the BO. Short Kut may have a difficult time at the BO if turns out to be like any other comic flick. Jashnn will be disaster. Hardly anyone will go to watch this Adhyayan Suman flick. Very unfortunate, since the film is of Bhatt Camp, which churns out some of the best films. I won’t comment on Agyaat and Luck since its promos have not started yet.

So many films, so many choices! Which film are you waiting for and dying to watch of the above mentioned? Do let me know!

Everyone was shocked when news came out that Shiney Ahuja was arrested for raping his maid servant. I won’t go into the details or speak my views on it since much has been said and written about it. What I want to throw light is on the wrong information being spread by many reputed newspapers and websites. One website mentioned that the victim was 17 years old (she’s 18, in reality). Mumbai Mirror’s article said that the victim was working at Shiney’s place since more than a year, when the truth is that she joined work 1 ½ months ago! It is unfortunate that reporters are not verifying facts before publishing it. This is not responsible journalism.

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/eabdntttn/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk53