Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘criticism

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.”

NOTHING BUT THE BEST WILL DO: Ajay Devgn, used to intense action roles, returns to the comedy genre tomorrow with his new film
…Ajay Devgn is confident of his Diwali release All the Best

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 15, 2009)

You would have thought, with two other big budget, multi-star films releasing tomorrow alongside his All the Best, Fun Begins…, producer-actor Ajay Devgn might be in an excitable state of nerves. Far from it! On Monday evening, when I met him at home over coffee, Ajay was uber cool. Also, sleepy. That’s because it was 8 pm and in the Devgn bungalow at JVPD, it’s lights out at 9. “My daughter Nysa won’t sleep without me,” said Ajay explaining the early nights. “But, yes, I saw the film again yesterday with family and friends who are absolutely honest in their criticism. And, from seven to 65, they were all laughing nonstop! My mother, who normally worries about my releases, was relaxed. And I’ve never seen my father laughing so much. So I’m quite confident the film will work.”

He’s busy dubbing for London Dreams with Salman Khan. And shooting with Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor for Rajniti. But it’s All the Best that Ajay is living right now. And happily for the producer in him, the book on this
Devgn Films release is that it is a clean comedy that families can enjoy for Diwali, there are no double meaning dialogues at the cost of humour, the situations in the script are hilarious, the performances by Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu, Fardeen Khan and, well, Ajay himself are funny and riotous. “The film takes ten minutes to sink in,” Ajay revealed, “but from then on until the climax, you’ll laugh. There is an emotional moment in between. It’s needed. You take a rest in between laughing!” I understand the production of the film in Goa and Hyderabad was one big party. “We had a blast,” Ajay agreed, “this is a good team, and for 80 to 90 per cent of the film, all the characters are in every scene. Well, five are definitely there… and there are seven or eight characters. The climax has 20! All complement each other. When you are comfortable with your co-stars, when the entire cast understands that the film is the most important thing, then there is no stress. It’s team work. You can see that in All the Best. There’s great rapport between Sanju and me, Bips and I always get along well, Fardeen — I just got to know, but what a great guy he is, and Mugdha took just a day to get comfortable.”

Ajay is handsome in his praise for his director, Rohit Shetty, who apparently knows the pulse of comedies. “A comedy improvises,” said Ajay, “but how much works, when do you stop stretching it? Rohit has mastered the knack of entertaining audiences. He stopped
well within the limit.”
And he’s also generous in his acknowledgement of Sanjay Dutt’s performance: “His best — after Munnabhai, what timing, but Sanju was behaving like a producer… he was more worried about the film than me!” His own performance, Ajay is naturally reluctant to discuss. From action and intense roles that won him two National Awards, he’s now doing comedies. “I’m honest at what I do,” he shrugged, “and I guess that works.”

It was getting onto 9 pm and Ajay was stubbing out his last cigarette when the door burst open. Little Nysa bounded in, cutely dressed for bed, but with a reserve amount of energy and mischief left in her to fuss over her
father. “How long,” she demanded. “Five minutes, sweetheart,” the big Bollywood produceractor said unconvincingly. She picked up his phone meaningfully and began to fiddle with the keys. “Nysa… please, not my phone,” Ajay was pleading. “All the best,” I told him slipping out.
mark.manuel@timesgroup.com
Neeta Lulla is no longer Aishwarya’s favourite designer. The star dumped Neeta after she chose Sushmita to walk the ramp for her collection last year
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 19, 2009)

Aishwarya Rai

Neeta Lulla

Fashion designers have always depended on stars to up the glam quotient and build a brand name and designers fiercely guard their relationships with the stars.

Neeta Lulla had a dream relationship with Aishwarya Rai, which seems to have soured after years of working together. The actress is an important client for the designer. As Ash has weaned herself off Neeta, the designer has been trying to resurrect the relationship by sending her texts and trying to win her back.

Perhaps, Neeta should’ve thought about the repercussions when she got Ash’s arch-rival Sushmita Sen to walk the ramp at last year’s Fashion Week. This was akin to being disloyal, as far as Ash was concerned.

Now that Ash has four new films on hand (Guzaarish, Raavana, Action Replay and Enthiram), Neeta is nowhere in the picture. Ash has been opting for Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi instead.

Given the Ash-Lulla history, this is a big snub for the designer. After all, when Yash Chopra introduced them 11 years ago, he predicted that it would be a lasting relationship. It did last – through films like Umrao Jaan, Devdas, Taal, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Ash also weathered much criticism for Neeta’s designs at Cannes.

Friction brewed on the sets of Jodhaa Akbar, when Ash and Neeta clashed over Ash’s outfits in the film. The friendship soured and since then, Ash made it a point to keep Neeta Lulla away. She didn’t attend Neeta’s show at the fashion week last year, where she launched her daughter.

Our source said, “First, it was the Jodhaa-Akbar disaster. Ash maintained a stoic silence, and chose to be dignified. She didn’t want it to affect the Jodhaa-Akbar promotions. Finally, Sushmita is Aishwarya’s arch rival, and her walking the ramp for Neeta was the final nail in the coffin. This year, also Ash has given Neeta the cold shoulder. Sameera Reddy was the showstopper. Yes, Ash is shooting in Goa for Guzaarish, but so what? There were days when Ash would run from any the part of the world if Neeta called.”

Neeta said,  “Who has told you that I have been texting Aishwarya? She replies to my messages when I wish her on her birthday or Diwali.” When we asked why she isn’t Ash’s favourite designer anymore, Neeta shot back, “Why don’t you ask Aishwarya this before asking me?”