Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘critics

Neha Dhupia reveals her filmi fundas in a candid chat with BT


You have been a part of many multi-starrers, is that a formula for success?
If there was a formula for success I would pay pots and pots of money and buy it (laughs). But seriously, I feel that while choosing your films, all one needs to do is follow your gut feeling and have faith in the project.

You tried your hand at some unconventional stuff with Ek Chalis Ki Last Local, Mithya and Dasvianiya. What kind of response did you get for them? And are you going to be part of more such films?
I have got a fabulous response for all the different cinema that I have attempted, and am looking forward to a lot more in the future. My film Raat Gayi, Baat Gayi? just won the viewers choice award at a film festival. That will be my next release after De Dana Dan. I agree it’s a mixed bag, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

How important are hits to you?
While making a film we put in a lot of hardwork, and the only way it gets appreciated is when the audience views it and it becomes a hit… unless the critics are really kind (laughs).

After doing realistic and masala movies, do you want to see yourself doing an absolute rom-com kind of movie?
Yes, I would love to, I am screaming out loud that is my most favourite genre. I hope someone’s listening. But on a serious note, I have done one that’s in the same space… it’s called Pappu Can’t Dance Saala and will be releasing soon.

You and boyfriend Ritwik Bhattacharya have been going steady for some time now. So, are wedding bells in the offing?
Not at all!

MOST WANTED: Salman Khan

Salman Khan, playing Guest Editor to BT, gives the media a lesson in journalism

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; September 26, 2009)

Sometimes, just sometimes, a pair of fists can be as mighty as the pen. Especially in Salman Khan’s case. Bollywood’s most ‘Wanted’ actor handsomely proved this to BT when he slipped into the editorial meeting one afternoon last week to play Guest Editor for this issue. ‘Slipped in’ — actually, is doing injustice to the rumbustious and starry entry the macho star of the new box office hit made at the Times of India building. Dressed in torn jeans and a figure-hugging Be Human tee, an American gangster-style Fedora tilted rakishly on the head… Salman looked a cocky combo of Rocky Balboa and Indiana Jones as he muscled his way in. And he alternatively exhibited the brawn and compassion of Rocky with the sarcasm and wit of Indiana. While really, he was simply being in character… of himself, then of Radhe — the hitman from Wanted.

He has no jhagda with the press, but — yes, he has an issue with biased and incorrect reporting. “Controversies, bad pictures, poor headlines… I see too much of this,” the Guest Editor admitted, sipping on black coffee, the aforementioned fists thumping the table. “But I am like an undertaker… he sees dead bodies every day,
they don’t make a difference to him. But the effect on other people… that’s there. People may not believe what’s written, but they read anyway. What bothers me is the sadistic pleasure some journalists get by putting somebody down. Jara idhar-udhar chalega, but why be vindictive? They don’t realise that their own personality reflects in their writing. Just as my character comes out in my paintings… when I’m angry, it shows on the canvas.”

Point noted… and the meeting proceeded, with Salman taking BT through its pages, expressing himself freely on Bollywood and Hollywood, television and fashion, fitness and
food, spirituality and relationships. You will find his connect in the stories on most pages of this issue. For an actor who relies purely on action to get his message across, Salman has an amazing repertoire of simple, earthy words that convey his thoughts and emotions. If critics could tell him how to act, if journalists could ridicule his behaviour in public, then he could also tell the media how to do — and mind — its business! His advice, “When you don’t know someone, stick to facts, why give your opinion? And if you hate somebody so much… why write about him? Aap hai kaun?”

Shahid as Charlie in ‘Kaminey’

Insiya Amir | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; September 19, 2009)

With homosexuality getting increased acceptance in the country, isn’t it time for Bollywood to get a gay, macho character? Actually, it might already have—in Charlie, the lisping ‘bad boy’ hero in this year’s hit, Kaminey.

From bloggers to critics, many have speculated about the sexuality of the character portrayed by Shahid Kapoor. To begin with, Charlie lisps—a standard gay stereotype. Apart from that, his relationship with Mikhail has distinctly homoerotic undertones. The two sing duets in a psychedelic nightclub, dance in the rain and make plans to run away—while rolling on the floor together— when Charlie tells Mikhail about the stash of cocaine he has chanced upon? And a scene where Mikhail
chases Charlie in a red sports car, amid pouring rain, would have had Freud smiling in glee.

What about the ending, which shows Charlie hitched to a gorgeous gal? Blogger Ganesh Chandrashekhar argues that it’s a postdeath dream. ‘‘Charlie dreams of being a successful bookie and married to a woman. This looks like Charlie’s homosexual guilt coming through, because the addition of a female character in the end seemed rather contrived, suggesting that he hopes to be straight in a highly homophobic society.’’

Other bloggers have pointed to Charlie’s emotional breakdown when he sees Mikhail’s corpse. And they see heavy symbolism in Charlie naming his dream bookie venture ‘Mikhail & Co.’, which is set up after he steals diamonds. Which by implication means Charlie stole
diamonds for Mikhail. If that isn’t true love, what is?

Chandan Roy Sanyal, who plays Mikhail, says he is aware of such arguments. ‘‘I don’t think the two
are gay, they just share a brotherly relationship. I grew up like this with my brother, a lot of bonding, touching,’’ he laughs. But he welcomes the buzz about the characters. ‘‘People thinking that Charlie is gay shows they are ready to accept that gay men do not have to be overtly effeminate,’’ says Sanyal, adding that he would love to play a role like Sean Penn in the Hollywood film Milk.

But Bollywood is only taking baby steps with movies like Dostana, says film critic Anupama Chopra. ‘‘We still portray gay men with limp wrists and rainbowcoloured accessories, mostly cast as a comic relief. It is a long time till we get a gay hero who is macho enough to be the lead actor. In fact, Vishal Bhardwaj told me if a sequel is made, Charlie will have a girlfriend,’’ she says. As conspiracy theorists might say, ‘‘Fo fad”.



Everyone who has seen ‘Hum Aapke Hai Koun..!(HAHK) must be aware of this actor. In the film, she played Pooja, Prem’s (Salman Khan) elder sister who meets with a tragic death. Renuka Shahane had become very popular after this film. She also acted in some of the sitcoms earlier. Although she became a known face after HAHK, she wasn’t seen in many films. But now she’s back as a director. Her first film, a Marathi one, titled Rita, is all set to release tomorrow. Renuka Shahane is also there in the film along with Pallavi Joshi, Suhasini Mulay, Mohan Agashe and others. Jackie Shroff also has an important role in the film. Rita in fact is Jackie’s first Marathi film. Surprisingly, just last week, he was seen as a Punjabi farmer in Kisaan.

Rita is adapted from a Marathi novel Rita Welingkar written by the eminent critic Shanta Gokhale, who is also Renuka’s mother. One look at the promo of the film proves that Renuka has sensitively handled the film and will surely impress the audiences. Co-incindentally, women debut directors have fared exceptionally well this year. Zoya Akhtar’s Luck By Chance was a top-notch product while Firaaq by Nandita Das was one of the most impactful films of this year.

The reason why I wrote about this film is because Renuka Shahane stays just a minute away from my house! She used to stay there with her mother until she got married. She occasionally visits her mother but still, I haven’t seen her even once. But I had a chance to meet his husband, actor Ashutosh Rana. I remember the date quite well-it was Jan 5, 2003. My friend stays in the building opposite Renuka Shahane’s and both these buildings share a common compound. I and my friends were playing there when a car stopped outside the compound and Ashutosh Rana came out. He was dressed as a neta-it was the get-up for his film, maybe. He went straight to Renuka’s house. At that time, I didn’t even know that Renuka Shahane’s home is located there and that Rana is her husband! After my knowledge was updated about this, I and my pals decided to take his autograph. I quickly went to my house and got a diary. We all were too scared to press the bell of the house. Finally, I went ahead and did the needful. Renuka’s mother (Ashu’s mother-in-law Shanta Gokhale, who wrote the novel from where Rita is adapted) opened the door. I told her about our wish to take Ashutosh’s autograph. She smiled, pinched my cheeks and went inside to call the actor! He came out and was too glad to fulfill our wish!

From that day onwards, whenever I hear about Renuka Shahane or even Ashutosh Rana, this incident instantly comes to my mind!


Just imagine-a Bipasha Basu film released last Friday and hardly anyone knows about it. The film in question is Shob Charitro Kalponik (SCK), a Bengali film by the well-known director Rituparno Ghosh. The film had created some hype ever since news spread that Bipasha will be seen in a Bengali film. Last I had heard was Bips’ voice is dubbed and that Big Pictures have backed the film.

The film got a good release in Kolkata. In Mumbai it was released only in 2 multiplexes, 1 show in each and both these multiplexes are in South Mumbai. It is shocking that a Bipasha Basu film got such hype-less release. English subtitles were also there and so even non-Bengali viewers would have surely come to see the film, provided the film was promoted well and adequate shows were organized in more multiplexes throughout the city.

4 years back, even Antar Mahal (AM), starring Abhishek Bachchan, Soha Ali Khan, Jackie Shroff and Raima Sen had released without any hype. But compared to SCKAM had more number of shows. Critics had reviewed AM but in the case of SCK, I didnt see it’s single review in any newspaper. Maybe even the critics werent aware of its release! Very unfortunate!

Rakeysh Mehra’s wife PS Bharathi is making a documentary, Ru-ba-ru, on the director’s landmark film, Rang De Basanti
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 10, 2009)

PS Bharathi

Three years after the release of Rang De Basanti, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s wife PS Bharathi is making a documentary on the film. Bharathi has named the documentary film after the song Ru-ba-ru from RDB.

The film is based on the relevance and impact of RDB across the world. Rakeysh said, “Ru-ba-ru will contain lots of views and information on Rang De Basanti. Everybody associated with the film has spoken about it. The documentary will contain unreleased footage. There are opinions from various scholars, analysts and critics. It’s very humbling. We all felt that the film’s impact needed to be documented in an unconventional format.”

Will he work on the project with his wife? Rakeysh said, “I always keep away when my wife is doing her work. After I finish shooting my film, I surrender the footage to her and leave. She edits all my films and she would like it no other way.”

Talking about RDB, Rakeysh said, “I never expected RDB to have this kind of an impact. The movie became bigger than all of us. It came at time when people needed to redefine their priorities. It didn’t matter who made it. It could’ve been anyone, but the time was right for an RDB. I saw the film last month and I think it’s completely relevant in today’s times. Nothing has changed in the three years since its release.”

Rang De Basanti

By Joginder Tuteja, July 28, 2009 – 14:27 IST

Kareena Kapoor
K A R E E N A  K  A P O O R

Kambakkht Ishq arrived, got ripped apart by critics, made it’s crores, enjoyed it’s celebrations and is now being followed by the release of other big films like Love Aaj Kal and Kaminey. With the euphoria surrounding the release of the film dying down over last few weeks and an all around stability coming in, Kareena Kapoor comes out smiling.

“Whatever I have would have said earlier would have seemed as if I was defending the movie. But then that was never the case. Why would I have done that when box office was the biggest defender of all? Audiences came in dozens to watch the film and they made the movie a success. Even though it may not be the quintessential super-duper blockbuster Bollywood hit but a very good success it certainly is and collections pretty much prove that”, says Kareena who is now looking forward to the release of Saif Ali Khan’s Love Aaj Kal which releases this Friday.

In retrospection, doesn’t she feel surprised with the way media came down heavily on the film? Sighs Kareena, “But then isn’t a film like Kambakkht Ishq an easy movie to criticize? If one looks in the recent past, most Akshay (Kumar) films have seen a similar response from critics as well as box office. Look at Welcome or Singh Is Kinng; critics disliked them both but audiences had their own mind.”

“Akshay is perhaps one of the only stars who has been party to such a consistent run with critics as well his audiences, both of whom seem to be on different sides of the fence”, she smiles.

Even for Kareena, this is not the first time though that one of her films went on to become a big money spinner in spite of coming under the hammer. Last year, there was not a single critic who stood up to Rohit Shetty directed Golmaal Returns but the film made mega bucks after taking a thunderous initial.

“I guess by working in films like Omkara or Jab We Met and a Golmaal Returns or Kambakkht Ishq, I am striking just the right balance. It’s okay when critics do not like Kambakkht Ishq or Golmaal Returns; there are some films that are made purely for the audiences and they succeed there. Critics may be having an individualistic opinion while audiences always come together with a collective verdict. It’s a matter of choice at the end of the day, so it’s all fine”, she reasons.

Coming months should be indeed exciting for her as it would be there for all to see if critics as well as audiences warm up to her performance. Starting with Qurbaan, she would also be seen in Main Aur Mrs. Khanna as well as 3 Idiots.


…says Akshay Kumar, Bollywood’s commercial success but critical failure

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; July 19, 2009)

Akshay Kumar is Bollywood’s Rocky Balboa. Like Stallone’s indefatigable boxer, he has kept the faith, fought the good fight, and finished the race. Which makes him a winner, right? No, say the critics! They had counted him out at the start of this year with Chandni Chowk To China; then wrote him off altogether when his double-roled murder mystery Tasveer 8×10 also failed. But you cannot just dismiss Akshay, not even when he’s had 14 flops in a row, he simply bounces back. Now he’s done it with Kambakkht Ishq, a film that reportedly took a bigger opening than even Ghajini (false news!). The disbelieving critics ripped it apart, but the film ran to packed houses, and Akshay and producer Sajid Nadiadwala laughed all the way to the bank. They are both in London now, with Deepika Padukone, working on Sajid’s next film. Apparently, the collection speaks louder than voice or word, and Sajid was so pleased with Kambakkht Ishq’s success, that he couldn’t wait to work with Akshay again.

Akshay looked surprised when I questioned this. “Why only Sajid,” he asked, “take any producer, from Vipul Shah to Nikhil Advani and from Venus to T Series, all have worked with me in three, four, five films. My heroines as well, all of them. There must be something in me for people to want to work with me again and
again, no?” I hadn’t an answer. We were talking in his van at Mehboob Studios where he was wrapping up De Dana Dhan for Priyadarshan before leaving for London. He was still smarting from the critics’ sharp rap across the knuckles for Kambakkht Ishq. “I would like to think it doesn’t matter what critics say… but it does matter,” he sighed. “Critics are like the tax man. Everybody wishes they don’t exist, but they do. I can’t force them to be nice to me. But it’s upto the people to decide whether to see a film or not. If I want to see a film, I will, even if the critics say it’s crap!”

He defended the film’s dialogue, it’s farcical story, and the bad press his performance got. “I saw this coming,” Akshay said shaking his head. “How can anyone be offended at something put there to
make you laugh? Comedians are there to exaggerate the truth. What have we shown that doesn’t happen in our daily life? And haven’t you heard the words kuttey, kaminay and suvaar ke bacche in Hindi films of the 1970s? What does kuttey mean? I said the word in English, that’s all. At the end of the day, it’s just entertainment. And I’ll continue to work hard at entertaining people because I know nothing else. Earlier, I did work just for the sake of having work, then for the money. Now it’s my passion to entertain people with good work. You can call me a clown. A clown’s position is in the ring. Not on a podium.”

He regrets the critics do not suspend belief and learn to enjoy a masala Bollywood film like they do Hollywood. Drawing parallels,
he said, “A Hollywood film like The Hangover, in which a tiger is sneaked into the bathroom of a hotel suite in LA without anyone knowing, the critics gave four stars. I enjoyed it thoroughly. And the film is going housefull. I know three producers who are fighting for the rights to remake it in Hindi.” His next release is Blue, a thriller and underwater drama, with sharks and a treasure hunt, not to mention a belligerent Sanjay Dutt, the sexy Lara Dutta showcasing her new body in a bikini, and American pop idol Kylie Minogue singing and dancing to Bollywood music. “It’s a complete action and comedy film,” he revealed, then paused and added dramatically, “but I shouldn’t open my mouth, nowadays I can’t even sneeze on the street without being shouted at.”