Posts Tagged ‘december 16’
By Faridoon Shahryar, December 16, 2009 – 23:10 IST
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My Name Is Khan and I am not a terrorist…this line from the First Look promo of Shahrukh-Kajol propelled ‘My Name Is Khan‘ hits you with an incredible force that sends shivers of goose pimples within. Obviously the paramount question is that whether the SRK-Kajol chemistry works magic again. Yes, it does…Big Time. It seems the duo are meant to fall in love and transmit that love-electricity on celluloid to millions of people across the world.
MNIK promo successfully opens a window to what the basic story is, whips up an engaging drama and leaves you panting for more. Rizwan’s (Shahrukh) disability is blanketed by Mandira’s (Kajol) overwhelmingly deep affection. How 9/11 changes lives forever and for some strange innocent reason Rizwan wants to meet up with the President Of America. There’s a strong resistance and guns blaze on the roads of suspicion.
There are two significant lines that stay with you when the promo is over. First one is: He believed that if you do good deeds…good things will happen to you. And the second is: We are stronger than our fears. It seems that the Writing will be the strong point of ‘My Name Is Khan‘ and undoubtedly Karan Johar is treading a territory that in all probability will enrich the Indian film industry.
The production design looks top notch, cinematography is world class and the look of both Shahrukh and Kajol is different from what we’ve seen them in before. There’s a small section of a song ‘Noor-e-Khuda’ which comes at the beginning of the promo and it seems Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have redeemed themselves after an average ‘London Dreams’. The background score sounds very attractive too.
Kajol’s breakdown scene sends chills down your spine. What a volcano of a talent she is. Shahrukh’s intense sincerity binds your attention from the first frame of the promo till its last. This may be the turning point in the career of Shahrukh Khan, the fantastic actor, who amazed earlier with magnificence in ‘Chak De India’.
It goes without saying that the First Look promo of ‘My Name Is Khan‘ whets your appetite for the real thing. One of the finest First Look promos in recent times.
• How long do you plan to work only with Shah Rukh Khan considering that actors have a limited shelf life, unlike directors?
I have never worked without him and I have no clue what the experience will be like. I do my best work when Shah Rukh is on the sets as there is this tremendous sense of comfort when he is around and I feel that everything will be fine and fun on the sets. I think I will be working with him for the rest of my life as we have this special connection not only personally but also professionally. We understand each other very well, he is a member of my family and vice versa.
• Don’t you think that right now the audience wants to watch entertaining films while yours is a serious film?
Well, I don’t know as I never calculate anything as far as creativity goes. I know that I have made a film with my heart, soul and a lot of passion. My entire team- SRK, Kajol, Ravi Chandran, Shibani, Deepa, Sharmistha and everybody else- has really toiled to make it a soulful venture. I firmly believe that emotions are universal and I know that when they connect with the audience, it works. There is no such thing as an entertaining or a serious film; there are good films and bad films. Good films will always find a vast audience.
• Your last film Kurbaan had a terrorism backdrop and was promoted as a love story, which clearly did not work. Do you plan to have a different strategy for the promotion of My Name is Khan?
There is nothing about terrorism in Khan. It is a soulful emotional journey about a man who is all for love and that’s exactly how we are promoting the film. I certainly have no idea why the rumours about terrorism in Khan are doing the rounds.
• My Name is Khan releases on February 12. Do you think it’s the ideal release date considering its Valentine’s Day week and youngsters would want to see a romantic film?
Absolutely! Khan’s core content is a love story. The entire journey is the love story between Rizwan and Mandira, my protagonists. What better time than the Valentine’s Day week for the release of this love story about two people who go through so much in life for love.
• My Name is Khan will have the biggest release till date, even overseas. Do you think it’s the right strategy?
We have a great partnership with Fox Searchlight and it is their strategy to have a platform release, which is what they call such a release. They believe that My Name is Khan has a market way beyond what’s expected and it is their strategy to break certain boundaries of exhibition for this film. They have full faith in the film and I hope their faith pays off. The real work for any filmmaker stars after he finishes directing a film. I spent two years making the film but most of my efforts for the next two months will go in the promotion, marketing and connecting with the audience.
My Name is Khan will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on February 12. It is expected to be screened at one of Berlin’s most important locations, Potsdamer Platz. Incidentally, it is the first Indian film to be premiered in Berlin.
Aamir Khan, who whisked Kareena Kapoor off to a remote village in Madhya Pradesh, gifted her an exquisite saree made by the local weavers
Trust Aamir Khan to go out of his way for friends. When he flew Kareena to a small, remote village Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh for two days and Kareena had to travel 14 hours by road to reach the place, her efforts were rewarded. Aamir gifted her a Rs 25,000 saree from the handloom weavers who they visited.
Our source said, “Kareena was very thrilled when she got the saree from Aamir. It’s a black and gold saree which these weavers used to make for the nawabs and the sarees are traditional.”
Kareena said, “It has been chaotic and I am so exhausted. When I first came to MP, I was scared as no one had told me where we were going. I was only told that we have to meet Aamir. I only met him after travelling for seven hours. He took me to Chanderi and I didn’t even know that the place existed. Aamir said that I am a style icon and I should promote these handloom industries. The forefathers of these workers used to work for royal families and make their costumes. We actually went to these homes and saw the way they live. They stay in one room and work for 10-12 hours every day and only take home about Rs 50 every day, while the designers take their work and sell it for Rs 30-40,000. They do not even have electricity in their homes. We also had dinner with them. He has also invited many of them to the premiere of our film and they will be watching it with us.”
After Kurbaan was dismissed by the audience, Dharma Productions has decided to shoot Tarun Mansukhani’s Dostana 2 first, pushing back Nishikant Kamat’s next with John Abraham
Karan Johar’s production house Dharma now feels the need to pull up its socks especially after its biggest turkey in years, Kurbaan. Dostana director Tarun Mansukhani has been asked to complete the script for Dostana 2 immediately.
Tarun says, “We will start shooting the sequel in April 2010. I’m just about locking in the script. We want to give the film a nice summery look in London. So far, Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham are the only cast members who are confirmed.”
In this rush to release a comedy which may prove to be more commercially viable, Nishikant Kamat’s (director of Mumbai Meri Jaan) film with John which was to start early 2010, has now been pushed to July 2010. Confirming this, the reclusive director says, “I think John has one other film to finish before he comes to my project. So I have more time to work on my script. I’ve been locked away in my native village most of this year writing the film.”
Kamat continues to tell us about the project, “I love the cinema of Karan Johar, Aditya Chopra and Sooraj Barjatya and that’s the kind of mass entertainment we’re attempting. John and I have been friends for a long time. We sat and discussed what kind of a film to make. We both thought an adventure-action-romance was a far bigger challenge than a topical subject.”
His film with John will be produced by UTV. And it’s likely that UTV would also be on board for Dostana 2. So a shuffle seems very much on the cards.
After the heavy losses Kurbaan incurred, UTV’s Siddharth Kapoor cautiously says, “We’re in a long-term association with Dharma. So the intention is to collaborate closely with them on their future productions. But nothing has been formalised for Dostana 2.”
Shekhar Kapoor flew into Chennai earlier this month to record his first song for Paani, officially flagging off his first feature film undertaking since the sequel to Elizabeth two years ago.
Says Shekhar, “Paani is now completely on. We start shooting in April 2010. We’re at a pre-visualisation stage. And I needed Rahman’s song for that. Since it is located in a futuristic city, I’ve artistes in Los Angeles, Singapore and India creating my city.”
While the film is set in futuristic Mumbai, Shekhar plans to shoot in Spain. “I’ve had a big offer from Spain to shoot the film in their country. They too are fascinated by the water theme. It’s a massive project. Otherwise it wouldn’t interest me.”
The film will star newcomers in the lead. Says Shekhar, “The girl has to be a 17-year old French-Canadian who lives in the Upper City (the posh area) of Mumbai. And the young Indian boy is a desi Leonardo DiCaprio who’s a water revolutionary.”
The film is a forbidden love story. “The girl’s father is the global head of a water company. We need another girl, a smouldering entertainer like Shakira, who’s a big star in the Upper and the Lower City. Then there’s an Oracle called Amma.”
Shekhar will cast the hero from India while the girl will be cast internationally. He swears he hasn’t decided a single member of the vast cast as yet. “You know I had planned whole schedules of Elizabeth and I hadn’t found the actress to play the lead. And since Elizabeth wasn’t cast, no one else was. The studios were getting frantic with worry. We tested a hundred actresses. I wasn’t the least worried. I knew I’d find my Elizabeth. I saw two shots of Cate Blanchett in a film no one had seen and I decided on her. The most difficult actor to cast was Richard Attenborough. Likewise I’m not worried about Paani.”
The spoken language of Paani would be English. But there will be a dubbed Hindi version. “Even the characters of the Lower City would be speaking English. Slumdog Millionaire has proved that language is no barrier. Even though all the Indians spoke English, the language didn’t come in the way of credible self-expression. I will have a dubbed Hindi version too.”
Paani will be readied in time for the Venice Film Festival in 2011.
Shah Rukh Khan arranges a weekend screening of James Cameron’s Avatar for his children
Last evening Shah Rukh Khan was the special guest at the screening of James Cameron’s, Avatar at a suburban multiplex.
Shah Rukh was so enamoured after watching half the film, that he came out of hall and went up to the studio officials and requested them to organise a special screening for his two children and family members. The officials of the studio immediately assured him that they will do the needful.
A source said, “SRK has always been quite fond of science fiction and superhero films. Even as a child, he would always watch similar kind of films.This is why he immediately agreed to attend the special screening of Avatar.
He was also keen to attend the screening of Avatar at the suburban multiplex as the first theatrical promo of his new film My Name is Khan was scheduled to release during the screening. Everybody knows about SRK’s love for superhero films so much so that he is right now in the process of making Ra.One, which will be directed by Anubhav Sinha. SRK loved Avatar, which is why he also wants his kids to watch it.”
Earlier this month, SRK’s children couldn’t wait to watch Paa and Amitabh Bachchan had sent some extra passes for them on SRK’s request. “Aryan and Suhana love films and they would love to watch Avatar. The kids could not watch it last evening with SRK as they were busy with their school and studies,” added the source.
Vijay Singh, Indian CEO of the company which produced Avatar, confirmed the news and said, “Shah Rukh was very excited about Avatar and the scale on which it was made. He requested another screening on Saturday so that he could watch the film again with his family. We will definitely and will decide on the venue and time today.”
|(pic: manav manglani)|
MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 16, 2009)
Says Karan, “This is the first time ever in the history of Bollywood that the promos of a film will play across such a wide platform. And, this has mainly been made possible because of our synergy with Fox. It is my first production with SRK and also the first time a Bollywood company is tying up with a mainstream Hollywood studio. So, there are many firsts to this venture.” He adds, “The idea of the launch was suggested to us by Fox. Both Shah Rukh and I felt that it was the best way to flag off our campaign. We wanted to create a road block and since Star has such a broad base globally, we both conferred that it would be an ideal way to launch our first promos.’’
For Karan, the film is not just his biggest professional challenge, it is also an emotional journey. One of India’s brightest production talents says, “Shah Rukh and Kajol have never gone wrong in their pairing. For me, combining with these two actors is not only a professional high, it is also an emotional bond. The three of us have done two super-hit films in the past — Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham (K3G). Now, we’re hoping that we can recreate the same magic with My Name Is Khan.’’
The buzz is that this is the most expensive deal to have ever gone through in Bollywood history. Unconfirmed reports say that Fox picked up the film for Rs 100 crore and will release it with 600 prints overseas, making it the widest release
for a Bollywood film on foreign shores. Theatrical trailers of the film have been attached to the prints of James Cameron’s Avatar that is releasing today. Trade analyst Komal Nahta says, “Never before has there been such excitement over a film, nor has there been such a wide release for any Bollywood film so far.’’