Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘december 31

Badly Burnt In Year Gone By, Industry Looks To Strong Content

Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; January 3, 2010)


Pursue excellence and success will pursue you,’’ was what Aamir Khan’s character philosophised in 3 Idiots. But when the lights dimmed and audiences sat down after the National Anthem, what greeted them on screens for most part of the year was average, even poor fare, making 2009 the annus horribilis of the first decade of the 21st century. More than 200 films, with Rs 1500 crore at stake, released last year but almost Rs 1000 crore sank in the sea of mediocrity without a bubble, the sharks-andsexy bikini Blue leading the pack.
Added to it was the multiplex strike which cost around Rs 350 crore, upset release dates forcing films to share Fridays and dent each others’ collections. A multiplex source said, “Cannibalisation caused by big films’ release dates clashing could have been avoided.’’


The year began with Chandni Chowk To China that lost 50% of its Rs 65-crore budget. And marketing blitzkreigs couldn’t save a Blue and Kambakkht Ishq and the audience clearly showed content was king with surprise hits like DevD, New York, WaKe Up Sid and Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani. DevD made Rs 6 crore, collected Rs 25 crore at the box office while its ancillary rights made another Rs 5 crore and there are still more satellite runs to be sold. Trade experts also put films like Love Aaj Kal, Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani, Wanted among the certified hits, followed by profitable films like Paa, All The Best, De Dana Dan and Raaz 2.


But Bollywood’s loss was Hollywood’s gain, with films like 2012 and Avatar (that collected a whopping Rs 50 crore so far) filling the void for good entertainment.


It was left to And Aamir Khan to play Santa Claus third year in a row, with 3 Idiots the biggest hit of the year. It grossed a phenomenal Rs 100 crore in India in the first four days, and Rs 175 crore worldwide till December 31, even denting into collections of Avatar. Trade analyst Amod Mehra said, “What Ghajini collected in a week, this film has done in three days.


Corporates didn’t really have a great year in 2009 and after the bloodbath in the first half of the year, most of them avoided buying films outright, with even 3 Idiots being released on commission.


Thus 2010 dawns to vastly altered realities — purse strings have tightened by cautious corporates; big banners are no guarantee for success and may dish out big turkeys instead; marketing and stars don’t sell, a good story does; and the days of astronomical fees are over.


“Audiences are very smart, the content ultimately will guide their choices and approval. Marketing and hype will only work if content supports that hype. We may not have a Blue this year but projects like Veer and Prince are costly and prima facie look difficult in terms of recoveries,’’ says a trade expert.


So when Akshay Kumar, blamed for soaring star prices, announced towards the end of 2009 that he would not charge any fee for Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khaan, it was a lifeline for the industry that had almost gone into the ICU.


Says Amod Mehra, “It is not that people did not come to watch Akshay Kumar films in 2009, it is just that the budgets of the films were so high and his remuneration was almost 40% of those budgets, so recoveries were not possible despite a good opening. But now that the actors are looking at sharing profit with the producer after the cost of the film has been recovered like in the case of Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots then it will be fair enough. Cutting down of star prices will definitely reduce the budget of films and they will become viable and that is definitely going to be the trend in 2010.”


The year thankfully doesnt have a Rs 100-crore Blue in its line-up. Last year most production houses scrapped films as star prices were not viable. In fact, it is learnt Saif Ali Khan is reworking the budget of his next film Agent Vinod starring Kareena and himself. In fact, 2010 is short on mega projects as budget constraints ensured very few got on the floors in 2009.


The first biggie of 2010 will be Veer,
followed by Rann, My Name is Khan, Action Replay, Kites and House Full in the first half of the year. The second half of the year would have Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzarish and Patiala House.


The action in 2010 seems definitely more in mid-size and multiplex projects that would have strong and clutterbreaking content. “There are a lot of films this year that may not topline the Khans or Hrithik Roshan but still have a decent line-up of names and would be thematically different. Tight budgets and good content seem to be the mantra in the decision making corridors of Bollywood. Each company is carefully evaluating its options and are not getting carried away,’’ says Priti Shahni of Indian Films. Corporates, for instance, have decided to take films only on commission, and not buy them outright.


Shahid Kapoor’s Chance Pe Dance, Striker starring Rang De Basanti’s Siddharth, Aamir Khan Productions’ Peepli Live, Vishal Bharadwaj’s Ishqiya would release in the first half of 2010.


Generation-next too would be making its presence felt with Ranbir Kapoor in Anjana Anjani and Rajneeti, Imran Khan in I Hate Love Stories, Sonam Kapoor in Ayesha, and Deepika Padukone in House Full.


As the record breaking run of 3 Idiots that has spilled over to 2010 has shown, great content along with great pre-release buzz make the perfect mix.


2010: Coming Soon
RAJNEETI (Naseeruddin Shah, Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgn, Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor) BUDGET: 50 cr


DHOBI GHAT (Aamir Khan, Prateik Babbar) BUDGET: 15 cr


RAAVANA (Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) BUDGET: 50 cr


TEEN PATTI (Amitabh Bachchan, Sir Ben Kingsley) BUDGET: 35 cr


VEER (Salman Khan, Zarine Khan) BUDGET: 50 cr


RANN (Amitabh Bachchan) BUDGET: 25 cr


ISHQIYA (Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi) BUDGET: 20 cr


MY NAME IS KHAN (Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol) BUDGET: 50 cr


KITES (Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori) BUDGET: 50 cr


ACTION REPLAY (Akshay Kumar, Aishwarya Rai) | BUDGET: 35 cr


GUZAARISH (Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) BUDGET: 50 cr


ANJAANA ANJAANI (Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra) BUDGET: 40 cr


AGENT VINOD (Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor) BUDGET: 40 cr

Figures are an approximate estimation

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By Joginder Tuteja, December 31, 2009 – 16:43 IST

Yesterday, we went across the B-town and found that 3 Idiots was the unanimous choice when it came to the best that 2009 had to offer. The closest contender was Paa while Avatar led from the front when it came to Hollywood flicks. However, it was quite a divided opinion when it came to the worst of 2009. Quite a few names popped up, some big (Delhi 6, Chandni Chowk To China), some small (Dil Bole Hadippa), some relatively unknown (Videsh – Heaven on Earth, Victory) and a few completely irrelevant (Deshdrohi). There was also an emotional angle involved with a filmmaker or two criticizing their own effort (Sikandar). Read on:

Ramesh TauraniVictory, which came at the beginning of the year, stays on to be the worst film of 2009 for me.

Shirish Kunder Shirish Kunder – (Smiles) Yes, there is one movie which is really the worst for me. Still, I can’t name it since it’s been made by people known to me!

Kalki – Worst of the year was Billu (Barber) because it was just a series of music videos and nothing else.

Sajid Khan Sajid Khan – Worst movie of the year was Delhi 6. Really, I had a lot of expectations from the film but it turned out to be such a disappointing fare.

Hasnain Hyderabadwaala – The worst film of 2009 is Dil Bole Hadippa. Really, what were the makers thinking? Audiences were taken for granted that the protagonist out there won’t be able to differentiate between a girl and a boy despite a different physicality and voice.

Jagmohan Mundhra Jagmohan Mundhra – I have to pick two films here – Chandni Chowk To China and Kambakkht Ishq.

Rituparna Sengupta – There is nothing really which is worst for me because every movie has some effort going in there.

Ruslaan MumtazBlue is the worst movie of the year

Piyush Jha Piyush Jha – Even though I directed it, I believe worst film of the year was Sikandar. That’s because no one saw it and the media totally ignored its significance. Perhaps that happened because Sikandar didn’t have stars/big backers/comic entertainment. Whatever is the reason, the fact is Sikandar was ignored, and that is the real truth.

Sonu Sood Sonu Sood – (Smiles) Even as the entire year is through, I still can’t decide on one worst movie. Maybe I have missed it.

Suneel Darshan – 2009 started with its worst film Chandni Chowk to China It was a ‘directionless’ disaster that disrespected the viewer’s sensibility.

Sadaa – You are asking me about the worst film of the year? You know what; there have been so many that I don’t even care to remember.

Boney Kapoor Boney Kapoor – Preity Zinta’s Videsh – Heaven on Earth was the worst that 2009 had to offer.

Robby Grewal – Worst of the lot would be Deshdrohi (the film had a staggered release across 2008 and 2009)

Ananth Mahadevan – If I pick one WORST FILM of the year, I might just stir up a hornet’s nest. For, another one might cry out that it was more deserving. So let sleeping dogs lie!

Aanand L Rai – For me, the worst movie in 2009 was Delhi 6. It was a very fine concept and from a rock solid director. Still, it failed.

Hansika Motwani Hansika Motwani – I don’t really wish to pick and choose the worst film of the year because for me every movie is good. I know what are the kind of difficulties that we actors go through so it would be wrong on my part to say that this or that movie was bad!

Tusshar Kapoor – Worst of 2009 would be all those films that were released during the strike. Ha ha ha!

Kunal Deshmukh Kunal DeshmukhChandni Chowk To China was the worst film of the year. What a waste of effort. They could have done so much with the film but that was not the case to be.

Raksha Mistry – Isn’t it ironical that the first film which I saw in 2009 stays on to be worst for me? I am talking about Chandni Chowk To China. Maybe I was expecting a lot from the film’s association with Warner Bros. But then it neither had any locations of China nor Chandni Chowk. Worse, it had no story!

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

By Subhash K. Jha, December 31, 2009 – 11:35 IST

Abbas Tyrewala Abbas Tyrewala who directed one of 2008’s biggest successes is also a writer of great repute, having written among other things, the prophetic dialogues of Munnabhai MBBS and the screenplay of Maqbool.

Abbas went to see the latest Yashraj production Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year not only as a writer and director but also as an eager fan of the films that the banner comes out of.

“I love Jaideep Sahni’s writing and Shimit Amin’s direction. But what were they thinking while doing Rocket Singh? Where is the payoff in the screenplay? Where is the hero? Ranbir plays a timid Sardar who steals phone lines and computer hardware from his work-place to start his own business. And we are supposed to accept him as a man of integrity! Would he be able to start his own business if it wasn’t for the nefarious support he gets from his work-place? In other words the ‘hero’ resorts to those very underhand tactics that he claims to abhor and takes the help of that very organization which has disgraced him!”

Most damaging of all, Abbas couldn’t see a hero in Ranbir’s character. “The boss (Manish Chowdhary) is so over-the-top he belongs to another sensibility altogether, calls Ranbir a ‘bastard’ several times, humiliates and disgraces him publicly. We wait for our hero to have his revenge on the boorish boss. I completely believe in the old-fashioned Hindi film formula where the hero gives his tormentor tit for tat. But Boss, where’s the comeuppance for the villain? In fact the story comes across more as the boss’ redemption story as the hero’s.”

Abbas is now more than sure what he wants to do with his own hero John Abraham in 1-800-Love at the end. “I want my hero to either win or die at the end. Not a hero whose fight for the right simply peters out to a dead-end.”

In fact Abbas’s disappointment with Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year has given him a renewed creative strength. “I now know exactly how my hero’s journey to end. I’m an old-fashioned storyteller. And we’ve at heart a very traditional audience. They want to see the hero triumph at the end, not walk away from the villain as he makes an apology speech.”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

MUMBAI MIRROR (December 30, 2009)

Raja Chowdhury is getting engaged to item girl Shraddha Sharma towards the end of January 2010. Buzz is Raja is waiting for his divorce with his wife Shweta Tiwari to come through first. Shraddha says, “It is true, but I don’t want to speak about it now. I have known Raja for the last six months. He is completely the opposite of the negative reports floating about him.

Raja takes good care of me and gives me all the space I need. We are happy with each other. However, there are certain things that are preventing us from making our relationship formal. Right now, we are preparing for our show on December 31 in Surat. We look forward to spending the rest of our lives together.” –Kunal M Shah

Kannada matinee idol Vishnuvardhan, passed away of cardiac arrest yesterday

By S Shyam Prasad \ Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 31, 2009)


At the age of 22, H N Sampath Kumar was rechristened Vishnuvardhan by legendary director Puttanna Kanagala and he had fame and popularity literally seeking him out overnight. The Mysore-born actor would often call his entry into films as dynamic and expressed a desire to have a graceful exit. It turned out to be an unexpected exit in the early hours of December 30; and not just from films.

At 59, none of his fans, friends or family expected him to perish. The late actor was suffering from diabetes and had developed cardiac problems during his last days. He is survived by his wife, Bharati and two adopted daughters.

Vishnuvardhan made his film debut with a small role in Vamshavriksha directed by Girish Karnad in 1972. In the same year, he appeared in Puttanna Kanagala’s magnum opus Naagarahaavu, where he played the protagonist Ramachari, which remains a much-liked character to date.

A polyglot who could speak six languages, his life changed when films beckoned him. As Vishnuvardhan would recall later in life, he had neither enthusiasm nor love for films. “I was not a hard worker, but a sincere worker,” he summed up his film career. When his first photograph appeared in Chitradeepa magazine after his film debut, what the young Vishnuvardhan aspired was to be recognised by girls as he walked around Gandhi Bazaar.

At the time Vishnuvardhan married actress Bharati, she was a bigger star than him. Their marriage lasted for a lifetime but the couple was childless. They adopted two girls. But the actor never spoke about this aspect of life.

Vishnuvardhan Akshay Kumar

In the last few years, Vishnuvardhan had become a disciple of Bannanje Govindacharya and taken up vows of silence from time to time. He would avoid public platforms that would necessitate him to make tough statements or take stands. However, he held on to his beliefs and would never waver from his somewhat radical views.

Akshay Kumar, who is holidaying with his wife and son in Goa, expressed his shock about the superstar’s death. Akshay says, “I worked with him in Ashaant (1993) and I think, that is the only Hindi film that Vishnuji did. We shot it in his home town Bangalore, and he was so popular! Men, women and children came to him to be touched by him. He was like God. Newly-born babies were named after him.”

Akshay remembers the good times that they had while shooting the film. “Vishnuji was disciplined, focused and hard working. I have learnt a lot from him. We did a Hindi and a Kannada version of Ashaant. The Kannada version was a super hit. The Hindi version was a flop. I guess he was a much bigger star than I could ever be. As I speak about him now all the memories of shooting during that film flash through my mind. I met him in Bangalore much later. He was warm and very friendly. Was he just 60? That’s no age to go.”

Producer Ahmed Khan and lead actor Shahid Kapoor have donated school utilities used for their film to three schools that needed them

By Sonal Chawla (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 31, 2009)


Although choreographer-turned-producer Ahmed Khan’s Paathshala’s shooting is over, the props used for the film’s shooting are still in use. Ahmed and Shahid Kapoor, the film’s lead actor, donated the props used for the film – school bags, notebooks, benches and stationery to three needy schools teaching underprivileged children. The film is directed by Milind Ukey.

Paathshala deals with contemporary and socially relevant issues regarding children’s education. Ahmed had erected a massive set of a school at Film City where classrooms, dormitories, the principal’s cabin, staff rooms, huge corridors, a basket ball court, garden, assembly hall, music room and canteen were recreated.

Ahmed says, “We had several benches, school uniforms, school bags, notebooks and stationery that we used for the film. After the shooting, we decided to donate all these basic school utility items to the underprivileged kids studying in schools.”

The items have been donated to two schools in Mumbai, one in Malad and the other in Malvani and a third school (a nursery), on the outskirts of Pune.

“We had several children acting in our film. Some were child actors who auditioned for the part, while others were underprivileged kids from the slums. It was because of the latter that we decided to help the needy schools. Apart from the benches that we made for the film, we made some more benches at our cost and donated them as well. Why not help them out in our small way by providing basic infrastructure?” adds Ahmed. The film also stars Ayesha Takia and Nana Patekar.

Paathshala
Sonu Nigam was hospitalised due to low blood pressure and fatigue and has been advised bed rest

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 31, 2009)


Singer Sonu Nigam might be singing Aal Izz Well in reel life, but all is not well with him personally. Sonu was admitted to a suburban hospital for a couple of days as he complained of fatigue. He also had low blood pressure.

A friend of Sonu says, “A couple of days ago, Sonu fell ill suddenly and was immediately rushed to hospital. He was fatigued and his blood pressure had dropped. His hectic schedule is to blame for his deteriorating health as he was working round the clock. To add to it, he had a minor slip disc problem and was under medical observation for a few days. He was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday evening and has been advised bed rest for the next few days.”


This sudden medical emergency has stopped Sonu’s work commitments in their tracks. “Sonu has cancelled all his meetings and recordings for the next few days. He is also suffering from tennis elbow and is currently undergoing treatment for that as well. However, the main concern and worry now is whether he will feel up to it for his forthcoming tours to Singapore and Israel in mid-January,” added the friend.

Sonu remained unavailable for comment.