Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘dharma productions

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

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 16, 2009)


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.”

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Karan Johar worked for 48 hours to perfect My Name is Khan

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 10, 2009)


Karan Johar knows that first impression is the last impression. The first look of his much-awaited film My Name is Khan all set to hit the theatres on December 18 with the Hollywood blockbuster Avatar. As a result, Karan is having sleepless nights just to make sure that the first look creates the right buzz about the film.

Karan did not sleep starting Saturday morning to Monday morning as he was busy finalising the first look of My Name is Khan.

(L): Karan Johar, My Name is Khan


A source said, “My Name is Khan, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, is one of Karan’s most ambitious film to date more so because it is a subject that he has never attempted to make so far. He also cancelled his trip to LA to finalise the film’s first look over the weekend. He reached office early on Saturday morning to start working on the edit and didn’t stop till Monday morning 7am. He must have barely taken an hour-long nap in those two days. SRK too joined him on Saturday night and they had a meeting about how they plan to go about promoting the film. SRK saw some portions of the first theatrical promo and then left the Dharma Productions office early on Sunday morning. However, Karan continued to work and only left on Monday morning after he was satisfied with the first look.”

Karan remained unavailable for comment. He probably was catching up on his sleep after the marathon edit session.

By Joginder Tuteja, December 1, 2009 – 11:50 IST

Karan Johar Notwithstanding the box office failure of Kurbaan, Karan Johar, Rensil D’Silva and UTV Motion Pictures would be making another movie together. In fact, work has already begun on the scripting of the film and Karan has declared that the trio has a point to prove this time around.

“At Dharma Productions, one of the prime virtues is that of loyalty. Our track record shows that. I have never doubted Rensil’s capability even though the film hasn’t worked at the box office. This doesn’t stop me from having him direct another film for my production house. Similarly, our association with UTV has been great too. I am thrilled with the kind of support they gave to Wake Up Sid and Kurbaan. This is why it is imperative that we all come together again”, says Karan Johar.

After Kurbaan, Karan admits that quite a few lessons have been learnt and he is sure that they won’t be repeated.

He comments, “With our next outing together, we have to prove to one and all that we can come up with not just a critically acclaimed film but also a commercial success. I have in fact already told Rensil to go ahead with his next film. I am sure he would be rocking again and come up with a quality outing.”

Kurbaan, although a well made film, saw some brickbats coming it’s way due to it’s serious theme and stark execution. Looking at the film’s fate, is the team of Karan, Rensil and UTV looking at playing safe and coming up with an out and out commercial outing? Or are they still going to follow an offbeat route?

“It is not in Rensil’s DNA to play to the gallery”, smiles Karan, “He is not into quintessential routine Hindi cinema. Yes, he would be making something unique this time around too though the bottom line would be to keep things commercially viable for sure.”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

A female fan sent Karan Johar a specially designed carpet which has his image, and a love letter asking him to marry her

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 01, 2009)


We have often heard of lead actors and actresses receiving fan mails in which ardent admirers have claimed their undying love, and at times even proposed marriage to stars.

However, this time, it was the turn of filmmaker Karan Johar, who was at the receiving end of a female fan’s admiration. The lady also asked Karan to marry her.

On Sunday afternoon, Karan Johar received a huge parcel from Uzbekistan. Karan was pleasantly surprised to see a specially designed carpet which had his image.

It also had a letter from a girl named Dilbahar. On reading the contents of the letter, Karan realised that it was a love letter in which Dilbahar had proposed marriage to him.

The filmmaker was taken aback by the valuable gift and its sentiments as he had never in his wildest dreams imagined that a female fan could be so smitten by him.

Although Karan remained unavailable for comment, a source from the Dharma Productions office confirmed the news and said, “Although Karan thought that it was nice of the fan to write some kind words, he couldn’t help but feel embarrassed by the contents of the letter.”

LOOKING AHEAD: Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in the film
Karan Johar is unperturbed by mixed reactions to his recent film

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 28, 2009)

Dharma Productions’ Kurbaan with Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in the lead definitely got people across the globe to sit up and take notice of it. Rensil D’Silva’s cross-genre flick that is a love story set against the backdrop of terrorism came in for a mixed view from its audience. However, Karan Johar is not shaken. “I know exactly what I’m doing,” says Bollywood’s prolific and progressive producer. He admits that his banner has in the past been associated with candy floss cinema. But from the start of 2009, Dharma is emerging as a formidable force, and has been making dramatic departures from its safe zone. Says Karan, “With Kurbaan, we did make a complete departure from what we have earlier been doing. Whether it was Dostana or Wake Up Sid, we’ve been dabbling in different genres.” He says that even those films were closer in texture to what he has been doing in the past — like a Kabhie Khushie Kabhi Gham or a Kal Ho Na Ho. “But,” adds Karan, “in the case of Kurbaan, we moved away completely to address a serious issue. And, when we did that, we were well aware that we were treading on a new path. Reactions to the film may be mixed. However, it is my endeavour to raise the bar with each film that I undertake. And, to also make globally relevant cinema.” Of the firm view that the West is watching not only our economic progress but also taking interest in our cinema, Karan feels that, “Sometimes such cinema may not exactly get the box office that one hopes for, but that certainly doesn’t shake my faith in this genre of film.” KJo also feels that the synergy between him and UTV Movies with whom he associated for Wake Up Sid and Kurbaan is truly gratifying in that both production houses are invading a similar cinema space. And have a similar thought process. “UTV produced some of the most amazing films in the last couple of years,” says Karan. “From a Mumbai Meri Jaan, Aamir, A Wednesday, Jodhaa Akbar, Wake Up Sid, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and now Kurbaan — it has consistently backed progressive and meaningful cinema.” And while he will delve into relevant issues like terrorism and autism next (in My Name Is Khan), Karan will keep up the quintessential date movie like I Hate Luv Stories, a fun caper like Dostana-2 and the remake of the Hollywood flick Step Mom. No matter what, Dharma is a banner on a mission. They will never veer away from good cinematic content — be it realistic or pure fantasy. meena.iyer@timesgroup.com

The most-awaited film this year, Kurbaan has turned out to be a turkey. We speak to trade analysts and industry insiders to gauge what went wrong with the film
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 24, 2009)


2009 has been a very bad year for UTV. After three films — What’s Your Rashee?, Main Aur Mrs Khanna and Kaminey — failed to set the cash registers ringing, they were heavily banking on Karan Johar’s Kurbaan, directed by Rensil D’Silva.

But their hopes of having a hit were dashed with Kurbaan proving to be a turkey at the box-office.UTV had bought the film from Karan for about Rs 50 crore and released it across 1,700 screens.

One could understand if the audience gave it a thumbs down after watching it. However, the shocker is that the film didn’t even get a good opening when it released on November 20. Despite being a solo release, it barely managed 35 per cent occupancy on the first day. The box-office collections thereafter have been far from encouraging, flattering reviews from film critics notwithstanding.

Endorsing the fact that the film did not register more than 40 per cent collections in its first three days, trade analyst Amod Mehra says, “Shockingly, the collections on Sunday were even less than that on Friday and Saturday. The film is a big blow to Dharma Productions and UTV. “

Mehra adds, “People are not interested in seeing terrorism any longer. New York did fairly well but that’s because it wasn’t publicised as a film based on terrorism. It looked like a very youthful film with fun elements by John and Katrina. The entire publicity of Kurbaan was wrong. If the heroine of Kurbaan doesn’t want her mother to see her steamy scenes with her boyfriend, how can one go with family members to see such a film?”

Distributor Ramesh Sippy says cautiously, “I don’t want to make any assessment. But yes, Kurbaan has not lived up to its expectations.”

We also spoke to some of the theatre officials. Manoj Desai (of Maratha Mandir, Gaiety-Galaxy) says, “I registered 80 per cent collections on the first three days whereas it did not go beyond 40 per cent in other theatres. However, the collections have nosedived since yesterday. Koi picture dekhne ke liye tayyar hi nahin hai. The overall feeling is that it’s a very serious and cruel film.”

An official from Cinemax, Andheri, says, “We had expected that this film would rake in around 85-90 per cent collections. But from day one, we knew that it wouldn’t be a hit. First day, we registered only 40-45 per cent collections. People have not related to the film, it has no repeat value. On Saturday and Sunday, we recorded only 50 per cent ticket sales.”

Vikram Varma, Fun Republic, communications manager, says, “We recorded 35 per cent in the first three days. But today (Monday), we only have 15-20 per cent occupancy. I think that too many films were released in the past few weeks and this has adversely affected Kurbaan.”

We then spoke to the public to find out why they haven’t gone kurbaan over Kurbaan. 23-year old Eka Lakhani from Lokhandwala says, “I was dying to see Kurbaan as I had heard a lot about it. The film started very well, but soon I realised that there was neither any love story nor any terrorism track. Kareena and Saif got lost in the second half and I had to look for their scenes together. The terrorism part wasn’t explained well either.”

34-year-old Menka Chandiramani from Seven Bungalows says, “I was quite impressed by Kareena and Vivek’s acting but the film hasn’t stayed with me. It had nothing new to offer. Moreover, I wonder why there was so much brouhaha about Kareena and Saif’s sex scenes. We have seen much more than this in Hindi films.”

The director of Kurbaan, Rensil D’Silva, put up a brave front. He says that people are trying to bring down his film. “That happens with every new film. But you know, I am getting a lot of calls and text messages from people whom I don’t even know saying that they have enjoyed my film. I am basically a creative guy. The best people to talk about this will be the distributors of Kurbaan (UTV).” However, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, CEO of UTV remained unavailable for comment.

Karan’s first film with UTV, Wake Up Sid raked in average returns but failed to be a profit-making proposition. And the audience’s thanda response to Kurbaan has only made things worse for Dharma and UTV.

By Taran Adarsh, November 19, 2009 – 15:14 IST

Post 9/11, there’s anger, distrust, suspicion, uneasiness all around. Not a day passes when you don’t hear of terrorists killing civilians in the name of religion.

Many storytellers have, in the past, narrated stories about terrorists and their nefarious and despicable plans. But let me state one thing categorically. You haven’t watched a more profound, a more thought-provoking, a more dramatic story on this subject before KURBAAN. It’s not just the most powerful film to come out of Dharma Productions, it’s the most powerful film to come out of the Hindi film industry this year, thus far.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

KURBAAN tries to penetrate into the psyche of not just the terrorist, but also someone who has been a helpless spectator all this while. This film is sure to spark off discussions and debates, although it must also be noted that it doesn’t take sides or gets preachy.

Rensil D’Silva has chosen a burning issue for his directorial debut, which is a complete departure from Karan Johar’s earlier films. For some inexplicable reasons, parallels are being drawn with FANAA [Aamir Khan, Kajol] and NEW YORK [John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Katrina Kaif], but the fact remains that barring the backdrop of terrorism, there’s no similarity with those films.

I’ve often felt that certain films are beyond box-office. Movies are not meant to merely entertain, but enlighten and educate as well. They need to prick your conscience and in the process, make an attempt to make this world a better place. KURBAAN does just that and for this very reason, it deserves a double thumbs up.

Final word? Drop everything else you’re doing to watch KURBAAN. Movies like these need to be made, encouraged and lauded.

Avantika [Kareena Kapoor] is a teacher at a university in Delhi. She has come back from New York where she teaches, because her father [Aakash Khurana] has suffered a heart attack. During this period, she meets a Professor called Ehsaan Khan [Saif Ali Khan]. Soon, they begin seeing each other and love blossoms.

A few months later, Avantika receives a call from her university in New York, asking her to come back. Avantika breaks the news to Ehsaan. He, in turn, tells her he doesn’t mind coming to the States with her. But first they need to get married.

Soon after the marriage, they leave to start a new life in New York. They buy a house in an Indian neighbourhood and move in. Just as they are setting up home, their conservative Muslim neighbours invite them over for dinner. The next morning, Salma [Nauheed Cyrusi], one of the women Avantika met the night before at the dinner, visits her under the pretext of gifting her sweets.

When Avantika invites her in, Salma tells her that she is in grave danger. Nothing is what it seems. Salma pleads with Avantika to help her. What follows next is a series of incidents that sucks Avantika into a vortex of danger and intrigue. As her life spirals out of control, Avantika realizes that she is a pawn in a huge game.

KURBAAN has two stories running concurrently – the love story between Saif and Kareena and the story of Islamic terrorists. Rensil sets the stage in the initial 15 minutes itself, after which there’s a twist in the tale every 15-20 minutes, which catches you completely unaware. Rensil doesn’t borrow from the past, which makes the proceedings thoroughly captivating.

The highpoint is the 35-minute climax, which leaves you spellbound. The culmination to the story shakes you completely, largely because it’s pragmatic and has been executed most logically as well. In fact, filming the climax at the various underground tube stations must’ve been the toughest challenge for the director.

On the flip side, KURBAAN caters more to the intelligentsia or the thinking viewer and might not be lapped up whole-heartedly by those who survive on the staple diet of hardcore masala fares.

Some of the finest technicians in the business are associated with KURBAAN. Hemant Chaturvedi’s cinematography is super. The film bears an international look all through. Salim-Sulaiman’s music is well integrated in the narrative. At least two tracks merit a mention – ‘Shukran Allah’ and ‘Ali Maula’. Anurag Kashyap and Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogue are superb. The lines enhance the impact of several sequences. Thrills are, again, in sync with the mood of the film.

KURBAAN is embellished with superlative performances. Saif is extra-ordinary in a role that only proves his versatility once again. If he won your heart with a winning performance in LOVE AAJ KAL a few months ago, you need to watch this supremely talented actor underplay his part so beautifully in KURBAAN. As for Kareena, KURBAAN reiterates one fact yet again: She’s the best in the business. No two opinions on that! Watch her get those emotional sequences right, it’s incredible. Here’s a performance that truly merits the highest praise and admiration, besides fetching her awards and accolades.

Vivek Oberoi is fantastic. Matching Saif and Kareena at every step, KURBAAN should be the turning point in Vivek’s career. It’s a difficult role to portray and only an actor with a wide range could’ve portrayed this part so effectively. Om Puri is top notch and so is Kirron Kher. Kirron is marvellous, especially in the penultimate scene. Dia Mirza, Nauheed Cyrusi and Kulbhushan Kharbanda lend credibility to their brief roles.

On the whole, KURBAAN is the most powerful film to come out of the Hindi film industry in 2009, so far. The film has a captivating plot, gripping screenplay, super performances and a climax that shakes you up completely. Watching this movie should be on top of your agenda this week.