Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘editing

Karan Johar gives his new year plans a miss; will remain in Mumbai to complete the last leg of My Name is Khan. SRK follows suit; will spend time with family at Mannat

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


Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan are not just the co-producers of My Name is Khan, they plan and cancel their holidays in tandem too. While Karan will stay in town to work on the editing and soundwork of My Name is Khan; SRK will have a lazy time with family at his residence in Bandra, Mannat.

Karan had initially planned to go abroad to bring in the New Year and SRK was supposed to stay at his Dubai villa. However, SRK will return from Dubai to spend a quiet new year at his house.

Our source said, “Karan had cancelled his new year plans last year, because of the 26/11 attacks. He has been visiting Goa for the new year for the past three to four years. This time, he was really looking forward to visiting either LA or New York. He was forced to cancel his trip as he is busy with the editing and some final technical work in the sound department.

Shah Rukh Khan Karan Johar

SRK had planned to spend the New Year at his Dubai villa with family. But he has also changed his mind and is now returning to Mumbai in the afternoon.”

Karan Johar could not be reached as he is busy editing his film and SRK remained unavailable for comment.

Source: IBOS

BY SUBHASH K JHA

Raat Gayi Baat Gayi
Starring Rajat Kapoor, Neha Dhupia,Irawati Harshe, Vinay Pathak,Anuradha Menon, Dalip Tahil ,Navneet Nishan, Aamir Bashir
Directed by Saurabh Shukla
Rating: ***

Somewhere on the second-half of this slightly seductive jigsaw about a one-night scam, filmmaker Sudhir Mishra shows up as Neha Dhupia’s father who drops in to have a chat with his sullen sultry daughter on the way to the airport. Little does the stoic Mishra know beti-babe has two men stashed away in a cupboard in the living room that looks consciously like a prop on a stage- set.

Quirky sex comedies are allowed their moments of eccentricity. Last time we saw a benevolent patriarch stop over in transit was Sanjay Dutt in Rohit Shetty’s comedy All The Best.

Maybe at this point Shukla deliberately wanted to introduce an element of staged comedy.After all, isn’t the world a stage? Shakespeare got there first. But hell. Saurabh Shukla is panting from behind to catch Sheakespeare’s comedy of ‘eros’ in a modern context.

Saurabh Shukla(who can be quite a funny-guy on demand) has made a quirky sometimes-crisp sometimes-placid look-see at marriage and infidelity. The seductively – paced work is set at a party hosted by a loud Punjabi clueless woman(played with much gusto by Navneet Nishan) whose amiable husband Dalip Tahil we soon come to know, is cheating on his plump wife with the svelte seductress on the block played by Neha Dhupia who seems to invite more male attention than is healthy for any girl with a respectable appetite. And we aren’t talking about her tummy.

Tahil isn’t alone. Vinay Pathak(playing the goofy slightly stupid and undiplomatic regular guy once again) is cheating on his wife Anuradha Menon(the hilarious Veejay Lola trying hard not to be funny,and succeeding) by checking out porn on the internet.

“At your age?” tut-tuts Tahil before himself being caught with his pants down. Though nothing much up at his age.

But our main potential philanderer is Rahul( Rajat Kapoor,as suave in his sleaziness as ever), married to the sullen Irawati Harshe who befriends the all-round resident siren(Dhupia) at a party , gets drunk and then forgets whether he actually did anything naughty or not. Hangover, anyone?

“I can do it even when I’m drunk, no problem there,” Rahul (Rajat Kapoor)says vainly to his porn-fed pal.One of the problems here is that everyone speaks in Hindi because…well, they’re part of a Hindi film when they’re characters who would be comfortable in English. Having said this and that, the characters seem to be effortlessly conscious of their authentic bearings. None of the performers strays from the not-so-straight and borrowed path of betrayal, deception and infidelity.

The Rahul-Mitali marriage has a twist in its tail at the end. It doesn’t shock you. It just makes you sigh. Saurabh Shukla’s direction embarks on a journey through one night of steamy sensations. The revelations are hardly shocking, just diverting.

Stylishly cut(Sankalp Meshram’s editing is amazing in its austerity) the material’s chic movement doesn’t quite justify the content. But the narrative has moments that spill out the acerbity underlining urban marriages which are at best functional and at their worst, lies told to keep up an appearance of domestic smoothness.

The film exudes the scent of intelligence and competence. The actors all know their jobs. Most of them have earlier been through this kind of sexual-moral dilemma in some form or the other. The cutting edge is missing . But the proceedings never get cumbersome.

By Subhash K. Jha, December 14, 2009 – 11:13 IST

Shahid Kapoor, Ken Ghosh Ken Ghosh admits he had loud arguments with Shahid Kapoor on the sets during the shooting of Chance Pe Dance.

But it had to do with Shahid’s suddenly-saturated schedules.

Says Ken, “For the first time in his career Shahid was doing three films at the same time-Kaminey, Dil Bole Hadippa and my film Chance Pe Dance. Naturally there was a conflict of interest.”

Ken admits there were loud arguments over Shahid’s schedules. “I’d ask for three days. He would have only one day to spare. I’d naturally be upset. Then understandably, Shahid wanted time off. He couldn’t be seen on my set straight after shooting for one of the other two films. This naturally led to heated arguments. For me as a director it was okay to come on the sets without sleep. But Shahid had to catch up on his resting time. Or the dark circles would have shown on camera. And since Shahid is fair-complexioned those dark circles would be even more visible.”

The last thing that Ken wanted was for his hero to fall ill. “Priyanka Chopra had to be hospitalized because of overwork and exhaustion. I didn’t want Shahid to go through the same experience.”

The effort has been worth it for both Shahid and Ken. “Shahid’s dancing in Chance Pe Dance is the film’s mainstay. But his performance is not just about dancing. Some of the things he has done with in the dramatic scenes took me by surprise. Shahid has brought subtle expressions into scenes which I didn’t catch while shooting. Only during editing I realized what he had done.”

Ken Ghosh who introduced Shahid Kapoor in Ishq Vishq five years ago admits the actor has changed. “Isn’t change inevitable? We all evolve with time. Shahid is no exception.”

So are the stories of a rift between the two true?

Ken doesn’t deny the fact that there were heated arguments and fights during the making of Chance Pe Dance. “But they were all for the betterment of the film. See when Shahid did his first film Ishq Vishq with me he only had that film on hand and was able to give me his full attention.”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

In the process of eliminating handful of terrorists, we end up creating many more-this best describes the policies of Western developed powers who are hell bent on making the world more democratic but adopt inhuman ways to achieve the end point. Kurbaan throws light on this sensitive topic and thankfully treats it well. The flick throws a spate of questions and forces you to think, discuss and debate. But it doesn’t get preachy and hence it’s not like one of the several films on terrorism that are made for a niche audience. The film is thrilling, has some wonderful twist-n-turns and includes some moments of love and passion too. All this make Kurbaan one of the finest films of the year-one that can’t be missed!

The story of the movie: Ehsaan Khan (Saif Ali Khan) takes the job of a teacher in a university in Delhi where he comes across a psychology teacher, Avantika (Kareena Kapoor). He instantly falls in love and she also ends up liking him. But unfortunately, she’s called back to New York where she originally belongs. Realizing that it would be wrong to have a long-distance relationship, Ehsaan also moves to NYC with Avantika. But before that, they marry. After moving to New York, they buy a new house in a neighborhood full of Asians, conservative Muslims to be precise. The neighbours invite Ehsaan and Avantika for dinner so that they can get familiar with each other. Soon, Avantika realizes that things are not fine in the neighbourhood as they seem and finally, realization dawns upon her-she has been as used as a pawn in a dangerous game.

The beginning 20-25 minutes focuses on Saif-Kareena’s courtship and may not impress. It was the weakest part of the film and wasn’t treated well. But thinks take a good turn with the song Shukran Allah and when the couple shifts to New York. The film engrosses from the scene where the neighbours invite them for dinner. From this sequence, the film turns into a roller coaster ride with lots of unpredictable turns. The entry of Riyaaz (Vivek Oberoi) in the narrative adds to the icing on the cake.

The intermission point was brilliant and fortunately, unlike other films, Kurbaan doesn’t fall or gets slow in the post-interval portions. In fact, the 2nd half also keeps you hooked onto your seat. A number of sequences are memorable in this hour. Kirron Kher sharing the tragic story astonishes you and Kher’s mind blowing performance only enhances the impact. Same goes for the scene where Saif is nursing the wound with little help from Kareena after getting hit by a bullet. The way the blood tickles down and the way Saif screams-man, it gives goosebumps!

The last 30 minutes of the film is undoubtedly the best portion of the film. The tension that is created in the climax and the engrossing and captivating direction is truly appreciable. The film ends on an acceptable note.

Regarding the flaws, as mentioned before, the first 20 mins doesn’t work. Also, the film is full of violent and gory scenes which might not be liked by some sections. And the editing wasn’t upto the mark. More about it later!

Kurbaan is a rare film where the cast and most of the crew have worked exceptionally well in all respects. Saif Ali Khan was outstanding in his role. He looked dapper in his new look and performance wise, doesn’t provide even a miniscule chance of complain! Thus, Kurbaan can safely be added to the list of ‘finest performances of Saif’. This year has been particularly lucky for Saif with his home production Love Aaj Kal being a super hit and now even Kurbaan has been appreciated. His next Agent Vinod with Kareena is also expected to rock! Way to go Saif!

Kareena Kapoor has exposed as minimal as possible and still managed to look stunning. She’s always been delivering fine performances and in Kurbaan too, she does a perfect job. Watch out for the scenes where she discovers that she has been used and in the climax. She proves once again as to why she’s one of the top actresses today! Great going!

Vivek Oberoi steals the show with his wonderful act. In fact, his acts impact more than Saif-Kareena at several points in the film. Audiences as well filmmakers would surely sit up and take notice of this highly talented actor who was neglected in the past due to many reasons. He is expected to shine in his next films, Prince and Rakta Charitra too!

Kirron Kher, like Vivek, leaves a mark in several scenes. For a change, it was good to see her in a different kind of role than her usual stereotypical ones. Om Puri performs with ease. Dia Mirza looked charming and impresses with her special appearance. Nauheed Cyrusi does a fabulous job. Asheesh Kapur, who plays her husband, was great. Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Aakash Khurana and others were good.

Salim-Sulaiman’s music was haunting and songs suited the film well. Shukran Allah, Ali Maula and Kurbaan Hua are the three best songs. Ali Maula leaves a mark. The duo’s background score was electrifying and they may bag the Best Background Score award this year.

Anurag Kashyap and Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues were sharp and top notch. Best dialogue of the film was, “Ek minute ke liye bhi ye mat sochna ki ye allah ka kaam hai!Parvez Feroze’ gory action enhanced the reality of the film. Asif Ali Shaikh’s editing wasn’t upto the mark. One can notice that desperate attempts were made to haphazardly cut down mini portions of scenes to reduce the duration of the film as much as possible. Not good!

Rensil D’Silva, the screenwriter-director scores in his dream debut. Although the direction wasn’t perfect, the film managed to make an impact and give out a strong message. The screenplay was undoubtedly intriguing.

And finally, kudos to Karan Johar for writing the film and also for producing such a hard hitting flick. KJo was criticized for making lovey-dovey films only. But with his last two films and Kurbaan, he has proved that he’s here not only to rake in moolah but also to provide fresh and interesting flicks! Hats off!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       The songs Shukran Allah and Ali Maula
2.       Ehsaan and Avantika at the dinner in the neighbour’s house
3.       Avantika meets Dia
4.       The plane bombing sequence
5.       The intermission point
6.       Riyaaz at the Saif’s lecture
7.       Riyaaz’ quick conversation with Avantika at the mall
8.       The scene at the sandwich parlour
9.       The coffee scene
10.     The climax

On the whole, Kurbaan is an engaging and thrilling film that impresses and engrosses thoroughly! Go for it and have 160 minutes of captivating and thrilling time!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Kurbaan-180014-1.html


Raju Hirani aka the creator of Munnabhai is not a wildly funny man though he is given to fairly frequent bouts of laughter. At the moment, he is completely immersed in the editing of 3 Idiots; while doing so he enters that world and actually forgets the real world, he says. We drag him back to answer some questions
By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 09, 2009)
Say something Munnabhaiesque

No tension. Apun hai na. (laughs)When making Lage Raho Munnabhai did the success of Munnabhai MBBS put any pressure on you and is a similar pressure delaying the next in the Munnabhai series?

An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at 3 Idiots, which is one of the most awaited films of the year. Director Raju Hirani has a discussion with Aamir Khan and Madhavan on the sets of the film


It’s actually how you look at it. I have never looked at it as pressure from any quarter. If at all, it’s me who keeps pressurising me and that bogs me down. I actually work too hard on my scripts. I keep asking myself, “Is it good enough?” I’m not usually worried about what somebody else is going to say. You need to feel very happy about what you are doing. If you are not happy, then there is pressure.

We (Vinod Chopra and me) are not trying to cash in on the success of the two Munnabhai films. If we were doing that then we would make one Munnabhai every year. We would have Munnabhai cartoons, comics and animation. We could actually milk the brand in that sense. The reason for not actually making another one is because I am working on the script and I am not happy with the final script which is also what happened with Lage Raho Munnabhai. I took so many years to make it because I wasn’t too happy with it.

You have to strive to think of a unique idea and sometimes, for that, you have to keep waiting till it strikes you. With Munnabhai Chale Amrika, I have reached a stage where I have found a completely unique idea. It is not a ‘fish out of water’ situation in which two characters go from this world to that world. That’s done to death. It’s not as simplistic as that. It’s much funnier and much deeper.

How does a comic scene evolve?

It’s not about evolving a comic scene or a dramatic scene. You just do whatever the story needs. I work with Abhijat Joshi and we completely go by the gut feel of the scene. If it is a comic scene and when I am narrating, we look into each other’s eyes and if it makes us laugh, then that is a scene that is working. And when it is an emotional scene, our eyes get wet. So it’s completely from within, rather than structuring it, or trying to manipulate it.

You have worked with an intelligent actor like Aamir Khan (3 Idiots) and a less structured actor like Sanjay Dutt. How is your approach different with actors?

Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) is completely an instinctive actor. If I ask him for a rehearsal, he will look into my eyes and say “What? You want to rehearse one month in advance?” which is completely impossible. And I know if I make him do that, he will come prepared and will fail miserably. But if I ask him to do something impromptu, he does it the way you want it. If I think it’s not right, then he will instinctively do it another way. Then there is Boman Irani, who, if I don’t rehearse with, will die on the sets. So he has to be prepared a month in advance. Like when he was playing Lucky Singh, I had to take him to meet some Sardarjis, he had to sit with them, he had to drink with them, he had to observe them, video shoot them. Arshad was completely given the lines, he got the gist and modified them. If I tell him to follow the lines as given, he will not be able to do so. So with every actor, you have to realise his strength and utilise it. Like Aamir loves to get involved with the script, he analyses the script, he prepares a lot. There is a completely different joy in working with Aamir.

But that’s the job of a director. When you work with Boman, as you enter the set, you have to go to his van and hold his hand and talk to him for 10-15 minutes every day, otherwise he feels neglected. I may not do the same with Aamir. I know he has rehearsed and understood the script and he will come on the sets and perform. Actually direction is also about human resource management.

What happens when there are three very individualistic people like you, Vinod Chopra (as producer) and Aamir Khan involved with a film. Do sparks fly?

It works like magic. Vinod is a great producer. He takes care of a lot of the producer’s problems, so that’s an area I don’t have to worry about. Actually, in the last two films I used to get involved in the production too. This time, I am running out of time, I am locked up here editing while he is taking care of marketing, and distribution. Aamir says he is good at marketing, and somebody else is good at distribution, so everybody is doing their defined roles.

How true are you keeping 3 Idiots to the book by Chetan Bhagat Five Point Someone?

3 Idiots is inspired from the book but it is completely different. I would say just five per cent of it is the same. Books and films are different. So the moment you decide to pick up a book and make a film as it is, it will be a disaster. It’s a nice book, but it’s anecdotal and films can’t be anecdotal. It has to have a story. The reason I mention this is because people should not go to the theatre thinking, we are going to watch Five Point Someone and later find out that it’s a completely different film.

When you get stuck with your writing, what do you reference for inspiration?

I actually don’t go back to films or even books as reference points. If we get stuck when writing, we keep prodding at it and don’t move ahead. Abhijat and I do very stupid things if we get stuck at something. We move out of the house for a walk and tell ourselves that we won’t return till we get a solution. There have been times when we haven’t returned till five in the morning and 99 per cent of the time, we have cracked it. We could be sitting at Bandstand at 4am and are just about to go back, suddenly one of us will say, “Lets try for three more minutes” and in those three minutes we will generally get a spark of an idea. We actually work for 16-18 hours everyday on the script. Abhijat stays in the US, I work through the day and send him an email. He works through the night and sends me an email. We completely work like maniacs. We do stupid things. Like once we stopped at a signal thinking over a scene and we didn’t realise that we had stopped there for 20 minutes. Mostly we pick up stories from our life.


Raju Hirani’s favourite five films

Raju Hirani

1) Pyaasa. It’s one of Guru Dutt’s finest works.

2) Anand for the kind of story that it is – a dying man still trying to live a great life.

3) One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is one of my favourite films. I love stories where you fight against the system for your rights. That’s what came through in Munnabhai too.

4) Amol Palekar’s Golmaal. It’s a funny film. The whole idea of making a film revolving around a moustache is a unique idea.

5) Lagaan again for its unique idea. For me Lagaan fits the bill of, theoretically speaking, a perfect script.

Sanjay Dutt’s refusal to grow a beard for Lamhaa and reluctance to give more dates leaves producer Bunty Walia with no choice but to do away with the actor’s additional scenes
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 28, 2009)

Bunty Walia

Bunty Walia, who had categorically stated not too long ago that he needs Sanjay Dutt for an additional four-five days to complete his forthcoming film Lamhaa, has now decided to release the film without shooting those portions with the actor. Moreover, Bunty and Sanjay are not even spending too much time together as they used to earlier. The evening drink and gupshup sessions at Sanjay’s Bandra residence are all a thing of the past.

The story goes that Bunty wanted Sanjay Dutt to grow a full beard once again to shoot for the additional portions but Sanju, who had shaved off his beard for his look in other films, was in no mood to grow it again to suit Bunty’s schedule. Even though Bunty initially waited for a long time and repeatedly coaxed Sanjay to shoot the pending portions, he got tired of waiting and eventually decided to do away with the additional portions to be shot with Sanjay.

The reason why Bunty can’t wait any longer is that he has borrowed a lot of money and has also sold a few of his cars to meet the budget of Lamhaa. Any further delay would be a bad financial decision.

Rahul Dholakia, director of Lamhaa, said, “We finished Sanjay Dutt’s portions in January. We are now editing the film.”

Bunty claimed that Sanjay was gracious enough to ask him if he wanted him to grow the beard again. He also claimed that Sanjay and he have not had a fall out. However, he did not deny that he seldom spends time with Sanjay these days. He said, “Sanjay has been busy shooting for the past six months all over the world. Where is the time to spend with him? Also, he is off drinks now. You want me to land up in somebody’s house and force him to drink?”

Sanjay Dutt

“I had a feeling that we need Sanju for a couple of extra days to shoot for Lamhaa but Rahul proved me wrong. Recently, Rahul came back from the US and I checked with him. He has seen the scenes shot for the film and he doesn’t require any dates from Sanjay. Whatever we had shot with Sanjay for 40 days earlier is enough for the film. Besides, I am a stand alone producer who doesn’t have any corporate backing for Lamhaa. My money has come from the bank for which I am paying heavy interest. I can’t wait any longer,” added Bunty.

As she gets ready to unleash her sense of humour on unsuspecting viewers with a new chat show starting tomorrow night, where she gets stars and other people to reveal unknown facets about themselves, Farah Khan takes time to introspect on her own life
By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 22, 2009)
•      Let’s start with your favourite decade, the 1970s. In 1970 you came from this extremely rich family and by 1971, they were paupers. How did this happen?

I was five years old in 1970 when my dad (actor-producer Kamran Khan) had a spate of hits. The films were not A-grade movies but he was doing very well in his own right. I remember we had the first Impala car. Sajid had just been born and I was this absolutely spoilt child. Then in 1971 he made a film called Aisa Bhi Hota Hai into which he put all his personal money and the film bombed on the opening Friday. I remember it because I had gone to the theatre on Friday very excitedly with my grandmother and the theatre was empty. By Monday people stopped coming to our house. It was like a funeral. Our house usually used to be full of people. But by Monday, it was empty. And then there were bad times for 15 years till 1985, when he died. It was a very hard time, especially for him.

•      What are the good things you remember?

There are too many! I remember that everyday I had to go and buy a new record, by which I mean EPs or LPs. I was a spoilt child, so everyday, I was taken in the Impala car to Linking road, where there was this shop Twist and I would buy one. There used to be big parties in our house. Sanjeev Kumar, Jeetendra, Kalyanji bhai, Anandji bhai and people like that would attend.

•      And the bad times?

The bad times lasted longer than the good times. And also I was much older then. I know it sounds very filmi, but like you saw in the 1970s’ films that things are being sold from the house… it was literally like that. The one time I was really upset was when my gramophone had to be sold. But that had to be done because there was no source of income. My father was a very proud man. The Impala was sold and he obviously wouldn’t travel by bus to go anywhere. So he would just be home, and then he started drinking. I think those were really bad times.

•      Does your confidence stem from an ‘I will show the world’ attitude?

No, I don’t think so. I was not an angry, bitter person, but Sajid was. He had a very difficult time. He is five years younger than me and unfortunately he had been put in a very posh school. I went to a normal convent school but he was in a very posh school and being the poor child there was not helping. He used to be this very angry child and at one time we really thought that he was going to be a juvenile delinquent. So I am really very proud of what he does right now and he has really made something of his life. He used to go around scratching people’s cars saying ‘I don’t have a car so I will destroy this car’. He was really like this devil child. I didn’t grow up to be bitter. It was just something I had to cope with and look after Sajid too after my mom started working. Suddenly I was the responsible person of the house. By that time my mom had left my father.

I am still very insecure if I have not made a particular amount of money in a month. After a point, our house was run day-to-day. The people in our building would use our flat to play cards in. They would remove a kitty, and it would be some 30 bucks for the entire day. And that would be used to buy the milk and the grocery. And if for some reason they didn’t play that day, then those 30 bucks were not there. I remember we used to run the house on 30 bucks a day.

If all this had not happened to me I would not be who I am today. Maybe I would not have that determination to do something and be something in life. I remember in college I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I wanted to be somebody. There had to be something different about me. So I would probably go out of my way to make friends and please people. Maybe I took to dance because it made me feel special. I would go to a party or a social event and do my Michael Jackson moves and everybody would look at me. And I used to like that attention.

Salman Khan’s baby picture as revealed in one of the episodes of Farah Khan’s new show

•      How has all this experience and wisdom helped you in the show?

When I was approached to do the show I knew it had to be a slice of life show. And it could not have been just another show where the stars come and plug their films or say all sorts of things that they themselves don’t believe in. It had to be something about their lives and which is very personal to them, something that nobody knows about them. Like do you know that the sexy glamourous Bipasha is the ghar ka beta. Some of her childhood experiences are quite amazing and she had tears in her eyes when she was speaking about it.

•      Having said that, tell me something about you that nobody knows.

(Laughs) There are a lot of things that nobody knows and shouldn’t even know! I am a very domesticated housewife at heart. I listen to what my husband tells me. Not all the time, but I do respect what he says. Everyone thinks that I am this dominating creature and my poor husband must be henpecked but it’s completely the opposite. Whatever he says happens in the house, and how! I go outside and I shout and scream at people, but not in the house. In the house I’m a bheegi billi.

•      Give me an example of one thing he has said…

Just the fact that he said our children should never be publicised; I respect that and I haven’t, despite having gotten so many opportunities to be on covers of magazines and papers. But because he is not comfortable with it, it will not happen. Till he says it’s okay to do it.

•      Is SRK the most important man in your life?

He is one of the most important people in my life, regardless of man or woman. I think when you have babies; no one else stands a chance, not even the husband. The most important people in my life right now are Diva, Anya and Czar, then of course Shirish, Shah Rukh, Sajid.

•      How has Shirish (Kunder) influenced your style of filmmaking?

I have become far more aesthetic. Even in editing. He is far more a visual director than I can ever hope to be. I am little boring on that front, I am a little straightforward.

Jaanemann was far ahead of its time. I think if it would release today, the audience would be ready for it. Like a Kaminey today that you either love or hate. There is a certain audience today that has seen world cinema and is ready for this new age cinema. I think the story was a bit old fashioned but it was presented in a snazzy way. He learnt a lot from it. His new scripts are just fabulous. The way he thinks of constructing a scene is something I can’t think of. He just thinks out of the box.

•      You share a home and three kids, how much of your movies do you share.

Quite a lot. We are each others bouncing boards. Though some times my movies go over his head and he says, “I can’t understand what you are doing.” He tells me, “When I read it I am like what the hell but you do it with confidence.” He gives me all his scripts to read. Our movies will never be alike which I think is very healthy if we are going to be in the same profession.

•      Any surprises on the show?

Lots. I didn’t know that Hrithik still does one hour of speech exercises every day. He is afraid that the stammer will come back if he doesn’t do it. Or the things he went through as a child. As a 10-year-old boy he would sit in his room for 36 hours and practice one line to tell his cook, that I want to eat this, without stammering. You get goose bumps when you hear all this.

Sarita Tanwar (MID-DAY; July 31, 2009)

Saif Ali Khan walks in 10 minutes late. He’s looking fresh and surprisingly fit. He gives me a typical filmy hug and announces, “I haven’t had a bath yet.” I tell him that information would’ve been appreciated a few seconds earlier. Even though he is in his gym clothes, he’s not carrying his workout on him.

Must be the blue blood. He settles down on the other end of the couch and dons his serious glasses, “This is the Bengali in me finally coming out. Very Basu Bhattacharya.” Point noted and it’s time for some serious business. He orders coffee and me conversation. And then, we talk about his love, aaj and kal. Excerpts….

The last time you did a light romantic film (Hum Tum), you won a National Award. What are you expecting with Love Aaj Kal (LAK)?
I am not in the least interested in awards. It is a kind of celebration that comes much later. I am hoping for a decent opening and a successful run. That’s it.

That’s it?
I am hoping and expecting that people will like the movie and enough of them will watch it so that the people who have invested in us are not disappointed. I think it is a good movie and it has a good story. I think stories are really important parts of our lives, whether it is reading or watching them or listening to them from an old tailor in Bhopal, sitting at the foot of my bed, when I was a baby. My parents would be on the balcony, talking with adults and this old man would tell me tales of shikar and tigers and how it attacked somebody….

A man with stories! Can I steal him?
Yeah, no! He was about 90 then yaar…

Drat! Okay, hoping LAK does well for you as a producer, or as an actor?
Both. I think it’s more important that it does well. I am playing a Sikh character, and also a contemporary character called Jai, which people may or may not connect to, because of his thinking. There was a little bit of that in Salaam Namaste, where he didn’t want to get married just because she was pregnant, which people did not like as it isn’t the most heroic thing to do. Similarly, Jai doesn’t know that he loves this girl, and he certainly doesn’t believe in marriage and wants to be practical. But the story is how he changes from that into something else.

Sounds like you.
Err, maybe. Maybe, I suppose. But actually, not really. Jai seems quite clear that he doesn’t want to commit to anyone. Maybe I am just making him sound like me. But he’s not really so.

Most actors and filmmakers take trips to Shirdi, Vaishnodevi or Tirupati before their release. Have you done any of that?
(Sounds amused) No. but I believe Dino (co-producer Dinesh Vijan) went to Siddhi Vinayak with the print. I definitely believe in God. And I believe in luck. And I understand why people would want to cover all the bases. There is a big question mark as to what would work, so people try anything. I mean ultimately, when there is turbulence on the plane, and my gut clenches, I do start saying the Ayatul Kursi. Let’s not laugh at people who do these things but I would like to have the strength to say that mandir and prayer aside, there’s a whole lot of other stuff that is in the gray area.

Like numerology? Did you check if you title was ‘balanced’ for success?
No. I don’t believe that much in astrology and numerology even though I think it could be fun sometimes. I find some of these numerologically sound titles attractive. Like Himesh Reshammiya’s film, what was the name..?

Karzzzz?
(Grins) No, that was a bad marketing idea. Especially if the film is even slightly boring. Arre, it was his only film that ran. It was called Aap Kaa Surror The Real Love Story and it was spelled with two A’s and Kambakkht Ishq had two K’s and Singh Is Kinng had two N’s. So it is kind of hip. It has an edge to it.  But when people do it to their names that is not cool.

For a brief while, Kareena was Kariena…
Oh no! Really? I am happy she has changed it back.

So you will never be Saaif, with an extra A?
No chance. But for my films, maybe I would try it. Maybe Love Aaj Kal would have looked better as Love Aaj Kall. Maybe it would be funky.

Deepika is the youngest actress you’ve worked with and Kareena is the youngest girl you’ve been involved with. That’s new!
Yes, it is new. Definitely.

And?
(Smirks) And it makes you health conscious. Like on hand, I will say, “I think I should be much fitter and healthier.” And on the other, I am really happy being 38.

When you are with these 20-plus women, do you feel older, wiser and smarter or there is some connect?
Oh, I connect with them completely. Why it works is because I am quite juvenile and they are quite mature. (Laughs) So it balances out just fine. But seriously, I do feel very happy for the people I have met, the things I have seen, and experienced. I really think I have matured. I have had a really interesting history, even though I say it myself. So if you ask me, being with Kareena or working with someone younger than me, it is a non-issue for me. I really like being me. And I am very confident in that. I am so lucky that I am doing okay in movies also. Because it is another world.

You’ve never promoted a film like this before. Do you find it cumbersome?
(Sighs) Incredibly exhausting. If I see another camera…. (rolls his eyes).

…or a journalist?
No, I think there is a charm to the written word. We learnt early in our careers to speak carefully because the printed word reads differently because it doesn’t like a tone. It can be cold. So you must word yourself intelligently.

Like a text message.
But a personality can be sensed through an sms. I personally don’t like those short forms. I can’t say ‘pls’; I will type ‘please’ (dramatically). And I can’t bear ‘da’ for ‘the’.

Ok, coming back to promotions….
We sat here as a production house and said, ‘Let us make people aware of this film.’ Promotion is such an important part of the film for the producer. Otherwise as an actor, you do the film and then you call the producer and interfere, ‘Where is the hoarding?’, ‘Where is the poster?’.  Now I know that there are 450 million mobile users and 50 million internet users in India and I want to reach everyone. So you get involved in the whole process. It’s better than worrying about what another actor is doing. I see the poster of Kites and think it is phenomenal. I feel, “Wow, Hrithik Roshan is fit, and a good-looking guy. Like an angel sometimes.” It’s not competitive. I am like – let me work harder; let me learn from other people. I put all my energies into producing this movie rather than worrying about what other people are doing.

But you’ve never really worried about competition.
True. Earlier I wasn’t even worried about myself that much as well.

That’s the lazy Leo in you.
Possibly. And it’s also a bit like my father. At some level I don’t want to lose that. When you are successful, then suddenly people start waking up to you. That’s the scary part. I like to put my feet up on ottomans, in Jaipur razais and watch TV and just cut off from everything in the afternoon. But when you are super-successful, then suddenly everyone wants a piece of you. And then they get offended when some top notches of Mumbai society or politician wants to meet you… The challenge is to be successful and yet maintain a balance without offending anybody but keeping your equilibrium.

You’ve not shown the film to your colleagues as well as the media. Why?
I have known you for so long; I can easily call you and say I am having a trial, watch it and tell me what you think. But you are going to sense that my intention is to seduce you somehow into liking it. At the same time, when I have a press show, as a producer, I will invite people and come say a few words and then bugger off. I am not going to hang around till the end and ask people, “Kaise laga, kaise laga.” Because I will be too tense anyway. Even if my friend goes to see the film, forget the press or the industry, somewhere his opinion will start mattering. And I don’t want it to matter.

Won’t your colleagues be upset that you didn’t show them the film?
If you don’t show the film to anyone, then there is no stress. And it is important to be consistent in life. I have never had a trial. I have never called another actor or filmmaker and said, “I want to see your movie, organise a trial, yaar.” Because I think it is more fun to buy my popcorn and go to the theatre and watch the film. The bottom line of the psychology of the whole thing is: If you pay money to buy a ticket, and make a plan to go see it with your family, friends or girlfriend, it is a different psychology than to be invited by me. I am not interested in THAT audiences’ opinion. Someone will be too tense to laugh and the actors would be like, “I would’ve done this scene better.” The producers will say, “Arre, how much money have these guys spent?” The heroines will be, “This girl is rubbish; I am better than her.” So you know there is no barometer.

How do you react when people feel that you are still not established as a solo hero?
I don’t think that’s true. Who can say that now? You are digging out a question from 1992.

No, that is the perception.
What crap! That perception went out with Hum Tum, which was a solo hero film. Then Parineeta was a solo hero.

But you still did Race, with Anil and Akshaye.
Yeah, but if Race had been a flop, it would’ve been only my flop. Let’s get that clear. There are certainly performances that have contributed to the film but I had the most to lose.

Yeah, and even though Race did good business, it was never counted among the big hits. Why?
Dude, I don’t know about that, but as far as the distributors go, they were very happy. It was a 1200 print opening. They opened that film much wider than any other movie of mine.

Also, you didn’t get due credit for its success.
I got the due credit from Ramesh Taurani, who will be happy to pay me for Race 2 and that is the kind of due I am interested in. And the fact is that the audiences have seen the film, and loved it. About the internal politics, I am not really concerned as long as it doesn’t affect my job.

Looking back, do you feel it was a wrong decision to do so many two-hero projects?
No. I have also chosen what I thought were the best roles.

But you’ve even played second fiddle to Madhavan in Rehna Hain Terre Dil Mein.
Yeah but that was not a particularly great time for me. Like any actor, I’ve always chosen the best from what I was offered that year. Some years have not been very interesting, while some have been great. Your aspirations change according to your success ratio. In the beginning, you are just happy to be working. That you have a job, and you have been accepted. Your standards are pretty low. And pretty soon, after a while, you want to be the best there is. The best there has ever been (laughs); you know there is no end to that kind of ego shit.

You recently said you and Kareena didn’t plan to stay engaged forever. Does that mean you’re already engaged?
No. I mean I feel like I am engaged. But I don’t believe in engagements as such; they are a bit old-fashioned.

Your mom said in a recent interview that you both have the family’s blessings.
I am sure mom wants me to settle down. Parents like to tie up everything and they think it’s done. But it is not done even if you are married. Today, marriage is another form of engagement. It is a legal commitment that it is quite easy to get out of. It’s not like: It’s all over and now we can all go to sleep. And anyway it is very important in a girl’s career for her to focus on that. And marriage — let’s be honest — alters your image, your marketability and people lose interest in you. I’d much rather people kept asking, “When are you getting married?” The minute you are married, you are yesterday’s news. And I am not in any rush to get married. Because I am loving this.

Is it tough to manage being together with your tough schedules?
We are balancing our lives beautifully. We are working hard and Kareena is more than a wife, because she loves me. There are so many wives who don’t love their husbands because they are pakaoed after 10 years of being together. Bebo gives me all the time in the world. And when I get done with these two days and the film releases, I will give time. We manage. People laugh at us saying, “Oh you are turning up on the set; she is coming here” but that’s how we manage.

Oh, you are aware of people laughing?
Yeah, of course, but what to do? Initially when the relationship is starting, you want to make each other secure, and you want to tell the world that we are serious about each other. We are not a fly-by-night kind of a thing. So we make commitments on paper, and we say things but before you know it, it gets blown out of proportion.

What if Bebo says she wants marriage?
For an actor and for a working person, it must come at the right time. You must do it when you want to do it, or when you want to have children. We’ve waited for a reason. It is not the 1920s when it was like now we can live together or now we can spend time legally. We can do all that now, without that. People must understand her priorities. She is a film child. She has grown up watching films. She has always wanted this and she has finally achieved it. And I absolutely forbid her to even want to. Tomorrow if she says, “Let’s get married”, I will tell her, “I think you should work for a few years.”

She has been flaunting her ring for a long time.
She can flaunt many rings. I will give her lots of them. Even I wear rings.

What’s going on between you and Shahid? He was quoted saying that you and Bebo were using his name to get publicity.
I am really glad you asked me this because enough has been said now. Shahid seems like a really well brought-up guy and I mean no offence to him. And let’s stop it now. We are both gentlemen and whenever we have met, we’ve shook hands, and that’s it. So I will not listen to anything anybody says. And it sounds so fake to say I sincerely wish him all the best but I want him to know that I have only heard good things about him. And that too from his ex-girlfriend, which leaves me with a sense of respect for the past and God bless him. He seems like a strong man, and a good kid. That’s it.

There were reports that you were offered Kaminey?
I would like to clear once and for all that Vishal Bhardwaj did not offer me Kaminey. We talked about a film about twins. That film might not even have been Kaminey. I hope it is a good film. But right now, I am more interested in my film running. And I am not interested in other people’s downfall because it doesn’t help me in anyway. When Sanjay Dutt went to jail, it didn’t benefit anybody. It just hurt him. So tomorrow, if something happens to an actor, it does not increase your saleability.

All actors say they don’t watch other actors’ films. What about you?
I genuinely don’t watch many Hindi films. But when I do, l like to see what other people are doing and how they perform. Maybe not at a competitive level. Maybe I will learn from them.

Ever considered direction?
Not really. Not at the moment. It is a completely different kind of a ball-game. It is a huge commitment. I like to cut off and stop for a while. But a director is always thinking, writing, then making and then editing – it’s never ending. I think it is a single man’s job. I don’t know how they manage to be in relationships. Is that wrong to say? I think it’s like being a cop; then the girl really needs to understand.

Many would say that about an actor’s job too.
No, an actor can make time and say, “Ab pack up ho gaya and I can go home.”

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By Taran Adarsh, July 28, 2009 – 08:42 IST

Life Partner
Click above for more movie stills

Now this is a real coincidence. Rumi Jaffery’s directorial debut GOD TUSSI GREAT HO had released on 15th August last year, while his second outing, LIFE PARTNER, is slated for release on 14th August this year. Also, last year, GOD TUSSI GREAT HO was pitted against BACHNA AE HASEENO [Ranbir Kapoor], while LIFE PARTNER will come face to face with KAMINEY [a Kapur again, this time Shahid]. Quite a coincidence, isn’t it?

“No, I am not into numerology,” Rumi corrects me, “If you recall, LIFE PARTNER was scheduled to release in May, but the producers versus multiplexes strike forced us to shift our film to a latter date. It wasn’t intentional [of releasing in August], it just happened. As for clashing with another biggie this year, let me add that both KAMINEY and LIFE PARTNER are diverse in terms of content. Both can co-exist.”

Rumi doesn’t deny that he has to get it right this time. “If your first film doesn’t work for whatever reasons, you’ve this additional responsibility on your shoulders to get it right the second time. This time, I am very, very confident of my product. There has been no delay in completing the film. Plus, the subject is the type that holds universal appeal. It’s for those who believe in arranged marriages [Tusshar – Prachi Desai], it’s for those who believe in love marriages [Fardeen Khan – Genelia D’Souza], it’s for those who don’t believe in the institution of marriage [Govinda – Amrita Rao],” Rumi states.

Not many are aware that the role essayed by Govinda was initially offered to Akshay Kumar. Everything was finalized, but the schedule of 8 x 10 TASVEER went haywire and Akshay had to allot additional dates to the film, pushing several films out of gear. LIFE PARTNER also got affected in the process. “Govinda graciously stepped into the project. He loved the script, allotted dates instantly and was co-operation personified throughout the making of the film,” Rumi says.

LIFE PARTNER marks the debut of Abbas-Mustan in the production arena. “They’ve been wonderful. Since they’re directors themselves, they ensured that I got complete creative freedom when I started filming. Even when I told them that we’d take Hussainbhai’s services to edit the film [Abbas-Mustan’s brother, who edits their films], they told me that I shouldn’t, because that would compel people to believe that they [Abbas-Mustan] have ghost-directed the film. That only shows how distinguished they are,” Rumi says.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

9999 has been in the news for more reasons than one. It’s the first A-grade Hindi film to release after the producer v/s multiplexes tussle commenced. The promo aroused curiosity and with no other Hindi film in sight, 99 was the only option left for film-starved audiences. And fortunately, 99 entertains! The film with its wonderful story, screenplay and execution works big time!

99-BThe story of the movie: The film begins in the year 1999. Two small-time crooks, Sachin (Kunal Khemu) and Zaramud (Cyrus Broacha) run an illegal SIM card duplication business. When one day police comes knocking on their doors, they rob a car and escape. Unfortunately, the car meets with an accident. But the crooks escape with little injuries. But more bad news awaited them-the car they robbed belongs to AGM (Mahesh Manjrekar), a gangster-cum-bookie. He asks them to reimburse the amount of the car. They refuse as they couldn’t afford it. And then they had no choice but to join AGM’s illegal business and help him. Some months later, they are given a new ‘task’-recovering money from Delhi-based Rahul (Boman Irani) who owed 20 lakh rupees to AGM and had not returned a single paisa. This new ‘mission’ changes Sachin’s and Zaramud’s life as they meet the compulsive gambler Rahul. What follows is an unpredictable and hilarious roller coaster ride!

99 starts off amazingly and the witty screenplay makes sure the film doesn’t turn boring at any moment. The characters thrown in the narrative are very interesting. Right from the foul-mouthed gangster AGM to Rahul, his wife (Simone Singh), JC (Vinod Khanna), Kuber (Amit Mistry) and his ‘right hand’ Dimple-everyone manage to amuse and impress. And how can we forget the protagonists and also Neha (Soha Ali Khan)-they too rocked! The writers should certainly be appreciated for wonderful characterization.

Also, the film is set in the year 1999 and 2000. It was a time when metropolitan cities like Mumbai and Delhi were still ‘mall-less’! Mobile Phones were still expensive and one was charged even for incoming calls. People still struggled with dialing, messaging and changing ring tones in their cell phones. Cyber Cafes proudly displayed on their hoardings that they have a high speed of 64 kbps! 99 wonderfully display all this and captures that period effectively!

10

The film falls in some places in the 2nd half, especially in Kunal-Soha scenes. These were very short scenes but still proved as an obstacle at times. Maybe, these scenes could have been chopped off. However, the last 25 minutes of the film were certainly the best part of the film. It was hilarious, unpredictable and doesn’t go over the top.

Directors of this film have succeeded in extracting fine performances from the entire cast. Kunal Khemu shines in his role. He looks great in trimmed hair and gives a great performance. Cyrus Broacha doesn’t mouth many dialogues but manages to raise many laughs throughout the film! Last seen in Little Zizou, he’ll be seen next in Mumbai Chaka Chak! Boman Irani is certainly the best performer in the film! He plays his role with aplomb. In every film, he plays a character different from the other and still manages to give an outstanding performance! Hats off to this marvelous actor!

Soha Ali Khan does a wonderful job and was exceptional in her final scene. Mahesh Manjrekar comes up with a hilarious performance. Watch out for him in the climax! Amit Mistry also entertains, esp when Kunal wacks him at Boman’s house! The guy enacting the role of Dimple was funny too. Vinod Khanna and Simone Singh were great.

3 songs of the film stand out-the theme song, ‘Delhi Destiny’ and ‘What’s Up’. Fortunately, the song ‘What’s Up’ is played when the credits roll. Kudos to the director duo/editor for not incorporating the song in the film as it would have reduced the pace of the film.

Background score elated the film at several points. Rajeev Ravi’s cinematography was flawless. Cherag Todiwala’s editing was slick. Dialogues by Chintan Gandhi, Sita Menon and Raja Sen (the critic?) were amazing.

12

The story and screenplay is written by Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK and Sita Menon. Story was inspired from the real-life events but was well-written. Screenplay was just amazing and certainly, one of the best of this year! They knew what they wanted to make and succeeded fully. They deserve maximum appreciation for those scenes where Kunal bangs the heads of so many throughout the film. The scene looked straight out of popular cartoons. Seems like the screenwriters were heavily inspired by comic series like Tom and Jerry!

Finally, Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK do an exceptionally great job as directors. They surely have a long way to go. If they come up with such cool scripts for their directional ventures in future too, they’ll soon be the next Abbas-Mustan of Bollywood!

Some of the best scenes:
1.   The first scene!
2.   Sachin having a walk in South Mumbai and the titles rolling by
3.   AGM’s meeting Sachin and Zaramud for the first time
4.   Scenes of Rahul knocking at Jahanvi’s door
5.   Sachin and Zaramud’s first meeting with Rahul
6.   Sachin and Zaramud at Rahul’s office and the intermission point
7.   Kuber getting wacked by Sachin at Rahul’s house
8.   Sachin at Kuber’s suite (excellent!)
9.   The final 25 minutes

On the whole, 99 is a smart, witty comic flick that would surely provide entertainment to the viewers. The film unfortunately hasn’t taken a flying start at the BO. But it’s a great film and with no other Hindi film running, 99 should be watched by all movie buffs. Recommended!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/99-167773-1.html