Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘film fraternity

Sanjay Leela Bhansali slackens shooting schedule of Guzaarish for Aishwarya as she needs time to help with the premiere of Paa

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 30, 2009)


This one is strictly for Paa. Not just the film, but Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s Pa, Amitabh Bachchan.

A stickler for discipline, punctuality and strict schedules during shooting Sanjay Bhansali is known to shoot through burning fevers and location setbacks, so that his actors’ dates don’t go awry. For the first time in his career as a filmmaker, Sanjay is voluntarily slackening his schedule for Aishwarya.

 

Aishwarya Rai and Amitabh Bachchan

Later this week Aishwarya will be given a couple of days off at a time when she is required to shoot with Hrithik Roshan. A friend of Sanjay and Aishwarya says, “Aishwarya is not just a leading lady for Sanjay. After doing three films together they are family. Sanjay saw how stressed Aishwarya was, trying to balance Guzaarish with the time required to pitch in with her father-in-law for Paa. In fact, Mr Bachchan has been running around alone inviting the film fraternity for the premiere on December 3 since Abhishek has been shooting non-stop in Goa for Ashutosh Gowariker and Jayaji is in Delhi attending parliament.”

Earlier this week Sanjay decided to give her a break. A common friend says, “When she expressed her helplessness about being unavailable to help Mr Bachchan, Sanjay made up his mind to give her an off on those crucial days on and before the premiere, although it meant considerable schedule adjustment on his part.”Sanjay reveals, “It’s no big deal. Adjusting my schedule is the least I can do for someone who has been a dear friend for many years. But this was not done for Aishwarya. It was for Paa and Mr Bachchan. It’s a very special moment for the family.”

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Socialite Kajal Anand allegedly asked film critic Khalid Mohamed to leave the theatre after he asked her to take a good look at herself in the mirror…

By Vishwas Kulkarni (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 24, 2009)


 


For the rarified select gathering, it was meant to be a cozy evening with close friends from the film fraternity to celebrate the release of Kurbaan last week. A special preview, hosted by socialite Kajal Anand, thus comprised the Who’s Who of tinsel town and the usual sprinkling of society divas and dudes.

But as the evening panned out, guests, comprising socialites and Bollywood movers and shakers, were shocked with what seemed to be a comedy of errors, gone horribly wrong.

Film critic Khalid Mohamed and socialite Kajal Anand had a very public falling-out at this private screening of the film starring Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan.

It all started like this: a socialite at the evening approached famed film critic Khalid Mohamed, but made the mistake of assuming him to be someone else. She then, on realising her faux pas, supposedly apologised for this. An eyewitness claims that Mohamed replied with, “You know, it’s alright. I don’t even care to know you, and I don’t even know who you are.” Realising that things were getting a little choppy on the guest-list front, Kajal Anand then walked up to the film critic, supposedly to ask him to let go and make peace.

But Anand caught Mohamed at a wrong time indeed; he then began directing his ire towards her, sources claim. And he certainly didn’t mince his words. “Have you seen yourself in the mirror lately? You are a fat hag! How do your friends even hang out with someone like you? Now I know that you’ll go later to Mannat and bitch  with the rest of that gang of yours. That’s all you’re famous for…” is what he is alleged to have told the socialite.

On hearing all this, Kajal Anand then asked Khalid Mohamed to leave. “Please leave this preview. You are never welcome again,” said she. An awkward ceasefire ensued, as both parties went back to their seats, but there was no missing the hushed silence of the collected crowd, who were still soaking in the slow-but-sure repercussions of what was a jarring end to a rather long-standing friendship.

Khalid Mohamed has been a famed film critic for almost 30 years. Kajal Anand is a well-known socialite who hobnobs with both, SoBo A-listers and eminent names from Bollywood aristocracy; it is a dexterity that makes her one of the more powerful society names in Bombay today.

Khalid Mohamed sat at his seat, fuming for some time. Then at the interval, he stormed out, something that nobody missed, given what had preceded this exit.

The incident has therefore sent shockwaves in the industry and society circles, even if not many are willing to comment on the melee, given the pedigree of both parties involved. Yet when contacted, Kajal herself did not deny the story. All she said was, “It is entirely your prerogative to do the story; I have no comments to offer on this incident.” When Khalid Mohamed was contacted about this fracas, he confirmed the story as well.

“No, it didn’t happen like you say it. The first preview for Kurbaan was a Mumbai Police screening which I had missed. The second one was hosted by Kajal Anand; here a girl walked up to me and mistook me for a furniture designer, introducing herself as Prerna Goel. This girl, Prerna Goel, was behaving very funnily. I even remember asking Kajal, ‘What sort of friends do you have?’ I don’t know why, but Kajal was behaving obnoxiously that day. She is a friend but she tends to be, at times, like this. I never told her, ‘You’re fat’. But I did say, ‘Look at yourself in the mirror.’ And I walked out in the interval with a friend who was accompanying me. At that moment, I remember Kajal standing with Yash Birla and a couple of other people,” said the film critic.

(With inputs by Vickey Lalwani)

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Any kind of calamity, whether natural or man-made, is immediately picked up by the film fraternity to capture the event in celluloid. The 26 July 2005 Mumbai deluge was one of the biggest natural disasters in India in this decade and surprisingly, no film, comprising A-listers was based on it yet. Finally, Tum Mile takes the initiative. It’s a love story and the floods serve as a backdrop. Unfortunately, the ‘flood’ connection wasn’t utilized well and hence, the film fails to impress fully.

The story of the movie: Akshay (Emraan Hashmi) and Sanjana (Soha Ali Khan) become friends when they both were based in Cape Town. Although Akshay was struggling painter and Sanjana was a creative writer cum environmentalist and a daughter of a rich billionaire (Sachin Khedekar), they both hit off well and fall in love. They decide to move in. Unfortunately, both face problems, more so because of Akshay’s financial insecurity. Finally, both have to break up. Six years later, they meet each other once again in a London-Mumbai flight. Things have drastically changed for both Akshay and Sanjana now. However, once they land in Mumbai, they have to go through a roller coaster ride as heavy rains have crippled the entire city. The date was July 26, 2005. They have no choice but to be together in this dark time.

Let’s get one thing straight-although Tum Mile was promoted as a film based on floods, it is actually not. 70% of the film is Emraan-Soha’s flashback in Cape Town. The remaining 30% focuses on the deluge. However, the story wonderfully moves from the present to flashback and back and that’s why the film works a bit.

The first scene of the film is in fact the best one! Weather dept officials who were more interested in playing cards than looking at the warning they received about a downpour just a day before July 26 is a rocking scene! It gives an indication that how the careless attitude of these officials led to a disaster.

The first half of the film has no glitches. The flashback portion begins wonderfully and goes ahead nicely too. Also the scene inside the flight were well executed. The intermission point was scary. However, problems start in the second hour. The flashback scenes quite dragged. Director Kunal Deshmukh could and should have had a crisp narrative. The problems faced by the couple in the floods were engrossing but the climax disappointed. The way both Emraan and Soha accept each other in the climax (after the rains stopped) seemed little indigestible, because their interactions with each other was very limited during the time of crisis. But then it is said, “When you bond during a crisis, the bonding goes deep”. So maybe only the very limited bonding was more than enough for the characters!

The visual effects in the film at some places were tacky and could have been better. The film also exhibits some of the actual footage depicting the horrors of 26/7. But that doesn’t work. Also, factual errors can be noticed-the lead actors are shown wading through chest-deep water in Lower Parel area of Mumbai. However, nothing of that sort had happened there on that day.. In fact, it was in the suburban areas like Juhu, Kalina etc where water had arisen till the first floors. However, some of the horrors of that day were wonderfully captured. Most notable is how the central locking system caused the death of many inside the car after their car’s doors and windows failed to open.

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Emraan Hashmi and Soha Ali Khan carry the film on their shoulders wonderfully. Emraan delivers a sparkling performance and proves that he’s one of the best performers around. He looked charming, esp in the flashback portions. However, his bespectacled look in the present track is not as great as the similar one he had in Gangster. But still, he manages to do a great job. Watch out for him when he’s high-tempered and in the scene where he enthusiastically paints Soha. A fine actor indeed!

Soha Ali Khan too comes up with a brilliant performance-one of the best of her careers after RDB and Khoya Khoya Chand. She appears confident and it’s great to see that she slipped into her role so easily. Actually, she wasn’t the original choice-Esha Deol was offered the role initially. After she refused due to some reason, Soha was approached!

Mantra, who plays Emraan’s pal, also gives a confident performance. Sachin Khedekar was impressive. Others were good.

Pritam’s music was one of the USPs of the film. The 3 songs which completely rock are the title song, Tu Hi Haqeeqat and Dil Ibaadat. Watch out for Dil Ibaadat-it was just brilliantly executed!

Prakash Kutty’s cinematography was flawless. So was the design.

There was nothing wrong in the story; it was the screenplay that failed at places. Ideally, equal emphasis should have been there for both the tracks. The flood portions were underutilized. Although Kunal Deshmukh’s first venture Jannat was fantastic, Tum Mile isn’t, unfortunately.

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       The first scene
2.       Akshay restructures Sanjana’s cake
3.       The title song and Dil Ibaadat
4.       Akshay’s confrontation with the curator
5.       Sachin Khedekar’s only scene
6.       Akshay and Sanjana’s argument the next day
7.       The intermission point
8.       Akshay and Sanjana in the bus and in cracked building

On the whole, Tum Mile unfortunately doesn’t work in totality. Performances and music were brilliant but the film was too dragged for no reason. But the film doesn’t bore even for a moment and the first half was great. Watch it if you are an Emraan/Bhatt fan!

My rating-** ½ out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Tum_Mile-179553-1.html

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Sanjay Dutt, who has five releases this year, will have a Mata Ki Chowki on September 19 at his Bandra residence
By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 16, 2009)

Sanjay Dutt, who has five films releasing this year, is taking no chances professionally. Since it is an important year for him on the work front, he has planned an elaborate Mata Ki Chowki on September 19, which is the first day of Navratri. This year Sanjay has personally invited people from the film and political fraternity and the chowki, as usual, will be a grand affair.

Sanjay’s business manager Dharam Oberoi confirmed the news.

A source said, “Sanju has been having a chowki every year since he met Manyata. This has been a busy year for Sanju as he has many releases lined up and he obviously wants all of them to do well at the box-office. Blue and All The Best will release on Diwali, while Aladin and Lamha will release later in the year. The chowki will be held on the first day of Navratri on Saturday in his building compound, Imperial Heights at Bandra. Sanjay has personally invited everyone and several people from the film industry are likely to be present.”

According to the source, it still remains to be seen if Sanjay and his wife Manyata have also invited his sisters Priya and Namrata, who incidentally, reside in the same building.


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