Fenil and Bollywood

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Priyadarshan has always come up with zany comedies but De Dana Dan takes away the cake. In your entire life, you would have not seen such complicated and bizarre film ever, nor would you see it in future! There are some 25 characters; the entire action takes place inside a luxurious hotel and misunderstandings galore in the film. In fact, the flick thrives on misunderstandings and mistaken identities! However, like many other pathetic comedy flicks attempted this year, this doesn’t disappoint all thanks to Priyadarshan’s excellent handling and execution!

The story of the movie: Nitin Bankar (Akshay Kumar) works for Archana (Archana Puran Singh), a rich lady in Singapore and who loves her pet dog named Moolchandji the most! Nitin’s only friend is Ram (Suniel Shetty). While Nitin is in love with Anjali (Katrina Kaif), Ram loves Manpreet (Sameera Reddy). However, both Anjali and Manpreet are born and brought up in rich families and their families would not like their daughters to marry financially unstable men. So Nitin and Ram come up with plan to get quick money-they decide to kidnap Moolchandji in exchange of a huge ransom from Archana! Without realizing that the kidnapping has gone awry, both hide in the luxurious Pan Pacific Hotel waiting for the ransom. Unfortunately, there are more colourful, anti-social, gadbad-types people in the hotel at that time! And then starts the mother of all misunderstandings, mistaken identities and unlimited, uninterrupted laughter for the viewers!

There is absolutely no logic whatsoever in De Dana Dan. There are some big big loopholes in the story too! But if you are lover of masala Hindi comedies, then you won’t mind at all as there is so much fun happening in the film every second! Except during the songs, you won’t get a chance to yawn or check out the time in your watch or look anywhere else than the screen!

The first half is where the characters are introduced and established which is perfectly done. The asli mazaa begins when Nitin and Ram hatch the kidnap plan. The actual kidnapping and the events that follow was brilliant! Also, there are lots of tracks going on in the film, each one which is well written and worked upon. There is Harbans Chadda (Paresh Rawal) who is deep in debt and who wants to marry off his son Nonny (Chunky Pandey) to the best amir khandaan ki ladki; there is Brij Mohan Oberoi (Manoj Joshi) who is happy to marry off her manglik daughter Manpreet to Nonny; then there is smart theif cum club dancer (Neha Dhupia), Harban’s unfaithful wife Pammi (Aditi Govitrikar), a killer on a mission Peshawarwala (Johny Lever), an oversmart waiter Duggu (Rajpal Yadav), an Indian ambassador Paramjeet Lamba (Vikram Gokhale) and her wife (Supriya Karnik), Anjali’s dad Kakkad (Tinu Anand), Anti-corruption cop (Sharat Saxena) and a letch (Shakti Kapoor) (I hope I haven’t left anyone). Whew! With so many characters with interesting characteristics, Priyadarshan and the writing team excellently links up unrelated characters creating multiple mistaken identities, all which provide laughter unlimited!

The first half is laced with 4 songs but still the flick didn’t turn boring. However, it was the 2nd half where at a point, everything gets too monotonous and you want the flick to end. In fact, the film is close to 2 hrs 45 minutes. However, the climax again takes the film up and it was the most weird and bizarre climax I have ever witnessed! Once again, I state that don’t watch the flick if you can’t stand any nonsense in films. Or else you’ll surely faint watching the nonsense climax! But for those who love comedies, the climax will surely entertain!

With so many characters, it becomes difficult to decide who the best was. In fact all put their best foot forward and contribute well. Akshay Kumar was like everytime rocking! His films may not entertain everytime but he always impresses. In fact, it was so great to see a fantastic Akshay Kumar film after so long (the last such film was Welcome, 2 years back). Keep rocking Akki! Suniel Shetty gives an amazing performance and it was great to see him after a long time! Watch out for him in his next, Red Alert!

From the rest, the ones who impress and provide maximum laughs are Paresh Rawal, Archana Puran Singh, Johny Lever and Vikram Gokhale. Vikram Gokhale particularly entertains a lot! The rest-Asrani, Chunky Pandey (he had no role at all!), Manoj Joshi, Rajpal Yadav, Supriya Karnik, Tinu Anand and Sharat Saxena also did a nice job but it got overshadowed in presence of so many actors. Producer Ratan Jain is also there in the film!

As for the heroines, Katrina Kaif has the meatiest role and sizzles full on in the song Gale Lag Ja. Neha Dhupia gives a bindass performance. Sameera Reddy looks charming but hardly has any dialogues. Aditi Govitrikar’s performance was flawless.

Music was fine. Baamulaiza, Gale Lag Ja and Rishte Naate are the best songs of the lot. K Ahambaram’s cinematography was too shaky in some scenes which didn’t work. Salim-Suliaman’s background score, as usual, was flawless. Sabu Cyril’s production design deserves special appreciation especially for the climax where the entire hotel gets flooded. Some parts of the hotel were recreated in Mumbai, it was flooded and shot and it was so accurately done that it’s impossible to distinguish the actual hotel in Singapore from the set! Great work! But at the same time, disappointed to see enormous quantity of water wasted under the guise of entertainment!

Finally, we come to the writers and director. Suresh Krisshnan’s story was unusual. Jay Master’s dialogues were amazing and also contribute to the entertainment quotient in the film! And this is undoubtedly Priyadarshan’s one of the finest works! It requires guts and courage to screenwrite a film with so many complicated and tangled scenes and then directing it and also giving it a proper conclusion. Any other director would have either failed miserably or would have run away midway! So hats off to Priyan….keep giving us such films!

This time, there would be no section of Best Scenes….there are some 3 to 4 dozen memorable scenes, half of which I can’t even recollect now but enjoyed while watching! So please excuse this time!

On the whole, De Dana Dan is one of the most complicated comedies of all time. Those who love Priyadarshan and his slapstick comedies should not even think of missing it!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on Mouthshut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/De_Dana_Dan-181702-1.html

CROSSOVER CINEMA Bollywood films do business of crores in Pakistan
The Pakistani film industry, crippled by the flood of Hindi film releases, is agitating for new regulations

Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; November 1, 2009)

This year, the Pakistani film industry produced only nine films. The reasons for this dwindle are many but most fingers point to one culprit who, they claim, has killed their industry: Bollywood.

In the recent past, almost every film released in India has simultaneously been released in Pakistan and done business of about Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore. Salman Khan starrer Wanted, reported to be a mega hit in Pak metros, has earned about Rs 5 crore till now; Wake Up Sid grossed Rs 1.5 crore; New York made Rs 3 crore while Love Aaj Kal earned Rs 2.5 crore. Most cinema halls in Pakistan are found playing only Indian movies, leading to a paucity of venues for local films: a source from the Pak film industry points out that there are four Pakistani films ready for release but no cinema halls available to screen them.

But while this swamping has angered many members of the Pakistani film and television industry, there are some who feel it is unfair to point a finger at Bollywood alone. Says Jahanzaib Baig, chairman of the Pakistan Film Exhibitors Association, “Local films, which, at 15 to 20 per year, were already in scarce supply, have dropped to around nine. But it’s not only because of Bollywood—the real issue is the lack of infrastructure and skilled workforce in the Pakistani film industry as also the government’s unwillingness to offer a concrete support policy. Unless quality films are produced in the country, you can’t expect the local populace to root for them.’’

Indeed, Baig believes Bollywood has given a boost to the exhibition business in Pakistan. “Indian films have renewed the Pakistani public’s dwindling interest in going to cinema halls, and because of this some new cinemas have been built,’’ he says. “These releases have ensured at least some business for cinema houses which were at the mercy of the local low-quality productions.’’

A source from the Pakistani film industry supports the pragmatism. “When a producer or distributor can buy a Salman or Shah Rukh starrer for about Rs 70 lakh to a crore, why would he want to invest Rs 2 crore in making a Pakistani film which may not have any takers?’’ he says. Adds
producer-distributor Shakeel Akhtar, “Most Bollywood films are bought for between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore and go on to do business of crores, which is good enough for Pakistani distributors who cannot even collect a few lakhs from a Pakistani film.’’

However, fear of complete destruction of the industry has angered some film and television professionals in Pakistan who are now opposing the release of Bollywood films and growing Bollywood content on television channels. “There is a lot of pressure to restrict the number of Bollywood releases in Pakistan, as it affecting the film industry,’’ says Satish Anand who distributed Wake Up Sid and Main Aurr Mrs Khanna in Pakistan. “There will be a new regulation by November, after which not all Bollywood films will get a chance to be released in Pakistan.’’

So Bollywood, which has been getting some additional revenue ranging from a few lakhs to crores, may have to write off the territory very soon. Says trade analyst Amod Mehra, “Pakistan was an additional overseas territory for Bollywood, and though not very big did bring in some money.’’ As for the restrictions, he believes they were bound to happen. “The Pakistani film industry is dying, and Bollywood films had become the last nail in their coffin. This opposition is only to save their industry.’’