Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘friday

VIR SANGHVI (Hindustan Times)

Here are two images you may remember from television. The first was the Oscar ceremony. Simon Beaufoy won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for Slumdog Millionaire. It is no secret that Beaufoy’s script differed significantly from the book by Vikas Swarup on which Slumdog was based. But Beaufoy made it a point to thank Swarup on stage and to say that without his book there would be no screenplay, no movie, and no Oscars.

Later that same night Slumdog director Danny Boyle, while accepting his own Oscar, apologised to the choreographer Longinus, whose name had been left out of the end credits of Slumdog. When the film won the Best Picture Oscar, the entire unit went on stage including Vikas Swarup who had been flown in to Los Angeles by the makers of the film at their expense.

And here is a second image. It is a press conference in Noida on Friday. The cast and makers of 3 Idiots are answering questions from the press as part of the publicity campaign for the film. When journos keep asking about the lack of recognition accorded to author Chetan Bhagat, on whose book the film is based, producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra stands up, points a finger at an inquisitive journalist and shouts ‘Shut up’. Chopra is prevented from saying much more by his colleagues and Aamir Khan then swings into damage control mode. He tries to sound reasonable but manages to abuse Chetan Bhagat, calls him publicity hungry — a bit rich considering the stunts Aamir staged to gain publicity for 3 Idiots — and berates journos for believing Bhagat.

What is the difference between the two images?

I think one word sums it up: grace.

Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy and the Slumdog unit behaved with grace. Vinod Chopra and his star behaved with a complete lack of grace.

If you’ve missed the controversy, here’s what it is about. Vidhu Vinod Chopra bought the rights to Chetan Bhagat’s novel and then turned it into 3 Idiots. Nobody disputes that 3 Idiots is based on the Bhagat novel and indeed Bhagat is credited as such in the movie.

The point of discord is the placing of the credit. Bhagat suggests that it should have been at the beginning along with all the other writer credits. Instead it appears at the very end.

In his defence, Chopra says that the end is an appropriate place for the credit because his scriptwriters, including Rajkumar Hirani, the film’s director, changed so much of the story that the final film has little to do with Bhagat’s novel.

Bhagat says that this is not true. Yes of course there is a lot in the film that he did not write but it is still recognisably his story and on his blog he lists several points of similarity.

For the purposes of argument, I am quite prepared to believe Aamir and Chopra when they deny Bhagat’s version of events. I am also prepared to accept that the screenplay is significantly different from Bhagat’s novel.

But here’s the thing: it shouldn’t make a difference.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra is contractually obliged to give Bhagat credit as the writer of the source material for the movie. So, the issue is not whether the script is 95 per cent based on the book or 25 per cent derived from Bhagat’s novel. The only issue is one of placing. Should Bhagat have been part of the opening credits? And was it graceless to bury his name in the end credits?

In Hollywood, it is not uncommon for scriptwriters to significantly alter the plots of source material or to only use a part of the book. Slumdog differs significantly from Vikas Swarup’s Q&A. The Firm dispenses with John Grisham’s ending and invents a new one. In Papillon, a major character who was not even in the book was invented by the scriptwriters. David Lean’s Dr Zhivago junked the second half of the book. The recent My Sister’s Keeper differs substantially from Jodi Picoult’s bestseller of the same name.

In every single case, however, the original novel was properly credited and the author mentioned in the opening credits. Nobody believed that this detracted in any way from the screenwriter’s achievements. It just demonstrated a certain grace and honesty on the part of the movie’s maker.

So why, you may well ask, is Vidhu Vinod Chopra being so bloody-minded about denying Chetan Bhagat his opening credit?

The honest answer is I simply cannot understand Chopra’s pettiness.

I hold no brief for any of the principals in this drama. At the HT, we’ve had a bad experience with Chetan Bhagat, who we believe behaved unprofessionally when he was a columnist. On the other hand, I have met Vinod Chopra, have worked with his wife and have always thought well of him. Personally, I have the highest regard and admiration for Aamir Khan, whom I know slightly.

So, this is not about personalities. It’s not even about principle — Chopra has conceded the principle by giving Bhagat his credit even if he has buried it in the end.

It is about grace.

What does it cost the makers of 3 Idiots to give Chetan Bhagat his credit in the space where a writer’s credit is traditionally placed in the international movie business? It would make no difference to the movie’s massive box-office performance. We would not think any less of Rajkumar Hirani, a fine director with a great track record. And Aamir’s reputation as the most consistently successful star of our times would remain intact.

Finally, it comes down to how big a human being is prepared to be. Even people who did not think much of Slumdog Millionaire were overwhelmed when Danny Boyle used the Oscar platform to say sorry to Longinus for leaving his name out of the credits. That was the single-biggest night in Boyle’s life, a culmination of everything he had worked for. And he still found the time to mention an Indian dance director he would probably never meet again.

That’s what I call class.

Our own film industry, however, has not covered itself in glory by the way in which it has behaved over Bhagat’s credit. Our producers, directors and actors have come across as mean-spirited and petty and ready to get into fights over something as minor as the placing of a credit.

Just as India has the potential to become a superpower in the 21st century so Bollywood has the opportunity to become the world’s leading film industry in this century. Certainly, we are not short of talent or of audiences.

What we are short of, however, is grace. And our directors need to learn that no amount of box-office success can buy you class. Our film industry will never hit the big time if its leading lights continue to think like small-timers.

It’s time for Aamir, Chopra and Hirani to show some grace. Otherwise they risk coming across as three idiots.

The views expressed by the author are personal

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– By Taran Adarsh, December 30, 2009 – 12:06 IST

3 IDIOTS continues to surprise and shock! The Tuesday figures are in the range of Rs. 8.75 cr. to Rs. 9 cr., which is bigger than the Friday numbers of all biggies that opened this year, including LOVE AAJ KAL. The film has now crossed Rs. 60 cr. mark and is heading for a Rs. 75 cr. to Rs. 80 cr. Week 1. Unbelievable, but true!

Meanwhile, the Australia weekend numbers have also poured in. The film has collected an astonishing Aus. $ 3,98,595 [approx. Rs. 1.67 crores] on 20 screens, with the per screen average working out to Aus. $ 19,930. The numbers are bigger than the lifetime gross of most biggies.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

SMALL IS BIG: YRF TV and Sony Entertainment Television bring fresh content with five new shows from January 1, every Friday to Sunday, 8-10 pm. Seen here are Yash Chopra with Karan Johar and actors from the shows — Shruti Seth, Kavi Shastri, Manish Chaudhary, Geetika Tyagi, Rahul Bagga, Pankaj Tripathi. Raqesh Vashist, Pushtie and Shama Sikander
Bollywood movie mogul launching 5 new TV shows from Jan 1

ROSHNI K OLIVERA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 28, 2009)

YRF TV is set to give telly programming a twist! Come January 1, and it will launch five shows on Sony Entertainment Television. Producer Yash Chopra is excited about his company’s foray in tellyland. “TV is getting bigger and bigger by the day,” remarks Chopra, who’s given the Indian film industry some of its biggest hits over the past many decades.

His busy schedule may not permit him the time to watch TVserials, but his wife Pammi gets her daily dose of entertainment from the small screen. “There are some serials that she likes and ardently watches every day,” he says. The Chopras had been planning to get into television for the past couple of years. “It was my son Aditya’s idea. After the release of his film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, he started concentrating on TV. This whole year he has been focussing on this; he has put in a lot of effort,” reveals Chopra Sr.

Talking about their television foray, he says, “YRF TV is an initiative to engage and entertain the entire family through content which combines high-quality production values with contemporary story-telling. The characters, language and environment in our shows are the kind that today’s Indian families can relate to. We are happy that Sony has shown the commitment to back our content.”

This collaboration marks another milestone in the long standing relationship between the two companies, says NP Singh, COO of Sony Entertainment Television. “Yash Raj Films has been making feature films for almost four decades. Television is the biggest mass medium in India and this collaboration will bring the very best in TV entertainment,” adds Singh.

The shows, scheduled over the weekends, promise to be distinct in their look with fresh, contemporary and engaging storylines that reflect the dreams, aspirations and passion of today’s young India. This brand new line-up of five shows, one non-fiction and four fiction, will air every Friday to Sunday between 8 and 10 pm. Here’s a little brief on each of the shows…

Lift Kara De: Touted as the mother of all reality shows on Indian television, 20 of India’s biggest super-stars will be on one platform. Each week will feature one super-star and his biggest fan. The show is hosted by Karan Johar.
Seven: This is a sci-fi drama series, where mythology is revisited in the modern day context. The show will see seven ordinary people, with extra-ordinary powers, fight the ultimate battle of Good vs Evil.
Mahi Way: A contemporary representation of a young girl on Indian television. Real, relatable, imaginative, unapologetic, happy in her skin.
Rishta.Com: Today’s take on the most traditional institution of marriage. Isha and Rohan have formed a company to find perfect matches for people.
Powder: This is about two men on two different sides of the law who take a fight all the way to the end. This fast-paced, high octane drama moves from murky by-lanes to glitzy high rises.

By Joginder Tuteja, December 5, 2009 – 17:26 IST

Vidya Balan Vidya Balan is extremely happy with an all around positive response that she has got for her role of an unwed mother in Paa. While keeping her emotions in check and not allowing all the appreciation to make her go overtly gaga, Vidya does admit though that such huge response has come to her four long years after her debut effort Parineeta.

“I guess the wait has been worth it”, says Vidya who plays the mother of a 12 year old kid (played by Amitabh Bachchan) suffering from Progeria in Paa, “I was doing films and by God’s grace most of them were successful as well. However, the kind of respect that is coming the way of everyone associated with Paa is overwhelming, heart warming and above all humbling.”

It is this respect factor that has been the biggest moment for Vidya. When the film’s trial was held a few days back, she was convinced that the film would certainly be remembered for its sincerity, honesty and truthfulness. Though box office factor wasn’t to be ignored, she along with director Balki knew that at the least film would see good respectability coming its way.

“One can’t say much about box office in any case because sometimes even the most quintessential commercial flicks don’t really click with the audiences. However, you instinctively know whether your film has turned out to be a quality outing or not. I remember the days of Lage Raho Munnabhai when we came out of the first screening. Along with Raj Kumar Hirani, I knew that we had made a good film. Same was the case with Paa“, details Vidya.

Now she is eagerly awaiting the box office response for Paa. Given the fact that it is coming a week after De Dana Dan and a week before Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year, Paa has to score and do that really fast.

“I have been told though that the film has been accepted well by the audience and along with critical appreciation, it is also showing good word of mouth from those who have seen it”, she says with that characteristic smile of hers.

What she says does hold good ground. Though the opening wasn’t exceptional (as expected due to its theme), the film has shown a constant increase in crowd inflow with every passing show. Says a trade insider, “The occupancy for Paa on Saturday is almost double than that of Friday. Everyone thought that the film was mainly targeting the class audiences in big cities but it is doing well even in interiors like Nagpur and other cities and towns.”

Vidya Balan Meanwhile, Vidya’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing. “Such appreciation is always welcome. Ever since the film’s premiere, there have been congratulatory calls, which is heart warming. I have been literally glued to my cell-phone for last 3 days at stretch and I am certainly not complaining.”

Given the fact that her last film Kismat Konnection (2008) was a success and so was Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007), she would be used to such adulation, isn’t it?

“Honestly speaking, there have been good words but such volume of calls is a first”, she confesses, “I remember getting quite a few messages during Bhool Bhulaiyaa or Kismat Konnection. However, so many people actually making an effort and giving me a call reminds me of Parineeta days. Paa has fetched me the best response since my debut film.”

With her much in news Ishqiya round the corner that has an author backed role reserved for her, one waits to see if Vidya gets a further one up over Paa and Parineeta in weeks to come. Starring Naseruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi as the male protagonists, Abhishek Chaubey directed Ishqiya is produced by Vishal Bhardwaj & Raman Maroo and sees a 15th January release.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

By Joginder Tuteja, December 1, 2009 – 11:21 IST

De Dana Dan The inevitable has happened. Owing to popular demand, ‘Gale Lag Ja‘ – the rain song and dance number featuring the lead pair of Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif – has been added to the film’s narrative.

Though this much hyped song had created quite some buzz en route to the release of De Dana Dan, it was chopped off from the final copy of the print since it was adding to the film’s length. However, the makers of De Dana Dan were open to the idea of incorporating the song as an added bonus if audiences demanded so and the film worked at the box office. With weekend collections being quite strong worldwide, the final call was taken around bringing back the song in the narrative.

Confirms Ratan Jain, producer of De Dana Dan, “We were clear that the song would be added only if the film did well at the box office. There was no point doing that if (God forbid) people wouldn’t have been going into theatres. Now that the weekend collections are out, we know that there would be repeat audiences for the film. For them, it would be another incentive to watch the film again while for the first timers, it’s an added bonus.”

Since the film’s running length is a little less than 3 hours already, would the incorporation of song be of any further impact?

“No”, says Jain, “The length of De Dana Dan is still the same. To compensate for those 4-5 minutes of the added song, we have edited an equal duration of a few scenes from the film.”

Gale Lag Ja‘ would now appear in the first half of the film at the point when Akshay calls Katrina to the hotel in order to share the kidnapping plan and then run away with the ransom amount.

Meanwhile, Ratan Jain is ecstatic with the kind of collections that the film is showing with every passing day.

“Saturday and Sunday were far better than Friday while Monday was more or less similar to Friday, which is superb”, he says, “Normally, films fall quite rapidly on Monday but we have stayed on very stable grounds. The collections are superb overseas as well, whether in UK, Gulf or elsewhere. In India, we have seen Rs. 23 crores coming in just from the weekend which is superb. All our distributors are very happy and we are all set for a bountiful first week.”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

By Taran Adarsh, December 1, 2009 – 08:34 IST

Download Radio wallpapers

Himesh Reshammiya has decided to release RADIO on a Thursday, instead of a Friday. “The numbers 4 and 8 aren’t lucky for me. KARZZZZ was released on October 17 last year, which totals to 8. I was dead against releasing the film on that date and my worst fears came true when KARZZZ flopped. That’s why I decided against releasing RADIO on December 4 [Friday]. Instead, we will release the film on the evening of December 3 [Thursday],” Himesh explains his stand.

Himesh is now eagerly awaiting the response to RADIO. This time, Himesh is keen on pleasing the multiplex junta. “You need to accept the fact that the booty comes in from the multiplexes. You need to have the mandate of this segment of moviegoers, if you want to play a long innings. That’s precisely why RADIO is targeted at this segment,” he states.

Wasn’t KAJRAARE supposed to be his third release? Reportedly, Studio 18’s ISHQ UNPLUGGED will be his fourth release. Has Himesh put KAJRAARE on the backburner? “Definitely not! KAJRAARE is already complete and in all probability, will be my fourth release. It’s a big film, it has been shot at several exotic locations and is a full on commercial film. We decided to bring RADIO first to create a strong base at plexes,” Himesh reasons.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

AND THE AWARD GOES TO… Suniel Shetty

Suniel Shetty won an international Best Actor award for his role as one in Ananth Mahadevan’s film

 

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 10, 2009)

 

Suniel Shetty woke up to a pleasant surprise last week. The macho Bollywood actor bagged the Best Actor Award at the South Asian International Film Festival held in New York for Star Entertainment’s Red Alert — The War Within. The film, produced by T P Agarwal and Rahul Agarwal, is a gritty mainstream realistic film borne out of today’s headlines on the sensitive Naxalite movement and Suniel feels it is very important from the world cinema perspective because “Governments in countries like India and Nepal are dealing with Naxalites and Maoists currently.”
Red Alert is a delicately handled film of a true account of the reality about Naxalism based on Siaram Kavalsingh (Suniel Shetty) who finds himself in the midst of the movement and forced to make difficult, morally questionable choices. About his winning the Best Actor award, Suniel said, “I was surprised at this honour and humbled too.” Candidly he admitted that a majority of the Bollywood critics label him “wooden” and he is often subject to disparaging remarks in reviews. “I dread opening the paper on a Friday when my film releases,” said the actor. He is, however, kicked about Red Alert and feels that besides him all his co-stars including senior actors like Vinod Khanna and Naseeruddin Shah have also turned in great performances. “It just makes all the hard work and effort seem so much pleasurable,” said the actor. Of Naxalism, Suniel added, “There is a very thin line between being a revolutionary and being labelled a terrorist. Naxalites have nothing against their mother country, their fight is against the administration. And so Naxalites aren’t bad guys. They believe in a certain ideology that is different from yours and mine, but that doesn’t make them enemies of the country.”
The film, written by filmmaker Aruna Raje, premiered at Stuttgart and was bestowed with a five star rating by German critics and also won The Director’s Vision Award for its sensitive treatment of the Naxal movement. A New York critic said the film was admirable in its effort to inform of this tragic tide of violence. Suniel Shetty feels that perhaps the film’s brutal honesty is what got the attention of international film critics. After the world premiere, the film will also have an Asian premiere at the prestigious International Film Festival of India to be held in Goa soon.

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