Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘gangster

GEARING UP: Shahid Kapoor and (below) Tom Cruise in Top Gun

Shahid to play Tom Cruise’s role from 1986 Hollywood hit in father Pankaj Kapoor’s directorial debut

SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 30, 2009)

Shahid Kapoor, as Tom Cruise did in 1986 with Top Gun, is all set to wear a uniform and take to the skies in Mausam — his father Pankaj Kapoor’s directorial debut. Pankaj, who felt Shahid needs a change of image after playing roles like an aimless student in Ishq Vishq, a gangster-social activist in Kaminey, a struggling dancer in Chance Pe Dance and an entrepreneur before that in Jab We Met and Vivah, decided a uniformed soldier’s role would give his son a mature man’s image.
According to a source, the uniform has virtually been written into the script. Pankaj first toyed with the idea of making Shahid an Army officer. Then it was decided to cast him as an Air Force pilot. The last real big star to play an Air Force pilot in Hindi cinema was Rajesh Khanna in Shakti Samanta’s 1969 hit Aradhana, which itself was a copy of the 1946 Hollywood film To Each His Own.
Shahid’s role is being modelled on the lines of Tom Cruise’s from Top Gun, in which the actor played a Navy pilot training in the US Navy Fighter Weapons School known in the Pentagon as ‘Topgun’. The film was a super hit and had great music and songs apart from scintillating dogfights in mid-air and other action.
Shahid is taking the film seriously and has decided to train for the role after the release of Chance Pe Dance. Permission is being sought to make the film at the Air Force Academy in Dindigul, outside Hyderabad, much in the manner Top Gun was actually shot at the US Navy school in Miramar, California.

Everyone knows Kangna Ranaut, the accomplished actress of today. Here, she talks of her past and how it has made her the person she is

By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 29, 2009)


• What sort of a child were you?

I was very quiet. I used to suck my thumb. Other kids would never play with me and I would be sitting in one corner. There was something very strange about me. I didn’t live in the present. I was always in a dream world. I would be dreaming about the shows that I watched like Aladdin or Snow White and I would want to go to their world. My father would hate that I sucked my thumb, he would slap me and put my finger down and then I would cry.

• Were your parents strict with you?

I was never a naughty child, never troubled my mother. If you ask my parents they will say that I was very quiet, very peaceful and very scared of them. If they asked me to sit somewhere after five hours I would still be there. (laughs)

• Did you lead a very restricted life?

Yeah, I did. I wasn’t allowed to leave home after 6 o’clock so I would always make sure that I would go out late in the night. Then when my parents would say something like, ‘Andhera ho gaya hai, tum late aayi,’ I would just say ‘yes’. Slowly I became a person who wouldn’t listen to anyone. My father would be very upset with the clothes that I would wear. I don’t know what I wanted to prove. Now when I go home, I usually wear a salwaar kameez and wonder, why was I torturing them? (laughs)

A lot of the restriction came from living in a joint family. I remember having the biggest fights with my grandfather and every one’s jaw would just drop. Nobody had the guts to answer back to him and I was only 12 when I started doing so. He is an IAS officer and had lived all his life in Mumbai and for some strange reason he would always say that first all the males of the family would eat and then the females. I didn’t approve of rules like that and would insist on joining the men at the table. He would leave the table. My parents were quite embarrassed because of me.

• When was the first time you fell in love?

I was quite young. He was my English teacher, a very good looking guy and I was just a 13-year-old. That was the time I became aware of my sexuality. We were very comfortable with each other because he had been my teacher since I was eight or nine. But when I was thirteen and he would say, ‘Beta come here..’ or something like that, I would think what’s wrong with him, he doesn’t have to talk this way (laughs aloud). That was a beautiful romance because in my mind I used to romance him and he would be teaching me.

• How does living in a small town (Manali) compare to living in Mumbai?

These are two completely different worlds. This one is completely fake and that one is the real world. In Manali people live with animals. They feed them fodder and clean them too. So much of nature is involved there that you stay balanced. Here you deal with cars, roads, buildings and if you see a beggar, you treat him like a building and you treat a building like a human being. There is no reality here. I see so much of balance there, I see no balance here.

• What were you studying in Delhi?

Basically I went there for my vacations and then I decided to take admission in some college. Then I met a few people there and got into theatre. If you ask me honestly, I cannot recollect that time. I was like an animal, just wandering around. If someone was going to a modelling agency, I too would go with that person. I wasn’t aware of my actions at all which is a very pathetic and shameful way to live but I was living a life like that.

• So coming to Mumbai was also a part of that life?

Yes, my agency Elite sent me to Mumbai. I didn’t ask why I am going to Mumbai or what I will do in Mumbai. I came to Mumbai because I thought everybody came to Mumbai after Delhi. Then one fine day I stopped taking calls from the agency. I stopped going to the auditions. I used to go to town taking trains to give auditions and then within seven days of it all I was fed up. Then I said, ‘Forget it! I am not going to any audition as I don’t get any work.’

• Isn’t it all difficult for a young girl to manage?

It is and that’s what gets you into trouble. How do people get into problems? Actually they are the biggest problems for themselves. I got carried away with the life here, the nightlife, discos and the whole city life.

• You didn’t have any aspirations?

From childhood I would tell my parents and I would become somebody very famous. They used to be very rude to me when I would say this but for me it was always a matter of fact. I knew I was going to be what I wanted to be even if I had no idea what that was.

• And when you were rejected at the auditions, did it  dent in your confidence?

It did. I went through a lot of insecurities. I was leading a very random life for a year before I got Gangster. Before that too, I was supposed to do a few films. I didn’t have any concept of A grade or B grade cinema. I had hardly seen 10 films in my life. So if someone said, come to this audition, we want to sign a film with you, I would sign it. Fortunately for me, those films never took off. My parents would tell me that I would never be anyone and they would say all sort of negative things and I would think maybe they were right. I would think of myself as a loser in every sense, not only professionally but also in my personal life. That would scare me but also it wouldn’t last.

• Is there anything that you hated about yourself and wanted to change?

I hated everything about myself, my life, everything. When I came here, I was very uncomfortable about the clothes that I wore. I used to wear those really cheap clothes, buy them from streets and wear them and I would look so funny. I used to feel funny, not that I looked funny. Those dresses were not appropriate and no one should go out on the streets in them. They were fine for parties but I had no concept of what to wear and when. And I looked like a 16-year-old coming from some village trying to be modern. Not that I was dumb, I was intelligent but it was just so weird that people kept looking at me not very respectfully and I hated being so uncomfortable. If I had been wearing just jeans and a T-shirt, nobody would have noticed me. That was worse because if you are looking for assignments and modelling work and if nobody notices you then it’s terrible. So I was uncomfortable in every way. I never became friendly with anyone. Life was strange without parents, proper food, proper house, nothing at all in place. I hated everything around me and the way I was. I would go on for weeks and weeks without thinking where I was heading. That was a phase I remember and someday I will definitely make a movie on that.

• Was there peer pressure to do things?

I would do whatever others did. It didn’t matter if I liked it or not. It wasn’t peer pressure definitely but because I wanted to be one of them or maybe I wanted to prove that I belonged to this world, I went on like that for years and years. I didn’t hate it at that point of time. If I would have hated it, I would have changed it. But I had no clue what was wrong with my life. It took me two years to realise who I really am. Not that I hated it but I wasn’t happy either.

Were you lonely?

Loneliness was never a problem because whenever I was lonely I would do something that would make me happy. My problem was that I had too many people around me and they never let me be alone. Before I became an actress, I would go for auditions with people, have coffee and come back, normal life, not very different from Delhi. Then after I became an actress, there were designers, ADs, people who roam around the whole day on the sets. They kind of open those doors for you. You get shocked with what is happening around you but you don’t show it. This is how your new life starts and it just takes over.

• You also got into some wrong relationships

Well, when you get into a relationship it’s not wrong at that point of time and I won’t consider anything wrong with them. For me, I have been in two relationships till now, and both have been beautiful in their own way. It was I who was a random soul, and I still am. I still have so many things to learn in life. I am not a perfect person, nobody is perfect. So whatever experience one goes through is because of oneself.

Did you at anytime realise that you were in relationship that you shouldn’t be in?

See, relationships are not that important in my life. I don’t feel any pressure to say that love means everything and blah blah! For me, I don’t think love is something which will make me complete. It’s who I am. I have something to prove and I have a strong urge to do certain things in life. And if I don’t do that, I will be a very unhappy person. I never gave that kind of priority to any relationship. If I would have done that I would have been in a happy relationship and an unhappy career. I am clear about my priorities now. People at times judge me. They say that she says her priority is her career and her ambitions… but that’s ok. I am not ashamed of the fact that it actually is.

Today I am done with dating. Now if I get into a relationship, it will be with a proper plan. Now I would want to be with a man with whom I can see a future and give it more time and energy. If I see a man turning into my husband in the near future then only will I go ahead with a relationship. This is what life or age does to you. You can preserve your innocence but at the same time you cannot deny the fact that you cannot sometimes take another chance with life.

• So that means you are not going to fall wildly in love now because you are first going to look into the husband aspect of it.

Yeah. That’s true actually; otherwise I have always fallen in love first and then seen the right and wrong of it.

• You are too young to reach this decision. At this age people are still having flings.

Yes, if you start little late. But I started too early. (laughs) I started at 16. (laughs loudly)

• Are you still edgy?

That’s a very difficult question because to explain who I was is very difficult even for me. I mean nobody knows who they really are. Right now, I am definitely not the person who I want to be. There is still a lot to achieve but I am also definitely not the person I hated to be. I am okay now, peaceful,  but I want to be a better person in future. I am sure the better part of me is still to come.

Who do you want to be?

I just want to be a person whose very presence makes people smile. I want to have positivity and grace as a woman. When I came here, I was a tomboy. Not even a tomboy, I was something between a guy and a girl. I want to be a nicer human being so that when I look at myself I should feel proud of myself. Right now I don’t feel proud of myself. Earlier I used to feel shit about me. Whatever I said, I did, everything was wrong. I would always say the wrong thing at the right time. Now I don’t do those things which make me hate myself. I don’t beat myself up everyday when I go home. I am peaceful. But I am not even the person who would be so proud of herself.

• Are you ever fake?

Yes, I sometimes say things for the sake of saying things. Like the most common thing that I would say, “How are you?” makes me feel so fake. I prefer to say, “Kaise hain aap?” that makes me realise what I am saying. When I say it, I do really mean, kaise hain aap? So I am watching myself.

• When you were in trouble at any point in your life, have you taken any favours from your friends?

I have never ever taken any favour from anyone in my life. I have never called up any friend to discuss my problems or ask them for solutions. I have really great friends who claim to stand by my side when I am in trouble. I have been in trouble but never had the courage to test them because if my time was already bad, I wouldn’t want one more shock. So I never really tested my friends.

• When you say you never had the courage, you mean you were scared that they would not be by your side?

I don’t know. I never had the courage to discuss my problems with people around. I have always shown the happier side of me and I will continue to do that. It’s not my friend’s duty or concern to help me out with my troubles. I think it’s unfair to do so.

The presence of friends makes me uncomfortable. It distracts me from the situation. It’s the same with my parents. Even in childhood when I was in trouble, I would lock myself up in my room and would not leave my room until I had solved the problem. I have a lot of faith in my strength but parents and friends get so weak and I just think handling them is much more difficult than handling the situation.

• How do you manage to look so different in every film? Is it deliberate?

Honestly, it is. It bores me to death to be the same because for me it’s a character that I have to get into. So I change everything that I can. So I kind of do the fun things so people are shocked but I don’t like myself looking the same all the time.

Sometimes it can be embarrassing. Recently, at the Paa premiere, one of my co-stars was treating me like a fan. It was only when I said, ‘I am Kangna,’ that he realised that it was me. It’s so embarrassing, we work together for 60 days and they don’t recognise me. It has happened with me a lot. When I was in theatre, my guru used to tell me that it is a blessing in disguise. At times he would give me a guy’s role. He said that you have a face which can be moulded into anything. But another thing that really matters is whether my hair is curly or straight. It changes me so much that sometimes I too wonder about the look. It’s very good for a double role though.

S Balakrishnan | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; December 8, 2009)

Mumbai: Film producer Ravi Kapoor has received a threat from gangster Ravi Pujari for ‘allegedly’ showing his wife in an objectionable manner in his forthcoming film.


Kapoor has produced a film—World Cupp 2011—which seeks to expose cricket matchfixing and the role of the underworld. One of the scenes shows Pujari’s wife consuming liquor and laying bets on a match. Kapoor said he received a call from the elusive Pujari who abused and threatened him. He wanted all references to his wife to be deleted from the movie, failing which he threatened to eliminate Kapoor.


“My maiden movie is based on real-life incidents and it is shocking that the underworld is now censoring Hindi movies,’’ Kapoor said on Monday. “Luckily, I recorded the telephone conversation so I have proof of the threat. I have complained to the crime branch,’’ he added. Pujari is based in an undisclosed foreign location from where he is conducting his operations, said sources. He was earlier with Chhota Rajan, but is on his own now. He has, in the past, targeted director Mahesh Bhatt and noted criminal lawyer Majid Memon.


The film uses the original names of gangsters like Dawood Ibrahim, Chhota Rajan, Ravi Pujari, Chhota Shakeel et al. It also deals with Pujari’s attempt on the life of Bhatt.


“I will reveal the real reason for Ravi Pujari’s boys opening fire on Bhatt. I will also show why Chhota Rajan had attacked drug dealer Amjad Quereshi. I have openly taken the names of underworld figures who are implicated in match-fixing rackets because I want people to know the truth about cricket’’ Kapoor said. Kapoor said he has directed the film himself “as no other director was ready to take up this assignment.’’ He has also referred to big bookies like Shobhan Mehta, Laxmi Thane et al by their original names in the film, which is due for release on December 18.

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, December 4, 2009 – 14:06 IST Shahrukh Khan
After Aamir, it’s now the turn for King Khan to don the grey wig for a brand. Shahrukh Khan this time has done something unprecedented and innovative, by portraying the role of a 75-year-old grandfather, romancing Tanvi Azmi as his wife.

This is for the latest Dishtv campaign that gives viewers a chance to see Shahrukh Khan in an all new avatar. In the second TVC, Shahrukh Khan is paired with Tisca Chopra where he brings home an orphan girl child who settles into the family only after an experience with Dishtv.

Some of the best creative personalities in the country have come together to create this campaign. The creative idea was conceptualized by Ad industry veteran and celebrated lyricist, Prasoon Joshi and the McCann World Group team. The commercials have been directed by the much acclaimed Anurag Basu, (director of films like Life in a Metro, Gangster and the upcoming film Kites). Eminent fashion photographer Tarun Khiwal is the man behind the still photo campaign.

The television commercials are part of the brand’s new brand positioning of ‘Ghar Aayi Zindagi‘ and convey everyday beautiful emotions, through real life situations, of families rejoicing together with their loved ones. In line with the core message of the campaign, Shahrukh Khan will bring alive warm family moments that tug at the heartstrings. Indeed, SRK is the best man for this job.

Despite the probe into Mahesh Bhatt’s son’s alleged links with a terror suspect, Basu plans to revive Rahul Bhatt’s acting debut film, Suicide Bomber

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 20, 2009)

The National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) probe on Mahesh Bhatt’s son, Rahul’s alleged links with terror suspect David Coleman Headley have not deterred filmmaker Anurag Basu’s plans.

He is set to revive Rahul’s Bollywood launch, Suicide Bomber.

Confirming the news, Basu said, “I have been missing Bhatt saab and his production house Vishesh Films. I did two films with them, Murder and Gangster, which put me on the filmmaking map. Rahul is a good boy and I owe him a good break in Bollywood.”

Basu was supposed to launch Rahul in Suicide Bomber two years ago. This was long before Basu got busy with Rakesh Roshan’s Kites. “In fact, I was supposed to make Suicide Bomber with Rahul before Life In A Metro for UTV. However, at that point of time, the script about global terrorism seemed premature. However, in the last two years there have been so many films on the subject including New York and Kurbaan. So, reviving Suicide Bomber seems right,” added Basu.

 

Anurag Basu Rahul Bhatt

Besides being fond of Rahul, Basu has another reason to return to the Bhatt camp. He elaborated, “Suicide Bomber is the only film that I co-wrote with Mahesh Bhatt saab. Otherwise, all my scripts have been written solely by me. I certainly want to make the film and that too only with Rahul.”

Some time ago, when asked about his son’s launch, Mahesh Bhatt had also made it clear that he wanted to launch his son with no other film but Suicide Bomber. He had said: “Suicide Bomber is my idea and our company has registered the title. My son has made it clear that if and when he gets into the world of acting it will be with Suicide Bomber. I only want to make Suicide Bomber if the world is ready to hear the so-called enemy’s point of view. If we want to stop the bloodshed we’ll have to hear their voice. My son’s film doesn’t have a happy ending.”

The film is expected to start next year.

TM

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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IANS (Mid-Day; November 7, 2009)

 

One of Bollywood’s most bankable stars, Emraan Hashmi, says people have contantly tried to pull him down. He also believes the new film “Tum Mile” will present him in a new avatar, having mostly essayed roles with shades of grey.

 

“In the kind of industry I am, every creative person has a judgement to make about someone else’s performance. After doing a movie, I may think that I have come up with my best act, but others may think otherwise. You can’t help it,” shrugs Emraan, 30.

“This is something that has happened ever since I made my debut with ‘Footpath’. I went on to deliver successful films practically every year with ‘Murder’, ‘Zeher’ and ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’ followed by ‘Aksar’ and ‘Gangster’. Still people have tried to pull me down,” Emraan said in an interview.

He is sitting pretty on the back to back success of “Raaz – The Mystery Continues” and “Jannat”. A year earlier, he came up with one of the best ever acts of his career in “Awarapan”.

And now he is about to be seen in “Tum Mile”, his most expensive film till date that will release Nov 13. It co-stars Soha Ali Khan.

“It’s a welcome change to have absolutely no grey shades in my character,” says Emraan.

He is positive that after the release of the film, he would be looked upon as someone who can also show a sensitive side.

“For that opportunity, I am thankful to my director Kunal Deshmukh. If not for him, I would have continued playing the kind of roles I have been successful in. In fact, when Kunal spoke to me about the role, I was sceptical because I have never played a full-on romantic guy before.”

He isn’t overtly bothered about certain negative statements about him. “Honestly, I don’t even look aside to see who is around for competition. There is nothing wrong if people choose to reserve certain remarks for me.

“To each his own since I have to basically live up to my own judgement and fulfil the expectations of those who matter,” he says.

He has his fair share of admirers and supporters though.

“Yes, there are some out there who have been quite supportive throughout my career,” he agrees. “My goal is to keep delivering successful solo hero films and also do an occasional multi-hero film if I have an equal part. This is why I agreed to do Milan Luthria’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai’.”

While he has been doing well as an actor after spending more than half a decade in the industry, does he have any plans to turn producer?

“I don’t want to be in the hot seat,” shoots Emraan in a tone of mock horror. “Mukeshji (Bhatt) tells me that being a producer is the toughest job in the world. I agree with him since he has decades of filmmaking experience.

“Today I am happy being an actor. Any aspirations to be producer are best kept on hold for a later stage.”

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Parinda, Satya, Vaastav, Company and Gangster-these are handful of Hindi films which were based on the mafia/gangster menace and also very well executed. Now Baabarr should be added to this list of ‘finest gangster films of Bollywood’! The film is violent, gory and raw but at the same time, it’s thoroughly engrossing packed with award-winning performances and amazing execution! It was a must-watch but unfortunately, was missed by many!

The story of the movie: The film is based in Amarganj, the Uttar Pradesh town where criminal incidents occur daily and has become a part and parcel of the residents. In one of its dingy lanes, Baabarr (Sohum Shah) emerges as a ruthless gangster. Working with his 5 brothers, Baabarr runs an extortion racket and doesn’t think twice before killing. The govt entrusts the task of eliminating Baabarr and his gang and all their activities to S P Dwivedi (Mithun Chakraborthy). How Dwivedi, along with corrupted Daroga (Om Puri) go about doing their duty is what follows next in the film.

Director Ashuu Trikha may not accept, but the truth is that Baabaar, undoubtedly, is based on dreaded UP gangster, Rafiq Qureshi’s life. The director and the screenwriter (Ikram Akhtar) wonderfully trace Baabarr’s journey from his first murder at 12 years to his death at just 22 or 23 years. The film keeps you on the edge of your seat right from the beginning and has several high-voltage shocking scenes which give goosebumps.

One of the four factors that make Baabaarr stand out is that it takes us to a world which we are ignorant about. The film throws light on Amarganj where murders take place casually, where people have more guns in their houses than chairs, where people are never ever given lessons on good manners and where people are addressed as ‘Oye Pehelwan’ instead of ‘Hey Dude’! However, the setting doesn’t look unrealistic at all (it isn’t actually) and the viewer absorbs everything that is projected in the film. Secondly, every character in the film is added with a purpose and each of them is damn interesting. My 5 favourites were Baabarr, Daroga, Maamu (Tinnu Anand), Sarfaraaz (Shakti Kapoor) and the sexiest one in the film, Tabrez (Sushant Singh)!
Thirdly, everything that happens in the film has a purpose. Meaning, none of the scenes were unnecessarily added-it was all connected to the main plot. For instance, one may feel that grown-up Baabarr’s intro scene where he kills a businessman named Jilani was just added to project Baabarr’s ruthless and merciless nature. But the scene is well connected to the next one and also to the storyline. And lastly, the climax of this film is shocking! There is an excellent twist that takes place which catches you unawares! It doesn’t spoil the film at all and also looks justified. In short, a great work by the writer-director duo!

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Some scenes of the film are memorable. Baabarr’s first murder at 12 and Baabarr killing Jilani in his own factory set the mood. Tabrez finishing Akram in a cow slaughter house is gruesome scene but clapworthy. The intermission point was easily the best scene of the film!

The only glitch in the entire film is that it gets a bit slow in the 2nd half.

Every actor in the film has pitched in a fabulous performance-in fact, much much better than their other films in recent times. Newcomer Sohum Shah rocks with his finest performance. Since it his debut, he doesn’t come with the baggage of any past significant performance and thus, one connects to his character instantly. Also, the actor wonderfully exhibits the ruthlessness that his character needed. Even his dialogue delivery rocked. This year, except Raj Singh Chaudhary of Gulaal, none of debutants have managed to impress and hence, Sohum has high chance of bagging the Best Debut award next year!

However, the question arises that based on his appearance and the kind of character he played in Baabarr, will he be offered other types of roles in future? I hope he gets as he’s a truly a gem! Best of luck! (P.S.: Is Sohum Shah Mukesh Shah’s son who is the co-producer of the film?!)

Mithun Chakraborty does his job with élan. His meeting with Sohum is an explosive scene! Om Puri rocks and this was certainly one of the finest performances of his life. The way he changed his mannerisms, walking style and accent for this role and did a great job is definitely praiseworthy. Same goes for Sushant Singh who delivers phaadu performance! I have loved this talented actor since 16 December and am impressed to see him in such an interesting role. Here is an actor who deserves to be a superstar!

Urvashi Sharma was fine but one may argue that her character was unnecessary. Mukesh Tiwari was brilliant, esp in the pre-climax scene inside the prison. Ditto for Tinnu Anand, who shows his extremely talented side in the pre-climax. Shakti Kapoor is surprisingly, extremely likeable! Govind Namdeo was as usual. Kashish Khan as Baabarr’s wife gives a nice ‘Kaminey’s Charlie-type’ performance! Abbas Ali Moghul, the action director of the film, is there for a scene and plays the role of Akram Qasai. He’s a great actor! Pratima Kazmi plays Lilavati, a character based on Mayawati. Shockingly, a beep tone is inserted whenever her name is mentioned in the film! Others also do a great job.

Anand Raj Anand’s music was alright. The title song is impressive. Suhass Gujarathi’s cinematography is brilliant and the dingy by-lanes of Uttar Pradesh towns are well captured. Abbas Ali Moghul charms as the actor and also as the action director! Although some scenes had too much bloodshed, it was needed. Sunil Singh’s background score was in sync with the film’s mood.
Vikram Misra and Ikram Akhtar’s dialogues were one of the best things about the film. The best dialogue of the film (and one of the best in recent times) is: “Gas khatam ho gayi hai…tujhe jalakar chai banayenge tujh pe!” Absolutely rocking!

Ikram Akhtar has also written the story and script of the movie and he excels thoroughly! The film keeps you on the edge of the seat and doesn’t bore even for a moment! Great job by Akhtar, who has scripted some contrastingly light films like Nayee Padosan, Joru Ka Ghulam, Chal Mere Bhai etc!

Finally, Ashuu Trikha is a revelation! The director has always done a fine job in his past films (Deewanapan, Sheesha, Alag) but was let down by faulty scripts. In Baabarr, however, he is armed with a flawless script and he does a brilliant job. He succeeds in exposing the gangster-police-politicians nexus that is rampant in the interiors of the country and where lawlessness prevails. Hats off to Ashuu and hoping to see him with such nice films in future!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Baabarr’s childhood
2.   Baabarr finishing Jilani
3.   Tabrez’s entry
4.   Baabarr and Tabrez’ confrontation during the tender meeting
5.   The intermission point
6.   Baabarr shot
7.   Dwivedi teaches Daroga a lesson
8.   The last 25 minutes

On the whole, Baabarr is surely one of the best gangster films that has come out from Bollywood. Although it has excessive violence, it manages to impress with his intriguing execution and performances. The film wasn’t publicized well when it released in September this year. But now, all movie buffs, do catch it on DVD! Don’t Miss It!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Baabarr-178084-1.html

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BLUE WILL GIVES YOU BLUES!!

No matter how grand a film is, how wonderfully it has been promoted or which big names associated are with it, if its content is bad, then nothing can save the film. Blue comes in this category. The film was so nicely publicized, the promos looked rocking, Akki-Sanju pairing seemed electrifying and Lara Dutta’s bikini scenes had sent the youth in frenzy. Unfortunately, the film’s story is pathetic and thus, the film disappoints…big time!

The story of the movie: Sagar (Sanjay Dutt) is an honest guy staying in Bahamas and has a girlfriend, Mona (Lara Dutta). His best friend is Aarav (Akshay Kumar), a rich and over ambitious businessman. One fine morning, Sagar’s younger brother, Sameer aka Sam (Zayed Khan) arrives at Sagar’s place after staying in Bangkok for 5 years. Sam hasn’t come there just to meet his folks for a few days-he had ran away from Bangkok after taking panga with a gangster Gulshan (Rahul Dev) there. On the other hand, there is a treasure lying deep under the sea, somewhere near Bahamas, and Aarav persuades Sagar to join him in finding the treasure. But Sagar has reservations about it which is connected to his past.

In just 15 minutes, you get a hint that the director is unfit and doesn’t know his job well. The opening credits scene was brilliant. But the following scenes and also the boxing sequence hold attention initially but the interest soon wears off. The movie then focuses on Zayed Khan which was the best part of the first hour. But the story hardly moves once Zayed comes to Bahamas and joins Sanju and his team and this happens till the intermission point. In between, there two songs are thrown in, ‘Chiggy Wiggy’ and Blue Theme, which serve no purpose to the main storyline.

The actual treasure hunting begins in the last 30 minutes and you expect fireworks right till the climax. But alas…it was plain lackluster. The director could have included added more thrills or at least some twists and surprises. Sure, there is a twist in the end but that doesn’t work big time. Also the climax was so lame!

Talking about flaws, there are plenty. What is striking is-the treasure is part of India’s wealth and was coming to India in a ship in 1949. But when the ship sank, no effort was made by the Indian Govt or for that matter, any adventurer to get hold of it. Although there were stories that the captain of the ship took away the treasure, still no one tried even investigating this case and that too for 5 decades! Very hard to digest!

However, the film scores at a few places. The bike race and the following chase scene involving Zayed Khan rocks! Another bike scene post-interval, which also involved a train, was also well-shot. And the best scene of the film was when the goons attack Sanjay’s place. Simply outstanding! So you can see, only the action sequences hold attention. And the film, overall, is a damp squib!

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It’s a treat to see Sanjay Dutt in every film and in Blue too, he does a great job. Although he looked a bit fat places, overall, he gives a smashing performance. Akshay Kumar steals the show. He also raises a few laughs in between and was perfect for this role. However, it’s really disappointing to see Akshay Kumar in pathetic films lately. Let’s hope De Dana Dan (his next with Priyadarshan) works. Zayed Khan looked dashing and charming. The world may denounce him but I feel that he has the potential and can reach the top, if given an opportunity.

I really feel bad for Lara Dutta. When she signed Blue, she didn’t know swimming and she dedicatedly learnt how to swim in just three months and became a pro. However, she hardly has any contribution to the main plot of the film. In fact, one can argue that there was no need for her character in the film at all! Really very unfortunate! Rahul Dev was okay and Kabir Bedi doesn’t have a single dialogue in the film. Katrina Kaif is stunning while Kylie Minogue oozes oomph!

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A R Rahman’s music was good, but nothing special. The Blue Theme, Chiggy Wiggy and Aaj Dil are the best songs of the lot. Rahman’s background score sounded modern and fresh.

Laxman Utekar’s cinematography was eye-catching. The underwater cinematography by Pete Zuccarini was outstanding and the underwater scenes really looked stunning. Oscar winner Resul Pookutty strikes a sixer with his marvelous sound designing. Fantastic job! The locales (Bahamas) are excellent.

Some of the dialogues (Mayur Puri) stand out. While the crew did their job wonderfully, the story and the script (Anthony D’Souza and Jasmine D’Souza) spoil and ruin the show. Same goes for direction by Anthony. He had everything-a producer who was ready to invest large amounts of money, top actors of the current period, an excellent crew (including some from Hollywood) and what not. But alas! Did Anthony feel that people are going to praise his film just by showing them some wonderful underwater scenes and handful of action sequences? The producer, Dhilin Mehta, is equally to blame. What was he thinking when he invested 90 crs+ on such a flawed script and on a debutant director? My blood boils to see huge amounts of money going waste, which could had been utilized in a better way. We are a pro when it comes to lifting/copying/inspiring from Hollywood flicks. Then why can’t we have a Hollywood-like terrific direction and screenplay? Really very very disappointing!

Some of the best scenes in the film:
1. Sam in Bangkok
2. Sagar and Aarav having a drink at the edge
3. Sam being chased in Bahamas
4. Gulshan’s attack on Sagar
5. Sam, Sagar and Aarav searching for treasure
6. The final scene

On the whole, Blue is a big time disappointment. The film’s cast and crew have done a brilliant job but the film fails to impress because of its faulty script. Blue should fail (and it will, for sure, keeping in mind its high cost) at the Box office so that it gives a lesson to all producers in Bollywood that investing large amounts of money on faulty scripts and taking audiences for granted will result in big losses and disaster.

My rating-** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Blue-177340-1.html

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Although director Ashu Trikha vehemently denies his film Baabarr is based on gangster Rafiq Qureshi’s life, the similarities are too striking to ignore

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

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Director Ashu Trikha is ready with his film Baabarr which releases this month. Apparently, the film is based on gangster Rafiq Qureshi’s life and the  dreaded D2 gang, who ruled UP and especially Kanpur, for over 30 years. Although the filmmaker denies this, there are far too many similarities in the film to ignore.

A source said, “Rafiq, who was the leader of the D2 gang, was one of the most feared gangsters. The gang began operating in 1975 and Rafiq joined the gang in 1981 and immediately took over the reins. There were six brothers in the gang. In 2005, Rafiq was arrested in Kolkata. He was taken for interrogation to Kanpur where he was killed. Thereafter, two of his brothers, Taufiq and Iqbal were also killed. Two brothers, Afzal and Shafiq, are still in prison while another brother, Atiq is still absconding.”

Newcomer Soham plays the role of Rafiq, who is called Baabarr in the film. Commenting on the similarities, the source said, “The similarities are — Barbarr’s wife is shown fighting a human rights case against the government for the unlawful killing of her husband just like Rafiq’s wife. Barbarr gets married in jail while in custody just like Rafiq. Also, Rafiq belonged to Kuli bazaar where the film is being shot. There are also references to a lady politician, Lilavati (referencing Mayawati), who is shown being supportive of the gang. A minister, Kayam Singh (referencing Mulayam Singh) proves to be a nemesis for the gang. In the film, there is also a sequence where the Lucknow police give an affidavit in Kolkata court stating that they would not kill Barbarr in police custody, which happened with Rafiq too. However, Rafiq got killed within 24 hours of being shifted to UP. Apart from these, Baabarr also has six brothers just like Rafiq.”

Ashu Trikha denied the story. He said, “I am not aware of what you are saying. It’s a completely fictional story and I have gone and shot as per my script. It’s a commercial film and I have no idea if the film’s story is similar to anybody’s life.”

When pressed further about the similarities in the film, Ashu said, “I have no idea who your source is and where you found the similarities. I shot the film for 55 days in Lucknow but not a single person told me about the resemblance you are talking about. Yes, there are six brothers in my film and all the incidents you have mentioned are also there in my film; it must be a co-incidence.”