Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘gulaal

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, December 31, 2009 – 12:22 IST

Best Film
3 Idiots
Dev D
Kaminey
Love Aaj Kal
Paa

Best Director
Anurag Kashyap – Dev D
Imtiaz Ali – Love Aaj Kal
R Balki – Paa
Rajkumar Hirani – 3 Idiots
Vishal Bhardwaj – Kaminey

Best Actor (Male)
Aamir Khan – 3 Idiots
Amitabh Bachchan – Paa
Ranbir Kapoor – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
Ranbir Kapoor – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Saif Ali Khan – Love Aaj Kal
Shahid Kapoor – Kaminey

Best Actor (Female)
Deepika Padukone – Love Aaj Kal
Kareena Kapoor – 3 Idiots
Katrina Kaif – New York
Priyanka Chopra – Kaminey
Priyanka Chopra – What’s Your Raashee?
Vidya Balan – Paa

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male)
Abhimanyu Singh – Gulaal
R Madhavan – 3 Idiots
Rishi Kapoor – Love Aaj Kal
Rishi Kapoor – Luck By Chance
Sharman Joshi – 3 Idiots

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female)
Arundhati Naag – Paa
Divya Dutta – Delhi-6
Gauhar Khan – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Neha Dhupia – Raat Gayi Baat Gayi
Shahana Goswami – Firaaq

Best Actor in a Negative Role
Amole Gupte – Kaminey
Boman Irani – 3 Idiots
Kay Kay Menon – Gulaal
Mahesh Manjrekar – Wanted
Manish Choudhary – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year

Best Actor in a Comic Role
D Santosh – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Omi Vaidya – 3 Idiots
Paresh Rawal – De Dana Dan
Sanjay Mishra – All The Best
Vinay Pathak – Raat Gayi Baat Gayi

Best Background Music
Amit Trivedi – Dev D
Ilaiyaraja – Paa
Salim-Sulaiman – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Shantanu Moitra, Atul Raninga, Sanjay Wandrekar – 3 Idiots
Vishal Bhardwaj – Kaminey

Best Music
A R Rahman – Delhi-6
Pritam – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
Pritam – Love Aaj Kal
Pritam – Tum Mile
Vishal Bhardwaj – Kaminey

Best Playback Singer Female
Kavita Seth – Iktara – Wake Up Sid
Rekha Bhardwaj – Genda Phool – Delhi-6
Shreya Ghoshal – Zoobi Doobi – 3 Idiots
Shilpa Rao – Mudi Mudi – Paa
Sunidhi Chauhan – Mere Sang – New York

Best Lyrics
Amitabh Bhattacharya – Emosanal Attyachaar – Dev D
Irshad Kamil – Chor Bazari – Love Aaj Kal
Javed Akhtar – Sapnon Se Bhare Naina – Luck By Chance
Piyush Mishra – Ranaji – Gulaal
Prasoon Joshi – Man Ko Ati Bhavey – London Dreams

Best Story
Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani – 3 Idiots
Anurag Kashyap, Aparna Malhotra, Raj Singh Chaudhary, Sanjay Maurya – Gulaal
Imtiaz Ali – Love Aaj Kal
Nandita Das, Shuchi Kothari – Firaaq
R Balki – Paa

Best Screenplay
Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra – 3 Idiots
Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane – Dev D
Imtiaz Ali – Love Aaj Kal
Pankaj Advani – Sankat City
R Balki – Paa

Best Dialogue
Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani – 3 Idiots
Imtiaz Ali – Love Aaj Kal
Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane – Dev D
R Balki – Paa
Vishal Bhardwaj – Kaminey

Best Editing
Aarti Bajaj – Dev D
Aarti Bajaj – Love Aaj Kal
Anil Naidu – Paa
Meghna Manchanda Sen, Sreekar Prasad – Kaminey
Rajkumar Hirani – 3 Idiots

Best Sound
Bishwadeep Chatterjee, Nihar Ranjan Samel – 3 Idiots
Dileep Subramaniam – Love Aaj Kal
Sanjay Maurya, Allwin Rego – Dev D
Shajith Koyeri, Subhash Sahu, P M Satheesh – Kaminey
Tapas Nayak – Paa

Best Special Effects
Charles Darby – Aladin
Prime Focus Ltd – Blue

Best Cinematography
C.K. Muraleedharan – 3 Idiots
P.C. Sreeram – Paa
Rajeev Ravi – Dev D
Shankar Raman – Frozen
Tassaduq Hussain – Kaminey

Best Art Directon
Acropolis, Rajnish Hedaa, Sumit, Snigdha Basu – 3 Idiots
Sabu Cyril – Aladin
Samir Chanda – Delhi-6
Samir Chanda – Kaminey
Sukanta Panigrahy, Helen Jones – Dev D

Best Choreography
Ahmed Khan – Prem Ki Naiiyya – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
Avit Dias – Aal Izz Well – 3 Idiots
Bosco- Caesar – Zoobi Doobi – 3 Idiots
Prasanna – Marjaani – Billu
Baawre – Vaibhavi Merchant – Luck By Chance

Best Action
James D Bomalick – Blue
Huan-Chiu Ku – Chandni Chowk To China
Shyam Kaushal – Kaminey
Tinu Verma – Acid Factory
Vijayan Master – Wanted

Most Promising Newcomer (Male)
Amole Gupte – Kaminey
Chandan Roy Sanyal – Kaminey
Navin Kaushik – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Omi Vaidya – 3 Idiots

Most Promising Newcomer (Female)
Gauhar Khan – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Giselle Monteiro – Love Aaj Kal
Jesse Randhawa – Gulaal
Kalki Koechlin – Dev D
Mahie Gill – Dev D

Most Promising Debut Director
Ayan Mukerji – Wake Up Sid
Nandita Das – Firaaq
Pankaj Advani – Sankat City
Shivajee Chandrabhushan – Frozen
Zoya Akhtar – Luck By Chance

Best Child Artiste
Jahan Bativala – Little Zizou
Iyanah Bativala – Little Zizou
Rahul Kumar – 3 Idiots
Parzan Dastur- Sikandar
Pratik Katare – Paa

Best Ensemble Cast
Delhi-6
Firaaq
Gulaal
Luck By Chance
Sankat City

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

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By AMUL SHARMA (Mid-Day; December 11, 2009)

Original uploader claims director Anurag Kashyap himself leaked the copy

Director Anurag Kayshap’s debut film Paanch has finally released — thanks to online piracy! A relatively good print of the film popped up on various torrent sites on December 9.

The completed film was due for release in the summer of 2003 but it never did, due to the various problems the censor board had with several scenes in the film. The young (at the time) and somewhat arrogant Anurag Kashyap wanted no compromises on his film and refused to make the cuts needed to be able to release the film. Till date, Paanch lies wasting away in cans, shelved.

Tejaswani Kolhapure and Kay Kay Menon in Paanch

Forgotten?
Since then, Kashyap has released several films including Gulaal (which was stuck for the longest time) with the help of Zee Telefilms. The status quo of Paanch was never discusssed. Tutu Sharma produced the film and after the film’s non-release, kept his silence.

Thanks to…
The film has now sprung up on several video download sites where the 700 MB version of the film is available for free download. What’s quite unprecedented is the claim the film’s original uploader makes: that Kashyap himself gave a copy of the film. He writes on his blog:’Source Credits — goes to the director of the movie and a special thanks to him for leaking a preview copy on the net, Pirates Salute.’

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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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kambakkht-ishq

2009-WORST YEAR EVER FOR BOLLYWOOD?

April is about to end and still there’s not a single film till now which has managed to become a Super Hit this year. In fact, 14 films released in March and all of them were small or medium budget films and some of them were well made. Barring Little Zizou (which got a limited release and was made on a very low cost) all the other 13 films-13B, Dhoondte Reh Jaoge, Karma Aur Holi, Gulaal, Jai Veeru, Aloo Chaat, Barah Aana, Firaaq, Lottery, Straight, Aa Dekhen Zara, Ek-The Power Of One and Videsh were flops at the Box office! April also started on a bad note with Akshay Kumar starrer 8×10 Tasveer failing at the BO. Then the strike commenced which led to the release of only B-grade and small budget films like Ek Se Bure Do, Pal Pal Dil Ke Ssaat, Coffee House, Chowrasta, Meri Padosan and also the dubbed Dashavatar. And as expected, all these films also failed to attract audiences to theatres.

And regarding the tussle between multiplexes and producers, 20 days have already passed and still there have been almost negligible communication between the two parties. As a result, the tussle may go on for a few more days. What is disgusting is that even after the strike is called off, films would not immediately start releasing. The promotion of all forthcoming films is put on hold. So if the strike is called off on May 1 for instance, the promotion of forthcoming films would begin by May 3 and some small projects may get a release 2-3 weeks later (May 15/May 22).

The multiplexes v/s producers tiff has already created negative consequences. Multiplexes are suffering since hardly any audience is there for their films. As a result, all multiplexes have shut down some of the screens in order to save money. Producers are hit too since films are ready but they can’t release it. Single screen theatres are suffering losses too for no reason of theirs. And moviegoers are dying to watch a good film but they’ll have to wait a little longer. The release of prominent forthcoming films has been postponed too. Kambakkht Ishq had blocked the date May 29 months back. But now, the film has been shifted ahead. Yash Raj Films’ have postponed the release of Kabir Khan’s New York from May 1 to June 12. Shahid-Priyanka starrer Kaminey hasn’t changed its release date (June 5) though.

But let’s not blame the producers and distributors for all this. They flagged off the tussle because they didn’t have any other choice. They took this hard decision so that in future, films can release week after week with no fear of multiplex mafia.

However, there’s one film, titled 99, which is all set to release on May 8 in spite of the multiplex issue going on. This comic film stars Kunal Khemu, Soha Ali Khan, Cyrus Broacha and Mahesh Manjrekar. The producers of this film are not registered under United Forum (which flagged off the strike) and therefore, are free to release their film whenever they want. The film looks seems funny and all the film-starved audiences should definitely go for it! Also, producers need not worry since 99 is not going to amass huge profits for the multiplexes ! The promo of the film is uploaded below. Do check!

The director is the new superstar. As the Bollywood story gets more exciting by the day, Lekha Menon meets story tellers who love to push the cinematic envelope just that extra bit
By Lekha Menon (MUMBAI MIRROR; April 12, 2009)
If 2008 celebrated the coming of age of the typical Hindi film, 2009 promises to go one step ahead. Quirky stories, edgy camerawork, eclectic music – if there is anything predictable about the new films hitting the marquee, it’s their unpredictability. While there are quite a few exciting names who are determined to turn the “formula” upside down, we present six filmmakers who reveal just why this is such an exciting time to be at the movies.



Don’t spoon-feed the audience

Abhinay Deo

Calling card: Delhi Belly, Farhan Akhtar’s next
CV details: Heads Ramesh Deo Productions (RDP), over 300 ads in a decade-long advertising career; avid gamer and photographer
Filmy Philosophy: When you make a good film, nothing matters – stars, budget or formula

He was all of 15 when Abhinay Deo walked up to his father with a script in hand announcing his intention to make a movie. It was an intense story – about a man battling his inner fears. Ramesh Deo, the veteran Marathi actor-filmmaker was amused at his son’s enthusiasm, but had an advice: follow your heart’s instinct, but first complete your education. The doting son religiously followed the suggestion, graduating in architecture, working in a firm for a year before finally succumbing to the filmi bug.

But there was a hitch: the kind of films that were being churned in the early ‘90s didn’t exactly match his sensibilities. So he turned to the next best thing – making ads. Ten years on, over 300 ad films later, Abhinay is finally wielding the directorial baton with Aamir Khan’s action-comedy, Delhi Belly, a film that’s as “unBollywood” as it gets. Or as Abhinay puts it: “an interesting merge of the East and the West”. “The story is Indian, but the film is in English…rather Hinglish. The format is very western, with a tight narrative.” If that restricts its appeal only to the urban, upper middle class audience, Abhinay isn’t worried. “The script, written by Akshat Varma, demanded that the film be made in English,” he says.

Language, argues Abhinay, is the smallest barrier for the new-age filmmaker. Like other ad filmmakers-turned-directors, what turns him on, is the “big idea”. “My primary interest is story-telling. Whether it is in 60 seconds or 60 minutes makes no difference. Be it English, Marathi or Hindi, I have always leaned towards a good story; is should have the power to keep the audience hooked.”

Fortunately, in a star-driven system, gradually the script and story too is assuming importance though Abhinay candidly admits that majority of filmmakers still think backwards. “If there is a change at all, we have the new directors, technicians and writers to thank for. Films like Rock On and Taare Zameen Par proves that all you need is a good film, not stars. You don’t need to spoon-feed the audience any longer.”



There’s an audience for all films

Abhishek Chaubey

Calling card: Vishal Bharadwaj’s Ishqiya, starring Naseer-Vidya-Arshad Warsi
CV details: Wrote Omkara; assisted Vishal on Makdee, Maqbool, The Blue Umbrella and Omkara
Filmy philosophy: Never consider yourself bigger than your film

Abhishek Chaubey detests the word ‘struggler’, often used to describe Bollywood aspirants. “It’s such a ‘60s notion…the image of a small town boy running to Mumbai with dreams in his eyes and no money in his pocket! Nothing of that sort happens; you want to come to Mumbai, you just rent a room,” he laughs. “And there’s enough room for everyone today.”

New-age Bollywood has certainly opened up space for his ideas. Hailing from the ‘VCR generation’, growing up on films of the ‘80s and ‘90s, films were the last thing on his mind. “It was only after I moved to Delhi and got introduced to world cinema, film festivals and retrospectives during my teens that I discovered my love for the movies.”

A shift to Mumbai followed and so did a course at Xavier’s. The turning point came when he met Vishal Bharadwaj and struck an instant rapport. Ishqiya, coming as it does from the same school of real, gritty and raw cinema, will no doubt be measured against the previous films, but Abhishek is nonchalant. “My relationship with Vishal goes beyond the professional realm,” he says. “Our sensibilities are very similar. We both hail from middle-class families in UP, have similar taste in films and are bound by a passion for good cinema.”

The earthy sensibilities, in fact, dominate his cinematic landscape – whether in characterisations or locations. For instance, like Omkara, even Ishqiya is set in Eastern UP and its characters, rooted and real. So does he not relate to feel-good, set in New York, saccharine sweet NRI romances? “I have nothing against candy-floss!” Pat comes the reply. “It’s just that the narration has to work. A lot of our films fall for the rut and lose their soul in the process. But there is an audience for all kinds of films, you just need to go out  and make them.”

However, nine years in the industry has taught him certain survival mantras. “One, you need lots of patience to succeed! And two, never be too sure of your abilities,” he quips. Well, that’s because some Bollywood lessons always remain the same – whether in the ‘60, ‘80s or ‘00s.



Hop on to the bandwagon

Rajkumar Gupta

Calling card: Aamir; working on Nobody Killed Jessica and Rapchik Romance
CV details: Assisted Anurag Kashyap in No Smoking, Gulaal and Black Friday; scripted Barah Aana
Filmy philosophy: Stick to your convictions. Then bring others onto the same page

The mean streets of Mumbai hold a special fascination for Hazaribaug-born Rajkumar Gupta. His first introduction to Mumbai street life was as a hostelite at Xavier’s where he had joined for a communication course years ago. Thereafter, his stays at PG digs in Kalina and sundry rented apartments gave him new insights into maximum city. All of which found expression in the much-acclaimed Aamir, ranked among the best films of 2008. “In many ways, I continue to look at Mumbai from an outsider’s perspective. And it’s in the “mean streets” where the maximum stories lie,” he says.

His rooted approach to cinema has its beginnings in his very middle-class upbringing. Even while he was making Aamir, his banker father, fuelled by horror stories about Bollywood in the media, had only one worry – that his son’s film was being funded by the underworld. “It was only when he attended the premier that his fears got allayed. My parents would rather I did a safe sarkari bank job,” he laughs.

Rajkumar himself had no filmi aspirations, but fate willed otherwise when he began assisting Anurag Kashyap after graduation. The going was still tough with films like Gulaal and Black Friday getting stuck for a long time, but Rajkumar used the time to write his own script. “Most makers whom I approached rejected it. Fortunately, Anurag was a huge support and with UTV Spotboy backing it, the film finally got made.”

Incidentally, the fame and accolades that followed hasn’t exactly made life easier. While the market has opened up for “thinking” films, it’s still a tough ask getting them made, he says. “Aamir has given me a visiting card. Otherwise, the struggle is just the same, whether you make your first film or the 10th.”

Yet Rajkumar is certain he won’t back down from making the kind of cinema he believes in. And it’s same philosophy that drives him while scripting his second film Nobody Killed Jessica, inspired by a newspaper headline in the famous Jessica Lal case. “The challenge is to get others – the technicians, artistes, producer and financers – believe in your vision. Filmmakers and actors need to accept one fact: the landscape of cinema is changing, so they need to change as well. It is an exciting time, so just hop on to the bandwagon!”



I am still a Kachcha Limboo

Sagar Bellary

Calling card: Bheja Fry; ready with Kachcha Limboo; on to a new project
CV details: Assisted Rajat Kapoor in Raghu Romeo and Mithya; did theatre, and film school in Kolkata
Filmy philosophy: There are 100 ways to reach God; And there are 100 ways to make a film

There’s good news for all those who loved Bharat Bhushan’s antics in the laughathon Bheja Fry. Scripting is on in full swing for its sequel. But while it might take a while before we see Rajat Kapoor and Vinay Pathak sparring again, the 33-year-old director hasn’t been resting on past laurels. Sagar Bellary is ready with his next film, a children’s film called Kachcha Limboo following which he directs another comedy for Manmohan Shetty and R Mohan.

“People wonder why I didn’t cash in on Bheja Fry’s success. But Kachcha Limboo is a film I have always wanted to make, I want to raise the bar for children’s films. Besides, it’s the first offering from my production company Park Bench Motion Pictures – named so, because I used to ideate with my team on a park bench near my Matunga house in the days I didn’t have an office!” he laughs. His team entirely consists of 20-somethings with the same passion for thinking out of the box. “The energy is infectious when you work with youngsters, there are no rules and regulations. And that’s a terrific approach to filmmaking.”

Sagar admits he is still coming to terms with the success of his first film, which ironically spawned a Bheja Fry model of filmmaking (making a movie within 50 lakh and hope for returns in crores). “But it doesn’t work that way. You need a great story in place. Thankfully these days different stories are being told. There was a time when I would wonder if I could ever convince anyone to make my film!”

All that might be in the past, but even after 15 years and nearly three-films old in the industry, Sagar believes the small filmmaker has battles to fight. “Corporotisation has helped, but selling an idea is a different ballgame altogether. Yet that’s what makes the whole process so fascinating. I am still a kaccha limboo here, trying to find my niche. But there’s one thing I am supremely confident about: I am still the only guy who can make a film within 50 lakh!”



You can work around the system

Navdeep Singh

Calling card: Manorama Six Feet Under; Nikhil Advani’s next Basra
CV details: Ad filmmaker in LA and UK
Filmy philosophy: We are definitely going in the right direction though there is a long way to go

Most filmmakers are dictated by three factors when it comes to making films: the budget, stars and story (often in that order). Again, most directors aspire to move from a small film to a mammoth canvas. But Navdeep Singh is different. Guess what enthuses him the most about an idea? The story’s location. The Manorama…director is fascinated by the opportunity to explore newer territories through cinema. A fact that was evident in his debut film where the arid desert of Rajasthan played an important role in reflecting the layers of its complex characters. “I feel about 90 per cent of India hasn’t been explored cinematically. I would love to place my next film in Central India, or even the North East – an area that’s been completely ignored,” he says.

Interestingly it his stint in advertising that has inspired him to relook Indian locations. “Glossy pictures are not new to me, I have seen enough of that in London and LA. Hence I prefer to keep my films more rooted. Even if I am depicting Mumbai, I would rather stay away from the clichéd Marine Drive and Gateway of India, and show newer locations instead. I don’t relate to filmmakers who set their films in exotic Europe or America, but where everyone – from the lead actors to the policeman or the doctor – speak in Hindi!”

It is this sensibility that guides his entire approach to cinema. Despite Basra (starring Akshaye Khanna set in Mumbai, Delhi and Iraq), being mounted on a lavish scale, Navdeep would rather describe himself as a “small filmmaker”. “The commercial considerations are far too many in big-budget films. A small film, on the other hand, is easier to make and the returns are more too. Sure, the box of being a niche filmmaker is a tad constraining, but if you are smart, you can work around the system!” he says.

Of course, the ‘system’ by and large prefers going the safe and sound way. For instance, Manorama… got mixed reviews and a lukewarm box-office response, but was a huge hit on the DVD circuit. “I expected 60 per cent to dislike the film,” Navdeep admits honestly. “But there were also a small number of people who really loved it. And it was worth it. For me, even if 100 people are my fans, that’s enough.”



I would rather stick to my beliefs

Rensil D’Silva

Calling card: Karan Johar’s tentatively-titled Jihad with Saif-Kareena-Vivek Oberoi
CV details: Writer, Rang De Basanti; Ad and documentary filmmaker
Filmy Philosophy: You have only one life, you should have fun; and films are great fun

It’s a scenario that has played out all too often in screen writer Rensil D’Silva’s career. A producer meets him at a plush five-star claiming to have a ‘superb idea’ which he needs to translate. A few minutes into the meeting and out comes the big idea – a Hollywood film DVD. “The race is on to see how creatively you steal the DVD,” says the Rang De Basanti writer.

But if there is anything more frustrating for a writer than being asked to copy, it’s when a film he works for, never gets made. Rensil’s first brush with the film world was with Rakeysh Mehra’s Aks, but before that he wrote a portion of Samjhauta Express which got shelved. Then the much-talked-about Panch Kaurav, (for which  he wrote 50 drafts), was also put on the backburner.

So what does a writer do when he wants his original idea to be made, the way he visualises it? He simply directs a film. And with Jihad, Rensil has got a chance to do just that. “Direction makes a film happen. Besides, it’s great to see your characters come to life on screen. When Karan told me this story, I knew I had to make it,” he says.

Doesn’t he fear that after the landmark RDB his work will be scrutinised than ever before? “Yes, but comparisons are inevitable. Even RDB generated a lot of debate about its ending. However, after 10 years, I have realised that it’s not possible to please everyone. Some people play safe, but I would rather stick to my beliefs.”

Fortunately for him, there are filmmakers who share his vision. Precisely why he is as comfortable working with a Mani Ratnam as he is for a Karan Johar or an SRK.

Of course, the age-old lament about script writers being undervalued in the industry persists (“anyway, very few people in Bollywood read”), but things are changing for the better he says. “I was especially impressed with the recent Dev D and its take on Devdas, a character I have never liked, for he is such whiner! When such films do well there is a glimmer of hope that an original voice will also be heard.”


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