Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘harleen kaur

SOURCE: BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

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BRAZILIAN BEAUTY: Giselle Monteiro

HARSHADA REGE Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; Aug 6, 2009)

Who’s that girl — that’s the question everyone is asking after watching Saif Ali Khan swoon over Punjabi kudi Harleen Kaur in his new film. Well, she is Brazilian model Giselle Monteiro, 20 who can barely speak a few Hindi words. As to how she landed herself a Bollywood film, Giselle smiles, “I came to Mumbai early last year and within 20 days I was signed for this film. I was at a photoshoot when someone told me that Imtiaz Ali is looking for a foreigner to play Saif ’s girlfriend. It was a small role, but I thought I’d give it a shot, and when I went for the audition, Imtiaz felt I would be perfect as Harleen.”

Giselle’s not new to the arclights. The lovely lass began modelling back home when she was only 17. “My dad told me that if I want to carry on studying I will have to fund myself. That’s how I got into modelling. Also, I wanted to travel, so I left home and travelled around the world,” she says. From Europe to Hong Kong to Thailand and finally India, Giselle is now at home in Mumbai. She wasn’t surprised she was asked to play a Punjabi girl. “I’m often asked if I’m an Indian, so coming to India and exploring the market here was always on my mind. Luckily for me, I was playing a shy girl in the film, so I didn’t have much dialogue,” she laughs. “Right now, all I can say is chai lao and namaste… but people come up and try to talk to me in Hindi.”

She’s in a steady, long-distance relationship with a boy back home. “Marcos hasn’t seen my Bollywood film yet,” she says. And it’s doubtful if she will be able to go home to share its success with him, for Bollywood has taken notice of the Brazilian beauty. “I haven’t signed anything as of now. I have to start attending language classes and, most importantly, dance classes. It’s really difficult to cope with the jhatkas, but I am getting into the Bollywood groove now,” she says.
Why should this Brazilian model, Giselle Monteiro, play a Punjabi kudi, when we have so many kudis in India? Ask Imtiaz Ali
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 02, 2009)

Giselle Monteiro

Anyone who’s seen Love Aaj Kal, has come away wondering who ‘Harleen’ is. Her name hasn’t appeared in the credits. Evidently there’s a good reason for it. This Punjabi kudi isn’t a Punjabi kudi at all. She’s a 19-year-old Brazilian model called Giselle Monteiro who couldn’t speak Hindi or dance to save her life, at one point in time. And director Imtiaz Ali didn’t want to let out that a Brazilian was playing his Punjabi kudi — and so put off audiences.

In the film, she’s the one who is wooed and won by the Sardar Saif. And yes, the sequence showing her dancing at her engagement drove the entire unit up the wall. Apparently our Brazilian babe just couldn’t get the steps right. Says Imtiaz, “We wanted to put her through the paces with Sarojji (choreographer Saroj Khan). But it never happened. Sarojji didn’t have the time. For a foreigner to get the Indian adaa right is very tough. We take for granted those nakhra-jhatka-matkas which we’ve seen our sisters perform at weddings. Indian girls have those adaas without being trained. But for a foreigner it is tough. Giselle could’ve done with a bit more training.”

She’s Brazilian!

Giselle Monteiro

Even when Harleen became visible in the trailers she remained   inaccessible to the public. Imtiaz says, “Why a Brazilian girl to play an old-fashioned Punjabi girl? Well, I was auditioning girls from all over the country to play the Punjabi girl opposite the Sikh Saif. I couldn’t find the right girl to play the 1965 ki gali mein rehne wali ladki, purane zamane ki.”

Then one day Giselle walked into Imtiaz’s office for another part.   “Giselle came to me to play Jo, Saif’s Caucasian girlfriend in the second-half. She wasn’t right for Jo. But my wife who was there suggested Giselle   for Harleen. I turned and looked at Giselle and realised she is Brazil’s Harleen. She didn’t know how to speak Hindi. But she had only two lines to speak, which we dubbed.”

Significantly Giselle understood the old-world values of her small-town character better than an urban Indian actress would have. Says Imtiaz, “The small-town mentality in every part of the world is similar.”

Love Aaj Kal2

Very rarely do you come across a film which fulfills all your expectations and in fact, provides more than expected. This year, however, we were mostly bombarded with some pathetic flicks. But behold as Love Aaj Kal has arrived! The film sees love and relationships in a new light but what works big time is its terrific execution and smart storytelling. Love Aaj Kal is surely one of the most refreshing romantic flicks to come out of Bollywood!

The story of the movie: Jai (Saif Ali Khan) and Meera (Deepika Padukone) is a modern-day couple based in London. They are always together but are clueless whether they can be categorized as ‘boyfriend-girlfriend’! Meera gets an opportunity to move to Delhi which she doesn’t want to miss while Jai is soon going to be at San Francisco. Jai and Meera conclude that their long-distance relationship won’t work and thus, decide to break-up (happily). At this point, Jai comes across veteran Veer Singh (Rishi Kapoor) who is shocked to see how Jai treats relationships and break them so easily. He is of the view that the present generation can’t understand love. Love is that trap in which he got entangled 4 decades back when he was the dashing and cool Delhiite Veer (played by Saif again) and when he came across Harleen Kaur (Giselle Monteiro). Jai laughs at Veer as to how he had travelled thousand kilometers from Delhi to Calcutta just to catch a glimpse of Harleen.

Jai-MeeraVeer-Harleen-both these ‘love stories’ were poles apart and of different generations. But love is the same as it was 4 decades back. Jai soon realizes that he’s having the same feeling and experience that Veer must have gone through when he fell in love with Harleen!

Love Aaj Kal3

The opening scenes give a strong indication that Love Aaj Kal is a different and unique film. During the opening credits, the glimpse of the scenes to follow is shown but yet, you won’t be able to guess what’s going to happen in the film! The execution and editing really works wonders in this film!

The first half of this film is very interesting and surprising. The way the couple break-up was indeed hilarious! Jai and Meera keeping in touch with all modern-day means of communication (sms, call, internet, Mobile Internet) makes you smile. And the eternal Jai-Harleen cute love story also flashes a smile on one’s face, albeit for a different reason!

Telling two stories that run parallel in a film is not easy but Imtiaz executes them with élan and even intersects them wonderfully, a la Rang De Basanti style! Also, the film, especially in the 2nd half reminds one of Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na.

The film gets slow and drags at few places in the 2nd half. But the final 30 minutes compensates for the cons. The film manages to show a true picture of today’s confused individuals who fail to think rationally before taking big decisions and denounce and detest love.

When it comes to performances, each one is brilliant in their place. Saif Ali Khan shines wonderfully and manages to come up with one of the outstanding performances of his career. He had two diverse roles in the film and he performed both of them perfectly. It was a treat to see Saif as Jai getting confused, irritated, sad, shocked-all at once in a couple of sequences. At the same time, he looked like a convincing Sikh and was extremely likeable as Veer Singh too. It’s great to see Saif in another modern and fresh love story (after Salaam|Namaste) and this time, he scores as the producer too. He’s definitely on a roll!

Deepika Padukone was simply outstanding and gives a charming performance. Her brilliant job will surely put an end to all speculation regarding why Kareena was not casted in her place. Deepika was perfect for her role and she and Saif look excellent together. Love Aaj Kal would surely be another feather in her cap. Great going, Deepika!

Rishi Kapoor also manages to impress as much as Saif and Deepika. Everyone will surely love him in the still-young-at-heart role. After Luck By Chance, this is surely another brilliant performance from this actor. The one who enacted the role of Harleen is actually a Brazlian, Giselle Monteiro. Yet, she is likeable as the Punjabi kudi of the 60s. Only someone like Imtiaz Ali can extract such fine desi performance from a firangi! Rahul Khanna is as usual charming. It’ll be great if he gets the role of protagonist too! Neetu Kapoor comes in unexpectedly! Raj Zutshi and others were okay.

Love Aaj Kal5

One can argue that songs weren’t necessary in the film. Quite true, since many songs crop up unexpectedly and the film could have been a romantic songless flick! However, although songs at several places weren’t necessary, it doesn’t bore or put a brake on the narrative. And the songs itself are so good that one doesn’t mind! Pritam scores a sixer with this album and is surely one of his best compositions. Also, songs are also very well picturised, esp ‘Mein Kya Hoon’. It was just outstanding and also impactful. ‘Ajj Din Chadeya’, the best song of the film in my view, also brings a smile on one’s face, even though only the initial part of the song is played in the film. Rest of the songs, ‘Twist’, ‘Dooriyaan’, ‘Chor Bazaari’ and ‘Thoda Thoda Pyaar’ are brilliant too!

Irshad Kamil’s lyrics also deserve a special mention. The way he has used some unusual words in songs is extraordinary. For instance, in Chor Bazaari, the word ‘ghatna’, which is never before heard in any song before, is used here!

N Natarajan Subramaniam’s cinematography was flawless. It’s great to see the lensman didn’t show the popular landmarks of the city in which film is shot. For instance, in scenes of London, not even a single scene or frame show Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square or any other popular London landmark. Similarly, Red Fort and India Gate are missing in the Delhi sequences! It is little things like these that make Love Aaj Kal special!

Salim-Sulaiman’s background score, as expected, was top-notch. Aarti Bajaj’s editing was sharp, slick and brilliant. Watch the film and you’ll get my point! Production design was marvelous and eye-catching, especially in the sepia coloured 60’s scenes!

Finally, Imtiaz Ali, the writer and director, comes out with flying colours! His debut film, Socha Na Tha flopped but it was noticed and appreciated by moviegoers. His second offering, Jab We Met, succeeded across the country. And now with his third flick, he has surely been hailed as the one of the finest directors of our country. The way he treated both the diverse stories and found out striking similarities is worth appreciating and extra ordinary! Also, it’s fabulous to see Imtiaz comparing Calcutta and San Francisco. Both the cities have a tram network and if SF has the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Calcutta have the rustic Howrah Bridge! Hats off Imtiaz for your wonderful effort!

Some of the best scenes of the film:

  1. All songs (well shot and picturised)
  2. Jai and Meera’s break-up
  3. Jai and Veer Singh’s conversations (damn interesting!)
  4. Jai and Meera at the airport
  5. All scenes of Veer-Harleen’s love story
  6. Drunk Jai escorting drunk Meera to her home
  7. The New Year’s eve at Delhi
  8. The marriage
  9. The last 30 mins, including the SF scenes!

On the whole, Love Aaj Kal is a very interesting take on the modern relationships and surely emerges as one of the best films of the year. Performances, songs, cinematography rocks but it is Imtiaz Ali’s touch which works wonders! Highly recommended!

My rating-**** ½ out of 5!

Love Aaj Kal6

By Taran Adarsh, July 30, 2009 – 21:02 IST

Come to think of it, if the film carries the ‘burden’ of humungous expectations, it’s imperative that it goes beyond those expectations. The reaction after watching the film has to be similar to a child who has laid his hands on his fav toy. The joyous smile would say it all. The question is, does LOVE AAJ KAL live up to the hype and hoopla surrounding it? Or does it go beyond that?

LOVE AAJ KAL is not an easy film to write and execute. Sure, it’s a love story, but it’s not one of those mundane love stories that talks of love and heartache. Here, the two stories, set in different eras, run parallel, but have a similar end.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

To be brutally honest, it takes time to grasp the plot, since the past and present run concurrently. If you aren’t attentive, chances are you’d lose the plot. Also, if you aren’t aware by now that Saif enacts dual roles in the film — playing his part as also the part of young Rishi Kapoor — the goings-on would confuse you no end, when the transition occurs.

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LOVE AAJ KAL is a director’s show entirely. The relationships here are complex because the couple in love lives in complete denial. It is to Imtiaz Ali’s credit that he has penned an offbeat story, developed a complex but comprehensive screenplay and extracted sensitive performances from the principal cast. At the same time, the writing isn’t the type that would appeal to all sections of movie-going audience. Besides, the execution of the subject and also the pacing in the first hour are deterrents.

Final word? LOVE AAJ KAL makes you fall in love with love all over again. Makes you value your loved ones all the more. This film is special!

Love Aaj
London, San Francisco, Delhi – 2009.
Jai [Saif Ali Khan] and Meera [Deepika Padukone] is a modern-day couple in London. They are very happy together, but do not believe in tying each other down. So when life pulls them in different directions, they decide to call off their relationship, since long-distance relationships, in their opinion, don’t work.

Love Kal
Delhi, Calcutta – 1965.
Veer Singh [Rishi Kapoor] is struck by a thunderbolt when he sees Harleen for the first time. He travels a thousand kilometers by train to stand under her balcony, only to have a glimpse of her face. And yet not speak a word with her.

Love Aaj Kal
Veer does not understand how Jai can treat matters of the heart without passion. Jai does not understand how Veer Singh could have been so naive and silly about Harleen in his youth. But as both stories unfold, we realize that the process of relationship might be different in different eras, but the experience of being in love remains the same.

LOVE AAJ KAL travels multiple continents and different eras. The subject matter is novel, never attempted before, but the material, the characters [Saif and Deepika especially] as also its execution is targeted at the youth in big cities mainly. As they say in filmi lingo, this one’s a hardcore multiplex movie.

Another area where Imtiaz Ali experiments is by depicting Saif as the young Rishi Kapoor. It’s a novel concept, no two opinions on that, but the question is, will it cut ice universally? Will people tend to get confused when the sequences turn sepia?

The film captivates in bits and spurts in the initial portions. Partly because the writing is so different. But the writing breaks new grounds in the second hour. It’s in this hour that the film grips you completely, when the fragmented pieces are put together and a mesmeric picture emerges.

The second hour is the soul of the film. Right from the time Deepika decides to marry, till the last reunion, the film touches an emotional high. The sequence of events that lead to the culmination is incredible. Saif’s interaction with Deepika at the marriage, or the gradual change in Saif’s behaviour in the U.S. in the course of a song, or the realisation that marriage was a big mistake… moments like these take LOVE AAJ KAL to dizzy heights.

Imtiaz Ali is a genius. The film bears the stamp of an accomplished storyteller. This is a forward-thinking film that handles the new-age relationships with complete understanding. The songs compliment the goings-on beautifully. This is amongst Pritam’s accomplished works. ‘Twist’ [already a rage], ‘Aahun Aahun’ [foot-taping], ‘Chor Bazaari’ [melodious] and ‘Dooriyaan’ [melancholic], each song is a gem. N. Natarajan Subramaniam’s cinematography is fantastic. Editing [Aarti Bajaj] is wonderful.

Both Saif and Deepika come up with their career-best performances in LOVE AAJ KAL. Saif carries the most difficult parts with remarkable ease. Sure, we’ve seen him as the cool, urban guy in several films, but this one’s the most demanding role and only a seasoned actor could’ve delivered it with such precision.

Deepika looks ethereal. Most importantly, in LOVE AAJ KAL, she acts very, very well. Matching up to Saif is no mean achievement and she does it in several scenes. This should be the turning point in her career. Rishi Kapoor is top notch. The actress enacting the role of Harleen is pretty. Rahul Khanna does well in a small, but significant role. Watching Neetu Kapoor in the end sequence is truly astonishing. She’s so graceful.

On the whole, LOVE AAJ KAL is for the young and romantic at heart. Sure, it’s not perfect, but the terrific performances, melodious music and stirring emotional moments [last 35 odd minutes] more than compensate for the hiccups. At the box-office, the film should start with a bang for four factors — its novel cast, super music, great promotion and yes, Imtiaz Ali, a name that commands respect amongst moviegoers. Released extensively [approx. 1800 screens worldwide], LOVE AAJ KAL will have one of the biggest first weeks in India and also in the international markets. In India, the business will be superb across multiplexes, while single screens might not behave as energetically. But the business at multiplexes will ensure a fantastic recovery of the investment. Internationally, it has the potential to emerge one of the biggest grossers in recent times.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

DON’T EXPECT JAB WE MET IN LOVE AAJ KAL!

This weekend is bound to be very interesting. Whatever response may tomorrow’s release Love Aaj Kal (also one of the most awaited films of the year) get from the audience (and critics), it’ll surely result in an exciting situation. The film is expected to take a hurricane start and if the film manages to connect with the audience, it can easily be Saif’s biggest hit ever!

When it comes to Love Aaj Kal, discussions are only centered on the lead man and producer Saif Ali Khan, actress Deepika Padukone, director Imtiaz Ali and also Kareena Kapoor (even though she’s not a part of the film!)! However, two important people connected to the film are miles away from the limelight. One is the second actress of Love Aaj Kal (LAK), whose identity has been deliberately kept a secret by the makers and the other is Saif’s producer-partner Dinesh Vijan (see pic) who is ignored by the media, since he’s not known name.

Dinesh VijanHowever, the fact is Dinesh Vijan is as much a producer of LAK as Saif. Dinesh’s first film as a producer was Being Cyrus, which also starred Saif. Dinesh and Ambika Hinduja were two of the four producers of Being Cyrus and had formed a production company, Serendipity Films. He and Saif realized on the sets that both have similar tastes and views regarding films and felt that they should jointly make movies. Post-Being Cyrus, both of them went their own ways. Dinesh then produced Shiney-Esha Deol starrer Hijack along with its director Kunal Shivdasani under the banner, Aleya Motion Magic. Finally, Dinesh and Saif got back again and made their own production house, Illuminati Films. However, they won’t be parting after LAK’s release. They have decided to jointly produce more films, which are qualitative as well as interesting. Their next film is already on the cards. Titled Agent Vinod, it stars Saif and Kareena and is produced by Johnny Gaddaar director, Sriram Raghavan. There are also plans to produce a film of Being Cyrus director, Homi Adjania.

Mystery girl3

Regarding the mysterious girl in Love Aaj Kal, there are around 10 people who have asked me as to who she is and her name, because she looks beautiful and I am the one who’s supposed to know everything about Hindi films! Unfortunately, this time, even I am ignorant since the producers have wonderfully kept her under wraps! Her name has not been disclosed and she has not made any public appearance till date. Only her screen name is available-Harleen Kaur. Hopefully, one would know who she is in 24 hours, when reviews start pouring in. Check out her pic!

Finally, the film is hugely awaited also due to its director-Imtiaz Ali, who impressed everyone with his last film, Jab We Met (JWM). One may feel this time things would be easy for him but I feel that things would be even more difficult. One didn’t had much expectation from JWM as no one expected it to be such a brilliant film in all respects. Viewers would naturally expect a lot from LAK. However, one should not expect something like JWM from LAK as both films are as different as chalk and cheese. That’s why, Imtiaz was even against the idea of inserting the card ‘Fromthe director of Jab We Met’ in the promos of LAK!

Saif, Deepika, Imtiaz, Dinesh, mysterious girl, Pritam (music), Irshad Kamil (lyrics)…all talented and all are youngsters. So LAK is surely a film for the youth, by the youth! Here’s wishing lots of luck to everyone associated with this fresh-looking film!

P.S.: Neetu Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Rahul Khanna and comedian Vir Das are also a part of the film!
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CHAL CHALEIN SEEMS IMPRESSIVE!

A small film releasing next week, Chal Chalein, seems to be very impressive and interesting. It deals with the topic of suicide committed by students, due to the fear of either their parents or of scoring less marks in examinations. The film centers around eight friends, studying in Class 11. One of them commits suicide after he is unable to bear the pressure burdened on him by his parents (Kanwaljeet and Rati Agnihotri). His friends realize that not only parents, but even the education system is to blame for such suicides. They start a movement and manage to take it to court, with the help of a lawyer (played by Mithun Chakraborthy). Chal Chalein also stars Chak De girl Shilpa Shukla. The film seems meaningful and if handled well, can manage to impact the viewers greatly. However, like every small film, it is not well promoted and the promos on TV don’t show what the film is actually about. Please spare some minutes and watch the exclusive theatrical promo below. The film is releasing next Friday, Aug 7.

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Saif Ali Khan’s producer partner Dinesh Vijan explains the presence of lion in their company Illuminati Films’ logo apart from talking about `Love Aaj Kal’ and their next couple of projects

EVERYBODY is talking only about the trio Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and director Imtiaz Ali whenever there’s a mention of Imtiaz Ali whenever there’s a mention of their upcoming flick `Love Aaj Kal’. Hence we caught up with Dinesh Vijan, the producer of the film, for something different. Excerpts from an interview with the partner of Illuminati Films Pvt Ltd, Saif Ali Khan’s production house…

You are associated with Saif since `Being Cyrus’ days…

Yes, we had worked together on that film as I was the producer. Back then as we chatted on the sets and otherwise, we realised we wanted to make similar kind of films. I think he likes the way I run the film. We scheduled it for 30 days, worked on daily routines and finished before time. We kept in touch even after the film and finally we sat up Illuminati Films. We decided to develop some content and see where it would go. First we came along Imtiaz Ali and then Sriram Raghavan who narrated stories that connected to both of us.

What kind of similar ideas are you looking at?

If you look at `Being Cyrus’, it was a different film. We don’t want the philosophy where we decide how much actors are going to charge and how much production is going to cost and then proceed with things. We want it to take it ahead from the script and what its appeal is. In `Love Aaj Kal’, it tells a story of two generations. Hence it will appeal to both the generations. `Love Aaj Kal’ deals with issues we have not dealt with as yet. As producers the most important thing is to decide which story to take.

Don’t you think the audience would end up comparing `Jab We Met’ and `Love Aaj Kal’ and that would hamper the business?

There will be comparisons but we can’t help it.
The two are very different films and the audience will realise when they watch `LAK’. So there won’t be any point comparing.

The next film is `Agent Vinod’…

Yeah, it is. It sounds almost comedy but it is not.
It is a straight fast paced thriller. It will have an appeal. Saif will play a RAW agent. It will be larger than life and yet real. If you have to compare, then you have to compare it to films like `Casino Royale’ and `Bourne Ultimatum’. After that we are making an English film next year with him Homi Adajania who made `Being Cyrus’.

Sriram’s `Johnny Gaddaar’ didn’t do as well as it should have been.

Marketing comes into play here. It is the tool which helps you bring your product into the market. It is as important as the film. Of course if the product is not good then marketing does not help.But to do justice to a good film it needs to be promoted well too.

Talking about marketing and promotions, why has the other girl in `Love Aaj Kal’ been kept out of public eye for so long?

There has to be something post release! We have enough cards to open pre-release. So we keep that for a later time.

What’s her name?

Her screen name is Harleen. And the rest we shall disclose only after the film.
While on to names, why is your firm named Illuminati Films?

We are taking the thought ahead with which Illuminati was set up. That is to believe in something which no one else was willing to do. Plus we are both Leos and hence the logo has a lion in it.

So how many prints is `Love Aaj Kal’ releasing with?

It will be a worldwide release. Physical prints would be around 700 — 400 would be oversees. Plus there is digital media which would be in around 500-600 screens. So we should open with around 1500 screens.

By NOYON JYOTI PARASARA (FREE PRESS JOURNAL; July 28, 2009)


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