Fenil and Bollywood

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Nana Patekar is out of Rajneeti. Director Prakash Jha breaks his silence on his former friend’s erratic behaviour; says things will never be the same again

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 02, 2009)

 

Nana Patekar

 

All is not well on the sets of Rajneeti. Nana Patekar and director Prakash Jha’s tussle has reached a dead end and Nana is no longer part of Rajneeti. Jha, who has vowed never to work with the temperamental actor again, has already made the necessary changes in the script and has shot Nana’s scenes with other actors.

 


Commenting on what actually triggered the face-off on the sets of Rajneeti in Bhopal last week, an annoyed Jha said, “That morning (October 27), Nana started throwing tantrums right from the time he reached the sets. It was a very small issue. I wanted to shoot a scene in a particular way and he wanted it done in a different way. I tried to reason with him but he just lost his cool. I told him to calm down and get back to work but he suddenly said, ‘Mujhe tumhare saath kaam hi nahin karna hai.’ He left the sets, went to his van and changed his clothes. I went to his van and told him that behaviour of this sort doesn’t look nice and we should get on with work but he left for the hotel. He then told the production guys to give him his tickets to go back to Mumbai. When the production guys asked me, I told them to give him the tickets.”

Did he try to stop Nana? “I guess he had made up his mind to walk out and I did not want to stop him. After he left, I immediately reworked the scene and started working with the other actors. When you walk away from my sets, you cross all the limits. When he was told that I was shooting despite his absence, he called to ask how I was shooting without him. I simply told him that I was going to shoot all his scenes without him. He said, ‘No wait, I am coming back,’ but I categorically told him, ‘I don’t want you on my sets. You have left the sets and you have done the damage.’ He was shocked but that was the end of it and he left for Mumbai that very day,” said Jha.

Jha added, “He has been constantly angry and annoyed but we continued to work. I agree that I will have to make some creative compromises but I have to live with it now. There were some vital scenes with Nana but I have made changes and shot those scenes with other actors. Whatever changes I have made won’t hamper my film. What has happened, has happened. Now that he is not around me or in my film, I feel less burdened.”

“I always treated Nana like family. He is a very temperamental guy. I always believed that if one person in the family is hot tempered the others shouldn’t follow suit. When Nana speaks, he does not realise how abusive he gets and how he humiliates people. I am the only one who can calm him down.”

Talking about his relation with Nana, Jha said, “This was not the first fight between us on the sets of Rajneeti. Every time I consoled myself saying that such things do happen. I always told Nana that I took his nonsense only because of our friendship. If I wouldn’t stand by him, no one would. But this time, he took it too far and now it will be very difficult for me to forgive him. Nana is a very dear friend and I have been tolerating his behavior for a long time.”

When asked if there was any chance of reconciliation, Jha said, “Nana has been around for a long time and so have I. Nana is very helpful and we had a great time during the making of Apaharan. It’s just that I no longer want any negativity or bad vibes on my sets. Nana has been calling me (after the fight) and I spoke to him on Saturday. He told me that he was sorry and was feeling very bad. I feel sad too but what’s done is done. I will always pray to God for Nana’s well-being but for me the professional and personal relationship is over.”

WUS

We all, in our childhood, had made a list of careers that we want to pursue when we grow up. But once we enter college, there comes a change in our mindset. We suddenly don’t feel like growing up. We shudder to think of our future when we would only be working with very little time for leisure and friends/family (I am passing through this phrase currently!). Some may claim that they never had such a feeling and that they were ambitious right from the beginning. But the truth is, everyone had gone or will go through this anxiety and even fear at some point of their academic life. Wake Up Sid deals with such similar issues. Although the protagonist is projected as highly lazy, almost everyone will be able to identify with him. This and the wonderful execution by debutant Ayan Mukerji makes Wake Up Sid one of the finest films to come out this year!

The story of the movie: Sidharth Mehra aka Sid (Ranbir Kapoor) is a lazy and non-ambitious youth who has just attempted his final year college exams. His life revolves around his friends, Rishi (Namit Das) and Laxmi (Shikha Talsania) and he loves hanging out with them. Sid’s mother (Supriya Pathak) loves him a lot but he doesn’t reciprocate. His dad (Anupam Kher) manages a big business and wants his son to take some responsibilities on his head. He tries but his efforts are futile. At this point, Sid comes across Aisha (Konkona Sen Sharma), an aspiring writer from Kolkata. Sid and Aisha are as different as chalk and cheese (Ayesha is even older than Sid) but still both of them become good friends. Sid even gives Aisha the much needed help in settling in Mumbai. Soon, Sid’s final year exam results come out and his world turns upside down.

Wake Up Sid is very different and that is evident at several points. The film is completely original and tries to be interesting as well as not to fall into any stereotype. For instance, our Hindi films have got a habit of projecting ‘aamir baap ka bigda beta’ as lazy, irresponsible, arrogant and hot-tempered. But, Sid in Wake Up Sid is shown only as lazy and careless. He is not arrogant; in fact, he’s well-mannered and very sweet and cute!

One gets hooked to the film from the first frame. Note the scene where Sid is in the exam hall, dazed and confused, and his imagination goes wild! Ayan Mukerji’s creativity is exposed fully in that very scene! The wonderful entry of Konkona Sen Sharma and her first interaction with Ranbir takes the film to dizzying heights. The best scene of the film-Konkona’s birthday, will surely bring a smile on everyone’s faces!

The intermission point was explosive. The 2nd half tends to get a little slow but frankly speaking, one doesn’t mind as one enjoys the goings-on thoroughly. You get so involved in Sid’s gradual transformation from a good for nothing guy to a responsible youth that you care a damn about the duration! Also, Ranbir-Konkona’s relationship is very cute and will be loved by everyone! Who says Ranbir-Konkona pairing is a mismatch?

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Most importantly, one learns a lot of lessons from the film. The best teaching from the film-let one decide which path he/she wants to choose. Everyone has different capabilities and likes. Many just hate the 9 to 5 job. In such times, one should be allowed to flourish and grow as he/she likes.

The film gets dragging in the last 15 minutes but again, one doesn’t mind as it’s very well executed. One comes out of the theatre feeling refreshed and satisfied!

The film rests on the rock-solid performance of Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma. Ranbir was outstanding in my opinion in Bachna Ae Haseeno and in Wake Up Sid, he comes up with another amazing performance. He has put a lot of effort in the film and it is evident at several points in the film. Here’s an actor who deserves to be a superstar as soon as possible! He’s expected to give equally fabulous performances in the forthcoming Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and Rajneeti! Watch out!

As expected, Konkona Sen Sharma does a splendid job. She was absolutely natural and completely in character. Also, she looked stunning throughout the film. It’s really great to see such an effortless actress being showered with awards, accolades and acclaim! She completely deserves it, after all! Keep rocking Konkona!

Surpriya Pathak was funny at times but overall impresses a lot. Anupam Kher was consistent. Namit Das and Shikha Talsania were wonderful in their respective parts. Rahul Khanna, like everytime, was charming but why did he played two similar roles in two films? In Love Aaj Kal, Deepika worked under him and she got floored by him. In Wake Up Sid, a similar situation arises between him and Konkona. Actors like Rahul Khanna deserve to get better roles! Kashmera Shah didn’t have much to do. The girl who played Tanya also was wasted. Others were good.

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music was brilliant and their every song impresses. The title song and ‘Kya Karoon’ were rocking compositions. Amit Trivedi has composed the song ‘Iktara’ which is the best song of the lot. You’ll love the song more after watching the film! Trivedi’s background score was in sync with the light mood of the film.

Anil Mehta’s cinematography was superb. Notice how the scenes turn shaky during confronting scenes! Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues were casual and something which we hear or speak in our day to day lives.

Amrita Mahal Nakai’s production designs was highly impressive. The sets were just outstanding. Konkona’s workplace was so cool and uber. Man, work would be so much fun if offices had such rocking interiors! Even Konkona’s house seemed so cute, even though it wasn’t huge. Great job by Amrita!

Special mention should be made of Karan Johar, who understood the importance of this film and decided to produce it. Really nice of him to give a chance to promising youngsters and guiding them! Great job!

Ayan Mukerji comes out as a winner! He wrote the story, screenplay and also directed the film and excelled in all three! The film is extremely simple and doesn’t turn out to be full of rona-dhona or melodramatic. Most importantly, Ayan keeps the mood of the film realistic. The characters in the film are believable and straight out of life and the situations they face seem totally real. In short, a brilliant job by Ayan, who is just 26 years old! Simply fantastic!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Sid in exam hall
2.   The song ‘Kya Karoon’, ‘Aaj Kal Zindagi’ and ‘Iktara’
3.   Sid and Aisha meeting for the 1st time
4.   Sid helping Aisha to decorate her house
5.   Sid in his dad’s office
6.   Sid with Aisha on her birthday (best scene of the film!)
7.   The intermission point
8.   Sid clicking pics of everything under the sun
9.   Sid and her mom looking at his childhood pics
10. The last 20 minutes of the film

On the whole, Wake Up Sid is simply a well-made film in all respects. It is simple, sweet and extremely relatable with great direction, extra ordinary performances and melodious music. A must for all youngsters and for all those who crave for good cinema! Go for it!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Wake_Up_Sid-176496-1.html

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