Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘hrishikesh mukherjee

The biggest hits of their career were NEVER meant to be theirs

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 2, 2010)

You talk to any film director and he’ll give you gyaan on how such and such actor is in the film because he/she fit the casting to the ‘t’.

Yet, the reality of the matter is something else. It is usually who is available; and sometimes who is more saleable.

Take the latest: Aamir Khan was never meant to be playing the idiot in his latest film. It was to be Shah Rukh Khan. Since SRK and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra had a difference of opinion, the Bollywood Badshah was replaced by Aamir. And while the rest is history, there are innumerable such examples in the film industry.

History knows that Amitabh Bachchan was not Prakash Mehra’s first choice for Zanjeer. It was meant to be Dev Anand or Raaj Kumar. When both actors said no, the Big B stepped in. Jaya Bachchan even thanked Dev saab for refusing the Zanjeer role. The film gave her — her real life husband and it gave Bollywood one of its most revered screen couples.

Today you wonder how Dev saab would ever have fit into the angry young man mould. But that’s an after-thought.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee wanted Raj Kapoor to play Anand. When he couldn’t, Hrishida sent for Shashi Kapoor but Rajesh Khanna wormed his way in. And till today Anand is synonymous with the 70s phenomenon.

Shatrughan Singh continues to smart that it was he who was to be Jai in the Jai-Veeru jodi of Sholay but because he was riding a crest of super-success then, he didn’t want to do a twohero film. Amitabh Bachchan got the role instead.
Aamir had been pencilled in for Yash Chopra’s Darr but at that point he ‘accused’ Yash of playing games. And SRK made a permanent place for himself in the YRF camp.
Ajay Devgn was to play Karan in Rakesh Roshan’s Karan Arjun. But he was ousted by politics and next thing you know is that Salman Khan was in. Till today Karan Arjun remains one of the biggest hits of Bollywood and Salman’s career. And it may become film history because he and bete noire are unlikely to star in a movie again.

Saif Ali Khan had qualms about playing a pansy in Dostana so John Abraham was brought in. John got male and female temperatures rising with this fun flick and is now a part of its sequel.

Kareena Kapoor asked for too much money for Kal Ho Na Ho; result — Preity Zinta landed this memorable film. Shah Rukh was meant to be playing Munnabhai but since he walked out after some miscommunication, Sanjay Dutt became Munna. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was in Chalte Chalte till Salman dropped in as an uninvited guest forcing SRK to call Rani Mukerji to replace her… and Rekha and Jaya would never have had their screen face-off in Silsila had Parveen Babi and Smita Patil done their roles.

Unlike real history, reel history is often made by default.
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Dibakar Banerjee gets voyeuristic in his next film

PRIYA SUGATHAN Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 17, 2009)

With the super success of Khosla Ka Ghosla and Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye, Dibakar Banerjee has come to be the new-age Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chaterjee rolled in one. While his third film Love Sex Aur Dhoka (LSD) continues to remain urban-centric and small-budget, it is going to be a radically different experience than its predecessors.

“The word ‘sex’ adds to the allure of the film. Why do we make so much out of this three-letter-word? When it’s accepted that it’s as basic a need as eating food, everyone indulges in it, and yet there’s a taboo to it. It also forms a major part of voyeurism, which is the premise of the film. We have turned voyeuristic in recent times. We want to know what’s happening behind closed doors, or catch a celeb with his pants down. It’s a streak that’s spilling over in our relationships, in our entertainment and the news. Even our ideas on love or sex are not our own, but borrowed from what’s seen on screen,” says Dibakar as he explains the subject of his film.

LSD will be India’s first digital film. “The Hindi filmgoer is going to be stunned. The film could only be shot on a digital format. In this age of online videos, Youtube, MMS, it’s time we explored these mediums to tell our stories. The format has its own grammar. I had to unlearn all my filmi gyan. It was my ground zero. I shot the film using cameras that were smaller than a lipstick, from inside a purse and also used infra red lights that are mostly used by soldiers in the night during war. It was necessary as the ‘camera’ plays the important character in my film,” explains the director.

Another first for Dibakar is his collaboration with Ekta Kapoor. “No one understands entertainment the way Ekta does. The one thing that I look for in my producers is how excited they get with the idea. Ekta understood that she was looking at a new way of filmmaking that would rewrite the rules in the Indian film industry. She not only liked the unique treatment of the film, but also its universal story of love, sex and betrayal,” reveals Dibakar, whose ‘peep show’ is set to release in early 2010 with complete newcomers in the cast. A 10-minute screener was shown to international delegates and film festival conveners at the Goa Film Bazaar and the response was exhilarating.

Trisha, who is being launched in Priyadarshan’s Khatta Meetha with Akshay Kumar, will play two characters

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 29, 2009)

Southern star Trisha is being launched in Bollywood with a lot more footage and hoopla than most heroines in Priyadarshan’s films. She plays two characters in the forthcoming Khatta Meetha, starring Akshay Kumar.

Priyadarshan says, “I launched her in Tamil cinema ten years ago in Leysa Leysa. Now I’m launching her in Hindi in Khatta Meetha and that too with my sure bet, Akshay. It’s responsibility. Trisha has two different avatars in the script. But it’s not a double role. Trisha would have to go into two different time zones.”

This is a far cry from Priyadarshan-Akshay films in the past where heroines were mere props. No wonder Asin refused Priyadarshan’s De Dana Dan with Akshay Kumar as she did not want to have limited space. Katrina Kaif finally stepped in because of her warm rapport with the hero.

The director admits that there’s more to Trisha in Khatta Meetha than meets the eye. “Unlike my other films with Akshay, Khatta Meetha is not a comedy. It’s a family film on the lines of Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee films, with lots of scope for Trisha,” adds Priyadarshan.


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