Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘hype

Badly Burnt In Year Gone By, Industry Looks To Strong Content

Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; January 3, 2010)


Pursue excellence and success will pursue you,’’ was what Aamir Khan’s character philosophised in 3 Idiots. But when the lights dimmed and audiences sat down after the National Anthem, what greeted them on screens for most part of the year was average, even poor fare, making 2009 the annus horribilis of the first decade of the 21st century. More than 200 films, with Rs 1500 crore at stake, released last year but almost Rs 1000 crore sank in the sea of mediocrity without a bubble, the sharks-andsexy bikini Blue leading the pack.
Added to it was the multiplex strike which cost around Rs 350 crore, upset release dates forcing films to share Fridays and dent each others’ collections. A multiplex source said, “Cannibalisation caused by big films’ release dates clashing could have been avoided.’’


The year began with Chandni Chowk To China that lost 50% of its Rs 65-crore budget. And marketing blitzkreigs couldn’t save a Blue and Kambakkht Ishq and the audience clearly showed content was king with surprise hits like DevD, New York, WaKe Up Sid and Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani. DevD made Rs 6 crore, collected Rs 25 crore at the box office while its ancillary rights made another Rs 5 crore and there are still more satellite runs to be sold. Trade experts also put films like Love Aaj Kal, Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani, Wanted among the certified hits, followed by profitable films like Paa, All The Best, De Dana Dan and Raaz 2.


But Bollywood’s loss was Hollywood’s gain, with films like 2012 and Avatar (that collected a whopping Rs 50 crore so far) filling the void for good entertainment.


It was left to And Aamir Khan to play Santa Claus third year in a row, with 3 Idiots the biggest hit of the year. It grossed a phenomenal Rs 100 crore in India in the first four days, and Rs 175 crore worldwide till December 31, even denting into collections of Avatar. Trade analyst Amod Mehra said, “What Ghajini collected in a week, this film has done in three days.


Corporates didn’t really have a great year in 2009 and after the bloodbath in the first half of the year, most of them avoided buying films outright, with even 3 Idiots being released on commission.


Thus 2010 dawns to vastly altered realities — purse strings have tightened by cautious corporates; big banners are no guarantee for success and may dish out big turkeys instead; marketing and stars don’t sell, a good story does; and the days of astronomical fees are over.


“Audiences are very smart, the content ultimately will guide their choices and approval. Marketing and hype will only work if content supports that hype. We may not have a Blue this year but projects like Veer and Prince are costly and prima facie look difficult in terms of recoveries,’’ says a trade expert.


So when Akshay Kumar, blamed for soaring star prices, announced towards the end of 2009 that he would not charge any fee for Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khaan, it was a lifeline for the industry that had almost gone into the ICU.


Says Amod Mehra, “It is not that people did not come to watch Akshay Kumar films in 2009, it is just that the budgets of the films were so high and his remuneration was almost 40% of those budgets, so recoveries were not possible despite a good opening. But now that the actors are looking at sharing profit with the producer after the cost of the film has been recovered like in the case of Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots then it will be fair enough. Cutting down of star prices will definitely reduce the budget of films and they will become viable and that is definitely going to be the trend in 2010.”


The year thankfully doesnt have a Rs 100-crore Blue in its line-up. Last year most production houses scrapped films as star prices were not viable. In fact, it is learnt Saif Ali Khan is reworking the budget of his next film Agent Vinod starring Kareena and himself. In fact, 2010 is short on mega projects as budget constraints ensured very few got on the floors in 2009.


The first biggie of 2010 will be Veer,
followed by Rann, My Name is Khan, Action Replay, Kites and House Full in the first half of the year. The second half of the year would have Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzarish and Patiala House.


The action in 2010 seems definitely more in mid-size and multiplex projects that would have strong and clutterbreaking content. “There are a lot of films this year that may not topline the Khans or Hrithik Roshan but still have a decent line-up of names and would be thematically different. Tight budgets and good content seem to be the mantra in the decision making corridors of Bollywood. Each company is carefully evaluating its options and are not getting carried away,’’ says Priti Shahni of Indian Films. Corporates, for instance, have decided to take films only on commission, and not buy them outright.


Shahid Kapoor’s Chance Pe Dance, Striker starring Rang De Basanti’s Siddharth, Aamir Khan Productions’ Peepli Live, Vishal Bharadwaj’s Ishqiya would release in the first half of 2010.


Generation-next too would be making its presence felt with Ranbir Kapoor in Anjana Anjani and Rajneeti, Imran Khan in I Hate Love Stories, Sonam Kapoor in Ayesha, and Deepika Padukone in House Full.


As the record breaking run of 3 Idiots that has spilled over to 2010 has shown, great content along with great pre-release buzz make the perfect mix.


2010: Coming Soon
RAJNEETI (Naseeruddin Shah, Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgn, Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor) BUDGET: 50 cr


DHOBI GHAT (Aamir Khan, Prateik Babbar) BUDGET: 15 cr


RAAVANA (Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) BUDGET: 50 cr


TEEN PATTI (Amitabh Bachchan, Sir Ben Kingsley) BUDGET: 35 cr


VEER (Salman Khan, Zarine Khan) BUDGET: 50 cr


RANN (Amitabh Bachchan) BUDGET: 25 cr


ISHQIYA (Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi) BUDGET: 20 cr


MY NAME IS KHAN (Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol) BUDGET: 50 cr


KITES (Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori) BUDGET: 50 cr


ACTION REPLAY (Akshay Kumar, Aishwarya Rai) | BUDGET: 35 cr


GUZAARISH (Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) BUDGET: 50 cr


ANJAANA ANJAANI (Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra) BUDGET: 40 cr


AGENT VINOD (Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor) BUDGET: 40 cr

Figures are an approximate estimation

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By Taran Adarsh, January 1, 2010 – 12:31 IST

Surprise, surprise, surprise! Sometimes, the expectations from a movie are zilch, but what unfolds on screen is beyond expectations. It surprises you, to put it simply.

On face-value, BOLO RAAM looks like it’s straight out of 1970s cinema. A movie with predictability written all over it. A movie that carries zero hype and matches it with zero content. But BOLO RAAM isn’t archaic, isn’t the usual masala, isn’t zero content.

A remake of the Tamil film RAAM [2005; starring Jeeva, Saranya, Rehman, Murali], BOLO RAAM has an interesting plot with an engaging screenplay that compels you to look at the screen for most parts of the movie. But, of course, there’re hiccups. A few non-actors and a done to death climax could’ve been avoided.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Raam [Rishi Bhutani] is charged with the murder of his mother Archana [Padmini Kolhapure]. Raam falls into a state of shock, brief psychotic disorder, after his mother’s death and becomes silent, refusing to talk or react in any manner.

The investigating officer, Indrajeet Singh Rathi [Om Puri] is puzzled and unable to make Raam speak. He consults a psychiatrist, Dr. Negi [Naseeruddin Shah], to determine the cause of Raam’s state of mind and the reason for his silence.

Rathi interrogates various personalities for the case, questioning Raam. Every possible motive that Raam might have for murdering his mother is explored. Furthermore, Raam’s neighbours, Sub-Inspector Sajid Khan’s [Govind Namdev] daughter Juhi [Disha Pandey] and son Sameer [Krishan Khatra], are summoned by Rathi for interrogation. Will his silence solve the puzzle?

Without wasting any time, BOLO RAAM takes off from its opening titles itself. The story goes back and forth, several new characters are introduced, but the narrative stays faithful to the main plot. The best is reserved for the second half. Layer after layer is peeled with expertise. The viewer is keen to know the identity of the killer and that’s when the film fumbles and tumbles.

The culprit’s track is sloppy and a major put off. In fact, the circumstances that lead to the murder are quite amateurish and look far from convincing. Surely, the writer could’ve thought of a better culmination. Also, the one-sided love affair is functional.

Debutante director Rakesh Chaturvedi ‘Om’ makes a confident debut, although he should’ve cast some better actors for key roles. There’s not much scope for music [Sachin Gupta] in the film and hence, just one song merits mention – ‘Maa Tere Jaisa’. The background score [Sanjay Chowdhury] deserves special mention.

Newcomer Rishi Bhutani does a commendable job. He oozes confidence, despite sharing the same frame with accomplished actors. Om Puri gets into the skin of his character and is impressive, while Padmini Kolhapure is a pleasure to watch after a long gap. She is beautifully restrained. Naseeruddin Shah has a brief role and the veteran does it well. Govind Namdev is very good.

Rajpal Yadav is wasted. Both Disha Pandey and Krishan Khatra are non-actors. Manoj Pahwa does his usual act.

On the whole, BOLO RAAM has decent merits [hence those 2 stars], but the problem is its wrong release timing. It won’t stand a chance in front of a hurricane called 3 IDIOTS.

By Taran Adarsh, December 11, 2009 – 17:13 IST

Some films absorb you instantly, from the very outset. But it takes time to get into the world of a salesman who thinks from his heart.

Come to think of it, ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR is about a simpleton, but the story of his struggle and accomplishment isn’t the kind that would charge you or make you charter a similar path in life. Also, the story of an underdog who comes up the hard way should make you feel euphoric in the end, right? But ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR doesn’t.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Frankly, ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR is more of a documentary on the life of a salesman. It’s a decent film, no two opinions on that, but the question is, [a] Is the story powerful enough to excite you and [b] Does it grab your attention in entirety? Sadly, the answer to both the questions is in the negative.

//

There’s another problem and this is strictly from the point of those seeking entertainment. A Yash Raj film with Ranbir Kapoor [after AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI] essaying the title role, coupled with fun-filled promos [‘Pocket Mein Rocket Hain’] might make you assume that it would offer loads of entertainment, but this has barely a song or two, as good as no romance and hardly any comic moments – the recipe for most Hindi movies.

In a nutshell, ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR is a dull and dry experience.

Harpreet Singh Bedi [Ranbir Kapoor] has just graduated and his marks are, well, let’s say a little embarrassing. But marks never stopped him from dreaming of an exciting and adventurous career, and they never will.

He takes a deep, positive breath and dives into the world of sales, rumoured to be an ultra cool career. It’s everything he dreamt of, with its smooth dressing, smoother talking men and women who can sell ice to an Eskimo, dreams to an insomniac and a lifetime mobile connection to a dying man. But soon, his idea of success begins clashing with the strange ways of these ‘professionals’ and ‘bosses’ he looked up to.

ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR may be based on a simpleton’s life, but the viewer gets a hang of things only towards the second hour. The entire first hour is devoted to establishing the characters and also getting used to the way sales persons go about their business.

There’s not much excitement in the first hour, barring a few attention-grabbing scenes that pop up intermittently. The story just flows, with the viewer not reacting much to the proceedings. But things change for better towards the post-interval portions when the protagonist and his colleagues’ lives get complicated.

At least two sequences deserve a mention here. The first, when Ranbir and his boss have a lengthy telephonic conversation. The second, when the boss realises his folly and apologises to Ranbir. But, unfortunately, the culmination to the story doesn’t give the feeling of euphoria or victory. Ideally speaking, it should have. That’s one of the reasons why the impact is missing.

Shimit Amin is an efficient storyteller and he has been most faithful to the plot, but if the plot itself has its limitations, there’s not much he can do to boost the proceedings. Jaideep Sahni has had the courage to narrate a new story, but the story is one-dimensional. Also, there screenplay is devoid of songs, romance and entertainment, which will go against the film completely.

Salim-Sulaiman’s background score is effectual. Vikash Nowlakha’s cinematography is alright.

Ranbir Kapoor is an exceptional actor and ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR mirrors this fact. The actor underplays his part beautifully, which only goes to prove that he’s equally at ease essaying straight-out-of-life roles. Prem Chopra is exceptional. A number of new faces enact pivotal roles here, but the ones who stand out are Ranbir’s boss Puri and colleague Nitin. Both are fantastic.

D. Santosh is first-rate. Gauhar Khan leaves a strong impression. Shazahn Padamsee doesn’t get any scope.

On the whole, ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR is more of a documentary on the life of a salesman. Lack of music, romance and entertainment, coupled with zilch hype, will go against the film. A colossal disappointment!

 

CANDID CHAT: Katrina Kaif
Katrina Kaif wants to put controversies aside

 

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 31, 2009)

 

 

Don’t shoot the postman for bringing in bad news is something Bollywood hasn’t heard of. Ever since Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan had their historic squabble at Katrina Kaif’s birthday party last year, the girl has carried the cross of the untoward incident. And every time she even bumps into SRK accidentally, the media has a field day putting their meeting under a microscope. Katrina isn’t complaining about this. But it is a matter of consternation for her.
In the last week, she bumped into the Badshah of Bollywood on two occasions — at Subhash Ghai’s wedding anniversary and
Sussanne Khan’s birthday party, on October 24 and 25 respectively. And media reports that followed both events only spoke of her interaction with SRK, almost making it seem like an aberration. “I fail to understand why people must constantly focus on just one aspect of an event,’’ says Kat. “I’m not complaining because I know that if you are in the eye of the media, it only means that you are important enough to them. However, my bumping into Shah Rukh or spending time with him at an event is just a regular thing. I think people should stop trying to look for controversy in every nook and cranny. All of us are here to work. And we have common functions to attend. Naturally, when we’re under the same roof, we will interact. Why make a fuss? Who wouldn’t want to associate with Shah Rukh or Karan Johar?’’
She is aware that controversies don’t carry a star through. “After four years in the industry, I know fully well that if your work doesn’t speak for you, everything else is inconsequential,” admitted Katrina. “Believe me, I’m not excited about being in the paper everyday, or on TV, unless there is something in my career worth talking about. Media hype and publicity can’t sustain a star for long. It’s like an air balloon that can be pricked anytime… and will go phut.’’
Wanting to take her career to the next level, Katrina is keen to associate with makers like Karan Johar. Once again she isn’t looking for any smart-alec remarks on how she is switching camps. “Karan thinks out of the box. On the one hand, he makes a Dostana and then a path-breaking film like Wake Up Sid. Naturally, I’d like to do a film for his banner. Likewise, working with Adi is a pleasure. He has a young unit and they work with clockwork precision. Doing a film for them is being on a school camp, but completely result oriented.’’
Having said that, Katrina still knows that she has achieved just 20 per cent of what actresses like Kareena Kapoor have. “Honestly, I have no illusions about where I’m positioned,’’ said the pragmatic girl. “I’m nobody’s fool and for the moment, all I want is to do is some good work.’’

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