Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘jaya bachchan

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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After the success of Paa, the Bachchans are planning a film featuring Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 23, 2009)


Producer-cum-actor Abhishek Bachchan says the experience of producing Paa has made him grow up. He says, “High time it did so. People keep asking me what we are producing next. At the moment I don’t want to leave Paa behind. I’m completely engrossed with Paa and how to take it forward, including the DVD release.”

Abhishek says Paa had recovered its costs only two days after its release but he chooses to be cautious in his exuberance. He says, “My very dear friend Aditya Chopra told me, ‘It’s very rare when the audience decides to love you and when they do you must be very thankful for that. I feel no sense of vindication. I didn’t make Paa to prove any point to everyone. I just wanted to make an A-grade product with a cast to match within a given reasonable budget and without compromise.”

Now there are plans to make a film with the Bachchan parivaar — Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan together, to be produced by AB Corp Ltd. Confirming the news, Abhishek says, “Most definitely, we are coming together. All four of us are completely for it. We need to sort out certain variables. The scripts that we had been given didn’t justify our collective presence.”

Apparently one or other Bachchan has not liked the scripts offered so far. “Each individual of the family has to be willing to be part of the film. All four of us are unique actors. It’s very difficult for any script to please collectively.”

Meanwhile, Abhishek is planning to produce a film that will cast Amitabh and Abhishek together again after Paa. He says, “Everyone wants to know what’s next with the two of us? I think a comedy is ideal. So that’s what we would do together.”

The year 2009 has been eventful for Abhishek as he worked in his most challenging role to date, for Mani Ratnam’s Raavana. Talking about his experience, Abhishek says, “It has been a gruelling year, but no complaints. Most of the year was taken up by Raavana. Unfortunately, at the start of the year, Mani fell ill after the first schedule. We had to push the second schedule ahead by a few months to give him the time to recover. In the interim, I finished Paa… Raavana has been the most challenging experience of my life, both physically and emotionally. It has sapped me every which way. I was really anxious about Raavana. Mani, Aishwarya and I had to go beyond Guru, which is one of my favourite films. I knew Raavana could do it. It is now going to be released in summer. Mani has completed the editing. We will start dubbing soon.”

Abhishek looks back on the year with much gratitude. “It has been a fantastic 2009. I started with Delhi 6 and ended with Paa. I have no reason to complain. I continue to get the opportunity to work with fantastic directors. I love working with new directors. I like to challenge myself as an actor. It would be terribly boring to be doing the same roles again. Now I am raring to take on the challenges in 2010.”

He has almost wrapped up Ashutosh Gowariker’s Khelenge Hum Jee Jaan Se. Commenting on his busy schedule for the forthcoming year, he says, “I am almost done. We shot it in Goa at a stretch. I start 2010 with a film produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, but it’s not called Crooked. It has no title. After that I go into Rohan Sippy’s film, then Dostana 2, followed by Abbas-Mastan’s film, which is the official remake of The Italian Job. Finally, at the end of 2010, I’ll go into Neeraj Pandey Special Chabbis. I saw Neeraj’s A Wednesday and loved it. He’s a very no-nonsense director. He doesn’t believe in frills. What he has written for me is very exciting. Is that a lot? No I have always had 4-5 releases per year. All my years have been packed. Only Raavana required more time because of Mani’s illness.”

Abhishek admits he’s worried by his father’s workload. He says, “Any son would be worried. I am no different. Having said that, as his fan and co-actor, I am glad I get to see him quite often in movies. But at the same time I think he’s just starting. After doing five films with him, I can say with some authority that what we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg.”

The premiere of the Bachchans’ home production Paa was a glittering affair with the who’s who of Bollywood attending the event last night

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 04, 2009)


The preparations for the grand premiere of Paa last night had started much earlier with Amitabh Bachchan visiting the venue at Wadala Imax at 1 pm yesterday to check out all the arrangements. Though the main event was scheduled to begin at 8.30 pm, a casually dressed Amitabh arrived at the venue much earlier at 6 pm and the first thing he did was to double check the arrangements.

He changed into natty formals shortly before the guests started arriving.

The Bachchans had divided their responsibilities to ensure that their guests are well-looked after. While Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai were standing at the entrance, Jaya Bachchan was looking after all the guests near the screens on the first floor.

Spec-ulation
Why were Ritesh Deshmukh with Abhishek Bachchan wearing identical frames?
The first wives club
Abhishek Bachchan with reel wife, Vidya Balan and his better half, Aishwarya Rai
You me aur hum
Ajay and Kajol
Devgan

Twinkle Twinkle big star
The colour co-ordinated couple Akshay Kumar and Twinkle

Anil Ambani, his wife Tina and their son were among the first guests to arrive. Some of the power couples who attended the premiere were Shah Rukh Khan and wife Gauri, Ajay Devgan and wife Kajol, Hrithik and wife Sussanne, and Akshay Kumar and wife Twinkle. SRK sent Gauri and the kids upstairs while he stayed back to chat with the Bachchans for a while.  SRK was seen hugging Akshay Kumar. Arshad Warsi and wife Maria were there too.

Ritesh Deshmukh, Dino Morea and Rakeysh Mehra and his wife followed shortly and the director seemed happy to catch up with his Rang De Basanti team Atul Kulkarni and Kunal Kapoor. Sharman Joshi made a late entry.

Ranbir Kapoor and Ritesh were engrossed in a conversation outside screen 3. Aishwarya came upstairs and was seen talking to Ashutosh Gowariker, his wife Sunita and Srishti Behl. Aamir Khan came with his 3 Idiots director Rajkumar Hirani and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Aamir left half-an-hour after the screening began.

Abhishek was seen chatting with Govinda, who came in quite late.

Filmmakers David Dhawan, Satish Kaushik and Madhur Bhandarkar were there. Filmmakers Abbas Mustan came all the way from Lonavla.

The screening was held in all the four screens at Imax but it was screen 3, which had the maximum number of stars. The screening of the film started around 10 pm.

Kangna Ranaut hung around outside for a while, posing for pictures even though the film had started. She soon went inside the theatre.

Dil de Dia
Even Auro, who doesn’t like girls, can’t resist the pretty Dia Mirza
Pretty woman
The single life seems to be agreeing with the glowing Kangna Ranaut
Daddy’s girl
Aishwarya with her father Krishnaraj Rai
Two-gether
Hrithik and  Sussanne Roshan
Star trek
Suhana seems to be taking after her mother Gauri Khan already. Shah Rukh Khan, Balki, Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan,  Gauri and Suhana
3 Idiots meets Paa
Rajkumar Hirani, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Vidhu Vinod Chopra
(pics: nilesh wairkar)

By Taran Adarsh, December 3, 2009 – 17:34 IST

Can you ever imagine watching an Amitabh Bachchan film and not watching Amitabh Bachchan in it? Seems impossible, isn’t it? The towering persona and the rich baritone just cannot be overlooked. But R. Balki transforms the legendary actor into Auro, replaces the rich baritone with the voice of an adolescent [who’s neither grown up, nor a kid] and taps the hitherto untapped talent of the icon.

Trust me, 10 minutes into the film and you forget you’re watching Amitabh Bachchan. For, Auro takes over the moment he is introduced to the viewer.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

PAA is a simple film told in the most simplistic manner and that’s one of the prime reasons why this film works big time. The emotions would’ve fallen flat had the writing been sub-standard or the execution of the material been humdrum or the actors been inferior. But, thankfully, PAA scores in all three departments, although it must be said that the entire slum redevelopment episode is a complete put-off.

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Yet, all said and done, PAA is an outstanding film. A film for every paa, every maa… for everyone with a heart. Take a bow, Auro!

Auro [Amitabh Bachchan] is an intelligent, witty 13-year-old boy with an extremely rare genetic defect that causes accelerated ageing. He suffers from progeria. Mentally, he is 13, very normal, but physically he looks five times older.

Inspite of his condition, Auro is a happy boy. He lives with his mother Vidya [Vidya Balan], a gynaecologist, but is completely clueless of his father’s identity. Till he meets him, Amol [Abhishek Bachchan], who is a full of ideals politician.

Okay, let’s not disrespect Balki by calling PAA a rip-off of THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON or JACK. It’s not! PAA looks at the varied relationships so minutely. It may’ve been publicized as a father-son film, but the women – mother and granny – play equally pivotal parts.

The first hour of PAA grips you in patches. The introduction of Auro is brilliant, but the moment the story focuses on the politician and his arch rival’s sub-plot, it goes off-track. Sure, there are some interesting sequences, but the impact isn’t mesmeric.

But the post-interval portions take the film to dizzy heights and camouflages the defects. The father-son bonding and the penultimate 25 minutes raise the bar. The emotional quotient is tremendous. Get ready to overhear a lot of sniffs and see a lot of moist eyes once the lights are switched on.

Note the two sequences in the climax, when Auro reveals what his father’s first mistake was and the pheras towards the end. Also recall the scene when the girl Auro detests for a certain reason shows up with a sketch of Auro. It moves you completely.

But let’s not mistaken PAA to be a rona-dhona movie. It’s a positive film with funny/light moments in plenty. The conversation between Auro and his best friend, on various occasions, are superb. Also, not once does PAA show Auro as ‘different’. He’s one among the kids and there’s no discrimination whatsoever, which is remarkable.

Director R. Balki deserves a salute for thinking out of the box and also presenting Amitabh Bachchan like never before. The writing may be erratic, but his handling of the emotional moments is exemplary. Note this, he would be a force to reckon with after PAA. Ilaiyaraaja’s music is soothing. P.C. Sreeram’s cinematography is incredible.

It would be a blunder if one missed out the contribution of the makeup artists. Transforming the veteran actor into a kid must’ve been an arduous task and Christien Tinsley and Domini Till deserve to be complimented for making Auro look so real.

Now to the performances! No amount of praise, no amount of adjectives and personifications would do justice to Amitabh Bachchan’s performance as Auro. Sure, the icon has enthralled us with superlative performances in his four-decade career, but PAA is something else. The icon keeps surprising you at regular intervals and PAA is one of those beautiful surprises, which will remain etched in your memory forever.

That doesn’t mean that the remaining performances get dwarfed by Auro. Sure, PAA belongs to Auro, but not once does Abhishek Bachchan dither from his position or seems less inferior. This is the hallmark of a tremendous actor, which Abhishek is. Vidya is another surprise of PAA. She takes giant strides as an actor and proves yet again that given the right roles, she can match up to the best in the business.

Paresh Rawal is effective. Arundhati Naag is amazing. So is the kid, Pratik, enacting the role of Auro’s best buddy. His telephonic conversation with Auro is superb. Jaya Bachchan’s presence is lovely.

On the whole, PAA is an amazing experience. It makes you realize two things. One, the Hindi film industry is also capable of narrating fresh stories. Two, Amitabh Bachchan is truly the most accomplished actor this side of the Atlantic.

Talking from the business point of view, PAA has been made in a sensible and reasonable budget [approx. Rs. 17 crores, including P & A expenses], which should easily be recovered from multiplexes alone.

In the final tally, here’s a film that should win awards [for Auro] and also box-office rewards, given its low costs. A film that should strike a chord with every paa, maa… just about everyone with a heart!

Sanjay Leela Bhansali slackens shooting schedule of Guzaarish for Aishwarya as she needs time to help with the premiere of Paa

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 30, 2009)


This one is strictly for Paa. Not just the film, but Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s Pa, Amitabh Bachchan.

A stickler for discipline, punctuality and strict schedules during shooting Sanjay Bhansali is known to shoot through burning fevers and location setbacks, so that his actors’ dates don’t go awry. For the first time in his career as a filmmaker, Sanjay is voluntarily slackening his schedule for Aishwarya.

 

Aishwarya Rai and Amitabh Bachchan

Later this week Aishwarya will be given a couple of days off at a time when she is required to shoot with Hrithik Roshan. A friend of Sanjay and Aishwarya says, “Aishwarya is not just a leading lady for Sanjay. After doing three films together they are family. Sanjay saw how stressed Aishwarya was, trying to balance Guzaarish with the time required to pitch in with her father-in-law for Paa. In fact, Mr Bachchan has been running around alone inviting the film fraternity for the premiere on December 3 since Abhishek has been shooting non-stop in Goa for Ashutosh Gowariker and Jayaji is in Delhi attending parliament.”

Earlier this week Sanjay decided to give her a break. A common friend says, “When she expressed her helplessness about being unavailable to help Mr Bachchan, Sanjay made up his mind to give her an off on those crucial days on and before the premiere, although it meant considerable schedule adjustment on his part.”Sanjay reveals, “It’s no big deal. Adjusting my schedule is the least I can do for someone who has been a dear friend for many years. But this was not done for Aishwarya. It was for Paa and Mr Bachchan. It’s a very special moment for the family.”

Manisha Koirala to play a negative role as Jaya Bachchan’s shrewd bahu in Revathy Varma’s Aap Ke Liye Hum

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 12, 2009)


 

Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala, who has been missing in action for a while now, is back with a bang. She is set to play her first negative role as Jaya Bachchan’s shrewd daughter-in-law in Revathy Varma’s Aap Ke Liye Hum.

Confirming the news, director and co-producer, Revathy says that Manisha loved the role because of the challenge of playing somebody so negative. She adds, “It’s the role of Ranvir Shorey’s wife. This woman is so wicked that she doesn’t think twice about turning to her angelic mother-in-law and saying, ‘Why did you produce only one son and expect him to look after you? If you had a couple more we wouldn’t be burdened’. It’s the daughter-in-law who sends Jayaji to the old woman’s home. That beautiful angelic face saying such horrible ugly things to a frail, old woman would be the biggest challenge of Manisha’s career.”

The closest Manisha has come to playing a negative character was in Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se where she played a terrorist. The actress is expected to join the cast and crew when the shooting resumes in January.

Incidentally, this is the same role that Urvashi Sharma had earlier agreed to do, but backed out later because of non-payment of her remuneration.

Revathy laughs uncomfortably, “Well, yes. It’s the same role. But Manisha doing the role makes all the difference. And of course her remuneration too makes all the difference. Besides, Manisha loved the thought of sharing screen space with Jayaji. We start shooting right after Jayaji’s winter parliamentary session gets over.”

Director Revathy Sharma sacks her nearly bankrupt producers; to co-produce her directorial debut

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 09, 2009)

 

Jaya Bachchan and Ayesha Takia on the sets of Aap Ke Liye

Revathy Varma, whose first Hindi film Aap Ke Liye Hum starring Jaya Bachchan , Raveena Tandon, Madhavan, Ayesha Takiya and Ranvir Shorey has been grappling in troubled waters for almost a year now, is finally breathing a sigh of relief. Revathy has now decided to get the project going by producing the film herself.

Revathy said, “It was my producers who were actually responsible for all the trouble. However, I didn’t realise this initially because there were other matters like getting dates from actors and my leg injury, which made matters worse. It took months of harassment, schedules going haywire, and yes, bounced cheques to realise what the real hindrance was.”

“I was new to Mumbai and trusted my producers blindly. But soon it dawned upon me that they were with me only because I had people like Jayaji starring in my film,” she added. Ravathy first got an inkling of trouble when actress Urvashi Sharma’s cheque bounced. “Initially, I was upset with the girl for making a big issue because of the money. Later I got to know that Urvashi’s as well as many other people’s cheques had really bounced. I was horrified and embarrassed.”

Telling us about what really made her sit up and take action, Revathy said, “They made actor Swapnil Ralkar part of my film. I did not mind as he fit the role. But later they brought in another newcomer.” However, Revathy learnt that money was exchanged between the producers and the newcomer. That’s when she finally decided to part ways with her producers. “Schedule after schedule was getting cancelled and my producers always had some or the other excuse to hide their inadequacy. But when Jayaji allotted dates in January and February 2010, I had to take quick action,” added Revathy.

Revathy will now co-produce the film with a financer. A cautious Revathy said, “I checked his antecedents before partnering with him. Once bitten, twice shy. My financier will take care of the budget while I look into the creative aspects. I can finally make my film in peace.”


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