Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘jealousy

Madhur Bhandarkar
Is Madhur Bhandarkar a victim of the country’s rape laws?

TEAM BT Times News Network (November 19, 2009)


Poor Madhur Bhandarkar. The Bollywood filmmaker, who’s just had a critically acclaimed release in Jail, finds himself in the dock once again for rape charges by aspiring actress Preeti Jain dating back to July 2004. Fortunately, the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate who rejected the Versova Police’s adverse report of the charges from back then and decided to conduct an inquiry into the case, has not ordered Bhandarkar’s arrest. The flamboyant filmmaker is not unduly worried by this development. “But my family is going through trauma,” he admitted to BT. It is a bittersweet moment for him. The news comes at a time when he is in Egypt attending the Cairo International Film Festival where five of his films — Chandni Bar, Traffic Signal, Page 3, Corporate and Fashion — are being screened as a tribute to Indian cinema. “My films reflect society and are liked by the classes and masses,” said Madhur, “I’ve got name and fame after a struggle, and I request society not to make a judgement until the case is over, so please don’t give me a trial in the media, I have faith in the judiciary.” But, the question uppermost in people’s minds is this: is Madhur a victim of the country’s rape laws? The filmmaker, naturally, thinks so. “It also amounts to blackmail,” he alleged of this sordid bit of dirty linen that was washed in public by the starlet.


Facts of the case
In July 2004, Preeti had lodged a complaint with the Versova Police against Madhur alleging he had raped her 16 times between 1999 and 2004 under the pretext of casting her as actress in his films. Madhur insists the complaint was of “cheating” and did not mention rape.

Our View: Irrespective of what relationship they shared, how can what happened between Madhur and Preeti amount to rape? She claims she was raped 16 times in four years, which is not like saying several times in one night. If this was rape, what prevented her from going to the police after the first incident? Why wait four years? And what prompted the complaint? Was it outrage, jealousy, indignation, a burning desire to teach the man a lesson? If Madhur had promised to cast her in his films, and if he had honoured this alleged commitment, would their alleged sex still be rape? The humiliation, the hurt, the abuse of body and soul that is caused by rape, is as much the 16th time as it would be the first… and any woman suffering this exploitation for four years and then crying rape, sounds like she’s complaining against rejection. Not the sexual act itself.

What is Rape?

The dictionary defines it as “the unlawful compelling of a woman through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse; and the act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person”. The Supreme Court’s expansive interpretation of rape in recent years has been to stretch the ambit to include consensual sex based on ‘‘false promise to marry’’. What was clearly never in its contemplation was to bring the casting couch — promise to give work in exchange of sex — under the definition of rape. Even if Preeti’s allegations are taken at face value, it is debatable whether they constitute prima facie evidence to try Madhur on the charge of rape. The allegation, if a promise was made and broken, is a case of fraud. But when sex is involved, courts tend to treat it as a case of rape. Sex by deceit. The opening made by the Supreme Court to provide relief to those who had been deceived into having sex on false promise to marry cannot be pushed further for the sake of those who claim to have been deceived similarly by false promise to give work.


Our view
The idea that sexual intercourse between a man and a woman can occur only if they intend to marry clearly has no place in a liberal society. Also, if the woman gets into a physical relationship because she has been fooled into believing that marriage is on the cards, we may question the morality of the man, but is it not extreme to equate his deception with rape? We would suggest that it is time the law adopted a more nuanced approach to what is universally acknowledged to be a complex issue. Having a breach of promise law to deal with such cases would be more suitable than clubbing it with rape, which is an extremely violent offence.


Is having sex for work any different from prostitution?
This does not come under deception and so on or being conned on the basis of a false promise of marriage, etc. In the case of the casting couch, the lady gives consent as she has been promised something and if she is able to prove that she was deceived into giving her consent then it does attract the provisions of the law… but this, of course, is quite difficult to prove.
— M N Singh,
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner


The starlet cannot say it’s rape. She can call it cheating. She cannot say that “I had sex with him because he promised me work.” This kind of deal is anyway not legal. She had no business to sell herself for a role. If she had alleged (and could prove) that the filmmaker agreed to marry her, then this would have been worth considering. But as it is, she has no case here. If she was a commercial call girl, then this would perhaps fall into the category of prostitution.
— Majeed Memon,
Criminal Lawyer

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By Taran Adarsh, October 30, 2009 – 08:26 IST

In real life, if you feel your colleague is far more superior to you in intelligence, talent, charisma, efficiency, chances are you might feel the heat. Jealousy, generally, stems from there. In the process, the best of relations get strained. LONDON DREAMS, directed by Vipul Shah, talks of two musicians, thick pals actually, and how jealousy drives a wedge in their friendship.

Let’s clear a few myths before discussing the positive and negative factors of this film. LONDON DREAMS is not BAIJU BAWRA. LONDON DREAMS is not ROCK ON!!, ABHIMAAN, YAARANA or SAAJAN either [a section of the industry wants us to believe that]. The truth is, LONDON DREAMS borrows from Milos Forman’s brilliant film AMADEUS [1984], which was based on Salieri and Mozart’s life. In fact, Suneel Darshan too had made a film based on AMADEUS called SHAKALAKA BOOM BOOM [2007; Bobby Deol, Upen Patel].

BY BOLLYWWOD HUNGAMA.COM

LONDON DREAMS is a complete departure from Vipul Shah’s earlier outings, AANKHEN, WAQT, NAMASTEY LONDON and SINGH IS KINNG [produced by Vipul, directed by Anees Bazmee]. This film is about relationships and tends to get very real and intense, in the post-interval portions specifically. The scale of LONDON DREAMS is gigantic and the execution of concerts [it’s about a band] sweeps you off your feet.

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In terms of execution, it wouldn’t be erroneous to state that LONDON DREAMS is amongst Vipul Shah’s most accomplished works to date. Also, it boasts of incredible performances by Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn. But there are hiccups too and it’s these deficiencies that bog the film down!

They were childhood friends. But they had little in common except their family’s connection with music. While Arjun’s [Ajay Devgn] life was consumed by a passionate drive to get on stage and realize his grandfather’s unfulfilled dream, Mannu [Salman Khan] was content with remaining a child at heart with no higher ambition than enjoying the good things in life.

As Arjun forges a band with Zoheb [Rannvijay Singh], Wasim [Aditya Roy Kapur] and Priya [Asin], a music enthusiast from a conservative South Indian family, far away in Punjab, music becomes a survival tool for Mannu, who takes to playing in wedding bands in his village.

Arjun gets Mannu to London and makes him a part of the band, but soon realizes he’s created the biggest threat and obstacle to his own ambitions.

Mannu, with his inherent musical gift, becomes an instant darling of the crowds. Arjun’s unbearable pangs of jealousy and insecurity only worsen when Mannu also unwittingly woos and wins his secret love, Priya. As he battles his inner demons, Arjun slowly devises a sinister plan to destroy his best friend.

It takes time to get into Ajay’s world [its Ajay who’s narrating the story here]. The film moves back and forth and it’s only when the two buddies, now adults, meet that you realize where the story is headed. The first hour depicts the two extreme characters – Ajay, who’s an introvert and who cannot think of anything but his goal and Salman, a happy-go-lucky guy, laidback and fun-loving, least focused.

The narrative has some interesting moments in the first hour, but the actual story unravels only towards the second half. The first half, frankly, only sets things up for the explosive drama that is to follow. The wheels start moving when Ajay plays a vicious game and hatches a conspiracy to ruin his buddy’s career.

It’s the second hour that does the trick. You can’t help but carry several sequences in your heart, even after you’ve made an exit from the auditorium…

  • Note the scene when Salman makes four different tunes from the original tune created by Ajay.
  • Note the scene when Ajay meets an inebriated Salman and professes revenge, while Salman is completely clueless about Ajay’s sinister plans.
  • Note the scene when the band arrives in London after a 3-city concert and they’re received by aggressive mediapersons.

But there’re roadblocks too. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is a downer. LONDON DREAMS is about a rock band, about music, about concerts and the music had to be the soul of the film. Unfortunately, it’s not! The songs have been filmed in the most energetic fashion, but how one wishes the music was one of the strengths of the film.

Also, the film could’ve concluded when the two friends re-unite at the station. Adding one more song thereafter only dilutes the impact of the emotionally correct sequence that has just been witnessed. Besides, the song in question hasn’t been promoted either, so it only comes across as an aberration.

Prior to that, Ajay’s outburst at the end of the concert is far from convincing. The film has a real feel, real characters and real situations, but the outburst looks unreal and is one of the drawbacks, from the writing point of view. It’s just not convincing!

Besides, Ajay’s childhood character is shown fleeing from the airport and making it big in a foreign land [London], without any support whatsoever. It’s unpalatable!

Vipul Shah has handled this intricate subject well, but the writing could’ve been tighter. Sejal Shah’s cinematography is super. Brownie points for capturing the concerts brilliantly. Salim-Sulaiman’s background score matches international standards.

Both Salman and Ajay vie for top honours. Salman has a role that the junta would take to instantly and the actor too endears himself to the viewers. He’s stupendous. When it comes to displaying intensity on screen, very few can live up to the standards set by Ajay. To state that he packs in a power-packed performance would be an understatement. They, in fact, compliment each other wonderfully well.

Asin is admirable and pairs off very well with Salman. She is sure to have a new name after this film – Chennai Express [that’s how Salman addresses her affectionately, all through the film]. Om Puri has a brief role. Aditya Roy Kapur is very good and registers an impact. Rannvijay Singh doesn’t get much to do, except throw nasty looks at Salman. Manoj Pahwa provides some funny moments. Brinda Parekh is okay.

On the whole, LONDON DREAMS has superb performances from its principal cast and several emotionally-charged sequences as its two trump cards. But its biggest drawback is its climax and also the music, which is the weakest link of the movie. At the box-office, the film should appeal more to the multiplex audience than the masses. Business at big centres, especially at metros, should be better, but mini-metros and towns will be a contrast.

LONDON DREAMS OR ALADIN?

The following two Fridays are going to see the release of four big films two in each week. While Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and Jail are releasing on Nov 6, London Dreams and Aladin are hitting the screens tomorrow, i.e. Oct 30.

ldLondon Dreams (LD) was originally to be directed by Raj Kumar Santoshi and he had planned the impossible-casting Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan together! Santoshi even managed to do a joint narration with Aamir and SRK. Both seemed genuinely interested while the narration was going on. But later, due to some unknown reason, both of them stopped responding to Santoshi’s calls and the project was put on the backburner. At that time, the film was titled Rashque (jealousy).

LD is now Vipul Shah’s venture and in place of SRK, he has casted Ajay Devgn and Aamir Khan is replaced by Salman Khan. Although the current version has created curiosity amongst moviegoers, I really really wished the film was made with the original cast. Just imagine, SRK and Aamir Khan together would have rocked completely. Even if the film was bad, just seeing them together would have been a paisa vasool experience!

LD has impressed overall everyone ever since its first promo was out. The song and the musical theme of the film have made it a must watch for everyone. Also, director Vipul Shah’s track record has been fantastic. All his past films (Aankhen, Waqt, Namastey London, Singh Is Kinng) were big time hits. Asin, who is very choosy when it comes to signing films, is also a part of this bid budget project. The film is expected to get a good opening and become a hit.

aladinSince LD will be the first choice for majority, the 2nd release tomorrow, Aladin, may suffer. Frankly speaking, Aladin seems more impressive than LD to me as somehow I have never been interested in films about music bands (I wasn’t even excited for ‘Rock On!!’ before it released). Coming back to Aladin, it has the finest special effects ever seen in any Bollywood movie so far. The film’s star cast is amazing and it may turn out to be a fantasy joyride. On the flipside, the film isn’t well promoted. Also, there are chances that the film may highly disappoint. In the past, there have been countless big budget films which were pathetic and Aladin may also turn out to be the same. Also, the co-producers of the film are Eros who had come up with a similar kind of film last year which became the disaster of the season. That film was DRONA! What if Aladin is also on the same lines? So I’ll prefer to wait for the response and then decide whether or not to go for it!

Which film will be your first choice? Do let me know!
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BLUE’s SEQUEL IN THE OFFING?

There is no certainty yet as to whether Blue has managed to recover its 80-90 crs (or maybe more) cost and yet, its producers are planning its sequel! According to the reports, Katrina will have a longer role in the sequel. Director Anthony D’Souza has announced that John Abraham will be a part of the sequel without even consulting him, thus, pissing off John! Anthony also says that this time the adventures will take place in the sky too!

I was just wondering-what will they name the sequel to Blue? How about ‘BLUE TWO-TH’?!!

Guess when Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan appeared together in the same frame, and we’re not talking of their supposed togetherness during the multiplex crisis. For the answer, read on…

By Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 12, 2009)

The world is waiting to see them together. And Raj Kumar Santoshi would have actually managed this coup. The film-maker had cast Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan in his film London Dreams, a story about two friends, both musicians. At that it was to be titled Rashque(jealousy in Urdu). For three nights Santoshi even managed to get Bollywood’s two most charismatic stars together for a joint narration.

A trade source says, “In principle both actors loved the script, said they wanted to go home and sleep over it before they started principal photography. But for months on end, Raj Santoshi chased both actors independently and neither of them reverted.’’

Santoshi’s London Dreams is now a Vipul Shah franchise with Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan. When Santoshi was making it, Aamir was to do Salman Khan’s role and Shah Rukh was to do Ajay Devgan’s part.

However the reason why the Aamir-SRK joint project came to memory is because on the sets of 3 Idiots Aamir started a guessing game in his vanity van at Filmcity where he asked film-maker Raj Kumar Hirani, co-actors Boman Irani and Sharman Joshi and everyone else present whether they remembered the only film in which he and SRK had been together.

Of course everyone came up with a blank…and at the end of 15 minutes Aamir winked naughtily and said, “you guys have missed a moment in film history.  Shah Rukh  and I were together in Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Pehla Nasha way back in 1993 where we gave one shot in the same frame at a film premiere sequence.’’

While it being seriously debated whether SRK and Aamir will do Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet as a team, sources close to both actors say it is highly unlikely that these two will ever be seen in the same frame again.

On the sets of his film Lajja in 2003, Raj Santoshi had categorically said that Aamir and Shah Rukh would not do a film together; and even Ashutosh Gowarikar who managed the coup when he was still a struggling director also hinted that it is unlikely that his Lagaan and Swades leading men would ever be together in the same frame.

Some things are just not meant to be, we guess.


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