Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘journalist

Here’s what we suggest you bring out the popcorn for
MUMBAI MIRROR; January 01, 2010

Karthik Calling Karthik

Farhan Akhtar’s next film is a story of a lovable loser whose chance meeting with his namesake changes his life forever. Karthik Calling Karthik has a star-studded credit list which includes Deepika Padukone, Javed Akhtar and Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy. Considering Farhan acts in the movies he either directs or produces, it seems like he is bent on wanting to typecast himself as the underdog. Weird but true!


My name is Khan

Bollywood’s biology lessons continue with My Name Is Khan. With 9/11 as the backdrop, the movie follows Rizwan Khan (SRK) who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. This is an autistic disease that makes the victim devoid of empathy. This, of course will give rise to many comical situations, just like Paa did. The film brings together the electrifying pair of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol back on the silver screen. Add Karan Johar to the mix and you have a surefire hit. But come on, what is the film industry going to explore next, the common cold?


Raajneeti

A modern-day political rendition of the Mahabharata, Raajneeti boasts of an A-list star cast – Ajay Devgan, Arjun Rampal, Ranbir Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Vivek Oberoi, Manoj Bajpai and Katrina Kaif. The movie will use the dilemmas the characters in the book went through, and draw parallels with it in reel life. Katrina Kaif is reportedly playing the role of Sonia Gandhi in the movie. After all both of them are quite similar: accent – check; powerful woman – check; foreign descent – check; relationship with Salman Khan – no one really knows.


Kites

Kites follows the story of Hrithik Roshan, a salsa dancer who falls in love with his student. Language barriers don’t matter here, love conquers almost all. But ‘something’ happens and it’s up to another student Kangna Ranaut to save the day. Maybe Sussanne walks into the movie or some other terrifying event occurs, we don’t know yet. But we hope the movie does better than Hrithik’s personal life.


Raavana

A modern day rendition of the mythological text, Raavana will get Aishwariya and Abhishek on the silver screen together for the first time after getting hitched. The movie has been plagued with problems – floods, elephants stomping around the set, maybe a higher power is sending a message through all of this. We won’t say anything, let the box-office decide.


Action replay

In Action Replay, a man ages backwards… Hmm, let’s see where have we heard this story before? A clear rip-off of the Hollywood hit, Benjamin Button, the film will feature Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai. Director Vipul Shah is back with Akshay Kumar and hopes his dream run will continue.


Teen Patti

As much as producer Ambika Hinduja denies it, Teen Patti’s plot seems like a rip-off of the Hollywood blockbuster 21. The film features three ace actors, Ben Kingsley (supposedly not doing a cameo), Big B and Madhavan. With the help of a unique algorithm, Amitabh who plays a mathematical genius leads a team of college students to make a lot of money. Does Amitabh hold the algorithm for the movie’s success or will this be just another failed spin-off?


Houseful

Akshay Kumar has a slew of releases lined up next year and Houseful, the laugh-riot is one of them. The story follows Akshay who is very unlucky in life and is trying to find true love. The women helping him achieve this goal are Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta and Jiah Khan. In real life, however, we think it’s the other way around. Akshay will end up teaching Deepika more than two expressions, Lara how to sign movies and Jiah Khan how not to be dropped from the one-odd film she has signed.


No Problem

Anees Bazmee has three mega comedy films lined up next year. One of them is No Problem which has quite a star cast – Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Akshaye Khanna, Sushmita Sen, Kangna Ranaut, Paresh Rawal and Sunil Shetty. The film is a love story of impossible proportions. Another impossible proposition is Kangna actually makes people laugh after making them weep all these years.


Well Done Abba

Shyam Benegal has been travelling the world with his latest film, Well Done Abba. The satirical movie sees Boman Irani play two roles. Fitting two Bomans in one shot is a feat in itself and a testament to Benegal’s directorial skills. The movie follows the journey of Armaan Ali, a driver from Mumbai, who is out to find his daughter’s (Minissha Lamba) beau. Minissha, who has been alternating between commercial and semi-art house cinema, is reportedly playing a strong role in the film.


Guzaarish

The film that is loosely based on Whose Life is it Anyway? has Hrithik playing a paraplegic radio jockey.  The film seems like a cry-till-your-tearbuds-dry-out movie – it explores the dilemma of euthanasia. Hrithik who believes in challenging himself till the cows come home, reportedly, spent hours in the wheelchair when not required to shoot, to get into the head of the character. Hrithik and Aishwarya reunite after Dhoom 2, and with Sanjay Leela Bhansali directing, it becomes one of the most awaited films in 2010, never mind Saawariya.


Road, Movie

Indian cinema has been through many fascinating twists and turns but none quite as romantic as touring cinemas.  Essentially this means that the owner of one mounts the film projector on the back of a truck and the projectionist travels the length and breadth of a state with the truck, stops wherever there is a pilgrimage or a mela and projects the films he is carrying onto a white curtain which is then viewed by the locals sitting on both sides of the screen. Dev Benegal has made Road, Movie about one such projectionist (Satish Kaushik) and the young owner (Abhay Deol) and the adventures they have as they show their movies. The film has been very well received on the festival circuit.


Anjaana Anjaani

After playing twelve characters in What’s Your Raashee?, we’re sure Priyanka Chopra has become a stranger to herself, especially after the film tanked. Siddharth Anand, director of Ta Ra Rum Pum and Salaam Namaste, tries a romcom with Anjaana Anjaani. Starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka, the film shows two strangers who fall in love and the journey they take together.


Aisha

Abhay Deol’s love for Delhi continues with his Bollywood release, Aisha where he plays another spoilt, rich Delhi brat. His character is modelled on Mr Knightly from Jane Austen’s novel, Emma. The movie is a romantic comedy that explores horrible mismatches. It also has a strong female role that has been bagged by Sonam Kapoor.  Whether Sonam is strong enough for the film after two failed films (read: Saawariya and    Delhi-6) is another matter.


Khelein hum jee jaan sey

Ashutosh Gowariker is no stranger to large canvasses (think Lagaan, Swades, Jodhaa Akbar) so it’s no surprise that he is now filming another humongous project, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, which revolves around the Chittagong Uprising in the pre Independence days. After What’s Your Raashee?, this is another film adapted from a book, Do and Die by Manini Chatterjee. Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone lead the star cast and Nitin Chandrakant Desai leads the crew. Hopefully Ashutosh’s version of history will not be challenged,  the way Jodhaa Akbar was.


Knock out

Inspired’ from the Hollywood masterpiece Phone Booth, Mani Shankar will look to re-create the magic in Bollywood. A man is trapped inside a phone booth, not because the door is stuck, but an assassin has a sniper rifle trained on him.  Kangna plays the role of a journalist, Irrfan plays a cop and Sanjay Dutt the assassin.


I Hate Luv Storys

A true-blue rom-com, I Hate Luv Storys brings together the very glamourous Sonam Kapoor and the man with the melting eyes, Imran Khan. Described as a love story not meant to happen but which does happen, it is the story of a man who does not believe in love and a girl who does. They meet on a film set; a milieu the director Punit Malhotra is very familiar with, having cut his teeth on Karan Johar’s sets as an assistant director; and sparks fly.


1-800-Love

When you have a tag line that says, ‘From the makers of Ghajini and Jaane Tu…’ you know you’re in for a commercial roller-coaster. Abbas Tyrewala dons the director’s hat for 1-800-LOVE again and the music score is Rahman’s handiwork. A telephone call connects two people – one who wants to die, the other who is searching for meaning in life. They meet, fall in love, yada yada… If you are watching the movie and you get bored of John Abraham’s three expression repertoire, close your eyes and maybe the music will do the trick for you.


Tees Maar Khan

Tees Maar Khan has gotten more publicity that it ever dreamed of just because Shah Rukh Khan is not playing a role in Farah Khan’s film. But it does seem like SRK has rubbed off on the new lead actor, Akshay Kumar. Kumar plays a ‘stylish’ (metrosexual) conman in the film. He will be joined by Akshaye Khanna, but the female lead has not yet been confirmed.


Hook Ya Crook

Finally, Bollywood gets a movie that shows hope in combining two things that Indians love best – cinema and cricket. Viraj Pradhan (John Abraham) dreams of being a cricketer but is a repeat offender who gets thrown into a maximum security prison. The jail is a haven for cricket players, but Viraj wants much more, he wants to be part of the men in blue. The film has reportedly roped in Indian cricketers for the movie but going by the ads on TV, the word ‘acting talent’ isn’t part of the Indian cricket team’s vocabulary.


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Abhay Deol to learn Tamil for Dibakar Banerjee’s next film

By Sonal Chawla (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 24, 2009)


After Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye (2008), the successful combination of director Dibakar Banerjee and Abhay Deol will be seen again. The untitled film is a political thriller involving an assassination. Abhay will play one of the protagonists.

Confirming the news, Dibakar says, “The film is based on a European novel published in the mid-1960s. We are still negotiating for the rights of the book. Ever since I read the book, I wanted to convert it into a film. Of course, I will adapt it to Indian sensibilities. The film deals with three principal characters. Abhay plays a South Indian judge, while the other characters are a journalist who sells soft porn to magazines and an expat social worker, who will be female.”

Abhay Deol Dibakar Banerjee

Currently Dibakar is talking to a few heroines who will star with Abhay. He says, “I need one girl. She will be finalised in the next few days. But the biggest challenge in this film is that Abhay Deol will have to learn Tamil. He plays a Tamilian and has to speak several lines in Tamil throughout the film. For that, he will be first learning the language,” Dibakar added.

The director will take a short break after the release of Love, Sex Aur Dhoka (LSD). He adds, “This movie has completely drained me emotionally and I need to give sometime to myself.  The script is already written and ready and will only go on floors by the end of next year. Unconventional subjects are my forte, but this film will not be bolder than LSD. Trust me, you will not have seen a bolder film than LSD in your life.”

Is this a Balaji production roo? That’s the buzz, we told him. He says, “There are no producers as such on board yet.”

CROSSING BORDERS: Akshay Kumar
Khiladi gets invited to Canada’s biggest talk show
TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; December 24, 2009)

Bollywood Khiladi Akshay Kumar did more than cause a stampede in Toronto where he went last week to be be the Indian torch bearer for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The action star, who intends to auction the torch and give the proceeds to the Special Olympics, was subsequently invited to television studios to be on one of Canada’s most powerful and influential talk shows – The Hour.

Aired every night, The Hour covers politics, the arts, entertainment, the environment, human rights, sports and more. Its host, George Stroumboulopoulos, is one of the most respected journalists in Canada and has interviewed many of the most influential and recognised people in the world from heads of state to rock stars.

Naturally, Akshay with his huge fan following in Canada was the perfect choice as subject on the show that earlier featured Hollywood actors Matt Damon, Samuel L. Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Cruise. The Khiladi is not saying what Stroumboulopoulos asked him, but the TV host is known more for flamboyance than any cut-andthrust on air.
Abhay Deol will soon launch Basra, a movie that deals with drugs and human trafficking

By Sonal Chawla (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 22, 2009)


Abhay Deol’s production house, Forbidden Films, is ready to take off and will start shooting its first film, Basra, in January 2010. It is an out-and-out action film based on the drug racket and human trafficking. Navdeep Singh, who directed Manorama-Six Feet Under, will direct the film.

Abhay plays the lead and Chitrangada Singh puts in a guest appearance. Soniya Mehra (Victoria No 203) has also been roped in for an important part. Shahana Goswami is paired with Nikhil Dwivedi.

A source reveals, “Basra is an edgy and dark film. Soniya will play a teenage hippie who is involved in drugs and eventually becomes a victim of human trafficking after being kidnapped. Shahana plays a journalist, while Nikhil is a cop. It is an ensemble cast and script.”

(L) Soniya Mehra (R) Abhay Deol

The source continues, “As the film is an action thriller, Abhay is building his body. His role is that of a secret agent. You can call him an undercover cop who exposes the entire racket. The movie has its base in Basra, a city in Iraq, notorious for its involvement in drugs. It will be shot in Dubai, Kuwait, Delhi and Mumbai.”

Director Navdeep confirms, “The film deals with drug rackets and we have signed Soniya and Nikhil. The title Basra was chosen as it is a city in Iraq which is apt to the subject of the film.” Probably the film will also be shot in one of the cities in Iraq. Navdeep says, “Yes, we are looking for locations in Iraq, probably Kuwait. The movie will go on the floors in January and most probably release by the end of next year.”

VALLEY OF HOPE: A still from Zero Bridge, in which Tariq Tapa cast ordinary Kashmiris
Does Zero Bridge, the first Kashmiri film to be made in 39 years, hold out hope for a revival of the arts in the troubled valley?

Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; November 15, 2009)

Kashmir, the breathtaking beauty of which has served as a backdrop for innumerable Bollywood romances, never really spawned a thriving film industry of its own: the last Kashmiri film, made in 1969, was Mehanzraat, starring Kashmiri actor Omar Ama. But now, after the long silence, comes Zero Bridge, a film by a Kashmiri NRI from New York, Tariq Tapa.

Twenty-four-year-old Tariq, born to a Kashmiri father and Jewish mother, landed in Srinagar with zero finance and a shooting kit packed into just one suitcase. “I decided to make a film in Kashmir because I found that no outside voice accurately captured the daily life of the average Kashmiri,’’ he says when asked what compelled him to come so far away
to make a film. “I thought a movie introducing the lives of a few Kashmiri citizens and their daily hopes and fears would reveal them more intimately than the usual western documentaries on the Kashmir situation or Bollywood films which only use it as an exotic backdrop. I want my film to make a statement and hope it starts a debate on Kashmir.’’

Tariq was a one-man unit and had to use a news channel’s permission to shoot his film in Srinagar. He mobilised ordinary Kashmiris to be part of Zero Bridge, including collegians who came for the audition. “There is so much talent here,’’ he says. “People want to be part of cinema but there is simply no encouragement from the state. Most of the cinema halls in Kashmir are now army bunkers.’’

Indeed, most aspiring artistes from Kashmir have had to leave their home state to fulfil their creative urges elsewhere, and despair of the arts ever flourishing in their home state. Dr Amit Wanchoo, a Kashmiri Pandit, faced a lot of resistance when he started his rock band, Immersion, in 1999. “From the kind of crowd our shows pull in, it’s obvious that Kashmir is an entertainment-hungry state, but there is certainly no political will to promote art, cinema and music in the state,’’ he says. “They don’t even provide security for shows. One has to perform at one’s own risk.’’

Film-maker Ashok Pandit, who made a Hindi film on Kashmir, points out that given the complete lack of infrastructure, it is impossible for Kashmiri cinema to grow. “There is no cinema, television is banned and no funds are made available to those interested in film-making,’’ he says. Pandit has been trying very hard to push the state government to encourage at least television serials but finds it extremely reluctant.

The climate of fear is also a factor a factor to reckon with. A source from Jammu & Kashmir tourism reveals that of the eight cinema halls in Srinagar, four have been converted into army bunkers. The remaining ones are perpetually guarded by the army but audiences are nervous about walking into them because of the constant attacks by militant groups who are anti-cinema to boot. “Given this fear and the general deprivation, the locals are more concerned about making ends meet rather than expressing their creative instincts,’’ says Pandit.

Bollywood has been filling up the state’s exchequer in the past, but more and more separatist groups are against Hindi film-makers shooting in Kashmir. Last year, Rahul Dholakia commenced his film Lamha, allegedly based on the lives of Muslim separatist leaders, Syed Ali Shah Geelani of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Shahidul Islam, a former insurgent commander, and Dukhtaran-e-Millat leader Asiya Andrabi, the Kashmiri women’s morality brigade so committed to Kashmiri separatism that her sons are already pledged as martyrs to the cause. The shooting in the Valley ran into rough weather when Andrabi took offence to Bipasha Basu playing her character and Geelani, Islam and others became wary.

Says Anil Raina, a Kashmiri journalist who introduced Dholakia to the separatists, “They conveyed to Dholakia that they were against the film. They were afraid that his realistic style of film-making would portray them negatively and it would go against their efforts. I had to intervene and convince them otherwise. At my behest, Dholakia changed many characters in the film. As I played a central part in getting the film on track, I didn’t want anything to go against us. After all, I have to live here with my mother and don’t wish to be slaughtered at the hands of the separatists.’’

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 11, 2009)


Acclaimed actor Om Puri is enormously upset with his wife, journalist-columnist Nandita for highlighting some of his most private sexual incidents to market her biography, Unlikely Hero: The Story Of Om Puri. A discernibly upset Om said, “I don’t care  if she’s my wife. I won’t let her get away with it.

I am in Chandigarh shooting for a film. On Monday I heard Nandita speaking about the biography she has written on me. I was shocked by her revelations. It was so cheap. She was talking about my sexual encounters as though those were my biggest achievements!”

Om’s main reason for being upset is Nandita’s revelation that he had sex with his maid Shanti at the age of 14. She has also exposed Om’s longstanding liaison with a woman named Laxmi with whom Om was sexually and emotionally involved.

Om is livid. “My wife has reduced a very important and sacred part of my life to cheap and lurid gossip. I had shared these dark secrets with my wife as all husbands do. If she chose to make them public at least she should’ve made sure to maintain a dignity about experiences that are a valuable part of my life. Has she forgotten that I have a standing in society and I’ve worked hard to achieve all that I have today? I won’t allow her to throw it all away for the sake of sensationalism.”

Om says that Laxmi was one of the most important women in his life. “This lady whom Nandita talks in such an undignified manner was Laxmi, who raised me and my brother’s orphaned children. My relationship with this wonderful woman was a homage to her loyalty for looking after me unconditionally.” Om doesn’t deny he had sex with Laxmi. “But it was not  a furtive and sleazy experience. It was beautiful. Why make such a tamasha out of these very sensitive moments? Mahatma Gandhi spoke of his experiences with sexuality in The Story of My  Experiments With Truth. But was that all there was to his life? Why highlight these aspects when there’s so much more to me? Do you know, when I was a child, I was travelling by train with my destitute mother. The entire compartment collected money to feed us. That incident remains etched in my mind. I was working in a teashop when I was seven years old. When I came to  the FTII, Pune I didn’t have a decent shirt to wear. I had to borrow one  from Naseeruddin Shah. I had hoped when my life was chronicled it would be an inspirational story.”

Om says his wife insisted on  writing his biography. “I was aware that another lady (Aparajita Krishna) was writing my biography. When Nandita expressed  a desire to write about me I couldn’t stop her because she’s my wife but she has forgotten who she is,” added Om.

The actor complains that Nandita didn’t allow him to read the  manuscript. “Not once did she let me read even one page of the manuscript. How was I to know how she would use the incidents from my life to sell her book?”

When we promised to be discreet in putting forward his anguish and humiliation, Om retorted, “Please don’t be discreet. Has she exercised any discretion in talking about my personal experiences? The final decision to put my life up as a tamasha was Nandita’s. I can’t forgive her.”

Om and Nandita Puri

When we asked Nandita for her side of the story, she said, “This is all such a mistake. My book on  my husband is a biography, not  bl***y pornography. The book is about Om, the man and the actor. Om has all the human foibles, just like all of us. He had sex as an adolescent with his maid and then he had a long liaison with the other lady who was also a maid. This was his way of coming out of his other relationships and demolishing class differences. If Om has any objection to her being called a maid he’s just being unrealistic.”

So are his sexual experiences an integral part of the book? “They are,” admitted Nandita. “But that’s not all.” Apparently, the broadcast journalist who interviewed Nandita picked up excerpts from a weekly news magazine. “She called me on her show and for 20 minutes she spoke only about Om’s sexual escapades. When I thought she’d  question me about other aspects of Om’s life in the book, the show was over. I was horrified. I was even more  horrified when I saw the show,” added Nandita.

Yesterday morning, Nandita received a very angry call from Om who is in Chandigarh .“He was livid. The double escapades with the two maid servants has made Om feel he’ll be compared to Shiney Ahuja. Now my husband is angry, my publishers are upset and so  am I,” said Nandita.

By Subhash K. Jha, August 11, 2009 – 13:58 IST

Asin
A  S  I  N

“Hey there… Asin is using Twitter,” declares the latest social networking website, and then goes on to give us gems like “I want to act in a Tamil movie” from the actress.

There’s just one problem. Asin is not on Twitter… or any of the social networking websites. And she can’t laugh off the impersonations any longer.

Asin has a very serious problem. She has impersonators on all the major social-networking sites. “I was ready to overlook these fake IDs using my name as long as they weren’t harmful. But now the problem is getting out of hand.”

The other night a colleague had a whole long conversation with ‘Asin’ and called up the next day to share her excitement about what an intimate conversation they had.

“I nearly fell off my chair. I won’t name this actress. But she said we shared our most intimate secrets on Facebook. I nearly fell off my chair and asked her whom did she share her secrets with because it was most certainly not me. Two days ago, a journalist came to interview me and said she got all the information on me from what I had written on Twitter. For the record, I’m not on any of the social-networking websites. Apart from my own website, I am not on the internet for any other purpose. I started blogging even before Aamir did in August 2005,”Asin declares proudly.

Asin is aghast. “I was clubbed with Chetan Bhagat and Shashi Tharoor and put on a social networking website. But I’m not on Orkut, Facebook or Twitter. Apparently, there are lots of fake profiles.”

The lies about Asin don’t end at virtual reality. “It’s been ages since I have had non-vegetarian food. For all practical purposes I’m a vegetarian. But I read this horrible report about how I love all kinds of exotic meats. I haven’t been approached by PETA. But that doesn’t mean I’ve to go the other way.”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM