Fenil and Bollywood

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ACIDIC HANGOVER!

One can’t deny the fact that White Feather Films (WFF), Sanjay Gupta’s production house, has churned one of the best dark thrillers in the past. In fact, every film of WFF right from Kaante to the recent Woodstock Villa has been very dark but still managed to impress audiences. Their new flick, Acid Factory, too follows the WWF tradition! It’s dark, it has black humour and most importantly, it has surprises. However, the second hour spoils the show. More details later!

The story of the movie: A guy somewhere in his mid-20s (Fardeen Khan) wakes up and finds himself trapped in a dilapidated factory. He has no memory as to how he got there inside. He doesn’t even remember his own name! A phone rings somewhere and he picks up. The caller (Irrfan Khan) seemed like a boss, who gives some orders. Later, the man discovers four more people in the factory (Aftab Shivdasani, Manoj Bajpayee, Dino Morea and Danny Denzongpa) and they all are in a similar state of mind. One of them is tied to a chair and one is handcuffed. All doors are locked and the windows had iron grills and so there was no chance of escaping. Also, the factory was located at a remote place so there was no possibility of even shouting and getting attention of someone from outside. The guys later discover that it is an acid factory and that some of them were criminals. To find out as to how they lose their memory and what happen next, watch the film.

Acid Factory’s first hour is power-packed. The film holds your attention wonderfully right from the first scene. The characters in the factory waking up, bewildered, one by one and their talking, shouting and cracking jokes with one another sets the mood. Two more tracks run simultaneously-one, the flashback portions of Fardeen and the other, the kidnapping heist. Yet, the film doesn’t turn confusing and for this, full marks should be given to director Suparn Verma.

The characters later learn that two of them are kidnapped. But again, with no memory, they have no idea as to who are the kidnappers and who are the hostages! This really makes the situation weird but interesting!

But things slid down in the 2nd half. They should have been more thrilling moments and drama but instead, a lot of action scenes are thrown in. No doubt that it was a treat watching those scenes but after a point of time, it became too much. Also, the climax wasn’t impressive, although it was engrossing. And the glaring flaws at this point are shocking. But due to a bad 2nd half, one gets out of the theatre disappointed. If the film had an equally powerful 2nd half, Acid Factory would have been a coming of the age film.

Every actor was perfect. Fardeen Khan had more screen presence than the rest and like everytime, he gave a fantastic performance. He still has two films this year (Dulha Mil Gaya and All The Best). Let’s hope he gets appreciation which he rightfully deserves. Aftab Shivdasani rocks as the angry young man. Dino Morea surprises with a brilliant performance. Manoj Bajpayee acts well and succeeds in making the viewers laugh.

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Danny Denzongpa, like everytime, was flawless. Irrfan Khan impresses. A lot of hype was created about Dia Mirza’s presence in the film as she’s the only female actor in the main cast. However, she enters only in the second hour and didn’t have much to do. But she performs well, though. Gulshan Grover and Neha were alright.

The film has couple of songs (including an item number) which wasn’t needed at all. The song ‘Ye Jism Hai’ looked totally out of place in the film. Sahil Kapoor’s cinematography was topnotch. Actor Saurabh Shukla and Sanjay Gupta have written the dialogues which were excellent. Tinu Verma’s action was top-class and kudos to him and his team! Hemal Kothari’s editing was slick. Milind Gadagkar’s story was great but he can’t be given the credit as the film seems inspired from the Hollywood flick, Unknown.

Suparn Verma and Sanjay Gupta’s screenplay was outstanding in the beginning portions but deteriorated in the 2nd hour, esp towards the climax. Suparn Verma, overall, impresses a lot as the director. This film will be a commercial flop but Suparn’s efforts will surely be noticed and would be appreciated for sure.

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Fardeen picking up Irrfan’s first call
2.   The chase sequence in the beginning
3.   Fardeen’s first meeting with Danny
4.   Fardeen, Dino and Aftab interrogating Danny
5.   Irrfan taking away the ransom (wonderful scene)
6.   The intermission point
7.   Dia Mirza’s entry
8.   Fardeen, Dino, Aftab and Danny calling for help from outside (another fabulous scene)

On the whole, Acid Factory is a fast, intriguing film that falls in the 2nd half. The film was badly promoted and that’s why it failed to have a good opening. With three BIG releases next Friday, Acid Factory will vanish from the theatres for sure. But all those interested, it would be no harm catching this 120 minute dark thriller on VCD/DVD later!

My rating-*** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Acid_Factory-177028-1.html

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KNOTTED: Sanjay Gupta and Anu Lekhi at their wedding

Sanjay Gupta marries ex-wife Anu Lekhi, in Bollywood-style romance

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; June 5, 2009)

This kind of thing only happens in Bollywood. And, giving rise to new story ideas is filmmaker Sanjay Gupta who remarried Anu Lekhi — the wife he divorced five years ago.
Sanjay, actually, is not the romantic-comedy type of filmmaker; he is known more for stylised thrillers. But in real life, there must be plenty of romance in the rugged
director for his earlier experience has not made him shy of tying the knot with the same woman again. They did it on Wednesday at a temple in Khar according to Hindu rites. Sanjay chose the same date as one of his favourite actors, Amitabh Bachchan — who married Jaya Bhaduri on June 3, 1973.

Sanjay first married designer Anu on August 18, 1997, after a long courtship. “We know each other for 15 years now,” said the new groom, his voice brimming with happiness. Five years ago, the couple had divorced, and Anu moved to Pune to live with her parents. Though the media sometimes buzzed with stories of Sanjay’s indiscretions, the filmmaker said he was always committed to Anu and there was no other serious commit
ment. “I have been stalking her all through these five years,” admitted Sanjay, “she is my soulmate.”

The man who made such high-onaction films like Kaante, Musafir and Zinda said he himself had been to hell and back over the last few years! “I have tasted huge success, had a near fatal accident… and now I have three films — Acid Factory, Pankh and The Great Indian Butterfly ready for release. I lost my mother earlier this year. In short, life has been a seesaw. However, through it all, one feeling has been constant. And that is my desire to be with Anu.”

Over the last six months, Sanjay wooed his wife rather desperately. He took her on dates to various Mumbai night spots where they sipped coffee and gazed at the stars. “When my
mother passed away, Anu was a source of strength. My in-laws treated me like a son even though the two of us had divorced. Now, they are my parents… and they were the ones who were present at the wedding ceremony,” he said.
The couple had wanted to remarry at the Vaishnodevi shrine in Jammu. However, a family member from the bride’s side is critically ill, so the venue
was shifted to Mumbai. “It was a lowkey affair with just family and a few of my close friends like Sudhanshu, Rohit and Sanjeev present. We have put our honeymoon to London, New York and Paris on hold because we are at the hospital with Anu’s maasiji.”

But those happiest at this remarriage are Buddy and Yoda, the pet dogs (a Pug and Golden Retriever, respectively) that Sanjay and Anu have had for long. “They were with us when we married the first time,” laughed Sanjay, “they love Anu… and just about tolerate me. Now that she is back, they’re absolutely thrilled.”

So are we, actually. Who doesn’t like a and-they-lived-happily-ever-after fairy tale? BT wishes the couple much love, luck and togetherness.

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