Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘kabir khan

Anurag Kashyap finds an unusual hero to play a serial killer for the second film of the Mumbai trilogy – Nawazuddin aka Patna Presley of Emosonal Attyachaar

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 05, 2010)

Anurag Kashyap’s much talked-about Mumbai trilogy has found its third and final hero. While Aamir Khan stars in the first film, John Abraham will play the lead in the third. Now, the little-known but talented Nawazuddin who gave sterling cameo performances in 2009 in Nandita Das’s Firaaq, Kabir Khan’s New York, Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D (one of the two Patna Presleys singing Emosonal Attyachaar) and Black Friday, has been pencilled in as the lead in Kashyap’s second film in the Mumbai trilogy. It’s a huge leap for an actor from a village near Delhi.

More startling than his casting is the character that Nawazuddin plays. He plays Raman Raghav, India’s most brutal serial killer. In 1968, Raghav bludgeoned a number of pavement dwellers to death before he was caught and diagnosed with schizophrenia. (Sriram Raghavan has, in fact, made a documentary on the serial killer.)

Nawazuddin has been secretly reading up on Raman Raghav and looking at footage of the killer. When we spoke to him, Nawazuddin was taken aback. He said, “Anurag has asked me to keep it absolutely quiet. Yes, I’m playing the serial killer Raman Raghav in Anurag Kashyap’s film. It’s the biggest challenge of my career especially since superstars like Aamir and John feature in the other two films of the series.”

Nawazuddin, who has been trying to make a mark as an actor in Bollywood since 1996, has played the lead in Aamir Khan’s Peepli Live and Mangesh’s Dekh Circus too. Says the actor emotionally, “I’ve waited very long for this. I’ve struggled hard to get out of playing the cameo to the lead. Mumbai trilogy is my greatest challenge.”

Anurag Kashyap Nawazuddin

HARD TALK: Mira Nair

SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 27, 2009)

After the mixed response to her latest Hollywood bigbudget film Amelia, Mira Nair is all set to plunge into a far more contemporary and headline-screaming work. It’s going to be a thriller called The Reluctant Fundamentalist and will be set in Lahore, Chile and New York.

Mira had been angling for the filming rights of Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid’s novel by this name for some time now. The deal has finally come through. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is about the impact 9/11 had on the life of a young Pakistani Muslim in New York and requires an intense Muslim actor to play the protagonist, Changez, who can express bitterness, rage and acceptance within the same scriptzone.

The buzz is that Mira has decided on her old favourite Irrfan Khan with whom she did The Namesake and Kosher Vegetarian. However, there is pressure from the American studios to cast a Hollywood actor in the main role so that the international bestselling novel would get the audience it demands and deserves. Global terrorism is not just a theme that fascinates the international film fraternity. Bollywood has produced at least three talked-about films on it this year. Mira is keen to watch her good friend Karan Johar’s Kurbaan and Kabir Khan’s New York to get a look at another filmmaker’s perspective on how 9/11 changed the world-view for Muslims.

Filmmakers known for fairytale romances are now making movies with terrorism as the backdrop, finds Harshada Rege

It could be a reaction post the 26/11 terror attacks or just the fact that terrorism is a global phenomena, but filmmakers have never before been so keen to highlight this evil on the big screen. And the emphasis on this is laid by the fact that two production houses known for their romantic films, have taken a huge leap and have made movies on this topic. We are talking about Yash Chopra’s production house that’s known for movies like Chandni, Lamhe and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge; and Karan Johar who has made feel-good movies like
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham to the more recent Dostana and Wake Up Sid. Yash Chopra’s banner has already brought out its offering on terrorism in the form of New York that was directed by Kabir Khan and starred John Abraham, Katrina Kaif and Neil Nitin Mukesh. Karan on the other hand produced the recently released and highly-acclaimed Kurbaan that stars Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Vivek Oberoi. While the movie is what Karan calls a “love story” it was a subject that Karan couldn’t stop thinking about. He asked Rensil D’Silva to write and develop it for him. He later asked Rensil to direct the project. “The story addresses this evil that has become a global phenomena,” he says.
But it was director Kunal Kohli, who surprised everyone with Fanaa in 2005. Easily one of the most successful films that had terrorism as the backdrop, Fanaa handled the issue very well. “Movies that are relevant to that particular time always click with the audience. Like Naya Daur or Namak Haraam that the audience remembers for those particular eras,” points Kunal, who has also directed Hum Tum, Mujhse Dosti Karoge! and Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic. Speaking about Fanaa he says that the movie worked because it was a Hindi ‘picture’. “It had the right elements put together. It’s is very important to make your film entertaining. If you feel socially responsible and want to give a message you have to make it entertaining and not sound preachy,” he says. He feels that people liked the movie because the common man was the protagonist. “People found Rehan (Aamir Khan’s character) like any other man. He was a guide and a very mard character. He wasn’t just a boy, but a man,” says Kunal.
A trade pundit says, “As long as the director doesn’t get confused between making a love story or a film on terrorism it’s fine. In the end the audience has to feel for the characters.” Managing the commercial aspect and sending out a social message can be difficult. “Yes, it is very difficult. But that’s what the audience expects from you,” says Kunal.

BOMBAY TIMES (November 26, 2009)

Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; September 22, 2009)

Once again a Marathi film has made it as India’s entry to the Oscar this year. Paresh Mokashi’s Harishchandrachi Factory, a biopic on Dadasaheb Phalke, was unanimously chosen by the Film Federation of India’s jury on Sunday.

Jury chairperson Asha Parekh said, “Twelve films were nominated, but the jury unanimously voted for this film, which is about the making of the country’s first motion picture.’’ Mokashi added, “ It is on the making of Phalke’s film and goes up to his third one. It does not cover his entire life.’’

Executive producer Shrirang Godbole said, “ We will meet the FFI and decide the strategy for the film’s publicity. It is scheduled to released by the year-end. Sandeep Sawant’s Shwaas (2004) was the last Marathi film to be chosen as India’s Oscar entry. It’s producers raised funds to promote the film, but it failed to clear the first round of nominations in the Foreign Language category.

Other films in the running included Dev D, Dilli 6, Fashion, New York, Mee Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy, Kaminey and the unreleased What’s Your Raashee?. The only offering from the south was T Hariharan’s Malayalam film Pazhassi Raja starring Mamoothy.

Kabir Khan, director of New York said, “I am glad a regional film has been selected. It will be really interesting to see the making of the first motion picture of India.”


Deepa Ravi (leap 24) was right when she replied to my comment on her New York review that “It (9/11) hurt America below the belt and hit them hard. They are still recovering from it!” The Americans took a stew of measures to see to it that something like WTC Attack doesn’t repeat again on their soil. However, many of their steps have at times hurt the religious sentiments of the people. The SRK incident last Saturday confirms this.

My Name is KhanMany are criticizing Shah Rukh Khan for ‘over-reacting’. Some say that he did this for promoting his film My Name Is Khan (MNIK). Why would SRK do something like that? He has been in the industry since around two decades. We haven’t seen him before doing such cheap marketing gimmicks for his films, have we? And MNIK is some 7-8 months away-why would he arouse a cheap controversy to market his film which has such a long time to release? And 12 days back, he had already made enough publicity for MNIK when he held a press conference, announcing the tie-up with Fox Studios.

What infuriated about this incident that the officials doubted SRK and his star-status and that they took 2 hours (which is really a long time) to question him. Kabir Khan (Director, New York) is right when he said about this incident, “How much time does it take to find out who Shah Rukh Khan is? A Google search would give more hits than Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise put together”. This clearly shows that it is possible that Shah Rukh Khan was subjected to secondary inspection because of his Muslim identity.

Not only SRK, many others Khans of Bollywood are of the same opinion that they have been subjected to secondary inspection because of their last name. Zayed Khan also agrees and says that when he’s on a tour, he is the only one from his team who gets detained while others are cleared in no time at all. And if the officials are questioned, they say it’s a random checking. At this, Zayed rightly says, “Tell me, how can there be random checks on 5 US airports one after another and in all of them only yours truly gets detained for additional checking?” A valid point, indeed!

New York director Kabir Khan’s ordeal is much bigger. He has spoken about this but unfortunately, it never made it to the headlines. Before New York, Kabir Khan had shot 6 times in US. At that point of time, FBI came up with 29 South Asian names and they ordered that anyone having those names should not be allowed to enter US at all. Unfortunately, one of the 29 names was Kabir Khan! He must have had a tough time explaining the officials.

So the point is-people have faced discrimination because of their religion which is completely unjustified. And how come SRK is wrong if he made his unsatisfying experience public? Amidst all this, Amar Singh enters taking full advantage to blast SRK. He says that even Big B was subjected to security checks and further says “There are two types of people in society—one, who make an issue out of an incident and another, who cooperates with procedures”. Very funny, esp when Amar Singh says something like this since he’s famous for making issues. He made an issue during the 2007 Filmfare Awards and this year, during the Sajid-Ashutosh feud in Star Screen Awards, he was the only one who took sides. Double Standards!

Two films are going to release in two weeks-one is intentionally a spoof and the other is a spoof, unintentionally! The former is Quick Gun Murugan and the latter is Shadow which releases tomorrow! I am sure everyone must have seen the promos of Shadow, which proudly proclaims as to how its lead actor Naseer Khan is actually a blind man and yet, does so many stunts in the film. Although kudos to Naseer Khan for achieving this considerable feat, his dialogue delivery and his dancing style has become the laughing stock! And the makers intentionally show the unintentionally funny scenes of the film in the promos! It is difficult to say how the film will turn out to be but one thing is for sure. Naseer Khan is getting the same response as Kamaal Rashid Khan (of Deshdrohi, remember?) had received!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/bbhfolooo/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk62

If Shah Rukh can be discriminated against (on the basis of religion), who else is left? This is a man who was listed by Time magazine as one of the 50 most influential people in the world. Doing this to him springs not only from discrimination but also a lack of knowledge —Farah Khan | DIRECTOR farah
I have been detained thrice at American airports. The immigration officers have a lot of attitude and are very arrogant. They don’t care who you are. Besides, they don’t like you speaking unless spoken to, and something similar must have happened with Shah Rukh. The officers’ standard reason is that your name is suspect, which is very arbitrary. And if a person has been cleared once, shouldn’t their system register it? Also, how much time does it take to find out who Shah Rukh Khan is? A google search would give more hits than Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise put together. They took two hours to find who he was? This clearly means that it was a case of harassment. I feel their security system is based on paranoia, and this incident with SRK, who has millions of fans in America, is going to spread ill-will against their country
—Kabir Khan | DIRECTOR
I have faced a similar situation thrice, and it is because of my name. This country doesn’t care about a head of state like APJ Abdul Kalam, so why would they care about a celebrity? They work like machines. The reason for their attitude towards us is a blend of their arrogance and their paranoia about a certain religion. When they issue us a visa, can’t they differentiate between a suspect and a well-known person?
—Irrfan Khan | ACTOR
It’s shocking, disturbing and downright disgraceful. It is such behaviour that fuels hatred and racism. SRK’s a world figure for God’s sake. Get real!
—Priyanka Chopra | ACTOR
Rumour confirmed. Shah Rukh and Katrina to come together for YRF’s next. Where does that leave angry boyfriend, Sallu?
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 09, 2009)

Shah Rukh Khan

Katrina Kaif

Here’s a treat for everyone’s eyes. The dream jodi of Yash Raj Films’ blue-eyed boy and the nation’s favorite Barbie girl will finally be seen together in a YRF film. Just as we got to know about Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif parading together at the Independence Day Carnival in Chicago and Houston next week, we learn that YRF has caught the two stars for their film which will be made early next year.

The film will be directed by either Aditya Chopra or Kabir Khan.

The project has been in the pipeline for a long time and rumours have been doing rounds for a while now too, but this time, it’s for real, the deal has been inked. However, Salman Khan’s shadow looms large over the pair. While the two Khans warred openly at Katrina’s birthday party, most thought that they would never get to see SRK and Katrina in the same frame ever.

But YRF seems to have done it.

Our source reveals, “Katrina definitely has it going for her. SRK, on the other hand, has remained in the safe zone — as far as heroines are concerned — for a long time. Be it Rani Mukerji or Preity Zinta, he has stuck to his regulars and has worked with them repeatedly. He needs to be a tad more adventurous about his co-stars, and that’s where Katrina comes into the picture.”

Katrina, on her side, has taken the pains to make it clear that she will never allow personal issues to chart her career. Whatever the status of Salman’s relationships with others, she will not allow that to come in the way of decision-making.

Kabir Khan to direct an escapist fantasy film with Shah Rukh Khan next, takes a break from political dramas and John Abraham
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 09, 2009)

Shah Rukh Khan

Kabir Khan

After two back-to-back films with strife-laden, political themes, Kabir Khan is ready to let his hair down. His next, which he has just started to script, is a fantasy film with a heavy escapist element. Apparently, Aditya Chopra has asked Kabir to pen his next project with Shah Rukh Khan in mind. So it would be Khan and Khan in the next one.

Kabir says, “After Kabul Express and New York, I need to unwind. Not that I don’t enjoy making films on serious global political issues. I do. I enjoy the reputation of someone who identifies with issues that go beyond entertainment. But I also need to prove myself in a more adventurous, escapist space.”

That’s where Kabir’s next will score. “It will be a film with a serious dose of light-heartedness. My next is going to be a thrilling love story. Now that I’m writing it, I’m having fun.”

So will it be a hat-trick with John Abraham? “Not necessarily,” comes the guarded answer.  “It will depend on who fits into the final script.”

Ironically, Kabir Khan, who had just delivered a hit on terrorism, reveals that he was targeted for being a ‘Khan’ in the passport office recently
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 06, 2009)

Kabir Khan and Mini Mathur

Kabir Khan may have just delivered a thought-provoking hit, New York, on terrorism, but that doesn’t guarantee him from becoming the target of bigotry. The name ‘Khan’ carries much baggage with it, as he discovered recently when he went to the passport office. He had wanted to join his wife Mini Mathur in Malaysia for a holiday.

“How could a Khan be married to a Mathur?” they asked Kabir at the passport office. The director says, “It’s hard to believe that in this day and age, I am asked why my wife’s name is Mathur, when mine is Khan. Mini’s anchoring a reality show in the Malaysian jungles and I wanted to join her. But at the passport office they say, ‘How can your wife have a different name and that too from another community?’ I’m used to it. But it’s still shocking to know that such a mindset exists in supposedly cosmopolitan Mumbai.”

Though Khan managed to get his work done, it left him in an introspective mood. “On a subjective level, I don’t mind the questions. They don’t take away from my identity. Even today we get invitations for ‘Mr & Mrs Mini Mathur’. I don’t mind being known as Kabir Mathur. But the point is that I’m questioned for being a ‘Khan’, and that’s not easy to live with,” he muses.

Kabir feels the ‘Khan’ name does create travel problems for him. “But I honestly think a part of the global fear is justified. We can’t blame people for being paranoid after what has happened.”

For the first time, Kabir reveals the trauma he faced in the US after 9/11. The naked horror seen in New York of being incarcerated and tortured for being a terrorist suspect was not engendered by news reports alone.

Recalls Kabir, “I was accompanying my wife to the US with the Morani brothers. We were flying from LA to Washington just 15 days after 9/11. So the fear and paranoia was not unjustified. We were waiting for take off and talking to each other in Hindi when some passengers complained that we were talking in a ‘strange’ language. Within no time, two burly FBI agents came on board and took me and my co-passengers to the front of the plane. When they learnt my name, they questioned me for over two hours, googled my name for terrorist links and then finally allowed me to fly. They asked me if I had been to Pakistan. I said ‘no’. If I had told them I had been to Afganistan, they’d have freaked out.”

But the story didn’t end there. He says, “Two other passengers on board refused to fly with us. So they were asked to deplane, the logic being that if my name was cleared, by no means could I be prevented from traveling. So you see, post-9/11, persecution comes with its inbuilt safety measures.”


The weekend gone by was quite delightful! Who knew Friday’s release New York would do such a fantabulous job at the BO? I was of the opinion that the film may not take a huge opening considering the theme of the film and that it would attract people only from the 2nd day onwards. But the film managed to embark on a 65%+ opening on Friday which is a great feat! What made my smile wide was the almost 100% occupancy throughout the country on Sunday! In fact, I went for an early morning show of New York on Sunday in a multiplex and its tickets were sold out by Saturday afternoon! Where do you get to see anything like this nowadays?!

New York is a feather in the caps of all its lead actors, its director (Kabir Khan) and most importantly, for its producers, Yash Raj Films (YRF)! The production house was criticized and made fun of after it delivered string of flops like Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Aaja Nachle, Tashan, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic etc. But the success of SRK-starrer Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and now New York has restored back its prestige.

However, it is important that the Chopras now doesnt let this respect slip off like before. They’ll have to be more careful in choosing the scripts. Also, they should promote their films aggressively which they often don’t do. And because of this, many of their films had failed (Classic example is Roadside Romeo). However, they did well publicize New York, chiefly because they started the promotion just 21 days before the film’s release. And one can see the result of their aggressive promotion. Maybe they can learn a lot from this.

Dil Bole HadippaWith two back to back hits, it’s time to see whether they’ll manage to make a Hattrick! Their next film, Dil Bole Hadippa, has Shahid Kapoor and Rani Mukherjee and the latter will be seen in Sardar look for almost half of the film! The promo of the film has aroused extreme reactions-some were immensely impressed while the rest found it pathetic! If you haven’t seen it yet, do watch it here and let me know your views on it!

One of the biggest and most anticipated films of 2009, Kambakkht Ishq (KI) is all set to hit the screens tomorrow. Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and directed by first-timer Sabbir Khan, it stars Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Amrita Arora, Aftab Shivdasani, Boman Irani and Kirron Kher. Hollywood actors Sylvester Stallone, Denise Richards and Brandon Routh have done a special appearance in the film. The film had aroused tremendous curiosity due to its cast and the presence of Hollywood stars. Everyone is expecting it took a thunderous opening. However, there’s a possibility it may not happen since hardly any show of KI are fully sold out yet. Even the numerous paid previews that are going to happen tonight have not got the expected response. Mostly these paid previews are around 50-60% full while very few of them are house full. Compare this to the frenzy created during Ghajini’s release. The tickets of paid previews and first day were sold out within 5-6 hours of the commencement of advance booking. Something similar was expected for KI too.

What’s more, Bombay Times published an article on the front page on Tuesday that the response to the KI’s advance booking has been phenomenal and that there were serpentine queues at theatres! Another lie published was a trade analyst was angry because he couldn’t get tickets for KI-all the shows of the weekend at PVR-Juhu, Mumbai were sold out! I just checked the online booking of PVR-Juhu 20 minutes back and tickets of all shows of KI are available!

It’s sad that a reputed newspaper and producer are coming with such lies to fool the public. But they forgot that there are people like me who can’t be so easily fooled!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/dbbbnrtun/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk55