Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Kolkata

Aamir Khan not only feels the need to take up cooking, but wants to grow his own vegetables as well

By Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 02, 2010)


Aamir Khan has two immediate plans when for the future. The actor, who was in Kolkata for New Year’s Eve, is expected to go overseas for a holiday. And when he returns, he has plans to enroll for cooking classes.

Says Aamir, “I’m fascinated by cooking. My mother is easily my favourite cook. She can make everything from exotic dishes to regular stuff exceptionally well. And when I feel like home food, I just drive to Pune to eat it.”

To keep the biwi happy as well, he adds, “Kiran is also a fantastic cook and she loves getting into the kitchen.”

The actor, who confesses that his skills are limited to boiling an egg and making a cup of tea, says he has no cooking prowess. “I volunteer to help Kiran with the dishes if she asks me,” he says.

Talking about his determination to join cooking classes, he says, “I admire people who cook well. It is just one of those things that keeps going on in my head.

Earlier, I didn’t bother with it because I always reasoned this is not one of the equities that I as a star am expected to bring to the table. But now I just feel I must learn to cook. I don’t know how soon I can get around to doing it though,” he says.

Aamir, who is also fascinated by the thought of growing his own vegetables, has said, “I’m seriously toying with the idea of organic farming. Both Kiran and I are fascinated by farming. I think it would be really nice to be able to grow our own vegetables and feed people.”

By  SARITA TANWAR (Mid-Day; December 23, 2009)

3 Idiots
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Cast: Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi and Boman Irani
Rating: 4.5

What’s It About: Bring out the bugles for the biggest celluloid celebration in a long, long time. God bless Rajkumar Hirani for ending an otherwise mediocre Bollywood year on a smashing note.

You go in to see 3 Idiots expecting the genius combination of Hirani and Aamir Khan to weave magic on screen.

But despite the mental conditioning, the impact of the film is so overwhelming that it leaves you spellbound for hours after it has ended.

Based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel, Five Point Someone (though only a miniscule part has been adapted from the book; the rest is all original), here’s a story of three friends studying in an engineering college Rancho (Aamir Khan), Farhan (R Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi).

Rancho is the rebel among them always questioning things and believing that learning is more than just the usual mode of education.

He encourages his friends to look beyond the ordinary and soon earns the wrath of the college director Viru Sahasrabuddhe (Boman Irani).

Despite his fun and frolic, Rancho always surprises everyone by topping the class. He even manages to win the affections of the director’s daughter Pia (Kareena Kapoor). But Rancho’s greatest contribution lies is making his friends realise their true calling.

The twist comes when on Graduation Day. After being awarded the Student Of The Year title, Rancho mysteriously disappears into oblivion.

Years later, Farhan and Raju, finding a common thread, embark on a journey to find their friend. 3 Idiots is a story of friendship, hope, aspirations and most importantly, the goodness of life.

With 3 Idiots, Rajkumar Hirani proves beyond doubt that there’s no better storyteller than him in the present generation.

This isn’t an easy film to make the interplay between characters and the narrative is interestingly woven.

The film switches from present to flashback mode often but not once does Hirani lose the momentum. The medley of emotions that he brings forth as he establishes the film’s structure is indeed commendable.

Like the peppy Aal Izz Well song drawing towards a tragic climax it’s so cleverly done that it has the desired effect. There are scenes that’ll make you laugh, they’ll make you cry and they’ll make you think.

Hirani does it all so beautifully that you want to go back to college and relive all those moments.

The falling in love, the harassment by professors, the secret drinking sessions, the ragging of fellow students it’s all there.

Hirani also sends across a message on student pressures but there’s no preaching here it’s all done in his inimitable style.

Most films have their own set of ‘highlight’ scenes.

3 Idiots is different because every scene is special and brings with it something that’s out of the ordinary.

But there are a few that have a far lasting impact the entire ragging sequence; the camaraderie between Rancho and Pia; Chatur’s (the ‘brainy’ student) hilarious speech; the entire black-and-white depiction of Raju’s family; most of the scenes between Rancho and Viru; the sequences that lead to Raju’s recovery in the hospital and many more. After a point, you just stop counting.

Dialogues are snappy and totally effective (“In India, you get a pizza in 30 minutes guaranteed but not an ambulance”). The soundtrack, background score and cinematography is top class.

Among the performances, Madhavan delivers his most retrained act ever. He takes the film back and forth with his narrative and is splendid even with comedy.

Sharman Joshi is brilliant, especially in his breakdown scenes. Boman Irani is sincere as expected, with his lisp act getting all the right nuances.

Kareena Kapoor gives her finest portrayal in recent times as Pia. Her “dhokla, fafda, thepla, khandwa, khakra” scene is simply too delicious. Here’s a performance that proves why she’s indeed the best we have.

The life and soul of 3 Idiots is of course Aamir Khan. His perfection lies in the fact that he makes everything look so easy and spontaneous.

And at all the right moments, he brings the film alive with his sheer brilliance. From his look to his walk to his manner of speech, Aamir breathes life into Rancho and that’s what stays with us.

If you thought Aamir Khan couldn’t get any better than he is, think again. Aamir is the heart and soul of 3 Idiots and he proves why he’s simply a class apart.

What To Do: Book your tickets for consecutive shows because one viewing isn’t enough to savour 3 Idiots. Quite easily, this is the film of the year. Nothing else comes even close.

Debut
Volvo XC90 R-Design makes its first appearance in Bollywood with 3 Idiots

3
The number of cities that Aamir travelled to in disguise to promote an alternate reality game (Varanasi, Palanpur and Sourav Ganguly’s house in Kolkata)

Rs 50 Cr
The cost of making the film

10 Lakh
The number of copies of Five Point Someone sold in India since 2004

Aamir Khan, who at 44 plays a 22-year-old collegian, says in his mind he is stuck at 18!

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 22, 2009)

Aamir Khan, as you know, has gone into hiding to promote his new film that releases this Friday. In disguise, to people’s surprise, he has popped up in different parts of the country over the past week: at Varanasi, as a Banarasi babu; outside Sourav Ganguly’s house in Kolkata as a cricket fan; in an Ahmedabad school, defying Narendra Modi’s fatwa; at the Chanderi village in Madhya Pradesh; then a Punjabi wedding in Faridkot; and, yesterday in Chennai. How this is helping the film, I don’t know; but I’m sure Aamir does, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns to Mumbai as Santa Claus on Christmas Day. He is hoping the festival will prove as successful for him as it did last year when he released Ghajini, and in 2007 — for Taare Zameen Par. Just before he went underground, Aamir told me over a quiet cup of tea at his Pali Hill home: “Christmas is a coincidence, but I’m hoping it will be third time lucky. I also believe for a film made well, any time is a good time to release it, otherwise no matter how you plan it…”
He has no doubts that this film has been made well. It’s been produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and directed by Raju Hirani. And, acting opposite him for the first time in his 20-year-career is Kareena Kapoor. Of his gorgeous co-star, Aamir said enthusiastically, “She’s outstanding, a great and
instinctive actress, extremely committed, a team player, we get along well, and she’s good looking… what more to ask for?” I agreed. The vibe between the two actors is exciting, and they look good together, the age difference between them notwithstanding. In the film, he plays a 22-year-old collegian. “That,” he told me, “was the biggest challenge for me as an actor at 44. I’m asked often if I feel my age. No, I really don’t. All of us are stuck in our heads at a particular age. And that age depends on your personality. I’m stuck at 18. And, I’ll be 18 till I die!”
He got into this film straight from Ghajini. Which meant, he had to shed that eight-pack streetfighter’s body painstakingly built up over 13 months for one raw scene of action. “It was heartbreaking,” Aamir revealed. “I didn’t want to lose it. But I had to look boyish. I had to stop training, get onto a careful and strict diet, and I began playing badminton… for three-four hours. Catch a 44-year-old doing that!” But he did it, because this is the same Aamir Khan who has always used his body as a tool in his films. “The way I look is important,” he admitted, “but for any character, it begins with how you feel in your head. What makes the character tick? You get into the mind of the character. From that flows how the body will look. My character in the new film is a free-spirited kind of guy, unusual in his thinking, and with a childlike curiosity about life and things around him.” He really didn’t want to play this role. “Get someone who’s 22,” Aamir advised Raju Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra when they approached him. They told Aamir, “In real life, you are the character of this film, you don’t follow the path, you’re non-conformist, you do what your heart tells you. As for looking young – if you could build yourself up to look huge in Ghajini, now work on becoming small. Go for it.” And Aamir did. He said of Raju, “His big strength is that his films are not only entertaining, but also enriching. Like Munnabhai! You go home taking something valuable from the film.” And as for Vinod, who is rumoured in Bollywood to be arrogant and bold, Aamir said, “He is how he is, but he understands his director and creative team and supports them, and he has a passion for cinema. Being a director himself, Vinod is creative and he gives his films a great release. I look for that quality in a producer… whether he is able to give the film a good platform after I’ve worked so hard on it.” That Aamir Khan always does, whether he’s making the film for himself or some other producer. And he enjoys making one film at a time, which he will release on Christmas Day! “I could do more, in my lifetime I could do 500 films, but when I’m doing a film all my energies are into it. At that point, I don’t enjoy taking on anything else. I enjoy the space I am in. I’m not a factory or a huge production system. I’m… kya bolta hai… a handloom product. A one-machine-one person-one shirt kind of actor. I’m not a largescale outfit producing a million shirts. Numbers don’t excite me and are not my strength. I enjoy marketing a film. But towards the audience. My connect is with the audience. I enjoy dealing with the audience, not with exhibitors, distributors.” And that is what he is probably doing somewhere in the country right now, maybe in disguise! (Contributed by Meena Iyer, Aakansha Naval Shete)

On Monday evening, filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh was mistaken for Bengali actress Rituparna Sengupta by the organisers of the 40th International Film Festival in Goa

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 02, 2009)


Filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh might have lost oodles of weight and started dressing up as a woman but that still didn’t prepare him enough to unflappably face the latest confusion where he was mistaken for a Bengali actress.

The embarrassing incident happened on Monday evening in Goa, where Rituparno, whose sexual orientation has been under the scanner for some time now, was attending the 40th International Film Festival. He had to attend a function to announce the making of a survey-based book compiling the best Indian films of all times, T 20. Being a jury member and a renowned filmmaker, Rituparno was dressed in his finery. He wore a chic black suit, flaming red scarf and oversized sunglasses, looking in his own words, ‘very European’. All was well till he was taken to a seat marked for Bengali actress Rituparna Sengupta. That’s when the filmmaker realised that he had been mistaken for a woman. Riya Sen was seated next to actress Rituparna Sengupta’s chair, making it clear that the seats were meant for the starlets.

Things then got worse. Ritu’s other colleagues on the jury, for the book T 20, were all given VIP space at the event while Rituparno was expected to sit with the starlets.

Rituparna Sengupta Rituparno Ghosh


Confirming the incident, Rituparno insists that the ghastly confusion of identity at the festival had nothing to do with the way he dresses. He says, “I am used to being mistaken for Rituparna Sengupta, even in Kolkata. When I was directing her in Dahan, people would wonder who the director was and who the actress was.”

Recalling the mortifying incident, the filmmaker laughs and says he can now see the humorous side of the gaffe. “But it wasn’t funny that evening. It wasn’t so much the fact that I was mistaken for Rituparna Sengupta that offended me. I certainly didn’t mind sharing a seat next to Riya. What really got me worked up was the fact that the other members on the T 20 jury, Vishal Bhardwaj, Madhur Bhandarkar and Rahul Dholakia and some renowned regional directors (Nagesh Kukunoor who was also on the jury didn’t turn up) were all given a VIP enclave. That really was offensive,” adds Ritu.

As a result, Ritu refused to sit on the seat marked for Rituparna Sengupta and remained standing until he was made to sit with his fellow jury members. Ritu says, “It was Riya who helped sort out the matter. I insisted that all the jury members including the regional directors like me, should all be seated together. That’s what protocol demanded.”

Manoj Tiwari recounts firsthand his experience of a near kidnapping and subsequent escape on Saturday

As told to Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 30, 2009)


I had gone to Tirtanr, a village in Jharkhand to campaign for my close friend, Vinod Sinha. We had gone to Tirtanr from Dhanbad in a chopper and were supposed to return the same way. But, a snag in the chopper’s fuel tank discovered just before we boarded on the way back meant I had to come back some other way as I had professional commitments in Mumbai.

I opted to go from Tirantr to Kolkata by road from where I would take a flight to Mumbai. I left Tirtanr with a close friend Rajkumar Shrivastava and my driver. As the route from Tirantr to Kolkata is akin to a base camp for the Naxals, I asked for some security.

The cops joined the convoy two kilometres before the place of the attack. It was around 11.25 in the night when we saw a huge red divider kept right in the middle of the road. I am told that it’s a Naxal sign. The cops immediately told us to lie down in our van. They said that the place was the abode of naxals. They asked the driver to drive as fast as possible through the divider.

The people who laid the trap didn’t know that there were cops in our midst. This served us well as they were not prepared for any retaliation on our part. I was lying down in the car with my eyes shut. I could hear the bullets. It was like being in a war zone, I was completely shaken.

The cops called the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force). To be safe, we had to reach a police chowky which was about five kms away. A few cops from that chowky had rushed to our aid. When we reached the chowky, the cops who were being updated on their walkie-talkies said that the Naxalites were angered by my escape, they would strike back. They believed that the chowky could be attacked.

By then, three vehicles of CRPF with about 25 soldiers each arrived. They said that they would escort me to a safe location. I was taken to Dhanbad in one of those vehicles, with one preceding us and the other following.

The first thing I did after reaching a safe spot was to call my wife. She was extremely worried. I then spoke to my eight-year-old daughter. She asked me if my plane was hijacked.

My conversation with these soldiers and my first hand experience of the perils they face is something I will never forget. I am still upset and scared.

I want to thank the almighty God and the soldiers who risked their life to take me out from the jaws of death. If not for them, I would not be speaking to you. It was the most scary and dreadful experience of my life.

Just when movie enthusiasts across the globe are eagerly awaiting the release of James Cameron’s magnum opus ‘Avatar’ on Dec 18, multiplexes across India are gearing up to encash on the extraordinary buzz around its release.

Made with a fusion camera developed by Cameron himself, ‘Avatar’ is expected to revolutionize the film-watching experience and multiplexes are investing huge sums in upgrading their infrastructure to bring this extravaganza to moviegoers.

While Avatar will be released in 2D as well as 3D formats, theatre owners are particularly expecting a huge demand for the 3D version.

In the past, 3D Hollywood films like ‘Ice Age 3’, ‘& ‘Final Destination’ have done good business in India.

From the time producers Fox Star Studios screened 20 mins footage of Cameron’s film in August this year, the number of 3D screens in India has increased from around 12 to 40, and 60-70 screens by 18th December.

This covers cities across India including major markets like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai & Hyderabad as well as smaller centers like Coimbatore, Amritsar, Kerala, Jaipur and Ahmedabad (which is considered a small market for Hollywood films).

Aditya Shroff, AVP – Distribution, Programming and Corporate Sales for Fame Cinemas reaffirms, “I believe that the 3D version of Avatar is going to be the revolutionary movie for this generation & hence Fame is trying to go as wide as possible with the 3D release. Avatar will do to 3D what Reliance did to mobile phone usage in India.

While most multiplexes in Pune and Bangalore are going 3D, single screens like ‘Central Plaza’ in Mumbai and ‘Urvasi’ in Bangalore are also going 3D before the release of release Avatar.

Interestingly, Avatar will be released in 3D in Hindi also.

Cinemax in Andheri (Mumbai) has updated its biggest auditorium that has the capacity of 377 with 3D facility for AVATAR.

Inox will have 3D screens in Pune, Baroda, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Nagpur, Raipur, Rajasthan, Indore, and Kolkata before the release of AVATAR.

Commenting on the hype around ‘Avatar’, Mr. Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios India says; “There is an incredible buzz building up for Avatar across the India media, our theatrical partners and the core audiences. The dramatic increase in the no. of 3D screens, as well as the strong interest that we are getting from the Hindi, Tamil and Telegu language markets reaffirms the strong buzz for the film.”

Ranjit Thakur, CEO of Scrabble Entertainment says “The demand for 2K Digital & 3D Systems is from all corners of the county. Even the single screen exhibitors want to capitalize on the opportunity of screening Avatar in 3D. ”

Thakur adds “The demand for the film has created a worldwide shortage of digital equipment and even silver screens for 3D are hard to get”.

‘Avatar’ is an epic action adventure film made on a whopping budget of Rs 1200 crores. It is the story of a wounded ex-marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an exotic planet rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival.

Avatar releases worldwide on Dec 18 in 2D & 3D. In India, the film will also be dubbed in Hindi, Tamil & Telugu.

BOXOFFICEINDIA.COM

While Katrina Kaif doesn’t seem interested in promoting De Dana Dan, she is going all out to promote Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, both of which release next month

By Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 28, 2009)

Katrina Kaif, who has two releases in November, has made her preference clear. While she is still to commit dates for the promotion of De Dana Dan in which she stars opposite Akshay Kumar, she is going out on a limb to promote her other November release Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. According to sources, Katrina is quite kicked about the the Raj Kumar Santoshi film.

 

For the last three days, Katrina has been actively doing interviews in Mumbai and Kolkata and is even scheduled to fly to New Delhi, where she will do as many as five events in one day to for the promotion of Ajab Prem…  Naturally, there is a feeling that she is being more partial to her film opposite Ranbir Kapoor. The actress and Ranbir are even expected to walk the ramp at the Fashion Week in Delhi on October 28 as part of the film’s promotion.

It is felt that since she is the solo heroine in Ajab Prem…, Katrina is gung ho about this film, where as in De Dana Dan she has a much smaller role as the romantic interest of Akshay Kumar. Also, not helping matters much is that in DDD she also shares screen space with 24 other artistes including heroines Sameera Reddy and Neha Dhupia. Sources say that she has been already approached by the distribution team of DDD asking her to allot definite dates for the promotion activity.

Katrina is not amused with allegations that she prefers one movie of hers over the other and says, “There is a gap of 20 days between the release of both the films. And of course I agree that my next nine days will go in actively promoting Ajab Prem…because it’s releasing in the first week of November whereas De Dana Dan will release in the last week of November.”

Kat explains that as far as her work goes, she will never compromise. “I don’t know where this question of my being partial to one film over the other is coming from,” she says.

She says that the only reason why she has not allotted dates for the promotion of De Dana Dan is because she is waiting for Akshay to return from Baramati before she joins the publicity campaign. “Besides De Dana Dan has an ensemble cast. I will promote the film with the rest of them.  In the case of Ajab Prem…, Ranbir has been shooting in Bhopal till October 27 and so I have had to go and do my own bit for the film.  It may therefore appear like I’m being partial, but that’s incorrect,” she adds.

Katrina says, “I did Blue and De Dana Dan because Akshay asked me to.  He is someone who stood by me through the initial phase of my struggle and I have therefore done these films at his request.  When someone like Akki asks me for something, I would do it with my eyes closed because it is important to me.’’