Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘lagaan

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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By Subhash K. Jha, December 29, 2009 – 12:57 IST

Anupam Kher He has the singular honour of directing the only documentary on the making of a yet to be released feature film. And now, after making Chale Chalo on the making of Lagaan, the reticent (not by choice) young director Satyajit Bhatkal is ready with Zokkomon, the first Indian feature film to be produced by Walt Disney Pictures.

Satyajit has been strictly forbidden from talking about Zokkomon. All he’ll say reluctantly is that it will be a film unlike any other. “The script was one of many that I wrote. To my luck, it was almost immediately approved by Disney. But before that I did a number of one-hour series entitled Bombay Lawyers for NDTV. These were based on my own experiences as a lawyer.”

Bhatkal was a practising lawyer before movie-making beckoned. “When I made Chale Chalo based on behind-the-scenes experiences of those involved with Lagaan, I made sure there wasn’t a single shot of Lagaan in my documentary.”

But that docu-film did not get Bhatkal the chance to direct a film for Disney.

“They liked the script, I think,” says the directly shyly. Zokkomon stars Anupam Kher and Darsheel Safary. This would be Darsheel’s first release since Taare Zameen Par.As for Anupam, Satyajit has become the actor’s life-long fan after he made his dream come true.

Recalls Satyajit, “When Anupam told me he was going to Israel this month and might meet Topol, I requested him to get me Topol’s autograph since I’m a life-long fan. To my surprise Anupam called me from Israel, handed the phone to Topol, and made him speak to me. It was a gesture not many would make.”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

By Joginder Tuteja, December 21, 2009 – 12:52 IST

Rajkumar Hirani Get set for an epic take in the offing. This year’s most anticipated release, 3 Idiots, has a running length of close to 3 hours. Taking audiences through different locations in the country and across time zones, this Rajkumar Hirani film is in fact his longest ever when compared to his earlier two efforts – Munnabhai MBBS and Lage Raho Munnabhai.

“That’s true,” confirms Hirani. “Both the films in the Munnabhai series were under 2.5 hours. However, 3 Idiots required a longer duration. I am not worried about the length factor though.”

Well, even for audiences it should be pretty much the case of ‘ all izzz well‘. Longer stories, if told well, have traditionally worked quite well at the box office. Some of the biggest classics in the history of Indian cinema like Lagaan, Sholay and Mughal E Azam have all crossed the 3 hour mark. Yes, those were the times when only single screens ruled and hence the revenue earned through a larger number of shows wasn’t a criteria for a film’s length. However, the fact remains that the biggest ever grosser in the history of Indian cinema, Ghajini, lasted for a couple of minutes over 3 hours.

Says a trade follower, “I am aware of people’s expectations where they want to see more of an actor or a director, if their body of work over the years has been impressive enough. Remember those Amitabh Bachchan films in the 80’s? Or the ones directed by Subhash Ghai? Each of them was mandated to be magnum opus and it was an unwritten rule that their films have a running length of at least 3 hours. Similar are the expectations from an Aamir Khan film today.”

His comments do see good validation if one looks at every film that Aamir has done in the current decade. The running length of Dil Chahta Hai (180 mins), Lagaan (225 mins), Mangal Pandey (165 mins), Rang De Basanti (150 mins), Fanaa (170 mins), Taare Zameen Par (165 mins) and Ghajini (180 mins) has been close to 3 hours or even more.

“At the end of the day, it’s the story and the story telling that does the trick, not the film’s length. Yes, we have seen audiences rejecting What’s Your Raashee? due to its length of close to 3.5 hours but also because the film dragged at places. Seeing Hirani’s work over the years, the length is a non-issue and one truly believes and hopes that the screenplay holds audience’s attention. 3 Idiots is carrying great vibes, the holiday season is on and the festivities would be in progress well into the New Year. I don’t see any reason why anyone would even think about the length factor,” concludes the trade expert.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

By Subhash K. Jha, December 19, 2009 – 10:51 IST

Veer, Rann This Republic Day audiences were all set to be treated to two big-budget films featuring the mega-stars Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan, respectively. Ram Gopal Varma’s Rann and Anil Sharma’s Veer were scheduled for release on 22 January.

But now comes the news that Ram Gopal Varma’s Rann has dropped out of the race.

Apparently, Anil Sharma called up the Rann co-producer Sheetal Talwar explaining why and how a clash between the two films must be averted.

Says Talwar, “I saw reason in what Anil Sharma said. There’s no sense in creating a no-win situation for two films. See, when Gadar and Lagaan came together, things were different. But now audiences are in no mood to buy tickets for two big films in the same week.”

It was supposed to be a clash of patriotic passion somewhat like Anil Sharma’s Gadar and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan which were released on June 15, 2001. Both proved to be historic blockbusters.

Both in their own ways were highly patriotic films.

Veer, like Anil Sharma’s Gadar, is set in Colonial India. Sharma with considerable creative assistance from his leading man Salman Khan has created what he thinks is patriotic period film.

Varma’s Rann set in the modern world of media manipulation was perceived by its makers as a comment on our times and hence patriotic.

The people behind both films were adamant on a Jan 22 release. But now Talwar says, “There’s no point in creating an ego issue by insisting we release Rann on the same day as Veer. One or the other film is bound to suffer at the box-office. Why not release a week later when we get a relatively free Friday?”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

By Taran Adarsh, December 18, 2009 – 16:18 IST

Indians are passionate about cricket. Am also sure you must’ve encountered a number of cricket fanatics over the years. Most film-makers dread to release their films during crucial matches, fearing that a sizable chunk of moviegoers would prefer to watch a match than a movie.

This year, we’ve had VICTORY [Harman Baweja, Amrita Rao] and DIL BOLE HADIPPA [Rani Mukherji, Shahid Kapoor] focusing on this popular sport. Prior to that LAGAAN, IQBAL and JANNAT. Now WORLD CUPP 2011. Unfortunately, WORLD CUPP 2011 neither excites you as a cinematic experience, nor does it whip up those passions.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Ravi Kapoor essays the captain of the Indian cricket team, who tanks a match with the help of his team-mates against arch rivals Pakistan in World Cup. They are banned for four years when exposed by the media. His girl-friend Soha [Manisha Chatterjee] dumps him and his family disowns him.

Cut to 2011. Ravi is given one more chance to prove his patriotism by the coach [Suresh Oberoi]. Ravi is again approached by the same bookie [Zakir Hussain] to repeat the same performance once again, but this time he turns the offer down. His girl-friend is kidnapped. Ravi goes through a crisis before he wins the World Cup trophy.

WORLD CUPP 2011 falls flat due to a weak script. The film tries to explore the unholy nexus between cricketers-bookies-underworld, besides the rise-fall-rise of a cricketer, but the writing is so amateurish that it doesn’t hold your attention. Perhaps the intentions were right, but not the final output.

Debutante writer-director Ravi Kapoor may’ve borrowed from real-life, but several portions seem unpalatable. Like, for instance, the ease with which the captain of the Indian cricket team and even the umpire interact with underworld dons while the final match is in progress seems bizarre.

Talking of acting, Ravi Kapoor has screen presence, but needs to work on his acting skills. Prem Chopra, Suresh Oberoi and Zakir Hussain are passable.

On the whole, WORLD CUPP 2011 is a weak fare.

Aamir Khan may be the most powerful man in Bollywood today giving successive hits as actor, producer and director but his eyes still gleam with unexpected animation as he sits down to do an interview. Here he is, candid and uncut

By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 20, 2009)


• In 3 Idiots you play a guy from 20 to 24 years, while you are actually 44. How old are you in your head?

I still imagine myself to be 18 or 22. The other day I was at the birthday of someone who I had always thought of as older than me in my head, an uncle type person. I asked him, how old he was that day and he said 30 and I got a shock because suddenly I realised that I was 14 years older than him. I am, of course, 44, which is middle-aged, but somewhere in my head I am lost in the 18-20 age group.

 

• Did that help you play this character?

No. But given that it is necessary to get into the head of a character when you are jumping age lines, it gets more challenging. Jumping age lines, jumping accents, or jumping sexes like my playing a woman is always tough. I had actually told Raju to take someone younger but he insisted he could see me in the role. He said, “In real life, you are so close to Rancho, (the character that I am playing) I feel if you are saying what Rancho is saying people will believe it. What Rancho says is the philosophy of the film and I need someone who people will believe in.”

• You exude a lot of confidence on screen. Are you really a very confident person inside?

I think I am average, in the sense that most people are confident to a certain degree, people go through self doubt. I too go through self doubt. I am given to thinking, “Am I doing the right thing?” I only do things that I enjoy, that’s my first rule. I must be happy in what I am doing. If I am not happy doing an ad, I won’t do it. I don’t do it for commercial reasons. Yes of course I am earning money while I am doing it, but that’s not the core reason for doing it. This ultimately shows in my work, otherwise I am as confident or diffident as the next man. I also need reassurance like everyone else. I also need people to say “I liked your film”.

• When you were directing yourself in Taare Zameen Par was there anything about you as an actor that disturbed you as a director?

I have to say no. The actor and director in me saw eye to eye. Yes, when I see the film today, there are moments where I feel the scene could have been pitched differently. But that is in retrospect. That’s the corrective process in me when I am watching any of my work.

• In hindsight which of your successful films needed the most correction?






One of them would be Fanaa, the other would be Ishq, both highly successful films. In the first half of Fanaa, the character was pitched too filmy. I would have pitched him slightly different. In fact, Kunal (Kohli) and I had a long discussion about it. I would have made the character more real and more layered because as human beings we don’t have a singular emotion. When I am playing a character my attempt is that it should not be single dimensional, it should be layered. Ishq again had a lot of broad strokes and it’s also a very successful film.

• As a director do you have an actor wish list?

I am not sure whether I am thinking as a director right now. I think at heart I am still an actor. Of course now that I have taken the first step and directed one film, I am more open to listening to stories. Actually I have a very strange answer. While I am not in the mood of a director just now the opposite is also true. I think like a filmmaker. Coming back to your question, my wish list would really depend upon what the script is. So my casting would really be based on who can best play a certain part and who will suit the role. Each and every person connected to the film should feel that he is in love with it.

• Does success isolate you?

Success can be extremely isolating. And often, for multiple reasons. When you are successful, a celebrity, especially an actor, your stardom is like a magnet. It’s like the sun. (In fact, I wonder who coined this term ‘star’. Because every star is actually a sun). Because you are a star, every one is attracted to you for different reasons, some valid, some invalid. Some honourable, some not so honourable. But, as a human being our bandwidth is limited. So often what happens is that we need to shut off. It is humanly impossible to deal with so many things.

Have you noticed that stars, never make eye-contact when they are out in public. The moment you make eye-contact, you have to engage. And it’s not that we don’t like engaging. I love engaging with people. But I get tired. How many people can I engage with? That’s the nature of the beast. That’s the nature of my profession.

You have been reportedly meeting people you met on social networking sites. Does engaging with them help you perform in some way?

Now people know that it’s me on the blog, but there was a time when they didn’t. The idea behind it was to interact with strangers. Because the minute a person knows who I am, he reacts to me in a particular way. He may or may not share certain ideas with me. Or the attitude of sharing will change. The fiber of the communication will change. But if the person doesn’t know who I am, which the Internet allows, then he’s freer. That was the kind of interaction I valued a lot. There were a few people who I found to be particularly engaging. Or unusual. And those were the few people to whom I revealed who I am.

If I felt that I had a certain rapport with someone, then I no longer felt comfortable hiding, or lying about who I am. If I have reached a level of engagement of this kind, I need to tell the person who I am. So then it happened that I took three-four people into confidence.

• Since you have just completed 3 Idiots with Raju Hirani, the director of the Munnabhai series, tell me an instant recall of a Munnabhai moment?

I would say jaadu ki jhappi. That’s my big recall moment from Munnabhai. Both, Munnabhai MBBS and Lage Raho Munnabhai are my favourite films in the last five-seven odd years. They are great wholesome entertainment, which connect with you on a human level. Really connect with you on a human level.

Going back to one of your earlier questions, one of the key reasons for me doing this film, despite the fact that I am double the age of the character is Raju. I was so keen to work with Raju and I could see that Raju was excited about casting me in the film. Iske saath mereko film karne hain yaar. Agar isko lagta hain main bees saal ka ho jaata hoon toh main ho jaata hoon. Kyunki ye itna kamaal ka director hai, iske saath mereko kaam karna hain yaar.

Over the years all my professional decisions have been absurd. Its absolutely right for someone to tell me – ke tu 42 ka hain aur tu 22 ka character play kar raha hain. It may be an idiotic decision but all my decisions are idiotic. 3 idiots ka idiotic decision.

When I told anyone that I was making a film on dyslexia, they said I was mad.

When I signed Rang De Basanti, usse pehle Bhagat Singh aur Azad Singh par char filmey aa chuki thi. It was a crazy decision. My sister called me up in the evening and asked, “What are you doing?” I told her I signed a film, it’s the fifth remake of Bhagat Singh.She started laughing. She said abhi flop hui hain chauthi, aur tum paanchvi karoge. It was a bizarre decision.

Lagaan is another example. Today it is known as successful film but at that time it was a disastrous decision. None of my decisions have been practical.

How easy or difficult it is to forgive past mistakes?

Earlier, I was much more unforgiving as a person; not only towards others but also towards myself. I was extremely unforgiving of my own mistakes. In the past four or five years, I have undergone a change as a human being. I have become more forgiving of myself and others. I see it as a very positive change in myself. One of the powerful things in the world is the power of forgiveness. Its what Jesus Christ and other great philosophers have said.

Also, forgiveness comes with the genuineness of the person’s intentions. If someone has done something to hurt me and then comes and says, “Sorry Aamir”, but does not feel it, then forgiveness does not come into the picture. But if a person genuinely feels ki usse galti hui hai, then you should forgive him. It’s the same for yourself, if you realise that you’ve done some wrong, you should forgive yourself. It’s one of the most healing things.

Today we have become very unforgiving people. It may be an ethnic problem, or a community’s problem or a country’s, or in your relationships, with your wife, children, parents, we get very very unforgiving and we hold that against them. We wear it as a badge which says ‘main tujhe kabhi maaf nahi karoonga’.

I used to be like this.

Like two peas in a pod

Sometime ago we had asked Imran Khan to rate himself and Aamir on a scale of 1 to 10, according to a few parameters…

Aamir rates Imran according to the same parameters…

 

Good looks

Aamir – I won’t rate myself as I don’t like it. Imran is exceedingly good looking. I’d give him a 9.
Imran – I would put us both at a 7 at this point just because of how young and great he is looking

Patience

Aamir on Imran-
8 or 9
Imran – Aamir is a 10 and I am 9.5. We are both tremendously patient people. Again because I’m younger, I’m that 0.5 percent less patient but I am the supremely patient being that you’ll meet

Quest for perfection

Aamir on Imran- He is extremely committed so 8
Imran – Aamir is a 10, I’m probably an 8

Spontaneity

Aamir on Imran- 8
Imran – Aamir is 6, I’m a 7

Acting talent

Aamir on Imran – 6. He is good but he has a long way to go.
Imran – I put myself at a 6, I put him at a 10. I so honestly think he is the best actor in the country today

Communication skills

Aamir on Imran – 4
Imran – Mine aren’t too good. I’m not good at all, so 5 for me and him I don’t know, maybe a 7. Yeah he is better than me.

Charm

Aamir on Imran – 8
Imran – I am more charming than he is definitely; he is not a charming person. He is 5. I’m an 8.

Tendency to lose temper

Aamir – We lose our temper, but we can handle it. We don’t react. So, I would give him a 2.
Imran – One and one

Fidelity to spouse or girlfriend

Aamir – He is scoring a 100 on that one right now. So 10.
Imran – That’s a 10 for both. We are both very staid, solid guys.

3 Idiots

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.

By Taran Adarsh, September 25, 2009 – 11:54 IST

Let’s come to the point straight away. When you’ve films like LAGAAN, SWADES and JODHAA AKBAR to your credit, every step you take, every move you make comes under a microscopic view. Naturally then, the expectations from Ashutosh Gowariker’s WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? are monumental.

There’s another reason why WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? is special. Casting the same actor in 12 different roles is nothing short of a challenge – for the film-maker, for the writer and also for the actor in question.

BY BOLLYWOO HUNGAMA.COM

Now let’s analyze. WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? works in parts. There are 12 raashees, which means 12 independent stories, plus there’s a story of the dulha [Harman Baweja] and his family as well, also there’s a story of a family-friend [Darshan Jariwala] running concurrently. That makes it 14 stories, 13 songs, approx. 3.20 hours running time…

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Now to the vital question: Does WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? work?

Let me answer this question by raising a vital point. Did the running time [of 3 + hours] of SHOLAY, HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN, LAGAAN, JODHAA AKBAR and GHAJINI bother you? I am sure, it didn’t. The problem with WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? is not its length/running time. The problem is its content.

If any film stands on a weak foundation [writing], even 1.30 hours seem never-ending. Conversely, if the writing is power-packed, even 3.30 hours of entertainment seems less. Let’s not blame the length, for the biggest grosser of the world to date – TITANIC – also had a running time of 3.17 hours.

WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE?, unfortunately, lacks the power to keep you hooked and that’s the prime reason why its running time/length is sure to be criticised.

Oh yes, WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? has some wonderful moments and award-worthy performance[s] by Priyanka Chopra, but everything pales into insignificance when the written material is weak.

To cut a long story short, WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? is a king-sized disappointment from one of the finest storytellers of India.

WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? is the story of Yogesh Patel [Harman Baweja], a young man who, in his heart, has always wanted a love marriage. Till suddenly he is told that he must find his dream girl within ten days to save his family from utter ruin. Finding the dream girl is tough enough. Finding her in a hurry is even tougher.

His solution is simple; he will meet one girl from each raashee – sun sign, as he feels that is the best way to make sure he finds a suitable wife, while also giving himself twelve chances to fall in love. Two meetings per day gives him six days to meet them, three days to make the final decision and he can get married on the tenth day, or so he thinks.

Based on the novel ‘Kimball Ravenswood’ by Madhu Rye, the concept of WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? is interesting, but the big screen adaptation isn’t. To start with, you connect with barely a few stories, mainly the one who has a past and also the final one, of an underage girl. But several stories appear ridiculous and hence, ruin the impact generated by several wonderful moments. The jeweller’s daughter, who believes in punar janam, falls flat. Ditto for the other jeweller’s daughter, who pretends to be childish so as to test the intentions of the dulha. It’s farcical. But the most ludicrous one is the businesswoman who has a pre-nuptial agreement in place, even before meeting the dulha.

Even Darshan Jariwala’s track, towards the end specifically, tests the patience of the viewer. The detective drama is also ludicrous. Besides, the climax is far from convincing. The nanaji appears suddenly with a bagful of currency and the dues of the moneylenders and goons are settled soon after the saat pheras. How convenient!

Even the choice of the girl is debatable, since she has chosen him on a rebound [when she found that her lover was cheating on her]. In fact, the dulha had, rightfully, thought of the girl with the past and should’ve settled with her instead. That would’ve been a convincing finale.

Ashutosh Gowariker gets it wrong this time thanks to the poor screenplay. The writing is the biggest culprit here. Sohail Sen’s music is easy on the ears, but why so many songs? A few songs can easily be deleted. Piyush Shah’s cinematography is perfect.

WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? belongs to Priyanka Chopra. No two opinions on that. Words would fail to do justice to the remarkable portrayal of twelve different characters by this actor. This is her finest work to date. Harman is extremely likable and enacts his part with complete understanding. Darshan Jariwala is alright. Anjan Srivastava is as usual. Visshwa Badola is first-rate. Pratik Dixit does well.

On the whole, WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE? is a king-sized disappointment.

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Post-Lagaan, there has been multitude of films on cricket out of which only two succeeded-Jannat and Iqbal. The rest of the badly executed cricket films failed. ‘Dil Bole Hadippa!’ falls in between the two categories. The film in interesting and has its share of wonderful moments. But the film lacked depth and the director and screenwriter could have worked wonders with the kind of script they had in their hand. Thus, ‘Dil Bole Hadippa!’ is just a one-time watch.

The story of the movie: Veera (Rani Mukherjee) is a charming and bubbly girl who lives in a small town in Punjab. She is a great cricketer and is passionate about the sport. Every year, Aman Cup is held between India and Pakistan during the independence day of these countries and Indian team had lost the match 8 times in a row. Frustrated, the owner of the Indian team, Vikram Kapoor (Anupam Kher) calls his son Rohan (Shahid Kapoor), an accomplished county player to be the captain of his team. Rohan gets rid of the existing team which he felt wasn’t upto the mark and holds a selection. Veera wishes to be a part of the team but knowing that women won’t be allowed in the team, she disguises herself as a Sikh guy and goes for the selection. She tells her name as Veer Pratap Singh and gets selected in the team. To find out what happens next, watch the film.

The beginning of ‘Dil Bole Hadippa!’ is fabulous and sets the mood of the film. However, the film gets into the flawed mode with the entry of Anupam Kher and Dalip Tahil. Both of them are shown as childhood buddies who got separated after the Partition. But both of them looked too young to be born 10 years before the Partition!

Notwithstanding such goofs, the film maintains its pace and doesn’t get slow or dragging or melodramatic at a single point. There is lots of things happening throughout the film and although the film gets predictable, it stills manages to engross. If the screenwriters and the directors were more careful, the film could have been flawless product. The biggest glitch of the film is Veera turns into Veer and succeeds in looking like a guy but doesn’t alter her feminine voice, thus giving a clear giveaway that Veer is a girl in disguise. Still, no one gets a slightest hint about it and this is slightly hard to digest. This may result in a comparison with Shahrukh Khan’s double act in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. However, in RNBDJ, SRK had not guised himself as a member of the opposite sex and had wonderfully changed the tone of his voice, appearance, mannerisms etc in such a way that when Anushka Sharma failed to recognize him, it looked believable to a great extent.

Coming back to ‘Dil Bole Hadippa!’, the romantic track between Shahid and Rani was refreshing. The final cricket match was nail-biting although we all knew what will be its outcome. Rani’s dialogue in the climax was well executed and the film ends with a good message.

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Dil Bole Hadippa!’ belongs completely to Rani Mukherjee. The film rests on her shoulders and she does a stupendous job. Even as Veer, she was mind-blowing, notwithstanding her voice. It was funny to see Shahid making Veer do the exercises. Watch out for the scene where Veer is daydreaming on the cricket ground! In short, it was just incredible on the part of Rani. Let’s hope she gets more meaningful roles. She deserves to stay in Bollywood.

Shahid Kapoor, as usual, was perfect as the tough captain. And he has an important role to play in the film and doesn’t have lesser screen presence, as mentioned in many reviews. He shines in the scene where he tells Veer about his feelings for Veera. In fact, both Shahid and Rani were at their best in this particular scene.

Anupam Kher and Dalip Tahil were consistent. Sherlyn Chopra is a good actor and will be taken seriously, provided she stops exposing. Rakhi Sawant, Poonam Dhillon, Vrajesh Hirjee and Vallabh Vyas didn’t have much to do in the film. Shonali Nagrani looked charming.

Pritam’s music wasn’t in complete form but nevertheless, gives couple of good songs. Hadippa, its remix version and Ishq Hi Hai Rab were the best songs. Julius Packiam’s background score was fantastic! Several scenes turned exciting, thanks to the energetic background score. Same goes for the brilliant cinematography by acclaimed cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee.

Jaya-Aparajita wrote the story, screenplay and dialogues. The screenplay was perfect in some scenes but could have been better. Dialogues were excellent.

Anurag Singh, the director of the film, overall did a good job but he failed to treat some scenes exceptionally which was really needed. Overall, it was a great directorial debut. There’s another director by the same name who had made Raqeeb, starring Rahul Khanna, Tanushree Dutta, Sharman Joshi and Jimmy Shergill. Coincidentally, it also starred Sherlyn Chopra!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   The first scene
2.   The Aman Cup held in India
3.   Rohan and Veera’s first meeting
4.   Veera denied entry for the selection
5.   Veer and Rohan meeting for the ‘first time’
6.   The intermission point
7.   Rohan asking Veer about Veera
8.   Rohan and Veera’s date
9.   The final 30 minutes

On the whole, ‘Dil Bole Hadippa!’ is a good film with a message. The film could have been outstanding if the writers had taken care of the flaws. Rani performs wonderfully and it’s a must watch for all her fans!

My rating-*** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Dil_Bole_Hadippa-176045-1.html

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HF

HARISHCHANDRACHI FACTORY IS INDIA’S OFFICIAL ENTRY TO OSCARS!

September-end period is crucial as it’s the time when the film to be sent to the Oscars is announced. 2 years back, a controversy had erupted when Eklavya was sent to the Oscars. Last year’s choice was unanimous-Taare Zameen Par. However, this year, it was difficult to predict which film will ultimately be selected as none of the flicks (at least the Hindi ones) were ‘typical Oscar material’. But The Film Federation of India nominated an unknown upcoming Marathi flick, Harishchandrachi Factory (Harishchandra’s Factory) as India’s official entry to the Oscars.

Although none of the mediapersons and audience has seen Harishchandrachi Factory (HF), the decision has impressed almost everyone. It is a period flick which throws light on Dadasaheb Phalke’s experience while making the first feature film of India, Raja Harishchandra, in 1913! With such an excellent plot, there are high chances that the film will indeed impress everyone when it releases in theatres.

The director of the film, Paresh Mokashi, is obviously happy to see that his genuine efforts have bore fruit. He had wrote the script of the film way back in 2005 but failed to find a financer till 2008. Then, he sold his flat so as to raise money for the film. Kudos to such passionate people who are willing to go to any lengths to fulfill their dream!

HF even managed to beat Bollywood biggies like New York, Kaminey, Dev D, Delhi-6, ‘What’s Your Raashee?’ and the Marathi biggie Mi Shivaji Raje Bhosale Boltoy to become India’s Oscar entry. Anyways, some of these Bollywood films were well made but didn’t deserved to be in Oscars. Even if any of these films was nominated, it would have failed to reach the final 5. Let’s hope HF succeeds at the Oscars!

P.S.: UTV is in talks for acquiring the rights of the film.

(Info derived from articles of Times of India and Mumbai Mirror)
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‘WHAT’S YOUR RAASHEE?’ KA KYA HOGA?

WYR

There has been considerable hype surrounding the 3rd biggie of the season, ‘What’s Your Raashee?’ (WYR). Directed by Jodhaa Akbar and Lagaan director Ashutosh Gowariker and starring Priyanka Chopra and Harman Baweja, WYR is based on the novel Kimball Ravenswood by Shri Madhu Rye (why hasn’t anyone reviewed the book on MS?). The novelty of the film is Priyanka essaying 12 different characters. Although the film can and should take a good opening, what can go against it is its length. The film’s duration is around 3hrs 30mins which is too long for a romantic comedy. Also, single screens are going to exhibit only 3 shows in a day which may take a toll in its BO collections. Let’s hope the film succeeds in engrossing the audiences completely in its entire 200+ mins duration!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/bafipomro/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk67