Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘malayalam film

Santosh Sivan to play renowned Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma in Malayalam film Magara Manju
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 04, 2009)

Even as the fate of Ketan Mehta’s Rang Rasiya, based on Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma’s love life remains uncertain, cinematographer-director Santosh Sivan has quietly signed a Malayalam film where he plays the painter. The film is titled Magara Manju (meaning winter mist) and will be dubbed in Hindi and English. The film’s shooting begins next week in Cochin and will be directed by art house director Lenin Rajendran.


Santosh Sivan and Karthika in the first look of Magara Manju

Santosh, whose hands are full with cinematography and direction assignments, was at first hesitant to act in the film. He says, “Director Lenin Rajendran convinced me that I was right for the part. The main attraction for turning to acting is Raja Ravi Varma himself. I empathise very closely with his art as I’ve grown up with it. When I was a kid, my grandmother illustrated her stories with Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings. I also paint a bit. I think I’ve acquired my visual aesthetics from this man. I was also Director of Photography for M F Husain’s Gaja Gamini and his son Owais’s Meenaxi: Tale of 3 Cities.”

Santosh’s co-star in the film is the new South sensation Karthika . He says, “Karthika is the daughter of veteran Tamil actress Radha. I sort of like the way we look together.”

The film will also be shot in Trivandrum and Goa. Incidentally, the only other occasion when Santosh Sivan has acted was in Aditya Bhattacharya’s Raakh (1989). “After my shot, Pankaj Kapur (who was also acting in the film) couldn’t stop laughing (at his bad performance),” recalls Santosh with a chuckle.

Epic story

There is a growing interest in the life of Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906), who is famous for his paintings based on Indian mythology and epics. First, Ketan Mehta took it upon himself to portray the love life of Raja Ravi Varma in Rang Rasiya. Randeep Hooda plays the painter while Nandana Sen plays his muse. Then Malayalam film, Magara Manju, has Santosh Sivan playing Raja Ravi Varma. A book on the life of painter called, The Painter: A Life of Ravi Varma by Deepanjana Pal, Mumbai-based art critic is expected to hit the shelves soon.


Arshad Warsi to remake Malyalam film which deals with teenage pregnancy
By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 15, 2009)

Arshad Warsi

Remaking South films never goes out of style in Bollywood. 2006 Malyalam super hit, Notebook, will be remade in Hindi by Arshad Warsi’s production house, Shooting Star Films. The production house is soon to release its first film Kaun Bola starring Arshad and Dia Mirza. The remake will be directed by Roshan Andrews, who had also made the Malyalam film.

A source confirmed and said, “Arshad always wanted to make Notebook in Hindi but he was busy with his first home production. He and Roshan have had a couple of meetings and are in the process of finalising details for the Hindi remake. Arshad was impressed with the film as it is a youthful subject with a social message. He was also impressed with the manner in which the subject of teenage pregnancy was handled sensitively.”

Arshad too confirmed the news and said, “I love the film. It will be directed by Roshan Andrews and things are currently being finalised.”


The previous two Fridays saw the release of two biggies-Kambakkht Ishq on July 3 and Short Kut on July 10. What was common in both the films apart from the fact that both were comic entertainers was these 2 films were remakes of Southern films. While Kambakkht Ishq was a remake of the 2002 Kamal Hasan’s hit Tamil film, Pammal K Sambandam, Short Kut was a remake of a Roshan AndrewsMalayalam movie Udayananu Tharam. Don’t mistake it for a copy-the rights of both the films were acquired by the producers before remaking it.

Both these South films were big hits but surprisingly, their remakes have failed to impress the audiences. Short Kut took a bad opening and the collections didn’t improve in the weekend due to so many negative reports. Kambakkht Ishq (KI), on the other hand, did a great job in the weekend but the negative reviews prevented it from becoming a big hit. Some trade pundits are trying to save the film by mentioning that KI took a bigger opening than Singh Is Kinng and was at par at Ghajini. In its 1st week, Ghajini collected 64.41 crores and Singh Is Kinng made 39.72 crores. KI, on the other hand, manage to collect 33.42 crores (acc to boxofficeindia.com)! Figures speak for themselves! And the film has fallen greatly in the 2nd week and it’s difficult to say if it’ll recover its costs.

Coming back, Bollywood has since a long time got inspired from Southern films and churned out successful films. One of the biggest hits of 2002, Saathiya, was originally a Tamil film, Alai Payuthey, directed by Mani Ratnam. The Hindi remake was Shaad Ali’s first film. One of the finest directors, Priyadarshan has made successful Hindi films by legally lifting Southern hits. Bhool Bhulaiyaa was inspired from Manichithrathazu, in which Priyan had worked as a second unit director. His hilarious film, Dhol, was a remake of 1980 Malayalam film, In Harihar Nagar.

It is also seen that the Southern directors themselves direct the remakes. Recent example is Ghajini. Both the Tamil and Hindi versions were directed by A R Murugadoss. The Hindi version went on to become the biggest Hit of Bollywood ever! One of the most remembered films of the 80s, Ek Duuje Ke Liye, was a remake of 1978 film Maro Charithra and it was directed by K Balachander. Tamil film Minnale was remade as Rehna Hai Terre Dil Mein by Gautham Menon and it became one of the most loved youthful films. Shankar’s first Hindi film, Nayak-The Real Hero, was a remake of his film Mudhalvan. Priyadarshan has also directed some excellent Malayalam movies and remade some of them in Hindi.

In all the remakes, some changes were made but the directors were cautious enough to retain the same magic in the remake which led to the success of the original. But the directors of Kambakkht Ishq and Short Kut failed to do so and that’s why they failed to impress the audience.


Two upcoming Hindi films are also remakes of Southern hits. Salman Khan’s next, Wanted(see pic), is a remake of Tamil blockbuster, Pokkiri. Like the Tamil version, the Hindi version is also directed by Prabhu Deva. Wanted is all set to release on September 18 and it’s expected to be an excellent action thriller. And some days ago, Arshad Warsi bought the rights of 2006 acclaimed Malayalam film, Notebook and is planning to produce its remake. Notebook was directed by Roshan Andrews, who also directed Udayananu Tharam, from where Warsi’s Short Kut was remade. Let’s hope Notebook remake doesn’t turn out to be a damp squib like Short Kut!

Many good films have failed at the BO due to lack of promotion. Last week’s Sankat City failed to attract audiences as it was not well promoted. And Jashnn, releasing tomorrow, may also suffer a similar fate. Produced by Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt, the film stars Adhyayan Suman, Anjana Sukhani and Shahana Goswami and is directed by Hasnain-Raksha, who directed The Killer. Jashnn is a musical film and seems to be meaningful and interesting. Its songs managed to become somewhat popular. Promos of the film aren’t shown much throughout the day on TV and Shahana is not yet revealed in the teasers. Shahana, who won awards and appreciation for her role in ‘Rock On!!’, has an important role in the film and yet, is being sidelined.

Moreover, the film is releasing with a Hollywood biggie, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Thus, the film has almost no chance to succeed. Since Bhatts aren’t promoting the film properly, let me only do some promotion for Jashnn! I managed to find the theatrical trailer of the film and have uploaded below. Do check!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com:http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/fgijoptlo/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk57

By Taran Adarsh, July 10, 2009 – 10:52 IST

Till quite some time back, remaking a successful film was considered a safe bet. In fact, the most reliable, foolproof way at hitting paydirt. But let’s not forget, not all stories have the potential to strike gold.

SHORT KUT, a remake of the Malayalam film UDAYANANU THANAM, written by Anees Bazmee and directed by Neeraj Vora, arrives a bit too late. Actually, it should’ve hit the screens a couple of years ago. That’s because it abounds and relies completely on clichés and which, in turn, makes you break into a big yawn.


Sad, since the basic story of SHORT KUT had the potential to keep your attention arrested. It even starts off well, but runs out of breath soon after. In fact, the graph of the film only goes down as reel after reel unfolds.


Seriously, you want to ask something vital to Anees Bazmee and Neeraj Vora, who have penned, even directed laughathons successfully: What kind of cinema is this? Did Bazmee and Vora lose interest while writing this one? Or did they decide to take the viewer for granted?

In short, SHORT KUT is meant to be a comedy, but is actually a tragedy for the viewers.

Set in Bollywood, SHORT KUT – THE CON IS ON tells the story of two strugglers, one who makes it big as a superstar [Raju – Arshad Warsi] after stealing a script and the other whose struggle as a director [Shekhar – Akshaye Khanna] continues after his script gets stolen.

There’s a twist in the tale when reigning actress Mansi’s [Amrita Rao] romantic involvement with Shekhar gets culminated into marriage. To add to the chaos, destiny again brings Raju and Shekhar face to face, when Shekhar is set to direct his first film with Raju. What follows now is a clash of egos.

As mentioned at the very outset, SHORT KUT could’ve turned out to be an insider’s view on the film industry. The two aspirants, their struggles, the hardships that they face to get their first break… SHORT KUT could’ve explored all that and more beautifully. In fact, a few moments do try to capture that at the very start.

But the moment the romantic track sets in, things go for a toss. The plot, suddenly, makes you feel you’re watching a diluted version of ABHIMAAN [Amitabh, Jaya]. Then, suddenly, another unexciting track surfaces — of the superstar throwing his weight on the sets. The film starts losing grip.

The post-interval portions are simply unbearable. You expect things to brighten up, but the writing is so pathetic and the climax so childish and absurd that you’re shocked. Looks like the writers must’ve gone on a vacation and entrusted the responsibility of writing the climax to some amateur types who has zilch knowledge of screen writing. It’s the worst climax undoubtedly!

Director Neeraj Vora gets its wrong completely. The writing as also the execution are archaic and outdated. Mr. Vora, which era do you belong to? As for cinematography, the DoP tries hard to make the bad product look enticing. Musically, nothing to hum about.

Akshaye Khanna puts up a sincere act, but what can the best of actors do when saddled with shoddy scripts? Arshad gets better lines, also gets a role that the masses would take to instantaneously, but he’s getting typecast. Amrita Rao exposes her anatomy freely. Chunky Pandey manages to make you smile at places. Ali Asgar looks fake. Haider Ali is alright. Siddharth Randeria is theatrical.

On the whole, SHORT KUT – THE CON IS ON is a poor show all the way. A major disappointment.