Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘messiah

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 04, 2010)

Nana Patekar, the 58-year-old actor, who is currently shooting for the Kannada film Yaksha, has learnt the language to dub his lines.

However, learning a South Indian language for the Marathi-Hindi speaking actor is not a cakewalk. Nana says, “It is a challenge to learn a new language. But what is life if you don’t create new challenges for yourself? I have always done what I wanted to do in life. When I agreed to do my first South Indian film, I decided I will speak my own lines. Why should I allow some other person to speak for me? I have been working hard, getting the accent right. It’s a complicated process. However, one is never too old or too young to learn something new.”

Although Nana is tight-lipped about his role in the film, according to sources, Nana plays a messiah of the down-trodden, the kind of character that he played in Mehul Kumar’s Krantiveer (1994).

By Subhash K. Jha, September 19, 2009 – 11:53 IST

Om Puri Naseeruddin Shah ostensibly played a terror mastermind in Neeraj Pandey’s A Wednesday. But finally it turned out to be the role of messiah on a mission to ‘cleanse the society’. Now, Naseer’s arch-rival Om Puri has taken on the role of an unapologetic hardcore terrorist in Rensil D’Silva’s Kurbaan.

Bollywood characters derived from headlines specially ones that are taken from extremist news reports, are now being seen as tricky territory.

In Rensil D’Silva’s hushed and much talked-about Kurbaan, Om Puri plays a hardcore terrorist who masterminds a massive terror attack in the US. Surely a politically-incorrect role for an actor, if ever there was one! In fact, Irrfan Khan had said no to play a global terrorist in Kurbaan.

Playing a terrorist automatically puts the actor in the suspicious list on the international airports. And so what if it’s just a part?

But Om is fearless. “I’m aware of the repercussions. I’m also aware others actors turn down parts of terrorists. But I’ve no such reservations. A role is a role. We cannot be moral and judgmental about the characters we play. In Kurbaan I play the terror mastermind, a fully committed jehaadi who is ready to sacrifice everything including his wife (Kirron Kher) for the cause.”

It’s a role with deep reverberations. But Om is prepared for the backlash. “I played a radical mullah mouthing rabid dialogues in Jagmohan Mundhra’s Shoot On Sight. It was just a role. I think our audiences are mature enough to understand this.”

However the audiences’ level of maturity seems to have gone for a toss. Om has apparently started receiving warnings from fundamentalist organizations about playing an extremist.

Om says he won’t be deterred. “I played a Pakistani in Charlie Wilson’s War and East Is East. And now, in October, I go into the sequel West Is West with the same cast. This time, Vijay Raaz and Ila Arun have been added. Is it dangerous to experiment with morality in your actors? Let it be. In my new release Baabarr, I played a corrupt colourful cop who doesn’t think tweaking the law is a big deal. It’s good to enter the hearts and minds of people who live by their own weird morality.”


While bad boys like Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt had the industry rooting for them, an outsider like Shiney doesn’t stand a chance
By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; June 17, 2009)
Even as the film industry makes appropriate noises over the Shiney Ahuja rape incident and closes ranks against any outsider who dares to breach their gates, cocktail conversations reveal very little sympathy for the man. In private conversations, once the mikes and cameras have been switched off, antagonism against the actor rears its ugly head as co-stars and directors recall how the upstart actor often rubbed them the wrong way with unsought for suggestions.

Which is really strange when you consider the amount of sustained goodwill for the industry’s notorious bad boys Salman Khan (charged with poaching and culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and Sanjay Dutt (charged with illegal possession of arms and terrorism) when they were taken in for questioning. Even Fardeen Khan, who was arrested for drug possession, came out smelling of roses.

I still remember when Sanjay was released on bail for the first time after many months in jail and he was brought straight to a very well attended press conference which had been so publicised before it happened that hundreds of people lined the roads near the venue to look at him. Fans flocked to him like a born-again messiah and hardened journalists had tears in their eyes when he spoke of the love he felt for us and all his countrymen and how he would never do anything to endanger us.

In a notoriously nepotistic industry, Shiney is an outsider. That he is a brilliant actor who wowed critics with his first film Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi and followed it up with Gangster, Woh Lamhe and Life in a Metro notwithstanding, he is not liked. While there has never been even a hint of impropriety in his dealings with his female co-stars, there has been no back-slapping either. In all his years in the film industry I don’t recall one instance when Shiney either attended a non-work-related party or threw one.

Then there is the matter of success. Salman and Sanjay are hugely successful stars, Salman, in fact, gave hits all through his confinement.  Shiney has barely scaled a few rungs of the ladder and when his only mainstream film Bhool Bhulaiya was declared a success, the credit went to his much bigger co-star Akshay Kumar and the Hare Ram song. Success breeds respect, success breeds love and success breeds sympathy and Shiney has none of these.

Not surprisingly then it is being widely speculated that whatever decision the law takes, Shiney will find it tough to resurrect his career. And honestly, no one particularly cares one way or the other. While Bhai (Salman) and Baba (Sanjay) had the entire industry rooting for them, the sun has set on Shiney’s career.