Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘National Anthem

Badly Burnt In Year Gone By, Industry Looks To Strong Content

Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; January 3, 2010)

Pursue excellence and success will pursue you,’’ was what Aamir Khan’s character philosophised in 3 Idiots. But when the lights dimmed and audiences sat down after the National Anthem, what greeted them on screens for most part of the year was average, even poor fare, making 2009 the annus horribilis of the first decade of the 21st century. More than 200 films, with Rs 1500 crore at stake, released last year but almost Rs 1000 crore sank in the sea of mediocrity without a bubble, the sharks-andsexy bikini Blue leading the pack.
Added to it was the multiplex strike which cost around Rs 350 crore, upset release dates forcing films to share Fridays and dent each others’ collections. A multiplex source said, “Cannibalisation caused by big films’ release dates clashing could have been avoided.’’

The year began with Chandni Chowk To China that lost 50% of its Rs 65-crore budget. And marketing blitzkreigs couldn’t save a Blue and Kambakkht Ishq and the audience clearly showed content was king with surprise hits like DevD, New York, WaKe Up Sid and Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani. DevD made Rs 6 crore, collected Rs 25 crore at the box office while its ancillary rights made another Rs 5 crore and there are still more satellite runs to be sold. Trade experts also put films like Love Aaj Kal, Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani, Wanted among the certified hits, followed by profitable films like Paa, All The Best, De Dana Dan and Raaz 2.

But Bollywood’s loss was Hollywood’s gain, with films like 2012 and Avatar (that collected a whopping Rs 50 crore so far) filling the void for good entertainment.

It was left to And Aamir Khan to play Santa Claus third year in a row, with 3 Idiots the biggest hit of the year. It grossed a phenomenal Rs 100 crore in India in the first four days, and Rs 175 crore worldwide till December 31, even denting into collections of Avatar. Trade analyst Amod Mehra said, “What Ghajini collected in a week, this film has done in three days.

Corporates didn’t really have a great year in 2009 and after the bloodbath in the first half of the year, most of them avoided buying films outright, with even 3 Idiots being released on commission.

Thus 2010 dawns to vastly altered realities — purse strings have tightened by cautious corporates; big banners are no guarantee for success and may dish out big turkeys instead; marketing and stars don’t sell, a good story does; and the days of astronomical fees are over.

“Audiences are very smart, the content ultimately will guide their choices and approval. Marketing and hype will only work if content supports that hype. We may not have a Blue this year but projects like Veer and Prince are costly and prima facie look difficult in terms of recoveries,’’ says a trade expert.

So when Akshay Kumar, blamed for soaring star prices, announced towards the end of 2009 that he would not charge any fee for Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khaan, it was a lifeline for the industry that had almost gone into the ICU.

Says Amod Mehra, “It is not that people did not come to watch Akshay Kumar films in 2009, it is just that the budgets of the films were so high and his remuneration was almost 40% of those budgets, so recoveries were not possible despite a good opening. But now that the actors are looking at sharing profit with the producer after the cost of the film has been recovered like in the case of Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots then it will be fair enough. Cutting down of star prices will definitely reduce the budget of films and they will become viable and that is definitely going to be the trend in 2010.”

The year thankfully doesnt have a Rs 100-crore Blue in its line-up. Last year most production houses scrapped films as star prices were not viable. In fact, it is learnt Saif Ali Khan is reworking the budget of his next film Agent Vinod starring Kareena and himself. In fact, 2010 is short on mega projects as budget constraints ensured very few got on the floors in 2009.

The first biggie of 2010 will be Veer,
followed by Rann, My Name is Khan, Action Replay, Kites and House Full in the first half of the year. The second half of the year would have Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzarish and Patiala House.

The action in 2010 seems definitely more in mid-size and multiplex projects that would have strong and clutterbreaking content. “There are a lot of films this year that may not topline the Khans or Hrithik Roshan but still have a decent line-up of names and would be thematically different. Tight budgets and good content seem to be the mantra in the decision making corridors of Bollywood. Each company is carefully evaluating its options and are not getting carried away,’’ says Priti Shahni of Indian Films. Corporates, for instance, have decided to take films only on commission, and not buy them outright.

Shahid Kapoor’s Chance Pe Dance, Striker starring Rang De Basanti’s Siddharth, Aamir Khan Productions’ Peepli Live, Vishal Bharadwaj’s Ishqiya would release in the first half of 2010.

Generation-next too would be making its presence felt with Ranbir Kapoor in Anjana Anjani and Rajneeti, Imran Khan in I Hate Love Stories, Sonam Kapoor in Ayesha, and Deepika Padukone in House Full.

As the record breaking run of 3 Idiots that has spilled over to 2010 has shown, great content along with great pre-release buzz make the perfect mix.

2010: Coming Soon
RAJNEETI (Naseeruddin Shah, Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgn, Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor) BUDGET: 50 cr

DHOBI GHAT (Aamir Khan, Prateik Babbar) BUDGET: 15 cr

RAAVANA (Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) BUDGET: 50 cr

TEEN PATTI (Amitabh Bachchan, Sir Ben Kingsley) BUDGET: 35 cr

VEER (Salman Khan, Zarine Khan) BUDGET: 50 cr

RANN (Amitabh Bachchan) BUDGET: 25 cr

ISHQIYA (Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi) BUDGET: 20 cr

MY NAME IS KHAN (Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol) BUDGET: 50 cr

KITES (Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori) BUDGET: 50 cr

ACTION REPLAY (Akshay Kumar, Aishwarya Rai) | BUDGET: 35 cr

GUZAARISH (Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) BUDGET: 50 cr

ANJAANA ANJAANI (Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra) BUDGET: 40 cr

AGENT VINOD (Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor) BUDGET: 40 cr

Figures are an approximate estimation

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Ram Gopal Varma and Amitabh Bachchan have hissed, and now made up. Big B to play a judge in Ramu’s next, a film on our judicial system
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 26, 2009)

Ram Gopal Varma

Amitabh Bachchan

We all thought Ram Gopal Varma was done with the Bachchan family, on screen. After Sarkar 2, there was a fair amount of tension brewing between the Bachchans and RGV. Now, Ramu says that he is actually done with the Sarkar family, not the Bachchans. That’s why, it seems, Sarkar 3 was shelved. Ah well, all’s well that ends well… It’s evident that if friendships are fickle in Bollywood, so are fall-outs.

To prove that all is now well, Amitabh Bachchan is set to do yet another film with Ramu.

Ramu who is at the moment poised to release his next film another shiver-giver Agyaat and also putting finishing touches to his film on the electronic media Rann, will now do a take on the loopholes in the judicial system, in which Bachchan will play a judge.

Yet untitled, the film is inspired by the rather curious run-ins Ramu has had with the judiciary where he was questioned about his own version of the national anthem in Rann.

Says Ramu, “We’re starting a new film together in January 2010, about the judicial system. Mr Bachchan plays a judge.” It’s a first for the Big B who has played everything from a cop to a mafioso in his career, but never a judge.

First things first, wasn’t there a fall-out between the Bachchans and Ram Gopal Varma and wasn’t he recently quoted as saying that his screen relationship with the Bachchan family is over? Replies Ramu, “I never said that. Whether it’s the Bachchans or Nitin Reddy whom I have brought from Kannada cinema to Hindi films for Agyaat, I’ll always work with actors I think to be suitable for my films. Whether they want to work with me or not, is entirely up to them. I’ve never said my screen relationship with the Bachchans is over.”

So why was Sarkar 3 shelved? “There never was a Sarkar 3! I’m done with the Sarkar family, and that’s what I said,” says Ramu. “I never said I was done with the Bachchan family. I’m doing another film with Mr Bachchan in January not because I want do another film with him, but because he suits the character in my film perfectly. I’ve never worked with stars, only with actors.”

Ramu will himself produce the new film with Amitabh Bachchan.

First Look: Agyaat

Ram Gopal Varma, after “rann”ing down the national anthem, is at it again. This time, he has crossed swords with the Censor Board over the track ‘Jai Shri Shambhu’ from his forthcoming film ‘Agyaat’. The Censor prudes have reportedly gone wild over the song’s content and has asked RGV to re-edit it.

The song features the RGV camp lass, Priyanka Kothari, puffing a chillum even as she croons ‘Dum Maaro, Yeh Hai Sahara’. The Censor Board has reportedly objected to this because it “depicts substance abuse”.

The RGV camp is devastated but is regrouping! “However, as a law abiding citizen of the country, I’ll go with whatever the law says,” says RGV!

Check out the exclusive snaps…






Source: India Syndicate/Bollywood Hungama

Ram Gopal Varma is distressed by the Censor Board’s rejection of his song ‘Jana Gana Mana Rann Hai’ MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; May 11, 2009)

Ram Gopal Varma is upset. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), as was expected, has denied the filmmaker permission to air his song Jana Gana Mana Rann Hai in his forthcoming film Rann that is reportedly based on the national anthem. Vijaya Chawak, secretary to CBFC chairperson Vinayak Azad, told media persons that the song violates guidelines 219 of Section 5B2 of the Cinematography Act and the lines Jana Gana Mana are a violation of the National Honour Act of 1971.

Azad, however, is travelling; and Rann co-producer Sheetal Talwar (with Madhu Mantena), who claims to be unaware of the CBFC order, is waiting for Azad’s return on Wednesday when they will get the official word on the fate of the song. But RGV has drained the bitter cup already. The controversial director is feeling persecuted. “The Rann song is not the national anthem. It’s just inspired by what the national anthem stands for,” he said in a chat with BT. “The national anthem has a completely different meaning. But, yes, the Rann song stands exactly for what the national anthem does today… and in consideration of what we are going through.”

He is furious that people are saying he knew the song would meet this consequence, and that he did all this for publicity. “Of course, I have done it for publicity,” RGV snapped. “Any material that goes out of a filmmaker’s office by way of interviews, audiovisuals, music pieces or anything else is to garner publicity for his film. I have made a film and I want as many people out there as possible to know that it will soon come to their theatres. I also want them to know what the film is going to be all about. I ask you, if I had known that this was going to happen, would I deliberately turn people off my film?”

According to the beleaguered director, with Rann he wants to bring people’s attention to the battle they are fighting with the powersthat-be of our so-called civilised society. “There has been no attempt to ridicule or demean or show the national anthem in a bad or comic light. It only seeks to draw attention of all concerned to the problems that the country has… like terrorism, poverty, riots, debt-ridden farmer suicides, rapes, murders, famine and flood, they have become mere symbols that are highlighted as conscious awakeners for vote banks,” said RGV.

Mumbai: Film-maker Ramgopal Varma will move the Bombay high court on Monday against the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for banning the promo of his Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Rann. The CBFC rejected the promo on the grounds that the lyrics of a song were a distorted version of the National Anthem.

A letter was sent to Varma saying the promo violated guidelines 2(xix) of Section 5B2 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952, and also constituted an offence under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act.

In reaction, Varma said, “The action is arbitrary and unconstitutional. Guideline 2(xix) of Section 5B2 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952, says national symbols and emblems should not be shown except in accordance with the provisions of the Emblems and Names Act, 1950. It means that no Indian film can show the Tricolour, Rashtrapati Bhavan or Parliament House. And, if the censor board did take that position, it could ask us for relevant cuts in the promo.’’

When told that lyrics of the National Anthem had been tampered with, Varma shot back, “Article 19 guarantees freedom of speech and expression and freedom of trade among other fundamental rights. Every citizen has the right to freely express and carry out trade unless it is contrary to the peace and integrity of the country. By denying me the right to release the promo, the board is violating my fundamental right.’’



Maverick filmmaker Ram Gopal Verma always believed in speaking volumes through film’s content than using songs as a medium of expression. But this time around, with RANN, which is being touted as the most ambitious film of Ramu, he has devised a striking video by the name ‘JANA GANA RANN‘. The song, in question, is a modified version of our National Anthem. We wonder what made Ramu stumble on such hard-hitting idea. Let’s know it from the mastermind itself.

Isn’t’ it morally wrong to demean the national anthem?
Of course it is morally wrong and completely unpatriotic to demean the national anthem. However this song isn’t and shouldn’t be misconstrued to be an aberration on the National Anthem. It’s a song by itself that in a way tries to depict the current situation in the country. The reference to the national anthem is also for the same.

‘ The song is not meant to be provocative nor is it meant to violate…’

It is illegal to dissect the national Anthem and use it for your own purpose such as this. Please comment.
This song, only depicts what some characters of this film feel is the current state of affairs in the country. If one was to notice carefully, it isn’t a dissection of the national anthem nor is it an attempt to do so. Yes, for obvious reasons it sounds like it, but if one was to notice carefully, the national anthem talks a completely different language and this song talks of the battleground that our land has become today.

How was this song conceived?
This song stemmed out from the fact that today freedom of speech is actually curtailed and the freedom that we actually fought for somewhere is back to being controlled and manipulated in the hands of someone or the other.

What is the idea behind the song?
The idea behind the song is strongly tied in with the premise of the film. The film showcases the lengths people would go in order to secure the all consuming power of controlling the people’s mind space. The song talks about, how this largest democracy in the world runs the greatest risk of being manipulated by a few minds to promote their personal interests. It tells how a nation once regarded as the most secular, cohesive and peaceful is now being broken down to pieces. Are we awake to this fact or just sleepwalking through it? Is it victory or death?

What is your (Artiste) take on this?
Well I think this is a song that resonates the very thought of the film. No one should misconstrue this song as meaning anything else or as one that is meant to offend anyone’s sentiments.

view JANA GANA RANN video

view JANA GANA RANN video

What do you believe will be the mass reaction to this song?
They would appreciate it. Everyone understands and realizes the current state of affairs of our country.

Is this a publicity stunt?
It’s a creation meant for and lending support solely to the premise of the film. We believe the audience today is intelligent and don’t fall for so called ‘stunts’.

Is this supported or endorsed by any political party?
This is not a song pro or against any political party or any political element. It is very clear if you listen to the lyrics. It’s not meant to be provocative nor is it meant to violate. It’s the state of the nation the song highlights and if anything it would be accepted by each and every Indian.

What if the censor board does not issue a certificate for this song?
We believe in this song and what it stands for in the context of the film and we know in our hearts that there is nothing wrong in this song in the way it is going to be depicted in the film.

Will this song be broadcasted as a promotional song? Is it going to be sent to anyone?
This song will be made available to anyone and everyone. It’s not something to be apologetic about, but something that you listen to, understand and acknowledge. It’s the state of the nation and every Indian should know it, so that he or she can do something about it.

Why do you think this is a relevant song in today’s time?
This song is extremely relevant simply because it voices the truth, the real sorry state of today’s affairs. Yes we have great economic growth and are the rising superpower, while the world talks of that, here we lie warring amongst each other, looking for excuses, sparking communal violence. In this situation we have lost our voice, this song merely states that.