Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘omkara

The actor is getting appreciated for his role in Kurbaan

By TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; November 30, 2009)


A few days back, Vivek Oberoi was woken up at 6 in the morning with an SMS. It was a text message from his Kurbaan co-star Saif Ali Khan, praising Vivek Oberoi him for his work in the film.

“I’ve craved for this kind of appreciation,” admits Vivek candidly, “I wanted people to see me for my work and not have a coloured perspective because of whatever’s transpired in the past.”

The actor’s gone through his share of trouble, both personally and professionally. “One thing I’ve learnt is that it’s easier to deal with failure than to deal with success. If you don’t know what to do with success, then you lose the plot. Success had gone to my head. I was surrounded by people who kept pushing me in the wrong direction and I kept going there, and when it finally hit me, I was like, how did this happen?

Vivek Oberoi

Those four-five years were just a blur, then to understand and recover from that took time,” he says, wisened from the experience.

But yes, there were times when he was completely down in the dumps too. “There was a time when I felt that everything I did was going to backfire. It was difficult to keep my sense of reason or humour at a time like that. One day, I was really upset and my mom asked me what’s wrong. I said I just feel completely lost — there was so much professional and personal upheaval. Then she pulled out a copy of one of my first interviews during Company and said ‘start here’. I read that and realised this is what I was,” he recounts.

The journey to recover started with Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara and life seems to have taken a turn for the better since then. His performance in Kurbaan has been appreciated and the actor’s looking forward to Prince — It’s Showtime, where he plays a slick, stylish thief and his mentor Ram Gopal Varma’s Rakta Charitra.

Vivek realises he has been given a second lease in his career. “I think in my seven years, something I have realised pretty late is the value of opportunity. What stands between me and a lot of talented actors is a platform that Mr Varma gave me, and the second time around, I got it with Kurbaan. Then I’ve got Kumar Taurani backing me with a big film and it’s a dream to be working with my mentor Ramu again,” he says.

The smile on his face says it all when he adds, “I’ve realised the whole idea of carrying grudges, negativity, anger, hatred and enmity just bogs you down. I’m at peace now. When I started out, it was more of a high, right now, I’m humbled.” So Vivek’s finally grown up? He’s quick to answer, “I’ve a better understanding of who I am now.” That’s more than what most would say.

Vivek Oberoi on love, life and a fresh innings in Bollywood

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 27, 2009)


• You have got some good reviews for your role in Kurbaan.

Yes. I have not stopped smiling since the film’s release. At one of the trials, Bebo (Kareena Kapoor) and Saif (Ali Khan) did tell me that I was good in the film. Then Karan (Johar) and Rensil (D’Silva)also told me the same thing. I had not seen the film till then as I was shooting in Hyderabad. It was a nice feeling when Karan told me ‘finally you make me proud.’ I saw the film just a day before its release and I had knots in my stomach. I was very nervous but I was with people who have always been kind to me. There were Shah Rukh and Gauri, Imran and his fiancée Avantika, Yash uncle, Davidji (Dhawan). They all hugged me and said I was good.

• Why have you not done a romantic film after Saathiya?

Honestly, I really don’t know. Kurbaan has got a romantic track but Mission Istanbul and Shootout At Lokhandwala had zero romance. I have not done an out-and-out romantic film and I am really looking forward to doing one.

• People are saying that you have changed and that you want to leave the controversies behind and concentrate only on your work.

I wanted this for a really long time. However, after Shootout… things did not fall in place. Almost four years ago, when I did Omkara, I saw Saif getting under the skin of the character Langda Tyagi. I loved the work ethics. That’s when I thought that I should stop doing what I was doing, but I had a backlog to finish. Then my close friend Amit Chandra sat me down and helped me streamline my life so that I could practically achieve what I was trying to. Now, I have learnt not to take anything for granted.

• How did Ramu and you patch up?

I don’t think patch up is the right word as we were never at loggerheads. I will never have the audacity to say anything against Ramu and as an artiste, I will always be indebted to him for giving me Company. But when he called me and told me ‘I will never work with you again’, I was shocked. Now, when he called me and said that he had something for me, I was so happy. When I met him, he said that he could see the same passion in my eyes again and gave me Rakta Charitra. I felt exactly the same on the first day of Rakta Charitra that I felt on the first day on the sets of Company. Ramu made me feel so comfortable.

• You have done some amazing stunts in Prince, something which you are not known for.

Yes. Kookie Gulati is quite a whiz kid. I did so many things that I cannot possibly explain — right from learning how to skateboard, doing parkour, learning cable work, to action training. I had to put so many things into my system that after the training session, things became easier.

• You have said that you are done with apologising to people.

I made a mistake and it is human to make mistakes. Personally, I think it’s humbling and it’s also building character to stand up and say I made a mistake and please forgive me. It is always an ego-based thing to say that why should I apologise. It is a real man who can say ‘I am sorry’ and that too in public. I have said sorry to the assistant director whom I was rude to, I have said sorry to the movie star whom I had a fight with and I even said sorry to the director I snapped at.

ACTORS FIRST: Kareena Kapoor with Saif Ali Khan in a still from the film that is releasing on November 20.
Kareena Kapoor writes exclusively and personally for BT on working with beau Saif Ali Khan for Karan Johar’s new romantic thriller

KAREENA KAPOOR Times News Netowrk (BOMBAY TIMES; November 12, 2009)

The questions I am most frequently asked today are how was it working with Saif Ali Khan in Kurbaan and doing those intimate and intense love-making scenes with him… I think those scenes, and our pairing, have been blown out of proportion by people who can only think of us as an off-screen couple. When the audience sees Kurbaan, I want people to forget Saif and Kareena Kapoor and see the film for Ehsaan and Avantika, because on screen we only do what our characters demand. We’re serious actors… creative artistes, cinema is our business, we’re passionate about our careers, our work, we have individual takes on cinema and that is what makes us push ourselves to do films like this one where the roles are powerful. Really, this is not some candy floss mini skirt love story… it is a love story, yes, but intense and complicated, and beautifully woven with terrorism to be a thriller.

Of course, Saif and I are happy to come together in this film, but it’s not as if Dharma Productions had us in mind from the start. I remember Karan Johar spoke to us individually. He chose us separately as actors, because Avantika’s role was so apt for me, and Ehsaan’s was almost written for Saif. It’s great if directors like Karan, and Shriram Raghavan of Agent Vinod, pair us together as actors because they believe we can sink our teeth into meaty roles… and not just because Saif looks hot and I look beautiful, as a jodi. We’re not selling ourselves as a pair, you know.

But, yes, Kurbaan was a great journey because of Karan… and a special one because of Saif. Karan is not just a professional filmmaker with whom I discuss cinema, he’s a friend and philosopher on whom I rely upon when taking the most personal decisions. He’s truly a superlative person, multitasking all the time, making films, but always available for family and friends. There was also director Rensil D’Silva, who is edgy in personal life, so he brought a fresh take to the film that was real and slightly borderline… but it being a Karan Johar film, Kurbaan is also commercial, so there’s a wonderful balance.

As for Saif… what can I say, he is truly one of the best actors in the country today. So versatile. And, like with Aamir Khan opposite whom I am also cast in my next film, there’s also so much to learn from Saif. They keep me on my toes. Aamir is a method actor, Saif is both — method and spontaneous, you cannot take one Saif Ali Khan film and put it into another… you cannot compare an Omkara with a Love Aaj Kal. And while I enjoy different schools of acting, I rely on spontaneity, so I could glide through my role in Kurbaan as a result.

It’s different working with Saif because we know each other so well and there’s the need to switch off and go into character. That’s why we chose a real and serious kind of film instead of some romantic comedy that had flippant roles. It was easier to perform because the scenes were raw and edge of the seat. Switching off Saif and Kareena and switching of Ehsaan and Avantika was complicated, difficult, but in the end, that is what made us select this film. The roles. And that’s what I want you to see it for.

 

ON A SONG: Rekha Bhardwaj

Rekha Bhardwaj’s sweet, lilting tunes will soothe your city soul this Saturday…

 

REAGAN GAVIN RASQUINHA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 4, 2009)

 

 

Music was in Rekha Bhardwaj’s blood as far back as she can remember. The wife of Bollywood filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj recalls “waking up early on cold Delhi winter mornings, the air rich with the smell of brewing breakfast tea and spiritual music, and hearing my parents planning out the day, while I, still swathed in my warm quilt, nurtured all these sounds”.
From that time, the seed of song was planted in her fertile mind. And this Saturday, the critically acclaimed playback singer of such Bollywood films as Maachis in 1996, Maqbool in 2003, Omkara in 2006 and Dilli 6 and Kaminey in 2009, will perform her first big concert in Mumbai. It’s at the Bandra Fort, 7 pm, for the Times of India Crest Edition. Rekha is all excited. “It’s as much of an occasion for me. The venue is beautiful. I’m going to rock the audience with a full band while performing my album Ishqa Ishqa and some film songs,” she said.
Rekha, who trained at the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya for a couple of years and did her Bachelor’s degree in music at Hindu College, Delhi, is well-versed in the Indore gharana and ably trained by her guruji Pandit Amarnath. She weaves in her voice well with the Merukhand form that is such an intrinsic part of this gharana. “K Pannalal was the king of rubaiyat, I was exposed to that a lot. For classical singing, Gangubai Hangal comes to mind and in semi classical Girija Devi was my favourite,” she said.
She describes her voice as being distinct, and particularly suited to a certain genre. “It’s neither too bassy nor too thin. I never try to consciously imitate anyone,” she asserted, continuing, “I sang Namak Ishq ka from Omkara. After that, I sang a thumri for Laaga Chunri Mein Daag for Shantanu Moitra. I’m even doing an upcoming one with Shankar Ehsaan Loy which is due in December. Rahman is a sufi so that makes all the difference. I prefer anything that moves my soul. I’ve come very far from ghazals. I’ve not done ghazals for nine or ten years. Perhaps I should get back into it. This is my only way to express myself, I don’t know any other way.”
Free passes for Rekha Bhardwaj’s concert are available between 10 am and 6 pm at the Times of India offices at D. N. Road; Matulya Mill Compound, S. B. Marg, Lower Parel (W); and, Trade Avenue, Ground Floor, Suren Road, Andheri (E).
IT’S DIFFERENT: Konkona SenSharma with Ranbir Kapoor. For more pictures of the stars, log on to http://photogallery.indiatimes.com
…but it’s on screen, says Konkona SenSharma of her young co-star Ranbir Kapoor

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; September 8, 2009)

Konkona SenSharma is like a chameleon. On screen, she is sheer magic — changing according to the character she portrays; often stealing the thunder from Bollywood’s beauty queens (Madhuri in Aaja Nachle, Rani in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Kareena in Omkara) with whom she shares a frame. Off screen, she is pleasant but a bit reticent — not allowing the media to probe beyond a point.

Be that as it may, in her latest outing — Ayan Mukherjee’s Wake Up Sid, this two-time National Award winning actress is putting her best foot forward with B-town’s current heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor. She describes the film as a journey between two individuals who discover each other along the way. And though it may
seem like Ranbir and she are mismatched, Koko (as friends call her) feels the magic of the film lies in unravelling their screen chemistry.

Her dark brown eyes light up when she speaks of her young co-star Ranbir who she says is “very talented, chivalrous and an absolute delight to work with’’. Rewinding to five years ago, when she set foot in B-town having already won international acclaim for her mother, Aparna Sen’s Mr &
Mrs Iyer, Koko admits that she’s now well settled in Mumbai. “I have made several friends and I’m fortunate to be doing some good work,’’ she says.
Honestly speaking — Konkona is a lucky girl. Just check her track record. While Bollywood’s glamour quotient has to flutter their eyelashes and pucker their lips to get noticed by the likes of Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar, Madhur Bhandarkar, Anurag Basu and Vishal Bhardwaj, these guys have actually sought her out. “I’m lucky to have done films with Adi, Karan, Madhur, Vishal and Anurag,’’ she says modestly. “I guess they came to me because I was best suited for those roles.” But one gets the impression that the 29-year-old actress is sincerely not worried about the competition because deep down she knows that she has a reservoir of talent to draw from. While many of her contemporaries need artificial aid to get them noticed, she can scorch the screen with her histrionics. In fact, Konkona is so immensely talented she leaves a blazing trail behind with each of her movie releases. Guess Wake Up Sid will be no different.
The sheer brilliance of Kaminey makes Karan Johar forget all the grouses he had against Vishal Bhardwaj since 2006
By Ashwini Deshmukh (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 18, 2009)

Vishal Bhardwaj

Karan Johar

It wasn’t a premier but the turnout was nothing short of a red carpet event. Sunday evening trial of Kaminey had the who’s who of Bollywood queuing up to watch the film that got stalled by swine flu. From the mainstream brigade led by Karan Johar, Rakyesh Mehra, Imtiaz Ali and Ashutosh Gowariker to the alternative set of Anurag Kashyap, John Matthew Mathan, Nagesh Kuknoor, Aziz Mirza, the auditorium at Yash Raj resembled a class of directors.

Also marking their presence were Hrithik Roshan in the scraggy beard he’s grown for Guzaarish, Gauri Khan, putting aside all rumours of a fallout between SRK and Vishal Bhardwaj, Manish Malhotra, Dino Morea, Yash Birla, and standing quietly in a corner, Pankaj Kapur.

But what became the talking point was Karan Johar whose film Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna had earlier clashed with Omkara, leading to much rumour-mongering between the two camps, on Monday going all out to praise Kaminey. Karan who has publicly admitted his desire to move from bubblegum cinema to a more serious format, starting with My Name Is Khan, gushed on Facebook. “Kaminey… Edgy, intense, compelling, and a shot of great cinema in your face, take the ride alongwith bravura ensemble performances, Shahid, Priyanka and Amole Gupte, stand tall and firm in every inch of this brilliance. More power to you Vishal, and thank you for the inspiration.”

Likewise, Anurag Kashyap, for whom Vishal earlier scored the music for No Smoking, wrote, “Kaminey, badi hi kamini film hai.” Finally, Vishal’s grouse of being the perennial outsider in Bollywood  is laid to rest.


A scene from KamineyOnce in a particularly blue moon, comes a film that makes you wolf-whistle. One that then ties you to the edge of your seat and forcibly pins you there and pounces on you, eventually leaving you sitting in the dark, drained and grinning and more satisfied than a film has any business leaving you. This, ladies and gentlemen, is that kind of ride.

And way more.

Vishal Bhardwaj reinvents the filmi rollercoaster with feverish glee as he takes a wonderfully twisty plot and paces it flawlessly around a bunch of madcap, irresistible characters. It takes nearly twenty minutes to get used to things, the characters, the words they speak, they way they speak them, and the tone of the film — heck, to get used to this film’s world. Then on, the film just freakin’ flies.

Yet before getting into the breakneck chaos, it is this unapologetic figure-it-out stance that we must initially applaud. Too often are our caper films and thrillers compromised by oversimplification and spoonfeeding, by filmmakers believing audiences need things spelt out and giving them bite-sized flashbacks to easily digest each twist. No more, says Bhardwaj, throwing us a delicious jigsaw and letting things fall into place in their own sweet time. The result is startlingly clever, an innovative film with genuine surprises. Kaminey is the kind of film whose success we ought all pray for, because it’ll prove smart cinema works.

So delicious is the movie’s gradual unravelling that I refuse outright to let you in on the plot itself — an enthralling tale of drugs, deceit, dingbats and dead-ringers — because you need to discover this on your own. Go in as fresh as you can, you deserve to taste this one by yourself. Letting on what actually happens would make me one of the film’s titular knaves.

Suffice it to say that Tassaduq Hussain, who also shot Vishal’s brilliant Omkara , does it more than adequate visual justice, and the largely-handheld film emerges very stylistic indeed. It’s fast, funny and constantly rollicking, and the characters are spectacularly entertaining.

As is the cast. Shahid Kapoor plays Guddu the stutterer and Charlie with a lisp, saying f for every s, and does strongly enough to credibly seem like two different people; Priyanka Chopra’s delightfully high-strung Sweety pulls off hysterical Marathi with impressive fluency. Yet it is the ensemble of fantastic oddballs who truly make this film special: from Amole Gupte’s demented Santa Claus routine as Maharashtra-lovin’ gangster Bhope Bhau to Chandan Roy Sanyal’s lethally capricious coke-lover Mikhail, from Shiv Subrahmanyam’s helpless corrupt cop Lobo to Tenzing Nima’s ludicrously likable drug-smuggler Tashi — the film is full to the brim with splendidly unfamiliar faces, each of whom deserve a hand, not just the ones singled out here.

And Vishal generously gives each character their time in the spotlight. Guddu heartwrenchingly recounts his middle-school love, while Sweety captures beer-driven arousal with charming realism. Bhope bribes a big-eared nephew with chocolate, while Lobo coaxes the stutterer to give a police statement through song. The Bengali gangsters shoot bullets near each other for laughs, while the Marathi ones are transfixed by Guddu-Sweety screensavers on a laptop. Charlie unwraps a cellphone from plastic as he tries to placate gangsters, while — in an extraordinary moment — Mikhail sets the screen ablaze as he staggers in on the same gangsters, high on coke and unpredictable as a broken roulette wheel. There’s so much to marvel at in these characters that it isn’t funny. Oh wait, it is. Very.

A scene from KamineyWhat raises this rambunctious gangster movie head and shoulders above its genre is the writing. The wordplay is constant, subtle and absolutely exquisite — a tough ask when one hero trips over words and the other narrates — yes, narrates — with a lisp. And there’s a witty duality running through the film’s twin tales: a character barks into a phone, and this sound echoes later when someone pleads in front of Bhope, daring not to take his name but just calling him repeatedly big brother, “bhau-bhau”; Mikhail introduces himself to Bhope by calling himself Tope Bhau, and nearing the climax Bhope is told by another that they have ‘topein’ (cannons) too; when Mikhail wins a race, arriving just in time, he breaks into the Spiderman theme — and Charlie responds with Fpiderman-Fpiderman. When a character wants to steal a king’s ransom in drugs to help a pregnant woman, another snarls back: ‘Toh kya meri coke ujaadega?’ Ha. It’s nuanced, lovely writing, the sort we never get to see in films nowadays.

Bhardwaj has never been secretive about his Quentin Tarantino adoration, referencing the director in Blue Umbrella and doing it here again with high heels and an injection. While Tarantino exclusively uses music he already loves because he doesn’t trust anyone to create anything as good, Bhardwaj has always done it all himself, writing, directing and composing — not to mention singing, and its worth noting the slight s/f lisp he gives the film’s magnificent title track when it plays on screen. Yet here he takes a leaf from QT’s book and brings back the saucy RD Burman track ‘Duniya mein logon ko’ (from 1972’s Apna Desh) and makes it his own, giving it sassy new context out of its dated backdrop — no more Rajesh Khanna in a red suit, this song is now all Shahid.

So the film leaps through implied ultraviolence and dark humour and you hold on, exhilarated — just as you have through, say, Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels. And while that itself would be no mean feat, Bhardwaj ups the ante with an audacious climax, suddenly bringing emotions right to the fore.

And while films of this ilk are full of disposable-bodies and corpses-in-waiting, one discovers that Vishal has — sneakily, stealthily, surreptitiously — kept the sentiments so darned real that by the time the climax rolls around, you do actually give a damn about these characters.

Wow. Now if that isn’t kameenapan, I don’t know what is. Awefome.

(4.5/5)