Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘percept

By Subhash K. Jha, December 17, 2009 – 12:26 IST

Sameera Reddy What would’ve been a routine birthday bash for Sameera Reddy on Sunday night turned out to be a very special occasion when Priyadarshan, who has just given the actress her first hit since Race in De Dana Dan, turned around and said, “You’re in my next film.”

Sameera who has become very close to Priyan and his wife Lizzie and in fact spends all her free time during her frequent visits to Chennai in their house is still reeling in pleasure. “I couldn’t have got a better birthday gift. Firstly it turned out to be Priyan and Lizzie’s marriage anniversary. So we had my birthday and their anniversary party at Shristi Behl’s residence. All three of us Lizzie, Priyan and I cut a cake.”

The icing on the cake was Priyan’s impulsive offer. “I don’t need to ask him what it is or in which film. I trust him completely. He gave me a role in De Dana Dan that did justice to my presence. This, at a time when I was desperately trying to shed my sexy image.”

Not many people know this but Sameera has a secret special appearance in the Bihar based film that Priyan is shooting with Ajay Devgn, Akshaye Khanna and Bipasha Basu.

“How do you know about this?” Sameera demands to know. “So that makes it three films with Priyan. I’m really lucky to have Priyan and his wife as friends. Now when I go to Chennai is like a second home to me thanks to the work that I do. In fact my latest Tamil hit was mixed in Priyan’s studio in Chennai, so the bond thickens.”

Her prestigious film Nagesh Kukunoor’s Yeh Husla remains stuck.

Says Sameera softly, “That’s because the producers Percept have bungled. They’re in a real financial mess. They owe almost everyone associated with them quite a lot of money.”

Sameera herself remains solitary in Mumbai. “My sister Meghna is now married to a Greek and settled on the most exotic Greek island. My brother-in-law spoils me silly. They both love me because I convinced our conservative dad about the unlikely marital alliance.”

Especially after her sister’s marriage Sameera really misses a man in her life. “It gets really lonely. And I know I’m looking my best these days. Thanks to yoga, I’ve lost oodles of flesh. But what’s the point of looking good when you’ve no one to admire you?”

Age may be just a number. But in Bollywood, Sameera knows her time is numbered. “At the party at Shristi Behl’s, I just kept staring at Twinkle Khanna. She was glowing. She just keeps getting better with the years. I hope I look as radiant when I reach that age.”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

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WHEN FILMS DON’T GET A TIMELY RELEASE…

RAAT GAYI BAAT GAYI:

Last week’s discussion of The Hangover brings to my mind another topic of the upcoming film Raat Gayi Baat Gayi (RGBG) which is all set to release on December 31. Presented by Percept, produced by Pritish Nandy and Rajat Kapoor and directed by Saurabh Shukla, RGBG stars Vinay Pathak, Rajat Kapoor, Neha Dhupia Anu Menon, Navneet Nishan and Dalip Tahil. The film was announced 2 years back in 2007 and it’s ready since a long long time. But due to some reason, the film which could have released earlier this year is now finally releasing (and anyways, when Percept is involved, then that film is bound to get postponed!!).

On the other hand, The Hangover released this year and took the world by storm. Unfortunately, RGBG’s plot is very similar to that of The Hangover. While The Hangover was a story of four friends going to LA for a bachelor party only to wake up the next morning and not remembering a thing, RGBG involves three men who attend a party with their wives and where they come across a sexy lady. The men get drunk and when they wake up next day, they couldn’t remember what happened after meeting the lady. So the amnesic angle is common in both of the films but the situations are drastically different.

However, RGBG is not a copy of Hangover as the script of RGBG was written way back and the shooting was also completed last year, some 7-8 months before Hangover released. But the damage is done-a huge section of moviegoing audience has already thrashed RGBG as a ‘copy’. Teasers of RGBG are uploaded on YouTube with the title ‘Promo-Raat Gayi Baat Gayi (Hangover Remake)’. Madness!

Now it remains how RGBG is received by the audience and critics. The exciting news is that it won the Best Film Award at the HBO’s South Asian International Film Festival held in New York in Oct-Nov. This again is an indication of the originality of the script of the film! I hope the lesson is learnt-let’s not waste time in releasing our films.

KHALLBALLI:

Khallballi, on the other hand, seems like a copy of De Dana Dan (but it’s not)! This flick too is ready since a long time. Directed by Ajay Chandok (director of flops like Nehlle Pe Dehlla, Team-The Force etc), it stars Nikhil Dwivedi (who debuted in My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves), Southern siren Sada, Rajpal Yadav, Suresh Menon, Johny Lever, Zakir Hussain, Asrani, Vrajesh Hirjee, Tiku Talsania, Chunky Pandey and many others. The promos of the film began somewhere in September last year and the film was scheduled to release on Jan 9, 2009. But it was pushed forward and since then, there has been no news on the film.

The producer of the film, Azam Khan who had carved out a wise promotional strategy for Phoonk, had even thought of a similar idea for Khallballi. During Phoonk, anyone sitting throughout the film without getting scared was to be given 5 lakhs. For Khallballi, the produced challenged anyone to sit through the film with a straight face without any signs of laughter. And the reward here was double-Rs. 10 lakhs!

After the film got postponed indefinitely, the contest was thrown out of the window and Azam Khan is now busy with Phoonk-2! Even if Khallballi gets a release in near future, it’ll be dubbed as a ‘poor man’s De Dana Dan’ as the plot in both films are almost same-the lovers and other interesting characters inside a hotel leading to mistaken identities and helter-skelter in the end! Very unfortunate!

CHECK OUT KHALLBALLI’S PROMO BELOW!


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GET READY FOR AVATAR’S RELEASE


The biggest flick of all time, Avatar is hitting the screens tomorrow. Directed by James Cameron of Titanic fame, the film is expected to provide a fresh outstanding experience of cinema. The makers are recommending the viewers to watch it in 3D. But everywhere, the film is releasing in 3D in handful of theatres. Anyways, Avatar seems a must watch film and all those wanting to have some exciting experience should definitely watch it!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/hbddsuolp/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk79

Nagesh Kukunoor’s films have been a yo-yo of genres. For every Teen Deewaarein, Iqbal and Dor, he has made Bollywood Calling, Bombay to Bangkok and 8×10 Tasveer. What makes him tick?
By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 24, 2009)
You were the poster boy of new age, low budget cinema. What happened to you?

I love this mantle that was thrust on me but seriously I always made films according to the situation I was in. When I was starting out, I knew no one would give me a film so I took all my savings and made a film. After that film was successful, had I played the Bollywood game, and accepted the offers to do urban romantic comedies, I could have immediately leapt up to a three or four crore film. But I chose to write a semi-biographical film (Rockford) about a boy in a boarding school. I made the film in the money I could raise at that time which was about Rs 65 lakhs. My films have always been about what I could muster at that point of time.

In the last two years, I made four features back to back, Bombay to Bangkok followed by Aashayein followed by 8X 10 followed by Yeh Hausla. Now to answer your question, Bombay to Bangkok was a very small budget romantic comedy, Aashayein was an emotionally fulfilling drama, 8X10 was a big action pic, Yeh Hausla, about five women is back to a small film in Rajasthan. So I have never played the game of ‘Ok, I have done an 8X10, now I will not do small features.’ It has to make sense in terms of budget, the economics of course, but also where I am in life. If I can muster a Rs 30 crore film, I will do a Rs 30 crore film. But if I have a script that needs a small budget, I will do that. I have never played by the rules.How can somebody who makes Iqbal and Dor also make Bombay to Bangkok? What exactly is your sensibility?

It’s what I feel about the genre that I am writing. There is no pattern. I want to make films that I believe in, that I am passionate about. After doing Iqbal and Dor, I really wanted to write this wacky comedy Bombay to Bangkok. The problem is the baggage that an Iqbal and a Dor carry. The Indian audience is very much about they-like-this-about-actors, they-like-this-about-directors, about seeing them in the same repetitive pattern. If I have defined my filmography by not sticking to a pattern, I am not going to change now because I have been more successful with one genre.

The process of filmmaking has to be as much fun for me as it is for the audience. I will make the film for myself first. I have to enjoy the process. When I think I do that, I serve the audience. The basic thing that was taught to me when I was learning theatre, was to ‘serve the audience, serve the play’. This doesn’t mean ‘cater to the audience’. In order to serve the audience and serve the play, the best way is to pour your passion into what you are doing, what you believe in.

The beauty about art is you don’t know how it is going to impact the audience or the viewer till after its done. The one lesson that I learnt early in the game, is that there is no right way to do anything. And here is the irony of the business; there are no lessons to be learnt. Experts will say this is not the season to make a romantic comedy and then a romantic comedy will just blitz the box-office, then everybody will be mmm…

Do you agree that Iqbal may be your best film so far?

No. It was a film that exactly touched a chord with the audiences. It goes to show you how ridiculous this field is because Iqbal was originally about Malkhamb and every producer I pitched this to, was unpleasantly surprised. The moment I switched over to cricket, it touched a chord. Everyone went bonkers. I know how much effort it took to make Iqbal and I know how much effort it took to make Bombay to Bangkok. I shot 18 hours a day. I was doing two locations, three location shifts a day. So the amount of effort I poured into it was the same. One story struck home and one story completely bypassed everyone. As a filmmaker, there was the same set of rules, the same amount of dedication, the same shot breakdown, and the same madness. It’s impossible to judge what is good work and what is bad work. All you know is sometimes it works with the audience and sometimes it doesn’t.

Will Aashayein ever release?

Thanks to the strike, our plan went for a toss. We thought we would release it in September. Now I think we are going to wait till November because there are so many big films, that Percept is not sure where to push this in. So I am in the dark.

You are again venturing the path less tread with the woman centric Yeh Hausla…

(laughs) As a matter of fact, after I did Iqbal, when I did Dor, it was a challenge. People said ‘Are you mad, why are you doing a woman centric film?’ Then post Dor, people asked me ‘When you make such sensitive films about women, why don’t you make such films more often?’ If a story is good and it grabs you, even hardcore men who had to be dragged to Dor because it was a chick flick, didn’t complain. Within the framework of a film, whether you like it or not, a director will push his or her philosophy, but as long as it comes presented in a wrapping of a good story, it will be appreciated. For me that’s most important. And it’s the same with Yeh Hausla.

So when are you making your next big actor film?

I don’t know, it could be soon. There are a lot of conversations that have been happening. At any given time I have a bank of scripts; I just keep writing them. So my immediate next one could be an action pic or it could be really really small romantic film.

What happened to your very pronounced American accent?

(laughs) I can bring it back in one half second. But I have worked pretty hard at being non-standing out, if there is such a phrase.

I personally think you are a lousy actor…

(laughs) Thank you.

…are you going to act in all your films?

I have never cast myself in a role that I felt I will not be able to do. Usually it’s the smaller roles, barring Hyderabad Blues where I played the lead. However in Teen Deewarein, I truly enjoyed playing Naagia, the Hyderabadi character. But again it was the lesser role. Unfortunately, here, the ham quotient is very high. I can ham but I won’t. May be if I ham will be a better actor. (laughs aloud)


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