Fenil and Bollywood

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MAKING A MARK: (From top) Dia Mirza, Konkona SenSharma, Neil Nitin Mukesh; (below) Abhay Deol and Shabana Azmi. For more pictures of the stars, visit

Twenty stars to do the catwalk for a good cause

NICOLE DASTUR Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 23, 2009)


When Naresh Goyal’s 20-year-old daughter Namrata Goyal, who is Shabana Azmi’s godchild, went to the village Mijwan in UP with the actress-cum-activist for the first time, she came back with an idea. Such was the life transforming experience for her.

To rewind a bit — Shabana Azmi’s NGO Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS), which was started by her father Kaifi Azmi, has been doing noteworthy work for the betterment of the villagers of Mijwan. When Namrata was amidst the villagers, she too was inspired to do something for their welfare. And that’s how
‘Mijwan — Sonnets in Fabric’, a fashion show with a difference was born, to raise funds to set up a District Learning Centre in the village. “I have always believed in the power of youth to act as catalysts for change. Fifty percent of India is under 25 years, they can change the world if they are motivated to get involved and tap into their own reserves of strength,” says Shabana.

SA The fashion contest-cum-show will
also serve as a platform for fashion designing students to showcase their talent. Students from five fashion and design institutes will take part in an inter-collegiate contest where shortlisted students will be mentored by designers Manish Malhotra and Anita Dongre, and their creations will be showcased by top stars and models including Karan Johar, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Abhay Deol, Malaika Arora-Khan, R Madhavan, Konkana SenSharma, Dia Mirza, Prachi Desai, Raima Sen, Boman Irani, Arshad Warsi, Sandhya Mridul, Mona Singh, Tupur and Tapur Chatterjee, Aditi Govitrikar, Diandra Soares, Alesia Raut and Dipannita Sharma. The show, to be held in December, will be compered by Mandira Bedi, styled by Manish and Anita and judged by eminent names. “These stars are youth icons and it will be a huge boost for these students to have their creations showcased by them,” says Shabana, adding that she is grateful to all the stars and designers for being a part of this venture absolutely free of cost. ad

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A month and a half back, I had mentioned in my Kambakkht Ishq review as to how it’s disgusting to see so many shoddy entertainers being released this year. But then a week late came the entertaining Sankat City which brought a respite. And Life Partner, released a week back, also manages to entertain and bring a smile, thankfully. This sweet-n-simple film also teaches some lessons on love and marriage. More about it later!

The story of the movie: Karan (Fardeen Khan), Bhavesh (Tusshar Kapoor) and Jeet (Govinda) are three friends based in Cape Town. Karan works in bank and is in love with the ‘untalented’ Sanjana (Genelia D’Souza), a spoilt daughter of a rich man (Anupam Kher). Bhavesh, on the other hand, doesn’t feel the need to date and believes in arranged marriage. He is an obedient son of a disciplinarian (Darshan Jariwala) and has reserved all his romance for his wife. He finally meets the women of his dreams, Prachi (Prachi Desai), daughter of a multi-millionaire (Vikram Gokhale). And Jeet is a divorce lawyer who can convince anyone to get divorced within minutes! In short, he was world’s best divorce lawyer! He doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage at all. He feels that ‘divorce ki sabse badi wajah hai shaadi’! He persuades Karan and Bhavesh and advices them not to fall into the trap of marriage. But they don’t pay any heed and get married to their women. The later part of the film is all about the problems the newly-wedded couples have to face.

Life Partner is executed in a simple manner. The director doesn’t waste time at all in the beginning and comes right to the point. By exploring the lives of Karan and Bhavesh and their marriage, the director throws light on the plusses and minuses of both love marriage and arranged marriage. The film also gives a wonderful insight on the joint family system, headed and controlled by a patriarch. But the film doesn’t turn melodramatic or preachy at a single place. There are also lots of funny moments throughout the film, which help maintain the light mood of the film. Also, the humour content is not slapstick-it manages to raise quite a many laughs!

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The first half is completely funny and has many hilarious sequences. The sequence where Tusshar with his family and Fardeen and Genelia visit Prachi’s palatial residence in India was excellent. The intermission point provides a shock! The second half is all about the problems the couples face. Although Fardeen-Genelia’s look a bit illogical, the scenes of Tusshar and Prachi seemed quite real. As for the climax, well, it was nonsensical but at the same time, it helped to give a film a justified finale. Most importantly, the viewer comes out of the theatre with a smile!

Every actor performs wonderfully. The best part is, Fardeen-Genelia and Tusshar-Prachi look excellent together and share a great chemistry. Fardeen Khan was terrific. He has already proved that he can carry off well in comic capers and his performance in Life Partner confirms it. He wasn’t seen in a single film last year. Before Life Partner this year, he starred in Jai Veeru which failed miserably. He still has three more releases this year-Acid Factory, Dulha Mil Gaya and All The Best and it seems Fardeen’s popularity will once again soar with Life Partner and the forthcoming films!

Genelia D’Souza rocks! Her role required her to be loud and she does it convincingly. She looks stunning throughout the film too, esp in the songs. Tusshar Kapoor got into the skin of the character and performed perfectly. Watch out his amazing expressions and acting in the scene where Prachi agrees to marry him! Prachi Desai, who impressed one and all in ‘Rock On!!’, does a fine job. She gets maximum scope in the 2nd half and does quite well in some of the important scenes.

Darshan Jariwala was excellent as the staunch patriarch. Same goes for Vikram Gokhale. Anupam Kher was okay. Jagdeep was hilarious, even though he was there for just a scene. Himani Shivpuri also provides laugh in just a single scene. Shoma Anand was a perfect mismatch for her role. The film also has Amrita Rao in a special appearance.

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And finally, Govinda is the scene-stealer of the film, although his was a supporting role. The screen brightens as soon as he comes in! He looked cool, uttering his theory on marriage. A great job indeed!

Pritam’s music was good, but not as great as his accomplished works. Songs come at regular intervals but doesn’t hamper the pace of the film. ‘Koyal Kuke’, ‘Aage Aage’, ‘Teri Meri Yeh Zindagi’ and ‘Goonje Angna Mein’ are nicely composed numbers. The Amrita Rao track doesn’t quite work.

Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues were perfect for such a film. The funny one-liners were too good. Yunus Sejawal’s screenplay was just perfect.

Finally, Rumy Jaffrey, the director and writer, manages to come up with a fine film. He doesn’t go overboard in a single scene and none of the sequences in the film (except the climax) looked nonsensical. However, it’s unfortunate to see such a nice film not getting enough audience. The film released simultaneously with Kaminey and got overshadowed by it. Coincidentally, Rumy Jaffrey’s debut film last year, God Tussi Great Ho, was also released in the Independence Day weekend. And it also got overshadowed and flopped as it was released with Bachna Ae Haseeno. Let’s hope Life Partner doesn’t fail commercially too.

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Karan racing with an aeroplane
2.   The song ‘Koyal Kuke’, ‘Aage Aagee’, ‘Teri Meri Yeh’ and ‘Goonje Angna Mein’
3.   Karan making fun of Sanjana behind her back
4.   Bhavesh at Prachi’s residence in India
5.   The intermission point
6.   Bhavesh persuading Prachi to apologize to his father
7.   The washing machine sequence
8.   Bhavesh and Prachi’s honeymoon
9.   Prachi’s father at Bhavesh’s house

On the whole, Life Partner is a sweet and simple film with lots of funny and lovely moments. It also gives some lessons on love and marriage without getting preachy. If you have already seen Kaminey or if you aren’t interested in it, then go and watch Life Partner. And go with your entire family!

My rating-*** ½

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Life_Partner-173420-1.html

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By Bollywood Hungama News Network, August 17, 2009 – 19:17 IST
As they say, ‘Like all good things come to an end, all the bad things too have to end.’ This saying fitted to a ‘T’ to all the theaters in Mumbai and Pune, who had shut shop (most unwillingly, of course) due to the ‘Swine Flu’ pandemic, the most feared words of the season.

Now the good news is that, today, all the theatres in Mumbai and Pune have opened their doors for the eager and cinema-hungry audiences. If that wasn’t enough, then, the cinegoers in Mumbai got doubly lucky as they got their tickets from none other than Tusshar, Fardeen, Genelia, and Prachi, who were at the ticket counters at Gaiety theatre, Bandra, selling tickets of their film Life Partner‘s first show.


Needless to say that, this ‘act’ by the stars of the film got all audiences very excited and they landed up buying tickets sold by these stars for an hour. As a result, the first show at Gaiety went ‘Housefull’, a word that hasn’t been heard since a long time!

Besides the stars, one also saw director Rumy Jaffrey and producer brothers Abbas-Mustan relishing this occasion. All in all, happy days are here again, for all the theatre owners and the cine goers!

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

By Taran Adarsh, August 12, 2009 – 22:14 IST

A few questions cross your mind when you’re about to watch LIFE PARTNER…

  • Haven’t I watched something like this in the past? Isn’t it getting repetitive?
  • Haven’t I had enough of mindless potboilers?
  • What’s Rumy Jaffery going to serve now? A rehash of what he’s made in the past?

There’s so much negativity surrounding LIFE PARTNER, even though you don’t have a clue about its content/material. Even though you have no inkling what it has to offer. Also, the buzz is clearly missing.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

But, but, but… never judge a book by its cover. To answer the questions I raised at the very outset, let me say that LIFE PARTNER isn’t innovative or ground-breaking, but it’s interesting and entertaining. One may assume that it’s a nonsensical comedy, but it isn’t. Instead, it’s a ‘family film’ [a popular term for socials/paarivaarik films within the industry]. It gives you a sneak peak into the lives of two couples — one, who believes in love marriage and the other, who believes in arranged marriage.

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LIFE PARTNER also surprises you because Rumy Jaffery incorporates vignettes from real life. Most importantly, LIFE PARTNER entertains, makes you laugh [at even silly jokes] and keeps you hooked for most parts of the film. It’s only the climax that acts as a spoilsport. But more on that later!

To sum up, LIFE PARTNER carries no buzz and also the baggage of zilch expectations. But this film springs a pleasant surprise. You leave the auditorium with a smile, not a smirk!

Karan [Fardeen Khan] and Sanjana [Genelia D’Souza] are madly in love with each other. Marriage is the next step to cement their relationship. But is ‘love marriage’ the right way to be?

For Bhavesh [Tusshar Kapoor], his life partner, Prachi [Prachi Desai], comes with the approval of his family. But is ‘arranged marriage’ the way forward? Is it right to prioritize family over marriage? Does Prachi have to prove herself as a worthy daughter-in-law to qualify as an ideal wife?

Jeet [Govinda] is an accomplished divorce lawyer who does not believe in the institution of marriage. He can’t be monogamous and is often responsible for his getting his clients divorced. But is ‘no marriage’ the right policy? Will Jeet ever find a partner and accept matrimony?

LIFE PARTNER is about three protagonists struggling on the marital marathon, but on different tracks.

LIFE PARTNER is a simple story told in a simplistic manner. Director Rumy Jaffery comes to the point at the very outset and the principle characters and their characteristics are well established at this juncture. The film is laced with funny incidents initially, but gets serious as it reaches the interval point. In this case too, the interval point is a shocker and you await the second half for several reasons. The post-interval portions get more real, since the two marriages go through a crisis and the transition is depicted wonderfully.

However, the climax is a downer. Ideally, the writer should’ve come up with a better thought of conclusion, instead of the one that’s depicted now.

Rumy Jaffery shows ample improvement over his previous film. He has handled a number of scenes very well, especially the Tusshar – Prachi – Darshan Jariwala portions. Pritam comes up with an ordinary soundtrack. ‘Kuke Kuke’ is the best of the lot. Yunus Sajawal’s screenplay has several appealing moments. Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues are first-class. Sameer Arya’s cinematography is admirable. The locales of South Africa are a visual treat. In fact, the film sports a rich look all through.

Govinda is in terrific form this time. After PARTNER, the talented actor gets a role that does complete justice to his abilities. He seems to have worked on his looks and that only enhances the impact. Fardeen Khan is very likable. In fact, the role requires him to go overboard at times and he does that so well. Genelia D’Souza is the scene stealer. She’s superb and one of the prime reasons that makes LIFE PARTNER watchable.

Tusshar Kapoor pitches a remarkable performance yet again. He looks so perfect for his part. LIFE PARTNER is yet another film that showcases his talent well. Prachi Desai showed abundant promise in ROCK ON!! and excels in LIFE PARTNER too. This pretty girl has the potential to carry off most difficult scenes with aplomb. Amrita Rao [sp. app.] doesn’t create magic. Anupam Kher is just right. Darshan Jariwala is proficient. Vikram Gokhale is good. Jagdeep is superb in a brief role.

On the whole, LIFE PARTNER may lack the hype, but this one springs a pleasant surprise. It’s aimed at the families and that section of movie-going audience should take to it gradually, with a strong word of mouth. The holidays in its opening weekend should help the film grow!

LOVE ME, TAKE ME AS I AM: Fardeen Khan and Genelia D’Souza make a happy and romantic couple in their new film releasing on August 14
…say Fardeen Khan and Genelia D’Souza, Bollywood’s new ‘it’ couple, in a comedy on love and marriage

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; August 10, 2009)

Love is in the air. Again! If some recent films gave the audience a ringside view of contemporary relationships, Abbas Mustan and Studio 18’s Life Partner that releases on August 14, is all set to take love to the next level… with an insight into romance and marriage, and the change in a relationship after the knot has been tied, taking two couples as case studies. One that goes in for the tried and tested arranged marriage, the other that follows the dictates of the heart and rushes headlong into a love marriage.

Fardeen Khan, who returns to the screen looking like a fresh and young Feroze Khan of the 1970s, says, “Director and writer Rumi Jaffery has pulled it
off really well. The film is a strong comment on marriages, but the beauty is that it doesn’t preach.’’ Whereas Genelia D’Souza, says with characteristic effervescence, “When I heard the script, I was on the floor laughing. The film is a comedy, but it is not slapstick…’’

She accepted the role because her character, the spoilt rich girl with a heart of gold, is an anti-thesis to what she is like in real life. “Though I’m an actress, I’m not entirely pampered, so I enjoyed playing my character,’’ admits Genelia. While Fardeen adds, “Everyone who is married, or wishes to get married, will identify with the film. It has got something for everyone in a meaningful relationship.’’

He’s had a love marriage himself, in real life, so he knows what he’s talking.
But Genelia doesn’t necessarily advocate love marriages. She says, “I’m game for an arranged marriage also. While love marriages have their share of magic, arranged marriages allow for a degree of mystery and romance as well.’’ Fardeen, who is blessed to have found his soulmate in wife Natasha, cautions, “Marriage is a constant work in progress.’’

Both actors agree that whether on screen or in life, every couple has its own issues. Interestingly, the other couple in the film that has an arranged marriage, is played by Tusshar Kapoor and Prachi Desai. “Life Partner is a film that tells people how to chip off the rough edges from their marriages… and learn to settle down,” says Fardeen. And Genelia adds sweetly, “Happily ever after…”
Prachi Desai plays the demure bahu in real life, refuses to shoot a honeymoon scene in a bathtub without a shawl
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 07, 2009)

Prachi Desai

Prachi Desai may be done with the K-serials, but the hangover of the good, coy bahu stays with her. In keeping with her shy, gharelu persona, Prachi was scandalised when asked to shoot a bathtub scene with Tusshar Kapoor for a song in Life Partner in Cape Town. To protect her modesty, she came up with creative suggestions like wearing a shawl (in the bathtub!) and shooting with the bathtub in the background, while she dances in front of it. This could start a whole new trend: fashionable wear for bathing beauties or inspirational uses for bathtubs as never thought of before.

The demure damsel simply put her foot down and refused to shoot unless she was allowed to wear a shawl. An outraged Prachi was cajoled by director Rumi Jaffrey and choreographer Bosco, but she remained defiant.

Rumi Jaffrey says, “We had put up a very exotic set in the open. She is on her honeymoon with Tusshar in that particular scene. So it was natural for me to show that the husband and the wife are enjoying themselves.”

Believers of the method acting school may be amused by the idea of a honeymooning couple shying away from an intimate scene. The drama continued on the sets as Prachi came up with bizarre suggestions. Rumi said, “Prachi said, ‘let’s shoot the song with the bathtub in the background, let’s dance in front of the bathtub.”

Tusshar Kapoor

As for the shawl, Rumi explained, “We gave her a shawl when she was out of the tub. I don’t think she demanded a shawl for herself in the tub, maybe she mentioned it to Bosco. But yes, Prachi Desai was uncomfortable shooting the song, but eventually we managed to shoot it with her in a slightly different version from what we had planned.”

Bet he’s breathing a sigh of relief.

Yesterday, Genelia D’Souza politely turned down Fardeen Khan and Tusshar Kapoor’s invitation to celebrate her birthday with them

By Ashwini Deshmukh (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 06, 2009)
Genelia D’Souza is a self-confessed homebody. This recent incident just proves that she prefers to put up her feet at home and spend time with family rather than have late night parties. She didn’t think twice before turning down Fardeen Khan and Tusshar Kapoor’s request to celebrate her birthday yesterday with them.

To bring in her birthday, the film’s producers from Studio 18 had got her to cut a cake at Mehboob Studio on Tuesday night in the presence of Abbas Mustan and Rumi Jaffrey. As co-stars Fardeen, Tushar and Prachi Desai weren’t present, they decided to celebrate Genelia’s birthday with a grand party.

However, Genelia excused herself from the party. Genelia said yesterday, “I am spending the day with my family. It is something I do every year.”

A source said, “Genelia politely turned down the invitation. As she has been working throughout the year without taking a day off, she desperately wanted to spend the day at home with her family.”

By Taran Adarsh, July 28, 2009 – 08:42 IST

Life Partner
Click above for more movie stills

Now this is a real coincidence. Rumi Jaffery’s directorial debut GOD TUSSI GREAT HO had released on 15th August last year, while his second outing, LIFE PARTNER, is slated for release on 14th August this year. Also, last year, GOD TUSSI GREAT HO was pitted against BACHNA AE HASEENO [Ranbir Kapoor], while LIFE PARTNER will come face to face with KAMINEY [a Kapur again, this time Shahid]. Quite a coincidence, isn’t it?

“No, I am not into numerology,” Rumi corrects me, “If you recall, LIFE PARTNER was scheduled to release in May, but the producers versus multiplexes strike forced us to shift our film to a latter date. It wasn’t intentional [of releasing in August], it just happened. As for clashing with another biggie this year, let me add that both KAMINEY and LIFE PARTNER are diverse in terms of content. Both can co-exist.”

Rumi doesn’t deny that he has to get it right this time. “If your first film doesn’t work for whatever reasons, you’ve this additional responsibility on your shoulders to get it right the second time. This time, I am very, very confident of my product. There has been no delay in completing the film. Plus, the subject is the type that holds universal appeal. It’s for those who believe in arranged marriages [Tusshar – Prachi Desai], it’s for those who believe in love marriages [Fardeen Khan – Genelia D’Souza], it’s for those who don’t believe in the institution of marriage [Govinda – Amrita Rao],” Rumi states.

Not many are aware that the role essayed by Govinda was initially offered to Akshay Kumar. Everything was finalized, but the schedule of 8 x 10 TASVEER went haywire and Akshay had to allot additional dates to the film, pushing several films out of gear. LIFE PARTNER also got affected in the process. “Govinda graciously stepped into the project. He loved the script, allotted dates instantly and was co-operation personified throughout the making of the film,” Rumi says.

LIFE PARTNER marks the debut of Abbas-Mustan in the production arena. “They’ve been wonderful. Since they’re directors themselves, they ensured that I got complete creative freedom when I started filming. Even when I told them that we’d take Hussainbhai’s services to edit the film [Abbas-Mustan’s brother, who edits their films], they told me that I shouldn’t, because that would compel people to believe that they [Abbas-Mustan] have ghost-directed the film. That only shows how distinguished they are,” Rumi says.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM