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Posts Tagged ‘prakash raj

Multi National Award winner Prakash Raj is in town to celebrate his Best Actor award. For the Mumbaikar who has just got familiar with him via his villain act in Wanted, Sudipta Basu profiles the prolific and multilingual actor

By Sudipta Basu (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 23, 2009)

The first is always special, but you can never really get used to winning a National Award,” says Prakash Raj, who won his fourth National Award; this year being in the best actor category for Priyadarshan’s Tamil film Kanchivaram. He had earlier won the National Award for best supporting actor in Iruvar. In Kanchivaram Raj enacts the role of a silk weaver named Vengadan; the film depicts the lives of silk weavers in pre-Independence India.

Raj is one of the best loved villains in the South, although the role that has fetched him the award is distinct from the roles that have fetched him the fans. Was there a special preparation for the role? “I pretty much go empty handed when I walk into a film. I may be enacting the role of a Communist in a certain generation, with no idea about the constraints in the country at the time. Just as in Iruvar I had to understand the Dravidian culture to go into the depths of the personality of the protagonist. You need to unlearn much when you break away from a particular genre. And your reward is what you take away as the residue, which feeds your work in commercial cinema only to make it more nuanced,” says the actor. Through his run as the mainstream villain he was exposed to a school of acting that emphasised on loudness – pitched decibel levels, protruding eyes, all the trappings of a villain down south. But an opportunity to play certain off-beat roles freed him from the familiar trappings. “It is a human task to come out of it, and eventually your reflexes become used to it.”

It also has ramifications on the personal front. “My house in Bangalore is 35 kilometers from the airport, and whenever I’ve had to catch a flight in the past, I have sped through at over 150; now I feel driving at a 100 is also fine. So your life acquires a balance as well,” he says. “The comfort of the so-called intense actor falls by the wayside very easily eventually. And surely, it expresses in your own life too. It wasn’t hard therefore to move from the robustness of villain to an understated performance, as in Kanchivaram.”

Mumbaikars’ newest exposure to Prakash Raj’s brand of villainy has been in the film Wanted. “My approach to any role is touched with wit. It is almost as if I acquire my  own identity that way. And indeed, I stand out because of this approach, as was evident in Wanted,” he says. “Apart from this, Prabhu Deva’s direction takes you up by a few notches; he choreographs his films.”

Kanchivaram

The actor has now donned the mantle of a director in a Kannada film, yet untitled, based on the relationship of a father and a daughter. “I found myself thinking once that ten years down the line if my daughter, who is 13 now, calls me from Miami to say that she is set to marry someone from a completely unfamiliar race, would I be able to accept it? It’s a film about the fact that daughters grow up but fathers don’t,” he says. “When music leaves a flute does the flute have any hold over the music? Give them wings and let them fly. In the film, the protagonist’s daughter falls in love with a young Sikh, which leads to conflict given the contrasts of the north and south cultures. “My daughter already knows that it is ‘our’ film and when I speak to her casually about it, she has valuable inputs to offer.”

Back in the day the actor used to be known as a confirmed family man, but since his divorce from wife Lalitha Kumari recently, he has been branded quite the ladies man. “It’s nice to be a wonderful guy,” he laughs out aloud. “I am nice to women and they call me a womaniser.”

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Wanted2

Although our tastes for film has improved manifold, we still don’t mind watching a hardcore action flick, where the hero is able to take care of more than a dozen criminals and escape unscathed. Wanted also falls in this same category. Although the film is bound with many loose ends, it still gives a thrilling experience. And Salman Khan takes the film to dizzying heights!

The story of the movie: Radhe (Salman Khan) is a one man army. He is a gangster who can do anything for the sake of money. Golden (Aseem Merchant), who works under Singapore-based Gani Bhai (Prakash Raj) invites Radhe to join his gang. Radhe becomes a part of Gani Bhai’s gang and nearly at the same time, falls for Jhanvi (Ayesha Takia). The eyes of Inspector Talpade (Mahesh Manjrekar), a corrupt cop at a nearby police station fall on Jhanvi and he desires to make her his mistress. Radhe then begins eliminating the rival gang members and also succeeds in impressing Jhanvi. But will Jhanvi be able to get into a relationship with a person like Radhe, who doesnt think twice before killing? And there’s a new Commissioner in Mumbai, Ashfaq Khan (Govind Namdeo) who has vowed to city crime-free. Will he become a threat to Radhe?

Wanted begins well and Salman Khan’s entry sets the mood wonderfully. However, after all character gets introduced, the film falls a bit and the story hardly moves. Thankfully, there are some funny interesting moments in the first hour that prevent the film from getting boring.  The intermission point was gripping and was well shot.

But things lighten up in the second half after Gani Bhai’s arrest. Commissioner interrogating Gani Bhai was hilarious. Later, the kahani mein twist moment in the pre-climax takes the film to a new high. In fact, it was what made the film stand out. Even though the climax was a bit lame, one won’t complain, thanks to the wonderful suspense.

Each character in the film is well written. Radhe, Gani Bhai, Jhanvi’s landlord (Manoj Pahwa) and Inspector Talpade were my favourites. As for the flaws, the film gets little dragging at places and the narrative just doesn’t go ahead. Also, the wonderful suspense also raises some questions. However, the impact is so huge at this point that one doesn’t get the chance to think of any goofs.

After Partner, this is surely Salman’s next best performance. In fact, it won’t be wrong to admit that Wanted is one of the finest performances ever given by Salman Khan! He fills life and colour to the rowdy character that he plays in Wanted. Also, Salman’s thoda-good boy-thoda-bad boy image helps a lot in doing total justice to his role! Hence, Salman was the perfect choice for this film and he comes up with flying colours. Hats off to Sallu!

Wanted

Ayesha Takia Azmi looks charming as everytime and manages to give a nice performance. Here’s an actor who deserves to get more and better roles. Mahesh Manjrekar plays the baddie with élan and also makes us laugh. Watch out for him in his entry scene and in his first meeting with Salman. Prakash Raj, a popular face down South and whose last Hindi film was Khakee, performs wonderfully. He is hardly there before interval but dominates in a lot of scenes in the 2nd half. Govind Namdeo gets a positive role after a long time and does a fine job.

Mahek Chahal was perfect in the role of the seductive moll. Aseem Merchant was simply fantastic. Why is this actor not getting enough roles? Manoj Pahwa was hilarious. Vinod Khanna and Inder Kumar do a nice job in their respective roles. The kid playing Ayesha’s brother leaves a mark too.

Sajid-Wajid’s music was energizing. Two songs steal the show, thanks to their execution-‘Jalwa’ and ‘Love Me Love Me’. Anil Kapoor, Govinda and Prabhudheva also make an appearance in ‘Jalwa’ which increases the appeal of the song. The song ‘Dil Leke’ is missing from the film. Salim-Sulaiman’s background score was good but could had been better.

Nirav Shah and S Sriram’s cinematography was outstanding and just the kind required for an action flick. Vijayan’s action was also praiseworthy. The action scenes were not foolish or funny but one which looked real and raw. Although the film has quite bloodshed, giving it an ‘A’ certificate was unnecessary.

Shiraz Ahmed’s screenplay wasn’t flawless but still works. However, his dialogues were phaadu, esp the ones mouthed by Salman! The best dialogue of the film is “Tu jis school se ye seekh ke aaya hai, wahaan ka headmaster mujhse tuitions leta hai!” Clapworthy, isn’t it?!

Puri Jagannadh’s story was indeed worth appreciating and appealing. This explains why three films are made from the same plot! Prabhudheva’s direction wasn’t top-class but still manages to come up with an entertaining action flick. His smart treatment to some of the scenes (esp the climax) enhances the film to a great extent.

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Salman and Mahesh Manjrekar’s entry scene
2.   The song ‘Jalwa’ and ‘Love Me Love Me
3.   Radhe joining Gani Bhai’s gang
4.   Radhe and Inspector Talpade’s meeting at the basketball court
5.   Radhe and Jhanvi in the elevator
6.   The intermission point
7.   Radhe bashing up Talpade
8.   Commissioner Ashfaq Khan interrogating Gani Bhai
9.   Radhe fighting the goons in the local train
10. The last 35 minutes of the film

On the whole, Wanted is a cool action flick that will surely be loved by Salman fans. It has some loose ends but manages to impress. If you relish action flicks, this one is for you! Go for it and experience Salman Ka Jalwa!

My rating-*** out of 5!
This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Wanted_Dead_or_Alive-175348-1.html

Wanted

By Taran Adarsh, September 17, 2009 – 19:15 IST

This is for fans and foes of Salman Khan…
Fans, rejoice, Salman is back with a vengeance with WANTED. This is his deadliest performance to date. Yes, you read it right!
Foes, sorry, you won’t be able to lash out at him or pick on him or launch a vicious tirade this time. The spate of flops should come to a grinding halt with WANTED.

Let’s get this straight. WANTED rides on Salman Khan’s star power. He may not be the best actor in town, but in a film like WANTED, in a role that seems like an extension of his personality, you can’t think of anyone else enacting this role with flourish.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

A remake of POKIRI [made in Telugu and Tamil versions], WANTED is a full on masala film. Recall the successful potboilers of yore. Recall how the good guy would reduce 10 hoodlums to pulp in a fraction of seconds. Recall how heroism prevailed in the end, no matter how adverse the circumstances were or how powerful the villains would be. Recall those movies in which logic took a backseat since the focus was on entertainment… You relive those moments as reel after reel of WANTED unfolds.

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A departure from candyfloss movies and diabetic-sweet characters that most Hindi movies boast of, WANTED takes you back to those days when popular cinema reigned supreme, when the sole motive of the film-maker was to entertain.

The daring hero and his herogiri, the naïve girlfriend, the corrupt cop, the dreaded don, the don’s moll, the fist-clinching henchmen… WANTED is for those who seek unabashed entertainment and relish masala films. Damn the indomitable critics, pseudo intellectuals and connoisseurs of parallel cinema, this one’s not for them. WANTED is for the aam junta.

Radhe [Salman Khan] is a hardcore gangster. A sharpshooter with a sharp brain, he works for Gani Bhai [Prakash Raj], the dreaded Mafioso, but on his own terms. Totally fearless, Radhe single-handedly eliminates Gani Bhai’s enemies one by one; making more enemies in the process.

He’s astounded when the young and pretty Jahnvi [Ayesha Takia Azmi] professes her liking for him. Inspector Talpade’s [Mahesh Manjrekar] lustful eyes fall on Jahnvi. He doesn’t know that Jahnvi has developed a soft corner for Radhe.

Whether it’s the Golden Gang or Data Pawle’s Gang, everybody wants the biggest piece of the lucrative cake that is Mumbai and the only way to get it is to eliminate whoever gets in the way. As Mumbai reels under bloody gang wars, Commissioner Ashraf Khan [Govind Namdeo] vows to make the city crime free.

Director Prabhu Dheva serves a hardcore masala fare that’s not inventive or path-breaking by any standard, but the execution of several scenes as also of stunts takes the graph of the film Northward. In fact, if at all there’s any film that competes with GHAJINI as far as raw appeal goes, it’s WANTED. Every action/stunt/chase here is choreographed with aplomb.

Watch out for the action sequence at the interval point or the penultimate half-an-hour. The climax is sure to send scores of action lovers in frenzy, as Salman bashes the evil forces black and blue. It wouldn’t be erroneous to state that the climax is worth the price of the ticket, samosa, sandwich, popcorn, nachos and cola put together.

Not that this 18 reeler abounds in mindless action. As mentioned earlier, this one’s a hardcore masala film and the narrative has its share of light moments and romantic sequences. Even the bad man here makes you laugh intermittently [when he’s not spewing venom], especially in the sequence when the Commissioner of Police holds him captive in the middle of the sea. Even the romance between Salman and Ayesha charms its way into your heart. It’s very likable.

But WANTED is not without its share of flaws. The film stands on a thin storyline and the viewer can guess what’s in store next, which means that there’s not much novelty in the plot. Besides, WANTED could’ve done without a song or two, thereby keeping its length in check.

Director Prabhu Dheva has presented Salman like never before. Most actors have drifted away from roles that hold tremendous mass appeal, that cater to the desi audience, like they did in the 1980s. SRK did it in OM SHANTI OM, Aamir Khan did it in GHAJINI and Salman does it so effortlessly in WANTED. The screenplay [Shiraz Ahmed] may not be foolproof, but it has its share of shining moments. Dialogues are clapworthy, especially those delivered by Salman.

Sajid-Wajid’s music is of a mixed variety. ‘Jalwa’ is the best of the lot and the star presence of Anil Kapoor, Govinda and also Prabhu Dheva in this track will send the viewers into raptures. The remaining tracks oscillate between good and strictly okay. This review would be incomplete without the invaluable contribution by the action director. It deserves brownie points. Cinematography too is top notch.

Salman is like a ferocious lion who roars with all his might. The show belongs to the actor, who scorches the screen every time he displays the manic anger. Without doubt, Salman gives the power to WANTED. It’s his best work to date.

Ayesha Takia Azmi is very good and the pairing with Salman looks wonderful. Vinod Khanna is sidelined. He deserved more footage. Mahesh Manjrekar is excellent. He’s only getting better with every film. Prakash Raj is first-rate. The accomplished actor adds yet another feather to his cap. Govind Namdeo is perfect.

Mahek Chahal radiates oomph. Aseem Merchant is alright. Raju Mavani is effective. Inder Kumar and Sajid are okay. Manoj Pahwa tries hard to make you laugh. Prateeksha Lonkar is as usual.

On the whole, WANTED rides on Salman, Salman and only Salman Khan’s star power. A masala film that’s aimed at the masses, WANTED is backed by tremendous hype and hoopla, which will result in the film taking an earth-shattering start at the ticket window. The Idd celebrations in the coming days will only enhance the business of the film, which means that the film will have a solid Week 1. The holidays in Week 2 should also be bountiful, thereby ensuring a strong place in the ‘Hit’ category.

Chak De India3

RESULTS ONLY OF FEATURE FILMS
Best Feature film–Kanchivaram (Tamil) [Director-Priyadarshan]

Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director–Frozen (Hindi) [Director-Shivajee Chandrabhushan]

Best Popular Film provising wholesome Entertainment– Chak De! India (Hindi) [Director-Shimit Amin]

Nargis Dutt Award for Best feature Film on National Integration–Dharm (Hindi) [Director-Bhavna Talwar]

Best Film on Family Welfare–Taare Zameen Par (Hindi) [Director-Aamir Khan]

Best Film on Social issues–Antardwandwa (Hindi) [Director-Sushil Rajpal]

Best Children’s Film-Foto (Hindi) [Director-Virendra Saini]

Best Animation Film–Inimey Naangathaan (Tamil) [Director-S. Venky Baboo]

Best Director–Adoor Gopalakrishnan (Naalu Pennungal [Malayalam])

Best Actor–Prakash Raj (Kanchivaram [Tamil])

Best Actress–Umashree (Gulabi Talkies [Kannada])

Best Supporting Actor-Darshan Jariwala (Gandhi My Father [Hindi/English])

Best Supporting Actress-Shefali Shah (The Last Lear [English])

Best Child Artist–Sharad Goekar (Tingya [Marathi])

Best Male Playback Singer-Shankar Mahadevan (Maa…Taare Zameen Par [Hindi])

Best Female playback Singer–Shreya Ghoshal (Yeh Ishq Hai…Jab We Met [Hindi])

Best Cinematography-Shanker Raman (Frozen [Hindi])

Best Screenplay–Feroz Abbas Khan (Gandhi My Father [Hindi/English])

Best Audiography–Kunal Sharma (1971 [Hindi])

Best Editing–B. Ajith Kumar (Naalu Pennungal [Malayalam])

Best Art Director-Sabu Cyril (Om Shanti Om [Hindi])

Best Costume Designer–Ruma Sengupta (Krishnakanter Will [Bengali])

Best Make-up Artist–Pattnam Rasheed (Paradesi [Malayalam])

Best Music–Ouseppachan (Ore Kadal [Malayalam])

Best Lyrics-Prasoon Joshi (Taare Zameen Par [Hindi])

Special Jury Award-Gandhi My Father (Hindi/English) [Producer-Anil Kapoor]

Best Special Effects-M/s Indian Artists, Chennai (Sivaji [Tamil])

Best Choreography-Yeh Ishq Hai (Jab We Met [Hindi])

Best Feature Film in Each Language:
· Hindi-1971
· English-The Last Lear
· Bengali-Ballygunge Court
· Kannada-Gulab Talkies
· Malayalam-Ore Kadal
· Marathi-Nirop
· Tamil-Periyar

SOURCE: Directorate of Film Festivals (www.dff.nic.in)

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, September 8, 2009 – 12:28 IST

Gandhi My Father, Taare Zameen Par The results of the 55th National Awards for the year 2007 were announced yesterday and like always there were quite a few surprises in store. It was the cinema of South India that bagged all the top four honours with the Priyadarshan directed Tamil film Kanchivaram bagging the award for Best Feature Film and also fetching Prakash Raj the Best Actor Award. Veteran filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan won the Best Director award for the Malayalam film Nallu Pennungal while Umashree was adjudged Best Actress for her portrayal in the Kannada film Gulabi Talkies.

While Bollywood failed to bag the top four honours, it did quite make up in the other categories. Leading the pack was Anil Kapoor’s maiden production Gandhi My Father which bagged three awards for Best Screenplay (Feroz Abbas Khan), Best Supporting Actor (Darshan Jariwala) and even won the Special Jury award. Even Aamir Khan’s directorial debut Taare Zameen Par was not one to be left behind. The film won awards for Shankar Mahadevan (Best Male Playback Singer) and Prasoon Joshi (Best Lyrics) for the soul-stirring song ‘Maa‘, besides also bagging the Best Film on Family Welfare award.

King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan too had reasons to smile as two of his films Chak De India and Om Shanti Om bagged one National Award each. While Chak De India deservingly won the award for Best Film providing Overall Entertainment, Om Shanti Om bagged the award for Best Art Direction (Sabu Cyril).

Rituparno Ghosh’s Big B- Arjun Rampal starrer The Last Lear bagged two awards winning the Best Feature Film in English and also fetching Shefali Shah the Best Supporting Actress award while the Shahid- Kareena smash-hit Jab We Met also bagged two awards for Best Choreography and Best Female Playback Singer (Shreya Ghoshal).

The Indira Gandhi award for the Best First Film of a Director went to Frozen while the Nargis Dutt award for Best Film on National Integration went to the Pankaj Kapoor starrer Dharm. Even Indian Films – Studio 18’s war film 1971 won the award for Best Hindi film award in the regional films category.

All in all, the National Awards has surely given our B-town guys yet another reason to celebrate.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM


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