Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘premiere

HITLIST (Mid-Day; January 1, 2010)

The writer has plenty to say about the movie being touted as being different from his book Five Point Someone

Chetan Bhagat is peeved that he has not been given his due credit in Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots. The film is based on his novel Five Point Someone. The writer has vented his ire ‘A book, a film and the truth’ on his blog (http://www.chetanbhagat.com/).

Here’s an extract….

“The 3 Idiots story credit issue has been making some noise now… and I think it is important I clarify a few things. Clearly, the makers of the film have been unfair and thousands of my readers have been saying so.This is not an issue that has ‘just come up’. I’ve been grappling with it for two years, but kept silent about it.

Wrong claims

The only reason it has surfaced after the movie’s release is because Five Point Someone has a few million readers, and when you copy a popular story claiming it as ‘original’ and ‘completely different’, people are going to find out.

The case is as simple as the makers claiming the story as their own, and clearly it is not. Pre-release, the makers made  statements like  the movie is only ‘very loosely’ inspired by the book….

After release, those who have read the book and seen the movie (and frankly, I think those are the only people who have the right to comment) find the film to be an adaptation of Five Point Someone. Almost all aspects that make up the story are from FPS. Yes, there are some changes, any adaptation requires that — but it is no way an original story. Leading movie critics have privately admitted to me that the film is 70 per cent the book. Still, don’t take my word for it — go read the book, watch the film.

I, frankly, was shocked to see this. This is because I was also fed ‘this is an original movie’ line a lot. I wanted to see the final script — it was never shown to me. I wanted to see the film before release — it was not shown to me (even though trials had been done for  people).  What’s more, the makers had called me to their office and pressured me several times to withdraw my ‘Based on a novel by’ credit, which was by contract. They told me they’d replace it with something like ‘initiated by’ — a credit that doesn’t exist anywhere in the world. I still told them that if the film is indeed original, I’ll happily withdraw the credit, but somehow the promos don’t tell me so. I asked them to show me the film and they fell silent.

Soon, they started doing media promotions for the film, and kept me completely out of it (you’ll never find me in an interview with them). Crores was poured into publicity on shutting me out and cementing the fact that 3 Idiots is not based on Five Point Someone. Ten days before the release, I was called into their office. They said ‘we should be friends now’. I said I am always up for friendship, and the success of the film is good for me as well. They also said, and I quote verbatim ‘even though this is an original film, we have given you a great credit, right upfront. After all, we love writers and a king should treat another king with respect. You are family’. I believed them.

Then I went for the premiere. My family sat in the theatre shocked, as sequence after sequence came from the book. Two per cent means three minutes or so, and I had told my family to look for the few FPS moments and note them. However, there were so many that it became impossible to keep track. The plot was same — people meet at ragging, the first class with definition of machine, the friends separate, Alok (Raju) moves with Venkat (Chatur), Ryan (Rancho) helps Alok’s father, Alok rejoins group, etc, etc. From Alok  (Raju) jumping to stealing the papers and calling out from Cherian (Virus’) office — the book came alive on screen.

However, my family had not spotted my credit in the beginning (there was none) and they were feeling let down. A screenplay associate credit to VVC had a prominent upfront placement. The story credit was not shared with me. And yes, all the office talk of a ‘king treated like king’ was a white lie. I knew they had played with me, and that ‘based on a novel by’ credit, which they were legally bound to give would be hushed away at the end — with the clear intention of making sure people miss it. And indeed, it came after the junior artistes and still photographer of the movie. My mother missed seeing my name, and for that she cried after seeing the film. I told her it doesn’t matter, as people know FPS. But yes, that hurt me a lot.”

The Other Side
3 Idiots director Rajkumar Hirani, producer Vidhu Vinod Chopta and actor Aamir Khan preferred not to comment.

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 25, 2009)


The buzz of anticipation as Shah Rukh Khan arrived at the premiere of 3 Idiots was nearly as loud as the buzz of appreciation for Aamir Khan’s latest turn.

For, the drama his turning up promised could be as much fun as the movie playing on the screens inside IMAX, Wadala.

SRK’s bête noire Salman Khan had arrived well in time for the movie to begin and the waiting media and star-gazers turned away disappointed when there seemed to be no sign of Shah Rukh Khan, while hosts for the evening no doubt heaved a sigh of relief.

The last time SRK and Sallu met – at Katrina Kaif’s birthday – the birthday girl had been utterly sidelined in the furious exchange of words between the two superstars, and Aamir Khan had spent the night running the short distance between Salman’s house Galaxy Apartments and SRK’s home Mannat, playing peacemaker.

Sallu comes out of the screening, sees SRK a few feet away and gives him the full I-wanna-knock-your-teeth glare…

But never one to back out of awkward situations, Shah Rukh arrived minutes before the film ended and was greeted by Aamir.

Just as Shah Rukh moved to talk to director Kunal Kohli, the show got over and out came Salman Khan. He spied Shah Rukh chatting away and gave him the full benefit of the famous Sallu I-wanna-knock-your-teeth glare. He stared long and hard forcing SRK to turn in his direction, but just then, Aamir said something to Salman, forcing him into a conversation.

By this time, other guests too had swarmed into the area forcing their bodyguards to lead the two stars away and out. Separately.

…He stares long and hard, forcing SRK to turn and look at him, but before any sparks could fly, Aamir Khan forces Sallu into a conversation, saving the day

Although My Name Is Khan will premiere at the 60th Berlin Film Festival, distributor Fox Star Studios, has prevented it from competing with other films in the Competition section

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 25, 2009)


With the good news comes the bad news as well. The good news is that Fox Star Studios, international partners on My Name Is Khan, has decided to premiere the film at the 60th Berlin Film Festival in February 2010, in the most prestigious Competition section. However, the bad news is that they have not allowed the film to compete with other films in the section. The reason for the same is unknown.

Karan doesn’t deny the news but pooh-poohs the belief that the global corporates are trying to bully him into submission. He says, “Yes, the decision to place our film in the Competition section without competing was taken entirely by Fox Star. Shah Rukh and I are completely one with it. We are just happy to be in the same section as the new films by Martin Scorsese and Roman Polanski. Fox Star has been on the same page as me from the start. Shah Rukh, Kajol and I are getting ready for Berlin. It will be the first full-fledged screening of our film. We are anxious to see how the global audience at Berlin reacts to it.”

According to sources, Fox Star has grown progressively wary of the 9/11 angle in cinema and has asked Karan to tone it down as far as possible. Apparently, the filmmaker was asked to change the trailer for the premiere of My Name Is Khan (unveiled last week) so that overt references to terrorism are done away with. Karan was also asked to stress on the fact that the film is not about 9/11 and terrorism. Karan dismisses the news. He says, “Fox Star knew exactly what My Name Is Khan is about. It’s a fact that the film is not about terrorism. Yes, 9/11 does form a background to the tale, but the film is a love story and a story of humanism under pressure.”

(L): My Name Is Khan, (R) :Karan Johar

Apparently, there is also a fear that Shah Rukh Khan’s smaller-than-life role as an autistic Muslim, fighting injustice in the US may not go down well with his fans. Karan laughs at the rumours. He says, “That is such an erroneous interpretation of Shah Rukh’s character. He plays a man with a disability who can see the world around him far more clearly than the so-called normal people. He is a superman with a soul pure enough to fly. No, I don’t think his fans would be disappointed just because he isn’t larger-than-life in Khan. Shah Rukh’s fans all over the world want to see him in roles that connect the reality of cinema with the reality of the world outside the theatre.”

Vijay Singh, CEO, Star Fox Studios, also insists that the film is not about terrorism. He says, “My Name Is Khan is a love story and Shah Rukh Khan’s character’s journey to win back his love. It has nothing to do with terrorism.”

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 24, 2009)


The much-hyped premiere of 3 Idiots promised what seemed impossible – bringing all the three Khans under one roof. Well, turns out that it actually is impossible. For while Salman Khan made a gamely appearance, Shah Rukh did not complete the picture of the happy Khan-daan. It was left up to an unchaperoned Karan Johar to pass on the good wishes for both of them.

Amitabh Bachchan was missing in action as well, taking some of the sheen away from the big premiere. Of course, other stars showed up but many of them are associated with the film or with director Rajkumar Hirani’s earlier Munnabhai series.

From (Left): Kareena kapoor and Saif Ali Khan, Kiran Rao and Aamir Khan, Imran Khan and Avantika, Rajkumar Hirani and Vinod Chopra

Aamir Khan, always the professional, played the courteous host despite the fact that he was running a high temperature. His doctor had visited him twice yesterday and his fever had hit a raging 103 degrees. Dressed in a Sabyasachi suit, he received the guests with the cast and the crew of 3 Idiots at a multiplex at Wadala, while his wife Kiran Rao stationed herself on the first floor near the screens. She was seen discussing the film with Chetan Bhagat. Bet he was trying to figure out which bits from his book finally made it to the film.

Salman caused quit a stir when he appeared and had to be whisked away and he entered the venue from a different route. Kareena Kapoor, looking stunning in a saree, came in with a dapper-looking Saif Ali Khan. Mona Singh, who makes her debut with the film, was seen in a quiet corner with her father, keeping a low profile. Bhushan Kumar was heard saying that he had cancelled his family vacation for the premiere. Touching.

Mansoor Khan was the self-appointed babysitter as he was seen loading up on the popcorn for Aamir’s kids Junaid and Ira. Reema, Aamir’s ex-wife, was also present.

Sanjay Dutt came without his devoted wife Manyata, while a bearded Sonu Nigam decided it was better not to leave his better half at home.

Sanjay dutt Sharman joshi Salman khan

Vidhu Vinod Chopra changes his mind about screening the Raajneeti promo during the interval of 3 Idiots, Prakash Jha is not surprised by the volte face

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 22, 2009)


One wonders why Vidhu Vinod Chopra, whose 3 Idiots is definitely the most awaited film of 2009, is nervous and insecure just three days before the release. Why else would he ask UTV (distributors of Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti) to withdraw the Raajneeti trailer, which was scheduled to be shown during the interval of 3 Idiots? Or is this the brainchild of the marketing head of the film, Aamir Khan, who seldom likes to share the limelight with anybody else?

According to a source, Vidhu called up UTV and told them that he didn’t want the Raajneeti trailer screened during 3 Idiots. “This decision came in the wake of a private screening of 3 Idiots held recently. Everybody who saw the film spoke very highly about the trailer of Raajneeti and felt that it would be a very strong film. This set Vidhu’s mind ticking and he decided that he would rather do away with the trailer than have people distracted from 3 Idiots.”

Vidhu Vinod Chopra Prakash Jha

Speaking from New York, Jha confirmed that UTV had informed him about Vidhu’s decision. He said, “Vidhu had seen the trailer of Raajneeti and told me that it would be a pleasure to screen it. But now he has developed cold feet at the last minute. UTV told me that Vidhu found that at a recent screening of 3 Idiots, people who saw the film were talking only about the trailer of Raajneeti. Vidhu hasn’t spoken to me but I learnt that he found the trailer of Raajneeti too powerful.”

But Jha also said that he knew this was coming. He added, “I know Vidhu since our FTII days. I had told UTV that I can’t trust Vidhu till the last moment. Woh kabhi decision leta hai, kabhi nahin leta hai, ek minute khush ho jata hai, doosre minute bahut pareshan ho jata hai. It’s not unusual. That is Vidhu’s nature. Ab kya karein?”

However, the trailer of Raajneeti has already been attached to the overseas prints, which have left Indian shores. How will he remove the trailer from those prints now? Jha replied, “That I don’t know. But I have heard that he will remove it from the prints to be released in India,” and quickly added, “I sympathise with Vidhu.”

We sent a text message to Vidhu asking why he reversed his decision to carry the trailer of Raajneeti, but the moody filmmaker did not reply.

Khans in attendance

While the entire industry has tried to get the three Khans together on the same platform, they have always been unsuccessful. However, now the three Khans will be together under one roof during the premiere of 3 Idiots on Wednesday night.

While Aamir, who stars in the film, has called everyone including his arch rival SRK and his friend Salman for the premiere. All of them have confirmed their presence. Even Amitabh Bachchan has confirmed that he will be attending the premiere, which makes it one of the biggest events of recent times.

It will be interesting to see the fireworks when the three Khans meet under one roof.

Raajneeti
Big B, SRK among several who catch Avatar premiere in Mumbai…

TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; December 18, 2009)

A lot of films try to lay claim to the old ‘most anticipated film of the year’ tag, but on Tuesday night, it was clear that Avatar was indeed the biggest Hollywood film of the year amongst Bollywood’s celebrity film buffs; it brought the Bachchans and the Khans onto the same blue carpet in a premiere rivalling the big Bollywood premieres. After 14 years of incubating in director James Cameron’s brain, Avatar, the once-ultrasecret project known as ‘Project 800’, finally premiered to an enraptured and appreciative Bollywood crowd. But before the 160-minute-long saga of 10-foot-tall blue aliens on a distant moon called Pandora began, the blue carpet was walked by larger than life superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Yash Chopra, Gurinder Chadha, Harman Baweja, Vivek Oberoi, Ram Gopal Verma, Rohan Sippy, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani, Anthony D’Souza, Rohit Shetty, Shirish Kunder, Tisca Chopra to name a few.

At the end of the film, as the news channels spoke to the guests leaving, some admitted to tears, many felt it would be difficult to watch “normal movies again” and most were ready to take another trip to Pandora right then and there. Networking sites were instantly flooded with more gushing praise.

Aryan had his school exams and couldn’t make it, but Shah Rukh Khan was so amazed by the experience that arranged a screening for his family and friends over the weekend. … Hrithik, who was stuck at the shooting of Guzaarish and couldn’t make it in time to the venue, is also looking to have a private screening of the film. Amitabh Bachchan told the media “It was a fabulous film, a wonderful experience!” Abhishek, who was not scheduled to come as he had to walk the ramp the same evening in the suburbs, rushed just in time to catch the film. He posted his views on a site soon after “It’s not a film. It’s an experience! James Cameron is Hollywood’s answer to my favourite director, Manmohan Desai! He could pull off anything. Avatar too is a Hindi film at heart. It’s definitely a ‘must watch’ for the experience.”

Rohan Sippy, who had seen a trade show just the previous day, loved the film so much he came to see a second screening and plans to see the film over the weekend, again. He said, “With Avatar, James Cameron has redefined what we can dream. It is a film of breathtaking scale and impossibly meticulous detail. But I think his real triumph is that he has used his total mastery over technology to make us really feel what it is to be alive and human…” Ajay Devgn and Kajol have also requested for a screening of the film for their family and close friends after hearing the premiere buzz from others. While Vivek Oberoi said, “It’s really amazing that the west can come up with films like this. I would’ve loved an Indian director to make a film like Avatar. It’s simply astounding!” “I saw Avatar in 3D. To say the least, it made me feel pre-historic in every way,” says Varma. Director Ken Ghosh, Fardeen Khan and Zayed Khan have also planned to block an evening entire show at a suburban multiplex for a private screening for friends and family. Looks like the general public might not get tickets for the film after all, looking at the number of private screenings and shows being blocked by the Bollywood fraternity itself. The premiere was hosted by Vijay Singh, CEO 20th Century Fox India and Big Cinemas.

At the Paa premiere, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan bonded with Ranbir Kapoor, making him blush as she recalled that he was caught sketching her secretly the first time they met in 1999

By Preeta Rao (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 17, 2009)


The lives of the Bachchans and the Kapoors seem to be intertwined on many levels. First, it was Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter Shweta who married Nikhil Nanda, a Kapoor prodigy (Raj Kapoor is his maternal grandfather).

Then there was Abhishek’s romance with Karisma Kapoor, which ended soon after they got engaged. And now Ranbir Kapoor seems to be completely floored by the Bachchan bahu, Aishwarya Rai.

At the premiere of Paa about two weeks ago, the Bachchans and the Kapoors were seen mingling like never before. Ranbir walked up to Ash and gave her a warm hug, while Abhishek played the cordial host. After ten minutes of the Aishwarya-Ranbir interaction, Abhishek was seen running to his beloved wife, with a tinge of insecurity masked by his courteous smile.

Before Abhishek could enquire about what was brewing between the two, Aishwarya took Abhishek into a flashback, to the sets of Rishi Kapoor’s Aa Ab Laut Chalen. This was in 1999, when Ranbir and Aishwarya met for the very first time. Apparently, while Rishi and Aishwarya were engrossed in a serious discussion over a shot, Ranbir, who was then assisting his father, was seated next to them unnoticed, busy making a sketch. But even before Ranbir could finish his sketch, his dad pulled across the notepad and caught Ranbir secretly sketching Aishwarya.

As Aishwarya narrated this funny incident to Abhishek, he seemed quite amused while Ranbir couldn’t stop blushing.