Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Raakh

Santosh Sivan to play renowned Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma in Malayalam film Magara Manju
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 04, 2009)

Even as the fate of Ketan Mehta’s Rang Rasiya, based on Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma’s love life remains uncertain, cinematographer-director Santosh Sivan has quietly signed a Malayalam film where he plays the painter. The film is titled Magara Manju (meaning winter mist) and will be dubbed in Hindi and English. The film’s shooting begins next week in Cochin and will be directed by art house director Lenin Rajendran.


Santosh Sivan and Karthika in the first look of Magara Manju

Santosh, whose hands are full with cinematography and direction assignments, was at first hesitant to act in the film. He says, “Director Lenin Rajendran convinced me that I was right for the part. The main attraction for turning to acting is Raja Ravi Varma himself. I empathise very closely with his art as I’ve grown up with it. When I was a kid, my grandmother illustrated her stories with Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings. I also paint a bit. I think I’ve acquired my visual aesthetics from this man. I was also Director of Photography for M F Husain’s Gaja Gamini and his son Owais’s Meenaxi: Tale of 3 Cities.”

Santosh’s co-star in the film is the new South sensation Karthika . He says, “Karthika is the daughter of veteran Tamil actress Radha. I sort of like the way we look together.”

The film will also be shot in Trivandrum and Goa. Incidentally, the only other occasion when Santosh Sivan has acted was in Aditya Bhattacharya’s Raakh (1989). “After my shot, Pankaj Kapur (who was also acting in the film) couldn’t stop laughing (at his bad performance),” recalls Santosh with a chuckle.

Epic story

There is a growing interest in the life of Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906), who is famous for his paintings based on Indian mythology and epics. First, Ketan Mehta took it upon himself to portray the love life of Raja Ravi Varma in Rang Rasiya. Randeep Hooda plays the painter while Nandana Sen plays his muse. Then Malayalam film, Magara Manju, has Santosh Sivan playing Raja Ravi Varma. A book on the life of painter called, The Painter: A Life of Ravi Varma by Deepanjana Pal, Mumbai-based art critic is expected to hit the shelves soon.



Aamir Khan’s dead against the re-release of his film in multiplexes

DEEPALI DHINGRA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; May 31, 2009)

It’s known by now that Aamir Khan’s film Raakh is all set for a re-release as a part of a joint venture between two production houses on June 12. But for those fans of Aamir, who’re waiting to see their favourite star in the film that released two decades back, here’s some disappointing news. Apparently, the actor himself isn’t in favour of the film’s re-release. The reason is that Aamir is supporting the producers stand in the ongoing dispute between multiplex owners and producers and feels that the rerelease of Raakh will send the wrong message to everyone. Says Aamir, “Raakh is my second film and was released in 1990. Currently the person holding the rights is being opportunistic and is trying to make a quick buck by releasing the film during the strike. Also, the multiplexes might buy into the film in order to try and score a point over me and the unity of the producers. I therefore request my fans to stay away from all my films if they are released in any National Multiplex Chain during this period of struggle.

Anvita Thapliyal, speaking on behalf of the pro
duction house that’s re-releasing Raakh, says that by doing so, they want to revive Indian cinema. “It’s a great film that deserves another chance,” she says, adding that they have plans of reviving other films as well. As for which theatres they would release the film in case the strike doesn’t end, she says, “It’s not yet decided if we will release it in single screen theatres or multiplexes. We will do whatever is best for the film but the film has a lot of potential for single screen theatres, specially in the interiors, where they might not have multiplexes.” It should be noted that the other films that were re-released in the past two months including Ghajini, Race, Jodhaa Akbar, A Wednesday, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Rang De Basanti, Fashion, Golmaal Returns and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi were screened only in single screen theatres.
NOT NOW: Aamir Khan and (above) in Raakh. For more pictures of the actor, visit http://photogallery.indiatimes.com

Total Ten


Any disaster or catastrophe, whether natural or man-made, is enough to trigger off the imagination of a film writer. That’s why, in a year, there are at least 3 films churned out which are based on real-life events. Last year’s Mumbai Meri Jaan was based on the Mumbai serial train blasts. Firaaq, released in March, threw light on the post-Gujarat riots scenario. Hollywood has produced so many films on 9/11 attacks that I have lost count (in Bollywood, Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota and Madhoshi are the films I remember which were based on these attacks).

The recent 26/11 attack is also going to be used as plots in many upcoming films. In fact, 26/11, Terror in Taj, CST and lots of such titles are already registered! Although all such films are still in the scripting stage, one of them is already ready. Titled Total Ten, it’s a B-grade film in which the actors in the film play the real characters. Rajan Verma plays Ajmal Qasab, the lone terrorist captured in these attacks. The names of other actors and their characters are as follows:
1.   Homi WadiaHemant Karkare
2.   Sudesh BerryVijay Salaskar
3.   Ashish VidyarthiTukaram Ombale
4.   Ashok KulkarniAshok Kamte
5.   Aroon BakshiMaulana Masood Azhar (founder of Jaish-e-Mohammad)


Besides, a lot of small-time actors play the role of the other 9 terrorists who entered into Mumbai on the fateful day. However, there’s no information yet regarding who plays the role of R R Patil and Shivraj Patil. The shooting of the film commenced in about 2-3 months after the attacks and the film is now almost ready. It’s made on a meager Rs. 3 crores. The film is mostly shot in Mumbai and that too in real locations like CST, outside Taj Hotel, Oberoi-Trident etc. According to Rajan Verma, who plays Qasab, the makers of the film have tried to make the film as realistic as possible. The film shows the journey of terrorists to India by boat, how they survived in sea on dry-fruits, how they carried their operations etc. And interestingly, the films end with Qasab getting hanged!

The film also had its share of problems. It was reported in Feb that Rajan Verma was assaulted by 2 unindentified men after they learnt that he is playing Qasab’s role. Also, the film is criticized by various people who feel that 26/11 episode should not be touched by any filmmaker. Both these incidents don’t make any sense. Talking about first one, what is the justification behind attack on Verma? He’s just an actor doing his job. Even if Verma had dropped out of the film after that incident, the makers would have replaced him with another actor. Then were those two fools going to attack this new actor too?

Also, how can making a film on 26/11 be morally wrong when movies on similar real life events are already made. So many films are based on the two World Wars in which millions of lives were lost. In India too, there’s a film churned out on every incident from Partition to 1962/65/71/99 Wars, Kashmir issue, emergency, Bombay Riots, 1993 Blasts, Godhra riots, 2006 Train Blasts etc. Many of such films are hugely acclaimed. Then why not one be allowed to make a film on 26/11 too?

Coming back to Total Ten, the film has aroused curiosity. Its promotion and release date will now decide its fate at the BO. And I noticed an interesting thing about it- one of the film’s producer is Hariom Sharma who runs RAMGOPAL Productions!! Coincidence?!

One of Aamir Khan’s oldest films, Raakh, released 20 years back is all set to re-release on June 12 with 200 prints. Co-incidentally, I reviewed this film just 3 weeks back. Back in 1989, it was released in just 3 cities with 6 prints. This time, though, the film has better chances to fare at the BO, also because it’s widely acclaimed. And fortunately, the entire film is re-mastered and most of the scenes of the film which weren’t visible properly before due to bad light are quite visible now! So, all the Aamir Khan fans who have missed the film earlier can now watch it on the big screen. June 12-don’t forget! And below is the exclusive video from this ‘rare’ film (Video Source: BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM)!

This article first appeared on MouthShut.com:http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/hhcjrltrn/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk49

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, May 18, 2009 – 19:04 IST

Aamir Khan When a film releases it is left to the audience to decide its fate; whether the film becomes a hit or a flop is all a mystery best left to time. However, 20 years on, a film that was once released and vanished without a trace will see the light of the day again. The film is in question is an Aamir Khan starrer titled Raakh.

Raakh was came out in 1989 to critical acclaim and was widely covered by the film critics in the media. It was a project of great importance for many of the cast and crew members who made their debut with this movie. When we contacted Sangeeth Sivan, the Executive Producer of the film, he said, “The entire film is shot like it’s a home video. It does star Aamir in the lead, though it is a bit dark.”

The movie acted as a crucial platform for many debutants like Aamir Khan, Santosh Sivan (Cinematographer), Sreekar Prasad (Editor), , Aditya Bhattacharya (Director) & Asif Noor (Producer) all of who were under 30 years of age at the time. The commendable fact is that Aditya Bhattacharya, who just 23 then, became the youngest director of Bollywood at that time winning the Best Directorial debut award from the Bengal Film Journalists’ Association.

Raakh deals with an Indian Metropolis that is decaying, lawless and tragically corrupt. A typical party ends in untypical violence. Aamir is awkwardly sensitive and inarticulate. Supriya Pathak, the poised distant girl whom Aamir loves with mad desperation, is gang raped. She is a survivor. Disillusioned and practical, she rules out revenge. Supriya has now grown beyond Aamir. Aamir, driven by impotent rage, hesitantly approaches the law. Only to learn that the rapists are the ruling mafia clan whom neither he nor the police can touch while he is violently uprooted from his safe, if lonely, upper class home. Thus begins the chaotic journey that takes him into the precarious outer world. Here, his only friend, a street urchin offers him mute sympathy until Pankaj Kapur- an embittered cop – cynical witness to the first outrage is goaded by his anesthetized conscience to search out Aamir. An adolescent seeking manhood and the older man seeking his lost innocence come together…

The rights for the film Raakh which were originally with the director, Aditya Bhattacharya, have been purchased by Audacity International and Storm. Initially though, Sangeeth Sivan and Asif Noor, the producers of the film, had planned on launching the film on a collectors DVD. However, after purchasing the rights for the same, Audacity International has reworked on the original reels and has digitally re-mastered it. Raakh is all set to re-release on the 12th of June.