Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘ramayana

Here’s what we suggest you bring out the popcorn for
MUMBAI MIRROR; January 01, 2010

Karthik Calling Karthik

Farhan Akhtar’s next film is a story of a lovable loser whose chance meeting with his namesake changes his life forever. Karthik Calling Karthik has a star-studded credit list which includes Deepika Padukone, Javed Akhtar and Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy. Considering Farhan acts in the movies he either directs or produces, it seems like he is bent on wanting to typecast himself as the underdog. Weird but true!


My name is Khan

Bollywood’s biology lessons continue with My Name Is Khan. With 9/11 as the backdrop, the movie follows Rizwan Khan (SRK) who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. This is an autistic disease that makes the victim devoid of empathy. This, of course will give rise to many comical situations, just like Paa did. The film brings together the electrifying pair of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol back on the silver screen. Add Karan Johar to the mix and you have a surefire hit. But come on, what is the film industry going to explore next, the common cold?


Raajneeti

A modern-day political rendition of the Mahabharata, Raajneeti boasts of an A-list star cast – Ajay Devgan, Arjun Rampal, Ranbir Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Vivek Oberoi, Manoj Bajpai and Katrina Kaif. The movie will use the dilemmas the characters in the book went through, and draw parallels with it in reel life. Katrina Kaif is reportedly playing the role of Sonia Gandhi in the movie. After all both of them are quite similar: accent – check; powerful woman – check; foreign descent – check; relationship with Salman Khan – no one really knows.


Kites

Kites follows the story of Hrithik Roshan, a salsa dancer who falls in love with his student. Language barriers don’t matter here, love conquers almost all. But ‘something’ happens and it’s up to another student Kangna Ranaut to save the day. Maybe Sussanne walks into the movie or some other terrifying event occurs, we don’t know yet. But we hope the movie does better than Hrithik’s personal life.


Raavana

A modern day rendition of the mythological text, Raavana will get Aishwariya and Abhishek on the silver screen together for the first time after getting hitched. The movie has been plagued with problems – floods, elephants stomping around the set, maybe a higher power is sending a message through all of this. We won’t say anything, let the box-office decide.


Action replay

In Action Replay, a man ages backwards… Hmm, let’s see where have we heard this story before? A clear rip-off of the Hollywood hit, Benjamin Button, the film will feature Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai. Director Vipul Shah is back with Akshay Kumar and hopes his dream run will continue.


Teen Patti

As much as producer Ambika Hinduja denies it, Teen Patti’s plot seems like a rip-off of the Hollywood blockbuster 21. The film features three ace actors, Ben Kingsley (supposedly not doing a cameo), Big B and Madhavan. With the help of a unique algorithm, Amitabh who plays a mathematical genius leads a team of college students to make a lot of money. Does Amitabh hold the algorithm for the movie’s success or will this be just another failed spin-off?


Houseful

Akshay Kumar has a slew of releases lined up next year and Houseful, the laugh-riot is one of them. The story follows Akshay who is very unlucky in life and is trying to find true love. The women helping him achieve this goal are Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta and Jiah Khan. In real life, however, we think it’s the other way around. Akshay will end up teaching Deepika more than two expressions, Lara how to sign movies and Jiah Khan how not to be dropped from the one-odd film she has signed.


No Problem

Anees Bazmee has three mega comedy films lined up next year. One of them is No Problem which has quite a star cast – Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Akshaye Khanna, Sushmita Sen, Kangna Ranaut, Paresh Rawal and Sunil Shetty. The film is a love story of impossible proportions. Another impossible proposition is Kangna actually makes people laugh after making them weep all these years.


Well Done Abba

Shyam Benegal has been travelling the world with his latest film, Well Done Abba. The satirical movie sees Boman Irani play two roles. Fitting two Bomans in one shot is a feat in itself and a testament to Benegal’s directorial skills. The movie follows the journey of Armaan Ali, a driver from Mumbai, who is out to find his daughter’s (Minissha Lamba) beau. Minissha, who has been alternating between commercial and semi-art house cinema, is reportedly playing a strong role in the film.


Guzaarish

The film that is loosely based on Whose Life is it Anyway? has Hrithik playing a paraplegic radio jockey.  The film seems like a cry-till-your-tearbuds-dry-out movie – it explores the dilemma of euthanasia. Hrithik who believes in challenging himself till the cows come home, reportedly, spent hours in the wheelchair when not required to shoot, to get into the head of the character. Hrithik and Aishwarya reunite after Dhoom 2, and with Sanjay Leela Bhansali directing, it becomes one of the most awaited films in 2010, never mind Saawariya.


Road, Movie

Indian cinema has been through many fascinating twists and turns but none quite as romantic as touring cinemas.  Essentially this means that the owner of one mounts the film projector on the back of a truck and the projectionist travels the length and breadth of a state with the truck, stops wherever there is a pilgrimage or a mela and projects the films he is carrying onto a white curtain which is then viewed by the locals sitting on both sides of the screen. Dev Benegal has made Road, Movie about one such projectionist (Satish Kaushik) and the young owner (Abhay Deol) and the adventures they have as they show their movies. The film has been very well received on the festival circuit.


Anjaana Anjaani

After playing twelve characters in What’s Your Raashee?, we’re sure Priyanka Chopra has become a stranger to herself, especially after the film tanked. Siddharth Anand, director of Ta Ra Rum Pum and Salaam Namaste, tries a romcom with Anjaana Anjaani. Starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka, the film shows two strangers who fall in love and the journey they take together.


Aisha

Abhay Deol’s love for Delhi continues with his Bollywood release, Aisha where he plays another spoilt, rich Delhi brat. His character is modelled on Mr Knightly from Jane Austen’s novel, Emma. The movie is a romantic comedy that explores horrible mismatches. It also has a strong female role that has been bagged by Sonam Kapoor.  Whether Sonam is strong enough for the film after two failed films (read: Saawariya and    Delhi-6) is another matter.


Khelein hum jee jaan sey

Ashutosh Gowariker is no stranger to large canvasses (think Lagaan, Swades, Jodhaa Akbar) so it’s no surprise that he is now filming another humongous project, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, which revolves around the Chittagong Uprising in the pre Independence days. After What’s Your Raashee?, this is another film adapted from a book, Do and Die by Manini Chatterjee. Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone lead the star cast and Nitin Chandrakant Desai leads the crew. Hopefully Ashutosh’s version of history will not be challenged,  the way Jodhaa Akbar was.


Knock out

Inspired’ from the Hollywood masterpiece Phone Booth, Mani Shankar will look to re-create the magic in Bollywood. A man is trapped inside a phone booth, not because the door is stuck, but an assassin has a sniper rifle trained on him.  Kangna plays the role of a journalist, Irrfan plays a cop and Sanjay Dutt the assassin.


I Hate Luv Storys

A true-blue rom-com, I Hate Luv Storys brings together the very glamourous Sonam Kapoor and the man with the melting eyes, Imran Khan. Described as a love story not meant to happen but which does happen, it is the story of a man who does not believe in love and a girl who does. They meet on a film set; a milieu the director Punit Malhotra is very familiar with, having cut his teeth on Karan Johar’s sets as an assistant director; and sparks fly.


1-800-Love

When you have a tag line that says, ‘From the makers of Ghajini and Jaane Tu…’ you know you’re in for a commercial roller-coaster. Abbas Tyrewala dons the director’s hat for 1-800-LOVE again and the music score is Rahman’s handiwork. A telephone call connects two people – one who wants to die, the other who is searching for meaning in life. They meet, fall in love, yada yada… If you are watching the movie and you get bored of John Abraham’s three expression repertoire, close your eyes and maybe the music will do the trick for you.


Tees Maar Khan

Tees Maar Khan has gotten more publicity that it ever dreamed of just because Shah Rukh Khan is not playing a role in Farah Khan’s film. But it does seem like SRK has rubbed off on the new lead actor, Akshay Kumar. Kumar plays a ‘stylish’ (metrosexual) conman in the film. He will be joined by Akshaye Khanna, but the female lead has not yet been confirmed.


Hook Ya Crook

Finally, Bollywood gets a movie that shows hope in combining two things that Indians love best – cinema and cricket. Viraj Pradhan (John Abraham) dreams of being a cricketer but is a repeat offender who gets thrown into a maximum security prison. The jail is a haven for cricket players, but Viraj wants much more, he wants to be part of the men in blue. The film has reportedly roped in Indian cricketers for the movie but going by the ads on TV, the word ‘acting talent’ isn’t part of the Indian cricket team’s vocabulary.


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ANY LESSONS LEARNT FROM 2009 MISTAKES?

Overall 2009 was a disappointing period for Bollywood. As what Ak_India mentioned in his DP that only 8% of films succeeded in this year which is very shocking. Many films got a nice opening and were well received by audiences as well as critics. Still, the films were hailed as Flop or Average due to their high costs. And that was one of the biggest reasons behind the debacle of many films. Films like Billu, Delhi-6, Kambakkht Ishq, Kaminey, Wake Up Sid, All The Best, London Dreams, De Dana Dan etc could had been super hits were they not produced and sold for such high prices. The problem of sky-high costs was accelerated by the wrong release time. Due to the producer-multiplex feud, no movies were released in the lucrative April and May period. As a result, as soon as strike ended, films after films started pouring every Friday. Obviously, common man cannot be expected to watch all films that release and thus, many films failed or did low business. For instance, All The Best could had been successful if it had not released with Blue. Aladin would have fared better had it not clashed with London Dreams. Jail would have got lots of audience if it had not released with the super hit Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani.

Unfortunately, there is no concrete solution for the 2nd problem. Due to the strike, there is still a huge backlog that needs to be cleared and hence, in 2010 too, one might find multiple releases on lots of Fridays. But the cost of the film can definitely be cut down and the best solution is that the actors slash their prices. Why do superstars like Akshay Kumar charge 20+ crores? And why do producers agree to pay them? Biggie actors should not be given more than 8 or 9 crores. And if this upsets them, then they should be paid more but only if their film succeeds at the box office. This kind of arrangement would benefit all. Movies that are made for 40-50 crores at present would be finished in less than 30 crores. Thus, such film will have high chances of recovering their costs too.

Sadly, no one is thinking of enforcing such an alternative. And as the chapter of 2009 closes, we could see multiple releases even in the last week. Today (i.e. last day of 2009), 3 small films are slated to release-Raat Gayi Baat Gayi (RGBG), Accident On Hill Road (AOHR) and Bolo Raam (BR). It is obvious that all 3 of these films are going to flop. If only one film had hit the screens today, it would have chances of profiting. But no film will profit in this rat race. Not to forget, the 3 Idiots craze is still going on. Hence, all these films have dug their own graves by releasing today. RGBG looks like a complete entertainer; AOHR may work if it has a well-written climax. BR may be hard hitting but it will surely have lowest collections. When will these people learn?
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MOVIES THAT WILL ROCK IN 2010-PART 1

The following are the films that have big stars and have highest chances of succeeding at the box office. 2 of them are listed below and the rest will be discussed next week [lack of space 😦 ]:



MY NAME IS KHAN: A winner for sure! Although the film looks serious, it has managed to arouse curiosity. And anyways, the name of Shah Rukh Khan is enough to make almost everyone sit up and take notice. Kajol being paired opp SRK is like an icing on the cake. Also it has talented actors like Jimmy Shergill which, I don’t think, will be revealed in promos till the flick releases on Feb 12. The first look of the film made people assume that it’s based on terrorism. However, it’s not! To quote SRK, “It’s a love story with an epic feel(Bombay Times). MNIK is thus expected to work not only in India but overseas too.

RAAVAN/RAVANA: Mark my words; this one would rock big big time! Unfortunately, when Bolly websites are discussing 2010 biggies, they aren’t mentioning this flick. There are many reasons as to why this film is special. Firstly, it is directed by talented-creative Mani Ratnam who never goes wrong. Secondly, it’s a present day version of Ramayana. And thirdly and the best part, the star cast and the characters that they play are just out of this world! Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays Sita but Abhishek Bachchan isnt playing Rama! Instead, he’s Raavan in the film, i.e. the villain! Southern actor Vikram is Rama! Guess who plays Hanuman? None other than apna Govinda! Just imagine-Govinda in Mani’s film! Cool isnt it? Nikhil Dwivedi and Southern beauty Priyamani completes the main cast. The film is bi-lingual-it was shot in Tamil too but with slight change of cast. Vikram who plays Rama in Hindi version is Raavan in the Tamil version (hats off!). Prithviraj Sukumaran instead is Rama in Tamil version! Aishwariya Rai is acting in both the versions! The film is expected to release in May. Make sure you don’t miss it at any cost!

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY!

(AND WISHING EVERYONE A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!)

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/hdbhmtlmp/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk81

After going through several unpredictable but similar events, Mani Ratnam’s Raavana and Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti may be released in the same month i.e. in May 2010

By Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 25, 2009)


Raavana

Mani Ratnam’s Raavana, which is an adaptation of the Ramayana and Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti that is based on the Mahabharata, will release between two weeks of each other.

Initially, both the films were expected to hit the theatres in February 2010. But, due to the multiplex owners strike and a complex melee of other things the two epic films have been pushed to May 2010.

Trade circles are excited as the contemporary versions of the most followed Indian mythological tales will be pitted against one another. Raavana is very important for Aishwarya, who is playing Sita. So is Rajneeti for Katrina. An actor from the unit said, “Rajneeti is a very taut confrontation drama which will showcase Katrina in new light.”

Rajneeti

The two films have had their fair share of controversies. Nana Patekar walked out of Rajneeti three days before the film’s shooting came to an end, whereas, Bipasha Basu had to exit Raavana hours before the shoot.

Floods ravaged the sets of Raavana; and Manoj Bajpai’s accident put a small spoke in Rajneeti’s progress. And yet when it comes to the release, both films are expected to release around the same time.

Wonders never cease. Rakhi Sawant will play Mother Mary in a TV show The Holy Bible, which she will also produce; says the show will give her the respectability she craves
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 26, 2009)

Controversy queen Rakhi Sawant is about to take her love for Christianity to another level altogether. She is turning television producer with a show based on the the Bible for a channel that she calls her maika (mother’s home). The serial is tentatively titled, The Holy Bible. And hold your breath. Rakhi will play Mother Mary in the show.

Confirming the news, Rakhi says, “I’ll start my own television production with The Holy Bible. I want it to be as comprehensive as shows that are based on the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Jesus Christ has changed my life and I want to spread his message.”

While Rakhi is casting herself as Jesus’s mother Mary, she already has a wish list of actors who she would want to play Jesus. “Mother Mary has always been my idol. Ideally, I want Salman or Hrithik to play Jesus. But they won’t do it. Kunal Kapoor has the intensity to play Jesus. If I don’t get any of them, I’ll cast a newcomer. I want this serial to give me the respectability and sanctity that I crave. Whatever I do in life now is in the name of Jesus. The day I embraced Jesus, I swore to never harm anyone,” says Rakhi.

Currently, Rakhi is busy with the research work for the forthcoming show. She plans to launch her production house along with the serial by the year end.

Rakhi admits she’s down to just exchanging pleasantries with Elesh Parujanwala, to whom she was engaged for a brief while through the reality show, Rakhi Ka Swayamvar. “After our second reality show together, Pati Patni or Woh, Elesh has gone back to Canada. Now I’m only concerned about my serial on the Bible. I want it to be as passionate as the film, The Passion of the Christ. I want the world to know that Jesus belongs to not just one community. He’s for everyone. He died on the Cross so that we could have a life. My reality show, Rakhi Ka Swayamvar boosted the channel’s TRPs. My forthcoming show on the Bible will take them to the No 1 slot.”

The channel was unavailable for comment.

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 24, 2009)

Shatrughan Sinha will play NT Rama Rao, Telugu Desam party’s chief, in Ram Gopal Varma’s Rakta Charitra. The bio-pic is based on the alleged outlaw Paritala Ravindra, who was wanted for several serious cases, but he contested and won elections on a Telugu Desam ticket. The film will go on the floors in Hyderabad shortly.

Shatrughan Sinha

Ram Gopal Varma confirmed and said, “I chose Shatruji because he has a larger-than-life personality, which is required to play NT Rama Rao. NTR played a very important part in the life and political career of Paritala Ravi.” Talking about the film, Shatrughan Sinha said, “Rakta Charita is more like the Mahabharata in spirit than the Ramayana. The film’s tone is similar to that of The Godfather.” The film will be made in Hindi and Telugu and veteran actor Mohan Babu will play the role of NT Rama Rao in the Telugu version.

Anupam Kher writes from London on his experience of working with Woody Allen on his new film
Posted On August 27, 2009 (MUMBAI MIRROR)

A few months ago, my agent in London, Ruth Young, told me that Woody Allen had cast me in his untitled film as Freida Pinto’s father. That news came to me on May 24, as I was hosting the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the release of my first film Saaransh. No award that I had received in my quarter century in cinema could have made me happier than this bit of news.

Buried as I was with work, the excitement abated only to resurface on August 23, when I was set to go to London for the shoot. It suddenly hit me that I was going to work with someone I had adored and almost worshipped for decades. Then, a strange nervousness gripped me; just like it did during the first day’s shoot of Saaransh. But that was understandable when I was a rookie being directed by Mahesh Bhatt. Now I had acted in almost 400 films. Yet I was nervous.

To understand this reaction, I spoke to my mentor Mahesh Bhatt and asked him how I should behave when I would be on Woody Allen’s sets. Nervous, confident or important? Mahesh said, “Just be the way you are: inquisitive, nervous, and, be yourself.”

I reached London the next morning and was taken for a ‘costume and look’ trial. I was told that Woody Allen would see me the next day as he only meets actors directly on the sets on the day of the shoot. But I pleaded and they reluctantly took me to a holding area near the location. The scene that was being shot was the exterior of a restaurant on a busy street in Notting Hill.

I was introduced to Freida who was warm and turned out to be a great admirer of my work. She introduced me to her co-star, Josh Brolin and I told him that he was brilliant in Milk. I then went out on the crowded street and some Bangladeshis waved to me. But there was an overpowering silence. I was searching for the man who I had seen only in films and whose books I had read and who was my icon. And suddenly I saw him. He was in his trademark beige trousers, light blue shirt and brown shoes. His specs were black. His hair had gone whiter and strangely, he looked taller and larger.

I had never seen anyone in my life who was as focussed as him. For him, the world did not exist, the crowds did not exist. There were no security guards around him. All that mattered was the frame of his shot. Even the crowd sensed his concentration. In respect, passersby moved in silence.

The executive producer was apprehensive, knowing Woody’s reluctance to meet actors in advance. On seeing the waving Bangladeshis, she knew I was as famous in the sub-continent as I had been made out to be and that made her apologetic as well.

There was a gap in the shoot; Woody had turned to his iPhone and was listening with great concentration to some music. The costume girl then walked up to him and showed him my pictures with the ‘look’ and told him that I was on location. I was wondering what his reaction would be.  My tongue was swollen and my mouth was dry.

He turned around and tried to match the face with the picture he had seen. And then, he spotted me and smiled. I tried to portray the confident look of Anupam Kher the veteran of almost 400 films and the winner of many awards. But all I managed was the anxious look that I had when I had watched my first shooting as a 16-year-old in Shimla. That was Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore and Rakhee in Yash Chopra’s Daag.

I wondered if Woody’s smile was out of politeness. But there was warmth in his eyes. I felt as if it took me a year to cover the five feet that separated us and I can vividly remember each step. His grip was firm and before I could say anything, he said, “It is a pleasure meeting you.” I heard myself saying, “I can’t believe it!” Woody insisted and repeated, “I am really am happy to see you!”

I told him I had seen all his movies, and he kept nodding, as he had heard such comments many times in his career. Then he looked at me as if to say, “Can I go back to my work…”

The next day I did my scenes with him and I realised that all what I had experienced as an actor in the decades was not of much use as one could not depend on any one school of acting. In my eye flashed scenes from Annie Hall, Manhattan, Sleeper, Crimes and Misdemeanors…

Suddenly the sun got brighter and the shooting stopped. I asked an assistant the reason and was told that Woody does not shoot in bright light. Imagine, everyone loves to shoot in bright light, save Woody Allen!

I discovered that I had left my camera in Mumbai and decided that it would be a pity to shoot pictures of the occasion on my cell. And as the day ended, Woody was more vocal. I told him that Indian cinema was changing and how we were making the kind of movies we always wanted. His cogent response was that it could only happen when the audience changes. He spoke of his early years in New York when he would watch films by Satyajit Ray and Kurosawa. “But now, it is the time of $200 million blockbusters,” he said.

Later that evening, I bought a camera and clicked some pictures. I also got some books for Woody to autograph and gifted him copies of the Ramayana and the Gita. One of the vintage memories of that day I will carry is when Woody was shooting a scene with lots of people and he wanted, in his typical style, for the camera to move from one speaking person to another. At the end of it, he told his cameraman, “You were a little lost…but I liked the chaos.”

Indeed, working three days with Woody Allen has been my most memorable experience in cinema. And I wish to thank Indian cinema for making all this happen. As I have said in my one-man play, “Kuchh bhi ho sakta hai…” Or, as my grandmother would say, “Allah meherban to gadheda pahelwan!”


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