Fenil and Bollywood

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BAAP RE BAAP: Amartya Sen and daughter Nandana

Nobel Laureate Prof. Amartya Sen discusses cinema exclusively for BT with actress daughter Nandana Sen in Mumbai

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 25, 2009)


It’s funny, with a daughter like the lovely international actress Nandana Sen, you would have thought Nobel Prize economist Prof. Amartya Sen would be well informed about cinema. But he’s not. He knows just about five people connected with filmmaking. And these he counted for me with much difficulty and some prompting from Nandana. “I knew Satyajit Ray extremely well,” he began, “he and I studied at Santiniketan. I had huge admiration for him. And I know Mira Nair, Shyam Benegal, and, and… what’s his name, Mrinal Sen! I do know Nandita Das and like her films, also. And I met… what’s the name of the guy who acted with you in Rang Rasiya… I shook his hand? Randeep Hooda? Yes, I met him. I also met Amitabh Bachchan, whom I don’t know, and Shabana Azmi, who’s an old friend. I used to like her father’s poetry and now, I like her husband’s. And Salman Khan…”


He was in Mumbai to deliver a keynote lecture for the Indian Philosophy Congress yesterday and I was meeting the distinguished father and sexy daughter at his suite in the Taj. I was drinking coffee. The professor ordered a pot of Darjeeling tea. When it came, he was appalled. “This tea is too strong for Darjeeling,” he grumbled, “it’s got the strength of Assam.” Then to
Nandana, who was busy eating pistachios noisily, he said, “Chuck it in the sink!” He is unintentionally humorous, he speaks in a deep, rumbling voice, and he chooses his words carefully — as if aware that when Prof. Amartya Sen speaks, people hang onto his words even if he isn’t talking welfare economics. That’s his hobby horse. And he travels around the world at 76 on his Nobel Prize ticket, astonishing scientists and academicians with his philosophy on poverty, gender inequality and political liberalism. But I had got him onto cinema. And Prof. Sen was struggling.


“You’re wasting your time, I’m not knowledgeable about
films,” he said trying to discourage me. “You asking me who I like is like asking me a cooking recipe. I’m happy to tell you. But my recipe won’t alleviate the culinary world much!” Nandana, fortunately, was not having any of it. “Baba, you like Sharmila Tagore, isn’t she one of your favourites,” she chided him. “Yes,” Prof. Sen admitted. “And Katherine Hepburn… what a fantastic actress, so sharp and intelligent.” Then he surprised me by saying, “Jane Fonda, I know. I’ve had a couple of dinners with her. Her husband, Ted Turner, started the UN Foundation and was a trustee. So is my wife, Emma Rothschild. And the dinners where spouses gather, are quite impressive. There’s also Nelson Mandela.” But to come back to cinema, he doesn’t see too many films, though he thinks he’s seen all of Nandana’s. Rang Rasiya, in which she plays Raja Ravi Varma’s muse and appears topless in one breathtaking scene, Prof. Amartya saw at the London Film Festival and actually liked. “It’s not been released and nobody seems to know why,” he said querulously. “Has it been made for the archives? It would have been a great success in Europe and the US after receiving favourable notice in London.”


He hardly visits Mumbai. His work brings him to Delhi. And his
heart takes him to Kolkata. Now Prof. Amartya Sen looked out of the window at the Gateway and said, “I’ve not been here since the November disaster, but I have various memories here. The best one is of defeating the Australian cricket team! I was in the health club, exercising on the bike and watching a news channel, when they came in. They wanted the bike and to change the channel. I objected. They were a little assertive and gave me the democratic argument that there were more of them. But I was here first, I told them. Then their captain, Steve Waugh, came. He conceded that I had a point. I thought, no matter how poorly India did in cricket against Australia, I had done reasonably well!”

Friends walk the ramp for Karan Johar, but the designs bear no resemblance to his personal style

By Mitali Parekh (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 17, 2009)

Karan Johar has always had an eye for clothes. He has designed the clothes for Shah Rukh Khan since he starred in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge in 1995. Having designed clothes for the suave star for about 19 years now, it is natural that he would showcase his line with SRK as the showstopper. Karan has also designed for Shah Rukh when he was the host for KBC3.

The industry turned up to support Karan’s endeavour. He chose to reflect the mood of the 1980s with Michael Jackson tracks playing, and chains, quilting, zippers, buckles, pointed biker shoes and studs. Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan opened the show. Karan had Dino Morea back on the ramp, sporting boxers with a blazer. Randeep Hooda walked the ramp in a suit, but the sprinkling of suits was eminently forgettable. Randeep and Dino were treated like the other models and didn’t appear for the final bow.

Finally, his muse, Shah Rukh, was the show stopper, who walked with Gauri Khan. Gauri, the only female accessory in this all-male show, played the hot rocker chick with pizzazz, in a metallic short skirt and a blouse. SRK sported a dinner jacket with biker jacket detailing with a chain fastening which extended from the breast to the waist pocket.

The collection showcased a range of sherwanis which borrowed the biker influence as well. Hardware and rugged seemed to be the buzzword here. The show, a collaborative effort of designer Varun Bahl and Karan Johar, was not remarkable, but one took note of the detailing.

Karan seems to have brought in is the production value and a sense of presentation, a mainstay in his films. However, if one was expecting his clothes to be an extension of his personal wardrobe, his collection was the polar opposite of his own sense of aesthetics.

Sandeep Khosla turned up, despite having dropped out from the Couture Week. Jaya Bachchan is said to have coaxed him into making an appearance.

By Taran Adarsh, August 28, 2009 – 11:30 IST

Try stretching a rubber band beyond a point and it’s bound to snap. Try stretching a waferthin story and it’s bound to blow apart too. That’s precisely the problem with LOVE KHICHDI. Frankly, LOVE KHICHDI is a collage of romantic moments assembled by director Srinivas Bhashyam.

LOVE KHICHDI looks at the various women who flit in and out of the protagonist’s life. It’s a metro-centric concept that could’ve worked well if [a] the assorted women wouldn’t appear and disappear randomly and [b] the narrative had been limited to 1.30 hours, instead of 2 + hours.

These two factors make this khichdi far from appetising.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Vir [Randeep Hooda], a bachelor from a small town, works as a chef in a hotel in Mumbai; a handsome, charming and macho man who really needs to grow up.

Vir flirts with, yeans for, lusts after and is intimidated by one beautiful woman after another. From his man-hating maid Shanta Bai [Sonali Kulkarni], whom he ogles as she wipes his floor to the man-eating Nafisa [Kalpana Pandit], the powerful call-center executive… from the beauty-with-brains Sharmishta [Rituparna Sengupta] to the pretty and playful Parminder [Divya Dutta], Vir is drawn to them all.

All along, he is supported by his buddy, Sandhya [Sada], whom he takes for granted till it’s too late.

//

LOVE KHICHDI mirrors the lifestyle of a section of youth today, who want to have all the fun, minus commitment. In this case, the film projects the flirtatious nature of a chef who believes in ‘no strings attached’ fun. The assorted women here add spice to his already spicy life. Very interesting!

But the escapades here are not as adventurous, as one expects them to be. Barring the portions involving the maid servant [Sonali Kulkarni] and also the adolescent neighbour [Riya Sen], the character sketches of the remaining women just doesn’t appeal.

To cite two instances, Rituparna Sengupta hides the fact that she’s a married woman till the very end, although she could’ve conveyed that much earlier. Also, Sada’s character seems so confused. Why doesn’t she reveal her true feelings beforehand? It would’ve saved so much time, frankly.

Director Srinivas Bhashyam had an interesting idea, but he loses the plot midway. Pritam’s music is humdrum. Dialogues are well penned at places.

Randeep sparkles all through, except towards the climax, when he breaks down. Amongst ladies, Sonal Kulkarni and Sada enact their parts very well. Riya Sen does bring a smile on your face. Saurabh Shukla is alright.

On the whole, this khichdi is just not yummy!

By Joginder Tuteja, May 26, 2009 – 17:18 IST

Neetu Chandra
NEETU CHANDRA’S PHOTOSHOOT

Neetu Chandra’s ‘woman-on-woman’ photo shoot has literally created a storm. Leave aside the protests (or the lack of them), the fact remains that the pictures have been noticed by one and all (though quite a few also deny having looked at them, but more on that later) and the Garam Masala girl who got ‘lucky’ with an unlucky number ’13’ quite recently has now moved up from a ‘Traffic Signal‘ to Page 1 across National Dailies as well as prime slots on news channels.

Joginder Tuteja catches up with quite a few industry men and tries to gauge their reaction on Neetu’s photo shoot. While doing so, we came across an interesting trend. While majority of top line actors (names withheld) either refrained from commenting at all or evaded the query by stating – ‘I am yet to look at the pictures’, quite a few Bollywood filmmakers were game to share their views around the photo shoot. This is what they had to say:

Ken Ghosh Ken Ghosh – “It’s quite an interesting concept! Great going!”

Shirish Kunder – “Awesome. In fact I thought it was a little restrained. They should have gone out a little more.”

Rohit Jugraj – “I think it’s very awesome and gutsy on Neetu’s part to go ahead with such bold and sensuous pictures. Times are changing and we should pay heed. They say cinema is a reflection of the changing society and if the world can have a festival like Moondance (a gay and dance film festival), we can at least celebrate freedom of expression in cinema. I have always had a script about two women, a pack of cigarettes and a road trip in mind, though that script of mine is not about lesbian characters but does have an intimate moment between the girls. Photo shoots like Neetu’s only prove to me that audience is ready, howsoever niche it may be. But the question is – ‘Are we filmmakers ready to handle such themes deftly with maturity and sensitively?”

Jag Mundhra Jag Mundhra – “I just checked one such picture on the net. I think it is quite beautiful and provocative. Her body language is defiant; celebrating raw female sexuality. It says – ‘As an artist I am ready to push the boundaries’. It defies the viewer to do the same. I think it is very symbolic than sexy, just like the PETA ads.”

Randeep Hooda – “Neetu’s pictures are very hot. It’s in some form or the other every man’s fantasy. It’s about time we started opening up about it (smiles). It’s a brave shoot so cheers to her!”

Rahul Dholakia Rahul Dholakia – “I saw the shoot, and while I thought it was an interesting concept and a good marketing tool, I don’t think we should give it any more importance than that. If this picture is generating any kind of controversy, I don’t think it should. It’s bold but not obscene; it’s about two women, maybe lesbians. So what?”

Piyush Jha – “Everyday I get surprised at how much further and further we are pushing the envelope of morality in India. While I am not aesthetically riveted by the pictures, I am impressed by the challenge it throws at the so called ‘norms’ of our society.”

Madhu Mantena – “I am in London and haven’t seen the pictures yet. However, would like to meet them together!”

Navdeep Singh Navdeep Singh – “Girl-girl action is always very welcome. These pictures seemed tasteful enough. There is a need and space for some eroticism in our lives. And when it’s girl-on-girl, it’s even better!!!”

Vivek Agnihotri – “We are living in time of media clutter and to get mind share, media must titillate; so a shoot like this is nothing novel. Also competition is so tough in our industry that lots of people are willing to go to any extent to be noticed. What can be a better way than shock the audiences? The picture meets both these aspirations. Neetu is talented and I am sure she is capable of shocking more with her talent and soon she will realize it.”

Suparn Verma Suparn Verma – “More woman power! She looks fabulous and the pictures are aesthetically done. I think the moral police should take a nap!”

Robby Grewal – “Neetu has liked doing the shoot and I have liked looking at the pictures. So where does the question of protests or morality come into picture? At the end of the day when an artist and a consumer are comfortable with something, there should not be a problem with everyone else. And come on, it’s not the first time that such pictures have come on print, so why are we making a hue and cry?”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM