Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘relatable

3 Idiots’ Omi is an established actor in the US, now in Bollywood

By Lekha Menon (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 30, 2009)


His distorted Hindi speech is one of the biggest talking points in the recently released 3 Idiots. In reality, it was an almost similar monologue that fetched Omi Vaidya,  (who prefers to be called Omi) an LA- based actor, the role of Chatur Ramalingam in the Aamir Khan-starrer.

On a trip to Mumbai to check out the Bollywood scene, Omi was asked by a friend to appear for an audition. The first audition went off without a hitch, but at the second he was given a dialogue from Munnabhai… to mouth. “I just rattled it off without exactly understanding the words… almost like the speech scene in the film,” says Omi. The next thing he knew, he was pencilled in for the role of the accented, mark-obsessed NRI geek in the film.

The instructions he received from the makers were clear: Don’t take Hindi classes, stop watching Hindi movies and put on weight.

Omi followed them to the T and now of course, he is revelling in the compliments coming his way for his role in the blockbuster. “I am still flabbergasted by the response. I guess people have liked the character because he is so relatable. In a way, this character’s negativity brought out the essence of the message more forcefully,” says Omi.

Incidentally, he began his acting career at the age of six, performing for Marathi Mandals in the US (also the reason why his Marathi is much better than his Hindi). He pursued a serious acting career in his teens, graduated in film studies from NYU and did roles in  Bones, CSI Las Vegas, The Office and Arrested Development, besides ads.

But being Asian or Indian, it’s still a tough task to break into Hollywood,  says Omi. “It’s difficult for Indians to get into the mainstream. At the most, you might be cast as an IT professional or other stereotypes.”

Omi in 3Idiots

That’s when he thought of exploring Bollywood, though there were other apprehensions. “The Hindi film industry is still not taken that seriously in the West. There are myths that it is unprofessional, and is mainly about songs and dances.”

But all his fears were put to rest once he joined the cast. “Here, there is a personal touch, unlike Hollywood. Even if they don’t pay you by the hour and there is no extra time, there is warmth and care. I basically saw my Bollywood innings as a challenge. A lot of credit also goes to Raju and Abhijat Joshi for the way the character came across on screen.”

Not surprisingly, after the stupendous success and appreciation, he is here for the long haul. Omi, plans to divide his time between the US and India and work in films ‘that don’t necessarily typecast him as an NRI but are dynamic and enjoyable.’

And for the record, he has now started taking Hindi classes as well.

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SMALL IS BIG: YRF TV and Sony Entertainment Television bring fresh content with five new shows from January 1, every Friday to Sunday, 8-10 pm. Seen here are Yash Chopra with Karan Johar and actors from the shows — Shruti Seth, Kavi Shastri, Manish Chaudhary, Geetika Tyagi, Rahul Bagga, Pankaj Tripathi. Raqesh Vashist, Pushtie and Shama Sikander
Bollywood movie mogul launching 5 new TV shows from Jan 1

ROSHNI K OLIVERA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 28, 2009)

YRF TV is set to give telly programming a twist! Come January 1, and it will launch five shows on Sony Entertainment Television. Producer Yash Chopra is excited about his company’s foray in tellyland. “TV is getting bigger and bigger by the day,” remarks Chopra, who’s given the Indian film industry some of its biggest hits over the past many decades.

His busy schedule may not permit him the time to watch TVserials, but his wife Pammi gets her daily dose of entertainment from the small screen. “There are some serials that she likes and ardently watches every day,” he says. The Chopras had been planning to get into television for the past couple of years. “It was my son Aditya’s idea. After the release of his film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, he started concentrating on TV. This whole year he has been focussing on this; he has put in a lot of effort,” reveals Chopra Sr.

Talking about their television foray, he says, “YRF TV is an initiative to engage and entertain the entire family through content which combines high-quality production values with contemporary story-telling. The characters, language and environment in our shows are the kind that today’s Indian families can relate to. We are happy that Sony has shown the commitment to back our content.”

This collaboration marks another milestone in the long standing relationship between the two companies, says NP Singh, COO of Sony Entertainment Television. “Yash Raj Films has been making feature films for almost four decades. Television is the biggest mass medium in India and this collaboration will bring the very best in TV entertainment,” adds Singh.

The shows, scheduled over the weekends, promise to be distinct in their look with fresh, contemporary and engaging storylines that reflect the dreams, aspirations and passion of today’s young India. This brand new line-up of five shows, one non-fiction and four fiction, will air every Friday to Sunday between 8 and 10 pm. Here’s a little brief on each of the shows…

Lift Kara De: Touted as the mother of all reality shows on Indian television, 20 of India’s biggest super-stars will be on one platform. Each week will feature one super-star and his biggest fan. The show is hosted by Karan Johar.
Seven: This is a sci-fi drama series, where mythology is revisited in the modern day context. The show will see seven ordinary people, with extra-ordinary powers, fight the ultimate battle of Good vs Evil.
Mahi Way: A contemporary representation of a young girl on Indian television. Real, relatable, imaginative, unapologetic, happy in her skin.
Rishta.Com: Today’s take on the most traditional institution of marriage. Isha and Rohan have formed a company to find perfect matches for people.
Powder: This is about two men on two different sides of the law who take a fight all the way to the end. This fast-paced, high octane drama moves from murky by-lanes to glitzy high rises.

WAKE UP SID OR DO KNOT DISTURB THIS WEEKEND?

I had stated in my talk no 22 as to how youth-oriented films have a great chance of succeeding at the BO since the young constitute almost 60-70% of the moviegoing audience. Thus, there are loads of expectations from Wake Up Sid (WUS), that is all set to release tomorrow. It seems Ranbir Kapoor had made an unintentional norm to release his films on public holidays! WUS releases on Gandhi Jayanti while Ranbir’s previous films, Saawariya (2007) and Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008) were released on the day of Diwali and Independece Day respectively!

WUSA lot of ‘firsts’ are associated with WUS, produced by Karan Johar. It is the first time that a KJo produced film is shot entirely in Mumbai. All the rest of KJo films were shot abroad (except Kaal but it wasn’t filmed in the city). This is the first film of Karan Johar that would be distributed by UTV Motion Pictures and not by Yash Raj Films (had stated this point in talk no 51). The music isn’t larger than life and the film is made on a low budget, unlike other Johar’s grand films!

The promos of this film are rocking and indicate perfectly as to what the film is all about. The plus point of WUS is its plot which is very relevant and the character of Sid is extremely relatable. In short, half of the battle is won! That’s because characters where almost everyone can identify with manages to strike a chord with the audiences. Taare Zameen Par, for instance, worked big time as it wonderfully executed the separation anxiety faced by a child when separated from his parents for a brief period of time. Everyone must have faced such a situation at least once during their childhood and hence, the film was loved a lot. Similarly, WUS also has high chances of impressing the audience.
The Ranbir Kapoor-Konkona Sen Sharma pairing, though unconventional, manages to rock! In fact, both are top performers and look wonderful together. I am dying to see them as a pair as I appreciate both of them a lot! Couple of months back, somebody on a social networking website had wrongly stated that WUS is a love story of a younger handsome hunk and an older not-so-beautiful woman. Unfortunately, the rumour spread far and wide and director Ayan Mukherjee had to give his word about the rumour. He also made a clapworthy dialogue, “Who says Konkona is not beautiful?” I agree with him completely. Konkona looks stunning and has given wonderful performances, for which she has also won many awards and accolades. Mark my words-Konkona will pitch in an excellent performance in WUS!

With such a strong buzz about the film, it is definitely going to take a good opening in the metros. However, it may not find many takers in the small centres. Let’s hope WUS works, provided it’s a well-made film!

Do Knot DisturbDo Knot Disturb (DKD), on the other hand, may see a better opening than WUS. The Govinda-David Dhawan combo has worked well in the past and there are tremendous expectations from DKD. Which film are you interested in? Do let me know!
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WHY ISNT SANJAY GUPTA PROMOTING ACID FACTORY?

Marketing and publicizing a film is very important, especially in the current scenario, where so many films are releasing week after week. But still, some filmmakers don’t care and ultimately, their movie flops due to no hype. I fear that something similar can happen with Acid Factory, produced by Sanjay Gupta and directed by Suparn Verma. There has been very little promotion of the film and I can hardly see its promos on TV. With just 8 days to go for the film (its releasing next Friday, October 9), Gupta and his team should be aggressively promoting their film.

Most of the promos are just released on the net, which is not a good thing to do as majority of people have a better access to television then to the internet. The new theatrical trailer of the film is fabulous and it really looks like an excellent stylish thriller. I have uploaded the promo below-do not miss it! And let’s hope better sense prevails and that we can see and hear more of Acid Factory in the coming days!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/ddidnsrro/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk68


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