Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘ritesh sidhwani

Cast: FARHAN AKHTAR, DEEPIKA PADUKONE, RAM KAPOOR, SHEFALI SHAH

Producer: FARHAN AKHTAR, RITESH SIDHWANI

Director: VIJAY LALWANI


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After the success of Paa, the Bachchans are planning a film featuring Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 23, 2009)


Producer-cum-actor Abhishek Bachchan says the experience of producing Paa has made him grow up. He says, “High time it did so. People keep asking me what we are producing next. At the moment I don’t want to leave Paa behind. I’m completely engrossed with Paa and how to take it forward, including the DVD release.”

Abhishek says Paa had recovered its costs only two days after its release but he chooses to be cautious in his exuberance. He says, “My very dear friend Aditya Chopra told me, ‘It’s very rare when the audience decides to love you and when they do you must be very thankful for that. I feel no sense of vindication. I didn’t make Paa to prove any point to everyone. I just wanted to make an A-grade product with a cast to match within a given reasonable budget and without compromise.”

Now there are plans to make a film with the Bachchan parivaar — Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan together, to be produced by AB Corp Ltd. Confirming the news, Abhishek says, “Most definitely, we are coming together. All four of us are completely for it. We need to sort out certain variables. The scripts that we had been given didn’t justify our collective presence.”

Apparently one or other Bachchan has not liked the scripts offered so far. “Each individual of the family has to be willing to be part of the film. All four of us are unique actors. It’s very difficult for any script to please collectively.”

Meanwhile, Abhishek is planning to produce a film that will cast Amitabh and Abhishek together again after Paa. He says, “Everyone wants to know what’s next with the two of us? I think a comedy is ideal. So that’s what we would do together.”

The year 2009 has been eventful for Abhishek as he worked in his most challenging role to date, for Mani Ratnam’s Raavana. Talking about his experience, Abhishek says, “It has been a gruelling year, but no complaints. Most of the year was taken up by Raavana. Unfortunately, at the start of the year, Mani fell ill after the first schedule. We had to push the second schedule ahead by a few months to give him the time to recover. In the interim, I finished Paa… Raavana has been the most challenging experience of my life, both physically and emotionally. It has sapped me every which way. I was really anxious about Raavana. Mani, Aishwarya and I had to go beyond Guru, which is one of my favourite films. I knew Raavana could do it. It is now going to be released in summer. Mani has completed the editing. We will start dubbing soon.”

Abhishek looks back on the year with much gratitude. “It has been a fantastic 2009. I started with Delhi 6 and ended with Paa. I have no reason to complain. I continue to get the opportunity to work with fantastic directors. I love working with new directors. I like to challenge myself as an actor. It would be terribly boring to be doing the same roles again. Now I am raring to take on the challenges in 2010.”

He has almost wrapped up Ashutosh Gowariker’s Khelenge Hum Jee Jaan Se. Commenting on his busy schedule for the forthcoming year, he says, “I am almost done. We shot it in Goa at a stretch. I start 2010 with a film produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, but it’s not called Crooked. It has no title. After that I go into Rohan Sippy’s film, then Dostana 2, followed by Abbas-Mastan’s film, which is the official remake of The Italian Job. Finally, at the end of 2010, I’ll go into Neeraj Pandey Special Chabbis. I saw Neeraj’s A Wednesday and loved it. He’s a very no-nonsense director. He doesn’t believe in frills. What he has written for me is very exciting. Is that a lot? No I have always had 4-5 releases per year. All my years have been packed. Only Raavana required more time because of Mani’s illness.”

Abhishek admits he’s worried by his father’s workload. He says, “Any son would be worried. I am no different. Having said that, as his fan and co-actor, I am glad I get to see him quite often in movies. But at the same time I think he’s just starting. After doing five films with him, I can say with some authority that what we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg.”

ROCKING ON: Farhan Akhtar
Farhan Akhtar is hot as a filmmaker and even hotter as an actor

MEENA IYER (BOMBAY TIMES; December 3, 2009)

Farhan Akhtar is smiling to himself as he watches a rough-cut of his next acting assignment Karthik Calling Karthik in the luxury of his own office. The actor says he wanted to release KCK with Deepika Padukone on February 26. “However since there was a slight ambiguity at that point on whether Hrithik Roshan’s Kites would release on the same date, we shifted our release date. Both Duggu and Rakesh Roshan had spoken to me about Kites. If a friend is releasing his film on that date, I would naturally go out of my way to accommodate him.”


Farhan is very fond of Duggu. His sister Zoya Akhtar will start her next flick under Farhan and his friend Ritesh Sidhwani’s banner in April next year; a project which is already creating ripples because of its male line-up. “Zoya’s film will have Hrithik, Abhay Deol and me in the lead,” says Farhan. “But we don’t have a title yet. We’ve run out of English words for titles,” he laughs.

In September Farhan will don the mantle of director for the Bollywood’s Badshah SRK’s Don-2; one of the most anticipated sequels of all time. “Priyanka, SRK, Arjun Rampal and Boman Irani are on board,” he confirms.

Well, now that he is an actor, is he at all tempted to cast himself as Don? “You must be kidding me,” he laughs again. “Only SRK qualifies as Don… He is the biggest and the best.”

Though he has successfully juggled acting and directing, Farhan feels he is no where in the league of past masters like Raj Kapoor and Guru Dutt who wore two hats simultaneously and did both jobs remarkably well. “I can either act or direct at a time, so when I’m acting, then I don’t direct,” he says.

What according to him is the most interesting aspect of his having turned actor? “Well I’m a happily married man… so I don’t flirt with my heroines,” he says. “The most interesting aspect of being an actor is that people from all over the world come forward to congratulate me for films like Dil Chahta Hai and Lakshya. When I made those films I was terribly media shy; and there were people who didn’t know what I looked like.
Now that they have been re-introduced me as an actor, they come forward to congratulate me for my work as a director. Ironical isn’t it?”

NO WORRIES: Abhay Deol
Abhay Deol, who is busy wrapping up Aisha, clears the air

MEENA IYER (BOMBAY TIMES; November 22, 2009)

Abhay Deol is currently one of Bollywood’s hottest properties. The actor who has been on a roll since Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D and Dibakar Banerjee’s Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye got those rave reviews, is once again in news courtesy Dev Benegal’s The Road Movie, a film that has taken the international film festival circuit before it comes to Indian shores. As the leading man of the film, Abhay has been jet-hopping from Toronto to Venice, New Delhi to Doha. On a day when he can actually catch his breath for a few minutes, the actor says, “I’ve bought myself a new office in Mumbai. My banner is all set to roll with our first production in the month of January 2010. My director Navdeep Singh and I are just finalising details before we go on set.”


He has an achiever. In the first leg of his journey, the young actor has gone from struggling actor to being the toast of the international film circuit; and in the second leg he has gone from being Bollywood hottie to independent film producer. Yup, in about a year, life has thrown up a myriad of opportunities for this contemporary thinking actor. But there has also been his share of controversy. Reports said he was unhappy with the treatment meted out to him on the sets of Sonam Kapoor’s home production Aisha. It is conjectured that Abhay was cooling his heels on the sets of the film in Delhi because things were haphazard.

However Abhay refuses to be drawn into a controversy. Says he, “My producer should be clearing the air on any controversy surrounding Aisha. As a professional actor I will never talk about what happened on set. I hold Sonam (co-star and part producer) in highest regard. And, there is no ego issue with her.”

Abhay is also expected to start work with Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s banner and he is said to be in talks with producer Krishna Shah for the film on Indira Gandhi. Of course, the actor’s silent on these films too. “My producers will make the announcements as and when they have to,” he says. “All I can say is that I’m exhilarated with the work I’m doing.”

CREATIVE: Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani

SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 20, 2009)

Remember how hatke Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani were about their venture Rock On? The filmmakers took the same passion with them to Istanbul when they went there along with director Abhinay Deo on a recce for their film Crooked with Abhishek Bachchan. Taken up by the beauty of the place, they drove around thinking of a song that would suit the location, then called up Javed Akhtar and asked him to compose one and send it to them in 24 hours. Javed got Shankar Mahadaven to compose his lyrics and sent the song to Istanbul, where they continued driving around playing the song in their car, until Abhinay found a spot he thought the sequence would look best. The film goes on the floors on January 14. And Farhan and Ritesh are now on the lookout for a new face to play opposite Abhishek. The hunt is on for a girl, but not on foot or in a car all over Istanbul. Which is a pity, because the women there are of exceptional beauty as well.

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 19, 2009)


 

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s production Crooked is set to go on the floors from January 14 next year. However, the Abhishek Bachchan starrer has no lead actress as Aishwarya, who was supposed to do the film, opted out citing date problems.

Her dates for Crooked were colliding with Vipul Shah’s Action Replay. Since Action Replay is inching towards completion, Aishwarya had to give it priority, leaving her with no choice but to opt out of Crooked, directed by Abhinay Deo. It is a thriller which will be shot at different foreign locales.

Meanwhile, Farhan’s other production directed by Zoya Akhtar featuring Hrithik Roshan, Farhan and Abhay Deol is also stuck as it has no lead actress. The film’s shooting starts from April 5 in Spain. Ritesh says, “We are now looking for a completely new face in Crooked, which actually requires three new girls. We also need a fresh face either from London or New York for Hrithik in Zoya’s film.”

Farhan says, “Hrithik has been a true friend. I start directing Don 2 from September 2010, so Zoya’s film had to be completed before that. Hrithik adjusted his dates accordingly.”

Organic cigarettes were got for Deepika Padukone who developed cold feet at smoking for Karthik…

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 21, 2009)

Deepika Padukone went white with fear when she was told that she had to smoke cigarettes for her role in Karthik Calling Karthik. She believed that the role would get her addicted to smoking. So it was up to producer Ritesh Sidhwani to put Deepika’s fears to rest.

Our source said, “Sidhwani ordered for nicotine-free cigarettes for Deepika. In Karthik Calling Karthik, Deepika plays a very modern girl who smokes, Farhan advises her against it and eventually succeeds in getting her to quit smoking. In real life though, Deepika hates smoking. The very thought of smoking for the film was enough to make her tense. However, the organic cigarettes saved the day and the scenes were shot without any problems.”

Talking about the issue, Sidhwani said, “It’s a film about a lovable loser and a modern, hip girl. Farhan makes Deepika quit smoking. So we have a nice message in the end. We didn’t want to be responsible for inculcating a bad habit and that’s why these organic cigarettes were needed.”


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