Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘south

By Nikhil Ramsubramaniam, December 24, 2009 – 18:27 IST

Chetan Bhagat Very few authors have managed to reach out to such a wide audience as Chetan Bhagat. The writer of international bestsellers like ‘5 Point Someone’, ‘One Night @ Call Centre’, ‘3 Mistakes of My Life’ and ‘2 States’ have been widely read and now he is all set to see yet another of his book being made into a film. On the eve of 3 Idiots release, Chetan Bhagat speaks to Bollywood Hungama and talks about why 3 Idiots is a special film, his next big project and lots more.

After ‘One Night @ the Call Centre’, yet another book of yours ‘5 Point Someone’ is all set to be seen in its celluloid version (3 Idiots). How does it feel?
It feels great. This time it’s a far bigger film, the buzz about 3 Idiots is enormous. We have done the right thing by putting the film ahead of us. It’s an incredible feeling to be able to reach out to so many people through the medium of cinema.

Initially I did sit down with Raju and Abhijat while they were deciding to make a film based on ‘5 Point Someone‘. I even went to IIT with Abhijat a couple of times.

The screenplay has been written by Raju Hirani and Abhijat Joshi…Would you have liked to be a part of the screenplay writing process?
Initially I did sit down with Raju and Abhijat while they were deciding to make a film based on ‘5 Point Someone’. I even went to IIT with Abhijat a couple of times. But it was just not possible for me to be involved at every stage of the screenplay writing process since I was in Hong Kong at that time, working full time and busy writing other books. Moreover, Abhijat is based in USA, Raju was in the US for quite a while working on the screenplay but it was not practical for me to do that.

3 Idiots is different from the book but at the same time it does borrow many things from the book. The core theme and message of the film is coming from the book itself.

The question on everyone’s mind is how similar the film is to the book? Raju Hirani says that the film is just 10% of the book….your comments.
I don’t think Raju must have said something like that. In fact I just met him a few days ago and we spoke at length about the film etc. See…’5 Point Someone’ has over the years achieved cult status and has its own loyal fans. I am sure they would like to see each and every moment of the book on the big screen but that is not how the process works. Adapting a book and making it into a film is a relatively new thing in India. The film retains the soul of the book. 3 Idiots is different from the book but at the same time it does borrow many things from the book. The core theme and message of the film is coming from the book itself. And that’s why the makers have officially credited the film as ‘Based on a novel by Chetan Bhagat’

You are but obviously not directly involved with the film and its promotional strategies…does it upset you?
Not at all…at the end of the day I want the film to be a good film and I am happy that a film whose base is generated from my book has generated so much response and is the talk of the town.

Aamir recently was on an innovative promotional spree travelling the length and breadth of the country…what do you think about this marketing strategy?
Chetan Bhagat When you have Aamir Khan, I don’t think anybody else needs to be involved in marketing of the film. Aamir is known for his innovative style of marketing. He will never directly say, ‘Please come and watch my film’ but he will do something that will grab your attention and make you go and watch the film. I am really inspired by his marketing. In fact there is a lesson for a lot of Indian marketing companies on the way Aamir does the marketing of his films.

Moving on from 3 Idiots, how is work coming along on the film based on your book ‘3 Mistakes of My Life’ being made by Excel Entertainment?

I am really inspired by Aamir’s marketing. In fact there is a lesson for a lot of Indian marketing companies on the way Aamir does the marketing of his films.

Abhishek Kapoor (the director) is very conscious of the comparisons that will come between the book and the film and hence we (Abhijit, Pubali Chaudhari and I) are taking great care in writing the screenplay of the film. In fact even today as we speak, I am working on the screenplay of the film based on ‘3 Mistakes Of My life’. We are aware that after Rock On and 3 Idiots, there will be a lot of expectations from people and hence we are working very hard on getting the screenplay right. I think we should be able to finalise it soon and begin casting in a month or so.

Your most recent novel ‘2 States’ was launched a couple of months ago…how has been the response so far?
‘2 States’ has had a fantastic response… easily the best of all the 4 books, that’s because it’s a very universal love story with a good dose of humour. It’s a very good book for a lot of people to relate and enjoy. It also carries a nice message. Especially in the South, the book has done extraordinarily well. I think I have been able to meet my fans expectations which is the ultimate dream for any writer.

2 States‘ has had a fantastic response… easily the best of all the 4 books, that’s because it’s a very universal love story with a good dose of humour.

That book would make for an interesting Bollywood potboiler…any plans to adapt that book into a film too?
There have been many offers but I know that my fans would like me to be involved with only A-grade Bollywood. I don’t want to sell the rights to any filmmaker just for the heck of it. It should go into the right hands so that it emerges as one of the best films of the year

What else are you busy with these days apart from tweeting….the buzz is that you are scripting a film?
Twitter is a great way to stay connected with my fans. Yes…I do want to script a romantic comedy. Abhishek Kapoor has taught me a lot about screenplay writing. The best part about working with Abhishek is that he has shown me how the screenplay language works and also how to use restraint. Rock On was such a film that expressed so much more in spite of being subtle. My books tend to be quite filmy sometimes (laughs). It’s ironical that a filmmaker is telling me to be less filmy but I am forever indebted to Abhishek for teaching me these things about screenplay writing. Now I am hoping that I can do a better job.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

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

Wanted2

Although our tastes for film has improved manifold, we still don’t mind watching a hardcore action flick, where the hero is able to take care of more than a dozen criminals and escape unscathed. Wanted also falls in this same category. Although the film is bound with many loose ends, it still gives a thrilling experience. And Salman Khan takes the film to dizzying heights!

The story of the movie: Radhe (Salman Khan) is a one man army. He is a gangster who can do anything for the sake of money. Golden (Aseem Merchant), who works under Singapore-based Gani Bhai (Prakash Raj) invites Radhe to join his gang. Radhe becomes a part of Gani Bhai’s gang and nearly at the same time, falls for Jhanvi (Ayesha Takia). The eyes of Inspector Talpade (Mahesh Manjrekar), a corrupt cop at a nearby police station fall on Jhanvi and he desires to make her his mistress. Radhe then begins eliminating the rival gang members and also succeeds in impressing Jhanvi. But will Jhanvi be able to get into a relationship with a person like Radhe, who doesnt think twice before killing? And there’s a new Commissioner in Mumbai, Ashfaq Khan (Govind Namdeo) who has vowed to city crime-free. Will he become a threat to Radhe?

Wanted begins well and Salman Khan’s entry sets the mood wonderfully. However, after all character gets introduced, the film falls a bit and the story hardly moves. Thankfully, there are some funny interesting moments in the first hour that prevent the film from getting boring.  The intermission point was gripping and was well shot.

But things lighten up in the second half after Gani Bhai’s arrest. Commissioner interrogating Gani Bhai was hilarious. Later, the kahani mein twist moment in the pre-climax takes the film to a new high. In fact, it was what made the film stand out. Even though the climax was a bit lame, one won’t complain, thanks to the wonderful suspense.

Each character in the film is well written. Radhe, Gani Bhai, Jhanvi’s landlord (Manoj Pahwa) and Inspector Talpade were my favourites. As for the flaws, the film gets little dragging at places and the narrative just doesn’t go ahead. Also, the wonderful suspense also raises some questions. However, the impact is so huge at this point that one doesn’t get the chance to think of any goofs.

After Partner, this is surely Salman’s next best performance. In fact, it won’t be wrong to admit that Wanted is one of the finest performances ever given by Salman Khan! He fills life and colour to the rowdy character that he plays in Wanted. Also, Salman’s thoda-good boy-thoda-bad boy image helps a lot in doing total justice to his role! Hence, Salman was the perfect choice for this film and he comes up with flying colours. Hats off to Sallu!

Wanted

Ayesha Takia Azmi looks charming as everytime and manages to give a nice performance. Here’s an actor who deserves to get more and better roles. Mahesh Manjrekar plays the baddie with élan and also makes us laugh. Watch out for him in his entry scene and in his first meeting with Salman. Prakash Raj, a popular face down South and whose last Hindi film was Khakee, performs wonderfully. He is hardly there before interval but dominates in a lot of scenes in the 2nd half. Govind Namdeo gets a positive role after a long time and does a fine job.

Mahek Chahal was perfect in the role of the seductive moll. Aseem Merchant was simply fantastic. Why is this actor not getting enough roles? Manoj Pahwa was hilarious. Vinod Khanna and Inder Kumar do a nice job in their respective roles. The kid playing Ayesha’s brother leaves a mark too.

Sajid-Wajid’s music was energizing. Two songs steal the show, thanks to their execution-‘Jalwa’ and ‘Love Me Love Me’. Anil Kapoor, Govinda and Prabhudheva also make an appearance in ‘Jalwa’ which increases the appeal of the song. The song ‘Dil Leke’ is missing from the film. Salim-Sulaiman’s background score was good but could had been better.

Nirav Shah and S Sriram’s cinematography was outstanding and just the kind required for an action flick. Vijayan’s action was also praiseworthy. The action scenes were not foolish or funny but one which looked real and raw. Although the film has quite bloodshed, giving it an ‘A’ certificate was unnecessary.

Shiraz Ahmed’s screenplay wasn’t flawless but still works. However, his dialogues were phaadu, esp the ones mouthed by Salman! The best dialogue of the film is “Tu jis school se ye seekh ke aaya hai, wahaan ka headmaster mujhse tuitions leta hai!” Clapworthy, isn’t it?!

Puri Jagannadh’s story was indeed worth appreciating and appealing. This explains why three films are made from the same plot! Prabhudheva’s direction wasn’t top-class but still manages to come up with an entertaining action flick. His smart treatment to some of the scenes (esp the climax) enhances the film to a great extent.

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Salman and Mahesh Manjrekar’s entry scene
2.   The song ‘Jalwa’ and ‘Love Me Love Me
3.   Radhe joining Gani Bhai’s gang
4.   Radhe and Inspector Talpade’s meeting at the basketball court
5.   Radhe and Jhanvi in the elevator
6.   The intermission point
7.   Radhe bashing up Talpade
8.   Commissioner Ashfaq Khan interrogating Gani Bhai
9.   Radhe fighting the goons in the local train
10. The last 35 minutes of the film

On the whole, Wanted is a cool action flick that will surely be loved by Salman fans. It has some loose ends but manages to impress. If you relish action flicks, this one is for you! Go for it and experience Salman Ka Jalwa!

My rating-*** out of 5!
This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Wanted_Dead_or_Alive-175348-1.html

Wanted

Asin
Asin’s admirer from Chennai sends her a solitaire to prove his love for her; proposes marriage
By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 19, 2009)
Many fans express their affection for their stars in creative ways. Some tend to border on the extreme, as Asin discovered. A fan from Chennai sent her a massive rock and proposed marriage in an emotional letter. Asin is a huge star down South, and that fervour hasn’t dimmed even though she’s moved to Mumbai after Ghajini.

Some fans build temples, some write letters in blood, others stand outside star homes for hours. This is not Asin’s first brush with a fan who is a fanatic. Recently, she was stalked in Singapore, which unsettled her considerably.

Well, one thing can be said about her mystery admirer – he sure knows how to get a girl’s attention. You can’t go wrong with a glimmering rock after all! Fans from the South are known to worship their idols, and Asin is the lucky girl who at least got wooed in style.

Asin confirmed and said, “ It’s an extremely personal issue involving a fan and I would’t really like to comment on it.”

However, one of Asin’s close friends said, “ It’s extremely flaterring to get such attention and Asin is overwhelmed and at the same time embarrased by it all.”

MAKING A MARK: Genelia poses for the BT camera in front of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. For more pictures of the actress, log on to http://photogallery.indiatimes.com
Genelia D’Souza, in a break from being a diva down South, tells BT that Bollywood is happening slowly for her…

NIMISHA TIWARI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; July 15, 2009)

Despite her big break in Bollywood last year with Jaane Tu… opposite Imran Khan, Genelia D’Souza hasn’t had another release as yet, and she is seen more in TV commercials than promos for forthcoming films with big banners. While other actresses her age, who made their debut around the same time, are already doing their third and fourth films. “What’s the definition of a big banner,” she asks. “I have worked with UTV, Studio 18, Aamir Khan Productions, done films in the South, and I have four releases this year. There’s one opposite Fardeen Khan, It’s My Life opposite Hurman Baweja, Hook Ya Crook with John Abraham and Yahoo with Shahid Kapoor. Isn’t that a lot?” But, yes, she agrees, that you come into your own in Bollywood only when you act with the Khans. And that kind of film is eluding her currently. “Like every young girl, I too would like to work with the Khans, but each film has a script and only a suitable actor can play that role,” she admits. Meanwhile, she’s in Mumbai on a break from the South, where the name Genelia D’Souza is bigger news than in Bollywood. BT caught her splashing around in the rain near the new Bandra-Worli Sealink. “It’s been five years since I played football in the rains. Do you know I was a national level football player in college,” she asks, surprising us.
nimisha.tiwari@timesgroup.com