Fenil and Bollywood

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Sunil Shetty and Vishwajeet Pradhan are victims of severe burns

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 26, 2009)


On Thursday evening, a major fire broke out on the sets of Anees Bazmee’s No Problem. The unit was shooting in the middle of the sea for a vital action sequence. Suniel Shetty and Vishwajeet Pradhan almost became a victim of severe burns. However, prompt action saved them.

The fire extinguishers on the sets proved to be very handy. Suniel burnt his hands while Pradhan’s left leg suffered from major burns.

Vishvajeet Pradhan Sunil Shetty

Rajat Rawail, the producer of the film, said, “It was an important sequence that was being shot with all the main actors of the film, including Suniel Shetty and Vishwajeet Pradhan. We were shooting in the middle of the sea at the Yellow gate, when a sudden gush of wind led the fire to spiral out of our control. Sunil anna and Vishwajeet were trapped, but the production guys showed great presence of mind. They put out the fire with the extinguishers on the sets. We also had a doctor and a first-aid box on the sets, which made things better. Everything was under control in minutes. It is our job to take care of these things as a production unit. Anna’s hand is burnt, while Vishwajeet’s leg is burnt from his knee to the calf muscle. Thankfully, nothing serious happened.”

Vishwajeet tells us, “These things happen and despite all the precautions, the fire was just uncontrollable because of the sea breeze. My trousers were very thin. I guess it’s part of the game, but I am in pain right now. After the incident, I went to a doctor and even a skin specialist for treatment.”

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Priyadarshan has always come up with zany comedies but De Dana Dan takes away the cake. In your entire life, you would have not seen such complicated and bizarre film ever, nor would you see it in future! There are some 25 characters; the entire action takes place inside a luxurious hotel and misunderstandings galore in the film. In fact, the flick thrives on misunderstandings and mistaken identities! However, like many other pathetic comedy flicks attempted this year, this doesn’t disappoint all thanks to Priyadarshan’s excellent handling and execution!

The story of the movie: Nitin Bankar (Akshay Kumar) works for Archana (Archana Puran Singh), a rich lady in Singapore and who loves her pet dog named Moolchandji the most! Nitin’s only friend is Ram (Suniel Shetty). While Nitin is in love with Anjali (Katrina Kaif), Ram loves Manpreet (Sameera Reddy). However, both Anjali and Manpreet are born and brought up in rich families and their families would not like their daughters to marry financially unstable men. So Nitin and Ram come up with plan to get quick money-they decide to kidnap Moolchandji in exchange of a huge ransom from Archana! Without realizing that the kidnapping has gone awry, both hide in the luxurious Pan Pacific Hotel waiting for the ransom. Unfortunately, there are more colourful, anti-social, gadbad-types people in the hotel at that time! And then starts the mother of all misunderstandings, mistaken identities and unlimited, uninterrupted laughter for the viewers!

There is absolutely no logic whatsoever in De Dana Dan. There are some big big loopholes in the story too! But if you are lover of masala Hindi comedies, then you won’t mind at all as there is so much fun happening in the film every second! Except during the songs, you won’t get a chance to yawn or check out the time in your watch or look anywhere else than the screen!

The first half is where the characters are introduced and established which is perfectly done. The asli mazaa begins when Nitin and Ram hatch the kidnap plan. The actual kidnapping and the events that follow was brilliant! Also, there are lots of tracks going on in the film, each one which is well written and worked upon. There is Harbans Chadda (Paresh Rawal) who is deep in debt and who wants to marry off his son Nonny (Chunky Pandey) to the best amir khandaan ki ladki; there is Brij Mohan Oberoi (Manoj Joshi) who is happy to marry off her manglik daughter Manpreet to Nonny; then there is smart theif cum club dancer (Neha Dhupia), Harban’s unfaithful wife Pammi (Aditi Govitrikar), a killer on a mission Peshawarwala (Johny Lever), an oversmart waiter Duggu (Rajpal Yadav), an Indian ambassador Paramjeet Lamba (Vikram Gokhale) and her wife (Supriya Karnik), Anjali’s dad Kakkad (Tinu Anand), Anti-corruption cop (Sharat Saxena) and a letch (Shakti Kapoor) (I hope I haven’t left anyone). Whew! With so many characters with interesting characteristics, Priyadarshan and the writing team excellently links up unrelated characters creating multiple mistaken identities, all which provide laughter unlimited!

The first half is laced with 4 songs but still the flick didn’t turn boring. However, it was the 2nd half where at a point, everything gets too monotonous and you want the flick to end. In fact, the film is close to 2 hrs 45 minutes. However, the climax again takes the film up and it was the most weird and bizarre climax I have ever witnessed! Once again, I state that don’t watch the flick if you can’t stand any nonsense in films. Or else you’ll surely faint watching the nonsense climax! But for those who love comedies, the climax will surely entertain!

With so many characters, it becomes difficult to decide who the best was. In fact all put their best foot forward and contribute well. Akshay Kumar was like everytime rocking! His films may not entertain everytime but he always impresses. In fact, it was so great to see a fantastic Akshay Kumar film after so long (the last such film was Welcome, 2 years back). Keep rocking Akki! Suniel Shetty gives an amazing performance and it was great to see him after a long time! Watch out for him in his next, Red Alert!

From the rest, the ones who impress and provide maximum laughs are Paresh Rawal, Archana Puran Singh, Johny Lever and Vikram Gokhale. Vikram Gokhale particularly entertains a lot! The rest-Asrani, Chunky Pandey (he had no role at all!), Manoj Joshi, Rajpal Yadav, Supriya Karnik, Tinu Anand and Sharat Saxena also did a nice job but it got overshadowed in presence of so many actors. Producer Ratan Jain is also there in the film!

As for the heroines, Katrina Kaif has the meatiest role and sizzles full on in the song Gale Lag Ja. Neha Dhupia gives a bindass performance. Sameera Reddy looks charming but hardly has any dialogues. Aditi Govitrikar’s performance was flawless.

Music was fine. Baamulaiza, Gale Lag Ja and Rishte Naate are the best songs of the lot. K Ahambaram’s cinematography was too shaky in some scenes which didn’t work. Salim-Suliaman’s background score, as usual, was flawless. Sabu Cyril’s production design deserves special appreciation especially for the climax where the entire hotel gets flooded. Some parts of the hotel were recreated in Mumbai, it was flooded and shot and it was so accurately done that it’s impossible to distinguish the actual hotel in Singapore from the set! Great work! But at the same time, disappointed to see enormous quantity of water wasted under the guise of entertainment!

Finally, we come to the writers and director. Suresh Krisshnan’s story was unusual. Jay Master’s dialogues were amazing and also contribute to the entertainment quotient in the film! And this is undoubtedly Priyadarshan’s one of the finest works! It requires guts and courage to screenwrite a film with so many complicated and tangled scenes and then directing it and also giving it a proper conclusion. Any other director would have either failed miserably or would have run away midway! So hats off to Priyan….keep giving us such films!

This time, there would be no section of Best Scenes….there are some 3 to 4 dozen memorable scenes, half of which I can’t even recollect now but enjoyed while watching! So please excuse this time!

On the whole, De Dana Dan is one of the most complicated comedies of all time. Those who love Priyadarshan and his slapstick comedies should not even think of missing it!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on Mouthshut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/De_Dana_Dan-181702-1.html

By Taran Adarsh, November 27, 2009 – 10:52 IST

Be forewarned. DE DANA DAN is the most bizarre film from the maharaja of laughathons, Priyadarshan. Not even in your wildest dream you’d think that Priyadarshan would place almost an entire film in a hotel and have its entire cast, comprising of 26 [or is it 27?] characters, most of them weirdos, interacting with each other. Brings back memories of BLAME IT ON THE BELLBOY? May be!

But Priyadarshan needs to be credited for pulling it off. There are times when you laugh hysterically at the most outlandish jokes and situations. There are times when a raised eyebrow or a wide-open jaw makes you break into a guffaw.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Be cautioned. DE DANA DAN is a loud film, with each and every character screaming on top of his/her voice, with the characters shouting, running, even floating and swimming in the end.

But what do you expect in a Priyadarshan film that has a title like DE DANA DAN? The promos never promised path-breaking or thought-provoking cinema that would give birth to debates and discussions. So why look for logic in this one?

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DE DANA DAN makes no qualms of narrating a story you haven’t heard before. Here, the story is non-existent and it’s left on Priyadarshan to mix-n-match those two dozen characters and keep the momentum alive for the next 2.45 hours.

DE DANA DAN promises laughter and entertainment and sticks to its promise. This one’s not for the hard-nosed types, but for those who worship escapist cinema. Who want to chuckle, giggle and chortle at those mindless jokes. In short, DE DANA DAN is a pure dhamaal entertainer!

Nitin [Akshay Kumar] is a butler, cook, driver, watchman, gardener to a wealthy female industrialist [Archana Puran Singh] in Singapore. Like any young man, Nitin too dreams of a better life. He desperately wants to become rich and marry the love of his life, Anjali [Katrina Kaif], who supports him financially.

Ram [Suniel Shetty], Nitin’s best friend, also came to Singapore with the dream of striking it rich, but ended up a courier delivery man. He falls for Manpreet [Sameera Reddy], but her high society parents will never approve of marriage, not unless Ram has lots and lots of money.

In the midst of all this is Harbans [Paresh Rawal], a shrewd businessman, who’s looking for ways to multiply his income and avoid his debtors. He decides the best way would be to marry his son [Chunky Pandey] off to a girl whose parents can give him a large dowry. He is introduced to Manpreet’s parents at a function and is impressed by their social status. He introduces himself as a well-established businessman, impresses them and they decide to get Manpreet and Harbans’ son married.

With several factors working against them, Nitin and Ram soon reach a dead end in their relationships. When both receive ultimatums from their girlfriends, they realize that only a life of vice can help them out of their misery. They come up with an audacious plan to kidnap someone important and demand a ransom.

The kidnapping goes awry and both hide at a local hotel while waiting for the ransom money. But misfortune is never far and the kidnapping spirals out of control.

Meanwhile, Manpreet’s wedding reception is being held at the same hotel that Nitin and Ram are hiding in. Soon, they are joined by a motley set of characters including a Chinese Don [Asrani], a hired assassin [Johny Lever], a ACB police inspector [Sharat Saxena], a club dancer [Neha Dhupia], an ambassador [Vikram Gokhale], a young frustrated double crossing wife [Aditi Govitrikar], a letch [Shakti Kapoor], a drunken waiter [Rajpal Yadav] and a dead body nobody wants to check into the hotel.

DE DANA DAN is atypical Priyadarshan film that has the unmistakable stamp all over it. But, at the same time, DE DANA DAN is erratic and uneven – energetic at times, lethargic at places. Also, the culmination to the film is very similar to the director’s earlier works, with the entire cast running helter-skelter.

On the flip side, you miss Akshay’s presence in the second hour. He disappears [gets locked in a cupboard] for at least 20 minutes and the focus, hence, shifts to the other characters. His fans will miss his presence, for sure. Besides, the film tends to get very lengthy towards the second half and overtly verbose too.

Director Priyadarshan is synonymous with comedies and the ace storyteller promises laughter in abundance. Handling so many characters, plus making a film on mistaken identities could be very tough, but the director gets it right. Pritam’s music is alright, while the RDB track, ‘Paisa’, is the pick of the lot. Salim-Sulaiman’s background score is energetic. K. Ahambaram’s cinematography is alright.

The review would be incomplete if one ignored the dialogue writer’s [Jay Master] contribution to the film. The lines are laced with wit and soaked in humour and bring the house down on several occasions.

DE DANA DAN has so many characters that it gets difficult to pinpoint or single out any one actor. Akshay is at his best in a Priyadarshan film and DE DANA DAN proves it. Suniel is natural to the core. Paresh is incredible; he pitches in a superb act. Katrina and Sameera don’t have much to do. Amongst the plethora of actors, Johny Lever, Neha Dhupia, Manoj Joshi, Asrani, Vikram Gokhale and Archana Puransingh deserve special mention.

On the whole, DE DANA DAN is targeted at the masses and it delivers laughter in abundance. Leave your brains behind to enjoy this madcap entertainer!

DE DANA DAN-COMBINATION OF SUCCESSFUL COMBOS!

This year hasn’t been great for Akshay Kumar as all his films have flopped at the BO, with an exception for Kambakkht Ishq which was average. De Dana Dan, which releases tomorrow, is the last film of Akshay in 2009 and it’s expected to be one of the biggest hits this year. The promos have been excellent, the film has wonderful star cast and is helmed by the comedy expert Priyadarshan. But most importantly, the film consists of all the hit combos which have worked big big time in the past! Let us have a look at these combos:

Akshay-Suniel-Paresh: The chemistry between the three actors worked wonders in Hera Pheri and also in its sequel, Phir Hera Pheri. The tigdi is super-hit and still in demand. In fact, any producer will be ready to pump as much money as needed if these three are ready to come together in a film!

Akshay-Katrina: They have been one of the most-popular jodis of Bollywood. Although their first film together, Humko Deewana Kar Gaye failed, their sizzling chemistry has worked in all other films. Even in De Dana Dan, both look wonderful together and they have also sizzling rain song in the film, Gale Lag Jaa, which is guaranteed to soar the temperature in the theatre!

Akshay-Priyadarshan: Akshay has till now worked on four films with Priyadarshan (Hera Pheri, Garam Masala, Bhagam Bhag, Bhool Bhulaiyaa) and all of them have been super hits at the BO. Even De Dana is expected to be another hit for the actor-director.

Priyadarshan-Venus: This is also a winning combination with 100% success rate. Venus produced Priyan’s Hungama, Hulchul and Garam Masala and all three proved to be successful. So there is little doubt that their fourth film together will work too. In Priyadarshan’s words, “I have always said that I am lucky for Ratan Jain (who heads Venus) and he is lucky for me

Thus, De Dana Dan with all these factors going in its favour will definitely take a huge opening and if the film turns out well, there would be no stopping it!
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KURBAAN FAILS


Last Friday’s spectacular release, Kurbaan, has flopped which has shocked one and all. The film didn’t even take a decent opening inspite of big names associated like Karan Johar, Saif-Kareena and UTV and inspite of critical acclaim. I feel the major reason could be excessive violence which put a section of audiences away. Another would be its serious theme. I don’t buy the point at all that audiences weren’t interested in watching terrorism films. Anyways, it’s disappointing to see sincere efforts not getting their due, and that film like Tum Mile getting better opening than Kurbaan!

With Kurbaan’s debacle, this year has turned to be disappointing for UTV. In 2009, only 2 films of the production-Dev D and Kaminey worked at the BO while the rest-Delhi-6, Dhoondte Reh Jaoge, Agyaat, What’s Your Raashee? and Main Aurr Mrs Khanna failed. UTV also distributed Johar’s Wake Up Sid which ran successfully only in big city multiplexes. Let’s hope UTV will spring back in 2010!

By Taran Adarsh, November 17, 2009 – 08:42 IST

De Dana Dan

While on Akshay Kumar and Priyadarshan, their new outing, DE DANA DAN, has evoked tremendous interest within and outside the industry. The film is piping hot, to put it in simple and straightforward terms. The Akshay – Suniel – Paresh pairing with Priyadarshan evokes strong memories of HERA PHERI.

“DE DANA DAN is not HERA PHERI,” producer Ratan Jain clarifies, “Sure, the star cast is same and so is the director, but there’s no effort to make a sequel to HERA PHERI or be like HERA PHERI. DE DANA DAN has a completely different storyline and the character sketches are poles apart too.”

But comparisons with HERA PHERI are inevitable. “I am well aware of that, but the fact is that DE DANA DAN is far more entertaining than any Akshay – Priyadarshan movies made in the past. DE DANA DAN has Priyan and Akshay at their best,” the respected producer explains.

Ratan Jain, who has worked with Aamir [AKELE HUM AKELE TUM, MELA], SRK [BAAZIGAR, BAADSHAH, YES BOSS, JOSH and MAIN HOON NAA] and Akki regularly, is planning a project each with Abbas-Mustan and Priyadarshan in the near future. What happens to KHILADI 2? “That will be made with Abbas-Mustan and Akki only, but till we lay our hands on the right script, we wouldn’t like to announce the project,” he says.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

YEH DOSTI…(From left) Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan. For more pictures of the stars, visit, http://photogallery.indiatimes.com
Foes turn into friends, stars bonding big time now…

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 13, 2009)

Raj Kapoor’s famous ditty Dost Dost Na Raha can ring true for so many in Bollywood. Akshay Kumar and Bobby Deol, Anil Kapoor and Anupam Kher are some recent examples of friendships that have gone sour. The quest for name, fame and money has driven a wedge between friends. Down the years, one has seen many close relationships fall by the wayside like dry leaves, bereft of emotion. But an interesting phenomenon is now on the rise. Having watched countless friends turn foes, what is interesting now is to watch the reverse. Foes turning into friends.

When Hrithik Roshan blazed into Bollywood with Kaho Na Pyaar Hai in 2000, he almost wrested the reigning Badshah Shah Rukh Khan’s throne. With the paparazzi adding to their woes SRK and Duggu started out on a wrong foot. And SRK, who was hanging mid-air at a Filmfare Awards’ night event, joked saying, “Come Hrithik… come and pull me down.” However, that was another day. Today both Duggu and SRK are bonding big time. Sources say, “Every other night, the King and the Prince are dining together.’’ What makes their friendship more special is the fact that the girls, Gauri Khan and Sussanne Roshan, are also thick.

Aamir Khan admits that he didn’t approve of Salman Khan’s cavalier attitude to his work when they were filming Andaz Apna Apna. Said Aamir, “I even ticked Salman, Raveena Tandon and Paresh Rawal off during AAA because they had issues to resolve with the producer. And, they were treating the project badly.’’ Today Salman and Aamir are very good friends. Salman’s sketches on the Ghajini superstar are the piece de resistance at Aamir’s residence, and the boys often bond over a drink when AK’s wife Kiran Rao is out on her work assignment. Aamir even said, “That confrontation we had years ago has actually strengthened our bond.’’

Akshay Kumar admits that Suniel Shetty and he shared a hatelove relationship when they started out and now they have a love-love relationship which was in full force during the shoot of De Dhana Dan. Suniel said, “We were immature, yaar, now we’re men in our 40s. Where is the question of us fighting? It all seems so silly. Akki and I are not the best of friends but we do enjoy a camaraderie that is there for everyone to see.’’ If the Bollywood men are bonding big time, the women too have left their previous grievances aside and become friends. Kareena Kapoor and Bipasha Basu who argued like cats during Ajnabi are now friends. And so are Bebo and Preity Zinta. Guess when the boys and the girls realise that they aren’t hunting the same game, they let their guard down.
AND THE AWARD GOES TO… Suniel Shetty

Suniel Shetty won an international Best Actor award for his role as one in Ananth Mahadevan’s film

 

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 10, 2009)

 

Suniel Shetty woke up to a pleasant surprise last week. The macho Bollywood actor bagged the Best Actor Award at the South Asian International Film Festival held in New York for Star Entertainment’s Red Alert — The War Within. The film, produced by T P Agarwal and Rahul Agarwal, is a gritty mainstream realistic film borne out of today’s headlines on the sensitive Naxalite movement and Suniel feels it is very important from the world cinema perspective because “Governments in countries like India and Nepal are dealing with Naxalites and Maoists currently.”
Red Alert is a delicately handled film of a true account of the reality about Naxalism based on Siaram Kavalsingh (Suniel Shetty) who finds himself in the midst of the movement and forced to make difficult, morally questionable choices. About his winning the Best Actor award, Suniel said, “I was surprised at this honour and humbled too.” Candidly he admitted that a majority of the Bollywood critics label him “wooden” and he is often subject to disparaging remarks in reviews. “I dread opening the paper on a Friday when my film releases,” said the actor. He is, however, kicked about Red Alert and feels that besides him all his co-stars including senior actors like Vinod Khanna and Naseeruddin Shah have also turned in great performances. “It just makes all the hard work and effort seem so much pleasurable,” said the actor. Of Naxalism, Suniel added, “There is a very thin line between being a revolutionary and being labelled a terrorist. Naxalites have nothing against their mother country, their fight is against the administration. And so Naxalites aren’t bad guys. They believe in a certain ideology that is different from yours and mine, but that doesn’t make them enemies of the country.”
The film, written by filmmaker Aruna Raje, premiered at Stuttgart and was bestowed with a five star rating by German critics and also won The Director’s Vision Award for its sensitive treatment of the Naxal movement. A New York critic said the film was admirable in its effort to inform of this tragic tide of violence. Suniel Shetty feels that perhaps the film’s brutal honesty is what got the attention of international film critics. After the world premiere, the film will also have an Asian premiere at the prestigious International Film Festival of India to be held in Goa soon.

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